Busy week

First of all, I want to share the quilts of Valor that Ruth, Irene and I made.We worked off the same pattern Storm at Sea. You can see how color placement changes everything. This is one of those things I love so much about quilting. Our fabric choices and placement make all the difference.My quilt.Irene’s’ quilt, she is hiding behind the quilt, that is Ruth peaking out.Ruth’s quilt. She worked with a design program (not EQ) and came up with this stunning version.  So now, we are mailing them off and since there is always a waiting list for quilts for veterans, I’m sure they will find good homes very soon.It’s springtime, which means spring break. So the cousins went to Griffith Park to ride the ponies.Then there was the train ride, no pictures.Shira does love being a big cousin.

Passover started this week, I was very busy cooking. Thursday night we went out to have our last meal with bread for the week.Beer is liquid bread.Any healthy eating habits go out the window on Passover. This is a must, Maztah with peanut butter and Israeli chocolate spread. When my kids were little, they took sandwhiches with this spread to school. These days it’s a once a year treat.Eyal had a good time as well, he tried the matzah, what he really liked was the chopped liver.


Two kinds of knits

I love knit fabric, especially one that is mostly rayon. And look at that print, those roses! This took two hours to make, I love my serger. The only thing I did on my sewing machine was sew the hems.The sun is in her eyes, otherwise, I can assure you, very happy granddaughter. Look how her shoes match perfectly.Who doesn’t love a dress that twirls?

And then there is the knitting that takes a long long time.Another shawl, although, sadly, despite all the work, it’s more like a scarf than a shawl, it does cover my shoulders, but not enough.Knitting with two yarns takes longer than just one. The narrow bands are one skein that gradually changes color.Interesting shaping, which is what attracted me in the first place. I’ve already wound up another ball of yarn, even if my knitting has slowed down a lot, I have to have a project on hand.



Life has been busy with these five. They all have been growing.Aytan took this selfie,As well as this one.Shira is always in motion, which is why my pictures of her are a few months old.Two little chefs.A fireman.Boys and their trucks.Fun with grandparents.Eating solid foods, he’s ok with the broccoliYes, this is what I call heaven, the only way to get him to sleep was rocking in my recliner.


Santa Monica Airport

If you can’t beat them, join them.

My son lives under the path flight of Santa Monica Airport. There are many reasons not to be happy about that, but until they supposedly close it down, you live with it. So recently he told me about the observation deck. If you can’t beat them, join them. So Cam and I went to pay a visit.There may be a few commercial flights. Most of the planes are private. Also, most of the people who live under the flight path are in LA, no Santa Monica, so really Santa Monica doesn’t care.Here we are, up on the deck, feet away from the runway. I met a nice young man who was so enthusiastic about airplanes and airports. It was a pleasure talking to him, he knew the whole history of this airstrip.This plane idled for a while before getting the ok to take off. The command tower is broadcast from speakers, so it’s the whole experience.Here is it, getting ready to take off.Coming in for a landing!Across the runway is the terminal. How iconic is this picture?  Palm trees and a clear sky in February.A lot of wealthy people store their planes here. Some clearly aren’t quite in working condition. There are plenty of businesses here that cater to the small airplanes.

I think I was much more interested than Cam. This is what he really wanted to do. Luckily for us, this little park is right next to the airport, on city land. a perfect way to end the day.



I exchange gifts with a number of friends around the country. This is supposed to be a Christmas exchange, but sometimes, things get delayed. It’s fine, because it’s so much fun getting a fun package in January.Vivian is from Texas, got to love Texas, Texans are full of state pride.What I really love is the shawl she knit me. Not only did she knit it, she also dyed the yarn. She is now my source for hand-dyed yarn, Hillview Yarns.January in LA means the Camellias are blooming. I have one bush, but my neighbors’ bushes always show off with a riot of color.I happen to be wearing a sweater I knit that matches this shawl perfectly. How cool is that?Then there is the gift I made. Shannon Fabrics has put out a very easy pattern for this blanket, using both their double gauze fabric and their super soft cuddle.I didn’t pre-wash the fabrics, just threw it into the machine after I put it together, it came out great.Eyal likes it.He sure is getting big. Very serious right here, although these days, he has that wonderful baby smile – where his whole face lights up. I was too busy enjoying the smiles to worry about getting a picture.



With the grandkids at LACMA

Everybody was at LACMA last week, there was no parking anywhere.  So the visit included a nice long walk just to get there from blocks away.This is a sight to see. For years we were forbidden to call it The May Company – it became LACMA west and the language police were very strict with anyone connected to the museum, especially the docents. Then a deal was made and it will become a Hollywood museum and now one can call this the May Company again. I wonder if this museum will deal with the abuse of women and children that goes on in the industry or if it will be another puff piece that shows us the unreal veneer of the industry.

At least they are repairing the lovely gold tower, that is worth a lot.It is amazing to see what becomes an icon. These lampposts have certainly become iconic. Not so sure about the floating rock, we never even went to check it out. The Chagall exhibit was bright, colorful and fun. Shira said that she loves this costume and wants to wear it. That in my book in a big success.Aytan wanted to go visit the Japanese pavilion. He really likes these pots, go figure, one would think that he’d be interested in big bombastic things. But no, it’s the pots. Then I got smart and I gave him my phone.  He ran around and took pictures of everything, here are just a few.It is wonderful seeing something from a different angle. From my point of view I see the god more than the dwarf. I didn’t check out the label, but to me this looks like the Japanese version of Siva stamping out the dwarf of ignorance.I cropped this a little, what I didn’t crop out is the person, because it was part of the picture that Aytan took.He took this picture again, without the person,  he was going for the ceramic vase.  I love how he captured this man as well.Another image I love, just because I’d never take this, but he did.There was a special exhibit on Japanese cloisonne, what interested Aytan was taking pictures of the catalog, these are just two, but he did take quite a few.As well as many pictures of the painted panels. I think the theme is the atmosphere.  Even in this image, that waterfall is incredible, IRL it is all the more so.I think these are rocks, I may be wrong, they may be made of fabric. For me, this visit was all about letting Atyan lead the way. It wasn’t about reading labels.

Sometimes it’s not about learning something new, it’s about letting a child run around and capture what interests him.



Quilt for Eyal II

Laying out the quilt, I like breaking the symmetry.Here is the final top, you’ll notice that I have a section of the background in the gazelle block. I love that secondary design and it only showed up once, so I encroached on the gazelle.

Remember the problems I was having with my ruler work? I took a class with Becky Wilder, a new member in the VMMQG, she is a whiz with rulers. It took a lot of trial and error to figure out the problem. I needed to lower the foot a lot, much more pressure on the quilt was needed. The final item was using the purple Janome 90/14 foot. It worked.

Here is the result, nice clean ruler work, but what would happen when I go home and work on actual patchwork? Eyals’ quilt was the testing ground.See how nice and straight the outline is? I’m showing the back here, because the quilting is invisible on the print fabric I used.It wasn’t all ruler work, on the animals, I tried to highlight their shapes and then echo around them.Using the quilting to emphasize the owls’ eyes.On the dark brown chevrons, you can actually see the ruler work, on the green diamonds you can’t even see the quilting.

Yes, I still had some thread breakage, this quilt was great for practice. I still have a long way to go before I really conquer this technique, but working with busy prints is a good place to start, I’m getting the practice and you can’t see the mistakes. I still had some thread breakage, but that is to be expected, happens even when I’m doing regular free motion quilting.Finished! Well, except for a label that I need to embroider.How cute is the back? I used up a lot of my animal prints, a whole forest back there.I showed the quilt to the Dads and put Eyal on it, he is still small, it will be fun to take pictures of him on it periodically. Right now, I need to make a label, show it off at my guilds,  and then give it to Eyal.





Big News

Some people guessed, yup, I am a grandma again, we are up to five!  My son and son in law are adopting this adorable little peanut.Three years, ever since they got married they have been trying to get a baby and now they have their son. He is a preemie, so is still in the hospital in OH and I won’t meet him in person for a few weeks. Which is very hard, but he is here and adorable and healthy and before you know it I’ll have him in my arms. He is home! He is precious! He still doesn’t have a name. Well, all the officials know his name, but not the rest of us.

It is traditional to name a Jewish baby boy at his Bris, circumcision, usually, that is only eight days after birth. In this case, he will be 6 weeks old. That is ok, I understand the Dad’s wanting to wait. As long as I can hold him and love him, I can wait too.





Knitting mishaps and successes

Using the yarn I bought in Virginia, I started a sweater. The pattern was recommended on one of the podcasts I listen to. I don’t think I’ll be taking their advice or do any more patterns from this designer.

p1170222It started out ok, I wasn’t thrilled with how the pattern was written, but I worked through it. Off the bat one of my problems was the complexity of the cable. I guess I’m just not into knitting complicated cables where I really have to pay attention to the chart. When the two cables are mirror image it is even harder to try and memorize the cable pattern.

p1170224I kept at it, the yarn is Sweet Georgia and it is a delight to knit with.

p1170478I finished the body, sure unblocked it doesn’t look very good.p1170479It’s not the irregularities in the cable pattern that bother me so much. (There are plenty of mistakes, I can assure you). It how low the back of the neck is. I’m not young, all the heat escapes from my body through the neck and back of shoulders. Which is why I have so many shawls. But I don’t want a low neck on a wool sweater.

There is a saying, knitting 20 rows beyond a mistake won’t make the mistake disappear. If it still bothers you, take the time, frog back and fix the mistake.  Well at this point I wasn’t sure, but I went on and tried to knit in the sleeves – it just wasn’t working. At this point I decided that this sweater wasn’t for me.

So yes, I frogged it, I will find another pattern. To finish a sweater I will never wear is worse than frogging at this point.

Not all my knitting has been problematic.15202695_10209669533352420_2554442933775435924_nI’ve knit Joel a few hats. Aytan wanted to be like his Saba and wear one of the hats.  Knitting a child’s hat out of bulky yarn is easy to do, so overnight, I made a hat.img_5966It is nice warm wool, good for when he goes skiing in December.

img_5965I put in my label, which is something of a problem, since he tells me it’s now my hat. Even though it’s too small for me.

img_5962One happy Aytan. (and Saba Joel)



I have been sewing dresses, these two are very nice, but the model of the first one is way cuter than the second  model.p1170308Having a granddaughter who really wants dresses is amazing. Doesn’t get better than this.

p1170306Showing off the dress, I think she was giving a curtsy, Sophia the First was a favorite show for a while.

p1170311Shira also announced that she only wants fabric with flowers. Luckily I have some that fits the bill.p1170319She is so photogenic it is scary.  She told me she likes eating the rosemary right off the bush. Ok, I like to use it as seasoning.

img_5907The pattern was for a party dress, I removed some of the fullness from the skirt, she is going to wear this on a daily basis until I make her another dress.img_5912The cumberbund detail adds some flair.

I also made myself a dress, with corduroy I bought at JoAnn.p1170275It is lovely, tiny wale and very lightweight.p1170274A dress with pockets! Always a good thing.

p1170273p1170286Now, onto sewing some skirts and tops.