Tuesday, May 10, 2022

My Ta-Da Moment

 i don't usually use the phrase ta-da moment when referring to a finished project. Lucy, from Attic 24 uses that phrase for her finished crochet projects. Since that is exactly what this is, ant the pattern is hers, I felt it was appropriate. I have finally finished my Flora Granny Square blanket!

I started this project as a way to keep busy creatively during our move. I knew that any kind of hand work was the answer. After several false starts with using up leftover yarn from other projects, I landed on this one. I made the first squares in late August 2021.
Each granny square was made by choosing the colors for that one, then making it before moving on to the next one. I wanted to focus on, and enjoy each beautiful flower.
When I started the process, I had no idea how many I would make or what they would become.
Once I had about a dozen of them, I decided that my goal would be to make 100 of them and join them in 10x10 rows. I also decided to give each one another row of a neutral color yarn to bring them all together.
That worked really well. It calms things down a bit and you can see the individual blocks and colors. My original thought was to lay the whole thing out into an arrangement so the colors didn't bunch up, but in the end, I decided to just go rogue.
I grabbed whatever square was on top of the stack and just joined them up. And I find that I really don't care about the placement so much after all.
Lucy also has a great tutorial for Joining Granny Squares. I used that for putting it all together.
And since I got my second shingles vaccine yesterday and am feeling pretty puny, I used this happy little blanket to cover me up while I napped. So nice and just the right size too.

Hard to believe that just a couple of weeks ago they looked like this! So happy to have this project finished. Just one more hand project to go from before the move, and that is my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt. The flowers are done, but now I have to make all the hexies it will take to join them together. Maybe when I feel better, but not today. 

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

A Little More Hand Work

I'm sewing quite a bit right now.I have 3 quilts in progress. But hand work has my heart. I found these adorable little creations on Snuggly Monkey and just had to try one.

Thank you Blogger for re-ordering my pictures. Not worth the hassle to fix, but anyway, you get the idea.
These are by Kiriki Press out of Canada. You get everything you need in the kit to make a tiny hand held stuffie. You just need a six inch hoop and scissors.
There are 3 levels of stitchery. 1 being the easiest and 3 the most difficult. This is Fiesta Cat, she is a level 2. I have don tons of embroidery, so I didn't find this too difficult. Just read the directions carefully before you start.
And this is a picture that comes in the kit to show how the finished animal should look. You can Google Kiriki Press to find stockists near you. So. Much. Fun.

My last item for today is this: I bought a chambray shirt on line to embroider.


When I was a teenager (way back in the early 70's) we used to embroider flowers and such on our jeans and chambray shirts bought just for that purpose. I thought about it one day and just decided to jump in an do it. My skills have come a long way since then, and I am enjoying this. Can't wait to get it done so I can start wearing it!

Well, that's all for now. Talk to you soon.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Hoop It Up!

I love Bonnie Hunter. I so enjoy her blog Quiltville's Quips and Snips and the real and creative life she leads. It inspires me. She has been doing some hand quilting and showing it lately. Even though her business also involves a lot of long arm work, she still likes that cozy, slow stitch feeling too. It made me want to go back to my quilting roots.

Around 2010 I found the modern quilting movement on line. I learned how to machine quilt and I was hooked. It was so much faster, and the possibilities were endless. I pretty much gave up hand quilting. These days though, I find myself drawn back into the slower pace of hand work. I have been doing tons of embroidery and crochet. Now, I wanted to start hand quilting again. But not on a large quilt.

I am quilting along with Rachel at Stitched in Color on the Pas de Deux quilt this year. She showed a photo of some fabrics she had pulled for a project that included this Heather Ross print of the moths. I love that print and happened to have a little. I wanted to use it. So I chose several fabrics to go with it, wanting a spring colored vibe. I edited the colors and then pulled out my Tula Pink's 100 Modern Quilt Blocks, looking for ideas. I wanted that soft purple to be  focus of the piece, so I made 5 blocks identical. The other block I wanted to feature the supporting fabrics. But I didn't like this. Too much too much.

So I chose my favorite and settled on this. I added the green back in as a very narrow 1 inch border, and had just enough of the purple to make an outer border, which is wider at the top and bottom than the sides. I am very pleased with this.

Then pieced together a backing from some long held fabrics that weren't getting any use. I pulled out my old quilting hoop and hooped it up, after thread basting the layers. I had to kind of relearn that thread basting too. It's amazing what you forget.

And now, for however long it takes, I am going to hand quilt this piece. It is 24x27 inches, so not too big.

I am going to let it lead me, and show me how it wants to be quilted. I took the first few stitches yesterday, and let me tell you, my hand quilting needs work. But, the only way it gets better is to do it. Practice, practice, practice. So that's what I will be doing for awhile. And I couldn't be happier about it.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Hand Work

 So, since the advent of the knee issue, I have been working on lots of hand projects. I always have some going on for sitting and slow stitching or crocheting. I have made great strides in my hand work and now that I am able to sew again, I need to keep up on the hand work too.

First, there is this long term crochet project. I started it last year before our move. Last weekend I was down to needing 13 more blocks.

I had been making one complete block at a time up until now. I decided to go ahead and make all 13 flowers first, assembly line style. Here they are.

I usually weave in the ends of my crochet work as I go. I learned that from Lucy at Attic 24, whose pattern this is. It keeps you from losing momentum at the end of a project if all the ends have to be done.
I have no idea why I never did that with these blocks. But once all the blocks were made, I found that I had to weave in two ends on 100 blocks. That's 200 ends. I made myself sit there over 2 days and do it.

And now, here they are all neat and tidy. I can assure you this will never happen again. I have learned my lesson. Weave in as you go.

And now the next step is to slip stitch them all together in rows to make the throw. this is the first four rows all done. You slip stitch the vertical rows in a chain fashion, and then go back and slip stitch the long horizontal rows.

This is gonna take some time, but I will keep plugging away and be back to show it off, hopefully soon.

Last hand work to share is this cute little stitchery from Kirkiri Press. There is a series of these little animals that you embroider and embellish and then stuff into little hand size stuffed animals. This one is Fiesta Cat. I bought the kit from Snuggly Monkey. You can find them lots of places on the internet.

Okay, that's all for now. Have a great day.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Feeling Better

So, now that I am feeling better, my knee is still recovering though, I can sit at my machine and sew a little. So this is what got sewn this week.

I was able to sew up the blocks for April's installation of the Pas de Deux quilt that I am making along with Rachel Hauser of Stitched in Color. I had cut all the pieces out last week before I hurt my knee, so, the sewing went pretty quickly.

 And I was able to sew up last week's and this week's blocks for the Perfect Pineapple QAL that I am doing with Amber from Gigi's Thimble. This one is a block a week for 36 weeks and now we are half way there.

Last weekend I made carrot cupcakes for Easter with the grandchildren. This is a recipe from King Arthur Flour and the stuff on top is candied walnuts which turned out great. The recipe is their Spicy Carrot Snacking cake, which also has directions for the cupcakes. So good!

Then, just because I felt like it, and also because there was a need, I made some thread catchers. This is a tiny one to actually hold chalk for a chalkbord. Thimble is there for scale.
This is a pattern I bought years ago from Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts. I have mad a bunch over ther years for lots of folks. My oldest daughter has taken up stitchery and needed one to crry around with her as she stitches all over the house. I had given her one of mine, but the time has come to make her one.
This one with the Rapunzel fabric is for my granddaughter. She needs one because she will take her mom's if she doesn't have one of her own. And I have never been able to figure out what to do with this cute fabric.
This one is for my daughter. I thought she would like the mustard yellow and the bright pop of pink.
This one is for me. I haven't had a new one in years, and I do love this fabric. Besides, I'm not taking the one of mine that I gave her back, so this counts as a replacement. I love these little thread catchers. I have become so used to them being wherever I need them. Have a great weekend everyone.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

The Week That Got Away

So, as you know, I have been trying to catch up on so many projects since our move. Last week, I was making good progress on the Scrap Stash Plus quilt by Quilty Love. I got really revved up on Tuesday, and decided to put everything else aside and get that top together.

And so I did. But...you knew this was coming? Right? When I went to put it up on the wall to take a few pictures, first of all, my design wall is too small. So I thought I'd use washi tape. I had a jar of the stuff, hardly used. You know what? Washi tape goes bad! I couldn't peel a strip off of any of the rolls to save myself. I was really mad at myself for letting it sit like that and then I had to throw it all away. So next I got out my painter's tape. And my step stool. That's where things went awry.

I misstepped while climbing up and down to put the tape up and while I was startled by that, I didn't fall. So I was fine. Or was I? That evening, my left knee was a little sore and stiff, so I took a couple of ibuprofen and went to be. The next morning, I could hardly walk. Then I noticed my knee was swollen. 

Well, there went my week of progress right out the window. I was relegated to a char or the couch, knee elevated with ice applied in 20 minute increments. For three days. The up side is that I did have hand projects to work on as well.

I finished this embroidery from Liz at Cozy Blue. I bought it awhile back, but it had to stand in line in the embroidery queue. I love her simple designs. I have six of them already hanging up in the sewing room. This makes seven.

I am also finally, finally finished with the squares for my Flora Granny Square blanket. 100 squares, done. Now I have begun the process of joining them all together. I began that, but then I noticed that from some unknown reason, I never wove in the ends when I finished the squares. Y'all, I never do that Lucy @attic24 taught me to always weave in my ends promptly. I have no excuses for this misstep in the process. So I am weaving in. I am about half done. Pictures soon.

The knee is better enough that I can sit at the machine and sew again, so I am going to try and at least catch up my #perfectpineapplequilt and finish my April Pas de Deux blocks this week. Wish me luck! And no more step stools for awhile.

Monday, March 28, 2022

A Little Mondy Catch Up

 I am a bit of a lazy blogger. There, I said it. It's not hard to sit down and write, but I need photos, so sometimes, I put it off. It's all the downloading and editing that gets me every time. So anyway, that said, here's what I have been up to since I was here last:

The art museum in Raleigh has an exhibition every spring called Art in Bloom. My daughter really wanted to go, so of course I went with her. It was breath taking. These are just a sample of the pieces that were there. All made from fresh flowers, and inspired by works hanging in the galleries there.

Then we took a couple of days mid-week to go to the beach. It was pretty quiet, since it's still not terribly warm there yet. This is the obligatory under the pier shot.
I picked up tons of shells. I always say I won't, but then I do. I promised Miss N I would bring her some.
A beautiful east coast sunrise. The beach is actually facing south, so you have to look to the left to see this.

The view from our front porch. We spent a good deal of time sitting there and listening to the waves. It is so soothing. We did hang out down on the beach as well. Saw some deer there on our last morning. I have never seen deer at the beach before.

On the home front, I got my dining table back from my daughter, and I painted the dirty old white legs this gorgeous blue. It is a chalk paint.
And,I made these covers for the arms of my couch. I bought some Essex Linen to make the covers with.

This is what they are covering up. Years of kids and cats and dogs. I am pretty happy with my new covers.

And finally, I finished my March installment of Pas de Deux. Again, Blogger has rearranged all my pictures here. This is the center star piece for this month's block.
It began as this. I am trying really hard to use only scraps for this quilt, but I needed peach colors and I only had two in my stash/scrap bins.
This is the whole thing. The two strips at the bottom will be added later on in the construction process.

I love the color play in this quilt so far. Not a rainbow, but plenty of colors in each section are making for a very interesting piece.

That's all for now. It's laundry day, so I need to get going. Talk to you soon.