Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I made it more work... again... on WIP Wednesday

If there is a way to take a wonderfully simply and creative pattern and make it more work, I will find it. It's a gift, dontcha know -LOL!  I did it with my Hugs & Kisses Jaybird quilt - you can see it here. And I found a way to do it with Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Mountain Majesties which you can see here.

Here is my creation so far...

The top 3 rows are made following the wonderfully simple Bonnie Hunter pattern. The bottom row is made by taking the pieces and shuffling ala Stack a New Deck technique and making even busier blocks.

Here are the piece staged on my ironing board. After I cut all the blocks and stacked up the pieces I shuffled the first pile moved one fabric to the bottom, and the second pile I moved two fabrics to the bottom, and the third pile I moved 3 fabrics to the bottom of the pile and you get the idea. Lots of random busy-ness.

And if you've looked at my blog for any length of time you know I LOVE LOVE LOVE BUSY!

See top row busy... bottom row busier!!!

I'm having a blast with this pattern as I'm using my Kaffe Fasset fabrics and lots and lots of my black and white prints which include a generous helping of novelty fabrics - cupcakes, irons, fish carcasses, musical notes, scissors, paw prints, chicken  wire and ants just to name a few. I need to give credit where credit is due to Melinda, at Melinda Quilts, for the inspiration for this project - see her version here.

Now this new arrangement of wonderful busy-ness will require me to unsew those blocks in the top three rows. Luckily the blocks aren't sewn to each other yet so that eliminates a couple of seams per row. This will be a good project to do when I'm watching the Reds play baseball tonight. Hopefully they'll win again this evening.

I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday. Do go and check out all the awesome WIPs -you will enjoy it.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, April 28, 2014

Stormy Day on Design Wall Monday

Thunder and lightning, LOUD, VERY VERY LOUD thunder and lightning - what a way to start the day. Big Dude spent the morning hiding under my bed, poor guy. He may be a big cat but he is also a fraidy cat when it comes to thunderstorms. However, while it is gray outside, my design wall is sporting some colorful blocks.

This is Alpha Bits and Pieces. You can see it here in the April edition of BHG American Patchwork and Quilting.

This is half of the quilt. I'm working from the top to the bottom and pulling fabrics for a block or two at a time. I'm going to re-do that big block at the bottom - its too light.

I do like playing with these spacer strips, so much opportunity to fussy cut and I love to fussy cut!

Now I believe in placing responsibility where it properly belongs and for these blocks I have to reveal that this is all Melinda's fault -- LOL!! Check out her blog here. She had a couple of these on her design wall last week and has even more of them on her wall this week, and I HAD to try it out.

The pattern is Scrappy Mountain Majesties, a free pattern from Bonnie Hunter that you can see here. And since Melinda already picked a wonderful palette - Kaffe fabrics and black and white prints. I just followed her lead. I have a bunch of the black and white cut out and hope to get to the Kaffe's later today, but first there are errands to do.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Stitching on Sunday

It is another beautiful day here in southwest Ohio and the stitching is coming along nicely. This is Rosy Morning by Blackbird Designs, the ninth release of the Loose Feathers Abecedarian Series.

The border sucked me into this one big time. I love a good border on a sampler and I particularly like a border that isn't the same on all four sides. Now I always worry that things won't join up when I'm stitching one of these borders but this one came off without a hitch.

And who can resist the wonderful quirkiness of a giant mutant bird standing next to a lovely turquoise-y blue house? Come on, admit it, it makes you smile too!

With baseball back in full swing I'm stitching a lot while I "watch", well actually listen more than watch, and look up when they replay things. And considering how my beloved Cincinnati Reds are playing some things are better off unseen. Oh well, it is a long season.

Hope things in your neck of the woods are going well - I'm off to do errands and go to the garden center. Today the weather is gorgeous, the rest of the week - rain rain rain rain rain rain - you get the picture.

I'm linking up with Kathy's Quilts. Go check out what everyone else is working on. Lots of interesting projects.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Fun with bits and pieces on WIP Wednesday

I've had a bit of sewing time three days in a row - yeah!!! These are blocks for my newest project the quilt, Alpha Bits and Pieces, from the April 2014 issue of BHG American Patchwork & Quilting.

So far this is what I've accomplished, but its not the final layout. I'm calling those little 6" blocks donuts and barbells - do you see them?

Here we have 2 donut blocks and a spacer strip which has assorted fussy cut whimsies - a dot to dot sunshine and some vintage tape measures - love them! Oh and I got a cute teddy bear there as the filling in a donut block. (Don't bother to question my sanity - it has already been established that I'm slightly cracked - LOL!)

And here are two barbell blocks done in the wonderful Pezzy print and I worked in a old time-y telephone and a rooster -- ain't he handsome?

This yellow barbell block is one of my favorites so far. I love those vintage items and that elephant is too cute. The background is from what I think was one of the first American Jane collections called Peas and Carrots. Oh I wish I had more from that line.

The pattern calls for an outer border with those donut blocks having a center which is a letter of the alphabet. You can see it here in this post. This is one of the features that drew me to this quilt originally but now I'm not sure. I really love that tape measure fabric and want to use it as the border. Still mulling this over, and there are lots more blocks to make and time to think.

I'm linking up to Freshly Pieced again this Wednesday. Go check out all the awesome projects over there.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, April 21, 2014

Bits & Pieces on Design Wall Monday

My design wall is full of bits and pieces of stuff I'm working on. My Hugs and Kisses quilt by Jaybird only needs the last two rows sewn together. And while I told myself I wouldn't start another project until I finished that task,....well I tell myself lots of stories that aren't entirely true. LOL!

These three blocks are the start of another quilt. I love how it uses several fabrics in each block and I'm combining all of the collections of American Jane fabrics that I've been hording for soooooo long.

This quilt is called Alpha Bits & Pieces by Sandy Klop of American Jane. It was published in the April 2014 issue of BH&G American Patchwork & Quilting. I was able to purchase an alphabet panel in a red colorway. I love that this quilt will combine patchwork and a sampler -two crafts that make me very happy!

In the three blocks I've sewn I picked lots of my favorite American Jane prints.

Polka dots and ABCs...

Chickens and ABCs...

 And the trifecta...polka dots and chickens and ABCs!!!

I'm detecting a theme - dotty chickens that know the alphabet - what a theme! As I was selecting fabrics and sewing these blocks together I got to thinking about the size of this quilt and the size of the wall I want to display it on. Adjustments will need to be made. I'm mulling over possibilities and hopefully after making some more blocks I'll make a decision. No matter what I'm having fun playing with these fabrics. I LOVE American Jane!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

WIP Wednesday

This is the first Wednesday in about a month that I haven't had places to be, so I really enjoyed staying home and playing with my scraps. I was able to finish all the blocks for my Hugs and Kisses quilt. You can see the pattern here and can see that I put my own spin on this great pattern by Jaybird Quilts.

This will finish about 60" square and I was able to incorporate lots of novelty fabrics (I LOVE novelty fabrics) along with my stash of brights.

"Making" the fabric for this quilt was such fun that I couldn't wait to start another quilt. I assembled these two slabs - each is 8 1/2" inches wide and one is about 10 inches long and the other about 13 inches long.

I thought if I made chunks like this it would be easier to assemble a long strip for a full size quilt. Right now my plan is to do a strippy quilt with a bright dotty yellow fabric in between the "made" fabric, but that is certainly subject to change depending on my whims.

I'm linking this up with Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday - you can see it here.

Oh it was a very nice sewing day!
Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, April 14, 2014

Bright bright bright on Design Wall Monday

So I was going to start a new project when I stumbled across a basket with these blocks in it. It is so old it seems new all over again and boy is is BRIGHT BRIGHT BRIGHT! (Click to make it bigger and it is retina burning - LOL!)

Now I started with this pattern, Hugs and Kisses, by Jaybird Quilts.

True to form I took what is an easy design if you follow her pattern, and turned it into something more complicated and time consuming - oh I am sooooo good at that - LOL! Instead of using 2 1/2" strips I used fabrics of various widths and even pieced some tiny little bits together. It was fun but it takes time. Then because I wanted to use that sky fabric I didn't want to have seams running through it so I ended up making my own template and insetting it. Again another more time consuming step, but I do love the effect. It is kinda like you are looking through the Xs and out a window. Originally I planned to make this a lot bigger, but now I'm going to add two more rows to this and call it done. I already have enough parts cut and sewn together to assemble more than the 10 blocks I need. Should be an easy finish.... famous last words...we'll have to wait and see.

Here's some of the novelty fabrics I've gotten to play with...dragons, cats, mice and lady bugs - along with polka dots, checks and stripes  - yikes!

Oh look closely - there is a tiny polka dot chicken  not far from some sliced green peppers.

And last but not least my favorite swine - an oldie but goodie from KP Kids - oh I love them!

Hope to have some sewing time today, tomorrow and Wednesday. So far my calendar isn't too crazy and I certainly like that.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Some Sunday Stitching

I have no business starting a new cross stitch piece as there are many UFOs within sight of my stitching chair, but I could not resist this sampler. This is the most recent release from Blackbird Designs Loose Feathers - Abecedarian Series. There is something about those giant birds and blooms that needed to be started - TODAY!

I'm using the suggested linen - 30 ct. Sheep's Straw from R & R Reproductions along with the suggested threads.  If you stitch this piece be aware that there is an error in the chart - that mega-sized bird that I just stitched is suppose to be done in GA Toasted Barley, not GA Otter Creek. Glad I found that out beforehand.  Oh how I love a BBD sampler! Always so quirky.

This is the 9th piece in the series and is called Rosy Morning.

I've been receiving these patterns  as an automatic order from a great shop in Pennsylvania, The Strawberry Sampler since last year. So far all I've completed is the first release. Numbers 2 through 8 are also wonderful but this one called my name loudly!!! Stitch me... stitch me!! I know - you aren't suppose to listen to the voices. I'm not crazy... I'm sure if my mother had the chance she would have had me tested - LOL! Anyway I am thoroughly enjoying sitting here stitching and enjoying this glorious weather -- temps above normal and lots of sunshine.

Hope your day is sunny too!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring has sprung!!!

I've seen a robin on my lawn, my neighbor's dogwood is in bloom, I've heard two lawn mowers...I think Spring has finally sprung outside and I know it has sprung inside my home. I'm enjoying finding new spots for old pieces of decor. The shelving unit in my living room is one of my favorite pieces to decorate and it is filled with Spring-y Easter stuff.

The top shelf is filled with some pretty china and that cute ceramic bunny dish. I just finished that garland of Easter eggs yesterday - every one is a different pattern - I love that!

The next shelf includes a mercury glass duck that I picked up years ago at Hobby Lobby sitting atop my latest cake stand purchase at Homegoods. I am amassing quite a collection of cake stands. I find the colorful ones impossible to resist - LOL! I have my newest sampler from Lizzie Kate. love that purple-y blue frame and a couple of egg cups... and that little chicken I tuck in here or there in every display I make.

A bit more Easter decor, most of which also came from Hobby Lobby years ago... a paper mache bunny head, some glass carrots and my favorite egg cup - the one with bunny slippers.

Here I found a spot for a few more pieces on my yellow table. Recently my older son pointed out that this table is actually just an oversized cake stand and I hadn't seen it before but he is so right. So this is another one for my collection - see I told you the collection was growing quickly.

I'm using the back of the couch as a quilt rack. This pansy quilt is one of my all time favorite quilts. I love pansies and each one in this quilt is made with a different combination of fabrics. I made good use of my stash of yellows with this one.

And last but not least this Spring-y quilt. I love how that yellow seems to glow against the taupe walls. This is a old fabric collection from Kate Spain called Verna and the pattern is from Fig Tree Quilts called Jam & Jelly. You can see it here.

All in all I am very happy with how my home looks this season. I'm already thinking about how I want to decorate for Summer - this is so much fun!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, April 11, 2014

Off and on the needles

I got in some knitting time this week and a pair of socks is now off my needles.

This is Regia yarn from the Design Line Garden Effects collection. You can see it here. I love the colors in these socks. It reminds me of a desert sunset. This is my basic vanilla stockinette sock with a random row of purls tossed in here and there. I guess that makes it a bit more than vanilla...more like vanilla with a bit of chocolate swirl... yeah that's more like it.

As for the Cladonia shawl it is coming along nicely.

I'm almost up to the lace part but boy are those rows getting long. There will be a total of 228 stitches on the needles when I get to the lace and I'm up to about 200 stitches. Now I need to go root through my stash for some nice green for the contrast trim before the lace.

Happy knitting -
carol fun

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A finish and a bit of decorating

Well the week is off to a good start if you ignore the weather - too bad ignoring the weather doesn't make it stop raining - ugh! Anyway I finished a little quilt and I love how it turned out. Just like the picture I had in my head. Love when that happens.

This is a Schnibble called Hat Trick - you can see it here. I used the Basic Grey collection PB & J paired with some Basic Grey Grunge in a yellow and red. LOVE that Grunge fabric! Now my friend Kathy quilted this in exchange for me knitting her one of those Urban Lace Infinity cowls I'm so fond of. I really love swapping like this and hope to do it again. She did a lovely job on this using a pretty golden yellow thread and some cute octopus-like flowers. It is hard to see it pictures but she also included my name in the border. My name, Carol, is quilted twice on each side in that alphabet print - how cool is that?? VERY!!!

So after getting the binding on last night in time to take it to Show N Tell at the guild meeting I knew just where I wanted to display this.

I got this idea from a blog post by Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet. I thought it was a great way to display multiple quilts in a small space. This is the entry to my storage room off my sewing studio. You see it as you come down the stairs into the basement. Very welcoming I think!

To hang the quilts I sewed a little triangular pocket into the corner of the quilt.

And I lucked out when I saw this over the door hanger at the dollar spot at Target. Actually I think I may have paid $2 or $3 for it but it was worth it. Love the curvy shape and it was yellow. How could I not buy it? LOL

So I hope to start working on a new project today...yes there are a few, couple, several, okay a whole lot of already started projects but I just feel like starting something new, and that's what I'm going do!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, April 4, 2014

Checking in...

Well I didn't expect to be gone this long again, but the week got busy busy busy. Some of it was productive, I got the storage room almost whipped into shape and cleared some more stuff out of the garage. And some was social, I had a lot of visitors and that was so much fun.

On the knitting front, I started a new shawl. This pattern is Cladonia and this is the third shawl I've made with this pattern. You can see it here.

The white yarn is a  Cascade Heritage Sock yarn. The variegated yellow is from Jwrayco and is called Flowers on the Beach. Both were in my stash and I rediscovered them when I was reorganizing last week.

I think I will add some goldy green as an accent on the lace  edge part when I get that far.

On the social front I was surprised with several wonderful gifts.  On Monday I returned home from doing errands to find this box on my doorstep, Pretty box and bow!

And inside there were SEVEN skeins of that Amazing yarn that I love so much. I see more cowls in my future and maybe a shawl or two.  THANK YOU Mary Ann!  It made my day!

And on Tuesday  my BFF Stephie showed up to go to lunch with a goodie bag for me.  Inside I found this adorable chicken timer and a spatula with a chicken perched on the end.

But the chicken I love the best is the one that now lives in my kitchen sink.

Isn't this a hoot??  Twice this week someone has gone to put something in the sink and has been surprised to see this little chick.  It makes me smile every time I turn on the water.

So I'm hoping to get some sewing and stitching done this weekend. I haven't spent any quality time with my Juki in almost 2 weeks. I miss it!

Happy stitching... and knitting!

carol fun