Sunday, December 31, 2006
Yes, I had some stuff I got done just under the wire. The first is my Christmas Wreath quilts. I made two of them (one is a gift). They have a 3 dimensional bow (center of bow) and I plan to quilt it using metallic thread. I would like to use Svorkian (sp?) crystals on this one, but don't have space to store more stuff, alas. Maybe I just have to bite the bullet and get rid of all the rubber stamps?! Then I would have room!
I also managed to decide on a block for using up the 2 7/8 inch squares and triangles (the box is totally full), although I won't be working it immediately. This pattern is Ocean Waves. I decided I just didn't want white, but I wanted something light, so pink it is. It will mostly be done as a leader/ender project once the Heart's quilt is complete.
I also have to make a quick decision on a baby item...quilt or afghan? The baby shower is Jan. 20. I figured I had more than a month!? I know she's having a girl, but is she going to be a traditional pink baby or a more modern any color baby? I don't know.
Finally, I'm doing a bunch of cleanup at my Picturetrail account which contains many of my finished projects. Occasionally this week, you will find photos missing in my blog as the link has been broken. You'll be able to see those photos if you go to www.picturetrail.com/quiltsrus.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Kids aren't the only ones who play in the boxes instead of the toys.
Here is early quilt testing. They prefer to run under it rather than lay on it. They love the back of my sister's quilt with the flannel. They run under that too.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Here's a closeup so that you can see the quilting. When I don't have sashing, I quilt to within 1/2 inch of edge so that I can still easily connect the blocks. I used a walking foot for all the quilting and freehanded the widths. If you want more exacting, measure and mark.
Here's the back. Some of the fabric is leftover after cutting borders for another project. I didn't really like the brown all that much. I did use it for the borders in the front and then used the rest on the back. All the fabric in this quilt is from stash.
Monday, December 25, 2006
I got Electric Quilt 6 for Christmas and I've been playing with it and actually following the tutorial. Finished Lesson 1, on to Lesson 2! I was happy to find out that I can scan my own fabrics in, since there isn't a chance that they would be in EQ6. Now, I just have to figure out how we can toggle between hi res and low res because it's very hard to read the screens outside of the quilting program. There MUST be a way of doing it in XP. We just haven't discovered it yet.
The Christmas Train is pretty popular. Dad is trying to figure out how to squeeze in one more car and Mom torments the kids by adding one more stuffed animal periodically. Bob the Builder arrived only about a week ago. Kids even get out of their vehicles to have their picture taken in front of the Train. I am only a train worker bee. I help move the train onto the front lawn and back again after Jan. 1. Now, for the photos. First, we start with our engineers.
The Engine! The wheels are stationary during the day, but move at night.
Next, the Gift car.
Next is the animal box car (technically, they aren't all animals).
Here's Grog and Nog. Need fuel to celebrate, right? The garland keeps getting ravaged by wind. Guys, here's a place where duct tape just doesn't work.
Here's the Caboose. Little Nemo even has bubbles.
Upper window of Caboose has Santa Bears. For those not in the know, around 1985, Daytons offered a Santa Bear. It was so popular, that they designed new Santa Bears every year for a number of years afterwards. The Dayton's store is no more, but Santa Bear lives on in the Christmas Train.
Friday, December 22, 2006
Their neighbor directly across the street won 1st Prize for Large Motion Display (deer are animated). They have a very elegant display. Our end of the block tied up half the contest.
Want to see more Christmas Train Photos!? Go to this link: www.picturetrail.com/quiltsrus. They are in the Family Photos Section near the top. Yes, kitty photos are in the Pet section also, but I need to upload more!
I did manage to finish sewing the last border on the Paddlewheel quilt and have cut the fabric to make up the binding. Coming into the home stretch, but I know tomorrow will be full of errands, so I don't expect to get much done then.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
The snow cut short my errands today, so I started working on my QATW 2007 BOM. Yes, we do start early! I still need blocks for my Christmas Sampler quilt, so this is a great way too accumulate them. I have lots of this great leaf fabric and plenty of red with gold dots.
My block for the BOM didn't photograph real well. The dark fabric is a dark red. The fabric to the side is what I'm considering for the sashing. Yes, my seams don't match perfectly. Don't let that stop you from quilting. People who don't quilt don't notice this stuff. Ever.
I plan to quilt-as-you-go, so am trying to decide on my sashing fairly quickly. These were the choices from my stash. I'm thinking the top yellow due to the all-over pattern. My quilt will have more of a fall feel, which is fine. It does work with the focus fabric, which is the goal of course. I'm trying to do most/all of these projects using stash. Not always an easy thing!
I'm sewing the final border to the Paddlewheel quilt tonight. I hope to be able to attach the binding tomorrow, but no guarantee. Without sunlight, it's harder to see. :(
Sunday, December 17, 2006
I want to mention that if you were interested in the Reversible Quilt method, Sharon Pederson was on a Simply Quilts show and provided step-by-step directions. Take note of the sashing attachment near the bottom of the page as that can be easily used for quilt-as-you-go String Quilts. That would save loads of time!
http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/shows_qlt/article/0,1805,HGTV_3876_1727368,00.html. I will list this link also with my completed Reversible Quilt, making it easier to find it!
The Giant Granny rectangle is going along slowly. As mentioned, every round takes longer. I'm up to round 29 now. I'm not getting much done because of all the handwork on the Paddlewheel, but once that is done, Granny gets attention again.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Here's the monochromes. Two boys and the little girl on the right. Note that her eyes are starting to become less round and more slanted like an adult. The All-black and the little girl are the terrors of the group. The boy on the left is the largest kitten and he's very gentle.
Here's the Calicoes. They are both girls. The one on the left is very similar in coloration to the kitty I had as a teenager named Keye-Keye. They are both sweet.
Monday, December 11, 2006
I have to share this with you! None of my extended family members crochet, knit or quilt. However, my sisters do sew things. My sister in Central MN has been making doll clothing for her grandkids for a couple of years and is now selling them. They are mostly her own designs and most are historical. Here's an example. I think these are just great!
Also, here's a new photo of another train car on the Christmas Train. Lots of little figures for the kids (and they recognize all of them!
Finally, a kitty photo. Kitty jacknife. How do you sleep this way?
Sunday, December 10, 2006
I am attempting to go on a fabric and yarn diet for 2007. Except for crochet swaps, I want to just use stash except for fill-in. I just have too much stuff! One year of stash reduction should really help. Then everything will fit in my closet or under the cutting table once more. Hard though. I am also going on a quilt book diet as well to justify purchase of EQ6. I have more than 50 quilting related books (and that was after selling/trading more than 20). That doesn't even include the magazines. Since EQ6 is partially paid for with Christmas money, I've been waiting to install it, but I keep looking at my box. Sigh...the waiting..
Ok.. what have I purchased recently? A crochet book entitled 200 Crochet Blocks! I want to join several crochet swaps, but also want to expand my skills. This book gives me lots of choices. I hear that there is even a pseudo-crochet-a-long for this as well, but I haven't finished my other two yet! Unlike my quilts, I don't mind giving away crocheted afghans once I have finished them. I've done that for years. I really enjoy the process of creating the blankets and getting warm fuzzies from those who appreciate an afghan. More importantly, an afghan isn't any where near as costly to produce as a quilt!
Thursday, December 07, 2006
My Dad unexpectedly had surgery earlier this week. He came home from the hospital today, but gets readmitted early in January for a second procedure. So far so good. Hopefully, when all is done he will have a lot more pep than he's had this past year.
Kittens also require a good deal more attention for proper socialization. They are determined to play rather than rest in your arms to be petted. So far, NOBODY is a lap cat.
I have quilted the borders of the Paddlewheel Quilt and sewn together the quilted strips. I've gone with the idea of using sashing to connect the main part with the borders and cornerstones. Just making sure I have enough to do so without buying more fabric.
In crochet, I've been working on squares for an online swap (#74 cherry red and white) that I joined. Received some of the squares already. I'm making 2 different squares: one uses the same flower pattern I made for Mom's afghan. Haven't decided on the second yet.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
All the blocks are quilted, but not all sections are connected yet. The borders are sewn and pinned. The cornerstones are added last. I haven't decided what color I want for them yet. I'm thinking either the same brown used in the border or a red. The problem with country colors is that they tend to be too dull. Earlier Thimbleberries fabric (Prior to starting a collection in 2003) were much brighter than the current pallette. I will be adding a narrow sashing to connect the borders and cornerstones to the main quilt. I don't really mind the handwork since I need TV projects anyway. Better yet, I get a new-to-me recliner today! Hopefully that will do wonders for my knees, which have given me trouble ever since the mechanism on my current recliner failed.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Now, on to the kitties. I have found it impossible to take a digital photo of the kitties awake. They are just a blur in my camera. So, I get them during their nap. In the daytime, they prefer to sleep in their kittycat condo. Only 4 will now fit, so I had to search for sleepyhead (who was asleep on the crumbled paper under the computer. They are still confined to my sister's room except for twice daily romps in the hallway and bathroom areas-the house just isn't set up for babies of any species.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Here's my Dad's Christmas Train. It has a bunch of cars as well (heck it covers the whole front yard), but this is the only photo that came out clear. As you can see from the house behind, this thing is huge.
Friday, November 24, 2006
I finished my sister's Farmer's Daughter Scrap Quilt today! It is all ready for her to sleep under tonight. I wish I had a better place to hang this to take photos, but I'm a victim of where the sun is located.
OK, now for the details for this full-sized quilt that measures about 63x81 inches. This quilt used up nearly my entire box of 2.5 inch scrap squares for the center 9 patches. They are arranged mostly at random. There are lots of novelty fabrics included, making it very interesting. The star points are made of various dark greens and the backgrounds are various beiges and tans. The backing is split between flannel left over from my Maple Leaf Quilt and flannel purchased new. The flannels don't necessarily match, but they are sure soft. The batting is Joann's Soft and Crafty Hi Loft. The binding is left over fabric from my Maple Leaf quilt border. I used Cascade 220 wool yarn leftover from tying the Diamond Scrap quilt for my parents. Yep, this is pretty much a leftovers quilt.
This is sort of a test quilt since my sister washes and dries quilts often and usually uses the machine to do it. I want to see how well this batting stands up to that. I used Bonnie's instructions for making this quilt. I varied by using random squares since I wasn't using strips. I know this pattern as Farmer's Daughter, while Bonnie knows it as Sister's Choice, so don't get confused if you look up the directions.
If you want to make this quilt, here's the link:
Closeup of quilt; pieced backing
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Just a little reminder about those gift cards that seem to be everywhere. If they aren't used immediately, the issuing company 'charges' the card a fee to maintain the balance. Ultimately, it becomes valueless. In addition, if your card is accidentally wiped (as happened to my credit card last year), you have no recourse even if you have the receipt. You've just lost the balance of your gift card. I just read a newsreport that some companies charge fees just for looking up the gift card balance. It is true that some well-known companies don't do these practices. For instance, Target (one of my favorite stores) not only doesn't charge the card to maintain balance, but will replace the unused balance on any lost or stolen card if you have the original receipt (or gift receipt-don't keep the receipts WITH your card!).
What frosts me is that this information often isn't even contained on the card or with the purchasing information. You (or your giftee) don't know until you get to the cash register to buy that your $50 card is now worth only $46. Maybe not a big deal, but the card issuer is CHEATING you by not plainly stating that they will charge you if you don't spend it by such-and-such date.
What I LIKE about some of these cards is that you can often use them for online purchases at the same retailer, which is a great boon for those without a credit card (or trying not to charge up debt).
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Yes, it's time for more kitty photos. Here's the tired herd in the kitty cat condo. Right after I took this photo, I had to reach down and catch the black kitty from falling off. I put him back. He never woke up. Exhausting work being a kitten. The little tuxedo gal always wakes up when I start taking photos, but she's pretty cooperative.
Here's a couple of portraits at 5 weeks. They now get to run up and down the hall and practice their Halloween cat manuevers (hissing, arching back, hopping, fizzing up fur) and are having a great time doing so.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Here is that strip of Paddlewheel quilt quilted. What attracted me to this quilt pattern in the first place was how well the simple quilting worked with the design. I just do 3 straight (more or less) lines in each paddle then about 1/4 inch in on each of the triangles. This pattern is in an out-of-print book from Lynette Jensen (Thimbleberries). Once done, I'll post all the info as I'm sure you can get the book from Ebay. She does not call it Paddlewheels (I do). The closeup view shows the quilting in more detail.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
After I pinbasted that strip, I finally put my sister's quilt down to be tied. I found the missing yarn, so I'm ready to start on this. Well, after my class tomorrow. I'm taking a stained glass quilt-as-you-go class that finishes tomorrow. I have several stained glass patterns that I always intended to do, but just couldn't get the instructions. After learning this method, I plan to do the others the same way and the heck with the instructions (could be this is what they meant, but hey, sometimes you need someone to just show you).
Strip of paddlewheel layed out ready for pinbasting. This resin table is great for everything except quilting (vibrates too much).
I needed to use up leftover yarn from my Mom's project including yarn she rejected (but I lost receipt). So, I joined a Giant Granny-A-Long and am making this kindof cool rectangular granny afghan. I have not made a granny afghan since I was 16, so this is fun. I just started this thing yesterday and worked on it while bringing relatives to 2 medical appointments.
Finally, I rarely ever mention what my sisters are doing. My youngest sister makes doll clothes and decided to try selling some at craft fairs. She did her very first craft fair and sold almost $400 worth of doll clothing! I'm very proud of her. She was so concerned that she couldn't sell these (using unusual fabrics or her own designs), so I'm glad she was very successful. She has one more craft fair next weekend. Hope she does just as well! She and my bro have also done well this deer hunting season. She got 1 and he got 2. Crossing my fingers that BIL will get one this weekend.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
The Cabbage Rose pattern in Best of Maggie Weldon Crochet Afghans has a very similar rose. NOTE: I HAVE NOW ADDED PATTERN DIRECTIONS BELOW THE PHOTO!
Here's a closeup that shows the scallops and flower shapes better.
Here are the pattern directions as they originally appeared in a 1971 issue of Women's Day. Keep in mind that the flower square starts out rectangular and extra stitches are put on 2 sides to square it up. Also, I used a K hook. A J hook would not give me gauge. I also hated the fringe and instead did a scalloped border starting with 1 row of the flower color and then switching to the green.
Six Petal Rose Afghan
41 x 56 inches
Materials: 5 skeins black worsted
2 skeins green
2 skeins magenta
Crochet hook J or size to give correct gauge
With black, ch 5, join with sl st to form a ring.
Rnd 1: ch 3, 2 dc in ring, (ch3, 3dc in ring) 3 times, ch 3, join with slip stitch in top of ch 3.
Rnd 2: Sl st to next ch 3 sp, ch3, 2 dc, ch3, dc in space, *3 dc, ch3, 3dc in next ch 3 sp (corner group made). Repeat from *. Join with sl st in top of ch 3. Fasten off.
Rnd 3: Attach green to corner ch 3, 2 dc, ch3, 3 dc in corner sp, *3dc in next space, work corner group in corner space. Repeat from * once. 3 dc in next space. Join in top of ch 3. Fasten off.
Rnd 4: Attach black, * work corner group in corner space, 3 dc in each sp. Repeat from * around. Join.
Rounds 5&6: Repeat rnd 4. Fasten off. Make 16 more plain motifs.
With magenta, ch 6, join to form a ring.
Rnd 1: Ch 5, sc in circle 6 times. Join with sl st in first sc.
Rnd 2: In ch 5 loop; * 1 sc (ch1, 1dc) twice, ch 1, 1 sc. Repeat from * around.
Rnd 3: *1 sc around bar of next sc of 1st rnd, ch6. Repeat from * around. Join
Rnd 4: In ch 6 loop, *1 sc (Ch1, 1dc) three times, ch 1, 1 sc. Repeat from * around. Join Fasten off magenta.
Rnd 5: Attach green between scs of petals, sc in same place. *Ch 6, 1 sc in space between next 2 petals. Repeat from * around. Join.
Rnd 6: Ch 3, 2dc in same sc. *In next lp, 3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc: in next lp, 3 dc: in next lp 3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc*. Now 3 dc in next sc. Repeat between * once. Join. Fasten off green.
Rnd 7: Attack black and work to correspond to last 3 rnds of plain motif. Make 17 more flower motifs.
Finish: Sew motifs together alternating motifs. Fringe ends as follows. To make fringe: Cut yarn in 12 inch lengths using 4 strands of 1 color, knot fringe between dc groups. Alternate colors as follows: 1 black, 1 magenta, 1 green, 2 magenta
Monday, November 06, 2006
I'm also working on several quilting projects at once...not getting anything done but getting progress.
The kittens are so darn cute. All of a sudden, they started getting around easily, playing, scaling the wall of their enclosure. Just being kittens. I plan to take photos today, so hopefully will get them up right away!
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
I spent the evening babysitting kitties and working on Mom's afghan. Here's my progress. I only have a couple of more rows. Mom, of course, will say it needs more rows. I am prepared. Extra yarn!
Finally, here's the kitty family all in a jumble. They were 3 weeks old yesterday.