April 18, 2010

Til the Cows Come Home

After over two and a half years I'm trying to finish the free motion quilting on my cow quilt. I'm terrible at it and slow to boot. But I don't care. I want it done.

Labels: ,

March 23, 2010

Two Tops

The Santorini top and the scrappy blocks top are done. I hate basting and have been toying with trying the basting spray. Any advice from quilters out there?


March 14, 2010

Swag Bag to Beat All Swag Bags

I am attending the Yarn Market News Conference which is being held in Seattle for the first time. The swag bag is legendary and we yarn shop owners and managers are pretty inured to the charms of free yarn.

A free Namaste Monroe bag in Eggplant (you could pick your style and color).

Packed with all this stuff!

There's too much stuff to list here but needles, yarn, books, patterns, gift items, wool wash and more bags inside!

I should be pretty busy for the next two days. Not that I'm doing any knitting. I have a new quilt on my "design wall" or piece of felt. It's the Santorini samples I bought last weekend mixed with a few other yarns. The blocks are from Color Shuffle that I mentioned in this post. All of these are cut from stacks of four fabrics then shuffled and reassembled. Very quick to put together as you can see.

Labels: ,

March 10, 2010

Measure Twice, Cut Once

After conning Wes into ripping out my mis-sewn block I put it back together. Incorrectly. But not only did I sew it incorrectly I also cut some of my fabric incorrectly. Now I don't have the right amount of fabric. I also realized that I'm not that crazy about this ENORMOUS block anyway. So I'm going to set it aside and move on.

I have a huge pile of quilting books from the library. I'm thinking of trying out some of the techniques in Color Shuffle. The blocks are based on taking a stack of fabric, chopping it up then shuffling the layers. Sort of an orderly scrappy look. Let's see if I can do it without screwing it up.

My hand is feeling better but the back of my wrist is still swollen. I see a physical therapist on Friday. Maybe I'll get a greenlight for some knitting. A girl can hope.


March 7, 2010

The Last Three Days

I saw the hand specialist on Friday and he just confirmed that I have DeQuervain's (tendonitis in my thumb). I was sent to another clinic and got a custom splint made that is way more comfortable than the generic one I got a few weeks ago. It looks like I have many more weeks of rest in my future before I can start knitting again.

So I have been quilting. I got Liberated Quiltmaking II which has been great inspiration. I made several blocks after looking the book over. Here's a wonky photo of my wonky blocks.

I was given this nifty foundation piecing stamp at the Knitters Guild last week by Linda K. You can see the stamp here with a finished block and a block in progress.

See how tiny?

I'm scared to try to get the paper off the backs of these since the seams are so short. I might use muslin as a backing next time. I have three other stamps I haven't tried yet. You have to be in a particular mood to work on these teeny blocks. And willing to follow the lines.

I got all the sashing on my scrappy blocks and put the whole top together. Here's an idea of how the blocks look with sashing.

I also pieced a back for this. I put a border on this crazy four-patch and pieced a back. I also went to a fabric and notion trade show in the area this weekend. A Moda rep was selling some sample sets. I got 31 pieces of varying sizes of Santorini (.pdf). I've already started cutting and trying to add other fabrics to make this Nest quilt (.pdf). I'm not sure the pieces I have will work for this quilt and I wanted to try to make a sample block. I got ahead of myself and skipped a step. Now I have to rip out several seams and I can't find a way to do that without using my left thumb. Maybe if I make puppy dog eyes at Wes he'll help me out.


February 28, 2010

Getting Carried Away

This morning Wes suggested we walk to Fremont to see the Sunday Market and maybe get some lunch. Once we were there we decided to keep walking to Ballard to visit the library and try the Sunday fried chicken dinner at The Hi-Life. In all we walked 4.5 miles! I'm surprised the kids didn't complain more. The fried chicken was amazing, by the way. And so much food. We have enough for lunches for tomorrow.

My quilting has taken a similar route. I started with the crazy little squares but I didn't feel like cutting the sashing. Then I started a Sparks Baby Quilt. I made all the blocks but didn't feel like cutting the sashing. So I started cutting fabric for another quilt. This one is inspired by a pattern from Kaffe Fassett's Quilts in the Sun. I'm trying to use all the fabrics I already have for these projects. I just don't think I have the right mix for this one. I've also discovered that I really like mid-range value fabrics. I'm talking about color depth here not savings. I don't have many very light or very dark fabrics. I like stuff right in the middle. The pattern I'm trying to put together is made from half-square triangles. They need a dark side and a light side. Mine just look kind of meh. So I sucked it up and cut the sashing for the crazy blocks. I calculated the yardage based on 2" sashing then I cut 2.5". I realized my mistake as I noticed I was running out of fabric. I'll pick some more up tomorrow. I haven't taken any pictures other than this really crappy one of the Sparks blocks. It was just for my own reference.

I think this one might get filed in my Excessively Scrappy drawer. It's kind of cute though.

Also, if any fabric gurus are out there, do you know what this fabric is? I got a fat quarter who knows where who knows when. But I just love it. It makes me smile. I would love to know what line it is from.


February 26, 2010

Scraps for Sanity

My left hand still hurts. My right hand hurts now from doing everything one-handed. My appointment with the hand specialist got canceled. I needed something to do. So I started to make scrappy quilt blocks. They're kind of addictive.

This isn't even all of them. I've made 29 so far. When my older son got home from school and saw me at the sewing machine he said, "Uh...aren't you supposed to resting?"
"Well," I said, "I did spend several hours on the couch today with an ice pack.
"And then you cracked?"
He really knows me so well.

Yes, I cracked. The needlepoint/embroidery was making my right hand hurt. So I started sewing. Very easy on the hands. I put my leg-lift bar thing on my machine so I can raise and lower the presser foot hands-free. I grab two scraps and stitch. I chain-pieced so I just kept grabbing two and stitching over and over. Then I cut them apart and pressed, trimmed a bit if necessary then started again with the larger pieced putting them together. Repeated endlessly. It was mindless and very satisfying. Now I have all these blocks. I got a little fabric to make sashing but I will wait on that. Holding the ruler firmly and pressing hard with my rotary cutter is too hard on my hands.

So in the meantime...more scraps!

I made four 12.5" blocks (based on this tutorial) just using odds and ends. So much fun. The results is a little chaotic and crazy. I don't care. I really enjoyed making it.


April 6, 2009

Too Much Good Stuff

I can't take this Denyse Schmidt workshop in July because I'll be at knitting camp. Guess I don't really have anything to complain about.


January 4, 2009

Sunday Sewing Bee

I had some friends over today for a little sewing. I finished the Blue Star quilt top.

I like how some of the blocks look like a star and some are Xs and some are crosses. I guess it's not really finished. I still need to add a border. I also basted and started quilting my 30s star quilt. It was great to get going on these projects again. I hate having all these half-done quilts lying around.

Labels: ,

October 12, 2008

30s Star Quilt

It's not done yet. But I did finish the top and piece the back a few weeks ago.

I haven't been able to take any decent photos lately because I'm never home when the sun is up and it's not rainy or gray. That's why it appears I've suddenly gone mad with crafting. The baby pilot cap was a shop project to use up some of the leftover yarn from the Rivendell sock. The Sophia bag was started in December! And then it sat and sat under a pile of unfinished quilts. Even Peanut, though a very quick project, sat for over a week because I ran out of stuffing. And Pi has been done since September 30th. I just tossed it on the counter and forgot to blog it.


September 21, 2008

Blue Star Progress

This new quilt is coming together really quickly. It takes me a long time to do all the cutting for each block (mainly because I keep making mistakes) but the sewing is fast. I finished eight blocks already.

The colors are off in this photo. And that's not all that's off.

How did I not see this until I edited the photo? Easy enough to fix but still...how did I not see it?


September 19, 2008

Playing With Fabric

Today I barreled through the piecing of all the blocks for my 30s quilt. Next is to figure out the placement and get all the blocks sewn together. My chain-piecing epiphany--one year after starting the quilt--made an enormous difference. I now have no idea what took me so long on this very easy project. But it's now coming together.

As a diversion I made a sample block for my next quilt. I have been gradually collecting fabrics in the teal/green/brown group. I got them all pulled out the other day and tried to figure out what I wanted to make.

I think it will be the Blue Star Quilt from Kaffe Fassett's Caravan of Quilts. It gives me the perfect chance to try out this method for making flying geese. Mine won't be quite the riot of color the one in the book is. But I'm trying to be a little more daring mixing up prints.

Any suggestions for a good iron? Ours is old, slowly breaking and doesn't have an automatic shut off. Wes is convinced I will burn down the house, killing us all, if I walk away from the iron while it is still on or even plugged in.


September 8, 2008

Sewing Bee!

I had another sewing bee yesterday and finally added the last borders to my Four Square quilt. This sucker is huge. An 81" square. Once I moved the furniture to spread it out on the floor I couldn't get high enough to take a photo of the whole thing. Huge. I had to drop off my sewing machine to get repaired immediately after the bee. I did most of a Harry Potter block too. I'll finish it as soon as I can pick up my machine.

Labels: ,

September 2, 2008

Doll Quilt Swap 4

I mailed off my quilt today.

I'm never entirely happy with my sewing projects. This one came out pretty cute. It would have been much nicer if I had hand-quilted but I didn't leave myself enough time to learn a new skill and finish the quilt.


August 16, 2008

Sewing Day

Despite the Ravelympics deadline's swift approach, I declared today a sewing day. I haven't been sewing at all lately. I have a doll quilt that needs to be sent out by the end of the month and my sewing machine needs to go in for repairs before it's out of warranty (next week). So I chose the hottest day of the summer to hunch over my sewing machine and ironing board. Putting the sweat in sweat shop.

I had a plan for the quilt swap. I had a pattern. I had a vision. As soon as I started sewing I knew it was crap. I stopped and regrouped. I went back to my true love--scrap quilts.

I used the spiderweb instructions found here. Then I pieced together a billion scraps for the border. I'm really happy with it. I'm toying with the idea of hand quilting it. I've toyed with that idea before and always chickened out.

My Ravelympic cardigan is right on track. I will hopefully finish the body to the armholes tonight (then rip out several inches of the sleeves) and join the sleeves to the body. Then the most fun part--decreases!

Labels: ,

August 10, 2008

Ravelympics Two Days In

One sleeve is done. I've got a good few inches on the second one.

This is all thanks to having the day off on Friday. I was supposed to work so I arranged for the kids to go to camp. Then it turned out I didn't have to work but I didn't tell the kids. Hee hee. Amanda and I went downtown to the big quilt show. We both throughly enjoyed the vintage quilts. I can't tell you much about the marketplace. I didn't see very much that looked all that new or special. Unfortunately I couldn't see much at all because every booth was 5-deep with quilters. And I noticed again that certain quilters who have no problem just pushing you out of the way if they want to go somewhere or see something. Amanda and I wrapped up our afternoon with a really great lunch at Serious Pie and a little dessert around the corner at the Dahlia Bakery.

Yesterday was just work and little evening knitting. But after dinner we went to the grocery store in the rain. We emerged to find a huge rainbow.

I tried to take a sleeve progress under rainbow photo when I got home but it was less successful.

Labels: ,

March 25, 2008

Only Good Things to Report

My Go With the Flow socks are both going and flowing.

My latest and hardest Dear Jane block came out pretty well.

23 pieces! Woof.

I had a group of friends over on Sunday for crafting. Amanda is trying out English paper piecing. She handed me a stack of paper templates. "Here," she said, like a dealer, "why don't you try it?" And, like a junkie, I was immediately hooked.

My dog is still really cute.

She is HUGE. People keep asking me if she's part Great Dane. I'm hoping not but she is definitely a very tall girl. And sweet as pie.

Labels: , , ,

March 15, 2008

Moving On

Thanks for all the get well wishes. I have a mighty assortment of welts and bruises but I'm getting around just fine. I'm in denial about the dishwasher. The last time I lived somewhere with no dishwasher was the summer of '91. For now I'm just letting the dishes pile up in the sink.

So what else have I been up to? Even though it's barely had a mention on the blog since I started it, the Tangled Yoke is slowly creeping toward the finishing line. I am a few rounds short of a full tangle on the yoke. I believe this photo of a crumbly, gray mass explains why I haven't been taking a lot of pictures of my progress.

Since this project is far, far from portable, I cast on a new pair of socks.

This is Evelyn Clark's Go With the Flow socks in STR Chapman Springs colorway. I started these socks once before and ripped them out. These are going splendidly and I'm not hating the variegation. I started working on them yesterday while on the way to a quilt show with Molly. It was my first quilt show. It was really interesting to see all styles and skill levels represented. I found that I am always drawn to the hand-quilted ones. I bought a few fat quarters in 30s reproduction prints while I was there. I got some of these at the Sew Expo a few weeks ago. Love the 30s stuff.

I also bought one piece of vintage fabric.

When I pulled it out to photograph I realized it matched the large-scale floral in Blossom I got for the border on my Four Square quilt.

There were two quilts based on Dear Jane at the show too. I came home and finished a block, Dad's Plaids.

This one has reverse applique and regular applique. I think I'm improving since the last one.

I also knocked off two tiny new sewing projects. A needlebook and a camera case with a quilted lining for my new camera.

Labels: , , ,

March 3, 2008

At Least I'm Consistent

I've been working pretty diligently on my Noro shawl. It's not done yet but I'm getting there.

I took a break and went to the Sewing Expo in Puyallup yesterday with Amanda. It was okay. There was a lot more machine embroidery and garment sewing than I had hoped. I bought a few fat quarters of 30s reproductions for my Shadow Star quilt. It got me thinking about my many languishing quilt projects. When I got home I got back to work on my Four Square.

I got it up on the "design wall" (aka large piece of cheap felt) and arranged all my squares. I'm in the middle of sewing on all the sashing. I bought my border fabrics a few weeks ago. I love them.

I love them.

Then I decided to wind some yarn for my Giant Latvian Mitten Cardigan. It's next on my list as soon as I finish the shawl, and Tangles Yoke, and my gloves, and my baby sweater...

Completely matches my Four Square.

Labels: ,