Friday, June 30, 2006

weekend

Well with the weekend comes JULY and I am ready for purple. You guessed it, the project spectrum color for July is purple. I am going to do a quilt that you can see here at Be*Mused & get the recipe too! You can see another colorway here: walk in the garden.

Mine will be scrappy purple. :o) I have a great selection of everything from lavendar to eggplant to redish purple to "is that blue." I even have some "envelope pushers" - the ones that have green polka dots on a purple background...

I am really excited to work on this one - I guess I just like to start quilts...

I have to work on Monday - so no long weekend getaway. But aside form running errands, I should have some sewing time. :o)

On Monday, I will get back to Australia...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

rain, rain go away

I have been thinking about blogging about our weather event here in Washington, DC but I did not want to jinx us...

Michael & I are fine. For the most part we have even been lucky with not even being outside when it is raining.

We do live in a basement apartment, but it is mid-hill... With that said the apartment in front of us flooded, but that apartment has had seepage problems in the past - you may recall my flood last year - that was because they broke the water main while trying to fix the seepage issue...

My car is even higher up on the hill.

My commute to class has been uneventful, because I have been able to take my bus to a subway station that was not effected and I traveled in a direction that was also not effected.

According to the weathermen/women, this is the most rain in the Mid-Atlantic since Hurricane Agnes in 1972. (The most rain not associated with a tropical storm - period.)

Also on the weather front, we had our driest March on record and theis will be the wettest June on record.

Finally, we average 33 inches of rain a year, we have had about 1/3 of that in that last few days!

I finally remembered that I own a rain coat yeasterday - I did not need it yesterday or so far today - timing...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

What I have been up to (more or less)

In honor of Project Spectrum BLUE, here is one of my appliqued cat blocks on a blue star. I showed a green one last month....



And here is an oldie but goodie UFO... I showed some other kitties earlier in the Project Spectrum cycle, I showed some yellow ones...
This UFO started out innocent enough... Blue and yellow kitties for a provencial quilt... I joined a swap & pulled my own to go with... (I am only sharing the solids here) that I where I got into trouble - you see, I love to work with blue & yellow - so my stash is heavy in these colors... And then there is the fact that this block is more tall than wide, so I got confused with figuring out how many to make... I am even going to piece cat paw blocks for the border... & I may do some Tonya letters "Les Chats" for the title. My fabrics run the gammut from chrome yellow a CW repro. to 30's repros. and everything in between!

And then plan 2 came into effect, you see a lot of Judaica prints come in blues and yellow too, so I have quite a few pieced that were Judaic in nature, so I decided to do them alone and to title that one "Chatoolim" - Hebrew for cats.

I have added more blues and yellows (My GF gave me a bunch of her older 30's repros.) to this project - combined with those that I still need to sew from the first selection, so this may not be the end of the planning for this one!

Niether one of these is the blue project that I planned to work on....


So this is what I have been working on instead... It is an old UFO, I am not sure why I set it aside, except for the fact that it was in my mini-group project bag...

The project is all batik of hand dyeds and the colored parts are supposed to be like a charm quilt - no repeats, but I think that there are at least 2 pairs...

This is a "bricks" quilt - do you see why? The colored parts are the bricks and the black parts are the mortar. This is only a rail fence variation. The centers (colored parts) are 2.5 x 4.5 and the blacks are 1.5 x 4.5. Mine is on point, but I have seen this done straight sets. I wish I could tell you how many bricks I have & what size I think my project will end up, but... (I do know that I started with 1 in the corner, then 3, then 5, etc. up to 21 & I have six rows of 21 to make the quilt rectangular.)

Monday, June 26, 2006

figured it out

I figured out my original plan...

My quilt is on-point, so the math is not necessarily straight forward...

I apparently have 6 diagonal rows of 19 to make the quilt rectangular...

While sewing I sewed some that are 21 and 23 blocks long - leaving leftovers...

Now that I have scratched it out on paper, I am back on track!

YAY!

I'm here...

I have not fallen off of the Earth, but it sure does feel like it!

Michael & I are in the preliminary process of trying to find a nice home in our price range in a decent area... NO small feat! So we walked around in Baltimore (We live in DC!) looking at neighborhoods near the commuter rail line at Camden Yards. I got blisters....

Are you shocked that we are looking in Baltimore?

A. Unfortunately, it is not that uncommon for people to live in Baltimore and to work in DC. (Hence the commuter rail & our desire to live somewhat close to it.)

B. Almost any where closer to DC is a lot more expensive with a cr@ppy commute.

C. Since I used to live in Baltimore, I have friends & family there...

So that was Saturday...

On Sunday, we met some young couple without kids to form a friend group...

I have been sewing a little...

I am on the hedge about my border plan for my Project Spectrum Green zipper quilt... Still thinking about the narrow inner border idea... Maybe yes, maybe no....

So I should have looked into working on my blue project - heck any blue project....

Instead, I picked up an old-ish batik scrappy UFO! I sewed and picked and almost started over... You see I had a concrete idea, but I did not write it down. (I have the general idea in my mind.) So I am sewing along - I have about 1/2 done correctly without my notes & I am kind of back online with the rest...

Photos to come...

Monday, June 19, 2006

Project Spectrum Update

Well this is a Green update.... I finished piecing the inside & I have my borders ready to attach!

Unlike my last update, my quilt now is longer than it is wide @ 45 in. x 65 in. without borders. YAY!

I also worked on my borders! MY fabric is directional cats & all of the cats will be standing up on my quilt! (I have done that before & really like it.)

I am going to put them on tonight in what I think will be a bit unusual. I can see it in my mind, but I can't express it in writing... I will share a photo, but it won't be anytime too soon because I am in training...

The current month's color is blue... I have a ton of blue UFO's... (I am really drawn to blue quilts...) So I pulled out one of my languishing blue projects.... Boy does she need help! As I probably already mentioned, I have a project that is pinned to the back of an old table cloth... AKA design wall.... I got to a part that I do not (did not) particularly care for & set it aside. So I pulled it out this past weekend.... Some of it is no longer pinned to the table cloth, some of the fabrics no longer excite me, I need to press just about every piece, etc... Hopefully this weekend I will be more ready to tackle her!

Training

I will be in training until July 3 - so my posts will be sporatic & my reading will be less frequent...

Friday, June 16, 2006

Kuranda Railway Station

These shots are of Kuranda's railway station. My father is a railroad fanatic, so some of these were definately captured for him. :o)

Just a sign on the bridge that goes over the tracks, so that pedestrians can cross safely to the Barron River in addition the the station and platform.

This is a fairly old station & a not to bad picture, in my opinion.
This is the sign for the city & a statue... Lovely flowers. Since Kuranda is in the Rainforest, there were quite a few flower varieties!
This bench was made from railroad parts... Nice in the shade, but I bet it gets hot when the sun is shining on it.

And the all important engine snap! This is the train that we rode on, but we were at the other end. I am pretty sure that there are only a few trains a day, so this one was sitting there for a while...

In Kuranda

Two cool signs in Kuranda - one that you can actually read that tells about the village. The map shows route that you can walk, etc.


Pretty neat, huh?
One of the coolest artsyest things about Kuranda were the everyday ordinary things turned into Art like this street sign. The thing on the bottome that did not turn out well at all is a Praying Mantis!

And this Ant on a trash can lid. And many other things like hand rails that I did not photograph!

But this was the BEST. You may or may not be able to reas the sign bu this is a "Retyred Highway Crocodile." The artist, David M. Jones, made it using tire treads that he found on the highways. BTW In Australia they are Tyres, while in America they are Tires.

Kuranda had a ton of artsy stuff from leather goods, to glass, to wood, to etc.

Michael got a belt & I got two wood turned bowls made from native Australian trees.

Skyrail

Neat sign at one of the skyrail stops...


The skyrail with views of the ocean int he background.
The first stop on the skyrail was a self guided rainforest walk. (I love these diversions...) This is one of the "learning" signs on the walk. This species is the tallest tree in Australia.
This is Michael at the base... He is at least 6 feet tall...

Between the last picture of Michael & this one, imagine at least two more sections that are at least 12 feet long Ad then this is the top 1/3 of the tree!

They weren't joking calling this a rainforest giant!

BTW The Barron Falls were at the second stop on the Skyrail & also had a learning walk with the scenic lookouts.

Day trip to Kuranda

One of the day trips on our vacation was to a rainforest village in Northern Queensland called Kuranda. We took a skyrail to Kuranda and a train back to Cairns. These photos are of the Baron Falls, one of the sights that we saw on our way up to Kuranda.




Quilty post

I have to interrupt this travel blog for a quilty post! Yes, this morning when I should have been on the road on my way into the office, I took a few fabric photos.

This is part of a 2 yard piece of shibori hand dyed fabric. From the real reef photos that I have been sharing you can see the similarity! That is why I "had" to get it!


This one is the commercial (Michael Miller from a couple years ago) fabric that has been living in my stash.

Here they are side by side - I think they go great together!

This is a selection of Australiana fabrics. Four of the ones on the bottom are of Wattles - I think I will use them as sashing between my hankies, at lease the screen printed ones. I am still pondering the embroidered ones.

I also got an Australian Postcards Quilt kit & I think the fabric that looks like post cards may be the back for that.

In my stash, I already had some Australiana fabrics, including a bunch of Oz Dye-Arts hand dyed fabrics (They are dyes over Australian images - I'll take a photo & share it later...) & some other toiles, etc. When I pulled them out of my stash, that is when my husband realized how long I have been wanting to go to Australia & that it was probably in his best interest to just "go along."

Thursday, June 15, 2006

reef fabric

I completely forgot to take a picture of my hand-dyed reef looking fabric...
But in my stash I have the perfect commercial "reef" scene fabric to go with it!
I also just got some Australiana fabrics & an Australia quilt kit in the mail. While in Australia, I purchased hankies. So all told I "plan" to make several "Australia" quilts!

Just a tid bit about the photos... The digital ones were self edited as I went... This was a tad bit irritating to mu husband, but when he saw how much a memory card sold for - he came around to my way of thinking. Which means that I could be showing a lot more... I am also editing a bit here - there are some that I am not sharing - even though this is a journal & I am using it to preserve my trip & memories...

Not that anyone has complained about too many photos or anything....

Next stop Sydney!

Now I am going to try to catch up on blog reading...

The end of the Reef...

I think we were luck to get an exceptionally low tide one afternoon.

Earlier in the morning I had snorkeled right over this area of the reef!

The "bird's eye view" from our glass bottomed boat was spectacular!



On the horizon, you may see some waves breaking... that is the edge of the reef and the end of the continental shelf. Using numbers, that means that we went from about 30 to 50 ft deep water to a few thousand feet deep.

Reef Adventures 5

This is the end of the under water portion of this blog...

If it is not 100% apparent, the follwing 3 pictures are a series. I still think I am lucky to have happened upon this feeding frenzy. I followed the school around to get these snaps.

Two yellow fish mixed in a school of black fish. They know how to stand out!

The school coming over a "bomburra" of coral. (I am pretty sure that an out crop of reef is called a bomburra.)

Here they are eating... They were eating like they hadn't had any food in a long time & gave off the "don't get in my way" vibe!


Another seascape - probably just before the fish were to come over, as seen in the photo above.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Reef Adventures 4

These are from the area of the reef that is far away from land. Over all on these two snorkeling trips these pictures are clearer than the ones that are closer to land.

I really like the depth that you can "feel" in this photo.

Another snap of those black & yellow fishes. I must have been attracted to these guys.

Believe it or not, but the two blue fishes in this photo and the orange one below are all Parrot fish.


More Sergeant Majors.

Reef Adventures 3

These are all from near Lizard Island. There are differences in what you see depending on where you are. Some can not handle the rougher surf that is found farther out away from land.

This was my first experience snorkeling & boy was I impressed. with after thought, I realize that it is a bit sandy looking over all - but some of the things you are about to see, you don't see farther out... So there are good things about both locations.

This is a giant clam. It is every bit of 3 ft. x 6 ft.!

Do you see the blue star fish - cool, huh! I love that shade of blue.
Here is another blue star fish with crevice clams.

reef adventures 2

More underwater pictures. This striped fish is pretty close to being the most common one that you see as a snorkeler. I think it is called a sergeant major.

There is a giant clam in the middle of this photo...


I think this is staghorn coral. It is all o.k., the color difference is due to the fact that only a few parts have the polyps out (or something like that.)

reef adventures

This is the real deal...

I don't know exactly what I was expecting, but this wasn't it. Not that I am disappointed...
Apparently to get the bright postcard photos, you have to have a strobe light & super fancy camera equiptment. (I used an underwater throwaway camera.) They are a bit fuzzy because I was moving and the coral wasn't...


Some photos are just under water landscapes or should that be seascapes...

So if you don't see any fish... I took this one becasue of the purple coral...

There is a fish in this photo (I decided not to crop this group.) on left in the middle...

The fish you see here and in the photo below is a parrot fish.