Thursday, April 24, 2014

For Mom

There are a lot of things that my mom is great at. I think I get a lot of my creativity from her (someday I'll have to share pictures of the amazing dresses she made my sister and me for Christmas and Easter.) Unfortunately technology is an area that continues to challenge her. She's been following my blog via facebook, but something has happened that's preventing her from logging in. I'd offer to help, but she lives several hours from me and I've also inherited her technological skills so I won't be any help.  Since she's still wanting to follow my blog I've added the option of following my blog by e-mail.

If you want to follow my blog through e-mail look to the right --->. Scroll down past the "About Me" and "Craftsy Patterns" to the followers section. You'll see options for Google Followers, Followers, Follow this blog with Bloglovin', and Follow by Email. Put your e-mail address into the box and click submit! I've never done this before so I can't tell you if new posts will be sent to your inbox or if you'll get a link telling you that there's a new post.

I love having followers so please let me know if there's any other networks you'd like me to add to my side bar. Since a post feels very incomplete without pictures here's some flowers for mom.

Blogger Tricks

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hermoine's Socks

Blueberry has been sucked into a black hole. I'm really not sure whether there's been knitting with no progress, or most of my time has been spent on other projects. Since there's no progress to show on her I've decided to show you guys how Hermione's socks are coming. I've reached the heel! I was a little confused by Erica's pattern which tells you to move on to the next section based on the number of rounds you've done rather than the length of the sock. I didn't feel like counting 20 repeats of the pattern so I just stopped when my leg reached 7". I'm really loving the spiral effect that the yarn is creating. I can't wait to wear these next winter. (Thankfully we're finally getting temperatures warm enough that hand knit socks are too hot!)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Fabric Shopping

Last weekend my sister invited me to go shopping in Sioux City with her. It's only an hour away, but I don't like going to big cities (okay places with any real traffic) by myself. I forced suggested we go to the fabric store there. I suppose at this point in time I should go back to my LQS. I ran into Roelofs a few weeks ago to grab a fabric marker for labeling all of my quilts before the quilt show next month. I'd heard rumor that they'd added some new fabric to their clearance section so naturally I had to wander through that area. I found this great Amy Butler print for half price.

Okay, back to the Sioux City trip with my sister and our visit to Heart and Hand. I was a bit nervous when we pulled up to the front of the store. I'd been picturing a lovely old warehouse and instead arrived at a strip mall. Once I stepped inside though I was in total awe. (So much so that I forgot that my camera was in my bag.) Their store fills two store fronts. I found some great solids that coordinate really well with my Amy Butler fabric. 

My husband loves monkeys. I've even helped him to start a sock monkey collection. Of course when I saw fabric with monkeys I had to get it.

Last month when I was on my quilting retreat I found a charm pack of Bluebird Park. I was debating buying yardage with hedgehogs, but decided I was buying a lot of fabric for my mystery quilt so I resisted the impulse. I've regretted it ever since. I was so excited that they had charm packs of Bluebird Park at Heart and Hand. They didn't have the hedgehog fabric I wanted, but I found this really nice blue flower fabric from the line. I think this is going to be my summer project for when the quilt show is finished. I've almost decided on the pattern I want to use. Hopefully next month when I start cutting these charming fabrics I'll have the same thoughts.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Farmer's Wife Friday 15

This week I decided to use the templates for both of the blocks. I'm still a bit confused how quilting survived before the invention of the rotary cutter. I'm not sure what's going on with the first block, but it does come out at 6.5" so I'm keeping it. I'm in love with this setting and really like the fact that with the sashing around each block I can make it a little bigger and square up on the blocks I need to. I'm leaning towards using a colored background fabric, but still haven't made a final choice on that yet.

The first block for this week is WCTU. I think this block must have been used for autograph quilts (maybe raffled off to raise money for the local chapter of the WCTU.) I think it would be really fun to make a quilt full of these blocks for a special occasion like graduation, wedding, anniversary, etc. in place of a guest book. I also decided to lighten things up with this block and use shades of grey instead of black.

#99 W.C.T.U.

This is another block that I really like. I don't understand why the templates had me use triangles for all of the black pieces in the corner. I think it would work better to do a square with two triangles, but since I didn't want to figure out the math I guess I have to live with imperfect points. They're glaring at me in the picture, but for some strange reason they physical block looks better to me.

#100 Weathervane


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Finding Balance

I've done a lot better this week at finding balance. I've chosen one time of the day that I play the video game and the rest of the time I focus on things like knitting, reading, and quilting. I'm not done with the 6 round increase section, but I have finished 7 of the 12 rounds. I knew when I set the goal of 72 rounds in a week it was a bit lofty so I'm still very happy with the progress made this week.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

In which I learn I know how to quilt

Do any of you have one of those friends who believes you are capable of so much more than you are? I took Mystery with me to the quilt shop last weekend to find a good thread for quilting her. One of the members of my quilt guild works there and gave me advice on thread color. I was figuring this is only my fourth quilt doing free motion quilting on so I was going to keep it simple with an all-over swirl. Kathy suggested that it would look really cool to do a different design in the ribbons to accent them. My initial response was, "I can't do that." She had the perfect come back, "Why not?" After helping me find the perfect thread for my quilt that little question kept haunting me. 

When I first looked through my quilting book to find the swirl pattern there was a really cool half-daisy design that I liked. Again my brain said, "That would look nice, but you can't do that." All of the sudden I heard Kathy asking me "Why?" I flipped through the book and found a leaf that would be really pretty in the ribbons and decided to try it. 

Turns out I'm better at quilting than I thought I was. It's not as perfect as I want, but an amazing thing happened when I laid it out on the bed and took a step back. All the little imperfections weren't so noticeable anymore. Amazing how much better the quilt looks with that single step back. Now if I can decide what to do for the borders. Any suggestions?

Check out that cute little leaf. I hate to say it, but Kathy is right. I can quilt!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Farmer's Wife Friday 14

This week I just have one block to add to my Farmer's Wife count. I do wish to point out that this block has 36 squares that finish at 1" and of those 36 squares 28 are half square triangles. I finished this block in just under 2 hours. I do see one mistake as I'm posting this, but I think it's going to stay. I've really been liking the trend in baby quilts right now where people turn a single block into a quilt. I think I might go shopping this weekend for some brighter colors to make a quilt with 6" squares. Right now I'm trying to decide if I should make a 36"x36" quilt or if I should add a border and make it 40"x40". 

#38 Four Winds