Thursday, August 3, 2017

Knitting and cards...

It's been far too long since my last post, and I apologize for that.  Part of the reason is that my sewing machine up and died, and I've been too busy to even look at replacement machines.  I have a VERY part-time job, mostly just June - August, and that's kept me busy; as well, our garden has me hopping - between planting, pulling weeds and harvesting / processing, I haven't had much spare time.  Thankfully, I've been able to keep up my outings with my father, and also be there for my mother-in-love, and for my kids and grandsons!
Mind you, I haven't had time to sit around with my hands in my lap!  My mom never sat down without a knitting or crochet project in her hands, and I've picked up that habit.  I love the Toronto Blue Jays (major league baseball team), and try to catch their games on TV, but I have a mindless knitting project on the needles so that I can keep up with the game, and accomplish something useful at the same time!
This is my latest "baby" sweater - you may recall that I was almost to the point of joining the sleeves to the body of the sweater in my last post.  I'm happy to say that the sweater is finished and gifted!


The pattern is Tenderheart by TinCan Knits.  I LOVE this pattern!  I currently have 2 more in progress - one for a little girl, and one for a baby boy.  I'll share pics of my progress soon.
I've also stolen a few minutes to make a few cards...  A dear friend had surgery recently, and was sure she had experienced a set-back;  I know that a card won't solve her problems, but it hopefully helps to know that someone is thinking about you and praying for you!  I made 3 different "encouragement" 
cards and sent the light pink one off to her.  I'm very happy to report that she saw her doctor yesterday, and, after a scan, she was sent home with the good news that everything is on-track, and going exactly as it's supposed to be!
(I found out late last night that another friend fell and broke her hand - no sewing or quilting for her for at least 6 weeks - so the white card will be heading her way later today).
And now it's time to head back out to the garden - there are beans and cucumbers to pick!

Monday, June 19, 2017

My newest quilt! and some knitting..

A few years ago, I purchased a fat quarter pack of Project Linus fabrics, and some yardage from the same line.  I was sort-of involved with making afghans and quilts for Project Linus at the time, but, as often happens, life took a turn, and I got busy with other things.  Now I've come full-circle, and decided to pull out those fabrics and actually make something with them.
So, first things first - what quilt pattern should I use?  I looked through the various quilts that I have bookmarked over the years, and also my Pinterest boards, and finally decided on "Hugs and Kisses".  I was able to get 2 - 10" squares cut from each fat quarter.  There were 13 fabrics that were usable for the blocks (the other fabrics had white backgrounds - they'll be used in other PL quilts), so I ended up with 26 blocks.  One block finished too small (?) and I set one more aside, and made a quilt with 4 blocks per row, and 6 rows.  I used the red Snoopy print for the backing and a great striped fabric for the binding, and voila! a completed quilt for Project Linus!
There are two prints with black backgrounds - one is striped, and the other is a text prints that says "Security is a thumb and a blanket" - so appropriate for a Project Linus quilt!
I've also been really busy working in the yard - sorry, no photos, but in my spare time I've been getting some knitting done.  It seems like all the young women that are having babies now are having boys, so my "stash" of baby girl gifts is being abandoned...  Knitting boy's sweaters is about the only thing I'm working on lately - including this little pullover for a certain almost-one-year-old little guy.  It's another "Tenderheart" sweater from Tin Can Knits - done up in a soft green this time.  I'm so close to joining the body to the sleeves - and then the stranded colour work gets done...  The photo doesn't do the colour justice - maybe the completed sweater will show more true.


Linking up to Kat's Sew Some Love page.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Kicking off June!

These items were all supposed to be blogged about in May, but somehow, the month has ended, and I didn't get the post written.  Of course, that makes June's first post a bit more exciting then, right?
I did manage to finish the quilt I was working in on my last post - except that it took a wee bit longer to do than my estimate of 20-30 minutes...  Two hours later, I snipped the last of the threads holding it to the machine - and I'm finally getting it's picture taken today.
This quilt will be donated to Project Linus.
I can't remember the name of the fabric, but it's made with 2 charm packs and some Kona Snow.  It's a disappearing 9-patch quilt - so fun and easy to do!  I did a diagonal stitch both ways through each block and also stitched in the ditch around each block.  It's got a bright striped binding to finish.
I also managed to finish a 4-week long knitting project.  I saw notices on Facebook from Red Heart yarn, talking about a shawl knit-along. The pattern looked easy enough (I've been knitting since I was 12, so, about 30 years?  LOL), so I signed up to knit the Textured Triangle Shawl.  It was a lot of fun to knit - so much fun in fact, that I've started a second one and have yarn for a third one!  The yarn for this project is a chunky / bulky weight (size 5), so it went fairly quickly.  I chose a pale grey - it will probably match more clothing colours that way.  I finished a few days after the official deadline - the garden was in desperate need of some attention, so that got in the way, but the shawl is finished now!
I think it's a bit smaller than the pattern suggests (more people commented on the same thing), but it's big enough for me!
Linking up to Sarah's Can I get a Whoop-Whoop, and Kat's Sew Some Love posts.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Final Hands2Help post for 2017

It seems like Hands2Help just got started a week or two ago, but it's already drawing to a close for this year.  I posted my first quilt for the project here - and, as hoped, I managed to finish a second quilt for Project Linus.  I even have a third quilt almost finished!  I'll be dropping these quilts off to our local drop-off next week Tuesday.
This quilt used 2 charm packs from a line of fabric that was promoted as valentine-themed, but I think they work really well for a child's quilt too.  I'd been wanting to try this pattern out for a while, and I love how it turned out!
So, here it is!
My friend Cathy talked me into trying striped fabrics for bindings, and I found this great one in my stash yesterday.  The green stripe in it is the only colour that doesn't appear in either the quilt or the backing fabrics, but green is a sign of new life and new beginnings, so we'll pretend that it's symbolic!
Here's a close-up of the backing and binding:


And finally, the quilt that is oh SO close to being finished.  Another 20 - 30 minutes should do it...


Linking up to Confessions of a Fabric Addict's "Can I get a Whoop Whoop?"  and Kat's Sew Some Love posts.

Friday, May 19, 2017

This is what I've done so far this month....

You're probably thinking that it's about time that I posted something here.  The month is more than half gone, and I've only updated once so far.  I've been keeping busy, but I wasn't sure that you'd want to see photos of half-completed projects, especially when you can't see progress.  Let me assure you, I've been keeping my nose to the grindstone!
The advent of warmer weather means that I'm spending more time outside in the garden.  I've already lost track of how many times I've made rhubarb muffins this spring, and I think that asparagus has been on the menu at least as often.  There are weeds to pull, and plants to move to more appropriate locations as well.  Thankfully, we've had some cooler and rainy days too, and those days have been spent on my quilting projects.
I'm WAY behind on my 150 Canadian Women quilt project, partly because I wanted to make sure that I got my Hands2Help quilts done in time.  I'm hoping to finish at least 2 quilts for Project Linus, and the first one is done.  We'll see how I do with the 2nd one - my sewing machine needs to go the the sewing machine "hospital" for some TLC.  The problem seems to be a gear in the area of the bobbin - hopefully, that's all that needs fixing!  Thankfully, I have an older machine that I can use for piecing, and my quilting machine seems to be working okay, so I managed to get the quilting done on my peach / brown quilt.  I used a wavy line in a grid pattern - the spacing varies a bit, but isn't more than 3.5" in any direction.  I tried Hobbs 80 / 20 for this quilt - I'm curious to find out how well it holds up.  I used the brown from the blocks for the binding - I think it frames it nicely...  What do you think?
 I have another quilt layered and ready to quilt - hopefully it will work for PL too.  No pictures of it yet - hopefully in a few days.
I've also spent a fair bit of time on some knitting projects.  A very dear friend needed shoulder surgery recently - and it may have cost her the job that she's done for the past 16 years.  I thought she might appreciate having a prayer shawl.  Her kids thought she liked purple, and I had a lovely rich shade of purple yarn, as well as a variegated purple, green and cream combination.  I used the 2 yarns together and knit the shawl using the "Feather and Fan" stitch.  I finished it just in time for her to take to the hospital.  I snapped a quick photo of it before it went to her:
The colours are more rich in real life, but you get a rough idea of what it looked like.
And, just because I was in a shawl knitting mood, I signed up to do a Knit-Along, sponsored by Red Heart yarns.  One of their designers, Marly Bird, designed a quick and easy triangular shawl.  A clue is released weekly, and I've managed to keep up so far!  I chose a neutral pale grey, but I'm thinking that I need to knit at least one more!  This is my in-progress shot: 
Again, the colour isn't very true...  The shawl is getting quite wide, and I couldn't show the full width of it, so you'll have to use your imaginations a bit.  The section on the needles is actually the bottom edge so far.  The final section (of four) is another lacy section, and then it will be done!  Quite a few of the participants are using variegated yarn, or are mixing it up with solid-coloured yarn for the stockinette sections, and variegated yarn for the lacy section.  It's got me thinking of using a variegated yarn for my next one.
So, you're almost as caught-up as I am.  I'm hoping / planning to have at least one more post to wrap up my Hands2Help projects.  They're to be sent out to their new homes by June 2nd.
I'm linking up with Sarah's "Can I get a whoop-whoop" and Kat's  "Sew some Love" posts.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Design Wall Monday May 1st

If you saw my design wall post last week, you saw my newest project.  I'd found a quilt kit on Pinterest - and, while I liked the project, a kit only made a 24"x32" quilt - much too small for anything I could donate for Hands2Help.  So, I figured out how to make the blocks, pulled fabrics, and started putting the top together.

I'm happy to report that I finished the top on Saturday!  That makes 2 tops finished in April - the other one was my Quilt UFO project for April.  Now that warmer weather has finally (maybe?) arrived, hubby can get my quilting tables set up again in our enclosed sun porch, and I can get these tops quilted up.
Of course, that means that my design wall needs something new on it!  Judy chose the May UFO project number, 11, which corresponds to my black and white disappearing 9-patch.  It's based on a quilt that Kat chose for a block drive for Covered in Love last year.  I thought that the block would look great using a number of Kona cottons for the center spot in the 9-patch, and I think it looks pretty good so far!  Of course, these blocks are just stuck up on the wall so far - nothing is sewn, and I've already moved a few blocks around since they went up - but have a look:
These are about half of the blocks - can't wait to see it sewn up!
Linking up to Patchwork Times Design Wall, Quilting is more fun than Housework's Oh Scrap! and Lorna's Let's Bee Social posts.


Monday, April 24, 2017

My design wall - April 24, 2017

Hey, I've actually got something up on my design wall!  I haven't had much time to work on any of my on-going projects for any length of time over the past 2 weeks, but I made time on Saturday to start a new one!
I'm SO thankful my daughter warned me not to install Pinterest on my cell phone - she told me that I'd spend all my spare time scrolling through the various pins, and I'd never get anything else done...  So, I resisted - for about 3 weeks...  Last week, I ended up having to wait for someone, and so, to kill a bit of time, I scrolled through the day's offerings - and found this pin.  I really had no use for a kit, and I'd actually have to buy at least 3 or 4 kits to make a quilt the size I needed.  It didn't look too complicated though, so I thought I'd see if I had any fabric to make the quilt.  (See hubby, it DOES pay to have a stash!)  I found exactly the right fabrics, got them cut up and sewed up a bunch of them - and then I noticed that two of the fabrics were directional, and to get the pattern right, every other block would be upside down...  So, back to the fabrics, cut some more, reversing the two "problem" fabrics, and laid out the blocks.
And this is what they look like!
I'm hoping to finish the top this week - not sure if I'll leave it as it is, or put a border on it - I'll have to see what it looks like then.
Linking up to Judy's Design Wall post.