Friday, November 27, 2015

One holiday to go...

Hello... did you have a nice Thanksgiving? I certainly did. We celebrated at my son's and daughter-in-law's home ...their first Thanksgiving as a married couple...and there was lots and lots of good food and great company. We ate a 1pm and I spend the rest of the day in a food is nice to slow down that way every once in a while. I'm usually go go going all the time. Yesterday evening I just sat and read...didn't knit or cross stitch or anything crafty...and it was a lovely break from my routine.

And now we all run headlong into Christmas. I have family members who are big Black Friday shoppers, and others like me who will try to do as much of their shopping as they can online. Now I do sometimes wish that there was more time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I like the way the Canadians do it... Thanksgiving is the second Monday in October...that gives you lots more time to do the big holiday meal all over again at Christmas. But then a family member who wondered... how do people in countries that don't celebrate Thanksgiving when we do know when to start Black Friday shopping? (This member is in the big Black Friday shopping contingency if you didn't guess). I don't know what they do but somehow everyone seems to shop for Christmas. Today I am planning to avoid all the big retail stuff...lunch with a friend...maybe pop into my favorite quilt store...they have dollar fat quarters today...but that will be all the retail for me.

This last week did see me finishing another pair of my version of rag rug socks...

These are Drops Fabel 901 and 151. I used a solid plum for the heels and I was going to do the toes in the plum too but I just got swept up in those wonderful little stripes and couldn't stop myself...LOL

And since my needles were empty for a nanosecond I started another pair of ragrug socks...these are looking quite Spring-y...

The yellow is a ombre Austermann  that has been in my stash for a while, and the multi color skein is Red Heart Heart & Sole in the Jellybeans colorway...I picked it up at Hobby Lobby. I have some other knitting I'm working on too but it is super secret Christmas knitting so no pictures right now.

Hope that you are having a nice weekend...I'm going to chill as much as possible.

happy knitting-
carol fun

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving...

Hope your day is as happy as these little guys!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

It's beginning to look a bit like Christmas...

Well another week has blown right by me...I blame not posting on life and laziness... there was plenty of both in last week. Anyway I did do a little sewing and I actually remembered to take pictures, so maybe there is some hope for me. Now we aren't going to talk about the large stockpile of UFO's I have lurking in my sewing room, instead we are going to focus on a bit of Christmas just in time for the upcoming holiday.

I've been wanting to do this pattern - Diamond Dash from Missouri Star - since it was published back in October. You can watch the video here. It takes a layer cake and 1 1/2 yds fabric for the "diamonds" and the sashing. Here's what I have laid out on my design wall.

The color in this picture isn't great... the close-ups below are truer to reality. The fabric is Tole Christmas by Gina Martin and you can see it here. I'm using an olive green Grunge fabric for the diamonds and the sashing.

There are some lovely prints in this collection...

I think I will use the red print with the white poinsettia for my outer border. In fact, I ordered some this morning from my favorite shop, Fabric Shack.

I have to sew the rows together but the individual units sewed up quickly. I used my Folded Corner Clipper to do the snowball corners. I like using this tool as I have the trimming done before I sew the corner on. Once it is sewn all I have to do is press it in place and it is done. Easy peasy.

I'll be linking up with Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday and Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday...a day or two late and hopefully not a dollar short.

So are you prepped and ready for tomorrow? We are celebrating the holiday at my older son's home, a mere two blocks from my house. That makes it convenient as I'm bringing (by request) a prime rib roast, my stuffing and pasta salad. There will also be turkey and trimmings supplied by my dear daughter-in-law's father and grandmother. It should be quite the feast. Gobble till you wobble...LOL!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Shuffling along...

Have you heard about the Moda Sampler Shuffle? It is a lovely sampler QAL where 2 or 3 blocks are added every week. You can read about it here. Now I got to thinking about when was the last time I made a sampler quilt and it dawned on me that I've only ever  made one... the very first quilt I ever made was a little baby quilt with every block different. I made that one 30 years ago....whoa...time flies! That was the beginning of my quilting career... fueled by hormones and pregnant with my first child in my fantasy life I  wanted to bake bread, raise chickens and make quilts.  In reality, I lived blocks away from the best bakery in town, I lived in the city which has strigent restrictions on livestock...darn dashed dreams. That only left quilting...boy I'm glad I could make that wish come true! LOL

I really like the layout of this finished quilt (don't over look that page)  and pondered for a couple of days what fabrics to use... American Jane...Kaffe and white...and then my sewing buddy Stephie suggest the Mon Ami collection. Great idea as I had gifted myself a FQ pack of this line for my birthday... I give the bestest gifts don'tcha know...LOL!

Oh is it so hard to untie that ribbon... did you see that it is a tape measure? Not sure it is accurate. But you can't make an omelet if you don't crack a few eggs and you can sew unless you cut into the fabric. So far I have 3 blocks FQS is releasing 2 blocks a week but other sites like Tater Patch Quilts are releasing 3 blocks a can visit them here. So with 3 I've finished I'm either 50% up to date or 33% up to date... and either way I'm behind... gotta sew faster!

Block #1... I fussy cut that adorable bike with the baguettes in the basket and kitty on the back so when the blocks are assembled it will be upright... all the blocks are set on point.

Block #3...this one was a bit of a stinker...took me 4 tries to get those points in the middle to even remotely meet.

Block #4...easy peasy... I like that graffiti print... see the Eiffel Tower?

My "recipe" for this quilt is to try and use 3 fabrics in every block, one of which is a light. This collection has a nice selection of light fabrics and has several Grunge favorite tone on tone.

So it is a rainy day... good day to stay inside and sew...and that is my plan. Linking up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, November 16, 2015

Avant Garden Vintage Stars...

Okay, I thought I had scheduled this to post earlier today but obviously my chubby little fingers poked the wrong keys. Oh well... today I have my Avant Garden Vintage Star quilt top made from one layer cake with the addition of some background fabric.

This quilt is an extension of my obsession with Jeni Baker's Giant Vintage Star quilt (you can see her tutorial here). I've made 5 Giant Vintage Stars which you can see in this post...but I haven't got it out of my system. I wondered how large a quilt I could make if I sewed up the stars using a layer cake...and the answer is you can make 36" stars, sashed with 4" strips and the top measures 76" square. I'm going to add an outside border of 4" strips to float the stars,  boosting it to 84" square which should fit nicely on my double bed. Now the little star in the center could be made with the scraps left over from using the layer cake...however I wasn't thrilled with the fabrics I had left from the layer cake... so I used scraps that I had from another quilt I made using this same fabric line.

Isn't it cute? The polka dots and that floral print are too cute.

I used 8 different fabrics in each of these 36" stars.

When I make this quilt again...and I will... I plan to make the stars a bit smaller and have them finish about 32". Then I could float them with some sashing and add a nice sized border. I wanted to add a border to this one but to get the scale correct it would have made an enormous quilt. I'll have to settle for a nice dark binding to finish this one off.

This giant vintage star idea is a lot of fun. One star made from a layer cake (a 10" square) would make a lovely baby quilt. I love the graphic quality of these giant stars...I mean you can't go wrong with stars now can you?

At the moment my week doesn't look too busy...oh I like that... hope to have some sewing and stitching and some knitting time. Hope you have some quality crafty time in your week too!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, November 13, 2015

It was fun... and the TV shows were good too...

So last Friday I shared my latest obsession...knitting socks using 2 skeins of self striping yarn, alternating with each round... another finished sock!

This sock uses Drops Fabel 901 and 151... I love how the greens meld together and how you get little bitty stripes. I used Drops 104 for the heels. I was going to do the toes with that plum-y yarn too but I was so carried away by the striping I just couldn't stop myself... is a good thing that this vice is legal!

Here is a pick of Helene's sock doing the two stripe ragrug method...

Similar yet different... I have to say knitting with the two yarns has kept me very focused... I didn't have a thought about starting a new combination and happily cast on the second sock. I took what was left of the skeins from the first sock and wound each into a ball so the yarn would knit off in the opposite order of the first sock. I figure this ensures I have non-matching socks...fraternal twins not identical.

I'm already down to the heel on the second sock... with any good TV watching this weekend I'll have this one done in no time.

And as for the TV shows on Sunday night overall very enjoyable. Was surprised at the winner of the Great British Baking Show... I thought for sure Kimberly would win but Frances was wonderful too. I'm sad that is was the last episode of the season for Home Fires...I really LOVE this one. I've read there will be a second season which is great since I need to find out what happens all the wonderful women in this show.  I  purchased the book this series is based on...Home Fires:The Story of the Women's Institute in the Second World War. Only read a couple of pages so far. As for Indian Summers there is one more episode this Sunday. I liked this one when it started but as it has progressed I'm not as enamoured with it. The costumes and locations are wonderful but I'm not fond of a lot of the characters. I checked the guide and this Sunday they are re -running Downton Abbey Season 5.  Definitely good sock knitting TV.

Hope you have a great weekend... I don't have anything planned except for dinner on Sunday. It is a bit chilly and I'm thinking chili and cornbread would be excellent.

happy knitting...
carol fun

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Thank you...thank you...thank you....

I'm so glad I was paying attention yesterday before I deleted all the mail in my spam folder, as there was a very exciting email from Amy Ellis of the Blogger's Quilt Festival. I had forgotten about the voting part of the festival and was very surprised to find out that my version of the APQ's Go 4 It QAL, which was in the April 2015 of American Patchwork & Quilting, was awarded a prize... oh my goodness...I'm a winner... I'm a winner... (oh no that sounds a bit like Sally Fields  "you like me speech) ...well my quilt is a winner...

The top vote getter in the category which you can see here, was also a Viewer's Choice winner. It is a wonderful version of the Jen Kingwell's "My Small World" quilt which Cindy Weins interpreted as "A Day at Disneyland".   It is a quilt after my own heart using lots and lots of novelty fabrics. Definitely check it out... a feast for the eyes.

My quilt was the runner up in the category but since Cindy's quilt also won a Viewer's Choice award I was made the winner in this category... and it made my day...heck it made my whole week...LOL! Thank you to everyone who voted for my quilt. You showed it more attention than I did... with my typical ADD behavior,  I had totally  forgotten the voting part of the festival and didn't think to mention it here on the blog. I'm just happy that the quilt turned out as I envisioned and playing with lots of low volume novelty prints was so much fun...another way to work in interesting things to look at that you don't see at first glance which I will use again.

Thank you all for voting for my quilt... my prize package includes  fat eighth bundle from Moda Fabrics... oooooohhhh... I can't wait to see what I get.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Saturday, November 7, 2015

This is FUN..... knit socks and watch TV...

A couple of weeks ago I saw this sock on Instagram...

and I instantly LOVED it... scrappy and stripey... so wonderful. It was knit by Helene Dehmer @happygoknitty. She calls them ragrug socks and you can see a lot of them here on Instagram. Helene has done several color version of this sock which sent me scurrying to Nordicmart to purchase a couple ... several ... A WHOLE LOT of Drops Fabel sock yarn which you can see here.

I cast on a new sock as soon as it arrived and started knitting them as she had alternating the rows every two rounds but no matter what I tried I got a jog in the stripes that I did not like. I watch a bunch of videos on youtube and tried different techniques and while a couple were good I still wasn't happy so I decided to do them my way... I alternate yarn after every round.

My version of ragrug socks... skinny ragrug socks!

I used Drops Fabel 905 and 672. By changing yarns every round I've pretty much eliminated the jog is the side where I changed yarns.

It doesn't show much in the picture but IRL I do have a slight bit of a bump where I changed yarns... I pulled it too tight and I'm paying attention on this pair to eliminate that bump.

This sock uses Drops Fabel 151 and 901 and I LOVE how it is turning out too. By alternating the yarns every row I'm getting swathes of stripes which remind me of a piece of fabric... it is like I sewed pieces of different striped fabrics together... scrappy scrappy scrappy ... and I LOVE scrappy!

These socks are so much FUN...anymore I just like to knit plain vanilla stockinette socks so the yarn has to do the heavy lifting. I like yarns that stripe and sometimes pool like Blue Moon Socks That Rock and I like self striping yarns but combining 2 self striping yarns is the so addicting. You have no idea what it is going to look like and that keeps you knitting row after row after row after row. I think is it like the Stack N Whack/One Block Wonder/Four Patch Posey of the knitting world. You don't know what you are going to get when you start a Stack N Whack/One Block Wonder/Four Patch Posey and that is what makes them exciting. Hey, it is my idea of living dangerously...LOL... that and a nightly bowl of ice cream!

So I am happily knitting away and trying to keep myself from starting a new pair so I can see how they stripe up. This is the perfect project for my Sunday night PBS marathon TV watching. Have you checked it out? I'm a big fan of the British dramas... Mr. Selfridge...Downton them!  On Sunday nights I park my butt in my chair from 7 till 11pm... first The Great British Bake Show... it is a reality competition cooking show but totally unlike the American bad behavior...the contestants seem to actually like each other and the stuff they bake looks so good. I time my nightly bowl of ice cream to coincide with their showstopper reveal. Then I'm into Home Fires...set in a little town in Britian at the start of all revolves around the women of the the actress Samantha Bond who plays Mrs. Barden (she is also in Downton Abbey too).  After that is Indian Summers which takes place in India at the time the country was striving for home rule. It follows the lives of a group of  British ex-pats and an Indian family. Lots of intrigue. Then I move onto The Guilty, a crime drama which moves back and forth between the disappearance of a small boy five years ago and now when his body is discovered but no one has been charged with the crime.  I enjoy all of these shows except for the fact that there are no commercials... as a woman of a certain age I need regular bathroom breaks.

Anyway I have plenty of knitting and good tv watching planned for tomorrow. Too bad there is almost nothing I watch during the week...with baseball over  I watch a show or two on PBS (Antiques Roadshow) or American Pickers on the History Channel and I watch the local news...not much else. Hope you are having a great weekend. It got cold here...upper 50's for the weekend... we had mid-70's last week... I'm wearing warm socks today.

happy knitting-
carol fun

Monday, November 2, 2015

And then I had another thought or two...

and that almost always spells trouble...LOL! If you've been reading this blog lately you know I'm obsessed with the Giant Vintage Star tutorial by Jeni Baker which can be found here. I've made 4 of this quilts...

Number One done with "happy mochi yum yum" fabric by Monica Solorio- Snow...

Number Two done in plaid flannels for my brother...

Number Three done with Anna Marie Horner fabrics...

and Number Four done with Halloween fabrics..

Now you would think that I have gotten this out of my system but it is like chocolate to me... I can't quit...LOL.. the Christmas version of this is waiting on my cutting table but I had another thought...actually two thoughts...could I make the star not quite so large out of a layer cake?... and would it be big enough for a bed?

And the answer both thoughts is YES YOU CAN!!! From one layer cake and some background you can make FOUR 36" are 3 of the four I've made.

Now even without sashing you already have a 72" top and are well on your way to a bed size quilt. My plan is to sash them and then add a border of the background around the sides. I'm not sure exactly how big it will get but I'm thinking somewhere in the neighborhood of 82 to 83".

However, if I had thought this through...and I know it doesn't surprise you that I didn't... I might have made the stars a bit smaller. I made these by cutting the 10" layer cake squares in half diagonally...made half square triangles out of them with the background fabric... and then trimmed them down to 9 1/2" square. I like to make quilts for my bed in the 85".  If I had trimmed then down a bit more I would have a smaller center section but I could add print border. With the scale of my stars I feel that I'd need a wide border and if I add wide borders to these stars I will end up with a king size quilt...a tad on the large for a full size bed. Oh well next time I'll consider the size of the stars... and there will be a next can bet on it!

Here are the individual blocks/stars... the fabric is Avant Garden by Momo... this the second quilt I've made with this line...I like its vintage 60's vibe.

You see that small blue print? I swear I had a skirt with that print in 1967...and I had a matching poor boy mock turtleneck top and white fishnet hose... was the height of fashion... so mod.

As for this background fabric, it is a Moda grunge...I've used it in several quilts and I wish I had bought a bolt of it. Moda has two new yellow grunge fabrics,  but neither is this lovely shade of butterscotch.

The week is starting unseasonable warm up with temps in the 70's...I'll be able to get more daffodil bulbs in the ground. Last week I planted 75 daffodils and 28 hyacinths. I also have plans for tulips in my window is about 6 ft. off the ground so I think it is out of the reach of the deer. Last year I planted about 3 dozen tulips and didn't get a single bloom... darn deer ate every one. Hope spring eternal for a gardener!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Getting some stitching done...

Well with last night being Halloween I decided to pull out some seasonal stitching to celebrate...except I picked Christmas as the season to celebrate...LOL...getting a jump on the holidays which will be short lived knowing my crafty ADHD.

This is Christmas Joy by Barbara Ana Designs...and this is what it looks like...

And here is my start with some changes...

I changed the black/brown to a variegated green...DMC Color Variations 4045...less harsh and more Christmas-y.

I'm having issues with the snowflakes and other white I wanted to get this piece a bit smaller so I pulled out one of the few pieces of 36ct linen and I had. When I laid the skeins down on this piece there was contrast, but when you stitch 1 ply over 2 threads, not so much. In this picture I bumped up the contrast so it is more visible. Isn't the shading on the ornaments wonderful?

My thought to improve this without restitching everything I've done is to add little highlights to the white motifs by overstitching with blending filament. When I did needlepoint I use blending filament quite a bit. I wish I knew where I put what I had... I think I left it behind when I moved...sooooo I need to order some...but it is only a buck and a half a I'll need to find other things to purchase to make this worth the shipping, right?? (Here's where you nod your head up and down, up and down and tell me "of course you need a few new charts and some more linen"...Thank you!)

And this little guy...can't decide if he is Santa or and elf... he gets curly toed elf shoes, I just don't have them stitched...perplexing.

I'm linking up with Kathy's Quilts today and Super Mom-No Cape tomorrow. It is nice to have something to show for a change... oh I'm still working on the Christmas present piece. I saw a scary scary post on Facebook... there are only 8 MORE MONDAYS till Christmas...accckkkkkkk!!!!

happy stitching-
carol fun