Quilt Therapy

Christmas Day was a wonderful day spent with family; enjoying good times and food with each other and celebrating the Birth of Christ.

Kyle loved all his gifts, he got mostly clothes from us and just LOVED the American Eagle stuff .. he’s wearing it today – LOL .. When Reg gets back from practice, we’ll be movie’ing ourselves to death which will be a nice change of pace from the past months where we’ve not spent a lot of time together at all .. This will be just a nice relaxing day for us .. I’ll hopefully finish his snowplow hat today and maybe start on Kyle’s or an earwarmer for another friend of mine. We’ll just have to see .. my right hand / wrist is still tender from my tumble down the stairs and I’ve a knot in my back – but I’m sure that a hot bath or 5 will do wonders for me πŸ™‚

hpim2366We had a wonderful Christmas dinner at my aunts and Erica said a beautiful Grace. Thank you for the grace Erica – it was long but beautiful and perfect for the season πŸ˜€ When we got there I was disappointed to not see Matthew’s car in the driveway and found out that they had been there the night before and were doing Christmas day with Meredith’s family .. ah well .. I made a joke that we could open Matthew’s present and rewrap it, my aunt said no .. **sniff ..heh .. but that didn’t last much longer than Erica opening her gift.

hpim2369Erica opened hers and was rather stunned by it .. she just LOVED it! I told her that her mum had seen what it looked like earlier and the colours that I had picked and said that she would love them .. Erica said that she did and she just loved it .. I pointed out what fabrics were hand-dyed and explained a bit of it to her .. not much – just that that fabric used to be white – I told her about how I saw a meditative reflecting type pool whenever I looked at it on my wall, and thought maybe she could find comfort and peace with this quilt. As I noted before, she’s had a rough time this year and thinking back on it, I must have had that in the back of my mind while I was picking the colours and making it for her. This quilt turned out to be so peaceful in appearance and nature. She loved the water theme and fish that I quilted into it too .. Needless to say, she thanked me for such a personal gift to her and we were both moved to tears – we both got quilt therapy
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As I stated Matthew and Meredith weren’t there, and Erica opted to open his present as she knew that it was a quilt too at that point and everyone wanted to see it πŸ˜€ .. She said she would rewrap it .. I wish Matthew had been there .. the looks on everyone’s faces, they were just stunned by it .. and said it would be PERFECT for them both .. Meredith likes bold bright colours! My uncle said that Matthew would just LOVE it – talk about a nice warm comfy feeling .. My Gramma D (96 years young) just loved it too .. she was / is (?) our master seamstress – altho she’s not doing any sewing anymore .. but hearing praises from her was such an awesome compliment. My aunt quilts and just loved it too … she was stunned that I did the quilting at home on my DSM and didn’t send it out to a long armer (which she does) heh .. later reg suggested that I offer to do my aunts quilts LOL .. that could work me thinks .. I’ll have to mention it to her.

hpim2371We later sat down to watch Pirates – World’s End and it was a wee bit chilly in the house, so erica grabbed her quilt and curled up with it on the floor – I did tell her that in time I do hope to have to repair it for her as it would be loved so much .. heh . she said not to worry, it would be. I’ll have another quilt I gifted about 10 years ago to fix too from a friend of mine .. a well loved corner needs some patching πŸ™‚ I really do love it when I have to fix quilts I give – that means they are used and loved!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas day with their family and friends.

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2 done; 24 and a few to go

hpim2359**Deep Sigh**

I’ve BOTH Matthew and Erica’s quilts done!! Finally finally finally .. am I totally happy with them – Nope .. am I going to freak .. Nope .. Matthew’s backing took on a life of it’s own .. I KNEW I should have changed it, but I didn’t .. and here’s the results .. but when I pull it out the wash (which it’s in now as I type) I’ll try to block it a bit to see if I can’t get it more even at the bottom .. not a lot, but enough so’s I’m happier about it .. all in all, I’m pretty pleased as I really wasn’t feeling well at all when i made his (blasted crud) and I still have the stupid thing!!

hpim2358Erica’s quilt is a wee bit wonky too .. i think that this going back to me not have a sturdy enough board for my basting and also just pushing on thru when I was quilting .. A few tugs when wet, and it should be just fine .. then toss in the dryer – matt’s will dry while being blocked – this will be a neat trick as I don’t have carpeting .. but I will use some towels, pins and my cutting matt to brace, block etc his quilt .. it’ll fit – Erica’s really won’t, but his will.

I did very simple quilting for Erica’s borders – just waves .. nothing but squiggly lines with fish in the tiles ..

I do really like the look of both of them .. Matthew’s is so striking and dramatic – it will be a good piece to put on his wall – Erica’s is soothing .. she’s had a rough time this year, so maybe she might find some comfort in this quilt. The colours are relaxing and the zen pool idea I’ll have to tell her about .. it might click in her mind and she can find some comfort and solace .. I guess I was thinking about the year she’s had while picking the colours ..

Either way .. these quilts are DONE DONE DONE .. i just have to baste kyles and quilt it .. I’m not going to stress about HAVING to have it done by cmas .. it’ll get wrapped as is when I finally give up the ghost on cmas eve and it’ll be the first thing I finish after cmas .. You know – there is a good possibility that it just might get done tho .. Erica’s quilt only took me 2 hours to quilt, another hour to bind and sew down .. so it’s still within reason that Kyle’s will be done .. and I will do my darnedest to hand sew his binding down .. while there’s a time crunch for cmas day .. there isn’t a “I HAVE TO GET THIS DONE” crunch / pressure ..

Here’s to one more to do

hugs

90% done, and 1 to go

hpim2355More progress .. Oh I just LOVE saying that!! Erica’s quilt got quilted last nite and I almost made it to getting the binding on – but just ran out of steam .. I didn’t want to make bad cuts and really mess things up .. so I just let it go and would do it today .. Kyle is leaving around 1pm or so to go to his dad’s so I’ve that time until he leaves to do this. and cutting and putting the binding on might just take about an hour or so. There’s a few spots on the border ‘waves’ I frogged and will restitch – all in all this backing was nicer to me. I think part of my problem is with the backings is while I am using Sharon Schamber’s method, my boards are just to flimsy – I need to get my paws on my some 1×4″ or some such thing – that will likely go a LONG way to making me happy with backings ..

hpim2353I did a loose fishy meander for this quilt. Every time I looked at it, I thought of some zen garden type thing, but with water – granted I can’t see much relaxation in raking water, but the concept was there .. so some lazy, slowly flowing ‘wavelets’ and a fish stuck in for good measure – I tried to get a good close up of the fish, but it just wasn’t coming into focus .. batteries might be low in the camera – but you can see a few fish here .. most of them landed (swam, swim???) onto the pink and I used pink thread for the quilting here .. oh and purple for the borders. The purple that was used for the border will be the same as I use for the binding.

As for reg’s plow mask – It’s now 5″ long (as the pattern calls for), but with him being a bigger guy, I’m going to add about 3 more inches – I was looking at the pattern pic and started to think that this would be short on him as the model looks like an average sized guy. I measured his face from just under his eyes to down his neck and it’s 8″ – the pic on the pattern shows it stopping at the coat collar .. When I measured his face last nite, I explained why and he goes .. yes I want my neck covered .. gee how would I have known that πŸ˜‰ I was rather dreading starting this as I was using black yarn .. ugh .. knitting in black yarn .. what fun! talk about being blind LOL

As for the crud, it’s not left me yet .. the exhaustion has, but not the cold symptoms – they change daily . yesterday is was a tender throat, today (again) stuffed congested sinus and chest – I don’t have the energy I normally do, and I can’t gather myself for the final push, but at least I can get some stuff done .. I’m tired tho and might not have the energy for Cmas LOL

Hope everyone is done with their cmas giftees and shopping .. I’m still waiting for 2 of reg’s things, and I’m not sure I’m going to get lucky .. he might get some winter giftees instead .. Russian Cmas maybe πŸ˜‰ .. yeah that works for me

2 1/2 days left …

hpim2348I‘ ve made some progress – finally!! Altho what should have taken me maybe 2 hours tops, took me all blasted day. That was my fault tho, as much as I hate to admit it. When I did Matthew’s backing, I pieced it – normally not a problem, but since I was feeling so blah, I just did the rip instead of cutting it – doing the rip is nice because the material rips along the weft ((warp???) and it’s along the grain, so nice and straight. Normally! But this small piece has given me fits before when I used it as backing and forgot that it did so. When I ripped it, this ‘twisted’ for lack of a better word, and I didn’t notice until AFTER the quilt was basted and I started to quilt – gave me all sorts of puckers in the back and waves at the edges – that’s the biggest reason why I did such close meander quilting on it – to hide the icks on the back – PLUS this is a wall hanging, so the back shouldn’t be seen – often. I had to frog a number of spots along the straight line quilting to try and convince it not to pucker – if I had more time, I would have scrapped that backing and started new – but I don’t, so I didn’t .. The good news is, the binding is on Matthew’s quilt!! If I don’t have time to hand sew it down, I’ll be machine tacking it down instead.

efishI’ve the machine all set up to do Erica’s quilt, and 2 bobbins loaded up with thread – I know it’ll take more than 2, but it gives me a place to start πŸ™‚ I’ll be doing some gently ‘waves’ and fish for her quilt and like Matthew’s the binding might be tacked down by machine instead of hand sewn .. we’ll have to see.

I still have to baste the spinner quilt, but my plan is to get that done tomorrow afternoon – this is all still workable and makeable time wise – barring any issues / problems .. I’m praying that I won’t have any. With Reg’s schedule being so wonky right now, it’s making it hard when I can sew. He’s a light sleeper and the sewing room is right next to our bedroom … Since Friday, I think he’s gotten maybe 11 hours of sleep – Poor guy!!

hpim2350So when he’s sleeping and I want to keep it quiet, I’ve been knitting – I sewed up the toe on the plowwife sock and have started a helmet liner / balaclava for him. Our temperatures have been -10 to -20 ΒΊF with the wind chill lately. I thought I would have been able to do these for both Reg and Kyle after Cmas, but with the temperature so cold and him out in it at stupid o’clock in the morning, he needs it YESTERDAY!! This will knit up hpim2352quickly as this is aran / worsted weight yarn on size 6 & 8 needles. He originally didn’t even want one, but I started to think about how cold it is here during January and February, so I was going to make him one anyways .. Kyle’s was first as he walks home from school on days he has basketball practice, but this rather changed. He mentioned (Reg) to me how cold it was when he was putting gas in the truck the other nite, so I said to him, you want one now?? heh .. yup .. so that needs to get done soonest .. talk about having a quandary – cmas giftees or hubby’s warmth .. so I think I have a pretty good compromise

Okay .. off to do some more knitting on the mask me thinks then dinner, laundry, and then quilting ..

Stay warm and have fun!!

Trumpets n Fanfare …

hpim2272Well this rather feels good πŸ™‚ .. I finally have finished the borders for Erica’s quilt .. I tell ya, I was doubting it would happen at the rate I was going .. I wanted to try and get these done the other nite, but just plain ran out of steam. Everyone seemed to really like the placement borders that I used, so I tried to use those .. **holybiblebatman** – those borders were a pain .. I struggled and battled with them for a good two days before I screamed for help from Carmen .. and she wasn’t able to get anywhere with them either .. poor thing came down sick at the time too ..

Then I started to look at it again and I just couldn’t wrap my head around it no way .. then I came down sick .. Then I finally decided to go back to “Plan A”; only thing was, the extending borders were rather bothering me – it didn’t seem right to not have a block in the corners framed by the inner border, so I thought .. what the heck .. who says it has to be framed .. so I didn’t do it .. Quilt police just HATE me .. (heh .. good feelings mutual!) So the struggle to decide how many blocks to use … we won’t go there .. once was enough .. I finally decided on a nice minimalist asymmetrical border with a staggered frame .. I just love it .. and I love working with hand-dyed fabrics .. they are so soft and have such a nice hand to them .. I do have those other blocks left and I just might make a pillow case or some such thing for her or maybe a tote bag .. we’ll just have to see ..

So all the tops are done for cmas gifts .. now the ever “pleasant” task of basting .. there are days I just hate to do it and this is one of them .. oh coo – I just realized I can likely stall one more day as I have still have to over-dye the backing for the spinner quilt .. and that one HAS to be done by Dec 19th or I’ll be working only on it late late late at nite – not that I don’t do that anyways .. but you know what I mean.

hpim2271I did some work on the cuff of sock II tonite, didn’t get as far as I would have liked, but far enough – I’m more tickled that the tops are done .. I’ve only 3 more sets of 8 rows to do for this cuff to be finished, then I get to graft it together and then start on the sock itself .. maybe by the weekend or middle of next week (If I get in super quilt mode) it’ll be done and I’ll be sporting these funky socks πŸ˜‰Β  How cool is THAT?!

Welp – my dad didn’t show up .. he told kyle that he fell asleep – but he also told us that he was out in front of the house between 8 and 9 .. which is rather odd as kyle leaves at 8:20 and he didn’t see him .. dad usually parks in front of the house .. I asked him if he was sure he had the right house **znerk!!Β  We did supper instead, so you just sooo know I’m going to get a call or he’s going to show up ‘demanding’ that I go with him .. **sigh .. MEN!

As for my door sweep .. well it was attached by screws but they started to pop right out as I pried the first two so I kept going – it was after the first three that they refused to come out, but the sweep that was there cracked, so at that point, I just kept going .. Well needless to say, the front door on this house has been Mickey Moused together and prolly with some kleenex and spit, bailing wire and twine for good measure .. yup – you guessed it .. it kept popping off – I’m not sure a ‘standard’ piece is going to fit in there .. I’ve a few other ideas I’m going to try – but am not going to hand drill holes in the door to do it .. So I’ve got part of the sweep placed in the gap for the time being just to block the air since the gap is now a good ΒΌ” bigger now **sigh oh and since it’s been cut, Home Depot won’t accept it as a return, so unless I figure out a way to use this, I’m out almost $20 with tax .. yeah you can sooooo see me going there in the near future (pfft – i don’t think so!!)

Tomorrow I get to over-dye the backing for the spinner quilt and maybe I’ll start basting, we’ll just have to see ..

Have a great day/ nite!

Healthy-ish

I think I’m feeling better, altho I still have that ick feeling in the back of my sinuses, I do feel more energized (altho nothing like normal) and am plotting cutting Erica’s borders – so this is a good thing.

hpim2263While suffering from the icky feeling and a nasty case of insomnia over the weekend, I knitted up one of the socks – I did the majority of this on DPNs and struggled in the foot section (altho that could havehpim2264 been b/c i was just so bloody whacked). I did grab some 3.25mm DPNs at walmart and you can see the difference it made in my stitches. I’m rather pleased with this and look forward to getting the other one done soon so I can actually wear them πŸ™‚ If I make these again, I won’t make the leg length as long .. I really do prefer a crop sock and this is just almost to high for me -I’m eyeing the maizy socks for my next ones, but need to get some size 1 needles or 2.25mm – I might have some that small in mum’s DPNs but doing these in circulars is actually easier.

hpim2268I’ve decided for Erica’s borders to use up the wrong size blocks – that will make a nice size border of 4″ finished and the dark ‘banding’ will be 1″ finished. I do have all those nummy dyed fabrics and am looking forward to using them. This is the layout I am pretty sure I’ll be using .. as you can see, none of the tiles will end on the blue – well I guess that won’t matter as I’ve not really used a dyed blue in the tiles … but the darker blue fan fabric .. each of these layouts will be in the opposite corner with nothing in the adjacent corners .. this is the layout from this border pic.

hpim2267I still have to over-dye the backing material for the spinner quilt – but this will prove tricky as reg stole my bucket for salt 😐 this backing material is just to large to be using the 1 gallon zip lock bags, so I have to use my bucket .. **sigh I’ll have to see what I else I can dig up for him to use for salt – I really do like this bucket as it’s not flimsy and is a nice sturdy plastic .. hmmm .. kitty litter buckets would work … will have to dig in the basement me thinks .. sounds like a job for Kyle

I’m going shopping with my dad in the AM for family cmas gifts so I’ll see what I can get done tonite while I’m feeling okay .. i’m sniffly and a wee bit chesty, but not bone weary exhausted like I have felt for the past week. Continue reading

Machine flu; blocks; shopping

W here to begin?? Yeah, I know .. at the beginning .. pffy πŸ˜› okay fine .. that’s where I’ll start – soon as I find it …

Yesterday evening I got the house to my self and was planning on doing the rest of erica’s blocks, taking pics for the tutorial, and making a SM thingee for myself since I have no case for this machine – meaning no cubby holes .. so I needed a place to stash my stuff so it would be there when I need it .. instead of getting buried under fabric, moved (normally happens, but), or squirreled where I’m not thinking it should be .. All I needed to do was sandwich and quilt 2 FQs, bind it, doing a fold, then stitch in dividers .. for some stupid reason, my new machine went all loopy … seriously .. loopy .. all on the back .. for a bit there I thought the bobbin thread was breaking, but my tension appeared to be fine .. so I did more sewing – you could actually hear something ‘letting go’ as it were .. when that would happen my spool would spin like it was on speed .. so I stopped sewing, pulled back on the thread and kept my finger on it to add tension (mind you, this was after 2 hours of farting around with it .. never said I was lightening on the uptake at times) it stitched perfectly when I held the top thread – ergo .. upper tension .. well i wanted to get it in today to get looked at, but nope – Reg wanted to go shopping in Detroit okay … he had a few bribery issues and used them with a vengeance .. so that means, Tuesday is when it can go in as they are closed Sunday and Monday .. how DARE they NOT be open (pfft) .. I finally threw in the towel (or the sandwich as it were), pulled that machine down and brought the 15 back up ..

hpim2164I finally finished all of erica’s blocks after this – stupid o’clock in the morning, but they were done (!) and the rest of the pics that I missed for the tutorial are all taken as well, strips required and a change of piecing this too πŸ˜€ … Now I just have to finish up the 4″ blocks that I’m going to use for the border … easy peasy .. and I’ll do as much as I can while the dark pink fabric holds out .. Good thing i’m plotting an asymmetrical border.

hpim2170Hmmm .. I mentioned bribery didn’t I .. well of course that was a trip to Joann’s .. could have done that shopping here, but okay, I’m game .. I picked up the border fabric for erica’s quilt – same stuff I used for gran’s binding .. first time I’ve ever bought the same fabric twice .. I should have brought one of the blocks with me, but I did want dark to offset the light and the light mauve / lilac in the flowers is picked up by the lilac colours .. if I decide that this just will not do, I have a ‘spare’ yard of this fabric in my stash πŸ˜€ .. I’ve never bought the same fabric twice like this before – so you know I really like it ..

hpim2161I grabbed 5Β½ yards of 90″ muslin for the backing for both Kyle and Erica’s quilts .. the bahama blue dye will be for erica (and I think that I might use some bits n pieces for her border or another blue .. we’ll have to see) and the indigo is for Kyle’s backing … in total I’ll need 3Β½ yards in total (or there abouts) so I’ll have some more muslin to play with ..

hpim2162Val sent a link of a dishcloth she is knitting … it is soooo cool!! I just have to do this, maybe two and grabbed some cotton for this – I’ve been using (or trying to use up) the yarn that I have kicking around here, but even after blocking, my dishcloths tend to roll up .. so I relented and grabbed some cotton for this .. I don’t want this to turn out looking like a dead spider on it’s back … this has CABLES!!!! I LOVE doing cables! Even when I was a newbie knitter, I tackled cables head-on with just the basics under my belt and never looked back – I like doing cables better than a fairisle pattern on the round(!!)

Now for the other bribe .. I’ve had the same glasses since 2001 I thinks .. during my last eye exam in 03 or 04, my script didn’t change that bad, so I decided to live with it as no optical insurance and my script is VERY expensive due to my astigmatism – well I got a quote from Lenscrafters the last time we were in detroit 2 weeks ago .. they are running a 50% off sale on lenses that ends today .. so he finally decided that I would do this for ME .. and well I did πŸ˜€ .. I love my new frames – they suit me quite well .. now – to get my damn hair cut!! I’ve been trying for a week now LOL ..

2001 version | 2008 version

2001 version | 2008 version

So I think I’ve covered everything .. machine ‘flu’, erica’s blocks, tutorial pics status, yarn for snowflake, border fabric, backing fabric, new glasses .. oh and I grabbed more wonderUnder LOL ..

Oh and a magazine and 2 new books .. but I’ll post them later .. and i’ll post a tutorial soon too πŸ™‚ .. later as meaning tomorrow or Monday

Hope your weekend is going GREAT!