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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Final finish of 2013

Life has been totally topsy-turvy the last week, so I haven't been stitching much at all. I needed a project that was small and portable, and my Spiral Hat fit the bill. Tonight, while we watched The Hunger Games again, I finished it!

Now I need to decide on a similar project, because it looks like the next few weeks at least will be more of the same.

Happy New Year!!!!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Celtic Solstice clue 5

I was actually able to get all the pieces for this clue cut out today, in between this, that, and the other, and I managed to finish 10 of the 100 units for clue 5.

Hopefully I'll get a little more time to devote to them this week, just rolling with the flow.

Check out how others are doing on week 5 at Bonnie's Link Up.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Catching up

Having a couple of days off for the Christmas holidays (and spending one of them at home) helped me finish sewing clues 1-4 for Celtic Solstice Mystery. Just in time for the release of clue 5. :)

Not sure that I'll be able to keep up with the rest of the clues given everything that's going on in my world, but looking forward to trying anyway.

I also forgot to share my other knitting happy dance over a week ago - my lacy keyhole scarf is finished!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Knitting happy dance!

Tonight I finished up my second sock for my blue pair, and I'm so pleased with them - Merry Christmas to me!

Celtic Solstice, clue 4

I was able to make use of my 2 inch strips box, and pulled out reds and greens for this clue (little 4 patches).

I managed to get 26 made last night, but today worked on finishing up the 120 units for this set! Now I'll need to get back to working on clues 2 and 3 - lots of work to do there. :)

Seems like the right sort of colors to be working on this time of year.

Check out where everyone else is this week on Bonnie's Link-Up!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December happy dancing!

This is a project I've had going since 2010 - and I quilted and finished the last two blocks of my Country Baskets Wallhanging yesterday!



I actually have December hanging on my wall in December! :)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Just a little more blue

This is my latest progress on In The Garden over the last few weeks on and off.

I've been working on the left section this time. I've also been working some on my second blue sock and, of course, the chevron units for Celtic Solstice (20 of 100 done now). :)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Another super second Saturday

First up, 10 more blocks for High Cotton, bringing the total to 80 (of 100).

Next, my last "Anything Goes" blocks (the SSS 2013 block of the month quilt). There are 6 instead of 4 blocks this month.

And finally, I have finished all of Clue 1 of the Celtic Solstice Mystery quilt. This shows all of my clue 1, plus the few units of Clues 2 (chevrons) and 3 (pinwheels and HSTs) that I've finished.

I think I'll be working on more of the chevrons tomorrow. And I'll be checking out how everyone else is doing on Clue 3 at Bonnie's blog

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Celtic Solstice Clue 2

I wanted to go ahead and get this posted, then I'll get back to sewing. Here is my first of Clue 2 - 99 more to go (I am making the small version of this quilt).

To see more progress on this quilt by other quilters participating in this mystery, check out Bonnie's link-up post

And as a quilter with shoulder issues, I can't sing the praises enough of my die cutter. I bought the Sizzix because I knew that I could also use the Accuquilt dies in it. Up until Friday, I had just tried using it with a cardboard shim, but when Pam mentioned the adapter, I knew it would be a good investment (cardboard tends to flatten over time, and there is the experimentation that you have to do to get the right amount). I've just finished cutting some more 2-inch squares. These are done with my Sizzix 2-inch strip die - I cut the strips, then turn them and cut the strips into squares. I also did that with my 3½ x 2 inch green pieces - cut them into 3½ inch strips, then cut those strips on my 2 inch strip die.

I've marked up my dies with the silver Sharpie pens so I can easily see the blade placement plus ¼ inch on either side. Ebony Love of Love Bug Studios has a lot of great tips and tricks for using die cutters.

Updated to share my first 10 units.

Starting Celtic Solstice Mystery

I was originally going to go with brown instead of orange, but decided on red instead.

Here are my colors again (Bonnie's on left, mine on right):
  1. Neutral = Neutral
  2. Yellow = Golds
  3. Green = Green
  4. Orange = Red (was going to be brown, but I changed my mind)
  5. Blue = Purple

I used my new AccuQuilt die and the adapter I just got to cut these (anything to reduce the stress on my shoulder!). Here are the first 10 of each unit variation pieced.

If you'd like to check out how other quilters are doing with their mystery quilts, Bonnie has a wonderful link-up after the release of each clue.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Top finished, and the borders add so much

Here is a sneak peek of the border - I finished it this afternoon after we got home from going to the movie theater. I need to pick up some backing fabric and seam that together so I can get it to my quilter. It probably won't be finished before the end of the year, but it's so close now! :)

Oh, and I nearly forgot! Here is some more progress on Chinese Dragon Gate, which hasn't seen a needle since the middle of last year.

I worked on the roof some this time, and got the very top part finished. The next part still requires a little work before it will be done (the first set of wings).

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Getting close!

The interior of my Jared Takes a Wife quilt is now pieced, and I just need to figure out what I'm going to do for a border (or borders), because I think the quilt needs it.

Stilts told me when it was time to take a break and pay some attention to her today.

Back to work tomorrow - it's been a wonderful (and necessary) couple of days off!

Monday, December 02, 2013

Slow and steady

Today I finished those final two sets of log cabin blocks, so the next step on Eldon is to finish setting those log cabin blocks into the 8-pointed stars.

While I've been piecing those log cabin blocks, I've also been piecing High Cotton blocks, and I have ten more completed, bringing my total so far up to 70 (of 100 total to complete for the quilt).

Slowly but surely, progress is being made! I also went ahead and ordered the Go! adapter for using in my Sizzix (thanks for the suggestion Pam!). Not surprising, I'll be behind to start off, but it's not a race, at least not for me. :)

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Getting it done status report

It's amazing how fast November whizzed by. It's now December, and certainly feels like it. We even had snow before Thanksgiving this year, though it didn't stick to the ground.

Well, just like last month, I was down to the wire in getting my last goal finished, but I managed to get it done just a few hours before midnight - and then I realized that once again I had managed to do the pattern wrong. I have had trouble with this pattern ever since the first time I started it back in the 90's (and finally gave up back then on that version of it). Fortunately, even though I realized I had done last month's two blocks wrong also, I managed to rip out and re-crochet 3 of the 4. I'll fix that other one today. I think I'm going to highlight the part of the pattern that gets me every time. Where I think I should be making a full corner in the first white round, I should only be making one puff stitch and a chain 3. I see that chain 3 and think, "Oh, this is my first corner (and it will be, in the next round), so make another puff stitch here!" I even took a picture and shared it back in 2012. Always making the same mistakes, it seems as if I'm not meant to crochet this pattern, but I'm doing it anyway, and at least I caught them before making more this time. After I finish ripping out and re-crocheting the last one, I'll have 32 of the required 117 for this pattern.

Okay, so how'd I do on the rest of November's Goals?

1. Quilt and finish the September and October Country Basket blocks. Done!
2. Finish the blanket and embroidery stitching for block 1 (the second block) of A Rainbow Garden Done!
3. Complete the November blocks for the SSS 2013 Block of the Month quilt. Done!
4. Finish piecing all of the Jared Takes a Wife blocks. Done!

Bonus goals (not quilting):

1. Work on two more cross stitch WIPs that have not seen a needle in 2013. Done!
2. Complete two squares for Puff Stitch Granny Square Afghan. As mentioned above, done!

So, what will December's goals be? Just to enjoy my quilting and stitching, crocheting and knitting, and whatever else I decide to do this month. I have enjoyed the Get It Done Challenge this year, but I'm not sure if I'll do it again next year. We'll see. I still have several things I'd like to get done for December and also 2014, but I don't want to make them a 'must-do'.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thinking about joining the mystery

Bonnie Hunter's Celtic Solstice Mystery, that is... but I'm not 100% sold on the color she suggests, so I'm thinking of doing these (mine are on top, Bonnie's are on bottom): browns, golds, greens, and purples.

Of course, starting another quilt means I'll need to pull out more fabrics, and my sewing room is already starting to look crazy again. I also decided to get an Accuquilt Go die (I can use it with a shim in my Sizzix), since I'm planning on using it in several projects.

Meanwhile, today I worked some more on Eldon. I've been wanting to see how a block looks with the background fabric set in, so I cut out some diamonds and set to work. Here is one block completely pieced.

And I pieced another set of log cabin blocks.

I have two more sets of log cabin blocks to piece, then I will finish setting all of them in the star blocks. That sort of piecing goes very well (as does setting in the background pieces) with audiobooks. I have quite a stack of them built up on the ipod and just had another book recommended by a friend. It's a great way to spend the day!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

We enjoyed a delicious meal prepared by my parents today, along with a wonderful visit with them and my brother and his family. I hope that everyone has enjoyed the day, however you choose to spend it!

I finally finished the first of the pair of socks I began back in April during my trip to Cincinnati. And I just started the second sock.

The cuff is a k3p1 rib, and I really like the look and feel of it.

I also started a Lacy Keyhole Scarf, which is a project from a Craftsy class I decided to take, Knit Lab with Stephanie Japel. I know the basics, and I've made knitted items before, but I wanted to build my confidence with my knitting. I now know that I'm a thrower, not a picker (I knit the English way, not Continental), and even though it's generally considered a slower method, I'm not sure I have the patience to change my ways. I tried to knit Continental, and I swear I was all thumbs and constantly dropping the yarn (and stitches). Since it took me so many tries to finally get the basics down the English way, I'd really hate at this point to go backward in order to hopefully one day go forward again.

So here is the first half of my Lacy Keyhole Scarf, not blocked yet. I'm using a Lion Brand Amazing yarn in the color Arcadia. I plan to start the second half this evening. It's knitted up really fast so far, so I may have something finished to share in a couple of days.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Chateau Hexagon - Flower Barrow

Here is block 3 for Chateau Hexagon, this one is called Flower Barrow, and will have a set of gloves button attached to the lower right side after assembled.

I have also made a few of the approximately 106 half-inch hexies that will be making an appearance somewhere in this mystery block of the month.

And I put together one more set of log cabin blocks today for Eldon. Three more sets left to piece, then I'll finish setting those into the star blocks.

I think I'll work on some more hexies tonight.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Seasonal stitching

The weather has changed here, and it's definitely feeling like Autumn (if not Winter some mornings!), so I pulled out my Pumpkin Patch pillow and worked on it some this past week.

I also finished the blanket stitching for the December monthly basket block.

And then I pieced the block together, so November and December are both ready to quilt now.

Today I worked on some more of the Eldon log cabin blocks. I got two sets of 8 and one set of 4 pieced.

And I now have the last 4 sets of 8 cut and ready to piece.

I had surprise help today. Usually Stilts is my little quilt helper, but today Candy decided to join me in the craft room. She, of course, supervised, and it wore her out.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Quilt-y updates

Here's a few photos of some of the quilt-y things I've been working on a little at a time lately.

10 more blocks for High Cotton - 60 blocks of 100 complete now.

A fourth pink hexie block (and I just started the 5th of 7 pink ones).

Another set of 8 log cabin blocks for Eldon.

The November Country Baskets block is appliquéd and pieced together, ready for quilting.

I've also gotten almost all of the sashing strips for Jared pieced, and I've prepped the third blocks for both Rainbow Garden and Chateau Hexagon quilts. I'm looking forward to the handwork involved in those over the next week or so.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Use It Up Sampler

I started this sampler in 2011, and didn't get very far before I was distracted by other things. I was determined to make some progress this time around. And I did! The sampler is fairly small in comparison with some of the other projects that I'm stitching, so this is about 25% finished now.

I'm not using the DMC it calls for. The design is older, in a leaflet from Leisure Arts, and the model photo looked really dull. I picked some overdyed floss colors (can't remember if they were Weeks Dye Works or Gentle Arts Sampler Threads at the moment), and I'm pleased with how nice they look. Very subtle. Oh, and the fabric is 36 ct. Edinburgh linen from Picture This Plus, color Relic.

Monday, November 11, 2013

A little handwork

Over the last few evenings I've been working on my Rainbow Garden wool felt appliqué block, and tonight I put the finishing touches on it. The second photo shows the detail on things like the little french knots in the centers of the flower and buds a little better.

I believe block 3 should be on its way to my house very soon! :)