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Wool Sampler

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Finished.  I ended up FMQing it.  Heavily quilted in the background of each block.  Some of the blocks are from books/patterns/magazines I’ve collected over the years.  Some are created from things I’ve seen online.  I used cotton fabric for the binding.

Lessons learned:

  1.  If you match your thread, it’s hard to see where you’ve been and where you need to go.  This seems to be a bigger issue on wool than cotton.  I suppose because most of the wool pieces weren’t solid.
  2. Seams in a wool quilt are much more of a problem than seams in a cotton quilt.  They bunch up.
  3. Even using bamboo batting and a cotton back, wool quilts get VERY heavy.

This quilt won’t win any awards but it is pleasing to the eye.  I’m not sure that I will do another largish wool quilt but I’ll continue to play with smaller pieces.  I’d love to do some wool pincushions at some point.  Plus, I have a huge pile of wool and acid dyes that are just waiting to be worked with.

This quilt would be good in the backseat or trunk of a car for winter emergencies.

Whispered Memories

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My latest knitting.  It’s called Whispered Memories by Mindy Ross available on Ravelry.  My first project using beads and the fleegle beader (available on Etsy).  My first project using Chiagoo needles and lifelines.  Wolle’s color changing cotton was used in Pimento with a Chilli end.  It stretched my patience.  It isn’t perfect but I like it.

And now…..I’m on a knitting holiday.  No more knitting or crocheting until September.  I have a new Mindy Ross KAL that I’ll probably do starting September 10th called Giggle with a Jiggle.  In the meantime, I have a couple quilt projects that need attention!  And I still want to get back to painting.  I see Serena Barton has a new book out, Wabi Sabi painting with Cold Wax.  LOVE her stuff but haven’t gotten through the projects in her first book yet.  I’ll put her new book on my wish list.

Two baby quilts finished

Two new family members are scheduled to arrive later this year.  I’m ready.

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The batik one is made from left over log cabin blocks plus the scrap vortex blocks made using a *free* tutorial by CrazyMomQuilts.  As you can see, I quilted it with FMQ swirls.  Love that pattern almost as much as I love pebbles.

The blue one is a pattern by Bonnie Hunter called Dancing Nine Patch.  (Although, looking at it now, I see that mine doesn’t ‘dance’.  I obviously pieced something wrong.  Hhhhmmmmppphh …..damn….oh well….I guess it’s a non-dancing nine-patch!).  Anyway, it’s very traditional, isn’t it?  Especially for me.  These are fabrics I bought at the Des Moines quilt show a couple years ago.  Well, the remainder of the fabrics.  I used them in my 100 patch block quilt also.

Here is a picture of that quilt, in case you don’t remember it.  (SIDE NOTE:  holy crap…..I just had to slog through all my photos looking for this picture – I’ve made ALOT of quilts over the last couple years.  Some I even FORGOT about making.  Who knew?).

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I quilted the non-dancing nine patch using Jacquie Gerings technique of straight line/walking foot quilting that I learned on her Craftsy class.  I really enjoy straight line quilting however I must admit that I’m slowly, gradually enjoying FMQing also.  Never thought I’d enjoy FMQing – but I do.

Speaking of Craftsy classes – I just bought another one, The Secrets of Free Motion Quilting by Cristina Carmelo.  She also has a book available that I’ve put on my Amazon wish list.  If you keep an eye on the Craftsy site, you can get bargains galore.  This one cost me about $20 for 3 hours of class.  Of the 7 or 8 classes I’ve purchased from Craftsy, I’ve yet to be disappointed.  In fact, I’m totally impressed and recommend them.  AND, I don’t get paid for saying that.

OK – I’m out of here for now.

Buddhist monks

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This last weekend we had three Buddhist monks in our small community creating a mandala to bring peace.

They offered a guided meditation with Buddhist nun Ani Pema each morning and I was fortunate enough to be able to go on Saturday.  After the guided meditation, the 3 monks did a chanting meditation prior to getting to work on their mandala.

Their chanting was one of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard.  It rates right up there with my experience with crystal singing bowls.  Simply amazing.  These obviously aren’t the monks that I listened to, but if you’re interested, this gives you an idea of their sound.

After chanting, the monks continued working on the sand mandala.  They use dyed crushed marble and create the mandala on a foam/rubber mat grain by grain.  The device they use was like a long cylinder/funnel (maybe 16-18 inches?) and looked to be copper.  They would rest this long cylinder/funnel on a pillow with one hand/arm and tap on the cylinder with another bone-like tool.  It was fascinating to watch.

This particular Manjushri mandala is aimed at alleviating suffering and bringing peace and harmony to the universe.

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Once completed, there will be a dissolution ceremony with the sand returned to the ocean as a reminder that all things are impermanent.

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