Friday, August 31, 2018

A 007 Reveal! Forget-Me-Nots!

As some of you may recall, July 2017 was especially hard.  July 2018 was going to be different! I would fill it with fun!  I decided to do the most self-indulgent thing I have ever done in my 61 years!  Quiltstock 2018 here I come! 

A national event organized and hosted by Moda and Martingale

I had never been to Texas ... had never taken quilt classes at a national event ... and I went entirely by myself!
First day, on our way to Magnolia in Waco!
Do I look just a bit excited?  I rarely allow anyone to take my picture ... let alone post them ... but this one taken by a new friend shows just how thrilled I was to be in Texas and participating in this event!

But before the event, there were preparations to be made!  Not in terms of homework for the four classes I would be taking, thankfully!  Gratitude is a large part of the dillydally lifestyle.  I knew that I wanted to make small gifts to be given as a token of my appreciation for the instructors, new found friends, and any others that helped to make my experience successful! 

 A few years ago, I came across these tealight candle holders ... and thought that they would make great pincushion containers someday!  Well ... that day had come!  I had ten of them, it was time to get busy!
The day after Fiber and Friends, I put my knitting aside and stayed focused!  Long time followers know that Alaska's state flower, the Forget-Me-Not holds a special place in my heart!
Sew ... out came my drawings ... wool ... needle and thread!
No two were alike ... here they are waiting for their yellow centers!
One done and nine to go!
Circle shapes were cut ... running stitches made ... and then the dreaded stuffing!  Ugh!  Stuffing things is not my strength, but I kept moving forward!
Forget-Me-Not puff balls!
Glued them to the tealight containers ... and I am happy with the results!  I packed them carefully in my suitcase and off we flew ... to California!
Yep!  Stopped in LA for a week on my way to Dallas!  Spent a week with Sister and Future SIL!  Sister and I had fun finding supplies for gifting the pincushions!  We dillydallied by making the cards!
I knew that packaging them would have to wait until I arrived in Dallas ... didn't want TSA to find them suspicious!  Here they are ... in the hotel ... waiting to be packaged!
One finishing touch remained ... I wasn't sure yet who would receive them ... but after all, it is my mission to promote the dillydally lifestyle!  I had to work it in somewhere!  I don't know if any of the recipients will ever turn it over and notice ... but the attempt was made!
Here they are ... ready for gift giving!  I gave them to the class instructors, some of the conference organizers ...
... and to these three beautiful women, my New Mexico QBees!  They are friends that traveled together to Quiltstock!  Traveling alone, I asked to join their table ... and they welcomed me with open hearts!  I am so grateful for their kindness as they included me in their plans even during free time.  It was so fun to get to know them ... their families, work, and quilts!  I will treasure the giggles, challenges, and friendship that we shared throughout the week!  They hold a special place in my heart ... they are a blessing in my dillydally life!

Do what you love!  Be grateful!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Monday, August 27, 2018

My Staycation! Fiber & Friends 2018

Long time followers know that we have the BEST Handcraft and Gift Shop ... The Net Loft ... located right here in our remote corner of the planet!
Artwork and photo © by Dotty Widman 
The Net Loft owner, Dotty Widmann, began sponsoring International and National Instructors to come and teach several years ago!  These events have become global as people from the around the world and U.S. come to have the experience of fellowship and learning here in Cordova, Alaska.
The event began with a Meet & Greet Dinner!  I shared a table with new and old friends ... such a lovely way to begin my staycation!
A part of Dotty's events include a "swag" bag ... they are always of the highest quality and filled with treasures to assist us in enjoying the week ahead.  This year they were a waxed canvas backpack especially made for this event by Artifact. They are made in America, reflect true craftmanship, and are practical in purpose! My week was filled with four formal classes and several other social activities ... I had warned Mr. DillyDally that a staycation meant that I would be in and out all week and that there would be no food preparation or housekeeping!  As usual ... he just grinned.  He knows his wife well!
My first class was Beginning Lace Knitting with Evelyn Clark.  She is a very personable instructor and removed any trepidation we may have had about lace patterns.
She shared several samples ... including the small version we would create in class!
When I got home, I could not wait to block my sample. 😊  So ... I pulled out my skewers (used for grilling) to use as blocking rods!  I loved the results of my knitting and no fiber was harmed by my kitchen utensils! 
An Icelandic Shawl class was also taught by Evelyn! 
Evelyn again demystified the process of lace knitting for us.  I consider myself a real beginner when it comes to lace ... her calm and pragmatic approach was very reassuring for me.
My long time followers know that Mr. and I spent some time in Iceland in 1980.  It was my time in that magical place that inspired me to return to knitting as an adult.  Iceland has always held a special place in my heart and in my knitting.
Her samples were inspiring and left us all hopeful that we could make one as equally beautiful!
Many know that I am most comfortable with color pattern knitting.  Evelyn demonstrated a way to change color without leaving tails to be worked in later! 
My knitting life was altered!  
The world stopped turning!  I love how something so simple can cause my knitting universe to change its course!  Evelyn ... I will be forever grateful ... thank you! 

Through The Net Loft, many of us have joined Dotty on her gansey journey!  I'll share my journey on another post.  This year Dotty invited Stella Ruhe, her publisher and the entire collection of ganseys from the Netherlands!
It was such a pleasure and privilege to meet Stella and her publishing assistant.  Her books and research is about so much more than gansey knitting ... they are a fascinating glimpse into the history of fishing and Dutch life!
To see, up close, all the handknit ganseys Stella designed based on her research was incredible.   
My third class was Gansey Motif Design and it was taught by Stella.  We all came up with motifs that were individual to us.  The above photo is not my design, but is by another participant from the east coast.  She was working to implement a cat design ... I love how her kitty's nose and whiskers came to life in her knitting!
My fourth class was with Lori Ann Graham!  We designed and embroidered covers for a personal journal.
It was a wonderful day as Lori assisted us in honoring our individuality and expressing our creativity!
Wild Iris - photo taken during Staycation
This was my first ever staycation!  It is a brilliant concept that I had heard of, but never actually done!  I was fortunate to tryout the staycation concept with such an amazing event right here in my community.  What I learned is that all of us ... wherever we may be ... whatever our resources ... can create a staycation experience.  It can be around an event like Fiber & Friends or as simple as a movie night with family!  Staycations are a wonderful idea that can be a implemented on a large or small scale!  Believe me ... staycations will definitely become a permanent part of my dillydally lifestyle!

Do what you love!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally 

Friday, August 17, 2018


Transitions are a constant in our lives.  I have been thinking about that concept ... a lot.
Spring arrived about three weeks later than usual.  Our summer has been especially wet and cool.
Here in my remote corner of the planet ... when the Fireweed blossoms reach the top of the plant, it is believed to mark the end of summer.  I love the way this photo includes the flower while the approach of fall is reflected in the obvious color changes taking place in the background. A simple picture that captures a much larger concept!
Just as nature continually moves from one season to another ... we are evolving as well.  Change is constant.
I began this blog in 2009 with the sole purpose of encouraging my friends to one day join me on a quilting adventure.  Since then it has evolved into a personal journal ... one that I have neglected for the past 18 months.
I regret that ... I don't want my memories or experiences to be forgotten.  I am relying on the permanence of the internet.  While many complain and warn us that what is posted on the internet cannot be undone, I welcome that!  My hope is that future great, great grandchildren who are curious can find my mostly mundane musings and get a glimpse of me and my dillydally life!
Gratitude and acceptance consistently allow me to embrace the transitions in my life.  I do not consider myself a writer ... nor a photographer ... I am not necessarily an artist of any kind.  But I do have strong feelings about my dillydally lifestyle! 
Journaling is always something that I have done ... even as a child ... and so I have missed blogging.  As an example ... this summer was filled with amazing experiences that deserve to be recorded here.  I intend to do just that.  Many of my upcoming posts will not be chronological ... things may seem disjointed until I finish with a bit of catch up posts!
Blogging has brought many blessings into my life ... I am so very grateful!  And ... if my very simple journal/blog encourages or inspires another to adopt my dillydally principles ... that would be wonderful!
So ... in my dillydally life it is possible to appreciate what has been and embrace the changes that are coming! Taking my cue from Mother Nature ... I choose to celebrate transition!  It will be exciting to see what's around the corner ... I'm in love with my dillydally journey!  Thanks for joining me!

Do what you love!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally