Monday, September 30, 2013

Design wall

The last few days I have been flitting from one project to the next. I knit a little, read a little, sew a little, arrange a little and repeat in no particular order.  I've placed all the parts on the wall except the square-up border parts and the right edge. I wanted the circles to continue to the edge so I have 10 complete circles in each row rather than cut them off with the square edge of the blocks. Cover the half blocks rows with your fingers and see what a difference it makes.  I squared the skinny triangle to complete the half blocks. Now to figure out a method to keep-them-in-order-while-I-sew-them-into-blocks. The 4 skinny triangles have to be in 4 different blocks to make the 4 point star, so each block has 4 different fabrics in the skinny triangles which affects 4 different stars.  I'm calling this quilt Afterimage because I was seeing spots in front of me like the flash of a camera after spending an hour or so arranging the pieces.
 Sometimes I have a really short attention span so I started this quilt for a baby boy. I'm just going to sew and flip scraps around the tractors then square up to 10 1/2 - 12 1/2 inches and either sash or just sew the blocks side by side. I can see the little guy putting off nap time because he needs to find the tractors that match. We'll see how big it gets. Mindless sewing and trimming.......sometimes I need that.
And I did a little machine quilting on my glorified nine patch. Not sure what I am going to stitch in the ovals between the 9 patches but I'll figure it out when I'm doing something else.
 I finished the labels for the 3 commission quilts with lots of goofs and start overs. I put the wrong quilt name on one quilt label so I picked out the stitches and re did it then when I was looking at border stitches I saw that I was a letter short on  a name so had to do the whole thing over and left it for a couple days but yesterday when I picked it up again everything went together as smooth as could be. Do you every have days like that when one project is all problems but a different project just falls into place?
Tomorrow is my birthday! --Ann--
Linking up to Judy's Design Wall Monday and be inspired.

Friday, September 27, 2013

on and off the needles

I just started these footies, Bunny Hop Anklets from Knit Picks to use some of my left overs. It is an easy pattern to knit and very stretchy. Interesting how the colors of the yarn have grouped together.The first pair striped all the way.
This pattern has a heel that looks like it will stay up, there are 60 rows of wrap and turn and I can always add the bunny tail if they slide down in my shoes.
 My 13th pair of socks for 2013, I think daughter will love them. Trekking yarn
 I also finished The Age of Brass and Steam shawl Zauberball yarn but I am not thrilled with it. I have not blocked it yet because I may rip and start over. It's a good thing yarn is so forgiving. My last row of eyelet is in my final rows and my cast off is tighter than it should be. It curls. There are yarn overs at the beginning and end of each row, my purl rows have a much looser yarn over than my knit rows which is why I have a sharp inside curve and an almost straight inside curve. Any advice from fellow knitters??-- Ann-- Linking to Judy's On the Needles

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

wonderful weekend

I had a wonderful weekend with darling daughter. She has a job as a dental hygienist 90 miles away. In the last couple years there was a report in a major publication about job happiness and dental hygienists were at the top of the list. She worked  M-W last week and W-F this week (doesn't that schedule make for a happy employee?)  she had a really long weekend so we spent a day shopping in Sioux Falls and had a wonderful lunch, she bought new jeans, I got thread and backing for a quilt, we tried on shoes but didn't buy any, she found a wedding present for a classmate and some kitchen stuff for her apartment and we still had time to go to the yarn shop. I wasn't looking for anything in particular she was picking out yarn for the next pair of socks she thought I was going to knit for her then she saw some bulky yarn for mittens and thought I should knit her another pair of mittens, I knit her a pair last winter. Then I suggested since she has time.... her usual work week is T-Th....and since she would be home until Tuesday I would teach her how to knit socks but then decided on mittens because they use bigger needles and fatter yarn and only have 26 stitches cast on and knit fast. So I bought the yarn  and the needles and told her that her learning to knit mittens would be her birthday present to me. I also bought her size 6 circular square needles to refresh her memory on knitting in general and I knew she needed to learn to purl for the mittens. So Saturday we begin the lesson, refresher on casting on, she immediately got a sliver from the square needles,  but thought she could continue even with an injury.  The wood on the needle was split so her stitches caught (those needles are going back to the shop) we switch knitting she works on mine and I look at hers then start over, she knits a couple rows I show her how to purl, she purls a row then knits then purls. So then we start the mittens and everything went swimmingly. By Sunday afternoon we were finishing the point and starting the second mitten.

I knit a pair right along side to refresh my memory and so she could see what I was doing rather than doing it for her, and I will have another pair of mittens for a Christmas gift. Hers are a Malabrigo yarn and the grey are a Lovikka yarn from Sweden. Next time she comes home or I go visit her we will do the thumbs. Cherishing mother daughter time.--Ann--

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Drum Roll Please

I just finished the third queen size Log Cabin Fan quilt. Joy is the word that came to mind as I was working on this one. The bright blue colors are joy! Now to make the labels and enjoy them for another two weeks before I hand them over to the new owner. The first quilt (click) is Harmony, the second quilt (click) is Serenity and this one is Joy.--Ann--

Monday, September 16, 2013

Design Wall

 I have put lots more pieces on the wall for this winding ways quilt. The top photo is all natural light and no skinny triangles in place, the negative space of the 4 point star really pops out. The next photos were taken with the track lights on in my sewing room and no flash. I have rearranged pieces so the blocks are light, dark, light, dark and the light and dark are relative to what is next to it. Last night I started placing the skinny triangles at first I just was going light, dark with random colors  but being a person who likes some things very orderly I matched 4 skinny triangles in the outside points of the star. They will still be light, dark but with a plan, the matching star points accentuates the stars and circles.
And so many parts to go........I need one more row on the right side to make the quilt 11 blocks across and lots more on the bottom for 11 blocks down. That's only 1452 pieces with curved seams. Curved piecing is not as difficult as setting in a sleeve or collar. Happy sewing and linking to Judy's Design Wall Monday and Marelize's Anything Goes at Stitch by Stitch for lots of inspiration.~~Ann~~

Friday, September 13, 2013

Quilting the 3rd queen

The third log cabin and fan quilt is almost finished. It has been a lot more work with thread tension problems. I finally blew in the bobbin case to get the lint out. Amazing how a tiny bit of lint can mess up the tension. So there have been many starts and stops and re threading of the bobbin. The 1st click and 2nd click quilts. I quilted with straight lines, palm leaves using the half circle arcs, in the log cabin blocks, free motion loops and swags and echo curves in the fan blocks, and in this quilt I quilted a feather circle in the middle with echos. I wasn't brave enough to try free motion feathers in the log cabins or fan background. Someday on another quilt that isn't a commission piece I will do free motion feathers. Have a look at all the quilting at Leah's. Happy Quilting--Ann--

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

How I spent my summer......

How I spent my summer vacation...........Sewing log cabin blocks by the dozen and........
reading. I read 4 books about Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd Lincoln. 
Visual aid please Log Cabin Quilt of course.

This is my first log cabin quilt sewn in 1987, traditional red centers with three dark fabrics gradually getting darker and 3 lights gradually getting darker. It is about 40 inches square and I hand quilted it.
Reading list:
  1. Love is Eternal by Irving Stone  I have been reading biographical novels by Irving Stone since college, he researches all of his books the facts are there along with the real places and people, he gives them personality and dialog. He also wrote The Agony and the Ecstasy about Michelangelo, Lust for Life about Vincent VanGogh, The President's Lady about Rachel and Andrew Jackson, Those Who Love about John and Abigail Adams and many more. I should reread some of them.
  2. Behind the Scenes or, Thirty years a slave, and Four Years in the White House by Elizabeth Keckley  non-fiction, this book is referenced in the three novels. She was an incredible woman.
  3. An Unlikely Friendship A Novel of Mary Todd Lincoln and Elizabeth Keckley by Ann Rinaldi  Look for Ann Rinaldi books in junior fiction and young adult fiction in your local library, she also  researches her characters,events and places. At the end of her books she tells what is fact and what is not and who she created or embellished and why.
  4. Mrs. Lincolns Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini  This might be Jennifer Chiaverini's first book not about the Elm Creek Quilters. This is a look into the Lincoln White House, Mrs. Lincoln after the assassination and publishing Behind the Scenes. 
I had no idea there was so much controversy and scandal during Lincoln's presidency. 

another visual aid please    A ceramic figurine that my mother painted in the late 1940's, I think it looks like one of the dresses Elizabeth Keckley sewed for Mrs. Lincoln.

Sometimes when I am reading a book I imagine the actors I would cast as the characters in the book. It was always Sally Fields voice who was speaking to me as Mary Lincoln and I have not seen the latest Lincoln movie. I could not imagine any other actor in that role.

That's what I did this summer.
would I be teacher's pet or what for all this historic reading!?!
  And now that all my kids are done with school vacation just continues for me!!--Ann--

    Friday, September 6, 2013

    On and off the needles

     I finished my sweater and I love it............soft and soon as I was finished with my size 8 needles and changed to a 6 for the ribbing.........
    I started the Age of Brass and Steam kerchief/shawl free pattern from Ravelry, the yarn is Schoppel Zauberball. I love the way the yarn is wound by color I'm pulling from the inside so the next color is a mystery I'm just going to knit until the yarn is gone, its almost as big as the pattern for the kerchief. I want to wear it with black slacks and a black top. I think that will be sharp. The tag on the yarn said Knitting can be addictive! I'm not ready for an intervention--Ann--find more knitting addicts at Judy's On the Needles.

    Wednesday, September 4, 2013

    Another finish

    The second of three queen size log cabin and fan quilts is finished! I free motion quilted loops and arcs in the fans and straight lines and half palm leaves in the log cabin blocks and background. The greens are so calm and peaceful the word serenity comes to mind. One more to go.--Ann--