Monday, April 29, 2013

Design Wall Monday 4-29-13

YEAH!  I've finished the afghan for Natalie.  First, let me admit I am not much of a crocheter.  It's not that I can't do it, more that I don't enjoy doing it.  I have to watch every stitch.  With noncomplicated knitting I just knit, no watching.  But, Jenny wanted Natalie to have a crocheted blanket since Sophie likes hers so much.  Or at least that's what I thought, so off (last summer) I went to buy a variegated yarn to use.  I decided the pattern didn't seem large enough so I added more.  And, I've been working on it off and on for months.  A lot of off but eventually enough on to actually finish it.  During the last few months I've been saying, no more crocheting.  But now I'm thinking about the cute hats I've seen and mittens and... but not for a while. 

I loved the colors. 

I like how the picot edge hides some problems! 

I've been working on other things, especially quilting on Ruthie but I whipped Jenny's quilt off so Aimee could quilt a little baby quilt for a friend.  She did a great meander with loops.  Nice Job, Aimee. 
I didn't crop this picture so you can see the whole pack of dogs we have when we get together.  They get along great so it isn't a big deal.  

I did pretty well on my weekly goals last week.  And this week I have several things I really need to focus on so the list is pretty short. 
Week of April 22, 2013
Finish binding auction table runner
Finish the picot edge on the crochet afghan for Natalie  Yeah!  All done!
Go to the Fiber Festival in town with Aimee
Load and quilt Jenny’s quilt Loaded and about half quilted
Piece the backing for the kitty cat quilt and load it on Ruthie
Start the guild challenge quilt
Start the Small Quilt Chat swap quilt
Clean house√ not as thorough as sometimes but definitely much better 

Week of April 29, 2013
Work on guild challenge quilt
Finish Jenny’s quilt
Piece the backing for the kitty cat quilt and load it on Ruthie
Start the Small Quilt Chat swap quilt
Finish binding on charity pinwheel quilt
Keep making half square triangles for a small quilt for me

I'm looking forward to another great week with high hopes to finish off some of these goals.  Visit design walls across the universe by starting at Patchwork Times. 

Happy Quilting All! 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Festival of Fiber, Powhatan, Virginia

It was a glorious day with the weather sunny in the high 60s, low 70s at Powhatan's first Festival of Fiber.  Here's what Aimee and I saw, among other things. 

First, watching a sheep dog work these three sheep. 

This dog seemed to love herding the sheep around.  The sheep, on the other hand, were not amused! 

There were goats, alpacas and more sheep around the field.  Lots of fun to see these animals when all you normally see are dogs and cats. 

A month old kid.  He had tiny horns growing -- they are the light spots you can see in this picture. 
A sheep being hand sheared.  I bet he felt good to get rid of his heavy fur coat. 

For some reason this guy looks like a clown to me! Maybe it's the puffy hair on his head and the rest of him shorn. Lots of alpacas were visiting at the Festival.  And, lots of alpaca wool for sale. 

Here are an alpaca before shearing and his friend after. 

Another pair with and without hair.  We were able to get quite close to these two but they weren't interested in having people pet them.  I love how white the left one is. 

I'm guessing this is a ram but remember, I'm mostly a suburbs type.

Eventually we got a bit overheated and stopped for drinks.  Notice the name of this place -- Carpe Donut.  The donuts looked really good but we were good and didn't get any. 

And, just in case you think it was all sheep and alpacas.  Not at all.  Here is one of the vendors, Unplanned Peacock Studio and a glorious selection of yarn.  

Aimee bought several skeins of yarn from various vendors.  I bought yarn for socks from Wandering Wool. It is a wonderful deep red/cranberry hand dyed super wash wool.  I hope to try knitting two at a time socks with circular needles. 

I felt a lot of the alpaca yarns which are super soft.  But, I didn't buy any.  I did find a great sweater pattern but will hold off on buying either the pattern or any yarn for it for the time being.  Maybe next year I'll get some hand dyed yarn for it.  

I am looking forward to next years Festival of Fiber.  It was much smaller than Howard County, Maryland's Sheep and Wool Festival that I attended years ago. But, how can you argue with a festival 10 minutes from home? Hum, just thought, I haven't made up the yarn I bought at the Sheep and Wool Festival, maybe 10 years ago?  Maybe it would work with the sweater pattern I really liked.  

That's it for today.  I have been quilting but wanted to share all this wool business! 

Happy Quilting All! 

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Great Mail Day

We have recently gone on a mini internet shopping spree so seeing a box in front of the garage wasn't a surprise.  But the box that arrived yesterday was unexpected.  And, fun!  No, no free fabric... think one step beyond free fabric to free blocks!  Yes, it was a box of blocks from Pam, a member of the FCQ Equilter's group with me.  And it held a great number of blocks for me to use in my next charity quilts.  Yes, I do mean quilts!  You might recognize the block as I've been going crazy recently making them. 

You start out with 2 big squares and end up with two wonderful blocks.  I think Pam went wild.  And, I thank her as does the neonatal intensive care units these will go to as finished quilts.  

This group has been going for quite a while although I joined a couple of years after it originated.  There are six of us and we all had been members of Faithful Circle Quilters when we lived in Columbia, Maryland.  Just a point though -- I maintain my membership and get to FCQ events a couple of times a year.  I'm looking forward to the retreat at the beginning of June! 

We reside mostly on the east coast with Chicago and New Zealand represented. We are each assigned a two month period where we tell the members what blocks we want made for us. And then we wait until we are showered with the blocks of our choice.  And, sometimes it is just one or two and sometimes it is a lot of blocks. There's a reason I pick super easy blocks usually!  It's been really fun as we've had a lot of differing techniques and blocks requested.  I have been pushing red, white and blues for Quilts Of Valor and the like.  

So this time I left it up to the gals as to whether they wanted to continue to do red, white and blue or whether they wanted to do fun kids prints.  Pam did both.  I'm sure I have enough blocks of the kids prints to make one or possibly two baby quilts.  Yea! 

I'll have a lot to do over the next few months getting these quilts done.  Hum, I might just make kits for the baby quilt to take on retreat.  No think sewing! Perfect for a retreat. 
I was totally surprised when this cute little hat was included.  Pam is a member of the Carey Blanketeers, that is part of Project Linus. Too cute. 

And here it is being modeled by the paper towel holder! 

Tomorrow Aimee and I will be attending the first, hopefully, annual Festival of Fiber  in beautiful, downtown Powhatan.  If you love wool, of all kinds, come on out.  The weather is going to be gorgeous.  You can see demos of sheep and alpaca shearing, felting, an antique sock knitting machine, sheep dogs doing there thing and lots more.  It looks to be a great event.  Oh, and did I mention, VENDORS?  I do have a yarn stash of sorts.  Not as much as my quilt fabric but some pretty nice yarn and some everyday stuff too for that matter.  I'm hoping to add some interesting yarn to the collection and even better if it has a purpose to go with it!  Come join us! 

I leave you this image of Tiger being swept away by the Roomba.  Oops, I guess I didn't get all the dog toys up before I started it.  No animals were hurt in the making of this picture. 

Happy Quilting All! 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Triangle Thursday #14

Little Cedar Tree

This design is number 1311a in Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. It is attributed to The Kansas City Star around 1940. Although this is a very simple block it can be used with four together to get a very nice 12” block.  Sometimes I see it as a just two rows of half square triangles.  But other times it looks like a light triangle in a group of darks with a mirror image of a dark triangle in a group of lights.  I guess it really depends if I am thinking of dividing it in half side-to-side or whether I mentally divide it on the diagonal. Look for a printer friendly version here

Cutting directions are for 6”
Number to cut
Red Triangles
3” triangle template
Yellow Triangles
3” triangle template

I used red triangles left over from the table runner I showed on Monday.  One thing I needed to be careful about is where the straight of grain iss.  I always try to have the straight of grain on the two sides of the corner and the bias along the long side of the triangle.  That is the normal way a half square triangle is made.  And, when the block is done the bias is neatly “stashed” away and the edges are more stable.

Here are all the pieces --  OOOPS!  I forgot to take a picture before I sewed the triangles together.  To help your imagination – think of 4 dark and 4 light triangles.

Sew the light to the dark triangles to make half square triangles. Press toward the darker fabric.  I then squared mine up as I was afraid that one or two might be too skimpy or too large. Then sew the units into rows.  I ironed the top row seam to the dark and the bottom row seam to the light to have a nesting seam. Sew the rows together. Done! 

Yep, it is a very easy block but a very useful unit in a bigger block.

Next week’s block I will be using actual fabric from my stash as the finished piece will be my entry in my guild’s crayon challenge.  We must use the 2 crayon colors we picked out of a bag as solids with black and we can only use squares and triangles. It’s due the second week of May so I need to get on with it. I found a great block to use in Brackman’s book and I have the plan all worked out in my head and partially on paper!  

Happy Quilting All!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Design Wall Monday 4--22-13

I've been busy working on a table runner and embroidered apron for a charity auction on Wednesday.  I've finished the apron.

Pat picked the design. I bought the apron and then embroidered it. This will be added to some other barbecue type items for the silent auction at the Lion's Club Steer Roast on Wednesday.  

For the past couple of years I've given a lap quilt to the auction.  This year, realizing this crowd isn't really interested in putting out big bucks,  I decided to make a table runner instead.  I pulled out a box of fabrics I won from another blog.  I've been diving into the box over the last year or so but this time I took out yardage, pieces from layer cakes and some squares that had been cut.  Luckily the whole box was a Moda collection that all went together.  I still have to hand stitch the binding down but that won't take me all that long. 

All of these colors are in the paisley print.  I bought a mottled tomato red for the backing.  I'm binding it in the red paisley.  Tomorrow I hand it over.  

By the way, this pattern is easy although exacting as the squares must be the right size to all fit together accurately.  It is a pattern by Atkinson Designs. Yikes! It isn't on Terry's web site any more.  I have had it for a while but had never made it.  So at least I feel great that I used the pattern.  I have lots of patterns I buy and then don't make.  Are you enticed by all the patterns out there?  Do you collect patterns rather than make them?  I sure do.  I do try to make the ones I still like but honestly, there are so many available for free on the internet and to buy at stores and shows I sometimes go wild buying and saving but not making.  

The table runner shot my chances of getting much done on the goals and then we were up visiting Kevin and Aimee over the weekend. 

Aimee and I went to a new quilt store on Saturday.  We both loved it!  It has only been in business for 4 months and it is 10 minutes from their home! I picked up a Moda Marble to use with an older piece of fabric I'm using to make another charity quilt.  You can visit Suzzie's Quilt Shop, in Manassas, by way of her Facebook page.  She has a distinct modern feel to her fabrics.  Don't look for repros at this shop.  Her prices are great! I was looking at the long row of batiks she has.  If I remember correctly none were priced over $11 a good dollar or two less than I've seen recently.  I know I'll be stopping back there the next time I go up.  

Week of April 15, 2013
Quilt my pinwheel charity quilt
Hem the burgundy pants
Figure out a backing for the kitty cat quilt ½ finished
Embroider an apron for the upcoming Lions club auction
Enjoy the weekend at Aimee and Kevin’s – hum maybe Aimee and I could sneak off to a quilt store
Load Jenny’s quilt on Ruthie
Start guild challenge quilt
Prep the rest of the Orange Peel blocks to take with me I sewed some more down but I didn't prep whatever number more I need to make. Sigh.

Week of April 22, 2013
Finish binding auction table runner
Finish the picot edge on the crochet afghan for Natalie
Go to the Fiber Festival in town with Aimee
Load and quilt Jenny’s quilt
Piece the backing for the kitty cat quilt and load it on Ruthie
Start the guild challenge quilt
Start the Small Quilt Chat swap quilt
Bind the pinwheel quilt
Clean house 

Take a look at design walls across the internet by stopping at Patchwork Times first. 

Happy Quilting All! 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

To Word Verify or Not....

I hate having to verify words when I post on blogs.  I often have a hard time interpreting what the letters or numbers are.  It is a pain to do it.  It annoys me to try.  It is also becoming part of my blog as of today.

I've just spent the last 30 minutes plus reviewing anonymous responses that also have a link to odd ball, non-quilt related things.  Honestly, who needs that aggravation.  I found a 2009 post with over 20 comments with links.  What a pain it was to get rid of them.  But, they are deleted now.  

No Triangle Thursday today.  I'm knee deep in trying to finish a few things that are going into an auction next week.  I'll leave you with a photo of Sophie that her dad posted to Facebook with the comment "Fashionable": 

Happy Quilting

Monday, April 15, 2013

Design Wall Monday 4-15-13

I went wild Saturday, really I did.  The back story:  Last week I put "Cut the kitty cat fabric quilt" on my to do list.  The cat fabric was old and I'd tried to use it in a number of quilts but never quite had enough.  I had purchased a Karie Patch Designs pattern called Two's Company because I really liked how it featured a large rectangle that would be perfect to use some of the larger conversation prints I have.  I had already picked fabrics for the quilt.  I decided to cut it out on Saturday afternoon... maybe 3 or 4 pm. And, then I thought I would spend just a few minutes starting to sew the units together.   

5 hours later (well, Sunday afternoon because I helped with dinner Saturday night and didn't get back to it) the top was together.  Yes, 5 (five) hours later give or take 10 minutes.  Yowser!  I have a new favorite charity quilt pattern.  I made a few changes in the top below -- well, one actually.  I had a limited amount of cat fabric left so I divided the amount left by 4 and that is how I came up with my border sizes -- cut 3 5/8" or something like that!  And, every thing has come from stash so far.  I doubt I'll have to buy any fabric for it at all as I've found a big hunk of black and white check fabric that will probably be the main fabric for the back with a couple of extra pieces of something else.  What I really like about this quilt is how efficiently Karen uses the fabric.  The large pieces use nearly the whole width of 42" wide fabric. Karen lives in the  Richmond area and her tops are pieced by Sarah, a member of my guild.  I just looked over her web site and found a couple of more patterns of hers I really like.  Hum, I may be buying some more patterns soon.... 

Hind sight I would have made the inner border a bit smaller -- say 2" cut instead of 2 1/2" which is what was called for.  But I have to admit I am tickled with this super quick quilt!  I'm eyeing my stash to see what other fabric I can try with this pattern.  Made with the smaller borders it meets my criteria of being one fabric width wide to save from having to piece my backings.  Super for a fast, easy charity quilt. 
Here's the brown bag block for April.  (for review -- members of the guild chose a block and/or provided fabrics for folks to make a block for them and every month we get a new one to do.)  This one was a real bear to put together.  Have I mentioned how bad I am at figuring out the size of the fabric needed for paper piecing?  Once I figured that out this was mostly just time consuming.  I used a combination of the supplied fabrics and my own.  I think by the time I was done I had used 1/4 yard of the background fabric.  This is about a 14" block. Hopefully there will be no more paper piecing blocks to do.  For May I'll be making circles.
It was a pretty good week for finishing off items on my goals.  

Week of April 8, 2013

Finish the charity quilt on Ruthie
Load, quilt and bind my pinwheel charity quilt The back's loaded but I decided it was a bit too small so I added borders yesterday instead of quilting it
Hem the burgundy pants Marked but not finished
Finish the mystery blocks
Finish the brown bag block
Cut the kitty cat fabric quilt (yes, something new!)√ oops, got carried away 
Go through pants in my closet and get rid of what I don’t wear√ made it through dark color pants, next on to the beige pants…. 

Week of April 15, 2013
Quilt my pinwheel charity quilt
Hem the burgundy pants
Embroider an apron for the upcoming Lions club auction
Enjoy the weekend at Aimee and Kevin’s – hum maybe Aimee and I could sneak off to a quilt store
Load Jenny’s quilt on Ruthie
Prep the rest of the Orange Peel blocks to take with me
Figure out a backing for the kitty cat quilt

That's more than enough to keep me busy with our visit to K&A for a bit. 

Spend some time visiting design walls across the country by going to Patchwork Times.  Enjoy! 

Happy Quilting All!