Thursday, May 31, 2018

Last Day in May = Recap

Whew! Finished my Loopy Academy projects just in time. Just uploaded the last one to their gallery. Man, I hate cutting it that close. I was a knitting demon the last couple of days. Hard to enjoy the process when all you can think about is "get 'er done!"

Here are the pictures of my Senior Spring Semester projects. We had to knit a sweater so I knit up this adorable baby sweater. I'm not real sure why it took me so long to block it and sew the buttons on but it did. We also were to knit anything in lace-weight yarn. I chose this lightweight sweater by Joji Locatelli. She's one of my favorite designers because her patterns are pretty and fairly easy without being boring. You can see in the picture that there was a little lacework on the back. Sweet! The sweater is called Rocio and you can find it here. The other requirement for our senior projects was to knit anything in the brioche stitch. Well, I'd been wondering how to do that and wouldn't you know? Knitorious, a local yarn shop in St. Louis, had a demo one Saturday afternoon so I checked it out. Figured I'd get the lowdown upclose & personal before tackling a project. I chose this scarf but added two extra Xs. I hope it helped build some muscle memory for the decreases & increases in brioche knitting. While I enjoyed knitting the scarf (it ended up being 5" X 42"), I found that I really had to pay attention because I could mess up the stitching in a hurry! Is this scarf perfect? Heck no! It was my learning scarf.
Due to all the finishing of the knitting projects, I didn't get a whole lot else done. My May project for the APQ 2018 UFO Challenge fell by the wayside. Well, not exactly. I've been thinking about how to quilt it up and I do believe I have a plan so this will be on the front burners this month. In case you forgot what it looked like, here's a picture of it on the left. The folks at APQ chose #11 for June and here's a picture of it on the right. Looks like it needs that border finished up and possibly there is another border to be added? I will definitely be trying to make some progress on it also this month.

As for my Farmer's Wife Sampler blocks, I did manage to squeeze in a little time to work on a couple of the blocks. According to my photos, these are the ones accomplished this month:
#28 - Dolly
#30 - Em
#31 - Eva
#32 - Fanny
#33 - Farmer's Wife
And last but not least, I got a bit done on Mosaics. I just can't keep my hands of this project! It is so fun and portable. Also in its favor, it doesn't require a lot of notions to work on it ... small scissors, thread, needles, leather-patch thimbles if I feel like putting one on, and the English Paper Pieces. I finished appliqueing down the first diamond border and have 36 more diamonds to tack together so they can be appliqued down. They're even bundled in order. Just need to take a little time to put them together. Knitting done so I'm READY!!

I'll close with a couple better pictures of my "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" quilt with the ribbon. The colors are a little more true in these. Plus I included a closeup of my quilting in the alternate blocks. I just love this quilt!

Polly & Gracie wish you a fantastic weekend!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

New Project

This past Friday was FNSI -- my favorite time of the month! Love doing handwork and relaxing while watching my needle stitch fabric, so calmly, so beautifully. A few weeks back I just couldn't resist a new project. Jinny Beyer has a new mystery quilt called Miyoto and the fabric selections were gorgeous. Jinny Beyer, if you aren't familiar, is very big into hand-piecing quilts. I learned to quilt this way a LONG TIME AGO and, since I've been enjoying the hand work of Mosaics so much, I decided to sink my teeth into this project and ordered up a kit. She offered four colorways and I chose blue/teal. Here is a picture of the first unit of this quilt. I'm trying to remember just how to hand piece again! The weather was so nice that I pulled up a chair outside and gave it a go.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to sew on a daytime retreat and managed to get together all six parts going one way and 2 &1/2 pieces in the mirror image. This morning I finished off all twelve pieces. Loving this process again! Tomorrow I'll return to retreat and work on Mosaics!
I had a very nice Mother's Day last weekend. I heard from both of my kids PLUS a nephew. My sweet daughter Sarah also sent me sweets ... Wockenfuss candy. This chocolate company has been in business in Baltimore MD for over 100 years and, let me tell you, they are so DELICIOUS!! I was certainly feeling the love!

Speaking of mothers, here is a very unusual picture of both my kitty Polly & my dog Gracie sharing space in front of the door together. They were both very interested in the sightings out front. Oops! I do believe I've been caught spying on them!

Gracie & I have been enjoying our walks each morning lately. The temperatures have been pretty nice even if Gracie thinks they're too warm. Recently she found a friend just off the trail -- a turtle!
And with that, I'll close this post. I was up early this morning to watch the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry to Megan Markle. Then it was time to get Mother ready for her flight to NC. We dropped her off with time to spare and returned home. I climbed out the upstairs window to gain access to the first floor roof and cleared the rain gutters on the house. I had noticed yesterday that the rain we received the day before was still in them and we were expecting more rain today. Ugh! My reward was to work on getting Miyoto Clue #2 ready. The afternoon wrapped up watching Justify win the Preakness (after winning the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago) and to get a text from Mom saying she arrived safe & sound in NC and that she also managed to see the Preakness. Very exciting stuff and we'll anxiously wait to see the Belmont in June to see if we can get a Triple Crown winner!

Good night for now!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

New Laptop, Mother Nature Returns, & a Red Ribbon!

Good morning! I've been a little behind in posting but the reasons for that are twofold: 1) Anthea @ Hibiscus Quilts had put on the calendar that this was Piece Yourself Together week but there wasn't a link-up and I was waiting for it to post; and 2) I went to register my Zagg phone screen for my new phone and apparently my laptop decided to fry its hard drive with no warning! So, besides trying to adjust to a new phone, I had to buy a new laptop yesterday as well. UGH! Yes, the cost of these two purchases are going to kill the budget BUT the learning process of two new devices is going to kill ME!!!! Hahaha!

Now on to the post at hand ... Mother Nature decided to go from a cold Spring to a hot Spring overnight. We had exactly one day with windows open meaning 24 hours between the heater and the air conditioner. And in that one day span I discovered that I, like so many other St. Louisans, have developed allergies. Now I'm taking a pill every evening to get me through the days of excessive pollen count. I am not a happy pill taker so this is not good news for me other than I can now function a little better.

In case you were wondering, I am still walking my "Little Gracie Girl" each weekday morning in spite of the pollen. Here are a couple of pictures I took this week on our walks. 
The two dark spots ahead of Gracie are
Mr. & Mrs. Mallard (ducks)

What is startling my little Gracie?

A turtle!

The honeysuckle is just starting to open
and perfume the air
I wish I could have also captured a picture of the little bluebird that was following us one morning too!
As for my sewing, I'm still working on my leaders & enders project (more on that another post) and I'm on my last diamond row of border #1 of Mosaics. My big news, and I hope you're still reading along with me, is that I won 2nd place at our guild's President's Challenge! The rules were easy enough - 1. No side larger than 45", and 2. Must represent a song title with a color in it. Here's my version of "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue".
Ta Da! Marvelous Mini Monday complete with Red Ribbon!

Close-up of my quilting on the alternate blocks
As I was sewing this up at the January retreat, I was singing this song in my head. I didn't want to let the cat out of the bag that I was sewing this for the challenge. I love everything about this little quilt, from the cute little 4" blocks to the beautiful fabrics to the half-and-half colored binding, and also to the way I quilted it -- ditch-quilted little blocks with pretty quilting on the alternate blocks. Besides getting the ribbon on Tuesday I also got a $20 gift card to a LQS. Then on Thursday I shared this quilt at Tips & Techniques at Rosemary's Quilt Shop and won a $5 gift card in the Show 'n' Tell door prize! My little quilt has practically paid for itself!
So now I need to pick up my knitting and get the sweater to a finish. I'm just about done with the second sleeve and still have a brioche-knitted hat to finish by the end of the month.

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers this Sunday and every day!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

April Recap

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt: One night in March I couldn't sleep so I decided to cut fabrics for several of these blocks. After cutting seven kits, I've since then sewn up six with the seventh (#28 - Dolly) in progress as of today. Here's a look at my pile of kits:

Here's a look at the blocks I got done in April or earlier (marked with an *) when I first started this project a few years ago. I believe #18 - Carol was the last block posted:
#19 - Carolina

#20 - Caroline*
#21 - Carrie
#22 - Cat

#23 - Charlotte*

#24 - Coral*
#25 - Crystal
#26 - Daffodil*
#27 - Dinah

#29 - Doris
Angie of GnomeAngel is the fearless leader of this quilt-a-long. Our goal is two blocks per week. There are a total of 99 blocks so we should have this top finished by the end of the year if we keep up. That is totally my goal. She has a Facebook page where she keeps us on track and she has Blocks 27-35 were to be done in April and Blocks 36-43 for May. As you can clearly see I'm a little behind but I'll catch up ... I hope.

APQ 2018 UFO Challenge: Try not to fall over but .... I got my borders on! April's chosen number happened to be my 2nd & final Float Month so in all honesty it took me two months to get this one to the finish line. Still not sure how I'll quilt it, several ideas swirling in the gray matter.
Ta-Da! Blowin' In the Wind Completed
The number chosen for May was 6 which coincides with Big Gold Star. It is a completely pieced large wall hanging. I pulled it out of its bin and discovered that it's actual name is Miss Millie's Mystery! I did remember that it was another mystery quilt run by Rosemary's Quilt Shop but I'd totally forgotten the name. If you recall Blowin' In the Wind was also a mystery quilt from Rosemary's. Love me a good mystery!!! Anyway, here's a picture of the Big Gold Star top. Let the quilting begin!
My knitting hasn't really been inspiring me lately. I'm still working on Rocio. I've got the body done and a good start on the first sleeve. I really should get working on it because I have a May 31 deadline plus anything using Brioche Stitch. I've got a hat pattern that I plan on using. Knit, Sue! Knit!!!!

My favorite take-a-long project right now is still Mosaics. I'm appliqueing down the first outer border. So easy, so mindless. I can talk and/or watch TV while I'm working on it making it my go-to project.

Spring has officially sprung here it seems and the gardens & yard need attention. Here are a few pictures from my morning's work.

My beautiful Olga Azalea with gigantic, chartreuse hosta.
Ugly ladder in background been laying there & never
touched for over a year. It's gotta go!

Give this woman a drill & a ladder. Hooks in
place and ladder up off the ground.Good job!

This post ended up being pretty long so I'll end it for now. Enjoy your world!