Monday, March 29, 2010

Ready for quilting

My dear visiting cat, Elliot, enjoys waking me up around 5:00am. After I feed him he goes downstairs, snuggles up against Grace, and sleeps the rest of the morning. I've shown this quilt top before, but today I got it out to prepare the backing and binding for quilting. Elliot decided to pose on the quilt and then I couldn't get him off to measure the size of the backing.
Here he is, unconcerned that he is in the way. I pieced the center of the backing with leftover fabric from the quilt top.
The sides of the backing are this pretty polka dot fabric.
Getting up at 5:00am means I either go to bed early or take an afternoon nap - or both! A Queen needs her beauty sleep.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Cat company

Elliot, the visiting cat, keeps me company all day long.

He waits next to Mr. Bear while I shower and get dressed for the day.
He cuddles up next to Grace (the colorful bear in my Quilt Studio) while I sew.
Comfortably resting on a side chair, he keeps a watchful eye on me as I sit at the computer.
Every where I go, Elliot comes running, my constant companion.

Friday, March 19, 2010

First of Two - Done

Our Bee exchanged blocks from which I made two quilts. This is the first one. Yes, there is a little ripple in the border, but I'm hoping a good washing will either get rid of that obvious ripple or give me nice ripples all over. A good washing will also eliminate the batting fuzz and the cat hair.
Speaking of the cat....... I think this is his official approval of my quilt.
The backing is bits of scraps.
It was a nice day today so Elliot and I sat out on the back porch for a while. He sniffed and sniffed and sniffed. I wonder what on earth he was smelling.
Today I am grateful for sunshine and the sound of a purring cat.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Elliot is back......

Elliot is back for a short visit and in no time he was in my lap, helping me with my binding.Helping? Well, not really. Just like he is not much of a help sitting in my lap as I try to do this post. He is purring up a storm, so I know he is happy.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Last year I took care of two cats for a while - Elliott and Rudi. Rudi has since died, but Elliot is coming back to my house for a short visit while his humans vacation. He will arrive this Friday and stay for 10 days. I'm looking forward to his sweet companionship - and the opportunity to take cat pictures!Do you think he will remember me? Will he still smell his brother on my furniture? Will he sleep against my legs like he used to do so that I was afraid to move and wake him up? I'm sure this little creature will rule my house for 10 days and I'll have lots of stories to tell.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

From problems to solutions.....

Problem #1 - after pin basting this whole quilt, I turned it over to check the back and there were two enormous wrinkles right down the middle. Solution #1 - unpin the whole quilt, unwrinkle the backing, iron it to the batting, carefully re-pin entire quilt.

Problem #2 - after cleaning the bobbin area of my sewing machine, I could not get the bobbin case firmly in place. Solution #2 - looked very carefully at all the pieces and noticed the little section where the case clicks into place did not seem to be fully in place, so gave it a firm extra push and "click" it was now firmly in place and ready to sew correctly.

At last I am now in the process of doing the actual quilting. I chose to do straight lines even though the exchange blocks are not all perfect and following the block lines means swerving a little to the left or right now and then. Pulling all that bulk through the machine is tiring on the shoulders and neck, however, in a few hours I managed to get more than a third of the quilting done.
Soon it will be ready for binding - my favorite part of the whole quilting process.
Wishing you many blessings and happy quilting............

Saturday, March 6, 2010

It's a Pair

A pair of socks.
One for each foot.
Bulky, heavy socks.
Warm socks.
Wool socks.
Hand knit socks.
(trying to be humble.....) I knit them myself.
(I'm smiling and bowing as the applause begins to fade.)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Making progress...

Progress on projects at my house.......

Pin basting a quilt and
knitting the second sock.
Progress is almost as much fun as finished.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

BQ Expert

Yes, I have declared myself a BQ expert. I have struggled with a poor opinion of my workmanship and constantly put myself down with nasty self-talk. As I was machine quilting this little Sudoku quilt I kept telling myself that I was at the Kindergarten level on a scale of 1st grade to graduate school.

Nasty self-talk was making me miserable and I really don't want to be miserable. So I decided to create a new kind of quilting, of which I will be the expert. This style of quilting is formally called "Bonnie Quilting", or informally called "BQ". The stitches are creatively uneven. No duplicates will exist in the universe. BQ is unique unto itself. One of a kind - original - daringly different.
Loopy loops with varigated thread in the Sudoku squares.
Curlicues with lime green thread on the sides.
Long loops on the top and bottom.
Feeling free and happy, your BQ expert.........

Monday, March 1, 2010

One sock

Finished - one sock - using Cascade 220 Paints yarn on #3 needles and free instructions found on Ravelry. Credit for the instructions go to Mary L. McCall.

Please don't look too closely as there are a few mistakes. I was really hoping to do this sock in two evenings, but alas, it took me 3 evenings and one morning. It even fits my foot! Guess I'll just have to make that second one soon so that I can wear them before Spring arrives.
Two hand-knit socks will equal Happy Feet!