Monday, 26 January 2015

Design Wall Monday, Jan. 26, 2015

My design wall looks exactly the same this week as it did last week. It still has part of Texas Chain laid out, waiting for the sewing to start.
The reason that it's still waiting is that I finally did something I've been wanting to do for ages, and that's make myself a new tote bag. The colours aren't quite as red as showing in these pictures. It took me most of last week to get it done. I'm not sure if you can see them, or not, but on either side of the pocket there are a couple of metal "D" loops.
 And this is what they are for. To clamp my small purse/wallet so that I can carry them both at the same time, and not have to go digging around to the bottom of the tote bag to find it. It's an idea that's been kicking around inside my head that has finally gotten out.  I'm linking up to Judy's Design Wall Monday

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Sunday Stash and Stitching Report, week 4

I finished the first of the La Passacaglia rosettes last night, and immediately started on the next one. It is so much fun simply digging through the fabrics, that it took hours just to make the decision of which ones to use next. I'm assembling these in a bit of a different order than the book suggests, working on the ones that will be nesting into each other, rather than just assembling rosettes and then putting it all together. I think I might get a better continuity of colours this way. So this one below is how far I've gotten, so far. It gets more complex past this point...........

I've been doing lots of sewing this past week. But, I finally did some shopping. Fabrics for a tote bag, and 10 yards of Kona white for backgrounds for the scrappy quilts that will be happening this year. I ended up in added numbers, this week, but it won't be too hard to get going back in the right direction.

Used this week:                                      8.15 yards
Used this year:                                     12.25 yards
Added this week:                                      15 yards
Added this year:                                        15 yards
Net stash added:                                     2.75 yards

I'm linking up to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching and Judy's Fabric Report. The I think I'll keep going on this rosette for a while longer. This one stitched together so much faster, so far, than the first one did, which is very encouraging.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Stash Enhancement....

We went on a road trip too Woodstock for a doctor's appointment this morning. So, we, or should I say I, decided that the fabric shop Cherished Pieces, was on the way home. It involved a bit of a southwesterly course home, rather than just west, but we won't quibble over details like that. A few weeks ago I made myself a nice little purse/wallet, and I want a tote bag to go with it. While I was rooting around in my stash for something totally unrelated, I discovered that I had two more fat quarters of the fabric that I made the outside of the purse with. But, I didn't have anything else that would play nicely with them, in big enough amounts, to make the rest of the bag. So that was my mission today, to find fabrics to go with the outer fabric of the bag, which will be the same as the outer fabric of my purse. And success was had, along with some fun, too. The light print fabric at the top will be the inside lining of the tote. The charcoal Kona will be the outside bottom. And the pink will be the outer contrast pockets, as well as the inside pockets. I think I'll probably do the straps from the charcoal and the pink . The end intent is to have a couple of D rings on one side of the outside of the tote, so that I can use the clips that are holding on the strap of the purse, and clip the purse to the outside of the tote bag. I have this pictured in my head so well, and I'm really excited about doing this, so I'm going to be working on this for the rest of the afternoon.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Design Wall Monday

There's lots going on here, today. I'm sleeping much better, thanks to an increase in my prescription, so I have my energy and mojo back. I'm ready to quilt up one of my own projects. I had originally listed them on the right hand side bar of my block, from oldest to youngest, planning on quilting them in that order. But, when push came to shove, I just couldn't bring myself to load that oldest one. But then I couldn't decided which one to do. So, I took the easy way out. I texted Gail and asked her to pick a number between 1 and 13, without giving her the reason until after she picked a number. She picked number 8. So, I counted down to the quilt that was eighth on the list. It's this one. So, I'm now in the process of making a backing for it. I wanted something light in colour for it, and I also wanted it to come from stash. I have a lot of cream and tan background what-was-I-thinking fabrics that I was originally going to use. But with the white in the front of the quilt, creams and tans just didn't quite fit. I revisited my stash and found some light greens with white backgrounds that work much better. Some of it is yardage, and some of it is fat quarters. I'm squaring them all up, and cutting them to equal widths to make them easier to sew together and to make sure that backing ends up square for loading onto the frame. Some of this stuff has been in the stash for a very long time, so it's great to get it used up.
And then, if that isn't enough, I cut and started laying out a new project over the weekend. It's a pattern by one of my favourite designers....... you know who it is....... Judy Martin. It's called Texas Chain. I can't remember which book it's from, off the top of my head. This is what I've got so far. I'm using mostly a Stonehenge jelly roll, and a few other pieces from my stash to increase the contrasts in the chain. A lot of the fabrics in the jelly roll are quite alike in shade and value. So far, I'm happy with the way it looks. There are a few more rows to lay out, but I've run out of wall. I'll have to start sewing, and then add the rest. I still have a fairly wide range of colours and lights and darks left to finish it. I'm linking all this up to Judy's Design Wall Monday and also to Wips be Gone.
I'm hoping to get this backing finished today, and the quilt loaded,  and also some sewing done on Texas Chain. It's going to take a bit of thought to figure out the most efficient way to sew it together without getting up and down to take things off the wall one at a time. Sometime this week, I also want to get the last three stars sewn onto this rosette. I'd hoped to get it done yesterday, and worked at it until about 5 pm. But my eyes started to give out, and I switched to machine sewing instead. And now...... time to sew a backing together.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Stash and Stitching report, week 3, 2015

It's a lovely day indoors today, and there are even rose buds showing, unlike outside, where it is cold and damp and grey. See those tiny little rose buds, in those tiny little pentagons? I'm trying to pretend they are the real thing, but it's not working too well. This is the first rosette for La Passacaglia. It's become my go to hand stitching project lately, if only on Sundays. I'm going to link this lovely rosette to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching and also to Sarah's Help for hex-holics, although there isn't actually a hexagon to be found in this piece.
Kathy encouraged us to actually post a picture of our hands in our slow Sunday post, so here's mine.

 This picture gives an idea of just how tiny those pieces are. I'm holding one of the rose bud pentagons and a grey triangle there. And, I think I should get bonus points. Not only did I get a picture of my hand, but I also see that I got in my bare toes-ies as well. Oh, and my working tray that's sitting on my lap, holding everything I need.... it's the top of one of those storage boxes that I'm keeping all the fabrics for this project in. It's perfect lap size, and easily goes where I go.

I was having a hard time figuring out how to count these small odd shapes for the stash report. I've decided that I'm going to give each piece an arbitrary average size of a 2 inch square. Some of them are bigger than that when they are cut, allowing for seam allowances, and some are smaller. This first rosette has 90 pieces!!

Used this week:                                          1 yard
Used this year:                                          4.1 yards
Added this week:                                        0 yards
Added this year:                                          0 yards
Net stash busted:                                    4.1 yards

I've actually cut out more than that. I cut out an entire quilt this past week, but I don't actually count stash as out until I've started sewing things together. Right now, it's in the design wall, getting the colours balanced right stage. But, that means I'll actually have something up on the wall for design wall Monday tomorrow. In the meantime, I'm also linking up to Judy's Fabric Stash report, And then I'm going to continue working on this rosette. I'd like to get it done, so I can move on to the fun of pulling fabrics for the next one.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Scrappy Saturday

I decided today that it was time to finish a rainbow scrappy project from last year. It doesn't have all the rainbow colours in it, since I wasn't really consistent on working on this each month. And then, I only had eight blocks, which wasn't enough to do anything with. I figured if I laid it out 3 blocks wide, by 3 blocks high, it would be a good quilt to donate to the Children's Aid Society, that our guild supports, but for the life of me, I couldn't figure out what to do as a centre block. When I posted this several weeks ago, someone suggested that I put a big pinwheel in the centre. What a perfect idea. so that's what I did. During my figuring for it, doing a 12 inch pinwheel for the centre required four blocks. Well, the four it needed translated into my mind into four sets of six inch finished pinwheels blocks. I was halfway through sewing them all when I had one of those hit the side of the head "duh" moments. I only need four triangles, not sixteen!! So, now I have 3 twelve inch pinwheel blocks left over that are going to be pieced into the back. However, after all that, this classifies as a finished top, measuring 42x42. I'm linking up to Scrappy Saturday. Then maybe I'll do the backing.

Friday, 16 January 2015

On and off my needles

I have finally gotten around to getting my Carabe sweater blocked. And since I've also finished the Cinched Rib Cowl, I've got it blocking, too. And, I found some buttons today, finally, that should work with the sweater. Once it's all dry, I'll get the buttons onto it, and then I can wear it. And yes, I'll take a picture of me in it. The cowl is for Rebecca, and I'm not too sure how getting a picture of her in it will work, but I'll try.
In the meantime, I was supposed to be starting a pair of socks with the fun yarn that came in the mail at the beginning of the year, however, I sort of got side tracked.

You see, really, it's all Judy's fault. She was talking about having finished not one, but two projects, and how she was looking at different patterns, one was a hat pattern and the other, a sweater. Of course she gave the links for them, and of course, I followed the links.  I always follow the knitting links that Judy finds, and have made a couple of sweaters after following those links. And there are more of the projects found on those links on my favourites list. Anyway, one of them was this fabulous sweater that has really cool cables, and is perfect for a yarn that I've had hanging around for at least a year. It's a Cascade Eco+. I had originally been planning on doing a sweater out of the magazine I received for Christmas, but this new one just couldn't be resisted. The pattern is called Traveller's End. So, the day after casting off the cowl, I purchased the pattern, wound the yarn, and started this sweater. I have yet to figure out how the front cables work. There must be some stitch picking up involved, because all I'm doing right now is the back, and the raglan sleeve shaping. I do read through patterns before beginning them, just to get a brief idea what techniques are involved, but I usually just knit as I come to the instructions. This is a bulky Aran weight yarn, so it should go pretty fast. So, As soon as I finish this post, and link up to Judy's On the Needles, I'm going to go and knit some more.