Saturday, March 31, 2012

Double Wedding Ring

I started this quilt about eight years ago. It seems like longer ago, but I can date its genesis because some of the fabrics used in it were not in my possession before 2004.

I redrafted the pattern because I wanted smoother intersections between the circles. Other patterns I'd seen had square, clunky intersections. Mine are smoother, and slightly diamond-shaped.

First, I foundation-pieced the arcs. Then I sewed the arcs to the lozenge shapes. Then I sewed those units to the I-don't-know-what-those-shapes-are-called.

Then sewing the units into rows, and then sewing the rows together.

For the basting, I took it to a local quilt shop which has a large teaching space. When they're not holding classes, people can come in and use their large tables. A good friend of mine helped me pin-baste it. (She’s a really good friend!)

Next came the quilting (hand quilting that is). I started by outline-quilting just inside all the light areas. Then I designed my own heart-and-feather motifs to fit the odd outlines of the light areas. I’ve been working on that for probably the last five years or so.

I would have finished sooner, but there have been some times where I didn’t work on it. Such as the summertime. When it’s too hot. To be buried under a huge mass of quilt.

But, about a week or so ago, I realized that I was . . . almost . . . done. It was a little anticlimactic, the way it snuck up on me.

In preparation for the last step — sewing on the binding — I sewed together a variety of short strips for a scrappy binding. Yesterday, I spent about an hour sewing it to the quilt, being as careful as I could on the scallops.

Last night, I started hand stitching it to the back.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Shining Stars II

Yesterday I sewed the border triangles onto the diagonal rows.

This morning, I sewed the rows together.

Tomorrow, I will trim the excess around the edges and pin bast the layers together.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Shining Stars

I finally finished all of these stars. And now I've arranged them on my design wall.

I first tried a straight set, but that seemed kind of dull. I like the diagonal set much more; it looks more dynamic.

I used as many of the blocks as I could, but there were a few left over. Also, because there are equal numbers of light and dark blocks, I ended up with dark blocks along two sides and light blocks on the other two sides. Later, I will cut dark and light border triangles to finish the diagonal rows.

Friday, March 23, 2012

This, That, and the Other Thing

During the evenings, my charming husband Tim and I like to settle in for some TV viewing. I usually have at least two or three knitting and/or quilting projects to work on. Here are three of them. . . .

The latest in my continuing series of hand pillows

A pair of fingerless mitts for Tim. I hope to sit down for a spell over spring break and finish the thumbs.

Also for Tim, a cap from some alpaca yarn he gave me for Christmas. I'm trusting that the pattern instructions and my gauge swatch are accurate, and that the rib pattern will be good and stretchy. Because it is knit from the top down, I can’t have Tim try it on until it’s done.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Last Day

Today was my last class of Winter quarter. It was Photoshop and everyone presented their restored photo and their tinted photo.

In my post here, I showed the original photo and the restoration-in-progress.

Here are my final results.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wrapping Up Winter Quarter

All that’s left to do for my winter quarter classes is (1) attend one more Photoshop class on Monday and turn in my final assignment and (2) take my Marketing final next Wednesday.

Yesterday, I presented and turned in my Photography final project.

Sunday before last, Tim and I headed down to Pioneer Square. There are many buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries that feature very cool architectural embellishments. Often, these decorations are easy to miss because they’re not at street level. So unless you make a point of looking up, you won’t see them. Even if you do look up, they’re still hard to see from that angle.

But then, I came across the Pioneer Building, and it had a whole bunch of neat features.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Photoshop Effects

The latest assignment in my Photography class was a fun one, in that it allowed me to use some of the things I’ve been learning in my Photoshop class.

The assignment was to take an image and then manipulate it in two different ways in a photo editing program.

Herewith are my three images.

The first is a photo I took of the tulips that my charming husband Tim gave me for Valentine’s Day.

For the second one, I applied the Paint Daubs filter, then selected the tulips and adjusted the levels to make them brighter.

For the third one, I made three adjustments (Vibrance, Posterize, Levels) and then selected the background separately and adjusted the levels further.

It’s fun playing around with the different controls and pushing them to the extreme to see how they’ll change the appearance of an image.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Vintage Photo Retouching

The latest assignment for my Photoshop class embodies my least favorite task in Photoshop — cleaning up photos.

Our instructor gave us our choice of 4 photos to restore. I didn't pick the “easiest” one OR the worst one. I picked the second-to-worst one, based on the fact that it's worth 500 points, as opposed to 600 (for the “worst” one) or 400 points (for a “regular” one).

It’s due March 7, which is fortunate, because I can only work on it for an hour or two at a time before my brain starts to turn to oatmeal and threatens to leak out my ears.


Retouch in progress