Sunday, April 13, 2014

Still Around; Knitting & Quilting

I'm shocked that I've gone missing for so long.  I took a few pictures but didn't get them downloaded to my computer or uploaded to my blog.

I've pieced two quilts and quilted these:

 All four are prayer quilts.  I'll try to post more photos of them later.  All four of these are prayer quilts Judy pieced and layered for our ministry.

I was trying to focus on knitting because I wanted these socks finished by Easter.  Hopefully, I will still manage that.

I also joined Marly Bird's April Knit along but I'm still working with the gauge swatch.  She used size 5 needles--clearly would have been waaaaay too big.  I'm now trying it on size three.  I'm not making very good progress.

I have been watching lots of quilting videos while quilting.  I did something that I didn't think I'd ever do.  The treadle I use the most (a Necchi BU in 1919 Singer treadle irons) re-oriented itself so that I can see the new TV I placed in our living room.  I really thought I'd never again allow a TV in our living room, but here it is.  And I must say that I love the fact that I can acquire more education while I'm quilting!  I also ran across an inside TV antenna that actually works--and for far more channels than I really want to watch anyway.

School is keeping me very busy; still have more IEPs to complete in the next few weeks. Spring break went by in a flash (back in March), and it's quite possible the next few weeks will march by only slightly more slowly.  We have some trees in bloom, and when I tried to pull a few weeds in the yard today after church, I found one tiny tulip in bloom.  We are having high winds with promises of rain, but the moisture may miss us. Soooooo, day at a time.

Happy quiltmaking and knitting,....

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Spring Knitting - Ooops!

Most of us are soooooooo ready for spring, so, of course, I need to do some spring knitting.
I ordered this yarn from Loopy Ewe and waited to see if the yarn would come directly to me or travel around the country first [like the yarn I ordered from Craftsy].  This yarn arrived in two days via USPS--no side trips at all.  This yarn is from their Seasonings line, perfectly titled Spring Blooms.  I've started casting on...and then...I remembered that I want to make toes, heels, and probably cuffs from the 100 yard skein of pink.  Okay, now I get to rip out and start over--and because I'm getting sidetracked with this project, I'm also still trying to decide what to do for the next border of the Jenny Doan Flower Garden Quilt.

I arrived home in time to watch NBC Evening news Tuesday night and was delighted to see the lovely story about the Missouri Star Quilt Company and how the hard work of this one family has transformed their little town of Hamilton, MO.  This family and their employees are such a wonderful example of hard work and dedication paying off--and of people who remain "real" instead of letting success go to their heads.

Weather report:  We are absolutely thrilled to be getting a tiny bit of rain!  Of course, it's not enough to be measured even in hundredths of inches--but it's enough to be sorely appreciated!

Happy quiltmaking, happy knitting.......

Monday, February 17, 2014

New Quilt & Knitting Idea

I'm making Jenny Doan's Flower Garden quilt.  I was inspired by her most recent video updating sashing for this quilt.
 I used a Robyn Pandolph layer cake--so there were multiples of every fabric.  I chose the peachy flowerdy squares and made 20 blocks--using a 1980s solid for the corners to form petals.  I cut my sashing and the setting squares 2-3/4 inches--so each sashing was one-half the width of a petal.  Yes, I could have used jelly roll strips, but loved the two greens from my stash and I don't have any green jelly rolls.  I'm trying to make a decision and cut the borders.  I loved the borders on Jenny's quilts but don't think I want to duplicate hers on this quilt--and with 20 blocks, the quilt has grown larger in size already.  Of course, for me, the quilt is about the quilting at least as much as it is about anything else, so I have more decisions ahead.  I should say that although I love the pattern, these fabrics are not "me", but they are good for stretching my creativity.

I didn't see her original video. You can click the link to find it.

Stop by Judy's blog at Patchwork Times and see what others have on their design wall.  (I don't have a design wall right now.  My quilt top is just tossed over a chair.)

Yesterday I sat in church watching the back of my sweet friend's vest.  The front was quite elaborate with all sorts of cable designs, but it was the back that struck me.
It really caught my interest because it looks like something that would make interesting socks.
I need to find some time to knit a swatch.  It's simple knit and purl, but quite interesting.

I'm loving having a holiday from work today--in no small part because I came down with some kind of bug yesterday.  So, although I'm not accomplishing as much as I would like in the knitting or quilting departments, at least I don't have to take a sick day.  Here the sun has been shining off and on, and we're supposed to reach the 60s today.  As I write this, we are at 59.9, so I'm hopeful. I'm also hoping our warmth will work its way to the frozen Midwest and East.  This may well be one of those memorable winters that people tell stories about when they've grown old.

Happy quilting, and happy knitting.....

Monday, February 10, 2014

Quilting & Knitting Progress

I've made a bit of progress on these socks made with Christmas at Downton Lorna's Laces Solemate.  These colors are not all that accurate on my computer--what looks reddish brown is actually a deep purple.  It's my project for watching Downton Abbey and for watching the Olympics--although I don't know how much I'll be watching the Olympics.  I did watch most of the opening ceremony Friday night--awesome performances, but not as awesome as the amount of money spent on the production.

I was able to get the binding on the Autumn Harvest prayer quilt--and took it to church for my friend to sew down the binding on the back while she spends countless hours at a rehab hospital while her husband recovers from heart surgery.  She also knits; it's a good time to have these skills.

Here are some details from this quilt.  I just love the pattern.  It is so adaptable to so many different styles of fabrics. (I first made a quilt from this pattern back in the early 1980s--and I'd like to make several more.)

All the quilting was done one morning on my friend's sit-down Handi-quilter.

Yesterday I cut all these pieces and  pieced them.

I have four blocks together and hope to get the rest of them together and unite them with their sashing, and maybe some borders, this week.
The colors don't show up very well.  The main fabrics are from a recent Robyn Pandolph line, but the sweet beige solid has been in my fabric collection for close to 30 years and is left over from a pink, beige and white Burgoyne Surrounded lap quilt I made back then and which became a Victory Prayer Quilt.  I'm guessing the only way I will ever find another fabric that color is if I dye it myself.

For others who are loving the quilt-like graphics of the Sochi Winter Olympics,  here's a link that explains how they are the result of sampling many of Russia's crafts and folk designs.
I love the colors they have chosen.  Can you imagine what fun we would have with lines of fabrics in pre-cuts of all these prints?!

Another knitting attempt is to see if I can turn this lace on it's head so I can make this wonderful top-down pattern by Terry Morris from the toes up instead of from the top down.  I'm hopeful.
Of course, I also need to find some sweet and lovely rosy or orchidish yarn to use.

I let Knit Picks know that one of the screws for my recently purchased yarn swift was defective and just kind of crumbled and wouldn't screw in enough to secure it, and they are sending me another.

Our third snowstorm for the week fizzled and went elsewhere.  While we need the moisture, we've enjoyed our two sunny days of mild temperatures--and all the snow at my place has melted for the first time since late November.

Happy quiltmaking and knitting......

P.S.: I've had trouble with parts of this post appearing and disappearing from my blog.  I hope that whatever the issue has been,  it is fixed now.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Quilting, Visiting, Yarn

 This is all I have left of Judy's Laurel Burch Cat quilt.....
I passed it back to Judy without getting any pictures of the quilting.  I'll take pictures the next time I see it.  I love the way the quilting turned out. All the thread residing in the lovely little coffee filter is what I had to rip out when the bobbin thread got tangled around the little latch on the bobbin--and the machine gave no audible cues that anything was amiss. So, I spent a couple hours frogging!

 I ordered this yarn from Craftsy because it was on sale and I've been wanting some "Christmas at Downton" to knit while watching the series.  Unfortunately, my yarn took a side trip to visit Grand Prairie, TX (thank you, DHL), so it didn't arrive until today.  The Downton yarn is at the bottom--and it's not nearly as beautiful as the colors I see on the TV.  Still lovely, however.

DHL must give their customers really, really good prices to get all their contracts.  However, my experience is that they do not give high quality service.  The warehouse where my yarn started out is just six hours driving time from where I live. It was supposed to be shipped with two day service. So of course DHL sent it to Texas instead.

When I was adopting, I was living in Zuni, and the adoption agency, also in Colorado, shipped my referral to me via DHL.  DHL did not deliver to Zuni, so instead of admitting they didn't deliver to Zuni, they carried the package to Albuquerque, mailed it via the postal service, and it took another two days to get to Zuni! Had it been mailed from CO, I would have received it the next day.

Yesterday after church I drove to Socorro to visit my College Girl, and she snapped this picture of the two of us.
(She did a better job than the professionals we paid to do it last summer!)
We had a lovely lunch at a restaurant she suggested, Bodegas.  Her tango class danced their final there last December, and she told me I'd like it because it has real cloth tablecloths and cloth napkins.  She was right. Good food, and nice tablecloths and napkins--good service too. I miss her, and our visits always feel short, but we talked and talked.  There was very little traffic on my long drive home, so I'm thinking the Superbowl parties must have started early.

At this very moment I hear the very, very, very welcome sound of rain on my skylight.  It's been well over a month since we've had any measurable rain, so I'm hoping we'll get some as this front moves through.  It has been alarmingly dry here in New Mexico.

Happy quiltmaking and knitting.....

Friday, January 24, 2014

A Bit of Knitting--and No Quilting

A few more rows added to the fiddly socks...

 About half the leg left to go.

And the beret of dark blues begun....

This just wasn't a good week for accomplishing things.   It was the second week back at work, and a lot of us were fighting viruses.  My favorite math teacher and I got hit the same afternoon.  We finished the day and went to our homes and slept.  I did the same yesterday.  I'm going to make an attempt to knit and watch a movie while I run a couple of loads of laundry--but I'm doing it from the comfort of my bed! My plan is to sleep-in tomorrow.

On one of my after school pick-up duties this week, the temperatures were in the twenties, the wind was gusting from 30 to 50 miles per hour--not as ferocious as the weather some other places, but enough to know for sure that my fairly new good-to-20-degrees-below-zero Lands' End Squall coat would leave me frozen if I ever have to be out in that kind of cold. It took several hours for my toes to feel warm again.  It was 2 degrees F at my house this morning with very little wind while I scraped the frosted stars off the car windows, and I stayed much warmer.

Going to try to link to Judy's On The Needles where you can see some people being more productive than I've been!

Happy knitting and quiltmaking...and stay warm, y'all...,

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Kindle Case for Sweet Coed

My Sweet Coed and I are in need of cases for our Kindles.  I made hers today.
Back of cover on the left; front on the right.

Here's a detail of one of the fancy feathers.
The fabrics are scraps and pieces left over from her music quilt and her college quilt.

The inside includes her scraps and a butterfly print left over from a baby quilt that I made last summer. 
I put a full pocket on the left and strips to hold it while in use on the right. I was going to just make triangle corners to hold it, but those seemed even more fiddly.  Maybe I'll use triangle corners when I make mine.

Of course, the screen caught my camera reflection... 

so I took a photo of the back. 
When I was much younger I loved to spend hours creating all kinds of fiddly things like this cover.  While I had fun doing this scrappy piecing and quilting it, it did take hours to make it. I think that may be one of the reasons I prefer quilts over projects.  It also seemed very strange to be quilting something so tiny.  Interesting.

Sunday night, while watching Downton Abbey, I cast on the ribbing for my beret. 
 Imagine, all these decades of knitting, and this is my first attempt at twisted ribbing...Well, first conscious attempt, since I did some rather strange stuff when I knit as a child.

Finished the cabled socks. Somehow, I started at the toes with the exact same spot in the yarn, but by the time I got to the tops, the stripes were off.  Fortunately, they'll be up under my slacks and no one will notice--at least, not unless I get brave enough to wear socks with skirts.  It's too cold for skirts anyway.

Loved my day off.  Sweet Coed phoned that she needed  some more homemade detergent, so this evening I grated one bar of Fels Naptha soap, added one cup of Borax, one cup of Washing Soda, and 1 teaspoon of  lavender essential oil,   and packaged it up in a quart size ziploc bag inside a gallon bag. (I unwrap the bars of soap so they can dry out before I need to make a new batch--they grate finely and quickly if they are dry.) We use just one or two tablespoons of detergent for most loads of laundry and have clean, pleasant smelling clothes for less than a nickel per load--definitely worth the little bit of labor.

I made a big pot of tortellini soup and put it in containers.  The Coed was jealous of the soup--but I can't stick that in the mail with her detergent and her Kindle cover.

Happy quiltmaking...and knitting...,

Monday, January 20, 2014

Ruth's Star & the Corn Quilt

Two quilts to share with you today...

This is Ruth's wonderful violet star quilt; she first asked me to mark feathers on it so she could practice; when she saw me marking another quilt, she said, "You could almost quilt that as fast as you could mark it, couldn't you?"  So she sent it home for me to quilt.
 My goals was to have it done for last Sunday's quilt blessing, but I didn't manage it.  This morning I finished it and added the binding; it's ready to be passed on to another member to blind stitch the binding to the back.

I thought you might like to see some of the variety of feathers that adorn this quilt.  I do not pre-mark; I just stitch as I go.  I used Fil-Tec Glide thread on top and in the bobbin.

 I used a variety of colors both on the top and on the back.
 My sewing machines love Glide, and the stitches [tension] are so evenly balanced that I can use contrasting colors in the bobbins.

 I do try to add variety and some surprises to add interest for the recipients.
 Every corner is slightly different--just as in life!

The second quilt has been languishing for months--layered but not basted.  I love this old traditional pattern and think I need to make more.  The design yields wonderful quilting spaces.
 One of my friends just purchased a Handi Quilter Sweet 16 sit-down model.  Last week she invited me over, and I shared some quilty knowledge with her.  Then she invited me back to quilt while she pieced.

 Prior to the layered quilt languishing, the corn fabric, a gift from my friend Mary, languished for, quite literally, years--because I couldn't find any additional fabrics with that wonderful green. Finally I decided to pair it with the fabric for a sunflower dress that never got made years ago for my daughter.

 Somewhere along the line, the duck fabric came to visit (more of that in another post), so the three sing a happy song together.  Come to think of it, the duck fabric may also have been a gift from Mary.

 I thought I might put feathers in the half square triangles...

 But then I decided to go along with the corn theme.

When I carried the quilt into my friend's house, I hadn't really given any thought to how I would quilt it, so I'm happy, and just a little surprised, about how it's turning out.

I suspected I was consuming a lot of time wrestling quilts through my vintage treadle machines--which have twice the space of most "modern" machines.  I thought I'd be doing well if I could baste the layers every four inches or so and do some stabilizing stitching. Basted, and all this quilting done in just a couple of hours. I did discover that without having to wrestle the quilts, I need much, much less stabilizing stitching. I quilted until the bobbin ran out--a couple of hours, total--and came home.  Amazing how much faster even a sit-down 16-inch machine is. (I really think a couple of the other quilters in our prayer quilt ministry need one of these machines too.) It does have a stitch length control; I didn't use that.  I did make good use of the needle-up-needle-down control. I don't know that I'd actually enjoy wrestling full size quilts with this sit-down machine, but it's perfect for our prayer quilts.

She invited me back to quilt while she pieces some quilt-tops for the prayer quilt ministry. How fun!

I am also knitting, but forgot to take pictures.

I'll link to Judy Laquidera's Design Wall linky party--because adding the quilting is part of the design process too!

Happy quiltmaking.....
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...