Sunday, July 9, 2017

More Sewing, No Crocheting

   I have two more flowers done on my Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt.  I love the way this is turning out.   I should have taken this picture when the sun was out so you can see the colors clearer,  but the weather was not cooperating today and I wanted to get this posted.

    Here is a picture of my yarn for the Hotel of Bees Shawl that I will start soon.  The yarn is Knit Picks Comfy Sport, the dark pink is Peony, the beige is Parchment, and the light pink is Flamingo.  I'm looking forward to starting this project soon since I did manage to finish the Christmas towel embroideries and that project is half done now.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Hexagon Quilt Update

   I have finished another block in my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt.  I have two done now.  Only 33 more to make.  😎  I have been taking my sweet time with this project.  No rush.  I have plenty of quilts to keep my warm when the weather turns cold.


   I received the yarn for my Hotel of Bees Shawl on Friday and I wound all nine skeins into yarn balls so they are ready to use.  I should take a picture of my yarn.  I also took some time to read through some of the pattern last night.  I don't know when I will start this project, but I want to finish my Christmas hanging dishtowels before I start this.  I still have two dishtowels to embroider.  Once they get the embroidery done I have to make the top part.  I didn't get a chance to finish the embroideries on the last two towels this past weekend because . . . 

   I spent a lot of the weekend buying mulch for my large flower bed in the front of the house.  I have a small car so I can only buy 4 bags of mulch at a time.  I made four trips to the home improvement store buying mulch Friday night and Saturday morning to get enough mulch to cover this space.  I used 15 bags of mulch in this space.  I swear my roses look happier since I put the mulch down. 


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Christmas Is Coming, Believe It Or Not

    I thought I would get an early start this year.  I hate giving Christmas gifts, I have a hard time deciding what to give anyone.  I do know that my daughter and my brothers like the hanging dish towels that I make, so that's what I will make to give to them.   I will make five of these pretty dish towels and I should have them all finished by next week.

    I bought the fabric and the towels for this project last month.  I bought two huge white tea towels and cut them into quarters.  I hemmed the one cut side on my sewing machine and then I put the towel into the hoop to add the embroidery to it.  I only got one embroidery made tonight but I love it.  I will embroider the rest over the weekend then I can start adding the fabric toppers to each one.

    Here's the embroidery design I'm using on the towels.

     This makes a nice break from hand sewing hexies.  I really miss my sewing machine when I'm doing a hand sewing project.  I love pressing down on the foot pedal of the machine and sewing at full speed.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Hotel Of Bees Crochet Shawl Project

   The Hotel of Bees shawl pattern was making the rounds earlier in the year.  I heard really good reviews of how well written the pattern was and I saw some beautiful finished shawls in youtube videos and on Ravelry.

   I ordered my copy of the pattern about a month ago.  I spent some time trying to find the yarn I wanted to use.  The designer made her sample with a cotton/acrylic blend yarn and I was trying to find a similar yarn  I found Knit Picks Comfy in Sport weight and ordered it this morning in three different colorways.  Three skeins of Peony (dusty pink), three skeins of Parchment (a natural color), and one skein of flaming0 (light pink).

   While I'm waiting for my yarn, I have printed the pattern (14 pages)  and I'm going to give it a good read.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Making Paper And Fabric Pieces For My Hexagon Quilt

I'm making my own hexagon paper pieces to use in my current quilt project.  In my last project I used old greeting cards and some junk mail and my Fiskars paper punch to make my hexagon paper pieces.  I also made some of my papers out of a heavy 110 lb. 8.5" x 11" white cardstock and those papers lasted the best and I was able to reuse them much longer than the others.  So I'm using the cardstock in this project.  The Fiskars paper punch is labeled an extra large, (I bought it on Amazon a couple of years ago) the sides measure 1" and the longest measurement from one point to another is 2".   I can punch out 20 hexies of this size from one sheet of this size cardstock.  I like to have lots of the papers available so I can baste enough hexies to make more than one flower at a time.

At this stage I cut the edges off leaving a piece big enough to punch out an additional 6 hexies.

All of my yellow centers are basted and ready to have flowers created around them.  This is all the fabric hexies basted.  

Time to cut more fabric.  To cut the fabric, I use a paper hexie with a 1/4" seam allowance added to it and I trace the shape onto the back of the fabric and I cut out each one with my trusty Gingher scissors. 

Here is a picture of the back of my hexies in my first block of this quilt.  I basted the hexies with blue thread so it's easy to find and remove when I take the papers out.  This block is ready to have the paper removed from the yellow, orange and pink pieces.  I leave the papers in the green ones until I have another block added to it.

Here are some hexies I made and put together.  I want to use these as a decoration on a bag in the future.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Slow Start To My Slow Stitching Project

   I finally started my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt.  I started this on a day I spent at the beach with dear daughter and friends.  I knew I wasn't going to be swimming in the Gulf and that I wanted to spend my time on the beautiful deck with a sea breeze and some hand stitching.  I finished my first flower for my new Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt during that beach trip.  I have since added the green path.  I am totally in love with this project.  I can't wait to see more of these lovely flowers appear.

  The green fabric almost looks minty or blueish, it's not. I tried to get a good picture using my faux Ott Light.    I will try to get a picture where the colors are more life like on a day with more sun.  We have had some rain the last couple of days and it's hard to get a good picture indoors.

    I was kind of worried about the pink and orange clashing but it looks stunning in this picture.  I originally bought a very pale yellow for the center, but I changed that to a bright yellow when I saw how dark the orange and pink are and I'm so glad I did.

   So there you have it, the beginning of a another quilt top.  


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

I Decided On My Next Quilt Project

   I finally decided on my next long term quilt project.  It will be a slow hand sewing project making little hexagons with English paper piecing.  I'm going to make another Grandmother's Flower Garden ("GFG"), but this time I want to make the quilt more traditional.  I will be using three fabrics for my flowers.  The center will be yellow, of course, and the two rows of petals will be orange and pink.  Here are the fabrics I purchased from this week for this project.

     Here is the green I found for path which I think is perfect.  It's a Kona cotton in the colorway Pond.  I can't wait to get started.

    Here's a link to the scrappy GFG I made last year.  It was totally different from a traditional GFG.  I don't know what I was thinking of when I bought the dark green and greyish fabric for this.  I should have made the flowers with two rows of petals and then used a lighter green for the path, but I made only one row of petals then I used that concrete color before the dark green path.  It it unusual to say the least.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

String Blocks Make A Great Big Dog Bed for McPherson

    I had to make a dog bed for my daughter's little Cairn Terrier, McPherson.  She rescued him in January and he has been a great addition to her life.

     I made him a scrappy bed a couple of months ago with some 3" scraps I needed to get rid of and he loves that bed.  No picture of that effort, sorry, but here's a picture of McPherson.  Isn't he the cutest?  He is 17 pounds of squirrel hunting craziness.

   Since his first scrappy bed lives in the great room area, McPherson needs another bed for the bedroom.  I had some string blocks all ready for this project.  I put 9 of my 10" square string blocks together, sewed that top onto a stabilizing piece of fabric, added a backing pieced together from three fat quarters, stuffed it with three bags of fiberfill and hand sewed the open end.  Done.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Embroidery Machine Fun

   I almost forgot to tell about the machine embroidery adventure I had last weekend.  I have a Brother PE770 Embroidery Machine that my daughter gave me as a birthday present in 2014.  It was supposed to be a machine we both would use but it lives at my house so I use it more.  I set it up and use it about 3 or 4 times a year for making hanging dishtowels, embroideries to add to tote bags or to frame, and monogrammed linen napkins, I would love to play with a multi-needle machine someday.
   Back in January I had an idea for dear daughter to make her Father some embroidered toilet paper for Father's Day.  Dear daughter picked the design and I purchased it.  We got together last Saturday to embroider toilet paper.

    I did a sample stitch out of the design on Friday night on a plain piece of white cotton fabric with stabilizer.  It worked great and took me about 40 minutes from set up to final stitch.

     On Saturday we had a few problems and the project took a lot longer than anticipated.  I don't think my machine is built to embroider toilet paper because when we tried to embroider on the toilet paper the machine jammed up and it would eat the toilet paper and the stabilizer.  

     We ended up with three designs stitched out on regular white muslin which dear daughter will wrap around toilet paper rolls.  The three designs took us almost 5 hours including an hour of that time taken to go to Walmart to get the fabric.

       It was a fun project and a real learning experience.  Dear daughter got a chance to really work with the machine up close for the first time since we have had it.

    Here is a picture of the design we stitched out.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Replacement Irish Chain

    I had to make a replacement Irish Chain for myself.  I invited a friend to come over and shop my quilts last month.  She fell in love with my favorite Irish Chain that I made with Tanya Whelan rose fabrics.

     This is the front of the original Irish Chain that I made for myself a few years ago.

This is the back.

  The original quilt was a little small but I loved the fabrics I used in it.  My friend took it home with my love and I tried to forget the quilt, but I knew I wouldn't be happy until I made a replacement.  Not a carbon copy but an Irish Chain using fabrics I love.  I used a green and pink floral for my nine patch blocks and the backing/binding fabric is a lovely light green with tiny bees all over it.  The fabrics are great and I even made the quilt a little larger than the original.  So my replacement Irish Chain is finished.

        I don't have any more quilts that I want to make, so I'm going to continue making string quilt blocks for more string quilts.  I have two big boxes with lots of scrap strips from my stash.   I make my tops with 49 blocks which I think make a good size top.  I make an additional 7 blocks to piece the backing.  So each quilts needs 56 string blocks.  I've been using full size paper towels which measure 10.4" x 11" which I cut down to 10" after I sew my strips on.  Using 10" blocks is so much fun for me.  I love the 7 block rows x 7 rows and this layout makes it easy to line up my backing fabric with the row of blocks in the center.  I line that row up with the fourth row of the top and that centers my back with my top really nicely.   The paper towel rolls have 96 sheets in them so I can  make almost two tops with one roll of paper towels.  While I'm making my string quilts, I'll be on the hunt for a great quilt pattern with some great fabric.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

One more thing,

   I did some more paper piecing and made up this pretty block to decorate my front door in between specific holidays.  I used a fat quarter set that I won from Barbara at Cat Patches blog.  It was eight fat quarters of Junebug Fat Quarter Bundle by Dear Stella Fabrics. I used the free paper piecing pattern from Carol Doak.  If you go to Carol Doak's site and click on Free patterns and scroll down to this one which is the 11th picture, it's called "Introduction to Paper Piecing" and it's pretty simple, but I think it super pretty.  It looks great no matter what fabric you use.  I would love to make an entire quilt with these blocks.

The Return

     I've been too busy to blog the last five months but I have been crafting and trying new things so I'll try to do a little catch up here.

     I finished my Carpenter Star quilt with simple quilting and an equally simple backing.  This quilt is made up of 100 squares, I made the half square triangles with 8" squares.  I love it.

    I finished my colorful pinwheel quilt and did simple quilting with a pretty lavender back and binding.

   I also made a a third string quilt which I offered for sale to my two older brothers.  The oldest brother bought it and loves it.  I make 10" string blocks using full size paper towels which finish at 9.5" and I make the quilt 7 blocks by 7 rows.  They make great size lap quilts.

  I found a Youtube video on how to knit fingerless mitts and I made a pair for myself and for my daughter out of acrylic yarn.  Love these.

   I bought myself some pom pom makers and I had to crochet a hat to try them out.

    I used my embroidery machine and made some embroidered hanging dishtowels for my brothers for St. Patrick's Day.  I wanted to remind them of our Mom who was 100% Irish and she loved St. Patrick's Day.

    I just recently finished this basket weave quilt.  I took the pattern from this website.  I counted how many squares the blogger used of each color and I cut 6" squares of three different colors of fabric and put mine together.  Love this quilt.

   I made a country floral quilt that I absolutely love.  I bought 49 - 10" floral squares from an eBay seller, put them together and had a quilt top in no time.  I backed it with some simple floral fabric and did my usual grid and diagonal quilting.

    I made another scrappy top using 3" squares of fabric and I backed it with a fun zebra print.  Love this quilt as well.

    I've been wanting a spool pin doily for all of my sewing machines and I couldn't find any for sale so I made up my own pattern.  It took me three tries to find something really nice to make them with.  I tried yarn and number 10 crochet thread, but the yarn was too thick and the crochet thread was too thin.  I settled on embroidery thread.  I had a ton of of it and this was a good way to use it up.  I ended up crocheting a lot of these little doilies, it turned into a little obsession.  I did give some away but I still have a bunch that I want to use for a pillow cover.   Here is how I make my doilies. 

I used six strands of embroidery floss with a size 1 (2.35 mm) steel crochet hook.

Round 1: Chain 4, join with a slip stitch to the first chain to make a ring.

Round 2: Chain 3 (counts as a double crochet) and make 11 double crochets in the ring for a total of 12 stitches, join with a slip stitch to the third chain in the beginning chain 3.

Round 3: Chain 1, make a single crochet in the first stitch, chain 3 and single crochet in the same stitch(these are picot stitches), make a single crochet in the next stitch, chain 3 and single crochet in the same stitch, do this in each of the 12 stitches around, join with a slip stitch to the beginning 
chain 1.

Round 4: (Another round of picot stitches) Chain 1, make a single crochet in the first chain 3 space, chain 3 and single crochet in the chain 3 space, make a single crochet in the next chain 3 space, chain 3 and single crochet in the same chain 3 space, do this in each of the 12 chain 3 spaces around, join with a slip stitch to the beginning chain 1, cut yarn and weave in ends.

    Each doily takes about 15 minutes to make.  I also made up some two and three color versions as well that were fun to do.  

    I knitted a tea pot cozy for the tea pot I keep on my stove top.  Color stranded knitting is new to me and I had a good time trying this out.  The curly q decorations are crocheted.

   I crocheted a shawl using the free Frosted Layer Cake pattern.   Here is a link to the YouTube video on how to do it.  Youtube video on how to make frosted layer cake shawl.  It was a fun pattern and so simple.  

     I'm currently working on making a new Irish Chain quilt to replace this one that I recently gave away to a friend.  I can't make it exactly because the fabric is no longer available, but I'm making it similar.