Friday, September 9, 2016

A week that perfectly illustrates why I knit...

It was a short week... it was a hectic week... it was a week that perfectly illustrates why I knit...SO I DON"T KILL PEOPLE!!!  Okay, taking a deep breath here...

Sunday night... discovered my enormous indoor cat, Big Dude, has fleas!! How does an indoor cat get fleas??? According to the vet we could have brought them in on our shoes... a likely scenario, as we take our shoes off right as we come into the house and the Dude does like to sit there on the cool tile. Sunday evening I did something really really stupid... I gave the Dude a bath.  Well, I'm not sure you could really call it a bath... we wrestled while the water ran and I tried to soap and rinse him. The whole process lasted less than 2 minutes.  I wasn't sure who was going to have the first heart attack, him or me. He still hasn't forgiven me for it. I washed every thing in the house that wasn't nailed down... I've sprayed all of the rest of the stuff.  I put Frontline on the Dude. The situation has improved but it isn't totally remedied. I still catch him scratching now and then and when I've wiped him down I've found a dead flea or two...ugh!!!! Oh, I forgot to mention.... I HATE HATE HATE bugs!!!  Just writing this paragraph has made me itchy...

Monday morning... I notice that even though the AC has been running all night the house is no cooler in the morning than when I went to bed.... it is Labor Day... a holiday... not willing to pay extra to get someone out to look at it. Called Tuesday morning and  the guy I've used before came and put 4 lbs. of coolant into the unit. Can't find any leaks. I had the same scenario 3 years ago when I moved in... low coolant, no leak to be found. He did clean out the AC coils and checked out the furnace so I'm good to go if it ever gets cold again.

Tuesday and Wednesday ... the normal running around.

Wednesday night... stomach feeling a little queasy.

Thursday ... didn't sleep all night because of stomach and other digestive problems... had to pass on going to a quilt show in Indiana... darn.

Which brings us to Friday... today is good ... but it is only noon.  It is a week like this that makes me thankful that I know how to knit... it calms the nerves and you have something to show for it...


Another pair of Frankensocks done... these have a nice Fall-ish feel to them. Lots of Opal and bits of Regia and Drops Fabel and other unidentified yarns.

Several of you have left comments regarding having so many ends to weave in... here is a picture of the inside of the last sock ....



My rough count is that I have 25 places where I joined yarns... that leaves 50 ends to weave in. I tried timing myself to see how long it takes to complete this process one time. I start by loosening the knot I had, tightening it up and re-knotting it twice. Then I weave the 2 ends in, in opposite directions. It took less than 50 seconds. So to weave in the ends on a whole sock it should take about 30 minutes. In reality, it will take longer because I will be simultaneously watching TV and looking at my lap top and checking to see if the Dude is scratching... but you get the idea.

By using yarns that are self striping I get a lot more stripey-ness with less ends to weave in. Opal yarns are known for their stripey-ness and their mock Fair Isle patterns. A lot pattern for very little work... I like that ... A LOT!!!

So my hope for today is to finally get my house decorated for Fall. The temps are suppose to come down this weekend as last night it rained cats and dogs. I know it isn't officially Fall but I am so ready for it.

Hope that your week went well and that a lovely weekend is coming your way!

happy knitting-
carol fun



Monday, September 5, 2016

I need another can of spray starch...the saga of a new quilt project...

It is Monday right??? I love 3 day weekends but it always messes me up as to what day of the week it is... tomorrow will seem like Monday again...oh well. I as able to get a bit of sewing done. Now I haven't put together the churn dash blocks I showed a while ago (more on them later) because I got distracted by a shiny new project...this one!



It is only pinned to my design wall so ignore the ripples and crookedness. This isn't the quilt I set out to make but I like this one better!  I stumbled upon this pattern from Missouri Star... Cutting Corners... you can see the tutorial here.  Another easy peasy quilt from Jenny Doan... first I had to decide on what fabric to use. I really liked the collection they used and the jelly roll was still available on their website but I make the shocking decision to USE SOME FABRIC I ALREADY OWN... I know... you had to fan your self a bit over that revelation!  Re- read that last sentence and remember this operative word...SOME...so, I had some fat quarters of Amy Butler fabrics I hadn't opened, and some pieces of Anna Maria Horner that played nicely together...and then I saw a new collection from Amy Butler called Eternal Sunshine... you can see it here.  Well I reined myself in and only ordered some fat eighths and then realized I needed a nice background fabric...hmmm... is there anything is the 1000's of yards of fabric in my stash that will work ?  No, no there isn't... (you believe me, don't you? I knew you would!)

A visit to my favorite store Fabric Shack resulted in 3 yards of a lovely dusty teal from the  Robert Kaufmann line  Quilter's Linen the colorway called  Seafoam which you can see here. This is a much better picture of the true color of this fabric than my pictures.  I've used this fabric before in a golden mustard color and I like it a lot... it looks woven but it  is printed. Anyway where was I? So now I was off to the races to put this quilt together... and then I saw this quilt... go look here... I'll wait. Isn't that a gorgeous quilt??? When you have time you need to check out her while blog, Tamarack Shack. She lives in Canada and does beautiful long arm quilting. I'm so glad I saw her layout... much more interesing than just HST, dontcha think?

Here are some close up of the fabrics...




Lots of medium to large scale prints ...many busy ones... I like the busy ones!   When stripped and sliced they meld together and you get the feel of a crazy quilt... at least that's what it puts me in the mind of.  

So where does the spray starch come into play in this saga... well, the technique used to construct these blocks gives you bias on all 4 sides... the secret to keeping them in check is spray starch them...a lot!  I spray starched the strip sets and then I spray starched the background fabric... I used a lot of spray starch. I need another can.  Also I squared up all my blocks with my new Bloc Loc ruler...have you played with these yet?  I'm a sucker for a new ruler and these are quite nice... a little pricey but they make squaring up HST blocks very easy and accurate.

Oh... remember the churn dash blocks I mentioned like an hour ago... here is what they looked like before I took them off my design wall...


I think it is going to be a beautiful quilt when I get it assembled. As you can see all the piece are cut... I do need to make some minor adjustments to the length of the sashing strips but it should go together easily.  Oh, it did make the weather cooler for a day or two and then...bam...right back to 90 degrees...

Hope this shortened week is productive for you...and for me too!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, September 2, 2016

It is 90 degrees, so I knit...

It has been a very hot summer here... except for yesterday...and today...which have been lovely, mid 70 degree temperatures... it won't last... sigh!  And when it is 90 degrees of course one's thoughts turn to knitting wool socks, right?? Oh, they don't? Well that's where my little pea brain has taken me and I've been quite productive in the sock arena.

First, this pair...


these were created with a Frankensock kit from the etsy shop  havirland which you can see here.  As you know I'm obsessed with scrappy Frankensocks and while I have  some .... plenty... enough yarn to stuff a boxcar... I wanted to play with colors I wouldn't normally choose... so I bought one of the kits from havirland. The yarn is lovely, very squishy ... this was a fun diversion.

But there is still that boxcar of yarn that is mine that needs to be knitted. So I collected some Opal and Regia and Fabel and who know what other brands and knitted this sock...


I'm very happy with this sock... to my mind,  it has the look of an old utility quilt, very scrappy.  I particularly like the Opal yarns with the little specks of color... I have decided that they are polka dots and you know how I LOVE polka dots!  Now the next logical step is that I should be knitting the mate to this sock, but logic has never been my strong suit, so instead I'm working in this sock...



I decided I wanted to knit something with a Fall feel so again I perused my stash and picked bits and bobs of yarns that looked Fall-ish to me. Now if it were only possible to influence the weather and have it stay cool enough to actually wear wool socks that would be great... alas I have no such influence... but I will continue to knit!

Lots of running to do today... yesterday I squeezed in a trip to the local garden nursery outlet and got a tree... well I didn't actually take it home but I picked it out and my sons are giving it to me as a birthday present. I selected a Crimson Maple ... the leaves are a purply red all summer and then it it suppose to be a golden color in the Fall. I already have a purply red flowering plum in my yard and I like the color  against the yellow brick of my house.  Can't wait to get it planted in a week or two.

And while I was running around I somehow lost my FitBit Zip... insert frown-y face... it is a little pedometer that clips to your waistband and somehow it got unclipped. I didn't realize it was missing until after I had come inside from watering the plants. Now I may have lost it in my yard but a brief search in the dark with flashlight did not turn up the black Zip... I'll search again tomorrow. I may have lost it elsewhere... the last time I remember looking at it was mid-afternoon. I figure if I did lose it in the yard , with my luck, it will be run over by the lawnmower... so I ordered a new one... in neon lime green... hopefully I won't lose this one but if I do it should be easier to locate.

happy knitting -
carol fun

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Is this anyway to run a blog?????

No, no it isn't... but it is how life has been going lately... run run run no time to stop. However it is the beginning of a new month, and the beginning of what I hope will be a much cooler season so I'm going to try to get back on track. I have been putzing with projects and I've finished a couple of things. Today I'll share my latest quilt finish...



I'm calling this one Avant Garden Vintage Stars... it is a riff on the Giant Vintage Star pattern by Jeni Baker that you can see here.  Now my twist on this pattern is that I made it from one layer cake of  Moda's Momo collection  Avant Garden and the background fabric is a Basic Grey Grunge in a butterscotch color that I wish I'd bought a bolt of!! You can read more about this quilt in this post from last year.

Since by the time I got around to making this quilt the Momo collection had been out a while I was able to snag several pieces of yardage at a marked down price from my favorite store Fabric Shack. In fact, they still have some of this collection if you want to check it out.  Here is a pic of the back...



I pulled it up on the bed so you can see all the little bits I included... I love this side too!  This one was quilted by Terry Finnerty... love this panto and thread.



And I even made pillowcases to go with this quilt...actually it will go with 2 other quilts I've made with Momo fabrics so I'll get a lot of use out of these!


The pillowcases are a perfect example of why one should have a nice healthy stash of fabrics... I decided one morning that I NEEDED new pillowcases... now since I adore shopping online my first stop was to check out Fabric Shack which indeed still had a nice selection of Momo... and then I had another thought... what was lurking in my basement sealed in a plastic tub???? Enough fabric to make about a dozen pillowcases...LOL... but I stopped at 2!  I'm so virtuous...not!

Anyway I'm quite happy with this look in my bedroom for late Summer, early Fall...just wish it was actually cool enough that I needed a quilt to sleep under...mostly it's been kicked to the bottom as it is still too hot here in Ohio for my taste. Now the local meteorologist says we are going to have a cool down but it is only for about 2 days... the long range forecast shows upper 80's again... but I suppose I should take comfort in the fact that they are upper 90's like we've been seeing. I shudder to think what my electric bill and my water bill are going to be !!!


Well I'm off... places to go ... people to see... things to do... Big Dude hopes that you are having a wonderful day!

happy stitching!

carol fun

Monday, August 15, 2016

A feeble attempt to feel cooler...

I am so tired of hot humid weather... my naturally curly hair is a giant frizz ball... my petunias have bolted and look scraggly...and while the rain today has brought the temperature down it just took the humidity higher...ugh.... so in a feeble attempt  to feel cooler I got out these Fall-ish blocks which last saw the light of day back in February.


The blocks are Charm Pack Churn Dash and you can see the pattern here.  When I started these blocks I thought I would make 9 of them and make a bed sized quilt... as you can see I have reconsidered that plan and I am going to settle for 5 blocks.  I always like setting blocks on point because they grow (I know that this isn't actually true but it seems that way to me,. so don't feel the need to set me straight...ohhhh...bad pun... I am happy with my delusions...LOL)  The blocks finish around 18" square... mine a tad smaller. I will say if you make this pattern you need to use a scant 1/4" seam to come out close to 18". I did use a scant 1/4" but I'm still a bit small... its ok ...they are big enough for me.

All the fabrics are from various Sandy Gervais Fall collections... she does wonderful Fall collections and they all go with each other... it reminds me of the hey day of Debbie Mumm fabrics (I LOVE Debbie Mumm fabrics)... the collections all went together until she did that pastel collection.... NOT one of my favorites. Anyway, where was I headed with that thought....oh it is nice that the old collections meld nicely with the new stuff.


The sashing and the cornerstones are from Sandy's current collection call Beauty Fall... which you can see here.  I really love that diagonal plaid and the cornerstones are dotty... if you click on the picture you can see it better.


I choice this larger scale print for my border  which I picked up last week at my favorite quilt shop Fabric Shack. And if you are a fan of Fabric Shack there is news that they are opening an annex in addition to their main store, both in Waynesville. I don't know all the details but more square footage should mean more fabric and how can that be a bad thing! Okay... it may be a bad thing for my budget but it sure makes me happy!

Well I like the look of this on my design wall, which is a good thing, as  it may end up staying like that for a while. This week is super busy with lots of running around... and why is it whenever I have a week like that all I really want to do is stay home?

Hope your week runs smoothly and you get to do what you want to do!
happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Flowers, fruit and a finish....

Hello everyone... how is your Sunday going?  I was up early (early for me) to have breakfast with my son and daughter-in-law... now I'm stuffed and want an afternoon nap, except it isn't afternoon yet! Details, details....

Watching the Olympics has given me time to do some stitching and progress was made on Sampler Hill by With Thy Needle & Thread.


I got all the flowers/tulips stitched and both the big and little urns with flowers, and I got the fruit baskets stitched too. Still need to get some leaves on those naked trees and get the birds and people stitched in.... it is prettier in real life than the photo shows... I'm a lousy photographer and my cheap camera doesn't do this piece justice.

And for a finish... ta dah!!!!



Summer House Stitche Workes "Fragments in Time" is framed!  I took this to Bev who use to work at my Joann's and now is working from her home with her business Frames of Reference.  Years ago Bev had her own frame shop so she's returning to her roots. When I visited her to bring this over she immediately showed me this frame. As soon as she put it down I told her don't show me anything else... it is perfect!!!



It is a very detailed frame with gold highlights. I love how the inner part of the frame echoes the stitched frame of the piece.  Not sure where I'm going to hang it yet... I have plans to expand this gallery wall in my spare bedroom ...


but the OCD in me needs to add pieces equally on both sides so it is balanced. More stitching needs to be done!!!!!

Well dinner is in the crockpot... beef tips to put over egg noodles... so I have my afternoon free ... perhaps more Olympics watching and more stitching... sounds like a plan.

I'm linking up with Kathy's Quilts today for Slow Sunday Stitching... and tomorrow I'll link up with Super Mom - No Cape for her stitchery party. Hope you have an enjoyable day!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Something to talk about...

Okay, to be perfectly honest I always have something to talk about... but it doesn't always seem to be something blogworthy to talk about... but today it does! Last week I got 3 quilts back from my long arm quilter, Terry and today I have one bound and hanging in my living room!



I'm calling this one Spiral Star, all the hexagons were cut Stack n Whack fashion from that border print. This is a different setting than I usually go with and I like the stars that appear in the negative space. I chose a small scroll-y panto which echoes the "swirliness" (is that a real word? I might have made that up) of the fabric and the variegated thread picks up the colors in the hexagons nicely.


And this quilt shows the value of having a well aged stash... look at the brown/black fabric of the inner border and binding...


An eagle eyed friend saw it and asked, "Is that a Mary Ellen Hopkins fabric?" Yes, yes it is... which makes it about 20 years old!  It was the perfect inner border and I had just enough to eke out a binding... I love my stash!!!

As for some decorating I may have shown this before but I'm showing it again... this is my 3 tier trayed decked out in bird stuff...


I love this display piece and look forward every season to decorating it... I'm pretty sure that I'll be switching to Fall stuff in early September as a way to think cooler thoughts... another week with 90 degree temperatures and high humidity...ugh!!! I thought we would get past it since July was so hot but no luck... I'm not looking forward to seeing my electric bill or my water bill this month... hate to spend money on those items when there is so much lovely fabric and yarn and thread out there calling my name...LOL!

Hope you are staying cool ...

happy stitching-
carol fun