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.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Round Robin.......of sorts

How long has it been since we have been able to get together as a guild?  It seems like forever.  

Almost a year ago while attending my guild meeting we decided to do a round robin, and I say "of sorts" because we would be the only ones working on our own quilt.  Little did we know that this was the perfect solution since we haven't been together since last March!  

In my stash was this fabric yardage of slightly off white with tiny medium blue blocks.  I fell in love with this fabric and knew I would find a reason to use it someday.  The round robin seemed like the perfect solution.  

This is a close up of the background fabric showing a little better than the rest of my pictures.  

Our centers could be anything we wanted.    I had this free pattern in my stash of patterns  that I had been wanting  to do and this seemed like the perfect time to try it out.  

Works out great since I don't think I want to make a whole quilt out of this block.  There are a lot of pieces to it and it was pretty time consuming.  

Our next round was to be 9-patches

Then we were onto triangles.  So I decided to do half square triangles and laid them out in a chevron border. I had to add an extra background sashing to get to the  size that would allow me to get those boxy corners on this border.  It just so happened that I had a magazine lying on my sewing table that had this border dog eared

After that, we were told snowball blocks.  Well, I was thinking I didn't want this quilt to get too big (I tend to make most of my quilts BIG), so I made my snowballs and then cut them in half.  I figured I could get away with this since we were told for the 9-patches, we could do a disappearing 9-patch if we so desired.  .  

Works for me!

Next the the last border was curves.  Oh...what to do?  I didn't want to make Drunkards Path blocks and I thought of Gwen Marston's modern curvy insets in a plain border, but I was thinking it was too modern for this quilt, so I did some applique circle blocks.  As it was, my friends have been working on some circle blocks to make a full quilt out of them and I was getting sucked into that rabbit hole, but didn't know if I wanted to get involved in a long term project (I have too many of those), so I got my satisfaction of making just enough to make my next border.  

Then what do  you know!  The last border is applique.  At this time, I am way over the due date on finishing this quilt.  Doesn't matter though since we haven't met for almost a year now, but I was so ready to get this one finished and still wanted to like this quilt.  So, I decided to make some more circle blocks, only a different size (wasn't interested in doing vines the lots of applique flowers and leaves).  I am finding I really like doing reverse applique (which is what these two rows are.  So my final row is done and the top is complete.

Now I am awaiting the fabric I have chosen for the backing on this quilt.   I bought it on sale from Hancock's of Paducah. Sure hope there isn't a problem as I haven't heard if it has been cut or mailed yet, but it is a variety of blues in a hand painted stripe.  I think it should go well.  

This gives me time to think of how I would like to quilt it, too.  Do I just want to do a panto or will I do some custom work on this one?  Time will tell.  Also, depends on how busy I am  at the time.  

For now, I am on to the next project (s).  There's a sweater that needs sleeves, a charity quilt that needs putting together and a commissioned quilt that needs quilting.  The list of things to do is always never ending.  

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

2021 goals.....

Don't hold me to it, but I really want to get to the bottom of my "to-be-quilted" pile and this year seems like a good time to attempt it.  Some of these quilts have been on the "pile" for ......a very long time.  I can't even say it here  because it makes me ashamed that I have sat on some of these for so long.  

Today, I finished the first of these and the only reason I can say I have kept setting it aside was that I wanted to do custom work on it and for some reason (unless it is a customer quilt) I freeze and fret and and then finally ignore.

So, I just put it on the machine, like I do with customer quilts, and  let it speak to me.  

I started out with outlining all the chevron rows and the borders and then decided to do matchsticks in the lighter chevron rows using Cream Glide thread.

Made the decision to do something interesting in the light inner border by marking off 1" increments and did some ovals.  

I then changed to red Glide thread and echoed the red chevrons

....and for the outside border, I did some feather variations in the red thread, too.  

Here is the completed top.  It's a little larger than 40" square.  It would make a great wallhanging or a table topper.  

Here's a look at the backing with the two colored threads.  

By the way, this quilt is made up of cut off triangles from another quilt and because I love French General fabric sooo much, I just couldn't throw them out.  Goes to show you can make up something pretty decent with scraps  you would normally  throw out.  I am glad I kept them and then decided to see what I could make out of them.  I think it was well worth it.  


Friday, January 1, 2021

Good bye 2020.......

 Can't say I will miss you 2020, but the good thing that came out of this year was taking the time to get a huge amount of projects done.  

They say (whoever "they" is) that whatever you do on either New Year's Eve or New Year's Day, it is what you will do all year long.  Well, I bound my last three quilts for the year.  

This included my 13 Cats Halloween quilt, the big heart charity quilt and the dolphin charity quilt.  What a good feeling.  What really amazed me though was my two American Patchwork UFO Challenge sheets that were full (one for sewing and one for knitting)

Sewing wise:

1.  flannel pajama pants

2.  2000 Thimbleberries quilt.

3.  Ms Ivy's Red/Green quilt from 7-Sisters

4.  Four quilted bags

5.  Fall charity quilt

6.  Red Alphabet Charity quilt.

7.  Aqua flannel charity quilt.

8.  Plus quilt.

9  Lotto block yellow/blue quilt.

10.  Modern flower quilt.

11.  4-color sherbet quilt for charity.

12.  Heart/stripe charity quilt.

13.  Thirteen Cats Halloween quilt.

14.  Dolphin charity quilt.

15.  Smiley Face charity quilt.


1.  Cat Love Hat.

2.  Pebble wrap.

3.  Alpacacino Sweater.

4.  Woodland Journey Shawl.

5.  Florentine Cocoon.

6.  Nymph Tee.

7.  Jeweled Cowl.

8.  Navelli Tee.

9.  Six Slipped Rib hats.

10.  GoldWing Sweater.

11.  Leaf Sweater Winter Edition.

12.  Socks.

13.  Baby Clover hat.

These lists don't even count the number of customer quilts that I finished this year for others which was more than I usually do.  

I am blowing myself away!  I need to keep up this momentum and just maybe (lol) I will work through all my UFOs and my stash.  Well, we all know that probably won't happen, but it sure is nice to think positively. 

So, here's to a new year.  Hope everyone has a very Happy New Year and a healthy one, too.  

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Christmas aftermath......

 .....and just like that, Christmas is over.  How does that happen?

We had a lovely holiday celebrating with family on Christmas Eve.  The "white" stuff didn't show up until Christmas Day.  

So I thought I would share with you some of the highlights from our holiday. 

My daughter brought this great spinach/cheese breadstick tree.


I tried a new recipe that was a real hit.  Pretty easy to make and as my kids said, it was very gourmet.  This was suggested by my friend, Sharon.

It's a roasted squash salad with cranberries, walnuts, gorgonzola cheese, rosemary and honey.  Sooooo goooooood!!! 


The most heartfelt gift I received this year was from my daughter who cross stitched US with the grandkids.  I just love it.  If you look closely, you can even see my bird Peaches who is 25 years old!

She had us all down to a "T".  These little characters can be found from a book by the The Stitch People.  She made one of these for each family and they were a real hit for everyone.

For the last couple of months, I had been working on some knit projects that I couldn't share until Christmas.   I was knitting Jodi Brown's Slipped Rib Hat .  There was a hat for each of my girls.

They were really simple to make, so I used up the remainder of the yarn from the rose and the green one and made two more.

Then with the left over plum yarn from my GoldWing Sweater, I made yet another one....

 and that's only because I have so much mohair left over from the other hats.

Here's my girls with their hats.

I managed to get a pair of socks finished Christmas night.

This was yarn I purchased at the Pittsburgh Yarn Festival back in 2018 and I was looking to do something with my hands in the evening (like I have a shortage), but was happy to get these started and done.  

At this point, I thought I would pack the needles away, but oh no!  
At the last minute I pulled out some yarn and made this baby hat.  It used up some yarn I had left over from a hat I made a couple years ago and it  utilized a pompom that I had lying around here.  

The hat pattern is Clover and can be found here.  

Although 2020 has felt like this......

I have to admit that it has made me knuckle down and get lots of quilting and lots of knitting done.  So that's not all bad.  

Still, here's hoping that 2021 will be a whole lot better in a whole lot of different ways

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 yar...