Monday, February 29, 2016

February 2016 wrap-up

It's Leap Day!  It only comes once every 4 years of course, but this year it's a little more special because I'm doing the Quilty 366 challenge!  One extra Dancing Plus blocks to make for this year...  and, of course, I had the PERFECT fabric to use for my block!  I've had this adorable Dick and Jane fabric for a few years, and only cut little bits off of it every once in a while - but today was one of those days!  Now you want to see it, don't you?  Here it is:
The Dick and Jane books were some of the first books I read, and I wish that I still had them (I'd be rich!).  
The other thing about it being the 29th today means that I need to show you all the blocks I made for the month - all 29 of them. 
This is going to be one VERY large quilt!
And, finally, I have my RSC '16 blocks done for February - the colour for the month was brown, with the addition of pink if desired - and I had a few browns with pink in them, so I figured that they had to be used.  Before I actually started making these blocks, I thought that using black for the centers would be a great choice, because there's no way that Angela would pick black for a month's colour - but some of the fabrics I chose don't work so well with black... oh well.  It can only get better, right?  (March's colour is purple!)

I'm off to link up at SoScrappy and QuiltyFolk.

Friday, February 26, 2016

On (and off) my needles Feb. 26, 2016

Well, I finally managed to finish my Gather cowl for the Tin Can Knits "New Tricks KAL" on Ravelry.  I tried it on, and discovered that it's not as large as I thought it might be - and that's when I discovered that it's a VERY good idea to read all the pattern details - I knit the child's size...  Now, the point of the KAL is to learn a new skill, and I had fun deciphering the details of smocking, so I met the goal, but I now have a child's size cowl and no one to gift it to!  I love it though!
So, one knitting project done - that means that I can start another one, right?  I'll still work on the 6 or 8 other knitting projects that I have on needles somewhere around the house... most days...  That new project has come about via a couple in our church.  They recently received a prayer shawl when one of them had cancer surgery.  I head up the craft group at our church, and we've now been approached to consider making prayer shawls for member of our congregation going through difficult times.  I've made a few prayer shawls (this one for my friend Ila), and they're designed to be fairly quick and easy.  I decided to make an example to show the ladies at our next meeting - and I found a very simple pattern.  Cast on 57 sts. knit 3, *p3, k3, repeat from * to end.  Repeat for every row until project is approx. 54" long - can it get any easier than that?  There are lots of other interesting (and free) patterns available on the 'net.
I'm using 8mm needles and the first ball of yarn I came across in my stash - Mosaic from Bernat.  I love the way the stripes are working up!  Here it is so far:
The pattern would be appropriate for either a male or female, and the colours will be too (now all I need is to find another ball or two of this colourway...).
I'm going to link up with Judy's On The Needles post, and the Tin Can Knits "New Tricks KAL"  finishing post...

Sunday, February 21, 2016

And here he is!

We've been to the farm, and baby #6 was contentedly sitting beside his mum - yes, it's a boy!  We've got 3 ram lambs now, and 3 ewe lambs, with one "girl" left to lamb.  Hubby told her that she needed to give us one of each sex to keep our numbers even for the year - I'd happily take a big healthy single ewe lamb...
We aren't sure whether we'll be keeping the flock past this summer, but we've had a great experience with them this winter.  Provided that the farmer doesn't mind over-wintering them for us again next winter, I'm happy to carry on.
And here he is!

The sewing continues....

It's been a rather busy week here, but I'm not really sure that I've accomplished much.  I did manage to keep up with my Quilty 365 project, and I pieced a top for a charity quilt.  I've also been working on 3 different knitting projects, but not enough to blog about...
So, I'll show you my week's worth of Quilty blocks - as always, some of the fabrics just demanded to be used, and others were chosen because they were handy.  You'll see what I mean when you check this week's projects.  First up are my Quilty 365 blocks for Feb. 15-21:
There are 2 blocks using brown fabrics, in keeping with the colour chosen for February's Rainbow Scrap Challenge (I still haven't assembled those blocks - I have a week left!); the purple and rose coloured tulips were Saturday's block, chosen because we set a new record high temp for the day and my daffodils and tulips are starting to poke their heads through the ground!  The solid purple in the top left corner is Wisteria Kona - a leftover from my other project from this week - the last floral strip quilt using "leftovers" from the large scale floral Disappearing 4-patch block swap that I did with Cathy.  I debated putting borders on the sides, but I did that with the first one, and much prefer it without.  You can also see the second one (also borderless).

We'll be heading out to "the farm" shortly - it's lambing season, and we had a new little one born this morning, so we need to check on it's progress.  I think this makes lamb #6 for the year - possibly one ewe left to deliver and we'll be done for another year!
Thanks for stopping in!
I'm off to link this project up at Cynthia's Oh Scrap post.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A little knitting, a little quilting...

I have several knitting projects "on the go", and I really shouldn't start anything else, but I'm trying something new.  I've been lurking on Ravelry for a while, and recently saw a knit-along (KAL) for Tin Can Knits.  I discovered Tin Can Knits around Christmas time, and was able to download a few of their patterns.  Then I noticed that they were hosting a "New Tricks" challenge.  Basically, you choose to learn a new-to-you technique or design element, post your choice, then make said item, complete it before Feb. 29th, and post the finish.  There are going to be prizes!
I decided that I'd like to learn a new thing or two, and I chose their fairly quick-to-knit "Gather" cowl - it features smocking every few rows.  (There's a coordinating hat to knit as well).  I had picked up a really soft Loops & Threads yarn (Elegance) at Michaels in Smoky Plum; it was perfect for the gauge, and it's a beautiful colour!  So, I signed up, and started knitting.  The deadline is rapidly approaching, and I'm hoping to finish it on time - if I can squeeze in a few more minutes to work on it every day...
This is what it looks like so far:
I've got a few hours left to link it up to Judy's On the Needles report for Feb. 12th (I know, I'm a few days late...!)

In the meantime, I'm still trying to keep up with my Quilty365 project - and here are the Dancing Plus blocks I've made for the past week (Feb. 8-14).  We've finally got some winter weather - extreme cold and lots of snow - so I picked some bright and cheerful flowers for a few days, but I made sure to choose hearts for today!

Hope your Sunday has been restful!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

It's Scraptastic Tuesday!

Scraptastic Tuesday is a new-to-me challenge this year, and I'm really excited about it!  When I started quilting 12 or so years ago, I couldn't make a scrappy project of any kind.  My quilt fabrics all matched and everything had to coordinate.  Fast forward about 10 years, and suddenly, almost every quilty project that I make is made from a complete mish-mash of fabrics.  Traditional fabrics are sewn to solids and that block might be sewn to something really modern and funky - and I love it!
This quilt is made entirely of 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles.  It's a block "pattern" that Joanne shared as a guest blogger for the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge last year.  I tucked the idea away until I had some of my big projects completed last year - and now the time has come to start working on some of these great scrappy quilts!
I've started cutting up my leftover scraps into the rectangles I need for this block, and then, those rectangles are set next to my machine to be my Leaders / Enders.  The problem is, these blocks are so much fun to make, and I often find myself assembling 3 or 4 blocks before I get back to my original project!
So, this is one block:

This is what 48 of these blocks look like when they're assembled!

I'm debating whether to add one more row...  Then it will be ready to sandwich and quilt!
Linking up to Scraptastic Tuesday  and Oh Scrap!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Design wall and Quilty 365 updates

I honestly planned to post something in the past few days - I had made progress on my quilt and a few days worth of Quilty 365 blocks...  and suddenly, it's Monday again!
Of course, that has given me a few extra days to work on my quilt, and I used them to my advantage.  I'm happy to say that the quilt top is done - unless I choose to put borders on it.  I still haven't decided what to do, but I'm leaning to adding 1 or two borders.  I'm happy with the size of it, but I think that borders will finish it off.  It's technically not on my "design wall" - I talked hubby into holding it for me.
The pattern is called "Friendship Stars".
These are my Quilty 365 blocks for Feb. 1-7.  There's a reason for the fabric that I chose daily - especially the monkey fabric at the very front.  I used some of that fabric to make a bib for the baby that my nephew and his wife were expecting - and we heard on Feb. 3rd that they'd had a baby boy, so I chose to use that fabric to celebrate their good news!

I'm hoping to share a new scrappy project with you tomorrow!  Now I'm off to link up to Judy's Design Wall post.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Design Wall - Mon. Feb. 1st

Well folks, this is a first!  I've never posted a design wall picture before, mostly because I don't have a design wall.  I have a wall in my quilting space, but it's got really wild wallpaper on it (thanks mom and dad!).  My hubby has offered to create a design wall for me, but it hasn't happened so far...
But today I decided that I'm just going to pin my current WIP to the wall, and then take a picture and blog about it!  So, without further ado, here's my Friendship Stars quilt:
It's a good thing that I tacked it up - I discovered that I'd sewn one star point on upside down!  (it's been fixed).  The next row is assembled, but supper needed to be prepared, and I decided to feed us - the strip will still be there tomorrow.  I'm not sure how much longer I'm going to make the quilt, or whether I'll add borders or... whatever!
I also wanted to share a new scrappy project that I stumbled on a few weeks ago.  I found a new blog: Kat & Cat Quilts, and was intrigued by the scrap quilts that she makes for a charity (Covered in Love).  The blocks are made by quilters across North America, and are then sent to her to be made into charity quilts.  I love the idea, and asked for more info.  As a result of that conversation, I'm making a few blocks with this month's pattern - the split nine-patch.  Kat suggested cream, off white and soft greys for the light side of the blocks, and evergreen, dark sea-foam green, navy, denim, and dark grey for the dark side.  I've made up two blocks - hope I got the colours okay!  I'd love to have you check it out - and maybe contribute a block or two!
I'm going to link up to Judy's Design Wall post, and while I'm at it, I'll link up yesterday's Quilty 365 January round-up picture at Quilty Folk!