Tuesday, February 20, 2018

January brings ...

January brings a new year and a new addition to the family. Our grandson Zephyr Socorro was born on January 19 in Panama City, Panamá. Yes that means we started the year of with a bang in travel.


A proud G'ma. Zephyr 2 hours old.

This time I actually hand carried (as in  carry-on luggage) my BabyLock sewing machine with me thinking that I would have lots of time to actually sit and sew during the periods of waiting. Somehow things didn't come about as I expected. Very little sewing as we were always doing something, or so it seemed. I took two UFO projects with me that I thought that would have been easy to sew here and there. NOT! How could I ever think that a modified pattern would be easier?  These blocks were the start of a quilt for DGS#2 a couple of years ago that I discovered that I didn't have enough fabric to do a true Cathedral Windows patterns. So I cut out the fold over area and added the four sides to each block after turning over and basting the edge. Takes quite a bit more time and fiddling than I originally had figured. Thus this one will take a bit of extra time to get to even a flimsies stage, no less to the quilting stage.Yikes!!!! From this photo I actually changed the 2 shades of the circles and put the very dark one on the light block and the lighter one on the darker block. Looks much better.

Before leaving for Panama I was able to finish up a UFO to get me back down to the basement of the list; an at least 3 years old start,  a steering wheel table topper, a Halloween pumpkin, wannabe Eleanor Burns.
 Mr Grumpy Wonkers
I actually need to make more holiday ones this size - how fun to match the steering wheel top and the dash cover in similar fabrics and style. hmmmmm

And that is the sum total of January. Not an auspicious start to a new year in the quilting stage. LOL

Saturday, February 10, 2018

2017 in review ...

2017 has not been as prolific as I would have liked on the quilting, needlework and knitting side. Travel however, has been very prolific.

Early in the year we toured Mexico by car. A new way to travel for us - by car! It was wonderful. You can take a whole lot more "stuff" and yes, I took my small BabyLoc with me.       And it actually got used:
~ a block for the birthday block exchange challenge

~ finished up the blocks on the "World Travels" quilt. Now to put them into a flimsie, This will take as much time or more as the blocks as there will be a lot of calculations and manipulations going on.

The rest of the year saw me working on between travel gigs, and then completing more birthday blocks, finished up the blocks for our quilt for our bed, (Christmas motif and colors),  now to sash them into a flimsies in 2018,
another quilt for mom, 

I sometimes wish that I could have done more, but the travel bug is satisfied first and we did a lot of that in 2017. A suitcase can only take so much in it and still be managable. Unfortunately I could not take any quilting with me when we went to Europe as I did not have enough space for a sewing machine. ha ha I really need to get into some hand sewing/quilting I guess. A hex project might be the way to go or an appliqué project. hmmmm how about a Rose of Sharon or a Baltimore quilt?

As we watched the 2016/7 local new year's eve fireworks in San Antonio, TX I got started on a sweater for myself. A replica of one I saw in a shop window in Montevideo, Uruguay last year. This will be an ongoing project as I usually only knit as we travel in the car. So far, the body is finished to the sleeves - is it long enough I wonder? No matter, it can be added to. The first sleeve is done to the armhole as well.

As we traveled throughout Mexico I also started a Norwegian patterned torque and later finished a neck warmer as well.

During the year I also started and finished a shawl with yarn bought in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Just needs to be blocked.
The color variegation here is difficult to see. Blue/black/green   and variations of this scheme.
After finishing up the shawl I then started a cotton tee for myself with yarn bought in Valencia, Spain. I am thinking that it is probably too big so will be addressing that once I pick it up again. Yes, too big and so out it goes for another day to be ripped out and restarted.

Absolutely nothing was done under the heading of needlework. Simply not enough time and carrying space to accommodate all things in all manner.

2018 does not have as much planned so perhaps I can complete a few more projects that I currently have on the go! We shall see ....

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

An overviewing of blogging ...

Yes, once again I will attempt a start at blogging.  Somehow it seems like an awful lot of work to keep up a blogging site and the question inevitably comes around to, “why am I doing this? I am not trying to make a living through it ”. It all comes down to the fact that I enjoy writing and would somehow like to keep a written record of exploits and interests.

I currently have 2 separate blogs, one for my crafting and one for our travels and experiences and yes, neither is up to date. The platform used for these is “blogspot”; very easy to set up and to use. A second platform for a totally different blog is my own domain. That said, I then have 3 separate entities that perhaps need to be combined into one, to attempt to make it an easier endeavor.

I would have to say that I have used http://travelinduo.blogspot.com the most, both frequently and comprehensively, since going over to “blogspot”. Through this platform I have attempted, and this being the operative word here, to write about our experiences both traveling and everyday. Accompanied by select photos, I have acquired many an armchair traveler. Today however, this platform has been somewhat supplanted by “Instagram” while traveling, by offering a literal snapshot into our exploits and experiences.

The second ‘blogspot” is what I originally started for my crafts; needlework and quilting. http://2busyhands.blogspot.com  It too has been only sporadically updated. The original thought was a platform for the sharing of my crafty activities and perhaps even the sharing of an idea, technique or how I handled a technique. In the end it became a repository for projects, along with photos. 

The more comprehensive overall blog of course, is my personal domain http://startlogic.travelinduo.net
This one can be permutated outwards a multitude of directions and interests but badly needs to be overhauled and made much less bulky. With the ability to link into however many subdirectories desired, it can the “one stop shop” of blogging. The main menu page has many various links and these are what need to be overhauled. The main one, of course, is the “Where? (blogs)” from “Currently”, which will subsequently link you back to the travelinduo blogspot listed above. As I said, overhaul is much needed on this one. Perhaps this main menu page will be the first to be addressed with a link to a "currently under construction” pop up in places that are being redone.

I have yet made an attempt to store and organize my many, many photos. This however, will be an exploit for a rainy, bedridden day.

To emphasize the ultimate in laziness, traveling to any of the blog links in this entry will result in reading the same one at this time. This will definitely change as time and writing progress.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The work goes on but not the writing ....

We have done a lot of traveling in the last few months, mainly in the US and Canada. This included the western US and Canada, but in Canada we can only claim parts of Alberta and BC. We spent some time parked in Spokane in the parking lot of a repair shop with troubles with our slides. From there we car tripped around the state and into southern Alberta all the way to Edmonton and then down into eastern BC. Throughout this time I avidly collected Row by Row patterns as we collected miles.

During this time a small amount of quilting was done; the most important one being the finishing of the flimsies for Mom. This will be sent back up for her to gift. I am really proud of how this one turned out as I had trouble putting it together and had many people offer input. From all the offerings, I took what I wanted and went full speed ahead. It is a much bigger one than I normally make but a good branching out for me. I finally got it finished in November and sent post hast via the FEDEX pony express.    This was too large for Danny to hold upon it's entirety, even from a picnic table. This is just one of many to come to be done for her and will last far longer than she ever will. I have my marching orders. I have enough material left over that I will be able to make her a small baby quilt of baby wild animals in an "I Spy" quilt. Think that I will gather up some remnants of other baby animals and fish as I see them to add variety to it.

Now on to other quilts that I would like to finish up: The number one to be finished being the quilt for DS#1. The flimsies is finished
 [not a very good photo but my resources were limited at this point.]
 and the quilting done. Now on to the binding and labeling. For obvious reason not many more will be finished this year, far less than I had hoped (more to come as to this later).

I also was able to complete all the birthday blocks excluding Decembers that are part of a group offering that I joined.
 dark and mediumpurple 

 royal blue with muted blue dots

 oddly enough, this one is as it should be

And now to make a couple more of the block that I chose. Then I think some log cabins to off set them.

Shheeesh, the colors are not as they should be - not as bright and sometimes too dark. Hmmmm guess I will have to opt for natural light instead of the light at night when I finish.

The month of October found us jetting off to Uruguay in S America for a month of touristing. This is an area long touted as a do-able retirement area. Being that we were traveling by local transportation while there, it was not feasible to carry my sewing  machine and quilting  supplies. So knitting it was. I spent the entire month knitting on a project that I had bought while in BC this last summer - an acrylic yes, but still with a lovely feel to it. [photo] I was well near to finished when I realized that I really didn't like the outcome of the knitted  yarn, which  immediately brought me to a standstill. [photo] Now what do I do with the yearn? It works up so nicely and feels so soft. A decision to be made after I let this disappointment rest and stew for awhile, and then rip it all out.

I also continued to work on the NYB quilt for DDIL#2 as well as a Row x Row lap quilt for my mother.
I have finished a couple of the required NYB block sets: 

and the actual row for Mom's is placed. 
  Now to get some fabrics in a medium and light grey to make like a window frame and a ecru/light beige grunge for the background to make like a wall. The backing for this will be a real busy but cute cardinal fabric. photo

Now we are into December and my time is even less available. I did manage to finish up a small stocking stuffer tonight. 
 This one for DH to carry all of his electrical cords and plugs in. Will it make him responsible for his own? hmmmm somehow I think not. This has become one of my responsibilities over the years and there is not much chance of it changing. At least he will know which are his in the suitcase. It works up quite quickly and I might just have to make a couple more for stocking stuffers as well. And perhaps enlarge the pattern a bit too. We will see.

The next project to be worked on will be to find and purchase the necessary fabrics for mom"s lap quilt. And if I manage to find the time to complete this, I will then go to work on finishing up the table runner for our table. It is sandwiched and ready to quilt. [photo]

And so I look a new year in the eye, but not yet the white of the eye. Along with the new year will come another month long journey, but one that I will take along the sewing machine and supplies and insist on an occasional day of sewing. We will be back the first part of February and then we are headed to a "sit fast and tight" for a month. Yeah!!!!

Wishing one and all the best of the holiday season.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Quilting, well about anything vs allergy season

Allergy season, for me, appears to be getting worse each succeeding year. I always described it as "hay fever" but after having looked it up I have discovered that hay fever only occurs during the fall - duh "hay", "hay fever", the cutting of hay, etc whereas when it occurs in the spring it is called, or at least has been called, "rose fever". I guess because this is when rose bushes traditionally blossomed. But for me it is the trees: oak, pine, piñon, cottonwood, you name it. And right after this the sage will bloom which is also a deadly one for me, especially if it has been a wet season and the sage bush has had lots of moisture. AND this year is the absolute worst for me. Runny, itchy nose; full sinuses; scratchy, runny, red, puffy eyes; scratchy throat; and a cough to end all coughs.

Now add this to attempts to do about anything and you get a stalemate. Who will win? I hesitate to say it, but the rose fever won in my case. I have had a very miserable month to say the least.

About all that I have done is knit with an occasional attempt at sewing. It is hard to see through eyes that are about swollen shut and what little there is open, covered in tears.
I finished a 2nd and 3rd pair of house socks. [photos] I guess now I have had enough practice to make Brooke her socks. So out came the yarn and a set of double pointed needles were purchased. Yikes - they started the exact opposite of what I have been practicing with - they started at the toe instead of the cuff. [photo] So I venture into new lands with this project.

I somehow absolutely missed Stashbuster's numbers game for April. I have to go back and see if I can find them. Aaaah here they are: #11 and #16. As I totally missed these, nothing got done, not even a stitch sewn on my dash cover (#11) and World Traveler (#14 taking the place of #16 which I don't have at this time. So now I go on to this month's numbers. May's are #12, a 2015 Row by Row, and #23, again will be World Traveler as I only go to  #14. Maybe I will actually do a few stitched this time on World Traveler.

In the meantime, over the last month I did get one of the OUR Quilt blocks done (that is #1 on my list). [photo] This one is #10, leaving me only 6 more to go. I then got #11 cut out. It will be good to get this one sone, whenever that may be.

I sent DS#1's quilt to the longarmers expecting it to be done in time for his birthday. Alas, nothing ever goes smoothly. She has stopped doing custom quilting and is now only doing pantograph quilting on the electronic machines. She now has 2 of them and they go full time. It is a much better money maker for her and I certainly don't see anything wrong with this decision. It is just another bump in my road. I want to do a square stippling in the large black empty areas of the quilt and shadow the boxes/cube effect in the hopes to pop the optical illusions found within the quilt. [photo] I found an example of what I am looking for, although it is much tighter than what I want.[photo]  I will redo it into a much bigger, spacier stipple. I spoke with a company out of Stover, MO and they will be able to do what I want. So now I have to buy the backing and the batting before I can send it to them.

I also had joined the birthday block group, a group within the Stashbuster's group. The first block was due the end of March. It was completed and in the mail with enough time to get to her before her birthday. [photo]. The next one, called Variable Star,  is due the last half of May and it is already completed. [photo]. I have the following one, Dutchman's Puzzle, due the third week in June, already cut and the fabrics bought and received for one of the following month's 2, Storm at Sea, as well. The second one, Shooting Star, I haven't even looked at but I must.

Summer looks like it is going to be a busy season once again. Row by Row starts on June 21 and I am ready and waiting. [photo with link] Don't know how it will go for me as I will be traveling the whole time but am hoping to get quite a wide variety/selection wherever we end up going.

And so it goes ... Miss Betsy hums along as well as Madam Singer [photo].
[photo of sewing ...]
Til we meet again, may your fingers be nimble and always busy.