10:46 pm update

I have been very busy in the sewing room (after taking a dinner break earlier courtesy of the pizza delivery guy who also delivers brownies so I think it’s time  for a snack break.  But 10:46 p.m. – and I had to take a break and stretch my shoulders but I nearly have the houses all quilted.

I just have the very top left to quilt — the purple roof, the gray roof, and the blue sky pieces around them.  I’m glad I decided to use thread to match the houses even tho it has slowed me down a bit winding bobbins and rethreading – and I also like that I used a bunch of different meandering stitches rather than just one overall pattern.  I’m liking how this is turning out.

Now where did I put those brownies….

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The Houses

I decided to layer and quilt one of my TLE Monthly Mixer projects – thinking I just might be able to finish that one off tonight.  Well likely not since then I decided that rather than just overall meander, I would quilt each house a bit differently and in threads to match the houses.

Here’s what the top looks like before it was layered.

20160905_1  It was a free Craftsy pattern – Hillside Houses -I only did about half the houses because I wanted it to fit a certain spot in my sewing room.  It measures about 60 ” wide by 35″ tall and uses all Kona Solids and Kaffe Fassett prints and stripes.  It’s very bright.

I’ve got bright pink thread in the machine so I’ve quilted the pink house in the top row (except of the gray roof)

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and am now moving to the pink house along the bottom. But it was time to stop for a moment and get on the computer to order dinner.  I have quilting to do – can’t be cooking dinner so pizza is ordered.

After I finished layering the houses, I had just enough batting and backing left over to layer this wineglass wall hanging.

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I just snapped a quick photo as it was tossed on the ironing board so the top row of glasses you can’t see.  The fabric in between the glasses  has all kinds of corkscrews and wine bottle openers and corks on it and the border is purple and green ivy rint but it has a “grape” leaves kind of feel to it.  The wine glasses are some from a block swap many years ago.

Into the Sewing Room

After a little visit with Mom and Dad, lunch at Chili’s and a stop at Trader Joe’s, they are now on their way home and I have my latte by my side along with my favorite biscotti from Trader Joe’s (chocolate hazelnut), Anne of Green Gables marathon on TV (I can never see those movies too many times) and I’m ready to get to some sewing.

I did find something at Trader Joe’s that I’ve never seen before.  Occasionally I come across a recipe that calls for whipping cream.  That is just not something I ever have here since I so seldom use it.

jBut Trader Joe’s has shelf stable whipping cream in a box.     So now I just have to remember what recipes I saw recently that I needed it for and try it out.  Definitely a handy thing to have tucked in the cupboard for those infrequent times I really need it.   Looking forward to trying it out.    My only other TJ’s purchase – the $2.99 bottle of Pinot Grigio that I use in my French Onion Soup.  I have everything else for it so now I can cook up a big pot and stick some in the freezer.

 

So on to some sewing.

My first project – none of the ones I previously showed you.  Since I’ll be “toasting in the New Year” in my sewing room, I found a little wall hanging top that sort of reflects that.  So after I find a piece of backing fabric, I’ll be layering that up and machine quilting it.  Should be a quick project.  The on to my Winter Wishes – Gift Tags quilt.

Happy New Year’s Eve

I’m in the sewing room (well that’s where the computer is) but my plans for getting a start on finishing those quilting projects has been pushed back a bit.  My parents are stopping on their way through to take me out to lunch so a very good reason not to get an early morning start.

For first I will see if I can finish sorting the boxes and baskets of yarny things that I shoved I the sewing room.  And then I will see if I can get a little wallhanging layered.  Don’t know that I’ll start quilting on it today since I want to work on this quilt.

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It’s the Winter Wishes Gift Tag design I did for Hoffman California Fabrics.  I loved this gray/silver metallic colorway and have most of the actual fabrics from the quilt but will adding in a few fabrics from the stash to fill in for the fabrics I’m missing.   The outer border fabric is so pretty in real life – the image above doesn’t do it justice.  But in my opinion, you can never go wrong with the Hoffman cardinal prints – I love them all.   I’m going to have to go shopping for some black buttons for the top of the gift tags.

Speaking of the cardinal prints – the other project I want to finish this winter is the very first quilt design I ever did for Hoffman California Fabrics — Snowglobes.  Below is just the image of the design – my version I still need to finish the applique for 2 or three blocks so that I can then set it together.

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Many of my blog readers said they’d be hanging out in their sewing rooms ringing in the new year working on their own projects they want to finish up as a jump start to tacking those WIPs.  So if you are one of those people, leave a comment sharing what you are working on and if possible, a link in your comment to images of what you are working on since it’s always fun to see the work of others.

 

 

Last on the Needles Report of 2016

I had to look at the computer to figure out what day it is – must mean I’m enjoying my time off! 🙂  Which I am. 20161230_1

Today’s cleaning project – I have gathered yarn which just got tucked in cabinets or shelves where it didn’t belong, WIP, yarn I pulled for projects but then got sidetracked with some other project so didn’t start it and that  needs to be put away again, I see a finished project or two in there that just need ends woven in, etc.  Sorting through this mess (and another basket of WIP I just remembered) and I’ll have the knitting “stuff” under control.

In the meantime – what’s on the needles –

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Swatches — I finished off and blocked the Cascade Doeskin Heather swatch I had found partially completed.  Now I just need to do some measuring and weighing of the swatch to see if I have enough of that yarn in the stash to make the Oak Knoll CustomFit vest.

The bottom swatch I started last night.  That is actually the yarn I bought  (one of the colors I got) to make the Betwixt Blanket Cape that starts next week in a KAL. But the more I look at this yarn, the more I think I really want a sweater out of it.  The blanket cape has some color work (just two colors) – not hard looking but not in the round so a bit more putzy.  And I think I may want to make some alterations to the cape – make it longer for sure since I’m tall – so as I was moving all this yarn about I thought it would be neat to make it out of leftovers.  Maybe use one main color and all kinds of other colors– I don’t have to worry about running short on yarn if it make it larger so I think the cape project will go on the back burner for a while and the yarn I bought for it will be made into a cardigan.

I’m planning to do a CustomFit version of  the Currituck cardigan. I’ve been wanting to do a striped cardigan for a while and I like how the main color switches to the opposite at the top and bottom of the sweater.  I’ll leave the pockets off tho.   The gray tweedy yarn is Kenzie HiKoo by Skacel and it’s a wool/nylon/alpaca/angora/silk blend.  First time I’ve ever bought it but it feels very nice – even better that it was on sale.  I think the gray and blue colors I got will look great in this sweater.

My CustomFit version of Fern Ridge is coming along nicely. Back done and working on right front.

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And now as promised previously, I’m giving away one of my CustomFit credits so someone else can try the CustomFit program for themselves.  If you read my blog on a regular basis, you know I love using CustomFit to make my sweaters.  The down and dirty description of CustomFit – you knit a swatch using whatever yarn you want with a needle size that gives you a fabric you like (you do not need to meet someone else’s gauge), your sweater pattern is generated based on your specific swatch information and your specific measurement set.  Accurate measurements are key to getting a great fitting sweater.   You can find out more information on the CustomFit website – Customfit.makewearlove.com – and the Amy Herzog Ravelry group is full of great information and friendly people to help answer questions – and of course images of all kinds of great looking sweaters on all kinds of body types for inspiration.

The CustomFit Credit is for the equivalent of the price of a pattern.  It’s free to set up your account on the CustomFit website and your first pattern you generate will be free with the credit code I give away.   If you want to be included in the random drawing for the CustomFit credit (and please be sure that you will use it – I don’t want it to go to waste), leave a comment on this blog post telling me what your current knitting project is and if you’ve ever made a sweater before.   One comment per person and  I’ll pick a winner on New Year’s Day.

The coffee breaks get longer

All week long I’ve been working on various cleaning up, clearing out, reorganization projects but I think my coffee breaks are getting longer and longer before I get back to a project.

I was putting away yarn and in one of the baskets I found a swatch – part of a swatch.

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I forgot I hadn’t finished this swatch.  But I know what it’s for — the yarn is Cascade sport weight in doeskin heather – there’s a bit more variation in the shades than my swatch shows – and it’s to make a CustomFit vest called Oak Knoll.  I like the casual style of this vest and the doeskin heather will be a great color to wear with anything.  I just have to keep my fingers crossed that I have enough of it in the stash – which I won’t know until after blocking my swatch and entering the info into CF.

I also got sidetracked because I came across a stack of tops and pulled these two out of the stack since they are one I want to get quilted and finished soon.

Baxter’s Wild Ride

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just needs to be layered and quilted.

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And this snow lady.  I had originally planned to machine applique (satin stitch) the parts that are applique but I may do some hand buttonhole stitching on them instead.   They are just fused in place at the moment.  Then again – I may just raw edge quilt them in place as I quilt it.  Need to think on this one a bit more to decide what I want to do.

Tangled String

knitweaveYou’ll see some new buttons in the blog sidebar.  One for 2017 Quilt Finishes and one for 2017 knitting and weaving finishes (tangled strings).

My knitting plan for 2017 is much the same as my quilting plan.  Finish the many WIP and of course start many new projects – but use the lovely yarns in my stash.

I’ve removed the button for the Stained Glass Cowl KAL.  I think Judy and I may be the only ones who were actually knitting it.   You can still find the info in the sidebar link list of pages tho.  That is one of the projects on my must finish list.

As I was trying to finish the cleaning of the sewing room, I also had been gathering all the knitting projects in the works and dumping them in a pile so I can sort them, figure out where I left off on them (hopefully most of that is noted on the patterns) and put the patterns with the projects and prioritize them in some way.

Mostly I’ve just made a big messy pile of yarn and needles all dumped together and a pile of patterns I need to sort through — haven’t gotten far on the organizing and sorting.

Then in corner of the living room under my dining table I found this box – out of sight out of mind –

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Hmm – parts of a sweater (I think that one is ready for seaming but I need to check) and there’s yarn under that sweater.  I haven’t dug any of it out yet but I think there is mostly a stack of patterns under that sweater that I had sorted through previously (or it might be full of yarn ……hmmmm).    Guess that box is up next for sorting to see what surprises I find.

I do believe I am nearly finished with the sewing room and sewing room closet rearranging and clearing out.  I wandered out to the dumpsters with a bag of garbage from the sewing room earlier today (first time I have actually done more than just stick  my head out the door since getting home last  Friday).  Cold, but not horrible and we had two days of melting snow so other than part of the sidewalk back by me (that I had to stop and salt down the ice since I have a package delivery coming and don’t want the delivery person to kill themself) the parking lot was dry.  Much better than last week’s cold and it was sunny.  Plus, I knew two DVDs I had ordered were in my mailbox so had to go retrieve them so I have something fun to watch tonight.

And I actually made a bit of progress in the bedroom closet (which is a disaster area).  But I think that closet will wait until tomorrow for me to get back to it.  Could be time for a knitting break… the back of my sweater is finished and I cast on one of the fronts last night and have about 4″ done.  I like how the texture stitch looks on the front.  Photos later.

 

 

 

Starting the New Year off right in my sewing room….

I have a quilting plan.  It’s still formulating …. but as I was cleaning the sewing room recently -taking stuff off of shelves so I could move them – refolding and restacking the stuff that was on them – moving stacks of quilt tops to be finished – shoving tubs containing swap blocks to the side…. but uppermost in my mind was  “I really need to finish some of these!”   There are things I’ve totally forgotten about, things I love, fabrics I love in the stash, patterns I’ve been wanting to try.

aNo matter how much cleaning out I do, there are still always some things left behind that I keep thinking I should finish but I know I never will — because I no longer love them or maybe never did or  someone gives me quilt tops or blocks started by some family member of theirs because  no one in their family sews or has an interest in them and they think  since I do quilt, I of course will want them (which is not necessarily so, but I add them to my piles anyway).    So there  will be items leaving my sewing room (and please don’t leave comments with all the places you think I should  donate them – I do donate what is appropriate to my local Good Will where they are much appreciated.)

There are things I’ve totally forgotten I made or swapped — I was thinking just the other day it’s been a long time since we did one of our swaps through The Quilting Post yahoo group and maybe I should come up with a new one.  But then I think of the tubs of swap blocks from all those past swaps that still need to be set together into quilt tops and the cost of postage involved with swapping and I think I’ll just play with the swap blocks I’ve got.

There are items that got put aside (probably to start some new project) that need very little done to them in order to complete them.   There are quilt tops to be quilted and then there are more quilt tops to be quilted, and once those are done there are still more quilt tops to be quilted (do you get the idea I have a few quilt tops needing quilting??)  And did I mention swap blocks to be used – lots of them.  c

So in 2017 – I’m going to concentrate on “what I’ve got” — the fabric I’ve got, the projects I’ve got started, in all the various stages of progress  like the swap blocks to become projects and quit tops —  and  getting them to completion.

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So my plan is to start the New Year off right – . To pull some of those projects and have my own little “sew-in” on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day  (yes, I’m a party animal on New Year’s Eve but won’t be wearing a party hat light this quilting party animal  – – – – >>

I haven’t decided yet what project I’ll start on but my plan is for the completion of WIP to far outweigh any newly started projects this year.  I’m not saying I won’t start new projects (says the woman who can see just beyond the computer screen a lovely quilt pattern and batik collection she received from a California quilting friend as a Christmas gift that she is itching to start on) but I seriously want to complete some lots of those already started.

qiotNow I also have an idea formulating for a new quilt along project or block of the month.  I love Christmas quilts (even tho there is not a finished one to go on my bed) and as I was listening to some Christmas music the other day I was thinking of a quilt with blocks based on Christmas Carols and other holiday songs – each block representing either a song title or specific lyrics in the song.   I’ve written down a few ideas  but need to mull this idea over a bit more before putting mouse to EQ drawing program to see what I might come up with.

Sew  — will you be partying with me on New Year’s Eve  working on some quilting project that will be your first quilty finish in 2017?

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Christmas 2016

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Merry Christmas!   Compared to the past two weeks – it’s a very warm Christmas.  The temps started warming up overnight and everything was dripping and melting when I opened the door – and later it was raining.   Now I just need to remember to look first before setting foot outside to see if the sidewalks are dry or if rain is frozen on them.  Tho tomorrow is to be another warm day.

I spent most of the day puttering – on the computer doing a few things – knitting a bit – planning knitting – and of course today is Miss Babs yearly Gratitude sale where everything is on sale so I did buy yarn for two cowls I want to make and a Gleener since several of my sweaters – handknit and store bought – need some pill/fuzzy remediation.  So not much damage done there.

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Finally I found buttons on Etsy to use on my DaVinci Cowl Villa Borghese Park .  There’s more photos on my Ravelry Project Page and link to the pattern.  I sewed the buttons back to back on both sides of the cowl so it can be worn with either side showing since both sides pooled differently as shown below.

And I’ve just cast on for my version of the DaVinci Cowl III Spanish Steps .  It will be in these two yarns.

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The multicolor is a The Loopy Ewe Monthly Colorway exclusive – This Old Barn.

I also stuck a blueberry streusel topped pie in the oven this afternoon so I have a holiday treat to eat.    I had a mix of fresh and frozen blueberries to use up since I’m clearing some stuff out of the freezer (before tomorrow’s grocery delivery) and had the pie pan filled a bit too high so put some in a separate, crustless container to try to avoid blueberry bubbling all over my oven.  I was fairly lucky – there only two drips that bubbled over and they landed on the potatoes backing at the same time in the rack below.  Blueberry glazed backed potatoes?  I don’t think that will be a new taste sensation that will catch on.

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Happy Christmas Eve

Christmas holidays already.  Seems like it was summer no so long ago.  Tho the several inches of new very wet snow that arrived yesterday afternoon and evening convince me that I’m wrong.  It was a slippery ride home on the bus but since so many people took off yesterday or left early, there were not as many people on the roads as I was headed home from work so the bus moved along at a pretty stead pace – despite the three fender benders that had traffic backed up.

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I’m officially on vacation now – so exactly why did I wake up at 4:30 a.m.??? After half an hour I decided to get up.  Might as well get something done.  I’m on vacation until after the New Year but didn’t plan ahead very well – got my grocery order placed so Monday it can be delivered (not that there isn’t plenty of things here but by that time I’ll be running out out of coffee and diet coke — can’t be having that!

My plans for vacation – hanging out, doing a lot of machine quilting (I’ve got a large wedding quilt which will take quite a bit of time to quilt) and another wedding quilt to start.  Closets to clean out and some other deep cleaning around here.  Maybe even some shopping for a new loveseat or small couch.

I started this sweater earlier this week – my CF Version of Fern Ridge.

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I love the texture stitch – I can’t get it to show up real well in photos but the above photo shows it fairly well.  It’s a pie crust basket weave stitch above the ribbing.  This photo also really shows the yarn color well of this heathered yarn.  No a solid lilac but a bit of blueish and darker purple shades make it up.

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I started this sweater on Monday and as of last night I got this far – just 10 rows or less from starting the armholes.

More coffee is needed and then on to a bit of straightening up of the living room and kitchen (okay – a lot of straightening up because they are a mess).  I never did get the Christmas tree set up – too crowded in my living room this year. But did pull the manger out of the box to put up on the bookshelf before dragging the tree tub back out of the middle of the living room.