Saturday, November 30, 2013

Penguins on Parade

This post has been a very long time coming. Last winter I took a workshop on piecing the drunkard's path. Not being satisfied with any of the patterns I found I chose to create my own. After a great deal of encouragement and support from the women in my guild and the readers of my blog I have finally published my penguin quilt pattern! 

I can't believe how many penguins decorations I've seen this year. I love that the penguins in this quilt aren't Christmas themed so it's a quilt that can stay out all winter. The blocks for this quilt are 14" making for fast assembly. If you've never made a drunkard's path before don't panic. It's a very easy block and I walk you through how to assemble the sizes for both the penguins and the fish.

Friday, November 29, 2013

2013-14 Mystery Quilt Step 3

Sorry for the recent absence. I'm not really sure what bug hit our house, but it was not a nice one. Thankfully health has slowly been working it's way back in among us. 

Step 3 for the mystery quilt along is a very easy one. Take the 2" strips you cut in step 1 and strip piece them.  After you press you should have 5 sets that look something like this.

Next cut your strip sets into 3.5" blocks.

I told you step 3 was an easy one. Unfortunately the illness that hit our house prevented me from getting to the meeting where step 4 was handed out so this quilt might be headed for a little bit of a break. Probably a good thing since there are quilted Christmas projects that need some love.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I'm not sure why this amazes me since it tends to happen with every sweater. I moan and groan about the first sleeve and how much I hate sleeves, procrastinate as much as possible, and then when I finally finish the first sleeve and cast on for the second one things start flying. This weekend I actually finished the first sleeve.

Two days and one skein later I'm half way finished with the second sleeve. I'm not even worrying about the fact that this is my last undamaged skein of yarn (the other one got cut a little when opening the box) and even counting the damaged one and the half that's left from the first sleeve I only have two and a half skeins of yarn to finish this sweater. I've been floating back and forth, but right now I think I just might make it.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

2013-14 Mystery Quilt Step 2

Last week I shared Step 1 of the mystery quilt I'm currently participating in with my quilt guild. Not surprisingly this week I got to start sewing some of the pieces I cut in step 1. 

Using the (60) 4" squares of medium/dark2 and the (60) 4" squares of light fabric, make 120 half square triangles. Square up blocks to 3.5". 

I have to admit I am falling a bit behind. I have all of my squares sewn and pressed, but only have trimmed about 20. I also need to finish working on step 3 this weekend since I think they'll be passing out step 4 at Monday's meeting. Hopefully this weekend will see some good sewing time and I can get back on track.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sleeve Update

I was wishing this morning that I lived in Harry Potter's world, or at least had the ability to wave a magic wand and have my knitting needles magically go at it and work themselves. It would be so lovely to have these sleeves finished and move on to the next thing on my Christmas to-do list. Then I remember that they sell sweaters in stores so clearly the reason I do this is not just for a finished sweater. I know that the recipient of this sweater will feel the love I've knit into the stitches. When he wears this sweater it will be like I'm wrapping him in a hug and he'll remember how very much he is loved. Thankfully he really likes me and won't acknowledge all of the frustrations and frogging that have also gone into this sweater. So, with 41 days left until Christmas (eek!) I think I'd better get back to knitting.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

2013-14 Mystery Quilt Step 1

I'm super excited with my quilting projects right now. Unfortunately I really can't talk about any of them right now so I hope you'll bear with me for a few weeks. One of the projects I can share is the Mystery Quilt I'm working on. Since I'm not sure how long my other secretive projects will take I'm going to release the steps one at a time. 

I talked with the ladies running the Sioux Prairie Quilt Guild's Mystery Quilt this year and have gotten permission to share the steps on here. The pattern is from (I'm keeping the mystery in this quilt so I haven't visited the site yet.) I was super excited to learn that this pattern is from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. One of my best friends has CF and is organizing her first Great Strides Walk in our home town next summer. Check out her blog Life of Cheriz for all the details. I haven't figured out all the details yet, but I think I'm going to raffle off this quilt somehow to raise money for her walk. Okay, enough of me babbling and on to the quilt. 

Clue #1
Fabric Requirements and Cutting Instructions
Light: 2 yards (may choose fabric to "fussy cut" on cutting instruction 2. If you choose to do this you                               will need more fabric)
Light/Medium: 3/4 yard
Medium/Dark 1:3/4 yard
Medium/Dark 2: 2 yards
Binding: 1/2 yard-this can be the same as the 2 yards of Medium/Dark fabric

All strips refer to Width of Fabric (WOF)

  • Cut 7 strips 3.5" wide by the WOF of the light/medium fabric. Subcut these strips into (74) 3.5" squares.
  • Cut 2 strips 3.5" wide by the WOF of the light fabric. Subcut these into (14) 3.5" squares. *These can be fussy cut if desired.
  • Cut 5 strips 2" wide by the WOF of the medium/dark 1 fabric.
  • Cut 5 strips 2" wide by the WOF of the light fabric.
  • Cut 6 strips 4" wide by the WOF of the medium/dark 2 fabric. Subcut these strips into (60) 4" squares.
  • Cut 5 strips 3.5" wide by the WOF of the light fabric. These will be used in the boarder.
  • Cut 6 strips 4" wide by the WOF of the medium/dark 2 fabric. These will be used in the second boarder.

All of my fabrics are Kona Solids. I'm using Wheat for my light, Lavender for my light/medium, Kiwi for my Medium/Dark 1 (I'm also planning on using this for the binding), and Dark Violet for my Medium/Dark 2. 

Unfortunately when I ordered my fabric I entered the correct amounts, but they only sent me 1/2 a yard of Lavender. I haven't decided yet if I'm making a smaller quilt, substituting another fabric, or ordering more Lavender. I'll probably make that decision as I get more steps and see how things are looking.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sweater Sleeves and Peeps

 Immediately after finishing last week's entry I realized my dreams of ripping back to the cuff just weren't going to cut it and I ripped the whole sleeve. Really annoying, but I'm very glad that I did it. I'm so much happier with how things are looking this time.

I've been doing a loop for my increases instead of lifting the bar below and it's been working beautifully. I love how nicely and evenly everything is branching off. It took me a few days to really get back to the sleeve but I'm a lot happier with it now which means progress is going a lot faster.

 A few weeks ago I wrote about the Halloween box my mother-in-law sent me. (It was a wonderful day when a box of fabric and a box of Halloween candy arrived at the same time.) At the time I hadn't broken into the Halloween peeps that were in the candy box so I wasn't able to share a picture. I can now happily report that the peeps have been opened and enjoyed, but before devouring this cute little guy I was able to get a quick picture. You can see how he could push the Halloween box into the lead for excitement levels.