Monday, April 14, 2014

looky what I rescued

This little fellow was in the guttering above one of the apartments in our complex.  I ask the maintenance guy if I could have it when they got around to cleaning the gutters.  The poor thing was all shriveled up and the dirt around it was bone dry when he handed it to me.  I put the bag in a loaf pan and filled the pan level full of water.  The dirt is about dry again.  Next time I'm in a big box store I need to look for a planter for it, so I can get it potted and outside with the rest of my cactus.

I have no idea what kind of cactus it is, but I think it is a type of prickly pear.  I have seen prickly pears around Phoenix that have a more elongated pad than the classic round pads.  Wonder what type and color of flower it has when it blooms?  And what the tunas (fruit) taste like, cause evidently it tastes good to some bird.

Everybody have a good day!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

sister suzy's memory quilt

We've been saving t-shirts for quite awhile, from grade school through high school.  I had to wait on a few that she wasn't ready to give up.

The blocks are 12 x 12-inches.  While doing research on how to put the quilt together, there were several different opinions on seam allowances.  Most suggested half-inch while a few suggested quarter-inch.  I used half-inch, but if I make another one I will use quarter-inch and see which one I like best.  One of the suggestions was that you need one t-shirt per block.  We didn't have that many shirts.  What we did have was most of the t-shirts were printing on the front and back, as well as on the sleeves of several t-shirts.  So look your shirts over to see what you have.

You will want to use a featherweight iron-on interfacing or interfacing for single knit.  Be sure to check your interfacing for stretch and place the interfacing stretch 90 degrees to the stretch of your t-shirt before ironing.  I cut my interfacing the exact size I wanted for my block which in this case was 13 x 13" for the large blocks.  This includes the seam allowances.  Some sites said you wanted to purchase a half-yard of interfacing per block.  There are 42 blocks in this quilt.  That would have been 21 yards of interfacing!  I found some 72" wide interfacing and only picked up 6 yards.  I had more than enough.

Because of the expense of just obtaining the rights to run two shows of Beauty and the Beast from Disney and the fear of potential hassles over copyright infringements their theatre director choose not to make everyone shirts for this play.  So, we saved a hand-bill and copied it onto light fabric, transfer paper and ironed the transfer onto the back of one of her shirts.  (I could do a full-blown rant on the cost of obtaining the rights to do this play by a very small high school.  Let's just say, I think, Disney should be ashamed of themselves!)

 This is a photograph of the girls in her class and the woman class sponsor on their senior trip to Missouri.  Everyone had great fun dressing-up in period clothing and posing.  She doesn't know about this block, it was a piece of last minute inspiration.  You can see I had trouble getting the iron-on to separate from the backing.  I didn't try this with regular woven fabric; I wonder if the transfer would have separated better?
On to the piecing!  This block is strips pieced together from a shirt.  The top part of the block was from the front and the bottom part of the block is two strips from the back.  I felt I would have had too much empty space if I had made two blocks instead of one.

 On this block the upper-wing of the mockingbird was just a little bit above the neckline of the shirt, so I turned the square ruler a bit to pick up all of the decal.  Then I set the block off-center to finish filling it out to the 12-inch block I wanted.
This block is from the long sleeve of one of her shirts, denoting her contribution to the production.

I did the backing in flannel with no batting.

There were several factors involved with the decision to tie the backing and top together.  One being the top was heavy and I didn't want to add any more weight to the quilt.  If you get the quilt too heavy you will need an industrial washer to clean it.  Next, I didn't want any quilting to distract the eye from what was going on in the blocks.

So technically this blanket is not a quilt but a comfort.  The difference is whether or not you sew the layers together, so say the old ladies my mother quilted with.  Also, most comfort's binding is the backing pulled forward and covering the raw edges.  Which is how I bound this one.

Well the label is now on; time to finish up the surprise that goes with this comfort.

I hope everyone is having a good day!


UPDATE:  June 18,  I forgot to photograph how I fixed a couple of holes in the flannel where it looks like the material got caught during printing.

The best part is she loved the repair!  Judy

Saturday, April 5, 2014

it's official

I'm becoming a Crazy Cat Lady.  I knitted The Cat a bed.  I not only considered the bed a brilliant idea, I went out and bought four skeins of 100% wool yarn in colors I thought The Cat would like.  I think I may have slipped a cog or two.

The Cat loves dark colors.  If you lay anything down that is dark The Cat will be laying in the middle of said object and upset because you shooed her off.  Hence me thinking of a bed that was exclusively for her in dark colors (The blacker, the better she would like it.) would work.

I went to Ravelry and found two patterns I liked.  One being Felted Cat Bowl by Mary Hough for two cats and Junebug's Kitty Bed by Wendy Engstrom for one cat.  I used Wendy Engstrom's pattern.  This pattern has a welt around the bottom to help the bed hold its shape.  I have never knitted a welt before so I got to learn something new, also.  Easy straight forward knit!

Here are some pictures.

The bed at this point, unfelted, was 20" in diameter and the sides were 10".  The yarn was Patons Classic Wool Worsted, 3 skeins in Palais (that were on clearance, Yeah!) and one skein of Royal Purple for the welt and top.  I got the yarn at Michaels.

Wish I had taken a picture of the bottom with the increases spiral out to the welt.  I haven't gotten any measurements after the first felting.  Somebody has taken possession of the bed!

This last picture is the true colors of the bed.  The bed is going to need a couple of more feltings as the stitch definition is still pretty pronounced and the sides don't stand up.  That is, if, I can get it away from The Cat without being eaten alive!

I hope everybody is having a good day!