Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What I did on Wednesday

I had all the intentions of being lots more productive in a creative fashion but somehow I ended up spending most of the day dealing with laundry and other household duties. Not creative but I think my family will enjoy the clean socks and underwear.

I did take a little time though and got 2 more FW blocks stitched up. The first one is the Friendship Star and I used some moon and star boxer shorts fabric for a celestial background.

And for the Broken Dishes blocks there is a man in the moon boxer shorts background for no other reason than it was sitting on the cutting table. Hey, I'm easily distracted - LOL!

So I have my quota of FW blocks for the week - yippee! I've seen that others are really cranking these little darlings out and they are very cool, but I'm going to take this one at a leisurely pace so I can work on other projects. And there are lots of projects calling my name. The teal and lime yarn I showed last week is turning into a very snazzy shawl. I've finished the striped stockinette section and hope to start the lace part tomorrow.

Oh I hear the dryer buzzer - off to fold the towels.
Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, June 27, 2011

Design Wall for a rainy Monday

Today my design wall holds a completed quilt! Ta dah! This is my "George" Schnibble.

Excuse the messy design wall and the not so great pics. It is rainy again today. We have had more rain in the first 6 months of this year than we usually have in a year. I'm beginning to think we've been moved from the midwest to Seattle. Anyway,I was able to finish the quilting and get the binding on last night. I love how it turned out and I'm thinking hard about doing a bed size quilt with this Charlevioix collection by Minnick & Simpson.

My quilting is pretty standard quilt in the ditch but I do like how it makes the piecing pop. I added a quilted star in the center of each of the monkey wrench blocks using a variegated red thread. I think this is a nice accent for a patriotic quilt.

Now I am waiting for my cross stitch piece to return from the framer so I can put together my little 4th of July display in my foyer - right after I get the space dusted - ugh!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

P.S. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who thinks people behave badly at concerts and other events where good behavior use to be the standard. It is just all too prevalent. Thank you to Sister Mary Ida and my parents for showing me the way to behave in public, I do appreciate it.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Last minute Sampler for Sunday

I can't believe how late I am tonight - the day just got away from me. My offering for this Sunday is a band sampler from Eileen Bennett which I did almost 25 years ago.

This one is called Seasons of Flowers and if you follow the link you will see that mine differs a bit from the chart. This sampler taught me quite a few things. First, it taught me several beautiful decorative stitches including Queen's Stitch, satin stitch and long armed cross stitch.

And more importantly it taught me to pay close attention to your stitch count and how large you piece is and how it fits on the linen you've chosen.

You can see that my sampler has only a few narrow bands of stitching after the last line of the Scripture verse. There is a very pretty floral motif on Eileen's original but there was no way I could add any of this row since there are only a scant 1/2 inch of linen pulled to the back of this piece- yikes! My framer was not happy with me but it was the only way to salvage this piece.

I have always loved this verse and can remember singing the Byrds arrangement of this as a song at my high school graduation which was 40 years ago - OMG - how did I get sooo old??? LOL - oh well there are worse options than getting old now, aren't there?

However, I do think I am turning into a crabby old women. Case in point, last night I went to see Idina Menzel perform at Riverbend, an outdoor venue. The weather was perfect and her performance was superb, however I don't know if it is just a function of the venue being more casual or people just being rude but there were way too many people behaving badly. From the 2 young women who sat in the row in from of me and talked through several selections by the Pops orchestra and Idina, to the people who got up and left before Idina had sung her signature song "Defying Gravity" from Wicked. She won a Tony Award for her performance of Elphaba, the wicked witch and this song always brings down the house. It was her closing song and people got up and left for the parking lot as she sang the first couple of notes and continued leaving throughout the song. Honestly people, your car isn't going anywhere. You paid good money to come and see her sing and you leave before it is over? I just don't understand it. Idina received several standing ovations throughout the show and returned for a curtain call, but by them many people were already to the parking lot. I don't understand the rudeness and disrespect that these people were showing. Sorry for the rant, but it just seems wrong.

Well, I hope your week has plenty of crafty time. I know that there are several projects I want to get to instead of the pesky cleaning I really need to do. We'll have to see which activity wins out.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pretty Purple Monkey Socks

Okay I have no idea why this sock pattern is called Monkey, but it is a great pattern. These are made with Malabrigo sock yarn and are sooooo soft.

I did the no purl version since it goes faster.

I knit these for Nora the new owner of the yarn shop Lambinkins Hideaway in Hamilton, Ohio. She has never worn hand knit socks and for purely selfish reasons I wanted her to know how wonderful they are. I figured if she had a pair of hand knit socks to wear it would influence her to buy lots of great sock yarn for the shop which I could then add to my stash. Diabolical thinking, isn't it? LOL

And speaking of stash enhancement - I picked up these two skeins of Fiber Optics yarn up in Columbus on Thursday -

I have plans for these to become this Cladonia, such a pretty shawl. I saw that lots of people are doing Camp Loopy and the item to knit this year is a 2 color shawl. Now I won't be participating since I didn't get my yarn from The Loopy Ewe but I am sure enjoying seeing what combinations of yarn and shawl pattern people are coming up with. I love little shawls and I'm very taken with 2 color ones at the moment so I'm sure I am going to see lots of inspiration which will lead to more stash enhancement - its a vicious circle and I think I'm getting dizzy - LOL!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My newest obsession

Hello, my name is Carol and I can resist anything but temptation. Therefore due to this shortcoming I am jumping into the Farmer's Wife Sampler QAL. Oh, these little blocks are very addicting. Now I've started out with some of the easiest ones.


Bow Tie

Autumn Tints

I decided to use my stashes of American Jane fabric collections including Happy Camper, Punctuation, and Le Petit Poulet, and my rather large collection of "conversational" prints - you know the little engraved looking drawings on mostly beigy backgrounds. My friend, Cathy, refers to these as my "boxer shorts" prints and to be perfectly honest some do resemble boxer short prints for old guys but I still like them. And because I am using these I can tie them into the blocks that have certain items mentioned in the title. Like this one,Puss in the Corner -

See the little pussy cats in the corners?

And the sewing machines and spools in this Spool block?

Oh aren't I clever? LOL Anyway I noticed a several blocks that are going to be perfect matches for the boxer short prints -there is one called Cats & Mice (I have a fabric the features both!), Birds in the Air and Darting Birds (I have a couple of bird prints), Duck & Ducklings and Wild Goose Chase (I've got some duck/goosey looking prints). This is going to be fun!

My plan at the moment is to do about 98 blocks and make it a square quilt around 85" square. I'm picturing yellow sashing done in a pin dot from American Jane and red cornerstones, but we'll have to see how it goes. You are suppose to make 2 blocks a week which really is doable and if you miss a week it wouldn't be hard to get caught back up. This QAL started at the beginning of June and I have 8 blocks made so I'm actually ahead at the moment! Check out the book - it is a good read too!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, June 20, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Even though I did a lot of running around last week I did find some time to sew here and there and actually put together this Schnibble called George.

I started with the same Minnick & Simpson collection that Carrie did, Charlevoix and added some pieces from their Bar Harbor collection. I love the yellows and peaches in the Charlevoix collection. To me it looks very summery.

I want to get this quilted this week and use it to redecorate my foyer display for July 4th. I have a sampler being framed as we speak that features a lovely house and flags and I think I have a little Longeberger flag basket in the storage room.

Hope your week is a good one!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sampler for a gray and rainy Sunday

Sunday? How can it be Sunday already? Maybe being busy Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday has something to to with it being Sunday again. I'm hoping the upcoming week has me at home more than the last one.

Since the weather outside is gray I picked a sunny sampler for today.(Sorry for the washed out pictures - no natural light makes a difference doesn't it?)

This is another Ewe & Eye & Friends called Garden Time. Its not very big, the stitching measures about 4 X 5 inches. But it packs a lot of punch -

I love the little scotch stitches on the basket and the spider web rosette in the middle of the sunflower and the satin stitches on the roof. Since there wasn't any room for my initials I stitched then in a different color in the alphabet. Good thing my initial are sequential in the alphabet.

On Thursday I went to the NQA show in Columbus and had a great time. Good vendors and quilts! I was able to get a picture of my Wonky Butterfly quilt hanging. It was so big I had to move the sleeve down so it wouldn't touch the floor so the top border isn't visible.

I do like how it turned out and I can't wait for it to return home so I can put it on my bed. Okay off to do a little sewing - lots of projects to chose from and a new one is calling my name too.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, June 13, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Last week I started to play with a new quilt pattern, Hugs and Kisses by Jaybird Quilts. This uses the Lazy Angle ruler (CGR3754) which is my new favorite ruler. Now the pattern uses 2 1/2" strips but I've put my own spin on it using scrap strips of various widths. So far I have about half of the quilt blocks done.

Here is a close of some of the fabrics - lots of brights and novelty - all leftovers from various log cabin and pineapple quilt blocks I've made.

My first thought was to use a small random dotty fabric to fill in the diamond areas but then I was looking at the blocks on the wall and somehow the open areas appeared to be windows, so now I'm thinking of using a cloud/sky fabric and cutting the four triangle pieces as one diamond piece. I'd have to do some partial or inset seams but I think I'd really like the effect. I don't know if I have any sky fabric in my stash that will work but I did see a couple of possibilities online.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sampler Sunday

The weather today is beautiful - sunny, dry, no humidity, temps in 80's- and I spent some time sitting in my screen porch doing some cross stitching. I needed to work on something that didn't require me to make any decisions - just relaxing handwork. And here is my offering for Sampler Sunday - one of my larger samplers and it is from Drawn Thread.

This was charted as a game board with alternating squares being faced in opposite directions but I stitched mine to all face the same way.

I love all the different houses and motifs. This piece is stitched on a lovely piece of pale aqua linen with either DMC or Anchor flosses, I don't remember which.

Of course I have several cross stitch projects going - a small BBD piece and the new Mystery Sampler by With Thy Needle and Thread. I haven't finished part 1 yet and part 2 is available this week. I saw the little sneak peek and there is a bluebird and a tree so I think I'll like it a lot.

Hope your week includes lots of crafty time - happy stitching!
carol fun

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hot off the grill

Boy is it hot today! I know it was just the other day I was grumbling about how wet, gray and cold it was - in typical Midwest weather fashion it has instantly turned to hazy, hot and humid. I did get a couple of things done though. First - my Zombie BBQ socks in the RPM pattern.

Don't those raised parts look like grill marks? Love this yarn and the pattern and I will use both again. Also, I am pondering the absurdity of finishing wool socks on a day where the heat index is over 100 degrees. Oh well I'm ahead on my winter knitting -right?

The Wonky Butterfly quilt is winging its way to Columbus. Boy I'm happy to have that project finished. And the giveaway winners' prizes are being mailed today. I wanted to add a little something extra and picked up the extras last night.

At my quilt guild meeting Monday night the speaker was "the gadget lady" - unfortunately my little pea brain has already forgotten her name - sheesh. But anyway she brought lots of goodies for us to purchase and I snagged this new Jaybird quilt pattern titled Hugs and Kisses.

and here are some of the blocks I've made. Instead of using just 3 strips 2 1/2 inches wide. I sewed together several strips of different widths.

These strips are leftovers from several log cabin and pineapple block quilts I've done using novelty and bright fabrics. I figure this can be another almost free quilt using fabrics I already own. I haven't decided on the background fabric that will fill the diamonds, maybe something white with lots of colored dots or speckles.

Well I'm going to hunker down in my basement sewing room where the temps are cool and the sewing machine will be hot - happy stitching!

carol fun

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Giveaway Winners and a Sampler for Sunday

Thank you to everyone who left me a comment on the blog or at my gmail account. I really appreciate your reading my ramblings and being followers. It just makes me smile! Well I got my butt in gear and collected all the names and used a random number generator to select the winners. Drum roll please! The jelly roll

will be sent to Terry of Terry's Treasures and the cross stitch graph with linen and floss

will be going to Di of Quilting is Blissful. Let me know your addresses and I will put your goodies in the mail this week.

I know I was a bit lax in posting last week but the Wonky Butterfly quilt definitely got the better of me. I pin basted this behemoth last Saturday and I worked on it every single day this week. As of this afternoon it is finished - hallelujah! I sewed down the binding (all 400 inches) and the sleeve (200 inches) by hand. I have clipped about a million little threads off the back. The label has been made and affixed properly. I am soooooo glad this is done. There is nothing like a deadline to suck all the fun our of a project.

To make up for a lack of posting I would like to present my Sampler for Sunday. This is another piece by Ewe & Eye & Friends entitled Chloe's House.

I love the details on this piece - lots of satin stitches and some eyelets. Those birds are great too and somehow a giant arrangement of flowers above the roof seems just fine - LOL!

I feel like a great weight has been lifted since I finished the Wonky butterflies and I can't wait to start back on waiting projects. I have a pair of socks that are just a toe away from being done and there were a couple of skeins of yarn that somehow showed up on the front porch last week. And some other late night button pushing resulted in a couple of new cross stitch graphs. I am never at a loss for something to do, there just isn't enough hours in a day.

Hope that you have a fun and productive week ahead. I can mail my quilt off on Tuesday and I can't wait to play with other goodies.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

He's good company....

but not real helpful when you are trying to do machine quilting. Big Dude has kept me company the last several days as I've been chained to my sewing machine. However, a 100 square inch quilt already weighs plenty without the addition of a hefty feline.

It has taken me much longer than I thought to get this quilted (but I haven't really put nearly enough thought into this quilt.) I have ALL the butterflies quilted. I just did a wonky zig zag in the wings and stitched in the ditch (sort of - my in the ditch wanders a bit) around the body and the outside of the block.

Now I have to come up with something to put in the border. This is what it looks like. (the picture is before pin basting and quilting)

There is a 6 inch border between the center and the outside border. I'm probably going to do some sort of zig zag here too. Just larger and a bit more controlled. Doing all this machine quilting has given me lots of time to think and some of my thoughts include - this quilt is BIG, there are at least a dozen other projects I want to work on, this quilt is very BIG, I really wish I'd entered this in a different category and gotten my long arm quilter to do this, this quilt is very very BIG, and I am never going to quilt a project this big again! So now I've given this quilt plenty of thought my head hurts along with my arms, back and shoulders,

Don't forget about my bloganniversary giveaways I posted on Sunday. I've heard that if you are having trouble posting with Blogger, if when you sign in you don't check the "keep me signed in" box that somehow helps. I don't understand it but then there isn't much about Blogger I do understand. Anyway if you can't post to the Sunday entry just send me an email - several people have. I will put all the entries into the giveaways. Okay off to take some advil before bed -

Happy stitching-
carol fun