Wednesday, April 30, 2014


I have been drawing a blank lately on blogging posts and pics to compliment the words. Its not that I haven't been busy with things but just not blog topic things. Some days, weeks are like that. It continues to be good weather for reading with rain, wind even snow at times. The fireplace is cozy and so are my quilts. My late winter/spring reading:
  1. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
  2. Buffalo for Broken Heart by Dan O'Brien for book club set in South Dakota non fiction
  3. Philomena by Martin Sixsmith I watched the movie on my kindle recently, I liked the movie better than the book because the movie is about Philomena's search for her son. The book has a few chapters about Philomena but is mostly about the son, his feelings of abandonment, unworthiness of being loved and his life style.
  4. The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks 
  5. The Color of Water James McBride for book club non fiction
  6. Wish You Well  David Baldacci for book club This is a story about two children who are being raised by their great-grandmother in the mountains of Virginia, it takes place in the 1940's.
  7. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis because it is referenced so frequently
  8. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
  9. Funeral Food by Kathleen Taylor South Dakota author who also writes knitting books

    The book Wish You Well made me think of this tablecloth and apron of my grandmother's. The border on the tablecloth is so cheerful it is stitched to a dish towel, the kind that gets soft with use and really soaks up the water, and has another dish towel for the backing. I imagined Louisa in the story wearing an apron like this. I love the black stitches. Keeping busy while waiting for sunny warm days--Ann--

Monday, April 21, 2014

Design Wall Monday

 Not much change on the design wall since last week except the purchase of more turquoise fabric. How did that happen?!?  This week will be spent in the sewing room rather than the kitchen. And a quilt, Spring Blossoms, out of the cupboard and into the mail. I made this quilt before I started blogging so I'm posting pics.
It's a windy day here. This is just a tri rec star with courthouse step blocks, the top quilt I tweaked the color the others I did not because they really are a soft bunch of pastels, the yellows are buttery, the blues are like the sky on a sunny day if you look just above the horizon or maybe a faded robin's egg blue, the pinks have a hint of coral and the green is leaning toward chartreuse but with a little gray or sage, not the traffic stopping chartreuse of today. I extended the courthouse step blocks into the border with extra cornerstones.  I hope it likes its new home. Check out the quilts at Judy's Design Wall Monday and Stitch by Stitch.--Ann--

Friday, April 18, 2014

On the Needles

  I'm staying home today so can post an On the Needles.  I tried on my wavy cable socks with the Blossom Street yarn with 20% angora fiber that feels oh so wonderful in my hand..........there wasn't enough stretch in the cables to get it over my heel. I should have guessed that might be a problem when the sock started sucking in when I started the cable pattern. I rewound the remaining yarn so I could pull from the inside and rather than unravel the sock now I stuck the ball in the leg of the sock so when I am in the mood for this yarn again I can unravel as I re knit the socks in a different pattern. The angora fiber mats so any pattern might be lost after washing. A twofer special the fun of knitting two pairs of socks from one skein of yarn.

 A couple finishes in the last couple weeks. Both stitch patterns in finished socks have a lot of stretch. and the clogs are ready for the washer and several spins through the dryer.
 I'm also working on  socks for oldest son. Every time I see him he has on hand knit socks, he'll keep getting more. These are a  three row repeat of a 2x2 basket weave with  a plain knit row between the 3 rows. This is a Kroy yarn. check out the happy knitters at Judy's On the Needles. Will spring ever come??~~Ann~~

Thursday, April 17, 2014

snow and quilt

Yesterday it was kinda dark in the house since it was snowing outside, yes still snowing in April. I thought taking pics of quilts in the snow would be a good I gather the quilts and camera and put on outdoor shoes. I'm gingerly stepping down the steps and whoosh I'm on my fannie on the middle step. Good thing its well padded. I gather my dignity and firmly plant my feet on the patio and pull myself to an upright position. No sense in wasting the effort I spread this quilt on the snowy ground and snap a couple photos. The color is so much brighter in natural light. There was a bit of a hill in the center of the star as is so common with six and eight point stars with bias edges.  Okay I admit it was a mountain but as my friend Bev always said no baby is going to cry over that. I did a lot of patting as I layered the quilt and more as I quilted it and once through the washer and dryer (and isn't it wonderful that cotton still shrinks) a multitude of infractions were diminished. I picked up the quilt, shook off the snow wrapped the camera strap around my arm and padded it with the quilt then turned around and looked at the steps. The other doors to the house were all locked so I had to go back the way I came. Nothing gingerly about the trip up the stairs I stepped in snow over my ankles and plodded up the steps. Safely inside I took off my shoes and changed socks. Only one quilt got the Senior-pics-outdoor-photo-special.  Mailing it will wait 'til the snow is gone. --Ann--

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Afterimage the last stitch

  I stitched the last stitches of the label last night onto Afterimage.  I finished DD baby quilt the eve of her birth, yesterday's post. Happy Birthday Darling Daughter!! I'm so glad I added the hot pink and the bright turquoise to the mix of fabrics. They are light turning on the lights. It is snowing here and the ground is white. --Ann--

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Out of the Cupboard

Twenty-three years ago today I finished the binding on this quilt. I remember because Darling Daughter was born the very next day. She couldn't have timed it better.
I pieced the rail fence in the center because it made me think of the neat little gardens in the Beatrix Potter books. Followed by a row of carrots from the scraps of 1/8 yard cuts.  I hand quilted the figures from the Peter Rabbit and the Benjamin Bunny stories. Then I still had scraps left over so I built a garden wall around my garden with a gate for Peter and Benjamin.  A couple months after she was born I stitched her name, birth date and weight in the space below the flower. It is all hand quilted a lot of it in the ditch. Happy memories.--Ann--

Monday, April 14, 2014


 Twenty some years ago I made this carrot quilt out of 1/8 yard cuts that I bought a quarter century ago. Doesn't a quarter century ago sound ancient compared with 20 some?? Remember when a fabric store would cut less than 1/2 yard cuts? And I had all that left over fabric............come back tomorrow to see what I made.--Ann--

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Out of the cupboard

 Just a little quit I made 20 some years ago. I recall I started this for a doll quilt for DD but it got too big. I think it was also one of my first attempts at free motions quilting. Looking at it close I had a flash back of practicing a zigzag free motion and moving the fabric back and forth with each stitch of the machine. I stitched around the flowers and foliage so there are some zigzags. I still love that print and it reminds me of DD in her toddler years.
The dress I sewed for her had little angel ruffles and a ruffle at the hem, it buttoned in the front and had little matching bloomers. I made the same pattern with 2 or 3 other floral prints and larger sizes.  Cherishing the memories. --Ann--

Monday, April 7, 2014

Design Wall Monday

Afterimage machine quilting was finished over the weekend!!!!! The circles just seemed to get bigger and bigger as I went. Two rows of stitching in each circle,  288 overlapping circles. I do like the over all effect. Next to cut binding and finish and maybe make matching pillowcases. If I use the  left over lengthwise strip from the borders there will be enough for pillowcases.
 Easily distracted from clearing the table to trim the quilt I put blue triangles over the tan and a couple possibilities for borders.  I think my original plan was to use tan for the corner triangles and maybe sashing between blocks but that is kinda dull okay down right boring. I like the blues better maybe they are beach balls bouncing over the waves in the deep blue sea instead of beach umbrellas. Check out the quilts at Judy's design wall Monday.  --Ann--

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Quilting on Afterimage

I'm 2/3's done machine quilting. Last night I thought I must be 3/4's done, its hard to tell when is it rumpled under the sewing machine and bundled  on the table surrounding the machine and the pieced circles keep getting bigger in the center of the quilt. The goal is to finish quilting it this weekend. Projects like this brighten the gray day with the chance of more snow in the forecast. What do people do who don't quilt or knit on these long extended winters? Happy stitching--Ann--

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


 This quilt has been sitting for weeks as I pondered how to quilt it. I wanted to do circles to accentuate the curves in the piecing but I didn't have a half circle template the right size. My big pizza pan was the right measurement but  just too big to work around. Try centering a pan on the block then hold it and move the quilt and  pan under the needle. I thought I could make a template by tracing around a platter onto form core board but I knew my cut wouldn't be smooth so to clear my head I went for a walk after weeks of being lazy and it hit me like a big wet snowflake in the center of my forehead to use the templates that I used for cutting the block parts. The big triangle template with the concave and convex sides is perfect. I have to be careful not to let it get under the presser foot but it works and it is a nice size to move around the circle. And works for the inside circle too. The solutions I find to everyday problems when I go for a walk! The next problem was the template was too small to extend the circle into the border. I could only stitch 1/8 of the circle at a time and no blocks parts to guide me. I pulled out my old fashioned and most accurate easy to make and use compass. Then made a new one. This was how Grandma and Great Grandma marked their baptist fans for quilting. I used cover weight paper, I folded a 1 1/2 inch to 2 inch wide strip in half then put a pin hole at least 1/4 inch from the edge to put a pin through at the center of the circle then I punch a small hole a generous 1/4 inch from the outside of the circle for my chalk pencil then hold the pin end and swing a half circle with the chalk. Easy, accurate, cheap. Back to quilting I'm on circle 75 of 144. --Ann-- click to see design process