Sunday, June 30, 2013

Slow stitching on Sunday

First before I forget.... and I have for the past couple of days. Since the Google Reader is going away I have claimed my blog on Bloglovin, so you can follow me there. Or you can follow me on Feedly. I hope I've got these buttons loaded correctly. I am following blogs on both sites and trying to see which I like best. So far it depends on whether I'm reading them on my blog or my Kindle. Use whichever works best for you  and thanks for reading my blog. I do appreciate it!

So there were a couple of baseball games last week, and while the scores were less than satisfying at least the cross stitch time was pleasant. I finished Bluebird Sampler by Threadwork Primitives.

I am very happy with how this turned out. It measures about 5 X 7 inches. I think I will have it framed as it will look very pretty on the blue walls of my new bedroom.... when I finally get moved in.... which is still a while away.... as the renovation is in slow motion at the moment. Need to put this thought out of my head - now.

So fortuitously, after putting the last stitches in the Bluebird piece on Wednesday night, on Thursday the mailman brought the latest installment of the Ladies Prim Society from Dyeing to Stitch. This piece is another one by Nan at Threadwork Primitives - love her stuff! It is called Victory Garden and it will be a beautiful pinkeep.

Now I only got a couple of motifs started.

Love the crown -- we all need a crown don't we? And that bird...I'm not sure what Nan had in mind but to me this little guy looks like one of those fancy schmancy chickens. You know the ones with the cute topknot of feathers? And you know how I love chickens - LOL! The linen is lovely olive green. My picture doesn't show that well (blame the photographer). You stitch your initial on a separate piece of linen and sew them together to complete the piece. I can't wait to get to that part.

And have you seen the Loose Feathers offering from Blackbird Designs? Here are the first six charts.

The chart with the big bird in the little tree in the upper left hand corner of the first picture is suppose to be released in July. I am loving these. Alphabets, great borders, a house or two and birds - love them all!  Barb Adams of BBD says that each chart can be framed in the same style molding and the 12 pieces will fit together like a collage. I'm thinking of stitching them and then sewing them together with BBD fabric and making a wall hanging quilt. I'll have to see if this works in reality but it seems to work in my brain - which really isn't any guarantee now is it? LOL!

So while parts of my life are stressful at least I can turn to my stitching for enjoyment and relaxation. And as Martha would say "that's a good thing."

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The trouble with fat quarters

I had a great time on Thursday at the NQA show in Columbus. Lovely quilt and nice vendors and I got to meet Terry from Terry's Treasures. Hi Terry!! You can see a pic of both of us on her blog here. I'm the one with the fuzzy hair and the crazy purse. I had planned to text Terry when I got there but I got sucked into the vendors. I was thinking to myself that at the end of the aisle I was in, I would call her and the next thing I knew someone said, "Carol?". Now she's never seen me before but she said she looked down and saw the yellow shoes I talked about and figured it had to be me. LOL! It was great to meet another blogger, and Terry and I exchange emails now and again and it s great to put a face with blog. Terry showed what she bought at the show and she was way more virtuous than me. I thought I was being virtuous because (almost) all I purchased was fat quarters.... the trouble with fat quarters is that the don't like to go home alone. They need friends to hold their hands and tell them everything is going to be fine. At least that is my story and I'm sticking to it- LOL!

So here are the fat quarters I bought. Big Dude gave them his sniff of approval.

There are 50 fat quarters in this haul. Oh my goodness! I didn't realize how many I purchased until I got them home and started to refold them. I was concentrating on more Kaffe dots and the paperweight patterns which remind me of dots. And then there were some brights and a couple of blacks & whites and two adorable Peanuts "Its the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" that I couldn't leave behind. Here's a close up.

And I got this new template/ruler set at Quilt Trends shop in Columbus. They were making a scrap quilt out of Kaffe fabrics with this set and it was gorgeous.

And I got a pattern that makes a bunny wall hanging with the little Twister ruler and a foundation pieced Christmas tree. I think that takes care of the holiday shopping for a little while. Sorry for the glare - the cover is real shiny.

That tree will be about 40" tall. They had an even taller one but I didn't know if I'll have a big enough space to hang it in my new house. The sample was really cute with ornaments hanging on it.

So all in all it I got a great haul of goodies at the show. Now to spend some quality time with my sewing machine and play with these fat quarters.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, June 28, 2013

What's on the Needles?

I got quite a bit of knitting done this last week. I was energized by finishing my Strathcona scarf and starting this new Cladonia. Oh I am loving this one!

I saw this color combo here on Ravelry and could NOT resist. Normally I don't get excited by gray, but combined with the golden yellow and then adding that orange as an accent - wow! The yarn is DROPS Alpaca and I got it here at Nordic Mart. I've never knit with alpaca before and I love how soft it is. It reminds me of that angora I use to wrap around my boyfriend's high school class ring so it would sort of fit hand (and yes I am dating myself here, but it is a good memory). Anyway I've bought alpaca before but somehow I've never used it. I will now and I plan to get more. Cause more is better, right? (Shake your head up and down, up and down. Good job! LOL) I've made this Cladonia shawl before and I will make it again. There are so many gorgeous color combinations. Right now I'm really into 2 or 3 color shawls/scarves/cowls. Here's another pattern I want to try - click here - Albers Cowl. I bought this one last night and I think I should have plenty of leftover yarn to chose from - like that laundry basket of bit and bobs in the corner.

Here is the Strathcona finished but not blocked yet. I like how it comes to a point in the center. I'll probably knit this again too. So many projects, so little time.

Check back tomorrow. I have pictures of my haul from the NQA show in Columbus and the highlight of my day, I got to meet Terry of Terry's Treasures. She has already posted about the show here. I have appointments today and need to scoot but I'll put together a post tomorrow.

Till then -
happy knitting and quilting and stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Working on Wednesday

On this Wednesday I can show the work I did on this quilt, Hourglass, from the latest book by Kim Brackett, Scrap Basket Beauties.

The fabric is an older collection from Moda. The designer is Keiko and  the line was called Wee Woodland. I love the colors and that border print with the alphabet put me over the moon.

Terry Finnerty of the Walking Needle quilted this one and I really like that swirly pantograph.

These little guys are my favorite creatures in the alphabet print - love the bird and that snail is just too stinking cute!

Like all the quilts I've made with Kim Brackett patterns, this one went together very easily. I may make this pattern again in Kaffe Fasset prints. or maybe some 30's prints, or maybe just black and white prints. Oh my head is spinning with all the possibilities - LOL!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, June 24, 2013

This way or that way on Design Wall Monday

I needed an easy, no brainer quilt project and I remembered the St. Louis 16 patch that I had seen on Sew with Sass blog. You can check it out here. It makes BIG blocks. Mine are coming out 14 1/2" unfinished.

The fabrics are a line called Snap Pop by Sandy Gervais. This line has been out for a little while but I hadn't seen it till about a week ago. Somehow neither of my go to stores - Fabric Shack or Fat Quarter Shop - carried this line. I only found it when I was on Moda's site. You can see the entire collection here. I love the colors in this collection and the wavy plaids. After polka dots, plaid fabrics are my second favorite print. Now like most collections there are more darks than lights so I've added in some polka dots that are in my stash.

So that first picture is the layout that I saw the most, but I got to thinking (and that's where things usually go off the rails). What if I turn the blocks on point?

Oh I really like this. I could fill in the outside triangles with more dotty fabrics. I almost always like blocks better on point and there is the added bonus that the quilt gets bigger without adding more blocks. My original plan was to make 25 blocks set 5 x 5 which would make a quilt about 70" square. But if I put the same number of blocks on point, now the quilt will be about 79" square. So do I really need this to be a bigger quilt? Well, no, not really. But I seem to be genetically unable to make small quilts. Its not my fault - LOL!

Check out the other design walls on the Patchwork Times. So much inspiration there.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Slow stitching on Sunday

There was a bit of slow stitching almost every night last week. That's because the Reds were playing and I do enjoy "watching" the game and stitching. Okay, it is more of listening and then watching the replays. Some games were good last week, some not so much. But the stitching was always a winner.

I finished my Song of Spring by Blackbird Designs. This is from The Ladies Prim Society from Dyeing to Stitch in Virginia Beach, Virginia. I joined this club after seeing Chris at Tot Hill Farm Stitches  working on it and I love it!

Now to make it my own I changed the color of the house to Crescent Colours Queen Bee - I love that yellow. And since I'm moving to a little yellow house this just resonates with me. I changed the colors of the C and N to denote my sons and the F for my last name. I added the date 1953 which is the year my house was built, and it is my birth year - it was a very good year dontcha know! And then I replaced the big bunny with..... wait for it.... a BIG polka dot chicken!!!

The perfect finishing touch. I found this chicken already graphed for me including the polka dots in the book Sampler Workbook by Caroline Vincent. You can see it here on Amazon. Now I have to go and look for some good coupons for the framing. This sampler with a yellow house is one of several I've done (and I will do more) and I'm hoping to have a little display of samplers with yellow houses in my new home.

So with this piece done I started a new project. This one should be a quick stitch. This is Bluebird Sampler by Threadwork Primitives.

I am very impressed with the chart for this piece. It is BIG - a full 8 1/2 x 11 inch page and in color. Very easy to read. I did change the flosses to overdyes from the called for DMC. The blue is Crescent Colours Deep Blue Sea. The green is Dried Thyme, the rose is Antique Rose and the brown is Maple Syrup all by Gentle Arts.

Well the baseball game just started so I'm going park myself in my comfy chair and "watch" the game -- it is starting on a high note with a home run- yeah!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Saturday, June 22, 2013

It screamed my name

I got a call from my BFF Stephie the other day and she said she had something for me. I had no idea what it was. She had it wrapped up and when I opened the package I squealed - oh my goodness I LOVE this purse.

I have been wanting an across the body bag to carry at quilt shows and other places where I want both hands free. I have a pattern and I've been saying I was going to make one but.... well, you know the story... I just never got around to it. Stephie said when she saw this bag, it didn't call my name, it screamed it - LOL! She has very sensitive hearing don'tcha know. Bright yellow and polka dots -- a match made in heaven! Thank you Stephie!!

What is even better is about a week ago I bought myself these shoes - they are Keen brand and they are sooooo comfortable.

Now is this not a perfect pair????

I plan to be decked out with these next week at the NQA show in Columbus. If you see me say hello. I doubt there will be anyone else with the same accessories, but if there is I want to meet her.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, June 21, 2013

What's on the Needles?

I finished up a pair of big black socks for my oldest son but they aren't very photogenic. And then I started a project for me -

this is a long scarf called Strathcona and you can see the pattern here. The yarn is Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool and it feels so good. The scarf comes to a point at the center. You change the direction of the slant of the mesh stitch.

This picture captures the colors better. The mesh part is done in Citrine and the knit part is Dusty Blue. I love how they look together.

I should have this finished by the end of the weekend and then I have a Cladonia shawl I can't wait to start. I hope to have pics of it next Friday.

Well, I didn't wait long to spend my gift certificate from The Loopy Ewe. There were so many pretty yarns to choose from and I picked these beauties.

From the bottom to the top -the fallish colored yarn is Sokkusu and the colorway is Tree Frog. I do love Fall colors. The middle skein is Dream in Color Smooshy and the colorway is Dusky Aurora. And that top skein is Cascade Heritage - did you think I could pass up a good yellow yarn??? LOL - it is impossible! I don't have any definite plans for these skeins, although I'm thinking that yellow Cascade would be a lovely pair of lacy socks. I'll just have to wait and see what develops.

Have a great weekend-
happy stitching and knitting!

carol fun

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Catching up

First I want to thank everyone who sent congratulations on my winning the "Pooling Sock Challenge" from the Judy L at the  Patchwork Times. I really appreciate your kind words. I have already spent the gift certificate (feign shock here) and will show some pictures of my haul later this week.

Soooo if you have wondered where I've been the past 2 weeks, and perhaps thought " oh she's busy with her new house" ...... hold that thought. The reality is the house renovation has come to a standstill as my contractor unexpectedly spent a week in the hospital. I do feel sorry for him. He was stressed before and stressed even more now. He did do an inspection of my house and pointed out several areas the painters need to come back and correct that I hadn't noticed. And there were a couple of spots I wanted touched up. He impressed me with his "the customer is always right" attitude about having things done to my satisfaction. Now if he can just catch up on the other 2 jobs I will get his undivided attention.

And the uncertainty about the house and my life in general has put me in a funk where nothing really creative has been happening... which is my excuse for not posting. I have knit a little and cross stitched a little but I've only turned on my sewing machine once in the last 2 weeks. I know if  I start a new project it will put me in a better mood, so I hope to jump into one very soon.

However a post without a picture is missing something in my view and I do have some shots of one of the quilts I recently bound. This is Marigolds. It is a Fig Tree pattern, you can see it here. And I used several Fig Tree collections.

And here is a close up of the quilting. Cass did this one in an all over floral in a soft yellow.

This is a departure from my normal screaming brights but every once in a while I like making a soft quiet quilt. And on the subject of soft colored fabric collections, I was lucky enough to win a FQ pack of the upcoming Fig Tree line, Honeysweet from Fat Quarter Shop. You can see the entire line here on Moda's website.  I entered one of their giveaways from the Spring Market. I'm thinking of using it to make this pattern called Clovers and Jam - click here to see it.

Thanks again to the friends who checked in on me because I hadn't posted. I'm fine just not chatty but feeling better. I'm spending this afternoon sitting on my screen porch enjoying this wonderful day and so far I haven't heard a single lawn mower - yeah! Peace and quiet and a little cross stitch with Big Dude lounging at my feet. A good day!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, June 7, 2013

Almost off the needles and a wonderful surprise!

I've been working on this pair of socks for about a week or so. I had hoped they would be a candidate for Judy L's Pooling Sock Yarn Challenge, but early on I could tell they were going to spiral, not pool. Nevertheless, I love the colors soft blue, turquoise, olive, gold, tangerine. It makes me think of a lovely sunset over the ocean. Ok -- maybe that's the yarn fumes talking - LOL!

This is another Opal yarn called Handgefarbt Lasst Blumen sprechen. Which I think translates to Hand dyed, Let the Flowers Talk. I found it on ebay and I'm going to search for other colorways as I do love Opal yarn.

And now for the surprise... this pair of socks was chosen the winner of Judy L's Pooling Sock Yarn Challenge.

Oh my goodness I was so surprised! The elves at The Loopy Ewe picked them and Judy generously gifted me with a $25 gift certificate to The Loopy Ewe.
EDITED because I don't pay attention -- The gift certificate is for $50 -- insert squeal here - now I must go and drool over the yarn at The Loopy Ewe!

 I am going to have lots of fun picking out some more wonderful yarn. This is the company that sends your purchase with a message on the outside of the package,   "A Box of Fun", and it is!

These are just plain stockinette socks - 62 stitches on 2.75mm needles - my go to sock pattern. I did nothing to manipulate the yarn or the pooling - it just happened -and that is what I love about pooling sock yarn, you just never know what you are going to get.

So I'm starting the weekend on a high note here. I'm going to watch baseball and sit and stitch and knit and relax. Just the way I want to spend my time!

Hope you have a great weekend too!

Happy knitting-
carol fun

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Westminster Niner for Wednesday

Over the weekend I engaged in some marathon quilt binding and now I can show off what I got finished. This is my Westminster Niner. All the fabrics are from Westminster - Kaffe Fassett, Brandon Mably, Phillip Jacobs. The pattern in a new release from Thimble Blossoms called Niner - you can see it here.

I am so HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY with this quilt! It measures about 84" square and is going to look fabulous in my new house. I'm envisioning this hanging over the back of my living room sofa.... or on my bed. Who know where it will end up. I dragged it outside for a couple of pictures this afternoon. It was very sunny and hard to get the colors exactly right.

Lounging on the lawn - looks comfy! LOL

Here is a close up of one of the "blocks"... except I didn't follow the pattern direction and instead of blocks I put it together in diagonal rows. Doing it the way I did eliminated dealing with bias edges all along the outside of the block and made it easier to assemble, in my humble opinion. Also I cut all of the outside triangle units using my Easy Cut ruler (it is an older version of the EZ Companion Angle ruler) and I had no bias edges to deal with, at all. I probably used more background fabric the way I did it, but I had lots of the lovely yellow fabric with the orange dots.

I really love the pantograph quilting pattern on this quilt. It is a large paisley in a bright orange thread and was done by Terry Finnerty of The Walking Needle. - you can see her Facebook page here. I am very happy with her work. I really feel that the quilting give the quilt a wonderful extra dimension.

Now I'd like to wash this quilt and get it nice and crinkly but that will have to wait for the weekend. On Monday my washer decided it didn't like to do big loads and has overflowed twice. The oldest Y chromosome member of this household has "repaired" it to his satisfaction, but not mine. He believes I should only do small loads and then it won't overflow. Genius idea... too bad I do the washing for 4 people who change clothes daily and create a large amount of laundry. The washer has been going non-stop on the "small" load plan. And while this may keep him from purchasing a new washer I'm sure the electric and water bill next month will increase substantially. Grrrrr.... I'll take the quilt down to my son's house over the weekend and use his washer instead.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Slow stitching on Sunday

Look! Look! Something crafty! LOL!  Along with all comparative household shopping I've been doing I've had a little time to stitch - mostly while "watching" my beloved Cincinnati Reds play baseball. I love baseball and I love it when they are winning. I've been following the Reds since I was a wee tot. My sainted Grandma use to listen to Waite Hoyt broadcast the games on WLW radio. I have fond memories of sitting outside in one of those now "retro" metal chairs that kinda bounce and talking and listening to the baseball game with her.  Life was slower.... such a nice memory.

So this is my latest cross stitch project. I know I said I was going to focus on my BBD Anniversaries of the Heart but this piece was irresistible.

It is Song of Spring by BBD (you know I LOVE them).  I saw this piece on Chris' blog Tot Hill Farm Stitches.  This is the second installment from the Ladies Prim Society hosted by the shop Dyeing to Stitch in Virginia.  I love everything about this piece - the border, the tulips, the house, the giant basket.  Of course no matter how much I love a piece I still find something I want to tweak. I've changed the color of the house to be more yellow. I used Crescent Colors Queen Bee. And I'm going to replace the giant rabbit with a couple of chickens... perhaps with polka dots. Stay tuned!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Adventures in renovation

Argghhhhhh.... this is my second try a this post. I was almost finished when I hit something and EVERY SINGLE WORD disappeared! And I had been quite chatty and creative... darn, hope I can remember at least some of it.

Sooooo, where have I been the last week and half? Well I've been shopping and it wasn't nearly as much fun as I imagined. In fact it was quite nerve wracking. So many decisions to make. I've looked at lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, faucets, paint, tile, front doors, drapes, rugs, furniture and appliances. Boy are appliances expensive! The first place I got prices at was Sears, and I must have "sucker" written on my forehead because by the time the salesman got done with me the total topped $10,000. Not gonna happen. I want nice appliances but that is too much. The kitchen is only 8' X 10' and the thing I like to make most for dinner is a reservation. I have 6 different pizzeria numbers in my cell phone! LOL! So I went to at least another 5 stores and finally got the appliances purchased. My list got severely shortened from all the things I thought I needed at Sears, and I ended up with a nice French door refrigerator, an electric stove with a smooth cooktop and a dishwasher. I spent less than half what Sears quoted and I feel quite virtuous.

The demolition on the kitchen has begun but I thought you might like to see it in its original state - and I do mean original. Here is a picture looking into the kitchen from the living room. Notice how the refrigerator sticks out at least 6 inches into the doorway.

Squeeze past the fridge and step into my kitchen and into 1953. Now those cabinets may have been refaced in the 70's but the counter and the tile on the walls has been untouched since 1953.

See that little bit of counter space to the left of the sink? That is ALL the counter space in the entire kitchen. And those cabinets... yep that is all the cabinetry there was.

Now lets turn to the left and gaze upon the appliances.

Isn't that stove quite the specimen? That is a 1964 Frigidaire Flair stove. It was state of the art. Remember the TV show Bewitched? Samantha had the same stove in her "modern" kitchen.

You push down on a little button by the handle on the front and give it a good pull and the cover slides back and the burners come forward. There are some kind of hydraulics in the doors of the 2 ovens and they open upward. Now both of the ovens and 3 of the 4 burners still work! How many of the appliances I bought this week do you think will still be working in 49 years? Yeah, my guess is none of them too. I thought about keeping this stove and incorporating it into a funky retro kitchen but I'm afraid if I do that it will quit working in about 6 months and I'll have to totally redo my renovation. I'm not taking that chance.

So the demolition has commenced and it has been a lot of work. There was ceramic tile on the walls that went from the floor to a little past the window ledges. It was set in concrete on a wire lathe and it did not want to come off. My son's kitchen has the same tile and they reglazed it but we are changing too much to salvage it. Here's how it looks today - the wall where the appliances were...

and the wall where the sink, countertop and cabinets were. GONE!!!!

Now it will be a while before I can show some "after" pictures. Tom, my contractor, is trying to finish up the house around the corner in the next 2 weeks and he has to do another kitchen remodel before he can finish mine up. I keep telling myself it will be August before this is finished. However there has been other work done in the house. They have reframed the closet in my bedroom. They removed the huge heavy sliding doors that wouldn't stay on the track and are going to put up nice bi-fold doors. They've spackled the cracks and sanded the plaster and started painting and walls and the woodwork. I'm very happy with my color choices. They look even better on the wall than they did in the store. They took up the carpet in a couple of rooms and the hardwood underneath looks great. It is going to need minimal refinishing - yeah! In the basement where my studio will be they have worked on framing the walls and the bathroom and have worked out how to close off the laundry area and the furnace area. It is going to be nice.

Next week I'll tell you about the furniture/drapes/rug shopping. I have a new found respect for interior designers. I want it to look like "me" so I'm not getting everything from one place. I've shopped IKEA, Pier 1, Front Room Furnishings, Penneys, Target and Bed, Bath and Beyond to name a few stores I've been in. I know it won't come as a surprise to you that I have incorporated a bit of yellow into every single room! Even the living room/dining room which is several shades of khaki - I think it is going to look great.

So I hope to get a bit of sewing done tomorrow. I have several quilts back from the long arm gals and I'd like to get the binding on a couple of them so I can have something to take to Show n Tell at the quilt guild meeting on Monday night.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

My entries for the Pooling Sock Yarn Challenge

So what have I been up to besides no good, well I've been knitting socks. Socks with fun pooling yarns. I just LOVE LOVE LOVE pooling sock yarn and I cannot get enough of it as my stash will attest to. Here are my entries for Judy L's Pooling Sock Yarn Challenge on the Patchwork Times blog.

This is the first pair I finished and this is my favorite pair of the trio. It is a Opal Antonia Hand Dyed Sock yarn. I love the colors in this skein and the amazing way they pooled.

The second pair I finished is another Opal Antonia Sock Hand Dyed yarn. I referred to these as the Transportation socks since that orange is the same shade as the double yellow line that they paint on the roads. Quite intense.

And this third pair is from the Schoppel Cat Prints Hand Dyed Collection of yarn. It said it would pool and while they started out pooling, they quickly turned into swirling and then after the heel turn they melted into mush. I like the color combo - raspberry and rose and the "S" that appeared by the cuffs is kinda cool.

All three pairs of these socks was knitted with 62 stitches using the same set of 2.75mm circular needles with the Magic Loop method - my favorite way to knit socks. And I swear I'm going to buy me a pair of Birkenstocks and wear my socks with them and show them off - LOL! My sons will soon refuse to be seen in public with me -- crazy lady!

As for my adventures in house renovation and marathon shopping - check back later and I'll give you an update. It has been quite the experience.

Don't forget to check out the other entries here. There are some gorgeous pooling yarn socks to see!
Happy knitting-
carol fun