Machine quilting progress

Time for a back and arm and finger stretching break.  I finally this morning pulled out that long-neglected Asian fabric themed wedding quilt that is past due.   All the framing pieces are quilted and I just finished off all the quilting within the blocks.

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This is the quilting on  back of one of the larger squares.

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I just finished basting down the outer edge of the outside border.  Just the outside border and background fabric area around the blocks to quilt and I think I may need to add a little more quilting to the smaller inner border but will wait to see about that.  So now I can take out all the pins, trim some threads, and get back to quilting.  If I can finish off all the background quilting today I will be very happy.  There is some hope that the bride and groom will get this quilt BEFORE the 1.5 year anniversary mark.😉

There’s some bananas on the counter needing to be baked into something and I’m so looking forward to dinner tonight — I finally remembered yesterday to buy  the bottle of wine so that I can make Chicken Chablis – in my opinion the best chicken dish ever as I might have mentioned one or two or three times before…..  I’ve been so hungry for it.  Then later this week I can also make some French onion soup since I use the same type of wine in that.

 

Barn Dance Blocks

I pulled all my blocks off the design wall to start laying the out in their proper spaces.  This quilt is larger than my design wall so I’ve got a partial row of blocks on the floor and several blocks not in place because one of the stash shelving units is in the way.

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Not a great photo – I think I need to clean off the camera lens perhaps.  I’ll leave the blocks up on the design wall for a while (while I finish machine quilting another quilt) and maybe move a few blocks around or maybe  not move any.  I’ll have to wait and see.

A great use for wooden skewers

I have a whole bunch of skewers that have been in the back of a kitchen drawer for ages.  They don’t get used much and actually, they probably get used more for things other than “skewering” food.

Did you know they are great for blocking cowls?

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My Twilight cowl is drying (along with my sweater swatch).   As you can see I’ve got wooden skewers in each end – great way to get things to be nice and even.  Just put the skewers inside the cowl and put a pin at top and bottom of wooden skewer to hold it in place and no pins needed down the sides.

Saturday – May 7, 2016

Everything is leafing up, and weeding up — but some of them are pretty weeds.  The hillside is first covered in little clumps of white violets with a few purple ones here and there.  Then just as they are getting pretty this taller weed that gets a little white flower on top grows up to hid the violets.  Now if I could just get it thru whatever bird’s head that is insistent that it wants to build a next between the outdoor light and the siding I would be happy.  I keep pulling down long strands of weeds and grasses and it keeps bringing a few back.

This morning – breakfast out with a friend and running a few errands so now it’s time to get busy and get some cleaning done around here.  I hope later this afternoon to get into the sewing room and take all my Barn Dance blocks down off the design wall and then get them put back up in the proper layout with the background filler sections — or at least as much as will fit on the wall — to see how it looks.

I was good and resisted the urge to cut into those new batiks and start on this quilt.

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I have not even opened the box of batiks yet to avoid further temptation.

Speaking of this quilt – I’ve gotten lots of emails asking when I will be making this pattern available and other questions about it.  First never assume it’s a question of “when” since I simply don’t have time to write up everything to share.  Second, this one will NOT be made available.  This is based on a copyrighted pattern -in my  blog post of last Friday I gave the name of the design and the designer’s name and the fabric company name where I found it.  It’s a free pattern so if you’d like to make it, you can find it on the pattern company’s website. In my image I simply made it twice as wide and longer than the original design and mocked it up in EQ so I could see how it would look with a bunch of different fabrics for my own purposes.  That does not make it mine to share with you however.

It should be a really easy quilt to stitch up – all HSTs.  The hardest part will be making sure to match up the proper fabrics -which is why I drew it up in EQ so I can print the blank layout and add numbers for each fabric which I think will make it easier for me to map out and keep my fabric order correct.

I did continue to knit on my Cardipalooza last night – nearly ready to start the sleeve cap decreases –  but I did not resist taking a break from that and swatching this yarn which I showed you yesterday – the Bella Lino.

20160507_2.JPGThis is interesting yarn.  It looks really thin but it’s listed as a DK weight.  I used the smaller of the needle sizes listed on the ball band since I knit more towards the looser side than tighter and really like the fabric it makes.  It will be interesting to see how it feels after I wash and block it.  The yarn itself feels rather ropey – it’s not hard to knit with but it definitely feels sort of crispy.  Yet when I rub the swatch against my skin and I think linen is supposed to get softer as it is worn.

I need to block a cowl so decided I’d get this swatch knit so I can soak it at the same time.  But I see this being a great summer short sleeved sweater to wear with jeans.

On the Needles – May 6, 2016

Since I had to wait on some knitting needles to arrive in order to start my CustomFit first A-line sweater and try out that new feature, I have been knitting steadily on my Cardipalooza cardigan.   I have also figured out how to fix my issue with the neckline of said sweater.

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As you can see on the piece on the left above – there’s a stockinet stitch sort of triangle on the inner neck edge  – I didn’t want the lace to interfere (leave holes where my yarn overs are in the lace pattern) right where I need to pick up the neckline stitches. My plan was to let just two repeats of lace go up to the shoulder.  I was toying with one collar idea that would have covered up that area anyway.   But I tried something different when I did the left front of the sweater and there’s a very little area of non-lace and I don’t think I ended up with any problems along the edge for when I pick up the stitches.

So, I’ll be ripping back the one section to the start of the neck edge and trying to remember exactly how I did the other side and fix it.

In the meantime, I’m moving right along on the first sleeve.  They are wide sleeves – they were going to be 3/4 but I’m thinking about making them just slightly below my elbow instead since this is more a spring/summer sweater in this yarn.

20160506_4Instead of the ribbed edge I originally planned, I decided to start with the lace patter for just a few repeats on the sleeve edge.  It will be slightly scalloped when blocked.  I wish I would have done that to the bottom of the sweater pieces rather than the ribbing there too but I’ll save that idea for another sweater since I’m soooo not ripping all that back.

I also got this week the third color of this Bella Lino yarn – which is also a summer yarn – linen, cotton and rayon blend.

20160506_5It says it’s DK but looks thinner but since whatever I make will be a CustomFit pattern I’ll just make a swatch and it won’t really matter.  Projects on Ravelry show it knits up as subtle long stripes.  I couldn’t decide on a color – I like both the bluer one and the greener one so I decided to get the neutral one and I’m planning to alternate all three as I knit and see how that looks.

But back to my cardi this evening.  I’m hoping to get one sleeve finished off tonight.

Check out the other on the needles reports at Patchwork Times — Judy is working on a gorgeous red sweater so check it out.

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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