Monday, June 27, 2016

Farewell Father Henry

Do you ever have regrets after you buy fabric online and ask yourself, "what was I thinking?" That was me several months ago when I bought a half yard bundle of Denyse Schmidt's Ansonia line. Now don't get me wrong, I love Denyse's fabric, but this line just wasn't my cup of tea. It sat on a shelf waiting for me to get a destash post on Instagram together.
A few weeks ago I saw a quilt on Instagram that Nancy Purvis was working on and I immediately thought of my bundle of Ansonia. My fabric was nothing like the fabric Nancy was working with but I had an idea to use whites, bold solids and some low volume with the DS fabric and make a quilt for our favorite priest, who was being transferred to San Francisco at the end of June.
I have to admit I love the end result and I am so glad I did not get rid of the fabric. 

Martha has decided she is my official helper and loves to be the center of attention when I am trying to photograph my projects.

Each block measures 8" x 16.5" unfinished. I sewed them in an 8x5 grid to make a decent sized lap quilt for a very tall man. 

The colors of the quilt could go feminine or masculine but to make sure it looked manly enough, I wanted a nuetral colored backing. I backed it with Carolyn Friendlander's Extra-wide Crossweave in Charcoal. I didn't have enough fabric to cover the width of the quilt. No problem, I just used more of the DS fabrics to piece the back along one side.

I free-motion quilted the quilt using a light grey thread and a crazy eight pattern which gave the quilt great texture and wasn't too hard on my shoulders.

The Crossweave made a good binding, too, making it easy and stress free. No more decisions needed to be made.

The only thing left was to give the quilt to Father Henry. We did that after mass on Saturday. When he opened it he said, "You think I  am going to be cold in San Francisco?" I answered "yes", and knew he was happy with his gift. He was really touched when I said I made the quilt and I could tell he was thrilled with the gift.
We will miss him. He has been at our parish for 17 years. Longer than we have been going there. He is from Poland and he always kept me aware of my Polish roots. He even helped us when we were planning our trip to Poland 4 years ago. We will surely be planning a trip to San Francisco to see him in the coming years as often as we can.
Our church is the Polish Catholic Center of Orange County, Californa. We will be getting a new Polish priest this weekend. I hope Father Henry finds a Polish community once he gets to San Francisco. He doesn't have any family in the states. He said his parish becomes his family. We wish him well in his new ssignment, but we will miss his smile, his humor, his wonderful sermons and his Polish influence in our lives.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern:Improv Stripes
Fabric: Ansonia by Denyse Schmidt, low volume and solids from stash
Thread: Pieced with Aurifil 50 wt. 
Batting:Warm and White
Backing: Ansonia by Denyse Schmidt/Crossweave by Carolyn Friedlander in Charcoal
Quilting:Free Motion Crazy Eights by me on my Bernina 820 using Connecting Threads Essential  40wt. Thread in Light Grey
Finished Size: 55" x 75"

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Seed Stitch Socks

I finished another pair of socks. These have been on the needles since late February. I finished the first sock really fast and then got half way through the second sock when I noticed I had been knitting the pattern on the sole of the foot. I had to rip it out and start again. I also was working on another pair of socks at the same time, so that's why this finish is so long in coming. They are another finish on my second quarter Finish-A-Long list.

I am happy with the way they turned out and the fit is perfect. I picked this yarn because it reminded me of the colors in denim fabrics.

Martha wanted to be in the photo, too.

As per my usual habit, I used the Fish Lips Kiss Heel pattern to get a nice fit through the heels.
I think these socks will be well worn this fall when the temperatures get a bit cooler.

Sock Stats:
Pattern: My Own Seed Stitch variation
              Fish Lips Kiss Heel 
Yarn: Sweet Fiber Indigo Dreams 80% Superwash Merino/20% Nylon
Needles: Addi Turbo Sock Rockets 16" Circular Needles US size 1 (2.5mm)

2016 FAL

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Bow Tie Baby Quilt

Last month I decided to do a really good clean up of my sewing room. I went through every bin and box and found all sorts of things that I had forgotten about.
One of the work in progress projects I found was an art quilt my son had started about 10 years ago. He was going to make a quilt based on a photo of the Charles Bridge in Prague. He had gotten as far as making the sky and then lost interest in making the project.
Fast forward ten years when I found the wavy pieced sky of neutral fabrics. I chopped it up into 6.5" squares then added corners to each block with fabrics pulled from the scrap bin.

I used this Mendocino print for the backing.

I quilted it with a serpentine stitch on the diagonal, adding soft waves and texture to the quilt. 
Adding a scrappy binding made from remnants of bindings from other quilts makes this a truly scrappy quilt.

I'm glad someone snapped this photo last night at our LA Modern Quilt Guild meeting, because it's the only photo of the finished quilt that I have. I donated this quilt to a local charity for homeless new moms.

Quilt Stats:

Pattern: Scrappy Bow Tie
Fabric: all scraps 
Batting: Warm and White
Backing: Heather Ross Mendocino Swim Class in Orange
Thread: Pieced with Aurifil 50wt. 
Quilting: by me on the Bernina 820 using Connecting Threads Essential 40 wt. Light Grey
Size: 36" x 48"

Linking up with Scraptastic Tuesday.
Scraptastic Tuesday

Monday, June 6, 2016

These Socks Took Forever To Make

When I added this pair of socks to my second quarter Finish-A-Long list I never dreamed it would take me this long to finish one sock. But, circumstances in my crazy life and lack of interest in getting them done has taken until now to finish. 
Part of the problem was that the pattern changes every row, which is very easy to follow, but was hard for me to memorize, making it a chore to read line by line. I was a bit lazy and started another pair of socks to be taken as my travel project and then it took a while to get back to these {By the way, I still have not finished that other pair either}.
I am so glad I finished them. The yarn is so soft and squishy and the pattern is beautiful. They are going to be my favorite socks, when the weather cools off.

This is a top down pattern, which is more of a challenge for me. But, I think it does my brain good to be challenged and do things in a different manner. They also used the slip stitch heel method instead of the Fish Lips Kiss Heel that I have memorized.

I bought the yarn from Citizens of Textile but I think Heather is operating under House of A La Mode Fiber Goods now. The yarn is a little finer weight than I am used to, making the socks very luxurious and soft.

The color of the yarn is somewhere between the upper photos and the collage below. I guess it depends of the lighting where I made the pictures.
You can see the details of the pattern. I love the way the ribbing on a top down sock looks finished and not wobbly.  I need to work on my kitchener stitch for finishing the toe, but I am getting the hang of it, finally! And that heel detail is just so pretty.
Martha decided to photo bomb my photo session. But who can resist those eyes and that sweet face?

Sock Stats:

Pattern: My Cup of Tea by Robin Lynn
Needles:Signature Needle Arts 5" Double Point Needles US size 1, 2.5 mm

2016 FAL