05 November 2011

Not packed yet but ready to go

It has been a hectic few weeks around here. So hectic that I had this little beauty done a week ago but haven't had the time (or energy, honestly) to sit down at my desk and string words together for a blog entry.  Last week the Halloween party that I've been planning for most of the year finally happened. We ended up with nearly 300 guests! Sunday I told Scott that I planned on not getting off of our sofa all day - and I was almost successful at doing just that. The only productive thing I did manage to accomplish was finishing this bag. Which is just fine with me.

On Tuesday I got pulled into planning a victory party for a mayoral candidate here in Charleston. He is the one most likely to win but nothing like waiting until the last minute for that. Wednesday I volunteered for a few hours at the Coastal Carolina Fair sitting at my local quilting guild's table. Silly me, I forgot to take anything to work on so it was a LONG three hours. And I realized that if you weren't doing some sort of handwork, no one wants to approach a table with two bored looking women. . .

This week I'm off to NYC for a few days roaming the city with some high school girlfriends. I'm counting the days. Hello Purl Soho and City Quilter - be warned. . . . And I'll be traveling in style -

I love this bag more than I can say. (Pattern is Simplicity 2274 or you may be able to find it here. Exterior fabric is discontinued Echino.) I did have some tricky times around the bottom corners, but I anticipated that and put those tricky corners where they were least likely to be seen. And two zippers people! Miraculous!  I can't wait to start loading this cute thing up with boots and jeans and sweaters.
I couldn't have found a more perfect lining. (I love you Jay McCarroll!!)

I'm still working on a handbag to carry so hopefully I'll have that all done by this weekend. All I have to say about it so far is that there are 33 individual pieces that I had to cut for it and each one had to be interfaced. Bleh.

I still have pics of the slog along hexagon quilt to take and post. I know they were due on the 1st but the week just got away from me. And I have another secret surprise quilt that should be done today (HOORAH!) that maybe I can post later in the week when it makes it to its new home.

I'm linking up -
{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

19 October 2011

FINISH! and a Wednesday WIP.

I couldn't be happier with this little baby, unless of course it was staying here with us. Once I got past my quilting block, I rolled and it's exactly how I envisioned it in my head. Isn't it nice when things work out that way?? Sadly - or hopefully happily for a friend - this is going off to live with a new baby girl. I could definitely see whipping up another of these.  In fact, I think I could probably take orders. . .

Stats -
*Background is Kona cotton in Aloe (Love! Could buy by the bolt!)
*The rest are Kona solids and prints from my stash
*52" square
*Based on a 12" block found here

I've also been busy working on this duffel bag for my upcoming trip to NYC. I've moved past most of the frightening (to me) instructions and now I'm just finishing up the side pieces. I'll post more pics and info when it's all done, hopefully this weekend. But I'm scooting in just under the wire to post for WIP Wednesday.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

16 October 2011

Not a lazy Sunday

I'm finally getting around to working on this quilt again. I'm not sure what the hold up has been but I've had this total block against it. Plus all this week I've been in a totally crappy mood - so my poor little Bernina hasn't been on since last weekend - but it seems that's behind me now.

I should be finished with the quilting in a few hours and then can plop myself on the sofa with hours and hours of hand sewing that binding on ahead of me. With all of the handwork I've been doing lately I'm getting much speedier at my stitches. My plan is to have this all finished so that I can take it to my guild splinter group meeting on Tuesday.

Unfortunately, I never made a chance to call in on the Farmer's Wife this week so it looks like next week I'll be working on the double double.


10 October 2011

Back on track - sort of

I finally finished this sweater that I've been working on for months. It shouldn't have taken me as long as it did but I got spooked by having to pick up stitches at the cap sleeves and neck. It was so easy though.  Knit in the round, bottom up. Even the collar and cuffs were simple. I'm not entirely sure yet that I'm in love with the buttons that I chose but they're growing on me. And easily changed if I decide I really don't like them.

One weird thing happened with this sweater though. I got six skeins of Rowan yarn when I was heavily coerced by those evil Mason-Dixon ladies into joining the Rowan Society.  (And when I say heavily coerced, I mean that they mentioned that they joined on their blog and showed pictures of the yarn and magazine and I was helpless to the charms.  I'm easily led and I want to be a cool kid too. I did not re-up this year.  They didn't have another blog post making me think that I needed it.) It was the perfect yarn. And almost enough. I realized about 3/4 of the way through that I was going to need another skein to finish. I ordered it but of course it turned out not to be the same dye lot. It looked the same when I got it but as I got closer to actually needing it, I realized that it was ever so slightly off. Fortunately, I saved the rogue skein for the very last bit of the collar so there is about an inch at the edge of the collar that is a hair off of being the right color. I'm hoping that since it's on the edge it'll look intentional.  Maybe???

Free pattern found here. My only one tiny issue - and I knew this going in - is that the sweater is very boxy. It sort of accentuates that five pounds I desperately need to lose. . . Not the sweater's fault and I'm working on it.

So in addition to finally finishing the sweater last week, I also made up with my good friend, the Farmer's Wife. Here are my offerings, but I'm still woefully behind. I think I have to double up for the next six weeks to catch back up to where I need to be. Yikes.
Farmer's Wife blocks - Week 19

Goal: 145
Current: 36

26 Cut Glass Dish

27 Darting Birds
28 Duck and Ducklings
29 Economy
30 End of Day
31 Evening Star
116 Balkan Puzzle
Pattern found here - http://www.quilt.com/BlockOfTheMonth/1997/BalkanPuzzle.html


01 October 2011

A long way to go

This is the start of a story about how this -

became this -

which would soon become lots of these. I can't imagine why these colors are so far off. We even tried pulling it into photoshop to correct the color and those pomegranate hexies will only look some form of red. Rest assured, those are pomegranate - a really lovely deep fushia. And on either side is a charcoal grey and a medium tone grey. I think I'm going to have to get it into sunshine so that you'll really be able to see the color. But I'm trying to keep to the goal of posting about this project at the first of every month and I don't want to smash my goal on the very first month.

AAAAHHHHH!! As much as I love my Go! Baby cutter, there is so much waste!

Facts -
1.  There are 1083 hexagons in this quilt top. I've made 36 so far so that means I'm 3.3% through the top.
2.  I'm doing all of these by hand.
3.  My plan at the moment is that I want to quilt these by hand. We'll see if I'm still up for the challenge when I finish the top.
4.  It's will be king sized when it's all done.
5.  The fabric is (in order from right to left) Kona cotton in Bahama Blue, Aloe, Medium Grey, Pomegranate, Charcoal and Bahama Blue again. I'll also be using Peacock but haven't gotten to that strip yet.
6.  I'm already starting to question my sanity and ask who thought this was a good idea and why did my good friends not stop me/have me committed?

All that aside, I think I'm in love with it, even if it is completely exhausting and I still have 96.7% left to go.
(I love the way the shadow echoes the side of the fabric.)

That's it for now, peeps. I'm off to cut more fabric for yo-yos and another secret-ish quilt and get a little closer to finishing MY VERY FIRST SWEATER!!!  Yippee!!!!


WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

28 September 2011

WIP Wednesday

Remember this wonky star quilt? I finally got it together to piece the back. (I know you're probably tired of me saying it but I'm sorry for the super crappy lighting in my house. I really wanted to participate in WIP Wednesday so I had to do what I had to do.) Anyway, I'm hoping to be done with it completely by this time next week so that I can start on - shout it from the rooftops, people - THE LAST BABY QUILT OF 2011.

Still chugging on the hexagon quilt. I decided that I'd post about it on the first of every month. Showing tiny weekly bits of progress will be boring for everyone. So look for that this weekend. I need to find my Farmer's Wife. We had a spat sometime around vacation-palooza and I just haven't gotten around to picking her back up again. Bleh.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


21 September 2011

Scary hands

Sorry for the weird disembodied hands picture. No good way to take a picture of gloves really.

This was my last beach finish, and I'm going to claim them as such since I finished them Sunday night. Since I hadn't gone back to work yet, I'm going to say that I was still *technically* on vacation. I know that's pushing it but whatevs.

Super quick and easy. I've been meaning to make some fingerless mitts for a long time but that thumb thing scared me. Now that I've done them, I know how crazy that was. Pattern found here and, especially for my friend Sue, the yarn used is KnitPicks Imagination Hand Painted Sock Yarn in Frog Prince. I'm not sure I'm entirely 100% in love with the color but it's growing on me.

I started the gargantuan king sized hexagon quilt. 1083 hexagons total, 16 down. Just to make matters worse, I calculated how far along I was. 1.4%. Yeeps. And my friend Sue (who almost wasn't my friend after she pointed out this nasty little fact) was that the 1.4% was just for my quilt top. Not backing. Not quilting. Not binding. (She didn't really point this out. I knew it already. And even if I hadn't, that wouldn't have been a reason to unfriend Sue.) No idea how I'm going to quilt it yet. I've got lots of time to let the ideas marinate. Pics to follow soon.


17 September 2011

Beach craftiness

I have problems. I admit it. We came to the beach for a week with Scott's family and I brought six (6!!) projects to work on at the beach - 4 knitting, 2 sewing. Project one was the scarf that I showed on the last blog post almost as soon as we got here. (I worked on it a bunch in the car on the way.) Project two were these little lovelies.
I completed the last of these 91 Kaffe Fassett yo-yos yesterday. These have a purpose but I'm not quite ready to talk about that yet. I still have lots of work to do on it. (By the way, have I mentioned how much I love Kaffe Fassett? I LOVE Kaffe Fassett. It's a new love so it's still pretty fiery.)
Finished project three is this cowl scarf. I started this just before I left for South Africa. It was my plan to have it for the trip, but obviously, that plan didn't quite work out. . . It's super cute and soft and I love it. I picked those yarn colors because they reminded me of a lion's mane. The pattern was found here. It's been finished for weeks but I just had to look up how to do the kitchener stitch again. So easy. And the weather was actually blustery enough here tonight that I was able to wear it out.

I have one last project that I will either wrap up tonight or on the way home tomorrow. I always hate the end of the vacation but I'm looking forward to being able to stretch out in our big king sized bed again. It's tough having the two of us and the two puppies all squished up in a full bed.  Yikes.


15 September 2011

A quiet September

I finally finished this project. It was a birthday present for my sister-in-law. (Thank you for not pointing out that her birthday was in January.)

Kelly has been a huge Pee-Wee Herman fan since she was a kid - one of the many reasons I think she's awesome. I found this picture a few years ago when visiting at Scott's parents house and inspired by this post, I decided that I wanted to make a pillow for her. I scanned the original picture, enlarged the scan and then cut out each element. I tried to match the colors in the picture as closely as I could with Konas but his jacket needed to be special.
I found a men's suit coat at Goodwill for about $5 and cut it up to make Pee-Wee's jacket and the back of the pillow. I kept both the breast pocket and pocket at the hip on the back.
I found this awesome tag on the inside. I must also say thanks to Mr. Todd Garrett and the good folks at Goodwill. When I was taking the jacket apart to make the back of the pillow, I found $40 in cash in the inside pocket of the jacket. SCORE! WINNING! I think Kelly liked the pillow as much as I hoped she would. It was certainly the strangest thing I've ever made or am likely to make, but it turned out exactly as I'd hoped. (I will say that as I was piecing Pee-Wee, without hair he looked a bit like Nosferatu.)
And I finished this at the beach too. I bought this yarn last year when we were at the Outer Banks on our honeymoon so it's kind of fitting that I'm using it this year at the Outer Banks.  (Sunday was our first anniversary.  Awwww. . . ) I saw a great scarf last week on etsy and thought I could make it myself. I scrounged around in my stash and found this and it's perfect. It's this great yarn that is partially made from seaweed. LOVE it. Super soft. I thought I had enough of the sunflower color but I was delusional. I think the bit of pink adds so much though.

I brought lots of projects to do while we're here so maybe I'll have another finish to show tomorrow. Or maybe not. We'll see.

30 August 2011

Clutch project - CHECK!

Last weekend I finally finished the clutches I was commissioned to do for a wedding this Sunday. She has three bridesmaids but eight other honorary bridesmaids. She'd requested eleven of these cute little clutches. The pattern is here. (I've used Keyka Lou's pattern for a dog collar and maybe checkbook cover and they are so easy to follow. Great pictures. Easy instructions. Love them.) This was the pattern that the bride chose so I was happy to follow.
I met her at a fabric store back in June and picked out all the fabric. I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out. She seemed thrilled. I hope she was. And because I'm an extra super nice person, I made a twelfth and gave it to her as a gift. In exchange - although she didn't realize it - she's paying for one hotel night in New York. (Cripes hotels are expensive there. Thank goodness I'm sharing with two friends.) I just kept telling myself that that was why I was making these little dandies instead of something - anything! - else that I'd rather be working on. But they're done. Yesterday when I handed them over, I felt like I was turning in the massive end-of-term paper and that now I could truly enjoy my summer.

Two secret projects in the works that I'm itching to make so you might not be seeing much from me but Farmer's Wives blocks until the finished products are in the hot little hands of the recipients.  Hopefully soon.


23 August 2011

Just three Farmer's Wives

Very little going on this way, people.  Saturday was my birthday so I didn't get too much done other than lounging about and doing not much of anything.  It was lovely.  Exactly the way I wanted to enter my fourth decade.  

And it's been a blur trying to get those little clutches for the wedding finished up.  (I'm not sure why exactly I thought it was a good idea to do these.  Did $300 really sound like THAT much money???)  But I did manage to squeak out three little Farmer's Wife blocks.  It's a bit short of my current four-a-week goal, but a girl can only do so much. . .

Without further ado - 
Farmer's Wife blocks – Week 12
Goal: 145
Current: 29

That's 20% people!  1/5 of the way through the blocks for this baby!  Just please don't remind me that at the end there is laying out and sashing and quilting and binding. . .  One step at a time, please.

24 Country Path
25 Cups & Saucers

115 Arkansas Cross Roads
pattern found here - http://www.quilt.com/BlockOfTheMonth/1997/ArkansasCrossroads.html

20 August 2011

Minor surgery

Remember I showed you this quilt a while back?  I made that cute little sailboat on the back with all of my leftover triangles from the front? Well. . . when I washed it, I had some nasty fraying issues on the sail and another little bit just under the boat.  Since this is a baby quilt and will probably be washed a lot, that wasn't really going to work.  So I thought.  And I thought.  And then I took my little quilt to see my sweet friend Alice and she helped me get it sorted.

I found some fabric that coordinated and made a new needle turn applique sail and little fish.  Taking off the old sail wasn't an option since my lines of quilting went straight through it. Needle turn applique wasn't a skill that was high of my list of things to acquire but it was not so hard and I'm glad I did it.  I'm certainly not speedy though.  The little sail took me nearly an hour.  On the bright side, I kind of like the fact that the sail isn't quilted and is a bit more billowy - like it's blowing in the wind.  It gives it a bit more texture.  And, I wasn't really in love with that original polka dot fabric anyway.  It looked a bit washed out.  This new red sail makes a statement! (Not sure what that statement is other than "I'm covering up a mistake". . .)

Hope cousin Anna and new baby Zachary like the quilt. It is making its way to them now.  Finally.

16 August 2011

Do I really have to give it away?

Here's the completed wonky star quilt top. I'm going to admit that I didn't do the math correctly and it is kind of large for a baby quilt - 52" square.  But it is ADORABLE.  Once again, I want to keep it for myself but the beauty of the wonky star is that it is soooooo easy.  I could whip another of these up in a minute.  Or a few days, but you knew what I meant.

Details for those interested - background is Kaufman Kona Aloe.  I think that the center of each star are all Kona Solids as well and I suppose I could figure it out if someone really wanted to know.  Cute dog = Stella. 3/4 English bulldog, 1/4 American bulldog.  Not mine but I get to love her almost daily.  This quilt is for a woman who works at our bank.  This is her first baby and she doesn't know whether she's having a boy or a girl and hadn't worked out how they were decorating the nursery. I do have an interesting quilting plan for this so we'll see how it works out. Just have to find backing fabric now.

And finally, the kaleidoscope quilt top.  I've been done for almost a week but haven't had a chance to get a picture.  I didn't bother to take a pic of the back because it's not pieced and not that exciting.  Quilting was minimal on this baby. It's going to friends who are having a baby girl and are decorating her nursery in Beatrix Potter. It's a happy enough quilt and looks good from a distance.  All those points meeting up = frustrating.

And here are the Farmer's Wife blocks for the week.  I realized too late (or too late for me) that I finished Contrary Wife wrong.  Those orange squiggly bits should all be facing each other.  So I decided that this wife must be REALLY contrary.  But I liked it.  And I just wasn't willing to take the entire block apart, which was what it would've taken to fix it. The last block is my add on block.

Stats for the week -
Farmer's Wife blocks completed - Week 11
Goal: 145
Current: 26

21 Contrary Wife
22 Corn & Beans
23 Country Farm

114 A Dandy - found here - http://www.quilt.com/BlockOfTheMonth/1997/ADandy.html

11 August 2011

I need a design wall.

Before I go any further, let me apologize for this picture.  I don't know how to take pics in my house without them either being totally washed out by the flash or this sickly yellow color because I refuse to use a flash.  (I hate flash.)  But I wanted to show off these little bits of happy because I love them so.  I think this is going to be another baby quilt that breaks my heart when it leaves my house.  Of course, as I pointed out to Scott, I can - and probably will at some point - make another one very easily.  I love the way that, when laid all out on my bed, they kind of made the shape of a heart.  A pointy heart, but a heart nonetheless.  And if I can struggle through the chest cold that's decided to move in today, you may actually see a finished quilt top tomorrow.  No promises though so I don't have to make excuses when it doesn't happen.