The Loopy EweMay Monthly Mixer

If you’ve been following along you know that I’ve been doing the Monthly Mixer projects at The Loopy Ewe.   I’ve actually completed two of the knitting ones, and hmm don’t think I’ve completed any of the fabric ones yet but I’ve got several of them in the works.

I’m not planning to do the yarn mixer this month (other things I want to finish knitting before Camp Loopy starts) but I do plan to do the fabric mixer.  The only requirement for the May mixer is it has to be made out of batik fabrics only.  You know I love batiks!

Hence the new order for  these fabrics.

batiks  I actually only ordered FQs or quarter yards of most of them but I needed some new ones to mix into the stash and fill out certain color families.

Now there’s no yardage requirement to meet  for this mixer and no deadline by which to finish so that’s easy, but why is it that the project I’m contemplating is a queen size (or maybe a bit larger since I haven’t checked the measurements) quilt!  I could make something smaller but I need a second wedding quilt (first one I’m working on is Barn Dance) and I’m thinking my plan for these batiks will be that wedding quilt – hence the size.

I came across a free pattern on the Benartex site called New Directions by Janet Page Kessler.  I really like it – it’s a simple design and would be great to use a huge array of batiks in.  The original design was for a smaller project – two rows and not as long –  so I did some playing in EQ to basically double the width and added more rows to get the length I might like and here’s what a quick mock up of it looks like.     So for the moment this is my plan – but  I really need to finish machine quilting another wedding quilt that has now passed the one year anniversary mark!  I cannot start on this one until I get Barn Dance blocks set together and that other one quilted… …. (even tho I really want to start on this one).

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Blog Tour Winners!

Thanks to all who visited my blog yesterday and left comments.    Each time Quiltmaker has a blog tour, I seem to amass a list of a whole bunch of projects or ideas I want to put into my projects.   There’s, of course, not enough time to put them all into use but it’s like going to a quilt show — it rejuvenates my quilting mo jo and gets me all excited again to go play in my stash.  Of course it gets me excited to start new projects rather than necessarily finishing off ones in progress – but that’s not a new problem.  I’m looking forward to seeing what else is in store for the blog tour today and tomorrow.

There were 99 blog comments that made it to my blog, or the approval que, within the time frame.    So with the help of the random number generator I have some winners.

99I had to laugh when the random number generator picked this number first.  Well that’s easy — I hate it when it picks numbers right in the middle of the pack so I have to go counting through all those comments to find the correct one. :-)

 

Lucky winner #99 is Barbara Young.

Then click the pick a number again and how wierd — the random number thingie was really making it easy on me today.

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So the second lucky winner, #2, is  Beth T. (wordygirl).

I’ve emailed you both privately asking for your mailing addresses.

Congratulations!

And as for that rejuvenation of the quilting mo jo I mentioned above — it also rejuvenates the need to have more (new) fabric in the stash.  There’s a whole slew of gorgeous batiks headed my way

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I’ll tell you my plan for those tonight.:-)

 

 

May 4 – Blog Tour Day!

Happy Wednesday!  Despite the fact that it is 12:15 a.m. on May 4, – the little calendar day on my blog by the title says it’s May 3!  Clearly I’ve fallen into a black hole somewhere but trust me – it really is May 4.

I am so pleased and honored to again be a part of the  Quiltmaker 100 Blocks blog tour.   Be sure to check out the Quiltmaker Quilty Pleasures blog for a full list of everyone on the blog tour  this week and links to their blogs.  You can order your own print or digital copy of the magazine at the online shop.

This is my seventh block to be published in 100 Blocks and finding out a block has been accepted for publication is just as exciting today as when the first block was accepted.   It is Block No. 1246  and it’s called “Turkey Tracks.”

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This is the photo of the  block I made and submitted to Quiltmaker.  Turkey Tracks is a continuation of a series of bird block designs I’ve worked on over the past couple years – some of which have appeared in previously 100 Blocks issues and Quilts From 100 Blocks.  I use Electric Quilt software for all my quilting designs.   So after getting my block drawn, tweaking things a bit, getting the correct size —  it was off to the stash.

I knew I wanted to use batik fabrics for this block and I had a fat quarter of the tail fabric and the colored border fabric set aside for a while to use for something special.  I just love the color combination of the grays, pinky-corals and golds in those fabrics.   So grabbed those and then chose the other fabrics to go with them and I was ready.

Turkey Tracks is a predominately paper pieced block with some traditional piecing to finish it off. Even if you’ve never done any paper piecing, I think you’ll have great success with this one since there’s no real small pieces.  I would suggest staying away from a one-way design background fabric tho since it is paper pieced – unless you don’t mind your one way fabric going every which way.

I think this turkey is strutting along proudly.  He reminds me of the flock of seven of them that more than once have stood defiantly in the middle of the road  (yes, I do live in a city) making my bus to work wait until they (the turkeys) decided it was a good idea to get out of the middle of the road — and in case you are wondering, turkeys do not make up their mind to be cooperative very quickly and they really don’t respond to a bus driver standing in the doorway  of the bus yelling “shoo, shoo” at them (although all the usual morning passengers do respond to that by laughing a lot!):-)

I decided I wanted to make this block into a table runner or wall hanging and will share that information so you can make your own version of it (of course the sizing of the wall hanging will work with any 12″ finished / 12.5″ unfinished quilt block inserted as the center design).

Here’s the EQ setting design I came up with.  I wanted something very simple and since I was using fall colors, my favorite leaf shape had to be included.

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After looking at the design above, I decided I wanted to use an alternate layout of  that version for myself  to make it as a vertical wall hanging.  My desk at work has a partial fabric covered cubicle wall and hanging vertically it  will be the perfect size to hang in that space.

As I was looking through my pile of batiks, I decided since I’d already made the block once in fall colors, this time I’d try something different (even tho fall colors are my favorite).  I pulled some favorite batiks –

20160501_10 and thought…

“hmmm…. turkeys are not blue” –   not that that would necessarily be a deterrent to me.  And in the end it wasn’t –  I decided that if done in blue, the turkey  would sort of look like a peacock strutting along – so blue feathers it was!

 

Here’s my vertical layout version – time got away from me so I haven’t had a chance to quilt it yet.

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Now you may notice a couple of things different in my version versus the fall-colored version.  The same cutting instructions apply to both orientations so you can easily decide which way you want yours to be.  I haven’t added the leaves to mine and I think I may just machine quilt a wide feather pattern in some lovely bright variegated thread across the areas where the applique would go.  And for those of you who are very observant – I goofed!

At the top and bottom ends, my fabrics are reversed in the flying geese border blocks.  I have my lighter fabric in the triangle shapes  at the very edge of the wall hanging, rather than the darker fabric at the outermost edge as show in the fall-colored version.   It is a design element I planned, right?  Or could it be that I sewed that thin strip that goes next to those pieces on the wrong end (the edge of the dark triangles).  I, of course, did that very thing to not just one section but to both sections.  When I noticed it, after possibly muttering a few bad words, I was diligent and ripped off that thin strip in order to correct it.    Several days passed before I got back to working on it and I did the EXACT SAME THING sewing that strip to the WRONG SIDE OF BOTH YET AGAIN!!  Good grief.  That was when I decided I really  LOVED the lighter fabric at the very top and bottom edges (or maybe I decided no way no how was I ripping it off again).  I could have reversed the fabric colors in the EQ images above or told you I “intentionally” reversed those fabrics in my second version  and you never would have known I couldn’t follow my own instructions.  But this way you can see how it looks with both darker and lighter fabrics along the edge, right?  Just more options to choose from.

If you want to download the instructions for the wall hanging (the Turkey Tracks block is not included – you need the magazine for that) you can download the PDF file here

If you would like to win a copy of this latest issues of 100 Blocks, Updated:  Drawing has been concluded.  Winners announced in next blog post.

Good luck and thank you for visiting with me on the blog tour.

Denise ~ Justquiltin

PLEASE NOTE – if the pdf download does not work for you, it’s because of the traffic from the blog tour with people downloading it before you  – so simply try again later, or tomorrow, or next week or next month – you get the idea.  The link will remain available for you to download indefinitely so if it gives you an error, please come back and try again later because the link is working….really…… it just may be “overwhelmed” when you try.

Happy Quilting Everyone!

Stained Glass Cowl KAL

Judy at Patchwork Times and I like so many of the same knitting patterns and had been emailing back and forth about wanting to make the Stained Glass Cowl pattern by Wendy D. Johnson which is available on Ravelry.

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It’s a stunning stranded / fair isle knitting project and since it’s reversible  –   in my opinion – double stunning.

The letters “KAL” might have been included in those emails between Judy and I (for any non-knitters or newbie knitters that stands for Knit A-Long).  It’s always more fun to work on a project where others are working on the same thing, especially since Judy and I live too far apart to sit together and sip margaritas and knit together.  (okay if we started sipping – there’d be very little knitting but it would be fun!).    My favorite part of KALs are seeing all the color choices / yarn choices other people have made.  Many times I will see yarns I never knew existed (probably safer for my pocketbook if I never knew they existed), colors used together that I might never have thought of doing, and if you get stuck, someone else in the group may be able to answer a question. 

So, Judy contacted Wendy to make sure she was okay with our hosting a KAL on our blogs – and she was – so we are – and we hope you’ll join us.   Otherwise when you see all the finished cowls you’ll be wondering why you didn’t join in in the first place.  Judy has listed some of the additional specifics you need to know  about this pattern in order to decide if you want to KAL with us which I won’t repeat all that here.  Please go to her blog at the Patchwork Times link at the top of the page for more info. 

Of course a couple things I will repeat — (1) Start date is September 1 so you have all summer to figure out your yarn choices.  (2) There will be prizes, but if you win in order to receive your prize you need to have a Ravelry account.  The accounts are free, they’re easy to set up, they don’t spam you with email, and if you knit or crochet  – they are such an incredible resource.  (3) You will also need to purchase the pattern through Ravelry.  Again – really easy to do.  Set your account up first before purchasing and it will save the pattern into your Ravelry account so you can print it but a copy always remains in your account to access at any time.

Prior to starting we’ll be sharing some additional blog posts regarding yarn choices, or what you may want to consider in making yarn choices, and other tidbits of information which you may find useful.  There’s a video I love which I used to learn “two handed” fair isle knitting – one yarn in each hand. I love knitting that way and the video was so easy to follow along with  –  so I’ll be sharing the link again to that as well – tho it’s not necessary to knit this project that way.  Neither of us profess to have any special knowledge – other than knowing what has worked for us or failed for us in past projects.

Want to knit with us?  You know do! :-)

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Looking back at past Quiltmaker 100 Blocks

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As I was working on my blog post for the blog tour this coming week

– remember Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks blog tour starts tomorrow so visit the Quiltmaker Quilty Pleasures blog to get links to all the participants for each day of the blog tour, giveaways, and be sure to stop back here Wednesday, my day of the tour, for your chance to win one of several issues of the magazine I’ll be giving away –

I was thinking back on the blocks I have had appear in past issues of

Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks issues.  So how about a little pictorial trip down memory lane.

Balancing Act (dog with butterfly on its nose) appeared in  Issue 4.   Pinwheel Poseys (upper right) – Issue 5, Snow Days (kid with flying saucer) in Issue 6, Splash in Issue 8, Shoulda’ Flown South (lower left) in Issue 9 and Skating on Thin Ice in issue 10.

Half of those blocks have sort of a winter theme – probably a byproduct of living in Wisconsin where that season seems to hang around a really long time.

You’ll have to wait to see what this issue’s block is until Wednesday, but I have been remaking my block (since the original one gets sent into Quiltmaker and drawings are held so some lucky winner(s) get the block submissions that were sent in) and I wanted to make this issue’s block into a little project for me.

So just a little teaser … aren’t these fabrics lovely.  These are what I used in my second version of the block I’ve made for me.   All will be revealed Wednesday.:-)

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On the Needles – Yarn everywhere…..

Yes I have yarn everywhere – I was digging through some of the tubs looking for a specific yarn I knew was there somewhere.  In the meantime, the last of the yarn I had ordered has arrived (I need no more yarn, I need no more yarn…..).  So I have the last container to search (it’s always in the last one isn’t it?) and then I can find the new arrivals a home in one of those tubs and get them stored away again.

First tho – my Cardipalooza sweater is coming along nicely after having to rip back about half of one front because I changed my mind from having the lace run across the entire front and having to try to decrease out stitches in that lace pattern.  It looks much better now.

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You can see up at the edge of the neckline on the right front there is a little sort of triangular section of stockinette where some of the lace ends.  This pattern doesn’t work well trying to decrease those neck edges and keeping to pattern so I just continued with the two outer repeats of lace up the shoulder.  I’m going to wait until I get the other front done  and do that one a bit differently to see which I like best so I may go back and change that first side — or not because I think the collar I plan to put on this sweater will cover up that section anyway.  But that’s a decision I’ll think on later.

 

Do I need to cast on another sweater while this one  (and perhaps others) are already on the needles.  YES!!!  I’m very excited because I’ve been waiting for Amy Herzog’s CustomFit program to have A-line pattern generating capabilities and now it does.  You can read more about it here.   You know I have previously mentioned one or two or many times how I think CustomFit  is the best thing since sliced bread — okay if there had been no sliced bread I might not have needed CustomFit as much but we won’t go into that  – so it’s better than sliced bread!   I have been wanting to make an A-line sweater but most are written as top down designs (which I don’t like doing) or the sizing wasn’t right.  Now I can make the sweater I want, bottom up, seamed, and finally use this lovely drapey swatch I have been saving since —

 

I looked back and I had originally posted that photo in October 2014.  It’s definitely time to knit that yarn.

I’ve been wanting to make a Folly Cove – ish sweater for quite some time.  But with CustomFit I can make the changes I want  to adjust that design.  I like that it’s a fairly plain sweater with just those touches of lace.  If this turns out the way I envision in my head – it will be to wear to a wedding – and I want something simple with a bit of a drapey bottom hem  (straight rather than the split hem on the original pattern) and I want 3/4 sleeves.  So I’ll be generating my pattern later today and look to see photos in the not too distant future of this lovely dark rich red yarn on my needles.  The original pattern is written for worsted weight but mine will be a whole lot of knitting in fingering weight.

20160430_9The extra color I ordered to complete the grouping for  On The Spice Market shawl arrived.  The rest was from the stash but the purple one is the new addition.  This project will wait awhile before I start it  – yes even I realize I have too many things on the needles (cause I’m running out of needles!):-)

In the CustomFit Ravelry group they were talking about various types of yarns and cost-conscious yarns for those of us who use more than just a couple of hanks/skeins to make a sweater — it can get very expensive.   One of the yarns Amy Herzog suggested was Berroco Vintage.   I had used Cascade 220 (nonsuperwash) for a sweater (which is a more cost conscious yarn in my opinion) and that sweater is so heavy to wear – I love it but it’s definitely heavy.  So I decided to take a look at the Berroco Vintage — I was looking at the Webs website (I like their site because it shows me how many hanks/skeins are left in stock – I hate finding something I love, putting it in a cart only to find out they don’t have enough in stock). $8.50 a hank is not a bad price but BONUS! it happened to be on sale for $5.99.  So you know I couldn’t pass it up (I did stop at a local craft store that carries it to see if I liked the feel of it and I do). So a sweater’s worth of each of these arrived.

20160430_4It’s Blue Moon and Lilacs – I think you can tell which is which even from my not so great photo.  These are both heathers and the Blue Moon has that great blue and I think you can just see the purple flecks within it — I love this one.  It’s a wool, acrylic, nylon blend and it feels so soft and it feels much lighter in weight than the Cascade so won’t make as heavy feeling sweater as that one.

 

Must go clean up all the yarn piles!

 

 

 

Reclamation of the sewing room

Yes I have actually managed to wander into the sewing room to make a dent on getting it cleaned back up so I can work in there.  I really want to start laying out my Barn Dance blocks on the design wall.

These are the last two finally all sewn together and these are my favorite two — the batiks I used for the largest pieces are two I purchased not long ago when I was making the fused snowflakes and I love those two fabrics.  The black with all the multicolors in it and the bright coral are just so pretty.

But, before I let myself play on the design wall I decided I really have to clear off the table and put some other stuff away.  I did collect all the batik fabrics I had scatted about that I was pawing through when making the Barn Dance blocks — look at those neat and tidy piles (and one basket of scraps)

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Now I just need to get them all back on the shelves.  Which I am headed back to do.  I took a break to make some German Potatoe Salad to go with the smoked pork chops I’ll be having for dinner – a perfect pairing.   Hopefully I’ll have the table cleared off and the majority of stuff put away before dinner – that’s my plan anyway.

 

State of the Stash

Hmmm…. the state of the stash – well both yarn and fabric seem to be expanding lately.  However, no new fabric in this week and soon, very soon, I should have a top or two completed so I can tally up the fabric used.

Yarn — well, I found some good sales, which is unusual, and one of the yarn types I love was restocked at TLE and I had to get some while it was available.:-)

The group on the left is Malabrigo Finito which I so love the feel of.  It’s great for cowls and other little accessories.  I’d love to have a sweater out of it but it’s one of those that is dyed in small batches and can vary greatly from batch to batch so I’ll stick with cowls and little shawls and scarfs – it feels so good next to your skin.

On the right is some more Classic Elite Soft Linen like I am making my green sweater out of.  The place I ordered the green from  had put a couple more colors on discontinued clearance so it was too good a price to pass up. The color is Tropical Sea which is a bit more bluey-green than my photo shows.

I’ve decided to go a different path than originally planned for my On The Spice Market KAL shawl.

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These were the original colors I got which I love  but I remembered some yarn in the stash that would make a more spring/summery colored one and then I could use this yarn for the other shawl I want to make The Joker and The Thief by the same designer as Spice Market.

So here’s the yarn from the stash that I will use for my Spice Market.

20160424_6I’ve been saving this yarn for something special – especially since I found ore of the “mink” color on sale – the taupe-ish color on the left.  It’s Knit One Crochet Too Covet and you definitely would want to “covet” it if you felt it.  I thought the Finito was soft but this is so incredibly soft  -100% superbaby alpaca.  This you just want to pet it feels so good.  But I need one more color.  The local shop where I had purchased most of this closed but I went searching on line and found a color of it called Rose Quartz – a light purple color so have ordered that.  Looking forward to getting started on this one.

How many curling irons does on person need?

My plan to clean the sewing room – haven’t gotten that far yet because I decided the bathroom really should be on my list first.   I was trying to think when the last time was that I cleaned out the cabinets below my sink vanity.  Yep, if I can’t remember it was a very long time ago.

The sink has a nice sized vanity cabinet with one drawer on each side of the sink and double doors below.  Trust me – you can cram a whole lot of stuff in that open area under the sink.  So I pulled everything out – hence the question about curling irons.

I had four various sized curling irons, two hair dryers, and a set of hot rollers all tangled up in one spot. I have curling irons in different widths since I’ve had longer hair and very short hair and length somewhere between the two and some irons also blow air with a brush attached.  Now what’s really funny is I can’t remember when I last used either the hair dryers or curling irons — probably when my hair was really short like in the blog photo on the side – but that was a couple years ago now.

Used to be I wouldn’t have gone out of the house without blown, curled and sprayed into place hair and makeup.  Now I’m not saying I certainly wouldn’t benefit from still doing those things but I pretty much roll out of bed into the shower, and as I’m headed out the door to the bus I have done nothing more than comb the tangles out of my extremely straight hair which is still wet as I go out the door.  Makeup – well eye makeup stopped being worn after my eye surgery so I only wear that for specific occasions, if then, and I’m allergic to so many creams, scents, lotions, etc. that makeup in general can be more hassle than it’s worth.

So in addition to getting rid of two of the four curling irons (well I may use the other ones one of these days), I cleaned out the drawers and a whole lot of old and dried up makeup hit the trash and when’s the last time I painted my fingernails?   Quilting and knitting are hard on nail polish –  let alone what typing does to it.   Hair dryers/curlers have been corralled in two plastic drawers that fit inside the bottom of the vanity.  I’ve pulled out all the old expired medicines  – and things like the One A Day vitamins that expired three years ago that I clearly never took “one a day” of .  Now to sort through the near empty bathroom cleaning stuff bottles.  But first I had to take a coffee break and write you this exciting blog posts – yep – Saturdays around here can be just riveting. :-)  So how many curling irons do you have?? I’m betting I’m not the only one who has more than she could ever use at the same time. LOL

I think a pan of Cream Cheese Squares are in my future – well I’m only making half a pan.  A treat for later and then maybe I’ll go finish up the bathroom cleaning……

Oh and just so there’s a pretty picture included now that my ramblings are done – my quilt pattern, Tossed on the Breeze, is now available for download at Hoffman California International Fabrics website.  Just a simple little leaf quilt with two slightly different blocks.

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On the Needles – 4/22/16 -and Barn Dance

My knitting projects just seem to be messing with me a bit lately.  Or maybe I have too many going that I’m not paying enough attention.

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This is the front of the sweater I’m working on (the piece on the left).  The piece on the right was the same section of front but as you can see (even tho it’s sideways in the photo) I got a good 8″ or so into it before I realized I had goofed.  I was going to try having the lace pattern (which is really pretty but doesn’t show up well in my photos) going across the entire front of the sweater.  The lace pattern just happened to be an 8 stitch repeat and I needed to decrease 8 stitches for the waist shaping so that would take out an entire repeat.

But…. with all the yarn overs and decreases and slipped stitches, I couldn’t get it to look right as I was decreasing out that section.   Then I realized even worse I forgot to leave any edge stitches in stockinette stitch in order to easily seam the sides.  Seaming into open lacy stuff is not very sturdy and the I got to thinking – I totally forgot about decreasing at the armholes – that’s going to make that lace pattern very weird to deal with.  So the piece on the right just got ripped out and wound back into a ball but I’ve solved all my problems redoing the section on the left and am very happy with it.

This photo shows a the lace pattern a bit better.

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I may rethink the plain sleeves I was going to make and add some lace there too.

And on the quilty front — the last block size for the Barn Dance QAL is now available and can be downloaded.

I just have to sew the sections of these blocks together and all my blocks for this project will be done – miraculous!

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Tomorrow it will be time to put refold and sort out scraps too small to save from all the stacks of batiks I have sitting all over that I pulled out for these blocks  – time to get them off the floor and tables and back on the shelves where they belong …. until next time I decided to toss them all over.  Then to clean off the design wall so I can see how much of this quilt I can get up on the design wall — don’t know that it will all fit.