Thursday, December 30, 2010
The colors aren't very true in the cover photo, but they are in the picture I took of the blocks I've done so far. I love the blocks on the left because they look like gift boxes.
One of the fun things about the kit is this striped fabric that's included in the packet each month. From this striped fabric, you cut out half square triangle units and strip sections for the different blocks. Less piecing, faster assembly, but it still looks like you did all the work. I'm sure this isn't a new concept, but it's new to me, and I like it.
Hancock's of Paducah still has these kits if anyone is interested.
Our elder son joined the armed forces on a delayed entry program back in April and shipped out to boot camp the first week of December. We finally got some letters from him today in the mail. He spent the first week wondering what the hell he'd gotten himself into, but he's doing just fine now that's he's adjusted to the routine and the mind games. He's a tough kid with a good sense of humor, so I'm sure he'll make it through with flying colors.
The kids got together and bought me an Ipod Touch before my son left for boot camp. My son has an iPhone that I sort of commandeer every time he comes up for a visit to play a game called Booley, so I guess he figured maybe I should have my own. I actually considered buying one for myself several months ago, but mostly I could care less about all that technology and thought it would be wasted on me. Now that I have one, I love it. I have a camera, email, a web browser, an app for FoxsNews, an app for Weather Channel, some kitchen apps, and a few games, among other things. And I've created endless lists for myself on this thing, eliminating tons of paper. I'm sure this will rank as one of my best ever gifts.
Two days after Christmas the blizzard rolled into Maine. The storm raged for nearly 24 hours, and we got 15 inches of snow; but we never lost power, which I thought was amazing. I took the day off work because I refused to drive 45 minutes down the interstate in it, but my husband went to work. He had no problem until he got home and got stuck in the driveway, so I threw on some snowpants, boots, and a coat and went out to help shovel out the car. Then I played around out in the snow for a while, while my husband snow blowed the driveway.
It was about 22 degrees that day with a wind chill of 8, and maybe that's why I developed a case of laryngitis... again. I had it just over a month ago and missed three days of work because of it, and I had to call out again today. Can't be on the phones all day with no voice. It was a very fine day to sew though.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
I may have touched my sewing machine once this month, but I did find some time for sewing last month. I wanted quick and easy projects, and what's easier than pillowcases and strippies? So that's what I worked on, plus a small baby quilt. I even got the baby quilt quilted, but it's still waiting for binding. In the dinosaur strippy, four of the five panels sewn into the quilt top only have dinosaur bodies, no heads. I managed to cut them all off when I cut out the strips. Think a kid will notice that?
I made time for some knitting too. I made a little santa dishcloth and finished a pair of socks.
Then I started another pair...
.... and another. Don't you ever get anxious to start the project just to see what it will look like? Same thing happens to me with quilting too. I suppose that's why I have so many UFOs.
I'm crazy about this magic loop method of sock knitting. I don't think I'll ever go back to double pointed needles.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
For dinner today we'll have roast turkey with stuffing, candied sweet potatoes with marshmallow crusted on top, a yellow squash casserole, boiled onions, cranberry sauce and a baked cranberry dish, and pumpkin roll for dessert.
I plan to spend some time in my sewing room today too, working on some embroidery projects.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and your families!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
I learned how to manipulate text in my embroidery software so each letter in the title would stitch out in a different color. A very useful trick.
Quilt design by Jinny Beyer
The idea is simple. Folded triangles are inserted at strategic places throughout the block, then the edges of the triangles are folded over and stitched down. In this photo, I've stitched one edge down and pinned the remaining edges.
Here, all the edges have been stitched down, creating the tulip bell. Pinning or pressing the edges makes the job easier, and using a stiletto helps hold the edge in place while sewing.
We used the Tulip Bells Table Runner pattern from Southwind Designs. Annette offers a number of other interesting quilt patterns using this technique. This block was purely a sample, and I haven't got enough background fabric to make two more blocks, so this one will wind up in the orphan block pile and become a pillow or something. But I would like to make a 3-dimensional quilt like this at some point.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Collectively we got quite a bit of work done today. The snowmen tablerunners are complete as is, except the blue one which is missing a few snowmen. The sunflower wallhanging will have a few more borders, and the crazy pieced hearts will become part of a tree skirt. ChrisP is working on a stack and whack, and BarbD made a mini Sassy Snappy Purse, perfect for a little girl.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Then I was ready to try two socks on one circular. I had no trouble with the concept; but even with a 40" circular, I struggled with the stitches stretching between the two halves of the socks. I kept wishing I had, like, a 60" circular. After a couple of rounds I decided I didn't like this method, so I ripped it all out. Subsequently I found out at the knit shop that there actually is a 47" circular available, which the store rep preferred also for this method.
This morning I decided I'd try two socks on two circular needles. I spent most of the morning being confused as hell. I eventually figured out how to get the stitches for the two socks on the needles and divided correctly, but after that it was all downhill. I considered the possibility that perhaps I should be using the needles specified in the book, which were 16" and 24" long, instead of the two 40" needles I was using. When all else fails, it's probably a good idea to follow the directions.
So I hopped in the car, drove down to Auburn, picked up the correct needles, a couple more skeins of yarn, a book on sweaters, and drove back home.
It didn't get better with the new needles. After ripping everything out twice more, I finally cracked the code late in the afternoon. I finally realized I was missing one particularly illuminating piece of information in the directions, and now I am well on my way. At least until I get to the heel.
I don't know if I'll like this last method any better, but the gal at the knit shop convinced me I should give both methods a fair chance before I abandon them. At the very least, I probably wouldn't go back to double pointed needles again--I'd switch to one sock on one circular.
I think tonight, I need to quilt something.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
.... finished up the Conestoga Star blocks through the month of October and then sewed all the blocks I've made so far into rows. These blocks are part of my 6-Quilt Stashbuster Challenge.
.... added three more sets of blocks to a set I already had made for this little baby quilt. I bought the kit last spring on a shop hop just to have in reserve in case I needed it, and now I know someone who is having a baby. This is a very simple pattern called Crazy Eights, which requires only eight fat quarters. There are four different block patterns in the quilt, and you make four sets of eight blocks using each block pattern twice, then scramble them up to make the top.
.... machine stitched the binding on the Jewel Box quilt. I got the quilt back a couple weeks ago from my friend Ann who quilted baptist fans on it. I still have to handstitch the binding to the back of the quilt.
.... made another block for my Pineapple Blossom quilt, which is No 7 in my Power of Ten rotation. I wish it didn't take so long to get through that rotation; but the 6Q blocks take lots of time, and the Champagne quilt ate up a lot of time too. And now there's a baby quilt to finish.
.... and made the October block for the Bali Sea Star quilt, which is also part of my 6Q Challenge. I love batiks, and I'm going to love both the Conestoga Star and the Bali Star quilts when they're finished.
Not a bad weekend, huh?
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Pattern: Joan Barnett, Coats and Clark
Yarn: Lily Sugar 'n Cream, color Hot Orange
Thursday, October 7, 2010
I'm still in the mood for socks, and with three pair under my belt now, I'm ready to try two socks on one circular needle. I found a book about it at a quilt shop in Auburn, and the same lady also authored a book on toe up socks, which I'm going to try too. Seems like you could fit them better if you knit them from the toe up.
Yarn: Sockotta from Plymouth Yarn Co.
Pattern: Classic Socks by Yankee Knitter Designs
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Rangeley, had lunch at the state park, and headed home again. This is Coos Canyon in Byron.
Friday, September 24, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
The quilt finishes to 16" x 20", and it is from Lori Smith's pattern "Fat Quarter Quilting: Sampler Quilts". I switched out half the blocks because I wanted blocks with mostly half square triangles units. Then some simple straight line quilting for a quick and easy finish.
Lori Smith has a whole line of fat quarter quilting patterns that all finish to 16" x 20". Quite a few of the individual blocks finish to 4", which is a very doable size for me. The entire line appeals to me tremendously, and I'll be making more of them.
It was beastly hot here in Maine yesterday, 88 in the shade; and we are in for more hot weather the next three or four days. The leaves have already started changing color, so I'm hoping this is summer's last gasp.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
In fact I've struggled for months trying to choose fabrics for it, as I always do when choosing fabrics for a planned quilt. I much prefer scrappy quilts or kits.
Some of these fabrics I ordered sometime last year for a pattern I was testing; but when they arrived I was disappointed they weren't at all what I'd pictured. The colors seemed so dull, and the scale of the prints was not at all what I expected. So into the closet they went. I actually considered them several times for this quilt, dismissed them, and came back to them in the end. Now that I've got one block together, maybe they're not so bad after all.
I need 13 star blocks and 12 snoball blocks for my quilt. No idea what I'm doing for fabric for the snoball blocks yet, but I think I've got the sashing and border fabrics picked out. I sewed one block last night to see how it might look, decided it would work just fine, and spent this afternoon cutting up fabric for the remaining 12 star blocks.
I've spent all the time I want to on this quilt for now, so it's going back into the closet, and the next project in my rotation is ready and waiting.