Monday, March 30, 2015

Me Bee-ing Sewcial

I am Miss April and have been thinking long and hard of how to challenge my bee mates in Bee Sewcial. I am the first to admit that I don't think out of the box very well, so my ideas are pretty literal and basic. I found this painting on Pinterest that I like and have chosen it for my inspiration colors. I have also chosen some artwork as inspiration for the quilt blocks.

I would like circles, ovals, curves. Not just a curved seam, but a curved shape.
These are the challenges I have set up for my group. Now, I look forward to reaping the benefits of this talented group of sewists.

My first two blocks that I made are simple. I'm going to try some inset circles and other forms of curved shapes to add to my quilt. 
This is an all solids bee, so I might need to increase my stash.
Bee Seecial April

Bee Seecial April

Saturday, March 28, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Socks

St. Patrick's Day has come and gone. I started knitting a new pair of socks  the first week in March hoping I could finish them by the day you're supposed to wear green. They are my go-to simple toe up, stockinette stitch socks, so I really thought I could get them finished in 2 weeks. 
That super cute stitch marker was custom made for me by Susan's twelve year old daughter.

Of course, things happen and I didn't spend as much time knitting as I should have to get them finished. I did make a make shift knitting center on the side yard, in the coolest part of the yard I could find, while we were having our wood floors cleaned and oiled. It was a super hot day and the backyard was way too hot and sunny. So I parked myself on the storage side of the yard, complete with my beach chair, upside down storage container for a table and my iPad and knit away. It's a really odd feeling to be at your house but not be able to go inside, because you can't walk on the floors. I did get a lot done on the socks that afternoon.

I didn't make my deadline. Butterball Bulldog (our son's dog), was all decked out in her special St. Patrick's Day costume, and I thought you might enjoy seeing her. At least she looked really cute in the wearing of the green. She is the sweetest dog.
photo credit:Kyle Stanley

This was the stage of my second sock on March 17th.

But I did finish them on March 18. I have worn them several times to make up for not getting to wear them on St. Paddy's Day. I like the color and the pattern, but the yarn was a little disappointing. It seems to stretch out more than some of the other yarns I have used for socks. But they are still soft and comfortable, just a bit slouchy.

And this was Butterball the day after her wild night at the pub. There is just something so cute about dressing up a dog.

photo credit: Kyle Stanley

Sock Stats:
Pattern: Toe Up on a Circular Needle, Simple Stockinette Stitch with a Fish Lips Kiss Heel.
Yarn: Candy Skein Fingering Weight 75% Merino/25% Nylon
Colorway: Sweet Clover Candy
Needles: Addi Turbo Sock Rockets US size 1, 2.5mm, circular

Monday, March 23, 2015

It's A Boy!

Ha! Ha! I fooled you! It's a baby boy quilt that started out as an idea that popped into my head last Friday morning. I grabbed a bunch of scraps, mostly Denyse Schmidt fabric strips, and just started sewing them together. I added several blue strips from my scrap bin to balance the colors and make it look more boy-ish.
*Disclaimer: No Yardage was harmed in the making of this quilt. It is made entirely of scraps and upcycled jeans.

baby boy quilt

baby boy quilt

By Saturday afternoon I had a finished baby quilt. 
I have been wanting to make a jeans quilt but decided to try using a few strips in this quilt first to see how I like it. The pocket was begging to be used, so I added it to the front and will include a small toy or softie when I gift it. Thanks to my Instagram friends for convincing me the addition of the pocket was a good idea.

I quilted it with straight lines in a one inch grid, improv fashion, like the quilt itself. 
The binding is also scrappy, made from bits and pieces of leftover binding, scraps and strips that were in my scrap bins.

For the backing, I grabbed pieces of odd cuts that were used in other quilts, waiting in the destash pile or scrap bins.

With several friends and relatives expecting babies this spring and summer, I hope one of them is a boy.

Quilt Stats:
Name: It's a Boy...quilt
Fabric: Mostly Denyse Schmidt scraps, with lots of others added, repurposed jeans.
Thread: Pieced with Aurifil 50 wt., quilted with Perma Core 40 wt. color Lucerne Blue.
Batting: Warm and White
Backing: Pieced from stash.
Binding: Scrappy
Pieced and Quilted by me on my Bernina 820.
Size: 42" x 44"

I think I'll link this up with Leanne and Nicky the next time they have a Scraptastic Tuesday.

Scraptastic Tuesday

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Bee Sewcial, March

As easy and fun as some months are in most bees that I am in, this month in Bee Sewcial had me stumped. Melissa asked for transparency blocks. I had to Google what that meant and search and search on Flickr, Pinterest and other websites to finally get a feel for how to achieve a transparent look in quilting. Being that this is a solids only bee made it a little easier to understand. And then I saw this display at Crate and Barrel and it all made sense to me. I am very visual and since Melissa wanted cool blues and greens with light grey these vases became my inspiration for the first block.

This week I sketched on some freezer paper and then cut out the pieces to make this block. It measures about 10" square, untrimmed, which is the way we are supposed to send the blocks.

For the second block, which measures about 15" square, I just did some gradual color changes with a strip pieced block. 

I have learned so much in this bee and I am feeling more confident in my creativity. So thank you Bee Sewcial, for challenging me and inspiring me to search deeper into my creative self.
Next month is my month to be queen. I better put my thinking cap on.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Stash Sewciety...March

Sometimes you get a request in a bee and you just get so excited you go a little overboard. March was just such a month in Stash Sewciety Bee. Lisa asked for arrows, feathers or flying geese. She left the sizes open, just so that they would be about equal to making 2(12-1/2") blocks. 
Using her color scheme and requests of Anna Maria Horner fabrics, Cotton and Steel or Alison Glass fabrics, I used them all with low volume fabrics as the background.
First I made an arrow. It measures about 20.5" x 4.5".

Then I made these really cool staggered flying geese paper pieced blocks that I found on Pinterest. Each block measures 4.75" x 9.25".
And finally I made a reduced sized Anna Maria Horner feather. which measures 10.5" x 13.5". Lisa can always trim down the background fabric if it's too wide.

I am really looking forward to seeing how Lisa puts all these blocks into one cohesive unit. It might just be an epic quilt for all to ogle over.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Stitch Tease March 2015

Susan Canadian Abroad is Miss March in our Stitch Tease Bee. She asked for various sized, sorta wonky, log cabin blocks with lots of white borders; so the blocks appear to float around on the quilt. 
I had fun making these blocks for my sweet friend in the UK. 
I find it builds my confidence to complete the easier blocks first. I still have two more bees to work on this month. That's one bee done for March. ✔️ the other two are a little more intense. To be honest, one has me completely confused, but I'll attempt to conquer that request next week.
What have you been working on? 
I hit a milestone with this is my 1000th post. That's a lot of random blogging that I have done in the last 4-1/2 years. It's been really fun and fulfilling to share a little part of my life and loves with all of you. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Auction for Eleni

These socks were a really quick finish. I took them to Seattle with me and worked on them while flying and also while visiting my friend in Gig Harbor.
I am donating these socks to the @auctionforeleni on Instagram. It takes place this Saturday, March 14. All proceeds go to support the Hauser family, who recently had a baby born with some serious health complications. If you'd like to read Rachel's words about her precious baby, you can read her blog posts here and here.
Rachel is such a strong influence in the quilting world and has helped many of us with projects, patterns and tutorials. The quilting world is so loving and embracing and I am happy to be able to help in this small way.
So if you would like to bid on these socks (starting bid is $20 US) be sure to follow @auctionforeleni on Instagram and check out all the things that will be available to bid on starting March 14.

Sock Stats:
Pattern: Simple stockinette stitch with a Fish Lips Kiss Heel.
Yarn: Opal Hundertwasser 75% wool/25%Polyamide
Needles: Addi Turbo US size 1/2.5mm
Size: Woman's size medium (fits shoe size 7.5-9)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Windows Quilt

This quilt top is finished, I think.
I can't decide if I should add a border or two to it.
Right now it measures 72 inches wide by 84 inches long.
It is made with my never ending supply of Denyse Schmidt fabric scraps and Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Indigo.
What I thought would be a leaders and enders project turned into a full on, must finish project.
After making one block I was so excited to finish this quilt that I just kept on sewing for days until it was completed.
I'll ponder on it a while to decide on backing and how I will quilt it.
Meanwhile, I need to decide whether to add borders or not.
Suggestions are gladly welcome.
Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for Work in Progress Wednesday.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Socks for a Friend

These socks have arrived at their intended owner so I can finally share them here.

Sew South is so fun

Several months ago I promised my sweet friend, Jennifer {Ellison Lane}, I would knit her a pair of socks. From the moment I cast on these socks I knew they were perfect for Jennifer. They are just her colors.
When I start a project that I know I will be giving away, I think about that person a lot through the process. I use that time to pray for that person and to think about what they mean to me as a friend and how that friendship enriches my life. Jennifer has been a sweet friend for 4 years now and even though we live across the country from one another, I think our friendship is a good, solid one. I only wish we lived closer so we could have more one on one time to talk and sew together.
These socks took me forever to complete. I started them in mid-November and didn't finish them until the first week in February. This was my first time knitting with double pointed needles and I just found it a little more fiddly than knitting socks on a circular needle. I really like the pattern and the way the heel looks, but think I will return to knitting on circular needles again.

Sock Stats:
Pattern: How I Make My Socks by Susan B. Anderson
Yarn: Yarn Ink 75% Merino superwash wool/25% Nylon;  color-Mint Raspberry Swirl
Needles:Signature Needle Arts DPN size US 1; 2.5mm

This project is another completion on my 2015 first quarter finish along list.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side