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. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Design Wall - February 24, 2014

My design wall is getting so crowded that I've moved some of my blocks to a tabletop.  My string blocks are starting to come in from some of my friends and they are looking great.  I love them!

These blocks are from Barb, Linda, Donna, Tommi and Faye.  Thank you so much ladies!  They look great!

Then there is a new project I started last week.  It was named  "Snow Friends" by a good friend who put together 3 kits for her special friends to make during the wintry, snowy months. Our instructions are to work on this whenever it snows.  That means this quilt should be finished by now since we've had a lot of snow this winter.  I'll show you more as I get it cut out and stitched down.  I love the fabrics she chose for the pieces of this quilt.  It's going to be so cute and we are having fun doing it together.

Beginnings of Snow Friends
The biggest project on my design wall is my Celtic Solstice.  It is still waiting for the first border. Maybe that will happen at a retreat real soon.  Or maybe not.  I can't decide what to take with so many UFO's all wanting to go!

If you have time, go on over to Patchwork Times and see what's on others have on their design walls.  

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Stash - Wk #8 and More

My numbers didn't change at all, but I had a productive week. I worked on several projects --an applique quilt called Snow Friends (you'll see some of it tomorrow), made more blocks for my string jewel quilt and did some re-knitting after ripping out a mistake on my first sock.

Fabric Added this week - 0
Fabric Added YTD  - 0
Fabric Used this week - 3.28 yds
Fabric Used YTD - 4.28 yds.
Net used in 2014 - 4.28 yds

Even though my stash was not being used much, I was helping others reduce their stashes. That's a good thing too, right?

Here is Mary's Pastel Rail Fence quilt set on point that I quilted last week.  She used a lot of pastel scraps from her stash for this one. Isn't it pretty.  It reminds me of ice cream sherbet.

Another finish was a Debby Caffrey mystery quilt called Bobbin Along. This one turned out so lovely. This lady always has beautiful pieced tops, freshly ironed and delivered on hangers and it is a joy to quilt them. Her fabrics and colors in this quilt were so pretty.  

The quilting doesn't show up very well on the front (that was the plan). I used a panto by Anne Bright called "Blooming Things" that has an Asian feel to it which we wanted to bring out the design in her backing and blue border fabric. 
Blooming Things panto

To check out what others have accomplished this week with their stashes, go to Judy's Patchwork Times.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Stash Report - Week 7 - 2/16/14

I finished the outer setting blocks of my String Rainbow Quilt, so I am counting the black yardage. The white sashing strips have been attached to all 80 blocks so that's more fabric used.  Yay!!

Here's my colored drawing with the blocks that I've completed so far. The colors are not true, but you can see I'm making progress from the first posting of the chart HERE.

My numbers are starting to move a little more.
Fabric Added this week - 0
Fabric Added YTD  - 0
Fabric Used this week - 3.28 yds
Fabric Used YTD - 4.28 yds.
Net used in 2014 - 4.28

To see other stash reports go to Judy's Patchwork Times HERE.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Scrap Happy Saturday -Pink and Finishes

Today is Scrappy Saturday over at So Scrappy for February's Pink Challenge and I finished my block earlier this month.  It was fun, but I found out my pink scraps were very limited.

After digging around in my messy sewing room looking in boxes, bags and finally on my shelves, I came up with enough pink scraps to finish my Soul Searching block for February.  I did use a few of them more than once, but that's what using scraps is all about.  I didn't have to buy any, so my stash must be dwindling, right?   (Right, you can hardly notice any gone at all, to be honest).

Since we've had so much snow and cold weather these last few weeks, I've gotten some needed quilting finished.  Here are a couple quilts I did for friends.

Catus Wreath
This lady prefers very limited quilting and usually says just a little "stitch it in the ditch".  I did that, but it needed a lot more because of all the open white areas. She likes very poofy, not flat quilts.  Most people would have wanted more quilting since it looks like it's not quite finished, but she was very happy with the results, and that's what is most important - to please the customer.  Different strokes for different folks, as the saying goes.

On the patchwork that circles the center of the quilt, I put a very simple vine with leaves keeping with the Fall theme.

The next one is a baby quilt using scraps and two simple blocks - trees and houses.  This was so cute with the striped binding and a polka dot backing.
Edited to add information on pattern name and the book it was in.

"It Takes a Village" - from the book Cuddle Me Quick

That's all for now.  I'm linking up with So Scrappy, so go on over and see all the other Pink blocks that people are working on this month.

Friday, February 14, 2014

On The Needles - Feb 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone out in Blogland.  Hope your day includes chocolate, flowers and spending time with the ones you love.  We are getting more snow to go with our chocolates and roses. My sweetie and I had our Valentine's dinner last night to avoid the rush and since he doesn't like to make reservations it worked out perfectly.  A day early means no crowds or reservations needed.

This week I've made a little more progress on my 1st sock.  The leg now measures almost 5 inches which means I'm getting closer to the heel section which scares me. The good thing is that I'm starting to feel more comfortable handling all those 5 little needles.  Aren't they pretty and colorful?.  They are the 6" Harmony Wood Double Pointed Needle Set from Knit Picks.  They are so light weight and the yarn slides easily but not too much that I'm worried about losing stitches off the tips as I do with metal ones.

I'm really enjoying learning something new and very happy with my progress so far and I love the way this yarn feels--so soft and spongy.  Can't wait to get it far enough to try on.  Sure hope they fit.

What are you working on today?  If you have some time, go on over to Patchwork Times and see what others are working on.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Off and On The Needles

After fighting with my computer for 2 days, I finally got it to cooperate long enough to load some pictures of my finished 3S Shawl and new knitting project.  Now if it will just let me finish this posting I'll be a happy camper.

Being snowed in (with freezing temps from -9 to zero the last couple of days), afforded me some time to finish my 3S shawl   Here is a picture before blocking.
3S Shawl
I've never blocked anything before, so wasn't sure if I was doing it right.  Before blocking it measured 13 inches from center neckline to point tip.  I put it in warm water with a drop of Synthropol for a few minutes, then rinsed twice and gently squeezed out excess water.  Then layed it on a towel on top of my ironing board to dry.  I pinned it in a few places, at the tips and a few along the diagonal. When wet, it measured 16 inches from neck to bottom point.
3S Shawl After blocking
I decided on the picot treatment for the edge and I like the way it looks.  Having said that, I won't be doing many picots anytime soon though.  It was very slow and tedious and my stitches kept slipping off the needles. 
Picot Edges on 3S Shawl
I'm proud of myself for finishing my first knitted garment.  Now I'm going to try socks, which is what I've wanted to make forever.  Oh my!  Look at all these needles.  It reminds me of the Pick Up Sticks game I used to play when I was a kid.

The yarn I'm using was a gift from a knitter who has a big stash on hand, and it didn't have any information as to content or yardage. It had no label of any kind.  She assured me there was enough there to make a pair of socks.  I've started them 3 times and each time I run into another problem and lose my way trying to figure out how to correct it.  Guess I'm learning, but it's a bit frustrating.   Maybe by the time I finish one sock, the next one will be much easier.  We'll see.

I'm linking up with On The Needles over at Patchwork Times.  Take a few minutes and see what others are up to.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Design Wall and Celtic Solstice

On my design wall are the beginnings for two projects that will use a rainbow of colors (and my stash).  One is the RBS Challenge and the other is a quilt I'm making with the help of friends.  Both use strips/strings of colors from the stash bins and are so much fun to do.  I can't wait to see the final results when all the different blocks are put together with many different hues of color families.

Here is my worksheet for the colors and layout I wanted and to keep track of who is doing which color block for me.  With a little help from my friendss (22 blocks), this will be one of my favorite quilts for sure.  I still have almost 60 more blocks to make myself, but I'm looking forward to the finished quilt and all the great fabrics it will contain. 

Celtic Solstice did not make it to a flimsy by the time Bonnie had her last post, but  I am getting close. Here's where I am and now comes the decision on how to finish.  I've seen lots of good ideas from others who have theirs done and I want to make it mine, so I just need to make a decision and get it done.

To see more Design Walls, go to Patchwork Times and for more Celtic Solstice, check out Bonnie's Finale link up HERE.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Stash Report - Week 5 Superbowl Sunday

I haven't reported any stash usage since the first week in January because I didn't have anything to report.  I'm holding steady on not adding to my stash and this week I have only a small usage to report.

Progress on my Celtic Solstice is coming along--will count when the top is done.  I've finished the center and am ready to add the borders.   The fabric that I can count this week is for making two sleeves to go on the back of quilts that are going into our local quilt show in March.  They are not much to brag about I'm afraid, but I like to participate since we only have a show every other year.  If I start now, maybe I'll have better quilts to enter in the next show.  I may even have this one done by then! lol

Stash report:
Fabric Added this week - 0
Fabric Added YTD - 0
Fabric Used this week - 1 yard
Fabric Used YTD - 1 yard

I'm holding to my pledge of not buying any fabric (unless I absolutely have to have it to finish a project, or (if it jumps into my hands), but my goal of using my stash is not progressing very quickly though.

To see more stash reports, drop by Patchwork Times .

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Playing Catch Up

It's been so long since I last posted, I've almost forgotten how to do it!!  It's already the first day of February and I'm late for wrapping up all of my January progress.   I missed "On The Needles" yesterday, so I will just wait until next Friday for that one.  Then I forgot to post last Saturday for the Rainbow Scraps Challenge (and missed out on a chance at a giveaway), but today is Sat. so better late than never, right?.

I am making two scrap quilts to reduce some of my scrappy stash. In January the RSC14 color was blue, so I started Soul Searching from the book Making Quilts by Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession. I first saw this quilt when my friend Kevin showed me his finished top that he made for friends.  I am using just what I can find in my scraps -- I'm not buying anything to make it more harmonious or match better.  This is a challenge to "make do" with what I have! Here is the first block.

My second scrappy project is a quilt using scrap strings.  I am enlisting some help from a few friends too, so I will have more variety.  Since I was working with blues on the above block, I started with blues on this one too.  This is just one small portion of the outside border.

This is also going to be a rainbow of colors when it's finished.  I thought since I do so many string quilts using random scraps, keeping the color families together would be a change of pace for me.

I'm linking up with SoScrappy -2014 Rainbow Scrap Challenge and Cat Patches 2014 Jan New FO.