Monday, April 24, 2017

My design wall - April 24, 2017

Hey, I've actually got something up on my design wall!  I haven't had much time to work on any of my on-going projects for any length of time over the past 2 weeks, but I made time on Saturday to start a new one!
I'm SO thankful my daughter warned me not to install Pinterest on my cell phone - she told me that I'd spend all my spare time scrolling through the various pins, and I'd never get anything else done...  So, I resisted - for about 3 weeks...  Last week, I ended up having to wait for someone, and so, to kill a bit of time, I scrolled through the day's offerings - and found this pin.  I really had no use for a kit, and I'd actually have to buy at least 3 or 4 kits to make a quilt the size I needed.  It didn't look too complicated though, so I thought I'd see if I had any fabric to make the quilt.  (See hubby, it DOES pay to have a stash!)  I found exactly the right fabrics, got them cut up and sewed up a bunch of them - and then I noticed that two of the fabrics were directional, and to get the pattern right, every other block would be upside down...  So, back to the fabrics, cut some more, reversing the two "problem" fabrics, and laid out the blocks.
And this is what they look like!
I'm hoping to finish the top this week - not sure if I'll leave it as it is, or put a border on it - I'll have to see what it looks like then.
Linking up to Judy's Design Wall post.

Monday, April 10, 2017

A productive day!

It's been quite a while since I've actually been able to sit at my sewing machine for longer than 5 or 10 minutes.  My sewing room needed a major clean-up / sort out / purge (this is what's kept me from sewing for the past two weeks), and most of what I needed to do has been done.  Hopefully, I can finish it up soon!
Part of what started all this is the UFO challenge that Judy issued a few months ago.  I listed 12 projects that I needed to finish this year - some of them are at least 8 or 9 years old - and am trying to complete them in a month's time.  In order to make that list, I had to find some of the projects, and determine how much needed to be done - could I do it in a month?  Then I'd wait for Judy to choose a number - and then I'd pull that project, work on it, and hopefully finish it.
This month's project number was #1 - which was my pink and brown log cabin quilt.  A number of years ago, I belonged to a quilt forum - we had a great group of ladies!  We did a lot of block-of-the-month swaps, and then different projects - one of them being a log-cabin swap.  We each chose a log cabin pattern, and our colour scheme - then the administrator would pair us up and we'd make the block our partner chose, in her colours - and she'd do the same for me.  Unfortunately, we only made it through about 5 or 6 months before most of us lost interest....
I had chosen pink and brown for my colours - it was a good thing that I really loved those colours then, because I had to make a few more!  The strips had been cut, and actually moved with us twice, so it was definitely time to finish this project!
I had most of the day today to work on this quilt, and I'm very happy to report that it's finally a top - ready to sandwich and quilt!  Voila!
Now the one thing about sewing log cabin blocks is that you have to do a LOT of "stitch a seam, press a seam; repeat" - and in order to press my seams efficiently, I found it best to use a leader-ender project to avoid wasting the thread on my last wound bobbin.  So, I also managed to make a few scrappy blocks!  I've put them up on my design wall - and here they are: 
These blocks are super-simple to make - all of the parts are 2.5" x 4.5", so they are easy to cut up and the blocks go together quickly!  This probably won't be the final layout, but it gives you an idea of how bright and cheerful the quilt is going to be!  There are a number of charities that are looking for quilts just like that, so it will find a home soon!
Linking up to Judy's Design Wall post, as well as Quilting is More Fun than Housework's Oh Scrap post and She Can Quilt's Scraptastic Tuesday post.

Friday, April 7, 2017

On the Needles Fri. Apr. 7, 2017

I have a finish to report today, as well as my next "works in progress".
I'm part of the TinCanKnits group on Ravelry.  They recently partnered with 7 other knitwear designers to create 9 unique sweaters using the same body and sleeves - the women each designed a different yoke pattern that worked with the body / sleeves.  Sales of the patterns funded the purchase of mosquito netting for the "Against Malaria Foundation".  
I chose to make the "Tenderheart" pattern by TinCanKnits, in teal and off-white for my son-in-law's nephew, baby Owen.  He was born in November, but I didn't want to make a baby sweater, so I knit it in the 2-4 year-old size.  I hope his mom likes the colour!
Another group that I belong to on Ravelry is the "17 in 2017" group.  We've been challenged to complete 17 items this year - hopefully (in my case), works in progress.  Every month we're issued a specific challenge, and I try to match it with a project on my list of unfinished objects.  
My oldest daughter's best friend (Erin) from high school had her first baby (a boy) last summer.  I've been working on a sweater for him for quite a while now, and it's SO close to being done.  Well, the challenge for April's 17 in 2017 is "Doubles".   

The group moderator wrote "Suggested ideas for doubles:
  1. Mittens
  2. Socks
  3. Two projects from the same designer
  4. Repeat of a pattern you have previously used"

I just found out that my cousin's 2nd daughter is expecting a baby girl this summer, and I thought that I'd take this opportunity to make a girl's version of the sweater that I made for Erin's baby - here are the backs of the 2 sweaters - the blue one is for Erin's son, and the red / multi colour print is for Melissa's baby:

Getting these 2 sweaters done this month should keep me busy!
Linking up to Judy's On the Needles post, and also to Sarah's Can I get a whoop-whoop post.

Friday, March 24, 2017

On the Needles this week, and some other goodies!

Here it is - Friday again...!    Both DH and I have a parent that has dealt with some serious health issues in the past 2 weeks, and the days seem to have just blurred into one another.  Of course that means that not a lot has happened in the crafting department.  I can't remember when I last sat at the sewing machine, but I have managed to get some knitting done (you can get a lot of "mindless" knitting done in hospital waiting rooms!).
You'll probably remember my sweater project from 2 weeks ago - I've managed to finish the second sleeve, and the body up to the yoke section; I've joined in the sleeves, and am now starting the yoke fair-isle patterning.  The pattern is Tenderheart from Tin Can Knits - they collaborated with 7 other knitwear designers to produce 8 different sweaters using the same standard body and sleeves - but with the twist of having each designer create a unique yoke.  Right now, there's a Knit-Along going on - we have until April 18th to finish our project, and there are some pretty sweet prizes!
Here's my progress so far:
You can see the picture of the completed sweater design on the pattern page.  I'm making the 2-4 year-old size - hopefully, the little guy receiving it will get a lot of use out of it!
I did have about an hour to make a few cards one evening.  Two friends were celebrating birthdays; we also had a few deaths in our church family...

These cards have gone out to the folks that needed them, and I ended up with a few extra birthday cards so I'd have some on hand.
Hopefully, the next few weeks will be a little more settled than the past ones have been -  I need to get going on a few quilting projects, and there's been another baby boy born, so I picked out another sweater pattern this afternoon.  I'm hoping that I can use some stashed yarn for it.
And finally, in the middle of the chaos that we've had, we've had some fun too!  Meet some of
our newest "family members":

I'm linking up to Judy's On the Needles post.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Blocks, blocks and more blocks!

It's been an absolutely crazy week - and I thought I'd have a few days to get some sewing done...  Well, that didn't happen quite the way I thought it would, but it is what it is.  I did manage to get a few seams sewn on Monday, but Tuesday and Wednesday were too busy with more important things. So, that brings us to today, and I made up for lost time!
First off, Kat's charity Covered in Love is hosting a block drive once again - a very interesting textural 3-D block that she calls "Grandad's Shirt".  She asked for blocks using black, grey and blue fabrics - and I managed to make 5 blocks:

Next up, while I had those fabrics out, I cut a few strips and squares to make more  "Raspberry Kiss" blocks:

They aren't the most exciting colours, but when added to the rest of the blocks on my wall, they'll fit in quite nicely!
And finally, I got to work on the stack of blocks that have been piling up on my sewing table - these are for my 150 Canadian Women quilt.  I'm still behind, but I've managed to get close to being caught up again:

Linking up to Leann's Scraptastic Tuesday; Cynthia's Oh Scrap;  Kat's Sew Some Love; and Quilting and Learning's Celebrate-Fetons-150-in-March posts.

Friday, March 10, 2017

My latest "doings"...

It's Friday again - time to share my latest knitting project - well, one of them at least!
Several months ago, the ladies behind TinCanKnits "conspired" with several other well-known knitwear designers to produce Heart on my Sleeve - a compilation of patterns to raise funds to purchase mosquito netting for malaria-areas of the world.  The idea was that a pattern would be purchased (the body is the same for all) and each knitter would be free to choose from the various yoke and sleeve options.  There's also a bit of incentive - there are prizes for any sweaters completed before April 18th.
It just so happened that I was in need of a sweater for my daughter's newest nephew - born in November - and the HOMS patterns start at 0-6 months and go to adult size 4XL.  I had already purchased some dark teal Ultra Mellowspun yarn from Mary Maxim, and had knit about 4" of a sweater, but I wasn't really thrilled with the way it was turning out, so I had no problem "unknitting" that project.  That freed up the yarn for a gorgeous fair-isle yoke styled sweater.
I've managed to complete one sleeve, and have most of the second one done; I've also knit about half of the body section.
This photo doesn't show the richness of the teal colour, but you can at least see the progress I've made since I cast on last week Monday.  The yoke will have an off-white yarn for the contrast in the yoke.

You may also remember the sweaters I've been knitting for my grandsons - and I'm happy to say that they are done - except for the buttons being sewn on - and blocking...   This is "Antler" from TinCanKnits - the light sweater is a size 1-2, and the darker sweater is size 2-4.  Hopefully, I'll get the buttons on tomorrow and the boys can have their sweaters!  They should fit them this fall - and hopefully next year too!

Linking up to Judy's On The Needles report.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Design Wall Mon. Feb. 27 / 17

Another Monday has come (and is almost gone), and I've got progress to report!  Is it on the two items that I need to finish for February?  No, of course not...!  Why would I want to deprive myself of the angst that comes from procrastinating?  Haha...
As I mentioned in my last post, I've stumbled across a really fun new project (Raspberry Kiss blocks), and I can't stop making blocks for it.  Thankfully, I found directions for making 9" (unfinished) blocks, instead of the 5" (unfinished) blocks that most are making.  I probably would have made the blocks anyway (I've made quite a few tiny quilts - those are large in comparison!), but these blocks will get me to my finish so much sooner.  I picked up a few new low-volume FQs at my LQS last week, and I'm putting them to good use - as you can see:
This is not a final layout - I have a lot more blocks in varying stages of completion, but this shows my progress quite nicely.
Also on the Design Wall today are 2 more blocks for the Big Quilt Bee - these blocks will go to my guild meeting in 2 weeks, along with the other 4 that I've already made.  We're planning a sewing day to assemble as many tops as we can; they'll then be quilted and sent off to benefit a child / family that needs the services of Ronald McDonald houses across the country.  I managed to get the "150 years" portion of the fabric in one of the blocks.  I'm debating going for another FQ with a different colour scheme - I've finally used up all of my aqua scraps.

Linking up with Judy (Design Wall Monday), Cynthia (Oh Scrap!), Sandy (Let's S.E.W. link-up) and Kat (Sew Some Love).

Monday, February 20, 2017

Falling down a rabbit hole...

I have SO many quilt-y things to work on, and the last thing I need is a new project - but that was before I looked on Instagram yesterday....
Yup, I saw multiple "Raspberry Kiss Blocks" - and I fell for them - hard!  So, what did I do?  This morning, I started pulling scraps to make "just a few".  Well, actually, I think I cut enough bright scrappy bits of fabric to make a twin-size quilt.  I didn't have a lot of time to work on the blocks today, but I did manage to make 12 to start.  I've only recently started compiling a stash of low-volume prints (I love this 3 Blind Mice print!)
so I may have to work on that before I can get too much more done...  What's that - I have to go fabric shopping??!!  
This probably won't be the final layout - and I have quite a few more blocks to assemble, but it's a start!

Linking up to Judy's Design Wall post, and also Cynthia's Oh Scrap post.  Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 17, 2017

On the Needles - 2 weeks later...

I didn't realize that 2 weeks had passed since I last posted!  We were able to get away for a few days over the last weekend, so that probably has something to do with it...  As well, both my father, and my MIL have been dealing with health issues that have taken up some of my time - and I had a nasty cold that zapped my energy for a few days too.
So, now that you've heard all my excuses, I do have a few things to share!  I managed to finish the baby sweater and hat for my friend - before the baby was born.  My friend was thrilled with the outfit - and as soon as she sews the buttons on the sweater, the baby can come!

I was also able to get quite a bit of knitting done on my grandsons sweaters!  (An 8 hour drive each way on our trip helped...).  The picture from 2 weeks ago clearly shows two sweaters, with one sleeve between them - and now, the sleeves have all been knit, added in to the sweaters, and the cabled yokes have been started.  I think I have to knit 5-6 cable repeats, and I'm 2 rows into the 2nd cable round.

I'm hoping to have them done for the end of the month to meet my Ravelry goal... to finish these 2 sweaters (on my way to finish 17 items in 2017).  I completed 3 in January; this will bring the total to 5 done!
Linking up to Judy's On the Needles report.

Friday, February 3, 2017

On The Needles Feb. 3, 2017

It's obviously been a while since I posted an OTN report - I incorrectly wrote Jan. on the heading!  I always seem to have a number of knitting projects on the go, and every so often new ones get thrown in too.  As a matter of fact, I have so many Un-Finished Objects in my house, that I decided that I needed an intervention of sorts.
I've been a member of Ravelry for a number of years - it's a community of knitters, crocheters, and even some spinners, and it's addicting (just like Pinterest!).  People are forever sharing what they're working on, and it often inspires me to want to knit / crochet that same item.  One thing that Ravelry can't provide is more hours in my day - so I've learned to think twice when I save a pattern to my library.  At the rate that I'm knitting, and also saving interesting patterns, I'll have to live to be 103 - and that's only to make my currently saved items!
But, Ravelry also has some really great offerings - you can join all kinds of groups, and one that caught my eye a few weeks ago was "17 in 2017" - kind of an accountability group.  We were encouraged to list 17 UFOs that we'd like to finish this year, and then we're to choose something from that list every month (actually a few somethings, or we'd never finish all 17).  February's challenge was to finish something that would be a gift or something that would show our love to someone - Valentine's Day does fall in February after all!
I've chosen to finish the "Antler" sweaters that I started for my grandsons late last fall.

I have most of the first one done, and am not too far behind on the 2nd.  My daughter chose the yarn - the darker sweater is for the 2-year old, and the turquoise one is for the 2-month old.  These sweaters should fit in the fall, and maybe even into next fall.
However, those plans have had to be set aside temporarily - a friend's daughter is expecting her first baby, and the proud grandmother wanted a sweater and hat knit for the baby - but she doesn't knit.  I agreed to knit the set for her, and I'm almost ready to hand it over to her.  The sweater needs to have the underarm seams sewn, and then the sweater needs to be blocked.  The hat is fairly straight-forward, but it will have a knitted bow attached to one side.  I should be able to have it done tomorrow...

I'm linking up to Judy's On The Needles post.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Quilt UFO project list

I mentioned in my last post that I had forgotten to make, and post, my quilt UFO list, so I'm going to fix that right now.
Warning, this will be a fairly boring post!
 #1 Pink / brown log cabin swap blocks - needs a few blocks yet, and then assemble and quilt.
 #2 Scrappy rectangles leader / ender project - make enough blocks, assemble and quilt.
 #3 Moose on the Porch Quilts layer-cake-quilt-along - assemble top, quilt.
 #4 Black, white and red braid - it's cut out, sew the strips, assemble the top, quilt.
 #5 Amish Star swap blocks - maybe make another block or two, assemble, quilt
 #6 Dancing Plus '366 quilt blocks' challenge - I have enough for 2 or 3 tops - hope to at least                     assemble the tops - maybe even quilt one?
 #7 Dresden Plates - finish sewing plates to the blocks, sash and assemble top, quilt.
 #8 2 small 'chevron' quilts (baby and adult scrappy versions) - assemble tops and quilt.
 #9 Large scale floral 9-patch swap blocks - assemble the top, with sashing, quilt.
#10 Twist Quilt (found here) - cut B/G fabric, make and assemble blocks, quilt
#11 B/W 9-patch quilt (inspired by this quilt) - assemble blocks, top, then quilt
#12 Comma quilt - the pieces are cut, and a few are sewn up...!  Get this one finished!

Judy picked #3 for January, and you can see my completed quilt here. February's quilt is #9 - the large scale floral 9-patch blocks that Cathy  and I made and swapped in 2015.  Here's her completed quilt.

January 2017 UFO challenge quilt completed!

At the beginning of the year, I decided that I'd better get to working on some of my (very) many UFOs.  Some of them are quilts, some are knitting / crocheting projects, and some of them are more organizational (I still have things of my mom's to sort through - she passed away almost 5 years ago...).  It's definitely time to finish, destash, donate - you get the picture.
Judy over at Patchwork Times challenged us to make a list of 12 of our UFOs.  Each month, she'll pick a number, and we have to work on / finish the project on our list that corresponds to that number.  I dutifully made my list (which I forgot to post), and when she announced that January's project would be #3 on our lists, I was excited to see that it was one of my oldest UFOs!
Way back in 2010, Moose on the Porch Quilts hosted a layer-cake-quilt-along.  I thought it looked like a great way to make a quilt, but I had never bought a layer cake before, so I headed off to my LQS.  The only layer cake they had in stock was by Kansas Troubles- not exactly my style, but, it was a layer cake, so it came home with me.  I finally finished the blocks in 2012, but the fabrics didn't really excite me, so it got tucked away in a box.  I found it back in Nov. 2016, and decided that I needed to finish the quilt and give it to someone that was more in need of a warm quilt, and not so fussy about the dark colours.  I also found out that one of the block designers is a fellow Ontarian - I stumbled on her blog one day, and she encouraged me to finish the quilt - so Sarah, here it is!
Sarah's block is the purple basket, left side, row 2.  I still have to finish off some threads, but that's easily enough done in an evening, so it should be on the "donate" pile tomorrow morning!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Canada's Big Quilt Bee

You've probably seen the logo for Canada's Big Quilt Bee on my sidebar - but do you know what it's about?  Canada is celebrating it's 150th anniversary this summer (July 1st), and there are a number of different quilting "events" going on.  One of them is Canada's Big Quilt Bee.  The Canadian Quilter's Association has made a commitment to Ronald McDonald houses across Canada - we will be supplying them with 1,000 quilts!  That's a pretty crazy number, but quilters are a generous bunch, and blocks and quilts are being made across the country.  There's a few "rules" - we have to use fabric from several specific lines created especially for the anniversary, and we have to make a "slab" block. Cheryl Arkison (author of Sunday Morning Quilts), graciously allowed us to use her slab block pattern from her "Missing U" quilt pattern.
I've already made and sent a few blocks, but our guild is making a few quilts as a group effort, and we're using a different fabric line than I originally bought.  We were each given a charm square, and were asked to make a block, or two, or a few, and then return them to be assembled at a specific sewing day.
I have more fabric from this line, so I decided to make 4 blocks.  I was given the aqua fabric, and pulled my aqua scraps to make 2 blocks.  I also cut up some of the red maple leaves fabric that I bought for my 150 Canadian Women quilt-along, and made 2 more blocks in red - and here they are:
The red blocks are quite a bit scrappier than the aqua - I used mostly aqua strips from FQs for them, but I raided my red scraps for the 2nd set of blocks.
I'm linking up to Kat's Sew Some Love link-up and also Cynthia's Oh Scrap post.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Design Wall Tuesday edition

I'm actually getting closer to posting my design wall pictures on Monday!  Hooray for me!  I could have taken this picture yesterday, but I was too lazy to go upstairs to get the camera.
So, this is what my wall looks like this week:

My last design wall "quilt" is now actually getting quilted (I hope to have a picture of the completed quilt in a few days), so the wall is free to lay out my Canadian quilt blocks.
I've mentioned before that Canada will be celebrating it's 150th anniversary this year, and there are a number of special quilting initiatives to mark this special occasion.  Kat Tucker, from Next Step Quilt Designs has designed a quilt highlighting 150 influential born-in-Canada women.  Each week, she releases 3 quilt block patterns, as well as a short bio of each woman.  I got a late start on this project, but I'm finally caught up, and the blocks (so far) have found a place on my design wall.  I may have to move them in a few weeks, as other urgent projects come up, but I'll share pictures as this quilt progresses.
Today's blocks have been posted, and they're really easy this week (thanks Kat!) - and here they are:

I'm SO in love with this project!  One of my daughters has mentioned that she'd love a quilt like this too, so I may end up making a second one...
Linking up to Judy's Design Wall post.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Design wall Wednesday?

I missed it again...  Monday was a really busy day, and I didn't even get into my sewing room on Tuesday - so, Design wall Wednesday it is!
I'm actually pretty pumped about this post, because up until a few days ago, I didn't even HAVE a design wall.  I'd lay out my blocks on the living room floor, or on the couch if the blocks were small enough, but hubby finally nailed a piece of rigid styrofoam to the wall; we covered it with an old flannel sheet, and voila! a design wall!
So, these blocks are from a quilt-along from several years ago (2010 to be specific).  I had made all the blocks, but they needed sashing and cornerstones, and then a border.
I picked this project as one of my UFOs to finish this year; it was #3 on my list, and Judy chose project #3, so here we go.
I have the sashing on about half of the blocks so far - the cornerstones are cut and ready to sew on to the vertical sashing strips.  I still have to pick a border fabric.  I'm really hoping to finish this quilt completely this month, binding and all, so that it can be donated to Word and Deed (their mission statement is: "To address the spiritual and physical needs of people in the developing world in accordance with Biblical principles.")  This quilt, and most of my donation quilts, go to Central America.  When Word and Deed volunteers go into villages with aid, especially quilts and afghans, the men run out and try to grab the most colourful covers - in an attempt, I think, to bring some colour into their otherwise drab surroundings.  This isn't going to be the brightest quilt, but it can't be accused of not being colourful!
Linking up to Patchwork Times and Kat's Sew Some Love link-ups.

Monday, January 9, 2017

First charity project for 2017

Happy new year!  It's hard to believe that it's already the 9th of January - but I've already had at least a week's worth of experiences to prove it, so we'll just carry on.
Every year, our quilt guild provides place mats for the Meals On Wheels recipients in our county - one year it's for Valentine's Day, and the next year it's for their Christmas meals.  This year the place mats are for Valentine's Day - but they aren't hearts and roses!  Someone had the great idea to provide each member with a FQ - all the same print - and a paint chip, inspired by the print.
This is what is left of my FQ - and the paint chip (which reads more blue than the deep purples it shows IRL):

We could use whatever pattern we liked - which is what caused the first issue for me.  The fabric is quite dramatic, and I didn't want to make just any design, so I waited for inspiration to strike.  It didn't...  So, I checked out my Pinterest quilt boards - and I found an idea!  Shadowed blocks!  I've often seen quilts with the 3D look, and I want to make one sometime, but hesitated to commit to it.  I didn't have the pattern, and wasn't sure I really wanted to cut up pieces of fabric to "play" with, unless I was REALLY sure that I could figure it out.  But, if the blocks were only 3" square, I wouldn't be out too much in the fabric department if my plan went awry...  So, I pulled some darker purples from my stash, found some bits of a taupe-y Kona, and started cutting and piecing.  I framed my blocks in Kona Snow, and liked the look, so the challenge was a go!
Of course, Christmas and family birthdays and our new grandson "adjusted" my schedule somewhat, but I was able to deliver these 8 place mats to our meeting earlier tonight!

(I see that one of them is upside down...)  I have 2 pieces of the focus fabric in each place mat, and an assortment of purple fabrics in the ranges on the paint chip.  The place mats measure about 12" x 17" - hopefully they'll make someone a little happier on Feb. 14th!
Linking up with Quilting is more fun than housework, and She can quilt's Scraptastic Tuesday's post.