Monday, April 21, 2014

Design Wall Monday-April 21

This is not my "real" design wall, but it works for playing around with some of the blocks in my "Friendship Jewels" quilt.  I can't wait until I get back from the AQS show to start putting them all together.

To see what others have on their design walls, go on by Patchwork Times.   Now I'm off to see amazing quilts and lots of vendors with tempting things at the AQS Show in Paducah.  I'm hoping to meet up with a blogger who has become an online friend and now lives in Florida. She has an assignment to interview the winners and write an article for AQS magazine.  How cool is that!.  But I'm not surprised because she is a very talented quilter, teacher and journalist.  

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Rainbow Challenge Saturday

Because of all the knitting I've been doing lately, as shown yesterday, I am a little behind in my quilting and piecing blocks.  I finally finished my Soul Searching block for Angela's Scrappy Rainbow challenge.  The colors for March were aquas and teals.  Here's what I came up with from my stash.

Now to get the block for this month done before the end of April. I have the backgrounds picked out, so just need to choose the purples.  I have lots of purple because I've collected them forever! But it will have to wait until after I get back from Paducah.

I'm linking up with Angela at So Scrappy.  Take a look over there to see more great rainbow scrappiness.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

On and Off the Needles - April 18, 2014

Today I'm happy to show off my first pair of knitted socks--finished. Yipee!!
1st pair of knitted socks
I'd like to thank Judy Laquidara for inspiring me to try knitting socks years ago when she came to St. Louis to teach a workshop and telling me not to give up no matter how many times you have to rip out and cast on repeatedly for the same sock(which I did numerous times), and my friend Sheron who started a pair with me so I had a mentor when I became discouraged or dropped stitches and made a mess of it (she gladly came to my rescue several times) and to Lenora who gifted me the beautiful Opal wool yarn from her magnificent stash to make my first pair. Now I am hooked and I look forward to my next pair. Thank you ladies for encouraging me and helping me learn to knit socks. I am loving this new skill and look forward to knitting many more pairs.

Now see what came in my "Box of Fun" that I teased you about on my post Wednesday. 

Surprise, more yarn and a set of circular needles.  On the right is Judy's Loopy Legion "Judy's Favorite Quilt" and on the left is Denise's "Mandarin Duck".  Aren't they just beautiful.  They feel so soft and can't wait to start another pair of socks with one of them.  My only dilema is which one to try first!  

The set of circular needles are the small size set of Chiao Goo stainless circulars.  I was so excited to see how they worked, I started an easy project called Faux Mobius Cowl made from 1 skein of Rainbow Boucle with Size 8 needles. This gave me a chance to try out the largest tips which came with my circular set and red lace 32" cable, This set has sizes U.S.#2 through U.S.#8.

I wanted the color shown on the wrapper which was black, charcoal grey through a silvery grey/white, which would look great on a black coat, but they were all sold out of that color.  There were many other beautiful choices though and I ended up with blues/teal/grey/turquoise blends.

These are the first two colors and I'm not sure how long each color covers, but so far I like what I'm seeing.  Here is the huge skein with all the range of colors.. I was in such a hurry to get started that I didn't take time to try winding it somehow or pulling it from the center.  Next time I'll know better.

Before the arrival of the Box of Fun, I had started another pair of socks using KnitPicks' Stroll Tweed. The color is Thirst Heather. The pattern is Game of Thrones-House Targaryen by Christine Pike.  I have to blame give credit to Teresa of A Quilt and a Prayer for making me try this pattern. Really, she twisted my arm until I said OK. lol.  Take a look at her beautiful red ones HERE and then you'll understand why I was inspired to start these.

To see what others are doing in the knitting arena, stop by On The Needles at Judy's Patchwork Times.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What I've Been Up To

It's been a bit since I've posted so to catch up on what's been going on in my little corner.  Last week I received my very first "Box of Fun" from The Loopy Ewe.

You remember all those wonderful boxes that Judy at Patchwork Times and Denise from JustStitchin receive all the time. After seeing what fun they were having, I just had to get in on all the fun.  Come back Friday to see what came in my box."

On another topic--uninvited troublemakers, we have been having some major problems with one or more raccoons and groundhogs around our place.  Finally after enticing them with apple slices dipped in peanut butter, I have managed to relocate one sweet little raccoon to new dwellings (I forgot to get his mug shot) and this not so friendly fellow - Mr/Mrs. Groundhog.  How do you tell which?  I asked if he was the famous Phil from PA, but he didn't reply, so he's probably not the "famous" one.  He doesn't look very big in this cage, but he was huge and heavy to carry and put in the trunk of the car for his trip elsewhere.  This Have-A-Heart cage has paid for itself 10 times over.  Sure glad we have it.

Another activity that has kept me busy has been receiving more QOV tops and getting them ready for quilting.
This one is from Mary C.
It's a simple design, but very striking.  The gold stars are machine appliqued.

Debbie B. made this top and it came with a backing and matching binding.  Another easy pattern but very effective.

Thank you ladies for taking the time to make such nice quilt tops for our veterans.  It is so nice to receive and see such wonderful expressions of gratitude for what our soldiers have sacrificed for our liberties and way of life that we enjoy.

And I finished quilting two scrap quilts for a friend.  She made 3 large quilts from similar leftover scraps
Allegro layout
Chinese Coins
Need to get off this computer and get to work.  Have a Happy Wednesday.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Finished Flimsy and Stash Report 4/6/14

Finally!  Some fabrics out the door and closer to finding a home with a deserving veteran.  Do you remember the QOV that I put together at retreat last month.  Well I finally got all the borders put on, made matching binding and a pillowcase and even found a piece of fabric large enough for the backing.  It felt so good to get this done AND to check off another UFO sitting too long on my shelf. These blocks were orphan blocks and one of them doesn't really fit, but I wanted to use up what I had, and they were all color coordinated at least. I'm sure a veteran will enjoy using it anyway.

The backing is the same fabric as was used for the cuff on the pillowcase.  The red border and binding of the quilt is the same fabric as the pillowcase bottom.  
So my numbers for this week are:
Fabric Added - zero
Fabric Added YTD - 2.25 yds
Fabric Used - 7 yds (borders, pillowcase, binding and backing)
Fabric Used YTD - 16.28 yds
Net used for 2014 - 14.03 yds

Hope you had a good week and accomplished lots of stashbusting in your sewing room.  To see other Stash reports for the week, drop on by Judy's Patchwork Times

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Playing Catch Up

A little of this and that to catch up with a few things.  Just a day late for On the Needles, but cameras and computers can be so unpredictable sometimes.  Seems they are both working now, so I'd better hurry.

Here's where I am on my socks....starting to turn the 2nd heel.  You would think that all I would want to do is knit because I'm already buying more yarn for more socks.  When things slow down some, I really am going to get serious about learning more about sock knitting- top down and bottom up along with different needles - circular vs. dpns.  This week I've had to share my spare time with quilting so I didn't make much progress on my sock.

Do you remember my "Snow Friends" HERE, well we got our final package, the borders.  Just look at the clever way we received our borders.  Isn't this the cutest ever!  The body is wrapped in white tissue with the head being the inner border and the body the wider outer border.  It's almost too cute to take apart.  She even put some twigs on each side for the arms.  Some people have a knack for thinking up fun presentations and this lady is an expert.  She also wrote a cute and appropriate poem too.  I hate to finish this quilt since it's been so much fun receiving the poems and packages. "Snow Friends" will be my favorite snuggle quilt because of the person who put this together and my other friend who shared the fun with me.  Thank You so much J.C. for including me in your fun project and for your friendship.  You are a very special friend.

Then, a few weeks back we had our big quilt show and we usually have a "white bag" raffle with the money going to a selected charity.  This year it was The Honor Flight Program.  They fly World War II veterans to Washington, DC to see the memorial.  Our guild raised $2,000.00 for them this year, which will pay for 3 veterans plus some left over.  

I bought tickets as I usually do and dropped them in several of the white bags for a chance to win something.  In the past I've never been lucky to win anything.  Well this year my luck changed and I got a fantastic prize.  It has a divided pocket on both sides on the outside and two pockets inside.  The buttons are ornamental and it is very nicely quilted. The lady that made it won first place Viewer's Choice with her handquilted, applique quilt.  She is a master at most handwork and everything she makes is beautifully done whether it be quilts. purses, or totes.  I was thrilled and a shout went out when my name was called.  Thank You Mary Lou.  It is just the perfect color and size and it's being used as my knitting bag now.   

Even though it's not Friday, I'm linking up with Judy at On The Needles.  Go by and see what everyone is working on this week.  

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Stash Report and More, March 30, 2014

My numbers remain the same as last week. Nothing added and nothing used that I can count.
Fabric Added - 0
Fabric Used - 0
Fabric Added YTD - 2.25 yds
Fabric Used YTD - 9.28 yds
Net used for 2014  - 7.03 yds

However, I did make a little more progress on "Snow Friends". The final rows were added to the top and bottom of the center unit, but the snow people still need their eyes and mouths.  There will be a couple of borders added soon and then this top will be done.

Also, more blocks have been made for "Friendship Jewels".  This is what my graph looked like the first time I posted it

Look at it now!!   This represents 57 finished blocks out of 80.
I'm still digging through my scraps to find the right colors for the missing sections of the blocks.  It hasn't depleted my stash very much, but I'm having fun trying.  I can't wait to start putting the rows together.  I'm anxious to see how this design looks in "real life" fabrics instead of crayola on paper.

We had a QOV sewing day this week and we were treated to a surprise. A presentation of quilts was made to 7 veterans (6 men and 1 woman) representing service in World War II, The Korean War, VietNam and one had just completed his second tour in Afghanistan.

This was such a heart-warming event and a few tears were shed when one veteran spoke about what it meant to him to receive his quilt.  

To see what others have done this week, stop on by Patchwork Times.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Stash Report - Sunday, March 23, 2014

It's been two weeks since I've posted to the Stash Report, so I'm combining them together.  It looks better that way too since one week I enhanced the stash and the other week I reduced it.  Isn't that the way it's supposed to work?

At our quilt show last week, I picked up two half yards of black and white to use in the background of my Soul Searching blocks.
Daily Chores

What to do after all those daily chores!

I also got 3 fat quarters of aqua/teals that is the color for March Rainbow Scrappy Challenge at So Scrappy.  Haven't quite finished that block yet.

More stashbusting came from making QOV blocks for the block drive that Kevin, the Quilter is having. Here are just a few to show you how easy they are.  Be sure to stop by Kevin's blog and take a look to see what it's all about and join in the fun.

My numbers for the week:
Fabric Added -  1.75 yds
Fabric Added YTD -  2.25 yds

Fabric Used - 1.25 yds
Fabric Used YTD - 9.28 yds
Net used for 2014  - 7.03 yds

To see how others are doing on their stashbushing goals for the year, go to Patchwork Times.

Friday, March 21, 2014

On The Needles - March 21, 2014

I can hardly believe that it is Friday again so quickly. I had hoped to have my first sock completed, but the week was busy with a 3 day quilt show, two quilt meetings and a few other commitments to keep me from my goal. I am getting sooo close though.  I just had to try it on to see how it fits and to measure how much more I needed to go before starting the toe section.

I also worked on "Snow Friends" quilt this week.  The applique is all finished and the top and bottom sections are stitched together waiting to be added to the center panel.

To see what others have done this week, stop by Judy's Patchwork Times.

Friday, March 14, 2014

On and Off the Needles Friday 3/14

Here it is Friday already and I'm still working on my first sock with those tiny double pointed needles.  I've successfully made my way through the leg, the heel flap and am now learning how to do the heel gussets.  I hope to have this sock completed before the next On The Needles post.

Last week I finished two more dish/face cloths.  I tried a new free pattern called Pips Dishcloth; but because of all the distractions while knitting,  I kept messing up.  What resulted was very serendipity, knitting and purling whenever I felt like changing stitches.  No rhyme or reason or repeats of rows or sequences.   Actually it turned out better than expected under the circumstances, but don't ask me to duplicate it. I haven't the foggiest what I did.  That white spot in the picture is not a hole.  Really it isn't. They are pinned to my design wall with flat flower head pins.

I will be linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times, so stop by and see what others have on their needles this week.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Stash Report - Week 10

My stash numbers moved a little bit this week, in the right direction I might add.  I was on retreat a few days last week and made progress on several projects.  I pieced together some donated blocks and used a yard of blue star fabric from my stash for the sashing and a little red for the cornerstones to make a QOV quilt.  It still needs a couple borders to make it the correct size.  The blocks were pieced by several others which accounts for the different designs and fabrics used in them.

Later this week, I'll show you more of what I worked on and some of the great quilt tops that were finished by the other ladies.

Here are my numbers for the stash report:
Fabric Added this week - 0
Fabric Added YTD - .5 (actually last week, but I didn't do a post)
Fabric Used this week - 1 yd
Fabric Used YTD = 5.28
Net fabric used in 2014 = 4.78 yards

Check out other reports at Judy's Patchwork Times

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Snow Friends Progress

There's been some progress on my Snow Friends this week.  With the prediction of more snow on Sunday and Monday, it may soon been a finished top!! Our Snow Friend Party Planner (JC) thought it would be fun to work on this project each time it snows.  So that's what I'm trying to do.

The pieces have all been cut out, arranged on the background and some of the small pieces fused in place.  Now comes the fun of stitching around them in matching color threads. I've finished the trees, the little snow friends' arms, their cute little scarves plus the snow drifts.  I did a little stuffing (trapunto) behind the snow drifts so it will puff out a little more when it's quilted.

These pictures were taken before the snowmen were stitched down.  I still have a little bird with his legs and face and the faces of the snow people to do yet.  

This is the easiest applique I've done in a long time.  Mine usually involves hand sewing but this time we are using the sewing machine for our stitching around the applique pieces.  It's fun to take your time and enjoy the process and not be on a tight schedule for finishing something quickly, which is my usual speed.

Take a look at Kelly's  Needle and Thread Thursday to see more fun projects this week.