Friday, November 27, 2015

One holiday to go...

Hello... did you have a nice Thanksgiving? I certainly did. We celebrated at my son's and daughter-in-law's home ...their first Thanksgiving as a married couple...and there was lots and lots of good food and great company. We ate a 1pm and I spend the rest of the day in a food is nice to slow down that way every once in a while. I'm usually go go going all the time. Yesterday evening I just sat and read...didn't knit or cross stitch or anything crafty...and it was a lovely break from my routine.

And now we all run headlong into Christmas. I have family members who are big Black Friday shoppers, and others like me who will try to do as much of their shopping as they can online. Now I do sometimes wish that there was more time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I like the way the Canadians do it... Thanksgiving is the second Monday in October...that gives you lots more time to do the big holiday meal all over again at Christmas. But then a family member who wondered... how do people in countries that don't celebrate Thanksgiving when we do know when to start Black Friday shopping? (This member is in the big Black Friday shopping contingency if you didn't guess). I don't know what they do but somehow everyone seems to shop for Christmas. Today I am planning to avoid all the big retail stuff...lunch with a friend...maybe pop into my favorite quilt store...they have dollar fat quarters today...but that will be all the retail for me.

This last week did see me finishing another pair of my version of rag rug socks...

These are Drops Fabel 901 and 151. I used a solid plum for the heels and I was going to do the toes in the plum too but I just got swept up in those wonderful little stripes and couldn't stop myself...LOL

And since my needles were empty for a nanosecond I started another pair of ragrug socks...these are looking quite Spring-y...

The yellow is a ombre Austermann  that has been in my stash for a while, and the multi color skein is Red Heart Heart & Sole in the Jellybeans colorway...I picked it up at Hobby Lobby. I have some other knitting I'm working on too but it is super secret Christmas knitting so no pictures right now.

Hope that you are having a nice weekend...I'm going to chill as much as possible.

happy knitting-
carol fun

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving...

Hope your day is as happy as these little guys!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

It's beginning to look a bit like Christmas...

Well another week has blown right by me...I blame not posting on life and laziness... there was plenty of both in last week. Anyway I did do a little sewing and I actually remembered to take pictures, so maybe there is some hope for me. Now we aren't going to talk about the large stockpile of UFO's I have lurking in my sewing room, instead we are going to focus on a bit of Christmas just in time for the upcoming holiday.

I've been wanting to do this pattern - Diamond Dash from Missouri Star - since it was published back in October. You can watch the video here. It takes a layer cake and 1 1/2 yds fabric for the "diamonds" and the sashing. Here's what I have laid out on my design wall.

The color in this picture isn't great... the close-ups below are truer to reality. The fabric is Tole Christmas by Gina Martin and you can see it here. I'm using an olive green Grunge fabric for the diamonds and the sashing.

There are some lovely prints in this collection...

I think I will use the red print with the white poinsettia for my outer border. In fact, I ordered some this morning from my favorite shop, Fabric Shack.

I have to sew the rows together but the individual units sewed up quickly. I used my Folded Corner Clipper to do the snowball corners. I like using this tool as I have the trimming done before I sew the corner on. Once it is sewn all I have to do is press it in place and it is done. Easy peasy.

I'll be linking up with Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday and Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday...a day or two late and hopefully not a dollar short.

So are you prepped and ready for tomorrow? We are celebrating the holiday at my older son's home, a mere two blocks from my house. That makes it convenient as I'm bringing (by request) a prime rib roast, my stuffing and pasta salad. There will also be turkey and trimmings supplied by my dear daughter-in-law's father and grandmother. It should be quite the feast. Gobble till you wobble...LOL!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Shuffling along...

Have you heard about the Moda Sampler Shuffle? It is a lovely sampler QAL where 2 or 3 blocks are added every week. You can read about it here. Now I got to thinking about when was the last time I made a sampler quilt and it dawned on me that I've only ever  made one... the very first quilt I ever made was a little baby quilt with every block different. I made that one 30 years ago....whoa...time flies! That was the beginning of my quilting career... fueled by hormones and pregnant with my first child in my fantasy life I  wanted to bake bread, raise chickens and make quilts.  In reality, I lived blocks away from the best bakery in town, I lived in the city which has strigent restrictions on livestock...darn dashed dreams. That only left quilting...boy I'm glad I could make that wish come true! LOL

I really like the layout of this finished quilt (don't over look that page)  and pondered for a couple of days what fabrics to use... American Jane...Kaffe and white...and then my sewing buddy Stephie suggest the Mon Ami collection. Great idea as I had gifted myself a FQ pack of this line for my birthday... I give the bestest gifts don'tcha know...LOL!

Oh is it so hard to untie that ribbon... did you see that it is a tape measure? Not sure it is accurate. But you can't make an omelet if you don't crack a few eggs and you can sew unless you cut into the fabric. So far I have 3 blocks FQS is releasing 2 blocks a week but other sites like Tater Patch Quilts are releasing 3 blocks a can visit them here. So with 3 I've finished I'm either 50% up to date or 33% up to date... and either way I'm behind... gotta sew faster!

Block #1... I fussy cut that adorable bike with the baguettes in the basket and kitty on the back so when the blocks are assembled it will be upright... all the blocks are set on point.

Block #3...this one was a bit of a stinker...took me 4 tries to get those points in the middle to even remotely meet.

Block #4...easy peasy... I like that graffiti print... see the Eiffel Tower?

My "recipe" for this quilt is to try and use 3 fabrics in every block, one of which is a light. This collection has a nice selection of light fabrics and has several Grunge favorite tone on tone.

So it is a rainy day... good day to stay inside and sew...and that is my plan. Linking up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, November 16, 2015

Avant Garden Vintage Stars...

Okay, I thought I had scheduled this to post earlier today but obviously my chubby little fingers poked the wrong keys. Oh well... today I have my Avant Garden Vintage Star quilt top made from one layer cake with the addition of some background fabric.

This quilt is an extension of my obsession with Jeni Baker's Giant Vintage Star quilt (you can see her tutorial here). I've made 5 Giant Vintage Stars which you can see in this post...but I haven't got it out of my system. I wondered how large a quilt I could make if I sewed up the stars using a layer cake...and the answer is you can make 36" stars, sashed with 4" strips and the top measures 76" square. I'm going to add an outside border of 4" strips to float the stars,  boosting it to 84" square which should fit nicely on my double bed. Now the little star in the center could be made with the scraps left over from using the layer cake...however I wasn't thrilled with the fabrics I had left from the layer cake... so I used scraps that I had from another quilt I made using this same fabric line.

Isn't it cute? The polka dots and that floral print are too cute.

I used 8 different fabrics in each of these 36" stars.

When I make this quilt again...and I will... I plan to make the stars a bit smaller and have them finish about 32". Then I could float them with some sashing and add a nice sized border. I wanted to add a border to this one but to get the scale correct it would have made an enormous quilt. I'll have to settle for a nice dark binding to finish this one off.

This giant vintage star idea is a lot of fun. One star made from a layer cake (a 10" square) would make a lovely baby quilt. I love the graphic quality of these giant stars...I mean you can't go wrong with stars now can you?

At the moment my week doesn't look too busy...oh I like that... hope to have some sewing and stitching and some knitting time. Hope you have some quality crafty time in your week too!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, November 13, 2015

It was fun... and the TV shows were good too...

So last Friday I shared my latest obsession...knitting socks using 2 skeins of self striping yarn, alternating with each round... another finished sock!

This sock uses Drops Fabel 901 and 151... I love how the greens meld together and how you get little bitty stripes. I used Drops 104 for the heels. I was going to do the toes with that plum-y yarn too but I was so carried away by the striping I just couldn't stop myself... is a good thing that this vice is legal!

Here is a pick of Helene's sock doing the two stripe ragrug method...

Similar yet different... I have to say knitting with the two yarns has kept me very focused... I didn't have a thought about starting a new combination and happily cast on the second sock. I took what was left of the skeins from the first sock and wound each into a ball so the yarn would knit off in the opposite order of the first sock. I figure this ensures I have non-matching socks...fraternal twins not identical.

I'm already down to the heel on the second sock... with any good TV watching this weekend I'll have this one done in no time.

And as for the TV shows on Sunday night overall very enjoyable. Was surprised at the winner of the Great British Baking Show... I thought for sure Kimberly would win but Frances was wonderful too. I'm sad that is was the last episode of the season for Home Fires...I really LOVE this one. I've read there will be a second season which is great since I need to find out what happens all the wonderful women in this show.  I  purchased the book this series is based on...Home Fires:The Story of the Women's Institute in the Second World War. Only read a couple of pages so far. As for Indian Summers there is one more episode this Sunday. I liked this one when it started but as it has progressed I'm not as enamoured with it. The costumes and locations are wonderful but I'm not fond of a lot of the characters. I checked the guide and this Sunday they are re -running Downton Abbey Season 5.  Definitely good sock knitting TV.

Hope you have a great weekend... I don't have anything planned except for dinner on Sunday. It is a bit chilly and I'm thinking chili and cornbread would be excellent.

happy knitting...
carol fun

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Thank you...thank you...thank you....

I'm so glad I was paying attention yesterday before I deleted all the mail in my spam folder, as there was a very exciting email from Amy Ellis of the Blogger's Quilt Festival. I had forgotten about the voting part of the festival and was very surprised to find out that my version of the APQ's Go 4 It QAL, which was in the April 2015 of American Patchwork & Quilting, was awarded a prize... oh my goodness...I'm a winner... I'm a winner... (oh no that sounds a bit like Sally Fields  "you like me speech) ...well my quilt is a winner...

The top vote getter in the category which you can see here, was also a Viewer's Choice winner. It is a wonderful version of the Jen Kingwell's "My Small World" quilt which Cindy Weins interpreted as "A Day at Disneyland".   It is a quilt after my own heart using lots and lots of novelty fabrics. Definitely check it out... a feast for the eyes.

My quilt was the runner up in the category but since Cindy's quilt also won a Viewer's Choice award I was made the winner in this category... and it made my day...heck it made my whole week...LOL! Thank you to everyone who voted for my quilt. You showed it more attention than I did... with my typical ADD behavior,  I had totally  forgotten the voting part of the festival and didn't think to mention it here on the blog. I'm just happy that the quilt turned out as I envisioned and playing with lots of low volume novelty prints was so much fun...another way to work in interesting things to look at that you don't see at first glance which I will use again.

Thank you all for voting for my quilt... my prize package includes  fat eighth bundle from Moda Fabrics... oooooohhhh... I can't wait to see what I get.

happy stitching-
carol fun