Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What Are You Reading?

I'm almost finished with book number 4 of Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove Series.  These are great reading.  There is a little bit of everything included in each book.  You will find romance, mystery, and lots of that everyday stuff that we can all relate to.  The stories feel like real life.  I think I will be reading this series for a little while, since I just found out there are at least 6 more.  Go on over to Judy Laquidara's Patchwork Times to find out what others are reading.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Passion et Couture: The triple Zip Pouch!

Here's a triple zip pouch that I found today.  It's a really great idea and appears to be fairly simple.  It would make a great gift idea too!
Passion et Couture: The triple Zip Pouch!  or go to a Quilters Table for her tutorial.  So it was late last night when I found Marisa's blog, Passion et Couture and the triple zip pouch.  I needed to get to sleep, but I didn't want to lose this link.  I did this post, shut down the computer and went to bed.  Obviously this was for my benefit as well as yours!  When I found her comment this morning I had to hurry back to Passion et Couture.  She has lots of other great tutorials.  There is a crochet hat pattern that I think my daughter would absolutely love (for me to make for her). 

Geese around the bird blocks

I still have the bird blocks on the design wall, but I'm now playing with the idea of putting geese around the blocks.  I made 16 of the geese units just to see how it looks and I think I will keep going with this idea.  Hopefully I'll have the top finished by next week.  Stop by freemotion by the river to see more ideas and check out her giveaway!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Purple scrap blocks

After making some of these purple blocks last week I knew I would need more of them.  I had to get out a box of semi-organized misc. scraps plus a large bag of leftover purple scraps from my Easy Street quilt.  I cut enough to make 10 more.

I always like to cut larger triangle pieces than I actually need and then trim to square up later.  I recently won some of vicki welsh hand dyed fabric.  I was able to use some on the corners of the block on the top right corner.  Check here to see more purple!

I love scrap quilts!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Frilly Knit Scarf

I thought someone told me these are really easy and fast to make.  The pattern rating, as I understand it, is semi-easy.  I find it awkward and difficult not easy.  This is causing me to go slow.  Each stitch is a little tedious as I try to separate the strands so that I don't pick up the wrong one.  It was supposed to be a vacation from the lace pattern on my sweater.  The yarn is Red Heart Boutique Sashay in Conga.  After looking at several different stores, I found it at JoAnn. Several stores were totally sold out of this type of yarn.  I love the colors.  Go HERE to Patchwork times if you would like to see what others are working on. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

February sweater

I am getting close to the bottom edge now.  I doubt if I will finish my "February Lady Sweater" before March arrives, but I have gotten several inches finished in the last two weeks.  Every once in a while I have to take a break from the lace pattern.  I am not used to having to pay so much attention to my knitting!  So far I love this pattern.  It is my first large project. 
Now you might want to go here to see what Judy and others are working on!

purple scrappy blocks

Last weekend I worked on a few more blocks for the cracker jack scrap quilt.  I have at least 80 of these blocks now, but they are only 4 3/4" squares and so it will take a lot of them to make a large quilt. This is my "under the needle project".  When I finish stitching something I always put one of these under the needle.  Slowly but surely I am going to finish it.  I chose to make a few purple for the rainbow scrap challenge. 
When I get the bird quilt top finished, this might be the next one up for the design wall.  I need to figure out how many more of these little units I will need to complete, but for now I am quite content to just add a few each week.

Monday, February 18, 2013

design wall Monday

These blocks are a ufo from many years ago.  I was inspired to finish the top when I took a "Circle of Nine" workshop last year.  I decided that I would use 30's reproduction fabrics to set the blocks together because the colors went so well with the birds.  Each block is colored with crayons and heat set with an iron.  Then using matching colors of embroidery thread, I did a straight stitch around the birds, berries and branches.  Each block was then squared and framed to create a 12 1/2 inch block.  I am hoping to have the top finished by the end of March.  Go visit a lovely year of finishes March goal setting link to see more projects!

My main goal for the month of March is to get the birds into a completed quilt top.  I would also like to finish my pink ribbon quilt, bind 2 small quilts, and finish at least 3 of the BOMs that I'm participating in.  Check out what others to do lists look like at Pigtales and Quilts monthly to-do list linky party!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Another quilting lesson learned

What should have been an easy quilting job turned into a very difficult one.  After discussing it with the customer it was decided that an edge to edge design would be good.  I have a kind of elegant pantograph that seemed to be perfect.  As I began, I noticed there was a bit of drag, but I thought it wouldn't be a problem once I got past the border which is kind of a thick velvety texture. 

Even though my Millennium has the new bliss drive system which makes it so easy to control, it was not easy to keep my lines smooth.  I am used to working from the front of the machine, so I continued to quilt thinking it was just a matter of getting used to being behind the machine.  After finishing the first row of the design, I went around to check it out.  I could see that this was not the look I was after!  The fabrics are not your typical quilting cottons.  I would describe them as more like lightweight upholstery/decorator fabrics and because of the added bulk there was some places where the top appeared to be "pushed" one direction or another depending on which direction I was stitching.  So began the tedious job of un-stitching everything!  What took me about 5 minutes to stitch took me about 3+hours to unstitch.  It was even more tedious because the stitches had almost disappeared into this puffy quilt.  Perhaps this would have worked if I had changed the height of my hopping foot, but I always work with thinner batts so I didn't want to change it only to have to change it back again.  Moving back to the front of the machine was my solution.  I have so much more control when I'm on that side.  It was a good lesson learned and I know this will be a warm quilt that will be loved for years to come.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Show us your socks!

Check out the some other socks here!  Those are little hearts on my pj pants for valentines day!

Monday, February 11, 2013

First Saturday blocks

Our local quilt shop is "The Gathering Place".  Every year they do a "first Saturday block". These are the 2 blocks for this month.  I decided to participate because the quilt will offer a lot of Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  I probably would not have chosen these fabrics.  That makes it fun!  At the end of the year we will have 24 blocks.  The shop chooses the fabrics for each month.

We complete two blocks each month.  The pattern is called Toes in the Sand, by JAYBIRD QUILTS.  We're using a Hex N More ruler, which makes it very easy to cut and piece each of the triangular blocks.  Right now it is kind of a mystery because they didn't have a completed sample displayed in the shop.   Update!  There still isn't a sample displayed, but today I picked up the kit to make this months blocks.  I have a customer quilt to work on so I will have to complete the March blocks later this week.  I like the March fabrics far more than the February fabrics.  Check out What a Hoot! Quilts to see other BOMs.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Grandmas favorite dishcloth

Judy Laquidara asked what is on your needles, so I have this to contribute. I found the pattern for this dishcloth on Ravelry. It is so easy and I make one every once in a while to give me something "mindless" to do while I watch tv. The yarn is Bernat handicrafter cotton. I've already finished 3 and there is enough to make lots more of these little squares. It isn't fancy, but is a very functional little dishcloth! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013


These are on my feet.  They aren't identical twins, but definately in the same family.

Mystery solved

Product DetailsLast night I finished L. L. Bartletts book, MURDER ON THE MIND.  I enjoyed the story while waiting for the next in the Debbie Macomber Cedar Cove series.  This is quite a contrast, but I found this one offered for free from Kindle ebooks and it had a very high rating.  It kept my attention right up to the ending and I like the way the characters relationships developed.  For those who like a good mystery, I would recommend it.

How will I quilt this?

I sometimes put a quilt on the frame with no idea what I will do.  There is no idea to inspire me as I prepare to quilt.  I just know that I am unique with this problem.  When I was in my high school art class I can remember looking at that blank canvas terrified of the first stroke of the brush.  It was so intimidating.  I knew that the world wouldn't come to an end and I wouldn't even flunk the class if it wasn't quite right, but I was still frozen.  I would gather my courage and tell myself I had to begin.  When I would receive a compliment on my work, it was hard to accept gracefully because all I could see was my mistakes.  This quilt is another one of those "blank canvas" projects.  The lady that made it does beautiful work!  I worry about her opinion of my choices.  She must like what I do, because I have been quilting for her for many years now.

I knew I had to get started because I have several more customer quilts waiting in line.  Still not knowing what I was going to do, I started the machine. 

I managed to work my way across the quilt, even though I still had a very vague idea of what I was doing.  I think it turned out well and hopefully my customer will be pleased.

The back is minkee.  As much as I love the feel of this fabric, I don't like to quilt it.  My first and foremost objection is the way those soft little fibers want to pull through and pop up on top of the quilt.  This is a problem when you have a very dark fabric on the top and a pastel on the back.  My second reason is the static it can create.  A friend of mine that works at our local quilt shop told me that they had a problem with the stitch regulator breaking.  The repairman asked if they worked a lot with minkee backs.  He went on to explain that they tend to create a lot of static electricity.  I am just so happy it is done!

Friday, February 1, 2013

What's on your needles?

Judy Laquidara asked what's on your needles.  I am slowly but surely working on a "swingy lace cardigan" called february lady sweater.  I found the pattern on Ravelry and I'm making it from Crystal Palace Aran Marl.  I thought I should finish it before the end of this month, just because it is appropriate for the name of the sweater!