Saturday, June 28, 2014

Move Over Mildred There's a New Loom in Town

Just when Sheville was starting to look a little sparse along came a deal that I couldn't refuse. I recently met a woman who, back in 2008, thought she would like to take up weaving. She didn't just dip her toe in, she dove head first and bought a deluxe Schacht weaving package that included an eight shaft Mighty Wolf, matching bench, 14 yard warping board, extra reed, raddle, lease sticks, warp sticks, 8 shuttles, swedish bobbin winder, etc. She then wove two or three projects and never looked at it again. This loom is in such like-new condition it still gleams. It was the deal of the century, I HAD to buy it. 

So now I can set the Norwood up to do sectional warping for rugs and large projects, while I use this gem for the lighter weight projects. I'm so excited I might pee my pants if I'm not careful. I think I might need to reduce my liquids intake for a day or two.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Scraping and Painting and Scraping and Painting…

That will be our story until the snow starts to fly again. The kind folks at our local preservation alliance awarded us a facade grant to help pay for the overhaul of the paint on the wood portions of the exterior of our home.

By my estimation there are 847,000 pieces of wood that need scraped and painted.

I am actively recruiting young bodies to assist in this endeavor as the mere thought of it makes my old body hurt.

I can't wait to see the end result. We all think it is going to look amazing.

Monday, June 23, 2014

International Quilt Festival

My local quilt shop hosted a bus tour to the International Quilt Festival in Chicago over the weekend. My friends Karen and Milah joined me and we had a great time. It is always inspiring to see what insanity talent there is out there in the quilting world. The time and effort it would take to make some of these is mind boggling.

 This next one was so beautifully hand quilted it took my breath away.

And the needle turn appliqué was perfection.  This one was the show-stopper for me.

I appreciate the talent it takes to make an art quilt, but it has never really been a thing for me. I prefer the traditional style of quilting. Yet, even I have to admit that these next two are just freaking amazing.

As for my personal tastes, I like the following the most. I can't help it. I like the simpler traditional quilts. 

This one proved you can make a beautiful quilt with very simple quilting.

Again, more simple quilting in the next one.

The riot of color here makes this look complicated but it is really a simple design.

This next one borders on insane only because of the tiny scale of the pieces. 

A simple nine patch will win me over every time. 

But if I could only pick one to take home with me it would have been this one. I love it so much I'm adding it to my to-do list. 

The maker did a block exchange and then tied it all together. I think I'll try doing the same.

I came home inspired to get all my unfinished tops quilted so I can start on new projects. I set up an assembly line to machine quilt all the small quilts I have had hanging on the design wall. I even tried setting up my antique hand-quilting frame to work on a larger quilt, but the darn thing is too big for any of the small rooms in this house. It is a little too hot now days to work with a hoop in my lap so that one will have to keep waiting. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Weaving the Perfect Fingertip Towel

There is something very satisfying about pulling a weaving project off the loom, finishing the hems, washing and pressing it and having it turn out even better than you expected.

I have absolutely fallen in love with the texture of this draft (click the pic below to bigify.) Just enough texture - not too much. I will be weaving a lot more of this pattern. I think it would make the perfect washcloths.

I also love that these are made of 8/2 cotton manufactured right here in the good old USA. I'll be keeping two of these and the others will eventually make their way to the Tenth Street Textiles Etsy Shop. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

My Bucket List Adventure

"Even now I cannot understand the measure of a life, but I can tell you this. I know that when he died, his eyes were closed and his heart was open. And I'm pretty sure he was happy with his final resting place, because he was buried on the mountain. And that was against the law." 
--Carter Chambers

I found my spot. It is right there in the background behind me. See that bush in the center of the picture below? As the floatplane landed in that part of the Magnificent Misty Fjords I was overwhelmed with emotion. It was the most beautiful place I had ever seen and I knew instantly this was where I would like to spend eternity.

When the time comes, my family has been instructed to accidentally spill my ziplock baggie of ashes right there on that little beach.

My photos will never do it justice so I'll only include one more. I can only suggest that you visit there yourself someday.

The entire Alaskan cruise was amazing from start to finish. We did it all -- viewing glaciers from our balcony, whale watching tours, a train ride through the White Pass Trail, even touring a castle in Victoria, BC. I enjoyed every minute of it.

And I'd do it again.