Wednesday, December 6, 2017

On Ringo Lake, Part 2


So far, so good. I am keeping up with the clues, if you can call it that. Again I only did a few of Clue #2 but I'm really liking what I see so far in the link-ups. Some of the quilters have been arranging their clues in interesting block formations. Hmmmm .... are they on the right track OR has Bonnie thrown them a curve? We'll see as the journey progress. If you'd like to see what others have been up to, LINK HERE!

In the meantime, here are my Clue #2 blocks: Flying Geese!


On a side note, look at this gorgeous beauty who has been showing up on our own pond lately! I think I'll call him Ringo because his timing is perfect. This is the 2nd day (not in a row, though) that he's made an appearance. I haven't seen him in a couple days but that doesn't mean he's not around. He could just be hanging out at the other pond in our subdivision.

Wherever he is, I hope he's having a wonderful day and I wish the same for you. Let's sew!!!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

On Ringo Lake & Autumn Jubilee

Do you follow Bonnie Hunter of the Quiltville Blog? Every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving she begins a mystery quilt-a-long and this year's is titled On Ringo Lake. Clue #1 came out last Friday and I've decided to give it a shot. For the last couple of years I've watched others make her scrappy-style mystery quilts and I've wished I'd joined along. This year I'm going to sew with the Quiltville group but I'm only going to do a few of the weekly blocks until I see how the pattern turns out. If I like it, I'll finish it 100% of the way it was meant to be. If I decide it's not quite my style, I'll piece together what I've got and see what else I come up with. Sounds like a good plan, right?

Clue #1 was to make 9-patches. Bonnie is using colors inspired  by her photo of Ringo Lake. Here is her button so you can get an idea of her color palette. To see everyone's progress, click HERE for the Monday Link-up.



I'll be using slightly different colors. Her chocolate browns will also be my chocolate browns. (Yum! I love chocolate!) Her turquoise will be my green and her melon will be my purple. These are my blocks for this week. Nothing too spectacular to look at so far but it is progress!



On another front, I have been making headway on my Autumn Jubilee lap quilt. This quilt-a-long was generously hosted by Carole from From My Carolina Home Blog. Not only did she post directions for this quilt in 3 sizes, but there was also a tablet cover and a wool candle mat you could make. Again a very generous gift from yet another sweet blogger. I believe I've shared her information here before but here's another plug because it's so worth it! Click HERE to check out EVERYTHING she offers -- gardening, cooking, card making, traveling, and (of course) quilting.

Here are a couple pictures of my blocks. When I laid them out on the floor, they became "Polly Approved"!




My guild, Hearts 'n' Hands, offers quite a few charity opportunities. One of them that I enjoy contributing to is the Linus Project, quilts for children in need. The part I enjoy is quilting the top that someone else made. I do this on my domestic machine, apply the label, and sew down the binding. I try to do two each year but I do believe this is the first one for 2017. I'll have to make    up for that in 2018!

Here are a couple of pictures of the quilt I'm finishing up. First the front. I chose this top to quilt because it looked to me like a little boy's quilt. They seem to be made less often than little girl quilts. Probably because we like to make the "pretty" ones.


Since we recently enjoyed Thanksgiving, I would be remiss if I didn't mention two of the people I'm most thankful for. That's my husband who tolerates my quirkiness and my occasional OCD behavior. Sitting at the table with him is my mother, 84 years young and still enjoying life and can still smile when I lash out at whoever gets in my way when frustrated. A not-so-nice side of me, for sure ... 









I'll close off this post with a picture of Gracie. After all, Polly was mentioned earlier in the post and we need to keep things even, not to mention I'm thankful for her too. She's my walking buddy! Look at that face -- what a sweet girl, resting her big, old mug on my leg!

Hope you're having a great week! Until next time, let's sew!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

I'm a Loser ... What else can I say?

Man, I'm a loser ... what else can I say? Plenty! It's been since the middle of September that I posted last. It's not like I've been loafing around or anything. Just haven't blogged in a while. So let's catch up starting with the APQ 2017 UFO Challenge.
September's UFO was #7 -- Blueberry Buckle. For the life of me, I can't remember what this one looks like so I couldn't even look for it. It was a Mystery Quilt-a-Long from Rosemary's Quilt Shop but I never found it that month. September was a bust.

My October 2017 UFO Challenge #3 was Life of Plenty. I really, really, REALLY want to hand quilt this one but I don't know where it is. What I do know is that it is finished and just needs to be layered and quilted. But first, I must find it. This one will definitely be on my list for 2018.
Of course I had to see what November project is up for the UFO Challenge ... #9, Kitties for Sarah. This is another one that I really, really, REALLY have been wanting to finish up. I believe I only have the quilting left to do. And another plus -- I think I even know where this one is! When I find it (this weekend, I hope), I'll be sure to take a picture to post. Who knows? I may even get it layered up!!!

That takes care of my UFO Challenges, next up are my Irene Blanck projects. I'm happy to say that I believe my Clam Shells top is complete. I was planning on a narrow border of the dark brown and following it up with a light-ish wider border for a little applique but it feels done to me right now. I might change my mind, trim down the brown, and have at it later. It needs to percolate, I think.
As for the Mosaics project, I am just about finished with all the applique in the center. Whew! That was a lot and did I mention a bit bulky? This center is like 50" square and difficult to work with while turning curves and such. Many times I wished my hands were larger to hold all that wadded up fabric! Anyway, I'm liking this project and already have numerous hexie circles ready for a border unit.

Note the flowers in the middle unit on the right are not 100% done yet. Working on them as well as the mirror-image on the left. Yay! Progress!

I've been working on a couple of quilt-a-longs with a blogger that goes by From My Carolina Home. While following along with Scrap Dance Two-Step, I tried very hard to keep up followed by catch up. I just need to finish up now. I was all in to sewing the queen-sized version and have it quilted with a pantograph pattern so it could grace my guest room bed. While visiting my son & daughter-in-law this past August, Amanda asked me to make a quilt for their bed. I immediately thought of this quilt because it's done in fall colors and my son LOVES Fall! I need to get going so it can be quilted in time for Christmas .... maybe?

From My Carolina Home also had a quilt-a-long titled Autumn Jubilee 2017 and I decided a throw size would be perfect for me! I don't have a fall quilt for my couch and again I thought I'd sew this up in no time! I sure do dream big. In the meantime we took a vacation so once again I'm playing catch up. So glad I already had my 120 HSTs sewn up from a weekend retreat. Just trying to find time to sew up the blocks.
Well, poop! Just noticed in this picture that the star on the left is WRONG!  Thankfully I noticed it now rather than when the whole quilt was pieced! Correction to be made soon! Haha!

As for knitting, I'm trying to complete my Senior Year 1st Semester through Loopy Academy. We were to knit three projects using 250 yds or more of yarn: 1. Entrelac Pattern; 2. Asymmetric Pattern; and 3. Reading Pattern from a Chart. I picked out three sock patterns to fulfill these requirements. Here are my Entrelac Socks:

The sock on the left has been blocked while the one on the right has not. What a difference! You can find the pattern details HERE! Once the 2nd sock is blocked I'll be able to submit this pair for credit.

I'm currently working on Wasabi Socks to fulfill the asymmetric project. I've had this pattern dog-earred in an Interweave Knits Magazine for a long time. It's in the Spring 2010 Issue ... a long time ago! I'm working the instep now on the first sock and then I'll finish the foot and on to sock #2.
So obviously I'm not the slacker you may have thought I was ... just slacking on my blog!

Have a fantastic day!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

FNSI Rocks!

Have I mentioned recently how much I love FNSI? Wendy at Sugarlane Designs hosts this wonderful sew-along every month. It is so much fun to catch up with my international friends each month to see what they're working on. So many beautiful projects. So much inspiration! Thank you, Wendy, for this wonderful opportunity!

So what did I work on this month? My Clam Shells by Irene Blanck! Here's my picture today.

See that red shell with the cute little sheep on it, 5th row, 2nd from the right? That's where I started my FNSI. Those shells needed to be appliqued down and I went straight to it. Since you sew from right to left, I finished that row and then the entire  next row above! So happy with the progress! Actually so happy that I finished all the way to the top on Saturday!

Next step: Figure out what to do with the borders. I'm thinking about putting a touch of applique on the borders. What do you think? I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out what to use for the  borders themselves, but I'll figure it out ... eventually!

Also recently finished were my Anthology Socks by Very Busy Monkey over on Ravelry. They turned out beautifully. The yarn is Pagewood Farms and the color is Fabulous Fall. I'm ready for some cooler weather so I can wear these fabulous socks!

One other little thing I managed. Here's the before picture of my cutting table. UGH!

Here's the after:

Look! You can see the mat again! I put all the fabrics away by color and have discovered I need three more bins. One for purple, one for pink, and one for black.I also discovered that I shouldn't ever, ever, EVER have to buy neutrals again! That bin is on "overload"! Anyway, I sure do hate putting away all my "FUN" but it's a necessary evil to allow the inspiration to come through! Haha!

That's what's new here. Now to go raid the stash and figure out borders for my Clam Shells!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Knitting Has Been Taking Up My Time!

Here we are again signing up for FNSI and it occurred to me that I hadn't posted lately. This is actually a good way for me to line up what I plan to work on this week and especially for Friday Night Sew-In. If you'd like to join us, sign-ups are HERE! It's so fun to see what everyone is working on and we come from all over the globe!
I plan on working on my Clam Shells, pattern by Irene Blanck. It's time to make a little more progress on it. In the meantime, I did manage to put a few stitches on my Mosaics (pattern by Irene also).

After returning from our lengthy vacation last month, I was really wanting to play with my sewing machine. I made some good progress on my Scrap Dance Two-Steps quilt top. I've got the entire top webbed and half of that is sewn together. Check it out over there on the right! There is a little piecing for the border and, of course, the borders will have to go on. Then I can declare it a finish!



Speaking of finishes, I did finish my Baby Pennant Blanket. What a fun knit and so easy! After I was more than halfway through, I was kicking myself for not trying to knit it continental style. I have yet to master that technique, which is supposed to be easier on the hands. This would be the perfect project to attempt continental knitting because it's all knit, no purl or anything fancy. Only short row knitting. 



Also finished was this little knitted pumpkin hat. Daughter Sarah has a couple of friends that had babies recently. What first born doesn't need a special hat for October? One done, one in the works. Doesn't it look adorable on Henny Penny
?

When my brother returned from Colorado earlier this summer, he brought a gift from my sister. This planter is special because it has a tube that sticks out of it for watering from the roots up. It also has a "false bed" for the soil to sit on. Anyway when my sister asked me if I wanted it I said, "Sure!" Here are pictures of my Fall lettuce taken September 1 and September 11. What a difference! We've already harvested some but I expect it will really take off now that the cooler weather has arrived and I've thinned them out some.




My Anthology Socks by Very Busy Monkey are almost done. This was the last picture I took of them after I'd turned the heel. I am currently shaping the toes and then the final blocking. This has been VERY fun. You can find the pattern HERE on Ravelry. There's also a matching shawl that can be knit in two sizes if you do a search on the Ravelry website.

That's it from here. Have a great week and I'll catch you up this weekend on the progress of my projects!


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Prize, Eclipse, & Minis

You may recall from my last post that I'd just returned from being out-of-town for 12 days. It was a terrific vacation. My hubby had a 3-day conference in DC which is the vicinity of both our children. The first part of our trip we stayed near my daughter's home in Alexandria VA and she picked up Fred in the mornings because they work in the same place. This left me the car. On one of the days I plugged in my phone and navigated to Great Falls to Jinny Beyer's Studio. It was a much anticipated visit on my end and it did not disappoint. I'll visit again, to be sure.



On Saturday Sarah, Fred, and I had to take a little walk around Old Town Alexandria after a terrific brunch at Chadwicks. The picture to the right is my daughter and me taken after brunch. Chadwicks is a favorite restaurant of mine and we went on my request. Sarah & I started with an appetizer of Fried Green Tomatoes with Bacon Jam & Jalapeno Cream Drizzle. Oh my! Was that ever delicious!
I went knowing what I was going to order -- Eggs Chesapeake. That is an Eggs Benedict with a crab cake substitution for the Canadian bacon. Sarah spied something new, Eggs Nova Scotia. Eggs Benedict with salmon instead of the Canadian bacon? Let's try that too! We swapped out with each other and we both agreed that the Nova Scotia was the very best Benedict we had ever tasted. If you find yourself in the area on a Saturday or Sunday morning, Chadwicks is a must restaurant to visit for brunch. I'm pretty sure that whenever you find yourself there, it will be delicious. Check out their website HERE. You'll find the Brunch Menu and the Lunch/Dinner Menu here.

We also spent a couple of days in Waldorf MD with my son and daughter-in-law. While the two of them and Fred went to a gun range to shoot and play with their toys, I meandered about 20 minutes south to LaPlata to check out a favorite quilt store, Material Girls. I spent almost three hours there because they have so many wonderful samples and because they have so much to offer. Again another fun day and I'd recommend both Material Girls and Jinny Beyer's Studios if you're ever in the DC area and need a fabric fix!

When I got home, it took me a couple of days to get my act together after being gone for so long. When I finally made it through my mail, I found my beautiful prize from Mary-Ann Lammers. These five beautiful stitch markers, handmade by Mary-Ann herself, are almost too pretty to use but use them I will! As a matter of fact you can see the seahorse in use on my Colorful Wedges Baby Blanket. It makes for very easy knitting of short rows because they practically eliminate counting -- just move the markers accordingly.

As an aside, I'm on the very last wedge to this blanket and will post a picture very soon! Yippee! Looks like I'm going to make that August 31st deadline after all!!! Woot! Woot!

As for my Anthology Socks by Very Busy Monkey, here's a picture of my socks through Step 1. Unfortunately I was halfway through Step 2 and discovered I'd drop a stitch. Tossed that project aside until after I finish the Wedge Blanket. The socks don't need to be done until September 30. Thank goodness I've got some time on that!

In the meantime, my daughter has a couple of friends that have had babies very recently. She asked me to knit up a couple of pumpkin beanies for them. I'll have some beautiful orange yarn leftover from the blanket project but I'll have to scrounge around for some appropriate green. Wasabi green is NOT the color of pumpkin stems & leaves!

I did manage to get a little quilt-making  in. These are the last four blocks given in Marvelous Mini Monday by Temecula Quilts. This past Monday was the layout post. While I'm not all that thrilled with the final design, I'm in it enough to figure out how I want to do mine. First of all, let me say that I thought the one week where we were to cut out 180 1-1/8" squares to make five 36-patch blocks was ridiculous (for me anyway)! I figured I'd take my time and use up my charm squares at the end to be sure I'd have a good supply of scrappiness. However, now that I see the finale, I'm going off on my own. Not terribly far off course, just a little bit. I'll keep you posted on that as I progress.

Apparently Polly, my kitty, missed me while I was away on vacation. Every morning after Fred leaves for work, she now waits patiently for me to get my coffee poured, my phone handy, and something to keep my hands busy. Then she crawls into my lap for a leisurely bath and nap. The blanket has gotten too big for both it and Polly to be in my lap so I've been working on a cross-stitch project. I'm getting to where I smell the finish line on this one and I'm loving it! This is called "It's Spring Fever" by Blackbird Designs. Guess you can tell how long ago I started this by the title! Haha! It's the first project in a series and, while I hadn't planned on doing any others, I am considering the third one which was recently released. It's got a kitty on it!





And speaking of kitties, here's a picture of Polly yesterday. I couldn't believe my eyes when I looked up and saw her there! Yes, that's right! She's on top of the cabinet over the refrigerator. Bad kitty!







And one last picture to leave you with. I took this one of my mother viewing the eclipse here in Illinois on August 21, 2017. Isn't she adorable?

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!




Saturday, August 19, 2017

FNSI Welcomes Me Home

After being gone nearly two weeks, I was so happy to sleep in my own bed knowing when I woke up that it was that wonderful day of the month -- Friday Night Sew-In! Thank you, Wendy, for hosting this monthly event and especially this month!
For those of you that joined last night, I am looking forward to seeing what wonderful projects you worked on. For those of you that didn't, I hope to catch up with you next month. And for those of you unfamiliar with FNSI, you only need to visit Sugarlane Designs blog for all the details. You can do that HERE .

So what did I work on? Do you remember this project?

These are the blocks to my Marvelous Mini Monday from Temecula Quilts. That block in the bottom right hand corner, measuring at a sweet 4" unfinished, was a problem to me. The picture is blurry and thank goodness it is! The 1/2" half square triangles are awful. Some of them are WAY off. So I decided to redo it.

Here's a close-up of the original.
And here's the one I made last night. Again it's not perfect but it works better for me! Also it may not look I did much last night but it was a lot of work and it makes me happy. Now to tackle the last 2 weeks worth of blocks I missed while away.

Have a wonderful weekend!