Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Hallowiener!!!

               HAPPY HALLOWENIER!!!!

These guys are guarding my front door in anticipation of the arrival of treat or treaters tonight... in the past I've gotten tons of kids as I live in a neighborhood that is flat, with sidewalks ,and houses that are close together... ideal for good haul of candy. Tonight it may be a bit rainy and cool so we'll see how many show up.

And to celebrate Halloween inside I have this quilt finished...please excuse the bad photo...had to take it indoors...

another Giant Vintage Star from Jeni Baker's tutorial which you can find here. This makes the 4th one of these I've done. The fabrics for a 5th one are on my cutting table... a Christmas version done in red and green and aqua and pink...ooohh kinda girly for me!

I was able to use a variety of Halloween fabrics from my stash... some new and some vintage. This piece is from last year. A dear friend made a tote bag with it and I had to have the labels!

And this one is new too... check out the Frankenstein, and the witch and the skeletons...

This one is vintage...the scale of these guys is large and it isn't always easy to use them in a quilt but this one was perfect!

And here I have new and old... the green Wizard of Oz/Wicked piece is new and those jack-o-lanterns are old... I remember they are Alexander Henry...funny how I can remember that but can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday...LOL

Terry Finnerty, The Walking Needle,  my long arm quilter used an all over Halloween panto on this one... see the broom and the cat?

Well I hope that whatever candy you have left over tonight is the stuff you like!!!

Happy Halloween!

carol fun

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fall 2015 Blogger's Quilt Festival - Modern

Procrastination should be my middle name...oh by the way it is Ann... I've had these pictures ready to go for a week and only got around to putting this post together an hour ago...Ta - dah! My second entry for the Blogger's Quilt Festival for the Modern Quilt category.  The description of this category says "Modern to you , is modern to me"...and to me, while this quilt is based on a traditional block the size and the use of "modern" fabrics make is modern. This is my Boho Gypsy Vintage Star  and it finished at 85" square.

All the print fabrics are from several different Anna Marie Horner collections. I love the large scale of these prints and their retro hippie vibe!

This is the 3rd  time I've made a quilt with this Giant Vintage Star pattern developed by Jeni Baker of In Color Order.  You can find her tutorial for it here ... and my thoughts on the pattern and how I did it here.  (If you check my blog next week you'll see the Halloween version I've done with this pattern and I've got the fabrics for a Christmas version waiting on my cutting table... I am so smitten with this pattern!)

When I made this top I had lots of fat quarters and after I cut a giant triangle from each of them I didn't have a lot of fabric left over for a border, so my solution was to improv piece the bits and bobs I had together, to stretch it and make it work.

My long arm quilter frosted this quilt with a large paisley panto in a variegated thread and it nicely fills those negative spaces.

The OCD in me has oriented all of the fabrics in the quilt in such a way that  he flowers aren't upside down. I LOVE those giant lime green echinacea ...wish I could grow some this color and size in my garden.

I'm so happy happy happy with how this looks in my bedroom. The ochre gold background coordinates with my buffalo check drapes and the blues play well with the walls.

Do take some time and go over and peruse the wonderful quilts in the Blogger's Quilt Festival... a feast for the eyes and so much inspiration.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fall 2015 Blogger's Quilt Festival - Scrappy

I've selected this recent finish of mine to enter in the Scrappy category of the Blogger's Quilt version of the APQ's Go 4 It QAL and it is quite scrappy. I lost count but there are over 100 different fabrics in this quilt. The pattern for Go 4 It appeared in the April 2015 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine.

My version finishes at around 86" square...a generously sized quilt for my full size bed. Now I had seen some sneak peeks of this quilt before I jumped in, and I made some assumptions about the size of the blocks... I assumed they were 12" blocks, not so. In the pattern they are 6" blocks...oh my goodness... I was going to have to make a bajillion blocks and I knew my that short attention span would never last long enough to finish. Soooooooooo.... I compromised and  sized the blocks up to finish 9" and I still needed a boat load of blocks...but I got it done!

This was a fun quilt to make... all of the tone on tones came from my stash and  I was able to vastly expand my stash of  "low volume" prints for the background. Now my friends tell me that  my choice of "low volume" tends to be a bit noisier than most people...I gravitate toward the novelty and bright ones.  Among my "low volume" prints you'll find flowers, leaves, snails (they are stinking cute), text prints and snaps for example.

Of course there are lots of dotty prints and do you see that red toile in the middle?  Reminds me of illustrations in my first grade reading book...not Dick and Jane but John and Mary and Judy... I went to parochial school.... scarred for life LOL!

And here is a close up of my favorite block in the whole quilt...

adorable little chickens paired with yellow hearts...sigh... just perfect, dontcha think? LOL

For the borders and the binding I used randomly sized pieces of the "low volume" prints. My long arm quilter frosted this quilt with a Baptist fan panto... I think it fits perfectly with the feel of this quilt.

And I was quite pleased when Big Dude gave it his seal of approval!

I'd like to thank Amy Ellis from Amy's Creative Side for putting together another wonderful Blogger's Quilt Festival ... so many wonderful quilts to see and new blogs to explore. Feel free to poke around here if you have a minute...I'm into lots of different things...cross stitch and knitting and decorating along with quilting... anything fun to avoid cleaning and cooking.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A little decor tour on Tuesday...

So in the last week I haven't done anything I can post a picture of... the cross stitch I'm working on is a Christmas present... the knitting I did, I frogged and haven't started over...and I haven't touched my sewing machine in a week...doesn't make for an interesting blog post now, does it?  However, Big Dude came to my rescue and suggested a post featuring all my Fall decor... which is his way of saying that "woman you have a LOT going on in this room"...LOL

My house is small and I have a living room/dining room combo layout that is about 160 sq ft and I've packed quite a bit in that space. Here is a look around the room...

through the front door and to your right,  you have a cozy seating area in the "bay" part of the room. Nice and sunny there...

Looking to the left over the couch you see  the TV and my newest display and to the right of the quilt is my messy stitching chair which I cropped out ... not sharing everything...

Now for a few close ups...

I love this book shelf unit filled with pumpkins and cross stitch...

More cross stitch and pumpkins on top on my yellow chest from Target...

and pumpkins and quilts below too.

My newest decor adventure includes this bench/storage unit from my beloved is called Kallax and the bins are called Branas.

The quilt started with a panel from Sandy Gervais...LOVE those birds...and I filled in the rest with improv pieced blocks using several of her Fall fabric collections. This new space gave me a great place to display my latest obsession... a 3 tiered galvanized tray...or as my older son pointed out "its another cake stand Ma"... I LOVE LOVE LOVE cakestands...and the goodies you put on them!

I've wanted one of these ever since I saw it on Priscilla's blog... go here... she does some spectacular decorating with cross stitch and chalkboard and stuff... I've gotten so many ideas from her that I can't wait to play with. The tray was originally sold at Sam's Club but is gone now, but I managed to find it on ebay for the same price that Sam's was selling it for. I had lots of the do-dads and knick knacks I included in this display. I bought those little pumpkins at the grocery.

A few more smiling faces gaze at me while I watch TV...mercury glass... another collection.

Quick count... there are over 30 pumpkins in this space... and a liberal scattering of acorns and other assorted nuts ...some of the human variety...LOL

Hope you enjoyed tour...Big Dude is tuckered out and is taking a cat nap on the new bench. Those quilts are obviously doing a good job padding it.

After a chilly weekend, we are having some lovely Fall weather. I want to work in my yard and clean out the pots that are pretty pooped out, and get some daffodil bulbs in the ground. As a gardener I hate to see the flowers fade but planting bulbs gives me hope for Spring and I will LOVE LOVE LOVE their glorious yellow faces in March.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, October 16, 2015

Happy Socktoberfest....

which is like Oktoberfest but with sock yarn instead of beer!  So  2 weeks ago I showed socks I wanted to make and links to Nordic Mart for Fabel yarn.  I know one or two of you checked them out and ordered yarn... so did I...and I waited and waited and waited and finally sent them an email asking for information on the whereabouts of my order. This is out of character for them. I've ordered numerous times and I always get my order in about 3 days - California to Ohio- I think that is very good delivery. So when I contacted them I said they had sent it out the day before and I should be receiving it Thursday...which I did. No explanation if stuff was back ordered or if the order got lost in the shuffle... I'm thinking the latter. Oh well, it came yesterday...

Oh they look so squished...I released them and arranged them in numeric order to satisfy the OCD in me!

Now if you look back at my post of 2 weeks ago - you can click here - there were 3 pairs of socks I'd found on Instagram. I was able to determine which yarns they were knit with... the blue pair is Fabel 677 and 911... I got those yarns... the green pair is Fabel 151 and those... and the black orange pair is Fable 905 and 672...of course I got that too! I also put together a couple of combos of my own using some yarn I already had...what a concept...LOL

While I was waiting for my yarn delivery I tried out the "ragrug" sock idea of knitting alternate rounds - 2 rows each - of two different sock yarns. I picked a solid gray Fabel and some leftover Regia, one of the recent Arne & Carlos ones that are self -striping Fair Isle patterns.

Here is what I got...I like this side...

but I'm not as keen on this side...

It is hard to get jogless stripes when you are only doing 2 rows... I used a technique I found on this YouTube video by Knit Darling, you can see it here where you twist the yarns and slip the first stitch of the second row. I may look better after I wash it . I also found these ideas about jogless stripes on Craftsy - you can see it here - and I'm going to try them too. I'm thinking if you use two more similar yarns the jogs will be less noticeable. I looked on IG and left a question on happygoknitty's pictures to ask how she handles the jogs but haven't heard back yet.

Soooooo I have quite a bit of yarn here to play with... and embarrassment of to decided which yarns to play with hard...LOL...what a great predicament to be in!

Hope you have a good weekend planned...turning noticeably colder tomorrow...frost warning for Saturday night and a freeze warning for Sunday... that will probably be the end of my coleus but that's okay. Need to get my daffodil bulbs in the ground soon.

happy knitting-
carol fun

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Tick tock?? No, Tiki Tok...

tick tock, tick tock, tick tock...time marches on and I am late again this week. Maybe I should change my name to Alice...or was that the Mad Hatter that dithered about being late??? Anyway, I did get some sewing time in this week and played again with my blocks using the Tiki Tok collection from Jenn can see it here.

As I was sewing the blocks into rows I liked it but I didn't LOVE it... it needed something...a border!! A bright chartreuse-y yellow in your face border! Now that is better!

This is my own pattern if you can call it that. I took a layer cake of Tiki Tok and cut it in half - 5" X 10" pieces. In opposite corners I added a 2.5" connector corner using my Prairie Sky Quilting Folded Corner Clipper which you can see here. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this little tool. You do all the cutting before you sew so after you've done the seam all you have to do is press the block and it is done.

Here is a close up of the fabrics... I love the 50's Mid Century Retro vibe of this collection and those birds are just too cute!

Well I'm too late to link up with Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday but the link for Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday is still open so I'll link up there. Hope you are having a good week!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Did you really think I wouldn't start something new???

With a finish last week I turned my attention to the many many many other cross stitch projects I have started, and yet to be started. I looked over a couple of UFOs and then remembered how soon Christmas will be upon us (75 days if you really want to know) first I started a piece that will be gift...but I can't show it because the recipient reads this blog so just take my word for it, I have begun my Christmas presents! And after working on the gift two nights straight I made some decent progress and was patting myself on the back for how virtuous I am (don't choke on that, please LOL) when the mail came Saturday. A squishy package from Dyeing to Stitch...ooooohhh...the next installment in the Ladies Prim Society. Isn't it a beauty?

It is titled "Once Upon a Summer" by Beth Twist of Heartstring Samplery. The project is a lovely "housewife" and all the goodies to finish it are included but as soon as I looked at it I knew I wanted to frame it. I've got a thing for long narrow samplers (click here and you can see my longest narrowest sampler) and this one has ALL the elements I love... an alphabet, a nice border, a house (it is little but it is there), and an added bonus of that cute deer (I live in Deer Park) and I think I can squeeze a chicken under the tree on the far left. Well, with all this wonderfulness and the fact that the linen and floss and even a needle were all sitting right there beckoning me... I HAD to start it!

I had a very nice free afternoon and evening and I made the most of it. I was a bit concerned when I started as this is one ply of floss over 2 threads. I like heavy coverage and wasn't sure this would cut it. The linen is 35 count and I assume it is R & R Reproductions Heartstring Blend as the pattern calls for. It is very nice linen. Stiff which I like because I don't use a hoop and tightly woven. I started with the alphabet and it looked good and I went on to the pine tree which is solid...

nice coverage. I can live with this. So instead of picking up a UFO I started not one but two new projects, ensuring I will NEVER EVER EVER run out of UFOs... and I take comfort in that thought...LOL!

I'm linking up with Kathy's Quilts today and with Super Mom -No Cape on Monday. I hope you are having a lovely Sunday. The weather here is absolutely perfect...sunny and 70 with a nice breeze. I have my windows and doors open enjoying the fresh air. My son and dear daughter in law are coming for dinner... we're grilling out tonight since there no guarantee how much longer we can do that. Going to enjoy it while we can...

happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, October 9, 2015

A Friday finish...

Well there's another week that blew right by can it already be Friday??? and what did I do all week??? Okay I did bind a quilt so I have something to show for TGIFF - Thank Goodness Its Finished Friday.  Ta dah!!! My Bar Code Quilt...

It was perfect weather this afternoon to take pictures outdoors so I dragged out my quilt stand and snapped a few photos. I started this quilt back in June...July... something like that. It was inspired by a Bee block quilt Kviltstina did... you can click here for a pic of hers and a tutorial for the pattern. This quilt gave me lots of opportunities to use my black and white prints, my novelty prints, my bright prints and my low volume prints.

I took this quilt to my guild meeting Monday night and it got lots of attention. However it was pointed out that I don't really do low volume or quiet...somehow my low volume prints are quite noisy...but they are just too stinking cute. If you look at my blocks you'll find mustaches, and arrows, and cute snails, and lobsters, and bicycles and utensils, and cupcakes, and monkeys,  and mice, and scissors,  and yarn, and even polka dot name just a few items...LOL

I was very happy to find a bright random width stripe to use as the binding...perfect if I do say so myself, and I do.

I'm linking up with Quilt Matters: TGIFF...go check it out here and see what others got finished this Friday. At the moment it looks like I have a quiet weekend ahead... I have to go to the grocery and my son and dear daughter in law are coming for dinner on Sunday but other than that I'm pretty free...yeah! I have several things I want to work on. I need to get started on a couple of Christmas gifts since there are 77 days left and we all know how quickly they will fly by.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend-
happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Peel my a grape...I'm done...

I just finished my Blackbird Designs Feast of Friendship... started over a year ago...put away for quite a while and then it saw the light of day again the beginning of September.

The perfect finish for a lovely sunny Fall afternoon. I do love the look of this sampler but boy was there a LOT of solid areas to stitch. By my calculations the house alone has over 4500 stitches! It is a BIG blue house!

That compote just about did me in. All the solid stitching on the dish and tons of color changes for the fruit, but in the end it was worth it.

I had planned to do all the alternate tiles on the roof in Scotch stitch but it didn't work out. The diagonal nature of the stitch was making the piece all skewed. I use to do this stitch when I needlepointed and it works well on canvas, but this linen is a looser weave and I think that it would need to be wet blocked, which I'm not going to do. Sooooo I just added a couple of Scotch stitches  here and there. 

In the cartouche instead of stitching "Feast of Friendship" I stitched an alphabet...

and you can see I just barely got it all in. Had to do from "V" on over one thread. Again I stitched my sons initials "C" and "N" in a different thread. Also I stitched my initials in a more cursive style instead of the block letters used on the original.

Don't know what I'm going to do next. For a hot minute I thought about getting out my Houses of Hawk Run Hallow that I started eons ago. I don't even know how far I am on it. Or one of my many many many other UFO's, or perhaps something new... and we all know something new is so much FUN!  I recently acquired all of the Prairie Schooler monthly charts. I've admired them for years and since they plan on retiring at the beginning of 2016 I snagged them while I could. I like Prairie Schooler's style and that their pieces are done in DMC. No issues with dye lot variations.  Mmmm... this is sounding more and more like a plan. Now do I start with January or much time do I want to give myself? Tune in next week to see what I picked.

I'm linking up with Kathy's Quilt Slow Sunday Stitching today and with Super Mom - No  Cape Vintage Embroidery Monday tomorrow.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, October 2, 2015

A New Obsession...need more yarn...

Okay to be perfectly honest I don't need more yarn... I WANT more yarn... so I can make more socks like these... well sort of like on...

The pattern is called Dorothy's Slip Stitch Spiral Knit Socks and you can see the pattern here on Ravelry. The concept is you use 2 different self-striping yarns and alternate every other row, doing slip stitches on one row, and just knit the other row. I'd say more but I think I would be giving the pattern away and while it is quite simple she is selling it and I don't want to step on anyone's toes... particularly where pretty socks are concerned...LOL! While the pattern has you do it on double points (which I detest) I did it Magic Loop and had no problems.

I used two Drops Fabel yarns I had in my stash... 903 and 911... now these two skeins were in a little bag together which means I purchased them with something in particular in mind... but I can't for the life of me figure out what it I used them for socks instead. Definitely put them to good use! Here is a close up of the slip stitch pattern.

As you can see I finished the first sock and dutifully started the second sock but was distracted by another idea and another color combo. As I was knitting the second sock I was getting fed up with the slip stitch isn't hard... you have to count to 3 and I can do that without taking my socks off but it requires some attention. I don't knit socks to be attentive... I knit socks to veg out which is why anymore all I knit are plain vanilla stockinette socks.

Soooooo... unable to focus any longer I cast on this pair...

I alternated yarns every row but didn't do the slip stitch and I really LOVE how these look. Now both of these yarns are more tonal than stripey... the turquoise is Drops Fabel 340 and the orange is Regia Color 120... both of which were in my stash...yippee!! Free socks!! (Again we are not going to discuss the fallacy of my logic we are just going to accept and quietly tsk tsk tsk to ourselves...right??? Right-o!) I LOVE how this makes scrappy looking socks with no tying of yarn together and no ends to weave in. And I like how you don't know what it is going to look like till you knit it...oooohhh... my idea of living dangerously! LOL

So being totally taken with this new obsession I went on the Internet to see what other examples of these kinds of socks I could find and stumbled upon these...

and these...

and these...

And these 3 pairs of socks really entranced me. Helene used 2 different self striping yarns all Drops Fabel ones and knit 2 rows with each yarn. Such delicious scrappiness!! I found these on Instagram from Helene's happygoknitty name and you can check her out here. So after drooling over her combinations I went Nordic Mart who've I ordered from before and well, you know where this is going... I ordered more yarn because I NEED/WANT more yarn. Hey, at least I'm not drinking or gambling my retirement away, right??? You can check out Drops Fabel yarns here... very reasonably priced around $3.00 a skein and the shipping is reasonable too...$5.50. I'll have a lovely package of squishy goodness hitting my front porch next week and in the meantime I could finish that first pair, or cast on the mate for the second pair, or I could start an entirely new pair with either this combo...

which reminds me of a lovely Fall day... or this combo...

which talks of sunshine and blue skies. (Yes the yarn does talk, you just have to be very very quiet and you can hear it.)

So what do you think I'm going to do next? Oh I got two more pairs of circular needles today at is very very good!

Check out what others are knitting over at Patchwork Times On the Needles linkup today...just click here.

happy knitting!
carol fun