Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Paddlewheels are Turning

I'm still quilting along on the Paddlewheel Quilt. I thought I could get it done by the end of November, but I'd say I have a couple more weeks to go. Here are the sections that are completed already. I still have to trim them, but it's easier to do it all at once. One more doublestrip to go, then the borders. For those who have asked, the name of the pattern is Paddlewheels and Pinwheels and it is in Lynnette Jensen's book Thimbleberries Book of Quilts (avail. at The quilting is going along pretty well, but I only get a couple of blocks quilted daily. The borders will be done using cross-hatching.
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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.
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Friday, November 24, 2006

Farmers Daughter Quilt Done!

Another finish! Happy dance, happy dance.

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.
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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:
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Closeup of quilt; pieced backing

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Watch Those Gift Card Ripoffs

My current soapbox.

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).

Off soapbox.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Afghan and Kittens Are Bigger

I'm on the last section of tying my sister's quilt. I hope to finish tonight so I can start cutting the binding out. I have also finished quilting the second section of the Paddlewheel quilt and am clipping those many strings (side effect of using a walking foot, I guess). I also work on the Giant Granny Afghan while watching TV or Netflix movies. I have progress to show! I'm at 20 rows now, but do need to make it about twice as wide as it is now. Another member of the CrochetALong was using similar colors, but added black. I think the black adds a lot to the quilt so am adding that (it also stretches my dwindling supply of greens).
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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.
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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.
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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Quilting Progress

Here's some of the progress on my projects. The first is my sister's quilt. Actual tying is occuring finally. I'm using up yarn from tying my Mom&Dad's Diamond Scrap quilt. The flannel on the back is from Joann's and is the cutest star fabric. Doesn't really go with the pink paisley, exactly, but it's soft and happy and bargain priced. My sister likes it, which is the most important thing.

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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.
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Monday, November 13, 2006

We Are So Cute

Managed to catch a photo of all 5 kittens on the kitty condo this morning. They are about 5 weeks old now. Cute, cute, cute. It's terrible trying to get sharp photos of them because my digital camera doesn't handle motion all that well. Yep, they all have blue eyes yet.
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Friday, November 10, 2006

This and That

As always, I'm working on several things. First, I'm working on the Paddlewheel quilt. This will be quilt-as-you-go in strips. I just can't stand yet another project where I have to try to push an entire quilt around in my sewing machine. So, I'm just making it easy on me. I prefer strips over blocks because there is less finishing involved. Most of my strips are 2 columns, but this one was a singleton and although I had planned to attach the border to this one, I forgot when I cut the backing fabric. So, one extra piece..oh well. I only have enough pins to pinbaste 2 strips, so the rest have to wait until something is quilted.

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).
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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.

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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

Mom's Rose Afghan Is Done

Well the day is just as dull and dreary as yesterday. However, here is a photo of my Mom's new afghan! I used TLC dusty rose, TLC medium thyme and Red Heart white. I also used a K hook which was unusual for me. My Mom was given the pattern by a lady who was teaching her how to crochet. She never really learned, so 30 years later, I insisted on doing it for her. She selected the colors and the final finishing (original was fringed) which included these great scallops.

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!
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Here's a closeup that shows the scallops and flower shapes better.
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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

Motif (plain)

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.

Flower Motif

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

Getting Things Done

I am happy to report that I finished Mom's Rose Afghan last night. The original instructions included fringe but my Mom asked for a scalloped border. Today, so far, is a very dreary day, so I'll try for a photo this afternoon.

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!