Friday, December 30, 2011

More Sewing, But Still Not a Quilt

In March of this year, I was given a large collection of fabric samples, by a woman I know who works for an Interior Design firm. (I blogged about it here, if you're curious.) Among the things I received, there were quite a few pairs of large (bigger than a FQ large) pieces of upholstery fabrics. All of them that were paired, I've now turned into grocery bags. I blogged about the first set I made here, and today I'll show you the rest of them, which I very recently finished.

I still need to make bottoms for them, to stabilize them and help things stand upright in them when they're in use, but the really time-consuming part is done, and they can be used as they are now, if need be. Actually, I think they're going to come in quite handy for this move, both to move pantry items and stuff out of the refrigerator, as well as to move all kinds of little things that don't really need to go into a box, just need to get transported over to the new place somehow. That's why I took the time, in the middle of the moving frenzy, to go ahead and get them made.

I'm still hoping to quilt one or two tops before the end of the year. I have one loaded, that's been loaded since some time in the spring, and I'd like to be able to take it off the machine because it's done, not just because we need to move the machine. Gotta really get it in gear now, though. Everything unpleasant that must be done always seems to take three times as long as I think it will....

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

How Does This Happen?

So, it's an established fact that I don't need any more yarn. At the rate I knit socks, I think I have sock yarn SABLE (Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy), probably at least twice over. But I'm weak, what can I say? I went to check out a site for an Indie Dyer, and absolutely fell in love with a lot of their colorways. There were a lot more that I wanted -- believe it or not, this was an exercise in restraint for me:

All that yarny goodness came in the mail the week before Christmas. I also received my Hazel Knits sock club shipment that same week, which was these two lovelies:

Sigh! So much for my intention to not buy any more sock yarn! I'd be okay, if I just didn't go look at dyer's websites, or sign up for clubs. I don't think either one's going to happen. I'm just going to have to learn how to knit a whole lot faster!

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

More Sewing

So I did a bit of sewing over the weekend, and I made this zippered tote bag. I can't remember where I got the fabric, but it was in my stash, along with a white polished cotton which I used to line it. The size is just the size I could make it based on the piece of fabric I had.

I like it, though I need to make a stabilizer to put in the bottom of it. I've got a lot of x-ray film, so I'll probably cut several pieces of that to size, and tape them together, and that'll do the trick nicely.

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Monday, December 26, 2011

One More Pair of Socks

I finished another pair of socks for DH last week:

This yarn was a prize I won in the Year of Stash Socks group on Ravelry, over Labor Day weekend. As soon as I received it, I thought it would be great for socks for DH, and I like how they worked up, with those sort of spiral-y stripey things. DH likes them, so it's a win.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

A Project Bag for Socks

With all the socks I've been finishing lately, you might not think I'd need another sock project bag. But in fact, I have a lot more socks in progress, that I don't yet have project bags for. So this one will help to fill that void a bit. Nothing too thrilling, just a piece of upholstery fabric from the large windfall I had some time back, a zipper, and a little bit of webbing for a handle on one end, and a zipper tab on the other.

I probably won't post again until next week -- if you celebrate it, I wish you a very Merry Christmas. I'm looking forward to finishing up more of my UFOs in the new year. I invite you to come along and see what I get up to.

Thanks for coming by to play. Come back again soon.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I Sewed! I Sewed!

I finally got a chance to do a bit of sewing, and boy did that feel good! I didn't work on a quilting project, but finished up some grocery bags I'd started a while back, from some large pieces of upholstery fabric that were in the batch of stuff I was given some time back. They're a bit more interesting, and probably quite a bit more sturdy than the plastic bags at the store. They were a fun project, but a lot more time-consuming than I'd expected. I have another 7 started, and hope to finish them up soon. Want to see? Here they are:

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

And Another Pair of Socks

I'm starting to feel like this is turning into a sock knitting blog, to the exclusion of anything else. But I plan to do some sewing this week, so hope to be able to show some results of that soon.

In the meantime, late last week I finished this pair of socks for DH. The yarn colorway is called "Rasta Man," but I think they also look somewhat Christmas-y. Anyhow, DH likes them, and is already wearing them.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Another Pair of Finished Socks

Even in the midst of packing and moving, there's down time, waiting time, and that equates to knitting time. So last week, I finished another pair of socks. These are a bit more teal-y green in real life. They're for me, and I just love them.

I didn't end up making it to see Scrooge last evening -- I decided that packing, and making a trip over to the new place with some stuff, was more important and more pressing just now. I would have just been thinking about all the moving chores that need done all through the performance, so I decided to save myself that aggravation.

Today will be a day of moving some of the big stuff. Not looking forward to it, but looking forward to having it done.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

I Knit Something Besides Socks!

My feet weren't the only things that have been cold lately. My hands are always cold of late, as well. So I made my first pair of fingerless mitts. Here's the first one, on my hand:

The color is really off in this picture, it's a lovely gray/green/blue colorway called "Loch Ness." Not nearly as dreary gray as the picture makes it look. Here's the pair:

DH liked them, and I'd been promising him a pair of fingerless mitts as well, so I gave him these. Then I immediately cast on a new pair in the same yarn for myself:
This picture shows the color somewhat better, but it's still not completely accurate. The second pair, I made longer by one pattern repeat, and I went down a needle size to get a slightly firmer fabric. I love these, and love the longer arm length -- I often get a breeze up my coat sleeves, and these will help with that tremendously. Then, because these were for a KAL (Knit Along) in one of my groups on Ravelry, I took a picture of both pairs together, just to show there really are two pairs. Mine are on the sock blocker legs, and DH's are on water bottles:

These were fun and quick to knit, and I'll most likely be making some more mittens and gloves, and a cowl and a hat for me are also on the agenda.

This evening I'm attending a performance of "Scrooge" at a local church. I'm looking forward to seeing how they do with it. For now, back to packing and organizing. This move seems to be interminable.

Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again soon.

Friday, December 16, 2011

One More Pair of Socks to Show

My feet were really cold around the middle of last month, so I dug out some heavier-weight yarn, and made this pair of socks in just 8 days. I think this may be some kind of record for me.

I only had two balls of each color, so I added in the darker color to get the leg length I wanted. They're soft and cozy and warm, and I've got another pair started, that may go to DH. But I've got more sport-weight yarn, so I'll be making myself some more heavier socks, too. My feet have always tended to be cold, but this year it seems worse than usual for some reason. The other thing is that those socks from heavier-weight yarn knit up quicker, so that's a really good thing.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Another Pair of Socks Finished

I finished another pair of socks on November 12, and haven't shown them here yet. I haven't done any sewing to speak of this fall, but I've found time here and there to do a bit of knitting. These are for me, and they're just a plain pair of ribbed socks because no pattern stitching would show in this yarn, for whatever reason. I've used it, in two other colorways, and it's always fought with any pattern stitch -- so any more yarn like this in my stash (and yes, I have to admit there is more of it) will be plain socks. But it's lovely, wool and silk, and feels just great to wear. So plain socks it is. Anyhow, here's this most recent pair:

I like the rolled cuff on these -- sort of a fun little touch. Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again soon.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Another Finished Pair of Socks

Here's another pair of socks I finished last month. These are also for DH. Just plain ribbed socks, but they're cozy, and he likes the colors, so he's happy. I finished these on November 7, but never posted them here.

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Moving = MIA Blogger

Well, there's been a lot going on here, but not much of it's been crafty. DH ended up in the emergency room with some chest pain the Tuesday night before I was supposed to leave for my retreat last month, and they admitted him to do some testing, so I decided not to go to my retreat after all. Sad, but I was where I needed to be.

Then, we've decided (some time ago, actually) to decrease our financial footprint here, since we still own (and are paying the mortgage on) the house in Ohio. Our rent currently is about 2.5 times our mortgage payment, and we decided that was a bit too much outlay every month. Plus, the house we're renting here is really poorly insulated, and has the whole back wall of windows, so the house is constantly cold, and our utility bills are pretty crazy. So we've found a larg(ish) apartment, and we're in the process of moving there. Some of the stuff from the house here will go to the apartment, and some will go back to Ohio, so we're doing the move piecemeal. We've got until mid-January to be out of the rental house, but we're thinking we may see if we can extend that to the end of January, just to give us a bit more wiggle room.

On a crafty note, here are the "Stashbuster" socks I made for DH, with leftovers from other completed socks.

I finished them on November 2, but never remembered to post here. The cool thing is that, when he's got his shoes on, no one can tell he's not wearing plain navy socks.

I've got some other things to share, but I'll do that in more posts later this week. I'm still trying to finish up a few quilts before the end of the year, but the moving stuff has got to get first priority. Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again soon.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Not Sure Where the Time's Gone

It seems like from last Wednesday, I blinked and it was Saturday. Then Saturday was a really full day, and it seems like I blinked again, and here we are into a new week. It's been a whirlwind, and I couldn't tell you what I've been doing, but I know for sure I've been busy.

I did manage to finish a pair of socks for my DH last evening. He's happy with them, and I'm really happy that they're done.

I love the blues in this yarn, but the pinks were really annoying me. It seemed like the project that wouldn't end, for quite some time. I've cast on toes for "leftover" socks with the remainder of the yarn. They'll have crazy feet and conservative, one-color legs.

Today, I've got to find some time to sew! Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again soon.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Quilter's Accountability Report, October 19

Well, it's been a great week, and I've gotten a lot done, but not necessarily anything from my QA list from last week.

Let's see how I did....

1. Continue to work on Mom's jacket, and finish it if possible. I finished the quilting. I still need to do the binding/partial lining of the sleeves, embellish it, and do the assembly and bind the front and bottom edges.

2. Quilt Oak Leaves and Reel. (This has been loaded on the HQ16 for quite some time now, and just needs to be done!) I was glad I hadn't gotten to this one yet, as I found a better thread color at the show. I've started the quilting on this, and hope to finish it by the weekend.

3. Quilt Sugar and Spice. I didn't get to this one at all.

4. Quilt Thimbleberries Goose in the Pond. I didn't get to this one at all, either.

So, what else did I get done? Well, I've been posting as I went along about my class projects last week. But to recap, I got the center (before borders) of a one-block Mariner's Compass made, the center of a Storm at Sea quilt (35" square at the moment) made, a few blocks started for my Improvisational Adventure quilt, a number of shapes bound up to be used as mug rugs from my binding class, an eyeglass case, also from the binding class, made two pins from two vintage hankies, got a hand-pieced Amish style block (17" square) made, and made a wrap (Suzanne wrap). Oh yes, and I also made 3 ready-to-fuse-on turkeys, and the other night I prewashed the towels and fused them into place, though they're not stitched down yet. You can see pictures in this post, this post, this post, this post and this post.

For next week, I'm going to keep some of my list the same, and change some of it. Here goes:

1. Finish mom's jacket, and get it sent off to her.
I've really been procrastinating on this, but I want it done and outta here! And the weather's finally getting cool, so she'd actually be able to wear it.

2. Finish quilting Oak Leaves and Reel, and bind it.

3. Quilt, bind, and add a label and sleeve to "Big Bang Theory," which MUST be finished by the first week in November for a challenge. This is actually going to be my first priority this week!

4. Pull fabric and do the precutting for the class I'm taking at Quilt Escape the first weekend in November.

Beyond that, I'll just quilt as many tops as I can get to, which may be none, and may be several. It all depends on how the week shapes up. My friend Renae and I are planning a "binding marathon/party" for some time after Thanksgiving or in early December, so I need to start getting some stuff quilted! Plus, I need to get that UFO count down out of triple digits this year! I'm close, but still need to kick it into high gear if I'm going to get there.

Check out Bari's blog, and see how others have done this week. Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again soon.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tuesday's Happenings

Today I'm making a quick trip to Ohio, to check on things and take some shelving units back there, so I can organize my UFOs. I hope to do a little sorting while I'm there, but it's going to be a quick trip, so I don't know for sure what I'll get to.

Here's what I did yesterday -- I cut out the background for the Mariner's Compass I started in class last week, pieced those pieces to the arcs, appliqued the center in place, and got the quilt center made. I also cut the strips for the borders, but haven't yet added them.

And I added the outer borders to my hand-piecing class project. This is now either a finished top, or a center of a medallion quilt, or (most likely) an orphan block that will find its way into an orphan sampler at some point.

The color's still off a bit on that photo -- the outer borders are a hunter green, rather than the charcoal gray that they appear on my monitor.

I was also trying to get some laundry done and get settled yesterday, so that's really all the sewing I did. I did a bit of knitting, but there's not enough progress to really show that yet.

Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again soon.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Design Wall Monday, October 17

I got home yesterday, and was pretty tired. I wasn't up to much last evening, I just knitted for a while, had a nap, took a really long bath, knitted a while more, and went to bed. Wild party animal, that's me ;-)

Today my design wall is sporting the two blocks I got started on from the Improvisational Adventure Quilt class I took on Friday. I'm not sure how much I'll work on these this week, but I'm leaving them up on the design wall because I enjoy looking at them and pondering what comes next.

Check out Judy's blog, to see what other quilters have on their design walls. Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again soon.

Recap of the Show, and Shopping Results

So, have you been wondering what I bought at the show? Well, I'll tell you. And show you. Here's a fabric panel I bought, about how quilters think:

And here's one about cats:

Here are the rest of the things I bought on Thursday -- the towels I'll put my turkey appliques on, a book, several stitchery patterns, a jacket pattern, a purse pattern, a small foundation piecing pattern and several quilt patterns. Also several of the Pilot Frixion pens for marking on fabric, and some polish for the machine bed and extension table, to make the surface slick for machine quilting:

I also ordered a giant Sew Steady table to use with my Juki. The table measures 24"x32", and gives a really great size of work surface, while still being able to fit easily on a 4 foot long folding table.

I haven't done any garment sewing for a long time now, but there was a vendor there -- the Wool House, from Toronto -- who had some amazing garment fabrics. I've been bitten by the bug, and got these fabrics, which will become jackets and/or slacks and/or skirts:

It seemed like the show was a bit smaller than last year, although that might have been my imagination. Lots of interesting vendors -- sewing machine dealers, quilt shops, machine embroidery enthusiasts, fashion sewing folks (including Vogue fabrics), and a few odd things like the woman with jewelry and the Bra Lady.

I only got to see one stage presentation, it was about jackets using a sweatshirt as a base. This was done by Connie Spurlock, and had a lot of good information. This is where the concept for my mother's jacket came from, because I took a workshop from Connie, in which I made my jacket, some years back. Their most recent version of the technique is using strips and fabric texturized with Texture Magic. Here are two photos of the sample she showed:

I'm home now, and getting settled back in. I had a great time, but it's good to be home. The cats really missed me, and after snubbing me for a while, have been sticking close. Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again soon!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Friday's and Saturday's Projects

I only slept for about 2 hours on Thursday night, so Friday evening I wasn't up to writing a post. So now I'll share what I did the last two days of the show.

In my Mariner's Compass class, I got the arcs pieced (the round part is in quarters) and the center circle applique prepared. I still need to cut the background and piece the arcs into it, then applique the center into place, add borders, and then it'll be a quilt top:

In the Improvisational Adventure Quilt class, we started some log cabin variation blocks. I got a good start on two blocks, and made some other units, but didn't get pictures of them yet. I'll post them later -- maybe on Monday for Design Wall Monday ;-)

This next thing seems like a cross between a poncho and a shawl -- a ponchawl? a shawncho? The teacher/designer called it the Suzanne Wrap, which may be the easiest way to refer to it. So, here's my Suzanne Wrap:

The color's off on that -- it's actually a pretty sage green color, not gray as it seems in the photo.

Yesterday I had one class scheduled in the morning, and one in the afternoon. The morning class was another class with Debby Kratovil, called "Sugarloaf Jewels." Unfortunately, I overslept and missed it. I woke up just in time to throw on clothes, rush over to the Expo Center and pick up my kit. So that picture will be coming later.

In the afternoon, I had a class with Connie Spurlock called "Don't Get Caught in a Bind," which was about different ways to bind and otherwise finish your quilts. This class was hands-on, and first we learned how to do straight-of-grain binding on right angles:

then on angles greater than 90 degrees:

then we learned how to do ruffles:

and Prairie Points:

and bias binding, and how to apply it to a round shape:

and finally, I used bias binding to make this eyeglass holder:

I did one make-it-and-take-it at the show, at the Sew Artfully Yours booth. I silkscreened a leaf on one end of this hand-dyed silk scarf, and needlepunched assorted fibers on the other end:

Right now, I'm getting ready to head for home. Thanks for coming by to play. Come back again soon.