Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Sampler for Sunday and...

I finished a pair of socks too! For this Sunday I chose another small house sampler by Ewe & Eye & Friend. It aptly titled "The Red House Sampler".

I stitched up a lot of these little pieces and I still love the look of them.

This one included a nice assortment of decorative stitches that were fun to do and I think the little birds and hearts are a sweet touch.

And this week I finished another pair of socks. These are knit with Blue Moon yarn Socks that Rock.

The colorway is called Count Cluckula and the allusion to poultry made me pick it. Hey that's as good a reason as I could think of. With these plain vanilla stockinette socks I usually complete about one sock a week. I keep my knitting with me as much as possible and whenever I have a minute or two I knit. All those stitches add up over a week's time and before you know it you've finished a sock. The one sock syndrome occurs when I have multiple skeins started at the same time---like this week. I started a pair of socks for a friend and then I got a new skein of yarn for me and I had to start both to see how the striping would play out. So give me a couple of weeks and I'll have 2 more pair finished.

Thanks for all the nice oooohhhhs and aaaaaahs about the pincushions. They were so fun to do. Check back this week - I'm planning a giveaway that will include a pincushion and a cute little pair of scissors I picked up the other day at a LQS.

Well it is pouring rain here and thundering and lightening to beat the band, so I'm going to wrap things up. I hope that Spring is just around the corner for all of us and that we all have some creative time in the coming week.

Happy stitching -
carol fun

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I believe pincushions are.....

the potato chip of the quilting world - you can't have just one! And you can't make just one when you buy a 10 quart bag of crushed walnut shells. Here is a group shot of the pincushions I've made this week. Remember to oooooohhhhh and aaaahhhhh...

I saw one of these online and jumped in to figure it out. I took a highly technical approach (that's a joke since I'm the antithesis of technically savvy) and plopped the bowl that was sitting on my cutting table over and traced around it. Now it was a pretty good sized bowl but I figured that was a good thing since I would lose a bit when I sewed the wedges together. The first ones I stitched up using some charm squares I had of the Meadowsweet collection.

These are about 6" across. I liked the kinda retro modern look of these fabrics and the cheerful colors.

I used a variegated Valdani perle cotton to tie the sections and stitch around the outside edge. It was a lot of fun going through my stash of buttons to make a stack to top these off. And then I wanted to see how they'd turn out if I made the wedges I a little smaller. I trimmed down the wedge and was able to get 2 pieces out of charm square for these pretties. They are about 5" in diameter.

The fabrics are a Moda line, Charisma by Chez Moi. I wish I had gotten more of this line. I made a quilt of if it and I'd love to have another -oh well, lesson learned, buy it when you can.

And then I decided to cut up some of the brights that were sitting in a pile and put this one together - all citrus colors.

I think this stack of buttons came out well. And with that one finished I turned to my batik stash and picked these jewel tones.

Isn't' that a great button? I think I got it at Joanns. And then I made one for me...

all dotty fabrics. I think the black button stack and the black stitching on the side really set it off. Soooooo what will I do with all these beauties? Well I have a couple of friends in mind for some of them or I could always just leave them on the front seats of people's cars like a overabundant crop of zucchini in the summertime. After making these and some more chicken pincushions (darn I forgot to take a picture - check back this week) I still have a lot crushed walnut shells... A LOT. The bag doesn't seem to get much smaller so I guess I'll be making more pincushions. I have a pattern for pincushions that look like little pies and my friend Laurey dropped off some fruit fabrics she had left over from a quilt. that would be perfect. And there is another pattern for a pair of cactus pincushions that is adorable too. So I guess I'll put the rest of those walnut shells to good use.

So which pincushion do you like best?
Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Sampler for Sunday...

but no socks this week. It was a busy week -but back to this sampler. It is by Ewe & Eye & Friends and is called Summer Bungalow.

Now how do I know the name of this piece? Weeeeeellllll - I almost bought this graph again last week. Yep, I was perusing different cross stitch websites and thought "oh I like that sampler". Yeah, I like it so much I already stitched it. Sheesh - I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree. Thank goodness I went and looked at my row of samplers in my basement family room and there it was.

It really is a simple piece - not a lot of decorative stitches but I like how pretty this little piece looks in the wide frame. I stitched this up with Anchor flosses. Looking at this piece makes me want to start a nice easy simple sampler. I have a couple of graphs in my stash that are calling my name. Maybe I can pull some threads tonight and kit one up. That would be a nice finish to this crazy weekend.

I hope that you find some time to do something crafty this week.
Happy stitching-

carol fun

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A beautiful day in the neighborhood....

or at least a beautiful day in the backyard. (thanks to Mr. Rogers) The sun was shining and the temperature hit mid 60's. It was a glorious tease of a day. I know that it is still mid-February and we are very probably gonna get another dump or two of snow but today is the kind of day that makes it possible to soldier on to Spring. I took advantage of the weather to haul a couple of quilts I've finished outside and take some pictures. The first quilt is my Kitchen Sink quilt from Scrapbasket Surprises by Kim Brackett.

As you can see mine got much larger than the one in the book. It topped out at around 95" square. My oldest son has claimed it since it is big enough for him to wrap up in. And this close up shows ome of my favorite blocks...

This guy reminds me of our cat Big Dude and it shows the great texture after being washed. All of the fabric in this quilt is Debbie Mumm and it all came out of my stash including the backing, so I consider this to be a free quilt. KWIM?? Yeah, you know I'm deluding myself but it lets me hold onto whatever little sanity I still have. Anyway, I love this overall swirly pattern my long arm quilter, Cass, used. And she knows I love variegated colored thread.

The second quilt uses the "Off Kilter" pattern in the Anka's Treasures book Livin' Large.

As I remember, the fabric was a Moda line, Wonderland by Momo. I love prints of the scissor and the polka dots that have dots and the dot that looks like an aqua blue lady bug. I used the scissors fabric on the back too.

And coincidentally this quilt has the exact same swirly quilting pattern and uses a variegated thread - oh I am too predictable - LOL!

Well tomorrow is suppose to be another lovely day here in southwestern Ohio, but I have other obligations which will keep me from any sewing tomorrow. I'm looking forward to some more sewing time this weekend. I've been working on the SNW UFO that's been on my design wall and I have almost all the blocks sewn into rows. Sewing the rows to each other will take some time since there are a lot of points that will have to be matched but it is looking good.

Hope the weather is nice in your neighborhood. Happy stitching!
carol fun

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope your day is sweet in every way! Here is a little (2 3/4" square) sampler I just finished. The graph is entitled "From the Heart" and is by Kris'Stitches. This is just one of the many little pieces done in memory of Kris Stott, a founder of Norden Crafts. Check out the link for more information.

I had hoped to frame this little darling myself and went to Hobby Lobby on Saturday to pick up a frame. I found 2 that said they had a 3 X 3 inch opening -- ummm.... I found out that this is just an approximation. Both frames really only had a opening of barely 2 3/4 inches - too small -- arghh!!! So I'll be back at Hobby Lobby this week to try again.

And here is the card I made for today - a plaid heart and a googly eyed monkey - doesn't that just say "sweetheart" to you? Oh, it doesn't? Well it works for me - LOL! Happy Valentine's Day!

carol fun

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Heartfelt Sunday Sampler...

Oh I've been saving this one for this Sunday and it is A Gift From My Heart!

As you can see from the date I stitch this one up over 12 years ago and from the first time I saw it, it tugged at my heart. Notice there is no house -- oh my goodness, this was a big departure for me back then. I don't remember if it called for the olivey green linen or if it was my choice. I'd like to take credit for it! I used overdyed flosses and I love the variations in shades and tones.

However as I looked at this close up today I think her eye is a bit too low -hmmm...why didn't I see this before? Looking through the lens of a camera is certainly a different perspective. Well, mutant eye or not I like her! I don't have a clue who designed this piece and I know I've said this waaaaayyy too many times - sorry! But this whole process has gotten me to write down what I do remember on the backs of the frames, so I won't forget again, I hope.

And don't expect this every Sunday (even though I pulled it off last week too) but I finished another pair of socks. These are knitted with yarn from Blue Moon Fibers and is their Socks that Rock lightweight.

The colorway is called Crabby McCrabbypants -- funny, huh?? I don't know where they get the names for their colors but I enjoy the craziness of it.

They have nice stitch definition and a subtle sheen - very smooshy and comfortable. I did get a little work in on the owl and chicken pincushions but they are all still in pieces so no pictures today. And I got the binding on 2 quilts -yippee! If the weather is as nice tomorrow as it was today - 40's and sunny - I'll take them outside and get some pictures to show you.

Hope your Valentine's Day is happy and that it involves chocolate! Happy stitching -

carol fun

Friday, February 11, 2011

One of these things is not like the other.....

oh, one of these guys just isn't the same. Do you see her? Upper left hand corner...

there - what's that chicken, that polka dot chicken doing hanging out with these owls? hmmmmmm.... I need to investigate. Where did this all start? Well it began with the latest issue of the magazine International Quilt Festival - Quilt Scene. I was taken by the bright orange quilt on the cover and there down in the lower left hand corner were the cutest little owls. I'm sure you can guess where this lead...

first there was this guy. Love the purple and turquoise combination. And then...

there was this fellow. I wish I gotten a better shot of the Kaffee Fassett button fabric on his wings- but either way he's cute too. I had fun playing with the pattern and adding my own touches. I found some variegated Valdani perle cotton in my stash and I love how it worked for the eyes. Again, my crafty worlds combined and I used my Cuttleubg to die cut the felt for the eyes. And speaking of eyes, my older son looked at these little guys ( and after shaking his head and softly sighing and wondering how much it was going to cost to keep me in a "special" wing of the elder care facility in my future) suggested that they needed little wiggly, googly eyes. Yes they did! Of course I found a bag of them in my stash - it pays to buy things you just know you'll need someday! They were the perfect finishing touch! After sewing up these guys I went to bed and that's when it hit me..... I could make a CHICKEN and not just any chicken a POLKA DOT CHICKEN!!! I was so excited I almost peed my pants (lets not discuss incontinence today, okay?) Anyway here's what I came up with...

Isn't she the cutest little polka dot chicken? Now felt does not come in polka dots, imagine that? So I made my own polka dot felt using my rubber stamps --again a sublime combination of crafty worlds. I had to move on to other projects this week so I haven't gotten back to these guys but I know I'm going to make more of both the owls and the chickens. They're just too stinking cute!

Happy stitching!
carol fun

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A sampler for Sunday and socks too!

I can't believe I'm actually making this post so early on a Sunday - hey this is early for me - LOL! Again this week I'm not certain of the name of this sampler but I'm pretty sure it was a Ewe & Eye & Friends piece.

I am sure that I love this quote. It is by Oliver Wendell Holmes, a Supreme Court justice, an interesting fun fact supplied by my son, the lawyer. I stitched on a lovely rose colored linen.

I'm particularly fond of this little dog. Isn't he cute? And here are the socks I finished on Wednesday.

These are knitted with Opal sock yarn, from the Hundertwasser collection. This one is called Use Public Transportation - Save the City. The Hundertwasser is a line of sock yarn is inspired by the works of Friedensreich Hundertwasser, an Austrian painter and sculptor who embraced bold colors and I do love the colors.

I love how Opal makes yarn that knits up looking like you did a lot of stranded color work but all you did was knit knit knit. And I like how you get stripes of different widths too. I think Opal is my favorite sock yarn for plain stockinette socks. I knit the first sock and then I take the remaining yarn and wind it into a ball so the stripes are in the opposite rotation from the first sock so they are similar but different and they don't match - I love that!

Well off to lunch - hope you have a great week with lots of stitching time. Oh and enjoy the Super Bowl - I love the commercials and the music acts.

carol fun

Saturday, February 5, 2011

When crafting worlds collide.....

Well this week I've been dabbling in lots of different things and as a result I don't have a lot finished that I can show. And some of what I have finished are presents which need to wing their way across the cold Midwest before I can show them. But I do have a little I can share- handmade cards that combine paper and fabric and sewing and buttons and well, you get the idea.

I made these cards as thank yous to my quilty friends for the wonderful Christmas gifts I received. Luckily they don't deduct friendship points for my tardiness but then I contend that creativity can't be rushed (doesn't that sound better than "hey, I procrastinate"?) I found this great BIG pad of scrapbook paper, K&Co, at Joanns and it was on sale - a bargain. I loved all the papers that had a sewing theme and there were a lot of quilt prints and crochet looking prints and other cool designs.

I'm lucky that my stamping/papercraft area is set up in the downstairs family room opposite from my sewing area so I can go back and forth easily -- maybe too easily. The cards include felt flowers that were die cut (I love die cutting fabric for cards and other projects). I used my sewing machine to stitch the edging to the quilty paper and then tied the button in the center of the flower with perle cotton. I love stamping tone-on-tone designs on the cardstock since it adds a another design layer. And I tried to make them a little shabby chic by stamping a little speckly in an off white ink. When I do a card like this I feel like I've made a little paper and fabric quilt. I also make envelopes to go with the cards that coordinate so my friends can spot the fun mail right away.

I was busy today making the back for the yellow Crazy Mom QAL top. I'm glad to have that finished so I'm not rushing around on Monday afternoon getting it sewn before guild meeting. I exchange tops and finished quilts with my long- arm gal there - very convenient. And knowing I'll see her once a month is great motivation to get things done.

I also succumbed to the allure of my Hoopla layer cake and started to make the bow tie block for the Bennington big Schnibble quilt. I love how they are turning out and in real life (not these badly lit pictures), the colors are so bright and cheerful and are a welcome sight on these cold grey days.

Be back tomorrow with a sampler and some finished knitting. I got another pair of socks done this week -and finishing this pair was one of the few bright spots of my Wednesday- one of those days that didn't turn out at all the way I planned -but then who plans on a 30 minute doctor's visit turning into a 6 hour production with 3 separate visits to the outpatient imaging center. It wasn't for me, it was for my brother and while it was harder on him than me the stress definitely took a toll on both of us.

Hope you're getting lots of crafty stuff done this weekend. Happy stitching -

carol fun

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I got goodies.....

Neither rain, nor snow, nor icy roads has kept my mailguy from his appointed rounds and I got goodies today. Now we got off easy in the ice storm. It has coated all the trees but the roads weren't too bad. Hope our luck holds.

Now I got 2 different packages. The first included these goodies from my friend Lois in frozen Nebraska. Is this not perfect for me????

An adorable little bag made like a rag quilt. The fabrics are polka-dotted chickens and chicken wire!

And this cover button is the perfect finishing touch. I know that is suppose to be the chicken's comb but to me it looks like a crown.

And she included these wonderful hand crocheted gifts - a needle case and a pin cushion. I adore vintage looking items like this. Lois said they were from a pattern she found in her mother-in-law's stash of patterns when she passed away. Oh and we can't overlook that card either - I think this hen looks fluffy and I consider myself to be fluffy (not fat, fluffy with a jiggle- LOL). Thank you Lois - I just love handmade gifts and these are so special!

Ahem - and then there was the other box which contained among other things these 2 skeins of sock yarn. They are Gale's Art and I purchased them from The Loopy Ewe. I love the colors- the one on the top is called Crayon Box and the bottom one is Scarab. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them but I'm leaning toward shawlettes. However, this is not the only yarn that has entered this house in the last 3 weeks. I've been trying to be good with very little success. Everywhere I've gone around here and on the web has tempted me with beautiful sock yarn. No less than 7 skeins of sock yarn have taken up residence here. I think this is the result of a strong hormonal force generated by cold weather, so it isn't' all my fault- snow and ice make you crave pretty colorful warm sock yarn. Isn't that true? Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I'll show some of the other stuff I acquired when I get some new batteries for my camera - they pooped out and I'm not going out tonight. But I did finish a woolly project...

this is the Shaelyn shawlette. The yarn is Rap Trends and it is a creamy white with flecks of pale green, pale pink, pale blue and pale lavender. I love this pattern and have plans for another one done in Noro Sekku in these colors - which just happened to arrive in a box last week. Oh soooo many projects, so little time!

Last but not least - a big thank you to everyone who stopped by yesterday and left comments on my giant yellow quilt. Wow! I was blown away by your thoughtful comments. I'll show this quilt again after I get it back from my long-arm quilter. I know she'll do something wonderful with it. And I hope that where ever you are you are warm and safe. All this ice and snow is making me weary -- we need Spring to come soon, very very soon. Take care and happy stitching-
carol fun