Saturday, July 23, 2016

Preparing to Party!

Our local quilt guild is celebrating ...
... 2016 marks our 30th year of existence!  Yep ... all this quilt filled fun began in 1986!
This photo was taken by the local paper when we celebrated our 1st anniversary ... we all look like we're 15 ... and we were! ;-)  We giggle each time we see this photo ... the rail fence quilt on the counter summed up our skills at the time ... perfectly!  Too funny!

We decided to celebrate our success with a special event!  You can find all the details here on our guild blog!  We are hosting two very successful designers, and to honor a broad range of quilting techniques, one day will involve machine piecing while the other will honor hand sewing!  How fun!
I have spent time this week preparing for the machine piecing day!  Ever since Sherri Fall's book was published this spring, my intent was to make the sampler on the cover during her visit here.
In choosing fabric, I ordered multiple holiday charm square packs to help determine my fabric choices.  I fell in love with McKenna Ryan's Sugar Plum fabrics!
Playing around with the Sugar Plum palette created a dillydally windstorm!  It blew me directly to the Winter Lights quilt ... here is a pic of the pattern with my choice of background.
Sherri has encouraged us to have our project cut out before class, so that we can spend more time sewing!  I am using the light colors for my inner star points.
And the dark fabrics will be used for my large star points.  The fabric collection contains many directional prints.  I eliminated those when I looked at how the stars were pieced.  We all chose different projects from her book ... I am so excited to see what everyone will make!
Sherri is having everyone begin the day by making her Crafty Basket!  I came across this fabric while in Anchorage ... it is perfect for DillyDallydom!  I love polka-dots ... but polka-dots with kitty ears makes me weak in the knees!  Yep ... this fabric has Flicka and I written all over it!
Things are out of control in my sewing room!  To make room for more projects, it was past time to bind a few quilts that have been patiently waiting!  Binding went on two matching baby quilts that will be delivered to their recipients today!
One of the babies has a 3 year-old sister who is receiving this twin sized "Big Girl" quilt ... one that she will never out grow!
In conjunction with the classes, we are holding a quilt show as well!  Just the motivation I needed to bind a quilt that the public hasn't seen before!  Whew ... it feels sew good to finish a few quilts ... three are off to their forever homes and the other destined to decorate my home every winter!
I bring my machine out to the dining room table when binding quilts because my sewing table space is too small in the sewing room.  That makes for a very happy puppy ... she has room to be a helper ... a somewhat naughty one ... she loves to chew on the foot pedal.  Here she is pouting because I told her "no" in a very stern voice.  She doesn't like to be scolded, and becomes very affectionate.  Her paw on my foot was her way of offering repentance!  Notice the condition of my knock-around-the-house sandals ... hmmmm ... I wonder who was responsible for that?  Yep ... navigating dillydally winds and a puppy tornado while preparing to party ... I have sew earned next weekend's celebration!  I love my dillydally life and wouldn't change a thing!

Do what you love.  Do party!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Keeping Cool!

We have had a week of exceptionally warm weather ...
... and no one is complaining!
Well ... almost no one!  The heat has been a bit tough on our family member who wears a black fur coat!
To help her battle the heat, we seek out cool water sources daily for her to play in.
She likes to submerge herself entirely.
Waterfalls are especially refreshing!
Laying in the shallows of a lake helps too!
Sticking your face underwater with a friend appears to be effective ...
... and results in two very tired and happy puppy pals!
All this sunshine makes my daily walks all the more enjoyable ... and my knee stronger!  And of course Nissa's silliness adds to the fun!
She uses even small bodies of water like this muddy puddle to cool off!  It cracked me up when she even plopped her head down!  She is such a goofball!
Flicka is in clear opposition, as always!  She loves soaking up the heat and avoids all bodies of water!  She communicates her smugness in true kitty defiance and has no sympathy for Nissa's discomfort!
Do what you love.  Stay cool!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

FisherFolk Wrap-Up!

It is such a privilege to enjoy and participate in nearly ten days of knitting inspiration and expertise! An opportunity of this scale doesn't normally happen in your hometown ... especially when your community happens to be in a remote corner of the planet.
Photo from Cordova Museum facebook page
Dotty, the sponsor and organizer of this event, arranged for the Moray Firth Project of Scotland, to display their gansey collection!  What an amazing opportunity for knitters (and the non-knitting public) to experience the history behind gansey traditions.  Inspiring on every level ... I am still processing it all.
Long time followers might remember that I took a Saami Mitten class from Beth Brown Reinsel in 2014.  I was thrilled to find out that she would be teaching Latvian Fingerless Mitts here in Cordova!  This is a picture of her class sample taken at the beginning of the day we immersed ourselves in Latvian knitting!
At the end of our day together. it was fun to see everyone's work!  Each uniquely and beautifully in progress!  I am always inspired by the diversity of color choices when in classes, I love being surrounded by the individual talents of others.
Speaking of talent ... a member of the class, Sally, finished her mitt before the conference ended!  Sally is a spinner from the Mat-Su Valley here in Alaska ... she used odds and ends from her hand spun stash ... the results are gorgeous!  I met Sally during the first Fiber & Friends event in 2014, it was so fun to reconnect and spend time together again!
I also took Beth's Fana Sweater class.  This sweater is a traditional Norwegian design.
And ... here is my inspiration for taking the class!  Fourth grade Sister DillyDally with her Kirsten doll ... both in full costume ... this pic was taken by our local newspaper ... my heart melts each time I come across it.
I took this pic at midnight from my front deck at the end of the first day.  A two-day class that involved everything I love about knitting ... color pattern work ... sweater construction ... Nordic culture ... all adding up to happiness for me.
Beth teaches her techniques by having us construct miniature versions of the sweater, thus preparing us to plan and design our own in any size we choose.  I learned several new techniques and look forward to finishing this sample.  There is definitely a full-sized Fana sweater, for some DillyDally family member, in my future!
Zipper application - Sweater designed and knit by Bonne Marie Burns
I can ... and often do ... knit like a maniac.  I currently have three adult sweaters nearly done ... they remain in this state because I don't enjoy the finishing techniques required to complete them.  Ugh!  I seriously need an intervention!  Bonne Marie Burns to the rescue!  I took her No Fear Finishing class!  Bonne's designs and techniques are contemporary and her attention to fashion, fit and detail is extraordinary.  I have taken several classes from her ... each experience adding to my ability to create knitwear that becomes what I had originally envisioned.  I am so grateful ... and now have confidence to finish those sweaters that have been patiently waiting for completion!
In my first post about the FisherFolk event, I shared the Faroe Islands Fisherman's Sweater class I took with Mary Jane Mucklestone!  Since then I have worked on my swatch ... with Nissa's assistance.  I love knitting outdoors ... and her antics just make it more fun!
After the swatch was finished ... I designed a sweater vest ... and cast on!  All while dreaming about the Faroe Islands!
More outdoor knitting!  Love it when Mother Nature cooperates!  Have you noticed my Harry Potter themed bag?  Sweet Anna, from Skeins in the Stacks fame, gifted me with it!  I was so touched ... she is such a blessing in my life.
The FisherFolk event ended nearly two weeks ago ... but it will influence me and my knitting forever.  I am so grateful to our local yarn shop owner Dotty, she has done so much for our community, and for the knitters who participated in this event.  It was such an honor to teach and an opportunity to learn at a world class knitting event held here in my remote corner of the planet.  Life truly is wonderful!

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Teaching at FisherFolk 2016!

I taught two classes at the Fiber and Friends: FisherFolk 2016 event!  It was such fun to have the opportunity to share some of the skills I enjoy!

Simply Steeks
The first class I taught last week was Simply Steeks.  Steeking involves cutting one's knitting.  I'll never forget my first experience steeking ... it was frightening!  My goal with this class is to remove and replace the fear ... with the possibilities that steeking creates for a knitter!  When I begin this class, we look at everyone's homework and discuss gauge.  All participants used the same weight yarn and needle size ... yet everyone's knitting is a different size ... just like us!  ;-)  Love that!
We got right to work ...
... they all look so serious at the beginning of class!  I try to lighten things up ... in hopes of fighting off a bit of their apprehension.

Eventually ... as they make progress ... smiles replace the frowns!  And most are usually surprised at how simple each steeking technique is!  Fear has been permanently replaced ... that is my hope!
Each participant is given a notebook ...
... with pages explaining the technique and space to permanently attach their sample.  My intent is that they have a permanent resource they can use in the future while working on their projects.

Color Theory for Textiles

As part of my formal post secondary education, I was fortunate to have several classes that involved color and design applications for textiles.  During my adult life I have noticed how apprehensive and unconfident many people are when it comes to using color in their lives.  I have wanted to teach a class like this for years ... and was thrilled when Dotty gave me the opportunity to teach it!
 My intent with this class was to teach the academic concepts of color in a very organic way!  They had to create the color!
When a person knows and understands the orgin of a color ... it becomes easy to apply the simple academic principles of color combinations.  Plus ... honestly ... it is fun to play with paint!
Again ... my intent was to have them create a permanent reference!  When I teach this class again, I would prefer to teach it over two days.  I touched on all the color concepts, but we ran out of time for them to really experience it for themselves.  We all learn best by doing, and there just wasn't enough time for them to have the color experiences I hoped for.  Each time I teach a class ... I learn as well!
I love teaching!  I am so grateful to The Net Loft (our local yarn shop) and Dotty (owner) for giving me the opportunity to do so!  I also appreciate those that took my classes.  My hope is that they are empowered by the possibilities their new skills will give them!

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally