Thursday, May 29, 2014

Almost Off the Needles

almost doneLook, I am almost done.  I think I will be able to have it bound off by the end of the month.

halfway to the endI think I only have about 10 rows of garter stitch rows: I am trying to do 3 rows a day but will have to bump it up in the next two days.  Disappointed smile

blocks in processI have been working on my owl baby blanket: see it on the left side of the design wall.  I tried to come up with a mixed up layout but I don’t really like it so will be changing it when I get all the blocks made.

owls a plentyI did think it was funny that I have two owl quilts on the design wall and see how different they are.

applique startingI did take a little time out to begin the applique for the last owl.  I am always impressed at how a block changes as the applique stitches are applied, kind of like the impact of quilting stitches.

new needle holderI was really happy to have found a use for the owl vase my daughter gave me for Mother’s Day.  It is now the keeper of the straight knitting needles.  I love being able to see them all in one place.  I don’t have a lot of straight needles: I tend to use double pointed and/or circular.  But I am gaining a larger collection as I start new projects.

Also in this picture is my Sigmund Freud doll, a picture of me with my parents and a picture of DH & I with individual pictures of our 4 children.  In my studio I am not only surrounded by my current creativity but also by my own history.  No wonder I am usually happy when I am in there.  Laughing out loud 


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Almost Dones

May owlHere is what is on my Design ironing board this weekend.  The design wall is, again, full of past owls but I am not showing it because  they have been seen so many times before.  I think there is only 1 or 2 more and then we begin looking at layout settings.  Anyway, after a couple hours of drawing, cutting, picking out fabric, fusing, and cutting again, here he is.  He is not fused together yet but you get a pretty good idea of how he will look.  He is pretty big, about 18” tall.  I haven’t cut the background yet but will tomorrow and then it will be time to applique him down.

tumbler baby quiltedI did get the tumbler baby quilt quilted and now it is ready for squaring and binding.

quilting close upI quilted this with the same loops and stars as I did the Boots quilt.  The thread I used is a red/white/and blue variegated cotton.  I used Quilter’s Dream 70/30 and it has a flannel backing.

I have knit several more rows on my sweater and am within 2 rows, I think, of starting the garter stitch section which will be the band around the bottom.  At the rate I am going I should be done this week.  Then the next thing I will be doing is a warm soak and blocking.  I know it needs to do whatever shrinking it is going to do before I start wearing it.  Of course I really don’t need a sweater now that summer seems to have arrived: 95 today with 91% humidity.

As I am writing this I have printed out the pattern for a pair of “easy fingerless gloves.”  And I have two new sock patterns that I think I would like to try.  I am collecting fairly easy patterns so I can have some hand work to do when I go to visit my mother next month.  She has recently moved into a bungalow and will be celebrating her 92nd birthday:  seems like a good time for a visit.

I think I have decided to make a D9P quilt with my owl fabric.  It is so easy and yet makes a beautiful quilt.  If I make the 9 patches 6” the uncut blocks are large and show off the focus fabric beautifully.  So the fabric cutting should begin early in the week and maybe I will have something different on the Design Wall next week.

Have a great week and be sure to drop by Patchwork Times to see more quilting inspirations.     Gari

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Knitting, Quilting, and Stuff

5-22 sweaterThis sweater is really coming along.  I have not been spending as much time knitting as I had been so the progress has slowed, a bit.

only 3 inches to goHowever, I am very close to where the pattern suggests to stop the body and begin the band.  However, I really like my sweaters to be a little longer, and I am adjusting for shrinkage after washing (it cotton you know) so I plan to go to 14” and then around 3” of garter stitching for the band.

I did do some pattern window shopping and have decided that my next project is going to be fingerless gloves.  My studio doesn’t have central heat or air and in the winter it takes some time to warm up.  I think that having most of my hands covered might make it easier to get in there and get busy even while the heaters are getting it warm.  Anyway, just for variety, I may start the gloves later this month.

MD baby LidhMeanwhile I went fabric shopping.  I mentioned in my last post that our family has two babies on the way but since then a third one has been announced.  The babies are due in August, November, and December.  So, I am in baby quilt planning mode.  I really want do to pieced quilts so am open to any pattern suggestions.

kid fabricI only know the sex of the August baby so am buying neutrals.  I love the bottom fabric, it may show up on more than one quilt.

flannels  I also bought flannels.  I watched a video tutorial from the Missouri Quilt Company on a self binding receiving blanket and thought, if it wasn’t too difficult, I might make a couple of them.

self binding recieving blanket

Here is the first one, completed.  Isn’t it beautiful?  I will probably be running back to the fabric store to get more of these two because I love them so much.  Anyway, this is not hard to do except that I washed my flannel and then it was not quite 40”.  For the next one I will wait to wash it until after the blanket is completed.  Or, I will just reduce the size by 1”.  Who knows?

morning bathAnd my puppy picture for today.  As I was getting dressed this morning, and obviously prior to making my bed, I looked over to see his.  Abby is giving Sherlock his morning bath.  And, unlike many young boys, he is just lying there, taking it.  This really does make for one very happy family.

Other knitting ideas can be seen at the link up at Patchwork Times.  Have a great rest of the the week. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

May 19th Design Wall

design wall 5-19-14Sometime this past week I realized that I needed to make a baby quilt.  In fact I realized that I currently need to make three: DH wants one for a student he is exceptionally proud of and there are two pregnant women in our family.  So here is the start of baby quilt #1.  The white tumblers are part of the group I “found” when routing in my white fabric stash: I do not remember cutting them. 

tumbler bearsThe bear fabric has been in my stash for ages and I cut up all I had.  This is as big as this quilt can get.  In love

sewing starts
I did start sewing these together but it was late Sunday afternoon so I didn’t get very far.

I do plan to do some fabric shopping later this week for backing for this little quilt and for the two others.

Esther tablerunner beginsI have decided to start another new project, a table runner designed by Esther Aliu.  She designs wonderful applique quilts but they are way beyond my abilities so I was excited when she offered her yahoo group a table runner for Easter.  Of course it is way past Easter but I think I can do this one so I have kind of started.  I am going to work slowly on this but it should show up every once in a while.

our house behind the treesThis is a picture of our house.  Look closely, through our trees, and you can see it.  I am showing this because Saturday evening no where looked so good. 


Saturday afternoon DH and I went to Pensacola (120 miles) to check out a couple of antique malls, looking for small acrylic shelving (no luck).  We had a great afternoon and got home around 7pm.  However, upon getting out of the car I realized that I didn’t have my purse.  We decided that I had left it at a frozen yogurt shop way back in FL.  I called and they had found my purse so we jumped in the car and again headed toward the Gulf coast.   We finally got home, to stay, a little after midnight and even in the dark, our home never looked better.   Nothing like a little excitement to spice up life, huh?

Linking with Patchwork Times for great quilting inspiration.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Eric’s Boots: Blogger’s Quilt Festival

Eric's BootsThis is my entry into the Blogger’s Quilt Festival.  As always my last finished quilt is my favorite thus I present Eric’s Boots, my current favorite.

upper halfThe boots were a BOM from Moose on the Porch in 2010, I think.  I had a great time picking out the fabrics for each of the boots, making them my own.

lower halfThe sashing/
border fabric has been in my stash for a few years.  I LOVE it but it hasn’t wanted to play nice with other fabrics ……. until now.

Three times I put the blocks on the wall and three times I put them back in the BOM “waiting” box.

ATW embroideryAnd then along came these machine embroidery designs, from Artistic Thread Works, and they were perfect.  I had just had my embroidery machine serviced so I quickly sewed them up and this quilt was finally born.

lableI had the top completed in time for DH’s birthday.  He is a old timey B-Western fan and memorabilia collector and this quilt will fit in nicely in our museum like great room.

Boots backingThis the backing for Eric’s Boots.  I found it in my stash: I think I had thought to make curtains but that never happened.

I am very excited about this quilt.  I tend to not be able to make a quilt using the designer’s layout and Eric’s Boots is no exception.

Thanks for visiting,  Gari

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Labels, Labels, Labels, and Mother’s Day

4 generations of mothersI put this picture on Facebook for Mother’s Day but thought I would share it here.  This is our family’s 4 generations of mothers: My mother, me, my daughter and granddaughter.  We have Mother’s Day all over the southeast.  Be right back

Mother's Day lunchDH and I went to Mellow Mushroom for lunch: doesn’t this look good?  Well I’m here to tell you that it was GREAT! 

binding clipped and ready to sewI finally got the binding put on the Boots quilt.  I had to wait until I had the label designed (EQ design wall?).

boots labelI am working with a new software: it is so much easier to stay with the old one but I like the challenge. 

Funky Chicken's label readyI also have pinned the label on the Funky Chickens quilt but it isn’t sewn on yet.  I plan to take a couple of these quilts to guild Tuesday and would like the labels to be there when I do.

UR label in processI have started stitching down the Underground Railroad label.  I have to say that all these labels have severely cut into my knitting time.  Confused smile

knitting endedAnd this also cuts into my knitting time.  After DH and three dogs join me on the swing, there is precious little room for knitting.  But who can say no to these cuties.

last placemats 1
last placemats 2
I did finish my placemats, first real finish since March.  But I think I am on a roll now.

I will be linking up with Patchwork Times, a great place to get your creative juices flowing.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Little Work with a Lot of Rest In Between.

I am really excited that I am again using Live Writer to compose my blog post.  And I have my son #1 to thank as he told me where to look on the web to find it.  It is really good to have this old friend back.  Open-mouthed smile

sweater today
So, on my needles is my sweater, surprise, surprise.  I am really impressed with how it is looking and anxious to see it done.  I am trying to knit at least 4 rows a day which is almost 1”.

I have been looking at some other patterns but trying not to start another knitting project until this one is done. 

clean cutting table
I put in some time and finally got the cutting table cleared.  It is funny how difficult it is to work when you can’t see the top of the table.

Once the table was cleared I was able to square this quilt and ready it for binding.

binding sewnI even got the binding strips cut and sewn together: it is the black one.  **DH got me this tie rack a couple of years ago but it took me a couple of months to figure out how to use it.  Now I hang my 2 1/2” strips here when I am working with them: so much easier to keep them organized.  Anyway, tomorrow I will be finishing the binding and then we just have to wait for me to make the label so I can sew them  together onto the quilt.

placematsAnd while I was on a roll I went back to a UFO project, placemats.  2 or 3 years ago I made placemats for my family for Christmas and some for DH and me.  Well, I got kind of tired of placemats so our placemats have been done a little at a time.  Above are the last two.

I am quilting them using some of the fancy stitches on my new machine.

more stitches
It is so much fun to stitch fancy stitches.  I still have a few more spaces to add stitches and then on to the binding which has been ready for that 2-3 years.  Embarrassed smile

So that’s all I have been able to accomplish so far this week.  Now on to the BOMs I seem to have forgotten to do last month.