Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Top's Done

I put the blocks together and then just slapped on borders. The quilt designed by Monique Dillard in the Quilt It Today magazine used 18 blocks, set on point with red side triangles and a couple of borders -- one of them pieced.  It's really a pretty quilt.  But we didn't exchange enough blocks and I doubt anyone really wanted to make that big of a quilt anyway.  I had just enough of the sashing fabric to do the sashing of the blocks -- would have been nice to have a little more for another border, but that's okay -- using up stash is a good thing!

Don't tell Kris, but it was fun to do and actually got me back to the sewing machine to piece something.  The only quilting I've done for the past few months has been some applique.  And, I'm finding I enjoy applique more than piecing for now -- I think I go in streaks as to what I like to be doing! (If Kris knew I had fun, she'd come up with another challenge project in no time!)

I'm waiting for the guy to come and plow my drive out -- we got somewhere around 5 or 6 inches of snow yesterday and today and it drifted across the drive in a couple areas that are probably a foot deep or more.  I did get the snowblower out to blow a path for JR to get out to the grass (gotta think of these things when the snow is deeper than your dog is tall!

It feels like a good day to make some soup and knit the rest of the day.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Design Wall and Blocks

Now that I've made up my mind to stay here awhile, I can put my design wall back up -- and leave it up.  I use a photographic stand as my design wall -- I can take it anywhere, but I usually just leave it up in the cutting area of the sewing room.  I just roughly stitched a sleeve in a piece of Warm &  Natural batting and slid it on the crossbar of the stand. 

You'll notice I did square up my quarter square triangles and put the two different blocks of the quilt on the wall.  Maybe next time I'll actually sew them together! 

While I was in the basement sewing room my mail lady came to the door to deliver a box with my new soap molds, so maybe later this week I'll start another batch of soap.  The very wet snow has started and is being blown around by the north wind -- I felt really sorry for the mail lady!

Wow -- two posts in the same day!  Yay me!

Winter Winds

Can you see the flag to the right of the evergreens?  We must have 40 mph winds out here -- I know we're only 90 miles from the Windy City, but this is ridiculous.  And this afternoon we're supposed to get more rain/sleet/snow.  Did I tell you I hate snow and cold and winter in general?  But hopefully, this will be winter's LAST hurrah!  Spring can't be far behind, can it?!

This afternoon I might actually get to the sewing room to square up some quarter square triangle blocks.  My friend Kris always has a challenge or two up her sleeve and the latest came from Quilt It magazine -- a red and white quilt made with quarter square triangles, so 6 of us exchanged some red and white 5" squares and we're all making a variation of the quilt.  So far I have my triangles made, but that's it -- Kris already has 7 blocks made!  Guess I'd better get busy.  Later....

Sunday, February 24, 2013


I seem to forget to write anything here for months.  Really -- I'm fine -- not lost or anything!

It's been a busy few months, or a boring few months -- I live in the midwest and it's winter so not a lot of outside activities and I tend to get caught up in doing a lot of nothing - sort of hibernating in the winter.  It finally is getting close to spring -- well, it's sunny today even though the temp is only in the 30's!
I've been cleaning house and getting rid of stuff in anticipation of putting the house on the market again, but now I'm re-thinking that.  My daughter thinks I'm a waffle -- can't ever make up my mind! But I've spent a lot of time thinking this winter -- the plan was to move to the big city to a condo -- have someone else do the mowing and the snowplowing and do some downsizing of course.

But, I really do like my house -- Bill and I designed it ourselves and had it built.  We have a beautiful piece of wooded property here -- I saw 8 deer out beyond the woods this morning.  In the city you won't be seeing that.  Plus, with a condo you still have to maintain it yourself -- so I might as well stay here and pay someone to plow my drive and mow my yard.  I won't have to give up my beautiful sewing room, and I doubt any of the condo's have a fireplace in the kitchen -- which is where I've spent the past few days -- just knitting in front of the fireplace.  We used to love to have a fire there every morning -- our days always started a little later just because we were enjoying the fire.  I still have plenty of firewood in the shed, so I might as well enjoy it.

The upshot is that I'm not ready to move yet and hopefully I'll know when I am!
In the meantime, I've been learning new things. Last year I made it a point to learn to make laundry detergent and soap.  It's been kind of fun and I just finished a batch of soap -- I leave it for 6 weeks to cure and that was up on Thursday.  I ordered a couple of new molds so I'll make a new batch next week or the week after.  Another reason to stay here -- I have a huge kitchen and it's very convenient to make soap in it.
This year my goal is to learn to knit socks.  I've been following Judy and Mary's blogs for years and been so envious of their sock knitting!  I taught myself to crochet years ago, but never learned to knit.  I tried to make dish cloths last year, but it was super boring!  And I love the idea of making two socks at a time, so I bought all the books and the circular needles and the yarn -- the whole kit and caboodle.  I was bound and determined to learn that way, but when I finally got around to sitting down with it I discovered it looks easier than it is!  So I went back to Judy's blog and she just happened to post a month or so ago what book and what yarn she made her first pair with.  I did a search and found the book and the exact yarn was on sale at that site (I can't remember which one it was), so I bought both and some double pointed needles and set about teaching myself to knit socks!
I have ripped it out and started over about 3 times, and this is very far from perfect, but I'm going to continue on and hope the second sock is better and the next pair will be good!  I'm loving knitting on dpns -- I love knitting with smaller needles and I love watching a recognizable item hanging from my needles!  I've even been looking at other things to knit -- but I'm not going to start anything else until I've got socks down pat!
So that's what I've been doing in front of the fire in the kitchen this weekend.  I really need to put it away and clean house tomorrow though.  And, hopefully it won't be 3 months before I write again.