Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sitting on Quilts

Do you remember a book from probably the 80's called "The It's OK If You Sit On My Quilt Book"?  It was written by Mary Ellen Hopkins, who at the time was a quilting teacher and innovator who made it easier for women to do what they wanted to do.

She also wrote A Log Cabin Notebook, Connecting Up, Continuing On, and other books that built on the skills learned from It's OK If You Sit On My Quilt.

I was thinking about that on Sunday, sitting on quilts.  Our Pastor is doing a four part series where he's preaching on the lessons that can be learned from children's books.  Four different books are being read during the children's message that happens just before the sermon starts.  The books are being read by different teachers from the preschool and Sunday School. 

He asked if it was OK with our quilt guild if he took out one of our quilts to have the children sit on it during the reading.  I said, I think it's exactly the right thing to do!  I think quilts should be sat upon!  And used.  And loved.

The first book was Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  This is one of my youngest granddaughter's favorite books.  It's about the lower case letters of the alphabet and how they follow each other up a tree.  There are too many of them and they all fall out.  Their parents, the capital letters, come and rescue their little darlings.  It's a fun read.  The book is brightly colored, and it coordinated with the brightly colored quilt he chose to use.

The second book was Goodnight Moon.  Anyone who's ever had a child that didn't want to sleep has read them Goodnight Moon. Quilts and going to sleep... a natural fit!

The third book was The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  This Eric Carle book is probably familiar to quilters, as there was a lovely bright colorful fabric line made to coordinate with the book a few years ago.  A child could have book and quilt together.  Eric Carle also uses pieces of brightly colored fabrics in his illustrations for the other books he wrote.

It's my privilege to read the last book this week.  It's Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree.  I do love Shel Silverstein's work... Where the Sidewalk Ends was one of the favorites to read when my daughter was small. 

I had never read The Giving Tree.  It must have been some lack in my upbringing, because I think the book has been around for a while...

It's a lovely story.  But you know if you have read Silverstein that he illustrates his books in line drawings.  No color!  I wonder if I need a black and white quilt??  How quickly can I sew it up??  LOL!

The quilts I make are definitely for sitting on.  I don't quilt for posterity, just for people I love, so if you have one of my quilts, I hope you're using it for the purpose it was intended --

Or as Fonzie used to say, Sit On It!!

Sew on...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


I was sitting at my desk at home last night, thinking about how I've gotten into a rut...  it's good to have a routine, but when does it go from healthy, organized routine to stuck in a rut?

I get used to doing the same things the same way, and that's nice, like putting on comfortable shoes, or visiting a friend you've had for a long time.

But sometimes I get bored.  I want something different.  This morning I was having my first cup of tea and visiting my usual blogs.  Reading about Judy's chickens always makes me smile, and I love Rita's take on just about anything.  There are great quilting and sewing inspirations to be had, and I love looking at the knitting progress.

Some of my favorites write every day or nearly so.  It feels like catching up with a friend.  But what do you do when someone you're used to catching up with stops posting?

Rita had some family emergencies, and she posted that she was taking a 'blog break'.  I sent her my sympathies and told her I was keeping her in my thoughts and prayers.  We all have had those times when we just didn't feel like talking to anyone.  We need those rest periods.

One of my other 'daily visit' blogs hasn't had a posting since June 8 or so.  I worry.  This person has a job and family and I'm not part of that, but I miss reading about her and what she's doing.  Dang it!  I want to know what's going on!  Should I be concerned, or is she just on a world tour??

Ha... you know that old saying "It's none of your business".  Hard to take.  I miss her.  What's she doing?

Time to get a life, you say?  You bet!

It's not like I don't have things to do either. 

I have been wanting to make myself some new summer pants for months.  I have scheduled myself to be in two craft fairs in the fall, selling my doll clothes.  I have expenses to organize and submit for things I did six months ago.  I should schedule a couple of doctor appointments for check ups.  Why do I care whether people post daily or not??


I guess the routine has turned into the rut.  I need to shake things up, get on another track.

Tracks.  I should walk more.  Maybe lack of exercise is causing lack of oxygen which is causing brain rot.  Get moving!

I'm going to take my own advice today and take a walk at lunchtime.  I hope.  If the phone doesn't ring at noon and if I don't answer it.

Rock on!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer School 2014

My smallest granddaughter is attending summer school this year.  There are four four-day weeks, the first one was last week.  She went to Writer's Workshop.  She said they made wood, but I think they made paper... and learned how pencils are made and did some creative writing.  She's between first and second grades, so I'm not sure how complex they get in four days.

This week she came to see me before school for items from my recycling bin.  They're working on art projects from recycled items.  I didn't have much because hubby empties the recycling bin on a regular basis and the trash was picked up last Friday.

She had a bag filled with toilet paper tubes and tissue boxes and other things.  I contributed a soda can and a plastic bottle and two magazines.

I was going to get her some fabric scraps but I didn't have time and her bag was pretty full.  I can't wait to see what she brings home!

Maybe tonight I'll dig out that bag of tiny balls of yarn too small to use anywhere else!

Craft on...

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

On the Design Wall

Two posts in one day!  One on finished and one on unfinished objects -- make sure you read both posts (my loyal followers, all six or seven of you...)

Cut Apart Nine Patch... needs a border but I'm sort of blocked on the color.

Scrap quilt, leftover floral 2.5 inch strips with tans between. I had enough to make a pattern.  This one is only 44 inches square.  I would like to make it bigger but I don't know what I want to add for now.

Same pattern, more scrappy because I didn't have five of every print.  Again, a small size, I'm not sure where to go next, enlarge or just finish and donate somewhere.
Sew on...

One More Finished

This is the fastest finish in my recorded history!

My aunt She-Who-Doesn't-Sew was talking about beds about a month ago and said she needed a lighter quilt for her bed in the summer.  My other aunt had a pile of blue fabric pulled out of her stash, and SWDS said she didn't care what the pattern was, so we cut blocks of blue.  I should say I cut, because I'm the designated cutter.

When we had a pile, I said I think I have the perfect pattern at home, blue and white, blue blocks surrounded by white, bound in blue, and asked what she thought of that.

Sounds fine.

The next day I dug out the white and started cutting.  We were going to work on it on Fridays but I needed to see whether it was enough white.  I started sewing.  by the end of the day, a top was finished.

I blogged about it then.  Here's the top, unpressed and tossed over the back of my couch.

The next week I took it to Friday night and we layered it with batting and backing.  I took it home because I couldn't convince anyone else to do it.  Our expert quilter had a ton of work to do and couldn't get to it for a while.

I was talking about trying to quilt it myself at church the next Sunday.  The lady who does the quilting for our group has been taking lessons at WCTC from a teacher named Chris Kirsch.  She's been really enjoying the classes and she does a beautiful job. 

She offered to quilt my quilt.  Bless her heart!  It was made for a full sized be with a 12 inch drop all around to be used as a bedspread type of cover.  I offered to pay her but she said no -- she was doing it for enjoyment.  I will find some way to repay her.  (I have been helping her layer and pin her own personal work for the last couple of weeks, trying to work off the debt I owe her!)

She gave it back to me this week and last night I got it bound.  DONE!! WHOO HOO!!

I sewed a label on the back with blue thread in the bobbin... I carefully placed it so it's in the middle of one of the blue squares and you cannot tell from the front where it is.  I should have sewed it into the binding but I didn't think that far ahead.  I hand wrote it with a sharp permanent marker.

I just have to deliver it now.  I'm sure she'll be thrilled, I am completely impressed with the finished product if I do say so myself.  I think Suzi's quilting was the frosting on the cake.  Or maybe the whole cake!!

Sew on...

Monday, July 7, 2014

Vacation Projects

I took last week off at work, hoping to get some projects done and some errands run.

Here was my list pre-vacation:

Road trip to Vogue Fabrics in Evanston for pants fabric
Sew some pants for myself from acquired fabrics
Renew passport
Stock up trip for beauty supplies (I'm out of shampoo, etc)
Lunch with the aunties
Buy some new patio doors
Spend some time with the grands

Here's what I actually did:

Spend some time with the grands
Lunch with the aunties
Lunch with the grands
LOOK at some new patio doors
Clean up yarn stash
Organize the church quilt group cabinet
Help a friend pin four quilts

Yes, I'm still out of shampoo...

Here's one of the projects the girls and I did.

We saw this on one of those local news magazines that come on at 9 a.m.  Of course theirs were done by adults with very precise placement of dots on stem-less wine glasses.  They were classy!  They had tiny little dots very closely spaced, it must have taken a while to do.

Ours were done with whatever nail polish we had.  I was not too worried about how they turned out because I purchased all of these glasses at the Goodwill store for $1 or less each.  That's why I have two different sizes.  I think I have more somewhere, but they must be packed away.

We had a great time choosing different polish colors, and then dotting them, either with the nail brush directly on the glass, or in the case of Miss A, she used a Q-tip dipped into the bottle.  And of course it was a race to see which of the girls could do the most glasses!  I think the polish will stay on, even in the dishwasher.  But if not, we know how to do touch-ups!

Craft on...

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Multiple Color Knitting

Intarsia.  I think that's what it's called. 

intarsia or tarsia  (ɪnˈtɑːsɪə)
1. a decorative or pictorial mosaic of inlaid wood or sometimes ivory of a style developed in the Italian Renaissance and used esp on wooden wall panels
2. the art or practice of making such mosaics
3. (in knitting) an individually worked motif
[C19: changed from Italian intarsio ]

This is from the website dictionary.reference.com.

Intarsia knitting is when you knit a 'motif' in one color on the background of another.  So you have to manipulate two (or more) strands of yarn, make sure you leave no holes, that nothing shows on the front that shouldn't... it can be simple or get complicated.

Mine is complicated, at least for my previous level of knitting.

Thus far this is probably the most complicated thing I've done... I had to make those thumbholes and work with four needles in a tiny spot to do it.

Oh and there was this hat... rounds of different colors.  But only one color at a time.

So now I'm attempting to knit a Christmas stocking for a co-worker's grandson.  The person who knit all the previous stockings was my co-worker's mom, and she has dementia and doesn't knit anymore.  I think I blogged before about the stockings she did for the others.  There were Santas and snowmen of various kinds, some in red and green and some in blue and white with red and green accents.

This is the pattern for the one I'm making.

Yes, it looks upside down, which confuses me sometimes.  But I'm knitting it from the top down.
So the white band at the top is where the name goes.  Then you start with three rows of blue background, and pick up some black for the top hat.  The next addition is red for the hat band.  Then more black for the hat brim, followed by white for the heads.
You knit front and back at the same time and fold in half.  After tearing out a few times I was SOOO tempted to just knit the front snowman half and make the back all blue!  But I am soldiering on...  here's my progress so far:

Yup, at the point of adding the top of the hat band.  It's slow going.  I now have seven 'bobbins' dragging along the back.  I discovered that it isn't wise to carry a color across more than about four stitches of another color.  The opportunity for snagging, tension issues and error is just too great.

Here's the back:

And with the bobbins:

I stopped at 10:00 p.m. to watch the news and because I rediscovered that it's very hard to knit at night on black and dark blue...  something I should have remembered because it's hard for me to sew at night on those colors too!


So what does it say on that bookmark?  "This is where I fell asleep"?  This is where I stopped and went to bed.

Six or seven inches done... only about 18 more to go!

Knit and sew on...


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Stash Update

Oh my goodness... I am truly horrible at keeping track of my stash.  I need to make this a priority!

On the half-square triangles, I took fabric from my stash and cut off chunks from 22 or 23 pieces.  I cut a four and a half inch strip from each, width of fabric.  That totals about 100 inches, or 2.75 yards.   Then I used about the same amount of white for the other half of the HSTs, plus about a half yard for the corners.

I wanted all the same white background because the blocks are so scrappy.  I can't remember if this is one of my 2014 acquisitions or not.  I think I purchased six yards, because you always need whites.

So six yards out of the stash this week!  Who KNOWS how many are left???

The church quilt group needed backings and solids, so I went into the blue bin and the brown bin and took out eight cuts that were two yards or more and put them in the supply closet.  Sorry, no picture!

Feeling rather virtuous for having moved at least 20 yards OUT of the stash...  I know, don't let it fool you like it fooled me.

I was thinking about getting some more background stuff for the church group, and I visited one of my favorite places, Connecting Threads.  And there was my MARCH 28 order, staring me in the face!  In March of this year I purchased 8 yards of pink stars and 16 yards of two different blue dots.

Yikes!  I forgot I had those!  Wonder where I put them???  Did I intend to donate them?  WAAA!

At the very best I'm down in the count by a couple of yards, at the very worst I've come out even.

That's what I get for being proud of myself!

Sew on...

Warm thoughts...

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