Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Let the Holidays Begin!

My camera doesn't capture a beautiful snowfall very well! ;-) There really were big fluffy flakes gently falling.  What a beautiful way to begin the holiday season!  In my remote corner of the planet, there is no Black Friday ... our local quilt guild's Annual Tea & Auction kicks off my holiday celebration!  Sunday was one of those perfect dillydally days!  And it all began with the beautiful snowfall that I can't capture with my camera ... you're just going to have to trust me ... it was wonderful. ;-)
I began the day early ... made a holiday favorite ... Cranberry Eggnog Braid!  Bread making is my favorite type of baking ... I enjoy the whole process ... especially when I have the time to mix it by hand.  Of course I have and love my bread machine and Kitchenaid mixer ... both of which make great bread!  But ... when I have the time, I love to dillydally in the kitchen by making bread with my hands.  This recipe was in a Taste of Home magazine ... I've had it since sometime in the 90s and tweaked it just a bit so that it is more moist and tender.
While the bread was rising ... I finished up my blue string blocks for the Orca Bay Mystery!  OMGosh ... I love string blocks!  I can't believe that I've been avoiding some of Bonnie's patterns because of them.  Sometimes I am the silliest person I know!  They are so relaxing to piece ... I am addicted and am now disappointed that we only need 72!

Now... I am able to reveal three of the 007 projects I've been working on ... they were auction items!
 As some of you might remember ... this was that woodland panel I struggled with in an earlier post.  The piecing ... eventually was very simple ... hmmm, funny how doing the math correctly makes things easier! ;-)  The machine quilting is what ate up a lot of time ... yep, I quilted around every little bird in the border fabric!  I ended up really liking it when it was finished ... even thought about keeping it ... I liked how it really was more of a winter theme rather than Christmas!  Perfect to hang from January through March.  It sold for $55 and will help cheer up someone's home during our winter months!
These two pillows were my other two auction items.  I bought the fabric this summer while visiting the Thimbleberries Studio Store!  I did an extensive amount of machine quilting on these as well ... couldn't help myself ... it just brings them to life!  For me ... ruffles are just one of life's necessary evils ... love the look, only tolerate the process! ;-)  Anyway ... I was very happy with the way they came out.  And I was thrilled that they went for $135!
Guild members are asked to decorate a table for the auction ... this was my table ... simple and mostly handmade. ;-)
I made the napkins years ago ... loved having a serger ... they made napkins simple to make.  I am in the market for a new serger ... too many choices.  Table favors included an icicle and stocking ornament with a chocolate treat!
Used the Tomten family I knit years ago as the centerpiece!  Simple and easy ... that is my dillydally style!  It is fun to see what guild members do every year!  Love it!
I came home with treasure ... I love this kind of holiday shopping.  These potholders were made by one of my 7th grade students!  She is the guild's youngest member!  We won't mention what I paid for them, but Mr. DillyDally has been told that they are not to be used in any practical way, they are just for looks!  And ... they are just as sweet as the teen who made the ... plus ... they are worth every nickel! ;-)
This amish inspired quilt was made by one of my former students ... who is now an adult ... she and her husband are expecting their first child in the near future.  Much to celebrate!  I love amish quilts, her color choices are stunning and her hand quilting is inspiring!  Beautiful!
The third treasure I brought home was made by QBee Julie!  Love the pattern ... love the fabric ... but especially love the quilter who made it!  ;-)

Yep ... it was a perfect dillydally day!  What a wonderful way to begin the Christmas season!

I wish for you many perfect dillydally days!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Orca Bay Mystery Progress!

Thanksgiving Morning
I have several 007 projects looming...but decided that I would treat myself to some dillydally self-indulgence on Thanksgiving!  What can I say?  It's the dillydally way! ;-)
Look at how nice and neat these quarter square partners look ... they remind me of soldiers lined up for inspection!
Here they are...transformed into half triangles!  No longer neat and tidy! ;-)
Now they are finally squares!  The pies were baked... turkey was in the oven...Mr. DillyDally was in a football coma...
...I decide to stick with it and trim my squares!  Because it is Thanksgiving Day, I can bring out the Christmas DVDs!  They make great company...
...while I press and trim.  I ended up with an additional 90.  That means my total is 134...I only have another 90 to make.  I'm not worried...I'll catch up on those later. ;-)
Thanksgiving Sunset
I woke Friday with every intention of working on my covert projects ... but knew that Bonnie would be posting Step 2 of the Orca Bay Mystery.  Of course my curiosity got the best of me ... I had to check it out!
OMGosh!  Step 2 is making blue "string" blocks!  When Bonnie was here in September, I picked her brain every opportunity I had concerning strings.  She used string blocks in last years mystery...I love the look, but they intimidated me.  Her explanation really helped me to visualize the process and clarified how to make and use them!
Because strings are a new concept for me ... I don't have a collection of strings, but I do have blue fabric!  It was time to make strings! ;-)
I love having an excuse to go through my stash...many fabrics filled with many warm memories.  This fabric comes from Jinny Beyer's first fabric collection!  I was a newly wed...working partime at Carenda's Fabrics in Juneau, Alaska thirty years ago!  The store had just begun to carry quilting fabrics and had the entire line ... yep ... I had a piece of each one!  Not many remnants left ... but this mystery has to have some in it!
How appropriate ... orca fabric!  This remnant is about 20 years old.  Brother DillyDally picked this fabric during one of the many times I took him fabric shopping with me.  In order to entertain him I would let him choose a fabric.  He was a preschooler at the time and wanted a pair of pants out of this.  I made them and he wore those pants until he out grew them ... wish I could find a pic of him wearing them to share ... hee-hee ... he would die!  Yep ... very fond memories!
I spent more time pressing and cutting my blue strings than it will probably take me to sew the 72 blocks.  Especially since they are only 3.5 inches square!   So ... here it is Saturday morning, and what am I doing?  Well ... I am not working on the 007 projects that have deadlines!
I had to fussy cut this little sea otter string ... so he could peek out and say hello!  I couldn't help myself ... after all ... they are a very common site in my remote corner of the planet!

Do what you love...do dillydally!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

It is with grateful hearts the DillyDally family wishes you a holiday filled with family and friends.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Dillydally Weekend!

Our winter wonderland weather has continued ... I love it!   What a beautiful way to begin the weekend!  On Friday evening a couple of friends and I attended the local theatre production.  The play was about the lives of Shaker women ... it made us laugh ... reduced us to tears ... and involved the use of many shaker hymns!  It was so touching to see the talents of women I know and two of my students showcased in such a powerful way.  There is an abundance of talent in this remote corner of the planet!  After the play, we went out and spent a few hours catching up with one another ... yep ... time enjoying the arts and my girlfriends ... the beginning of terrific weekend!
I spent Saturday morning finishing up two more 007 projects ...  my undercover work has kept me busy ... because they involve deadlines!  When you're a dillydallier ... deadlines can be difficult ... we are often distracted by dillydally whims! ;-)  But occasionally even we dillydalliers must focus ... especially when involved in covert operations.  I have finished three quilting and nearly three knitting 007 projects!  Whew!  I see light at the end of this tunnel!  Reveals will occur when recipients have received them!

Early in the afternoon, a friend and I went to our favorite place here in Cordova ... our local yarn and gift shop ... The Net Loft!  They were having a Holiday Open House!  The shop was filled with fiber and holiday goodness of every kind!  It is always so inspiring ... I bought yarn to knit mittens ... little gifts for the kids ...

... and this book!  I have fallen in love with Arne and Carlos ...
... these ornaments are the reason why.  I am dying ... yes, I mean dying to knit some of these!  I feel faint just thinking about it!

I worked hard finishing those 007 projects in the morning so that I could spend the afternoon and evening focused on this ...
Click here to join the fun!
... OK ... I think we would all agree that I have talked about this nonstop ever since Bonnie announced it!  I know ... I tend to go on ... and on ... and on ... and on.  Sorry, but when I'm excited ... I just can't stop myself! ;-)

I went through my stash ... selecting the blacks and lights I wanted to use.  Pressed and cut strips.  Gosh, I love the process.

On Sunday, our guild held a Quiltville Special Interest Group meeting.  You can read about it here on the guild blog.  Warning ... our guild members are very inspiring ... enjoy!
Here is my Orca Bay Mystery ... now I can carry it all in this box, but that is because we are only working on the first clue! ;-)
I ended up with 44 hour glass units ... only 180 more to go! ;-)  I don't make myself crazy with the numbers or with the deadlines.  Bonnie breaks her quilts down into manageable chunks ... which prevent it from becoming overwhelming.  I like to cut some ... piece some ... cut again ... sew again ... and eventually they all add up!  Let me repeat myself ... I find joy in the process and do not worry about keeping up or being ahead!
Yep ... it was a terrific weekend here in dillydallydom!  Do what you love ... do dillydally!

Friday, November 18, 2011

My Front Yard

I have lived in my very small and modest home for 25 years.
My home is only 1500 square feet, has one bathroom ... and is on pilings.
These pictures were all taken from my front deck.
I never tire of the view ... it is my front yard.
And...this view is the reason we tolerate all the inconveniences of our house.
I love sharing my front yard.  You can imagine the thrill I felt...
...when Bonnie Hunter based the color palette for her new mystery on the sunset we experienced when she was here for dinner!
Step one can be found here!
We are all so excited here in this remote corner of the planet!  Bonnie named her annual mystery design after her visit here.  What an honor for Cordova quilters!

Bonnie has such incredible talent ... and she generously shares it with quilters all over the world.  But it is her generous heart that is most impressive.

Hope many of you will dillydally along with us on this mystery!  I am not a competitive quilter ... I don't pressure myself to keep up each week ... I don't mind getting the next step before I finish the last one ... and I don't mind when the mystery is revealed before I've gotten there.  However, I do savor the journey!

Enjoy your front yard ... do dillydally!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dillydally Updates!

Wow!  I am having a tough time accepting the fact that it is already November 15th!  When did that happen?  Time passes too quickly ... I am always in the perpetual state of having so many things I would like to do and never enough time to accomplish it all ... yep ... that is my normal! ;-)

Undercover 007 Projects
I have been knitting and sewing away.  When it comes to knitting I have been traveling backwards!  Yep ... a lot of ripping out!  It is a necessary evil when designing knitted objects.  Sometimes the design work done on paper and the actual knitting appear to be two completely different things! ;-) Even though I have brief moments of complete frustration ... I love the process ... and enjoy the end result!
 Here is a tease ... hey, remember this project is classified!  I have to stop here and cannot reveal any more!  It is very difficult being a secret agent!

Dillydallying in the Kitchen
I love cooking with pumpkin this time of the year!  I find it hard to resist a new recipe for something made with pumpkin ... which is fortunate for Mr. DillyDally and my friends!
Meet Nutella Cheesecake Pumpkin Muffins ...
...they are delicious and will be placed permanently in my recipe file!  I did replace 1/2 cup of the oil with 1/2 cup applesauce.  It is a large recipe, the yield is 20 but I ended up with 24!  Perfect for a potluck or guild event!

Weather In My Remote Corner of the Planet
View from my classroom
Since my last weather report (here), we've had two snow storms, a lot of rain and one thaw. ;-)  Welcome to my reality!
View from my classroom
Currently we are in a cold and clear pattern...love it!

Unclassified Project
Progress on my wool applique project is slow but steady.  This project has no deadline ... I have found it to be very relaxing!  It has become the dillydally calm amongst the storm of ... rip, reknit, rip ... and sewing with the door closed!  ;-)

And that's the news from dillydallydom ... where the attitude is positive ... the projects are fun ... and all  intentions are good!

Do what you love...do dillydally!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans Day!

I love many things about teaching ... one of which is beginning everyday with the Pledge of Allegiance.  Standing with my students ... our hands on our hearts ... facing the flag ... speaking those powerful words in unison.  It serves as a daily reminder of the wonderful freedoms we enjoy ... and those who have and continue to defend those freedoms for us.

Veterans ... thank you for your service ... I appreciate all that you've done and continue to do ... I am forever grateful.