Friday, March 16, 2018

A Fabulous Friday

It’s getting to be a lovely time of year here in east TN. We are going to have some 60s and 70s this weekend, then hit another low dip next week. But, spring is coming soon. I’ll just have to remind my daughter of that as she prepares for her fourth Nor’easter in the past few weeks!

I guess it’s only been one week since my last post, but it feels longer. I have been spring cleaning my sewing room, so I haven’t sat down to the machine for a while. I have been doing a bit of knitting here and there, and I did get another Sashiko block done. Here is the cherry blossom block…

I completed this block at Tuesday Bee this week. It was a pretty quick block to do, and I was even able to start on the next block.

I did make a little progress on the knitting front. I added some to my striped shawl…

This is a really easy pattern, so I am able to do it while watching TV or sitting in the evening with my husband. It’s not “brain-powered” knitting, but I feel like I am improving my knitting by making this shawl. I still have a little bit of the ball left, then I have a second ball to add as well. So far it is only about half as long as the pattern calls for.

I also wanted to start making some hats, so I cast on another easy project…

This is a simple Knit 2, Purl 2 ribbed beanie knitted on a straight needle, then it will be seamed up the back. I have about 3 inches done so far, and it needs to be about 9-1/2 inches before I start the decreases, so I have a ways to go. Once this is done, I will try a hat on circular needles. I have been watching videos about Magic Loop and I may go ahead and try that. I have tried Double Pointed Needles in the past for hats and socks and it has been an utter failure; so maybe Magic Loop will help me.

And on to the spring cleaning…

My sewing rom was in disarray, but I now have it under control again.

These are the shelves that take up one wall in my sewing room. I have touched each and every piece of fabric I own, and I folded them up and put them in their rightful places. I like how neat and tidy they look (for now!) They probably won’t stay that way for long.

All of my books are on the shelves in the bottom right of the photo, and I have them all labeled with my name and in order of craft. Above the books are the quilt tops ready to be quilted.

Along another wall of the sewing room are built-in cabinets with a counter top…

I have beading supplies and thread on the left side. The ironing “stuff” is to the right. In the middle are notebooks full of the gazillion pieces of paper that had patterns printed off the computer. I also put all of my packaged patterns in the notebooks, and they are all labeled according to what’s in them. It may not be the best method, but it is much tidier than having stacks of papers everywhere.

Finally, I moved my sewing table a bit and put my sewing machine and chair on the opposite side of the big table…

I have a ceiling light in the middle of my sewing room, and when I had my sewing machine facing the wall with the windows, my back was to the light. The same when cutting on the big table – my back was always to the ceiling light. Now the ceiling light will be in front of me when I sew, and I hope it makes things just a little bit nicer.  

Once the sewing room was back in order, I spent some time yesterday fusing another Halloweenies block…

This is the Ghost in the Graveyard. I have one complaint about this block – I’m sure I’ve made plenty of complaints in the past about this project! If you look closely at the below photo of the close-up of the tombstones…

…you can see that the light is coming from behind the tombstones, but the front side is lighter than the left sides of the tombstones. Here is the photo of the block from the pattern…

You can see in this photo that the left side of the tombstones are lit by the moon, while the front of the tombstones have a darker fabric, indicating they are in shadow. Since this is the laser cut fusible kit, the fabrics are what they are. I know I could re-do them with my own fabrics, but I don’t want to 😉 You would think they would know that they needed to pair the colors so the darker fabric was on the front. I also know that in the big scheme of things, this is absolutely NOTHING. I get it. It was just something that bugged me in my little sewing world as I was putting the block together.

So that’s about it from here this week. Next week is the Mountain Quiltfest up in the Smokies, so I may have to make a trip up there to Pigeon Forge to see what’s happening there. It’s always fun to look around – plus it’s free!

I hope you all have a safe and warm weekend – and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Linking up with:
Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop! Whoop!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Little Finishes

I just have little bits of things to show for this week. But first, this morning I went to our guild meeting and Laura Wasilowski gave the presentation – Art Quilts: The Musical. And yes, she sang! It was so fun and entertaining, and I had a really good time. It was great to see all of her beautiful quilts and hear about her journey with quilting. She seems like a fun lady. You can check out her website and blog at

Also, Tuesday night at the other guild meeting, Pepper Cory talked about quilting and the creative process and brought some of her beautiful quilts to share. The afternoon before the meeting we had a Sashiko class with her and it was lots of fun. I got my Pine Trees block done during class…

The outermost line of stitching is a basting stitch and will be removed. The photo also shows off problems with my tension! Apparently, tension in your stitching is a big problem with Sashiko and you have to be careful to not pull the fabric. We had ½ yard of the indigo fabric in our class kit, so I have cut more blocks to stitch and pulled some fabric from my shelf to put this into a small wall hanging. I want to get it done soon so it doesn’t take up long term residence in my sewing room as another pile of c&@% waiting to be dealt with. (I guess a polite term would be UFO!)

Anyway, two fun guild meetings this week!

The only finishes this week are a couple of fusible projects that took a few minutes each. First, while looking for something else, I came across a McKenna Ryan block I had started a couple of years ago. I only had to cut out a few bees and fuse them to finish it, but it has languished in the closet. So, now this block is done and ready to be quilted and put into a pillow…

Mis-Beehiving! And here are the pesky bees…

I already have the pillow form for this (yes, that sat in the closet this whole time too) so my hope is to get this quilted and turned into a pillow in the next week.

I also fused another McKenna Ryan block, Bat in the Hat…

This is part of the Halloweenies BOM kit I have. Getting the last five blocks fused is my One Monthly Goal for March, so I have four more to go for the month.

That’s about it. I have my sewing room torn apart – fabric off the shelves and all over the floor, etc. I have gone through ALL of my books and now have them in some order and I am working on doing the same with the fabric now. I might not be able to find anything when I’m done cleaning out the sewing room, but it should be rather neat and tidy!

I will be linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop! Whoop! Head over for some lovely projects!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Getting Going on Monday

It’s time to start a new week. Since last time, I worked a bit on a couple of my BOMs.

First, I hand appliqued the remaining pieces on the March block of Tuxedo’s Tales, then yesterday afternoon I worked all the embroidery, and now this Tux block is done!

I also moved his button eyes, so now he doesn’t have such a startled expression. I like it much better. It’s time to pull out the April block and get it prepared for stitching.

On Friday and Saturday I finished up the March block for “It’s a ‘Wild’ Life”

This is a really cute block. I originally had lighter colors on the deer bodies and it just all looked washed out, so I pulled out a darker fabric and I like it much better now. I have also been waiting for the perfect project to use the sky fabric. I think this works great. This is all fused and machine appliqued and ready for the quilt top. It will be a long while until the next block comes out on April 1!

I also pulled my green fabrics off the shelf and refolded and tidied them up…

This month’s color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is light green/yellow-greens, so I pulled a couple of fabrics out for my Dog Gone Cute blocks and put the rest back on the shelf. I know I said I would work on my green version of the “Blue Skies” quilt when the color was green, but there will also be a dark green month. Since most of my greens (and green scraps) are dark, I will wait until that month to work on it again (I think!)

Aside from some knitting on my shawl and looking for some good knitting patterns on Ravelry – and trying to get my nerve up to start some socks – I haven’t done much else in the sewing/crafting room.

This week, I have a couple of guild meetings to attend, plus I have a Sashiko class with Pepper Cory. I have my supplies all together. It will be a long afternoon/evening going straight from the afternoon class to the guild meeting, but I’m sure I will have a great time. And the guild meeting on Friday – Laura Wasilowski! Woo hoo! It should be fun too.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

I will be linking up with the following:
BOMs Away at What a Hoot Quilts
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
It's a "Wild" Life at Sew Incredibly Crazy

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Welcome March

March is coming in dark and stormy. It should clear up for a beautiful weekend. But before looking ahead to March, I want to see what got done in February…

One Monthly Goal for February – My goal was to get the top done for “On Ringo Lake.” I didn’t quite get there…again! I have 16 of the 49 blocks and sashings pieced into the top left portion of the quilt. I got most of that completed last Friday and Saturday. Since then, I haven’t touched it. This is still in the active stage, and I hope to make more progress on it in March, though I will put it aside as an OMG.

Rainbow Scrap Challenge – I did make my two purple puppies for Dog Gone Cute…

I was also able to make progress on my little blue 9-patches, but nothing exciting to show.

New Project – I was hoping to start cutting fabric for the library quilt, but that didn’t happen. But, I think I have gotten the planning all done, and I have my cutting measurements figured out. One step at a time!

UFO/WiPs – My project was the green version of Bonnie Hunter’s “Blue Skies” from String Fling. I have decided to put that one away until the green month of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

BOMs – I worked on all three of the BOMs I am working on. Yay! I appliqued a few more pieces on the Tuxedo’s Tales block (but I haven’t taken a photo). I also made the blocks for the “It’s a ‘Wild’ Life” BOM…

And I fused three blocks for the Halloweenies quilt…

Crochet/Knitting – I have kept up with my crochet project, and have the Temperature Afghan up to date through February…

Last week had a couple of record highs where we hit 80 degrees (orange yarn), and we were in the 70s a bit too (yellow). We are heading back down closer to normal now, so it will be back to the blues for a bit.

I also completed the Granny Triangle Square shawl…

This was a fast and fun project. I may make some more.

I also decided to pull out my knitting needles. I haven’t knitted for a while (I made a pair of mittens last year) because I am such a horrible knitter. But, I decided I can’t get better if I don’t do it, and I wanted to start knitting socks this year, so I am getting some easy practice in. I am working on this Stripy Shawl…

It’s fun and easy and I can take it to quilting bee and work on it and still talk.

Miscellaneous – I didn’t do any hand stitching this month, except for the Tuxedo’s Tales block, so there is no progress there.

I was able to quilt two charity quilts to take to guild next week. I finished quilting the second one yesterday using the pattern from Week 3 of Angela Walter’s FMQ Quilting Along, continuous curves…

I am not very good at this, but these quilts are pretty forgiving for practice.

I had also planned on participating in the Project Quilting Challenges for February, but I have decided to stop for this year. It just puts too much on my sewing plate 😉 It is a lot of fun, but I really want to get some of my projects done.

So, that was February.

Even though March is a long month, I have a pretty short list for it.

One Monthly Goal – I am putting “On Ringo Lake” to the side this month, and my goal for March is to finish fusing the last 5 blocks for Halloweenies. The blocks will then be ready to piece into a quilt top.

BOM – Halloweenies will be one of my BOMs, but hopefully done in March. I will also continue with Tuxedo’s Tales (I’m working on the March block, so that works out!) and the March block for “It’s a ‘Wild’ Life.” Hopefully that won’t take much time.

The only other projects I hope to spend time with are the library quilt, and possibly “On Ringo Lake.” I will also keep working on my crochet/knitting projects. And, of course, I will make my puppies for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Other than those things, I have plenty of household projects to keep me busy this month. I also need to get back to spending time on my family history research and organizing some boxes of photos. Then there is prepping for the garden and other spring time outdoor chores to tend to. Oh, and I am taking a class next week with Pepper Cory! Woo hoo! It will be a Sashiko workshop and I’m really excited. I’m sure I will have photos to share.

So that’s if from here. I will be linking up at My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday, and at Elm Street Quilts for One Monthly Goal. Head over for some great projects and have a wonderful weekend!