Whew! I made it.  Things have been so busy at work that I really need this vacation.  So I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth but I will be here and there and not have time or access to the computer for part of my vacation.  And part of it will be spent at home SEWING!! Finally the sewing drought should end.  But I have promised myself to stay off the computer or I’ll get caught up in EQ and never get anything done.  If by change the next installment doesn’t show up the first Saturday of Sept., don’t fret.  It just might be day or two late (probably not tho) depending on where I am galavanting to at the time.

Sewing Drought

Still no sewing here it’s been …well I don’t know exactly how long but a really long time – over a month – which is a really long time since I ususally spend most of my weekends quilting.   But  looking forward to vacation and need to start gathering projects to take with me.   I absolutely have to start quilting that wedding quilt in early September since I need it mid month. 

I have been doing a little knitting…. and a UNknitting.  That brown shawl I was worknig on – I had about twice as much done as last time I ripped it all out and yes, got off somewhere in the pattern again  and ripped it all out to start over.  I like patterns much better where you can pull out the needles, rip out a few rows, and pick the stitches back up and know what row you should be on.  This one definitely is NOT like that but I’m not ready to give up on it yet.  I think part of my problem is the way the pattern is written – I keep losing track of where I am and which bracketed repeat I’m on, so I think I will rewrite each row onto a separate card so I can just flip them as I finish them and can color code the part that gets repeated.  Will see if that helps. Plus it will be a stgay at home project – I’m been working on it on the bus ride to and from work and I think that’s also part of why I keep loosing my place (and nearly forgot to get off at my stop one day last week)  🙂

 In the meantime, I pulled a lovely cashmere and bamboo blend hank out of the yarn stash and have started a scarf with it.  This stuff is so soft.

I’ve  got about a foot out of 70 inche so a ways to go on this project yet.

I pulled out some other yarn hanks and got them wound into balls to work on while I’m off work as well. 

  The yarn at the top left will be another scarf I think,- the right, a hat pattern I want to try.  The ones in the middle will be socks – using the solid for cuff, heel and toes.  And the bottom is some yarn I picked up to try the mittens in the round pattern on double pointed needles I got.

Now to finish off that laundry and taste test the banana bread I made this morning.

Stashbusting Report

Well I’ve had really nothing to report on the stashbusting report in over a month.  Lots of quilt designing, some sewing on projects already in the works where fabric had already been counted, but truly very little sewing done in the past month.  It’s been a hectic summer.  So I do have something to report – I may not have had much time to sew but I did go to the quilt shop and purchased! LOL

So 3.5 yds added to the stash this week.  196 yards used, 79.75 purchased for a net used YTD of 116.25.  Now I just need to get sewing.

I did play in EQ for a while last night to come up with a design for the christmas charm pack I bought yesterday.  Here’s what I came up with.  It’s nothing fancy or difficult – but will be a great way to use that charm pack and I like the way the border sets it off and adds a bit of movement.   The fabrics are just representational – not the actual ones I’ll be using.  The charm pack I got is called Fruitcake by Moda.

  Tho in my opinion – not a true “charm” pack since there are some duplicates.  It as 42 squares and this design will use 40 of them.  It finishes 60″ square – the size that will fit the quilt hanging in my living room but it would also look very festive draped across a couch or gracing a holiday table.   It could also have easily been made from the stash but I don’t like having to cut just one square from all those fabrics – too putzy – so love the precut charm packs for that.  We usually do a Thanksgiving weekend project for our online quilting group The Quilting Post so if there’s enough interest in making it I may write up the directions for that.  If I do, I’ll post it here as well.  Post a comment if you are interested in making it.  Hmm.. .I may have to check to see if I took off the day after vacation so I can have a long quilting weekend!

One prolific quilting friend, Janet P, who is always ready for a new project has pointed out that I seem to be stuck on quilt names that have a double “C” and she appears to be correct — there’s been Crop Circles, Continuous Chain, and Crocus Clusters.  So in keeping with that – I’ve named this one Christmas Charm. 🙂

Fabric Fondling

Well I haven’t gotten to any sewing today but I did get to fondle fabric – the next best thing.  Stopped at the quilt shop and  a charm pack and a couple fabrics to go with it needed to go home with me.  I’m rather addicted to holiday fabrics and these were too pretty to pass up. Don’t know what they will be – probably just a simple little table topper, runner or something. Time will tell.

  Stopped for groceries and also at the bookstore so I’m well stocked on books to read while hanging out at the cabin later this month.  And at a bargain price since they were all on the sales tables.  I had been looking at a couple knitting themed mysteries and found the hardcover versions on the sale table cheaper than the paperbacks were so added them to my pile.

Wrote the preliminary instructions for a pattern last night so need to do a final proof on that, make some dinner since time has gotten away from me, and then maybe pop in a movie and knit some more on the shawl.  The quilt shop also has lovely yarns which I petted but managed to refrain from buying since the shawl will take a while and there’s plenty of stock yarn in the closet to knit up.  But there was a sweater pattern that caught my eye so one of these days I may have to go back and get it.  They actually did have the shawl I’m making knit up at the shop so it was nice to see what it looks like in person.

When it rains… it pours

Literally and the storm waited until just before I got off the bus.  Then the wind picked up, the rain poured down and the lightening was amazing.  My shoes – well they are history and I finally had to take them off to trot the rest of the way home rather than waiting for lighting to strike me.  Even with a huge umbrella I looked like a drown rat by the time I went the half a block to my door.    One good thing – all the relandscaping that was done around my apartment served it’s purpose well.  It’s all rocked in now rather than the mud and lakes that formed before when it rained. So rather than all the rain sitting and hatching more mosquitos, it drained away.  The cushions I left out on the patio chairs got a severe washing and will take a couple days to drip dry I’m sure.  They are definitely soggy. On the upside, the storms  finally cooled things down a little and it’s not quite as humid.

My sewing machine is calling to me so just maybe it will get out of the closet and be put to work this weekend, tho I’ve got two patterns to write up at some point.  I just might actually get started quilting on that wedding quilt so I have something new to show you – or at least something finished!

Woven Ribbons

Got my new Keepsake Quilting Fall catalog and was flipping through it — hey I recognize that design.  My Woven Ribbons quilt appears on page 39! 🙂  It’s just so cool to see in print.  And it’s even better to see the quilt actually stitched up since someone else actually made this one for the photo rather than just using an EQ image.  All my fabrics are patiently waiting in the stash to be made into that quilt when I finally get some time to sew. 

No sewing time so far this week and I STILL haven’t started quilting that wedding quilt.  August has just been a very busy month.  It will get done in time tho.

Just finished off another design for Hoffman Fabrics and got approval so I can start working on the instructions.  This one is a super easy beginner friendly design so will be quick to write up.  And working on shrinking the size of the prior  design I did for them since they want to offer it in two different sizes.  Busy busy busy so I’m looking forward to vacation time at the end of the month where I’ll have time to sew. 

The shawl is progressing slowly but nicely – no more ripping out – I think I’ve got the hang of the pattern now so I’ve been working on that a little in the evenings.

Tonight I came home and found they had rocked in the area on either side of my patio and tore out the shrubs that weren’t really growing anyway.  It looks sooooo much better.  The ground around there was always just soggy because it’s all shaded and the mosquitos are horrific.   Hopefully they won’t like hanging out there any more and will move away so I can acutally sit at the table on my patio and relax. No more moss growing on the dirt from so much moisture.   Now the temps just need to drop since the heat index was 99 today and the humidity was horrid.  I’m tired of living in a sauna every time I walk outside and my glasses steam up.  But things should start to improve after tomorrow.  Remind me mid January how I complained about the heat. LOL

Design Wall Monday and other stuff

First, these blocks are still on the design wall.  I’ve been busy and haven’t gotten to any sewing since the weekend before last.

    I got an email tonight that I didn’t get chosen for the 15 finalist for the McCall’s Design Star Challenge. But a big thank you to all who voted for me.  I’m not heartbroken since I’ve been thinking about all the stuff on my plate that I need to do and was trying to figure out when I’d get to quilt again. 🙂  So it was fun while it lasted but moving on to other things – like the images for the new Hoffman line I got today so need to do some playing in EQ to see what sort of design I can come up with for them.

So many things to do but I’m exhausted from all that cleaning all weekend so think I’ll just kick back for tonight, knit a while and watch some tv.

Stashbusting Report

Again, not a darn thing to report for stashbusting.  No sewing so far this weekend.  So nothing into the stash and nothing out. 😦

Lots and lots of cleaning, laundry, reorganizing, and trips to the dumpster.  There are things I haven’t used since I moved into this apartment several years ago so they are headed out of here either to the junk or Good Will if they are anything good.  Storage space is too limitede to be used by stuff I don’t use.   My hands may permanently smell like bleach but much progress has been made.  If I can get the living room back in order this afternoon I may reward myself with a little sewing on Continuous Chain this evening.

Rain and more rain so far this morning but that may keep things from getting as hot as was predicted – I hope.  It’s going to be another warm and very humid week.  Friday when I went to water the garden I was swarmed by mosquitos – but I need to venture out to see if there are any more ripe tomatoes.  Maybe if I go while it is still raining, it will outsmart those skeeters!

Saturday Stuff

I’m procrastinating – I should jump in to that cleaning (and I have taken the garbage out and picked some tomatoes from the garden ) but thought I’d check messages first before tackling any major cleaning job.  Then, post photos here of the shawl I’m working on.  And besides I’m waiting for the coffee to finish ’cause I certainly can’t be cleaning with out an influx of coffee.

Anyway, here’s the shawl so far, past the point of my last ripping out of it all.

 That lovely blue yarn at the next edge – just temporary provisional cast on.  Those stitches will be woven together to make the top of the shawl straight across so it will sort of stand up against the back of your neck – very cozy. 

  And here’s a close up of the pattern.  I the close up you can see the subtle shades the yarn has which make it look that lovely toasty brown.

Okay when did the “Like” buttons appear at the bottom of the posts.  I just noticed them last night so don’t know when WordPress added that little button.   So what is it’s purpose – heck I don’t really know so I clicked on it.  It marked that I liked it.  Well who the heck cares if I like this post. LOL   But it looks like it may be sort of a bookmark system so you can mark posts you might want to go back to? not really a clue and if I could figure out how to get rid of it, I would.   Just seeing it there makes me think of a some sort of twelve year old competiton – she likes me better, no she likes me.  ROFLOL    If you read my blog, great  -I hope you find it interesting, fun, informational … whatever … (hmm the “whatever” definitely sounds like a 12-year-old)  but in all honesty, I don’t care if anyone “likes” a blog post. 🙂

Coffee is done – time to get busy.

Another Busy Week

It’s been another busy week and no sewing has been accomplished in the evenings.  I did get a little more done on the newest shawl but there were a few bad words said too.  After starting the first couple rows over three times, I got about 5 inches done and realized I had gotten off in the pattern.  With all the yarn overs, pass overs, decreases, there was no way I could easily rip it back  just a few rows to try to figure out where I went wrong.  So started over once again.  I’m back to where I was and things are going much better – I can actually now tell what the pattern design is supposed to look like which makes it a bit easier.  It’s definitely not one of those patterns you can memorize  since you work in groups of 10 rows – each one different.  But it’s make a pretty leaf design and the yarn is looking great.

The August Installment of Continuous Chain BOM is now posted.  You can get to it from the link in the right sidebar.

I got good news from Hoffman Fabrics today – Just Flutterin – the pattern I finished for them earlier this week will be appearing in one of their ads this fall in American Patchwork & Quilting.  I’m going to have to watch the bookstore shelves for it.  And images of another fabric line are headed my way for a new design.  I’ll post a link when the Just Flutterin pattern is up on their website for download.

My folks will be visiting soon so there’s some major cleaning to be done around here — as my sister and I joke — time to start the “Mom’s coming” cleaning. 🙂  Mom knows we call it that and asked if I had done it yet when I talked to her tonight. She threatened that she could just show up any day.  Course I told her that if she showed up tonight, she’d be spending it in a hotel because I’ve got too much of a mess to let her in.   I don’t mean that she’s picky — it’s just that there really is  a disaster around here.  The only really clean room is the sewing room and that’s cause I haven’t had a chance to sew since I cleaned it up.  So that is the weekend plan – much cleaning, laundry and when I opened the windows tonight (because the humidity had finally gone down) I saw just how much dust/dirt had accumulated in the window sill — ugh — and those windows could use washing too.  Hmm….. doesn’t bode well for sewing time this weekend.