Friday, November 30, 2012

Bento Box

My Bento Box top waited three and a half years for me to work up the nerve to quilt it. I was so emotionally involved with this project that I din't want to screw it up. It hung on the quilt ladder for a was folded on top of the treadle sewing machine for a made its way up to the sewing room and sat there for a while...

I'm glad I waited. When I first finished the top, I didn't have the skills to quilt it. I knew I didn't want to stitch in the ditch. Beyond that, I didn't know what to do. I was afraid that any thread I used to meander it woud look too dark against the light fabrics, or too light against the dark fabrics....

Last weekend, I pin basted it and meandered it and I couldn't be more pleased with how it came out. Unlike the pumpkin quilt I waited too long to finish, I think I timed this one just right.

And, although it's not a new finish, this is the first week I've been able to show off my Nancy Drew quilt. There's a picture in my sidebar, and a free pattern at the Moda Bake Shop.

I'm linking this post to Finish it Up Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop?, Link a Finish Friday, and Friday Finishes. and Thank Goodness it's Finished Friday.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

vintage Nancy Drew books

My favorite thing about Moda's new Get a Clue With Nancy Drew fabric is the bookspines, closely followed by the end papers. Those images stirred up all kinds of happy chilhood memories and made me want to dig out my own collection and start reading...which is what I almost immediately did! It kept me busy while I was waiting to get my hands on the fabric.  

I've had Nancy Drew books as far back as I can remember. There are two old editions that belonged to my mother when she was a girl, The Secret of the Old Clock and The Bunglalow Mystery.  

I have a few blue tweed copies that we picked up at bookstores for me when I was little, and lots and lots of the ones with the matte yellow covers. And a handful of the ones with the shiny yellow covers that I started picking up after Alex was born. Have I mentioned that my girl would not read Nancy Drew?  She was too busy reading everything else, so I suppose I can't complain too much. And she did read Trixie Belden.

Did you know that the books with the blue covers were revised for the yellow covered printings? I can understand the publishers removing offensive stereotypes, but they also made the books shorter by eliminating five chapters, and, in a feew cases, completely changed the plots.

Over the years, I've been trying to put together a collection of the original editions. I pick them up whenever I find an inexpensive one at a used book store or estate sale. And, since I got the fabric and made the quilt, I admit I've been haunting the local antique shops. But they're getting harder to find than they used to be, and there seems to be another collector a few steps ahead of me.

To celebrate my new quilt, and in an attempt to suck all of my readers into my Nancy Drew obsession, I'm giving away copies of four of the six titles featured on the quilt top to give away. For more information about the quilt and the giveaway, and to enter, read this post.
The Nancy Drew Sleuth is a fantastic site with a ton of information about the different formats and when they were published. This post is linked to Time Travel ThursdayTreasure Hunt Thursday,  and Vintage Thingie Thursday.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

the asylum porch

My Nancy Drew quilt had to have the perfect backdrop. I thought about trying to get a picture in front of the Victorian mansion where hubby and I were married, but someone told me I'd probably get yelled at. I didn't really think they'd yell at me -- not for taking pictures of their wrought iron from the sidewalk, but the logistics of doing that with four kids in tow were a bit daunting. 
Then I thought of the brick walls at the old city hall building, which was the library back when I was reading the Nancy Drew books...
And then I remembered this place --  
Would you believe that this is inside a furniture store? I should've taken pictures of the gas station and the aiplane and the double decker bus...the place just has to be seen to be believed. And the owner happily gave me permission to take a picture of my quilt in front of their old moss covered mansion.
Which it turns out is something else...


That's where the fun coincidences start. The first house Bill and I bought was off of Center Street, but we never knew that it was once called Asylum Ave. That would've made giving directions to the house more interesting!
And there's a Cuckoo's nest connection, too. If you've seen the movie and remember the scene where guys were sitting on lawn chairs and watching the news on televisions in the appliance store window -- that was my family's store and we would have been living in the apartment upstairs at the time it was filmed. Not that  I knew -- I would've been two years old at the time. I didn't  find out about it until I was an adult.  There's more information about the movie and original hospital building here.
You can find the free pattern for the quilt at the Moda Bake Shop, and enter to win vintage Nancy Drew books on this post.

{yarn along} The Clue in the Cobweb

The next new project I cast on will use yarn that isn't black or dark gray. The Red Heart Shimmer I'm using for my Springtime Bandit is hard to photograph and even harder to see late at night. But I'm on the home stretch.
That edging chart that I was worred about? Compared to the body of the shawl, it's been easy as pie. Neatly lined up rows of eyelets, decreases that stack one over the other....I can do this! 

The book -- and would you believe that's a library book, still in circulation? -- is The Clue in the Cobweb, a Dana Girls mystery that I reserved from the library because the title sounded intriguing.  Another series of 1930s mysteries to fall in love with....just what I needed!
Remember library books with actual cards in the backs? Or am I seriously dating myself? The same name appears here three times...makes me wonder if the book was one of her favorites.

To celebrate my new Nancy Drew quilt, I'm giving away two vintage Nancy Drew books. You can enter by leaving a comment on that post before December 10. 
I'm still slogging through the Quinn's "butt book" and he's still listening with rapt attention. The things a mom will do for her boys... but they're learning a lot of new, and surprisingly appropriate vocabulary from it.
For more fun projects to drool over, check out On the Needles at Patchwork Times and Work in Progress Wednesdays at Tami's Amis

Monday, November 26, 2012

Nancy's Mysterious Quilt

I've been absolutely dying to show you this quilt! The pattern is a free download from the Moda Bake Shop. You'll find my Nancy Drew giveaway at the bottom of this post.

I grew up on Nancy Drew books, always wishing I could find a secret passageway or an old diary...something spooky and mysterious. But there's not a lot of spooky and mysterious to be found when you live in a newly built house.
These days, I've got an old barn and and old attic, and a whole collection of antique trunks. But not many mysteries, unless I'm trying to figure out which of the kids did what.
When I first saw the previews for Moda's Get a Clue With Nancy Drew fabric, I got giddy. Those book covers...and the spines...and the end papers...  I knew I wanted to make a quilt with it!
And while I was waiting for the fabric to arrive, and then for the chance to show you the finished project, I tried to piece a black widow spider and made a cover for my 1930s and 40s era Nancy Drew books which also fits a Kindle. There's a tutorial for that here.

And now I'm working on another project for the Nancy Drew blog hop in January... I think I need to buy more of this fabric.  Signups for the blog hop are still open -- head over to Carol's blog for the details.
Is it conjuring up as many happy memories for you as it is for me?  I've been having an absolute blast, re-reading a bunch of Nancy Drew books and discovering some series from the same era that I missed when I was a kid -- Cherry Ames and Vicki Barr and Judy Bolton and the Dana Girls... 
 Did you love the Nancy Drew books as much as I did?  Does this fabric make you feel like re-reading them? I've managed to find copies of four of the six titles featured on the quilt top to give away. According to The Nancy Drew Library, these are vintage Twin Thriller book club editions. Each book contains two complete Nancy Drew mysteries, the same text as appeared in the yellow cover books on the quilt.
One of my followers will receive both books - to enter, just be a follower of my blog and leave a comment on this post before 11:59pm December 10.
Come back tomorrow and I'll tell you where I found the moss covered mansion (which is actually part of an asylum) to take the pictures! 

Design Wall Monday - Barn Raising and Spin Wheels

I've been playing.  With simple blocks for a baby quilt I'm making just so I can try out a new quilting technique. And with more complicated blocks I'm making because I love the way they look and think I've got the fabrics in my stash to make myself a nifty quilt.

The Spin Wheel blocks aren't hard. They're not even that fiddly, but I'm not sure I have the patience for all of the cutting and recutting that it'll take to make an entire quilt's worth. Those sixty degree angles stress me out a bit.

To see more design walls, head over to Patchwork Times.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

why you shouldn't take credit for other people's cooking

You know those commercials and movie scenes where  someone is sneakily transferring food from take out cartons or TV dinner trays onto the family china to make it look like they spent the entire day slaving over a special meal? I can tell you exactly why you shouldn't do that!

Hubby's birthday was last week, on the one day that the kids and I get home late because they have activities. If it had been his day off, we would've probably skipped our usual routine to celebrate with him, but he was working a long shift. I figured I could get take out from one of our favorite places and slip in the door just as he was getting home.

I wasn't trying to make him think I'd cooked any of it myself. As soon as he saw the chicken fried steak, he was going to know exactly what restaurant it came from.  The salad, though, looked like something I'd thrown together myself.  So I got the initial credit for the salad and the crumpled up bit of paper towel that was hidden in with the lettuce and dressing. 

That's just not fair!  Maybe I should stick with my own version of chicken fried steak...

Weekly Stash Report

Fabric Used this Week: 3.25 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 68.5 yards
Added this Week: 0 yards
Added Year to Date: 446 yards
Net Added for 2012: 377.5 yards

(104 yards flung)

Yarn Used this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Used year to Date: 995 yards
Yarn Added this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Added Year to Date: 3900 yards
Net Added for 2012: 2905 yards

To see more weekly stash reports, click over to Patchwork Times.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

no shopping for me

As much as I love Black Friday, I didn't see anything from my shopping list in the ads. So, although I wasn't boycotting anything, I wound up staying home and sewing yesterday.   

There are a few more things hanging from the witch's clothes line, and my Bento Box quilt is basted and about a third of the way quilted. If all goes well, I may get the rest of the quilting done today.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Soft Baby Hearts

If I'd known how many times I was going to wind up making this quilt, I would've kept better track of the pattern source. All I know is that it was in an old magazine, it was for a bed size quilt, and the setting triangles were supposed to be plain.

The first one I made had nine hearts. It was a great baby quilt size, but it was a lot of work. I made one with four hearts and a plain border, which was just barely big enough for a newborn quilt. This time, I made it with 3" squares, hoping for a happy medium.

I'm thinking the next one will have nine 2" squares. Or have 1 1/2" squares and be bed definition of "a lot of work" seems to have changed over the past couple of years.

I'm linking this post to Finish it Up Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop?, Link a Finish Friday, and Friday Finishes.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

just in time for Thanksgiving

The kids and I stopped at a church bazaar last weekend. Teenage Daughter is getting interested in selling her jewelry creations and wanted to do some research to see how the sales worked/looked. I was just along to drive her. 

There was nothing I needed, and I wasn't doing any shopping. Not until we made our way to the last booth and I saw the aprons. I don't buy aprons. I'd rather make them myself...and the gorgeous ones I can't make, I usually can't afford.

But this one had to come home with me. I suppose I could technically make one like it, if I had a pattern. But we all know I'm not going to. Look at all of that bias binding!  

And this one had to come home with me because I know someone who will absolutely swoon over the fabric....

Look at those pots of herbs! And all of that green rick-rack! Do I save it for Christmas, or give it to her today? 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

{yarn along} I am making progress!

Here's the shawl again, except this time I'm ready to start the border.  That makes me a little nervous, since I was just settling in to the stitch pattern. I don't have it memorized, but I can see how it works and where the stitches should fall...


I need to put in a lifeline before I do anything else, because looking a the chart just confuses me. I have a feeling I'll be doing this more than once, and I'm not about to knit that center section a third time. There haven't been many chances for reading this week. I finished Cherry Ames, Ski Nurse
(too much skiing and not enough nursing to make that one much fun) and started Peril Over the Airport, another Vicki Barr mystery.

And I'm reading my sons Day My Butt Went Psycho. Seriously, there are no words to describe this book. I don't think I've ever slogged through a children's book this tedious -- but the boys are absolutely loving it. For another chapter, they'll do their schoolwork, clean up the Perler beads that are scattered across the table, stop bickering.... I can't stand potty humor, but if it gives me this kind of leverage, I'll put up with it. (And if anyone knows some titles that are in the same vein but less boring, I'd be thrilled to know what they are!)

For more fun projects to drool over, check out On the Needles at Patchwork Times and Work in Progress Wednesdays at Tami's Amis.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

cutting scraps

I've spent part of my afternoon sorting through a huge bag of yard sale scraps. Grandma has already been through these bags, pulling out the larger pieces and sorting them by color for me. This bag is what was left and didn't have a place in the other, nicely organized bags. 

Going through it is daunting. There are pins. I didn't get stuck badly, just enough to warn me to watch out.   I don't really want to do this. But I do want to make the baby quilts that I see lurking in there, and most of it is good cotton.

I don't throw out good cotton. 

So I'm pulling out a piece at a time and deciding if it would be better to cut it with my rotary cutter or my 2 1/2" squares die. A lot of AccuQuilt users will advise you to cut squares with the strip dies, but I wouldn't want to do that with these scraps...

That black floral piece seems to be a balloon. I want to know what quilt that was for! Now it's been reduced to two 2 1/2" squares.

Bonnie Hunter wrote this post about taming her strash (I love that term -- and the glimpse of what she does with her scraps!) a few months ago. I'm not sorting my mess by color because I'm cutting it up for super-scrappy quilts and most of these fabrics really aren't an easily definable color anyway.

Monday, November 19, 2012

the turtles -- it's unanimous

Everyone, including me, has decided that the turtles need a border. Have I mentioned that I leave off borders whenever possible?

Knowing that I needed a border and being able to picture one that would work with my turtles were to totally different things. 

Then I read Margaret's comment: 

They need a border. Either something that looks like river rocks or water would be awesome. They would look like they were swimming... 

And Henrietta's:

Scrappy green snowballs set between two (narrow?) borders of your background fabric will look like pebbles or rocks.

Now I can picture exactly the border I want to make!  There's just that little problem of finding some time to pull out all of my green scraps (again) and cut the pieces... To see more design walls, head over to Patchwork Times.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

figuring out what I need

I broke the 1/4" foot for my Janome.  For a while the little black edge was bent just enough to hang up on the feed dogs. I kept using it. Then, a week or so ago, I went to put it back on the machine and that little black edge was entirely gone.

Have you noticed that this sort of thing only happens when you're not driving up to town for another five or six days? And only when you've got time to actually quilt? (Although if they happened when you were busy with other things, you wouldn't notice until you sat down to quilt again...)

Turns out I can still get a decent quarter inch seam without the little black piece, it just takes more focus and concentration. And a new foot from the dealer costs twenty bucks... Did I really need a new foot?

I finally decided that I did. I do a lot of piecing and even if I could do it without a new foot, replacing the broken one is going to save me a lot of hours of messing with the other one.

Weekly Stash Report 

Fabric Used this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 65.25 yards
Added this Week: 0 yards  
Added Year to Date: 446 yards
Net Added for 2012: 380.75 yards

Yarn Used this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Used year to Date: 995 yards
Yarn Added this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Added Year to Date: 3900 yards
Net Added for 2012: 2905 yards

To see more weekly stash reports, click over to Patchwork Times.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

the witch's laundry line

About two seconds after I got the broom sales block traced, I decided that what I really wanted to stitch next was the clothesline...

Between the house and the tree and the signs and the clothesline itself, there's a ton of detail on this block! But, an evening at a time, it'll get done. Maybe sooner than I expect, because it's awfully tempting to just curl up in the recliner with my stitching in my lap and not work on anything too ambitious.

Did you buy yourself a last box or two of Twinkies? The kids and I stopped at Safeway tonight and grabbed the last three boxes of Ding Dongs (because those are Hubby's favorites.)  The guys in the checkout line ahead of us got the last of the Twinkies, but that's okay. The generic ones  are almost as good. And it's not like we eat them that often anyway...but it's the point of the thing!  

And did you see that signups are open for the Nancy Drew Blog Hop at Sew We Quilt?!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Finish -- Blue Monkey Business

This is the scrappy little quilt that I was intending to make when I cut those blue triangles I wound up using for Scrappy Blue Pinwheels.

The pattern is from Scrap-Basket Surprises by Kim Brackett. To make it a baby quilt, I left off the borders and one row of swirly shapes (which is actually several rows of blocks from the middle of the quilt - they layout of this one still makes my head spin a bit!)  

Now that I've made this one, I can see how to make the scrappier version that I was trying for. I need to use squares instead of triangles. Or get myself a chisel die for my Go! cutter...

I'm linking this post to Finish it Up Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop?, Link a Finish Friday, and Friday Finishes.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

{yarn along} deja vu

Look familiar?

This isn't the shawl I showed you last week. I made a mistake knitting from the chart (be careful when you pick up a project after it's sat for a week and think you know what you're doing!) and wound up frogging the entire thing and starting over  from scratch. On the bright side, I think I've finally figured out this stitch pattern and can see what's supposed to be happening where.

My list of books I want to read is steadily growing, thanks to the Yarn Along, and the library's online card catalog. This week, I made my way through Cherry Ames, Cruise Nurse and The Mystic Ball, the first of the Judy Bolton books that I've read. Young girls of the 1930s must have been very educated about seances and fraudulent psychics!

For more fun projects to drool over, check out On the Needles at Patchwork Times and WIP Wednesdays at Tami's Amis.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

exciting things in the driveway

I can't tell you how excited  I am about the new-to-us SUV sitting in our driveway. Not because I wanted a new car, but because the hunt is over. I like having something reasonably safe and reliable to drive. And I really like the idea of having something we can play in the desert with, and load all of the kids and camping gear into.

I'm also a little excited about the pallets.

They're to stack firewood onto. They're not mine. But that didn't stop me from hopping over to Pinterest and drooling over all of  the nifty things people are doing with pallets.  Wanna see my favorites?

(I know about the safety concerns. If I ever do try any of these things, I promise to do my research and get safe pallets. Or to use old barn wood.)

This coffee table is my absolute favorite. I would love, love, love to have that in my living room. Never mind that those fantastic iron wheels would probably cost more than a brand new table from the furniture store. Or that my kids would absolute ride around on it. I'm daydreaming today. Daydreams don't have to be practical.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Do my turtles need a border?

I haven't decided which way I want the turtles to face. I need to get my real design wall hanging again so that I can play with the arrangements. The one nail I put in the wall myself (there were three up there above the attic door already - wonder what they were for?)  keeps bending and it's going to take a real hammer and someone stronger and taller than me to pound a heavier nail through that old plaster. 

I also need to decide whether or not I want a border. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the answer would be no, but I'm thinking my turtles want a scrappy green pieced border. If I could figure out what I wanted that border to actually look like, I'd get started on it. Angles won't work with this quilt...scrappy bricks maybe?

I'm very open to suggestions!

To see more design walls, head over to Patchwork Times.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

weekly stash report -- how obsessive should we be?

I can't really explain why I keep track of my stash. It's that same weird little quirk that used to make me keep  lists of how many books I read in a month or year and then try to beat my record. (Teenage Daughter has taken over that habit, starting her own lists years after I stopped keeping my own.)

And it - sort of - helps me keep myself in check. I'm not trying to use up my stash, or even put too much of a dent in it, but keeping some sort of balance between what comes into the house and what leaves the house seems like a good idea.

It gets tricky when you're buying fabric that doesn't come in neatly labeled amounts. Somewhere I read that a pound of fabric equals about four yards, so I weigh the scrap bags and do the math. I measure my finished quilts and keep track of how much fabric got used in each one.

It's a flawed system, because I don't get any credit for scraps of fabric that got trimmed off and tossed while I was cutting the quilt, or the extra inches I trimmed off the backing.  If I bought yardage to make a quilt and made that quilt, it should count as having used the fabric, right? But I wind up penalizing myself for what's left over...

When the trash can under my cutting table gets too stuffed to hold another bit, I weigh the fabric scraps before tossing them, so it does sort of work out in the end. I tossed eight yards worth of trimmings (too small to even be useful as crumbs) last week.

Keeping track of the yarn gets even trickier, since I'm making mostly baby hats that use partial skeins. Last year, I just assumed that each hat took about fifty yards. This year, I'm making a lot of different sizes, so I weigh them and do the math. It works out to about 1.85 yards of worsted weight acrylic per gram, according to the ball band. I'm sure the weights of the different yarns vary a bit, but I'm not going to be that finicky.

The yarn I'm using for the witch hat has no information on the labels as far as yardage or gauge or anything else. It's Lopi wool and that's all they're going to tell me. So I measure out ten yards, fingertips to nose because it really doesn't matter in the end, and weigh it on my scale and do the math.  If I ever finish the hat, I can weigh it and figure out how many yards of yarn it took.

Some stuff just isn't easily measurable. Mrs. H from At Home With Mrs. H solved that problem by weighing her entire stash. Her definition of hoarding fabric and mine are apparently different.

Next year, I'm going to tweak my system a bit. I'll definitely stop converting the sheets into yardage, because until I cut into them they're still sheets. And I shouldn't have sheets that wound up covering beehives to protect them from a raiding swam in my fabric totals for the year! (Not that I do, because I used sheets from the linen closet instead of wasting something vintage.)

Weekly Stash Report

Fabric Used this Week: 6.25 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 65.25 yards
Added this Week: 0 yards  
Added Year to Date: 446 yards
Net Added for 2012: 380.75 yards

(104 yards or trimmings and unusable stuff  flung)

Yarn Used this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Used year to Date: 995 yards
Yarn Added this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Added Year to Date: 3900 yards
Net Added for 2012: 2905 yards

If it wasn't for that last garage sale Grandma found, I'd be at 0 yards added. But there's no way I would have passed on that fabric, so I'm not complaining! To see more weekly stash reports, click over to Patchwork Times. And, if you're in a link following mood, check out this fabulous chair that Evelyn's mom had reupholstered with old quilts!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I finally know what I want to do with these

I started these Dresden Plates back in 2007, following a pattern from my old magazine stash. You can see a glimpse of what they were supposed to be in this post. I think I put them aside because they wouldn't lay flat and I didn't know how to make them behave.  There was also supposed to be a pieced border, but that fabric was absorbed into the rest of my stash a long time ago, and that made me even less motivated to struggle with them. 

Then I made Lobster Sue and fell in love with the way the batting and quilting looked after a trip through the wash. I've got just enough of the batting left to make these four plates into a little quilt, so that's the new plan.

After I trim a whole lot of threads...

You don't realize what a wonderful thing chain piecing and leaders and enders are until you pick up an old project that's got this many threads dangling from it!

Friday, November 09, 2012

Friday Finish -- Tumblers

Back in April, I cut a bunch of tumblers with my 3 1/2" tumbler die. I wasn't sure how many I needed to make a big quilt, or how big I wanted "big" to be... I just had a pile of dark scraps I'd used for other projects and  decided it was as good a time as any to start cutting tumblers. I also had a coffin quilt from an antique store on my mind.

I cut a bunch of tumblers, assembled some of them into rows, and got caught up with other things.  At one point, I realized  I didn't want to back this one with a sheet from my backing stash and that I didn't want to go spend real money on backing, so the project got put on hold while I figured that out.

Turns out there was a perfect piece of yardage in my sewing room that I'd forgotten about, from one of the big Craigslist finds last year. I bought it with a ton of other fabrics, sure I'd use it someday for something.

It's "someday," and for this quilt, it's perfect. Maybe not what I would have chosen if I was buying brand new fabric off the bolt, but it's not settling for the least awful option, either.  

Yes, there is a chunk missing from one corner of my quilt.  I took a risk, gambling  that I could make it work, then I made a mistake...and I fixed it by lopping off the corner of my quilt. That's one of the things I love about making utility quilts for my own house and family with the scrap bags. There's no guilt if things don't work out according to the original plan. And I'm giving this quilt to my boys. A missing  corner is the least of its concerns.

When I quilted the dark strippie quilt a few weeks ago, I used a light brown thread that blended with the fabric so well I couldn't see where I had and hadn't meandered. For this one, I used my usual off-white thread. The quilting is more visible, but it blends the tumblers together when you look at it up close. I definitely like it better than the quilting that doesn't show at all, but there must be some kind of middle ground between the two options.

I'm linking this post to Finish it Up Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop?, Link a Finish Friday.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

my mysterious paper fan

Yes, everything is mysterious to me these days -- probably because I'm still reading so many of those girls' mystery series from the 30s and 40s. But I really would like to know where this paper advertising fan came from. I've searched Google and ebay and Etsy and I can't find anything quite like it.

Don't these hairstyles look like they date from the 20s or 30s?  

I'm not even sure how I got it.  I've had it since I was little (maybe 1980ish) and I've always assumed that Grandma gave it to me, since I remember playing with it in the attic/rec room at her house.  I've always known it was old, but looking at those hairstyles I'm suddenly starting to realize how old it might be. 

I took it to lunch with us this afternoon and asked Grandma about it. She doesn't remember seeing it before. So was it something of Great-Grandma's that no one cared about? It might have been around the time of her estate sale that I first wound up with it...or did it come in a bag of stuff from a thrift store shopping trip? 

This post is linked to Time Travel ThursdayTreasure Hunt Thursday, and Vintage Thingie Thursday.

{yarn along} relearning how to knit from a chart

I told you I'd have a new project this week, so here's Springtime Bandit.... 

Based on the trouble I had getting started, It's been too long since I curled up to knit a shawl. That whole "Work the chart from right to left to the center stitch, working the appropriate number of patt repeats necessary. For the second half, read charts from right to left again, omitting the 2 edge stitches, and working them at the end in lieu of the center stitch" thing had me ready to give up before I even started.

I've done this before. Lots of times. And after a bit of struggling and absolutely no swearing, I'm doing it again. The repeat is even starting to make sense.

Because I got caught up in Silver Wings for Vicki, I still haven't finished Last Wool and Testament. But the Vicki Barr, Flight Stewardess series is by the same author as the Cherry Ames books and reading about training to be a flight attendant in 1947 is even more fun than reading about being a nurse in 1950.

If you haven't already, check out the itty bitty dress my great grandmother crocheted for one of those 1" plastic dolls they use as decorations at baby showers. And check out On the Needles at Patchwork Times.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Spin Wheel

Monday, I told you that I wanted to try the Spin Wheel Block tutorial from Quilter's Nest. And yesterday I tried it. It's the first time I've made a block like this one, and also the first time I've used the 60 degree line on my rulers. 

I think my plan was to try a new technique, not start a brand new project. But I love the way this block looks, enough that I'm tempted to make an entire quilt. Anyone know how to figure out the size of a quilt top when it's made out of hexagons?

This post is linked to Try it on Tuesday at Jo's Country Junction.

Monday, November 05, 2012

turtles and tumblers

Ten of my sixteen turtles are pieced, and the fabrics are picked out for the other six. I'm not sure how I'm going to lay them out yet. That decision may have to wait until all of the turtles are pieced and I can see the whole thing.  

It's the quilting of this one that excites me. I want to play with different designs on each turtle and do a tight meander in the background spaces. How it turns out will determine whether or not this one goes to the boys or stays mine.

The top for my tumbler lap quilt is assembled.

To see more design walls, head over to Patchwork Times.

I'm absolutely drooling over the huge cross stitch patterns from Heaven and Earth Designs. It's like they looked into my head and came up with absolutely what I didn't know I wanted...and it doesn't help that they're on sale at 1-2-3 Stitch! right now. I'm wavering between Rhyme & Reason and Faery Tales and trying very hard to be good and not order either one.

Have you seen the "made fabric" quilt top over at Brown Dirt Cottage?

And look at these sewn bird gift tags that are part of the Holiday Bake, Craft & Sew Along at Skip to my Lou. I could whip those up so quickly with the birds die for my Go! cutter... 

I want to try the Spin Wheel Block Tutorial from Quilter's Nest....

What's out there that you want to try?


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