Tuesday, December 7, 2010

This really should be a finished socks post

... but oh well.  The picture, taken this morning, shows what I accomplished through Sunday evening, and I'm very happy with that progress in three weeks.   I don't think I'll ever go back to one sock at a time.

The grey pair only needs cast off, but I need to unearth the book to see how to do that.  About 10 rounds plus the cuff is needed on the other pair.  I have something going on every night this week, so none of that will happen before the weekend.  Then I need to move on to some Christmas gifts so I won't feel so guilty about what I spent during a cyber-Monday sale.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Nothing but knittin' this week

I've managed to do quite a bit of knitting this week.  I'm past the heel and ready for the leg on the second dark sock, and I found two skeins of Regia Cotton in the nether regions of my stash to restart the two-at-once last Sunday.  Toe-up this time, just because it's what I'm used to.

I'm not entirely fond of this cotton yarn (very splitty!), but I'm loving the process.  I want to work on quilts tomorrow, so I'm hoping to make it through the heels on the grey tonight, leaving nothing but legs to work on during the coming week.

Must get a pedicure!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Progress

Last week felt frigid here for early November, and I managed to come down with a nasty upper respiratory and sinus infection that doesn't want to go away.  This week is better with temps in the high 60s, but it's been a rough week with the time change.

I've made a little progress on the one sock thanks to some mindless ribbing on the leg while watching TV.  A little bit to go on the cuff and I'm ready to start the next.  It cracks me up how distorted these can look when the ribbing isn't expanded.  Must ask Santa for some sock blockers.

The two-at-once didn't fare as well.  I love the process, but they were too tight when I tried one on Grant last week.  Hopefully this weekend I'll have a couple of hours to invest in starting again.  It's not nearly the mindless process (yet) as one at a time.

I also managed to make it to the post office with a couple of toddler quilts and an old round robin UFO that didn't move me anymore for Gloria.


Is anyone else shocked at how little fits in a Flat Rate Priority Mail box these days?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Socks!

It's been many months since I last knit on anything but I was inspired to play along with  Judy's November Sock KAL.

The blue Sockotta cotton/wool socks were started before the 2010 Olympics but, sadly, I dropped a stitch and didn't notice it until the sock was bound off and they got pushed aside for a more patient day. I fixed and finished it last weekend so I could start the ones in the center with my currently preferred toe-up, one-at-a-time.  I needed something to fall back on if I got too frustrated with the new method.   The center sock is a wool/nylon OnLine yarn that, thankfully, is getting softer as I knit. 


The green and black toddler socks on the right are from stashed Essential yarn from Knitpicks a few years ago when it came in 462-yard skeins.  Sunday I buckled down and forced myself to learn two socks-at-once in daylight hours.  Early in the summer I bought the books recommended by Mary and read them a lot, but hadn't tried the method.  

It really defeats the purpose of knitting two at once to make them different colors, I guess you're thinking?   I didn't have two identical skeins of any yarn, so I decided to use different colors of the same yarn.  As it turns out, it's hell on the eyes to knit black /dark yarn, so teaming it with the green works better for tracking where I am.  Another reason for using two colors was to track Sock 1 and Sock 2... I thought.  It took a bit to realize Sock 1 changes with each portion of the round.  Before that realization, there were quite a few gymnastic effects and frustrating moments when trying to knit the black 'Sock 1' first each time.  

I'll have to work on these during lunch hours if I hope to make any significant progress during the month.  My nights are mostly filled with what little quiltmaking happens in my life right now.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Back again!

Right after my last post and all my virus issues, the display went out on my 6 y/o laptop and I was without a computer for about 5 weeks while looking for the perfect economic solution (free).   The first week was really rough (think DTs!), but I eventually came around and managed to live a life with only my work computer and lunchtime to tide me over.   The good thing is I managed to get a lot of stuff done in my downtime.

Here are a couple of quilts I finished and sent off to Gloria in Utah to quilt and donate for her project.  I'll have better pictures from her once they are quilted.  A couple of  toddler quilts are on their way as well.




Grant helped me peel/core/slice apples again this year.  This tool is the greatest invention.

Oliver turned 2!  My little cuddlebug sweetheart.


Who cares about cake; give me the icing!













Super Mario and Luigi went trick-or-treating.  I made their hats by piecing fabric to cover cheap home store paint caps.  Marker on muslin glued to the front for the letters.

Monday, August 9, 2010

July in review

In addition to canning (strawberry jam, cherry pie filling, blueberry jam, blueberry butter, apricot jam, and shiro plum jam) and lots of reading & DVDs, July was spent like this:

Finally got &*%X# borders on
the QOV; still need to make the
pillowcase and get it sent off.
Went to a baby shower

Dealt with this mishap!
Pulled out a brown bag UFO from
...2000?


Used triangle paper for the first
time.  The jury's still out.
HSTs went into these LQS
 mystery pieces 'n' parts.

And I'm still dealing with more computer viruses
than I've ever seen since I've owned a computer.


Take care,
Sheila

Friday, June 25, 2010

Catching up

I’m working backwards through some pictures I’ve taken and not posted in recent months.
***
Stash Enhancement--9.47 pounds
Connecting Threads had a scraps ‘n’ ends sale at their Columbus distribution center today.  It’s only about four exits from me on the outerbelt, and at $5 a pound, why not?   Luckily, I went in with a budget or I would have done some major damage.   Some of their fabric lines seem to me to have an inconsistent quality from one fabric to another, so it was nice to be able to feel the fabric before buying it.  Other than to acquire some more blues and reds for QOV quilts, I wish I’d had a project in mind.  As it was I mostly grabbed some pieces to add new life to the scrap bin.    

***

Here’s Oscar with a recent shave, haircut and a paw-dicure.  I was amazed how brown-ish his fur was after all that long white hair.  He was sick for about a week before this (and did some major damage to the carpet).  Luckily he’s okay.   Am I the only person who’s never heard of the sick dog diet of boiled hamburger & rice?  After eating that, he will hardly touch his regular food now. 
***
A few months ago I took Grant to see the movie How to Train Your Dragon at the Movie Tavern near me which has a (very pricey!!) Flapjacks and a Flick feature for kids on Saturday mornings.  (My son warned me they were the worst pancakes I’d ever eat, and he wasn’t kidding.)  Grant’s become infatuated with dragons and Vikings since then and wanted a dragon cake for his 4th birthday in May.  Isn’t this a cute idea?


 I’d be a bad Nana if I didn’t include a picture of my boys!  
***
My car finally hit 50,000 miles after 6.5 years.  That's an average of 641 miles a month and includes several round trips between Ohio and Texas.  I think I deserve an insurance discount, don't you?

***
The stocking below was a pattern I tested for Gudrun Erla in early March.  It’s from her latest QAYG book, Fast and Furious Holiday.  I’m not sure the plaids were quite what she was looking for, but I think it turned out cute in all its maleness.  This experience was a good lesson for me in how directions can be interpreted differently!


That’s all for now.  Tomorrow, an update on the QOV and maybe some finished jam.

Take care,
Sheila

Monday, June 7, 2010

The quilting stitch

I could look all day at how quilting transforms a quilt.  Keryn's Square Spiral panto is a favorite of mine ever since Anne used it on my spider web.  But look at the dramatic difference on a light fabric quilt.

More of the Memorial Day quilt

I didn’t meet Judy’s mail by June 6th deadline, but definite progress has been made.  I have three row-sets hanging here, but abandoned pressing open the long seams and sewing the final two seams in favor of cutting and piecing all the parts for the five borders. We’ll get back at it next weekend!


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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day Quilting

I didn't really fall off the face of the earth, and I'm determined to blog more consistently.

I've taken Judy up on her offer to quilt and donate to QOV tops made according to her pattern.  On top of a hectic week, I struggled choosing fabrics but finally made a decision on Saturday night.  Step 3 was finished Monday (except for pressing), and I should have no problem meeting her June 6th deadline.

Monday, April 19, 2010

JSS 2010 Quilt Day

Saturday was the 6th annual quilt day for the all-volunteer James Stitching Sisters, and a first for me.  The goal of "210 for 2010" was exceeded, and I believe the  final tally was 369 completed quilts turned in since quilt day in 2009.  

While the group hosts weekly opportunities at the JSS center or in local quilt shops to work toward the same goal, more than 170 women set up shop this day in a church gymnasium to make tops toward next year's quilt goal.  Most attending were breast cancer survivors, family members, or staff of tOSU Medical Center or JamesCare.  While I don't fall into any of those categories, I'm just happy and blessed to be able to help in some way. The amount of organization that went into something of this magnitude was amazing.  There were areas dedicated to cutting, pressing, pinning, or making bindings.  There were more prepared kits available than people to make them.  Local girl scouts fed the troops.  More than 500 requests went out for door prizes and no one went home empty-handed.   It was just a really great experience, and I met so many fantastic people.

I posted a few pictures of the day, but this was my favorite:


Fight like a girl indeed!

Although she isn't pictured, one lady in attendance has survived breast cancer for 28 years.  That's amazing, considering how far technology and medicine have come in 28 years.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Labels

There was mention of how to make labels on the HeartStrings group this morning, so I uploaded a few pictures to a new webshots album of older ones I've done.  I like to use MS Word to create labels and occasionally use the WordArt feature.  Sometimes I use a picture of the quilt or fabric as a background for the text.  Stitching a small *binding* around the stiff label fabric helps when sewing it to the quilt.


Sheila

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy National Quilting Day!

I had a happy surprise when I went to the P.O. Box yesterday afternoon and found a huge box full of quilts!  Between these and the abundant sunshine this week I believe my quilting mojo has been restored, just in time for National Quilting Day.


Joanne has done an absolutely wonderful job on these.  I couldn't be happier with how they all turned out, and can't believe she was ever worried or didn't like a couple of them. She had the freedom to do whatever she wanted and I tried to assure her there was no way she could ruin them (her worry).  And I told her time and again that they were just tops hanging in the closet, but she was making them into quilts.  She played around with a pantograph and freehand quilting as well as boogie boards (or something like that!).  She says she learned a lot... including some new choice words.  hahaha

I set about trimming them all last night and made bindings for three of the four.  I'm debating about the orange binding, but I want to make it look more gender neutral and not so baby boy-ish colorwise.  I started on the binding for the red quilt first as I want to send it and another to Alycia for her QOV projects.  Better pictures will come once they are washed & fluffy.

Binding kept me up VERY late last night, and I couldn't believe it was 6:45AM when I woke up--I was sure Oscar had peed somewhere inside by that hour, but thankfully he was still sound asleep.  We're used to a morning walk at 5:00AM!

I hope to get at least a couple of tops together today, finish the binding on the red quilt, and run by a quilt shop that's having a $ale.  Maybe I can find some backing fabrics.  

How are you spending the day???

Take care,
Sheila


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Someone eats oatmeal for breakfast nearly every day... with brown sugar & vanilla.

Someone came to visit Nana the other day.  Such smoochability!  He's engrossed in a Signing Time video here.  (If you have kids or grandkids, this is an excellent communication tool before they learn to speak.)

Someone got a bath and didn't care for it one bit!

Someone sewed her finger last week.  Ouch!  She wonders if it's considered Workers Comp since she was testing a designer's pattern?  Ha.  Here's a peek:


Someone is working on my Barbara's Antique quilt.  I'm excited to see in person what she's done with all of them!

Take care,
Sheila 

P.S. Re: the previous post, the quilt shop tells me that we were only supposed to get one 10" block OR two 5" blocks from the fabric...  not both as the pattern indicated.  hmph

Monday, March 1, 2010

February's tally

Attn. Quilt Shops:  If you are going to offer a BOM, why not give directions on how to use the skimpy fabric cuts to get all the required pieces?


This Bountiful Baskets BOM is supposed to have one 10" block and two 5" blocks each month.  I didn't get enough fabric to make two of those three, and it reminded me why I don't do BOMs anymore.  But I succumbed to the thought of having a quilt in repro fabrics, since that is a fabric addiction I've resisted.  I've been quilting since 1999 and sewing for 43 years; if everyone got the same fabric cuts I did, there is no way a beginner would be able to work through it.

I did manage to get a little sock knitting in--made it through the heel on one, then started the other to try a different gusset/heel to see which I like better.  This Sockotta sock yarn has nearly equal parts cotton and wool and feels much better to me.


I didn't watch much of the Olympics since my TV is not cooperating with the DTV converter, so I tried to catch the highlights on the computer the following day.  I spent most of my month reading (all excellent reads):


Here's to a more productive March.

Sheila

Sunday, February 28, 2010

I've been in a weather funk!

Central Ohio is working toward record snowfall this February (usually one of the two driest months in Ohio).  A few weeks back we did get all the snow that was promised, and then some.  And then another storm shortly after and little bits daily since then.  It was beautiful and sparkling while it fell, with huge flakes or sometimes the cutest little snow pellets.  Otherwise, I'm so over the snow and the piles of dirty snow everywhere.  We had a whole day of sunshine last week and it really felt good.  I even opened my windows most of the day, even though it was slightly below freezing temps.  

With all the snow came overfilled gutters of ice and gutter to ground icicles.   One of the largest (easily 25" diameter;  I'm sure I looked funny to the neighbors hanging off the stairwell trying to knock it down with the broom handle) just happened to be outside the wall of my spare quilting/computer room, leaving water spots on and a buckle in the wall and cracks in the corner.  Just what I needed.

Another was off the back gutter to my deck. It was so large I couldn't break it with a hammer, so I chipped away at it for days until the hammer could break off the largest part.  Despite my best efforts to make it fall away from the house, the icicle ice monster fell into the huge pile of frozen snow and previously chipped ice, pushing it all right into my dining room.   

The good news is that we are in for a week of 30-deg temps and then a week of 40s!!  I am so ready for beautiful flowers, lush hostas, and my CSA.  And long walks on dry ground.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Countdown

I have meetings every night this week, so this morning I pulled out stuff to work on once the Olympics start:  a new sock and handquilting.


I started the handquilting years ago but didn't get far.  I waffle about handquilting a top purchased at a sample sale (vs. something I made myself), so I may take out the stitching on that one block and go for some big stitch utility quilting instead.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Morning sampler

Mary's new sock kick has motivated me to a finish.  (And she is fast!) Mary, I love that you're making them in Scarlet & Gray -- Buckeye colors.  ; )

This pair was started in May'09 and has been languishing... waiting for those last 20 or so rows of the second leg to be done.  As is my usual, once I know what it's going to look like, I've moved on.


Last week I discovered that this young pup has been using my dining room as his personal potty.  I have an open kitchen/dining/living area, but I never go through the dining room, or even use it much for that matter. Unfortunately I've had to go back to crating him while I'm at work.  Here's a picture of one of his milder moments this morning.

Non-diet food:  I made some kolaches to take to work today.  One could find sausage kolaches in nearly every donut shop in north Texas, but no one locally has heard of them. Just as well, since it's cheaper to make them. This last batch is fresh from the oven, but a couple mysteriously vaporized as soon as this picture was snapped!  


Eckrich breakfast links rolled in Pillsbury Grands biscuits (biscuits were separated in half horizontally before rolling).

We're supposed to be in for "the biggest snowstorm of the season" today and tomorrow, but it hasn't started yet. Are the weather people in your area incite-ful alarmists too?  By listening to them, you'd never know this is a northern climate with four seasons.

The good news is... I finally found the cord to my new camera!  It looks just like one of my computer cords, so it was right under my nose the whole time.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving/Christmas/NewYear!

I really am still alive.  I just haven't been in the quilting mood for so, so long.  Well, I haven't been in the mood to make anything... but I still think about quilting nearly every day all day.

During my little unintended hiatus from blogging I did manage to finish a couple of string quilts, bind several JSS quilts, start only one new quilt, organize all the pictures and free patterns stored on my computer, clean and organize my sewing/storage room, make some QAYG blocks, and work on cutting 'kits' for some long-term scrap projects.  Seems like boring, un-blogworthy shtuff.  Plus the usual day-to-day work, family, dog, exercise, and choke over the cost of medical treatment.   If I could find my camera cord, I'd share it all with you!

And I'd share a picture of the puny little snow we got last night, but go check out Jeanne's California pics instead... amazing!


Sheila
P.S. It seems blogger has changed a bit; I may have to retrain myself!