Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Number Five. Another Finished Quilt Top.

   I have to say I love, love, love, love, love the Carpenter's Star Quilt pattern.  This quilt was so much fun to put together and I think the result is very pretty.

   I now have five quilt tops to be sandwiched, quilted, and bound.  I have the batting and I bought the backing fabric for four of them yesterday, so finishing five quilts is next on my sewing list.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Colorful Quilt Top

   I finished this colorful pinwheel quilt top today.  I love these colors.  This was a lot of fun to sew.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Second Blogiversary And Giveaway!! Closed.

I'm celebrating my 2nd blogiversary on October 17th.  I really enjoy blogging about my crafting projects, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I also love sharing links to free crafting patterns, instructions, and information I find on the internet.

On to the giveaway.  I'm giving away a quilting book.   I bought a second copy of Playful Petals by Corey Yoder to giveaway to a reader on October 17th.  I fell in love with this book back in June.  It's a wonderful quilt pattern book that I want to share with a lucky reader.

In order to be considered for the giveaway, just leave a comment to this post and tell me about a quilt you gave away, but secretly wished you had kept for yourself.  I've given away three quilts that I wished I had kept, the quilt I miss the most was the very first quilt I made in 2012 that I gave away.  I don't think it was really appreciated and I wished I had kept it.

I will draw the winner of the book on October 17th and post the winner here on my blog.  I will also notify the winner by email, so make sure I can reply to your comment.  This giveaway is open to folks living all over the world.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Cutting Fabric and Sewing It Up

I cut all the squares for the next two quilt tops.  The shorter stack of blue, orange and white is for the Carpenter's Star and the taller stack of purple, blue, green and white is for the pinwheel.  I have no more quilt projects planned.  When these two tops are done, I will have 5 quilts tops ready to finish.  

I was playing with some 10" squares and 2" strips the other day and I created these four blocks. This is an idea for a future quilt, not sure if it will be a two color quilt or not.  They were fun to make and super easy.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Quilt Pattern Fail, Moving On

  I bought a Quick Curve Ruler in March of 2015(posted about it here) and I purchased fabric to make the Metro Twist Pattern in August of 2015 (posted about that here).   I tested the pattern yesterday.  I found out that I hate sewing curves and I hate trimming what you make with those curves.  It was all too fussy and it wasn't coming out so great.  So I'm calling it a fail and I'm moving forward.

   I settled on the Carpenter's Star pattern for these fabrics.

  It will be pretty easy and this is what it will look like.

  I'm cutting my squares at 8" and with a white border all around should give me a 75" square quilt.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Tea Stained Crocheted Scarf And The Start Of A New Quilt

   I finished my crocheted scarf made with size 10 thread.  It was very easy to make.   It's 50" long and 5" wide.  I tea stained it this morning and it is almost dry.  It's not a very good picture, but it gives you an idea.

   I started my new quilt project today as well.  I love these colors.  So pretty.   I've had this fabric for a few weeks now and I've been eager to start this colorful project.

   I'm celebrating my two year blogiversary on October 17th.  I planned a fun giveaway which will be opened on October 12th.  I hope lots of readers will submit comments and be eligible for the prize.  The giveaway will be open to everyone in the world.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Time For Crochet

   While I'm waiting for my backing/binding fabric to come for the scrappy string quilt top, I decided I needed a crochet project to work on.  I don't have a lacy accent scarf and I wanted to make one with some of the cotton crochet thread I have hanging around.

   I found a free pattern for an easy headband/necklace, link here.  I doubled the foundation chains to make it a little wider and I will tea stain it when it's finished.  I'm using a size U.S. 00/2.7 mm steel crochet hook with my Aunt Lydia's Crochet Thread Classic 10.  I like the fabric that the hook and thread are making, so I'm calling this a winner.

   Here's what I've done today (about 18 inches).

   This is a closer shot of the scarf.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

String Quilt Top Finished

 I spent last evening removing the paper towels from the back of 56 - 10" string quilt blocks while I watched some television.  It took me a few hours and this is what I had left when I finished:

   Today I put the quilt top together.  Here it is:

   This one is just as pretty and colorful as the one I made last month.  I'm so glad I'm keeping this one.  I have lots and lots of strings left and I will probably make another one of these at some time in the future but I have two other quilt projects waiting to be started, so I will be starting those soon.

   I ordered the backing/binding fabric just a few minutes ago from Fabric.com.  I bought 5 yards of Kona Cotton in Honey Dew.  This bright yellow green will be a really nice solid frame for all this color.  The row of string blocks to piece into the back is done, so I'm ready to get this one finished.


Friday, September 30, 2016

I Made Some Dishcloths . . .

   Actually, I made a bunch of dishcloths.  I've been crocheting dishcloths on and off since last week and I think I've made about 12 so far.  I've given some to dear daughter and I kept some.

   In keeping with my cotton yarn dishcloth project, I received my Dishie (190 yards, worsted weight, cost is $2.99, lots of colors to choose from)  yarn from Knit Picks.com yesterday in the Honeydew colorway.  I love this color and the yarn is pretty soft for a 100% cotton workhorse yarn.

   I couldn't resist winding* up a skein to try it out last night.  I crocheted five dishcloths, with a little leftover, from one skein of this yarn with my size I (also known as size 9 or 5.5 mm) crochet hook.  I could use a smaller hook, but I like my size I hook and I love the loose fabric that it produces.  I think the loose fabric is better for dishcloths (pattern link here) so they can dry quicker.  It takes me about 45 minutes to work up one of these dishcloths and it's time well spent while watching TV or podcasts on YouTube.

  I really liked working with this yarn and I would buy it again.

     *I always hand wind my yarn into balls to make it easier to use and to check for defects.
       I learned this from the first book I ever read on crochet in 1973.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

String Block Quilt No. 2 In Progress

     I've spent a few hours in the last week making string blocks for a new scrappy quilt top for me since I gave the first scrappy string block quilt away to dear daughter.  I need 49 blocks for the top and 7 blocks to use on the back.  I have 20 done.


      As usual, I'm still trying to decide on a backing/binding fabric, but I'm working on it.  I'm hoping I run into a good sale while I'm looking at options.

     After I finish this quilt top, I will treat myself and start my half square triangle top that I bought this fabric for:

     I also spent some more time using up 100% cotton yarn I found in my stash.  I use this to make dishcloths.  I had a bunch of white and a little bit of orange and yellow so I had some fun.

   I placed an order for cotton yarn from KnitPicks.com this week.  I ordered four skeins of their Dishie cotton yarn in a beautiful light green colorway called Honeydew.  It should make some pretty dishcloths.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Playing With Hexagons, Again.

    I felt the need to hand sew some hexagons the other day.  I don't know why.  When I finished my Scrappy Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt, I never wanted to see another hexagon.  I don't know what I'm going to do with this block, it may be the start of another quilt top.  We'll see.

   Merlin says, "Hello".  He had just finished having a nice drink at the kitchen faucet and he jumped up on the ironing board.  He gave me a few of his sexy cat growls to let me know he was happy and I couldn't resist taking this picture for the blog.  

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Scrappy String Block Door Decoration/Wall Hanging

   While making string blocks for quilt tops I decided to make a string block wall hanging and I added this to the inside of my front door.  I made eight string blocks, four for the front and four for the back.  I did put batting in the middle and I straight line quilted the sandwich.  I sewed a couple of sleeves on either side of the back of the quilt and put it on the magnetic curtain rod that I used to decorate the inside of my front door.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Mid Winter Feather And Fan Scarf

   I turned 396 yards of fingering weight yarn into a 6 foot scarf with my trusty crochet hook.   I ended up using only one skein of my yarn and I have a nice long, lacy scarf.

   I just have to wash it and block it.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Found Some Left Over Varigated Cotton Yarn

      I made a market bag with this yarn a few months back (post link) and I had a lot of it left over so I decided to crochet up a few dishcloths for dear daughter's yard sale this weekend.  I had enough yarn to make 6 dishcloths.  I packed up two packs of two for the sale and I'm giving two to dear daughter.  I usually make dishcloths with a traditional granny square for myself, but I recently found  this pattern which is a solid granny square and it makes a much better dishcloth.  The pattern calls for lots of colors but I just used the same yarn for each round.  I also used a larger size hook and four rounds were enough to make the dishcloth the size of my hand.  

Another Crochet Project With Colorful Yarn

    Here is another yarn I had a hard time finding the right pattern for.  It is a 70% superwash wool, 30% nylon blend called Chroma from Knitpicks.com.  I bought this yarn in 2011 when I was a new knitter and I fell in love with the colorway called Midwinter.  It's a blend of dark blue, gray and purple.  I have two skeins of fingering weight.  It also comes in a worsted weight and I made my crocheted earwarmer with two skeins of worsted weight in this colorway.

   So I settled on the feather and fan pattern to make a scarf and I tried to knit it but I get frustrated knitting so I switched to a crochet pattern.  There are lots of feather and fan patterns available for free on the Internet.  The free crochet pattern I am using is available on Ravelry (membership is free) or you can go to you tube and find a how to video here.

   I'm using a size I (5.5 mm) crochet hook, which is a larger hook than what is recommended for this yarn, because I want a lacy look and the larger hook is working.

   Here is a picture of what I have done so far.

    I'm planning to use both skeins of yarn on this scarf and I'm about half way through the first skein.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Stained Glass Shawl

  I finished my shawl.  I love, love, love how the colors came out on this one.  The yarn did all the work.  I used about 4.5 skeins of the Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable yarn for this and the long edge is as long as my wing span so it came out to be a nice size.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Finding The Perfect Project For Yarn

   I have 7 skeins of Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable yarn in the Stained Glass Colorway.  You can see it here:  link to picture of yarn colorway.  I pulled this yarn out a couple of nights ago because I thought I found the perfect pattern for it.  I found a free knitted shawl pattern that is called Spiral Staircase Shawl on the Ravelry website which I thought would be a good match for this yarn.  I tried to start twice but I was not happy with the result.

    I've knitted with this yarn before and I enjoyed the knit and my project turned out really well.  I made a knitted neck warmer in another colorway of this yarn.  It was an easy 3 x 2 rib pattern (link to that post here.)  I also crocheted a nice scarf in this yarn and that was easy to make as well (link to that post here.)

   I really want to use this yarn but I was having a hard time finding a pattern for this colorful yarn until I found the Granny Stripes Shawl pattern.  The easy pattern is found here.  The original pattern calls for color changes every two rows so my colorful yarn makes color changes so easy, like cheating.

    This shawl can be made as big or as small as you want.  I haven't decided how big I want to make this, but I'm planning on crocheting as least 5 skeins of this yarn and see how big that is.

   This is my shawl after using one skein.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Two Scrappy Quilts Finished, Binding and All.

  I can't believe I got two quilts sandwiched, quilted and bound in one week.  Yeah.

  Here is the scrappy 16-patch front and back.

  Here is the scrappy string block front and back.

   The string block quilt is going to a new home on Sunday.  I'm giving it to my Dear Daughter.   It's been a while since I've given her a quilt and she loves string quilts.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Planning Another Quilt Top

     Uh-oh.  I went on the Connecting Threads website again and found some fabric that I just love.  I thought that these fabric would make a very pretty pinwheel quilt.  They were on sale for $3.56 a yard.  I couldn't resist.  I purchased a yard of each of these.

   I also bought 3 yards of the same fabric in white.  The white was not on sale but it still was a very good price at $5.96 a yard.  All of the fabric plus shipping was $37.11.  Not bad for a quilt top.


Quilt Assembly

   I spent some of the day making the backing for the scrappy 16-patch quilt top and I now have it sandwiched and ready to quilt.  A twin size Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 batting was the perfect size for this quilt top.  I thought I would run short because of the length of my top, but I had just enough.

    Here's a picture of part of the backing with the row of blocks sewn in the middle.  I lined this row up with the center row of the quilt top.  The blue is quite washed out in this photo, it's a much brighter blue in real life.

   I will be straight line quilting this one using my walking foot.  I'll be using cream colored thread to quilt this one because I want to use up all that cream colored thread that I bought in June for my hexagon quilt.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

A Short Post About Irons

    My old faith Rowenta iron bit the dust last week.  It was over 9 years old and I have used it in my sewing and quilting for the last 6 years.  I didn't buy it for my sewing/quilting hobby, but it worked really well for a long time in that capacity and I was very happy with it.

    I bought a Black and Decker Classic Iron about 3 years ago as a back up iron in anticipation of the end of my Rowenta.  I thought that a $25.00 iron would work just as well for me as my $90.00 Rowenta.  Yes, price does make a difference when you buy an iron.

    I was disappointed in the Black and Decker Classic.  It had several problems and these are things I just don't want to deal with so I'll keep it for a back up but I will not use it every day.  This iron got very hot, not a problem, but it stayed hot for a couple of hours after unplugging it, which is a problem.  This iron does not glide over my fabric the way my Rowenta did and the Black and Decker iron also had balance problems.  I set it down a couple of times and it just fell flat.

    I went to Target this afternoon and purchased a Rowenta Professional, Model DW8061 (link to the Target description and price here) for my quilting needs.  I hope it will last as long as my other Rowenta did.

One More Quilt Top Finished.

    After Hurricane Hermine, my power was out less than 24 hours.  I was really lucky.  Lots of folks still don't have power.

   I made this jelly roll race quilt top on Saturday and Sunday.   I used a jelly roll called Lizzie's Legacy that I bought from Green Fairy Quilts a couple of weeks ago and I inserted 2.5" squares of a light gray print fabric (Whispy at Marshall Dry Goods) in between each strip.  I had a good time making this one.  Cost for this quilt top was about $37.00.

    This is the second quilt top I will have stored in the closet to finish later in the year.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Under Hurricane Watch Making A Quilt Top

    My home is in the path of Tropical Storm Hermine which might turn into a Category 1 hurricane by the time is makes landfall late tonight/early tomorrow morning.

   I spent the day sewing up my shabby chic flowery 10" squares into a quilt top.  I bought these squares from an Ebay seller a couple of weeks ago.  The set came with 48 squares (2 each of 24 different fabrics) and I wanted 49 squares.  I found the exact fabrics at Marshall's Dry Goods and I bought a yard of one of the fabrics so I could add one more square to the group for a total of 49.  I think 10" squares in a 7 block, 7 row configuration make a good size quilt top.  It comes out to be about 66.5" square.  I'm putting this top away to finish later in the year.

   Here it is:


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Yo Yo Flower

   I made this yo yo flower to put on my 6" quilt display stand.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Sewing Blocks For Quilt Backs

   I'm in the process of sewing blocks to put in the backs of quilts.  I have made 5 - 16 patch blocks to place in the center of the back for that quilt.  And I'm working on 7 scrappy string blocks to place in the center of the back for the string block quilt.

   I decided to go ahead and get these quilts finished.  I ordered batting and backing/binding fabric for each.

   I ordered two twin size Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 battings from Connecting Threads.


   I had my usual problem making a decision on backing/binding fabric.  I finally narrowed down the color to a light blue and found this at Connecting Threads in their solid collection called Sky.  I ordered 11 yards of this for backing and binding on both quilts.

   I'll be piecing the backs and sandwiching these as soon as I can get my fabric, and get it washed and ironed. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Scrappy String Block Quilt Top Done With Time Stats

   I know a lot of folks don't keep track of how long it takes to do something, but I've always been interested in how long it takes me to do a task.  I like to look at the clock when I start and I like to check it when I'm done.  I don't know why, I just do.  I do this with sewing all the time.  I love knowing how long it takes me to sew something, I kind of figure that into how keen I am to make something by hand.

   Time statistics for the scrappy string block quilt top:

     Sewing 49 quilt blocks - 13 minutes each - about 10.5 hours
     Trimming each block - 3 minutes each - about 2.5 hours
     Removing the paper towel foundation - 49 blocks - 4.5 hours
     Sewing the blocks into rows - 1 hour
     Sewing the rows into quilt - 1.5 hours

     Total - 20 hours

   Here is the finished scrappy string block quilt top: