Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Little Boy and I set off 2 weeks ago on a long journey - 22 hours. He was dancing in Munich (photo with row of windows), interested in the train station in Paris, and impressed with the size of the huge plane - what are those things called anyway - I think a 747, but it could be a 737 - I always get numbers a bit mixed up! AND - he was still smiling when we finally arrived at our final destination. Yeah! Bye the way - we did not take a train in Paris - we switched planes and from inside the airport you look down on the train station.

We are just getting settled in and set up. Things are coming along... but it all takes time...

Monday, January 15, 2007

Trying to Knit

Although I am having a super fabulous time up in the mountains, I forgot to bring some type of hand project with me for nights. One day my DH was headed down the mountain to get some groceries so I asked him to please stop by a yarn shop and get me some yarn - oh, I spelled it all out - red and pink yarn - wool - for felting, the yardage, 11 dpn needles and circular needles too if they had them, etc., etc. DH being the good sport that he is ventured forth into the yarn shop and brought home this yarn... 7 balls of it, plus circular needles, but not the very needed dpn needles. And the wrong size needles too because that is what the shopkeeper sold him - because the yarn is sooo chunky! Hummm.

OK folks - I know this is nice yarn and all, but altogether it cost 40 Euros. And, I want to make mittens for my son. And he wants red and pink mittens and if you know a 3 year old, there is just no substituting this varigated yarn for red and pink - he looked at it and asked - where's the pink?. So - this all went back to the yarn shop next trip down the mountain. In the meantime I went on-line to Joanne's and ordered some very nice wool (1 ball of red, 1 ball of pink), plus the 2 sets of needles (I only need dpn's, but it is a bit easier with the circular too so I got those as well) and it all came to less than 1/2 of what my DH paid (and remember he only got 1 pair of needles), including shipping! Joanne's has great wool for felting (Paton's Merino) and it is $3.99 a ball with a whopping 223 yards per ball! Lots of colors too - including some cool verigated ones.

The pattern I will use is for felted mittens from Carodan Farm Wool Shop in Stanardsville, VA. Judy was making felted clogs awhile back and posted the link - so I went and took a look and ended up getting a few patterns. Looks fast and easy - you knit on size 11 (8 mm) needles using 2 strands of yarn (hence the 1 ball pink, 1 ball red - per my 3.5 year old son's request!) - 120 yards of each color. Believe me, I will have lots of yarn left over so will probably use the extra to make a felted bag or something. FYI - I couldn't find size 11 dpn's anywhere on Joanne's site, so I settled on 10.5 which is just fine because I tend to knit loosely anyway.

The moral of the story here though - I will keep sending my DH to the store to pick up this or that, as needed because - he had no qualms at all about spending $40 for mittens! LOL! Oh yes, I do love that man!

Today's photos - my son giving his snow tractor a ride on the sled (his favorite snow toys are beach toys!). And - the little squirrel that visits our window every morning - he has gotten smart and now bites the string that holds the bird food and runs away with the entire loot!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Mountain Holiday

We've spent the week skiing and playing in the snow!!!

More photos are on my daily photo blog at
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

String Tulips

It seems that Bloggerland has been bitten by the String Piecing bug! How fun! I have a string UFO on my list for this coming summer - String Tulips. In about 1990 I made up 20 of these tulips - all from bits and pieces of fabrics given to me by my family. Last summer I actually pulled them out to admire. Mmmm - got to love some of that older fabric, LOL! And since I didn't have any other fabric - I put it all together and somehow - the end result works. String quilts are so fun in that regard.

I am going to sew these right side down onto very thin interfacing, clip the curves, slit the interfacing and turn right side out, and then sew with a machine blanket stitch using black thread onto a background fabric. At least - that is my plan. Got to get the interfacing. And background, sashing and cornerstone fabrics. I think each block is about 11", but I can't remember exactly right now.

These blocks are in Canada so I won't be able to work on them anytime soon...

I think this will be a fun quilt when finished!

P.S. - I started a NEW blog - it is - take a peek!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Gratitude Blocks

By request - a photo of 24 Gratitude blocks from my Moda tower. I am pleased with the richness of the colors! I used all the prints except for about 4 of very large birds - because I want to save the birds. And 1 cream print which I used for the cornerstones for my Grandmother's Choice top. And - I still have enough fabric to keep making blocks - lots more blocks. Except 1 tiny little thing - my iron broke yesterday. Nothing like a dead iron to stop a quilter in her tracks! Not sure how my finished top will look as I won't follow the pattern exactly...

You can see Little Boy's foot in the next photo - he is asking - "are there any pins, Momma?" He wasn't on the Shakespeare quilt because I had many of the edge pieces pinned and he knows that bare feet and pins just aren't a good combination! He always asks about pins first!!!

Thanks for all the compliments on Shakespeare - I have all those border triangles pieces sewn together now, but can't go any further until the iron situation is resolved!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Shakespeare Progress

Almost done! I have the rows sewn together diagonally and just have to finish sewing the triangle end units together and onto the ends before sewing the rows to the rows. Soooo - very close to being done! At first I questioned some of my brighter blues, but now that it is together - I think they look good. And - way in the beginning when I was cutting it out - I knew I didn't have enough cream prints so I used some light blue prints here and there - only for the smaller pieces though - and they blend right in just fine.

This quilt takes a long time to make - it isn't hard, just time consuming. Ummm - in my book anyway... now - for some of you who are doing a Dear Jane quilt or lots of applique, or? - well, then you might think differently. But me - well, my favorite patterns tend to be strip sewn then cut apart, which definately would not be this pattern, LOL. As a matter of fact - I was so relieved to get this top up to this stage that I immediately cut my Moda fat tower into 2" strips and zipped up 20 Gratitude blocks (a little intermission, you know?). So - it probably would be done if I hadn't taken that detour, but hey, the detour is looking pretty good too!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Jumping into a New Year!

Little Boy jumps with much enthusiasm! The above photo was taken in Sept.

For New Year's Eve day we packed a picnic and headed over to this funny gravel pit... they dug and dug and so it is a big hole with lots of layers... the center is filled with water for swimming in the summer and surrounded by new condos. There is a little walk there, plus a statue to mimic something in Brazil (can't remember the exact name right off the top of my head!). I thought the statue was a bit tacky, but Little Boy was thrilled and insisted that we all walk up to the top of the hill for an up close and personal look . The parking lot is huge so it must be ridiculously overcrowded in the summer, but the last day of December was quiet with just a few dog walkers about. Hard to photo - but here are some small snapshots to give you an idea...

Little Boy absolutely adores a picnic and this one included hot soup in the thermoses which I mailed from the US for just such an occassion (yes, the boxes finally showed up after Christmas - via Holland or Australia - depending upon the box!). It was nothing fancy, but tasty after being outside in the cold - we had carrot and cucumber sticks, apple chunks, black bread, tunafish salad, and the soup - which we added rice and cooked veggies to from a seperate container. We ate in the car - balancing everything on the dashboard, but it worked and was fun!

For dinner we stayed home and had fondu. We put the fancy table cloth on and everything - even light a candle for the occassion!
Little Boy had a great time placing the good luck pigs on our plates (he has a small collection of stuffed ones from previous years all lined up by his plate). In Austria it is a tradition to exchange small pigs for luck, or small charms - including chimney sweeps and red mushrooms with white spots, plus other things. Charms can be simple 50 cent pieces up to elaborate gold and diamond ones! Just before New Year's the sidewalks are crowded with street vendors selling 100s of these little charms and fireworks. We watched the fireworks from our apartment (which has a good view) and promptly went to bed as soon as it was over! All in all, a nice, quiet, family day.