Monday, May 30, 2011

Dead Fish



This is one of the projects that developed from what was in reach of the recliner. I'd bought a skein of Red Heart Super Saver Tweed (fifty cents at the thrift store), intending to make Quinn a green hat. Because with that boy, all things must be green.

I had a pattern in mind, but it's no longer available online and I can't go rummage to find my printout, so I went looking for another pattern. I found a couple of options, but nothing that felt like I could do it now. Then the dead fish hat turned up in my Ravelry searches.

Lots and lots of stockinette. Some make-it-up-as-you-go-along colorwork using another skein of Super Saver that shouldn't have been in with the baby hat yarn, but thank goodness it was! Quinn wanted it to have teeth like the shark hat, but I'm not feeling that ambitious quite yet. This was the perfect almost-mindless knitting project to get me through the beginning of last week.

The pattern has its own website. I printed it from Knitty and found out the hard way that the tail as written in the published pattern doesn't match the tail in the pattern photos. Why do they do things like that to poor, unsuspecting knitters? (The version from the pictures is at deadfishhat.com, so I guess I can do it that way if I knit Leif the blue one he wants.)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Weekly Stash Report

No new fabric or yarn. No quilting. I am knitting. Next time it stops raining and dries out a bit, I want to limp outside with my crutches (gotta be up moving around every 20 minutes anyway) and get some good pictures of the things I finished this week.

Fabric Used this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 35 3/4 yards
Added this Week: 0 yards
Added Year to Date: 656 yards
Net Added for 2011: 620.25 yards

Yarn Used this Week: 925 yards
Yarn Used year to Date: 5140 yards
Yarn Added this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Added Year to Date: 12175 yards
Net Added for 2011: 7035 yards

Sunday, May 22, 2011

still in my recliner

What's your favorite online time sink -- Ravelry, Netflix, Webkinz, just exploring random blogs? I'm honestly looking for suggestions here, because its been seven days and I am bored out of my mind!

No new stash this week -- kind of hard to add any fabric when you aren't even mobile enough to play with what you've got. I am using up some yarn, but I'm limited by what's within grabbing distance of the recliner.

Fabric Used this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 35 3/4 yards
Added this Week: 0 yards
Added Year to Date: 656 yards
Net Used for 2011: - 620.25 yards

Yarn Used this Week: 515 yards
Yarn Used year to Date: 4215 yards
Yarn Added this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Added Year to Date: 12175 yards
Net Used for 2011: -7960 yards

To see more weekly stash reports, visit Patchwork Times.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I made a hat



I dropped stitches...I dropped more stitches....I had an awful time picking the stitches back up (to the point where I'm still not sure I got them all)....I broke the yarn when I was threading it through the stitches at the top....

I like the Wager Hat pattern. It would be a perfect mindless knit under other circumstances and with different yarn and circular needles instead of double points.

I made it through the surgery and have been in the recliner since we got home from the hospital Monday morning. Which is a little less fun than it sounds. I've got four more days to go, then hopefully I can get this dressing off and actually stand up to take a shower.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Weekly Stash Report #20



Three bolts of fabric. (I had birthday money to spend at the Joann's clearance sales and they gave a great discount if you bought what was left on the bolt.) The red one and the one behind it will be two color quilts. The one in the back might or might not be the backing for the quilt I'm planning for my bed.

Fabric Used this Week: 1/2 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 35 3/4 yards
Added this Week: 30 yards
Added Year to Date: 656 yards
Net Used for 2011: - 620.25 yards

Yarn Used this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Used year to Date: 3700 yards
Yarn Added this Week: 1000 yards
Yarn Added Year to Date: 12175 yards
Net Used for 2011: -8475 yards

To see how everyone else is doing, head over to Patchwork Times.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

possibilities

I bought this sticker at the Dollar Tree a few months back, carefully tucked it under the maps we keep in the van so it wouldn't get squished on the way home, then forgot I had it. It surfaced a few times, usually at the beginning of a long day of errands.

Yesterday, I decided that I should get it up on the wall while I'm still capable of climbing up onto chairs.



When I bought it, I liked the saying but thought it was a pale imitation of the one I really want but haven't been able to find.

Be a Joyful Mother of Children

That's the one I want! I saw it as a vinyl wall decal in a craft mall on one of our first trips down to Utah, sort of knew I wanted it, but didn't grasp how much I wanted it until later. I've been playing with this idea for years now and could just find and order one online, but there's not really a good place in our house to put it (too much panelling and wallpaper that I have no plans of removing, not ever.) I've got white walls in the sewing room, but I think they've got too much spiky fake plaster texture on them....

What I really need to do is make myself a Word Play quilt with that quote on it! Not this week, though. This week I really am dwelling in possibilities, wavering between the optimistic (in a couple of months maybe Alex and I will finally get to use that frisbee we bought last summer, right before the stupid accident.... I'll stop hurting for the first time in a year... ) and the downright morbid (I really am getting my affairs in order and won't wake up from the anesthesia...)

Why is it that they could cut me open and rummage around in my insides to get a baby out while I was awake, but they have to put me completely under to do knee surgery?

I've got a day and half left, then my sewing room is off limits until I-don't-know-when. Ugh. I'm still trying to guess at what I might want to use down here before I'm able to climb stairs again. I'm guessing I'll be sewing (still with the left foot) long before I'm climbing.

I've got a bunch of pieces cut for my Circles in Squares quilt...a bunch of pieces cut for my Texas Braid...two quilts pinned and ready to quilt, but no real urge to work on either...and something new!



I've been wanting to make a Drunkard's Path forever. This particular Drunkard's Path since I bought this book of classic quilt patterns. The block in the pattern is the exact size the smaller AccuQuilt die makes, so I don't even have to do any adjusting...

And then there's the fabric. I bought an eight or nine yard bolt of it on clearance his week, thinking it might make a good backing for my Texas Braid. Of the three bolts I bought, it was the one I almost put back because it wasn't quite as exciting as the other two I had in my arms.

I'm not sure if the idea of using it for a two color quilt hit me in the store or later, but I got to thinking how it would work with some tea dyed muslin ....and I would've sworn, at until I just double checked, that the fabric in the pattern was a green floral...

What I didn't realize until I was piecing my test block last night is how similar this fabric is to the red floral I used for the setting blocks of Strawberry Fields, the stuff I wished I had more of.

I'd usually cut fabric for a project like this as I needed it to piece the blocks, just in case I lose interest halfway through, but I'll hopefully be cutting the rest tonight. And maybe the rest of the pieces I'll need for that Texas Braid.

Right now, I'm resting my knee and drooling over Quilt Festival posts.

So far, my absolute favorite is the phenomenal quilting on this quilt at Tamarack Shack. I'm not a huge batik fan, but I love the way they look in this quilt. And the texture that quilting adds -- it makes me think of pressed tin ceilings.

And take a look at Mother of Pearl -- that center block is paper pieced with 165 pieces of fabric!

And I've been following links from those links, getting all inspired by things like
Soup Bowl Wall Storage Nooks. These wold be great in the boys' room for little toys, but I just know they'd use them as handholds for climbing the walls. And I've thrown out enough shattered plastic bowls already. But I may try it for Alex's closet, or my sewing room.

A mini book shelf quilt. just because I've been wanting a big one for years and this one is soooo cute.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bloggers Quilt Festival


This is the quilt I'm going to make.

Obviously, I've already made it, but I'm going to make it again and next time it's going to be bed size. I've already gushed about this quilt once this week, but it's been a while since I finished a big quilt -- the last one was my entry in the previous Blogger's Quilt Festival.

I thought about taking the top for this one apart so that I could use the blocks in the big quilt, but I talked myself out of it. This one was meant for something else and it would bug me to know there were bits of another quilt hiding in the one on my bed.

The pattern for this quilt evolved from the baby quilts I was making last year. Directions for the block are here.

Thanks for stopping by my blog, and have fun checking out all of the other great quilt festival entries!

Amy's Creative Side

Thursday, May 12, 2011

385 pieces



Three hundred and eighty-five pieces in a quilt that's only a little larger than a fat quarter....It's probably a good thing that I did that bit of math after the quilt was done.

Monday, May 09, 2011

crossing things off the list

Still trying to get my ducks in a row before next week. I'm through everything that has to be done and working on the things I'd like to have done before I'm chasing four kids around on crutches.

One of my big to-dos was to finish a UFO for the Stashbusters challenge. Strawberry Fields seemed manageable enough -- just quilt it and bind it and I'm done.



Why has this finished top been sitting on my ironing board for a year?

Partly because I wanted to quilt it with straight lines like Lori did hers and I broke my walking foot and lost my masking tape and then just got intimidated by the whole thing.

Partly because I got busy working on other projects.

I never posted a picture of the finished top because I always thought I'd have it quilted in a day or two. I'm not posting a full picture now because I hope to have the binding done tonight.



We checked on the bees this afternoon, so my clothes are full of smoke. If this is the right picture, you can see some larvae in the cells. If it's the wrong picture, those vague shapes in the open cells look an awful lot like the shapes in the other picture that are larvae.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

This might be the one!

Now and then, we get into a discussion about why there isn't a quilt on our bed. What it comes down to is that I like making smaller quilts, and making a quilt for the bed just seems like a huge commitment, something I'll be stuck with forever.

But that's silly. I know darn well how to make quilts, even big bed size ones, disappear.

And I think I've found the quilt I want for our bed --



Bigger, and scrappier. This one was cut from the contents of one scrap bag, which makes me suspect that someone else had deliberately put the colors together for a project. Or just liked these colors. For the one I'm keeping, I'm going to add more varied lights and darks.

Now I should probably do some math. How big is a queen size quilt? Or do I want to make it king size, in case we get that bigger bed we've been talking about?

But what's going to happen is that I'll cut a bunch of pieces and use it as a leaders/enders project while I make up my mind. And I might make the bed size quilt I'm planning, or a throw, or more lap quilts...

If you want the measurements for the block, it's 2 1/2" squares around an 8 1/2" square that was pieced from four 4 1/2" squares, with a 5" appliqued circle. Just the next step from all of those framed squares baby quilts I was playing with last year. I've made another video that shows how to put it together.

Weekly Stash Report #18

Fabric Used this Week: 3/4 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 35 1/4 yards
Added this Week: 0 yards
Added Year to Date: 626 yards
Net Used for 2011: - 590.75 yards

Yarn Used this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Used year to Date: 3700 yards
Yarn Added this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Added Year to Date: 11175 yards
Net Used for 2011: -7475 yards

No fabric or yarn came home with me this week, a little got used quilting and binding a lap quilt, and I finished two new videos. Not too bad, I guess.

And I think I pulled at least twelve yards of really exciting old polyester to get rid of. It doesn't count until it's out of the house, but trust me, there's no danger of this stuff finding its way back into my stash. Not even for cat beds.

To see the rest of this week's stash reports, click over to Patchwork Times

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Wedged Circles

It's not like there aren't enough different Drunkard's Path layouts to keep me occupied for the next few years, but I was daydreaming about my die and trying to figure out what else I could do with it, which led to lying awake at night and wondering if my idea would actually work...

It did.



To make your own circle with wedges, start with two half square triangles. Because I want to keep things totally random, I cut 7" squares of scrap fabric, then cut them on the diagonal and matched them up for each block.



Lay your square on the die so that the diagonal line goes through the right angle. Trust me, that part is important. Don't layer your good fabric until you're sure you have it right.



If I wanted to make sure my wedges were perfectly even, I'd draw a diagonal line on the die to line up the pieced square with. Eyeballing it has worked for me.



Once you've got the wedges cut, it goes together just like a regular Drunkard's Path block.



As much as I love my wedges, they're not right for the quilt I had in mind, so I'll be trying something else soon. And I'll post pictures of that one, too, if it works the way I hope it will.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

a new toy

We went to a couple of estate sales on Saturday. And found this --


My first thought, the thought that left my mind as soon as I saw that those are actual gas burners, was that it was a toy.

Second thought was that we could remove the gas lines, clean it up, and have the perfect toy kitchen for that little girl I don't have. Or for me.



Then came the question whether it actually worked, or could be made to work, and if we could use it for camping instead of that pricey Coleman camp oven we were looking at a few months back.



I'm not sure what we'll actually do with it, but for two bucks, it had to come home. As far as I can tell, it came from a vintage Siesta travel trailer. I've found two pictures, one from 1960, and one that looks more like mine from 1957.

Monday, May 02, 2011

those bees make my clothes smell

Years ago, I'd come home from certain friends' houses and immediately jump into the shower to get rid of the cigarette smell. It's one of those things I hadn't thought about forever. Now and then, usually when we're travelling, we'll walk past someone smoking and I'll remember that the world (or at least a lot more of it) used to smell like that. These days it's hard to believe that as a kid I spent a long plane flight stuck next to a creepy chain smoking guy.

But now we've got bees. And I've got smoke scented hair and clothes. Although, to be fair to the bees, it's more of a campfire smell than a stinky bar smell.

We've seen the queen! She's alive and well, which is a great relief. If that one little bug dies before she starts laying eggs, they all die and we're done until next year. So seeing her in there was a huge relief.

Now my plan is to get a big white shirt to wear when we're smoking the bees. Because I hear they don't like dark colors. And we want to have happy bees -- especially when I'm standing right next to them.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Stash Report #17

Not a lot to report this week. I used a little fabric making the Grecian Square quilt, bought a blue sheet and some muslin for quilts I've got planned, and didn't finish a single Hobo Quilt block.

Fabric Used this Week: 3/4 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 34 1/2 yards
Added this Week: 7 yards
Added Year to Date: 626 yards
Net Used for 2011: - 591.5 yards

Yarn Used this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Used year to Date: 3700 yards
Yarn Added this Week: 175 yards
Yarn Added Year to Date: 11175 yards
Net Used for 2011: -7475 yards

To see the more successful reports, visit Patchwork Times
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