Sunday, April 25, 2021

Keeping busy lately.....

 With sticking around home as much as we have been lately, lots of things are getting accomplished.  I have been working on the longarm the last couple of days and got four quilts quilted.  The latest was a customer quilt .

She cut up this adorable panel that she is sure came from Australia because of some of the unusual animals (umbrellabird, python, etc).  

I used the Bubbles pantograph on this one with Gray SoFine thread..  Some baby is really going to love this one.  

There's, also, been some non-stop knitting going on all winter and until recently.  

I started the Weekender sweater by Andrea Maury .  I thought I was taking my time working on it trying not to work at a feverish pace, but did finish it in a timely manner.  

I used Madeline Tosh Farm Twist in the colorway of Tiny House.

I haven't worn it yet.  It still needs to be blocked, but I love how it turned out.  

While I was working on this project, I decided to organize my yarn.  I think because my daughter needed something and everything was such  a mess, so organization needed to be done.  

Well, while doing that, I came across a couple projects that need to be made in the near future AND I found some yarn that could become projects, so in the middle of making the sweater, I made a pair of socks.

There's still some skeins in the stash that will make another pair of socks, I have a shawl pattern with yarn  in there (little worried about it because it is 2-color brioche which I haven't done before) and there's a hat pattern with yarn  that I keep picking up and the pattern doesn't make sense to me so it keeps getting put back.  I am determined to get it all done eventually with probably a few new projects added in between.    

So, as you can see, there is forward motion going on all the time around here.  Things may slow down now that the weather is turning warmer, but I always need to be doing something with my hands, so we will see what is next.  

Monday, April 19, 2021

Black and White De-Stash.....

 I now ask myself "what were you thinking?" when I decided to use up all my black and white fabrics.  I guess I was just trying to make a dent in my stash and it appeared that the black and white department seemed do-able at the time.  Little did I know that we've all heard, scraps multiply in the dark and you end up with more than you started out with...or so it seems.  

I just took the third black and white scrap quilt off my longarm.  The good thing about it though is that I finally used up ALL of my segments that were sewn together in this bag that lived in the closet.  I did this one at the last retreat that I attended and even had to borrow just a couple pieces to complete the piecing.  

For this quilt, I added a pop of turquoise.  I found this pattern in a magazine and it required 3 1/2" strips of scraps ......EXACTLY what I had in my bag, so it was the perfect choice.  I quilted this one with the Bubbles panto in turquoise So-Fine thread top and bottom.  

I fell in love with this Tula Pink fabric and couldn't pass it up for the backing.  It has a few pops of color and just lent itself to be the backing for this quilt.  

The quilt I did previous to this one thinking this would finally use up all my fabrics (which we now  know it did not) is my black and white with a yellow pop.  

The first quilt that inspired me to cut up all my blacks and white fabrics in the first place was this one with the red pop to it.  I called this one my Chinese Coins and quilted it in Turbulence.  I actually did not have enough black and white fabric and ended up buying more ......which apparently I bought way too much

Yikes, I quilted this one in December of 2014!

 Obviously, as you know now, I had an enormous amount of black and white fabric left over after doing this quilt.  But, hey!  Now that it is all said and done, I am happy that I did it.  

Unfortunately, I have restarted collecting black and white fabrics.  But that's the way of stash building, but the plan is NOT to do this again.  Although, another one made out of chartreuse would look great or maybe orange.  Just kidding!  I have no plans to do this again.  

Friday, April 16, 2021

Challenge to Destash.......

Just kidding!

We all know there is no possible way to de-stash since the stash multiplies while we sleep no matter how much cutting you do during the day.  

But.....Sharon, my friend, texted a challenge for us to cut up all the scraps we had sitting on our sewing tables into 2 1/2" squares  with the intent of making scrappy 4-patches.  Well, that didn't sound so bad.  I didn't really have that many scraps on my table but it kept me from putting those scraps that were just a little too big to throw out back into my stash, yet really too small to be keeping.  

We decided we were going to make some twin-sized charity quilts to be given to foster kids who have  aged out of the system and leave with very little in the way of belongings.  

Of course to get the amount of 2 1/2" squares that I was going to need, I ended up going through the main stash along with what was on my sewing table and started cutting up anything that I knew I would never use again, ugly fabrics (although nothing is ugly since I bought it and when it is cut up small you can't call it ugly),  fabric pieces that were so small I wonder why I was even keeping it, charm packs that I know I am not going to use (5" squares cut up perfectly to four 2 12" squares), left over bindings, and so on and so on.  I probably have enough of these squares to make a couple more quilts.  

I pieced my 4-patches and then pressed them with the seams going in a spiral to get them as flat as I could.  

Then I bought a solid Kona fabric to alternate my 4-patches to make  the quilt cohesive.

I started sewing sets of  alternating blocks and laying them out. 

It grew ......

....and grew.

This quilt is 17 x 23 blocks (4" finished blocks)

To keep my rows in order, I used the Marilee's Numbered Q-pins

Since the pins only go up to 20, I used two pins 20+1; 20+2 and 20+3 to mark the last three rows.  

Then the blocks were sewn into rows.

Rows are done and presseed.

Heading for a finished top now by getting all those rows sewn together.  

Here is the finished top folded in half (it takes up so much room!)

Backing is pieced.

Binding is made; and now the quilt is on the to-be-quilted pile.  

So, today was the day to get this on my Millie.  I used the Jessie's Swirls Simplified pantograph.  Threads were Glide in Navy for the top and Filtec bobbins in navy. 

The binding is the same solid blue used in the alternating block, so I am going to post this blog so it doesn't sit in limbo for who knows how long before I get this binding stitched down  Soon I hope, but you don't need to wait for that picture. 

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Some Spring knitting.....

Before my last sweater was done, I had already bought some pretty yarn from Sprinkled Fibers .  I have been wanting some bubble gum pink yarn for a shawl/scarf for a very long time. In fact, I originally saw a kit available on Purl Soho but it cost nearly $500 and I wasn't about to do that.  Of course, it was cashmere, but that's besides the point.  

Anyways, I follow this gal from Sprinkled Fibers on Instagram and she was offering this set of gradated pink for a specific shawl and there was no hesitating.  I had to have it.  Didn't matter that I didn't know how to do this particular stitch for the shawl.   I would learn. 

I was so ready to work on something bright and fun after working on so many wintery things. 

I am just getting started here and you can see the adorable stitch marker made just for this kit (Linzer cookie). 

This next picture shows where I am almost ready to bind off.  I managed without too much trouble to conquer the one-color brioche stitch.  It wasn't all that bad, but it is one of those stitches that if you make a mistake, it is pretty hard to go back and make a decent correction, so I have to admit that I did have to rip back a couple times back to my life line and start over.  Oh well.  When you are doing something new and have to do it over a 500 stitch stretch, its a bit scary especially  being a newbie at it, but you have to tell yourself you're bound to make a mistake or two.  It's all in the learning process.  In the end, it is so worth it.


Here it is on the blocking boards.  

Next was cutting fringe and attaching it.   

Here is the finished shawl.

This is the close up showing off the lace and the brioche.  I really love how this turned out.  

This shawl feels so summery and now that the weather is warming up (in the 60s so far), I will be able to wear it often.  

Next post will be a quilt, so stay tuned.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

How do you choose colors for a quilt?

When it comes to choosing colors for a quilt, I am sure there are many ways each of us go about it. You may fall in love with a particular fabric and  just have to use it in a quilt so you go from there.....or you fall in love with a designers palette and want to use them all......or you just open up the stash and start pulling for a scrappy quilt.  There are so many ways.

I was recently commissioned to make a quilt for my daughter-in-law (who doesn't quilt, but someday maybe I will get her sitting at the sewing machine) so that she could give a friend a baby quilt for her upcoming shower.

This is how she decided on her palette.  

She took a picture of the baby-to-be's (we knew it was going to be a boy) closet.  Mom was so excited about having a baby that she was out shopping long before her shower.  So Janelle, my daughter-in-law, figured these were definitely colors that the mom like.

We went shopping and this is what we chose.

The pattern used is called Simple Diamonds from Missouri Star Quilt Co.  You can find the pattern here,  

I did make a few minor adjustments  to the pattern so that we could keep the quilt to about 50x60 thus allowing Janelle to order from Hawthorne Supply Co.  so she could buy a wide enough back so that I didn't have to piece it AND it is just the right size for a toddler type quilt so the baby can grow with this quilt.  

It was  a couple rows shorter in diamonds and the two borders are narrower.

She then showed me a picture of a Chanel purse that had that quilted design and asked if I could quilt the baby quilt in the same manner.

So I chose the Diagonal Plaid pantograph and I was all set to go.  

Here you can see the cute arrow fabric she chose for the backing.   


I bound the quilt in the same fabric as the last border.  Sorry I didn't take a final picture, but you get the gist of it.  

The quilt was gifted yesterday and mom-to-be and family loved it.  That always makes for a good feeling.  




Saturday, February 13, 2021

Knitting binge.......

I've so needed to get back to my quilting, but there  were stitches on my needles and I hated to put them down until they were done.

I started out with this.

Here's my colorwork at the yoke.

I was making a few modifications so that I had more of the turquoise in the pattern.

Right about here I have reached the waistline.

Sorry about the sideways look, but the body is done.  Now on to the arms. arm done.

All done and being blocked here.  

I've worn it and it fits well  and is super warm.  

But if this wasn't enough, I had some downtime in the hospital waiting room and didn't want to drag a big sweater with me, so I found some sock yarn in my stash and cast on a pair of socks for some easy knitting while waiting.

This is what I started with before heading to the hospital.

By the day after the hospital visit, I had my first sock.

....and now there are two.  

This was an extra skein of yarn that I bought when I was buying for my Find Your Fade Shawl, so it did come in handy.

Never fear.

There is more knitting on the horizon for me, although I am going to take a bit of a break because there is quilting to do.  

Up next will be the Boho Beauty Shawl with this lovely bubble gum pink yarn that I got from Sprinkled Fibers. 

I just loved her packaging with all the little sparkly hearts, lips and doilies in there.  She even sent along a bright red pencil.  

The really nice bonus was this stitch marker that replicates a Linzer cookie from Little Bitty Delights.  How special is that?!

For this pattern though, I am going to have to teach myself a new technique  so getting this one started and finished may take some time.

But like I said, there is quilting that needs doing even though in between all this knitting I have been sewing backings together, cutting batting to size and just getting ready in general to start up my quilting.  It all takes time.  

See you when I come up for air.

Keeping busy lately.....

 With sticking around home as much as we have been lately, lots of things are getting accomplished.  I have been working on the longarm the ...