Saturday, June 17, 2017

Successful FNSI This Month!


You may recall last month I totally skipped out on Friday Night Sew-In. Almost happened again this month but then I regained my sanity!! This is how it happened ....



There I was sitting in my recliner just knitting away while watching our St. Louis Cardinals. They were playing in Baltimore, a stadium I've been to WAY more than once. We used to live in the area before there were Washington Nationals. Loved going to watch the Orioles play ball back in the day. 

So anyway, there I was knitting away actually rooting against (well, sort of! Ha!) the O's when all of a sudden I actually remembered about FNSI! Thankfully it hadn't gotten very late. I ran downstairs to my sewing space, turned on the TV, switched over to the game, and started working again on my Becca Bags. Here's what happened ... Ta! Da!

Do you see how nifty the zipper is sewn in? It's actually sewn in flat and then you fold your bag in half and put the zipper pull back on! Easy enough for this Quilts-Only-Quilter!

I also added a little ribbon on the pull because at a retreat I was told it looked more professional! Hahaha! Yup! That's me! Pro all the way!

And on this highly successful morning-after FNSI, I leave you with a couple more pictures. I would also like to thank Wendy for hosting this event. You can check out what the other quilters did last night by linking over to Sugarlane Designs HERE!




 Have a GREAT weekend!

Friday, June 16, 2017

You Know What Tonight Is!!!

So happy today is Friday. Third Friday to be even more precise! Friday Night Sew-In!!! Wendy over at Sugarlane Quilts is a most gracious host of this monthly event. All you have to do is click HERE to sign up and party with us quilters! Party = Sew in this case. Lol!

And while sewing is a lot of fun in and of itself, it's extra fun to pop on over to the party goers and see what they're working on. As for my own plans, I hope to finish up my Becca Bags, designed by Lazy Girl Designs. You can check the pattern out HERE. I must confess that I'm very afraid of zippers but these promise to be a snap. I bought the pattern as a kit hoping that the extra bucks spent would MAKE me actually sew these up. I've had the kit for a couple of months now and tonight is the time to break out into a sweat (not really -- remember? I said they promise to make zippers easy!) and get 'er done!

Maybe, just maybe, I'll finish the bags up lickity-split and also get the chance to work on my APQ May UFO project! Yup, a little behind there! So, what will you be working on??

Friday, June 2, 2017

Quilt Show Month!

My local guild (Hearts 'n' Hands, O'Fallon IL) is having their biannual quilt show. We have over 270 quilts entered! That is mind-blowing!!! If you are in the area the weekend of June 10-11, come on out! I am sure you will be impressed. If you miss it this year, you'll have to wait until 2019!

My progress for the quilt show is really good ... for me! I'm entering three quilts. Two are totally done and the third only needs its label attached! Might be a good project for today actually.

I wish I could show you an updated picture of my clam shells. They are in the same PHYSICAL state as before. However, I have since formulated my plan and need to prepare the remaining fabrics and get that project going. I think Irene Blanck is amazing with this technique. I love how the Australian quilters are so focused on handwork. Anyway, stay tuned on this project because I do plan on getting back to it soon!

Speaking of Irene, I've been appliqueing away on the Mosaics pattern. I would love to tell you that I'm almost done with the center medallion but not yet. However, I'm making progress and will be excited to take it to Denver later this month to show my sister. She was present when I picked out my background fabric and then, after I'd flown home, I asked her & my mother to go back to the store and pick out 1/4 yard pieces of the Jinny Beyer fabrics I had earlier eyeballed. The only direction I gave her was 3 blues, 3 reds, 3 purples, and 3 golds ... or something like that. Anyway, my sister is rather particular when she picks out her fabrics and can't believe I'm just "winging it" with their random fabrics! I keep reminding her that it's a scrappy project and it'll be just fine! Hahaha!



As for the APQ 2017 UFO Challenge, May was a complete bust. I noticed Project #10 is up next for June, which cracked me up since June 10 is my daughter's birthday. That should be inspiration, right? Anyway I see that my #10 is Hugs & Kisses, designed by Gundrun Erla. I used Kansas Troubles fabrics and the top is assembled. Once again I need to get the quilting done! No excuses since I'm pretty sure that even borders are in place. I'll have to double-check that though.

Unfortunately I have some rather bummer news ... Remember I was busy with a Mystery Knit-a-Long? Well, after working really hard to catch up with the clues, I discovered that I had been knitting on 2-sizes-too-large needles! UGH!!!! That certainly explains the huge piece I have going plus the loose weave! Jeezy, Peezy! I started the 2nd triangle with the correct size and it is certainly considerable smaller with just the first few rows. I will be frogging my first piece and not worrying about catching up. There is just no way and I'd rather enjoy my knitting instead of working at break-neck speed.


I also took a tatting class from our renowned tatting guild member. With all the knitting I had been doing, my fingers were pretty much locked up and not working that shuttle too good. However, I've been practicing when I could and watching YouTube videos and I must admit it seems to be getting easier. I never did learn how to connect my picots and I'm hoping that lesson will be coming up on YouTube soon. Next tatting class is June 15th!

Yesterday the roofers arrived. We were hit with hail back at the beginning of March and repairs are underway. I have a simple project I'd like to start (and finish?) today to drown out the banging of the new roof. I've been enjoying the French Open Tennis so I've also got my label and clam shells on tap for handwork!

Happy stitching to all and don't forget to come to our Quilt Show June 10-11!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

FNSI? Totally blew that this month!



Wow! Totally blew off FNSI this month! I signed up (I was so excited because I was actually the 2nd person to do so!) then totally forgot. LOSER! But I have been very busy! On a happy note, here's my first picture of the year of a hummingbird getting some much needed refreshment after his long journey!





I managed to finish my 2nd pair of socks this year. I need to get another pair on the needles. If I'm to get 6 pairs done this year, the next finish should be completed by the of June to stay on track. This was really cool yarn I found a loooong time ago online. It starts out looking like the first picture (kind of swatchy), then mine turned into socks that look like the 2nd picture. I've got several more swatchy things in different colors, so no excuse for no more socks!



I also started a very relaxed Ravelry knit-a-long. We are knitting the Rhapsody Shawl by Mary Ann Lammers. It started May 1 and goes through July 31st. Mary Ann describes it as a front porch-sitting project. It's the perfect piece for me to knit while watching Gilmore Girls. My daughter got me addicted to it and I just finished up Season 5. I started watching it while Sarah visited over Christmas vacation. Only 2 more seasons to go and then the recap episode.

Anyway back to the KAL, We all bought Mary Ann's pattern, a skein of multi yarn, and 2 skeins of a contrasting solid. Here's a picture of my yarns and another of my progress so far. Count those colorful stripes -- yup! 12 down & 8 to go, then next pattern to knit follows.

Now hold on because I'm not done. I started another knit-a-long on Ravelry with Joji but this one is a mystery. Got my 5 colors of yarn into balls and started it yesterday. This one she described as a large wrap and it is looking like a shawl so far to me. But don't count on it since I'm only knitting Step One currently and Step Two has already been published. I'll catch up but it'll take a more time. This project promises to be a little fiddly with knit-the-back-loops, purl-the-back-loops, and probably more such things when I get to that point! Here's my progress so far using the first 2 colors with #3 (the multi) coming up next.

That's 14 completed rows so far. Only 62 more rows until Step 2! Go, girl, go!



And just when you thought I was through, there's one more knit-a-long that I'm seriously so far behind that it shouldn't be considered a knit-a-long with me. It's a freebie from Rowan yarns and Kaffe Fassett is the designer. I made these blocks while taking my mother to her 65th High School reunion last month but when I got home, I discovered they were way too big. What did I do? I went and bought more yarn and will start working on this project again with smaller needles. Will probably work on these blocks in the car on my way to Colorado next month (I might start sooner but I surely have enough to keep me busy until then!). My niece has another softball tournament really close to my sister's house in Denver during the last week of June and my nephew, who got an appointment to the USAF Academy, has to report to Colorado Springs during the week of the tournament! It's all perfect timing so there will be a van-full of us heading west!

On the quilting front, I am working the Spring International Quilt Market which is being held in St. Louis this year. It's quite the experience and I plan on getting there early today so I can browse some of the booths. I worked set-up day but it was utter chaos in there! Hahahaha!

I was also fortunate enough to take another class from Irene Blanck. She is FABULOUS! If you ever get the chance, you should also take a class from her. She lives in Australia but she's originally from Africa but her genetic roots are Indian! How's that for a melting pot??? Anyway she taught us a very innovative way to make clam shells. Here's my progress so far:


This project is calling my name 24/7 but I have resisted. Well, I did cut a few more fabrics out but that was all. I can't wait to sit down with this one and whip it out!

Have a peaceful Sunday while I go see what all the excitement is all about at Quilt Market this afternoon!

Friday, May 5, 2017

May Day! May Day! May Day!

Definitely a distress signal for me. April completely disappeared off my calendar this year. I guess between wrecking my car and the scramble for a replacement in March followed by Easter and then taking my mother to her 65th high school reunion in New Jersey in April, it just did me in. Whatever! Let's move on ... As I recall I promised to share my latest knitting projects.


The first shawl is Boneyard Shawl with Mara Shawl's ruffled edge. I used the yarn I got with Warm Woolies club through The Loopy Ewe. It's a nice weight and size and should keep me warm in cooler weather ... or in the house while the heat is off. The middle picture is of my Reyna Shawl, also using yarn from Warm Woolies Club. It's a lighter weight yarn and the pattern is lacy. I've used it several times already wrapped around my neck. It's beautiful and I wish you could see the sparkles in the yarn! My socks are a fun pair knit with Inversibles yarn. The yarn was dyed in opposite colors so where you see light silver on the one skein, there is dark silver on the other. The yarn is dyed by Fibernymph and you can get all kinds of double-color combinations from The Loopy Ewe. Think team colors or school colors! The pattern is Cadence and it's a freebie from Very Busy Monkey. (All of these patterns can be found on www.ravelry.com .

As for quilting, I have some sharing on that today too! But first the disappointing news. The APQ 2017 UFO Challenge selected #11, which was my Winter Snowmen. This project has been sitting for years and needs to be quilted. It is exactly the same, never touched this year. For May we are to work on #2 which is my Alex's Stars Round-a-Bout. Can't remember the official title to this quilt top but that's what I called it to refresh my memory. So far I've gotten it out to measure so I can purchase my batting. It's already MOSTLY marked for quilting so I need to finish that up then I'll be good to go!


Remember this project? I not only finished the big-stitch quilting but got my sleeve AND label on. I pretty much copied my friend Katie's and my sister's ideas for personalizing and made it my own! I am thrilled to cross this one off my list!


Here are also a couple pictures of the back so you can see my label and some of the quilting.

My guild has a quilt show every other year and this is the year of the show! It's really motivated me to having my labels done and sewn on. I may put this one in the show.

Here is a "teaser" picture of my Winter Wonderland quilt. I finished it quite some time ago but never made the label. It has been entered into the quilt show so it was time for a label. You can see I did a fancy-schmancy label here too!

I machine quilted it on my Bernina and I love it.

I also entered my Dresden Stars. I don't have a picture yet of it finished and I also don't have a label for it yet. That'll be done this weekend.

This is a photo of my Witch's Boot which is also entered in the quilt show. I changed the border up instead of the called-for one. I like my version much better. Not sure if it has a label on it. Better dig it out & check!


In other news, we've had an awful amount of rain here in the St. Louis area.  So much so that I thought I'd share a picture of our dock on the pond. Ridiculous amount, wouldn't you agree? I thought our paddle boat was going to float away!


Thankfully the water is going down. Which is a good thing because the International Quilt Market - Spring is going to be held here in St. Louis in a couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to helping out with it ... signed myself up yesterday! I hope to see some of the ladies whom I follow their blogs!!

A last couple of pictures: Gracie was thrilled that the rain was gone this morning and the sun was shining brightly. She was doubly thrilled when she pulled a treasure out of the pond -- a potting bucket! What a happy pup runing with her new prized possession!
Happy Cinco de Mayo! Mom should be here any minute now to go to lunch with me. We're headed to Catrina's in Edwardsville, a favorite Mexican restaurant of ours! Have a great weekend! Ole!




Saturday, March 18, 2017

FNSI Follow-Up

As usual I didn't stick to my plan 100%. I like to think of it as being flexible. Yeah, that's it!


My Friday Night Sew-In original plans were to mark, layer, pin-baste, and start quilting my Dresden Stars. I followed the plan up to the quilting. I had to come up from my sewing room in the basement because my feet were like ice blocks from standing on the concrete floor for so long. At least I'm ready to make a go of it soon! Yay!


By the time my feet thawed I decided to stay upstairs and catch up on a little TV viewing while hand sewing. I pulled out my wool project and continued with my big-stitch quilting. I made great progress and am nearing completion. Only a few more partial rows left to go in the bottom right hand corner. I'll need to also sew up the bottom edge where this project was pillow turned. I'm loving this one!



Sorry about the blurry pictures. When this one is done, I'll be sure to have clear ones to post!


This is what I worked on last night. What did you sew?




Friday, March 17, 2017

FNSI Tonight!

Wendy from Sugarlane Designs has posted that tonight is Friday Night Sew-In. Find out all the details HERE ! Although she's not been feeling well, she's still got prizes to give away! Go to her blog and sign in now!
Remember this beauty? Well, I've got the set-in triangles marked for quilting and I know how I'm going to quilt the blocks. The backing is pieced, pressed and ready to be layered. I'll run to my LQS for batting today and hopefully get this pin-basted and maybe a start on the quilting tonight. This is my FNSI project this month. It is also my APQ 2017 UFO Challenge quilt for this month - #12: Dresden Stars by Edyta Sitar. I can do this!

 I attended an all-day retreat a couple of weeks ago. Remember the previous retreat I discovered that I was short 5 blocks? At this retreat I finished those last 5 pesky blocks to the Vintage Roses quilt. Then I thought all I had to do was sew them together but I got to looking at the pattern and discovered there is a pieced border. Thankfully it doesn't look too difficult -- just scrappy.
 I think that will do me for this post. I'll be back tomorrow to let you know how far I got on my FNSI/APQ 2017 UFO Challenge quilt!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Now get YOUR act together and join us tonight after your delicious corned beef & cabbage dinner!