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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Slow Sunday Stitching

I finally finished the outline quilting around the appliqué on Fall Frolic's middle pumpkin block, and then I marked my crosshatching for the background there. I started stitching on it, and here is a peek at the quilting in my hoop.


I spent a very enjoyable evening last night with the Moonlight Stitchers at the Stitchin Post. I put a few stitches in the Moonlight Owl, then moved on to more blanket stitching on the current Rainbow Garden block, and it's almost finished. Pat E. and I conferred about the Age of Brass and Steam kerchief she is knitting, so I had to put a few more stitches in mine. And I got to know one of the newer attendees a little better and we shared knitting tips and WIPs. She was a very good enabler. I managed to buy some more yarn for a new project that I saw the model and loved - Hitchhiker. She was making it too, and told me that it was a little challenging but fun. The model was knitted with a black, gray, and white self-striping yarn and it was very striking. I will finish a current knitting WIP or two before starting this, but it is now in my queue.

More soon!

Monday, September 22, 2014

More yarn stash

I love it when the Haus of Yarn's Yarn Bus comes to visit - they do it about once a month (or every other month depending on their schedule), and it's really a wonderful service. The shop is on the west side of Nashville, which is about a 45 minute drive from me, depending on traffic. I love to visit their shop, but having the Yarn Bus come to my town is the next-best thing. They have so many yummy yarns, and the employees are just so nice and helpful. They fill up their bus with a great selection of their stock to take to the locations they visit.

I have had a pattern in my library on Ravelry for a little while, and decided to go ahead and kit it up - the Saroyan Scarf. Seeing the leaves on the side of the scarf, I thought about colors that might complement that, and came up with Malabrigo Rios in the color Volcan.


I am looking forward to starting this (especially with the yummy yarn), but I will try my best to finish at least one knit WIP first.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Anniversary Stars blocks

This afternoon I put the final Anniversary Stars block together, so they are now ready to assemble into a quilt.


I decided to take Laure's suggestion of checking out the quilting stencils and chose a couple that I thought might work in the borders of Fall Frolic. I am still slowly quilting my way around the appliqué in that center block, but once I finish doing that, I'll see if one of the ones I ordered will work (and even if they won't work in this quilt, they might work in a different quilt). I am still debating about the crosshatching in the appliqué blocks, because it might be too much and unbalance the quilting that I'll be doing in the borders and sashing.

I'll update you as soon as I decide! Thanks for your comments!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Quilting Fall Frolic

Working with the wool felt blocks lately has made me think of the other wool felt quilt I pieced and which has been waiting to be quilted - Fall Frolic. Part of the reason for this is that I haven't made up my mind how I want to quilt it, other than by hand and with an outline around the appliqué.

So I pulled it out this evening and put it I my quilting hoop and started that outline quilting in the center block (click photo for larger view).


Have any of you quilted (either by hand or by machine) a quilt with wool felt appliqué? If so, how did you quilt it? Or even if you haven't, how would YOU quilt this? I am leaning toward a cross hatching in the background after I outline the pieces, but I'm not 100% sure about that. I also have quilting to do in the pieced areas, and have no idea how I'm going to do those either.

For reference, here is the finished quilt top.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A quilty goodness weekend

I was looking through my quilting WIPs over the last week and brought out the Anniversary Stars project box. I was surprised at how far along I had gotten before I put it away the last time (in 2013).


I spent the majority of Saturday working on piecing the quarter square and half square triangles for the remaining blocks to be made, and then finished those units up today. They are now ready to piece into those blocks, then I can piece the quilt top together! I may go ahead and finish this quilt up before getting back to Eldon, since there is a chance I can get it completed before the end of the year (and before my longarm quilter retires). At least now it will be easy to sit down and make a block or two when I have a few minutes of time after work during the week or on the weekends.


I recently bought some fabrics at a quilting friend's sale - she was getting rid of some fabrics she no longer plans to use. One of those fabrics is actually from this line - a tone-on-tone red with little red stars. I am planning on using it for the binding on the Chunky Churn Dash, and if I have enough left over, it would make a perfect inner border on the Anniversary Stars quilt.

In what seems like record time (to me), I have finished the blanket (and other) stitching on block 5 of A Rainbow Garden.


So, I have prepped and fused the pieces for block 6!


And I've knitted a little more on the baby blanket for my niece's first child. It is slowly starting to take shape.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Knitting updates

Updated photos of a few projects...

Upstairs Shawl


Falling Water Scarf


Josephine Shawl


Entrelac Scarf


Raglan Sweater


And a new version of the Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief

Sunday, September 07, 2014

A lightbulb moment

Even though I'm over 6 months out of rotator cuff surgery and healing well, there are still some things that have aggravated my arm when I've tried them, and one of them, believe it or not, has been handwork. Cross stitching, hexie piecing, and blanket stitching appliqué to name a few. It has been so aggravating, because I love my handwork.

Then I realized why it aggravates my arm (when something like knitting doesn't). I am trying to use the same length of thread that I used before my surgery, and it's just too long. When I use shorter lengths of thread and am mindful of how far I am stretching out my arm, then it doesn't hurt. Light bulb! :)

I actually fused this piece back at the end of March, knowing that I wouldn't be able to stitch it for a while. I just wanted to do something at the time. Since then, I have stitched on it off and on for short periods at a time, and that is why it has taken so long to finish it. Now I can finally present block 4 of A Rainbow Garden (with a little closeup of the french knots in the middle of the flower).



Since it's a block of the month, I'm way behind due to the surgery. I've received block 12, and should get block 13 in the mail in a week or so. At least I know I have a lot of pretty stitching coming up, already kitted. I went ahead and prepped and fused the pieces for block 5, which looks to be another lovely block. I adore the background flannel on this one.


One more "rainbow" related project update before I go - I finally finished piecing the second blue hexie block for Over the Rainbow last night. This one I planned out a bit more than I usually do when piecing them. I like the effect, but don't want to overdo it, so I'll probably go back to randomly piecing the next one.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Eldon layout decided

I spent a little time this morning (after seaming up the backing fabric for the Chunky Churn Dash quilt and getting it ready to go to my quilter) arranging and rearranging the Eldon blocks, and came up with this:


The background diamonds will really change the look of this, and I can't wait to see it all come together!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

A fun and productive day

I spent mid-day with my girlfriends at our monthly "meeting" and thoroughly enjoyed their company. I sorely needed it after the night and morning that I'd had. After that, I came home and finished working on the borders I had started last evening for the Chunky Churn Dash quilt. I am very pleased with how they look in the quilt. Here is the finished quilt top and a closeup of the borders. Now I just need to get a backing ready and pay a visit to my quilter!



Tomorrow is back to work, hoping it won't be too crazy after having been gone for a day (it was the last time and seemed to take days to catch up!). More soon!

Monday, September 01, 2014

Hmmm...

I was able to sit down at my sewing machine and get one Eldon block finished with the background diamonds (a second one, since I had already set in the background diamonds on November 30 last year). Back when I did that first one, I thought I wouldn't have enough fabric to complete all of the quilt, so I ordered some more. Apparently it is from a different print run, as is quite apparent when the blocks are placed side by side.


So, I think my solution will be - I am not ripping anything out - to make sure that these two blocks are far away from each other in the quilt, and I will make certain that I mix up the diamonds for the rest of the blocks and randomly use from both lots throughout the rest of the quilt. That way it shouldn't be as noticeable. After all, they are batiks, right? And batiks often have areas of different shades within the same yardage. I am excited to be moving forward on this quilt, I can't wait to get to the point where I'm putting the finished blocks together!