Catching up

My daughter and I were discussing the word catsup yesterday.  She was reminiscing about a spelling test in which the word catsup was given.  Of course she wrote “Ketchup”, and didn’t receive credit, she is still miffed about it, lol.

I have been catching up for the last ten days or so.  We went on vacation to London and Edinburgh for the first part of July.  Saw great concerts, Art, and old friends, ate delicious food and drank appropriate amounts of beer, ale, and whisky.  We even saw the Rosetta Stone (checked that off my list) and sat on top of King Arthur’s Seat.IMG_3474

Back home I’ve been trying to get over the eight hour time difference, slowly adding hours to my sleep duration.  This left lots of time for knitting and contemplation.  I finished my “Ivy Over the Door” shawl Saturday.  This is the second in the series from Helen Stewart and The Shawl Society III.  This shawl has 545 rows of 112 stitches, so 61,040 stitches.  Upon blocking it I noticed a slight difference in the beginning of my knitting and the end.  I think in my excitement (hurry?) to get started I misread the pattern and instead of eight stitches in-between the columns of twisted stitches I knit 13.  Over all, I’m really happy with the way this turned out.  The colors remind me of wintry skies and gray clouds.  The next shawl is called “Wick”, I have to wait until Thursday to see it and then I’ll pick some colors.

On the quilting front, I quilted the Crayon Box quilt (a Jinny Beyer pattern) and my mini lightning quilt from the Jaybird Pattern.  While binding the Crayon Box, I used the end of a spool of purple thread, down to the last 12 inches.

I loaded up the next quilt on the frame, Daydreams (pattern by Kate Colleran) it’s a log cabin block set in a barn raising square on point.  I’m doing feathers and waving lines, haven’t decided on the borders yet.  This photo is from Craftsy, the kit is on sale if you’re interested 😉1502985074752-20170718_503031_sweetreveie_daydreams_24158_wall

I also have been working on my PIQF entry.  I have about 5 1/2 more weeks to finish it before the entry deadline.  I am hoping to have the fusing done this week and start to  quilt and then embellish it.  No pictures yet, sorry.

Lastly, my remodel is progressing, sheet rock, windows and fire place are installed.  Tiling next week, yeah!

Linking up with Judy on Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday.

Thanks for reading.

Quilted not Bound

I finished quilting the Storm at Sea quilt yesterday.  I still don’t know why it took so long, I put it on the frame May 31st and then 28 days passed.  I really didn’t like quilting this quilt.  I used waves and circles to follow the movement created by the pattern.  A lot of stops and starts that could quell anyones enthusiasm.  Last week I came up with the idea to add some bubbles to the waves, I think it helped create some interest and texture.  That being said, this quilt has a lot going on.  I’m going to bind it today.




I loaded up the pillow tops I made to go with this quilt.  They are a Bargello pattern using the batik fabrics left over from the first S@S quilt.  I used a panto called Seashells and Pearls, it took about four hours to stitch out the two 22″ x 24″ tops.  Computerized pantograph quilting looks great, but it can take a long time.


I was productive while the machine was stitching though.  I started the next shawl of The Shawl Society III, it’s called Over the Ivy Door.  The pattern calls for brown and green and is very pretty as that.  I had enough green in my stash, but no brown that would work.  I did have four skeins of Knit Picks Hawthorne that were part of a kit.  I’m going to knit the gray for the brown, fade into the gray-blue and then into the turquoise- gray-purple.  The finished size is about 21 x 85 a nice size rectangle to wrap up in.


Also finished this week was the paper boat quilt top.  I’m planning on simple horizontal waves to quilt this one.


Linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for “Can I get a Whoop Whoop?” today.


Paper boats

This week I have been paper foundation piecing boats.  They are from a free PDF pattern on the RJR website by Cotton and Steel.  I found the background fabric on sale a few months ago and came across it recently while looking for something else.  It promptly went to the top of the “To-Do” pile.  Each boat is made from two mirror image parts.  Simple paper foundation piecing, with large pieces and simple straight lines.

When I first started paper foundation piecing, I took a class with Judy Mathieson on mariners compass piecing.  The method she taught was a bit different than the traditional way.  Instead of using plain paper she used freezer paper, and instead of sewing through the paper she had us fold the pattern on the sewing lines and then sew the two pieces of fabric together next to the fold.  The first piece of fabric was held to to the freezer paper by a quick press of a hot iron.  Then after each fabric was sewn on it was cut with 1/4 added and pressed to “glue” it steady to the foundation.  Once all the piecing is done, all you do is peel off the freezer paper.  The tedious picking and tearing of the paper foundation is gone, and you can reuse your foundation many times.

My last two quilts have been paper pieced through the paper, Storm at Sea tops.  I don’t think the fold and sew method would have worked for them, as there were just too many pieces and blocks.  This Paper Boat pattern lends itself nicely to this technique.  Instead of freezer paper, I used plain printer paper and a bit of washable school glue stick.

I took some phone pictures while sewing yesterday, kind of a tutorial, hope you can see and understand the methodology better.

I have also been working on my PIQF entry and I have almost finished the Maytham shawl from Shawl society III.  Sadly, or rather happily, I don’t have a design wall up as my house is in a minor state of chaos while we are remodeling.  My sewing room is intact, however I have to run my machine and iron with an extension cord to the next room.  I’m just happy not to have to move my thing from that room again.  It’s been a little more than two years since the last time I did that, post from May 2016 Still here  .IMG_3419

Linking up with Small Quilts and Doll Quilts today for Design Wall Monday


For those that don’t know, tinking is un-knitting.  I am seriously thinking of tinking my hemp sweater. I don’t like how it is finishing up, I thought if I just kept knitting it would evolve into a sweater I would wear.  The pattern isn’t well written, which might be part of the problem.  It’s vague in many places, and I don’t have enough sweater construction experience to figure it through.  The pattern has you make three tubes, a body and two sleeves, then somehow they are knit together and the yoke is formed.  I am having trouble with the pattern interfering with the diagonal decreases.  I think it is in part due to the centering of the pattern on the sleeves.  In short, it’s a hot mess.

Happily, Curious Handmade  has released the first shawl pattern of the Shawl Society lll.  It’s called Maytham, part of the Secret Garden theme this year.

From the pattern notes:

THE MAGIC OF The Secret Garden takes place high in the Yorkshire Moors, in the grand and gloomy Misselthwaite Manor and its rambling estate. Frances Hodgson Burnett found the inspiration for her story almost 20 years before she penned its first lines, when she moved to a noble but slightly shabby country house, Great Maytham Hall. The sprawling, overgrown walled gardens which surrounded the house sparked a passion in the author, who immediately set to work bringing them back to life, ripping out the wild brambles, digging out old hedges, and planting masses of roses. 

I am using three skeins of Malabrigo yarn in plums and eggplant.


In quilting news, I got the Storm at Sea on the frame yesterday.  I decided to try 80/20 batting with this quilt.  It’s a little lighter weight and a bit puffier than Warm and Natural 100% cotton.  I’m quilting simple wavy lines to accent the illusion curves of the pattern.  These lines will run diagonally, so there will either be lots of scrolling or stopping and starting.  Decisions, decisions.

I am also working on my That’ll be the Day.  PIQF quilt.  I have a basic pattern drawn to size, but I need to color/shade it in with colored pencils to figure out fabric placement.  Then I think I can trace it on to vellum and cut out a bazillion pattern pieces.  I need to figure out if I am going to use wonder-under or glue.  I was recently on Susan Carlsons website, she makes and teaches fabric collages.  There is a tutorial there called Why Glue?  which is intriguing to me.  I would like to try it on this project, as it is a show quilt and not a “to be used” quilt.  More decisions to be made.

Linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for “Can I get a Whoop Whoop?” Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday, and Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday.

Enjoying the quiet

It’s Saturday, and it’s quiet here.  Last Monday the demolition of half of my living space started.  They get here at 8am and pack up at 4pm.  They took down the fireplace, all the walls and windows and the flooring, we are left with an empty shell.  They’ll be back Tuesday.  Unfortunately they have turned off the power to my sewing room, I could run an extension cord, but this will force me to finish the quilt currently on my frame.

I did finish the center of the Storm at Sea, here it is all de-papered and pressed.


I received the fabric I ordered for my PIQF entry.  I ordered a bolt of Wonder-Under, which is on its way, and 48″ wide paper to draw my full size pattern on.  I’d like to get the pattern drawn this week, and figure out my fabric layout/usage.  Simple enough, right?

I joined the Shawl Society lll KAL, it starts 5/31/18, six shawls in six months.  I picked up a few skeins of yarn while I was in Half Moon Bay this week.  There is a nice yarn shop there called Fengari, I found two color ways that I liked together, there were so many options.  This first shawl is a large one, 1200 yards, I may use a “life line” for this one, as mistakes are sure to ensue and ripping back rows of 400+ stitches isn’t fun.IMG_3401

Linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for “Can I get a Whoop Whoop?” a day late today.

Still at Sea

I am diligently working on the Storm at Sea quilt.  I finished all the components (441) for the blocks this week and started to piece the blocks (49) together.  I have found the tearing the paper off at the four way intersections is helpful in lining up the seams.  I am also thinking that it will make removing all the paper easier, as there won’t be any that is caught in those intersections.  I did accidentally discover that having wet fingers help to remove those papers.  I am thinking that when to time comes, I’ll rig up a sponge in a saucer of water to use while ripping all those foundations off.


I am thinking of entering a quilt in this years PIQF show.  The theme is “That’ll be the day…” they also have a Mid Century Mod section again.  I entered my MCM quilt last year,  there were about 20 quilts in the category.  I thought that most of them ignored the mid century and just went with modern design.  Lots of negative space, solid colors, and lots of quilting.  Here are a few that I liked, but didn’t think were especially indicative of MCM.


The entries are due 8/29, I might be able to come up with something.  The Buddy Holly song keeps running through my head.

Well, that’ll be the day, when you say goodbye
Yes, that’ll be the day, when you make me cry
You say you’re gonna leave, you know it’s a lie
‘Cause that’ll be the day when I die…

Sorry for the ear worm 🙂

Linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for “Can I get a Whoop Whoop?” today.

Not much happening

My design wall is blank today.  I haven’t been working on anything new, just sewing the endless pieces for the Storm at Sea quilt.  Only 78 more to go.  I broke them into piles of ten, so I can sit and sew for a bit and feel like I accomplished something.

I bought some fabric last week.  I saw this pretty panel in the connecting threads catalog, and found it, along with coordinating fabrics, at the Fat Quarter Shop .  The line is called “Santa Fe” by Sarah Watts for Cotton and Steel.


I have a design brewing in my head, I want to see if I can work it out in EQ8 and actually produce a finished design of my own.

I have been knitting on my hemp sweater sleeve.  I had to re-start it, as I figured out that I wasn’t increasing enough stitches and my sleeve was too long and narrow.  The instructions were a bit vague, something like “increase at each end”. but the sleeve is knit in the round, so technically there aren’t two ends, just a beginning.

I am also trying to decide wether or not to join the Curious Handmade Shawl KAL this year.  It starts next week, six shawls in six months.  I am currently involved with the Sock KAL, but that is a pair of socks every two months.  I may just get the pattern set and keep it in my library.  Helen Stewart patterns are so well written, and the resulting knitwear is very nice.  The price works out to be around 20.00 for six different shawl patterns.  Her blog is at Curious Handmade  she also does a regular podcast that is interesting.

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday today.


More piecing

I have been working on piecing this week.  So many pieces.  It’s beginning to feel like a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt.  Make 150 of these, cut 475 of these, combine these to make this.  I’m happy that this is just a double bed size quilt.  I also went and got more paper foundations printed, the right size this time.  When did printing get so expensive?  I went to a mailing center for the first set and it was 18 cents a sheet, I asked for a discount, due to volume and got them at 16 cents.  This time I went to a chain printing shop and used their DIY machine for 13 cents a sheet.  I am wondering if it is cheaper to just print at home.  The ink cartridges are so expensive, and laser toner is too.  Quick math: a black ink cartridge for my machine is 38.99 and it will print ~480 sheets which works out to about 8 cents a sheet.  Answered my own question there.


In between the sewing marathons, I have been knitting a sweater pattern called “All Over Lace”.  I’m using hemp yarn, which isn’t the easiest yarn to work with, but I didn’t know that when I bought it.  I got the yarn/pattern from Lana Knits at Stitches West back in February.  I saw and felt the sample sweater and really liked the drape and look of it.  I didn’t realize that the sample sweater had been washed and handled into its soft drape-y-ness.  Hemp yarn is a lot like linen, crunchy feeling, sometimes I feel like I could fold and crease it.  This company has a few different kinds of hemp yarn, AllHemp and AllHemp Lux are the ones I got.  The Lux is a bit more processed, so it is softer to begin with, sort of like new jeans compared to old broken in jeans.  I started the sleeve yesterday, hoping I don’t end up with a one sleeved sweater due to Second Sleeve (sock) Syndrome.


I did some straightening of my sewing room, not quite spring cleaning, but now there are a few less piles and a bit less clutter.  I changed out a short book case for a taller one, and got the books in it organized.   I am trying to get a list together of all the projects I have in my to-do box.  These are projects that I haven’t started, and aren’t UFOs.  That’s a different list.  I try to keep things together for each one, but as time passes, the ideas/patterns get lost, or separated from their pile.  I thought a Master list might help, it seems to be having an eye opening effect as well.  So many projects so little time, so much fabric…nah, that’s not a problem.

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday today.  Judy is finishing up her Dear Jane quilt, only three more blocks, wow.

Assembly line

This past week I have been working on my “tamed” version (as opposed to the Chaos version) of the batik Storm at Sea quilt. I cut most of the pieces only to realize that I didn’t have enough fabric.  I carefully did all the math and figured out I was about 3 yards short of the lightest blue.  This necessitated a trip to the LQS for more.  There was still plenty left on the bolt, although I hadn’t started sewing at that point, so getting a different one wouldn’t have mattered too much. I would have to recut the hundreds of pieces I had, but luck was on my side.

I put together a sample block, as I want to use it as a reference to make the next 48.  I sewed all nine components, and lay them out to see how it was looking, and to make sure they were all facing the right way and in the correct place.  Something didn’t look right.

The diamond in a rectangle blocks were a 1/2 inch too big.  Thankfully I had only made four of those, I need 196 of them for the double/full size quilt.  Let’s hear it for sample blocks!  I couldn’t figure out why the paper pattern was bigger, I printed them out from the same web site Quilters Cache and they worked for the first two I had done. I had printed three at home, taped them together and had them multi-copied at a local office store.  Then I realized that I didn’t measure the one inch box before I printed the page off the web.  The other parts were printed from extra papers I had left over from the first S@S I made using them.  Sigh.  My consolation is that those five other units are correctly sized.

I’ve been chain piecing the corner blocks for a few days now.  I try to do 50 a day, but realistically it’s more like thirty.  The squaring up is an extra time consuming step.  Not that I mind, because having perfectly square units and blocks is the reward.


In other doings, I got all the needed fabrics and pattern for the Forest Floor quilt.  I am hoping to get to it next.  I am thinking I need to make a list of projects that I have all the materials for, and should be making.  I’ve been having too many “Oh I forgot about this” moments when looking for other things in my stash.  I think there are at least ten, maybe I need some goals, or something.  They aren’t official UFOs, but still…

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for design wall Monday.  Judy is working on her Dear Jane quilt this week, check it out.


Consistency  – the agreement or harmony of parts or features to one another or a whole.

This week I worked on putting the blocks for a log cabin top together.  This was not the first time, I’ve done plenty of log cabin blocks over the years.  I like them, they are easy to cut, assembly line sew, and there is a myriad of  ways to put them together.  The main thing about them is consistency.  Consistently sized pieces, seams and blocks.  My blocks always turn out 1/2 inch smaller than they should. It’s just the way it is. I’ve tried pressing them different ways, thin thread, thick thread, starch, no starch, squaring as I go, the list goes on.  I have accepted this consistency of mine and I will move on.  This quilt top is all log cabins, so as long as they are all the same size, it will go together and no one will ever suspect they aren’t the “right” size.  I just noticed that there is a block turned in the second row, I’ll fix it before I sew them together.


The problems begin when combining them with other blocks.  Like I had with assembling the “Simply Amish 2″ quilt from a few years ago.  Those LCB’s were taken apart and re-sewn with a 1/8” seam allowance, which made for the right size in the end.  I am wondering it I should make all my LCBs with 1/8 seam allowance hence forth, as if I learned from my mistakes ;). My next project with LCB’s is called “Forest Floor” by Wing and a Prayer quilts.  Its got 16 cabins in it and some elongated ones in the borders.  I really like the colors and composition of this quilt.  Plus I have a whole set of digital quilt designs that go with it.


But first I need to start and finish the Blue Storm at Sea quilt.  I got the fabrics together, and now I have to get the foundations printed.  Maybe today, as I have to drive over to civilization and I’ll be passing a few Kinkos or Office depots for sure. There will be math involved in figuring out how many sheets, but as long as its easier to figure than taxes, I’m good.

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for design wall Monday.  Its her birthday, stop by and wish her a happy day!