Monday, July 29, 2013

Planting more petunias on Design Wall Monday

Last week didn't offer a lot of sewing time, but I did somehow squeeze in a trip to Fabric Shack for some green leafy background fabrics - priorities people, priorities - LOL! My first idea was to use a large green leafy print between all the hexagons but it was too much. Right now I'm entertaining this design idea.

I will use the large scale green to frame random hexagons. Then I'll use a light green Moda Grunge fabric for the rest of the triangles. And I can use the lighter green to frame the rest of the design. I'm planning on having 9 rows of hexagons resulting in a larger hexagon shaped design. I still have a nice chunk of the fabric I used for the hexagons and I want to use that as the border. I've toyed with the idea of giving this whole quilt a hexagon shape and maybe using it as a table topper. Hmmm... still thinking.

Here's a close up of the large leafy green fabric. Kinda tropical looking.

The Moda Grunge has a touch of rose along with a couple of shades of olive green. I like it a lot.

Now if my math is right... and we all know my issues with basic counting... this quilt will need 58 hexagons. There are 50 that will be pieced and I'm going to add is some whole hexagons like these below to complete the quilt.

Hopefully I will have some sewing time this week, but I'm not sure. I have plans to do some packing and there is a lunch at Cheesecake Factory that can't be missed. LOL - it is all about those priorities!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Had to put in replacement windows on Slow Stitching Sunday

This Sunday offered several hours of slow stitching and I made the most of it. This is the 11th house in the Blackbird Design series Anniversaries of the Heart. This chart is titled Evergreen Lane. Now we all know how hand dyed flosses vary from skein to skein but my skeins of Gentle Arts Portabella and Toasted Barley and Cidermill Brown bear no resemblance to the cover photo of this piece. Their house is a gray stone-y house. My house turned into a mottled brown house which required me rip out the trim I had stitched and replace the windows with a much darker color. I picked the same brown as the front door.

All I have left on this chart is to fill in some grass and the centers of those pomegranate-y looking flowers. I'm still thinking of what Thanksgiving saying I can put in the big box.

Here is a shot of the entire piece as it stands.

I really do LOVE this series and I'm so glad I've stuck with it. Finishing this before the end of 2013 is totally doable. Also spurring me on is the fact that I LOVE this year's Loose Feathers. You can see the first 6 charts here. The first graph should be in my mailbox tomorrow and I know I am going to want to put some stitches in it.  I need to figure out what linen I want to use and then get enough to stitch all 12 charts. I'm hoping there is some info in the first chart to give me an idea of how much linen will be needed to stitch the entire series.

Stop over at Kathy's Quilts and see what slow stitching others have done this Sunday.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Thursday, July 25, 2013

What a wonderful surprise!

Oh my goodness! What a wonderful surprise I got on Tuesday. This haul is what I brought home from a trip to Simply Sock Yarn in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Let me tell you how this came about.

My oldest son has taken some vacation days this week and asked me to keep Tuesday open to do some things with him. He had talked about a trip to IKEA for a chair for his house and he wanted my help to hang some pictures. Of course I was up for these projects. However, when Tuesday came he surprised me with his real plan - he was going to drive me to Ft. Wayne (its about 3 hours away) and gave me a chunk of change to shop at Simply Socks. Needless to say I was totally blown away. I have mentioned a couple of times...okay several, no many times - that I wanted to go to this shop but they are only open about 4 days a month. He checked their website and found out that the store would be open during his vacation time and hatched this plan with my youngest son. They were both very proud of themselves for thinking of this gift but I am even more proud of them. They are both wonderful young men! I am certainly blessed with thoughtful sons.

So now to the yarn store - it is amazing! It lived up to and exceeded my expectations. Wow! What a great selection of yarns. Simply Sock Yarn like the name says, is mostly sock weight yarns, but the owner, Allison, does have a bit of DK weight too. There were the brands I've seen before - Malabrigo, Madelintosh, Opal, etc - and other brands I've only seen online - Three Irish Girls, sweetgeorgia.

I spent about an hour in the shop and these skeins jumped into my arms.

From left to right - the first skein in Dream Smooshy and the color is Giant Peach. I see a shawl for this yarn. The next two skeins are sweetgeorgia. The yellow one is called Kill Bill and I see socks in this skein. The technicolor hot pink, lime green, purple yarn is called Hummingbird and has cashmere in it. That is definitely going to be a scarf or shawl. It will feel wonderful around my neck.

Again from left to right, the first skein is a Lorna's Laces and the colorway is Spats. I saw a cool Hitchhiker shawl here on Judy L's blog, Patchwork Times, with this yarn and want one for me. The next two skeins are Three Irish Girls. The brightly colored one is called Ainsley and it told me it needs to be a pair of socks. The Fall colored one is called Fireside Chat - rust, gold, burgundy, olive green, forest green and navy - I could not resist!  The last one is  Jawoll Magic. It is tweedy with tones of black, gray, old gold and touch of blue. It reminded me of Purdue's colors (my oldest son's alma mater) and I think it will make a lovely scarf too.

All in all I was just overwhelmed with my day. The yarn is lovely but the thoughtfulness of my sons to make this wish of mine a reality was the best part. Thank you Chris and Nick - you are the best sons a mother could have.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, July 22, 2013

Pretty pretty petunias on Design Wall Monday

So when I was going through my stash I rediscovered this project and oh it makes my heart sing! Pretty pretty Stack N Whack Petunias! Here are the ones I just put up on my design wall and I love each and every one of them.

I have no idea how big this is going to be. I keep telling myself it does NOT need to be queen size. I hope I listen to myself - LOL! Here are some close ups...

Oh I have a piece turned the wrong way on the one in middle row. I LOVE doing Stack N Whack blocks and my favorite configuration is using the 60 degree triangle to make a hexagon.  You have 3 different possible arrangements for each block and sometimes I have a hard time picking my favorite.

 Next I have to settle on a fabric to fill in between the hexagons. My first inclination was a yellow - gasp! I know you were shocked (not much if you know me). However after a bit more thought I'm thinking that a lovely olive green might be nice. It would look like leaves in between the flowers. Perhaps an olive fabric that has leaves on it! Oh that would be perfect. I think a trip to the fabric store is in order. (Do not remind me that just yesterday I said I should never buy another piece of fabric. I was obviously not in my right mind. LOL)

This is the fabric repeat I started with. It is by Phillip Jacobs of Westminster Fabrics and is called Petunias.  Petunias are one of my favorite flowers. I have great memories of watering my Grandma's and my Great Aunt Lucy's flower beds which were filled with petunias.  They would have loved these beauties.

And I want to thank all of you who commiserated with me over moving. I really shouldn't be complaining. As I said I love all my stuff and I am very lucky to have accumulated such great stuff. And I want to move, I really do. I just wish there were moving fairies who could magically transport the stuff from one house to another. I've moved myself and I've moved with professional moving people and either way there is a lot you have to do for yourself. Oh well right now I'll try to keep sorting through and organizing a bit every day. Right after I sit and sew a few more of these hexagons together!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Enjoying some Slow Stitching on Sunday

I am totally enjoying some slow stitching this Sunday. I was feeling kinda yuckky Friday and Saturday. I could blame the heat but since I'm a stay inside with the AC kinda gal, that really didn't have any bearing on the issue. I spent the days vegging interspersed with a bit of knitting and cross stitching and reading. Here's where my BBD AotH piece is now....

the house for November  called Evergreen Lane is partially built, kinda like my house renovation project.

I want to include some little saying about Thanksgiving in that cartouche at the bottom. There is a lot of space there for a nice sentiment if I stitch it over one. Gotta think about that.

On the house renovation front, I have drywall in my kitchen - yeah! And if Tom's other projects are progressing we can go pick up the kitchen cabinetry at IKEA before this week is over. Fingers crossed!

In anticipation of moving I have been going through my crafty stuff. I've thinned out my fabric stash a bit, and I've corralled my yarn from about 10 different hidey holes and organized it - a bit. I haven't had the energy to tackle my rubber stamp and paper collection which is pretty formidable. What I have discovered are lots and lots and lots of fabrics and projects and yarns and ziploc bags filled with one finished sock and a second started sock,I didn't remember I had. Also I've been hit with the realization that I should never ever ever buy another piece of fabric or skein of yarn. I have sooooo much stuff and well, I love my stuff. But trying to downsize and organize has been like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It looks nice in those plastic bins but I'm still sinking. My little house seems to have a nice amount of storage space but I'm afraid I may max it out before I get everything moved in - yikes! I'm not really packing things up as I should be able to move a carload at a time from this house to my new place. I've done this kinda move before, years ago... when I was much younger... and didn't really know what I was getting myself into. I moved all the contents of a 3 bedroom house (except the appliances and big pieces of furniture) from one neighborhood to another, a load at a time in my station wagon. Remember station wagons?

So I need to go and have a cup of tea and try to calm down and sit and stitch a bit. I know you can't move a 20 year accumulation of stuff in a day, or even a week. Its gonna take time, just like the renovations are. But oh, I can't wait to get this show on the road.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, July 15, 2013

Rewarding myself on Design Wall Monday

Since I got the borders on my Fall Out Hexagon Stars quilt AND I finished sewing together all the blocks in my Snap Pop St. Louis 16 patch, I figured I should reward myself for my tenacity. And, the best reward I could think of was to start a new quilt! Ta dah! Carol's Crazy Spools!

Now this pattern is called "Spools of Thread" and it is by Black Mountain Quilts. You can see it here. My friend Laurey made it and shared it with me. I like that the spools float in the background fabric and you don't have to worry about getting those spool points to match in the corners. That background fabric is a fairly recent collection from KANVAS called "Needles & Pins" and this fabric is titled "Messy Threads". Very apropos don't you think? LOL Every spool is unique. I used a different striped fabric as the "thread" and the spool ends are all different dotty/spotty/swirly prints.

There are two of my favorite blocks....

I picked the colors for the spools using this fabric for my palette.

This fabric has been "maturing" in my stash for years just waiting for the right quilt. I don't want to miter the corners - I don't do that well. So I'm going to make some smaller spool blocks for cornerstones. Also seeing a photo of the quilt shows me I have too many spools with blue in the 2nd column from the right. Gotta move them around a bit.

Hope you have a productive week!
Happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, July 12, 2013

What's on the Needles this Friday

So it took about a week longer to get to this point than I anticipated. I always forget that I'm increasing a couple of stitches every 4 rows and it gets bigger and bigger and bigger and the rows take longer and longer and longer to knit. This is the second time I've knitted Cladonia and it won't be my last time. I'm working on the lace border now and it is too large to totally spread out on these circular needles.

Gray and goldenrod with a pumpkin orange accent! And the yarn is soooo soft - DROPS Alpaca. I'll be knitting with this yarn again too.

Don't forget to check out what others have on their needles at the Patchwork Times.

Happy knitting and stitching-

carol fun

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Working on Wednesday

I was looking for a project that I cut out eons ago, put together about 4 blocks and then stuffed  back in a plastic bag. I had put it someplace safe, very, very safe. It took about 2 hours to locate the project I was looking for, and along the way I also discovered this quilt. I think the last time it saw the light of day was back in September, 2012. Now all it needed was to have the last 2 rows sewn on and the borders added.... and I did it!

I called this quilt Fallout Hexagon Stars because the pieced hexagons reminded me of that symbol for fallout shelters that were everywhere in the 60's. You can see one here.

I love the fabrics in this quilt. That golden yellow that makes the star points and the border is from a Christmas line of a couple of years ago by Nancy Halvorsen. The circles are made of dots and it reminds me of looking at candles glowing through raindrops on a window. Very pretty. If this line every gets reprinted I'll buy more of it, in lots of colors.

I know it is early to be thinking about quilts for Fall but it would be nice to be ahead of the season. This quilt has lovely leaves...

and interesting pieced hexagons...

and chickens!!!

Now I need to find a back for this and send it off to the long arm quilter. I'm thinking an all over swirly pattern in a golden yellow thread. Oh remember how I said I was genetically unable to make a small quilt.... well, this was suppose to be just a little throw. When I first put the borders on I got carried away and this top actually measured 80 X 92- sheesh! I ended up cutting off a couple of inches on each border. I'll use that fabric for the binding so it won't go to waste, but in the end this one measures 70 X 85. A very generous throw - LOL!

I am already envisioning this quilt draped over a chair in my new living room this Fall. My choices for the living room include a lot of neutrals - soft beige couch and easy chair, a round ottoman in a beige/gold print, cream colored area rugs on hardwood floors, two accent chairs in taupe and yellow and several yellow accent tables. You can see my picks here on my Pinterest board. I hope it looks as good in real life as it does in my head. I've bought pieces from several different stores and like I said on Sunday, most of my purchases are still living in warehouses around the state waiting to be called home.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, July 8, 2013

Back to where I started on Design Wall Monday

I got all 25 blocks sewn together last week and then played around with different settings and sashings. And what layout did I end with? The original 5 X 5 straight set!

Now I do like how this looks. I grouped the colors so the lightest ones are in the center and made the outer edges darker. I tried putting the blocks on point which had lots of potential. But then when I tried to find a sashing that worked, well let just say it wasn't pretty. At one point I stepped back and looked at my design wall and the phrase "you've jumped the shark" popped into my head. I can't believe I'm saying this but there were too many dots! I also considered putting these blocks in a plastic bag and coming back to them later. However after trying to organize some of my stash for my move, and finding a couple, several, many, oh a whole LOT of unfinished projects I decided I didn't want another UFO.

And speaking of my move, last week saw a lot of progress on my house. The drywall is up in my basement studio and it has been taped and had one skim coat. The openings have been cut for the light fixtures and they've been wired. I love how it is shaping up. The other house my contractor is working on should be wrapped up by Wednesday and then he'll be full time on mine - yippee!!! I talked with the kitchen design people at IKEA and all the cabinetry and built ins I want should be available as soon as I pay for them. My appliances and several furniture purchases are parked in 3 different warehouses waiting for me to call and have them come on down. The renovation is definitely picking up steam.

Okay I'm off to sort through more of my stash and make another trip to Wallyworld for more plastic totes - I love plastic totes!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Slow stitching on Sunday

I'm linking up again this Sunday with Kathy's Quilts Slow Stitching and I have a bit of cross stitch to share. Along with the link up Kathy has a nice post about slowing down and taking time to breathe and it was quite a timely reminder for me. Relax, take time to think and be ever so grateful for all we have. Very good advice!

So I planned to get a bit more stitching done this week as I watched baseball but Tuesday night's game commanded ALL my attention. Homer Bailey of my beloved Cincinnati Reds pitched a no hitter! Amazing! And my oldest son was lucky enough to actually be in the ball park. He was thrilled to witness it and believes he will probably never be a part of it again as it is such a rare occurrence. I did get the basket almost totally stitched on my Victory Garden by Nan of Threadwork Primitives from the Ladies Prim Society.

And after drooling over the new Blackbird Designs Loose Feathers charts that are starting this month, I decided to pull out my Anniversaries of the Heart and put some more time in on it.

I finished the block for October and started the one for November. I like that the border on the November block is regular and was easy to count - good selection for stitching and baseball "watching".

Now I really have to take some time and sit down and decide what to put in the spaces for personalization. The November block has a large space and I don't have any family events to commemorate in that month, so I'm thinking that a little quote about Thanksgiving may be a nice touch.

And you need to go and check out my friend Marsha's blog, Everybody Loves Clark. She is having a great giveaway and I can't believe I'm sharing this with you as I would really love to win these charts - LOL! Anyway pop over and become a follower and sign up. She was working on getting up to 100 followers and it looks like she made it but the more the merrier!

Okay off to stitch a bit more and watch some baseball! A great afternoon in my book!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, July 1, 2013

Pondering placement on Design Wall Monday

I got a few more of the St. Louis 16 patch blocks sewn up. This is one of each of the fat quarters I have from the Snap Pop line by Sandy Gervais. This is the "standard" placement and it does look nice.

And this is the same 12 blocks set on point.

I think it looks good too. Hmmm.... I'll just have to make the other 13 blocks and see which placement wins out.

Tonight is my monthly quilt guild meeting and it is the first time in ages that I don't have a quilt top to take to one of the long arm gals. It seems strange since I've been finishing at least one top a month for quite a while. Guess it was time for a breather. I assume once I get into my "moving" mode in the next month or so I won't get a top done in those months either. Oh well. And speaking of my house, I stopped by last night to see what had gotten done last week. Even though I don't have his undivided attention, my contractor has tried to do something every week. Last week he removed the water pipes in the basement ceiling and ran some new water lines. I can see where some of the electrical outlets and switches have been replaced and others are in process. I just keep telling myself that every little thing is one step closer to completion.

Happy stitching-
carol fun