Sunday, September 28, 2014

A New Beginning

2 patches on the wallThere is something new on my Design Wall.  These are sets of 2 2 1/2” squares.  And these are all I have sewn.

ready to sew 2But I am set up to continue (as soon as I have my sweater fronts done).  I will need to cut more so I will be setting those fabrics aside while I begin to clean out the studio.

ES labelWhile I was doing my little bit of sewing I made the label for Easy Street.  I started this quilt on 12/1/12 and completed it on 2/23/13.  It is a queen sized quilt that was full of little tiny pieces (Bonnie Hunter) so for some reason I ran out of steam before the label could be made.  However Easy Street is going into our guild quilt show in November and is required to to have a label: I guess it was finally time.

IMG_3769Last Friday my car was used to transport a Homecoming Queen in a parade.  Prior to the parade the car was “spiffed up” by my son-in-law.  Left on the floor was this sign.  I had throw it out on the driveway when I left to drive SIL back to work on Friday afternoon and for some reason didn’t see it when I came home.  On Saturday morning DH left very early for his Jr. Miss judging.  On his way to his car he found the sign and, with his crazy sense of humor, he taped it onto our storm door,  and left with a big grin on his face.  I got up later, went to take the dogs out and was confronted by this smile.  Now I do have to say that while I have been dealing with health issues DH has been doing more and more to make life easier for me.  He has taken on almost all of the cooking and does the majority of the pet care around here.  So the statement on the sign really made me smile even as I was laughing at Mr. Smiley Face.

stick bugAnd finally my nature picture.  I don’t know the official name of this bug but I call them “stick bugs.”  This one is almost 9” long and was located right outside the door of my studio.

And now I am off to knit a little, sew a little, and link with Patchwork Times.    Gari

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Needles Flashing Here

new socksI decided to show my progress on the new socks first because they are lots prettier than the sweater I am working on.  I decided to make the toes a little longer than usual because I wear mostly Birkenstocks in the winter and I wanted the beauty if the yarn to show.  I am doing a 1x1 rib on the top and that will continue on all of the ankle part.

headed tio heelI had thought I might be close to the heel but I think I have a little further to go before I begin that turn. 

continued progressHere the picture is of the back of the sweater (the completed part) lying on top of the fronts which are not yet completed.  But look how close I am getting.

44 rows to goFrom counting the “bumps” on the back I think I have 44 rows to go.  I repeatedly say that I am a slow knitter but I am trying to devote time to getting these fronts done so I can start on the sleeves.

AbbyThis is the look I get from Abby every time I pick up my knitting because it takes up puppy space on my lap.

always happySherlock, however, is always happy, no matter what.

Tomorrow I will be without my car because our son-in-law borrowed it to drive a a high school girl in a Homecoming parade.  To me this means that I “have” to spend most of the day in the studio bouncing between knitting and quilting projects.  Saturday DH will be gone all day to judge a Jr. Miss pageant.  He has been doing this for over 30 years and always has a good time with the other judges and I will have lots of “play” time.  By Sunday our lives will be back to normal which should also include knitting and quilting and eating.  Hope you also have a great weekend.  Gari

I am again linking with Patchwork Times for On The Needles Friday.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Blank Wall

There is nothing on my design wall.  I decided to take the owl blocks down as I seem to be stalled in the sashing and sewing sections together.  I really wanted to get that quilt done in time for our guild quilt show in November but then I realized that I was putting too much pressure on myself and making it no fun at all.  So I have put it away and will not bring it back out until after the first of the year.

cut squaresThis weekend I used my GO to cut strips and squares: this was done as a break from knitting (kind of a reverse from my usual time management).  My current plan is to start sewing these together, two by two, sometime this week.  No, I don’t have a plan, yet, but eventually I will have.  Meanwhile I will be sewing and probably cutting more strips and squares.

more stripsI have some strips ready to cut more but I really like to have the die full so that I am cutting fabric and not the mat.

And it seems that I have a “commission” quilt coming.  It is for DH.  He came to me today and said that he is culling his extensive t-shirt collection and wants me to begin putting together.  Several years ago I suggested a t-shirt quilt and told him to cut each shirt he wanted in the quilt up the back and then I would cut the part I wanted to use.  What did he do?  He cut each little logo out.  So this time I told him to cut “nothing”, just bring me the t-shirts as he comes across them.

In addition to cutting, sewing, and knitting, I am going to try to empty some studio furniture, that is going to a pet adoption yard sale, and then move some other furniture around.  I have been planning this for a few months but with the yard sale coming in October I need to get these things moved out onto the deck and ready to go.  The bad thing about this plan is that everything in the studio is going to be in more of a mess than it usually is.  The good thing is that I will able to build a large fabric storage wall.  Oh, won’t that be nice?

And now it is time to check out, at Patchwork Times, what lots of other people are up to, creatively.  I do hope that everyone has a great week.  Gari

Friday, September 19, 2014

Knit one, Pearl one, Pearl, Pearl, Pearl

9 12 inches frontsTalk about lack of knitting excitement.  This is my two sweater fronts at 9 1/2” with only 17 1/2” to go.  It is 1x1 rib and then pearl back over and over and over again so it is not hard, except when I get off on the 1x1 and have to rip out 3 rows, but with 106 stitches between the two fronts, it doesn’t go very fast.

Can you see that little orange marker in the lower left corner?  When I started doing the two fronts together I got confused as to which one I left off with.  So I have them hooked together so they almost knit as one.  This has made the process much easier and kept them even.

toes doneI finally got back to my new socks and got the toes done.  I am now ready to just knit on the foot part (yes, I know it is called the instep but to me it is just the foot part as opposed to the toe, heel, ankle/leg).  This yarn is very soft so I plan on having very warm feet this winter no matter what the weather.

tire planterSo for a little color I thought I would add this little vignette from our deck.  The chair is one or two we got at an arts festival in Fairhope, AL a couple of years ago.  They are really comfortable.  We bought some several years ago and wore them out so were really happy to see this family owned business still going.

The bright yellow/orange planter was purchased last weekend on our Flea Market trip in FL.  It is made from a golf cart tire.  For some reason I was impressed by this recycling use and also I had the perfect plant to put it in.  We needed a little color on our deck and this was just the thing.

Today I am taking it easy as I seem to have pulled two ribs apart and have a very painful left side.  DH bought me an elastic band to hold my ribs together but it doesn’t help much when I either cough or sneeze.  Also I have found that shallow breathing is tiring to do over an extended period of time.  That said, my hectic plan for this weekend is to spend a great deal of time knitting.

I hope everyone has a great weekend (share with me, please) and I am, as usual, linking with Patchwork TimesGari

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Quilting Slowly

off the floorBut I am about half done and the end is off the floor, something I get very excited about. 

front quiltingI love how the quilting shows so clearly on the colored pieces and then seems to melt into the black and white strips.  Close up all of the quilting shows but the mistakes do not.  Isn’t that great?

labelThis is the label for this quilt.  I didn’t put my name on it because it is a charity quilt and most places don’t want the quilt maker’s name on it. 

2 12 inch GO cutterThis is kind of funny looking, isn’t it?  Can you guess what it is?

It is the 2 1/2” Go die and mat.  I really didn’t think this was something I would want but recognizing that I really don’t enjoy cutting fabric, and that I am planning on making more kids charity quilts which frequently use 2 1/2” strips, I decided this was a more worthwhile purchase than I had previously thought.  Anyway, it arrived this week and although I haven’t had time to use it yet, I am very pleased with it.  Do you see those black lines?  They are there to set fabric on to cut at different degrees for different shapes.  Doesn’t this seem like fun?

yard sale bootyAnd here is my excuse for not getting any more done.  We spent all day Friday chasing the Flea Across Florida trail.  It seemed like a great idea but several of the sites were either not there or we couldn’t find them.  Now understand that we traveled the less populated route, which was a very pleasant ride, and never did get to the city areas.  But I have the names and addresses of several antique sites that we can visit at another time.  Anyway, we did buy this sculpture and the tomatoes (great for BLTs) and some other things I will try to have pictures of next Friday.

Be sure to stop by on Friday when I share my knitting.  And before then click on over to Patchwork Times to see the artwork of other quilters.  Have a great week, Gari

Thursday, September 11, 2014


IMG_3700Anyone remember this picture?  It was on last weeks knitting post where I gleefully announced that I thought the back was finished.

 Now, here is the real back, finally finished.  Can you imagine how I felt when I finally read the pattern and found that I had miles and miles of knitting to do before the back was finished?  But now it is bound and waiting for the next parts to join it.

sleeve startedSo I started on the first front.  I would have liked to work two at a time but each side takes 53 stitches and my needles won’t hold that many.  

IMG_3719I have started up the leg on my gray socks: I will only go up about 3” before binding off so it shouldn’t take too long.

new socksIn fact I was so excited about getting the above done that I started a new pair.  This yarn (no I don’t know what it is) is so soft it is almost difficult to knit.  But I am looking forward to wearing them when it turns cold here.

moon over studioDid you see the beautiful moon last week?  I took this picture as it was headed over our trees.  I call this picture “Moon Over My Studio.”

I hope that by next Friday I will have my gray socks done, one side of my sweater close to finished and the new socks ready for heels.  If that is the case I have a new project I am wanting to try.  Always a good idea to have something on the ready.

Now, have a great weekend.  We have plans both for being busy and getting some rest so we better get started.    Gari

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Frame Up

My design wall was used this week to put together the backing for my latest charity quilt.  The rows are 2” wide and each piece are various lengths.  I love the cat fabric at the top and the blue fabric is a Christmas theme which also runs sideways.  I figure that each of them will give the recipient something special/fun to look at.

IMG_3706Then today everything got loaded on the frame.

IMG_3703And the quilting has begun.  I am using Glide in both the needle and bobbin and all is going well.

IMG_3704The quilting design is something I saw in a video on The Quilt Show Weekend newsletter:  Angela Walters.

IMG_3705I first drew this on a white board, boy did it look awful.  However I have learned that I quilt better than I draw so I plunged ahead.  I only have 2/3rds of the first row done but I feel I will finish soon.

And I even got the label done but forgot to take a picture so I will post it next week.

And, if you read my “on the needles” posts, you will want to catch next Friday’s post where I will be sharing the “funny on me” joke.

As usual I will be linking with Patchwork Times and then I hope everyone will be having a great week.  Gari

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Knit One, Pearl One

IMG_3700Look, I have the whole back of my sweater done, I think.  I am knitting it in the studio and found that I had left the pattern in the house so I will be rereading it after I write this to be sure.  If so I will be binding it off tomorrow and casting on one of the front pieces.  They will go faster since they are just a little over half of the back.  I still can’t get over how thick this sweater is going to be: it will surely keep me warm in the winter.

IMG_3701I also just finished the heel on my gray socks so I am starting up the ankle and will be finished with these soon,

IMG_3699And I did go out and buy some bright sock yarn along with some more fall-like yarn.  I would have started a new pair of socks except that the battery in my scale died and I keep forgetting to get a new one but it is now on our “to do” list for tomorrow.  Then I will be weighing the balls and then split them by weight so I can start my next two toe up socks.

I also have two new washcloths which I knitted while I was waiting at the doctor’s office this week.  It was interesting that I was the only one there who brought something to do.

And now it is time to close this and get busy on a quilt back that has been yelling at me to finish.  So have a great weekend and I’ll see you Sunday.   Gari