Friday, December 31, 2010

A Finish!

Finished a project!! In the nick of time!! Here's the Take-a-Long Granny square afghan that I've been working on. It's about 45x65 inches (standard afghan size) and based on a photo of a kit that I saw in the Mary Maxim catalog. I used Red Heart yarn in white, sage, time and dusty rose. Yep, it's a scrap afghan. I plan to gift it sometime in January.

Granny Done
Bad photo- it's just been dim and dark outside. I'll replace this with a better photo when I can.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Another Top Done!

Finished the Garden Party top last night. The blocks are from a swap at QATW. I made the bee, dragonflies, ladybug and bunny. It's roughly 75x85 inches. I'm going to have someone quilt it in January, so this will get done early! I'm now going to work on finishing the 2009 BOM. The final 6 blocks have been cut out, but it is putzy piecing, but I still am hoping to get it done before the end of the year. I plan to send both Garden Party and the 2009 BOM out to be quilted. Quilting is not really my favorite part of the project, and I just want to get some of these done.

Image Hosting by

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Snow, snow, snow!

Finally got our puffy winter snow last night. It was a shame I had to drive through it, but not too bad. So today is mostly going to be shoveling out.

Yesterday, I brought my Dad for an all day appointment and got quite a bit done on the granny afghan. I'm on the final row, which of course takes the longest. I'm doing a 9 triple crochet scalloped border. Nearly done with 2 sides, so for certain will have this project done within the next week. I did about half of sewing in ends already, so that won't take as long as usual.

In between, I need to spend some time doing mending. Yes, non-hobby stuff, darn it. ;)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Garden Party Almost

A UFO project is progressing! I've been working on finishing this swap top called Garden Party from Spring 2009. That pieced sashing takes FOREVER. I think I went through 5 short audio books to finish it. Still to do are the borders (and a better photo). I'm definitely thinking of tying this quilt, since the idea is to use it in the Spring (in March, we still have snow, usually). On the other hand, the quilting on this would be pretty simple - just another large quilt to mostly meander on.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Crocheting Near Finish!

Just thought I'd show you some progress on the crochet front. Here's a photo of the Granny Square afghan. I've completed the body. I still need to work in ends and then do the edging. I plan to make some crocheted kitties to attach and personalize this afghan. This is just brainless crochet for someone as experienced as I am, but it sure looks nice. I still have a LOT of leftover green and pink, so yes, I'll be making another one. I cannot BELIEVE how many skeins I bought thinking I wouldn't have enough and of course, Mom then wanted a change of green. I don't know who the final afghan will go to, but it will be my main project in December. I still cannot knit due to my arm pain, so a good time to work on the project.

I use a BASIC GRANNY SQUARE pattern and change colors every row. I'll include more instruction when I finish the afghan. Right now, I'm thinking of going with my favorite scall0ped edging. I'm going to first consider some of the edging options in 50 Crocheted Afghan Borders. I was hoping for something more like a flat braid, but using an H hook, that doesn't always work in a larger size. We'll see. I'll experiment tonight.

Granny Progress

Friday, November 12, 2010


Well, injured arm anyway. Last week, I fell on the patio rushing around so that I could get to the fabric store before it closed. Didn't seem like a problem in the hour after I fell. It has been a big problem all week. I still can't use a rotary cutter. Picking up a 6x24 inch ruler with the right hand -nuh uh...not happening. Today was the first day I could crochet, and it hurt some, but I got quite a bit done.

So, I decided to focus on applique and machine sewing things already cut out for the weekend. I hope to post some finished blocks tomorrow and Sunday. Lots of snow expected. I'm staying in with my cocoa.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween Cut Outs

As mentioned yesterday, I'm hard at work cutting out two Halloween Wedding Ring quilts. I've finished 82 insides and between 250 and 300 melons. I need 96, so I'm almost done. I hope to finish cutting those tonight and then will move on to cutting the semi-solid arcs to make two samples. I'm not sure if I will be using yellow or orange for the arcs. I have no shortage of both. I'm thinking red for the 4 patches (appear when you assemble blocks). I'm using the Double Wedding Ring template set from Shar Jorgenson (now sold by Omnigrid) and it really makes cutting this out quick, easy and accurate! If you get this set, consider getting something that applies to one side to prevent movement of fabric or your melons will shift as you cut.

Surprisingly, there was a lot less fabric waste than I'm accustomed to when doing fussy cutting for a large quilt. The melons don't have to be spot on like the center piece. After cutting out pieces for my Halloween version of Lucky Stars (Atkinson Designs), the remainder will go into a string quilt. I really thought I would have TONS of leftovers with this project given how much Halloween fabric I do have, but honestly, I'm not going to have any of the quilt shop fabric left and much of the Debbie Mumm will also be used up. So, it is looking like 5 quilts will use up all 96 yards plus I may have to buy backing for one quilt. The 5 quilts are: Witch quilt (top done), Spider quilt (top 50% done), 2 Wedding Ring quilts, 1 Lucky Stars quilt and MAYBE a sampler lap quilt depending on the remainders. My biggest concern right now is that because I have none of these quilts done, and all the nicer fabrics already cut, what am I going to use to cover the table where we give out treats this year?

Halloween Wedding Ring
I want you to know how tough it was to cut a lot of these can't-cut-it-fabrics! I may need beer to get through the next one.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cutting, Cutting, Cutting

My hand is starting to get a tad sore from cutting for 2-3 hours every day. The big moment finally arrived and I have started cutting into my can't-cut-it Halloween fabric! I'm cutting for 3 quilts - 2 Wedding Rings and 1 Lucky Stars. I need 96 inner rings and have cut about 72. Most also have 4 matching melons to complete the circle, but I know I'll have to use some random fill-in for that. Katier825 over at the Quilting Board provided me the cutting dimensions for Lucky Stars after I misplaced my pattern. It's here somewhere, but at least I can cut.

I had a lot of advance on the crochet project last week due to chauffeuring my Dad to the ER and then his subsequent appointments. Several appointments next week as well, so this project is going along pretty fast. I do want to gift it before the end of the year, so that works for me.

My sock knitting for the annual Sock Scarefest came to a sudden stop, alas. I'm having a little trouble with hand control. Temporary problem, but sometimes it's just best to set stuff down and ignore it for a couple of weeks and then pick it up again. I won't win any prizes, but I have the patterns and the finished sock will be a prize. Speaking of socks, while I am so-so on the LOOK of these socks, they are OH so comfortable and warm. I speak of Baba's Bed Socks made with Woolease. I have large feet (10W), and with my somewhat loose knitting, the size is perfect. They stay on. They don't wrinkle. They fit snugly. Try them! I finished these last April so only wore them a couple of times, but I really appreciate them now that it's getting cold. I plan to make another pair using more leftovers from a completed afghan. The only disadvantage is that two of my cats love the Woolease afghan and love these socks. I often find them in the hallway at night. Cat toys. Who would have thought?

House Socks

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Crocheting and Cat Beds

A 3-4 hour appointment turned into 5.5 hours of solid crocheting. As a result, I was able to get nearly 3 of the large squares done last week. Each large square is about 14 inches and the entire length is roughly 43 inches. Once all the rows are done, I think I'll finish the edging in scallops. I love scallops.

Row 1 Granny

I have a lot of cat help at most times. But what they really do is sleep. Everywhere. All day long unless you are working on something and then they help. Their current favorite sleeping bed are the 2 boxes from the grocery store.
It's not like they don't have other beds. Its there. It's a cardboard box. I'm going to sleep in it.

Cleo-Claudine and Bart (he's the all black one). Cleo and Bart tend to sleep together. Bart is very much a mama's boy. See that ugly chair in the back? I'm hoping to refinish it before it snows. Gotta buy some paint stripper this week.
Cleo and Bart

Polly in grocery cardboard boxes. Too tired to even look up.
Polly Sleeping

Here's the cat bunk bed. I think this photo was taken last Spring. From top to bottom is Bart, Cleo-Claudine, and Sylvester.
Cat Bunk Beds

Here's Polly sleeping in a chair. Too funny.
Polly Sleeping

We bought these beds for about $6 at Walgreens. Polly was in it so quick, I didn't even have the tag off! This is their winter livingroom bed.
Cat Bed

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Crocheting Afghan Again

Well, today I'll show you progress on the crocheting project. This is the my take-a-long project granny afghan. It's based on a photo for a kit sold at Mary Maxim. After getting my leftovers from the rose afghans together, I realized that I had only 3 skeins of white and 5 or more of rose and green, so my color arrangement had to vary.

Pink & Green granny Progress

Here's a closeup. Threading in the ends is always such a pain in the neck. So, I just stick in DVDs and watch movies or series while threading in. Star Trek Next Generation is good for this since I've already seen most episodes before, although some were so long ago, I've forgotten them. I'll have to start crocheting the larger blocks now. I do want to finish this afghan (as well as the Ladybug afghan that continues to linger) before the end of the year.
Pink & Green Granny Closeup Progress
After I finish these two projects, I have 5 more afghan projects for which I have yarn. Planned projects include a dragonfly afghan, an Irish Rose pillowghan, Winnie the Pooh, and an animal afghan.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

2009 BOM progress

Yes, you read that right. I'm working on the 2009 Block of the Month from QATW board. I got behind when first the printer failed and then the computer. Since the pattern information for the blocks will likely disappear in January, I thought it was time to get a move on. I have completed all the flying geese parts. Here is the first panel. That first block may get replaced. I couldn't figure out why I had two of them, and now that I can see that the white edging just disappears, I remember why I had made a second one. Oh well. I have six blocks still to make and then complete assembly.

2009 BOM Update

The quilting on the Pine Grove quilt has halted temporarily while I take some bad stitching out.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Template Free Applique

Usually, when I post a new technique, it's because I tried it. I haven't yet, but I am so awed by this applique technique that I wanted to post a link so that you can see this wonderful step-by-step tutorial on it. This is template free applique and the method is just ingenious. I am definitely going to try this on one of my Hawaiian applique blocks that have multicolors.

Template Free Applique

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Puff - A Sad Day

My sister's cat Puff died yesterday. He was about 10 years old. He was diagnosed with cancer a couple of months ago and we knew he didn't have a long time. He was finally losing his battle and it was just time to go. Puff the Cat God, also known as the Guardian of the Water Bowl and Keeper of the White Rump Spot was a dedicated quilt inspector whenever I housesat. He and his catmates always made sure that no block went unnoticed.

Here is the Cat God preventing the Barbie Quilt from moving in 2006.

Here's my sister's other 3 cats. That cat in the front is Huff, Puff's brother, followed by Ptolomy and the all black spot in the back is Spitty.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

A Loss To the Quilting World

Bonnie Lehmann passed away on the 5th of September. It is because of Bonnie and one of the cover quilts she designed for her magazine Quiltmaker that inspired me to take up quilting in the first place.

Here's a link to additional information on Bonnie.

This photo is the finished quilt of the inspiring cover. My first quilt. The instructions were so clear for someone who had nobody else to ask. As I recall, this pattern came out before rotary cutters became available in my area (1992). I really need to take a better photo of this quilt - it predates my digital camera.
Image Hosting by
This was my second finished bed quilt - Also from the cover of a Quiltmaker Magazine. I believe both patterns were designed by Bonnie. Both of these quilts were done by me while still a beginner.
Image Hosting by

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Tropical Quilting?

My chances of returning to a tropical paradise are slim to none, but I've decided to try Hawaiian quilting finally. I actually started a Hawaiian Style Quilt-a-long over at Quilting Around the World (secretly it is so I can get tips) for encouragement while I work on all these large blocks. Anyway, here is my first block all basted and ready to start appliqueing. Elizabeth Root's instructions were very good and this first one came out correct the first time. Well, pretty close anyway. It's all basted and I'll start doing some of the needleturn tomorrow. The final block will be around 18 inches square - these are based on designs for pillows, but I plan to put them in a quilt, so just a lot of large blocks. I definitely need to make my backgrounds smaller. Didn't think of that when I cut it out.

Hawaiian breadfruit

I've also been completing swaps. I've finished the Goose In the Pond swap, round 1. I also completed the Spooky Attic Windows swap. Here are my participant block! I figured nobody else would have these fabrics as all but one or two are pretty old. Remember, I mentioned before that I had like 97 yards of Halloween fabric? You don't get that over night. Takes several years of collecting! See those orange and black ghosts? I think that fabric must be at least 12 years old (Bernatex). Couple of Debbie Mumm plus a 1930s repro-like fabric. This was my style of the Attic Windows pattern. Two strips of black. Easy. Not sure if I will participate in the Goose In The Pond Round 2 - I've hit that time of year where everything is a struggle, so I think I will focus on things that don't require a deadline. I can meet that.
Spooky Attic Windows Swap

Friday, August 27, 2010

Working on the Swap

Since I haven't posted much, I thought I would include some photos of my current swap progress, Goose In the Pond. As you can see, Polly came along to help. This is my cutting table. It's one of those resin folding tables sold in some big box hardware stores. Not perfect, but I do ok. That little white container at the end is my 2 inch squares - the current leader/ender project that will ultimately end up as heart blocks.

Polly Helping

Of course, I can't accomplish anything with her help, so I had to resort to bribery. Despite the fact that there are several bed choices, all very costly, her preference is a cardboard box with or without a quilt folded into it. Obviously, she needed the quilt for some prompting. I've made a quilted pad for her - just have to add the binding. Unless she is in the box, I can't take the risk of using the rotary cutter - cats move so darn fast.

Cat bed

Anyway, by the end of tonight, I have finished all the rows for this block and will start assembling the rows into blocks tomorrow. I'm hoping to press, bag and tag to mail on Saturday. I plan to do Round 2 of this swap, and then I should have nearly all the blocks I need to complete a large quilt.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Swap Works

Haven't posted in a bit, but I have been working on projects! Currently working on a swap and I hope to have a photo soon. Yes, I really need to stop participating in swaps for awhile so that I can finish other stuff, but couldn't help it. I had always wanted to do this other one and then someone came up with an easy peasy Halloween swap, so just the way it goes. So far, I've resisted joining a charm swap, but it's hard. I was collecting charms for SO many years, but really don't need them now that the Pyramids top is done.

I hope to spend some time soon making my sidebar look a little less crowded. I've seen how some people are linking between multiple blogs in order to streamline. Not sure my stuff can do that, but I'll try. Part of why I have so many links is simply to maintain them for me. At least if my bookmarks go astray, my most important ones are on the blog!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Progress on UFOs

While I still have more work to do, periodically, I go through my links to make sure everything works. I noticed that my list of 'selected UFOs' has shrunk a lot in the last 2 years.

These items have been on there for at least 2 years. Potentially 3, if not 4, will still come off the list yet this year! In some cases, due to a quick cleanup, parts were separated and I'm finding them now. For instance, the Summer Sling bag has been completely crocheted for 2 years. I just found all the parts a couple of days ago. So, I'm going to make an effort to make that lining and attach, so that I can finish assembling the bag. I need to add a zippered pocket to the inside of this bag, so it's great that I have some additional yarn left over, as I don't have enough lining fabric to make one.

July Was A Bust

I got so little crafting done in July. I spent much of it mostly cleaning, cutting up scraps and doing other things. I've made a fair amount of progress on the granny afghan. Photos to be up later this week.

I did start working on a hand pieced Apple Core quilt from the scraps I've been accumulating. I have roughly 500 apple cores and according to the sheet, you need about 900 to make a queen sized quilt. Well on my way, I'd say. Why hand pieced? I have tried machine sewing these and I seem to spend as much time taking some apart to fix than it would take to hand sew these in the first place. It's a mostly mindless task. I have a needle with a larger eye and don't even need my needle threader to do this AND my bifocals aren't driving me nuts while sewing them up. I sew 5 or 6 sets of two during an hour of watching a show. No rush to get it done. It will likely become my take-a-long project when I finish the granny afghan.

August projects include quilting the Pine Grove quilt and continuing to work on the Spiderweb quilt top. While I'm getting progress on the quilting, the Spiderweb has come to a stop given that my sorting areas include the ironing board. Finishing that this week and can then focus on my swap and the Spiderweb. Swap? Yes, bad me. I joined another swap, that again required me to buy fabric because I didn't really have stash. This time, it's a plaids/strips Goose in the Pond block using shirtings as a background. It's a simple pattern - HSTs with 9 patches and rail fences. The fabric choices will make it look very cabin like and homey. We're doing a 15 inch finished block, so that should go fast. Who gets it? Me. All quilts are for me unless I decide I can part with it. (evil grin).

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Couldn't Help Myself - Another Swap!

Joined another swap, mostly because I had the fabric and the final quilt will be fabulous. It consists of 12.5 inch star in a star with alternating HSTs in lights and darks. Here's the blocks I've done for the swap, although I will be making more to finish off the fabrics. If QATW doesn't do a second round, I will finish this over the winter using other FQs. My only limitation is that I don't have a lot of lights to choose from, but there is always a FQ sale around New Years. In fact, I attended a FQ sale at my LQS and was so proud of myself to limit my choices to things I needed for projects already in progress. Yes, I bought some spiders for the Halloween quilts - you understand that collections must be fed, which is why I'm trying to finish all the Halloween quilts so that the collection can go away.

Star swap

I've mostly been cutting through scraps in the last week or two, but am working on quilting the Pine Grove quilt. Today I have both a doggie and a kitty pad to finish off. The doggie pad is a gift to my mom's coworker in celebration of her new dog and already planned, but her husband had a stroke last night, so I'll just get it made so my Mom can give it to whenever she next sees her.

On the knitting side, they finally had both yarns in that I needed to finish off the Kitty Pi Bed! They arrived the other day and I hope to finish that project this month. Yes, yes, I did buy a single skein of sock yarn for socks. Not sure why, but I just loved this tonal green. I'm not a bright green sort of gal, but we'll give it a shot.
Tonal Green
Tonal Stroll Sock yarn by Knit Picks

This weekend involves some marathon recording, which is great because I will get a lot of crocheting done on that granny afghan. I record favorite shows and take the commercials out to save for my Mom to watch later. Naked Science has a new episode tonight. Being Human season 2 starts Saturday and I can do some catch up episodes for Dr. Who before the season's grand finale this weekend. Of course, I can't miss Eureka on Friday night. Have you noticed the sort of geek format of my favorite shows? It is not a coincidence.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Top Done

I'm happy to report that I finished that final row on the 1000 Pyramids and the top is now complete. It has 1,260 triangles, all of which are different fabrics (yes, I have a couple of repeats, but we will ignore them). I plan to set it aside for the month of July and get the last of my previously pinned quilts quilted (Pine Grove Quilt) before starting on this.

So, for the rest of the month, I'm packing up some stuff, working on the Spiderweb quilt and quilting the Pine Grove Quilt. I hope to be painting by the end of the month and then I can set up a more permanent spot for my sewing machine stuff.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Swap Kitties

Finished my swap kitties and mailed them off. Yep. Bad photo, but you can see the star in the first kitty on the 2nd row.

I am also working on the latest afghan, which is a granny afghan. Lots of people love the colors (well, natch, I've made 2 afghans already with these). I have decided that I need to add some texture here - maybe a few bobbles. My cousin's daughter was really into textures, so I think she would enjoy that.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy 4th!!

I've spent all of today watching Star Trek TNG season 1 episodes and working on the 1000 Pyramids quilt. I've completed all 9 rows and assembled the 3 sections. The edges added enough width that I have now decided not to add a border, but do need an additional row. Only need to make 3 pyramids to assemble that 10th row. That will make it about 76x93 inches - plenty big.

Here's a photo. I hadn't pressed since I finished sewing, so it looks a tad rumpled. I plan to quilt this in 3 sections, which is why they are separate. I really like the look of this simple one-patch pattern, but in future, I think I will assemble each pyramid with all lights or all darks. I couldn't with this charm quilt because I knew I had way more darks than lights. Heck, the only reason why I have as many lights as I do is because of charm swaps!


Finally, go to this quilt related link on YouTube. Hilarious!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

I really Got a Lot Done!

Looking back at June, I did get quite a lot done. Finished a UFO wallhanging (the Panther), have nearly finished the 1000 Pyramids top (started in 1992) and a good start on the Spiderweb quilt. I've also made a start on a granny afghan for my cousin's family.

For July, I really need to make a push to finish the Ladybug afghan. Not much remains. I am redoing the wings because they are just too small. It's really only a weekend of crocheting to finish, but I have to have everything in front of me. Then attaching, which does take longer (attach black spots to wings, then wings to bodies) and finally assembly.

July goals:
  • Complete Ladybug afghan
  • Finish 1000 Pyramids top
  • Finish Spiderweb Quilt
  • Finish 1 pair of UFO knitted socks

Certainly a doable list, even with interruptions and such. I'm also trying to get back in the habit of doing cross-stitch at least once a week, but so far, a suitable every-week day hasn't presented itself.

I'm also on a no-buy thing for the summer for crafts. I really, really, really need a new chair and it's looking like I will never find something suitable that is either low cost or used. I've been looking even through Craigslist and even used, folks are asking an awful lot. Therefore, I'm going to have to start looking in the $400-600 range.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Panther Wall Hanging

It's done, it's done!! It's going to look SO cool against the cool green wall (yes, I have a place picked out already and plan to hang it this week).

First, I should say that I did not make this top. It was a store sample sold when Country Peddler Quiltshop in St. Paul closed. I loved this top, but the fabric was no longer available, so was thrilled when I had the opportunity to buy the store sample (2001?).

As far as the quilting, I did 1/2 inch diagonal quilting in the window, tight woodgrain quilting in the window and freeform leaves in the border mimicking the leaves in the fabric. I originally had some vine quilting in the sashing, but it looked odd. It actually looks better unquilted, so I have left it that way. The backing fabric is also jungle leaves, so really well planned. Alas, none of this used up stash as the backing was purchased only a couple of months ago and the binding was just leftover from the last quilt.

Image Hosting by
Here's a closeup that shows some of the quilting detail. Really hard to see against black (using black thread).
Image Hosting by

Country Peddler closed because the owner decided to retire. It was a loss for me as it was my first quilt shop and I learned so much from there. To see what it was like, see the writeup at the link below. Keep in mind that this was posted about the same time as the shop closed, so it's a pretty old posting! Heck, half the postings are of now closed shops!

Busy, Busy Month

This has been a busy, busy month. It's amazing how much work there is before and after a garage sale. Unfortunately, our garage sale wasn't all that successful. I can only assume it was because it was the first nice weekend in over a month and people were doing other things. Well, we'll be having another one in the Fall.

Also, during this month has had a Bounce Contest! Every day, you work 20-30 minutes on one of 3 projects (and 2 projects on Saturday). GG decides which numbered project you work on. Lots of progress. I'm almost done with my Panther Wallhanging, finished all the blocks for my oldest UFO (started 1992) and got a good start on the next Halloween quilt (as you saw in previous entry).

Here's a photo of my 134 pyramids finished on Sunday!! This charm quilt has more than 1,000 different fabrics.
Pyramid blocks

On the crochet front, since my cousin and his gal recently bought a house, I decided to make a granny square afghan for them using up the leftovers from the 2 floral afghans. They'll get a fancier one later, but right now, there is a house without an afghan and I need to correct that situation. I'm using 2 sizes of blocks, one block being the same size as 4 put together to get a more homey look. Guys are kindof funny about afghans. They can't be too 'pretty.' Anyway, 3 blocks are done and it is both my TV and away from home project.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Spiderweb Halloween Quilt Bounce

At my quilting board, QuiltingAroundTheWorld, I joined a Bounce Contest. Every day (and twice on Saturdays), Glenda posts which of 3 projects we should be working on for 20-30 minutes. Yes, and we get points (and a chance to win a grand prize). My projects are the 1000 Pyramids, a spiderweb Halloween quilt and a Panther wallhanging.

I started the Spiderweb quilt back in the 90s but just really didn't have the skill to do hexagons. I looked at this project a lot with the intentions of doing it and then just never got to it. However, since this is the year when I'm using up all the Halloween fabric, it is project #2 (as well as #2 in the Bounce Contest. I finished the first block yesterday. Cool, huh?

quilting spiderweb

I'm getting ready for a garage sale for next week, so am going through the agonizing task of figuring out what stuff to get rid of to trim down my clutter. It's all GOOD STUFF, but I just don't have the space for all of it (boo hoo!).

Public Service Announcement: I recommend that you get a combo carbon monoxide/gas detector for your basement. Many people over the age of 50 cannot smell gas until it is quite strong. Ours alerted us to a leak 4 days before we could smell it. There was a pinhole in the pipe leading to the furnace, so even if you don't have your furnace running, there could be problems. We thought the alarm might be faulty. Nope. Just detects gas at a lower range than people can.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Top Done

Finished the Grumpy Witch top. I just added 6 inch solid black borders. It won't get quilted until I finish more tops so that I know what I can use for the back. I have Peanuts (i.e. Snoopy, Charlie Brown) fabric, but not enough for the whole back especially since it is a directional fabric.

My plans for working on the Ladybug afghan came to a temporary halt, but I hope to pick it up tomorrow now that I've finished the Grumpy Witch top. Too many distractions, darn it! I have to keep reminding myself not to get sucked into the Spike TV marathon of all SIX episodes of Star Wars given that I have them on DVD, but it is tempting. Sad.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Halloween Quilt Progress

I'm nearly done with my first Halloween quilt. I'll call this Grumpy Witch for the center squares. I had originally planned to follow the pattern and just use the orange for the single border, but I just didn't have enough. So, tonight, I'll set out the quilt with several border fabrics to determine what I'll use. As mentioned before, I'm focusing on just getting the tops done for now. When I have all the planned quilts done, I will know what I have to use for backings. If you are new to my blog, while this particular pattern is no longer available, it is called 'square in a square' and there are plenty of instructions and sizes available on the net for free.


What about other crafts? I plan to work primarily on my crocheted ladybug afghan this weekend so that I can get it done. I have a portable table with adjustable height to set by my chair and will probably finish watching the remainder of my Buffy or Next Generation dvds while crocheting and attaching spots to wings and wings to bugs.

In June, not only do I need to finish a knitted sock pair for my sock-a-month group, but my online quilting group has a contest that requires 20-40 minutes a day of quilting. I really get a lot done with these contests (I won once) and it's fun to see all these other folks also getting project progress.

Fish Bowl Quilt is Done!!

I finished the Fishbowl Quilt a few days ago and have been testing it for several nights. Comfy, comfy, comfy! I deliberately used a light batting in this one because I planned to use it in the summer. The fish fabrics in the bowls were the only birthday gift I ever received from my brothers (bought in FL). I added a border fabric with cats and aquariums. While mostly meander quilting, some of the bowls feature quilted sharks and rock fish. Around each bowl, I quilted bubbles and in the blue sections, I quilted watery streamers. I'm really happy with how they turned out. This quilt is about 70x86 inches. I've had the fabrics since the mid-90s, but the quilt was started in 2004. Another UFO DONE!

Image Hosting by

Here's a closeup.
Image Hosting by
Fishbowl quilt pattern. It is not paperpieced!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fish Bowl Quilt Almost Done

I'm nearly done with the Fishbowl quilt now. I attached the binding to the front and just started sewing to the back. I do need to do a little finishing in the center area (redo the quilting on some spots and quilt a spot that I missed). I expect a finish in the next week. I also need to do some catching up on quilt labels. I'm getting a tad behind on those. I think I have 6 to do now.

Once the quilt is done, then I'll be doing more finishing on that ladybug quilt. The wings need to be redone (they are too small) and then I make and attach black spots to them. A couple of days of good solid work there.

Got a lot to get done. I plan to start the first of the Halloween quilts on June 1, so getting some of this other stuff out of the way is really helpful.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Finished the On Hold Socks

Yes, ironic that the name of these socks should be "On Hold". They've been on hold since July, but done they are. I used size 0 (2.0 mm) circulars to make these in Knit Picks Stroll Sock yarn (Lantana). Pattern is On Hold Socks from Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy Johnson. The pattern is not all that complicated, but I found that I couldn't do these while away from home or watching TV. I'd just get messed up and have to rip back (over and over). I did learn that I need to adapt her patterns just a bit by cutting them about 3/4 inch in length to get the right fit. Then I don't have to adjust the heel - save a step. So, one sock is a little longer than the other, but I'll live with it. I also chose to do a regular K2P2 cuff with a sewn bind off.

On Hold Socks

I'm not too happy with the photo. The color is totally wrong, why I don't know. Here's the correct color.
On Hold Socks Progress 7/26/09

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

House Socks

House Socks
Originally uploaded by Tarana5
Finished these quick to do socks last night. They are shortie socks with ribbing all the way down the instep. Fit really nice and cushy.

Made from Woolease Denim (left over from afghan) on size 8 double pointed needles from the top down. Used the pattern "Baba's Bed Socks". Love the socks, hate the double pointeds. Will do again, but using 2 circs. Pattern does fit my size 10 wide feet, but I would add an additional inch to the width and knit to 1 inch length required before starting toe. Reductions are just too fast to to accommodate the 2 inches mentioned in the pattern.

Baba's Bed Socks pattern

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

More Quilting

I'm plugging away on the Fishbowl quilt. I tried several different quilting styles on the bowls and nothing looked as good as the meander, so that is what they are getting. It's because I am making myself use the variegated thread. I KNOW everybody will wonder why I have an issue with it, and I guess it is personal preference. I just don't like variegated thread. However, I have 5 spools and a cone of it and I gotta use it. Looks good in the border, however.

If you have read substantial portions of my blog, you know that I love quilt-as-you-go methods because they are just easier - sometimes more time consuming, but easier for a large quilt. Quilter Andrea has created a step-by-step that is VERY clear for anybody who wants to put blocks together after quilting. Here is the link and I will keep it over in the side bar under my quilting links.

Quilt As You Go Tutorial

Tonight, I'm working on the Baba's socks while recording V for my brother. Sorry, bro, but I just don't like 'V'. But, I am taking commercials out, so I hope you enjoy it.

I won't be getting the Ladybug afghan done by the 15th. Can't find my stupid knitting bag. It's gotta be under something and probably staring me in the face, but I just can't find the darn thing. Just another reminder that I have too much stuff.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Waterfall Quilt is Done!

Completed the Waterfall Quilt last night!! Yet another UFO DONE!

The pattern is Waterfall and from Mystery Weekend #18 in June 2006 at Yep, took me 4 years to get it done! It's been pinned for at least a couple of years - I just couldn't decide how to quilt it. It is 64.5x76 inches. I would have liked it a little longer, but it was a Mystery and I'm happy with it anyway.
Image Hosting by

Here's a closeup. Yes, the backing is upside down. Looks great anyway. I did echo quilting around the diamonds - really emphasizes them.
Image Hosting by

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Projects and Near Dones

Lots of things I have been working on when I should be doing other things. Just finished attached the binding to the front of the Waterfall quilt, so that is an almost finish. I expect that I will finish it in a few days. For the first time, I finally used the instructions for making continuous bias binding from a rectangle. Went very smooth. I learned from the last time - just make more than you need and save the leftover for some scrap quilt or potholders.

Started a pair of Baba's Bed Socks finally using leftover blue Woolease. The instructions say to cast on using 2 strands of yarn. Ok... remind me to never again try to do this using 2 ends of the same skein. It works, but it was just a dumb thing to do. My only excuse was that I was rushed. I couldn't find my knitting bag and I needed a take-along and it was the only thing where I could quickly nab yarn, needles and instructions and zoom off. I foolishly only grabbed ONE skein of yarn. Anyway, this is a top down on double pointed needles pattern. I finished the cuff and since it goes right to the heel, I expect, it won't take too long to do.

My goal has been to finish the ladybug afghan by April 15, so I really have to get a move on that one. I'm at a point where everything needs to be done at home, so I have my large clipboard to hold the background piece while I attach. Periodically, I have to stop and make more spots for wings. They are tougher than they seem to make because of the black, but the stitches themselves aren't particularly complicated.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Shorty Socks Done!

Finished my sister's shorty version of my Fur Cuffed Socks. I did hers using ONE skein of Vanna's Choice yarn plus some eyelash yarn from the yarn store.

Shortie Fur Cuffed Socks

My greatest help for adapting the Fur Cuffed Socks pattern at Lion Brand yarns was the generic toe up pattern at In addition, I needed to stop the foot about 3 1/2 inches shy of the heel AND take out 4 stitches in the heel on the first purl. Otherwise, the heel was just too dumpy.

First, I will say that I really don't like acrylic socks. They feel kindof plasticky to me. However, my sis can't wear wool, so went with the flow. Bernat and others have put out some non-wool yarns at low cost. They also feel nice, so I bought some to give it a whirl. My sis has had a LOT of problems getting socks that don't cut her in the ankle, so more sockmaking is likely in my future for her.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

National Quilting Day Stuff

Lots of things were worked on yesterday. I spent most of the day taming the hoard, by folding fabric. Ok.. at this point, I MUST agree that folding fabric using your ruler really does take up less space. I chose to use my 24x8.5 inch ruler because it fits my Rubbermaid bins as well as the storage cabinet where I just put all the Halloween fabric. Fabric Folding Tutorial

Yesterday, March 20, was National Quilting Day. One of the challenges on my board was to clean up and organize the thread box! Mine is always a mess because I have too much thread. I haven't yet used down the thread that I bought when a quilt shop went out of business, but I'm getting there! I have all different sizes, but mostly all cotton. I have a handful of Coats and Clark and some specialty threads such as silk.
Thread Mess
Here's the thread all organized. It all fit in and the cover closes, but not completely. In the glass bowl (a former candy dish), I keep thread and incidentals for the current project(s). In the larger round container, I have thread used for hand projects such as silk and hand quilting cotton, plus a few metallics. About once a year, I get all the partial spools together and use them up in a scrap quilt top.
Thread Organized
Progress on the Waterfall Quilt. Here's what it is looking like a few days ago. It's about 1/2 quilted.
Waterfall Quilt prorgress
Close up of quilting. As you can see, I did echo quilting around the diamonds. The dark green areas are done with a wave meander (sharp instead of smooth meander), the green is done with a regular meander and the yellow is bubbles. I put off quilting this quilt for ages because I couldn't decide how to quilt it. Then I was going to do leaves, but find I just don't have the skill to put leaves in these narrow sections. I like the bubbles though. Cool. I give credit for the method to Leah Day, who gave me tips. See her Free Motion Quilting videos!
Waterfall Closeup

Tonight, I'm recording both Pacific (HBO) and two episodes of Life (Discovery), so I'll be knitting on my short fur cuffed socks. I've completed the red part on one sock and just started the gusset on the other. I hope to get the red section done tonight. Once I get this pair done, I'll be working on my UFO socks.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

So Much Done!?

I have to say that I've been doing so much better progressing on things lately. I think I've finished more items already in 2010 than all last year. Of course, many of these projects were in progress during 2009, but still. 2008-2009 was just a bad year for me due to all this coughing stuff going on and feeling plain worn out.

Knitting: Currently working part time on 3 alternating projects. I started my Kitty Pi Bed. I'm on about the 9th round. It's weird knitting 3 yarns together, but going well. I'll be thrilled when I can switch from the double pointed needles to the circs. My second project is the Buffy potholder, left over from the Ravelympics. I have to sit at the table to work on this project, so don't work on it as much. Still. Should finish this coming week. My third project is a UFO. I started these On Hold Socks last September. Finished one sock and then got stuck because something was arwy with the heel. Not really understanding heels and unwilling to spend hours ripping back and being unable to figure out where I was, I set it aside. Now that I GET heels, it was a lot easier to fix. I have finished the heel and about an inch up the ankle now. I expect to finish soon. I think I will avoid starting new yarn over patterns for awhile and stick with intarsia and knit/purl combination.

Crochet: I plan to just focus on finishing the ladybug afghan now. It is pretty close to done and a little focus will finish it. All the squares are done. I have sewn most of the ladybug bodies on. I have to redo many of the wings and then sew on the dots, but that is coming along. I started working on the daisies last week.

Quilting: I'm trying to stick with 1 hour a day because I really need to do a lot of organizing. I am currently quilting the Waterfall quilt. If I can get my shirt cut this weekend, I can then also start putting together the top sections for the Pirate Quilt which will quilted in sections and then, later assembled. My LQS has a re-grand opening, so I'm off to that in a few minutes.

Cross-Stitch: Set up materials to do a couple of little projects from one of Donna Kooler's christmas cross-stitch books. I wanted to do 5 of them and then can post the book either on Ebay or Paperbackswap.

Tall Ships Quilt is Done!

Finally, I'm able to post my completed quilt (finished Monday). I started Tall Ships in 1993. Due to really bad tension and quilting problems with my machine, I needed to take out all the quilting. Yep. Took a while mostly because most seam rippers couldn't get those tiny stitches out without damaging the fabric. The winner was the Clover Seam Ripper - slips under even the tiniest of stitches.

I did meander stitching in the background (an Alexander Henry fabric called "Starry Night" based on Van Gogh). The hull is outline stitched and I left the sails free. Border done in filler shell stitches. Looks really great (see 2nd photo). The idea for the border stitches came from 365 Filler Stitches blog (See link under Quilting Links in my sidebar)

So, I have finished my 2nd oldest UFO!!

Tall ShipsTall Ships Edge

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Toying With A Finish

Originally uploaded by Tarana5
Finally made the robot and finished just before the Closing Ceremonies started. Cute, cute, cute. Primarily made with Vanna's Choice yarn on size 7 needles, my robot is about 10 inches tall without the antennae.

Made using Jess Hutchison's out-of-print pattern. I do need to improve my sewing together skills, but hey, still cute.

Here's Polly trying to help me take the photo.
Robot and Polly

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Another Olympic Finish!

Sexy Red Socks
Originally uploaded by Tarana5
Finished my Sexy Blood Red Socks for Team Trueblood in the Sock Hockey event this morning. They fit nicely, although I probably should have stopped an inch earlier with the red.

I made these with Woolease and an unknown eyelash yarn bought at the yarn shop. They are done toe up with size 4 needles.

I adapted the pattern from Cuffed Fur Socks from Lion Band Yarns. I am grateful to the gal at Not Another Knit Hat for her formula for toe up socks, which made adapting this pattern a breeze!

I am now off to do some cleaning and then to start my Buffy Potholder this afternoon. I found it impossible to knit this thing in a recliner. I need to just lay the chart on a table and knit from there. Not so comfortable, but it will get done. Chances on doing the robot are small, but not out. Depends on the Buffy Potholder.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

True Blood Red Socks in progress

Blood Red Socks in progress
Originally uploaded by Tarana5
Here's my progress photo on the True Blood Red socks. As you can see, the feet are done and I'm attempting to do a heel. I'm having trouble remembering how to do M1 purlwise and need to sit in front of the computer with a video to do it. Otherwise, I end up with all these holes and that isn't acceptable!

The socks are done in Woolease on size 4 circs. Obviously, toe up. If I can get the heel figured out, I think I can get these completed tomorrow as I have a long appointment where I can just knit.