Monday, December 28, 2020

Snowy Days

We are having a snowy day today. It has been trying all day and finally sticking to the ground. I doubt it will be able to be measured.  Thanks for all the positive comments on my last couple posts. I try to stay upbeat in my posts, but this last month has been a doozy. Eddy is doing fine. Although it is hard to look at the long incision and staples on his back. Two recovery periods one after another has been difficult. He is a gentle dog and is being brave. And my tooth is all better. It required a new crown (which had been replaced in October) but since it was still in the machine's computer they were able to make another easily and I didn't get charged for the new crown. Christmas was quiet and we were able to video chat with our daughters and their families. Our son meant to video call, and finally did yesterday. He is on his own timeline. Which is fine, nice to spread out the calls. So since I finally finished the wedding quilt it was time to move on to the next problem child.  

Problem child #1. My Joe Cunningham quilt from a class I took a couple of years ago. In the summer I finished quilting it and tried to square the quilt. It was way off so I threw it in the corner for time-out. Since I had cleared off my cutting table to trim the wedding quilt I thought I would try again thinking it would fit on the 2 large mats. Nope. It is larger than that. So I pulled out my cardboard cutting mat to see if I could at least draw lines to straighten the top. It barely fits the short way on the mat, but outside the lines. And it ruffles. Probably because of the freeform piecing without paying any attention to bias. I decided I would stay stitch around the cut edge, and then block it. I also has some threads to tuck. It is now ready to go into the washer to soak.  I will try to do that sometime this week.  

So on to the next problem child.  
#2  I had signed up to do swap blocks with my old guild in CA. Signed up in January. Since I was scheduled to go to CA in March (Empty Spools Seminars and then a week visit with my friend, swap leader) I thought I would shop for a background for the blue and white blocks. Well, obviously my trip was canceled and since we really have left town I have not made it to any quilt shops. I really need to get the blocks done and in the mail. So I remembered that I had a UFO from about 1999/2000 that has white on white background. Let's face it, that UFO is never going to be finished. When I pulled it out I found I actually had two blocks sewn and parts cut for at least another block. I will try to make a table runner out of those blocks. This is a hand piecing project. 

Cover quilt
My two blocks
I had used charm squares for the colors and have a huge stack of them. They were from swaps I did in the late 90's.  So I will let this problem child (number 3) finish off at three blocks and call it good. It is a nice feeling to let a UFO go.


2020 Cotton Club Swap block

It is a fun block to sew! HST units and four patches. The size we are using for this swap is 8" finished, 8.5" unfinished. Dark blues in the 4 patches and medium blues in the HST. White on white for the background.
Swap blocks in progress
It is supposed to be a monthly swap through out the year. I am pretty sure the group has not met in person since March. Anyway, since I live so far away I make a year's worth and send it to Diane (swap leader) and she swaps for me and sends me back my blocks. Everyone has all year to get caught up with the hope all blocks are in by December or January at the latest. This year the number of blocks per month is 10. One for each participant and then one for the "pot". I have won the pot in a previous year (or maybe two). It is a fun way to keep in touch with my pals. I have about 30 finished, so about a fourth of the way there.
Leader project, 3 " 9-patches

Leader project part 2, 9" double 9-patches


I always have a leader project when piecing. I have done this long before I ever heard of Bonnie Hunter. I make little 9-patches out of one and a half inch squares. I cut my scraps into squares and strips. The double 9's are using the little blocks along with 3-1/2" squares from that scrap box. I have about a dozen finished. No idea how big this will eventually end up. I will figure that out when I get closer to a quilt amount of blocks.


I started another MKAL for a shawl. No pics right now, but will have some next time. I did finish the first sock and have half the second sock of the Advent Sock along. Pics next week.


And my pretty pic for the week. Yet another Christmas Cactus blooming! I think this one is my favorite color.




Hoping that everyone has a Happy, Healthy, productive new year!  


Linking to:

Sarah

Nina-Marie

Beth

Judy










 

Monday, December 21, 2020

Can't wait for the end of this year

I really can't wait for this year to be over. I know, things will not be back to normal come January 1, 2021.  But this month has been a fittingly crappy end to a crappy year. Our sweet puppy dog Eddy had surgery 2 weeks ago to remove a large tumor. The vet feels that they got everything out and the surrounding tissue was clean. But the incision was huge. He went in this morning to get the stitches out.  The wound reopened soon after and he is back to the vet's office to get sewn up again. Poor guy. And I got squeezed in to see the dentist this morning. I get to go in on Weds afternoon for a root canal. Wahoo. (sarcastic remark)

Binding is finished!
And the wedding quilt is on its way to the happy couple!  I did wash the quilt and it was magic. I did stitch down the pleat on the backing. The backing is so busy you can't even see the seams of the 3 sections, so I think this fix is going to be fine.




Clue 9
I am getting caught up on my Mystery Christmas sock. I don't have a more up to date photograph, but I am up to clue #18. I hope to get caught up tonight. I have been knitting several clues each day. There are 24 total, it is an Advent mystery.  I had hoped to start the second sock when caught up, but it will probably not happen until the first sock is completed.


 


I wound off two more yarns from the bobbins! The blue is actually a mix of blues and purples, just a poor photograph. And the green has some blues mixed in. Blue is chain plied and green is 2 ply. I still need to set the spin and let it fluff.  My spinning Yoda sent me a box of fiber and I am excited to get the next yarn started. BTW, Yoda is my friend Karen and she has a little online yarn shop named Gift of Grace. Her yarns are so beautiful and well spun. I don't know if I will ever get past rustic, but I am enjoying the process. 


Christmas Cactus


And my pretty photograph for this post. I have several Christmas Cactus plants. This has a lovely bright pink with white blossoms. I have a pale pink one as well, it is past blooming. And a coral colored blooms that is not quite open yet.

I hope you all have a nice holiday season celebrating the events that are important to you and your family. Please be safe.  Best wishes for a happy, healthy, safe New Year!



Linking to:







Monday, December 14, 2020

One of these Days

 As everyone has probably experienced, it has been one of those years.  Sigh.  I did finally get all of the machine quilting completed on the wedding quilt.  It was hard.  I did switch out my chair for a stool and that helped a lot on my shoulders and back. I think I will use the stool from now when I sew. The quilting is not as nice as I had hoped, but hopefully when I wash it the funky stuff will calm down. My very first machine quilting class back in the late 1990's, the teacher said when you wash a machine quilted quilt it is Magic! And it is truth. It fluffs it up and closes all the needle holes. 



All Quilted and trimmed!
And since absolutely nothing can be easy (well, at least not with this project)  I found pleats on the back of the quilt. Another sigh.

Can you see it?

And here?
It is smack dab in the middle of the quilt.  I would have to take all of the quilting out and start over. Umm, nah, not going to happen. The paisley on the back is quite busy. I think that I will try to applique the fold down. I will wait until after it is washed. I think it will be ok. It is the back. It is not a prize winner, it is meant to be used.

Binding, ready to tack down.
I decided not to spiral the binding. The stripe is in the borders straight, so I chose to continue that at the edge.

Matching Pillowcases
I had a lot of fabric left so I made a set of matching pillowcases to go with the quilt. Everything went right with the pillowcases! Well, except the bobbin running out. 

Lavender Fields 
I plied this wonderful yarn! I did a chain ply trying it out on a multi color dyed fiber. I still need to wind it off the bobbin and process the twist.  I am very happy with this yarn.

Hat for me!
And I knit a hat for me!   I was following a pattern and it was not that easy to read the color changes. So I made up my own color changes!

MKAL
I started an Advent Mystery Knit along in Instagram. I am not very Insta savvy, so it is good that they are emailing the links to the daily clues. This is through clue 4. I am a bit behind. I cast on the wrong number of stitches and realized it at clue #2. 64 stitches on 4 needles is 18 on each right? No, wrong! 16 on each. I have made this mistake before. 



Thanksgiving sunrise
And my pretty photograph for the post. I was watching the sunrise and this is what happened just as the sun was hitting the horizon. 



Linking to:




Monday, November 16, 2020

Mid November

And we have lift off!  I started on the quilting!  I don't have a table that I can sink the machine into, so I have some hokey way and boosting the quilt next to the machine to keep it from pulling away from the needle. Not pretty, but it does the job. Sorta.

Machine all set up

Machine quilting
I wound 4 bobbins. I think this project will need 7 or 8 bobbins of thread. I am not quilting that close, so it will go quicker. I hope. 


Mini Mittens

Close up

 I have been knitting these tiny mittens. I usually give them away as gifts. They make perfect ornaments. I ran out of people to give them to, so decided to make a strand of them to use for a winter decoration. I use the leftover bits of sock yarn. They are fun to knit and cute!


Pretty Photograph

At our family cabin we have some flowers planted. Mostly columbine. Years ago my parents had planted Holly Hocks.  They took over and eventually my Dad tried to get rid of them. This summer there was one lone Holly Hock trying to get a foot hold in the rocks. I chose to let it grow. It came late in the season, so this was the only blossom on the plant. I hope it tries to come back next year. I have always loved the Holly Hocks. But I will be careful not to let them spread.




Linking to:

Sarah

Nina-Marie

TGIFF

Beth

Judy

Monday, November 9, 2020

First Snow

It has been a crazy week.  So focused on the news that I didn't get much done until Sunday.  And Score! I finally got the wedding quilt basted. We had moved to a smaller home several years ago. Downsizing has been difficult, I am still working on that issue. One thing I miss most about the previous house was the large peninsula kitchen counter.  I used it to baste quilts. It was a good height, easy on my back.  In this house I have little counter space.  We also have a much smaller dining table and now it is an oval. I have used my white plastic folding table, but it is narrow and tricky to baste a large quilt. 


Basting on the bed
So my solution has been to put the cardboard cutting mat on my bed and baste on there. Not ideal. I don't have floor space to try that, so the bed it is. It is hard on my back. And I can kneel for the edges.

Adding the top
Instead of starting in the middle and working out I start on one side and work my way towards the other side.

The other side
And then I finish off the bottom of the quilt since it is longer than the cutting board.  Pretty much my procedure is to smooth the back, smooth the batting over it, smooth the top. Pin the area on the cardboard. Shift the pinned area off the edge of the bed. Peel back the batting and top. Smooth the backing, smooth the batting over it and then smooth the top. For the most part I get a good baste. It works well for an edge to edge quilting design. 

I hope to get the quilting done this week. I would really like to get this in the mail to the happy couple by Thanksgiving. 

Last week I had someone ask if I had knit anything with my handspun yarn. I knit a hat. It was supposed to be for me and I found I was running out of yarn. So I raveled it and knit it smaller as a gift for my granddaughter.  Note the hokey, no model available photograph below. Link to rav project page Dalki .

Dalki


 

And here is my pretty photograph for the post, snow this morning!



Snow in Kanab


Linking to:

Beth

Judy

Jen

Nina-Marie

Sarah

 

Monday, November 2, 2020

Best Laid Plans

Last week I made the goal of opening the tub with the lingering wedding quilt.  I did. Just now.  Sigh. It has been that kind of week. I did get a lot of other things accomplished. I cleaned out my closet and chest of drawers. Also the tubs of old/smaller clothes that were out in the workshop. It was a 4 day job. I have a large box to go to the hospital thrift shop, a large stack of t-shirts that I will make a t-shirt quilt for myself, and another tub full of clothing too tattered to give away which will become rags. 


Proof of the wedding quilt

1980's sweater
A main reason for doing that long delayed chore is that I have lost some weight this year. I am now able to fit into some of the smaller clothes that I had stored away. One of the items I found was this sweater. I started knitting in the mid 80's and my first sweater turned out with the stitches twisted. I don't have a photo of that one, but I do have the sweater and it fits! I then went to a knitting book and looked carefully at the illustrations on how to wrap the yarn properly. It worked, no more twisted stitches. This is the second sweater I knit for myself. I made Sweetie a matching sweater, but the colors are reversed. His main color is the dark brown. I am thrilled that I can fit into this favorite sweater again!
Mr. Kromski

I also rearranged the some furniture and was able to clear out a better space for my spinning wheel. It had been next to the loveseat and got bumped frequently. And knocked over a few times. I have been spinning this lovely Lavender Fields fiber, dyed by Dandelions and Daisies.

Lavender Fields
 The color in this photograph is not accurate. But it is closer to real life in the photograph below.
Almost done!
I am planning on chain plying this, I want to see how it will look with a multicolor dyed fiber. So far I have only chain plied natural fibers. I think I can fit the last of the fiber on this bobbin. 


Paria
Saturday Sweetie and I took a little outing to Paria Townsite. The turnoff is about 35 miles west of our town and then about 6 miles on a dirt road. The town is gone. The last of the buildings burned several years ago. The mountain is very unique and beautiful. This is my pretty photograph for the week.



Linking to:




Monday, October 26, 2020

October

Wow. It is the end of October.  Time flies when you thoroughly slack off  during a worldwide pandemic. I had meant to start blogging again once we got home. So it goes. We spent most of September at the family cabin at the lake. I had bought a used sewing machine that I could use up there and leave it so I don't have to haul a machine back and forth. And Sweetie scored a white plastic folding table for free at a yard sale. So I pretty much have all the makings of a sewing room for the cabin. All I needed to do was pack a tub with some projects and I would be good to go. Our niece, Amy was getting married the first week of October so I went looking for the quilt top I had set aside for her.  I know I had it in a safe place in the sewing room or either of the closets that I use in the house for fabric/projects. I could not find it anywhere! I spent several hours looking. Tried to remember the last time I saw it. Ah, the last time my local quilt guild had a sew day in March. I think I brought it to show someone. Of course, right after I emailed the gang to see if anyone may have gathered it with their stuff, I remembered that I had rearranged my sewing room a bit to switch out my table and some things in tubs went out to the shop (where I had already looked through some stuff). So I went to look again. I knew that there had to be some more tubs of my stuff. Sweetie comes over and asks me what I am looking for. He then MOVES a stack of large coolers that were blocking my view of another stack of tubs. And there it was! Efficiently labeled in the correct place to see if those coolers had not been blocking. 

Labeled Tub

Amy's quilt top

 So in theory I would have worked on the wedding quilt. A little bit. I took three lengths of fabric and sewed them together for the backing. That is it. I meant to work on it since we got back home, not a stitch. I will open the tub today, really, I promise.

I had another project with a mid September deadline. It is for a "Deck of Cards" challenge. 

Strip piecing for the hearts

I had meant to take a lot of in progress photographs. Only had a few.

Before the edge treatment. I had found this fun, funky shirt fabric at a retired costumer/cosplay yard sale. It looks like Seinfeld's pirate shirt!  I quilted it and then added the hearts. I couched down the hearts with a fun frou frou yarn. 

Finished!
The corners needed to be rounded to mimic a playing card. I am sure that it will be easy to guess which card I was assigned!  You can see the entire collection at Utah Quilt Guild go to photo gallery and click on Deck of Cards.


Queen Anne's Lace

I had this shawl finished for a long time, finally got around to blocking it. I just love this design!



I am still spinning yarn. I try to spin a little every day. It really has improved my skills. Now if only I could FMQ a little bit every day that might help with my skills in that area as well.

Sunset at Bear Lake
I have been trying to end all my posts with a pretty photograph. This is a sunset one of the last days we were at the lake. 

I hope all of you are safe during these scary times. 

Linking to: