Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Every thing's coming up ...

Hit it Ethel.... every thing's coming up.... flowers!  Apologies to Miss Merman for changing the lyrics. With the warmer weather I have been itching to get some flowers planted... but then I remember that here in southwest Ohio the prevailing wisdom is don't put anything in the ground until after Mother's Day... so I've been waiting... not patiently.  And then this quilt caught my eye...

A new pattern from Live.Love.Sew called Flower Basket and you can see it here.  These blocks are BIG... I love big blocks and I can not lie... oh another song riff gone wrong... I wonder how many times Ethel Merman and Sir Mix-a-lot have been mentioned in the same post...strange.

And yes that is Big Dude's tail and a bit of his rather large butt in my picture... these blocks measure 16" finished... the rotary cutter is there for scale.  I really like the look of the background being the prints and the baskets being calmer.

Here are are some close ups...



Sunflowers and little bees...

Sweet Peas...

Now all of these a florals are vintage Hoffman prints ... lots from the Le Jardin collection many years ago. I have a nice stash of these prints  as they always called my name. The white on white print is also vintage (vintage in my book is around 20 years old)... as I was cutting the white on white I was wracking my brain to remember what quilt I used this fabric in and for the life of me the only memory I have is that this fabric was the background for a raffle quilt I was co-chair of back in Modesto California in 1991 or 1992... now that is vintage...LOL! And since all of these fabrics were on my shelves this quilt is utterly FREE!!!!  Four blocks down and 12 to go... will make a nice size quilt for my bed.

And well... I just could not resist getting some real flowers...

I really like this combination... salmon geraniums paired with purple alyssum and some coleus tucked in on the sides. My pictures do no do these colors justice. I planted these up yesterday and put them on the steps of my front porch. Then the severe weather came in last night and I was out in the rain rescuing them. I pulled them up on the back of the porch and they survived. More heavy rain coming today so they may spend the day safely tucked away.

Off to check out the garden centers... so many pretty flowers!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, April 22, 2016

My latest pair of Frankensocks...

Hello...just a quick post today... should get out of my pajamas and take my car to the tire store to find out what wrong with the right rear tire...ugh!

Here are my latest pair of Frankensocks...

The heels and toes are Drops Fabel and the rest of the socks is bits and pieces of Opal and Regia and more Drops Fabel. I love the places where the faux Fair Isle pattern appear. These kind of socks are both fun and frightful to knit... since I'm using bits and pieces of yarn from socks I've already knit I know I like the colors but many times I don't know exactly how it will knit up as I can't identify the sequence of the colors.

What lurks inside those little balls of wonderfulness???

I cast on another pair of socks as soon as I finished this one. I'm back to playing with 2 self striping yarns. The last one of those I tried about 2 weeks ago is still in time out and will be scrapped. I thought I could get them to play nicely together but I was wrong. Irreconcilable differences... This time I'm using Drops Fabel 162, a deep turquoise and Wisdom Yarns Pix in Citrus Slide... you can see them here and here. I've only got the cuff done, so the jury is still out on whether they are compatible.

I'm linking up with Patchwork Times today ... check it out here and see what other people have are knitting this week.

Okay... off to shower and get dressed and then to get my tire hopefully fixed and not replaced.

happy knitting-
carol fun

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Looking for something to post...

Sooooo... my design wall hasn't changed significantly in over a week... and I don't have a sock finished... and I want to save pictures of my cross stitch till Sunday... so what can I post here?  Oh Oh  Oh... I can show you some of the cards I've made and mailed in the last couple of months.

I use to stamp a lot... I was even a demo for Stampin' Up for a while, but did it mainly for the discount. I amassed quite a stash of stamps and inks and papers and dies and embellishments of all sorts. When I moved I got rid of a lot of the stamps and the inks but I kept a lot of the paper... I love patterned paper... it reminds me of fabric!  Now when I first purchased a lot of the is stuff I found it hard to use... What if I used it all up?  What if they never made anything that pretty again? What can I make with this? So much dithering...

As  a result I still have  lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of paper... bur I'm finally able to use it...hooray!  I do more papercrafting than stamping these days and playing with the papers and making cards to send here and there is a very satisfying way to spend an afternoon. Here are some of the cards I've made. In looking through my camera I realized there are a bunch more that I forgot to take pictures of...oh well... you can see these...

These cards use a lace doily kind paper laid over a base card made of Basic Grey Grunge paper... I love Grunge as paper or fabric!

Pretty paper cut with a wiggly die and embellished with a cute butterfly!

A birthday card with a flower made from cupcake liners!

Another cute die and the paper has a quilty pattern with buttons on it !                                                                             

Cards with a patchwork look and some stitching and a button!

I don't make elaborate  cards anymore... I really enjoy just playing with the pretty papers. I get a lot of the layout ideas from sketches others have used. You can see some of the ones I've pinned here on my Pinterest board.

In an age of digital messages I think everyone still enjoys finding a card in their mail so I continue to make them.  When I'm making cards I think about when I was a child playing with construction paper ... I enjoyed it then and I enjoy it now.

Do you like getting cards in the mail?  Do you send cards?  Store bought? or home made? Actually I prefer the term hand-crafted... makes me feel like an artist....LOL!

Hope your week is going well!

happy card making!
carol fun

Sunday, April 17, 2016

A new spot to sit and stitch on Slow Stitching Sunday...

Remember last week when I hoped for some April heat???  What was I thinking???  Today it is 81 degrees... in Ohio... in April... what is July gonna be like??? It was a productive week for cross stitching. I attribute this the fact the baseball has started... my beloved Cincinnati Reds have been on TV several evenings and since I listen to baseball more than I watch it I've gotten a lot of stitching done.

I'm trying to outline some of the big sections that have a lot of solid stitching... these are good parts to work on when I watch Grantchester or Mr. Selfridge... I watch the British shows with the close captioning on my TV so I can understand the words without the accents. No-thinking stitching is good for these shows.   I figure I'm about a third of the way done as the bottom half of the graph is way more dense than the top half of the graph.

And I have a new spot to sit and stitch .... my front porch...

Sorry it isn't a great picture ... I should have taken it this morning when I was sitting out there. The porch faces  west so it is in the shade early in the day and in the sunlight after about 3pm. I found the chairs at Costco, the little orange table at Home Depot and the cushions, foot stool, pineapple candle and rug at Target... I LOVE Target!! The outdoor carpet really makes it seem like a room... kinda like a screen porch. I might add roll down bamboo shades for the afternoon sun and that would make it seem even more like a room...glad I thought of it!  About the only thing I miss from my other house is the screen porch and my garden... I'm trying to recreate that in this house.  The shaggy shadow is the Boston ferns I bought today. It is still too early to plant pots and window boxes but I am sooooo looking forward to it. I saw some annuals today that were so pretty... little pinky purply and yellow petunias called Superbells  Holy Moly! by Proven Winner.

Now I'm pretty certain that these little darlings will break my heart the way the yellow and white ones did last year but I think I'm falling for them anyway. At least this year I don't have to run all over the place looking for my latest obsession in petunias... I saw these at Meijer's garden center... a local chain kinda like Walmart. Meijer's has a great garden department... good prices and good selection. I got a lot of stuff there last year and plan to get a lot this year too.

I'm linking up with Kathy's Quilts today and Super Mom - No Cape tomorrow.... off to fire up the grill for dinner... steaks...yum yum yum!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Thursday, April 14, 2016

A quilt and Janis Joplin...

Have you been following #patchworkparty on Instagram? It is an event put together by Corey Yoder of Coriander Quilts. ... an April Quilty Photo of the Day Challenge. I haven't posted every day as I didn't have a picture that suited every prompt, but I've done about half of them. You can find me @carolfun53. The prompt for today was Quilted Gift and as fate would have it I gifted this quilt to my brother last evening.

I rarely make a quilt exactly like the pattern but in this case it is pretty close. The pattern is called Summer Harvest by Lori Miller  and it appeared on the front cover of a magazine called Quick to Stitch Precuts.  The magazine was on the news stand last year and I had hoped it would be a regular publication but I've never seen another issue. Here is a link to Lori Miller's blog and her post on this quilt.

I had the fabric collection From Outside In by Malka Dubrawsky used in the picture in my stash. I went with a taupe Grunge for my background. It is a super simple quilt to put together and I'd like to make it again.

And here is pic of the quilt straight on...

I backed this quilt with minkee which my brother likes a lot ... and the quilting shows up wonderfully, doesn't it?

The quilting was done by Terry Finnerty of  The Walking Needle.  I forget what this panto is called but I will be using it again ...  I washed the quilt and it  has great texture.

Last night I went to see  A Night with Janis Joplin at the Aronoff Theater in Cincinnati.  I went with my brother and niece and the tickets were a gift from them. I enjoyed the show... some parts more than others. The actress who portrays Janis was great ... she really nailed the voice... the cast had some phenomenal voices  who sang as the blues legends Bessie Smith, Nina Simone and Aretha Franklin... and the 8 piece band was terrific!  The number  "Take Another Little Piece of My Heart" was the highlight for me, and the closing "Mercedes" which everyone in the audience sang with Janis was great too. The show had numerous standing ovations throughout the performance ... quite a show.

Well I have some errands to run today and then hopefully some sewing time.

happy stitching -
carol fun

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

If April Showers Bring May Flowers...

what does an April deluge bring?  Perhaps mutant tulips?

We had some really heavy rain over the weekend and I was able to double the number of giant tulips I have.  These babies are 18" tall!  This is the Amsterdam pattern by Cloud 9 and it is free ... you can see it here.

And my design wall runneth over...

I have all the blocks made for this Hi Again quilt from the Mar/April 2016 edition of Quilting Quickly. Eighty one blocks in total... should end up around 100" square... it is for my son and daughter-in-law... I love the colors and the fabrics lend themselves nicely to this modern looking pattern.

Well the week has already been crazier than I planned... somehow went out to lunch twice and I'm doing dinner and play tonight... I NEED to stay home. You can't finish a quilt if you don't spend some time with your sewing machine... maybe tomorrow will be better...we'll see!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Trying to reset on Slow Stitching Sunday....

So every Sunday I look ahead on my calendar to see what's on the agenda and each week I seem to think I'm going to have plenty of time for stitching and knitting and updating my blog...and every week I seem to be proven wrong!  Last week got busy and the weather was gray and cold and blustery and totally uninspiring and I was in a bit of a funk. I think I've broken through as Friday I had a very productive day in my sewing room and Saturday wasn't bad either. I've jettisoned the projects that just weren't working out and started some new ones which have brighter prospects.

To begin... the April Prairie Schooler has been put in time out and the July Prairie Schooler has made an appearance. July... it is almost 2 1/2 months away...surely I can get it finished by then. And since I don't have a lot of patriotic pieces (there is one waiting to be finished) this would be a nice additon to my decorating.

Currently I hope April brings some heat... that dusting of snow on Saturday was depressing. Heck, last month it was warm enough for me to shave my legs and wear sandals... Friday I was digging out my winter coat!

Here is a pic of the cover of the chart... I'm also fond of that lobster in the smaller chart... I think he'd make a cute little pin pillow... I think I have an overdyed red that would be fun...oh another shiny object to distract me...LOL!

And because a post with a measly two pictures seems a puny posting I'm including some pics of the quilt I put on my bed to chase the blues away.

It is another of those BIG star quilts I love so much this time done with lots of little squares with a very dotty background.  I did this eons ago and it is nice and sunny. The pattern is called Made in Cherry and you can see a pdf here.  I called mine a Queen Anne Cherry since I used yellows with other colors.

Lots of tone on tones, florals, dots and birds and bees. Here is a link to a picture of the whole quilt. And did you spy the chicken resting on the pillows? He was a gift from a friend and is adorable!

I'm linking up with Kathy's Quilts today and Super Mom - No Cape tomorrow. Again I am looking forward to a week that appears to have some time to sew...hope springs eternal!

happy stitching!
carol fun

Monday, April 4, 2016

Similar, yet different on Design Wall Monday

My design wall this Monday is very similar to the one I showed last week...but it is different too.

Forty two blocks using the same pattern as last week...Hi Again in the Mar/Apr issue of Fons & Porter's Quilting Quickly. This time I used a layer cake of the collection Basic Mixologie by Studio M. This is a great collection. I love the rich colors...teal, purple, olive, orange, navy, gold and taupe. And the patterns are wonderful too... a hashtag print, florals, tossed triangles and other geometric patterns.

My daughter in law "liked" this one when I showed it on Instagram. When she and my son were over for dinner on Sunday I told her to go downstairs and look at the blocks and if she wanted it I would make this quilt for them. She was very happy with the colors and the block...modern... something I don't always do well. I'm going to make it bigger. Instead of 42 blocks I'm going to make it 81 blocks so it will be a generously sized quilt for their bed. The blocks were very easy to assemble. I started by making the little sashing that goes in the middle of each block. With that done and the layer cake cut in half it only took a couple of hours to sew up 42 blocks. I'm looking forward to getting the rest of the blocks done this week. Like the one I did last week for me, adding cornerstones to the sashing made that assembly process easy too.

I think this quilt will look great in their home. I'm happy with the version I made for me and I'm happy with this one too. It is fun to make a quilt that you know someone else is going to enjoy.

I hope you have some quality sewing time in your week. Along with these blocks I want to play some more with that tulip block I showed many many many quilts I want to little time!

happy stitching-
carol fun

PS I just notice that I have a block turned the wrong way in the top row...happy I saw it now as I missed 2 wrongly turned blocks in the quilt I made for me and didn't see them till I had the top all sewn together.  Took them out and turned them the correct way but wish I'd seen it sooner!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Rambling about unseasonable projects on Slow Stiching Sunday...

So... I said I was trying to finish the Prairie Schooler April piece... I'm still trying. Perhaps if I had picked it up last week it would have progressed a stitch or two...but I didn't. Instead I released this piece from its little plastic tomb box and worked on it.

This is the Magic Garden by Shakespeare's Peddler which you can see in its original form here. Now I've changed a ton of colors on this piece starting with using a linen I hand dyed. I changed the day lilies on the side (at least I think they are day lilies) to a lovely orange versus the GA Onyx they are charted with... I've never seen black day lilies, have your? The carrot was charted in GA Raspberry Frost which made it look like a dessicated parsnip...ugh. I have found this to be one of the most difficult charts to follow in many ways. I totally don't understand the color choices but I can chalk that up to a difference of opinion as to what is "pretty." However, I also have to say this is a very difficult chart to read. I made an enlarged working copy as I always do and the symbols are so busy that they are blurry...I haven't experienced this with any other charts by this designer or other designers so I don't know why it is the case here.

I really like the design of this piece which is what has kept me hanging in there. I started this piece back in 2010... I know I worked on it again last July ... and I think I will finally be able to have it finished for this summer, hence the unseasonable stitching. It is just the cusp of Spring here...nice one day, frigid the next. My stitching and my quilting are influenced by the season. At Christmas time I want to make a Christmas quilt which hasn't a snowball's chance in hell of being finished by Christmas. In Spring I want to do Spring stuff, but in reality I should be working at least a season ahead so I can display the things I do get finished. I think this piece will be a lovely addition to my Summertime decorating.  All I have left is one little motif in the corner, some berries and a scattering of I don't know what to call it...crumbs, maybe?

Now I'd really love to start a Spring quilt too. I found a pattern for GIANT tulips called Amsterdam...

You can get the free pattern here. I played with this pattern last year about this time putting together a "modern" quilt top that I didn't like in the end. But this time I want to make a bed sized quilt...with lots of different colored tulips ...or maybe just yellow tulips...with a scrappy low volume background...or maybe a tone on tone white background... and can you see why I start so many things??? There are "guilt" projects I should be working on...but I am forever pulled here and there and everywhere by shiny new projects that are current to that my sainted Father use to say "you bounce around like a BB in a boxcar." So true, so true.

Anyway I don't know for sure what I'll work on next...I should probably move on to the July chart of the Prairie Schooler series. A 3 month lead may be enough...if another shiny project doesn't grab me...and it probably will. (Boy this was a rambling post... seems like the ADHD has taken hold of my projects and my writing...sheesh)

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

happy stitching -
carol fun
Edited to add:
I HAVE NO SELF CONTROL...had to make just ONE of the tulip blocks... managed to work 12 different fabrics into one block...will make a monumentally scrappy quilt...I can always find a way to make simple more complicated... it is a gift dontcha know? LOL

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Socks I like...and a sock I'm not so fond of...

I meant to post this yesterday but yesterday was a waste of a day. I was exhausted all day...not like me... and while I did shuttle my son and his friend back and forth that was the extent of what I accomplished. However, I did finish another pair of socks this week...ta dah!

In my continuing series of socks knitted with two different self striping yarns. This pair uses Drops Fabel 677 and 910 with green heels and toes which are Drops 112. You can see all the Drops yarn here.

With that pair off the needles I cast on a new combination of yarns. Regia Colorito 4456 Petunia and what I believe is Drops Fabel 903. You can see the Regia here.

Now I thought these would play well together...and I think they will...when I start this sock over. I didn't pay any attention when I was casting on this sock...and then I never do...but the pinky portion of each skein is landing right next to each other and the lighter portions are doing that too. You can see the first part is all mushy lights with no visible stripe pattern...and then I got a little striping... I LOVE the striping... then it went to mushy pink. I wasn't feeling good when I was knitting this and I wasn't thinking (ohhh... some would say that is a common occurrence in my life but we aren't listening to them). Today with a clearer head I realize I can probably fix this by unraveling this back to the cuff...(I AIN"T reknitting that cuff) and then breaking one of the yarns and pulling off some yardage till I get the pinks next to the lights. We shall see...

Right now I'm off to lunch and Krogering...gotta get stuff to make lasagna for dinner tomorrow.

happy knitting -
carol fun