Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Petunias are popping on WIP Wednesday

My petunias are really popping as I assemble this little quilt. I have the top 5 rows sewn to each other and the bottom 4 rows are ready to join them.

I love how some of the hexagons look like primroses or some exotic tropical flora.

I have enough of the petunia print to make nice sized borders. I'm thinking I'm going to cut them around 8" wide so I can show off the fabric. And I want to include a repeat of the fabric I cut the hexagons from, on the back.

With the larger borders, this is going to be a little bigger than I thought - about 50" X 60". I want to get it together before guild meeting on Monday so I can pass it off to my long arm quilter. I think she'll have my Keypunch with Kaffe quilt done. Can't wait to see it.

I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday. Go check out what everyone else is doing. I always end up finding another quilt idea I want to make!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, January 26, 2015

I found it...on Design Wall Monday

So last week I took my Keypunch with Kaffe quilt top off to my long arm gal, Terry. And that got me thinking about a Stack N Whack I had started a while ago that was also make with Kaffe-like fabrics. In fact, it is a petunia print by Phillip Jacobs, and I knew I had made quite a few hexagons but hadn't assembled them into a top yet.

And I couldn't find it ANYWHERE!! I knew I had sealed it up in a giant ziploc bag but I hadn't put it with my other Kaffe fabrics. I also have a couple,  a few , well , a whole heck of A LOT of plastic bins with projects in them. I opened every single one of them...several times... and this project was no where to be found. I was talking on the phone to my friend Stephie and bemoaning my loss when she said it is right in front of you, you just can't see it. And she was RIGHT!! It was in a bin that was directly across from my sewing machine. I was looking right at it. It was just hidden at the bottom of the bin and when I had opened it previously (at least twice) I only had pawed down 2 projects. Oh I am so HAPPY to have found this! And Stephie should pick some lottery numbers, LOL!

TA - DAH!!!

This is going to be a small quilt, something I don't do nearly enough.  I cut all those hexagons from one half of the fabric and the other half will be the border. The fabric is Phillip Jacobs and it is from about 2 to 3 years ago. If you make the picture bigger you can see more detail in the blocks.

These are a couple of my favorite blocks... I love the one that looks like a peppermint!

More pretty blocks!

Here is a section like the ones I stacked and whacked. LOVE LOVE LOVE those colors! Wish I could grow petunias like this... maybe this summer...sigh!

Now I've been making Stack N Whack quilts for years and I never get tired of them. I love the surprise you get with each block you put together. I think the hexagon made from an equilateral triangle is my favorite shape. Hopefully I can get these rows put together this week. I have enough of that dark purple-y fabric to do an inside border, the binding and the back and it came out of my stash! Oh I am being virtuous here- LOL! A UFO and fabric I already own... that doesn't happen very often.

As for the giant tulips I was working on last Wednesday, here is what I did.

The plan is to have LOTS of quilting done in the "negative" space. I'm not sure about it yet. I go back and forth with "modern" quilts. Some I like, some I don't and I'm not sure that I pull it off. The colors are light and spring-y and I like that. I think the jury is out on this one until it gets quilted. I will say that is it probably the only quilt I've ever made it a day! Those 3 mutant tulips were a snap to put together.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Lizzie Kate Sunday...

I am quite enamoured with Lizzie Kate designs at the moment. I do love their distinctive style. I think they are my second favorite designer after Blackbird Designs, which are on a mountain top for me - LOL!

I just picked up this piece from Bev, my framer at Joanns, and I am sooooo pleased with how it came out.

The piece is Promise Me... you can see it here... and I made this for my younger son. I think most of you know he has Aspergers, high functioning autism, so I thought this piece would give him a bit of encouragement. We are hanging it in his room where he will see it every day. He was very pleased that I would stitch this for him, which melts my heart. Of course I would love to stitch things for my boys, but as boys there has never been much call for it before now. They acknowledge my samplers but don't really get my obsession... and that is okay by me.

I had a hard time picking a frame for this but I'm very happy with this choice. I didn't want it to be too frou frou. His room is done in tan with black and red accents so this fit well...kinda black, kinda brown and a hint of gold.

I used the called for flosses and linen except for a couple of changes. I made the bird bluer... I think I used GA Blue Jay. And I made the flowers and hearts more rose red than the pink they suggested. Trying to tone down any girly-ness.

And on the stitching front I did get a little more done on my Lizzie Kate Things Unseen Mystery Sampler. You can see the whole thing here.

Excuse the wrinkles, I'm too lazy to go downstairs and press it, only to bring it back up and wrinkle it all up again! I did have to frog and re-stitch the word "cannot" as I had done it in the wrong color floss. And I did some more on the border, which is mindless but boy there is a lot of it. I didn't get as much stitching time in last week as I went out to dinner twice and I worked on invitations for my older son's upcoming wedding. They are coming along nicely. I hope to have them ready to go in a week or two. The wedding is the end of April, so I'll be ahead of schedule. Then I need to switch gears and work on table runners for the reception and signature squares for a wedding quilt. Instead of a guestbook they are going to have the guests leave them a message on the signature blocks and after the festivities I will assemble them into a quilt. The colors are turquoise and orange, very pretty. I'll show them when I get a bunch done.

So, I'm hoping to cross stitch a little tonight while I watch Downton Abbey and the new series Grantchester. I enjoyed both of them last week. And who know what tomorrow will bring. I heard that the Northeast is going to get hit with a lot of snow. Here in southwest Ohio they are predicting an inch or two. Wish all of us could forgo the snow, but it is winter. Stay warm!

Don't forget to check out Slow Sunday Stitching on Kathy's Quilts....just click here... I'm linking up with her.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thoughts on Thursday

I don't know if I'll do this every  Thursday, but I might. I'd like to take a moment to rant, rave, ramble, reminisce, and ruminate about stuff, crafty and other wise.  The internet is for the most part a wonderful place. So much information and inspiration available at a  keystroke. So many ways to spent hours and hours and hours of your life when you should be doing other things... but I digress.

The other day while I was wasting time perusing Pinterest I stumbled upon this website - Messy Nessy Chic - you can read it here. But I need to give you fair warning that you may find yourself spending hours there - almost as big a time suck as Pinterest but somehow, I felt like it was a way more worthwhile use of my time. I actually learned things I didn't know and explored a ton of different subjects from reading about a tribe in Africa where the women still dress in Victorian fashion - you can see it here. And a great article on the Morris Minor car ( I LOVE small cars!)  which is here, and an article on a hotel in Morocco that looks like paradise, check it out hereWith some of these links you have to scroll down but it is worth many different subjects!

The author of this site is a woman named Vanessa, who grew up in Britain but now lives in Paris. It is hard to categorize her blog... more than just life style or travel... an eclectic view of the world. I particularly like her posts entitled 13 Things I Found on the Internet Today. She is up to Volume CX - that is 110 in numbers I understand!  She also has a Facebook page you can see here. I hope you enjoy Messy Nessy Chic as much as I have. I'm not sure how many hours I've spent reading her blog in the last week but it was A LOT!

Now to a bit of a rant. I posted  yesterday at 9am but it didn't show up till 9pm on Feedly, one of the big reader services that replaced Google Reader. I don't know why it happened.  My most current post does show up on Bloglovin' and more people follow me there, but I usually read my blogs in Feedly and somehow this hurt my feelings. I know - get over yourself - LOL!

Also say a prayer for plumbing... I'm having another plumber come today to see if they gave remedy a sewer gas problem in my basement. This makes the 6th person to look at this problem - 3 plumbers, a handyman, a contractor and my brother. I want the bad smell to go away!!!!! This plumber thinks the problem may be a toilet that wasn't properly installed. Oh I hope that is all it is as that would be a quick, easy and inexpensive fix. One plumber speculated that there is a cracked pipe... behind a wall...maybe a concrete wall... and that fix is very very pricey.

So those are my Thoughts for Thursday... what are yours?

your crazy friend -
carol fun

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Muddling and Mulling Modern on WIP Wednesday

So, yesterday I dropped off my Keypunch by Kaffe quilt top with Terry my long arm quilter (The Walking Needle). We had an interesting conversation covering lots of quilting topics. I shared how I'm liking the "modern" quilt look more and more, but I'm uncertain how to deal with the large negative space in a lot of these designs. Terry assured me that she could come up with some quilting ideas to fill the negative spaces, and with that thought in my head. it was off to the races.

I've been thinking about a "modern" spring-y quilt for my living room. I kept coming back to this quilt - Amsterdam -

it is a free download from Cloud 9 Fabrics that you can get here.

I want a wall quilt for my living room to be around 50" X 60" and while the pattern makes a big block - 8" X 16" - I knew I'd need to make it even bigger. So I played with the math and came up with a 10" X 20" finished block... and I made 3... in non-traditional colors... and fabrics.

A teal one... not sure about that spot of didn't bother me till I saw the picture...hmmm...

a purple one...

and a blue one...

All of the fabrics in the tulip blocks are Kaffe Fassett from my stash. The background is this piece...

Amethyst by Clothworks. You can see it here at Fabric Shack's website.

I've only got these blocks partially assembled but I want to see how the design I had in my head looked in real life...

and I'm not sure if it works or not. It definitely needs a bit of that background fabric to the left of those blocks. In my vision it will have some interesting linear quilting all over it. Perhaps a wavy line that runs in a vertical orientation that undulates and crisscrosses in a lovely variegated thread. But whatever it needs it needs A LOT of it... which is where Terry comes in.  I'm gong to bounce this ball into her court.

I'm linking up again this week with WIP Wednesday at the  Freshly Pieced blog. Now I'm off to mull this over a bit more.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Definitely a Slow Stitching Sunday...

Oh the best laid plans... you know how it ends. Yesterday's 30th birthday celebration for my older son was scaled back as both his fiance and my youngest son picked up a bug and were under the weather. We did have a quiet lunch and then I spent the rest of my day attending to my younger son. He's much improved today, which makes both of us happy. I did spent a little time with one of my newest starts... Things Unseen sampler by Lizzie Kate.

I jumped into the one because I loved the saying by Helen Keller and I loved the colors I saw in the sneak peek they showed. I am not disappointed. I purchased the accessory pack too. There are some great Fimo clay buttons and mother of pearl buttons to add at the end. Here's how the entire sampler will look when finished.

I was thrilled to see it included a house and the house is YELLOW!! Okay - the floss is called Straw but what color is straw? It is YELLOW. So it was meant for me!

And I picked up a finish from Bev at Joann's framing the other day. This is Rosy Morning by Blackbird Designs. It is Number 9 in the Loose Feathers Abecedarian Series.

I've stitched up a couple of pieces in this series and decided to frame them separately. I usually go for a brown wood frame but this one asked for something different, so I obliged and picked this pretty turquoise frame and gussied it up with a gold fillet.

This sampler has so many elements I love... that great border that is different on each side.

The giant mutant birds that are as big as the pot of flowers ... love that pot...and as big as the house!

I was looking through my stash and realized that while this series is suppose to have 12 charts only 11 have been released, and it has been a while since the last one came out. I know BBD has released some other charts recently: the 6 that are Beatles themed and I saw a chart the other day that was new in their typical style. Not that I don't have anything to stitch...LOL...but I would like to see what the last one in the series looks like...and I want to know if there is another series in the works. I LOVES me some BBD!

Well, I'm going to veg today and do a little stitching. I should go to the basement and get the borders on my Keypunch with Kaffe quilt but right now the spirit isn't willing and we know the body is weak!

I'm linking up with Kathy's Quilts - go here - and see what everyone else is up to!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Moving along on WIP Wednesday

Well I did get some sewing time in on Tuesday and I finished sewing the connecting corners on the 44 blocks I needed to complete this top. It is BIG! It covers my whole design wall!

Right now it is just shy of 92"wide and 77" long. My plan is to add a small (1.5" finished) border to the right and left sides, and then add a deeper border to the top and bottom to get it more square. I prefer square quilts, but lately I've been very smitten with rectangular blocks... makes no sense, does it? I want to play with the Spool block on Missouri Star - you can see it here. And I bought a new ruler that will help me do half-square rectangles. I think the desire to make rectangular blocks into square quilts is just another aspect of my talent of being able to make simple tasks more difficult. It a gift, dontcha know - LOL!

It shouldn't take too long to assemble these rows and get to the borders.

I was thinking of a name for this quilt. The pattern that gave me this idea is called Chapel Glass and it is by My Quilt Infatuation. You can see it here. My blocks are a different size from hers and I ended up doing more connector corners, but the rectangular block idea started there for me.

Anyway, back to a name. I was sitting at my sewing machine, admiring my handiwork when the vision of a keypunch data card popped into my head. Now you have to be of a certain age to remember keypunch cards. It was the dawn of the computer age. They looked like this..

My very first job out of high school was being a keypunch operator. I sat all day and typed/punched out the information onto the cards. If you made a mistake you had to start the card all over. No way to correct the error. And you were evaluated by how many cards you could punch in a day, so you had to be speedy and accurate - nerve wracking!   Somehow I see a keypunch card in this quilt...Keypunch by Kaffe!! It will be a joke that only a few will get, but it makes me smile!

I may have some sewing time this afternoon and a bit on Thursday and Friday. The weekend is filling up with birthday plans for my older son. He's having a milestone birthday - 30 - how did he get that old? I haven't aged a bit (lying through my teeth).

I'm linking up to  Freshly Pieced. Go here check out all the other WIP - very inspiring!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, January 12, 2015

Making slow progress on Design Wall Monday

Like most of my quilt projects I start out gangbusters, and then there is a lull, sometimes even a complete stop and banishment to a plastic bin... it is rough being one of my WIP's - LOL Now this one is in the lull stage but I think I kick it back into gear... maybe tomorrow!

It is a big one - right now it measures about 92" wide. There will be 7 rows and I have 3 rows completely assembled and 1 row partially sewn. In the 4 rows I've sewn I have used 58 different Kaffe/Brandon/Phillip  prints... and I have another 6 or so that I haven't used yet.

I'm trying to alternate hot and cool prints. My stash has more of the hot colors as those are the ones I'm most attracted to. I've been making a concerted effort to pick up more cool prints. I saw a picture on Facebook last week, a tease of new fabrics from Kaffe, can't wait to add them to my stash.

So my son returns to classes tomorrow and we'll have to get back into a routine. Personally I was very fond of the non-routine, stay up late, sleep late that we had during the break.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, January 11, 2015

I'm moving slow in 2015...

Well I thought I was off to a great start for 2015 by posting 4 days in a row at the end of 2014, but that burst of energy didn't last.  It seems like I've been moving slow in lots of areas, slow to sew, slow to knit, slow to stitch, and even slow to move. I did something to my knee last week and hobbled around for days. Quite like the guy in the Holiday Inn Express commercials, I played doctor with Google and diagnosed myself with strained quadriceps muscles. Treatment: rest, ice, compression and elevation. It definitely helped. I've moving just fine now. As for the cause of my pain, it was suggested that I had engaged in  jumping/running/quick movements and should refrain from these activities- ROFL.... if you ever see me running, you need to look to see who is chasing me with a weapon. I don't run... EVER!

Sitting around I watched waaaay too much HGTV, but I did stitch a bit. I finished a piece by Lizzie Kate, but forgot to take a picture before I took it to Bev at Joanns to frame. Check back. I should have it in 2 weeks.

New Year's Day did inspire me to start a new cross stitch project. I found this sampler on the Facebook group... either Sampler Lovers or Sampler World... I forget which one. It is called Band Sampler Calendar 2015 by Cross Stitch It... you can see it here as I can't seem to copy it.  I loved what I saw so I ordered the whole thing and jumped in. Here's what I've accomplished so far.

I really like that I can put some decorative stitches in this band samplers. I used a long arm cross variation in the first band and did what I call a bow tie stitch ( a long arm cross stitch with a tie down stitch in the middle) in the second band.

I pulled my palette of colors from this rug that is in my dining area...turquoises, pumpkins, golds,browns, creams. ( I have a love hate relationship with this rug - LOVE the color and the design. HATE the way it fuzzes up all the time. I actually shaved it once with an old electric hair clippers I have. Looked much better afterwards but just fuzzed up again in a week or so - ugh!

Anyway back to the sampler. Each month you get a section and you can print it out as a calendar if you want. The first section is 60 stitches deep and 125 stitches wide. The entire sampler will measure 653 stitches in length, about 40" using the 32 count linen I chose. This whole project is going to be FREE for me as I already had the linen in my stash and I'm using threads from my stash - Gentle Arts, Weeks, and Crescent Colors.  They give you a key with DMC numbers and I looked at it but I'm pretty much winging it. I figure if  I use  a bit of each of the colors in my palette in each month's section it should balance out nicely. I have a range of each of the colors I selected and I'm anxious to use a bit of each of them.

I haven't done a band sampler in quite while. The first major cross stitch sampler I did was this one from Eileen Bennett of The Sampler House, called Seasons of Flowers. Here's my sampler.

When I stitched this sampler my past experience had been in needlepoint so I loved all the decorative stitches in this piece.

Satin stitch and four sided stitch...

Long arm cross stitch, plaited stitches and eyelet and  Queen stitches...

And more Queen stitches!

Now this sampler also taught me to be very very careful about how far down you start stitching as I ran out of linen before I ran out of sampler. The original sampler has two bands I couldn't fit in. One with flowers and one where your name should go. I realized about three quarters of the way through the piece that I was going to run out of fabric and cried. Then I dried my tears and figured out how to make it work. I didn't want to leave off the last line of the verse so other parts had to go!

I'm taking it slow today. Chili for dinner is in the crockpot and I'm going to sit and stitch for a while. Maybe  I can find a show on HGTV that I haven't already seen 20 times!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Great start to 2015...

Happy happy New Year, everyone! Hope your year is off to a good start, like mine is! Began the day with brunch at my favorite breakfast place with my quilty friends for company! Good food, good conversation. Then back to my house where the quilty gals critiqued my rearranged living room, and they like it as much as I do! After that some quality time behind my Juki and now I've got my butt parked in my comfy chair and I'm enjoying the bright sunshine! Every day should be a copy of this one!

And to start off 2015, I want to share the last quilt I finished in 2014. I gave this quilt to my son and future daughter in law for Christmas, and they were very pleased with it.

I chose this line of Zen Chic fabric because it included lots of turquoise and orange which are the colors of their upcoming wedding. I have never worked with as much gray as is in this quilt but I am definitely changing my tune about gray... I can see where it is a very effective complement to the brighter colors. The pattern is call Scrappy Trails by Carlene Westberg and you can find it here.

Here is a straight on view. The pattern calls for one jelly roll and one charm pack. I had two of each and while I didn't use all of both of them I did use a chunk of the second jelly roll and charm pack to make it bigger - about 75" square.

I was able to purchase yardage of the collection so I used it along with leftovers from the front to make a rather arty back! I love the quilting on this one. Terry Finnerty of The Walking Needle did it, it is a kinda squared spiral that reminds me of a paver stone.

and here is the glamour shot! Isn't that railing wonderful? Wish it was on my house. It belongs to my next door neighbor, Jane, and she says I can use it any time to stage a quilt...Thanks Jane!

Now this quilt had a lot of serendipity in it. I picked the fabrics based on the colors as I thought they would like them, I paid no attention to the name of the collection when I purchased it. It wasn't till I got home that I realized it is called Barcelona by Zen Chic. Here's the kicker... they are going to Barcelona for their honeymoon!!! How cool is that???

The yardage on the back is this print which is a line drawing of the street grid of Barcelona. I was able to use the turquoise, orange and lime colorways of this print.

Well, now I'm off to do a little cross stitching and then some knitting. I think you should do a little of all of your favorite activities on New Year's Day to start the year off right!

happy stitching-
carol fun