2014 Knitting

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Retreat Roundup-Finallly

May Retreat is always fun but this year it was extra special for me. 
I sat with my daughter, busy mom of 4, wife of 1.
Her husband took vacation days so she could retreat with mom.
He is super special! Thanks Mike.
Day 1-I worked on these, my version of Windows To Heaven
 found in the book Strip Delight by Suzane McNeill.
It was fun laying the blocks out at home.
Hopefully they will become a top soon.

 Friday I used daughter's machine while she went to the zoo with 1st graders.
I had 10 hexi designs to applique to the background fabric.
I am thrilled to be one giant step closer this UFO  being completed.

I started putting my tumbler blocks together Friday evening.
While working on them Saturday, I found I had made a huge mistake in my design so I put it away.
Come to find out, only one row was off.

Next up were these fun blocks. 
These are for Town Square from Kim Brackett's book
Most of the blocks are finished to this step. 
I made a few cutting errors-nothing too serious-so those will need some work.
This will become one of the quilts for my special project that I can's talk about yet.

One of my favorite activities are the strip swaps. This time we did 2 1/2" batiks and neutrals (where is that picture??) and 1 1/2" neutrals and blues.

Since I am the swapper, I get to touch all of these and dream of what I'll do with them.

Retreats are so much fun, energizing and so exhausting all at the same time. It's fun to catch up with old friends. Most of these women have been retreating together for a long time. While I didn't complete any one projects, I made serious progress on each that I worked on. That was my plan!!

I have most of my things put away. 2 projects have moved forward.  I'm already planning for the next retreat in the fall.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Design Wall Monday

This past weekend was our Spring Retreat so I have a few things ready to put up on the design wall. Most of the time I worked on making blocks for several projects. Project 1 were these blocks for Windows to Heaven found in the book Strip Delight by Suzane McNeill. Her quilt calls for 20 blocks, I made 42 blocks for a larger quilt and used a constant background in the center of each block. For years we have traded batik strips at retreats and it's way past time to be using them. I added 39 new strips to my collection so I am only down 3 from where I started with this quilt.

After I took a much needed nap and put some things away, I had to lay these blocks out to see what I had. I didn't move too many around before I was happy with the layout. They are all nicely stacked and ready to sew into rows.

Retreat is so inspiring for me. I come home and all I want to do is sew, sew, sew, sew. After I work through my list this morning and run those couple of errands, that's what I plan to do.  I'll write more about my retreat projects later.

Check out great Design Walls today at Patchwork Times.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Design Wall Monday

It's that time of year again...Retreat Time!! WhooHoo. I need a retreat!  I decided this retreat was all about working from my stash. Instead of focusing on Pineapple Crazy like I have at past retreats, I decided to make a couple new quilt tops.  They have a purpose, I just can't talk about it yet and NO, there are no new babies or weddings planned that I know of.  

I went to my stash of batik strips and strip books to create one project. I had another kit started and finished cutting for the blocks for the second. Then yesterday I was wanting to consolidate a couple of UFO bins into one and found these tumblers all cut with a note that said 12 x 12. To the wall I went! There were 7 different fabrics so I started playing. This is the design I went with. They are all stacked and pinned into rows, ready to sew. But with a project like this where each row needs to be sewn together one at a time, I need a good stash of leader/enders. I need to think of this one a bit!

 I found a bag with this charm pack and 2 pieces of yardage together. I had a plan at one time but there are no notes. I haven't a clue what I was thinking. I have a couple books with charm pack designs so I'll figure something out.  I also found this jelly roll and 2 yards of the green and 4 yards of the tan batik together in a bag. No note, no clue, no problem, again to the books I'll go.

I finished A Little Bit Hexi! found on Quiltville's free pattern page.  I can't wait to hang it on my wall. I learned that my Morse machine is not a good machine for free motion quilting but I had fun using it. (I could be the machine operator too.)

Last weeks plans went pretty good. I still haven't taken my Brother machine to the shop. Won't happen this week either because it's Retreat Week!!!  Lots to do before I go.  Lots planned to do while I'm there!

See great projects happening at Patchwork Times-Design Wall Monday.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Friday Fun

Sometimes I need to take a Judy Day and do whatever I want to do. Friday was that day for me. I needed to play. I love Bonnie's A Little Bit Hexi! mini and knew this is how I would spend my day. You know I love all things hexi and as soon as I saw this, I knew I would make one. Today the binding will go on. I would have loved to use the dark brown batik for binding but these fabrics came out of the batik scrap bin (and I believe all these batiks were gifted to me by my friend Sharlene) and there was only that one hunk of dark brown. I auditioned several pieces and settled on the background fabric for the binding.

I love sewing gadgets and since May is my birthday month and I celebrate all month long with little gifts to myself, I recently gifted me with the Fabulous Fabric Glide.  I saw it on someone's blog and checked it out. I'm willing to try almost anything to make free motion quilting easier for me and my shoulders.  I love this gadget! It has grippy feet on the underside. 2 sizes come in the box. It is easy to use and to move and it makes me stop and adjust. I used the small one with my Morse machine and it worked great!!! I didn't use it with the walking foot, that was on the machine when I took the picture. I wonder how it would work while guiding the fabric with the walking foot on...something to try out!

Here's a short YouTube video. I  bought mine from Amazon. I buy a lot from Amazon because my friendly UPS man brings things right to my door so I don't have to leave my house and search for things in stores.  Oh how I wish I enjoyed shopping sometimes. Well sometimes I do but mostly I don't.

I just had another thought-I know--scary! I do have a Sewing Mate extension table surrounding my machine so I went in and set the small frame on the bed of the machine.  Your machine will need to be in a cabinet or have an extension table of some kind to use these glides or you will have a very small quilting area.  Can you tell I really like these?!?!

Today will be an Ernie Day as he has a list of errands.  I call this a Judy Day in Disguise because there will be riding and waiting and knitting will happen today. Win, win!!  I might even have him stop at a quilt shop so I can find a nice dark brown for binding!   Another win for me.

Monday morning update:

I finished this Sunday morning. I had the brown in my stash. It isn't batik but it doesn't matter to me, the background isn't batik either. I love how it looks with the brown binding and so happy I didn't choose the cream.  I can't wait to hang it on the wall!

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Dear Nancy,

Dear Nancy,

I wish I could express what you have meant to me over the years. As a wife and mother of 4, I have very little time to go to town to take any sewing related classes. I am basically self taught other than a wonderful Aunt that would help me over the phone, my sweet Mother In Law that left us too early, a little bit of help in my high school home ec classes and trial and error.  As much as my own mother tired to help me, she did not enjoy sewing at all.

One Saturday by chance, I turned on the TV and there you were.  We didn't often watch channel 10 except in the mornings for Sesame Street so I don't know why the tv was on that channel. It must have been fate. What I saw thrilled me to pieces. I have spent many hours with you, you have taught me so much. Little tips and tricks that have stayed with me all these years.  I have a collection of VHS tapes that are only your TV shows. I have a notebook of what is on each tape. One time I almost threw them away but I just couldn't do it.  I remember when I bought 10-20-30 Minutes to Sew. What a thrill it was for me to have a book written by "my TV friend Nancy".

One Saturday morning in the recent past, my adult son came into the house while you were on tv. He says "Is She still on tv???"  How sweet, he remembered!!!  I love that my children know who you are and I think they know how important it was that I spent some of my Saturday mornings with you.

I'm sending you well wishes and strength as you face your current medical issues.

Your Friend,

You can watch the video message from Nancy here.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Design Wall Monday

Weill things did not go as planned last week. After spending all day Monday full of frustration over my fabulous Brother sewing machine, I had to give up and switch out machines. I decided it was time to use my Morse while Brother goes to the spa. Which I hope will happen one day this week.  

Since there is no quilting in my week, I decided to work  on my current leader/ender project-Tumalo Trail which is found in Bonnie Hunter's book Scraps & Shirttails II. I've been making 9 patches for quite a while-you need lots of them and then the half square triangles, I did in groups of 4 so the set for each block was together. 

It's fun when the project turns from leader/ender to the project.  I love using my little design boards (Link is to Lori Holt's tutorial) to lay out 6 blocks at a time. (I must really like this lay out and stack method as you can see here and here.)  By the time they are sewn together, it's time to get up and move around. On the right you can see my new leader/ender project, Bonnie's cover quilt from Quiltmaker magazine called Garden Party.

As always, I have a bit of help from Miss Shirley while trying to get a good picture of my current UFO project.  Goals for the week? I don't have a clue...but I need to:
  • finish planting the garden
  • take machine to the shop
  • get ready for retreat next week
I think that's enough pressure for me. :)  Maybe I'll work on some of last week's goals too. 

This morning I'll be spending some time touring Blogland as I read what others have on their design walls.  Check them out at Patchwork Times-Design Wall Monday.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Slow Stitching Sunday

It's been a while since I've done a Slow Stitching post.  Over 2 months! But I've been stitching. I chose last year's BOM from The Hexi Blog as my next UFO to work on.  I have these 4 designs machine to applique to the background squares. Only the green 4 leaf clover is pinned on and I see I need to adjust it before stitching. The others are just laying there.  It feels good to be over half way now with the designs. The next block is a basket and it's half finished already.  My goal is one block every 2 or 3 days.  I think I can, I think I can!!!

It's been fun digging in the scrap bins that were sorted by color for just the right fabrics. I think my biggest challenge is finding pieces large enough to cover my 3/4" hexies. I am wondering if I will ever be able to lay something out on my bed without help from Miss Shirley. If that happens, I'm sure Miss Polly will be right there to help me.  I've raised very helpful kitties!

I have worked on my Castle Wall project too. Lots of hand stitching happening in my living room. Ernie asked me if I have given up knitting.  No Silly Man! Stitching is my current obsession, knitting will crowd it's way in again one of these days, don't you worry.

After the 20th block, I had to put it up on the wall to see and share.  It's now back in it's protective bin. The next block is in my to go box for working on at Wednesday's Binding Friends group.  I can talk and stitch and laugh with the ladies while making good progress on my block.

Check out what others are doing with their Slow Stitching Sunday at Kathy's Quilts.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Life On The Farm

I walked down to the mailbox yesterday afternoon and on the way back up the hill I hear buzzing. I looked up in the tree and there is a big ole swarm of bees. So I put the walk into overdrive and called son in law Mike. He and Crystal have bees on their farm also.  They came over to capture the swarm and put them into a new hive.

Mike usually gets stung a few times while working with the bees but I don't think he did this time.  One trip up the ladder results in a bin full of bees.

He think he captured the queen because of how the bees are on the outside of the box.  He made another trip up the ladder to get more of the bees.. Unreal to me how many bees are there!

 Corbin and Leland got a little bored staying back and out of the way. Is there anything cuter than 2 little boys resting in the grass!!  We think all is good so the family heads home.

A few hours later Ernie comes home from work and I'm telling him of the great bee adventure. He goes to check on them and those darn bees are back in the tree. That means the queen wasn't captured and the drones are back protecting her. He's surprised the swarm is still in the tree.

So up the ladder he goes to get the bees again. He goes up twice but isn't convinced the queen is in the hive.  He comes to the house to get his little saw and up the ladder he goes again to cut off the branch with the remaining bees. They are also delivered to the hive.

After another hour or so, he goes back down and the bees are still in the hive. That's a good thing.  I'll check on them in a while to see if they are flying in and out. I will not open the lid. I'm not that brave!

Live on our farm is never dull.  Thanks Mike and Crystal, Leland and Corbin for helping me out. Cross your fingers for us.....this beekeeping is challenging work sometimes.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Design Wall Monday

 I finished the Framed 9 Patch top I showed last week . My original plan was to make it 4 x 5 and decided to go 5 x 5 instead. I added 2" and 5" borders.  54 inch square quilt is a nice sized cuddly quilt. Covers both mom and baby. Now it's time to piece the back, make the binding and get this quilted.

I decided to work on a UFO from last year. This is the 2014 BOM from The Hexi Blog.  When I opened the bin, only 2 blocks were completed. All the background fabric squares were cut and waiting for applique.  Including this sun, I now have 3 more blocks ready to applique.

My plans for the week were interrupted by the flu bug. 2 sick days and another to recoup put me way behind. Good thing I had the hexies ready to work.

I'm just going to copy the goal list from last week and keep working on it. It's nice to have at least one thing marked off the list.

This week I continue the list from last week: 
  • Finish this baby quilt.  Done
  • Make a second baby quilt.
  • Pin baste both of the baby quilts.
  • Finish cutting strips for retreat swap.
  • Piece batting for the next big quilt. (My roll is gone so now I must use up what I have stored away in boxes.)
  • Baste the 2 baby quilts and the next big quilt.
See what Blogland friends are working on this week at Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday.

Monday, April 20, 2015

April Quilt Finishes

My second Scrappy Sister's Choice.

Fun with Batiks.

The Elk Quilt for Hunting Club.

Being ready for the hunting club picnic early feels good.
Not near as good as crossing 2 more UFOs off my list.


Design Wall Monday

A while back, I participated in a bright and white 9 patch swap with an internet group. I swapped 6 sets of 10 blocks so I have a very nice variety of 9 patches.  I think I only got one of my own back. That's a lot of block swapping!!!

It's so nice to have something on my design wall......it's been a while. I love simple framed blocks. These will finish at 8 inches so I am thinking a 4 x 5 setting with 2 borders will make a nice size crib quilt.

I quilted 2 quilts this week. They are finished-complete with labels.  I kept thinking Sunday would have been a good day to take them outside for pictures but kept getting sidetracked.  Today will be another sunny day so I'll make sure to get photos before the rain returns to the Pacific Northwest.

My goals for last week were surpassed. I surprised myself. A good audio book helped keep me at the machine.

This week I would like to:

  • Finish this baby quilt.
  • Make a second baby quilt.
  • Pin baste both of the baby quilts.
  • Finish cutting strips for retreat swap.
  • Piece batting for the next big quilt. (My roll is gone so now I must use up what I have stored away in boxes.)
  • Baste the 2 baby quilts and the next big quilt.

This should keep me out of trouble.

See what others have on their design walls at Patchwork Times.