Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Catching Up....Again

I had to take my sewing machine in to the repair shop a few days ago because the light bulb was flickering, and the presser foot wouldn't stay up. I thought it was probably time to get it serviced as well--you know, the cleaning and servicing you're supposed to get every year. I knew it had been awhile but only a couple years, I thought.

Unbeknownst to me, the technician I use records the date of the last servicing inside the sewing machine (where I can't see it), and it had actually been five years since the last time I'd had it serviced. Good thing I take care of my machine. There were some dust balls in the tray below the machine and only one broken needle tip. Not bad for five years.

Anyway, blogging has been like that for me for awhile now too. Here I thought it had only been three weeks or so since I blogged last, and it's been nearly two months. Long enough that Blogger has completely changed its format, and I'm so lost. I'd like to say I've gotten more organized since the beginning of the year; but it hasn't happened, so I'll keep muddling along.

I actually did have some finishes in April that never got posted. This is one of those simple little strippies I like to make to practice machine quilting on, and I used a feathers pantograph on this one.

My quilt chapter held a workshop for this mini photo album quilt. The pattern is by Lisa Moore from Quilts With a Twist, and she has a complete line of these photo album type quilts. This particular pattern measures approximately 8" x 20", so it was a perfect little workshop project. The border fabric was not the best choice for a couple of reasons, so while I'm not actually turning it into a quilt, I am finished with it.

We also had a workshop for what the instructor called a confetti quilt. I don't know much about the Snippet Sensations technique, but I think it must be similar. We pieced a very simple background (sky and ground) and fused a leafless tree trunk onto it, plus a photo of a barn printed on fabric. The background piece was then layered with backing and batting.

Then we took small squares of fabric we liked for the leaves, chopped them up into small pieces with a rotary cutter, and arranged them on the background. Next a layer of black tulle was placed on top and free motion quilted in place. Borders were added, and the entire quilt was done except for the binding.

The other pieces the instructor had with her were impressive--realistic and detailed. You can see more of her work here. I'm not sure if I would use this technique again because I'm not much of an art quilter, but I did have a good time making this little quilt.

I got a couple pairs of socks finished in April as well. For the first time since I learned how to knit socks, I deviated from my basic pattern and ribbed the entire leg on the blue pair. I liked the way that looked, so I ribbed the leg and the instep on the yellow pair too. I really like how the ribbed leg fits. I haven't started on the knee socks for my sister-in-law yet, but I think I might use that ribbing on hers too.

The blue ones are made from yarn by Regia, and the yellow ones are Opal. First time I've ever used Opal, and it was lovely to knit with--softest yarn I've used for socks so far. These are my two new favorite pairs of socks.

At this late date, I know I won't finish a quilt in May. I may not finish a pair of socks either, but I'm pretty close to the end of a pair, so maybe.