Happy Birthday tooooo meeeeee!

A friend (who has been a recipient of some of my hand made socks — tho never “toe socks”) gave me this card.  Too funnny.  Yep I’m 51 years young today.  Tho since I was up all night coughing from the allergies that have been plaguing me since I got back from the cabin, I’m feeling old today.  Picked up more medicine so hopefully I can suppress the cough and get some sleep tonight!  So yes, exciting plans for this evening — sit and knit and watch tv.  But I did go out last night and celebrate when a friend took me out for dinner.  And today the gals at the office in my area brought in tons of treats so there was a birthday bash smorgasbord to keep us all on a sugar high all day. 🙂

And a still have the goodies to open that a friend in CA sent and I know there’s fabrics in  two of those lovely wrapped packages. 🙂  Can’t get much better than that.

Yesterday a box of yarn and stuff arrived from the Loopy Ewe.  I haven’t taken pictures of the yarn but here’s the “stuff” — my own Camp Loopy TShirt.  My Camp Loopy 2 project is done so I’m now waiting for August 1 to roll around for the announcement of the last project.

 Isn’t Loopy cute in his red socks!

I’ve been busy working on a new design for Hoffman Fabrics so no actual quilting since I got back from vacation but hopefully this weekend I’ll get to some and I need to come up with a plan for my next 100 Blocks submission. 

And just a short wine whine – I just happened across a quilting list and found this message:

“I am looking for the download for March & April of A Year of Wall Hangings by Justquiltin with Denise M Russart. Hope someone has them. I have Jan , Feb & May.”

Sigh……. I didn’t bother to respond to it there but seriously??  I share my patterns for free and the only restriction is that you don’t share the patterns.  It’s clearly stated and printed on the patterns it says they are for personal use.  You download them, you print them, you use them (or not) but getting them anywhere other than where I post them, during the time frame they are available is “sharing”.   Someone tried to help by posting a link to box.net (again, that person was sharing) but of course the pattern was no longer there so the link came up empty.           

There – I’ve said my peace once again on this issue so will move on to other things.  Please don’t leave comments on the whole “sharing” issue – I just needed to vent.  I know there are many of you who do exactly as I ask – Thank you I really appreciate it.  But I know there are also many who don’t – shame on them.

Oh and speaking of file storage – well I sort of was – I will probably be saving the downloads next month to a different file storage site like I had to once before.  I’ve been trying to clean up some files on box.net off and on for about two weeks now and it will not let me access my files so I’ve had enough of that!  So don’t be surprised if you go to download the files next month and the site looks different that you download them from.

Now to go get back to work on my shawl — I may actually get it done – start to finish without letting it age on the needles for a while.  I started it when I got back from the cabin and am nearing the end.  Then I have to figure out what to make with the new yarns I got!

Denise – the birthday gal

I’m a Cover Girl

NO – fat and fabulous has not put my photo on the cover. 🙂  But I did get the advance copies of the Sept/Oct Issue of Quiltmaker which I knew my design, Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, would be in.  But you could have knocked me over with a feather when I pulled them out of the envelope and there it was on the front cover.  So here’s the sneak peak….

I can’t take credit for how lovely the quilt looks. I had other commitments so couldn’t make their publishing deadline so it was sewn by Sheri Ruwe and it turned out adorable.

We ended up switching out one of the applique dog blocks for a different one since that block was being used for the sneak peak in the July/Aug issue so as an added bonus I’ll be posting the beginning of September on the my blog the block that was taken out.  You could substitute that dog for any in the quilt – it’s a beagle looking dog – or make a matching pillow to go with the quilt.

Thank you Quiltmaker and Thank you EQ — without being able to draw it in EQ I never would have submitted it!


Top done

 Found fabrics in the stash for the borders so this top is now done.  A couple people have emailed asking about the pattern.  It’s one I did for Hoffman Fabrics last year using the actual prints that are in the center of the quilt (Indian Summer Collection)  tho my background is different.  The only difference is this quilt the blocks are not set on point like in the original design.  I didn’t have enough fabrics to make the setting sections for the on point design so just laid the blocks out in straight rows making as many blocks as I had fabric scraps for..  It’s available on their website – Indian Summer – Autumn Ripples pattern.  And you can find a link to it on my Hoffman design page.

They also now have posted the Running Wild pattern using the Wild Beat Collection which I designed.


Stashbusing report

Well I used 3 yards since last report but then I bought 5 yards yesterday so not exactly making progress here (but having fun anyway).

 Here’s one of the fat quarters I bought yesterday.  I really like this one. Notice some of the deer have a wreath around their necks.  So I imported the fabric into EQ and roughly traced the deer.

Below is a general idea of what I plan to do.  The stuff around the neck of the deer is just to give the impression of a wreath there.  One of the fat quarters I bought has flower and ornament clusters that I think I will fussy cut and fuse to make the wreath.  I was all ready to get started on this and then realized (1) I forgot to buy printer ink and the printer is bone dry and (2) not a scrap of fusible in the place.  So will have to wait to start on this one.

I did find the right shade of blue in the stash, along with some other fabrics I could probably add in with these so am still deciding what the final look will be.  One of the ideas I had was to make it larger and repeat a similar star block in the borders.

Below is what that looks like.  I’m not thrilled with it yet and will do some more playing with it but and not sure I want to make it that large.  I think I’ll probably make the center and then decide what I want to do from there.

But time to get busy on a few other things since it’s the last day of my vacation — which has been great except for these allergies which have really slowed me down the last couple of days.

A Little bit of shopping….

Yes there was a  stop at the local quilt shop this morning.  Little did I know there was a shop hop going on but I hit it at a time when they weren’t too busy.  I was looking for a border fabric for the fall quilt I was working on yesterday but didn’t see anything that caught my eye and since I love fall colors and have a lot of them,  I’m sure there’s something in the stash that will work for the borders.

What did catch my eye however was a new christmas fabric line.  Seriously I do not need to be buying more christgmas fabric.  There is more than an entire shelf of it in my stash but I love the not so traditional looking ones.  Even tho it is red and green, it’s very limey and on a black background.  I love the color combination with that odd shade of blue.

 The one that looks like beads on a string is the print that caught my eye first and then decided what the heck – I’ll buy the other fat quarters too.  And I really like the deer print.  The limey green fat quarter is off in color in the photo but it’s a pretty shade and I think I have some of that odd shade of blue in the stash that might work with them.  Below it all is a light background I got to use with them that’s the same shade as the lightest beigy/gray beads.  Those dark colors should really pop against it.  Now I just have to figure out a design for them.  Perhaps time to work on a little Christmas in July project before July ends. 🙂

This LQS also has a lovely selection of yarns.  It too was calling to me today.  So this jumped off the shelf and into my arms.

It’s Manos Maxima – an extra soft Kettle Dyed Merino from Uraguay.  The blues and greens are even more pretty in person and it feels wonderful.  Don’t know what I’ll make with it – have to do some pattern searching for this thickness of yarn and the amount I bought to see what I can come up with. There’s one pattern I’ve been contemplating that this yarn might be just the right thickness for… and what’s one more project in progress..

We also stopped at Barnes & Noble and, while there, I picked up the July/Aug issue of Quiltmaker.  If you look on page  9 you will see this little blurb

 That’s Scruffy!  I actually stitched that block. 🙂  He’s one of the cast of characters in my Let Sleeping Dogs Lie design which will be in the Sept/Oct issue of Quiltmaker so if you’ve got a dog lover in the family, you may want to check out the next issue.

Hmm…. think I may have to go wind that yarn and dig through some patterns.


Friday Fun

It was a lazy day around here today.  I started doing some of the laundry from when we were at the cabin but quickly lost interest in that. 🙂  So I squared up the quilt blocks I made yesterday and started sewing them together.  I’ve got them pieced into two halves of the top so just need to join that final seam and I can move on to thinking about borders.

  Then I took a 2 hr nap.  I hate napping and wasting my time off sleeping but my allergies kicked in big time the last day at the cabin and I’ve been snuffling and sneezing and finally broke down and took some medicine that I knew would knock me out.  But woke up feeling much better and restarted the movie I had slept most of the way through. 🙂

Then went back to working on a shawl I had started earlier in the week.  I’m using Plymouth Tweed yarn – 100% virgin lambswool.

  I’m using a pattern from Ravelry called The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief.  Very simple stitch pattern of stockinette and every so often an open eyelet looking row which I think will look good in the tweedy yarn.  And it’s one of those patterns that’s easy to memorize so you don’t have to keep one eye on the pattern while working on it.

And here’s the scarf I’m still working on in the star stitch pattern.

I love the way the colors subtle change in it.  Another good no brainer pattern to follow once you get going.  I’ve got way to many things on needles — just as bad as way too many quilt projects in the making – but I like being able to hop back and forth between then.  Now I just need to remember to bring home my blocking wires from the office (where I had them shipped to) since there’s about 4 or 5 scarfs in need of blocking.  Too humid to do them right now anyway.  But my drawer of finished projects needing to be blocked is growing.  As for th summer sweater I knit that I was hoping would fit Mom — no such luck it was way to big on her so it’s gone in the drawer too. Too large for her, too small for me but maybe if I stick to the treadmill regime by next spring I can wear it … a girl can hope anyway. 🙂

Tomorrow – breakfast with a friend so I can return her key to her cabin – and I’m sure we’ll do a bit of shopping.  I have a hankering to hit the quilt store (which won’t help the stashbusting but will make me happy)! and of course they have lovely yarns there too so it may be bad news for my bank account but oh what fun!


A day spent sewing and some exciting news!

First the exciting news. 🙂  I was just checking emails and found out that my block I submitted for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Issue 4 (which goes on sale in November) will be included in the magazine. Yipee!!!  Doing a little happy dance.   The Quilts from the Crate photo that doesn’t show the center block — that’s the wallhanging I made from an extra block I made like the submission block so after the issue comes out I’ll be able to show you what that wallhanging truly looks like. 😉

I couldn’t decide what to sew on today and then saw the strike offs of a fabric line Hoffman Fabrics had sent me that I previously did a design for.  They are just sample size pieces so fat eights or a bit larger.  Not huge pieces to work with but I chopped them up to make the actual pattern I had drawn for them.  It will be large wallhanging / smallish lap size when done.  I’ve got all the blocks made and just need to set them together.

Here they laid out on the floor.  I may do some rearranging of blocks yet.  I need to go searching the stash for border fabrics too.   The original design was on point but I didn’t have enough fabric to do the setting portions so these will just be straight set.

And here’s the mittens I finished for the Camp Loopy 2 project – the pattern had to include cables.  These were different than straight cables – single strands of the cables interweave but it’s a bit hard to see on this yarn.

 These are very “straight” mittens – I prefer my mittens to have a bit more shaping to them (more stitches added after the cuff) so they are a bit roomier but they are soft and warm.


Back from the North

When you go to the farthest northern corner of Wisconsin you do not expect it to be too hot and humid to spend much time outside.  It had to be a fluke that last year it was so hot up there.  But, alas, this year was even worse.  I’m not sure why we end up there when they are having an unusual heat wave but it was just as hot there as it was here at home.  But that didn’t keep us from having a nice relaxing time (yes thank goodness the cabin had air conditioning — it is not your “roughing” it type of log cabin. 🙂  So we spent lots of time reading, playing cards, a new dice game they taught me, watching movies and just visiting.  So today my parents are headed on to their next visiting desination but we had a wonderful visit.

The weather did cooperate one evening when we went to a play in an outdoor tent venue — it was warm but a bit of a breeze wafting through the tent sides (think big circus tent with the sides rolled up) kept it comfortable.  It was called Keepers of the Light and was based on the journals of the lighthouse keepers in the Apostle Islands (the area where we were).  It was very good.  There were no bear sightings this year but we did see…

Okay – not her most attractive side but she crossed the road in front of us and is headed into the forest on the other side.  She did stop to look at us when Dad opened the window and whistled at her – tho my photo turned out blurry

But we didn’t see nearly as many deer as last year – too hot for them to be moving around much I think.

But the wildflowers were blooming all around  the forest (the cabin is in a National Forest area) and were beautiful – pinks and purples and yellow grassy areas everywhere.

  And yes – Pirates!!!  There was a festival in Duluth, MN, last weekend that the clipper ships were there for and we saw photos of them in the Sunday paper.  We were heading to Duluth on Monday so figured we’d missed them but there were still some of them there.  Not a great photo – it was a very hazy day over the lake but bright enough that I couldn’t see the screen on the back of my camera so I had to sort of point and click and hope I got the ship in the photo.

I’ve got some other great wildflower photos, photos from a place where they do chain saw carving into wonderful detailed animals, and photos from Ashland,WI where they have amazing murals painted onn the sides of many buildings but since wordpress’s photo upload is being difficult today, I’ll save those for another day.

I did manage to get my Camp Loopy 2 project – cabled mittens – started and finished while at the cabin, who I don’t care much for the pattern I used so probably won’t be making them again.  So now to wait for the annoucement of the last Camp Loopy project next month.  I also made progress on my star stitch scarf and started on a shawl.

But today, I think I’ll go plug in some movies and start some new quilt project.  Haven’t decided what yet but I’m in the mood for something new.  Plus I ‘ve also got an idea for a Christmas in July project for the TQP gals I need to play with a little since July is getting away from me, but I cannot open EQ yet or I’ll never get anything started.  So off to look for some templates I bought for a new project and then go dig through the stash to see what fabrics to use.  I had thought about a trip to the quilt shop but it’s too hot outside for me to want to bus it over there (but I feel a Saturday shopping excursion coming on).  🙂

Oh – one last thing – as I was catching up on emails from when I was gone, there were a couple that were several MBs in size.  I’m guessing someone was trying to send photos (maybe of BOM or Year of Wallhanging projects they’d finished for me to post.)  I deleted them without letting them download — I’m not patient enough to sit and wait for 15 minutes to let one photo download (remember not everyone has high speed internet – I have dial up)  so if  someone did send images they want me to post, please resize them – under 300kb would be great – and resend.  I’ve got a bunch of photos I need to add to the project pages and will do that some rainy day when I’m bored (and the photo  uploader is being cooperative).  Thanks.


Near crisis

The star stitch scarf was lying on a chair as I was vacuuming and the vacuum sucked up the yarn dangling down.  I a blink of an eye, the part that was knit and attached to the needles came flying off the chair sucked to the machine.  I hit the off button. WHEW! Crisis averted.  I had to cut my yarn to get it loose and cut out what had gotten tangled in the vacuum roller but what I had knit was undamaged.  So just need to reattach my yarns.  Note to self – vacuum is far too dangerous — only do it when necessary! 🙂

I survived yesterday at work and pretty much got things squared away so yeah… it’s vacation time for me.  Mom and Dad arrived today so I’ll be spending several days visiting with them.    Now if the weather would just cooperate, it will make things much easier since we’ve got a play to go see at an outdoor tent venue so no rain on Saturday please!

1 day and counting….

One more day of work and then vacation!!! Time to do whatever I want, or nothing at all.  What could be better.

In the meantime, last night I couldn’t resist trying out this scarf that I posted the link to yesterday.


I made some changes tho.  Instead of worsted weight yarn and the size needle the pattern called for, I’m using two different sock yarns to get the look I want.  I also added stitches to the edges and bottom to help stop it from rolling and give it a more finished looking edge.  It’s a very simple stitch and goes rather quickly.  I had about 4″ done last night but I hadn’t started out with garter stitch on the bottom and it really needed it to stop the curling so ripped it all back out on the way home.  So here’s what I’ve got after just a short time knitting on the way home.

I can’t get a good close up of the star stitch but it’s turning out really pretty.  I think this scarf could be addicting – I’ve found several other yarn combinations that might look good together for this stitch and I may try it with larger needles and only one strand of yarn and see how it looks a bit more open and lacy.

It’s design wall Monday and there’s not a darn thing on my design wall at all. 😦