Monday, October 20, 2014

Math issues (again) on Design Wall Monday

So remember that yellow Halloween quilt I had on my design wall the last time I was here...well it is gone with the wind - literally. I was straightening up my sewing studio and I turned on the fan, cause I was working up a sweat don'tcha know, and I wasn't paying attention, and the fan blew the blocks onto the floor - arggh!! I figured this was God's way of telling me that there was no way I was getting this quilt done before Halloween, so I might as well sweep it away and move onto other projects...and I listened...this time.

Onto a NEW project-I was quite productive this weekend making these crazy pieced blocks. The fabric line is a new one by Lily Ashbury called Fancy and it is wonderful! Pretty,bright, saturated colors and interesting prints! I made 28 blocks.

Ahem, there is a little problem... the pattern calls for 30 blocks - 18 plus 12 equals 30. Not 28. Some how I added 18 plus 12 and got 28 - I don't know how I ended up with that number. I even have a calculator on my cutting table... but I didn't use it as that equation is second grade math - sheesh. So after making the 28 blocks I still needed 2 more and it took more time to make 2 than it did to make a stack of 6.

Now I in my defense I don't actually have a complete pattern to follow. I am making the Moda Love Layer Cake Quilt that all the designers made about a month ago - this one. I can't seem to get a picture of the layout to show up here so just click and look at the pdf.

However, I want to make one that is one similar to the one  Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts did. This one...

I think the crazy quilt version is WONDERFUL! I couldn't find any explanation of how Edyta made these blocks but I assumed I could figure it out myself... now let us analyze that statement - I can't add two 2 digit numbers correctly but I'm going to figure the block out myself -oh yeah. Well, I looked closely and saw that each full block had 8 fabrics in it. I assumed that was because a stack of 8 is about all one wants to rotary cut at one time. I'm familiar with the Stack, Shuffle and Slide technique where you stack the fabrics, cut the fabrics and then shuffle the piles so you don't get two of the same fabrics in each block. And off I went...

The first group of blocks were like this - 8 different fabric in each block.

The next group started with 8 fabrics but I only cut the stack into 7 pieces -oh well - it still looks nice just not as scrappy.

At this point I had 16 blocks and I was operating under the premise that I needed 28 blocks so I had 12 more to go. Twelve divided by 2 is 6, see I can do 2nd grade math! So I made 2 more stacks with 6 fabrics in each one.

Ta dah!!! Twenty eight beauyoootiful blocks!! But you need THIRTY - argghh!!! I ended up making the last two with bit and pieces of the squares I still had left. They were scrappy but it involved lots of running back and forth between the sewing machine, cutting table and ironing board. I considered it my cardio for the day and then sat down and had some Ghirardelli chocolates.

So now that I do have 30 blocks, I'm onto making the half square triangle units. Tune back in on Wednesday and see what progress I make. I just found some lovely fabric in my stash for the background - yippee!  Free fabric!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Something unusual for Slow Stitching Sunday

Isn't this a pretty little sampler? It measures a petite 3" x  6".  And what pray tell is so unusual about it? It is FINISHED - LOL!

I haven't finished a piece of cross stitch in eons and it is a great feeling. This sampler is from a new series called the Quaker Bookmark from The Workbasket. This one is for August and I got it as a kit which includes silk floss. I've never used silk floss before and I was quite impressed. Such smooth stitching! Now I did learn that I have to be judicious with the amounts of floss they send in this kit. I got it from The Strawberry Sampler and they do a great job. However I screwed up a section and had to frog it and re-stitch it... and then Big Dude sauntered off with a piece and before you know it I just squeaked it out. There were 2 shades of floss in the kit and I had to change some of the motifs to the darker shade from the lighter shade it was charted, but no one will ever know... except you and I know your lips are sealed.

Anyway the kit also came with a plastic sleeve that you use to make this into a bookmark, but it met an unfortunate demise in the fact that I sat on it... and it got folded in half... and quite mangled. Oh well, I have feeling that each kit will include a plastic sleeve,but I'm not sure that's how I want to finish these. I'm thinking of making it a little cushion filled with sawdust. Could be cute.

I'm linking up with Kathy's Quilts Slow Stitching Sunday.

I think I'll go work on another little sampler and maybe I'll have something to show again next Sunday.

happy stitching-

carol fun

Friday, October 17, 2014

Knitting stuff off the needles

I have some finished projects to share today - a shawl and some socks - I'll be warm head to toes!

This shawl was an easy knit, a beginner pattern, and yet I still messed it up and had to redo the lace trim twice. I found another error as I was working in my loose ends but it is going to stay this way. The pattern is Jimi - and you can see it here on Ravelry.

I used Malabrigo Rios in the Purpuras and Arco Iris. The Purpuras came from Eat, Sleep, Knit - here - and the Arco Iris was in my stash. I bought it a while ago at Lambikins Hideaway.

The mesh lace border really dresses up this simple shawl,and yes this picture is a little blurry - sorry. The picot edge bind off is my addition to the pattern. I LOVE the way a picot edge finishes off a shawl. I don't like that it takes about 4 times as long to do as a regular bind off but it is worth the time when it looks this pretty, dontcha think? I still need to block this but it won't take much work - maybe I can get to it this weekend.

And another pair of plain vanilla stockinette socks joins it brethren in my sock drawer. The yarn is Regia in a colorway called Avenue Passion. I got it through Amazon and saw a couple more skeins here.

Sooooo what to pick up next?  I have another pair of socks started - well truth be told, I always have a least 2 or 3 pairs of socks started - I could work on any one of them. And I have a couple more shawl patterns I'd like to play with. I bought enough yarn to do 2 more of those Jimi shawls. Now I'm not sure I need 2 more but there is plenty of yarn for some other pattern. And some more yarn came home with me from Lambikins last week - hang head in shame!  There are 3 skeins of Noro Silk Garden that are calling loudly. My plan is to make this shawl - Stitch Sampler - a free pattern you can see here. I think this would make a lovely shawl to wear at my older son's wedding next April. I figure if I start now and I don't like how it turns out I still have lots of time to make something else.... but I think I'm going to like this. Now to find my stitch markers and start casting on... 225 stitches... that's a lot of counting... and we all know counting is not my forte - LOL!

happy knitting!

carol fun

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Break in the Clouds

There was a nanosecond break in the clouds yesterday and I was able to get a few pictures of my latest quilt finish. (Ignore that bit of the Halloween quilt peeking out on the right.)

This is my Soho Ziggurat quilt - the fabric is the Soho Chic line from Sandy Gervais which you can see here, and the pattern I used is Windspinner, which you can see here. I love this combination of fabric collection and pattern but what really makes this quilt is the quilting -- swoon!!!

Big Dude checked it out, up close and personal and gave the quilt a big thumbs up - ok if he had opposable thumbs he would definitely have done it!

The quilting was done by Terry Finnerty of The Walking Needle - here is a link to her Facebook page.

She covered every square inch of this quilt with gorgeous designs.

The quilting is so dense and varied that the quilt already has a lovely crinkly texture and I haven't washed it yet. She changed designs in each "step" of the ziggurat shape and that ferny vine in the pea green space is wonderful!

When I put my Halloween decorations away at the end of the month this quilt will be taking up residence on the back of my couch/quilt stand. What a striking display that will be!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, October 13, 2014

Finally, something to show on Design Wall Monday

Knock,knock...anybody home? I didn't plan on disappearing for over a week, sorry, it just happened. My crafty mojo has been lagging lately with a lot of projects started and then frogged because of one issue or another. That doesn't make for good blogging. But I did get in a mini-retreat over the weekend and that proved to be quite productive. I decided to take only one project so I would focus, a skill I'm not real adept at. And yes, maybe I did sneak a second project into the plastic bin... but I didn't touch it. I stayed on task and worked on these BOMs from Bertie's Year which I got as a Christmas present from my sons from Fat Quarter Shop - you can see all of them here.

Here are the first four months...

I decided to do as much of the stitching with my machine as possible. I used my blanket stitch with Sulky rayon thread to sew down the applique shapes and a triple stitch to do stems, and leaf veins, and bird feet and other details.

This is January. I still need to add a hand embroidered border in perle cotton and do some random snowflakes and buttons for berries.

Here 's close up and you can see that I used the triple stitch (#5 on my Janome 6500) to embroider the arm of the snowman. I added french knots for eyes and buttons and made a bow on Bertie's hood.

This is February - I LOVE that spray of bleeding hearts! Ignore that white blotch - it isn't on the block it just showed up in the picture.

This is March - I wanted to get the border of HST on it but I miscounted the fabric I brought with me and was short a couple of triangles.

Here's another close up where you can see that I combined machine stitching with hand embroidered details and I added the stripes on the bee with a pigma pen.

Isn't April cute? Love the hood with the bunny ears and the nest with the Easter eggs. Like all the others, it still needs the decorative stitched border and some buttons.

Now when I took these I thought I'd have them done in no time but boy was I wrong. Even doing things by machine it takes a while to get these done. I have a friend who is doing this project too and she is making hers into a quilt. My plan is to make each of these a removable pillow cover, so I can change it every month and have a seasonal decorative pillow to put on my couch... or maybe my bed. Either way I will enjoy them. I love the little bird in all his get-ups.

This project is all done in flannel. I haven't worked much with flannel before this project but it seems pretty easy.  Each month I get a kit in the mail and FQS is extremely generous with the amount of material they include. I have a ton of fabric leftover each month and I think by the time I'm finished I could do this whole project a second time... I could... but I'm not. I'm happy with the blanket stitch applique and I think I'll do more of this in the future. I'm not a hand applique gal. I love to cross stitch and knit and crochet but hand applique just isn't my thing. I've done it in the past and I do a pretty nice job but I don't enjoy it. Sooooo... I'm going to spend my crafty hours doing what makes me happy, happy, happy!

Hope you have a good week - they are calling for another cloudy rainy week like the last one - yuck! Well, maybe I'll stay inside and get some more crafty stuff done - I can hope!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What a Whit of a table runner!

This is my entry for this month AYOS using the Whit pattern from Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. that you can see here. Instead of a little quilt I made 60 different teeny tiny flying geese and turned them  into a table runner. I fussy cut these little guys just like I fussy cut the bigger ones I working on for my bed size Halloween quilt that I showed yesterday. If you click on the picture and make it bigger you can see spiders, eyeballs, bats, ghosts, an owl, candy corn, a mummy and even the date of Halloween - October 31 - so I don't ever forget - LOL!

Here it is from two different angles -

I wasn't sure how to quilt it as it is quite busy and then I got the idea to quilt a spider web over teeny tiny flying geese. I didn't want to mark on the front so I turned it over and sketched some lines on the back and quilted it on the back with my variegated thread in the bobbin.

It isn't real noticeable on the front but I know it is there and that's enough for me. I can't wait to put this on my dining room table. I think the polka dot pumpkin my son gave me will be the perfect topper, don 't you?

happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, September 29, 2014

My geese have changed direction on Design Wall Monday

I've had this Halloween quilt on my design wall for over a week and while I LOVE the individual geese the whole gaggle of them just left me feeling - meeeeeehhhh.... but then I was cruising Pinterest and saw a quilt with the open blocks on point and I knew that is the direction my geese should be flying in!

I don't know why it hadn't occurred to me, because I've done lots of quilts with blocks set on point and think it adds a lot to a simple design. I also decided that a little structure with the colors might add another facet... so orange geese are pointed into the orange cornerstones and black geese have nestled up to the orange cornerstones. Now I'm not certain that these are the orange cornerstones that will be in the final design. They are the best of what I have in my stash but I'm hoping a trip to Fabric Shack later today may yield a better candidate.

I'm going to use this Deb Strain Happy Howl-o-ween  text fabric for the border and there may be a little inner border too when all is said and done.

Right now I have it all on the design wall but there is a lot more sewing to do.

I like the dancing skeleton with the top hat... very dapper!

And I found Snoopy chilling on the Great Pumpkin... a great addition to the Peanuts gang.

So now I'm happy with the design, just need to tweak the fabrics here and there. I had no intention of making a Halloween quilt this year. I told myself I should make a nice Fall quilt for my bed... and I should...right after I finish this one!

happy stitching-
carol fun