Off the Needles – 8/14/15

First – the stats you’ll find on the Knitting the Stash page.

Stash Yarn knit up to date:  6790  Yarn added to Stash to date:  12,275    Net:  -5,485

I do have a new finish – hot off the needles last night.  The House of Targaryen socks I started in November 2013 – yep it was high time I finished them.  The photo at the link that shows the stitch pattern on leg better is more the true colors of the yarn.  It’s a bit washed out in the photo below.  The yarn is Cephalapod Yarns Skinny Bugga in   Hawaiian Bobtail Squid colorway. I love this yarn but alas Cephalapod Yarns is no more.



The stash numbers above will be taking a bit of a dip next week since it’s the start of Laura Aylor’s Summer’s End MKAL – First Point of Libra.   It starts 8/19/15 and my yarn is ordered.  I forgot I was going to be home on vacation when I ordered the yarn so had it sent to the office where I is hanging out right now rather than here with me where I can swatch (and enjoy its loveliness).

I’m always game for a mystery quilt project – love those – but I have not been enamoured with a couple of the mystery KALs I did so the stars have to align correctly for me to do a MKAL these days.  The most important factor in joining in this one – I love all of this designers shawls and wraps so that bodes very well indeed.  And I’ve been eyeing some lovely gradient yarns, which is what you need to make this project, so I think it was meant to be.  The yarn I chose for it (which has not been added into my stash tally yet since I don’t have it in my hands yet) are from Black Trillium Fibre and oh what lovely gradients!  You can see the yarn I chose here.

Last night I started picking up the neck edge stitches for the ribbing on my Featherweight — it is a long long way around that neckline and I’ll have something like 550 stitches or more to rib.

Today’s vacation plans — work a bit on my PatchKats, one of my sweaters I decided I’m going to block after seaming so I may get started on that, and perhaps put another sweater in to soak so I can get that on the blocking boards.  And there’s some banana bread I want to make.  And one of my most favorite dinners is on tap for tonight.  Baked potatoe, asparagus and Chicken Chablis – my most favorite chicken dish.  Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.  Friend Janet T sent me a cookbook that had the recipe in it but I also found it on line.  If you haven’t tried it – you really should.

The changes I make to the recipe below — I use skinless chicken.  That pitty little 3 ounce can of mushrooms — well if you don’t really like mushrooms I guess you could use it but I use a box of fresh mushrooms sauted in the butter instead.  I can never have too many mushrooms.  And this recipe freezes very well too.  Quick and easy and oh so delicious.


5 tablespoons butter
1 (3-ounce) can mushrooms
Salt and pepper to taste
2 chicken breasts, halved
2/3 cup dry white wine
Sliced Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet, stir in drained mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes over low heat. Remove mushrooms from skillet.
Lightly flour, salt and pepper chicken breasts. Add 3 more tablespoons butter to skillet and brown chicken breasts. Remove chicken from skillet.
Add wine to skillet and bring to boil while scraping bottom and sides of pan. Stir mushrooms in and remove from heat.
Place chicken breasts skin side down in a casserole dish. Pour wine and mushrooms over.
Bake uncovered for 35 minutes in 350 degree F oven. Turn chicken skin side up, spoon mushrooms over and top with thin slices of Swiss cheese. Bake 15 minutes longer, basting frequently.
Servings: 4

Okay – now I’ve made myself very hungry and must to find something to eat for breakfast.


Back from vacation

Well my vacation got off to a slow start — due to snow and blizzard winds mostly near my folks (tho we did get a little snow here last weekend), my Dad was going to come pick me up on Monday to go to their house for a visit and bring me back Friday.   Finally on Wednesday he was able to get here and I was going to come back on Saturday, but more snow and winds delayed that until today – but the roads were dry coming back so it wasn’t a bad trip.

We had a great visit and I finally saw their new condo and my sister and her family’s newest house just a few blocks from my parents.  And my two nephews both made a weekend trip back from their respective colleges since I was going to be there so we had dinner at my sister’s Friday night and got to visit with all of them too.  And I’m glad the weather cooperated so they can easily get back to school today and not worry about snowy roads.

Down on the river near the dams the water is open so they took me down to see the eagles.  I have seen one or two eagles before but I have never seen 50+ eagles all in one place.  It was truly amazing.  It was a very dreary overcast day the day we were there so my photos didn’t turn out great.  Most of them were sitting in the trees across the river so I couldn’t zoom in real close and the flying ones were too fast for me to get a good photo of.  But here are a couple I took.

This was the granddaddy of them all.  He was huge sitting atop part of the dam.

20140202_8 He was  spying what fish he wanted to dived after from up there and then would swoop down

The next two photos are taken of across the river where the eagles were in the trees.  The first is the photo I took and the second is a copy where I put blue dots on the ones I could tell were eagles.  There are even more there but I can’t pick them out but had the camera zoomed as much as I could.  With the binoculars you could easily see at least 50 eagles in the trees across the river and another couple dozen fishing in the open water.  Truly an amazing sight.




Short Stack to Scrap Stack

So here’s the Short Stack I started with, along with one fabric I could add for the challenge which is the solid dark mushroom color.


And after my applique and adding of borders, here’s what’s left of that Short Stack…… just scraps for the trash.



Here’s what I have so far on the design wall with the light border section added to the right and top.  I used nearly every single scrap of the fabric used in the wings — that one is my favorite out of the group.




I could end it like this, or I could add a final fabric border like in the second photo of the blue fabric which is only used in the eyes/eyelids.


20140128_9 I leave it up on the design wall for a while and decide later what I want to do but I think I may leave the blue off.

Can’t believe it’s already headed toward dinner time — need to clean up my mess but want to cut the binding strips first so that I don’t accidentally grab that fabric and use it for something else!

Then I’m definitely going to find a quilt to get comfy under while I spend the evening knitting.  It just does not want to stay warm in here even tho the heat is turn up quite a bit from my usual 60 degrees or so.

I did go a bit crazy on my knitting last night.  I wrote down the number of repeats I needed to do of a decrease sequence  so I could mark each one off as I completed it and even tho it was right there in black and white to repeat 12 times, I had just finished repeat 14 when I realized I had written down too many to do.   No idea how I managed to add two extra repeats when I wrote it down – but actually I needed part of the 13th repeat so only had to rip back about 6 rows which I fixed this morning.

Time to tidy the sewing stuff and stick it back in the sewing room and close that door to keep the cold air in there! and not in my living room. 🙂

More eye candy

a-wovenHere’s a couple more images using the block previously posted in the quilt that I’m searching for a name for here    I didn’t want to post them all originally in color since when searching for a name, many people will base it on the color of the quilt.  I do that sometimes too but wanted to see what names would be suggested when mostly posted gray-scale.  Heck who knows what color this quilt will end up or which layout it will be.   I particularly love this layout where the black makes the woven design pop a bit more.  Must be my new weaving obsession carrying over into the quilts.  Plus the original layout in blue and yellow – is there anything more fresh and summery looking than a blue and yellow quilt?


Now to get back to work on the charity challenge quilt.  Pieces to press before going on to the next stitching step.

I timed my quick trip to the grocery store well.  It was sunny, warm and really windy.  About 10 minutes after I got home, it was dark and really windy, followed by downpour.  The wind has let up and it’s a nice rain going on out there at the moment.


Happy Thanksgiving

  Happy Thanksgiving!  May we all find time to reflect on how truly blessed we are whether off to gatherings large or small or spending time home sewing (like me!) 🙂

I was looking for an image of a fall/thanksgivingy quilt image to put on the blog (this one is Harvest Time and it’s colored in in EQ with some Moda fabrics from a fabric line called Give Thanks – perfect!  I really need to make this wallhanging for next Fall) and looking at this one made me realize I do not have my favorite fall/turkey wallhanging hanging up this year.  When the painters repainted the apartment (how many months ago was that?) I took down all the quilt hangers and I haven’t put them back up yet.  Partly because I was trying to decide if I wanted them in the same places and partly because I hate doing that stuff, making sure they are going up straight, etc.  But I’m going to have to pull the Thankful Bounty and get that hanging rod up back up.

I was invited to a friend/co-worker’s home for dinner today but politely refused since I’ve been planning for more than a month to spend the weekend quilting some quilts I need to get done so I can get them off to EQ Boutique, writing up a couple patterns, and I’ve been thinking on some other projects   – some perhaps for the blog and some for The Quilting Post gals.  So hopefully I’ll be very productive over the next couple  of days, along with some other chores that need to get done.

I was up  bright and early and by 8 a.m.  four little pies were out of the oven and cooling.   Since I don’t really need a full pumpkin pie for me alone, I pulled out the little pie tins and used those.  One can of pumpkin makes exactly 4 pies so it worked out perfect and I can put some of them in the freezer.  I love the little pie tins since they are the perfect size – one little pie is basically the equivalent of two pieces of pie and they are deep dish (not like the little shallow tinfoil ones you can buy) and since they are heavier tins, they bake nice and even.  I always forget about the tho because they would also be great to make quiche in  to freeze some too – I get tired of eating quiche by the time I finish a regular size one.

What else is on the menu  today?  Well somtimes I acutally do buy a little turkey because I love leftover turkey sandwiches.  The only turkey sandwiches I like are made from roasted turkey — not that deli stuff that just doesn’t taste right.  But all that were left at the store would feed an army and I didn’t want that much left over turkey.  Some years I make cornish hen – which I love too.  But when I was at the store the cornish hens had gone up to some ridiculous price and fresh chicken breasts were only 98 cents a pound — a ridiculously low price that I couldn’t pass up so I bought my 2 allowed packages of them.  The breasts are huge and skin on (I hate skinless chicken breasts cause they just get so dried out) so baked chicken, sage stuffing, cranberry sauce (I only eat the jelly kind) and pumpkin pie with cool whip.    I’ll probably throw some vegetable in there too. Yummm. I’m hungry already.  The browned  hamburger, celery and onions that go in the stuffing is all cooked and waiting to be put together with the other ingredients so I don’t have much left to do except figure out when I want to eat!

It’s supposed to be 60 degrees or so today – Thanksgiving in Wisconsin and 60 degrees do not go together.  If I were smart I’d put up the outdoor holiday lights today but not in the mood.  It’s so much more fun when it’s 30 (that is going to be tomorrow’s temp by the way – bit of a  drop, huh?) or colder and the light wires don’t want to un-kink due to the cold. LOL

So time to get dressed and decide what project to work on first.





Another fine mess….

I was in the sewing room straightening up my mess from the last couple of days and things were just seeming really cluttered.   The closet doors were open and that look messy too.  I still haven’t put everything back up on the walls from several months ago now when the entire apartment as repainted.  So there are still photos, pictures, quilts, etc. that were hanging on walls shoved in closets.   I like to change things up — I rearrange furniture frequently, find new storage solutions (no doubt if you’re read the blog for a while you’venoticed I change the look of that every so often) –I like change and trying new things.  However, in the sewing room there are only two options for the shelves of stash — in the closet or out in the room.  I’ve had it both ways and while I was in there tidying,  I decided that I really liked having the shelves in the closet.  It’s not like I’m going through the shelves every day for fabric and since I’m mostly trying to finish works in progress or tops to be quilted, I’m not searching the stash for as much at the moment.  But dang – that’s a big job unloading the shelves in order to move them and emptying the big bookcase in the closet in order to move that.

So mMove these

  Back into the closet in place of this green shelving unit.  The shelving unit in the closet did need cleaning off since that’s where a lot of stuff got stashed when I moved stuff out of the way of the painters.

No I didn’t want to do it so I decided to take a coffee break instead but sitting there sipping my coffee looking at the closet, looking at the shelves — yep time to get busy and move that stuff about.

Part of my nemises in the sewing room is the treadmill.  Do I use it – seldom — should I use it — oh yes – but it’s never sitting in a good place where I can watch tv while I’m on it.  You just can’t (or at least I can’t) walk on the treadmill and look sideways at the tv — you tend to start to want to walk in that direction. LOL   But I think I may have figured out a spot to put it in the living room – more rearranging!

In the meantime, I got the shelving emptied, switched, fabric back on the shelves in the closet, tv moved and hooked back up, so now just have to decided what goes back on the green shelves.

I did get lost for a while digging through the storage tubs of tops waiting to be quilted, baggies of blocks from various swaps, and all kinds of other stuff in progress.  Found those tubs a new home too so they are easier to get at than before.

But more than enough cleaning for one day — time to go relax.  I pulled one wallhanging top out of the tubs that needs a few appliqued items added so may see if I can’t get that one finished off.

Hmm…. it might be more relaxing to go back to work!

Oh — but as I just looked at the time and date on the computer (11:25 p.m. on 7/26)  Happy Birthday to my younger brother Tim!!  Born two days before my birthday but two years after me.  My parents, who have been known to get our birthdays switched around many many times, called today to sing “Happy Unbirthday to you” to me. They got it right this year! LOL

And – 7/27 is the start date for the Camp Loopy 3 project (the last project of camp) so in a half hour I can cast on and get knitting on my project!  I’ve been petting the yarn ever since I bought it because it just feels so nice and soft and I love the colors so can’t wait to get started.  Got to go find my pattern and needles!

Change of Plans

A girl’s entitled to change her mind, right?  LOL  I decided to change the free birthday pattern I’ll be posting on the blog to just a single butterfly – Flitterin’.

  So here’s what it will look like.  It will end up being about a 30″ wallhanging.  I’ve got my butterfly made and just have to make my borders yet and applique the peony in the corner.  I think that will be today’s project among other things tho I’m off to a slow start puttering around this morning.

Backing fabric for a quilt is in the washer, banana muffins have just come out of the over and are cooling, and I’ve got some quiche in the oven warming up so after some brunch, time to get sewing. 

But tell me, why is it every time I take a week off and spend it around the apartment, there’s some maintenance repair going on at the apartment building.  Once, they were putting on a new roof, another time, landscaping outside my door, now it’s scraping and painting the deck above me.  I’m not really complaining — they do a fantastic job with quick and speedy maintenance (and maybe that means the neighbor upstairs has moved which wouldn’t be a bad thing) 😉  But it’s not quite as hot as it has been the last few weeks  so I was going to sit out at the patio table and drink my coffee.  I saw all the paint chips on my table and ground and started sweeping when some guy upstairs called down to tell me when he was done he’d be down with the shop vac to clean up the paint chips.  Yes, they are very tidy with all their work too but since I didn’t relish paint chips (or wet paint) possibly dripping on me and my coffee, another change of plans and I came back inside.  Maybe tomorrow morning…..

And don’t forget, if you use EQ you may want to check back on my birthday.  I’ve got a copy of the Fall Stash 2011 (it was a bargin when I bought Spring Stash 2012 so bought it specifically to use as a give away) that I’ll be giving that away to some lucky EQ user.


How many colors in your box?

When you were young did you always covet the kid who had the hugest box of crayons — you know the one with the built in sharpener —  while you had the 25 or 30 crayons box?  🙂  All those pointly little tips lined up just waiting to be used, the waxy smell of a fresh box — I used to love to color.

Why the talk of crayons? Because I’ve been playing with them so to speak.  One of the prior borders on that starry quilt design I’ve been working on and changing over the past week or so was aptly pointed out by friend Janet that it looked like crayon points.  I really liked the border so decided it needed a quilt of it’s own.  I don’t know that I’m quite finished tweaking with this one yet, but it does have a name — this one told me it’s name as soon as I started working on it.

Coloring Outside the Lines”

   So far, today has started like yesterday.  It’s past lunch ime – I haven’t had anything but coffee so far so I’m starving, and I’m still in my pjs.  I was up very late working on the 2nd clue that came out for the Rockefeller KAL, worked on it a bit more this a.m. and then started playing in EQ again which of course whiles away the hours.  So time to get dressed, make some lunch and perhaps see what I can do about straightening up things around here.  I need to tidy the sewing room a bit before I start on a new project in there.  Or, I may just procrastinate and sit and knit instead!  It is vacation after all. 🙂

A little of this.. a little of that..and Rockefeller spoiler!

Yes -that Rockefeller Spoiler means at the end of this blog post there is a photo of how far I am now on the Rockefeller Mystery KAL and if you are working on it too and don’t want to see what anyone else is making – then don’t scroll down?  Seriously — how could you not want to see how someone else’s is looking?  LOL  I know it’s a mystery but the mystery is we don’t know what the pattern will look like but we’ve all gotten the same first clue and I think it’s incredibly fun to see everyone’s color combinations.  The next clue comes out tomorrow and I’m not done with the first one yet so I need to get knitting.  Good thing I’m on vacation  NOW and all of next week. 🙂

In preparation for vacation – when I hope to get some quilt tops quilted – I ordered some wide backing fabric from  I just happened upon their website as I was looking for backing fabric (trying to find a sale) and they were having a sale so found two different ones to order there.  I ordered the fabrics Sunday and they arrived today – just in time.  I really like the fabrics and would order from them again.

These are the two I got.  The red has little gold sort of swirls – they are metallic but very lightly done so they don’t look too glitzy – I really like the look of it.  The other may end up on the back of a christmas quilt — or maybe not — who knows.  I love green so there are lots of green quilts in the stash.  I’m hoping to really make a dent in stack waiting to be quilted and also ordered some wide backings  from Equilter. I was hoping they would be delivered today but no such luck not until next week  when I won’t be at the office to get them but then if I get one quilt quilted next week that will be good.

Rain – we FINALLY got some rain — deluge, lots of wind and lightening but we didnt’ get the hail so that was good — I was really hoping while I was on vacation I’d be able to sit out on the patio, sip my coffee, knit, work on some quilt designs, read a book …. but the temps are going to go back up (not that they really cooled off much) so I’ll be housebound I think.

Okay – finally my Rockefeller progress

Now to go see how many wedges I still need to finish before tomorrow.


Monday’s Quilting Progress

I didn’t realize it was already approaching 9 p.m. and no one has made me dinner yet!  I really need to hire me a cook for when I’m on vacation since I tend not to want to stop what I’m doing to bother to cook. LOL  I think its popcorn for dinner tonight.

Today I pulled out the Just Butterflies quilt top, pieced the backing and started quilting on it.  I would probably have it all quilted by now and be working on the binding except for the storms this afternoon.  The golf ball size hail missed us as did the 70 mph winds.  But there was lots of ugly sky and lots of lightening so I unplugged my machine for a couple hours while the storms went through.  We ended up with a nice rain – a bit heavy for a little while but not bad and none of the damages that other areas not far away were getting.

So tomorrow, hopefully, I’ll get the quilting finished on that quilt and get the binding attached.  Which will mean another Quilt from the Crate is out of the crate and this one was also one of the past month’s UFO challenge quilts that I didn’t previously get finished so I’ll be one step closer to gettting caught up on the UFO challenge project finishes.

Here’s one corner of the quilt.   There’s a feather design in the outer border.  The sashing, cornerstones, and then the framing around each butterfly are all stitched in the ditch and then there’s some antennae and just some meandering around the butterflies.  It will be another quilt to add to the donation pile.

During the storms I also got about half the binding hand sewn down on the western quilt  – lest you think I was just fritterin away the time. 🙂