Wednesday, December 17, 2014

{Yarn Along} Wider Stripes Than I'd like

One of these days, I'm going to learn to check Ravelry for project pictures before buying self-striping sock yarn. Does this look like a snake to anyone else? And not a neat snake, either.

Handmade, Holiday, Homicideis the latest Kiki Lowenstein mystery by Joanna Campbell Slan. When a mean old woman drops dead during one of Kiki's Zentangle classes, it seems like everyone had a motive to do away with her. Kiki had less reason than most, but she's still a suspect. With so many suspects, some of them familiar characters from the series, this was a fun one. I absolutely recommend this series, but don't jump in with the latest book. Start at the beginning.

This is the first time I've pre-ordered a book for my Kindle. It was nice to have it there and waiting for me as soon as it was available. That's definitely something I'll do in the future.

A couple of years ago, we were on a road trip and listened to a radio adaptation of The Man Without a Country. I can't remember which show it was, but it would've dated to the 30s or 40s. The introduction said that it was based on a true story (if I heard it one else in the family remembers listening to it at all) but that didn't seem possible. When we got home, I downloaded the Kindle version to see if it explained more. This week, I finally got around to reading it and learning that the story of a man sentenced to spend the rest of his life on sailing ships, never to receive any news of the United States was fiction.

How to Meal Plan: A Step by Step Guide for Busy Moms by Crystal VanTassel is a short book that just brims with enthusiasm. It's not a complete, step-by-step guide to meal planning, but it showed me a couple of things that I'd been completely missing. I've downloaded a ton of meal planning stuff onto my kindle -- this is one of the few that's been helpful.

For more pretty knitting projects to drool over, check out On the Needles at Patchwork Times.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Chocolate Covered Cherries

It's the best feeling to find a pattern that you love and then be able to make it almost completely from stash. (In this case, the pattern is Chocolate Covered Cherries from Jo's Country Junction.)

For the past couple years, I've been pulling together brown scraps and red scraps for a few different quilts. I love to use them....and hate to use them, because what if I take a few strips to make something and then don't have enough left for all the other things?  This project was worth the risk, and it's really just a strip of this and a strip of that...not enough to make much of a difference when it comes to the other projects.

I love this quilt. But when it came time to quilt it, I started to realize that I might have bitten off more than I could chew. It's big, bigger than most things I quilt on my Janome. The longarm wasn't an option, because the backing fabric I was determined to use was an inch and a half wider than the quilt top. I've had that problem before and cut just enough off the edge of the quilt top to make it work. But that dubious technique wasn't going to work with those pieced borders. So, in a couple of spots, I've eased the top to make it fit the backing.

Obviously, this one isn't going to be entered into any quilt shows. It's for me and mine and we're so hard on our quilts that it might not survive the decades. Or it will, and people will know how I really quilted.

Monday, December 15, 2014

R, S, U, V, W, X, Y, Z!

That's the whole alphabet, all pieced and assembled into a quilt top! 

And, because this whole project has had me thinking of needlework samplers, I'm playing around with a fancy border...

This post is linked to Patchwork Times.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Stash Report

Now that I've found some time to sit down at my sewing machine, I'm making all kinds of progress on my projects. And now that I'm doing that, I'm happily  making plans for what's next. 

There's perfect fabric in my too-good-to-cut pile for this bag, but then I priced the leather handles. Nope, not gonna happen.

I'm squealing over this little undies quilt at Gnome Angel. There's a tutorial at sewtakeahike and they're pieced! My stash doesn't have any of those amazing novelty prints, but I'm sure I can find something to play with.

Shwin & Shwin has a tutorial for an adorable Olaf quilt. I want one. For me.

Weekly Stash Report 

Fabric Used this Week: 8 1/4 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 48 yards
Added this Week: 0 yards
Added Year to Date: 102 3/4 yards
Net Added for 2014: 54 3/4 yards

Yarn Used this Week:  400 yards
Yarn Used year to Date: 7475 yards
Yarn Added this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Added Year to Date: 4210 yards
Net Used for 2014: 3265 yards

This post is linked to Patchwork Times.
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