Friday, December 28, 2012

Wedding Quilt

Last spring Hollin and Kimberly set a date for a summer wedding and we talked about the kind of quilt they'd like. Eventually they'd be getting a king-sized bed so we decided on a California king-sized quilt. I chose colors based on the colors their bridal registry said they wanted for their bed linens and duvet cover. I went to my Electric Quilt program and began drafting an idea based on the Disappearing Nine Patch.  

July 6th Block construction drafts

DNP: traditional setting

Because of the size of the quilt, this setting would need 80 blocks. I wanted to finish it for Christmas! I wondered what it would look like if I set it on point; that would allow the pieced block size to be bigger and have open set blocks where quilting could be showcased. Ah... much better.

I fudged back and forth with block sizes in EQ, letting the program do the math for me. The final dimensions needed to be 90" x 109". That meant the DNP block would finish at 13 1/2" and the cut squares for the blocks would be 5 1/8". Not a quilter friendly measurement but do-able! Now to fabric shop...


I have a new charm for my scissors. It's called a Squeedle and I bought it at a Christmas craft fair.

I think it's the cutest thing I've seen in a long time! I spent a lot of time in the booth looking at all the crafter's different Squeedles. Each one is handmade from blown glass, so they each have a personality. I wanted to take them all home! I bought earrings for my DIL too.

She laughed out loud when she saw them and put 'em on right away. FUN! Maybe I'll buy a set and use them as stitch markers for my knitting, they make me so happy!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Kauai Dreams

I started these hand applique'ed blocks after our trip to Kauai for our 25th anniversary. That was eight years ago.

I wanted to use this multi-colored batik for the lattice, borders and binding, so I searched many shops for a bit more. That's partly why it sat for so long. But once I decided to gift it to my husband for Christmas, it went together quickly.

I was also finishing the wedding quilt for my son and DIL, so once Kauai Dreams was quilted and bound I thought it was done. The day before Christmas I realized I wanted to wash it so the quilting would show more. Oh no, Frank's going to be home in three hours! I damp dried it in the oven on warm. (yes, my oven needs to be cleaned)

It's finished! It's a wall hanging! Frank was pleasantly surprised.

It's currently hanging in the kitchen nook adding a delightful island note to our holidays. Aloha!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Woo-hoo! All the hand-made, hand knitted gifts have been given. I have a lot to show you. More later!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Tis the Season

Working on Christmas gifts; making great headway. Binding, blocking knitting, quilt label-making. It feels like I'm part of Santa's workshop!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Headphone Cozies

Dh has a new pair of headphones. They came lined with 'pleather', a soft  poly-vinyl. But even though the weather is cool, they're uncomfortable, because pleather doesn't breathe. So together we made upcycled cashmere cozies.

We made a pattern by tracing the earphone. Then I fused interfacing to the wrong side of the cashmere sweater remnant to stabilize it.

We decided to make them removable in case they need to be replaced in the future. I sewed velcro on the top and bottom.

Then we attached self-adhesive velcro dots to the earphones.
Voila! Now the earphones don't stick to his skin, much nicer.

There's a lot of Christmas sewing, crafting and knitting going on this month. Stay tuned for lots of posts and pictures after Noel.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Really Red

I've been having a blast with the red and white wall hanging for Christmas. I don't have a name for it yet, I just keep calling it "The Christmas Red and White. Not very inspired... Back in July when I started I had my doubts about the high contrast of the clear colors, but the more blocks I put on the design wall, the better I liked it. This is what my sewing room looked like this week.

 Leftovers cut for the strip drawers.

Pieced border units. I didn't strip piece the borders because I wanted to mix up the prints. I didn't actually count all the fabrics, but there are about 35-40 prints in this quilt. It's a wonderful scrapbook of thirty years of quilting. I enjoyed mixing the old and new prints in just the right amounts to balance the color.

Loved using red thread instead of the proverbial white.

Even the trash was a cheerful red and white. Once the blocks were pieced I tried different layouts. It's one thing to preview layouts in EQ, but even better with the actual blocks.

Off set centers

Straight set with white on the outside

Straight set with red on the outside. It was fun to see the different looks I could get with just 16 blocks.

Click to enlarge

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

By Hand

I found this new e-magazine this morning, By Hand. So fun! The photo tutorials themselves are stunning. Check it out...

I look forward to their spring issue! Thanks ladies.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Chinese Coins Mini

Chinese Coins is the current popular quilt being made at my guild. I wanted to make one for the community quilt drive, but there are several Christmas quilts on the list in front of it. What to do? Make a mini!

I have a bin of 1 1/4" strips already cut, so that made it easy.

I wasn't sure how many to stack, so I just kept sewing.

Hmmm... looks a little long for a quilt and a little short for a table runner.

So I took the bottom border off, trimmed off several 'coins' and sewed the bottom border back on. Much better.

 Machine quilted in the ditch

 Hand stitched binding

Piecing minis is so satisfying. You get to see what the quilt looks like and it only takes a day or two.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


My son sent me an email with the subject line: This made me think of you of course

He plays Jumbline on his iphone. I wonder how many players would get that word so early in the game? It made me smile.

Positive Self Talk

I don't remember where I saw this, FaceBook, a blog maybe... I just couldn't pass it by.

Nothing in life is a mistake if I learn from it. I just need to stop mentally flogging myself for not being perfect. Yikes! Why do I think perfection is a good goal to shoot for?!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mock Cable

At a recent knit night I was intrigued by a cabled pattern stitch Dottie was working on. She said it was easy...

When I got home I swatched it and found it was easy, more like knitting 2 x 2 ribbing with a pattern row every 4th row. When it was done I steam blocked it to bring out the stitch definition.Then I backed it with a fun cotton print, purple grapes touched with gold and stuffed it with roving.

I offered it for sale at the Country Store Boutique, but I'm not sad it didn't sell. =)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Daily Fiber...

... of the yarn variety, that is.

I'm currently working on knit wear for Christmas gifts, so of course I can't blog about those.

This is the wool sweater I'm frogging, a Mens large. I wish there was a way to just shrink the existing handmade sweater down. It's so pretty I want to remake it to fit me. 

This is the yarn from the front. I think the fact it was October when I found it explains why it reached out and grabbed me. The colors!

And this is the book I'm currently reading. The author shares life stories that feature knitting. Some are more enjoyable than others, but it's a good read.

Cyber Monday Sale

I found Quilt This! online catalog by accident when I was searching for something else. Now I have a link to them on my jump bar so I can check their Cyber Monday Sales. Great stuff!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Quilty Note Cards

I made some quilt photo note cards to put in the Country Store Boutique. These are pictures of my own quilts.

Print four pictures on glossy photo paper, cut apart with a paper blade in your rotary cutter.

Attach to quarter folded card stock with double sided tape or photo quality gluestick. Write your name and the name of the quilt on the back of the card. Add an envelope and Voila!

Point Cabrillo, CA

It was forecast to be a cold, foggy day, but we decided to go to the coast anyway. Maybe it would be clearer on the other side of the grade.

Once coast side we stopped at Ananse Village so I could pick out my very own African market basket. Love that store, it's like stepping into another region of the world. I wish I'd thought to take pictures inside.

I looked at almost all the baskets, there were rows and rows to choose from. Loved the colors on this one!

I was a happy clam after that. Walking the path to Point Cabrillo lighthouse was like icing on the cake.

The weather forecast was wrong and it turned out to be a beautiful, warm day. It was great!