Food for thought.

Memory is a wonderful treasure chest for those who know how to pack it.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Applique baskets....

Sheila sent this one to me all the way from California (I'm in Michigan).  

There was quite a bit of dimensional work on this one.....added flower petals, ruching, buttons, folded petals stuffed under other petals.  So, this was a first for me to quilt.  I hope I have done it justice and that she likes it.  

I did McTavishing around all the baskets after outlining all the applique.  This is very dense quilting.  

I did use So Fine thread top and bottom and since the backing on this quilt is the same as the outer border, I used a thread color that was darker called "Toast".  It matched really well with the floral print fabric.  I don't especially like using one color thread on top and another on the bottom as the threads can peek through when quilting, so keeping the same thread seems to be best to alleviate that problem.  

The outer border was done in piano keys.

You'll, also, see that in the 2" inner border, I did a feather variation.

In the above picture, you can see how well the thread blends into the backing.  

I am sure glad this one is done.  Like I said, it was very intense quilting and I was at it a little here and there for about a week.  I told myself that today was the day to get it done though and get it off the long arm and I met my goal.  

Now I am going to sit and knit; but tomorrow there is another customer quilt that needs to get loaded onto my Millie and that one will take precedence over knitting.  

So, happy quilting everyone.  

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Got my give-away....

If you recall on the recent Grand Traverse Yarn Shop Hop that I attended, I had my name drawn for one of the shops give-aways and I won the Perspective Cowl kit.

The colorway that I got was called Mountain Colors -  Twizzle Aqua.

The first thing I had to do was roll the little skeins into a center pull ball.

There were only five mini skeins  that were 45 yards each.

This was 85% merino wool and 15% silk.  .....very soft.

Well, this was a very simple pattern and since I had run into a little glitch on the sweater that I was working on, I immediately picked this one up and started working on it.  It took no time at all.  

It's done!

It just needs blocking. 

I used almost every inch of the yarn allotted, but because my gauge must have been running a little large, I deleted about six rows near the end so that it would all work out. 

I love it.  Now for cold weather.....not  that I am really wishing it here too soon.

Friday, September 29, 2017

I Don't NEED Any Yarn!

Well.....except this one because there was this capelet that I have been wanting to make.  Yarn was purchased at The Warm Fuzzy in Alden, MI. 

It is called the Mountain Capelet

.....but that's all I really wanted/needed.

So, I thought it was ok to go along on a yarn shop hop (what was I thinking?) just for the fun of it.  So my sister-in-law and I took off for the Grand Traverse Yarn Shop Hop.

We each got this nice zippered shopping bag as our passport for the shopping excursion; and we visited eight shops in two days.

Now...I know you quilters can all understand that when you get into a shop, the colors and fabrics (and in this case the yarn) start calling your name.  So out the window went my shopping list.

My first impulse buy was the Find Your Fade shawl pattern and yarn at Wool  and Honey in Cedar, MI. was so pretty.

Then there was this "just for the heck of it" yarn that I couldn't resist.  This will turn into a pair of socks one of these days.

I, also, bought this pretty shawl pin at the same shop. (this yarn is a better picture of the capelet yarn).

Then I fell in love with this pattern called Rikaart.

It's hard to tell from this picture, but it is a very geometric design.  Wouldn't you know, they had kits made up with some luscious colors of yarn, too.

So I got that!

I bought this at Knitology in Traverse City, MI.

At our last stop, I couldn't resist this lovely aquamarine.  It will be used to make a hat from the pattern sections that were given out at each shop we stopped at.  This was at Knit Knorth in Traverse City, MI.  

Another shawl pin was picked up there, too.  I WAS looking for a silver shawl pin, so I guess you can say that was on my mental list.  

Oh....and to top it all off (as if I didn't have enough yarn already), I won one of the give-aways offered at The Warm Fuzzy.   It is a kit called the Perspective Cowl and you can see it here.  I'll be getting that in a day or two.  

In the meantime, I have completed my capelet (so one project down for now).

 Also,  I have been working on my striped sweater even though I have ripped it out and restarted it a couple of times, but there is some headway.  

I really need to get back to my quilting though.  Now if I can only manage my time as well as I managed dropping several dollars during the shop hop.  

I have to say though that I love everything that I bought and as long as I don't let it stress me out that it is sitting there and not getting done as fast as I would like, life  will be good.  

So....happy knitting, quilting or whatever floats your boat.  

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Little taste of what's happening.....

I was watching QuiltCam with Bonnie Hunter this afternoon and she got me in the mood to get into the sewing room just to complete a little something this evening.

So, I took a couple of these blocks (there are 30 total)

and cut out some sashing and made a cornerstone just so that I could see how they looked put together.

This will give you an idea of how this quilt is going to come together.  I am really excited about it, but set it aside as I needed to get started on a knitting project with these yarns

I did two gauge tests and then ripped them out.  The knitting then commenced, but I ripped it out again.  I hope this isn't a sign.

For now, I am here. 

I was going to rip out the last row that I did, but then screwed that up, so here it sits.  I needed to get this started before this weekend when I will be attending  a  yarn shop hop.  There's some hope that either I can figure out my mistake before the shop hop or while I am attending it.  Then there will be no deadline for either of these projects.  I can work on them at my leisure.

Problem is.....I am excited about both and it will be hard to put either of them down. 

I am sure the knitting project will take longer than the quilt, but we will see.  I hope I have learned my lesson about putting quilts away to work on something else.  They can end up fermenting for years in a cupboard or closet and I really don't want that to happen anymore.  

So....stay tuned.  You know what I am working on.  How about you?


Friday, September 8, 2017

New projects on the horizon.....

As if I need any NEW projects, there is one sweater than I have been wanting to make for quite awhile.  It is called Caramel

Well, today one of the local knit shops had their big 20th anniversary sale and because they had the most adorable shopping bag that was going to be given to the first 100 customers, I felt that it was time to purchase my yarn for the sweater.  That really sounds lame, doesn't it?  Like I need another shopping bag.
I promised myself to get rid of a couple other ones just to warrant going for this one.
Anyways, back to the yarn.  A sale seemed like the perfect time to purchase the yarn for a project that was bigger than a scarf, mittens, or shawl.  I saved 20 percent off my full purchase.  I think that is a pretty good deal.

There were so many choices of yarns and colors, but I was drawn to my usual neutrals.  

I bought this lovely, squishy yarn by Sublime.  It is 75% extra fine baby merino, 20% silk and 5 % cashmere.  I just love fondling these yarn balls.

The main color will be the taupe and the stripes will be the white/cream.  I am anxious to get to this new project.

I have to give  kudos to the people that work at Ewe-nique Knits.  I was greeted immediately.....asked what I was looking for.....and they took my pattern and showed me the various yarns that would work and figured out how many skeins I would need from each of the different yarns and then left me to my own devices.  I would normally have been roaming around a shop not knowing which yarn I was looking at and not knowing how to translate meters into yardage.  She made it so easy for me.  If you ever get a chance to visit this shop, I highly recommend them.  

Back to sewing though...I have been going gunho on my checkerboard blocks.

I had enough strips cut out to make 24 blocks and almost all of those are complete.  I need 30.  From there, I only need to make a few 9-patches for the cornerstones and cut the sashing and this quilt will be a top in no time at all.  

I am making a big dent in my UFO projects, so bringing on a new knit project doesn't make me feel too overwhelmed.  Besides, there is no rush to get that completed by any given time.  

I just want to enjoy my crafts.

Hope you are enjoying what you want to do.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Been busy......

 If you have been following my posts lately, you know I have been feverishly working on my Hearts and Hands.  Even though I started this quilt back in 2009 and kept putting it away  on and off, I finally decided I wanted to get this one done.

Well, the final hand stitch was taken on the last of 117 circular blocks.

It was a time for celebration.

I had myself a salted caramel Kahlua and cream cocktail to celebrate the moment that I knew the worst (Phase II) was over.  I have since added my plain borders and pieced the backing for this quilt.  It is officially a UFO.

I am trying to make a decision on thread color and quilting pattern design  and then Phase III will commence.

I don't plan on posting any "full view" pictures of the quilt at this point since I am hoping my quilting will turn out good and then I  will try and get it entered in some local and national quilt shows....some of which don't want these quilts to have been shown on social media. Once I have done that, I will post finished pictures.

To refresh your memories though, this is the pattern for this quilt.

Since I chose such a different color palette, my quilt is going to be named
"Cafe Au Lait". (All the colors of coffee).
Well, I thought I would have a day or two reprieve from thinking about quilting after this big job, but my gal pals decided on doing a sew-in yesterday.  So I quickly made a decision to pull another quilt that I had started some time back.  It's a pattern that The Painted Quilter posted on her website and I fell in love with it.  

Here's where I am at.  There will be 30 blocks total with sashing and cornerstones.  I am excited about this one.  I love the colors (daffodil and cream).  Better yet, I got to try out Sharon's AccuQuilt Studio  cutter....what a dream!  I thinking I am dreaming about getting one of those.

On the side, I have been working on fabric pumpkins for some Fall decorations.

I made some of these years ago when my daughter was in Girl Scouts, but these are in much more modern fabrics.  These were fun and easy to make.

Well, the day is nearly done.  I may get myself back into the sewing room and work on a few more checkerboard blocks, but before dinner, I sat outside with DH and my grandson around the fire pit and noticed my roses are really beautiful right now.

They are a lovely pink and peach.  Makes one smile.  

The perfect ending to a perfect day.  

Happy quilting everyone.  

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Birthdays mark off time.


Birthdays show you just how fast time is flying by, especially as you get older.  

My 3-year-old grandson tells everyone he is 3 1/2. 

My 8-year-old grandson says he is 10.

Now at my age, if I even admit it, I am certainly NOT going to add on a few months or years to my age; but if one birthday isn't bad enough, now I have the local Hallmark's sending me a card celebrating my "half" birthday.


No, no, no......I do not need to be reminded how fast time is flying by.

I already know it is going too fast.  

Well, that card got me into the sewing room today to get my butt in gear and get busy on my Hearts and Hands  quilt that has been in the making way too long.  No more procrastinating.  This quilt needs to be done so that I can move on to something new without regrets or guilt.  

I turned this final  pile 

of un-ironed blocks into pressed blocks.

Trimmed off the excess Pellon.

Now ALL remaining blocks are prepped and ready to be glue basted and stitched in place.  That's what I am doing next.  

I truly am seeing the light at the end of this tunnel (at least where a quilt top is concerned).  I certainly don't want time to run out on me where this quilt is concerned, so most likely the next time you hear from me, I will have stitched several more blocks down to the background.   I CANNOT let time be wasted.

Wish me luck.

Oh, by the way.....I am ignoring ALL half-birthdays from here on out.  


Monday, August 28, 2017

Getting reacquainted

I think my machine has forgotten who I was since it has been over two weeks since I have sat and sewn.  

It's been a very busy time.

So for a quick fix, I made up a beer bottle pillowcase kit that I bought at the AQS Grand Rapids Quilt show.

This will be a Christmas present.

When I say I was busy, I get tired even now when I think of all that has been going on  over the last couple of weeks.

Dream Cruise on Woodward which lasts a week (my DH looks forward to this all year and drives his  red '71 Nova in it.)
AQS Grand Rapids Quilt show (I made it only one day)
Shopping for a new dress for a wedding.
A wedding and reception.
Two baby showers (one that was 3 hours away which made for a very long day)
Babysitting the youngest grandson for a few days while mom is on a business trip and dad is working and going to school
Out to dinner  SEVERAL times with friends and family.
Visited Hitsville USA//Motown museum.  I highly recommend this.
Oldest grandson visiting for a couple of nights and entertaining him with fishing and sushi dinner.
(I am going to have to go on a diet after all this).
Neighborhood party where  everyone with an old car brought them to show and there was food and lots of visiting
Canned peaches
The usual cooking and cleaning
I am sure there was more, but I am brain dead at this point

Anyways, after my quick fix of a pillowcase today, I am getting back on the Hearts and Hands bandwagon and getting the final blocks prepped (hemmed) for applique.  All the ones requiring a running stitch were hand done today, gathered up and pressed.

The remaining star blocks were sewn onto the Pellon.

There are a good 20 here.  

Then trimmed.

Turned and ready to press into submission. 

Once that is done, I will be placing them, glue basting and hand stitching them down.

This is the homestretch for Stage II of Hearts and Hands.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Next stage of Hearts and Hands

All 12 sections of Hearts and Hands are complete.

That's 70 blocks stitched down in place.

Next step is to sew the sections together which will create three horizontal seam lines and two vertical seam lines that will require the last 47 blocks to be stitched in place.  At that point, the center of this quilt will be complete. fingers and hands are sore, so I am setting this aside for a few days just to take a break.  I have been working on this quilt  almost to the point of obsession, so I am sure it won't be long before I am back at it.   

At the rate I have been working on this, I am sure it won't be long before this is a top waiting to be quilted (Stage III).