Friday, December 29, 2017

Mitered Square Knitting

I've read the excited and energetic posts on Mason Dixon Knitting about mitered squares, but I didn't understand the fascination until I knit my first one today. OMGosh! It flies off the needles because there's a double decrease every other row. I get it now!

This pattern is in Jan Eaton's 200 Knitted Blocks, but I just grabbed three colors that seemed like they'd work well together and waded in.

The single unit worked in worsted weight is about 4". I'm going to make four and sew them together to make a trivet. I took the picture into PhotoShop and rotated and pasted the quarter-units to see how it'll look.

That was fun too. I could get lost in these things, oh the possibilities!

Thursday, December 28, 2017


I came down with a head cold Christmas Eve day. Blargh. I've been in my glider a good part of every day, just trying to find low-energy things to pass the time.

I've got three knitting projects going, a book, a Kindle read, my laptop for Scrabble online and a stack of magazines. Despite the variety, there's still a certain boredom that comes in when one is sick. I've been gradually working my way through a LARGE collection of back issues of Threads magazines from the late 1980s and early '90s. That's been a lot of fun and I've learned a bunch of interesting stuff about knitting. I bookmark the project or technique and then take it to the laptop and research it more or make notes.

This plus so many cups of tea I feel awash, and naps of course, lots of naps.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas Quilt Gifts

Gifts from my son. Hooray!

Shoreline thread collection.
505 Spray fabric adhesive.

I like this basting spray the best for it's low odor, it goes a long way and seems to wash out completely.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas to All!

Snowberry by Leslie

ETA: I gifted this to Frank and I for Christmas. The gift tag said, "From the Roberts house elf." He chuckled, "Who is that, I wonder?" "Open it and you'll see." When he saw the quilt I asked if he remembered it. "No. Should I?" I checked my blog and found I'd started it in 2012. I had no idea it had waited that long for the right quilting.

I pieced the binding too, it just seemed to ask for it. I was pleased to find many of the fabrics used still in my collection. Aged to perfection.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Reducing Knitter's Hand Pain

I've been plunking along on the Atwood cardigan since spring, two rows in the morning, two rows at night. It makes for slow going on garment knitting, but more than that and my right index finger shouts at me in pain. I struggled to finish the right front and wondered if it was the difficult rick-rack stitch the cardigan used, so I put it down and knitted Mom's slipper socks. Much better!

Rick Rack Stitch, July 2017
Rick Rack stitch, November 2017
Once the slippers were done, I started on the sleeve. I swatched several rib stitches similar to the rick-rack stitch and found that the mistake rib stitch looked close enough to be an acceptable alternative. I asked DH if he'd be okay with the fronts and back in rick-rack stitch and the sleeves in mistake rib stitch and he said it would fine. Back in the saddle!

Mistake Rib Stitch, December 2017
But then my thumb started to give me trouble. Please don't tell me I have to give up knitting?! I was excited to read Carson Dermer's book Knitting Comfortably, The Ergonomics of Hand Knitting. The author suggested using square needles instead of round, so I bought a set from Amazon.

Wowie Zow! I've never been so impressed with how much difference the right tool for the job can make. I'm knitting like a pup again. No more counting rows, with my eye on the clock to make sure I don't overdo.

I will still have to tackle the rick-rack stitch on the second front, but I'm hopeful that the cubic needles with help with that too.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Asian Garden

Another color block quilt for the fire survivors, this time with a large-scale blender fabric in the set square. I enjoy being able to explore color and design when I make community quilts. They give me an opportunity to try themes I might not otherwise work with.


Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Color Block Quilt

In the wake of the Mendocino Lake Complex fires, I decided to turn out some quick community quilts. Local organizations have asked donors to contribute money just now and goods later, because the displaced fire survivors don't have anywhere to put new belongings. This gives quilters in the area a chance to make some quilts!

The local quilt shop donated the fabric. I borrowed the idea from 100 quilts for kids 2014 (fourth one down). This pattern is probably the fastest lap quilt I've ever made. Including cutting out, it took five hours to create the top. A local long-arm quilter is donating her time to finish these quilts, so away it went to be quilted. The local quilt guild is collecting bed quilts and lap robes to be distributed in the near future. A community pulling together to support itsown.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Doll Quilt from Orphaned Pieces

It's not a secret that I love the Freebee table at my quilt guild. I often find just the right fabric for a baby quilt backing, or unfinished blocks that just need a little TLC to fit together. I found most of this One-patch quilt sewn together and orphaned. I finished sewing the rows and added borders. Easy!

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Slipper Socks for Mom

Last year when I visited Mom, she borrowed my slipper socks and liked them so much she asked for a pair for Christmas. This month she fell and broke her hip and is now in the rehab hospital, so I decided Christmas could come early for her.

We still wear the same shoe size, so it was easy to make them the right size. She had asked for red with navy soles. I teased and said, "Your great-grandson would tell you those are Spiderman colors."

I like using non-skid mat material on the soles to make them non-slip and to extend the life of the sole, but non-slip is even more important for Mom while recovering. She loved 'em! She said she felt like she had celebrity status at the rehab hospital; staff, therapists and nurses commented on them. At her request I sent the link to the pattern so she could share it with her nurse who said, "I don't knit, but I'm gonna have my Mom make me some of those!"

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Stacked Bricks

I started this quilt on the quilt retreat at the first of the month and finished it this week. It goes fast because it's all straight sewing with no points or intersections to match. Pedal to the metal!

The whole thing was inspired by this multi-colored remnant I found on the Freebee table at guild. The rest of the fabrics came from my collection.

The bricks are cut 5 1/2" x 2 1/2". Then each one is joined to a 2 1/2 background square. Press seams toward the brick.

Here are two of the five columns pieced, ready to trim to a 1/4" of an inch from the brick points.

I like to trim on the floor because I can set up my cutting mat 'portrait' style for longer cuts.

When I posted it to my Facebook account DS1 quipped, "I'm shocked! You made a quilt with blues and purples??" Funny man, he knows my color preferences.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Community Quilts for Kids

A few more kids quilts for the annual drive at my guild.

ETA: The Redwood Fire complex has been burning in our county for days. I think these quilts will find a home with some of the survivors that have fled and lost everything.

Monday, October 09, 2017

More Vintage Ninepatches

From time to time I pull these out and sew a few more blocks, no real plan in mind, just spending time with the vintage prints. Recently I thought it might be a good idea to lay them out and see what's what.

There seems to be a bit too much red in my blocks, but when I revisited the post that showed the originals, I realized it's all a matter of personal opinion. And hers (his?) are just so random, yikes!

If I want to make a wall hanging large enough to fit the cafe rod next to the dining room table, I only need two more blocks. That's probably the way to go, because I'm running out of the nicer prints and wondered whether to change my guideline of only using fabrics that came from the estate sale. Often I find the quilt tells me which way to go. 😊

Monday, September 25, 2017

Cotton Stripe

When I found this thrifted sweater I saw the potential of fun color combinations once it was apart. But I didn't know if I could reclaim it into usable lengths of yarn or a pile of short strands.

Turns out the yarns were carried up the side, so I just had to make sure I worked each color one at a time.

My husband didn't like the combination of colors in the sweater, but once I had them in skeins and laid them out in this sequence, he could see the possibilities. It's fun to experiment with color.


Saturday, September 09, 2017

Miniature Quilt Exhibit

The county art museum had a miniature quilt exhibit that boasted hundreds of miniatures. I stopped in after quilt guild and enjoyed viewing them. One of the fun things about minis, even a lot of them, is that they don't take up too much space!

I liked the way some of the mini quilts were in frames. What a great idea.


This was the first time I used the camera on my low-end cell phone. If I'd known it would do an okay job, I would've taken more pictures!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Time to Get Away

For our 38th anniversary we got outa Dodge and went to a BnB on the Mendocino Coast. It has been HOT and smoky for weeks at home and the cool sea breezes were so wonderful!

The Howard Creek Inn is housed in a ranch circa 1870. It was rustic and somewhat funky. But the breakfasts were amazing and the natural views and flower garden, a real joy.


It turns out the ranch is part of 60 acres. On our last morning there we found the trail head into the redwoods and took a hike. The sign post said, "Enchanted Redwoods". We agreed.

It was hard to leave but at least we live in the redwoods, it's not like we were going home to the city.