Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Leaving Hogwarts...

Greetings from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!  We are briefly back from Infinitus 2010, a Harry Potter Convention in Orlando, FL.  Don't let that snow on the roofs of Hogsmeade fool you...it was in the high 90's with opressive humidity.
I did manage to get some more baskets hand-appliqued while sitting in Harry Potter seminars and discussions (at least until I broke my needle!  I forgot to pack a spare!).  Other attendees kept asking me if these were cauldrons, or some other sort of witch or wizarding thing.  No, just baskets.  Although, boy do I ever have some ideas for Harry Potter related quilting...
I guess the black print ones do look a little like cauldrons...
Here is my daughter, standing near the back of Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, behind her in the Universal Studios theme park, "Islands of Adventure."  The structures were amazing and did not disappoint!  It was VERY crowded in the park, but since it did only open a month ago and there are SO many Harry Potter fans, that was to be expected.  We did the rides, shopped at Honeyduke's Candy Shop and Zonko's Joke Shop, dined and had Butterbeer in the Three Broomsticks, Riley got a wand at Olivander's Wand Shop, sent "owl post" from Hogsmeade, and talked with the Hogwart's Express train conductor.  There are rumors, even though only a month old, of adding to this corner of the park...maybe a Diagon Alley and Gringotts.  We'll see...
Here is my daughter, sporting the appropriate Butterbeer moustache in the Three Broomsticks Pub.  Our 4-day conference was in a hotel/convention center at the universal complex and we were allowed in the park one night after hours...just 1500 crazed Potter fans, most in costume...that was awesome!  In fact, most of the fans at the conference were in costumes all days and nights of the affair.  We had book seminars/discussions/panels, live quidditch and human wizard chess matches, an opening feast, Wizard Rock, a "Night of Frivolity Ball," and live performances of Harry Potter musicals, etc.  Just imagine a Star Trek Convention and substitute Harry Potter. 

Although I doubt Star Trek had all the literary seminar programming that we had and all the university scholars giving talks...

There were Harry Potter fans at this convention from ALL OVER THE WORLD!!!  (I thought WE had traveled a long way to get there.)  I met people from the Netherlands, South America, England, France, Asia, and 3 from Australia and New Zealand!!
LOTS of great costumes...(Flitwick, Snape, Lupin, Tonks, Dumbledore, Lavender Brown, and of course, Hermione,  Ron and Harry).
Hagrid and Norberta, the dragon (which was HUGE!).
Two people dressed as Luna Lovegood...
The sorting hat...
Tonks and Bellatrix (people were posing and hexing all over the place...).
Riley posing with Lily and James Potter (Harry's parents)...
The evil Lucious and Narcissa Malfoy...

(If you aren't an HP fan, thanks for enduring all the photos!)

In stitches (and in the laundry room!),
Teresa  :o)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Checking in before checking out...

Here are some little green cherry tomatoes and some basil from my back stoop garden.  I am off to spend some quality family time for 3 weeks.  (Maybe, just maybe, I will get a little stitching done in the mean time...maybe very little, LOL!)  We'll definitely be eating ripe, home grown tomatoes soon!

I will certainly be doing some summer reading (Stephanie Plum book #16 by Janet Evanovich and a small pile of "Bubbles" books - thanks Mary J!!), some original applique scheming and dreaming, and visiting the new "World of Harry Potter" section of an Orlando, FL theme park with my husband and this excited young lady (freshly back from New York City and her first Broadway show)...

I can't believe she talked us into a Harry Potter "nerd convention" (Infinitus 2010, in conjunction with the opening of the park).  What were we thinking?!?

We'll let you know how it turns out...

In stitches (and in a wizard robe...),
Teresa  :o)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Going around in circles...

Oh my.  Is anyone else doing this fabulous Joseph's Coat Quilt-Along from Kellie at  Don't Look Now???  I have been at this for a while as a baby quilt for my new nephew (now 6 months old...oh my...).

I have to admit it has not been an easy project for me.  First of all, I broke my rule and let my sister see it in progress in February.  Sometimes it takes all the wind out of my sails when I do a partial reveal.  Then the cat turned over my tea cup and I ended up having to re-make a few circles (since I glue my edges under, I couldn't plunge the pieces under the water to get the tea stain out of the bright white background).  Then I bled on one and didn't realize it until it was too late for my spit to remove the stain...had to re-do that one too.

Somehow I managed to finish all the little whole and half circle blocks...now to put them together so that the pattern is continuous.  I don't have a picture of that for you yet as it looks like A COMPLETE MESS!!!  I'm following the tutorials, but it is awkward folding the excess background out of the way in order to connect the circles in a continuous pattern...bulky, bulky, bulky. 

I think it is going to work eventually, but I am very clumsy trying to do the hand applique with the weight of all that excess, folded-out-of-the-way background fabric...especially when trying to get those 6 little points to meet PERFECTLY.  I may need to do some pre-mature trimming...

I got really spoiled by the ease of hand-appliqueing all the little circle blocks...la-tee-da!  Then I hit the wall, which I will push over...at some point.  I'm feeling the pressure of Asa possibly being in second grade before he gets this quilt!!

I will show progress on how it is going together next time...until then, off to work at the quilt shop!

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Not in Kansas any more...

"Wickedly Liberated" is finished and ready to quilt.  I wanted to have it machine-quilted, but some of the bulky trims/embellishments may remove that option.  Weasley jumped in the picture...he got all excited when he thought we might be "getting" some doggies!  Here's a picture without him...
I'm pleased with the bottom-right corner house, and I ended up free-piecing a witch hat in the top-left corner to balance.  I had an extra one of Mary J's liberated witch blocks...I wish I had put it where the witch hat is now, but I think I have another, SMALLER, project in mind for that.

Thank you to all my liberated lady swap group for contributing to my top: Ola, Mary J, Judy E, Ellen, Kathy, Jean, Judy T, Chris, Mary H, Mary Liz, Margit, Barb N, Marilyn, Cindy, Cheryl, and Beth.  And thanks to Tonya of Lazy Gal Quilting (and Lynne of Patchery Menagerie and Bonnie of Quiltville's Quips & Snips) for all the visual inspiration on making the free-pieced letters.  There are many more of THOSE in my future!

(Weasely, waiting to "get" the doggies...where are they?!?)
(Nessa the witch is having a "bad house day"...)

We are having another blazing hot day in southeast lower Michigan...be careful of the heat (or cold) wherever you are!

In stitches (and in Oz),
Teresa   :o)