Sunday, August 30, 2015

A battle between small and Big...

So lately I've been wanting to have some small pieces to add my every growing collection of cross stitch. However the subject matter I've chosen is a bit off base...kinda like yours truly...LOL! First up is a worm... yep, that's what I said... a worm. Why I chose this I cannot fathom, except to say he was fun, and old school... DMC on 18 count Fiddler's Aida...made me feel like it was 1990 all over again!

I can't believe I'm saying this but "awhhhh...isn't he cute?" He is from the chart Garden Beasties by The Prarire Schooler #54 copyrighted 1996... see I told you old school. I don't know if you can see it but I even gave him a little smile...oh I am totally whacked here, aren't I? There are a couple of other beasties I like from this chart including a snail and a ladybug and a frog...ewww...but they're cute! The worm finished about 3" and I'm thinking of making him into a little round pillow.

Next up, more nature...another Prairie Schooler...another small...

This is  Prairie Fairie 1994 and she finished 2.5" high by 3.5" high. I stitched her on an unknown 40 count linen with one ply of floss over two threads. Here is a picture for scale..

As far as I can tell there were 4 Fairies in this series from 1994 through 1997. I was able to snag them all online. Did you know that the gals from Prairie Schooler announced that they are retiring as of the beginning of 2016? I think there will be a run on their patterns as many are already very hard to find or OOP. In the last couple of months I've been paying closer attention to the price of older OOP charts and some people are getting astronomical prices for OOP Blackbird Designs. One afternoon I was cruising ebay and took a rough estimate of how much some of my stash would be worth if I could get those prices and well, lets just say I have a tidy little cache... but I'm not selling!

So after doing those small pieces, and having that lovely Fall-ish weather last week, it put me in the mood for a Fall-ish sampler...and I remembered that I was working on Blackbird Designs Feast of Friendship just a little while ago. (OMG... I searched my blog and found out I haven't touched this sampler since August 2014...sheesh time sure does fly!)

I have no idea why I put this aside last year at this time... I have a pretty good start on this. All those acorns in the border are done, the house is almost painted/scrapped/stitched and I had a start on the giant pumpkin. Bring on the pumpkins!!! And I really love the giant compote of fruit in this piece and can't wait to start on the mutant two story tall pineapple and grapes.

There should be some stitching time later today. I have my Sunday dinner prepped and ready to pop into the oven...we're having spaghetti and home made meatballs. I'll have to crank up the AC as the lovely Fall-ish weather has departed and summer is coming back with a vengeance to finish off the season...forecast for next week highs hitting 90...ugh!

Hope the weather is nice where you are...I'll be linking up with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching and Super Mom No Cape for Vintage Embroidery Monday.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, August 28, 2015

Blue Moon over Ohio...

Even though most of this summer it has been too hot to wear socks, that has not stopped me from knitting socks...and I have almost exclusively knit socks using Blue Moon Socks that Rock yarn. Their website is here and the colorways they offer change throughout the year so there is always something new to tempt me. (OH CARP... as I went to their site to copy the link I saw that they just posted  over 20 new colorways.... on just a first glance I think I need Galatic Broccoli and THE Yellow Eyed Demon and The Earl of Purl and Dancing in the Moonlight.. and argghhh...I have NO self control!)

Anyway, the first pair I completed was this colorway "Room without a Roof"... a very HAPPY yarn! (Get the Pharrell reference?)

Now what surprised me was that these two socks are pretty matchy for a hand dyed yarn...the pooling around the ankle is almost identical. I in no way tried to make these socks match... if you've been reading this blog for any time at all you know I much prefer unmatched socks. Usually when I finish the first sock I rewind the yarn so it is coming off the ball in the opposite direction for the second sock, but I didn't do that for this pair. I in no way tried to start the second sock at a similar spot as the first but boy did they knit up matchy.

And then there is this pair, my homage to Annette Funicello, "Beach Blanket Bingo"...and again I have awfully matchy socks!

Not only has this been a summer of knitting Blue Moon yarn, it has been a summer of being lazy. Again I didn't rewind the yarn after I finished the first sock and made no attempt to start the second sock at a similar spot as the first. I suppose since I prefer unmatchy socks the yarn gods are playing with me. I know many knitters who bemoan the outcome when their socks aren't identical and that is what I'm always trying to get... fraternal twin socks not identical twin socks. Oh well, they are only isn't world peace I'm working on.

And this is my start on one of those skeins of Rare Gems ... a skein with no name...

I've gone down a needle size to 2.5 for this pair and they do seem to be a bit snugger...I was curious to see what difference if any a smaller needle would make and at the time I cast them on I had all my 2.75 circulars full of other socks. I always like how the yarn pools on the knit one through the back loop, purl one cuff...and for a hot minute I considered knitting the whole sock that way but came to my senses after 10 rows ( my standard cuff) when I couldn't stand the constant change anymore.

Now that I've freed up another pair of circulars I thought about casting on and trying a rib pattern...maybe K4, P1 to see what would happen but when I tried to pull yarn from the center of the cake it was all knotted up... so I took that as another sign from they yarn gods and stopped... I really think they are messing with me this summer. LOL!

Our lovely stretch of weather is coming to an end this weekend. I've had the windows open and the AC off all week and it has been sooooo nice. Today were going to hit the 80's and there are 90's in the forecast for next week. Since Fall is my favorite time of year I have enjoyed the cooler temperatures... oh well... Fall will come again in another couple of weeks. I'm ready to break out my Fall decorations... bring on the pumpkins!!!

Hope you have a lovely big plans here...dinner with my family on Sunday at my house...I'm thinking something Italian...maybe lasagna.

happy knitting-
carol fun

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

It is coming together...

The weather here in southwestern Ohio has been wonderful this humidity...high temperatures in the mid 70's... the mornings have been crisp, almost Fall-ish...and in the evening I've been sleeping with windows open...divine! And the weather has put me in the mood to make a Fall-ish quilt. Now I thought about starting something new, because I new project is ALWAYS fun... but then I remembered this Giant Vintage Star top that I had begun back in March... you can see Jeni Baker's tutorial for this quilt here and my suggestions for making one of these here.

Soooooo, here is the center... ( I know, I know too many "here's" here but read on please!)

And how it looks now... on my design floor...

Somehow that golden background fabric puts me in a Fall-ish Boho Gypsy groove... oh this covers a LOT of things I love...LOL!  The fabrics are from a couple of collections by Anna Maria Horner... Folk Song, Pretty Potent, Honor Roll. I love how they all go together. Now the center is a bit wrinkly as Big Dude was laying on it, and  the borders aren't sewn to the center yet but it is coming along nicely.

I had to do some finagaling to stretch the fabric far enough for 4 borders, so I did some improv piecing, and I think it adds a nice touch to this quilt.

Luckily the fabric I had the most of is the print I love the best... those giant chartreuse echinacea!! I worked a piece of it into each of the borders and none of them are upside down... makes the OCD in me happy happy happy!

This is going to look fabulous in my bedroom with the blue walls and the gold and white buffalo check drapes!

Hope to get it all finished and off to Terry to be quilted before the weekend... just in time for the temperatures to turn hot again...oh well when Fall does arrive to stay I will be ready!

I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced and Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday... I know I'm late for Monday... but better late than never... right???

happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, August 23, 2015

To and from the framers on Slow Stitching Sunday...

Hello everyone...boy last week sure was busy. I was out of the house 3 nights...such a social butterfly LOL! Glad to be at home and get a bit of stitching done. First, I was able to pick up my May Day Sampler and I'm so happy with how it looks.

Bev at JoAnn's picked this frame, I wanted gold but not real on the prim side.

And since I picked up one piece I dropped off another. This is my version of Blackbird Designs Le Poulet.

Now I made a few changes... the C & the N are a different color to denote my sons' initials. The F I did in 4 sided stitch for my last name. The second row of letters is off in several places. By the time I saw it I was in no mood to frog and restitch it, so I didn't.

As for the chicken, well she received quite a bit of plastic surgery. First I thought the chicken that was graphed was too scrawny so mine got buffed up and I changed the color of her feathers to Crescent Colors Old Marigold. Then she received some tail extensions and a beak reduction and some cute little comb additions. Oh very pretty if I say so myself...and I do!

I'm linking up with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday and tomorrow I'll linkup with Super Mom - No Cape Vintage Embroidery. Both are great linkups with lots of pretty things to see.

Hope you are having a lovely Sunday. I've got my son and his bride coming for dinner and afterwards I hope to spend some quality time with a needle and thread.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


So a couple people contacted me and asked where I've been and what I've been up to...well, I've been up to my normal no good, but don't have much to show for it. Thanks for checking up on me. I've been working on a couple of projects which for the most part don't show any appreciable progress so I haven't blogged about them.

Now I did make a new pair of pillow cases...

I don't remember who's fabric line it was but I do love those little birds.

And since a post without some pictures doesn't seem right here are a couple of an old quilt that I just washed and popped onto my bed...

As I remember, and don't hold me to this, as I'm not sure what I had for lunch yesterday,   I think the pattern was from an Anka's Treasures book...

And the fabric was a line from Chez Moi... I like the vintage Boho vibe... It looks so nice and cozy, I could crawl back in for a nap... if I had the time... but I don't. Off to get my haircut and then a birthday dinner to attend the evening. It is the last week of summer vacation before classes start for my son and I'm am trying to enjoy every minute. As I've stated many times, I don't know where the days go. My sainted Grandma always told me that time moves faster the older you get and it appears she was correct and I'm aging at the speed of light.

happy stitching -
carol fun

Sunday, August 9, 2015

May Day Sampler Redux

Last Sunday was the big reveal of the May Day Samplers on the FB group Prim Stitchers Society. I showed my version where I stitched the birds as they were graphed in blue.

And then I saw my friend Marcella's version with robins...

and I HAD TO HAVE ROBINS!!! Soooooo... I ripped out my bluebirds and here is what it looked like in process. Looking better already!

And here it is redux... I LOVE THE ROBINS!!!

I think this makes a pretty sampler even prettier! If you click on the picture and enlarge it you can see the details.   I'm happy I didn't "finish" this last week. My version just had the stitching attached to a quilted background with double stick tape... a bit redneck but it gave me flexibility.

Here's a close up of my robins...

I'm going to take this to Bev at Joanns to be framed this week. I already know EXACTLY where I want to hang it... in my to my bed...where I'll see it every morning when I wake up. Thank you Marcella for sharing your sampler and your wonderful interpretation of this sampler. I'm so happy to have robins of my own!

I'll be linking up with Kathy's Quilts today and Super Mom - No Cape tomorrow. Check them out when you have a minute.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Throwback Thursday and #sewphotohop ...

I've been participating on Instagram  in the #sewphotohop for the month of August and today's prompt is "pattern that changed my life"...well this is it for me... from the 1999 book by Freddy Moran called Freddy's Houses. You can still get the book here on Amazon.

The following is a repeat of a post I did in 2011... I was complaining about the weather even then  LOL...this quilt was a pivotal moment in my quilting life. Up until this quilt, I did  traditional quilts with tradtional fabrics. While the house block is traditional my choice of fabrics and colors were not. And this quilt pushed me in other ways as I had to construct this quilt with nothing but the picture in the book to go on. As I mention in the 2011 post I fell in love with the quilt on the cover only to find it was in the "Gallery" pattern included!  Not only did I build my own houses I also built a fence, a yellow fence to surround my little village...I'm still very proud of this quilt!

Hope you enjoy this is raining here today so a bright quilt it is an antidote to a gray day!
Previously posted May 11, 2011

I watched the weather report last night. The 7 day forecast is for some rain every single day from now to eternity. Ok maybe that eternity part is the voice in my head, but it sure seems that way. So to counteract the gray that will be omnipresent I broke out one of the most colorful quilts I have every made. A quilt that totally changed my quilting palette. Here it is.....

It is affectionately titled Carol's Crazy Kitty Cottages or as my oldest son refers to it - the Crack House Kittys. There are 36 different crazy cottages and each one features a different cat in the window. (I love novelty fabrics!) This one is my favorite.

A cat wearing a polka dot underwear. I know that just makes you shake your head and mutter to yourself that "this is just wrong on soooo many levels" but it makes me happy, which clearly shows the depths of my mental issues - LOL! And here is another one that makes me smile...

I love the expression on this cat and that he seems to be peeking through the foliage.

And I was so proud of myself for figuring out how to make that bright yellow picket fence turn the corner.

This quilt was created from the 1999 book Freddy's House by Freddy Moran. This book blew me away. First it has beautiful pictures of her color saturated house and studio. Red, electric purpley blue, turquoise accents, a sunny yellow studio with a black and white checkerboard floor. I covet that studio! And her quilts are just a riot of color and pattern. This book focused on the house quilts Freddie has made and she has made A LOT of them.

When I purchased the book it was love at first sight with the quilt on page 86 called "The Stars at Night". I couldn't wait to start this quilt and it wasn't until I got the book home that I realized that this quilt is in the "Gallery" section - you know the quilts for which no patterns are included. arggh! Okay, I will figure it out myself- and I did! I made the houses 8" square and every one is a different combination of doors, walls,roofs, chimneys and windows. And that little square in the bottom left hand corner next to the door - I considered that to be the garden spot for each home and they are all different patterns too. I worked on this quilt for a whole summer when my kids were out of school and I even quilted it myself. I'm hanging it in my basement family room where my sewing space is and I can see it from my behind my machine and it makes me very happy!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Its a Tiki Tok day...

See I told you those double posts days were a total fluke...back to my regular irregular posting...LOL! So, have you seen this new collection by Jenn Ski? It is called Tiki Tok and I am in love..

It has a real retro 1950's vibe and the color are very different... a chartreuse green, a slate blue gray, a coral pink I haven't seen in ages and mustard yellow...oooooohhhh...aaaaaahhhh! I picked up a layer cake and some of the tone on tone black in the collection yesterday at Fabric can see the collection here.

I raced home to play with it. I wanted to do something simple so I didn't hack up these prints too much...those birds make me smile from ear to ear. This was my first idea... 5" X 10" rectangles with connector corners placed side by side.

Not bad but what if I sashed them... that would make the quilt bigger without a lot of extra work.

Oh I like this better and now I'm thinking of adding cornerstones as I prefer to sew tops with cornerstones so the rows don't get wonky.

And speaking of connector corners have you used this? The Folded Corner Clipper... you can find it here on Amazon. This is the first time I've used it and I like it a lot. It is making quick work of adding these corners.

Oh these I LOVE these birds...they come on this mustard yellow background and the coral pink and the kiwi green and the slate blue grey...I will use them ALL in this quilt!

And this line drawing is very cool...I'm thinking this may be my choice for cornerstones.

And this is a cross between a Joan Miro painting and an Alexander Calder mobile... very surreal...and I swear my Mom had some curtains with a print like this in the early 60's! LOL

Anyway this is going to be a fun little project...I envision it as a lap size quilt... if I add cornerstones I may add a border too...maybe one of those bird prints...that would make me happy happy happy!!! I see another trip to Fabric Shack in the very near future...such fun!

Edited to add this... much better...much much better...took much black...definitely have to go to Fabric!

I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced again this Wednesday.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sharing Marcella's May Day Sampler...

Really, don't get use to this...another double post in one day... unbelievable! But I wanted to share my friend Marcella's version of the May Day Sampler by Brenda Gervais...

Isn't is wonderful??? Those robins are so pretty... do you see why I have to restitch my bluebirds??? It will be sooooo worth it!

And here is a pic of Marcella's conversion from DMC to overdyed flosses.

Here are Marcella's words about her version..." I challenged myself to use only what was in my 'stash' including the frame (need to take lessons on framing - definitely 'prim' framing job!). I used R & R's 36 ct 'Antique Cotton' and swapped out the DMC for GA, CC, and Weeks trying to stay true to charted colors with the exception of the birds, which I changed to Robins. I also snuck in some specialty stitches - our family initials done in Smyrna cross and another set of initials to commemorate my husbands dear friend who passed away last month. One of the flowers also has Algerian Eye stitches to commemorate our first born son."

The robins are done in GA Maple Syrup and their breasts are done in GA Burnt Orange.  I think re-doing the birds as robins will be fabulous!

Thanks Marcella for letting me share your sampler... you inspire me!

happy stitching-
carol fun 

Now I can show and tell...

For the past month I've been working on a sampler that I couldn't show as it was a secret SAL project on the Facebook page Prim Stitchers Society. It is a closed group so I'm not sure how much you can see, but you can ask to be part of the group and see all of the different versions of this...

May Day Sampler by Brenda Gervais. This was a free graph and every stitcher interpreted it in a different and beautiful way. I hand dyed the linen I used, which was in my stash, as were all the flosses. I used DMC, Gentle Arts, Weeks and Crescent Colors. I stitched 2 over 2 for all of the design except for the border which is one over two.

When I started the border I thought I'd go back and do satin stitches over the crosses but after I finished it I really liked the lacy look so I left well enough alone. I did use 26 different flosses to do the alphabet. Each letter is a varying shade of gold/yellow and I did the C and the N in more brown tones for my sons' initials. Oh the true color of the linen is closer to the first picture than to this picutre.

Part of the rules of the SAL was that the piece needed to be finished. Now usually I have mine framed and there wasn't time for that so I mounted it to a small quilted square I had and hung it on this table stand. My secret (which isn't a secret now) is that the linen is just folded back and is mounted with double stick tape... ohhhh... horrors!!! I still think I want to have this framed but before I do I think I'm going to restitch the bluebirds. My friend Marcella in California also stitched this piece and she turned the bluebirds into the most beautiful robins... I want robins! I'll have to see if I can show you a picture of Marcella's sampler... I'd call her but it is only 6am in California as I write this so I"m not going to do that. And the upside of my temporary finishing is that I can make the changes and then send it off to Bev to be framed...yeah!

And I can finally get around to showing the little Crops tablerunner I made for the chest in the living room.

And here is the little BBD piece August that I got back from Bev the other day. I'm very happy with this frame.

I really want to do more small pieces like this one... and even smaller ones to put in that large bird bowl I got at Pier 1.

I think it would be a lovely space to display smalls and I have a couple of ideas... some Prairie Schooler stuff and some With Thy Needle & Thread and of course more BBD...all birds and nature themed. Just like my quilting I will never run out of cross stitch piece to do!

Well I'm looking forward to a nice Sunday... the weather is gorgeous 80's but very low humidity...unheard of in August in Ohio. My son and his bride are coming for dinner, grilled chicken and salads and I've got the chicken marinating and the salads are prepped. I may even have some stitching time this afternoon... a great way to spend a Sunday.

I'll be linking up with Kathy's Quilts today and Super Mom- No Cape on Monday,

happy stitching-
carol fun