Friday, August 23, 2013

The craziness continues...On the Needles

As I said last Friday - I LOVE knitting these crazy socks! As evidenced by the photo below I finished the first pair of what is going to be LOTS of crazy socks.

I am so pleased with how these turned out. Even before I had totally finished the second sock I was rummaging around in my big basket of leftover yarns and selected about 10 different little bits and bobs to start this pair.

Purple, teals, olive - I'm selecting colors the same way I do it when I make a scrap quilt. I find one fabric or yarn that has several colors in it that I like and then pick other companions that are similar, yet different. So far that has worked out well. And just like when I make a quilt and I consider it FREE because it is "leftover" stuff, these are totally FREE socks - oh I am soooo virtuous and thrifty - LOL!

Each sock that I knit like this gives me more ideas for other crazy socks - and the craziness continues! LOVE IT!

Happy knitting-
carol fun

Monday, August 19, 2013

My design wall runneth over

Oh no! I've run out of room on my design wall and I still have 2 more rows of blocks!

WOW, these are really BIG blocks - they measure about 18 inches across and 21 inches top to bottom. The pattern is Ballerina by Jaybird Quilts and you can find it here.

Now why am I starting a new quilt when I should be sorting and organizing stuff I want to move? Well, isn't it obvious? I should be sorting and organizing and that isn't a lot of fun. To my credit I was sorting my batik fabrics when this idea popped into my head. I had pulled out the pattern when my BFF called and we were trying to figure out the difference between the Jaybird patterns Ballerina and Tiny Dancer. (FYI- The difference is Tiny Dancer makes a smaller pinwheel block.) As the pattern sat on the table and I was shuffling stacks of batiks a little voice said "hmmm, I wonder what one of those blocks would look like if you used a batik." Really, I swear I heard it! LOL! And there isn't any harm in making one block now, is there? Well, actually, it is hard to make just one, kinda like eating potato chips or M&M's - particularly the almond ones, but I digress.

After one block I got to thinking,(again a dangerous activity),that this could make a really cool quilt for my son if I stuck with non-cutesy fabrics and more manly colors. Next thing I knew I had selected 36 different batik fabrics and I found a piece of yardage of that deep blue batik for the triangles. I have to say I really like how it looks and it is totally not my normal palette. (Even my boys remarked that these aren't my normal colors - observant children aren't they?) Also, they noticed that these aren't my normal fabrics - true again. I like batiks, I think they make lovely quilts, I have a nice stash of batiks, but I have only made 2 batiks quilts in the last 20 years. Obviously this is a once in a decade occurrence. Very rare - LOL!

Here are some close up of a couple of blocks. Batiks have some beautiful shading, don't they?

I'm hoping to get the blocks for the last 2 rows put together and then I think I'll take them upstairs and lay them out on my foyer floor. Then I can run (okay, walk) up the stairs and get some distance to see how the colors look. I have some high contrast blocks and some very low contrast blocks and I think that adds to the overall feel of this quilt. When I have the blocks sewn together I will be trimming off the top and bottom, eliminating the pointy parts, to make it a rectangle. I'm not into binding all those angles and the quilt is getting waaaaay longer than it is wide. I prefer to make square quilts but that isn't possible with this block.

Hope your week is productive and fun. I've got a bunch of stuff to do and I didn't finish any of the painting I wanted done last week, so it is still on my list. And the renovation project hit a big bump in the road last week. The tile floor in the kitchen and the ceiling in the basement - both finished projects - have to be cut into to move a heat duct - ugh!!!! I just want this finished so I can move. I did talk to a guy who is going to do my solid surface counter tops and he shared that the sentence, "We got done a week early" has never ever ever been uttered by any contractor....true, true!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, August 16, 2013

Carol's Crazy Socks are On the Needles

Oh I am having fun with this idea! I took lots of leftover bits and bobs from other pairs of socks I've made and randomly combined them to create this Crazy sock.

Here's what I started with. There is some Regia, Opal, Blue Moon, Lorna's Laces, Red Heart, some Lion Brand and some I have no idea what it is.

I started by dividing each different leftover yarn into two parts. I used one of those digital diet scales (which has never had food touch it, and probably never will - LOL!) I thought I would need both parts but at the end of this sock I still have enough for another sock. So that means I can probably get 2 pairs out of this selection of leftovers.

I want to play around with this idea some more. I have some black yarn I'd like to combine with some of my wilder leftovers and try a solid purple (I should have some leftover from a pair of socks I made) with some jewel tone yarns. Oh my goodness, the possibilities are endless and I already have tons of yarn to chose from which will make them FREE Crazy Socks!

Happy knitting-
carol fun

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Winner Winner Chicken...Bowl???

Hello there -- well we have a winner for the Halloween Fabric Giveway - drumroll please! Kellie from Indiana! Congratulations!

Her name was selected from one of my polka dot chicken bowls by my youngest son, Nick.

I really loved reading all the comments about your favorite Halloween costumes. Many of them were treasured memories from your past. I think it is serendipity that Nick blindly picked Kellie's name as my Nick was BIG into dinosaurs when he was a child. Here is Kellie's comment.

My son, from ages 4 through 12, absolutely adored dinosaurs. He lived breathed and even acted as if he was a dinosaur. So on his 9th Halloween, my mother found him the cutest all body dinosaur costume pattern. He was so thrilled. We sewed the pattern up, and the tail was so big and long it just dragged on the ground so we came up with the idea of tacking string from the tail to the middle of his back and wahla! Instant child dinosaur and a memorable Halloween with wonderful pictures. Most of all he loved it, and fell asleep in the costume as he did not want to take it off. To this day I still hear "remember when your son used to act like he was a dinosaur?". Of course I remember, and I have the pics and videos to show his first serious girlfriend as mothers tend to do!

If you have a minute read through the comments from the August 7 post. I think you will enjoy them as much as I did.

Happy stitching-

carol fun

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Reminder about Halloween Fabric Giveaway

BOO! Did I scare you? Yeah, I didn't think so. Here is my newest Halloween creation. Not real scary, just lots of fun fabrics. This finished about 50" X 70" and I used 88 different Halloween fabrics. You can click on the picture and see the fabrics up close and personal.

My Halloween Fabric Giveaway consists of 42 different 10" squares of Halloweenie fabric - a homemade layer cake of fun. I think this would be a good start to any Halloween craftiness you want to engage in.

If you'd like to be in the giveaway go to my post of August 7 - you can get there by clicking here. Here are the rules - leave me a comment on this post and tell me about a favorite Halloween costume - one you wore, or one you made for a child, or one you'd like to wear. the giveaway is open until midnight Wednesday August 14 PST. I'll post a winner on Thursday. Make sure there is a way I can get in touch with you.

Good luck and happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, August 12, 2013

Spoolin' Around on Design Wall Monday

I put the last row on my Halloween quilt (check back tomorrow for a picture) and couldn't wait to jump into another project that has been percolating in the dusty recesses of my brain -- little 3" finished Spool blocks. I don't remember who's blog I first saw these on, but some one out in the blogosphere is making a quilt with little yellow Spool blocks and I was immediately smitten. The pattern comes from the very talented Bonnie Hunter and you can find it here.

Now my plan is for this to be a little table topper to go on a vintage chest of drawers I have. The top of the chest is 20" X 34" and using these little gems, set on point, means I need 46 of them. I stitched up 26 so I'm more than half way there. Of course I wanted to make the a charm quilt, so every block is a different yellow -all of them from my stash.

I have everything from Kaffe Fasset, down at the bottom left, to lots of older Hoffman fabric, and a nice smattering of tone on tone yellows and dotty yellows.

That bee fabric at the top right is on of my favorite Debbie Mumm fabrics.

And no charm quilt of mine would be complete without the addition of a polka dot chicken - LOL!

Well I have lots of things I want to do this week. I have a accent table I picked up at a thrift store that I want to paint and I bought a new bed frame that has a date with a can of spray paint. I love the style of the bed frame but it is too dark. I knew that when I ordered it, however the price was right and paint is cheap.

Last week saw some nice progress on my house. The tile in the kitchen and the upstairs bathroom was laid and grouted and it looks very nice. The tile in the shower in the basement was removed so it can be retiled. Doors were hung in a bedroom and on the storage room. I'm hoping that the kitchen cabinets will be installed this week. Completion is creeping closer, although the key word is creeping. Slow moving but at least it is forward motion.

Check back tomorrow for a picture of the Halloween quilt top and if you are interested in a giveaway of Halloween fabric see my post of August 7 - here.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Happy Slow Stitching Sunday

I have lots to be happy about this Sunday. I'm finished with Wild Berries the first installment of Blackbird Designs 2013 Loose Feathers.

My version definitely has a primitive look. That linen has some dye streaks and some creases that aren't going anywhere. I think they add to the charm of the piece and in that same vein, my errors just add to the personality of the piece. As I was putting in the last couple of stitches I realized that the last line of the alphabet on the right side of the bird is one stitch higher than the alphabet on the left side - and it is going to stay that way. Along with all the frogging I did I ran out of several skeins of floss and I don't have any to restitch with. I find myself working from my floss stash more and more and sometimes I have enough to finish and sometimes I don't. I made some substitutions with DMC and other over dyed flosses and it works for me.

I heard that the next installment is due out this week. It looks lovely. I thought it had a Dutch vibe to it and that is exactly what Barb and Alma said here on their blog. Now it looks like it is done in shades of blue, but my email from The Strawberry Sampler said it is shades of green and sage. Can't wait to see what flosses it calls for.

So after I finished up this piece I got out my BBD AotH and got a nice amount of stitching done on the December chart while I watched my beloved Cincinnati Reds play baseball. The game went extra innings giving me more time to stitch and the Reds won - now that makes me happy too.

Hope you have a happy week!

carol fun

Friday, August 9, 2013

What's on the needles?

Let's see - temperatures in the upper 80's, humidity pushing 98% - yes, it is perfect weather to be knitting a pair of wool socks! These are my latest project. Plain stockinette socks in Opal's newest collection called Handwork & Hobby. The color number is 7120 and it is called Confectioner.

Please ignore the threads in the background. I pinned these to my design wall and it really needs a good going over with a sticky lint roller.

These are the simple kind of socks that make me happy. The yarn does all the work and Opal has the most wonderful combinations of stripes and colors and little ditzy patterns that keep me interested the whole way through.

I did finish my Cladonia shawl but it needs to be blocked. Blocking and sewing on bindings are the two processes I like the least, so I put them off quite a bit. Gotta get my butt in gear, as I have 2 shawls and a scarf to block and at least 2 quilts to sew bindings onto. So what shall I do next? Probably start a new project so I can avoid the blocking and binding - LOL!

Happy knitting-
carol fun

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Halloween Fabric Giveaway

Are you as enamored with Halloween novelty fabric as I am? Well if you are I have a giveaway for you. This is 42 different 10 inch squares of Halloween fun. There are all kinds of fabrics here - ghosts, skeletons, pumpkins, bats, cats - just to name a few.

I thought the 10 inch square size would offer the most choices for what you might want to sew. You can cut a 9 inch 60 degree triangle like I did for the Halloween quilt I'm working on, or you could cut it into four 5 inch squares or what ever your little heart desires.

Here are the rules - leave me a comment on this post and tell me about a favorite Halloween costume - one you wore, or one you made for a child, or one you'd like to wear. My favorite costumes are the ones I made for my boys - an dinosaur one where I stuffed the tail with an entire tub of leftover batting I had accumulated over several years, and an Indiana Jones outfit that had me searching all over Modesto, California for a fedora that would fit my oldest son's head. Now you probably think I was looking for a child sized hat, but the kid has always had a huge head. He needed a man's size 7 and 3/4 and he was only 8 years old. He still has a hard time finding hats that fit, as his head along with the rest of him has gotten much larger. What a boy!

Make sure you there is a way to contact you. If you don't have a blog, leave me an email address so I can find you if you win. I am leaving the giveaway open for a week. I will pick the winner at midnight on August 14 and I'll post the name on August 15.

By the way, this is the mess that motivated me to do a giveaway. I figured if I had to refold all this fabric I should cut more than one piece out of each one and I wanted to be sure I could get it all back into one plastic bin - and I did!!!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, August 5, 2013

Quilting ADHD on Design Wall Monday

Good morning, ask me about my attention deficit disorder, or pie, or my car. A chicken. I have a bike. Do you like TV? I saw a spider. This is the soundtrack of my mind. And it leads me to change direction quickly where quilting is concerned. Last week I was working on a lovely Stack N Whack with pretty purple and pink petunias. This week I'm all wound up about Halloweenie stuff.

Each of these triangles measures 9". I used my BIG Creative Grids 60 degree Triangle ruler. You can see it here. It makes cutting these pieces so easy. Right now I have 7 complete rows with 11 triangles in each row, and I have the end triangles for the last row. That would make 88 different Halloween fabrics. Yes, this is a charm quilt. Every triangle is a different Halloweenie fabric. I've been collecting them for several years and finally came up with a design that showcases as many as possible. I have a few more that I can cut and I think a trip to Joann's and Fabric Shack will happen this week.

I'm going to cut those triangles on the ends in half. I'm making all of them fabrics with black backgrounds. Here are some close ups of some of my favorites.

I have patchwork pumpkins, Peanuts, and mummies with hearts.

And shiny spider webs,various cute animals dressed up in costumes, and spiders.

The Bride of Frankenstein and assorted monsters. Look closely and you can see some little creature peeking out of her hair.

Witches undies... I love this one. At the bottom it says "witches undies, scarey screamy,have a happy halloweenie".

And this one makes me laugh. Notice the coffin that has bounced out of the back of the hearse.

So that's what I'm working on right now. Hopefully, I can keep my focus till I have them sewn together. Unless something shiny catches my eye. Oh a chicken - LOL!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, August 4, 2013

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a frog...on Slow Stitching Sunday

It's a bird, no maybe it's a plane, no it is definitely a frog - grrrr!!! Okay perhaps it is cosmic payback for beginning another new project when I should be attending to one of the numerous items I have already started, but I don't ever remember frogging as much stitching as I have done on this graph. This is the first installment in the 2012 Loose Feathers series by Blackbird Designs, entitled Wild Berries. This is how far I got since Tuesday.

Now I love the border and it was easy stitching. Then I decided to stitch just a little bit of the big black bird. And the big black bird has made me say very bad words. You will notice that he doesn't have any legs at the moment. He did have legs on Thursday but I thought I was off, so I frogged them. I put them back in on Friday and I was still off. I frogged them again on Saturday and haven't attempted them again. And then there was the problem with overdyded floss. The bird is mostly GA Onyx and Tin Bucket. My Tin Bucket is almost identical to my Onyx so the bird looked like a big black blob. Grrrr!!! So I frogged the Tin Bucket and tried DMC 413 which still seemed too dark and too much like the Onyx and too flat, so I frogged it. I went to DMC 414 - too light- frogged it. THen like Goldilocks I hit on the just right combination of using one ply of DMC 413 and one ply of DMC 414. Not too dark, not too light, not too flat and not too similar to the Onyx. I think I have it figured out.

Here's how it should look when it is finished.

Before I got the graph I was thinking that I should stitch them all on the same kind of linen. But looking at the back of graph where the first 6 pieces are pictured I can see that a variety of different linens were used. So I found a lovely golden yellow piece of 30 ct. linen in my stash. Somewhere there is a bag with a label that tells me what it was but I can't find it at the moment.

So that's my contribution for Slow Stitching Sunday. I should probably put this aside and go back to my AoTH houses but I want to stitch on this some more. I think the alphabet will cause me a lot less least I hope so.

Happy stitching-
carol fun