Saturday, April 30, 2016

April Finish

Here is the finished "rug."  I didn't do a lot of quilting on it, just enough to hold the three pieces together.

The edge is only 1/8" and for the first time I was concerned that I was going to stitch right onto my finger.  The little area wanted to bunch up, especially at the corners, and not move.  So I had my fingers there to help it.  I had to keep reminding myself to take my foot off the pedal so I wouldn't accidently sew me onto the rug.  OUCH!! 

Lastly is the backing.  This was a fat quarter that came in a bundle years ago.  I really didn't like it but it seemed perfect for this application and shouldn't show much dirt:  this little rug is going to reside on my craft table which gets quite messy.

Later today I will be taking pictures of my knitted shell.  It is not finished but the front and back are all done and seamed.  I think I will try to put it on a mannequin for pictures.  That post will probably show up tomorrow.

Have a great weekend everybody!  Gari 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

This Weeks Projects

 I am getting really excited about this shell.  I have been knitting both the front and back but I will shortly have to work just on the back while I knit in the arm holes and then the neckline.  I decided to do the back first as it seems to be easier and will prepare me for the front.
I have been doing a little on these socks but because I won't be wearing socks for the next 6 months my interest has flagged. 

I also need to knit a new hat as my last one was stolen and my head got cold this past winter.

I did make the top of the second Pat Sloan mug rug.  It is all appliqued but still needs to be sandwiched, quilted and bound.  I can't tell you how much fun it is to be working with fabric again.
 So much fun that I have started working on Esther Aliu's mystery quilt, Sweet 16.  Here I am with pieces of the block #1.  They are supposed to be something like éclairs but right now they look more like hamburgers.
But now we have three sets of three red velvet éclairs, chocolate éclairs, and vanilla éclairs.  They will eventually be piled up on a plate and kept under a glass dome.  Mine are a little mundane but I just couldn't make multicolored cakes like Esther's original ones. 
I will try to make up for it with the lace I found to attach to the bottom of the cake platter.  This is the leftover lace from a quilt I made several years ago called Baskets & Lace.

The only thing that has been hindering my sewing time is that we are having such wonderful Spring weather.  And I frequently find myself sitting on the deck, knitting.  The puppies love it that I am out there as they can play in the fenced in area and bark at every car that passes.

That being said, I'll close and knit a few rows before I turn in.
Night ....... Gari

PS: Linking with Patchwork Times: On The Needles.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Gone and Back`

This was Spring Break week for my hubby.  So what did I plan for us?  To take a trip to Lakeland, FL to visit my mother.

When I got sick last year I requested no visitors.  I was too weak to entertain and I didn't want people to come just to stare at the hollow shell I had become (some exaggeration there).  My mother, who is now 93, really wanted to come but with Eric being my primary care giver, as well as teaching 2 days a week, and everyone else working, and no guest room, I didn't have anyone available to provide transportation or to help with any problems she might have.  So with Eric available to travel with me I suggested that we go to see her so she could see how well I have become.

We had a very nice visit and lunch at Longhorn but by the end of the day all were tired so it was a good time for a night's rest and a day's travel home.

Over the years we have traveled several times to Lakeland, Kissimmee, and Orlando so we know I 10 and I 75 quite well.  And our primary travel interests have been antique malls.  We have seen several come and go but two have remained constant and we time our travels to be able to visit them both.  This year Eric was concerned that I wouldn't be able to walk long enough to really enjoy the experience so he rented a wheelchair that he could push me around in.  It folded up and fix nicely in the car so off we went to renew our enjoyment of travel.

When we got to the first mall there was a sign on the door that stated that we could bring a dog inside so it wouldn't be left in a hot car.  Well, we just happened to have a dog with us, our 17 year old, blind Shih Tzu that Eric knew no one could care for except him (probably right, I can't).  So we bundled her up and brought her with us.  
This is Buffy and me at Webbs.  As you can see in this blurry picture, we used the wheelchair to push the dog around.  But I found it so easy to push that I used it more as a walker than a wheelchair and I was very grateful to have it.  Walking or standing makes my back hurt and having this to balance me and to take some of the pressure off was wonderful.  We didn't buy much but as soon as I am fully unpacked I will show the one thing I got.

 Here is the finished mug rug I completed prior to our trip.  I gifted it to my sister-in-law for her birthday, today.  She is quite crafty herself so it took me a long time to be willing to share what I make but for the last several years we have become a mutual admiration society, of two.

 And today I started working on making another one for myself.  Please note that I wrote "petal" on each of the petal pieces so I wouldn't think they were leaves this time.  Although I really like the first one and would have kept it and used it if Cera hadn't had a birthday right as I was finishing it.  Oh well, I guess I will just have a boring regular flower. 

Have a great weekend everyone........ Gari

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Oh, The Productive Life

 I have been sewing in the studio!!  Pat Sloan offered this little flower in a pot pattern and I decided it would make a great mug rug for the craft table I have recently set up in the great room.  I drew out all the pieces on my fusible and then spent some time picking out fabrics.  I even ironed them all on the wrong side of the fabric, something that does not always happen even though that is the right thing to do.  Just as I finished with the iron I realized that the six little pieces were not supposed to be leaves but petals.  The original plan was for a yellow flower.  Opps!!  Anyway, I now am calling this an art piece.

I quilted the piece using a quilting stitch on my domestic machine: I think it really looks more like chicken tracks than anything else.

 I used a small blanket stitch for the applique and I think it turned out pretty good.  I did fill in between the petals: I will show that in the next post as I still need to put a binding on it.  Anyway, I now think this is going to be a gift so I am going to start another one for me. 

I made one other thing this week, well really 6 other things.  It was DH's 75th birthday Tuesday.  He has always loved apricot pies, something it is difficult to find.  And he married a woman who is not a pie baker.  But for the last few months I have become obsessed with cooking shows.  I stopped cooking when I got sick and haven't even tried to pick it up again but Tuesday I made apricot turnovers.  Eric had to teach that morning so I pulled out my packaged pie rounds, rolled them out and cut pretty large circles in them.  I cooked the apricots (canned) with artificial sweetener, water, and a little cinnamon.  After I folded the rounds over the apricots and crimped the edges I coated them with some butter (no eggs in the house for an egg wash) an baked them in a 350 oven for 11 minutes.  I'm told they are very good and they must be OK as they are disappearing.  I wanted to make something that was easy to handle and/or even to eat on the way to work.  And they made a real surprise for a man who has really been a rock for me as I attempted to work my way back to a somewhat normal life.

I got an early start to my day today as we had an electrician come to fix the outlets that were not conducting electricity.  We have a modular home and I had suggested that the electric plug between the two modules had come unplugged (this had happened before).  My sweet hubby disagreed with me but he was not here when the electrician came so I sent him under the house to see if that was it.  AND I WAS RIGHT, again.  The electrician was here for only 13 minutes.  I texted sweet hubby to tell him the outcome: he texted back "don't you get tired of always being right?"  Never.    Gari  

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Busy But Not Overly Productive

This is how far I have gotten on Gentle Rain.  I have the bottom band (32 rows, a garter stitch band (8 rows) and the beginning of the body of the shell (maybe 2”) of SS knitting.  I will be doing this for about 9” before I get to the beginning of the arm holes.  I am doing  some decreasing to make a fitted waist area (4 rows per decrease).  Anyway, I am on my way up, when I get a chance to work on it.

Monday we took my HQ 16 to be serviced, first time in the 10 years I have had it.  Just prior to my getting sick last Spring it started cutting the thread about every 20 – 30 stitches.  I was 3/4 of the way through a small lap quilt and got pretty frustrated.  About that same time I found that I couldn’t stand for very long so even taking the bobbin out and cleaning the area was difficult.  Then I just found myself spending my days sitting in the living room and eventually in the hospital and bedridden.

Over the past couple of months my strength has begun to come back, I can walk better and I think my standing strength will eventually return.  So I decided I better get that quilting machine up and running as I have some tops that need quilting, some blocks that need putting together and some ideas than need to be showing up in fabric.  And, of course, I have a studio that really needs to be cleaned up, especially the cutting table and ironing board.

Oh, and I forgot that Wednesday I got a call that the HQ was cleaned and oiled and stitching so she was ready to come home.  It is a 180 mile round trip each time but well worth it.  My machine is now back on the rails and all I have to do is plug in the stitch regulator and reattach the bottom of the quilt and I think I will be ready to finish that little quilt.  I do need to thank our son in law who came over both times to help carry the machine from studio to car and then from car to studio.  

In addition to quilting, I hope, I need to find something I can make and finish before the end of the month.  I didn’t finish anything last month and nothing looks like it will be finished this month unless I get to it.  I think I am going to get back to doing some machine embroidery.  I have several shirts that need embellishing, maybe even with applique.  Oh, the ideas that are buzzing around in my head. 

Our weekend will again be graced by our oldest son and his wife.  They have been coming to see us monthly ever since I got sick.  Initially they came to see how I was doing but now I think they come just because they like us.  They arrive on Friday night and leave on Saturday afternoon: they have major responsibilities at their church so they have to be there every Sunday.  And they drive 500+ miles monthly for these visits.  You know that makes us very grateful.  So we will be having a wonderful weekend, how about you?  Gari

Linking with Patchwork Times.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Gentle Rain Shell

 I have started a new project.  It is going to be a shell and I have already knit the first 16 rows.
 This shows the first 32 rows plus a garter stitch band.  I really do have the holes but my knitting is compressed because I am once again doing the front and back at the same time. 

                                                   I will work both until I get to the neckline and then I will have to work each separately.  But I have a while to go before I get to that. 
This is the yarn I bought.  It is so soft.  And it is quite "nubby" with a lot of different thicknesses.  I think this is going to make a very interesting sweater.
I am showing the label because I would like to know what this yarn is made of and I don't read German.  Any help would be appreciated.

This project is going to be a studio project because at least while I am knitting the last 16 rows of this band, where I have to do a lot of counting and I need to not have dogs jumping on my lap.  After this I have the garter rows and then flat stitches until the neck.  There is a little shaping but I am not concerned about that part so it may be brought back to the house and evening knitting.  I guess we will just have to see how it goes.

And now I am off to clean off my craft table so I can learn how to use a new toy.  When I have mastered it, insert laughter here, I will review it here.

Have a great weekend.  We will be visiting with our grandson, his wife, and their terrific son, one of our great grandchildren.  Should be lots of fun!   Gari

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Knitting Along

 As of today I am almost done with the sleeves of the Milo sweater.  I will then be ready to block the pieces and put them together.  I think I will have it done in time to not need it until next Fall.  The good thing is that I always need something in the Summer due to the air conditioning in most restaurants. 

I have been working on these socks but only a couple of times a week.  I am really happy with the matching stripes, something I rarely can accomplish.  And since these are the second pair I have been able to get from this yarn they are really another pair of leftover socks.

 I was a little worried that they might be coming out too small but then I stuck my fingers in and they really expanded to just the right size.  Since taking this picture I have knit three stripes more so I am almost ready to start the heels.

 We did have a little excitement here last Monday.  A storm blew over and around 5:30 pm we lost electricity.  About an hour later our daughter and son-in-law arrived saying "your driveway is gone."  It seems that a couple of cedar trees had fallen.  Looks impressive, doesn't it.

 This is what the trees looked like the next morning.  Our neighbor things a small tornado took them out: one of the trees did look twisted off.
This one was pulled right out of the ground. 

We had to drive around the pile of trees on Tuesday but on Wednesday the "tree people" were here for 8 hours cutting and cleaning up the debris.  

I asked them to leave me the trunks as they are very straight.  I am hoping to get them cut into planks that we can do something with: the wood is beautiful.  I also had the men cut me two slabs from one of the stumps and hope to have small tables made from them. (pictures to follow).