Monday, August 29, 2011

Be careful !!!!!!

Well this is not the way to start the day - personal hygiene is overrated - I slipped today getting out of the shower and you know where this is going - I broke my left wrist - insert lots and lots of four letter words.

Okay trying to look at the bright side, it is my left wrist and I'm right handed. They did leave my fingers pretty open since I explained that I knit and stitch to keep from harming other people. Somehow I don't think a broken wrist is going to put me in a great mood for the next 6 weeks, so hopefully when the swelling goes down and the pain subsides I will be able to indulge in my hobbies.

Typing with one hand is very slooooooooowwww. If you have left a comment please know how much I appreciate them, but I won't be following up for a little while. The lidocaine is wearing off and the vicodin hasn't kicked in yet, so I am going to find a pillow and prop up my hand for now.

Take care and be very very careful when you get a shower - cleanliness can be hazardous to your health.

carol fun

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A great BIG sampler for Sunday

Doing the happy dance here.... I got my Beatrix Potter Quaker sampler back from the framer and I LOVE it!!!

As you can tell this is a BIG sampler - 23" wide, 22" high- and it was stitched on a 32count linen. It is an R & R reproduction linen and the color is called Roasted Crown blend. Such a lovely golden color. (Sorry -these pics don't do this justice- it is so pretty in real life)

I used DMC floss for this piece since I couldn't determine how much floss I was going to need since I used different colors for different motifs. I figured if I ran out of a color I would have a better chance of getting a match if I used DMC. I can't take credit for this color combination of linen and floss. I loved the sampler when I first saw in on Needleprint. I bought it and downloaded it on Jan 1, 2010 and when I saw this rendition I knew that was how I wanted mine to look.

I showed it to my son and he immediately looked for his and his brother's initials and found them. I'm glad he's catching on- he's a smart one- LOL!

I had this framed at my local Joann's. They have a dynamite framer, Beverly, who does a wonderful job with needlework. So if you live in the Cincinnati area, check her out at the Mason-Montgomery road location. I can highly recommend her. And with the 65% off coupon a week ago, this only cost me $70. I think that is a very reasonable price for this piece. I picked out the frame and I love the color and that is doesn't overpower the stitching. Beverly said it was the prettiest piece she'd ever frame -- wow! my head is expanding as I type - must come back to earth- LOL!

Now off to do more stitching-
carol fun

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What I have to show for this week...

Remember back on Monday when I said I had a busy week ahead of me, well, it certainly was. But I did get in a little crafty time. Having the pieces cut out for the Halloween Swoon blocks let me get another one sewn together.

I love the center fabric on this one. It is cute animals dressed up in Halloween costumes - funny stuff - well at least I think so.

And because this busy week had lots and lots of sitting around waiting for other people time in it I was able to finish another pair of socks. These are my wicked Carol Green no-purl Monkey socks.

The yarn in a Lorna's Laces called Carol Green so it was meant for me to have it. My friend Cathy gifted me this yarn for helping her strip the wallpaper off a one of her bathrooms. (One of the skills I've picked up in life- stripping wallpaper- I don't remember ever thinking that this is something I would want to know how to do, but it has come in handy.) And I like the no-purl version of the Monkey sock pattern by Cookie A. I've knitted this so many times that it is seared into my brain. Some day when I can't remember what I had for lunch I'll still remember this pattern - wait, what did I have for lunch? Oh yeah, tacos- whoa that was a close one - LOL!

So today is a glorious Saturday and I don't have to go anywhere and I'm not cooking dinner. Dontcha just love car-side to go? I'm thinking either Carrabas or O'Charley's tonight. Now I'm off to do a little sewing. Only 4 more Halloween Swoon blocks to go.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Halloweenie design wall for Monday

I had a little bit of sewing time this weekend and I got another block done for my Halloweenie version of a smaller sized Swoon block.

This one is going to be the center of the quilt. The spiky pieces with the purply bat fabric has a sparkly sheen and I got some other fabrics with sparkles at Joanns the other day. Here is my layout -

I went ahead and decided on which fussy cut centers would go with the outer ring of fabrics and what will be my spiky accents. I cut all the fabrics out in hopes of getting a couple of minutes here and there to put a block together. When I start a quilt I usually just jump in and when I get about halfway done I like to put it on the design wall and make sure I like the arrangement of fabrics and color. I think this is going to be good. I tried to balance out the blocks with the darker outer ring with the ones that are lighter. I had a preponderance of darker Halloweenie fabrics.

So today is flying by and tomorrow I have an appointment and Wednesday I'm booked all day with things, hopefully I will have some stitching time on Thursday. I'd love to have all these blocks done by the end of the weekend - a slightly optimistic goal- so we'll see how it turns out.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Reflecting on a sampler for Sunday

As I took pictures of this little sampler I reflected on, in what universe did I think that doing a sampler with this much over 1 thread was a good idea? Obviously my eyesight was better than it is now. ( I have an eye exam scheduled for this week to boost my bifocals.)

This sampler is by Chessie & Me and has the unassuming name of Chessie's House #4. The stitching area measures a puny 3 inches square but packs a lot in that space.

I love the little cabin with its satin stitched logs and the over sized cat. He looks a lot like the sweet cat we had back in 2002.

There wasn't nearly enough sewing time in this weekend and the week is already packed with appointments. Hopefully I can carve out some time to play - have a great week!

carol fun

Friday, August 19, 2011

Now this is way more fun than laundry!

I am in LOVE with this block! I love sewing it up in the original Swoon size with my Kaffe Fasset fabrics and I love sewing it up in my modified size in these Halloweenie fabrics! And I can see me making another quilt with this block using some of my many Moda precuts. LOVE IT!

In between loads of laundry I got 2 more blocks made.

I always like a fussy cut center to a sawtooth star so I used some jack-o-lantern fabric that has been in my stash for years and the toothy cat with the striped ears is a Nancy Wolff fabric that I've been hoarding for years. In fact I've been hoarding it so long that I forgot I even owned it! Thanks Stephie for knowing my stash better than I do. I whined in a email that I didn't have much Halloween fabric and she reminded me that I had this piece. It has other big head creatures on it - a witch, a devil, a ghost, a skeleton and other assorted ghoulies. They will be appearing in other blocks I'm sure.

And here is my border fabric -

I got this several years ago a Joanns. I have no idea who's design it is since there isn't a single thing on the selvedge. These are BIG motifs - the jack-o-lantern if 5 inches across and the bat measures 8 inches wing tip to wing tip. I wish I could hide out in my sewing space and make the other 6 blocks but this weekend is shaping up to have lots of out of the house things I need to take care of. Oh well, the fabric will still be waiting for me next week.

Hope you have a great weekend!
Happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I can't believe this is all I have to show for my day!

I've been sewing on and off today for 8 hours -(in retrospect lots more off than on). And this is all I have to show for it.....

... a Swoon block done in Halloween fabrics. Now this isn't a hard block by any means but I have been moving in super slo-mo all day. I did redraft the block so it finishes 16" versus 24" in the pattern. Why? Because I have an idea for a Halloween quilt to hang in my family room and there is limited wall space for it. It has to finish no more than about 75" and I have a very cool fabric I want to use for the border.

However after looking at the photos I'm rethinking the idea.

This is my 2nd stab at this block. For my 1st try I used a fabric with larger random polka dots and with even a few sections sewn together it absolutely vibrated. I think it could have induced vertigo with just a glance! I switched to the smaller dotty fabric but this is still a busy block. I like busy blocks I'm just not sure about this one yet. Maybe I've spent too much time up close and personal with it today.

The big part of my problem with speed of my sewing has to do with spending too much time today with Facebook. Now I normally just give it a cursory look every day or so but today I got stopped in my tracks. There was a picture of me when I was 13!!! OMG - this was a freshman class picture posted by another member of my tiny high school class. My entire class was less than 50 students and there were 2 girls for every one boy - I'm not kidding! Small Catholic co-ed high school - a real rarity in that era. Think nuns and lots of plaid uniforms and guys who had to wear a tie to class all the time. Currently there are plans for a 40th year reunion. Obviously it will be a small group since it wasn't very big to begin with and several people have departed this earthly realm - may they rest in peace. I walked down memory lane today and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Needs more thought -

Halfway to the weekend -- can't wait! Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, August 15, 2011

My design wall on this Monday evening...

Hey, it is still Monday in this time zone! Boy the day went fast - errands, grocery shopping, laundry, making dinner, dropping off and picking up son, dealing with erpping DH (I think he may have the flu or a touch of food poisoning) - this is the first time I've sat down today. When I woke up I thought for sure there would be time for sewing today but it hasn't arrived yet - maybe after I drag out the trash cans. But I do have some pretties on my design wall - feast your eyes on these!

Three lovely Swoon blocks done in Kaffe Fasset prints. I'm really loving them.

Now the contrast in this one is a little mushy in the lower left quadrant but I'm going to leave it. I figure that it will make me look more carefully at the rest of my fabric choices and be sure that my "hot color" choices are really really hot and the cools are really cool. I loved the swirly shapes in this "hot" fabric and didn't clearly see the cool portions. Oh well, it will add to the character of this quilt.

Did you notice how clean my design wall still is? It makes me happy when I look at it and it isn't cover with threads and dust. Well, off to put my feet up for a bit.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A sampler for a sleepy Sunday

Well now that I'm awake (I took a 3 hour nap - it was wonderful!) I have a sampler to show for this Sunday. This is Happy Hearts Sampler by Birds of a Feather.

The finish date on this one is 2002 - a nice symmetrical number! I love that this sampler had lots of places for initials of special people in my life. First off the heart that has the initial CMD was serendipity as it was graphed this way and these are my sainted grandmother's initials. The P. F. refers to my dear mother and I decided that M in the heart stands for mothers.

The C and N in the joined hearts are my sons' initials and my initials are tucked in under the giant tulip and heart on the left hand side. There are so many wonderful motifs in this sampler. I LOVE those hands with the hearts and the enormous birds and all the heart and flowers. But the one thing this sampler didn't include was a house - soooooo, I tucked one under the flower in the upper right corner under the big 4 heart flower and above the gentleman's head. I felt that this made the sampler truly my own.

On the framing front the sampler I thought was going to require a second mortgage ended up only costing $70! I was very happy. My plan was to get a wide molding but when I saw it next to the sampler it was too much - it over powered the stitching. I chose a medium width frame that is very simple but I think it will look very nice. It should be ready in a week or so.

As I said on Friday, I sewed a little (made some quilt blocks), I knitted a little (worked on 2 different socks) and stitched a little (I'm enjoying stitching the BBD Willow House chart), but I think I spent more time napping than any other activity. Both yesterday and today included a rather lengthy sleep in my stitching chair. I don't know if it was the weather (we did get some rain) or just that I needed it but it was enjoyable. Hopefully I'll be a bit more productive as the week progresses.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, August 12, 2011

Being a "horrible warning" continued

Oh you came up with some wonderful suggestions for using my single solitary socks - sock puppets, very clever, or just pick two and wear them as a "pair" very cutting edge. Now I have no problem wearing mismatched socks as long as they are both the same weight yarn, but if they aren't I have this "princess and the pea" sensory thing going and I feel like I'm leaning to one side if one sock is thicker than another -- I know this makes no sense but I've never been called the most rational of people. The sock puppet idea is just the ticket for some of the butt ugly ones. You can improve almost anything with googly eyes - LOL!

But the cold hard facts are I really don't need to wear mismatched pairs of socks at all because I have lots of hand knit socks -- LOTS AND LOTS of hand knit socks. And here is the shameful evidence.....

this drawer is huge and it holds about 50 pairs of hand knit socks at the moment. The drawer is about 22 inches wide and even deeper than it is wide. It is an vintage dresser I rescued from my sainted grandmother's attic about 22 years ago. It is huge and made of solid wood and weighs at least a ton. Moving men hate this dresser and every time it has been moved it has involved a long flight of stairs.

Anyway as you can see I have lots of socks, and as the picture tells the tale I'm very fond of striped socks. All of these socks and a bunch more I've given away have been knit in the last 3 years or so. Can you tell I really took to sock knitting? I love socks because they are portable. I never leave the house without a sock project in my bag. And sock yarn is always so reasonable in price. I've paid anywhere from $5 for yarn for a pair to my most decadent purchase of cashmere sock yarn which was about $26. But oh the fun you can have for that price! I obviously don't need anymore socks but what does that have to do with it? I will continue to knit socks forever and ever and ever and ever and ever.

It is a good thing that my vices are not illegal, or immoral, however they aren't always inexpensive - but hey, two out of three ain't bad.(credit to Meatloaf). So remember if you can't be a good example, you will have to serve as a horrible warning. And that is your reminder for today.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead of you. I'm planning on sewing and stitching and knitting!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A public service announcement...

If you can't be a good example, you'll have to serve as a horrible warning. This message is brought to you by the "horrible warning". On Saturday I was at Sock Club at Lambikins Hideaway when one person (and you know who you are) expressed concern that she had 6 socks going at the same time. Mind you this is only 3 pairs as she is knitting 2 at a time. Now I assured her that this was not a cause for worry because socks are small and that lots of sock knitters start multiple pairs. So I went home and dug through my basket of partially finished projects, each one hermetically sealed in a ziploc bag, and found the chorus line of solitary socks shown below.

I knew I had a lot of pairs started but I didn't realize exactly how many it was. I believe a bad memory can be a good thing in certain instances and this is one of them. To be honest this doesn't include ALL the pairs I have started since a couple are so butt ugly I know I'll never finish them (and I wonder why I ever started them and persevered to finish one sock). And one solitary sock is out in the car and I'm too lazy to go out and get it.

Also I thought more of them were just plain vanilla stockinette socks, when in fact more are patterned socks.

Here are some close ups - Feather & Fan with a primarily green hand dyed yarn and Charade with Gale's Art Crayon Box yarn. I like the colors of this yarn in the skein but knitted up I think it is looking like clown barf - sorry for that mental picture.

Carolina with yellow/white hand dyed yarn, No Purl Monkey with Lorna's Laces in Carol Green, and I have no clue what this pattern is in Regia Crazy Color. Now there is a cryptic post it note in the bag with this sock giving me a repeat of the pattern and I assume that every other row is just plain knit. What I do remember is that the color was called Crazy Chris and since that is one of my sons' names, that is the reason I bought it. Wouldn't you buy it for that reason? Oh well, maybe you wouldn't. I like that bargello pattern the stripe makes but this sock may be a bit much even for me - and that is saying a lot since my favorite colors are brights. It may never find a mate-I apologize to you lonely little sock!

Okay, the plain vanilla socks -

From left to right, Deborah Norville Serenity yarn, Red Heart Heart & Sole (I think this is correct but there isn't any post it note in the bag), Paton Kroy Jacquards, and finally Regia Design Line "Random Stripe" by Kaffe Fasset.

It is the last sock that started this whole chain of events. This yarn had just arrived at the shop and I had to find out what it looked like knit up, so I bought the yarn and another pair of 2.75 mm 40" circular needles (my favorite size and I have a bajillion of these already residing in a comatose state in partially knitted socks). I like this yarn. Regia is easy to knit and washes and wears with no special attention. I think the sock looks like it has been knit up with odds and ends left over from other projects - kinda funky but it works. Now this is the only color(it is called Snappy) in this series that looks like this- check these out. I think I'll do a pair in another colorway too, because you can never knit too many socks.

Well, I hope this post has made someone out there feel better about the number of solitary socks languishing in their homes and to reiterate "if you can't be a good example, you'll have to serve as a horrible warning." This "horrible warning" embraces her position in the knitting cosmos.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Another bargain framed sampler for Sunday

I am on a bit of a roll with inexpensive framing. I framed this one myself with a 5 X 7 tabletop frame I picked up at Joanns for half price, so it was less than $4. This sampler is Gathering Basket by Blackbird Designs.

I stitched this on a piece of greeny blue linen I had in my stash. I have no idea what it is called, but it is pretty. I liked this framed for its bronzy shimmer that picks up the browns in the bird. This should have been a real quick stitch but I started it and then put it down and got distracted by other pieces and well you know the story - crafty ADHD. But now it is done. And I got another BBD piece done. This is My Quaker House.

It is from the booklet, With Needle and Thread, 2007. I think this is out of print since I couldn't find it online. Glad I have it in my library. I'm thinking a frame with some gold tones would be nice with this one.

And since I was so productive (LOL- yes I am delusional), I started another BBD sampler, Willow House. I have a beautiful piece of 28 ct. pumpkin colored linen and I'm making a couple of color changes. My house is going to be a lovely yellowy gold instead of gray. This one has been on my "want to stitch" list for quite a while and it's time has come.

I need to make a trip to Joanns this week for more framing but I doubt I can keep my streak of inexpensive framing going. I have a BIG sampler, my Beatrix Potter Quaker Sampler, that I envision with a wide molding which couldn't possibly be a cheap proposition. I had been waiting for a 65% off coupon to take this one in and there is one in the flyer today. I think I'll have fortify myself with chocolate for the total on this one.

Hope you have a productive week ahead. I have lots of things I want to do but we'll have to see where my attention wanders - this sampler, that quilt, or another knitting project (I bought more sock yarn yesterday). So many projects to chose from!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What I was suppose to be doing.... and what I did!

Yesterday I got up and told myself that I would get my son's two pairs of suit pants hemmed before the day was over. But first I got a bit sidetracked... you know the crafty ADHD just overcame me and I'm easily swept away, dontcha know!

I've been wanting to make some of those adorable mini-boards that Lori Holt showed on her blog, Bee in my Bonnet, and I dove into that project.

As you can see mine are all dotty and Big Dude is keeping a sharp eye on them. I should have gotten 6 out of a sheet of foam core board but the first one I did was a mess. I burned my finger on the glue gun and my hot melt glue oozed out all over the place and it looked nasty. So I rummaged around under my cutting table where various sundry items reside and found some glue - Fabri-Tac by Beacon Adhesives.

The first line of copy on the back of the bottle says "throw away your glue gun" - -well I'm not throwing it away yet but I will use this glue again. It sets up quickly and you don't burn your fingers and since it has an acetone base I swear you can get a contact high while you work - maybe that's why I was so happy! LOL!

Even though these mini-boards are only 10" square they work well for doing big blocks too. This is part of one of my Swoon blocks.

It was easy to take the pieces from my design wall to the sewing machine and keep them in order. And I was so productive that I made this block -

my second one for Swoon. Again I love it! That orangey pinky print is a giant overblown tulip so pretty.

As for my son's suit pants... well they did get hemmed..... about 10pm last evening. Hey, better late than never.

Hope your week is moving along nicely. Happy stitching!
carol fun

Monday, August 1, 2011

A clean design wall for Monday

As I said on Saturday there was a cosmic convergence of time and motivation last week that resulted in my cleaning up my sewing area. The re-configuration of the grid shelving and the clean new design wall make me feel so energized. From previous photos you could tell how absolutely dusty and yuckky my design wall had gotten. It is just a piece of Warm & Natural batting that I adhere to the wall with double stick poster tape and push pins. Low tech but it works.

So to christen my new design wall I made a block on Saturday - a great BIG block! This is the first block I'm doing with the pattern Swoon by Thimble Blossoms.

I dived into my stash of Kaffe Fasset and Phillip Jacobs prints- bright and big scale!

And I have to say I did swoon when I finished this block - I LOVE IT! I can't wait to make 8 more. I was determined to use fabrics I already own and I'm almost getting by with it. The background is a yellowy/greeny tone on tone with a floral spray and little birds here and there. I have 3 yds of it and the pattern calls for 4 1/4 yd. soooooooo..... I went online and Fabric Shack had it and it was reduced in price! Yes! So how much do I order? 1 1/4 yds that I'm short? or 5 yds? Yeah - I ordered 5 yds. (insert hanging head in shame and momentary guilt- ok I'm over it!) I figure this way I can make the borders wider if I want and I'll still have some in my stash for another quilt. It was a bargain at less than $6 a yd and with Fabric Shack's low shipping it was cheaper to buy online than drive up and pick it up which would have meant that other fabric would have come home with it. Soooooo I am being very virtuous! LOL - I told you I could justify anything!

Happy stitching-
carol fun