Friday, May 29, 2015

on the needles

I've been busy with a lot of things but most not blog worthy. Funny how some weeks are like that. I have done some knitting, I'm almost ready to knit the ribbing of socks for oldest son. The stitch pattern is just 2 rows of k2,p2 then 2 rows of knit, pretty easy pattern.  And I finished a couple pairs of reading mitts.  Self striping yarn really dresses up plain vanilla knitting.  They look like little teapots don't they?!? I should be able to knit another pair from the leftover yarn. They make nice gifts. It is rainy and cool here today so a perfect day for knitting and sewing. Linking to Judy's On the Needles. --Ann--

Friday, May 22, 2015

On the needles

Knitting has been a little slow the last couple weeks. Might be because I discovered Downton Abbey on my kindle and its hard to knit when I am watching the small screen on my lap rather than the screen across the room.  The characters and story has just drawn me into their world. Can't wait for the next season to be released. I have also been reading The Waiting by Cathy LaGrow for book club it is a true story about adoption and the story starts in South Dakota.  It is the best story I have read in a  long time. Linking to Judy's On the Needles. --Ann--

Thursday, May 14, 2015


This quilt is finished, the wind was challenging as I tried to take a few pictures outside. No new fabric was purchased for the completion of this quilt! I love working from my stash. I had a yard and half of a suitable fabric for the back so I sliced and diced and added odd but suitable fabrics to make it big enough,  and I had odd bits of bias for the binding. Hubby said he liked it maybe I'll make another one just for him I think I have some left over fabrics that I can use. --Ann--

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Favorite Quilting Books

Monday I wrote that I refer to my favorite books when I start a new quilt so I thought I would share those books with my readers.
  • The Art of Classic Quiltmaking by Harriet Hargrave and Sharyn Craig This book covers how to choose fabrics if you are going for a particular look when the fabrics from the original quilt are no longer available. It covers all the basic techniques of sewing a quilt including drafting blocks and it has wonderful examples of traditional quilts and lots of variations.
  • Sensational Scrap Quilts by Darra Duffy Williamson a lot of wonderful information on how to make a successful scrap quilt. She taught me how to control my fabrics in a scrap quilt.
  • Color for Quilters by Susan Richardson McKelvey This was the first book on color and fabric that I read when I started quilting. She talks about color, texture, scale, busyness, mood, and much more that a quilter needs to learn when combining fabrics into a quilt.  I majored in art, this book was a real eye opener for me.
  • Quilts, Quilts!! Quilts!!! the Complete Guide to Quiltmaking by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes This book covers all the basics of quilt making with some fabulous patterns and published before there were a lot of acrylic templates and rulers available.
  • Scrap Quilts The Art of Making Do by Roberta Horton, lots of great information for scrap quilts and mixing things up.
  • Great Sets by Sharyn Craig wonderful ideas for setting blocks together. I like all the books by Sharyn Craig.
These are my favorites for traditional looking scrap quilts.  --Ann--

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

power sewing

I did some machine quilting while I was thinking about  other quilts. Concentrating on one thing always makes me think about something else so there has been progress in design of other quilts. 
The rain comes and goes 
then the wind blows this way and that 
someday soon we will have a perfect spring/summer day. --Ann--

Monday, May 11, 2015

Design Wall

I hope everyone had a great Mother's Day.  My kids cooked and cleaned up the kitchen, we had smoked wild turkey, Parmesan potatoes, asparagus, cabbage salad, and chocolate Dutch baby with ice cream and berries.  And a bottle of Riesling.  Delicious meal and thank you to kids and hubby for all their work.

 Second son requested a queen size quilt some time ago in brown and blue but didn't give me much else to go on for the design or style.  He did say he liked an airplane quilt I made quite a few years ago and I offered to give him that one,  he wanted one made just for him.  I was also in the mind set that airplanes should be in RWB.  This quilt has been on my mind for over a year.  I really like specifics when I make a quilt for someone like the log cabin and fan quilts, those requests were like an assignment so all I had to do was fulfill the syllabus.
Second son likes to hunt and fish and works with wind power he is a civil engineer. He did say he knew I would come up with something and he would love it.  What a challenge!?!   I studied some of my favorite books and started scribbling on graph paper and made a list of possible blocks. I added to my wildlife fabrics knowing there would be a place for it in his quilt.  So this is how my design process works:
  1. study favorite books
  2. look at fabrics in the stash 
  3. shop for possibilities to fill gaps in value
  4. think what about......list of blocks
  5. study favorite books add book marks
  6. draw on graph paper
  7. turn page draw more on graph paper do some math
  8. pull fabrics from stash
  9. pin fabrics to design wall see how they play together
  10. use colored pencil on graph paper  think about buying the latest computer software for designing quilts
  11. think about how long it is going to take me to learn how to use it
  12. remember I usually fly by the seat of my pants when I start working with fabric and no matter how much planning I do everything changes as I work
  13. decide purchasing the computer software would be a waste of time and money
  14. eliminate a bunch of fabric from the pile
  15. choose fabrics for the center block
  16. do the math for working with 2 inch segments or 3 inch segments  
  17. figure out how big the quilt is going to grow
  18. make the first cuts in the fabric and sew the center star
  19. audition the second round of fabrics
  20. sew some pink border fabrics for the log cabin fan quilt while I think about the next fabrics for this quilt

And the process continues. Enjoying a wonderful rainy day here. Linking to Judy's Design Wall Monday and be inspired. --Ann--

Friday, May 8, 2015

On the needles

Darling daughter got her new socks for her birthday.  I was knitting from both ends of the ball so didn't know there was a knot in the yarn until I was well into the socks,  good thing she never stresses over mismatched socks. I need to stay home on a Friday so I can post an on the needles. Lots of knitting in the car as there have been a couple road trips with hubby.
These gloves and reading mitts are finished 1 pair of socks, 2 pair of gloves and one set of reading mitts from 2 balls of yarn. The yarn is 20% angora so is marvelously soft but looks ratty after going through the wash a few times.

Another pair of reading mitts also from Blossom Street yarn with angora and a pair of socks for son, his birthday is coming and he really likes hand knit socks. Bless his heart. Linking to Judy's OTN.--Ann--

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Kids books

Yesterday I wrote about my fern leaf poppies and how I thought the buds looked like a Suess creation. I was subbing in th elementarty school library and as I was re shelfing books I found (click) The Boy of Fairfield Street about Dr. Suess written by Kathleen Krull.  I was not swamped with kids or books so I read it. It was delightful, I want to read  his books all over again.
I set aside another book to read because the cat on the cover looked just like  Floyd T Cat, my cat from many years ago.  The book was (click) Lost Cat by Roger Mader. The illustrations were all from the cats point of view so lots of shoes. The cats owner moves and the cat gets left behind, they go back but the cat has disappeared, the cat meets lots of shoes in search of Mrs. Fuzzy Slippers. The search is on for the cat to adopt a new owner.  The story was sad and funny for me because 29 years ago shortly after second son was born I let Floyd T out and by the time I had SS settled for a nap Floyd T decided to look for a new home. Years later Hubby who sold veterinary supplies was in a veterinarians office in the town where Floyd T disappeared. There was a cat who looked just like Floyd T and the vet said the lady found her as a stray a few years ago.  I'm glad she found a good home.  Never too old for picture books--Ann--

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


My fern leaf peonies are blooming and very early this year. So many more buds to open, I think they look like a Dr. Suess creature with a frilly collar. These roots came from my mother's garden and she got them from her mother and I'm sure she got them from her garden club friends. Blooming memories--Ann--

Monday, May 4, 2015

Design Wall

Oh the sweet feeling of accomplishment..................I sewed the blocks of the fan and log cabin quilt together. Sew with that sweet feeling what do I do but start another quilt.
 I needed a quilt for a new baby boy. This one will be entirely from the stash.  Linking to Judy's Design Wall Monday.  Hoping for a rainy day with lots of sewing.--Ann--