Thursday, February 25, 2010

Knitting finishes and starts

Last night I finished a scarf that I started knitting last year when my sister was going through re-hab in a nursing home. Knitting this scarf kept my hands busy during my visits and kept me from going crazy when her roommates interrupted our conversations or had the TV much too loud. I was in the mood to knit last night and decided to finish up this simple scarf. Made with inexpensive yarn (Bernat Alpaca Natural Blends) purchased at JoAnn's, the pink yarn is extremely soft and will be very comfortable around some one's neck. It will go on the "mitten" tree at church next Christmas.Feeling good that I actually finished an old knitting project, I stopped today at a new knit shop that opened in my town. It is a lovely shop with beautiful yarns. I bought this colorful Cascade "Paints" yarn and intend to make a pair of socks.
It is a wool yarn, heavier than regular sock yarn, but I wanted to use #3 needles. My knitting experience includes knitting only one sock and that sock I accidentally knitted inside out which is not easy to do. We all learn from our mistakes though and I'm confident that this pretty yarn will yield a comfortable pair of socks.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Adding, subtracting, adding

This simple quilt has been hidden away in a plastic tub awaiting my fabulous design idea. Long story made short - it didn't work. My fabulous design idea took me hours and hours of work and in the end I undid everything and simply added some random buttons instead.The buttons show up much better in person, but you can see a dot or two here and there.
Here is a closeup of my highly unique "put a button at the cross-hatch" idea. It will make it a smidge* more interesting when it hangs on the wall.
On the stitching front, I'm working on block #7 of Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow and enjoying stitching the evergreen trees.
*(By the way, Spell-checker tells me there is no such word as "smidge". Really? I use it all the time. Have I failed my English class again?)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Am I Blue?

Today I finished putting the blocks together for Blueberries and Cream, a quilt designed by Judy. Her free instructions can be found on her website - Patchworktimes. I decided to do the version without borders. There are 35 blocks - 5 across and 7 down. What's next? Well, I think I need to make a backing for this quilt and binding - and of course it needs to be quilted.

The stack of unquilted quilts is growing. Wish I had a long-arm, or lots of money to pay for professional quilting. Am I Blue? No, just wishful.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

But first...........

This morning I was headed down to my Quilt Studio (for those who follow my blog - yes - I moved everything back downstairs) to work on the Blueberries and Cream quilt that I am doing from Judy's blog.

But first........I decided to check my mailbox and found a lime green envelope with Judy's new book, Weekend Quilts. I immediately sat down to read it from cover to cover. Since I follow Judy's blog and have been following it for quite a few years, I have already done two quilts in the book - Gratitude and Leaf Season. The next one I want to do is Walk In The Forest, and then maybe Gumdrop Mountain.
Judy not only has great quilt ideas and wonderful instructions, she also added some yummy sounding recipes and excellent advice about handling quilting time. I was inspired to get downstairs and start sewing.

But first........I turned on some lights and the electric heater. (It is very cold in my basement.) Pop! Yes, I blew a circuit breaker. And where is the circuit breaker? Behind my "design wall" which is behind a card table covered with quilts that need to be hung back up in the wardrobe.
After getting the quilts neatly stored away, moving the design wall away from the circuit box and re-setting the breaker, I decided to take the time to put the borders on the quilt that was languishing on the design wall.
But first.........I wasn't completly sure about the fabric I had pulled for the borders and had to go through my stash one more time trying different ideas. I ended up with the first fabrics I pulled. It took me several hours to slowly and carefully do the simple borders.
Finally, tired and ready to call it quits, I pushed myself to put some Blueberries and Cream blocks together and up on the design wall. They look so nice.
I could sew some more, but first I think I will read for a while - or take a nap. As Judy says in her book, "Remember that this is not a race! Take your time and enjoy the process of making a quilt!" I'm taking her advice.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Yummy Pears

The Pear Tree by Little House Needleworks
28ct Lugana Potato
DMC and Mill Hill Seed Beads

The little beads add a nice sparkle to this already colorful piece. I thoroughly enjoyed stitching this partly because I love the yellow/golds and that touch of rusty red, and partly because it went quickly - no getting bored with this one!

The designer suggests that it be stitched on 32ct and finished into an ornament, but because I stitched it on 28ct it is really too big to be an ornament and now I don't know how to finish it. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Yellow Pears

Monday my time was devoted to working on The Pear Tree by Little House Needleworks and I almost got it completed. I thoroughly enjoyed working on those lovely yellow pears. I thought about staying home all day today (Tuesday) because it was snowing, but I volunteer at church and needed to get my work done there. It is supposed to continue snowing here through the night and that should give me a good excuse to stay home all day tomorrow (Wednesday) and perhaps finish this sweet piece. Then it will be back to Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow and the highly neglected blue quilt.

Friday, February 5, 2010


Today I HAD to do the laundry - no putting it off for another day. So I trudged downstairs, sorted my dirty clothes, and began the process. Since I haven't been working down in the basement lately, my Quilting Studio has become a dumping ground and was a total mess. I do not like messy rooms. I like to be organized and neat. While the washing machine chugged away, I began the process of cleaning up, putting away, and organizing the Quilt Studio. At first it was overwhelming.

I reminded myself that you can only do one thing at a time, and therefore I picked up one thing and put it away. Then another. Then another. Little by little the surfaces got cleared off and order was beginning to be restored.

As I organized I also made a list. Mind you, I have made thousands of lists, but this was going to be the ultimate list and would be recorded on an Excel spreadsheets, printed out and put in a notebook titled "Projects". How could I not get things done that are so highly organized as to be recorded on a spreadsheet and housed in a lovely 3-ring binder?

There are:

Quilt Projects
7 projects almost ready for quilting (needing backings and/or bindings)
6 quilts ready to be quilted
14 unfinished quilt projects in various stages

Counted Cross-Stitch Projects
10 completed CC-S projects needing finishing (pillows, wall hangings, and/or framing)
15 Little House Needleworks patterns/kits ready to start
10 other CC-S patterns/kits ready to start
5 CC-S projects started

5 projects in various stages of completion - three scarves, one sweater, one shawl

Other crafts
1 wool project (wool purchased) not even designed yet.
ATCs promised for the next five months

Uncounted and not in the inventory are various plastics bins and tote bags into which I did not even look because I was already stressed enough.

Have you seen the program "Hoarders" on A & E? I'm not a hoarder, but I am a "UFOer" and perhaps I need help.

At least I got the laundry done. : )

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Block #1 done

Block #1 of Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow
by Carriage House Samplings
o n 28ct Jobelan "Lambswool"
using DMC

As experienced stitchers know, the Hawk Run Hollow series calls for 40ct Linen using silk threads. My poor eyesight and small budget keeps me from this ideal, but I really love these stitching works of art and have therefore chosen to do a few of the blocks on 28ct with the more affordable DMC threads. My plan is to finish them in a quilted wall hanging.

Today I found the Hawk Run Hollow series designer's blog and have seen a preview of the Autumn at Hawk Run Hollow piece which will be out next month. Oh my - I LOVE it.

Just too many wonderful designs to possibly get them all stitched, sewn or knitted. Meanwhile, the blue quilt awaits my attention. And speaking of the blue quilt, I sent for Judy's new book and I'm sure I will want to do all her designs too. My head is spinning.

It is all too much to think about, so I'll make popcorn and grab my Kindle for some reading time.

Monday, February 1, 2010

same old...........

Happy February First
I'm working on the same old stuff.............the blue quilt and
stitching on CaHRH and knitting on the pink scarf.
The reason none of these projects have advanced very far is because I have a LOT of other activities that occupy my time:
1. I read a lot - books and magazines.
2. I'm currently watching The West Wing DVDs again for the 3rd time.
3. I attend a lot of church activities.
4. I spend way too much time reading blogs.
5. I do an inordinate amount of Sudoku puzzles.
6. I sleep a good 8 hours every night.
7. I eat three meals a day and take time for 142 snacks.
8. I write lots of emails to family and friends.
9. I sit around and think up excuses for not getting things done.