Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Recently Finished Socks

This is a pair of socks I recently finished for my DH. Lucky for me, he doesn't want boring, plain black socks. He likes them bright and wonky and fun. These are actually brighter than this photo shows -- I don't know if it's the blue background, or what. Yes, they're on my feet for the picture -- he was at work when I finished them.

This is a pair I just finished for myself last week. These colors also seem somewhat duller than they are in real life. The yarn is greens, tealy-blues, browns and pinks, and it's really soft and wonderful. They fit well, and feel great to wear.

Of course, I've got another dozen pairs or so on the needles, but at least this is evidence that I do finish things at some point ;-)

Thanks for coming by to play. Come back again any time.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I've missed several weeks of Design Wall posts. For most of that time, there's been nothing on my Design Wall, and no sewing of note going on, either. Today I have something on my design wall, because I'm getting ready to spray-baste it together for quilting. This is a top (you can see the backing wrong-side-up behind it) I made for Quilts for Kids.

I really need to get this finished up and returned to them. I've had it WAY too long -- I think since last May or June! I got bogged down and didn't finish it right away, and then there were some big life changes including DH changing jobs, and then it just got buried and forgotten. I'm going to just quilt this on my DSM, because there's something on my HQ16 at the moment, too.

This is a top I made back in about 1995 or maybe 1996 at the latest. You can really only see one corner of it here -- there are six of those large blocks:

At some point, probably ten or more years ago, I started quilting it on my DSM, got all the sashings and the inner border done, and in one block I'd outlined the applique shapes and completely microstippled the background. Then I decided I didn't really like it, and had to frog all that quilting -- and my stitch length was pretty inconsistent, but there were a lot of really SMALL stitches in there. It got folded up and set aside for quite a while, before I decided to tackle all that unquilting. I finally finished the frogging a while back, and got it loaded up on the HQ16. And there it sits. I really hope to finish it this week. I love this quilt, and would really like to have it done.

Other than a little bit of sorting, I haven't done a thing with all those wonderful decorator fabric samples I got a few weeks ago. I want to make some sock bags -- small bags to carry a sock knitting project around in. I have some pieces paired up to use for that purpose, I just haven't had any time to do any sewing at all. I hope to change that this week, and get a lot of things done.

That's all from me for now. Thanks for coming by to play. Come back again any time.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

What a GREAT Day!!

What an amazing Saturday I had! A woman I know works for an interior design company, and recently told me she had some fabric they were getting rid of, if I wanted it. Today, we'd arranged to meet while we were both out and about, and did the transfer, her vehicle to mine. This was a shot of the back seat of my truck, from the driver's side (ignore the two pillows between the front and back seats):

Here's a shot of the back seat from the passenger side:

I spent several delightful hours pawing through it all, planning and dreaming about what it will all become. There are lots of things in there, big pieces, smaller pieces, all kinds of stuff. After a preliminary sort, this is what I've got -- three boxes and seven bags!

But there's also this pile, that's still out in the garage waiting to be sorted through. There's still a bag out there, I see, that got forgotten when I carried the other bags in. There are also two stacks of sample books, and a number of loose pieces. More fun for another day ;-)

Among the plans I have for this fabric will be some reusable grocery bags, general-purpose tote bags, one or two handbags, possibly a backpack or two, maybe one or two "duffel" kinds of bags, more like luggage, and a lot of small drawstring bags big enough to carry a sock knitting project. There are also pieces in there that will make their way into my quilting projects, and some other fabrics that I'm just going to play with and see what I come up with. Oh, and I see some pillows coming out of all this as well. This could seriously get in the way of my UFO-finishing mission.
Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again soon.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Today's goal...

Well, besides some cleaning and organizing, that is. Today's somewhat quilty goal is to get this:

into the house (from the garage) and get it covered with flannel, so I can use it as my design wall. At the moment, I'm using a flannel-backed tablecloth hanging flannel-side-out in front of a bookcase. It's okay, but only about 30" wide, ripply, and I have to pin everything to it. So I'm looking forward to having these two 4'x8' insulation sheets covered and ready to use.

I also hope to get the setting squares and triangles cut for my charity top, and maybe sew the center together. DH is working tonight, so this evening SHOULD be prime sewing time.... And since that first picture isn't very thrilling, let me give you a little bit of cute for today -- the kitty you can see is Max, and the big lump next to him under the covers is Muffin.

Getting under the covers is a new trick of Muffin's, he's only been doing that for a few months. This winter, I guess. He's almost 12 years old, so maybe he's starting to feel the cold more.

Wish me luck on getting my tasks for the day accomplished! Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again any time.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Starting Out with Quilter's Accountability

So, I just found Bari's blog and learned about her "Quilter's Accountability" weekly reports. I obviously don't have anything to report on from the last week, since I'm new to participating. But, I'll define some goals for THIS week, and will report back next week on how I do. I'm going to be out of town for a few days, so I'm going to keep my goals modest for this week.

First, I'd like to get this turned into an actual top, that I could hand off to someone else in the guild to finish up (it's for our charity project):

I've chosen the fabric for the setting squares and triangles -- a Kona solid in Espresso.

Then, I'd really like to get the borders on this, and perhaps make the backing as well. I talk more about this one here (well, I talk more about both of these in that post, actually):

For this week, that's enough. If I get to more than that, great -- but if not, I should be able to at least do this much.

Thanks for coming by to play. Come back again soon. And check out Bari's post, and see how others did last week.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Now Some Knitting News

So, this weekend I ended up not doing any sewing. I did do a little bit of knitting, but not much. I've got this pair of socks, which I started back in January:

Still about 3-1/2" from starting the toe decreases. These will be for DH, and I'd really like to finish them and give them to him. Well, to paraphrase Dori in Finding Nemo, "just keep knitting, just keep knitting."

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

On the Design Wall Today...

Today I'm sharing two things. First, here's what's on the makeshift design wall at the moment:

This is a set of blocks for a charity quilt. At a guild meeting some time last year, I picked up a large plastic bag labeled "Blocks and Bits and Pieces," which was to be made into a charity quilt. Well, the other bits and pieces have been made into two tops, one that was just squares, and one that was just bricks. These blocks were already made, along with 10 smaller ones (with one fewer round on them). I decided I didn't want to make any more blocks, so I'll finish them up as they are. I'm planning to set these on point, and make borders top and bottom with the smaller blocks, either also on point, or set straight. I'll probably use a solid Kona cotton for the setting squares and triangles, but haven't yet decided on a color for them.

Then, although this isn't on a design wall per se, I'm going to be auditioning borders for it very soon. This is the quilt center that I assembled on my recent retreat.

Can you tell it was windy?

This is my version of the quilt on the main characters' bed in the Britcom "As Time Goes By," which stars Dame Judy Dench and Geoffrey Palmer. I love that series, and from the first time I saw the quilt on the bed, I wanted it! I've watched and watched, and rather than trying to make an exact replica, I figured out what elements about the quilt in the show I liked, and made sure to include those. The things I liked were the center design, and the fact that many of the pinwheels had fabric substitutions in them. My pinwheels are almost all a bit "maverick." There are very few of them that are made from only two fabrics. Anyhow, I made myself a sketch on graph paper:

And went from there. The eagle-eyed will notice that my center design deviates from my sketch. I mis-cut for the squares in the corners of the center unit, and decided to just use what I'd cut. Then I decided to put half-square triangles in the corners of the borders around the center, to continue the pinwheels' movement. I'm not sure I like it better than the sketch, now that I see it, but I'm NOT going to undo it all and change it. I've been excited about making this quilt for quite some time, so I'm going to finish it up very soon, so I can start enjoying it.
Thanks for coming by to play. Check out Judy's blog, to see what others have on their design walls today. Come back again soon!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

March UFO Challenge

Well, the first two months' UFO Challenges have come and gone without my completing my projects. Well, I DID finish the top for my February challenge at my recent retreat, but not until March 2, too late to call it a "finish" for February. And I made progress on the January one, but didn't finish it either.

Here is my UFO for March:

It's a bargello. I started this in either 2001 or 2002, I think. It was in a class at A Piece in Time, when I used to live near there. I have all the strip sets made, just have to cross-cut them and do the layout and sew it together. Well, then I'll have to decide if I want a border on it, find an appropriate fabric if so, and add that as well. But it's early in the month, so I'm optimistic.

I'm also hoping to go back and completely finish the January and February UFOs. We'll see. It's certainly in my plans, but I'm so easily distracted....

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

Friday, March 4, 2011

Tops Completed at Retreat

I've got photos of some of the tops I completed at retreat that I'll show today. There are still one or two I need to get pictures of, but it was raining here yesterday. All of these just needed the last borders added to them, so finishing this many isn't as impressive as it might otherwise sound ;-)

Once again, my lovely photo assistants are Celeste and Julie.

First is a nice twin size top, a mystery from Debbie Caffrey called "Chip Off the Old Block." I didn't really get enough contrast between my blue and green fabrics -- in real life these seem a lot closer in value to each other. It measures about 64"x88" .

Then there's another mystery quilt, this one is called "Sedona Stones," and was from Creations Sew Clever, in Chillicothe, Ohio. This is a double bed size, at around 85"x95".

Then, yet another mystery quilt. This one, as far as I know, doesn't have a name. We did this as our Quilt Sitters Circle summer picnic mystery in 2004 at A Piece in Time. I'm pretty sure it was designed by the shop owner, Sandy Heminger. This is really big, at 95"x108".

Finally, a Thimbleberries pattern called "Jacket Plaid." I also did this one at A Piece in Time -- it was the Thimbleberries Club project one month, back in the days before the club was quite so organized as it is now, with a year-long project each year. I think I probably started this one in 2001 or 2002, though I don't remember for sure. We used to just decide what Thimbleberries pattern we wanted to do as a club project each month -- which led to me having a LOT of Thimbleberries patterns started, but not finished. This one is also big, at 87"x96".

Can you tell it was windy outside when we were trying to take these pictures? The girls had a bit of a fight on their hands on occasion, just getting the tops to stay still long enough to have their pictures taken.

So now I have four more to add to the "needing to be quilted" stack. Or rather, not "stack" but "totes." Yes, plural -- I think I have two, maybe three, large plastic totes of quilt tops that need to be quilted. Probably about half of them have the backings already prepared. I think that may be my next project I tackle, preparing backings for the rest of them. Then, I think a quilting marathon is in order.
Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again soon!

Finishes from Retreat

Here are the four quilts I finished binding at retreat. These are pictures I took while there, and the quilts are being held by Celeste and Julie. I think you may see Julie in some of the pictures, but Celeste did a better job of hiding ;-).

First is one that's an adaptation of a pattern from a book called "Angels" by Jan Patek. Her quilt was called, I believe, "Archangel." I just call this one Folk Art Angels. It's large -- 82"x104".

Next is a quilt, called "Puzzler" from Maple Island Quilts. This one is about twin size, at 59"x91". It's for my husband, because he likes bright colors and tropical fish.

The pattern tells you to randomly applique the triangle offcuts from making those half-flying geese units onto the quilt top. I didn't want to do that, so I pieced the triangles together and made a strip that gave me the extra width I needed for the backing.

Here's a quilt I did as a mystery. This one was Mystery #6 from Webequilts. I love the fabrics in this, and am really happy with how it turned out. It's a great size, too, at 78"x88".

Finally is this really big quilt. This was also done as a mystery, but it's a pattern called "Confetti Stars," and I think it's by Terry Atkinson. I don't see that it's on her website now, unfortunately. There's a funny story about this one. The instructor had made her sample in Thimbleberries fabrics. I made mine from scraps and FQs that I pulled in pinks/burgundies, greens, and blues, and used a hand-dyed gold for the stars. She was looking at everyone's fabric selections, and when she saw mine, she said "oh, Lydia, you're using those brights." Ummmmm, yeah, brights. I've got some Thimbleberries, some Jinny Beyer, and other fabrics in there, but none of them are what I'd call "bright." As a result, this quilt has a name! I don't very often name my quilts, but sometimes a name just "attaches" itself to a particular quilt, and that has definitely happened here. This quilt will always and forever be known as "Bright Confetti Stars." It's really big, at 96" square.

Tomorrow I'll show the tops I got finished at retreat, assuming I can get pictures of the last two.

Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again any time.

Sadly Neglected

I've sadly neglected my poor blog for some time now. I can't even say what I've been doing instead for most of that time, I just haven't been posting.

I do have a couple of recent finishes to share. First is a wallhanging that was made from a stocking panel -- I cut out the stocking shape and appliqued it to the background, added a border, and did a little bit of quilting just to hold everything in place. It measures about 18" by 28". This will be going to my parents, so I'll put their last name on the top band of the stocking before I send it off.

Next (seems to be a Christmas theme developing, but it's not on purpose) is a quilt from a Thimbleberries pattern. The pattern was actually for a tree skirt, but I don't need a quilted tree skirt, since I already have one. So I made one extra pieced block for the center, instead of making that a solid green square as the pattern directed. This one is about 60" square. Just ignore my husband's feet and the step stool -- at some point I'll learn how to edit photos, but for now, this is how this one is.

Finally, this is a big one -- between a twin and a double size. It's a pattern called "Sassy Sixteen" by Kimberly Camou. I added the sashing to break up all the busy-ness of that fabric line, and didn't do the pieced squares border that the pattern called for, for the same reason. I really like this one!

I just got back from a retreat yesterday -- we were there from Monday afternoon through just after lunch yesterday, and I got a LOT more stuff done. I have to take pictures, but I'll be sharing that stuff soon. This is enough for one post, I think ;-)

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