Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Frivolities

There are other projects I should be attending to - the 40 or so more butterfly blocks I need to make, the laundry, vacuuming the carpet, you get the idea, but instead I have engaged in frenetic new sock knitting! Yes not one, not two but three new socks have been started - someone should hide my extra circular needles! Here they are displayed on my new sock blockers --

The top one is a Gale's Art yarn called Crayon Box and the pattern is Charade.

In the middle spot is that brand new Lorna's Laces ,Zombie BBQ, I got the other day and the pattern is rpm I found a great little modification that allows you to knit this in a continuous spiral of K6, P3 with no shifting of the beginning of the row-- genius! Not me, the lady who figured this out. I keep seeing little pimento stuffed olives as I knit this one up.

And at the bottom is Fiber Optics Yarn called Tequila Sunrise. It has cashmere in it and feels sooooooo good. The pattern is Pyroclastic.

If you click on the links to the patterns you will see that these are all free downloads and all came from Love that site. I just love seeing how the patterns and the coloring of the yarns play out as you knit them up. It is quite habit forming.

Since the sun has come out 2 days in a row-- a record here in this April in Ohio - I dragged a quilt out to take some pictures. This is another giant Schnibbles pattern called Bennington. I call mine "Bowties from Down the Street" since the street I live on is right off of the street in my neighborhood called Bennington.

The fabric is the Hoopla line from Moda. I loved all the bright colors - lime green, purple, red, hot pink, orange and yellow - and the cute motifs - cherries, tulips and polka dots. This is one happy quilt!

Tomorrow is suppose to be sunny too - OMG, 3 days in a row, I hope I can handle it. My garden is soooo green but soooo soggy. I'd like to plant a few new annuals and perennials but I think I'll wait another week or so. Around here it they always say to wait till Mother's Day to plant annuals and I did jump the gun one year and was rewarded with limp and slimy coleus for my enthusiasm.

Hope your weekend is sunny and bright and that you have time to be crafty- Happy stitching!
carol fun

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Working hard on Wednesday

Last night I had a lovely dinner with my quilty friends and we talked about the projects we are working on. I shared that I had sent in the entry form for my wonky butterfly quilt that morning. The quilt show is mid-June and in my air head ways I was not feeling any real pressure since I think I've got plenty of time to get this quilt done. One friend thought that I had all the blocks make, right? Um,no. Another asked how big was it going to be? Hey, you know me it's gonna be BIG - around 95" square. And are you quilting this yourself? I have to to meet the quilt show rules.

Ackkkk!!! What was I thinking? Okay I wasn't thinking too hard, I don't like to think too hard it makes my head hurt. But now I'm feeling pressure. So I came home and went to work on cutting out the rest of the blocks which resulted in this mess.

And this pile of pieces for the butterfly blocks.

I have about 75 blocks to stitch up and then get them sewn together. I don't want to sew the rows up till I have them all finished so I have all my options open. And while we were talking last evening I got a brainstorm for a different arrangement for the outer border of butterflies. I need to graph it out and see if it works. Graph paper is my friend. It is a great tool for the mathematically challenged. LOL!

And then there are the distractions.... like today's mail delivery.

This is a skein of Lorna's Laces sock yarn called......wait for it.....Zombie BBQ. OMG - I love the name of this skein. The colors are not what I usually pick and I like that. It pushed me out of my comfort zone. You know this isn't the first time I purchased a skein of yarn based on the name. Blue Moon sock yarn has some great names that are calling to me too. I should stay focused on the quilt blocks but I know that I'm going to wander and wind this skein before the day is over. I was perusing Ravelry last night and found a cool new sock pattern I want to try out and I think it would be a good choice for this yarn. We'll see if I'm right.

Hope your week is productive. Gotta get back to the butterfly blocks!
Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, April 25, 2011

Design Wall Monday- Butterflies are free...

Wonky butterflies are free if you make them out of fabric you already own - right? Right? Oh I'm glad I'm correct. All of these dotty wonky butterflies are fabrics from my stash as is all of the background fabric. I figure I'm about a third of the way done with this. My plan is to have a center of 15 blocks by 15 blocks. Then an open space and then an additional row of butterflies.

Here is my selection of fabrics for the butterflies- look a cotton rainbow! And an up close view of my dotty pretties.

Cool colors and -

Hot colors.

And this is a couple of these beauties up close. These blocks do waste a lot of background fabric but I'm ok with that. I looked at both of the tutorials and the one that uses charm squares is a more efficient use of fabric but I wanted the larger block.

I should have plenty of sewing time this week, since the forecast is for more rain and Lowe's is totally out of supplies to build an ark - I checked on Saturday. Hope your weather is drier and you have time to play.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hippity hoppity

Happy Easter! Hope your baskets were full of chocolate!

I'm off to eat a creme filled egg!

carol fun

Saturday, April 23, 2011

New socks for Easter

I've been in a knitting mood the last couple of evenings and I finished two different pairs of lacy socks. I always think of new socks when I think of Easter. Why this strange association you ask? Well when I was a child my German grandma, God rest her soul, always gave me new socks to wear to Mass on Easter. They were always beautiful socks most with a lacy, ruffly edge that poofed out from tbe ankle. Do you remember little girl socks like that? And when she would give me the socks on the Saturday before Easter there would be a silver dollar in the toe of each sock. Yes a real silver dollar! I have no idea where these went, but I wish I did. As I got older and silver dollar were harder to come by she switched to Kennedy dollar coins. So here are my new socks I made for me for Easter, but no silver dollar in the toe. (insert sad face).

This pair is the Spring Forward pattern and the yarn is Sophie by Loops and Threads, Micheal's store brand. The color is Ocean and this yarn is 50% merino and 50% nylon.

The second pair is the Serendipity from the book Sock Club by Charlene Schurch and Beth Parrot. The yarn is a Regia in a yellow. I don't have the ball band anymore so I don't know the details but I'm sure its mostly wool with some nylon.

Sorry for the dark shots, I had to take these pictures inside since it is raining again, enough with the rain. I am in a real mood to do more lacy socks. I spent some time on Ravelry last night and went through a lot of my books and have a ton of ideas and of course I have oodles of sock yarn, but I may have to purchase another skein or two. You know, you need the perfect yarn to match the pattern, right? Shake your head up and down, up and down. - LOL!

Off to do some meal prep for tomorrow. Hope you have a wonderful Easter!

carol fun

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Inspiration from my garden

The sun was shining on Monday and it was nice to walk in my garden. The tulips are blooming, the peonies are showing buds and everything is greening up. And my bleeding heart plant is already in full color. I love the delicate little heart shaped flowers.

This inspired me to start a new sampler, one that doesn't have a house. (OMG - I can see you are shocked -me too! LOL)

This is a Cedar Hill graph called Country Flower Sampler. I've seen examples of this designer over at Beth's blog Garden Grumbles and Cross Stitch Fumbles. She does wonderful cross stitch and I love her pictures of flowers and wildlife. I'd never seen such blue blue jays as the Stellar Jays in her neck of the woods. Simply gorgeous.

Anyway, back to the sampler (I am so easily distracted by pretty things -big sigh.) I ordered 5 of the Cedar Hill samplers from a retailer I won't name because their customer service drives me crazy. Little rant here - when you order an item if it is out of stock, don't you want to know that before you place the order? I have bought from this retailer twice and I won't be fooled a third time. In each instance at least one of the graphs I ordered wasn't in stock and they had to wait almost 2 weeks to get it in, which meant I waited more than 2 weeks. I know I'm not ordering critical supplies but the instantaneous nature of the Internet has greatly shortened my ability to wait patiently. During that time I receive no communication from them -- an email would have been nice- and when I emailed them I got a very curt response that the item wasn't currently available and I could have looked up that info myself on their order status page. Okay, I can look it up but I didn't know the order status page existed and other companies I've done business with have prompted me at check out that an item is back ordered or sent me an email. I just think that is good customer service.

On the other hand there is - I LOVE LOVE LOVE this retailer. Their customer service is excellent. I should have just gone to them and requested that they find the graphs I was interested in but I didn't want to be a bother. I still may have had to wait two weeks but they would have told me that right up front. End of rant, lesson learned.

Hope you have some stitching time this week. And I hope for better weather for all of us. Last night we had terrible storms, high winds and flooding. We need more sunshine, at least I do.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, April 18, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Today I have two different entries for Design Wall Monday. (Don't get use to this productivity. It probably is short lived.) This is the quilt I had started last week. My son who is taking a biology class thinks it looks like the DNA helix- yeah it does a little.

Now when I started I was going to do the Fast Forward version of the Jaybird Quilt pattern. But it ended up being the Unwind version. As far as I can tell the main difference in these patterns is that Fast Forward has a spacer strip between the rows. I think that would be a good version in a larger sized quilt, but I loved the stars that appear when you put the rows right next to each other.

I will do this pattern again. The Creative Grid Lazy Angle ruler makes it easy. Some things to consider if you do this pattern. First a jelly roll has 40 strips and you assemble strip sets for this with 3 fabrics. Now I could have tossed out one strip but instead I took 2 strips from an older Sanae collection that I had left and was able to have more strip sets. There is variety in the jelly roll but I wished I had used more fabrics so that when I sewed the units to each other it, the same fabrics didn't end up next to each other. When I do this again, I will use strips from my stash so I can have a greater variety and I think I may sew the strip sets together so they are around 22" inches long versus 44" inches long. I think you'd get more variety that way. Because I added the 2 strips I got more blocks and I ended up making a quilt top about 60" X 66". This should be great for throwing over the back of the couch.

And here is my newest design wall project - Wonky Butterflies!

Now all the cool kids were doing these last summer and I loved them but I couldn't decide on what I wanted to use for a background. White? Black? Yellow?(I know not a traditional choice but I love yellow!) Well I thought and thought and realized I wanted to make a quilt that I could put on my bed in my blue/white/yellow bedroom, and it came to me -- a light blue background! I knew I wanted to use this fabric for the butterfly bodies -

It is Wordplay by Michelle D'Amore for Benartex. If you look closely you can make out words such as "textures", "inspire", "bright bold colors", and the one that spoke to me "polka dots"! As for the light blue background I didn't have anything in my stash that was enough yardage to do the big quilt I want but I did find 3 different blues that seems to play well together and I'm using them. Every butterfly will be unique and have dots. If my calculations are correct (and math has never been my strong suite) there should be 177 different butterflies. This is my favorite kind of project and I am jazzed to be working on it. Too bad people around here want clean clothes and meals. Oh well I will find the time to sew on this all week.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Basket Sampler for Sunday

In honor of a glorious sunny Sunday I have my BBD Summer Basket Sampler to share with you. I got this back from the framers just the other day and it turned out beautiful, if I say so myself and I do!

Normally I pick a wood tone frame but this one just cried out for a pretty gold one. I love the colors in this sampler and that tulip in the center makes me happy!
And here is a picture of my Easter display complete with egg decorations.

I think I have a new collection started here - egg cups with feet! I love the slippers on these guys.

And I couldn't leave these polka dot cups behind. I got the 2 in the back at Hobby Lobby and the one in the front at Cracker Barrel. You have to keep your eyes open you never know when you'll see a polka dotted egg cup with feet - LOL!

The table runner is done with Moda's Verna collection - love that springy fabric.
I got some quilt blocks sewn together and started a new cross stitch sampler yesterday. It was gray and rainy and a good day to stay inside and sew.

Hope your week is sunny and warm and we have no more of those terrible tornadoes that have ripped through the country.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, April 15, 2011

Double X-Rated

Okay, did that title get your attention? Well there is nothing actually risque here, just the name of a large Schinbble quilt I finished not too long ago. I was able to drag it outside yesterday and take a few pictures.

The title comes from Carrie Nelson's pattern called X-Rated in her Schnibbles Times Two book. Because I can never let well enough alone, I decided to do the quilt starting with a small Schnibble in the center of a larger Schnibble.

Now this would have been easy if these quilts were constructed with blocks, instead they are assembled on the diagonal in strips. This made insetting the little one into the big one quite a bit more difficult. In the end I appliqued the little onto the center of the big one and then cut out the fabric behind the small one. It turned out great but I won't do this again.

Again this turned out to be a big quilt - around 92" square. It is an older line of Moda fabric called Hunky Dory by Chez Moi. I've purchased fabric from all the collections by Chez Moi. I looked on Moda's website but don't see anything listed for them that is current or upcoming - I hope that changes.

TGIF- I'm looking forward to the weekend to stitch and goof off. Hope your weekend is great!

carol fun

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Goodies from the IQA show

I had a great time at the International Quilt Show in Cincinnati, Ohio last weekend. There were so many wonderful vendors and the quilts were colorful. The display of Baltimore Album quilts was exquisite. I will never ever make anything that elaborate but I do love looking at them. I did patronize several vendors and came home with some wonderful goodies. This group of fabrics shows how diverse my tastes are.

Those fat quarters are from Elizabeth Scott's line, Red Rose Farm. The wools are all plaids and I love that they are dyed bright colors. I have some plans to use the wools with some Lori Smith patterns. To accompany my fabric purchases I also bought a new magazine and a book.

The magazine Primitive Quilts has lots of great projects. The new book by Edyta Sitar, Friendship Strips and Scraps features some beautiful quilts that pair batiks with plaids and other printed fabrics and the effect is fabulous. And to aid in making precision blocks I got these new ruler/trimmer guides.

These are from Deb Tucker who puts on a dynamite demo. The one helps create accurate half and quarter square triangle blocks and the other does flying geese units and both measure numerous sized units. I think these are just the ticket for a couple of the patterns I snagged.

Can you tell I like star blocks? And I have such a soft spot for snowmen quilts. I think this one is adorable. So you can see I had quite a bit of fun and I can't wait to play with my new goodies. I worked last night on the top I showed Monday, Fast Forward by Jaybird Quilts, and it is coming together great. I have all the blocks sewn and I started to put the rows together. I will be making this pattern again. I've got a bigger one planned using lots of my brights and novelty fabrics.

Hope your week is going well. The weekend is in sight!
Happy stitching!
carol fun

Monday, April 11, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Since I finished a top last week, I gave myself permission to start a new quilt - I'm very nice to me. This is a new pattern using a new ruler (at least it is new to me) and I am liking it a lot!

The quilt is Fast Forward by Jaybird Quilts. It uses the Creative Grids Lazy Angle ruler.

If you click here you can see all the great quilt ideas she uses in her patterns. There are several that have my interest.

The fabric is new too - it is a Moda Jelly roll, Oh My! by Sanae. Love the turquoise, orange and magenta in this line. I'm using another Moda from their Basic Grunge line for the background. It looks sanded.

This is going together very quickly which is a good thing because I got some new stuff at the IQA show that I want to play with too.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Sampler for Sunday

It was such a pretty day - sunny and 80! But I think I overdid it - spreading some mulch and planting some pansies and some bulbs that were sprouting in their little bags. Oh dear, I'm a bit lax with my gardening. Anyway here is a nice sampler with a gardening theme -

As I remember it is a Prairie Schooler piece. I think that blue jay at the top has personality. And the saying, "He who plants kindness, gathers love" is one to live by, isn't it?

I love that the letter "B" is a bee! Little touches like that make this one special for me.

Okay, I'm off to take some ibuprofen for my achy back. I haven't had a chance to take pictures of my goodies from the quilt show. I'll take some tomorrow. It was a wonderful show and I found some great vendors who had items I couldn't resist.

Hope your week has time for stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tiptoe through the crabgrass

It is a beeeeaaaauuuuttiful day here - sun shining, birds chirping, nice breeze - oh Spring how I have anticipated your return! (way too much waxing poetic - sorry!) Anyway I thought it would be a great day to get outside and take some pictures of a few things I have finished. These socks are for Linda. Please excuse the crabgrass, the brown spots and the dandelion. My duties do not include lawn care and the VP in charge of this task is woefully behind in his work.

Pretty yarn in shades of dusty blue, olive and gold. Stephie gave the yarn to Linda as a Christmas gift, Linda passed the yarn to me and I said I'd knit it up for her, now I will pass the finished socks back. The life cycle of a ball of yarn!

These are for me. Stephie gifted this yarn to me and these are socks for ME!

It is a Berrocco yarn and I love how the stripes are different widths. I knit on these socks a lot while at OSU with my brother at his clinic visits and it is fun to see the reaction of non-knitty type people. They can't believe that the yarn does all the work.

Yesterday was a very productive day. I got the binding on both of the big quilts that were waiting for me and I got them put in the washer and dryer so they have that nice crinkly texture. I did both of the bindings by machine and it still took quite a while.

This is my QAL from Crazy Mom Quilts waaay back in the summer time. Now her quilt was a much more manageable size but I had to make mine bigger.

This quilt measures over 90" square after washing. It contains 362 different 2 and 3/4" finished squares.

I love the quilting. It is a big floral done in variegated yellow. I think this is my favorite thread.

Well I'm off tomorrow evening to the International Quilt Association show in Cincinnati, Ohio for the preview party. Stephie counted over 200 vendors. This is going to be fun and we are going back to spend the day on Friday. Pictures of goodies acquired will be shown.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, April 4, 2011

A design wall escapee

This top has escaped from my design wall and is on its way this evening to the long arm quilter. I caught it as it was posing on my back deck.

The pattern is Oh My Stars from the Sizzlin' Sixties book by Anka's Treasures. I used a jelly roll of the Mary Engelbreit's Recipe for Friendship collection. I LOVE all things Mary Engelbreit! This is my favorite star in this quilt.

I've made a lot of quilts using the 60 degree equilateral triangle block. It gives you so many possibilities when you start sewing them together. Yesterday afternoon I was trying to make a back for this quilt and honestly it is the biggest mess. I could not count or measure to save my soul. I sewed 2 yard pieces together and then realized it was too short in one direction so I found some more of this fabric in my stash (I'd used it as a back on another quilt too) and added more fabric to a side - the wrong side - the side that was already long enough, or at least I thought it was. So then I took it off and added to another side (remember there are 4 sides to a bakc and I added something to each and every one before I gave up) So the back is big enough but it has a lot of seams that really weren't necessary if I had more than half a brain. Oh well at least my long arm quilter will make it all pretty.

Off to run errands. It is going to be one of the busy busy weeks - guild meeting,haircut, eye exams, school, quilt show, quilt show quilt show. Yeah, the most important part will be the quilt show. I think it is going to be a very expensive week - LOL!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Sunday sampler note

Where does the weekend go? I did get a bit of knitting in and finished the first aqua lace sock and started it's mate - no second sock syndrome with this pretty yarn. And I stitched up the back for the quilt top I'm taking to the guild meeting tomorrow night. (I'll show pics of the top tomorrow.) And I went fabric shopping on Saturday and that was lots of fun, so I see now where the weekend went.

My sampler pick for today is a springy one. I didn't think I had any samplers with bunnies but my memory isn't what it use to be and I found several. I think this one is a Sheepish Design. And you can tell by the date it was a loooong time ago.

I like the strawberry vines and the wildlife in this piece.

Pretty little birds at the top and a cheeky bunny and the squirrel at the bottom out for a romp. (Oh I am poetic today - LOL!) Nice soft colors and a pretty little sampler to celebrate a pretty day in the neighborhood.

Well I'm off to get ready to go to dinner and then I'm going to Music Hall for a concert with my niece. Its going to be a busy busy week. Guild meeting is tomorrow night and the International Quilt Association show opens this week in my hometown, Cincinnati, Ohio. I'm going to preview party on Thursday evening and plan to be there when it the doors open on Friday for a day of shopping. I'm really excited to see how the show looks here. I visited Chicago a couple of years ago for the show but I have to say that Chicago traffic intimidates me. We don't have traffic like that in Cincinnati and since I've lived here most of my life I know my way around a lot better. Are you going to the show? I'll be looking forward to hearing what your impressions are of the show and the city.

Happy stitching-
carol fun