Friday, January 30, 2015

January Finish

At the beginning of the month I gave myself the goal of finishing my Compass Rose Table Runner from my quilt guild's fall workshop. I'm so glad I set this goal because it helped me focus on finishing this rather than starting a new project (which will be my goal for next month.) Since this table runner is a gift for someone who actually has a table built for more than two people I'm hanging it on the coat closet door for the moment. This was way too much work not to appreciate it for a little while before giving it away.

This table runner turned out to be a study in how many things I don't like can be used in a project and still have me love the end result. Going into the workshop I hated paper piecing (it has grown on me since learning some better techniques.) I also wasn't happy that the teacher told us to use batiks. After I purchased my fabrics she changed this, but I'd already made my purchase. Finally I'm not a huge fan of feather motifs in quilting. They're okay, but are a bit too traditional for my tastes. For some strange reason I ended up doing a feather in each point of the main star. I absolutely love how this table runner turned out. I'm not great at labels so I don't know if it's really modern, but I at least feel like my voice wasn't lost in the project.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Return of the Blueberry

I finished Hermione's second sock!  Yes I still haven't woven in the ends, but that bit won't take long. 

I've finally returned to Blueberry. It was painful, but I knew I wouldn'tlove this   sweater if the lace was off center so I ripped it out. I'm being very careful in the set up and  so far everything is looking good. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

North Wind Quilt Interview

I got a great surprise on Monday. Lisa Ruble from Fabri-Quilt wanted to feature me on the Fabri-Quilt blog. My North Wind Quilt is in Fons and Porter's Easy Quilts (which is on newsstands right now.) I hope you'll head over to the Fabri-Quilt Blog to check it out. Lisa had some great questions that really helped me describe the process of getting my quilt published. Hopefully the winds will settle down this weekend and I can finally take my own pictures of North Wind to share with you.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Hermione Sock Part Two

After finishing the Christmas knitting I decided it was time to work on something for me. I debated between socks, finishing blueberry, a cowl I've been drooling over, a hat that I have the perfect yarn for, or mittens. Our high today is -10 before windchill (yes that's in Farenheit and yes that is bone chilling cold) so maybe I should have chosen the mittens or hat, but I've decided to bring back my socks. I thought that I had finished the first sock sometime last fall and was shocked when looking through my posts to see that I finished the first sock in May. 

Thankfully I've written fairly good notes so I'm not too worried about the socks matching. I think that I used a smaller needle for the second cuff, but after switching to a size 2 needle for the body of the sock it's looking the same as the first sock. These socks are for me so I'm not going to worry about them matching perfectly. If one cuff is tighter than the other it is okay.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Year's Goals

I've never been fond of New Year's Resolutions, but I do like the idea of goals. (I know a goal and a resolution are basically the same thing, but goal has a better conotation for me.) Last year I made the goal of making 2 blocks a week for the Farmer's Wife quilt and getting a pattern published in a magazine. I finished 80 blocks for my Farmer's Wife quilt before losing steam in September. One of my goals for this year is to finish the last 30 blocks, but I haven't worked out the plan for how I'm going to accomplish this goal. The other big goal I had for 2014 was to get a pattern published in a magazine. It was a much bigger process than I expected with way more headaches that I thought there'd be, but I do have a quilt in Fons and Porters Easy Quilts Winter 2014!

My goal for 2015 is to get more organized. My mom gave me the book Hidden Treasures which focuses on the Fly Lady's cleaning system. I do okay with getting the house cleaned up, but I can never keep it clean. I'm hoping by adopting her techniques I'll develop the routines to keep my home clean.

I also want to get back into blogging. My goal is to make at least one quilting and one knitting post a week. One way I plan to accomplish this is by joining Lovely Year of Finishes over at Fiber of All Sorts.

In October I took a Judy Niemeyer paper piecing workshop. Last month I finally got my table runner finished and figured out a plan for the quilting. My goal for January is to quilt and bind this table runner.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Do you want to build a snowman?

Last weekend I went to see Frozen with my sister. Our movie theater does Merchant Movies and since one of the merchants with free tickets is the quilt shop (right across the street from the theater) of course we had to go there to get tickets. I was planning on getting a fat quarter of Christmas fabric for my guild's party, and since they don't like to take credit cards with less than a ten dollar purchase it only made sense to buy more than just a fat quarter. As I was wondering around I saw the store sample of a wall hanging using the panel from Deb Strain's "Be Jolly." I couldn't find the kit, but did find the pannel and fabric that I liked. I'm afraid there really isn't a pattern for this one. I used 1/4 yard of the blue cut into 3.5" strips, and 1/2 yard of the red cut into 2.5" strips with enough left over for the binding. The sample in the shop had red as the wide strip closest to the snowman and then dark blue for the 2.5" strips and binding. I tried that, but it didn't look quite right so I flip flopped them. I'm really excited to see red binding framing the blue snowflakes on the top and bottom. 

 I had hoped to finish this today, but Rite (my sewing machine) is misbehaving. I bought a spool of thread from Connecting Threads a few months ago. I've been using it for piecing with great success and decided to try using it for quilting. I don't know if it's the machine or thread but I've been struggling with it breaking a lot. I've only got a tiny little section left in the corner so hopefully if I let Rita rest tonight she'll be up for finishing this tomorrow. I know it sounds crazy but this has happened to me several times that I have a problem with her and when I come back the next day I set everything up the same way and she works perfectly. (Before someone asks I did rethread the top and bobbin, dusted, oiled, and checked tension and pressure.) Despite having lots of threads to bury the stippling is looking great on the front and even on the back it's smooth. I can't wait to finish this one and get it up on the wall.

I've also been busy this weekend trying my hand at painting. I tend to think of myself as creative, but not artistic. For our anniversary this year my husband bought me a canvas print of Imposter. We decided to buy some blank canvases and make some paintings to go with the penguins and bunny-dressed-as-penguin. After searching pinterest for ideas I settled on Snowman Gazes at Night Sky and Moon and Winter Wonderland for inspiration. (I'm not sure where the line between inspiration and shameless copying lies, but I will say that Terri has an amazing tutorial for creating a similar painting if you follow the Winter Wonderland link.)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Penguin Winner

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Penguins on Parade pattern give away. I had so much fun reading everyone's penguin names. There were 63 entries for this giveaway and the winner is number 10 Wild Irish who would name a penguin Flippers.