Friday, April 28, 2017

On the Needles

I recently went searching for my stitch counter, it was a barrel shaped thing that fit around a knitting needle and had a dial to turn as each row was completed.  I never did find it and its just as well because it wouldn't be practical on cable needles.  I found the cute little stitch counter in a quilt shop it was hand made by somebody but I had a terrible time turning the numbers the thin little wheel was not firm enough to grip and turn so I turned to the internet because somewhere I had seen chain links with beads for counting rows which didn't make sense to me as to how it worked but I was curious.  Instead I found a link to the string chain. She explains it so well.   If you are numerically challenged like me it makes counting rows and keeping track of increases or decreases so easy.  I put one chain at the beginning of the row to count the rows between sleeve decreases and one at the end of the round to keep track of the number of decrease repeats I have done.  No more going back and looking for the decreases on the sleeve or trying to figure out how many rows I have knit.  I'm knitting non stop now not stopping to count rows.  I use it on mittens and gloves too so my fingers and thumbs are the same on both hands.  Happy knitting.  linking to Judy's OTN --Ann--

Thursday, April 27, 2017

More spring flowers

 A couple more blocks cut and lots of leaves to cut and arrange but everything is falling off the wall so I will wait with the fussy work until I am actually sewing the flowers to the background.  The last block might be foxgloves.  I think foxgloves are so pretty and such a lovely name, do foxes really put them on their paws?  Its a lot of little pieces to cut out and sew it might turn into poppies. Large poppies.  More bright colors on a dreary day.  --Ann--

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Spring flowers

Another dreary overcast rainy day here on the prairie.  I need color.  I need flowers.  I need something cheerful.  When I was working on the sunbonnet Sue quilt a couple weeks ago I found 2 1/2 inch strips that I had cut for half square triangles for a border for this quilt click.  I have been cutting triangles and got rather bored with that.  I pulled out a book of pastel appliqué and thought I should make an appliqué quilt and use up the rest of these 1990's fabrics.  This was much more fun and so much more cheerful.  The book was so poorly organized that I'm only taking suggestions from the book.  The cutting instructions refer to fabrics by number then the dimensions then it refers to the blocks by letter without referring to the fabric number or size.  There was a nice diagram which could have had letters and number for easy reference but it did not.  The book was not organized the way my brain likes things organized so I closed the book and I'm doing it my way.  Looking at my pile of fabric......I'm barely putting a dent in it.  Maybe I'll separate the blocks with little pieced checker boards and pinwheels, I have plenty of time to figure that out since I am going to buttonhole stitch appliqué cheerful project.  --Ann--

Monday, April 24, 2017

Reading list

  1. Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule by Jennifer Chevarini
  2. The Wright Brothers by David McCullough for book club  non fiction
  3. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein the story is told by the dog
  4. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr  WWII occupation of France
  5. Poldark by Winston Graham for book club as good the second time around
  6. The Shepherdess of Siena by Linda Lafferty second time for this one too
  7. Goodnight Mr. Wodehouse by Faith Sullivan for book club WWI era about a teacher and her son and the books she reads
  8. The Four Seasons by Laurel Carona about the music composer, Vivaldi
  9. Leaving Blythe River by Catherine Ryan Hyde father and son survival
  10. 1776 by David McCullough non fiction  American Revolution
  11. Jeremy Poldark book 3 of series by Winston Graham 
  12. A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissen for book club about a fire in New York in 1911 and Ellis Island interwoven with New York 2011
I sat in the sun on the deck on Saturday and read a few more chapters.  A pleasant change from being curled up with a quilt.  Earlier this year I was doing more knitting and sewing than reading then all of a sudden a couple of the kindle books that I had on hold from the library were available so I plunged into reading again.  I'm going to be looking for more books by Faith Sullivan and Susan Meissner and book 4 of the Poldark series.  Susan Meissner has such a way with words "the pen whispered" as she wrote it didn't scratch.  It was a lovely image.  Whereas typing on a keyboard is chatter.  Another kindle book just arrived.  Happy reading --Ann--

Friday, April 21, 2017

On and Off the needles

Finishing up some little projects

I have little baskets or bags sitting by my favorite chairs so there is always a little project to pick up when I sit down for a cup of coffee or grab and go for a road trip.  I like to have socks or gloves because they have short rows of knitting, short rows as in not no many stitches between pulling the needles to knit the other side, not short rows with wrap and turns.  Anyway these little projects get done a few rows with each cup of coffee.  The socks on top were on the needles for almost a year.  I would work on them after I did my time on the elliptical and was cooling down in front of the fan.  They are short because I liked the yarn with my new winter coat nothing else in the stash of yarn went with my new winter coat.  I needed some gloves to go with it so I cut the yarn and left the socks while I knit the gloves then came back to the socks and that is all the yarn there was.  The reading mitts are alpaca yarn and left over from Christmas gloves and the bottom basket is gloves, getting done row by row every morning with my coffee.  Shouldn't need them until next fall.  There has been some progress on the sweater and socks from last weeks post so I will skip the pics.  Linking to Judy's OTN --Ann--

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Log Cabin Fan

Back to my previously scheduled quilt top.  The borders are sewn.  --Ann--

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Sunbonnet Sue Quilting

 Auditioning a binding and that one is wrong.

A short story:   Once upon a time there were two little girls, one lived in town and the other little girl lived on a ranch far from town but her grandma lived across the street from the first little girl so they became friends.  Kindergarten was the year of lots of snow so the ranch girl lived with her grandma most of the winter.  The two little girls would play together all morning then go to school.  Sometimes they played dolls, sometimes ponies and sometimes dress up.  The little ranch girl liked dress up so much that she wore the dress up clothes from the townie girl's closet to school then after school change back into her own clothes and go home to grandmas.  The townie girls mom made them matching dresses because they were BFFs.  Then the little ranch girl moved away then the townie girl moved away but they are still FBFFs.

I machine quilted in the ditch and around each sunbonnet Sue and palm leafy loops in the setting triangles.
As profound as I get words and the years of all her Easter birthdays.
1995, 2006, 2017, 2028 and 2090.
DD would frequently exclaim to me when I was sewing a dress for her "For Me!??!"

I always stitch my name onto the quilt along with the year.

The large floral print was a favorite sun dress with a ruffle at the hem and little bloomers underneath.

Little girls grow up so fast.........cherished memories.  --Ann--

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Sun Bonnet Sue Design Wall

I thought I would share with you how this quilt came together.  I put these blocks on my design wall a couple years ago click and played with the blocks.  When I decided what was most important and what to eliminate the quilt came together  quite easily.  I say that now  as I forget the day I spent measuring and adding and measuring and adding some more.  The photos were all different sizes,  I measured the width, I measured the length, I grouped them by width, I measured how much I could trim,  I measured how much white to leave,  I measured how much sashing I needed to add to make it fit the row  because things fit together better if the are the same width.  I decided my intersections did not need to match up, my rows would be like clips of film.  I measured some more just to be sure.  Measure twice or three times or four times and cut once.  I remember very clearly now......all that math  my head hurt.

The photos were stitched together.  Next to figure out the sun bonnet Sues for the border.  The diagonal measurement for a 5 inch block is 7 and 1/8.  Not my favorite fraction to work with.  I decided to cut the setting triangles too large because I can always trim and I would add a border of sashing to the photos and cut it to fit.
Auditioning fabric for the setting triangles.  The outside setting triangles are cut from strips of fabrics from the many outfits I sewed for DD.

Not all the sunbonnet Sues made the front of the quilt.  The six who were left were the perfect length for the back of the quilt.
I cut the border around the photos extra large the I marked the center of each side and measured the length of each sunbonnet Sue section and marked the center.  I marked a chalk line where I thought the seam would be and hand basted the Sues to the center.  I was off by a quarter inch so I basted  again, this time the corners fit perfect.  I sewed and trimmed.  Basting is so worth it!
I need to come up with some profound words for the wide border around the photos.  --Ann--

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Birthday

I hope you had a joyous Easter.  My kids were all home sometime over the weekend so it was a weekend filled with laughs and too much good food.  Darling daughter had her third Easter birthday. To commemorate the occasion I finished this quilt for her.  The blocks and photo transfers have been sitting for years and every few years she would ask about it.  Still basking in the marvelous feeling of ta da da done.........I only wish I would have finished it weeks ago so I could have enjoyed the quilt a little longer.  --Ann--

Friday, April 14, 2017

On the Needles

My sweater is starting to look like a sweater and a little progress on more socks.  The RWB are my downstairs knitting project so I work on them after I elliptical, I obviously haven't spent much time on the elliptical this week, or when I am contemplating what to do next with a quilt I can usually spot a design problem with a glance when I'm working on something else than I can when I'm staring at it. I got all those problems worked out earlier in the week so come back next week for the super secret quilt reveal.  The blue socks are for oldest sons birthday in June.          --Ann--   Linking to Judy's OTN  

Thursday, April 13, 2017

needlepoint eggs

And when I wasn't making smocked and embroidered eggs I made them needlepoint eggs.  DD had an Easter birthday at 15 so I made a special egg with 15 candles.  I should have made one for her first Easter birthday when she was 4 but I didn't think of it then and I'll never get one done in time for this Easter birthday.  --Ann--

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

smocked eggs

Once upon a time I used to make an egg for each of my kids for Easter.  Some match my daughter's Easter dresses.  The boys would pick a design they liked.  --Ann--

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Goose eggs? Duck eggs?

the two real eggs in the middle of the basket are emu eggs  and there it is with a hen egg. --Ann--