Hi all -
I hope you are all having a wonderful Easter Sunday! I don't really celebrate Easter myself, but I did watch some new Craftsy videos and do some knitting and quilting. Now I'm watching the last two games in the Elite Eight round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. Sadly, Kansas lost yesterday so my team is out of the tournament, but Oklahoma, another Big 12 team, and North Carolina, another favorite of mine, are still in the tournament so I still have teams to root for. North Carolina plays tonight, so we'll see if they can make it into the Final Four.
Spring started this week, so we celebrated with a little blizzard. We got something over 2 feet at my house. We've had a lot worse in the past, but this is enough wet, heavy snow to really know you're shoveling! Here's a view out my front door:
The snow hadn't stopped at this point, but it was mostly done and my power was back on so I decided to start the shoveling. I took some pictures after starting to try to give some idea of the snow depth:
Here's the gate before shoveling:
Luckily, I don't have to leave the house in storms like this!
So, what have I been working on this week? I've done some more knitting, which is a good thing to work on when listening to basketball games that you don't need to watch closely. I'm still working on using up the yarn for that old blanket. I still have full skeins left, but I decided to start working on knitting things while unraveling the blanket:
It works pretty well to knit while you unravel! First, I made part of a hat from the pink band that had been at the top of the blanket:
I had to put this aside when I got to the dark mauve band, so I finished this hat:
and made this cowl:
Here is Lance modeling both:
He actually loves the modeling because he knows he gets a good treat afterwards!
On the knitting side, I watched the videos for the new Craftsy class "Wild Quilting: Creative Free-Motion Combinations" by Christina Cameli. I've seen this type of quilting called "Grafitti Quilting" elsewhere and I've known for a long time that this is how I want to quilt my Bonnie Hunter Grand Illusion quilt. I had basted this quilt on the longarm with water-soluable thread last fall when I basted my sister's wedding quilt. So I got the quilt out and started quilting. The quilt is really wild so it's really hard to see the quilting, which is why I figured I could go for something fun. I decided to use a bright green Glide thread because I want the quilting to give the quilt a green glow. Here's some of the quilting on the front:
The pin in the lower-right corner is marking where my bobbin ran out so I know where to start up again. And here is some of the quilting on the back, where you can see it a bit better:
My "formula" is scattered big flowers of different types and pairs of leaves with a swirly background fill that she calls "bear claw" and some straight line quilting to fill in odd spaces that appear between the designs. I haven't gotten very far, but I'm really liking what I have. And if I got bored of doing this, I can switch to other designs as I move along.
While doing this quilting, I'm reminded of a couple of "features" of the new machine that I actually don't like. They both have to do with turning the machine off and back on again. With my other machines, if you turn the machine off with the needle in the fabric, the needle will stay in the fabric when you turn it back on. With the new machine, the needle comes out of the fabric when you turn it on. It's not a huge deal because I can use the hand crank to get the needle back in where it was, but I have to remember that it does this so I don't accidentally shift the quilt too far before putting the needle back in. The other, similar issue is with the tension. My other machines have mechanical tensions (I believe), so the tension setting stays where it was when you turn the machine off and back on again. Since the new machine has an automatic tension, it resets when you turn the machine on so I have to remember where I had it set and reset it before I start. Not difficult problems, but not ideal either. But the machine does stitch smoothly and beautifully and I love the extra harp space!
Hope everyone is having a wonderful spring!!