Tuesday, May 21, 2019

It's been a BUSY week!

After almost a month of no sewing action at all, I finally took time to pull out my small machine, cleared off a corner of the dining room table, and pulled together a few quilt tops for the 2019 version of Hands2Help.  Thankfully, the Canadian charity (Victoria's Quilts) this year requested 50" x 70" tops, as opposed to quilts.  It's probably also a good thing that I tend to be easily distracted, because I managed to find several projects that I had started a year or two ago and then abandoned because something more exciting (or necessary) showed up...
So, are you ready for "show and tell"?  First is a quilt that is 100% brand new - I bought all the fabrics 3 weeks ago, and made up this "Warm Wishes" quilt (a former Project Linus quilt pattern).  I tried to find a focus fabric that was gender-neutral - it took me 35 minutes to find this print, and only 5 more to find the 3 solids to go with it.





Next is this "Precious Gems" top - it's a layer cake pattern.  I had all the blocks made up last year, so I only had to sew them together to finish it.
Then there's this "Plus" quilt.  I had cut a lot of the 5" squares last winter when I was making a masculine one for the local hospital Pediatric Critical Care Unit.  However, once I started laying the blocks out, I realized that I needed a LOT more, so I spent a few hours pulling assorted fabrics and cutting squares.  Once the blocks were laid out, the sewing happened pretty quickly!
The next one was almost a freebie - I won a FQ bundle from Art Gallery Fabrics when they introduced their "Indigo and Aster" fabric line.  I chose to use the more masculine fabrics, and supplemented those fabrics with other AG fabrics that I had in my stash - the white fabric is consistent in all of the blocks.





Next up is a "leftover" quilt.  A few years ago, I participated in a mystery quilt, and completed the top, but never got around to quilting it, because I had made it really big!  I ended up removing a few rows, making a "new" top in a great size for completing and donating.  I put the excess section aside, and came across it a few days ago.  The section was too small for a quilt, but I poked around a little, and found 6 more blocks and 2 more that needed to be assembled - so I stitched them up, added them to the original section, and it ended up big enough for another top!
Now I'm all "sewn out" - and I have a few baby boy sweaters to knit / finish up in the next week or two, so the machine will go back into it's corner....  Hopefully it won't be long before it gets called out of retirement!
Linking up to Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 31, 2019

It's been a busy month!

I thought that I'd better make an appearance here before you think that I've fallen off the face of the earth....   March has been a very busy month, but not exactly in the way that you'd think....  We've undertaken a HUGE reno project.  Back in the early 70's when this house was built, the gas company was on strike, and so no furnaces or gas services of any kind could be installed.  Consequently, the house had electric baseboard heaters in each room - not a big deal when the monthly electricity bills cost less than a week's worth of groceries for a family.  Now however, the price of hydro has gone up a LOT, and we've been watching the monthly bill get higher every season, it seems.  Come to find out that the insulation is also in need of a major overhaul...  So, we're putting in a furnace, re-insulating the basement walls, and replacing the wiring and some of the windows.
Have you ever put a furnace into an existing house?  No?  It means opening up walls to run ductwork into rooms - and we have 3 levels...  So, everything in our basement, family room and sewing room had to be "evacuated" so that ceilings and interior walls could be removed.  Ductwork and furnace installation started yesterday, and should be done in a week or so.  Insulation, wiring and drywall?  who knows....
All this to say that not much stitching has happened.  I had signed up with Leanne Parsons @devotedquilter to do a QAL of her Medallion Magic pattern.  The fabric is bought, but I have no idea where my pattern is right now.  I also signed up for the 2019 Hands2Help challenge again this year, and managed to make a small quilt with fabric left over from a baby quilt I made 3 years ago, and a few burp pads for one of the charities - Jack's Basket, so they'll be going out in the mail on Monday.
 
 I also did up a few blocks for Kat's block drive for Covered in Love
and finished a pile of blue Raspberry Kiss blocks for Dara @stitchedquiltingco - she'll make them into quilts for families of fallen Canadian police officers.

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I've also been working on some knitting - prayer shawls mostly - and a baby sweater has been started for a baby due in mid-April - I'll share photos when they get finished. 
Linking to Quilting is More Fun Than Housework and Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Thursday, February 7, 2019

A quick project.

Two weeks ago, a friend mentioned that her Women's Institute was working to make little quilts and knitted / crocheted afghans for donation to the local Children's Hospital.  They'll wrap a stuffed toy in them, and a book will complete the gift - they'll be given to children when they're admitted.
Even though I'm not an official member of the WI, I sometimes help with projects like this, and offered to make a few little quilts.
I had a few ideas, and cut up some orange and yellow fabrics to make into HST units; I also cut up some of my "Eye Spy" fabrics into little squares to turn into a Plus quilt; and finally, I bought a Grunge Dots mini charm pack to add to a Grunge mini charm pack that I already had. I paired up each of the Grunge fabrics with a Grunge Dots fabric and sewed them into 4 patches, then sewed them into strips, and finally, into a big square.
I had some lightweight batting, and after a bit of a mis-step, assembled 4 little quilts "envelope" style - and they're ready to donate tomorrow!
I think they're kind of cute!  Hopefully the kids will think so too!
Linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Can I Get a Whoop-whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict,  and Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More fun Than Housework.  Thanks for your encouragement!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

What I've been up to...

I can't believe that we're already a month into this new year!  I've been really busy, but don't have a lot to show for it....
My sister and I are executors for my dad's estate, and we've been busy working on that - lots of appointments and phone calls, etc - and we aren't done yet, but there's a light at the end of the tunnel!
So, what else have I been doing?  A lot of knitting, mostly.  Our church's craft group provides Prayer Shawls to people in our congregation that are going through rough times - people facing cancer diagnoses, the loss of loved ones, or maybe other significant losses.  Sometimes we have a few shawls in reserve, and sometimes we need to give out a few in a month - like this past month.  Of course, that means that we have to have more shawls made!  I've made 2 in the past few weeks - one has already been gifted, the other is ready to go...  This one will probably go to a man - it's made with a Caron Cake,"plied" with a lightweight dark grey solid yarn.











The second one has already been given to a young woman.

I did manage to get into the sewing room too for an hour here and there, and made up a stack of blue Raspberry Kiss blocks.  As soon as I can find my 12.5" square ruler, I'll trim these up and send them off to B.C. where Dara of Stitched Quilting Co. will assemble these blocks (and others) into quilts that will be delivered to the families of slain Canadian police officers.  
Hoping that they aren't needed very soon!
I found a big box yesterday that looked like it contained some fabric - but it turns out it had 3 or 4 quilts pin-basted and ready to quilt in it, and another 2 tops and a pile of blocks that need to be assembled, so I don't think that I'm going to run out of tasks for a while!
Thanks for dropping by!
Linking up to Quilting is More Fun Than Housework and Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Monday, December 31, 2018

Last post for 2018

I realized that now I can finally post all of the things I've been busy with this month - mostly knitting, but some quilty things too.
The socks that I was working on have been completed - I knit a pair for both of my daughters for Christmas.


 I've shown these in a previous post....  They went to daughter #2.










And the pair knit for daughter #1 - modeled so well!
Then there was the hat for grandson #2...   His older brother has a lighter blue version, and we couldn't have just one hat for 2 boys!













And I finished up some charity quilts - mostly tops that just needed quilting and binding.....

And our year ended up with family time, some planned, some very unexpected, as my father passed away rather suddenly.  He was 89, and longed to be with mom...  He's rejoicing in heaven with her now!

Linking up with Cynthia's "Oh Scrap" post.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

These UFOs have seen the light!

I've been keeping occupied lately by moving - moving from our large, bright, warm living room, to my (much smaller, colder, darker) sewing room.  We had friends from New York visiting for a few days last month, and we really needed to be able to sit in the living room in the evenings.  But, just bringing down all the mess from the living room wasn't going to work - I was already having trouble finding things in my little sewing room space, and adding more "stuff" wasn't going to do anyone any good.  So, about 2 weeks before our guests arrived, I started sorting through the piles, and half-made blocks, batting scraps, etc. trying to make some sense of it.  Some of the things have been hiding well for almost the 10 years that we've been living here, and I couldn't see the point of holding on to them any longer.  Three trips to the thrift store later....  I could finally see some room for all of the projects coming downstairs - and then I decided to relocate some of the furniture too.  My big cutting table went out, and two smaller tables moved in.  My sewing table also found a new home, as I'll be sewing on one of the 2 tables that moved in.  It's snug, but workable - and it's still a work in process, but there's a light at the end of the tunnel!  As a reward for all my hard work, I decided that I could spare a few hours to quilt a small Project Linus quilt.  The top was made in the summer, so it just needed to be quilted and bound - and I got that done!

The fabric is Rainy Day from Me and My Sister designs.
 In the process of searching for some backing fabric, I discovered another top that's been finished for 2 or 3 years.  I lost my enthusiasm for the project at that point and just set it aside.  I'd been fabric shopping with my daughter a few weeks ago, and bought some fabrics "just because", and they ended up being "just right" for this quilt - and the leftover backing fabric scraps ended up becoming the binding!

The bright fabrics on the front are all from the same (forgotten) line - the backing is a Windham fabric that I got for $7.00/m!
Sewing in my sewing room through the day isn't too bad - but it's harder at night, because the light just isn't great - so I've been getting some knitting done then.  I've been working on socks for Christmas presents - I shared a pic of the first pair in my last post.  The second pair is well on it's way to completion:
The yarn is Knitpicks "Stroll Hand Painted Sock Yarn" - the colour is a combination of aquas and browns, and looks a little richer in real life.  I should be able to finish the second sock in the next week or two - and I hope to have enough time left to knit a hat for my youngest grandson - more on that in my next post!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

I'm still alive! Honestly!

Yikes, it's been a long time since I blogged - but you probably knew that already...  It's the usual story - too many things on the go at once, and getting distracted by too many other "fun" things (and some not so fun ones...).
I have been working on some fun projects though!  I started (and finished) two quilts for the Pediatric Critical Care Unit of a local hospital, and have a couple of knitting finishes as well.
First off is another "Have Faith" quilt: 
 The background is a muted teal, and the "pluses" are mostly blue or grey tones.
My second one for the PCCU is a pattern that I tested for another blogger (Jan Ochterbeck) - she called her version "Star Spangled Spiral", featuring red, white and blue fabrics.  I knew immediately that I wanted to use a Zen Chic fabric from their Modern Background Colorbox line, but there were a number of issues in getting it in time, so I switched to a black and white print instead.  I used green and blue shades of Kona for the accents and Snow for the contrasting centers - and here it is: 
 
(I noticed just now that I have one block turned wrong on the left side, so that will have to be corrected before I get it quilted completely).  This quilt is a great size for a teenage boy!

Another kind of project has also kept my hands busy - knitting.  Our church craft group provides prayer shawls for congregants that are going through difficult times, and we've had the need for quite a few in the past few weeks.  I started (and finished) 2 shawls this past month, but forgot to get a pic of the one - here's the second one:
It's made with dark teal and variegated teal yarns held together to make a warm and cozy shawl.  I hope that it brings a lot of comfort to the recipient.
And finally, I've started knitting socks for Christmas gifts for a few special people - the first pair is done!   The yarn is Knitpicks "Stroll".  They're a fairly quick knit and so satisfying to work on in the evenings when it's too dark to see what I'm sewing!
And now I'm tired!  I still have a lot of projects on the go - at least one more pair of socks, and maybe a sweater for myself, but they'll have to wait for another day!
Thanks for reading!
Linking up to Sarah's Can I get a whoop-whoop, and Cynthia's Oh Scrap posts.