Thursday, August 30, 2012

Well that not what I had planned

This week has been moving along nicely. I got the baseboards DONE yesterday and the masking tape all removed. Now I just need to do some touch up on the walls. Feels good to finish that part. And while I was sitting on the floor I had plenty of time to think about the kind of quilt I wanted to make for my son's new bedroom. It has to include star blocks as those are his favorite and he's quite proud of himself that he can identify an Ohio Star (but that's about the only one he knows). I had purchased 6 yds of a lovely light blue background fabric last week so all I had to decide on was what pattern.

Last evening I showed my son 2 options - this one, Oh My Stars...

which will require about a bajillion blocks to make a generous queen size quilt. Or I offered that I could make a quilt similar to this ancient UFO of mine..

I proposed making one in this style with bigger blocks (10") and all in tone on tone blues. He pondered his options and broke the news that he really did like the Oh My Stars pattern. Hmmm... ok, I do love him but this one is going to take a while and I really want to get this off my list. I really wanted him to pick the second option since I would only need about 50 sawtooth start blocks and I could knock them out rather quickly. Then he asked what plans I had for this UFO. Actually, no plans. I started this at least 10 years ago. Every block is a different fabric that has some kind of metallic on it. There are 111 6" blocks. I still like the blocks but I know why I put this away, I'm not as thrilled with the background fabric as I was when I started and there is no way to change that.

Now this UFO is exactly half quilted. I stitched in the ditch around the stars, nothing fancy. I contemplated picking out all the quilting and sending it off to my long arm gal since I know she could do something wonderful. However the prospect of picking out all the quilting is as unappealing as finishing the quilting myself. So that's what I'm going to do.

My plan for this quilt was to shade the colors of the stars across the top. It starts dark in the corners and gets very light in the center and then gradates into dark again. I think I did a very good job with this. And my points are nice and pointy even on the HST border - those little guys are 1 1/2" finished. I just dislike the large scale white on white background I picked. It has spirals, and loops and asterisk motifs - very modern looking - while the blocks are rather traditional. Oh well I just need to embrace the juxtaposition.

As always I did fussy cut some blocks. Here comes the sun...

and here is a cute Christmas soldier.

So this isn't what I planned to do but that's what I'm going to do. I will get around to making him a quilt in the style of Oh My Stars, just not right now. So I'm off to wind about a dozen bobbins and get this done. It is nice to see that this UFO held up nicely and it wasn't even sealed in plastic... it just languished in a basket in the corner, waiting for its time to come.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, August 27, 2012

A tiny bit of progress on Design Wall Monday

I did get a couple more hexagons added to the design wall last week.

I have no idea how big this is going to get. I'm thinking that I'd like a lap/twin size quilt to toss over the back of my stitching chair, but I'll have to see where this quilt leads me. I did find some more pretty Fall fabrics in my stash. This one...

and this one. It has gold accents that are very pretty.

As I was looking at my design wall I had a memory of a sign from my youth and I had to look it up (thank you Wikipedia) to see if what I remembered was accurate. If you were a child of the 50's and 60's you might remember this....

it is a sign for a Fallout Shelter. I remember drills where you were to get under your desk at school and cover your head in the event of a nuclear explosion. I'm glad it never occurred since I doubt the effectiveness of this behavior...just saying - LOL! However, I think it might be appropriate to name this the "Fallout" quilt... what do you think?

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Blessings on Sampler Sunday

Bev and Joyce at Joanns did it again -- another wonderful framing job! This one is from Ewe & Eye & Friends and is titled Turkey Hill Farm.

I found this is a wrinkled ziploc bag at the bottom of a plastic bin -- double the protection - LOL! It was almost complete. All it needed was a little stitching on the border and that little tree.

Now I'm sure that the original kit came with the felt for this tree but it is long gone. Luckily I have a nice stash of wool felt and found this lovely green piece. I did a buttonhole stitch along the outer edge and filled it with french knots. Yes, my tree does blow in a the wind a bit.... I meant to do that.... um yeah, I didn't think you'd believe that. Somehow as I was stitching it down it just kept leaning, so I went with it. I think it adds a nice element to the piece. And isn't that little saying wonderful? And what was even more wonderful, is that when I liberated this from the ziploc bag all that over one stitching was already done!

Now I find it interesting that this little piece (the stitched area is just 5" square) includes a yellow house... and you know how I LOVE yellow houses and what can only be the long lost cousin of the polka dot chicken, a polka dot turkey!

I stitched this piece years ago, long before the idea of a polka dot chicken ever entered my mind. Maybe the seeds were sown with this piece.... my mind is filled with all kinds of useless clutter - LOL!

Right now I'm counting among my blessings water based house paints and the well padded derriere that the good Lord gave me. I got 2 coats of primer and 1 coat of semi-gloss on the living room and dining room baseboards. The LR measures about 20' X 12' and the dining room is about 12' X 12'. Add in 2 door frames (one to the kitchen and one for the front door) and a funky half wall divider with a well in it... I think it may have been a planter box... and you have a whole lot of sitting on the floor scootching around. That tiny little voice is again pointing out that a second coat of semi-gloss would be in order. Right now I'm stuffing a sock in its mouth... a lovely cashmere sock with cables that I'm knitting for me.

Hope you all have a wonderful week! I've got lots on my agenda - more painting, my youngest starts back to college classes which has me chauffeuring and helping with assignments, and I have some cleaning and pitching of junk I want to do. We'll see how it all pans out.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thoughts on a Thursday

After the productive spurt I had last week this week has been noticeably less productive. I haven't had a paint brush in my hand since Sunday. In fact I only went over to my son's house once and that was to hang the valance I made for the kitchen window. I forgot to take my camera but I'll get a picture when I go and retrieve it. After hanging it I could clearly see it needs the decorative trim that I left off. It is kinda blaaahhh... and that wasn't the look I was going for. I have done a little fabric shopping this week and a little cross stitch and knitting but nothing significant. Next week starts a new schedule for my youngest son - college classes on the semester system versus the quarters he has been doing - so that will bring new challenges. Anyone who has an Asperger's person in their lives knows all too well that changes in routines are not easy - but we'll get through it.

And I was going through my camera memory card and realized I never showed pictures of this finished quilt. So in a salute to Summer picnics coming to a close (and the fact that this blog could use some crafty content) I give you "Coleslaw"!

To refresh your memory these are 4 patch Stack in Whack blocks made from a Phillip Jacobs cabbage print. Sorry the pictures aren't the greatest but it was a really sunny day and I took pics in the sun and in the shade and both had issues.

This is the center of the quilt and I love those blocks that look like roses.

Here is a close-up of the quilting - isn't that rose design lovely? Cass does a great job in picking quilting patterns to complement the blocks.

I also want to apologize for not responding to comments you have all so graciously left on this blog the last week. I am soooooo behind on so many things. I need to get my son's house wrapped up very very soon so I can get back to my life --- and I'd like to get a week of 40 hour days too - it would be helpful in getting caught up. And today instead of being home and getting something done, I'm off to the Kentucky State Fair with my niece. We are going to see the "Happy Together" show this evening.
It has Mickey Dolenz from the Monkees and one of my favorite bands from the 60's the Grassroots. Check out this link And I should have time to check out the quilts too. My friend Linda judged some of them and said there were some lovely ones.

Happy stitching-
c itarol fun

Monday, August 20, 2012

Squeezing in sewing on Design Wall Monday

Oh my goodness last week was soooo busy - shopping, painting, cleaning and more painting. If we had gotten finished with all we had planned I'd be feeling better...but there is still a lot to do. I did find a little time to squeeze in a tiny bit of sewing.

And I do mean a tiny bit of sewing because the only part of any block here that is sewn together is 3 triangles of ONE hexagon. I've been wanting to make a quilt with hexagons for a while and I started with a jelly roll of fall fabrics that I found in my stash. I've misplaced the tag for this jelly roll but it is interesting that the entire collection reads as darks. I've added in some lighter pieces from my stash and then I got the idea to add hexagons that were just one fabric. Like this piece...

and this piece...

and the piece de resistance.... chickens in fall colors!

These are big hexagons,they measure about 8 1/2 inches. I cut them out with my new Hex and More ruler... you can see it here. I'm really impressed with this ruler as you can cut the triangle pieces that make up a larger hexagon, as well as a full hexagon with the same ruler.

As you can see I'm still stuck in a Fall palette. I found several large cuts of pretty leafy Fall fabrics in my stash... some older Hoffman's with gold accents,some Robert Kaufmann and assorted other designers. I can't remember on whose blog I saw a similar arrangement of pieced and unpieced hexagons but it was very cool. I think I can arrange my full hexagons in such a way that I won't have to do any inset seams. Now all I need is to find some more time to sew!

Well my son didn't get moved into his house yet, but he's okay with it. The painting of one room somehow morphed into the painting of all the woodwork in the house. I'm not sure how that happened but I think it might have been me who said "those blue walls would look great with white baseboards." What was I thinking??? The walls do look great but it turned out to be a whole lot of work.

First the baseboards needed to be sealed and primed. I found a water based primer for this (thanks Pinterest) and started with one coat of primer followed by a coat of semi-gloss. Good but not good enough. So another coat of semi-gloss.... and then is still needed another coat. Looks great but boy does it take time. We did limit ourselves to just baseboards and door trim, however this house has LOTS of baseboards and door trim. There is a small area in the center of the house, about 8 foot square and in this area are SIX door openings that are trimmed all the way around - door to the kitchen, door to the attic, bedroom door, another bedroom door, closet door and bathroom door. When I started in this area I realized that 2 coats of primer might enable me to do only one coat of semi-gloss. The jury is still out on this. It looks pretty good with one coat of semi-gloss but there is still that little nagging voice saying two coats would look even better. I wish that little voice would shut his trap because my arms and knees are aching. My son has to go back to work today and I'm taking the day off. I thinks some quality time in my sewing room will be quite enjoyable and I won't have to clean paint from under my fingernails.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, August 13, 2012

I am so honored!

About a month or so ago,Karin at Lovin' Life at the End of a The Dirt Road told me she was getting chickens. I shared how much I'd like a coop of my own, but I have a homeowner's association that frowns on backyard fowl. Karin said I could live vicariously through her flock and she was going to name the sweetest chicken after me. Oh my goodness - what an honor! I told her that my son suggested that she should name the orneriest chicken after me - and I understand his thinking. I can be quite a pain in the butt. But is it my fault that I know exactly what he should be doing??? As I have told some people, do it my way and at least one of us will be happy. Yeah, that doesn't always go over too well.

Please stop over at Karin's blog and read the wonderful story of her chickens - it will make you happy and make you sad and then make you happy again! Thank you Karin -- I am so honored!

Now if you've stopped by here the last week or so you have seen a noticeable lack of new content. Sorry about that but I've been up to my eyeballs in projects to help my son move into his first house. I've made hundreds of trips (okay that's a slight exaggeration) to furniture stores, IKEA, hardware stores, Walmart, JC Penneys and Kohls. He is starting from scratch and HATES to shop so he's given me his checkbook and told me to take care of it. It has been fun shopping for everything from curtains to dishes but after I've deposited them at his new house they always seem to need extra attention - from washing the dishes to hanging the drapes. I will say the place is taking shape nicely. He has this week off (although he went into work this morning for a couple of hours - the boy is a workaholic) and together he and I painted the walls in his bedroom. I love the blue he picked out - click here - Stratford Blue by Benjamin Moore. Tomorrow we have plans to paint woodwork and doors and assemble some of the IKEA furniture that was delivered today. I'm hoping that we can get him moved in by the end of the week and that I can get back to my sewing room.

But for now I'm going to take 2 Advil and go to bed. I know I climbed up and down that ladder at least a million times today (and no that isn't an exaggeration). LOL!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wonderful Wednesday

Notice anything different about my Butterscotch Scrap Jar Stars?

Yep, they are done and I have the borders on and I am very very happy with this quilt. But did you notice that there are 9 less blocks than there were on Monday? On Monday my plans were to have 5 rows of 5 blocks. I came home after the guild meeting and sewed my little heart out, getting the last row on and adding the extra rounds to finish off the 9 patches. And I went to bed.....

and when I came downstairs on Tuesday morning I suddenly realized that if I was going to add the generous sized pumpkiny borders that I wanted, this quilt was going to be a behemoth! I plan to use it on a double bed. It would have dragged on the ground. What was I thinking??? So I removed a row from the bottom and a row from the side and re-did the round that finishes the nine patches. Now with the lovely pumpkiny borders it will be the perfect size for my bed. Happy happy happy!

This is one lovely corner....

and a bit of a close up of the lovely pumpkiny border and a chicken, You didn't think I'd forget the chickens did you???

I'm going to drop this off to my long arm quilter, Cass, today and I'm hoping that by the time I get it back there will be cool, crisp Fall weather. I'm probably delusional on that count, but I'm still looking forward to autumn. I love the Fall season!

So now I'm off and running - take quilt to Cass, take younger son to lunch and then to volunteer job, take myself to IKEA to pick up some of the small items older son wants for new house, take myself back to pick up younger son, take younger son and me to meet up with older son for dinner and another trip to IKEA for the bigger items. Run run run as fast as you can, you can't catch me cause I'll be driving really fast - ok I really will be doing the speed limit, don't want any tickets.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sooooo close on a Design Wall Monday

I am soooooo close to being finished with my fall themed Scrap Jar Stars.

One more star, one more row, then an additional round where I'll complete the 9 patches on the outside and the borders. I really really really wanted to have this done in time to take to the guild meeting tonight, but I don't see it happening. However, last evening around 11:30 pm I did remember that I could possibly drop this off to my long arm quilter later in the wee if she is going to her mini-group meeting. I'll have to call her today and ask.

I am loving these blocks and I am very happy with that Moda Grunge fabric in the background.

It has the appearance of sanded paint and there are bright patches and dull patches and patches with a touch of peachy pink. I know I'd like to have more of this in my stash.

I got a lot accomplished on this quilt yesterday afternoon as I listened to my beloved Cincinnati Reds play the Pittsburgh Pirates. Its a good thing the quilt is pretty because the game was ugly. The Reds starting pitcher goes by the nickname "Homer" Bailey. Giving up a homer is not what you want to do if you are a pitcher. I contend he'd be a better pitcher if his nickname was "Ground Ball Out" Bailey. Just saying.

Well its a busy Monday.... driving around for my younger son and then guild meeting tonight. It should be a good one. We are having a mini shop hop and I getting two quilts back from my long arm quilter. Yep, its going to be a good day.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A primitive sampler for Sunday

I was able to pick up another wonderful framing job from Bev & Joyce at Joanns the other day and I LOVE how it came out. This primitive sampler is called "Bless this Day". I started this one eons ago and found it still waiting for me in its rather wrinkled ziploc bag several weeks ago. It was close to being done, and again I have no idea why I lost interest and put it away. A couple of hours of stitching had it completed.

It is an sampler from years ago, in fact, I can't find a copyright mark or date any where on it! It says is it "a country crossstitch design by cheri" and I think that is Cheri Saffiote. I have several quilting books she's authored and this has the same primitive style.

I remember that the reason I chose this chart was for this adorable angel. I swear it is a dead ringer for an angel I drew in the 2nd grade.

Forgive the trip down memory lane, but this is one of those vivid childhood memories that has never left me. It was one of the last days of school for the years, Sister Dorothy, one of the sweetest nuns who ever walked the earth, was handing out awards. I received several for spelling, reading, and arithmetic and was feeling quite pleased with myself. Then she announced I has won the award for "Art Student" of the year. Wow!!! I went up and picked up my folder and realized that this was a mistake. The artwork looking back at me was an angel with a lop sided halo and a black eye. I had drawn this angel and decided one eye was too small so I erased it and made a total mess of it. In those days you did not get another piece of art paper, you had to make do. She was a sweet angel but certainly not "Art Student" of the year quality. As I raised my hand to reluctantly tell Sister Dorothy of this error, she realized that she had misspoke and the award rightly belonged to Cindy Klassner. That was over 50 years ago and I still remember her name. I remember at the time I was disappointed that I hadn't won the award, but I knew I didn't deserve it. I wonder where Cindy is now.

Okay, back to today, this sampler is stitched on a rather loosely woven linen in a light olive green. I used Anchor flosses. I ended up using 3 strands so the stitches are very plump.

Those little bees had me stopping and starting quite a bit. And I changed this piece to include the entire alphabet so I could again highlight my boys initials.

Here's a close up of the frame - I love the little worm holes and that darker inner border is part of the frame, not an extra addition. I think the primitive quality of the frame was a great choice for this piece.

A follow-up on the shopping yesterday - OMG - I think I walked 10 miles! First we went to a local furniture store - it was huge - we looked at EVERYTHING. My son did purchase a sofa, chair, ottoman, end tables, tv stand and a rug for his dining room. A very productive stop, only downside the furniture will take 40 days and of course he'd like it right now. Then a stop at Target, got a nice bench for the front room and a flat screen tv. And then we went to IKEA -- bad bad bad idea!!! I have never seen so many people. We didn't get there until around 4pm. The place was packed and if you've ever been to IKEA you know you come in one door and almost have to walk the entire square footage of two humongous floors to exit. He did decide on a bed frame, a chest of drawers, a rug for his living room, a giant picture of Cincinnati and a console piece that we are going to paint to put by the front door. However we did not purchase any of these items. The "loading area" probably has 25 or more spaces for cars to park and pick up their merchandise. Every single space was occupied and there was a line of cars stretching through the parking lot waiting to take their turn to get into the loading area. It kinda reminded me of lines at Disney World - they went on forever. Luckily we only live 10 minutes from IKEA so we will return one night this week to collect his furniture. It will still be there and hopefully there will be lots less people. On the plus side my son enjoyed people watching - particularly the young lady wearing a white gauzy dress with no undergarments - and he wasn't the only one who noticed. I hope she was there to buy a full length mirror.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, August 3, 2012

On and off the Needles

There hasn't been enough knitting time in the past couple of weeks, but I do have something finished to show. See.....

it isn't just a big black blob, it is a BIG BLACK sock. From cuff to toe is it 13" high and the length of the foot is over 10". This has taken way too long to finish since every time I needed to have the boy try it on he was no where to be found. And when he was home I forgot the sock needed attention. Hopefully the second sock will go much quicker.

For a size comparison, this is one of my socks sitting on top of his.

I went up in needle size from 2.75 mm to 3.25mm and cast on 80 stitches versus the 64 I usually cast on for me.

And to keep myself amused while working on the big black sock, I did knit a little more on my Summer Flies shawl. This yarn is yummy and has alpaca and cashmere in it.

I LOVE this section of Open Knotwork and have already knit twice as many rows as the pattern calls for. I can't figure out where to stop. I still have quite a bit of yarn left and the final section is just stockinette with a picot bind off. I want to use as much of this yarn as possible without running out and having to do some reverse knitting.

Well the next couple of weeks are going to be extra busy. My son (the one with the BIG feet) closed on his first house this week and we (meaning me) are doing lots to get it ready to move into. Now to his credit he is working an exorbitant amount of hours getting ready for 2 big trials and he really hates shopping. He's told me to go ahead and purchase what I think he needs. So far he's liked just about everything I've purchased. This weekend I am dragging him out to look at furniture. I'm thinking a whirlwind trip to IKEA might produce the best results. And a trip to the hardware store to pick out paint. Lots of details.

Hope you have a great weekend!
Happy stitching-
carol fun