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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! :)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Virtual Quilt Retreat, Day 2

First up, my happy dance, which is also my husband's happy dance!

This is his flannel blankie #2, finally finished. He's a very happy camper to have another one to replace the first one I made him (in 1998), which has been loved so much that it's been retired - if we wash it one more time, it will likely fall apart.

After completing a few chores, I went back in the sewing room, and pulled out my Country Baskets project box. I have just two more of these to do to have all of them complete. I did the paper pieced basket bottoms first, then fused the tops of each. They're ready to blanket stitch now, so hopefully I will get finish that this month. It would be nice to have November finished before Thanksgiving.

November in progress

December in progress

Some might say I have a problem... my local quilt shop was having a fat quarter sale, including batiks, and I brought home these yesterday. I have no project in mind, I just bought them because they were pretty and on sale...

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Virtual Quilting Retreat, Day 1

I picked up my November fabrics for the SSS block of the month, and put them together this afternoon. This month, the color palette has a lot of pastels, a good choice for baby quilts.

I also bought fabric for binding CC's Sunshadow Flannel Plaid Blankie #2, and that quilt is currently in the washing machine. I plan to take a photo tomorrow to share my newest happy dance.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Magical Night

Here is the last of the Teresa Wentzler designs that I have in progress - Magical Night. I hadn't visited with her since 2011. This time I worked a little on her purple robes hanging out of the sleigh, and a little bit of that sleigh.

Up next on the cross stitch front, I think I'll work some on the Use It Up sampler.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Fall Frolic basted (just in time for Thanksgiving?)

Today was the day I usually take off for quilting-related endeavors, and to get together with quilting friends. I had to run get some different batting, because I had picked up the wrong time the last time I was out.

One of these days I am going to try hand-quilting with wool batting, but for now I'm using low-loft polyester. It makes the hand quilting SO much easier, and being low-loft, it doesn't end up puffy like you expect with polyester batting.

Anyway, once I got back, I re-pressed my backing fabric, got everything set up, and got down to work. By 3:00 this afternoon, I had all my basting stitches in the quilt sandwich. I decided to use 2 strands of DMC floss this time, since that was recommended in a Sharon Schamber video I watched recently, and it supposedly helps reduce shifting. I used almost 3 skeins of floss!

Now I just need to plan my quilting and get started!

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Some Jared progress

I finished piecing all of the Jared blocks together (there are 30 in all)! And I decided to go ahead with my original plan of pieced sashing strips (which will kind of create secondary stars when the design is pieced together). Here is one of those sashing strips - I've finished piecing about 20 of 49 total.

As I'm piecing them, I'm using Bonnie Hunter's method of putting squares on the corners, drawing a line from corner to corner, then stitching on that line and ironing it back to create the triangle. Most of my rulers are big, but I spied my little Sewing Machine Seam Guide sitting there, and it's so much more convenient for drawing that line - it's just the right size!

As usual, I can't stand the wait to see how things are going to look all pieced together - I haven't finished all of my sashing strips, but I had enough to put together a row of those and a row of pieced blocks - this is going to be just what I imagined (second row of blocks on the design wall, obviously)!

I don't have any idea what fabric / color I'll use to border it yet.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Happy dancing!

First off, my September and October Country Basket blocks, quilted and finished today.



Just two more to go, and I'll finally have one for each month of the year.

And now a BIG happy dance -- Amber's Carousel quilt, binding and label added today!!

And a closeup of the quilting, binding, and backing. The backing is a flannel. We chose a variegated thread for the quilting, and it couldn't be more perfect. I love, love, love this quilt, and I hope that Amber will too.

Friday, November 01, 2013

October and November Goals

It's that time again to check out how we did on this month's goals and decide what next month's goals will be.

October's Goals

1. Complete the October blocks for the SSS 2013 Block of the Month quilt. Completed!
2. Quilt the July and August Country Basket blocks. Completed!
3. Complete one pieced and one appliqué block for Blocks From the Past. Unfortunately, did not get around to this one.
4. Finish the first panel for Dream a Little Dream (appliqué). Completed!

Bonus goals (not quilting):

1. Work on two Teresa Wentzler cross stitch WIPs. Completed!
2. Complete two squares for Puff Stitch Granny Square Afghan. Completed just under the wire!

I managed to get a lot done on several projects that weren't on my list, including starting and finishing a top (and I just picked it up from my longarm quilter, Ruth's - that was FAST!). But I just never got around to the Blocks From the Past project. That's okay, because I'm happy with what I've accomplished otherwise this month.

November's Goals

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

Bonus goals (not quilting):

1. Work on two more cross stitch WIPs that have not seen a needle in 2013.
2. Complete two squares for Puff Stitch Granny Square Afghan.