Friday, April 15, 2011

springtime achievements

It's been nearly a month since I updated, mainly because I keep wanting to put pictures in my posts and then not taking them or uploading them from the camera. Part of this problem is due to the fact that the charger cables for BOTH of my cameras have gone missing despite my searches. Our month has been pretty busy, and I'll start off with perhaps the least "real" but still important achievements of the last few weeks.

Our World of Warcraft guild put forth a monumental team effort on April 4th-5th, and we were successful in becoming our realm's first maximum level guild. Chris and I played for about 5-6 hours both days after work, doing our part with our friends to earn the guild experience points needed to level. We handily beat the other guilds on the server, even the larger ones, and made level 25 about two days before another group managed it. It was a lot of fun to have such a big project to work on with everyone!

We've also had our first two tournaments of the year, both held up at the Cloverdale fairgrounds in British Columbia. The first tournament was very special to me, as not only did it mark Jadzia's seventh anniversary of racing (and mine as well!), but all three of my girls earned titles that weekend. Phoebe was the first dog in the club to earn the Flyball Grand Champion 50,000 point title on Saturday, with Jadzia earning her own FGDCh50k title early Sunday morning. Ezri picked up her Flyball Master Champion (15,000 points) title on Sunday as well, and is well on her way to earn her ONYX (20,000 points) by her second racing anniversary in July. It was pretty special to have all three titles line up to be earned on the same weekend together, and I am so proud of all of my girls and what we've accomplished together with our flyball club. Ezri ran all her start races under 4.00 seconds at the first tournament, and Jadzia managed to pull out not one but two 5.01 second runs at the second tournament. I'm quite entertained by this picture taken by a friend from another club showing Ezri after she missed her tug as she's trying to turn around quickly to go and grab it again.

Unfortunately not everything was roses, as when I was coming home from the first tournament (alone, as Chris had already left in order to travel for work), I had trouble taking the trailer through the border back into the USA and hit the back of it against a pole, damaging the back cap. The border officials have chosen to make a maze of barriers after the gates for clearing Customs, and unfortunately they seem to ignore the existence of such large truck/trailer rigs as many of us in the flyball world are driving. If I hadn't turned when I did (thus hitting the trailer), I would have hit the truck on the barrier in front of me. I think in the future I'm going to ask them to move all barriers that they possibly can, or see if we can take the rig through the semi-truck commercial lanes instead. Amazingly, the wonderful service team at Camping World in Burlington have already repaired it (just two weeks after getting the estimate approved!) and we will be picking it up to bring it home again tomorrow. It was really hard to not have my trailer at the tournament last weekend, so I'm thrilled that I won't have to "hotel it" for the tournament at the end of this month in Abbotsford.

On the sewing/quilting front, I have finished the top for a quilt for a Christmas present, completed and gifted a baby quilt to my friend Kathy for her son due in May, taken half of a kaleidoscope quilting class, and started work on a mini baby quilt (for an infant carrier) for another friend. The last item I am making freehand using a log cabin pattern that will eventually be a 30" or larger square, using a matched set of eight fat quarters from the Lollipop fabric line that I bought at the sewing expo in March. I fussy-cut the center square to show the three monkeys in the print, and I've been adding additional logs to a 2" finished width as strikes my fancy. The current size is a 16" finished block, and I've set up the next two fabrics that will be in the pattern in the photo to the right. I've already ordered an adorable brown flannel printed with yellow bananas for the backing, and a plain teal solid for the binding, and these should be here next week.

Finally, here are the pictures of the baby quilt that I made for Kathy's new baby due next month. The finished size is intended to be 40" x 60" (but wound up juuuuust a bit wonky with one end about 3/8" wider than the other!) which has worked out really nicely for another friend. I used two jelly rolls of fabrics from the Love U line, with additional bits from Beetle Boy and other fabrics that I liked. The backing is an awesome mini mushroom print flannel, and the binding is made of blue/orange strips from the jelly rolls. I originally didn't make the binding quite long enough, as I was making it to use the two colors equally, and adding an extra 10" to the circumference of the quilt was apparently not quite enough, so I had to add a few extra inches on when I got to the end. I'm really pleased with how the whole thing came out!

View of the entire quilt after completion and washing.

Back corner of the quilt folded over the front to show the label, backing, and binding.

Close-up of the pattern with some of the quilting visible (diagonal lines on the strips, outlines on the square blocks and inset blocks).

Folded quilt showing the different binding colors (I like this picture a lot!)

That's all for now! This weekend we will be retrieving our trailer, playing some more Warcraft with friends, and having a long mixed flyball practice/scrimmage event on Sunday with Unorthodogs. Hopefully the dogs will pretend to be tired by Sunday evening so we can watch the premiere of A Game of Thrones without interruption!