Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Today's Cardivest Ensemble

One of my all time most fave knitting designs, the Cardivest in Noro Silk Garden and Malabrigo Rios, a yummy combo of silk and merino wool, soft, drapey and not itchy, with flattering vertical ribbing. Mother of Pearl buttons. This size is 48" by 26.5" long. 

 I am including in this offer a coordinating scarf in Noro Taiyo, in cotton, silk and a bit of wool. It measures 50" at the wingspan by 18" at its deepest point.  $100 plus $10 shipping. Email me.

Monday, October 7, 2019

My new table

 At last my new sewing table has arrived! I asked for suggestions and got them, so thank you all. The best deal was the SewEzi and it was just what I expected. My machine fits in it perfectly and the surface is super smooth and white with purple to match the purple on my machine.
Assembly was easy too. I am expert at anything using an Allen wrench! The height is exactly where I want it to be, lined up with my larger table, thanks to the furniture moving pads I placed under the feet.
As for sewing on it...I can make it jiggle if I am going a hundred mph but I know this is not going to be my quilting machine, just my piecing machine which means slower sewing, usually. The insert is specifically cut for my Janome 6500P, and they offer inserts for all brands.

 It has little wheels, which imho are superfluous, as picking it up to move it is easier than picking up my dog. Only 23 pounds, sans machine, which you wouldn't be dragging as a unit. 

 The smooth transition to the bigger table is the best part, and of course the fact that the machine sits level rather than on top of a table is why I had to have this. Yup, I'm a happy camper.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Assembling Tops

 The Thursday girls had a day off since I had a doctor's appointment to deal with my aching knees. I was lucky and got right in at 10am and 40 minutes later had been shot up with cortisone in both knees, after having X-rays taken. Wow! What a difference. I am so optimistic that I won't have to live in pain night and day anymore. 
To celebrate, I got up early and started assembling the sewn parts to two Tuesday Quilters tops. This first one is 16patches and measures 62 x80ish. We have oodles more 4 patches to use up from this collection. Starting with 2.5" strips and sewing and cutting them down. 

 Then I sewed the 12 big rail fence star blocks. Each block is 18.5" so the finished top is about 54x 72"and will probably or maybe get a border. We'll see. 
 The Thursday quilters finished our Dutch Wax top and got it sewn together triumphantly last week, but it is only getting posted today. 
Next week my Tuesday quilters have off and I was bringing in the Thursday quilters in their place but now, Dave has a doctor's appointment in the same time frame so again we'll get a day off. 
This works out for me, because there are a huge stack of finished quilts that need binding, which is my job. 
Happy to do it. Actually, happy to be doing anything without pain. And praise God there seems to be an end to our horrific heat wave coming this weekend. I am so over summer. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Design Wall Progress

 Yesterday Tuesday quilter Diane brought over the two 4x8' styrofoam panels and we proceeded to trim and mount them on the new big studio wall. As you can see we had to make a space for the phone and internet outlets, but it is only about a foot square missing from the whole. The crown molding and floor baseboard meant we had to trim the 96" length to 89", but it was simple with the use of a craft knife. Luckily I had a brand new 90x108" batting to cover the green styrofoam and we were off to the races! Right off the bat we put our rail fence star blocks and 9 patches up and began to sew more parts. 

 The blocks are 18.5" and we only need a dozen to make our top, so we are well on our way. 

 Today I removed the previous blocks and put the Thursday quilter's  Dutch Wax batik blocks up and I await further instructions from Joan who has the final count of how many blocks we will need to complete this project. Only 30 blocks are sewn into a piece (the top 5 rows) at this time. 8 inch blocks.

 Meanwhile I have been anticipating Autumn! Here's a cardivest made from Red Poppy merino by Martha Stewart and Cascade Casablanca  wool, silk and mohair. This vest is unassigned, meaning I don't have a waiting recipient, so it is available to you. The sizing is 42" bust, 50" hip and 31" in length. 

I am dying for the leaves to change color to this combination and so enjoyed imagining them while I knit. There was enough yarn to knit a matching scarf, to finish off the ensemble. The price is $100 plus shipping, ($14) check or paypal. Email me. SOLD


Sunday, September 22, 2019

Living Room to Sewing Room

In advance of cooler weather (pray it comes soon) I decided to switch to the larger living room space, which has the advantage of a large blank wall where I can install a 8x8 foot design wall. I moved the  rarely sat upon furniture out of the front room and into the sunroom, and at the same time brought all the necessary sewing furniture into the new space. The addition of the dining room table (we're now eating in the kitchen on the round patio table) means I have the quilting setup ready for me to start in quilting our Tuesday group quilts. 
I like a house I can reconfigure to suit my needs, which as you may know, change often. I have a rule that all my furnishings must be movable by me. Nothing too heavy or bulky. 

 The one end of the room has recessed lighting but floor lamps provide brightness for those soon to come gloomier days. (really, I can't wait, I am so over summer). I am borrowing one of my sister's Janome 6500P machines, so all our workhorses are the same. But I really want your help in finding the best set into table for my machine. I have one that is great but the price doubled since I bought it and I am hoping you may have a table that your machine sits in that isn't wobbly and makes it pleasant to sew for hours on end. Please be specific with brand and model if you can. Email me.

 This is the space for the big design wall which will arrive on Tuesday, thanks to Tuesday quilter Diane who has volunteered to go to Lowe's and get it for me. I have a little car nowadays, so I must rely on my pals. We are getting .75" styrofoam insulation boards, and I will be using Command picture hanging strips to attach them to my wall. I have used these before and they work great. Now that I have newly painted walls, I have waited a week or more to let the paint harden, and being semi-gloss, I am praying that the stickers stick as expected. I've already hung the smaller 4' square design wall, and of course it is staying put nicely.

 Here's the quilting set up and a side view of the table I have had for years. Really sturdy and fits my machine specifically. 

 The mini design wall has the Thursday's blocks up. These are from my stash and are ancient. Dutch Wax batiks. Simple design shows off the fabric to it's best advantage. More blocks are ready to add, but I will wait to do that when the new bigger wall is up. 

In the meantime, our Tuesday group has been sewing strips and 16 patches and we have three ideas going at once. Patsy has tried out this block and then of course I had to jump in too. Mine is different because instead of strips for the center, I added a nine patch. So fun!

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Tops to Share

Our Thursday group finally met, after missing a week due to painters in my house. Now my heart's desire, white walls, are done and I am thrilled. Mostly because they fixed all the booboos that were annoying me, and that's a big relief. We had finished blocks to sew together and in less than an hour, after eating our snacks and catching up, we assembled this top, which was #3 in the voting. This is a very scrappy version of Delectable Mountains, but still, it looks pretty darn good, if I say so myself. We did have some matching up problems (mostly me) and they eventually got fixed, so none's the wiser. It is huge. About 56 x 96". Someone said, it's a quilt for a tall gal. Ha!
To refresh your memory...we began with two 10 inch blocks and sewed them 1/4" along either side of the diagonal line. Cut them in half and then in fourths, and reassembled. That was the very easy part. Had we considered contrast a bit more than we did, the design would be more evident. O well. 
Speaking of contrast...The Tuesday group blocks are done and I have half sewn in strips and on the board ready to add to the main already sewn set. The red and white hourglass blocks really define this simple two block quilt, proving that you don't have to be fussy to be dramatic.
  We have just about used up all of our light prints and that means we are itching to buy fabric to supplement our design ideas. This must be prevented! We must use our creativity to make quilts with what is plentiful in the stash. I am certain it can be done.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Flying Geese Star

 For my Tuesday quilters I like to teach a basic block, like 4 patch, 9 patch, hourglass, Delectable Mountains, etc. This time we did flying geese blocks and then used them to make a star block. 
This sort of thing is all over the internet, so nothing really new here, but I am posting it, because all the info on this will then be in one place for my quilters. This recipe makes 'in the neighborhood' of a 6.5"block. 

 The Parts: 4.5" square for the background,  3.75" square for the center of the star, four 2.5" squares for the geese, or triangles, and four 2" squares to fill in the background.

 Place two squares on the big square and draw a diagonal line through them, sewing 1/4" seams on either side. 

 Cut on the line and press open thusly.

 Place the remaining two 2.5" squares on the point of those pieces and mark a diagonal line across, sewing 1/4" seams along both sides.

 Cut along that line and press open. Voila. Four matching flying geese blocks. But wait, there's more!

 Sew two of the geese blocks to the 3.75" square. The remaining geese get a 2" square sewn on either side. 

 Sew the combined geese and little squares onto the sides of the block, nesting seams. Press open.

 There she is. A nice star, no waste, and points remaining. Phew! I used my cut scraps bin for this block, and only had to adjust (trim down) one 4 inch square scrap to make the 3.75" square.
In the future I will use up those scrap bits by making flying geese and stars and eventually have enough for a top. Nice.