Friday, August 30, 2013

On the needles

 I have made progress on my sweater after ripping it twice, just like little bear the first was too big, the second was too small and this one is just right. I should be able to wear it when the air turns crisp.
 I have spent more time quilting than knitting the past couple weeks,  the camouflage yarn is striping diagonally rather than narrow bands of color as in the first too big pair of socks these have 33 stitches on each needle the first try had 36. Amazing what a difference 6 stitches makes in the way the color stripes or pools. Trekking yarn socks are ready to turn the heel but I think they will wait until I am wearing the sweater to finished the socks. When I turn the heel I usually keep at it until I  finish that part. Another hot day here.--Ann--check out what's on the needles at Judy's

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Out of the cupboard

Another quilt out of the cupboard.  I named this quilt Steps to the Campanile, I made it for my oldest son, he was the first of the third generation to attend SDSU (that would be South Dakota) and graduate. He was 12 or 13 when I made it. He chose the colors blue and yellow (go Jackrabbits) I added some red, green and purple for interest. The block is Jacob's ladder which is half square triangles and 4 patches in this configuration it is sometimes called wagon wheel. More HST make up the border. I quilted it by FMQ in reasonable straight lines through the 4 patches and stitching in the ditch in the border. I extended the truck fabric on the back by adding roads and my boys did play with their little cars and trucks and legos a lot on the back of the quilt. Missing my little boys.....they grew up into wonderful young men. --Ann--
P.S. I should have darling daughter check me on the facts before I hit the publish button. Oldest son was the second to graduate from SDSU, he was in the Navy 5 years, 2nd son was the first. The first is second the second is first are you as confused as I am now?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

More Morning Glories

The monster grows......But isn't that a beautiful combination of violet and red violet in the five point stars and the perfectly spaced crease between each point where the bloom unfolded!?! And that shade of green compliments it so well?!! However next year......I am making a note in my garden journal to refer to August 28, 2013 post to nip them in the heart, the tiny heart shaped leaves, as they come up and I begin gardening next year. But until then I will enjoy their fabulous color.--Ann--

Monday, August 26, 2013

Design Wall

I pulled an old project out of the closet, the fabrics are all batiks and commercial hand dyes. The Winding Ways blocks and colors have been calling to me all year but I had another big project with a deadline so now that I am quilting on the commission quilts I can consider the possibilities of this one while I machine quilt. I started it in 2004 sometime. The F & P magazine was in the tote with all the parts. There are enough parts for a queen size quilt and 2 moves ago I had it all on the design wall and I was trying to create some horizontal waves of color but now I realize the circles of color are dominate. Each block is influenced by 9 circles, the one encircling it and 8 more made up of one or two segments of the center block. I need to arrange segments by color families and value and might be able to create some diagonal movement. I was thinking I would make it into 2 quilts but Darling Daughter asked for a queen size quilt for her bed now that she has a real job and an apartment and guess what she loves these colors. click the Erin quilts then scroll into October 2012 for the last installment.  It is going to be a scorcher here so I'm off to my sewing room to machine quilt until my arms get tired then add more parts and bask in the refreshing cool blues. Linking to Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday and Anything Goes Monday  be inspired. --Ann--

Friday, August 23, 2013

Humility Quilting

All quilters have heard of humility blocks, the block that is pieced wrong or turned, with scrap quilts and log cabin blocks and fan blocks it is pretty hard to go wrong. I could and probably did sew some log cabin blocks clockwise and some counter clockwise but who is to know with scraps. And with fans a wedge could be turned the wrong way but a quilter would notice that during the pressing. My humility is not with piecing the blocks but with the quilting. I sewed arcs from point to point using half circle curves....what could possibly go wrong?? using the outside curve instead of the inside curve and visa versa or choosing the wrong end point. Bingo on both accounts. I believe I got it right in the center and first ring of dark log cabin blocks, and there are some crooked lines in the next ring of light fabrics. The fans are free motion quilted with loops and swags. Lots of variation in loop size and swags.....its free motion quilting......there will be variation. I skipped to the dark side of the 5 diagonal log cabin blocks I  stitched a straight line across the center of the block then swung  arcs from point to point. This arc went into the next block by a log. the arc in the next LC block is small. Then in the next section of 5 blocks I moved the point over a log..oops again That's when I decided I had quilted enough for one day and went for a walk and wrote this post in my head and contemplated whether I should rip or not and possibly damage the quilt. The errors are near the edge where the quilt will hang over the side of the bed, will anyone ever trace the quilting lines with their finger? a child maybe but with electronic games for amusements... probably not. So I'm leaving it, my humility quilting. Hoping today is a better day for stitching and linking to Leah FMQ.--Ann--

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Monstrous Morning Glories

 I didn't plant morning glories last spring. It was so late when I planted peas and beans that I saw a few heart shaped leaves volunteering so I let them be. Big mistake.
 I set my supports out for them, they knew exactly what to do, they crawled right up and all around.
But they are taking over everything, fortunately the beans are done, they are blanketing my potatoes, tomatoes and strawberries even the weeds are being strangles by their tendrils. Only the dark purple came back no pale blue blossoms. Next year any heart shaped leaves are going to be slashed.--Ann--

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

late night finish

Late night finish last night. My first big quilt on my sweet 16 and 16 inches of throat space is wonderful!.  now on to the next. --Ann--

Monday, August 19, 2013

sewing room tour

A sewing room tour! What a wonderful idea! thank you to Ellison Lane for hosting the Studio Tour.
My sewing room looking south is my fabric stash behind door number 1 or door number 2? or door number 3? looking north at my design wall. The design wall is 2 sheets of foam insulation each 4 feet by 8 feet covered with flannel and nailed to the wall.

 Door number 3 because it is close to my cutting mat. The table is my old kitchen table with an 18 inch leaf in it. The step stool was my Grandma Selma's and I sit on it to cut strips and pieces.

 The stacks of fabric are mostly folded into fat quarter fourths and are 2 deep and 6 across. They are sorted by color and theme to a point. The upper left is hand dyes and batiks then background fabrics in small yardages then background fabrics in longer pieces. Some of the piles in the center are bits from current projects that I haven't refolded and sorted.
 I keep my rulers on nails behind the door. My old Elna and very best friend (of 36 years and no complaints) is sitting on a stack of magazines at the moment while I do machine quilting. I needed her small table to the left of my cutting table to support the quilt and hold the tray of tools. When I am in piecing mode and want to sew fast my elna sits in front of my sweet 16.

Thread and tools more books and magazines under the quilt.

I wheel my chair around to work here when it is not a catch all space. The little wooden drawers were made for my  Grandma Selma by her grandfather in Sweden. She got it from an aunt of hers when she went to Sweden in the 1950's.  The high chair with the basket on top was my Grandma Elsie's. The steps come out and make wonderful shelves. This is where I sketch, design and figure, write letters and scrapbook. It is good to have a  place to work and play with all my tools in easy reach. --Ann--

Friday, August 16, 2013

machine quilting

Its been a week of machine quilting so far over 45,000 stitches, I love the stitch counter on my machine and I'm only about halfway through. I'm using the acrylic rulers and templets for the first time. The half circle templets make swinging arcs so much easier and accurate. I used the straight edge for the straight lines around the dark circle of log cabin blocks. Rather than go around 8 times I went back and forth in each quadrant so I wouldn't have to maneuver the quilt so much but also so I wouldn't have pull lines. I tried using a ruler to keep my echo lines in the fan background equal distance but quickly learned I was much better at eyeballing it. I free motioned the loops in the fans. I'm very pleased with it so far and might even finish this weekend. Happy Quilting--Ann-- linking to FMQ Friday

Monday, August 12, 2013

Design Wall Three Queens and a Glorified Nine Patch

 The blocks sewn together
 Borders added and on the quilt frame for spray basting. (click to see the other 2 log cabin fan quilt tops or click on Design Wall in the label section to see the design process.)
 Glorified nine patch using Quick Curve Ruler---slick and click!
I spent Sunday afternoon spray basting quilts in my garage. It was the biggest space available and since darling daughter got a job and found an apartment, her stuff is in the garage until the apartment is ready.  She had a table and chairs so I only had to move the car and take 2 more chairs to the garage and the quilt frame and all the necessities but compared to moving furniture in the house then squeezing around things. The garage was the easiest.  And she helped me with the spray basting. The quilt frame sits on the backs of the chairs with the table underneath so the quilt doesn't fall on the garage floor. (click quilt frame how to)  My fitbit said I walked almost 8000 steps, that's almost 4 miles! just basting the quilts and all the trips up and down the stairs to the dryer to fluff the batting and steam the backings and back and forth to my sewing room for the little tools. Then to put it all away again. My feet were tired by the time I was finished. My design wall is bare I will put some fabrics or unfinished blocks on it to ponder the next project. Sometimes solutions come at a glance while I machine quilt these three queens and a glorified 9 patch. and one more link to Judy's Design Wall Monday and be inspired. --Ann--

Friday, August 2, 2013

on the needles

 July was the month to unravel. I started the blue green socks and was knitting a 4 by 1 rib, it was really boring so I ripped and restarted and am using a p1 k1 slip k1 p1 pattern much more interesting.
Socks for oldest son...... hubby tried them on, they wear the same size shoe, they were huge so rip again and start over, son is coming home this weekend so he will try them on before I go farther. I like the way the colors are pooling and will look more like camouflage.

 These are for my daughter, I love the cheerful colors just like her. I just started increasing for the gusset. And wonderful news she got a job as a dental hygienist!!! I have 3 taxpayers now!!!  and isn't that what this country really needs is more taxpayers! I've done my part.
My go bag with pockets on the inside are just right for a ball of sock yarn in each no tangles.  Life is good. --Ann-- 
P.S. the sweater from my last "on the needles" post was huge, really huge, I tried it on then laid a couple other sweaters on top, it was huge so I am ripping that too. Good thing yarn is so forgiving. check out on the needles at Judy's blog. Hope everyone's knitting is a size that will fit.