Pain in the Neck

Yesterday upon getting out of bed, I turned my head and something happened to my neck. It was very painful, I went to my chiropractor and she worked on it for a bit. I was able turn my head to the right about 15 degrees by the end of the day. Lots of sitting and icing made time for hand stitching. I finished the Elefantz block I’ve been working on this month, while my Q24 stitched out another two rows of pantographs. I finished the moth and started the border on the NB sampler too.

Then I moved to stitching the Changed World sampler. This new sampler is the one I started on August 1st, as a SAL with Judy at Patchwork Times, Denise at Just Quilting and Jo at Jo’s Country Junction. It’s a loose and stitch when you can sort of SAL. Check ins are Fridays, and this is what I have for the first five days of stitching. Since I am now stitching two samplers, I have decided that I will stitch the Newcastle Bouquet on even numbered days and Changed world on odd numbered days.

Lower border and corner squares

I’m using a hoop for this one, I started out using a Q-snap frame, but it was too heavy. I liked the space it had for stitching and the ease of getting the fabric into it, but it was too much strain on my wrist to hold it. I switched to a little hoop after trying a 10 inch plastic hoop (too heavy) and it seems to be okay. Recently I saw a hoop holder on a floss-tube, made by Lowery. I liked that it was adjustable and metal with a small footprint. It also can hold hoops or frames, my current holder is only for scroll frames. I found one at Love Crafts and with a promotional coupon and a bit of wavering (do I really need it?) I ordered it. I feel like I am at the dentist when I sit in my stitching chair. I have a light over my head, a magnifier and small table on the right, the frame holder on the left and a foot stool in front. My DH wonders why I don’t jump up to get the phone when it rings.

A little more sewing was done on the Washboard road top. I squared up all the blocks and started to web the top. I think I’ll get it done this weekend. Especially because I have two days to myself, my DH is going on a short road trip with friends. Thankfully, my neck is feeling much better today and I’ll be sewing a lot this weekend.

Be Kind.

Washboard Road

Today I am working on getting the Washboard road blocks organized. I have all of the halves made, and since I want to make an ombre/fade pattern with them I figured that it would be easier this way. I spent the last few days making the pieces, and yes, I made half of them facing the wrong way. In my defense, I am using solid color fabrics, so it can easy to flip things around or over to the wrong side. I just feel a bit ashamed (not really, more mad at myself) that I did it 79 times. Chain piecing is a blessing and a burden, at least that’s what I told myself as I was ripping out and resewing those parts. I am using the spare bed in the guest room to lay them out on, not too sure I want to do the bending down thing today.

Last night I started to stitch the moth in the left hand corner of the Newcastle Bouquet piece. This moth is what first attracted me to this sampler, I saw Jo Kramer stitching it last year and wanted to make it too. I also got and kitted up Heaven and Nature (another Teresa Kogut design) because of Jo showing hers. On that sampler, it was a raccoon that attracted me. Sunday, August 1 starts the Changed World SAL hosted by Patchwork Times, Jo’s Country Junction, and Just Quilting’. This will be a departure of my stead fast rule for my cross stitching, ‘only one project at a time’. As I am well aware, it is hard for me to show restraint when it comes to starting new things. I always have a few Quilty things going on, a knitting piece, handwork and a pile of UFOs. When I re-started cross stitching, I told myself I wasn’t going to be taken in by the start-itis I have with all my other hobbies/etc. I have all the excuses (I just wrote excesses there) its a smaller piece, its a SAL, I like the pattern, I’m almost done with the Newcastle… I think I will alternate days I stitch on each, that’s reasonable, lol.

I finally finished the LA quilting on the large Chickadee panel quilt. You probably heard my sigh of relief as those last four locking stitches ended on the last row. I am planning on putting the yellow and navy table runner I made recently on the end of the backing of this quilt. I think there may be enough, but I just wanted to be done, so I left, and enjoyed my sense of accomplishment. This quilt used up about 600 yards of thread, not too bad, there wasn’t a lot of back stitching or retracing of the design (Thankful flowers). It was a complicated design though, so my machine had to slow down a bit for all those curves and bubbles. Each row took about two hours and fifteen minute to stitch out. There was no thread breakage and the only time I had to stop was when I ran out of bobbin thread mid-row. I want to finish the other two tops with the Julie Paschkis fabrics in them, that I made earlier this year. I am thinking of a paw print panto though, as they have cat and animal themed prints.

Be Kind.

A little teal

I recently got a pattern from Highway 10 Designs, called ‘Washboard Road’. I cut all the pieces for the throw size yesterday and started sewing them together. It uses a jelly roll and 3 1/4 yards of background, I had a jelly roll of solid teal shades and enough plain vanilla white to do this. The hard part will be getting the blocks to play nicely together. I am planning on an ombre sort of look, fading from light to dark.

The Newcastle Bouquet cross stitch marathon is continuing. I am not going to finish it before Sunday, but I feel like I have made progress. I am starting the Changed World SAL on August 1, so I will have two projects going at once. I would rather not do this, because I know I’ll end up with a UFO. It is a slippery slope with quilting, and I didn’t want to start back in with the cross stitchery. Changed World is a smaller piece, finished size is 9″ x 14″, while Newcastle is a bit bigger at 17″ x 10″. Also NB is on 40 count linen, while CW is 36 count. I am going to stitch CW in a hoop, so NB will stay on the frame, switching between them won’t be too difficult as I will still need the magnifier to stitch.

I was out shopping last week in a neighboring town/city, and parked in front of their local Goodwill store. Once I got my errand done, I figured I would go in to check out any frames that may work for cross stitch. They had a bunch of framed “art”, and I found one that may work so I went to up to pay for it. While standing in line I noticed a woman ahead of me holding two Omni-grid rulers. I asked her where she found them and she said in the back area, and that there was one left. I went back and looked, and there were two, a 12 ½ inch square and a 21″ x 8″, they were marked 4.99 and 6.99, woohoo! score! I hope the person who donated them knows they went to two people who appreciate them.

Going to try to get another row of quilting done today, small goals. I really like the way this is stitching out on my Chickadee quilt so far. I have enough room on the backing to add this table runner I “whipped up” this past weekend. I want to do some ruler work on it. Another Quick Curve Ruler project called Summer Citrus from the book ‘One Wonderful Curve’.

Off to sew a bunch of tiny X’s.

Be Kind.

Curves Ahead

I got the Posh Snowball top together. I wanted to add an outer border of the dark brown print, but I didn’t have enough left over. So I made another white and small square border, then cut and pressed the binding. I really like how this turned out, I am not sure how I want to quilt it though.

Yesterday I got the two quilts, Small Chickadee and the Bees, squared up and bound (above, right). I was pleasantly surprised at how nice the dark brown binding looked against the black. I was able to put the bigger Chickadee panel quilt on the frame too. I found a panto that has flowers and circles much like those on the fabric. It is called Thankful Flowers, and it takes about two hours to stitch a row. Thank goodness I had the sense to mount this top longways, as there are only 5 rows. Ten plus hours of quilting, it is a good thing I can multitask.

Speaking of, I have been working on this BOM by Elefantz, called Simple Days. I just finished the first blocks embroidery, and downloaded the sixth block of the nine block quilt. I have two more blocks sewn together, but its the embroidery that takes a while.

This is block two

I am contemplating starting something new. I want to explore the curves a bit more, with the Sew Kind of Wonderful quick curve rulers. Maybe a table runner, since I finally received the fabric I ordered 5 weeks ago for one. I like this one, a bit mid-century modern, below.

Lastly, I received the pastel batiks I ordered for the borders of the snails trails baby quilts. Got one done yesterday, hoping to get the peachy one done today. I positioned the blocks differently on each, I can’t decide which one I like better.

Be Kind.

Going in Circles

The blocks for the Posh Snowball quilt are done. There was a whole lot of assembly line sewing going on for the past few days. Each block has thirteen pieces, after each segment is sewn together there is a curve to be cut. Then more sewing cutting and finally squaring up. This quilt is very rich looking, like a box of chocolates. I still need to cut and put together the sashing pieces, they will break up the rich darkness a bit. I did enjoy making these blocks, there is a certain satisfaction to sewing a curve that works.

Still stitching almost daily on the Newcastle Bouquet. I am still getting up the courage to start the border. I bought another batch of DMC and linen yesterday for a free chart, “Set Her Sails” from Susan Ache. I am planning on making it into a small pillow. The finished size is 12 x 11 ish. I want to leave it set up next to the long arm, that way while I am waiting for a row to machine stitch out, I can hand stitch a row or two. I have been resisting having two cross stitch projects going at the same time. But it is a slippery slope, and I really want to finish the Newcastle Bouquet before starting the Changed World SAL.

I’m also starting the third shawl in the Curious Handmade KAL, as soon as the yarn I ordered gets here. I didn’t stitch the second (of six) shawl, because it was another one of garter stitch. Too much garter stitch gets boring, this third shawl is called the Wild Bees Wrap, and it starts with a square center and then gets to be a long rectangle with the addition of side knitting. The pattern called for three colors, Blue, light blue and golden brown, of which only one was available in my stash. I managed to resist buying yarn for three days, but caved to a sale at Knit Picks.

Be Kind.

Summer browns

Here in California, the summer colors are tan and brown. In May, the greens are peaking and by July they are done. The pretty hills are golden with the occasional live oak tree dotting them, and it’s dry. I just got back from visiting the east coast, where I was rained on during tropical storm Elsa. I even got to see a lighting storm, and local street flooding, good to be home now though.

Yesterday I worked on getting the snails trail blocks together to make tops, I decided on two small quilts as the pastel colors are so light I feel that a larger quilt would look more like a color wash. I will add a 4 inch border to these, one pink and the other mint, just waiting for it to get here. I have a large selection of batik fabrics, but it is mostly blues and earth/jewel tones. I also cut up all the scraps from the layer cake pieces I used with the accuquilt die. There were enough HSTs to make a doll quilt with.

I got another row sewn on the two quilts on the long arm as well. I don’t remember if I posted about these two, the bee quilt is from last year, and the chickadee quilt is from the left overs from the larger version. I am doing an Ivy leaf panto on them and just to make it more challenging, I resized it for the bee quilt. It takes a long time to stitch out one row, as there is a lot of back stitching. I like doing two quilts at once, a 108 wide backing and the same thread colors makes it a bit easier.

I am getting more stitching done on the Newcastle Bouquet cross stitch. The last picture I have is from June 30, I stitched a lot on it before I went away, and completed a few more leaves and such in the past two days.

I wonder if I can finish it before August when I start the Changed World SAL. I got my pattern and floss, I had eight of the required colors in my floss collection, Yay! Today I want to serge the edges of the linen, I have a few other pieces of even-weave that could use an edge finish too. The edges don’t seem to be much of a problem with the scroll frame, but once I use the hoop to stitch, there is unraveling. I’m going to do the outer border of Newcastle in the hoop, too many color changes to be flipping the piece over and back.

This week I am starting a new quilt top, using Sew Kind of Wonderful’s Creative Curves ruler. I have a fat quarter bundle and some scraps of a R. Kauffman line called La Scala I want to use in the pattern called Posh Snowball. Test block done, I like it, not too much of a learning curve.

Be Kind.

Summer Sherbet

A few weeks ago I was shopping at Fabric.com (Amazon really) and got four things. They were on sale, a ten FQ pack of Liberty of London prints, two Timeless treasures Tonga treats 10″ batik and a Hungry Animals panel from Riley Blake. I have been wanting to make a snails trail quilt since I got a Block-on-Board die from Accuquilt last year. The 10″ Tonga squares were the right size to stack 6 at a pass on the die. I had some Snow color batik yardage in my stash that has a bluish tint to it, that became the background. It took me about an hour to cut the pieces for forty 8″ blocks. Most of that time was ironing the squares, for some reason, they fold them into quarters to package them. I think it maybe to differentiate their 10″ stacks from the Layercake branding. The colors of the Tonga treat are sherbet pastels, it’ll be a soft looking quilt. I am chain piecing these, step by step, but I had to make one as a guide. Not sure if I want to make two small quilts or one large.

I think I had a pretty productive June this year. I had three completely finished quilts, three finished tops, a finished shawl, and finished all the appliqué and corrected the errant block for Halloween figs. I also finished the quilting on Hampton Square and squared it up, no binding yet. Oh, and I sold four quilts this month too. Phew. I hope July works out as well.

The stitching on the Newcastle Bouquet is progressing, last night I got one of the flowers finished and the second bird started. I am thinking about how to do/start the borders. I might just leave them until last, stitching them around the finished center. I am worried that I’ll be off a noticeable amount on one side if I stitch them in sections (top, bottom and sides). Is it silly to have thoughts of the stitching lines not meeting after sewing them around for weeks? No amount of fudging or adapting the design can hide that. Ripping out stitches on 40 count linen is not for the timid. Believe me there are already enough smudges/fudges in this project that I have forgotten about them. I recently saw a new sampler, ‘Changed World’ by Scarlett house. I think it sums up 2020 pretty well. Judy at Patchwork times is going to start it as a SAL in August. I bought the chart and the called for linen, I’m going to stitch it in DMC colors, which I don’t have yet. Well, I may have some, but I’m not sure until I get the pattern listing. Did you know there are 489 different DMC colors? I think I have about half of them, why is that I never seem to have the ones I need?

Off to stitch a few more snails.

Be Kind.

40 Seeds

For the past few days I have been working on a commissioned quilt. It is to be a gift from a proud grandma for her grandson who is off to college July 1. I finished the top yesterday, much thanks to: choosing simple pattern (double Irish chain), Accuquilt strip cutting die, strip piecing and chain sewing. 25 blocks done and assembled. The quilt could only be 55″ square as that was as big as the Minky backing supplied. Today, I am going to quilt it, I have a simple panto I like called Bayside, it does not take an hour per row. I will be taking the current quilt, Minuet, off the frame, I am using a strawberry and leaves panto on it that takes an hour to do one pass. In reality it takes even longer, due to thread breaking and bobbin changing. I don’t know what it is about that quilt, but it is trying my patience. Once I get the school quilt done, I’ll put the baby boy quilt (DH’s friends) on and then contemplate finishing the last three rows of the strawberry minuet.

In between speed piecing, I finished the ten pumpkin seed blocks I needed to finish putting the Halloween Figs BOM together. Forty seeds, it took longer than I thought it would. I may put some buttons over the centers of them, as I’m not really happy with the way the points look. I was able to put the top center together last night. I put it up on the design wall to admire it as I sewed all the scalloped blocks together for the pieced section of the borders.

Halloween Figs top center

That’s when I saw it, argh! I can’t leave it that way. Maybe today while I am watching the panto stitch, I’ll hang out with Jack and try to fix the block without tears and swear words. Other than that, I really like this quilt. It is a bit smaller (66×72) than I thought it would be, the Christmas figs version is a lot bigger (78×98). The soft grays and mellow oranges don’t scream Halloween, maybe I’ll add a hanging sleeve. It’ll be a while before this top is quilted though. My “to be quilted” pile is getting too big, to the point where I was thinking I should stop making tops and get it caught up. I can think of ten off the top of my head, five are queen bed sized. No time like the present.

Cross stitching is progressing too, I am branching out to the left side as I would like to stitch the other bird. While looking for something unrelated to sewing, I found this small cross stitch piece. It is the first one I made, a dimensions kit, that used wool and Aida cloth. It looks pretty good, I re-framed it. I have made a lot of little X’s in the past 35 years.

Be Kind.

Halloween Sno-Cone

I worked on a new quilt pattern yesterday, made 20 blocks in two sessions. I did take a break to do some errands, including going to Costco. I haven’t been in the store for almost 18 months, I had been using InstaCart shopping service though. I was very excited to see they have finally added self checkout! After the excursion, I came home to put it all together, today I’ll add the borders. The pattern is available in three sizes from Elizabeth Eastmond at Occasional Piece Quilt . Its called Sun and Sea, I did the 10 inch block version, called Summer Snowcone, being that hers is red white and blue. Remember the “Bomb Pop”, the RWB ice pop that made your mouth blue? I think I may have some novelty fabric around here with bomb pops printed on it.

Since I had enough Halloween fabric from a recent trip to LQS, I used it. The line is called ‘Ghouls and Goodies” by Stacy Lest Hsu for Moda , I added white, black and acid green Moda solids. The border will have the pumpkin print with white and green triangles.

The fabric for the commission quilt came in yesterdays mail, pretty quick too. Maybe USPS has gotten their act together in Texas. Things I had ordered from shops there previously had taken two to three weeks, even with priority mailing. Lots of cutting today, the finished quilt will be 60″x 60″ – 25 blocks in Irish chain.

Nautical Blue, Silver and White

Time to get moving.

Be Kind.

Three More

Due to the very hot weather last week I was able to complete a few more things. Staying inside with the air-conditioning and sewing was very appealing.

Not the best picture, but I completed the Chickadee panel quilt. I had to draft a slightly smaller block for the border corners, fortunately I had enough solid fabrics to do so. I think it looks like a tapestry, its large enough for a twin bed. I should iron it too.

Next up is an Irish chain top for a friend of my DH, who is going to be a father in the beginning of July. While I was finishing the Chickadee quilt, my DH passed by and told me that this friend’s wife was going to have another baby. I told him that was nice to hear, he then came up with the idea that I should make them a quilt. Hmm. I had just committed to making a graduation quilt for a friend of a friend, which had to be done on July 1. I had just ordered the fabric for it, so I did have a few days “open” so to speak. I “whipped” up this quilt top in a few hours, strip piecing and chain sewing to the rescue. I also used up some backing scraps, the dark blue small squares. I think the farm animals are really cute.

Madeleine Tosh Patagonia – the colors are brighter than this picture shows. Ice blues, teals and whites.

Last up, I finished the Curling Mists shawl Thursday night. I still had to block it and let it dry, so I didn’t quite make my finish and ship date of Wednesday. I figured that was the latest day that I could ship it and have it be received by the birthday. I did send a card though, that will get there on time 🙂 . The next shawl in the series was revealed, in the Curious Handmade shawl knit a long. It’s a half circle shawl with stripes of star stitch and stripes of garter stitch. I’m not sure I want to make it, I’m a little tired of garter stitch right now.

Next week, the fabric for the commissioned quilt should be here, and I can get that done, I have a quilt (can’t remember the name) on the frame right now, that I made in august 2019, as a mystery quilt. I chose a cute strawberry and leaves panto for it, unfortunately it takes about an hour to quilt out a row. I have seven more to go.

This has borders now, but it’s the only picture I had of it.

Be Kind.