Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What I'm working on this Wednesday

Thanks to every one of you who sent me positive thoughts for all the events this week so far. The funeral visitation went as well as it could and the driving rodeo on Monday went off without a hitch and the trip to Ohio State and back yesterday was a long day but had many positive elements. Last night I collapsed in a heap in my recliner where I slept soundly till 3am when my oldest son gently woke me to suggest I'd be more comfortable in my own bed -- and I was. He is such a good boy.

So today I indulged in a little knitting and a little cross stitching. I started this shawl - Charlize- but I only have a few rows done and it doesn't really look like anything yet. I'm doing the large lace with the small ruffle version.

But there is this....Boughs of Holly by Brenda Gervais of With Thy Needle and Thread.

The picture doesn't show the true colors but it does show how stinking cute it is! Of course I'm not using hardly any of the flosses it called for since I started by changing the linen it is stitched on. I found this sagey green linen in my stash. It is 32 count and has a lovely hand. I'm using a pretty creamy white for the snowman it is by Gentle Arts and is called Peach Ice Cream. I like the idea of a snowman made of ice cream - LOL!

As for the Design Wall Dilemma it is resolved --version 2 was the one almost everyone liked best and it is definitely the one I like. I see a little limey green or orange border to expand the Kaffe Fassett piece. It should turn out nice and bright and citrusy! Can't wait to stitch up some more blocks - oh so many crafty things to do, so little time.

Hope you are having a good week so far - I have tons of things I want to get done and of course I won't get them all finished but it sure will be fun trying!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, November 28, 2011

Decision Dilemma for a Design Wall Monday

I got a few more of the flower blocks done this week and up on my design wall, but now I'm in a decision dilemma as to which direction I want to take this quilt. Additionally, I have set up some parameters for myself which add to the situation- I want to make this quilt totally out of fabric I already own. I have plenty of tone on tone yellows and oodles of the white on white background fabric, so what remains are choices on the borders and the leaves for the flowers. This was the first version I "decided" on - this was after auditioning a bunch of different borders.

I'm committed to the circles in the center of the blocks. I think it makes them look more flower like- too bad they cover up the fact that my points are coming together really well. I had to really search to find the fabric for the "leaves" in this version. While my stash is large, most of my pieces are small and I need 1/2 yd of a green to do all these leaves. This green piece was just big enough.

And while I was liking the first version, I went rooting around in my stash again and found this piece of Kaffe Fassett which sent me off in a different direction.

I like the limey green leaves on this version - it is an old piece of Fossil Fern -love that dappled look.

Now this version will need an additional inside border like the first one I showed since I want to get this to be about an 80" square. I know I can find something in my stash for it - maybe a tone on tone yellow. And the more I look at this second version the more I'm leaning toward this choice. It would be brighter than my first version and I do like bright- A LOT! LOL!

The one thing I am sure of is that this is my favorite block....

Love that Hoffman floral fabric and the little cat face makes me smile!

So which version talks to you? And the fabrics do talk, you just have to be quiet so you can hear them - (don't worry I'm pre-registered for a nice padded room somewhere, someday - LOL)

Have a great day- the next 48 hours are filled with driving for me -- oh boy!
Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Star Sampler for Sunday

Today I have another sampler just back from the framers- hey, Joann's keeps printing good coupons and I keep using them, LOL! This is a Blackbird Design from their Schoolgirl Sampler series back in 2003 and it titled "Star Sampler". The Schoolgirl's series purpose was "the perfect way to begin working on overdyed linen, learning a new stitch with each chart." Since I had already done lots of stitching on linen and was acquainted with the 4-sided stitch this was a relaxing piece to stitch.

It is another small sampler, the stitching area is only 6" square. I love the swirly splotchyness of the linen. I think this simple design really shows it off. (sorry for the not so great pictures, but it is raining and the forecast is for the next 72 hours to be rain, changing to snow flurries- yuck!)

Well this upcoming week is going to be a busy one, and the older I get the less busy I really want my life to be. On the agenda - there is a funeral visitation I need to attend and I think their may be another one before the week is out (wow- that was a depressing thought- sorry). Monday has its non-stop driving events, I need to drive my brother to OSU this week for his doctor appointments which will be a long day. I need to help my youngest son get ready for this exams and on Friday we have tickets to a big comedy show- well at least the end of the week should be happy. Just thinking of all of this makes me want to take a nap - and I think I will! Isn't that what rainy Sundays are for?

Hope you have a good week-happy stitching!
carol fun

Friday, November 25, 2011

Something finished for Friday....

I have something finished for Friday besides polishing off the cranberry sauce...this pair of socks. Now I'm not sure anymore if these are cool in steampunk kinda way or just simply ugly, but they are done.

This is another pair of plain vanilla stockinette socks - the kind I always take with me to keep me occupied while waiting. Totally mindless knitting. The yarn is Regia Design Line- Random Striped Yarn and the colorway is Snappy.

Well that name is very accurate. The stripes are very random, although there is a repeat pattern and to ensure that my socks did not match (that's the way I like them) when I started the second sock I rewound the skein so the yarn would come off in the opposite pattern direction.

With this pair finished, I started another stockinette pair in a pretty new ball of Opal sock yarn - turqupise, fuschia, cheddar and off white-- very festive. I do love self striping sock yarns. Watching the pattern develop keeps me motivated. I started the second purple cable sock I showed last week, but that is a "thinking" sock, one I have to pay attention to, so I only work on it at home.

I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving, we ate our big meal at lunchtime, napped the afternoon away and then indulged in leftovers for dinner. I think I like the leftovers even more than the meal.

Okay - off to deal with some laundry and do a little cross stitch. I'm almost done with my Bent Creek Quaker Noel Row and I got a pattern in the mail today that I want to kit up and start for January - it is this cute snowman sampler from Brenda Gervais.

If you went shopping I hope you got lots of bargains - take care and happy stitching!
carol fun

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving! I'm off to take my turkey out of the oven and release the cranberry sauce from its metal containment unit! LOL - I love the jellied stuff! Feasting and napping - my kinda day!

carol fun

Monday, November 21, 2011

A finish makes me mellow for yellow on Design Wall Monday

I was able to sew for a couple of hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday - it was great! First things first.... my Dazzling Debbies quilt - it is completely sewn together!

I am very happy with the way it turned out and can't wait to send it off to my long arm quilter. Another quilt completely from my stash - so it is a free quilt, right?? (don't burst my bubble here - LOL)

And completing that quilt got it off the design wall and gave me the chance to play with these mellow yellow blocks.

Now those 36 patch blocks on the left hand side of the wall include ones I showed a couple of weeks ago and I had them set on point. However, they seem to vibrate which made me a bit quesy so I turned them. They are a bit calmer set straight and I still need to sew up a bunch more. I'd like to come up with an interesting setting for these but nothing has come to mind yet.

These half dozen yellow blocks are from the book Scrap-Basket Sensations the Flowers for Nana's Girl quilt and I have to give credit to Annie at Annie's Quilt Orts. She has sewn a wonderful quilt using yellow with this pattern and I couldn't resist doing one for me. I'm liking these set on point a lot! All of the blocks I'm sewing here use fabrics from my stash. (another FREE quilt!) I have a lovely stash of yellows since it is my favorite color. When I started the flower blocks yesterday I knew I wanted to use a white on white background. The first fabric I pulled off the shelf was a WOW polka dot but as I unfolded it there were a bunch of spots and stains that I don't know how they got there. I will have to wash it before I can cut it up. So I went searching for another fabric and found this one....

WOW tulips. I love this one and have been saving it, but I'm not sure what I was saving it for. I know that I purchased this fabric in Modesto, California. I haven't lived in Modesto for over 18 years....ummmm.... I think it is time to use it.

Okay, I'm off to run my Monday driving marathon. This week along with the trips to school for my son and his volunteer job I'm adding a trip downtown for dinner and then off to see Wicked with my niece - its going to be a jammed packed day!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A little sampler for Sunday

Sunday again.... and I have a little sampler fresh from the framers. The title is Simply 855 and it is yet another Ewe & Eye & Friends piece. This is one of the few EEF pieces I've ever seen that was charted to use just one color of floss. As I remember the 855 referred to either an Anchor or DMC color but I used an overdyed floss on this.

The stitching measures only 4 1/2 inches square but they sure packed a lot in that small space - a house, a peacock, 2 ladies, an alphabet, a butterfly, a tree, a bunny, a heart, a fruit branch, a couple of flowers, a squirrel and whatever that creature is to the left of the squirrel - maybe a chipmunk? I'm not really sure. That satin stitch border is a nice finishing touch and I do think the frame matches well.

True to my wish on Friday I have spent time knitting, sewing and stitching which were way more successful than the college teams I watched play. Bad weekend for all the teams we root for - University of Cincinnati, Purdue, Nebraska. Hope next week brings them better luck.

As for the cross stitch I got a bit more done on the Quaker Noel Row. I like how this is shaping up and of course I want it stitched and framed before Christmas. I think it is doable.

I know this week will fly by. I have my turkey breast thawing and I got most of the fixings I need at the grocery on Friday. I will need a quick trip back there probably on Tuesday for some fresh veggies and some fruit.

Hope your week is happy and not too frantic --
carol fun

Friday, November 18, 2011

Some finishes for Friday

Friday, again??? I don't know how this happens. Ok I do know, but I don't want to recognize the streaking hands of time. I did get a few things finished up this week between running hither, thither and yon, but never getting more than 10 miles from home.

First is a scarf I actually finished knitting a while ago but didn't get around to blocking till this week. It is a variation of the pattern Simmer Dim. This is the variation I used.

It is a narrow curved scarf and I knitted it in a Madelinetosh Pashmina - very soft- it has some cashmere it in. I still have enough left to knit another one. I was very pleased with my decision to do the picot edging in the gray. I like how it stands out more that way.

And then there is this sock. The pattern is called Firefly and it was in the book The Knitters Book of Socks.

This is the first time I've done cables and it wasn't hard at all. I used a cabling needle which made it pretty easy. The yarn is Heritage by Cascade and the color is Italian Plum. I got the 2nd sock started so maybe it will be a pair in another week.

And because I finished some stuff, I started something new. This is the Quaker Noel Row sampler by Bent Creek.

I've made substitutions for all of the threads they called for since their version is primarily grey. I know grey is the "in" color, but grey? for Christmas? naaayyy!So I'm using 2 different hand dyed greens, and 2 different hand dyed reds and some gold and a little brown. Much more Christmasy in my eyes.

I've got 2 of the borders on my Dazzling Debbie quilt. I want to finish it up, get it off my design wall and start another quilt. I find the best motivation for finishing up a project is that I want to start another. Just the kick in the pants I need - LOL!

Hope you have a great weekend. My plans include sewing, stitching, knitting and parking my butt in my recliner watching college football.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, November 14, 2011

Forward progress on a Design Wall for Monday

Well it is amazing how much one can get accomplished if one doesn't spend hours sitting glassy eyed in front of their laptop on Pinterest. Oh my goodness, have you stumbled into this abyss? I love it and I loathe it. I can spend forever pinning pretty pictures to my boards and telling myself how creative I'm being - LOL! After a marathon session on Friday evening/Saturday morning I gave myself an ultimatum to stay off for the weekend and to my disbelief I actually followed my own orders and this is what I have to show for Dazzling Debbies quilt - the entire center portion is sewn together.

The border on the outside still needs to be rearranged a bit before I sew it together. As for how many pieces I need, well, I'm not short anymore, in fact now I have extras. I give up on the math, I just can't make it come out even. However, the extras will let me pick and chose a bit on the border.

Here are some shots of the central section of the quilt. Lots of novelties which make me smile.

I have had a lot of fun with this quilt and the fabrics... and I felt even more creative than if I had pinned another 100 pictures to my boards. Do you know that Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet has over 12,000 pins? I don't know how she did it but oh there are some very pretty things to see on her boards. On one hand I want tell you to go and check out my boards but then I'd feel guilty about all the time you are going to spend on Pinterest. So I'm not going to instruct you to go or not to go, that is your choice, but honestly, this is an even bigger time suck than Ravelry and I wouldn't have believed that if I hadn't lost 24 hours (or more) of my life on this site already. Ok, you've been warned!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A sampler for Sunday

Well the 3 day weekend I had hoped for on Thursday didn't really materialize. My oldest son got caught up in a crisis at the office and had to work on Friday. My younger son caught a nasty cold and was miserable all weekend. So I stayed home and got a lot of sewing, stitching and knitting done instead. All in all, not a bad way to spend a weekend.

This Sunday I have another Ewe & Eye & Friends sampler which has the unassuming title of Small Sampler 7. There were 12 samplers in the series and I've done about 3 of them. This one finished about 4 1/2 inches high and 3 3/4 inches wide.

Boy there was a lot of over one stitching on this one. It is obvious to me that my eye sight was waaaaay better back in 1998. Glad I stitched it when I could still see it. I knew that some day it wouldn't be so easy.

I do love the saying "Be Not Long Away From Home" because I truly believe there is no place like home.

Hope you have a great week -happy stitching!
carol fun

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Getting sidetracked

I have plenty of quilting type sewing I could do - start assembling the blocks for my Dazzling Debbies quilt, put the binding on my Flurry quilt that is back from my long arm quilter, finish up any number of quilts I have started which are presently residing in hermetically sealed ziploc bags - but nooooooo, instead I am going to make me some pajamas!!

Now this tangent started when I saw some wonderful polka dot flannel on Stephanie's blog, Loft Creations, yesterday. She got it at Joanns and it was on sale for $2.99/yd. How could I resist??

So I went to my Joanns today and while the selection wasn't as good as at Stephanie's Joanns I did find this....

aqua flannel with red polka dots! Sweet! And I picked up a little solid red which I thought I could use for piping depending on whether it runs or not, or I could use some red rickrack. At the moment,this flannel has gone through the washer and the dryer once, but I think I'll repeat the cycle so it gets all its shrinking done now, since I doubt my body will do any shrinking after I make them.

I'm still in the hunt for another piece of polka dot flannel. I figure it would be just as easy to make 2 pairs of pajamas as one pair, so I will need to make a trip to another Joanns tomorrow. I'm sure I could couple this trip with a lunch and it will make for a lovely day.

Glad tomorrow is Friday - both of my boys have the day off -- 3 day weekend -yippee!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, November 7, 2011

A fairly full design wall for Monday

Okay, back on Friday I bemoaned my lack of math skills and cheered myself up with new fabric (and a candy bar) from Joanns. I fretted over it for a while and then I knuckled down on Saturday evening and cut out the additional squares and triangles I needed.

This is my Dazzling Debbies - taken from Dec/Jan 2012 issue of Quilt magazine. I'm enjoying using lots and lots of different fabrics from my Debbie Mumm stash.

Along with the tone on tone fabrics there are lots of novelties which I find impossible to resist.

So I thought that I had my math issues under control but yesterday I realized -again - the error of my ways! I still can't keep track of how many squares I need. I'm making the large half square triangle blocks that comprise the border and I am still 40 triangles short -- (insert banging head on design wall). I really should have paid closer attention in kindergarten.

Now I'm off to participate in the Monday driving rodeo - today I have a quilt guild meeting to throw into the event so it is going to be a busy busy day!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A sampler for Sunday

Where does the time go? and I not just speaking of the hour time change that annoys me twice a year. The weekdays go fast and the weekend go by at warp speed and before I know it, it is already Sunday evening. I missed the daylight and had to take these pictures inside so they could be better, but it is still a pretty sampler- My Quaker House by Blackbird Designs.

I'm very pleased with this frame. It is gold, but not shiny - like old gold. The little dentil molding detail sold me on this one. I love the soft colors of this piece - the rose colored house reminds me of old worn bricks.

The gold flosses were Weeks Dye Works Curry and Schneckly - I love Schneckly! such a lovely greeny gold and what a great name for this color.

I've been stitching a bit on another BBD piece and I have 2 older UFO by my stitching chair that only need a little attention and they will be done too. I dropped 3 pieces at the framers last week. Two had been stitched so long ago I don't remember when they were completed since I didn't date either one. Oh well, it will be nice to see them framed.

We're still hanging on to some nice weather here in southern Ohio. Temperatures in the 60's and sunny. It could stay like this all year round if it was up to me. I know the bad weather is inevitable and one needs to get prepared. Does buying more yarn and floss and fabric count as getting prepared? Yeah, I thought it did - LOL!

Have a great week and happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, November 4, 2011

I have the math skills of a 2 year old

Wait- that isn't fair to 2 year old children. They're just discovering numbers. Well I was so proud of myself for getting ALL the pieces of this quilt cut out. This the cover quilt, Dazzling Stars, from the Dec/Jan 2012 issue of Quilt magazine. I'm using my Debbie Mumm fabrics for this one.

With ALL my squares and triangle cut and waiting for me I figured I would push fabric through the sewing machine in a blissful stupor for hours last night. But first I started arranging some of the blocks on my design wall and it took no time at all to realize I am woefully short of several units.

I still need to cut over 50 half square triangle units and more than 60 3" square units. And since I want this to be scrappy it means I need to go back through my stacks of fabric which I neatly fold and returned to their assigned positions in my Debbie Stash. Grrrrr.... now if I had left the fabrics in a heap on the floor I'll bet I wouldn't be short any pieces. The amounts I have left to cut bear no resemblance to what I needed. It isn't like I forgot to cut half or a quarter of what I needed, I'm just short these random amounts. And I counted as I cut and left myself little hash mark notes, so as far as I can tell it isn't that I can't add or subtract, I can't count!!

Oh well to cheer myself up I made a trip to Joanns and found these...

a new Denyse Schmidt line call Daisy Mae. I haven't seen them anywhere on the web or heard anything about this line. There were 16 bolts at my Joanns. I didn't get all of them because a couple didn't talk to me (they talk to you too, don't they?). But I did get 3 yards of that green on the left - love it!

Have a great weekend-
carol fun

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Did you know Honey Badgers can climb trees?

Well the actual honey badger can't (this nugget of useless information brought to you by Wikipedia),but my Honey Badger socks can perch in a tree with assistance. This is a free pattern on

The yarn is a honey colored Lorna's Laces called Butterscotch. I love the color and the feel of this yarn. The pattern has a lacy look and when you put them on...

it takes on a cabled appearance. (Side note: It is hard taking pictures of your own feet. particularly when you don't want to reveal that you should have shaved your legs.)

Knitting these socks spurred a couple of nights cruising Ravelry where I downloaded a bunch of new sock patterns. After studying the sock patterns I realized that most of them looked best is solid or semi-solid yarns. So that necessitated some online shopping, and these darlings arrived on Monday.

The ones on the left are Cascade Heritage. I got 3 of them wound into cakes last night. The two skeins on the right are more Lorna's Laces and the ball in the middle was a pain in the rear. This is a skein of The Sanguine Gryphon Bugga yarn in the Oleander Nymph colorway. It has 20% cashmere and it the most expensive skein of yarn I have ever bought. I seen lots of reviews of people raving about this yarn and I expect it to knit up beautifully but getting it from its skein configuration to a cake or in this case a ball took over an hour. As soon as I put it on my swift I could see it was going to be a problem. I ended up winding it by hand from the swift and I has 2/3 of it wound before it would come off the swift without major maneuvering. I was too tired after fighting this one to wind the rest of them - a project for another evening.

Now I just have to decide what pattern and what yarn to knit up next. A decision I much prefer to the daily "what are we having for dinner?" decision.

Hope you are having a good day - mine just got better because I've decided we are going out for dinner.

Happy stitching-
carol fun