Monday, August 29, 2016

Humming Right Along

I guess one could say that I have been missing from the blog.  Usually that means that I haven't been doing anything of note and for the first week or so that was true.  I was tired most of the time and just rested.  But then I became rejuvenated and began working on a couple of projects.  The one I have focused on is the BOM Sweet 16 by Esther Aliu.  Block 1 is completed including the applique.

 This is Block 2.  For some reason it took me a while to place the "lady fingers" on the cake.  On they went and then off again, over and over.  This is the final result.  The cake is now placed on the fabric for the dome but I don't plan to finish that until we are ready to put the quilt together.  This block, however is ready for appliqueing.

 While I was positioning the pieces for Block 2, I drew the pieces for Block 3.  Working on both of them at the same time made me feel that I was really getting something done.  It is always fun for me to cut the fusible out, so much like cutting paper dolls (yes, I am old and used to cut out paper dolls and their clothes).  In this picture I am putting the pieces of each cake together.  Then each set went into a baggie, ready to move on to finding the fabrics for them.

 And here you can see my choices.  They are different from Esther's original.  My husband LOVES chocolate covered donuts so here you have one.  Esther had the chocolate on the longer piece but when I was younger I used to buy maple frosted "long johns" and had to put one on here.  I do have to say that making these makes me hungry.

 And true to the plan, these are the pieces for Block 4.  And, although I didn't get a picture of it, I have chosen the fabrics and will soon be working on this block, and drawing the pieces of Block 5. Esther has released Block 7 so I am really trying to play catch up.  Not easy but I am enjoying the chase

The above is a Christmas cactus.  I am told that the little piece came from one of my most beloved relatives.  I have been nurturing it along and we now have two new "leaves."  One is at the end of one shoot and the other is coming from the base.  The pot is only 1 1/2" tall so I am really working with a baby and I am loving it.

 And last but certainly not least, here is Abby, "sleeping" above me.  I have decided that she likes the down pillows as much or maybe more than I do.  She starts sleeping at the foot of the bed and then when I am asleep, she sneaks up on the pillows behind me.  I love my dogs, they make me laugh all of the time.

I hope everyone has a great week.  For me it is going to be quiet and slow work (quilt work, knit, quilt work, knit) oh, and the arrival of my new Instant Pot pressure cooker.  Never used one before so that may take some time out of my craft/art time.  Gari

Linking with Patchwork Times.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Stages of Knitting

I have returned to sock knitting.  These are really "leftover" socks but because the yarns are so beautiful, they are making beautiful socks.  I think I am at the point of heels, or just about, and that part always slows me down.

Last week I had to take a few steps backward.  I discovered that the bind-off I had done on the button band was too tight and it kept the band from hanging right.  And it is to be remembered that the band went from the bottom of one front panel, all the way around the neckline to the bottom of the other front panel.  I have no idea how many stitches there were but I got to take them all out and here you see me redoing the bind-off.  I searched through several loose bind-offs and chose the Latvian one.

This mess is a sleeve.  You may remember that I forgot to knit the sleeves on this "all knit at one time" sweater.  So I knit them after the body was done and now I am readying them to be put on the shoulders. 

I had thought to just knit the sleeves onto the body but couldn't figure out how to do it without having a "bump".  So I am currently binding them off, same as the button band, and then I will attach them.

I decided that once I begin sewing the seams of this sweater together it will be time to start on the cowl below.  I am only planning to do the smaller cowl, not the larger one below, but it will look much the same.  I bought the yarn above but have left it in the bag until the sweater is almost completed.  Next week I will put this yarn on the swift and wind it into two balls and begin.  Of course I am going to watch the Very Pink video tutorial one more time, just to familiarize myself with how to do the pattern.  I am really excited as this will be the first fairisle I have done with hand knitting.  Someday I will show some of the things I machine knit several years ago.

Last weekend we had a bunch of family in our house:  two of our children, and their spouses, two grandchildren and their spouses, a granddaughter-in-law, 3 great grandchildren, and 6 dogs (4 are ours).  We had a wonderful time with lots of laughs and quite often 2 and 3 different conversations going on at the same time.  This went on both Saturday and Sunday morning.  Both Eric and I were energized all the way until Monday morning when the energy started to ebb.  It took until Thursday before I got any energy back:  I was really a slug Tuesday and Wednesday. 

One of the things I did work on while I was "just sitting" was to sort through lots of embroidery designs, thinking about what I want to do for Christmas.  Last year, while I was bed bound, I knit washcloths for family members.  This year I want to do something different.  So I have put my thinking cap on and am searching for ideas.  Anyone want to help?

Friday, August 5, 2016

Quilt Fiinish

Only 2 years in the making but this one is finally finished.  I got the quilting done last week but I didn't get the binding on until today.

The quilt is a jelly roll adaptation.  I would sew the 2 1/2" strips together and then every 3 or 4 strips would get a batik piece.  I love the splotches of color amidst all that black and white. 

The quilting came from someone online.  I knew who showed it when I first had it on the frame in September 2014.  But all the time that as gone on in-between has driven that information right out of my brain.  Anyway it is all free motion quilting and fun to do.

While I was quilting I was looking for the binding I remembered preparing.  I hunted and hunted in all the wrong places but after the quilting was done I had an idea and went right to where the strip of binding was resting.  Yesterday I pressed it and wound it into this nifty roll.

Then today I put it in this basket that I bought at a quilt show a couple of years ago.  I love how it rolls off of the spindle and right on to the quilt. The basket is also great for holding those little bits of binding that are leftovers.  Someday they will join together for a fun quilt.

Not only did I have the binding done for two years but also the label.  It is now sewn into the binding and the quilt is done.  It is going to our great granddaughter, Scarlett, who will be 2 in January.  Fortunately this quilt is a full crib size so she will be able to use it well into a twin bed.

Tomorrow we are having a family get together.  There will be at least 14 adults, 3 children, and 6 dogs (4 are ours).  Our son-in-law is doing the cooking and he and our daughter are in charge of the food.  Eric and I have decided we will contribute fresh fruit and a green salad.  This will be the third time this kind of gathering has happened at our house in the last year.  It is always lots of fun: we are all fun people.

I have been looking at different quilts, looking for something that I think I would like to make.  I want something that is not too difficult and doesn't involve a lot of fabric cutting.  I still am having difficulty standing unless I am holding on to something.  I saw a quilt in the new Love of Quilting magazine that may be just the thing.  I would only have to buy one focus fabric and then use a bunch of leftover strips and other stash fabrics.  I feel the quilting juices flowing.   Gari