Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sliding into Saturday...

Wow... where did last week go???  I caught a cold on Monday, was miserable on Tuesday, but rallied by Wednesday and actually got some cleaning done around the house by Thursday. Friday was spent running errands and well now it is Saturday. I'm having family over tomorrow for dinner to celebrate my brother's birthday.  I'll be prepping lasagna and baked ziti later today but for the moment I can stop and show you how the quilt I made for his present turned out.

The pattern is Charm Box and I WILL be making this one again... and the fabric line was Chic Neutrals by Amy Ellis along with some stuff from my stash.  On a side note.. isn't this railing wonderful?  It is on a small porch on my next door neighbor's house and she said I could use it any time I want to take pictures... love it!

Here's a  close up of the quilting... Terry Finnerty did a great job on it. I put gray minkee on the back to it should be nice and cuddly. My brother informed me that the quilt I made for him 6 years ago has gotten extensive use... like every day for the past 6 years. And he has washed it frequently, so it well loved but well worn, This quilt will replace that one and I want to get another one together so he has a spare. I'm going to let him chose a top from the couple, several, heck, a whole LOT of tops I have waiting to be quilted.

Right now the sun is streaming through my living room windows and the temperature is rising... suppose to hit 50... woo hoo!  Not typical Ohio winter weather... we will pay for this next month I am sure. Big Dude is keeping me company... he's napping right by my chair...

Now my home is filled with quilts and pillows, so where does he rest his head? On a giant ziploc bag filled with yarn... it must be comfy.

hope you are having a great weekend!
happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Some seasonal stitching for Sunday...

First a little rant on the weatherr..for all of you digging out from Snowzilla you have my deepest the big snow event that was hyped for a week turned out to be a bust for most of my area. Some places about an hour south of Cincinnati got about 6" but here in the city it wasn't even enough to shovel. My son swept it off the driveway in about 2 minutes... I am not complaining. Saturday was a lovely sunny day, and today is looking the same, and tomorrow there is high of 40 predicted ...yeah... come on Spring!!! I know I'm being totally delusional as we still have February to get through but an mild winter and early Spring would be fine with me.

And with that rambling behind me let me show you the seasonal stitching I've been up to....

isn't he adorable??? His name is Stu Snowman and he was designed by Teresa Kogut. Here's what he'll look like in all his glory.

I found him in a Etsy shop but he's gone now. I wasn't looking for a snowman sampler but when I saw his smiling face and his big old noggin I could not resist. The dime is my picture is to give you some scale idea... his noggin is 2 1/4" wide on 36 count Edinburgh Sand linen. I changed all of the flosses except for the hat. I used what I had in my stash and I'm happy with my choices. Anchor 275 for his body, DMC 422 for the outline, DMC 921 for his nose, and I'm doing the alphabet in Cosmo Seasons 8037 a variegated floss. He'll be 11" tall when complete. Don't tell my older son this but the big guy reminds me a bit of him... sweet ...with a big head... it s family trait.

Now once I stitched the outline this is like coloring book work. No counting and all I have to do is stay inside the lines... lovely stitching to sit inside and enjoy the sunshine streaming through my front picture window. I love this view...

Can't wait for that tree across the street to have leaves again.

And I finished "Instead of Sheep"...yeah!

Now it needs to be taken to the framer...I'll put that on my list of things to do next week. As for today the Dude and I are going to sit and stitch... well I'm gonna stitch and he's gonna do what a Dude does best...


Hope your Sunday has some stitching and some sunshine and some snoozing in it!

carol fun

oh... I'm linking up with Kathy's Quilts today and Super Mom - No Cape on Monday. Go check them out!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Off the needles...

I'm sitting here waiting for the snow to commence... we are suppose to get a couple of inches but so far I've only seen a flake or two. Hey if they are wrong it won't make me unhappy. I don't like driving it it and I'm too old to go sledding, so no snow would be fine.

Now I have been knitting and I have 2 pairs of socks finished... both of these pairs use the same recipe of alternating 2 patterning yarns every row. I LOVE how you have no idea what you are going to get. LOL...this is as dangerous as I get in life... the excitement of unexpected yarn patterning...oh I'm such a thrill seeker! Woo - hoo!

All the yarns used in these pairs comes from Nordic Mart... you can check them out here.  Great yarns, great prices. The first pair used Drops Fabel 340 (turquoise) and  Pix 108 Techno by Universal  and the heels are Drops Fabel 109 (cerise).

This pair used Drops Fabel 330 (purple) and Pix 106 Succulent by Universal  and the heels are Drops Fabel 112 (apple green).

I have plenty of of the Pix yarns left over and I plan on knitting them with a different solid/tonal yarn and they will look completely different. I really enjoy knitting just plain stockinette socks... mindless ...soothing...meditative... and totally doable when you are talking or watching TV. I was always a big fan of self-patterning yarns and knitting with 2 at a time has opened up a whole new world of possibilities. No two socks will ever be alike... I LOVE that!

So I'm off to paw through my stash and see what other combinations I can come up with.

happy knitting... stay warm!

carol fun

Thursday, January 21, 2016

A post purely for my own enjoyment...

Like I said snowed... which is a nice complement to my indoor snowman decor. I've been collecting snowmen since 1990... the year we moved to Modesto California ...and there was no snow...anywhere. I was homesick for Ohio and they made me happy. Now lots of you have seen all this stuff before... although there is something new at the end. And this post is purely for my own enjoyment and information as next year when I drag this stuff out I'll be able to remember what I put where.

Good view of the living room...quilts...tree with snowman ornaments... disembodied snowmen heads..3 tier galvanized tray (more detail on this at the end of the post.

My snowman laden book case...

Love these Jim Shore snow ladies and the Lizzie Kate Winter of my favorite samplers!

Overflow snowman display... ones I didn't find anywhere else to put... looks a bit skimpy...oh goodie I can collect more...LOL!

My FAVORITE piece of furniture in my house... 2 tier table I picked up for $15 at a thrift store in Greensburg, Indiana...I spent 3 times that much for the paint and glaze but I LOVE it. Millions...okay maybe not millions... of beady eyed little snowmen...most from Hallmark. Picked up that vase of tulips at Krogers, they are suppose to bloom yellow and red. Fingers crossed.

And finally the new piece I added ... a 3 tier galvanized tray decorated for winter. I feel in love with this tray on Priscillas blog...check her out here.

I lucked out with the greenery. I hit Micheals and all their Christmas stuff was 80% off. I scored those icy berries and the greenery for pennies...okay, truthfully a few bucks...but I saved like $62 on the purchase...kaching!

So I hope you enjoyed this tour of winter decor. If you didn't that's okay too. I've just saved myself hours of trying to figure out what I put where next year.

Stay warm...
carol fun

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Working on Wednesday...

We got our first significant snow of year today. It made the morning commute a nightmare for lots of people but I didn't have to go out till the afternoon and by that time the streets weren't bad. And I had time today to sew...ta dah!!


Sixteen Double Square Star blocks with little sawtooth star cornerstones... I am very happy with these!  Then I want to add a couple of little borders and then a large border of that large floral on the yellow background. I think it will be a very pretty quilt when I get it done. The pattern is from Missouri Star and you can see the video here. While the fabric an older collection, Curio by Basic Grey... I love the vintage look of these fabrics...larger florals...typography...little lacy prints... very feminine. Not my usual fabric choice but fun to work with...

I want to get the rows sewn together, so I can share the top with my friends at dinner tomorrow night. Show and Tell is always fun!

Well tomorrow has it's fair share of running around and the weather forecast for Friday ranges from Snowmaggedon to a dusting to maybe rain... hope they make up their mind by tomorrow night so I can plan my Friday. I wouldn't mind another day to sew but my son wants to have his best friend over and that depends on the weather and the roads... we shall see.

I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday and belatedly linking up with Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Very slow Sunday stitching...

It has been weeks since I posted any cross stitch because...I am stitching very very very slow these days. In the evenings I've been gravitating to knitting instead of stitching and that severely limits one's forward progress. Here is as far as I've gotten on "Instead of Sheep" by Heartstring Sampler.

Excuse the wrinkles, not only am I stitching slow I am too lazy to go give this a press. What is left is 2 trees, the fill-in on the basket, the front of the house and the initials and assignation at the bottom. I've been dragging my feet on this one because I am going to run out of thread. The chart called for 1 ply of floss over 2 threads. I prefer 2 over 2 and that is going to take more than one skein of the needed brown or green. I will have to search my stash for something close in color or complementary as I don't want to buy more floss for this piece.

And then I got sidetracked with this little piece...

my plan is that this is the start of a small pincushion in the vein of this piece...

There was lots of chatter about this pincushion on the Fans of Blackbird Designs Facebook page. It was sold in quilt stores to promote one of BBD's fabric collections. It was machine made in India and I thought I might be able to re-create it. I enlarged a copy and charted out the alphabet. From what I could see it wasn't true to the linen grid but since it is a primitive I don't think it matters. I'm going to add a little checkerboard-y motif under the letters but I'm not sure about the numbers. They would have to be stitched over 1 thread and right now I'm not feeling it. What makes this so adorable is the finishing. I have some large rick rack and plenty of fabric. I could add that line of embroidery on the fabric frame with one of the many stitches on my computerized machine. It is all do-able... except that I lack the motivation to "do" at the moment.

If you can't read the tag, it is 36 ct. Smoke Blue Edinburgh linen. I purchased it at 123 Stitch. It has a nice turquoise cast in real life. The cream thread is Anchor 275. I love the idea of a display bowl full of smalls, but I don't know if I want to do the finishing they require. I think I can do it, but again I don't know if I want to do it. Just feeling lazy...maybe I can blame it on the weather. It is cold and there is snow blowing. I'm already looking forward to next weekend as I saw a 40 degree temperature in the forecast.

It is nice to have the 3 day weekend...last week was crazy busy...and this week is getting busy too. I hope to squeeze in some stitching time and some sewing time and some knitting time. We shall see.

I'm linking up with Kathy's Quilts today and Super Mom - No Cape on Monday.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

I forgot a title...and now I can't come up with anything...

You know those weeks that are so busy you lose a day or two in your mind?  Well somehow this week has taken a different track and in all the busy-ness I can't believe it is only Wednesday. Seems like more day than that have passed. Oh well, now I'm not only getting old, I'm getting befuddled too!

I did find time to sew and now have 8 of the 16 blocks done that I want for this quilt...

Double Square Star from Missouri Star Quilt Company sewn with my well aged Curio fabric. I love the look of these stars! Now the little yellow stars in the sashing are just mocked up but I will be adding them  to the finished top. 

My plan is to have an inner border of the cream background, and perhaps a small accent border of a green . Then I'll finish it off with a wide border of the large yellow floral print seen in the upper right corner, of the top left star, in the picture below, that I whacked off in my quest to get an arty shot...I am soooo not a photographer.

There is more running around in my schedule today and while I want to sew more of these stars, I might instead work on getting a binding on the quilt I picked up from Terry my long arm quilter last weekend...or get the borders on another quilt I want to take to her when she lets me know the quilt for my brother is finished. (Boy I'm the queen of the run on sentence high school English teacher Mrs. Rechtin would be so disappointed...God rest her soul.)

Anyway, I'm rambling here... it snowed yesterday...yuck...and it got cold...really cold...double yuck. But tomorrow they are predicting 40 degrees ...double yeah! Still a lot of running around for the week when all I really want to do is stay here...

I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced and be sure to check out all the wonderful projects on Lee's site.

happy stitching-
carol fun 

Monday, January 11, 2016

A little sewing activity...

Seems like the more I try to slow down life the faster it goes. The last two weeks have flown by... so many things happening...and one thing leading to another and another. I got carpet installed in my son's room which is the entire 2nd floor of my house. It was a big job, and that lead to having 5 closet doors  taken off, and the doors needing to be cut shorter and re-hung, which somehow lead to replacing 4 overhead light fixtures and purchasing a new desk for my son which needed assembly.  I'm happy that project is complete, but like all projects it ended up costing more than I planned. Oh well, that is life, isn't it?  There were some fun lunches with friends and a trip to the theater to see  a play and I got in some sewing.

First, I finished the quilt top for my brother and delivered it to Terry my long arm quilter. She promised to have it done in time for me to bind it and wash it and give it to my brother at the end of January.

The pattern is Charm Box from Fat Quarter Shop and you can see it here, and the fabrics are Chic Neutrals by Amy Ellis and some stuff from my stash.

Then I whipped up a little table topper for a chest in my living room, to replace the one I spilled red wax  all over from a tart warmer.  I got most of the wax out of it but the dye in soaked all the way through and would not budge. It isn't anything special but it does what I want it to do, which is to a add a bit of color under some of my many snowmen I have on display.

This block is a variation of an oldie but goodie, the 3 dimensional bow tie. The center square is a little pouf and it let me keep the motifs from being chopped up. Here is is doing it job of looking good with some of my snowmen collection.

And yesterday I got to play a bit more with some blocks I started last week, the Double Square Star block from Missouri Star Quilt Company. You can see the video here.

As soon as I saw this block I knew it was the one I've been saving this fabric for. This is Curio by Basic Grey and it is at least 5 years old. When I released it from its plastic storage bin captivity, I found I had purchased a creamy white Grunge fabric for the background and I have about 3 yds of border fabric...yeah...this whole quilt is going to come from my stash. I  can't believe it, I may actually keep a New Year's suggestion I made to myself. I don't remember when or if that has ever happened before...LOL!

Here are close-ups of the 2 blocks that are completely sewn together... the other 3 are still in sections.

This isn't my usual bright, in your face palette, but I also love this soft vintage vibe with its lacy patterns and typography. Isn't is wonderful how many different styles and colors of fabric are available to play with?

Of course, I had hoped to get more blocks sewn but my son and his wife were coming for dinner and I so enjoy having them over each Sunday. I got dinner on the table and everyone ate heartily. This was the last block I sewed...

I'll fix it tomorrow... or maybe Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday... there is another busy week ahead.

Hope you have some sewing time in your week!
happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Slow to start...

My 2016 is getting off to a slow start...I've been dithering for months about a quilt for my brother who's birthday is the end of this month. Nothing like waiting till the last minute... procrastination is my middle name (actually it is Ann). Anyway, I've considered at least a dozen patterns and started several which just didn't work. Finally jumped in and sewed and over a 3 day span and it went like this...

- began a Disappearing 9 Patch quilt with some beautiful batiks and ended up with mush
- tried to improve blocks with sashing
- got sashed mush...ugh!!
- put away batiks
- moved on to Diamond Dash by Missouri Star (you can see it here)
- cut layer cake of Amy Ellis' Chic Neutrals
- started to sew blocks
- doh!!! cut 25 blocks wrong
 - no way to fix them as I cut off and extra corner...arghh!!!
- think I forgot how to sew!
- slept on it to figure out how to salvage what was left of the layer cake
- decided to make Double Square Star pattern by Missouri Star (you can see it here)
- realized needed gray background fabric
- drove to Fabric Shack in Waynesville OH
- spent over an hour trying to find the right gray
- settle on a Kona...nice fabric
- however I have a personal bias against solids
-  prefer tone on tone fabric... but desperate!
- back to my studio and change my mind again for about the 1 millionth time
- FINALLY pick a pattern and stick with it

Ta dah... Charm Box pattern found on Jolly Jabber here.

While I used the Charm Box idea I didn't construct it the way the pattern does. I cut squares and rectangles and my OCD kicked in and I used only 2 fabrics in each block instead of 3...and I made half with dark tops and bottoms and a light middle and the other half of the blocks with light tops and bottoms and dark middles. And then I went one step further into the land of OCD and alternated these two versions every other block... it is exhausting...but I do like how it turned out... I think.  In looking at the light/dark arrangement in the picture  it seems a bit jumpy.  The rows are straight but my eye is bouncing around. Not thinking about it any more. I'm going to put the borders on and go find some minkee for a back. I want to get this to Terry, my long arm quilter ASAP.

Here are a couple of close ups of the fabrics in this Chic Neutrals collection...

I like the geometric patterns and the pops of yellow and maroon. Masculine looking for my brother but enough going on to keep me interested. I found this black/gray fabric in my stash.

It has several chunks missing but there is just enough to do the borders. This fabric is old old old... I'm pretty sure it came off of a flat fold table at Hancock's of Paducah... and I haven't been there in eons.

I'll link this post up with Patchwork Times and Freshly Pieced in an attempt to get back into the swing of things.

Did you make any New Year's resolutions? I never do as I never keep them but I am going to try to try to work out of my stash of fabric, yarn and thread as much as I possibly can. If I hadn't messed up this quilt all of it except for a minkee back would have come out of my stash. That's how I wanted to start the year...I'll try harder for the next quilt. I do have 2 in mind and I already have all the fabric to make them, perhaps I'll have less dithering with them... oh my goodness, please let me have less is wearing me out!

happy stitching-
carol fun