Sunday, June 29, 2014

Back Home & Slow Starting

I am back home from visiting my mother and celebrating her birthday. I was there for 3 days and the first 2 were spent just sitting around and talking.  It was very relaxing and fun.  But by the third day we were both ready to get out and have someone else fix the food.  We shopped and ate before returning home to sit and talk some more.  All in all I drove 982 miles and was ready to get back home to hubby, puppies, cats and birds all of whom seemed happy to have me back.

ready to quiltWhile I was on the road I took inventory of what I thought I needed to get done and when.  So the first thing I did when I finally got into the studio (lots of naps going on here) was to load this quilt.  I still need to wind some bobbins and hope to get that and the first stitches started on Monday.

stick stitching 2I even started stitching the branches on the owl block.  I didn’t realize how difficult it was going to be to see which branch needed stitching.  I still have 2 corners to go and I did pull out the next block to see what I needed to make it’s frame but I haven’t started working on it yet.

Instead I cleared the cutting table and put pieces of flannel on there to decide what I will be making with them.

new sweaterI also have been spending time with my knitting.  I have been working my way down the yoke of this sweater.  It is hard to see the the color, brown with orange highlights, but I love it.  I am not hurrying to get this one done anytime soon, I am just enjoying  the process.

I also have been knitting on my new socks, which you can see here, and it is fun to be back knitting them.  I plan to be looking for some really bright yarn for the next pair: I wear Birks and Crocs so in the winter socks are a must and what's better than sock I knit myself?

My plans for this week are to get the above projects moving along and then to work on a plan for the projects that have deadlines (more than I care to have).  Remember I have 3 family babies on the way, a quilt show to get ready for, and, of course, there is Christmas.  I need to get organized RIGHT NOW!!

Have a great week and be sure to drop by Patchwork times to check out the creativity of others.  Gari

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Little Visit

IMG_3559 This is the view from my mother’s new bungalow by a small lake in FL.  Isn’t this a peaceful way to wake up in the morning?

IMG_3560And looking in another direction.  She has four large windows so can choose her view.

IMG_3558She even has a screened deck so she can sit outside without dealing with any bugs.  I am so happy for her!!

IMG_3561We have been celebrating her 92nd birthday for the last three days.  Today we stopped at a place called Fat Jacks and sampled their Rubens.  These were her idea and they were great.  Then we traveled a couple of miles to another place (forgot the name) for pie with ice cream.  Not a bad way to celebrate, right?

green worsted socksAnd of course I am knitting while here.  I am working on the foot part of my worsted socks (rib on top and SS on the foot bed).  I still am not sure I will ever again do a provisional cast on I can see that it leaves the toe stronger than other cast on’s.     I also have completed two dishcloths but did not take a picture yet.

I will be leaving tomorrow morning.  Mother wants to have breakfast out but with a 9 hour drive I probably will just leave from here.  There are a couple of places I would like to stop on the way and it looks like I could, again, hit some heavy rain (100 miles of solid blinding rain on the way down) so I need as much time as possible in order to get home before it gets dark.  I am always afraid that once it gets dark I will get sleepy, especially after a long drive.

I hope everyone has had a productive week and I’ll be seeing you again Sunday night.   Gari

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ready, Set, Go

almost packedI am almost packed for my weeks visit with my mother.  We will be celebrating her 92nd birthday as well as doing some shopping and visiting.  She recently moved into a new house so I am excited to be seeing it and, if necessary, helping to unpack some of the boxes.

3 knitting projectsI also have packed three knitting projects: green socks (just started on the foot), brown sweater (working on the yoke), and dishcolths (bought new yarn).  I probably won’t get a lot done  but if we have some just sitting time I can keep my hands busy.

I also have completed the laundry, did the dishes, watered all the plants so that pretty much all DH has to do while I am gone is care for himself and the puppies, cats, and birds.  And this is why you see him resting
while I was getting it all together.   Be right back

IMG_3544And speaking of being busy, I started working on my replacement for the HSTs some of the owls were surrounded by in the designer’s layout.  First I cut strips of my tree fabric.  The strips are longer than the background fabric: you will see why soon.

IMG_3545I then backed the end sections of the top and bottom strips with fusible and cut out the dark parts, not an easy job, by the way.

first frameWhen I was done this was the frame I came up with.  I am so excited at how this came out.  As you can see there are only 6 owls that will need frames so with one down we are on our way, again.

baby quilt boundBecause I have another quilt to put on the frame I decided to finish this little baby quilt.  It is not a very large quilt, based on how much fabric I had, so I decided to leave the tumblers uncut. 

bindingOf course that meant that I had to bind all those angles.  I guess I really like a challenge cuz it was one.  And I used leftover 30s binding (I keep using that fabric but I can’t use it up  Sarcastic smile)

labelI even got the label on it.  This quilt is going to a student of my husband’s so I didn’t put my name on it, just the date.  The baby isn’t due until October so this one will have to wait a while to be loved.

pick a shelfOn a completely unrelated note, here is Stubby, sleeping in his 4th floor loft. She can be found in any one of these shelves which keeps her up and away from the dogs when they are out on the deck.

So I will be up early tomorrow to pile everything in the car and hit the road.  It is about a 9 hour drive, longer if I stop at a quilt shop or antique mall, so I need to get an early start. 

Have a great week and be sure to check in at Patchwork Times.     Gari

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Owl Success

all doneAm I excited?  You better know I am.  All of my owls are now all complete and on the design wall.  I still have stitching to do on two of them which will happen this week.  I then will begin looking at how to sash the blocks which go into sets of 4 prior to all going together.  I even found the fabric I had been using for the eyes: of course it was in the box with all the other “owl fabrics” I just couldn’t see it.  And now I will be able to return it and all of other fabrics I have used for these owls back into the stash filing system …. yea!

IMG_3532Of course some of it won’t make it into the regular stash but will be relegated to the scrap bin but with applique that doesn’t mean it won’t make an appearance again.

IMG_3533And this is how my fabric becomes swiss cheese.  It really took me awhile to be able to cut perfectly good fabric like this: now I have no problem at all.

So, does this look like an owl to you?  When I put these pieces together I saw an owl but when I looked at the picture it just looked like a mess.

owl puzzle
But a little careful trimming and these “puzzle” pieces become an owl and a smile appears on my face.

And as for our other owl project, I found my light blue minkie fabric and would have it already on the frame but instead I took DH out for a Father’s Day lunch.  I guess I had my priorities right, yes?

The plan for this week is to load this quilt and start the quilting, sash the other little quilt (it will be quilted right behind this one on the tail end of this backing).  I also will be finishing the applique stitching as well as squaring the owl blocks.

I will be sharing on Patchwork Times and What a Hoot.  Drop by and see what others are doing.    Gari

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Needles, etc.

new toe-up socksWell, this mess doesn’t look like much, does it?  This is try 1, of 3 tries, at beginning a new pair of toe-up socks using a beginning method new to me.  Have you heard of Very Pink Knits?  Staci is a knitting teacher who writes patterns and shares techniques through YouTube videos.  Anyway, I tried remembering the video directions and had problems.  So then I tried just doing my own cast-on, which worked but I felt that I had failed my “test” so I pulled it out again, watched the video again and then got started over.  I know have the toes almost done but it is time to watch the third video about how to finish up the short rowing on the toe. Then I will have the easy time doing the foot.

new sweater yarnAnd here is the new yard I got for my next sweater.  I am going to repeat the last sweater, this time with a yarn that matches the pattern.  I know that it will be easy and just the right thing to work on while Mother and I are visiting later this month.

on backgroundI did get an owl completed except for her eyes.  I can’t seem to find the fabric I’ve used for the pupils so for the time being I am pretending that she just had her eyes dilated. 

new flannelI did buy a little more fabric this week: flannel for receiving blankets.  This pair I just love so I bought enough for at least 2 blankets.

I didn’t get as much done this week as I had hoped but I have started feeling better.  Today I tottered around without the cane (it felt a little lonesome all alone in the corner).  But I was glad to have it close at hand because a couple of times I thought I was going to need it.  My daughter, the nurse, said she thought it may be bursitis although I thought that only happened in the shoulder.

We have no plans for this weekend so I am hoping that I will have a lot of sewing/knitting time.  And it would be all right, to to have a little antiquing time, not that we need more stuff.  Smile with tongue out

Have a great weekend and see you again on Monday.


I am sharing this link at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Off The Wall

My Design Wall entry this week is this completed quilt top currently laid out on the HQ frame.  I am really pleased with all the color on this one and I am especially excited with the border fabric.

love bordersIt took me a couple of days before I could cut into it.  It is directional so I couldn’t use it in the blocks but I think it is perfect for the borders.

IMG_3520I thought it was funny that I had to decide a top and bottom for this quilt (not necessary on a D9P) because I had to decide how to handle the top and bottom borders.   Each of the borders has the owls going in the same direction.

Now it is time to quilt but I think I will be buying new backing fabric for this: I am thinking light blue Minkie.  I already have the binding fabric so sometime this week I will make the binding just so I will be ready with the backing fabric is found.

browns collectedI spent some time today collecting brown fabrics.  I think there are a few more hiding around here but I need all I can find so I can pick the fabrics for my last 4 applique owls.  I also need to work on how I am going to frame the ones that originally were to be surrounded by HSTs.  I have a couple of ideas but will need to see if I have the fabric to carry them out.

new best friendAnd lastly I want to introduce you to my new best friend.  DH bought her for me and she has been so good to me, helping me to get around more easily.

I am doing much better but really need the cane.  It is funny that sometimes when I am working in the studio I forget that it is hard for me to put my weight on one leg and then have to hobble around to find where I left the cane.

I have my trip to visit my mother planned for two weeks from now so I am really hoping that I continue to improve.  Mother and I like to go out to eat, shop, and go out to eat and I would hate to hold her back.  Laughing out loud

My plan for this week is to set up the owls, start a new pair of socks, and cut fabric for two more baby quilts.  I also need to begin designing labels for these quilts.  I am still reading sweater patterns but hope to have something started before I leave for Mother’s.

As usual I will be liking up with Patchwork Times’ Design Wall post.  Now, have a Great Week.   Gari

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Stitches of All Kinds

done-way bigAnd finally it is done.  Here is my summer sweater, finished. I love how it looks. 

washclothsI am currently knitting washcloths while I read and reread the new sweater pattern.  I want to be sure I completely understand it before I begin another large knitting project.  I have also been looking at a new sock pattern and that may take precedence. 

owls a readyMeanwhile I have prepped the last four owls of the owl BOM.  This weekend I will be getting out all of the fabrics that I may use for them and begin the hunt.  It always takes me a long time to get just the right combination for each owl so I may not get them all done in one week, but I will be really glad to see these blocks come together.

opqr readyAnd while I was at it I prepped the June blocks for the Alphabet BOM.  I am way behind with this one but once the owls are done I plan to get busy catching up with this one.

rows sewnI also got the rows sewn on this baby quilt.  They will be sew together tomorrow and then it will be time to put borders on.  I think I would like to put a blue minkie on the back but, oh my, that means a trip to the fabric store.  Oh, well, it’s just a little sacrifice.

PDF tools And now, as promised, how I put check marks on my owls picture.  On the PDF page there is a section to the right called “Tools.”  If you click on the word “sign” you get this page.  Click on the T and you can add text.  Click on the checkmark and you can add a checkmark.  You must click for each checkmark.  These are the only tools I have tried so I can’t say anything about the last two.  I think all of these tools have been added on the recent updates.

As you can see I have quite an agenda for next week, and maybe the week after, but I am really excited to see these things getting done.  Especially since I have a couple of new projects I would like to add.  Send a kiss

So lets all have a great weekend and get a lot of creating done.   Gari

I am linking with Patchwork Times.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Design Wall, Plans, and Progress

IMG_3502Would you believe that I have two quilts on the design wall today.  When I got the D9P on the wall I saw that it was going to be a lot bigger than I wanted.  So I didn’t cut up the last 6 9 patches and am planning on sashing them as a separate quilt.  The smaller one is going to get a 5” border, the larger one will have a 3” border so they will be about the same size.  This week I will begin sewing the blocks together and cut the sashing and border fabric.  I must be humming right along.

And it hasn’t been easy.  On Friday DH and I went to the movies and saw Maleficent.  I am not an Angelina Jolie fan but I really liked her in this movie.  Anyway, we were away all day so no sewing or knitting happened.  Then on Saturday I woke up almost unable to step on my left leg, my hip really.  This had happened a few months ago and then got better but I didn’t like it any more this time than last.   Today it has been some better and I am able to get around with the use of a “cane,” something I fashioned to use as a cane.  I am trying to not overdo.

binding offSo one of my sitting down projects has been this sweater.  However I am almost done with it.  I have started the bind off and am about 3/4 done.  I guess it is about time to start reading the pattern for the next sweater.  I didn’t do it this time because there were things I didn’t understand.  I hope I will do better this time.

owls-checked offOne of my other “sitting” tasks was to figure out what owls I haven’t made.  There is only one more coming but I seem to have 4 missing.  It was kind of neat when I figured out how to check off the pictures in a PDF.  Anyway, while I am sewing blocks together I am going to try to concentrate on these owls and see if I can get them all completed.

If I am up and moving tomorrow I will be doing laundry and dishes but believe me I’ll also be working on my projects.  Hope you will, too.     Gari

Linking with Patchwork Times.