Monday, February 27, 2017

Defying Mother Nature...

Last week the weather was glorious... I even shaved my legs and worn sandals one day!  This week is starting gray and yuckky... but I'm not going to let Mother Nature get me down...I'm making tulips... GIANT BRIGHTLY COLORED TULIPS!!!!

So far I've completed this dozen...

and this one of a kind aqua tulip...

There is very little aqua in any of the American Jane collections... as far as I can find it is just these 6 prints... I am very fond of the square in the bottom center of the tulip...those cats are sweet... the collection from several years ago  was called Fairy Tale Friends.

I've been pushing myself to think outside the box where the color of the leaves are concerned and I've made red leaves and blue leaves and yellow leaves along with the traditional green leaves... and I may have just enough fabric to do one tulip with aqua leaves...oooohhhh   very trendy....LOL!

I like the 30's vibe of the American Jane fabrics and that there are always some novelties to play with...for example....

there's a gingerbread boy making a run for it in the upper left corner of this tulip.

And paper doll clothes appear in this minty green designer tulip with the pink leaves... very Spring-y!

Bees, and old fashioned items like cursive penmanship and a rotary phone are included in this ginormous tulip.

And of course my favorite motif... CHICKENS....

in 2 different colorways... so cute!

So I have 13 sewn and 17 to go...and they are ALL cut out!!!!

Now to find time to sew... at the moment I'm waiting for my furnace guy to come and figure out what is wrong with the furnace... I have heat...thank goodness, but the water pump thingy keeps cycling over and over and over and over ...and well I'm not a repair guy but even I know that isn't right.

Tomorrow I'm scheduled to have my left eye cataract surgery... I'll be happy to see approximately the same out of both eyes... and then to figure out if I can get by with just reading glasses or do I still need prescription lenses... I'm okay either way...and after that I have a bit of a double vision problem that needs to be corrected. It comes and goes and it  is mostly when I focus really far away but it is annoying... now I can rectify the situation by closing one eye so maybe I should go for a pirate look and just say "aye mateys" a lot... probably not a long term solution. There is always something isn't there?

Hope you have a good week...

happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, February 20, 2017

Making stuff on Monday....

Happy Presidents' Day...although I prefer the schedule of my youth that gave you 2 holidays in February... Lincoln's Birthday and Washington's Birthday... it made a short month even shorter and during the Winter that is a good thing.

Well, I find myself wrapped up in projects that have me making blocks ...which will become quilts... someday... the the future...and I'm liking that a lot!

First, last week's assignment for the Three Dandelions QAL, from Tula Pink's 100 Modern Quilt Blocks.

Block 11: Pound Sign... this shows how old school I am... most people today would call this a hashtag... whenever I see it I think pound sign...sigh... I'm getting old (notice I said getting old, not I'm old... I'm still delusional)

Block 12:  Flower Cross... not  an imaginative title... I can see why Tula didn't name each block...

I'm still loving the Momo fabrics... I'm actually a little ahead on this project as I didn't know if I would be able to see well enough to sew with only one eye corrected ...but I'm doing okay...and you know how it is... as soon as I think I can't do something or go somewhere, well, I just GOTTA do it!

And last week,  I stumbled upon the FQS Jolly Jabber Patchwork  Quilt Along... which you can see here. On the 15th of each month the pattern is released for an adorable 5" finished block. The plan is to make 6 of each block and at the end of the year you'd have 72 blocks to make a quilt with.

So, first thing I considered is what collection/designer to use... my crafty OCD insists on a plan... I perused my stash and found 3 layer cakes from Elizabeth Hartman... 2 are the Rhoda Ruth collection and 1 is Paintbox Basics... I love both of these collections ...and I found yardage of a cute multi-color speckly  fabric for background... I'm all set.

I started with January, Souvenir of Friendship and quickly made 6 adorable little blocks... and then I stumbled on a bigger version of this block (I know I should be black and blue from all the stumbling I'm doing...LOL) ... check this blog out... Out of the Blue Quilts... she made bigger versions of the blocks. Well when I first saw them she hadn't posted the dimensions of the bigger blocks and I assumed she had simply doubled the size to 10"... so I figured it out myself. If you go to her blog you can see that she has made them 12" ... but I'm sticking with my 10" are my Souvenir of Friendship blocks...

if you bigify the pic you can see some of the cute prints in these collections... that big block has limey green foxes and the yellow one has giraffes.. too cute!

And here is my second month of blocks, Diamond Pane...

I see X blocks or if you turn your head sideways I see bows... hey at least I don't see dead people...LOL!

Anyway since I worked out the math...and it actually works... I'll give you my dimensions to make the 10" versions.

Souvenir of Friendship

A -  2.5" x 2.5"            Cut 8

B - 2.5" x 6.5"             Cut 2
C - 2.5" x 4.5"             Cut 4
D - 2.5" x 2.5"             Cut 3

Now you can't get this entire block from one 10" will be short one 2.5" square. I picked a print that I had 2 squares of but you could also just use another fabric for the last square and put it in the middle of the block.

Diamond Pane

A -  5" x  5"               Cut 2
B - 2.5" x 4.5"           Cut 4

C - 5" x  5"                Cut 2
D - 2.5" x 2.5"           Cut 1

Now, when I made the HSTs for this block I started with the 5"squares... drew a diagonal .. sew a very scant quarter inch seam on either side of the diagonal ... cut on the line...opened it up and trimmed the blocks down to 4.5" square. You don't have a lot to trim off, but by only cutting the square 5" to begin with you can get this out of one 10" square.

I'd like to come up with at layout that uses both sizes of blocks in the same quilt... I have a couple of ideas already, so I'll see where this ends up later in the year.

And if that wasn't enough to play with I was alerted by my friend Laurey to look at this quilt by Lori Holt...

 on this blog... Why Not Sew.... OMG... GIANT TULIPS!!!!   I want a bed size quilt of these beauties.... and I want it NOW!!!!  Okay, deep breath... I decided to use my well aged stash of American Jane fabrics and I have my first block done...

I love the folk art quality of this block and the fact that not all of the leaves are green...the fact that I made the first block with blue leaves is a big deal for me... normally I wouldn't think of doing that... but I like the look... a lot!!!  My calculations have me making 30 blocks and with sashing and a border it should be large enough for my how quickly can I get the other 29 done??? Hopefully before my interest wanes... or they'll end up in a plastic bin like the last bunch of tulip blocks... but they will see the light of day in the end... of that I'm sure.

Sooooo... I'm off to cut some more tulip blocks... and watch the sun set out my living room window... it has been another be - yooo - ti - ful day... a good day for growing more tulips...LOL!

I'm linking up to day with Love, Laugh Quilt's Making Monday... and Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday... I haven't done that for a while...and it feels really good!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, February 17, 2017

Socks, sight, Spring and Sister Ida....not in that order...

It is a glorious day outside... sunny, a little breezy and temperature of 65 February Ohio... what is going on???  This isn't the Ohio I grew up in... with temps like this (a forecast of almost 70 for Monday and a 60 day outlook of above normal temps) I'm going to have to  return the snowmen decor to their plastic bins and break out the Spring stuff...I've never put my snowmen away before March but it may happen this year. I'm not complaining... I LOVE the sunshine... makes me want to work in my flowers, but it is waaaay too soon for planting... around here I've always stuck with the date of don't put stuff in the ground till Mother's Day

The last  couple of weeks have given me lots of sitting around waiting time and that has translated into 2 finished pairs of socks. This is the first pair, basking in the sun...

wider stripes done with some of the mini skeins from my Opal Advent Calender and some tonal Drops Fabel from Nordic Mart which you can see here.

And this is the second pair I finished, also taking a nap in the sun...

these are even prettier in person... the blues and corals remind me a sunset in the desert...ohhhh I'm am waxing poetic here...LOL  I used 4 different mini-skeins from the Opal Advent Calender. I have had sooooo much fun with that calendar...can't wait to do it again...and I had a thought to take my Opal stash and make little mini balls myself to play with.... that could keep me occupied until next year's calendar arrives!

I've cast on one last pair of socks from the Opal Advent Calendar...the last 4 pretty skeins...there are 3 skeins that I think are butt ugly and they are being banished to the basement storage room.

As for my sight... WOW... it has been 3 days since I had the cataract surgery on my right eye and I am stunned how well I can see. My distance vision without glasses is unbelievable... I have NEVER seen this well in my entire life!!!  I've worn glasses....thick glasses... since the 5th grade. Conceptually I knew trees had leaves but I had never seen them...they were just big brown sticks with balls of green at the top.

I went to parochial schools and back in the olden days the nuns had the shorter kids sit up front (and I was ALWAYS a shorter kid...actually THE shortest kid in class)... in 5th grade the boys in the class were holy terrors and Sister Ida moved them to the front of the room and since I was a "good" kid I got moved to the back. That's when I realized I couldn't see the blackboard. Now I find it interesting that Sister Ida, who in retrospect had many psychopathic personality traits , did me a favor....who knows how long I would have gone on without seeing well?  Remember this was the late 50's one did in-school eye exams and you don't know what you don't see.

As for Sister Ida...OMG... she was tiny but the meanest nun I ever came across...she would torture us with homework assignments that were impossible, even when parents tried to help us with them . Her favorite punishment was to diagram an enormously long sentence and you'd have to do it over and over and over  and over every night till she declared it 100 percent correct. My friend, Wanda's mother was a high school English teacher and she tried to help us out and Sister Ida would still mark the sentence incorrect.

To my dying day I will have this mental picture of Sister Ida..short, belligerent, in a full wimple (Benedictine order of nuns) with a bit of a 2 day shadow of beard...really... she obviously had some hormone issues which perhaps accounted for her classroom behavior...she was a screamer and always had a ruler in her hand... yikes.  Thank goodness I also had some sweet nuns keep me from being totally scarred for life...

Anyway... back to my vision... I am totally surprised how well I can see. Now I'm going to have to use reading glasses for close work, but I can see to drive without glasses!!! I can't wait to get my left eye done...end of February. Right now my vision is kinda wonky as I need my glasses for my left eye but not for the right eye. I had Costco poke the right lens out of an old pair of glasses and I use them sometimes, but I find myself more and more walking around with no glasses on.... my face feels naked!!!

Well I hope you have a lovely 3 day weekend... I've got no big plans and that suits me just fine. Perhaps a little sewing and a little knitting and a little napping in the sun...

happy  knitting...

carol fun

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Just checking in...

Thanks for all the positive thoughts and prayers... I had the first cataract surgery at noon today... it's almost 7pm now and I can tell that I can see better in my eye wearing no glasses...however it is still real blurry and my eye is still super dilated. I go back tomorrow for a follow up appointment. .

The surgery was painless and all I remember is seeing splotches of pretty colors and being told they were done. The worse part was the 90 minutes I had to lay there waiting for the numbing and dilating  meds to work. They had a blood pressure cuff on one arm and  a pulse oximeter on my other hand so I couldn't even knit!!! I am so ADHD that my hands are almost always occupied doing something... I DON'T just sit and do nothing son brought me home and stayed a while so I would rest... but as soon as he left I did get out the knitting. It is just socks so it is easy and it makes me feel better. I do have my feet up along with a nice cup of tea!

Now the work is to keep track of the meds... 3 different drops which I need to take 4 times a day ... I made a chart to keep track as I will never remember otherwise.

Thanks again for all the good wishes!

carol fun

Monday, February 13, 2017

I HAVE to make this quilt...

really... I have to... since the moment the pattern arrived in my mail slot it has been talking to me...shouting at me... MAKE ME...MAKE ME!!! (Remember when I said I was only a little bit crazy?  It may be more than a bit...LOL)

Here is the noisy little pattern...

I purchased it here from Villa Rosa Designs.  I couldn't wait to start this Chatty Cathy quilt, but I was having trouble deciding which fabrics to use. The pattern used Cotton & Steel fabrics but I don't have any in my stash., and in examining the pattern and how the geese are made (they are 2 HST) I knew I wanted to use fabrics that would "meld" where the two HSTs came together.  I thought about some large scale prints I have but was pretty sure that they would end up going in two different directions which would set off my crafty OCD... not a good thing... and then I thought of my Kaffe Fassett prints... YES... these would work!!!

Well the pattern calls for 10 FQs...and somehow that proved to be more complicated math than I could handle as I ended up making 11 GINORMOUS flying geese... mine are bigger than the pattern and are finishing a little over 16" high and 32" wide... sooooo I have to decide which of these layouts I like best...

Door No. 1....

Door No. 2...

Now I will admit these aren't the greatest pictures and I'm not sure that clicking on them and making them bigger will help but I just want to point out that all those dark purple-y ones in Door No. 2 are slightly different in tone.  All ten flying geese are different paperweight fabrics.... I know which Door I like... which one would you pick?

I'm very happy with how these Kaffe paperweight prints "meld"...

And that turquoise grunge background looks like sky in real life.... I still need to sew the blocks together and I'm going to add a small border on all four sides so that when I bind it I don't lose the points.

Now when I'm going to get to that step I'm not sure... today has lots of running around and tomorrow I'm scheduled to have the first of my two cataract surgeries.... I'm a bit nervous ....anxious to have it over with.... but my friends who've had the surgery keep telling me how happy I will be and how well I will see... and considering how near sighted I am I'm looking forward to better vision.  Well this quilt will definitely call me to come back and finish it ASAP so maybe by the end of the week it will be a top...

Wish me luck on the quilt and the eye surgery!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The tulips are blooming....

The tulips are blooming...not the ones in the yard but the ones that have taken 3 years to "grow" in my sewing room...obviously they didn't get a lot of sunshine shut up in their plastic bin...imagine that... and to think I call myself a gardener...LOL!

Dotty Tulips...this is my take on Lori's Holt's Tulip Patch pattern in  her book Quilty Fun... my tulips are a bit plumper than hers and they are all dotty fabrics and each one is a different fabric and all the stems/leaves are different greens and  ALL of the fabrics in this quilt came from my stash  so it is a FREE quilt.  The rationalization for the FREE designation is that I don't remember what I paid for these fabrics... a form of  crafty Alzheimer's... without the dementia element... at least I think I'm not crazy....okay... just a little crazy... or as my older son tells me, "you are crazy it just isn't the kind of crazy I can have you committed for....YET"... LOL...who knows when that will be!

My best guesstimate is there are a little over 100 different bright fabrics in this quilt... the reward for accumulating a large stash of pretties!  I tried hard to not have two of the same color fabric touching each other... when I started sewing it together I was adamant about it... as time went on ...not so much. Occasionally a fabric touches a fabric of the same color, but they are different fabrics of the same color family which somehow soothes my OCD about this.  Now I need to get a back together and get this off to Terry my long arm quilter.

I'm proud of  myself that I'm keeping up with the Tula Pink's 100 Modern Quilt Blocks for the Three Dandelions  QAL... we are still in the  "cross" section...

Block 9: Polka Dot Cross

Block  10:  The Cross in the Garden

These were easy blocks...not a lot of pieces... it took longer to pick my fabrics than it did to cut them out and sew them together!

Well for what I thought would be a quiet week somehow there was still a lot of running around...and tomorrow has  several things on the schedule... and Saturday has stuff I want to do but may or may not get done... and next week... well next week is chock full of  running here and there... when does a gal find time to sew????  Gotta squeeze it in some how, some way...

Hope you find time to sew too!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Some sunshine and some sewing...

Happy Groundhog's Day....wait I take that back... after what has seemed like an eternity without sunshine the sun returned today. Just in time for that darn rodent, Punxsutawney Phil, to see his shadow and predict 6 more weeks of winter...ugh... not that I really put any store by that, as I know Spring will get here when it gets here... and it will always take longer than I want...oh well. And I did read that other rodent prognosticators didn't see there shadows so that means they are just like the meteorologists on the TV... they got no clue!

This week is allowing me a little time to sew...and so/sew I did... these are the next two blocks for the Three Dandelions 100 QAL with Tula Pink's 100 Modern Quilt Blocks. The book is divided into sections that concentrate on certain design elements and the first 15 blocks are cross variations.

This is Block 7: Checkerboard Cross... none of the patterns have any names in the book, just numbers, and you are encouraged to name your blocks... sometimes something clever comes to mind... other times... I got nothing...

This is Block 8: A nightime walk in my garden...all those gray days have me pining for my flowers... and more gardening catalogs have landed in my mail box...

And more gardening catalogs have landed in my mail box... such pretty flowers... and they motivated me to revisit for the umpteenth time my Dotty Tulips... I liberated them from their plastic bin and actually made some progress on it...

This quilt pattern is from Lori Holt's first book Quilty Fun...I started this quilt in January...and it has reappeared every year about this time. I did change the shape of the tulips as mine a are bit more squat.. kinda like their maker!

Now I currently  have it a bit over halfway sewn together...yeah me!!! I have all the tulips finished and I have all the rectangles cut so it just has "some assembly required"... I would like to get this finished and off to Terry my long arm quilter so I could hang it on my living room wall at the beginning of March when I will be stir crazy over Winter and HAVE TO HAVE some Spring in my home. I think it may be far the weekend looks like it has some sewing time in it... keep your fingers crossed.

Oh I did get my Bonnie and Camille Half Log Cabin swap blocks in the mail and they have been received on the other end... nice to have that off my guilt plate.

Well the sun is shining... it is still on 32 degrees...and measurable snow is predicted for  Saturday... followed by a warm up by Tuesday where we should hit almost 60... Mother Nature is a fickle fickle woman!

happy stitching-
carol fun