Quilt update; unnamed maizy socks

After getting the blocks done and up on my design wall from the planet patchwork mystery, I am letting them sit there to stew for a bit .. I can’t make up my mind on layout AND I’ve added a few more to the list, so you know I’ve really sent myself over the edge with this one LOL .. so I’ll wait – It’ll talk to me when it’s ready …

Some of you might know that I did the Through the Windows quilt from about.quilting.com for Matthew’s wallhanging. Well you can submit your finished photos to the site for posting up there. Which I did .. How coo is THAT! But what I had forgotten that this theme was also part of The Arizona Quilt Challenge and I got mine in on time .. But I just had to share that his quilt is in the gallery there and it is listed in the challenge gallery .. Thank you again Janet for posting the pattern and for all that you do! Janet is the quilting guide at about.com

So with me stitching my brains out yesterday and filling one design wall up, I didn’t feel a need to start on another quilt project (altho I have go get my challenge pieces going too). With me leaving for the weekend to go to my aunt’s memorial, I wasn’t really inclined to start something else really. Partly that would mean leaving fabric bits at Pixel’s mercy in the cat cave .. no thanx! I had a few options of stuff to start for small projects. Mittens for the january KAL, or another pair of socks .. well the mittens take up way more yarn that I figured and my one skeins just aren’t going to cut it, so I need to dig into my yarn stash and sort some colours for these that will equal 400 yds or so .. but i have tons or worsted laying around .. but that was going to take some time for me to do, and I’m not really in digging mode right now. So instead I grabbed the stretch sock yarn and the pattern for the maizy socks

HPIM2436.jpgAll I can say is WOWOWOWOW .. the yarn is super fine fingering weight 1 and I’m using #2 DPNs. It’s rather like knitting with caterpillar silk and toothpicks LOL (yes Joy I remember your embroidery floss and toothpicks!!). These aren’t likely to knit up quick, but that’s okay – it’s fun doing them! I’ve gotten further along than that, maybe another inch. heh .. dropped stitches with this yarn is interesting to say the least – and a challenge to pick back up .. there’s a few places here that I’ll be going back over later to make sure I’ve found them! This pattern was made for 2 circs, but I’ve placed a marker in the appropriate spot where needle 1 ends ๐Ÿ™‚

This pattern called for using the tubular cast on which I had never done, but was rather interesting to do. You cast on half the required stitches with waste yarn using a single cast on method, then pick up the bars between on the next row – gives it a nice elastic stretch to the binding .. great for socks .. even if it is “interesting” to do this with caterpillar silk and toothpicks. And of course knitting at nite with a regular wattage bulb and tired eyes .. but I did have fun with it ๐Ÿ™‚ and am on the way with only having to frog my stitches just ONCE!! Definite improvement.

HPIM2437.jpgI’m just going to LOVE the way this looks when it’s done. I got pretty excited about this when I did my test swatch .. I only did a 2 x 2″ one, but it gave me enough to measure – and yes, spot on again. This yarn has elastic in it and I’m having to really pay attention to just have a wee bit of tension on the yarn while I knit .. it’s a totally new experience for me and I didn’t find any hints or tips on the patons site for this yarn .. ah well .. learn as I go .. that’s always fun!

So I’ll be taking this with me for the car trip – not sure I’ll get a lot of time on Sat nite to work on it after the service at my cousin’s house, but we’ll just have to see how it goes.

Have a great weekend!

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Merry Christmas; update

It’s been a quiet day compared to what the past week has been like .. no sewing – just some last minute shopping and wrapping and wrapping and wrapping and wrapping ..

But before I get into that part .. just a little update on how I’m doing after last nite’s tumbled down my basement stairs . . I’ve bruises that are coming up …my right shoulder is tender as well as a few other places – I can feel where I hit the steps on my left foot as I walk .. But I’m battered and bruised – but nothing appears to be broken or sprained – so it’s all good .. God was watching over me on that slip – he had to have been

I was able to do some shopping tonite as I’ve mentioned – gift tags and the present that didn’t get here on time for Reg .. I’m not going to scream about it as it was a crap shoot anyways .. so not a big deal – we were out for a few hours and I did okay ๐Ÿ™‚ .. I was walking gingerly by the time I got home, but I was still walking and all my moving parts appeared to be moving okay – so that’s good .. I’m just sore and using ibuprofen and tylenol

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Wonked

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Unwonked

I did unwonk Matthew’s quilt – this looks sooo much better .. but didn’t do Erica’s .. her’s wasn’t as near as bad as Matthew’s (and this was when I tumbed downthe stairs), so I opted to just let it go .. Matthew’s was the most important as his was going on a relatively ‘flat’ wall and there’s no way this was flat not even flat-ish .. but the difference between before unwonking and after is just HUGE ..You can really see the difference at the bottom, and the left and right sides near the bottom – It’s like a pancake at this point compared to where it started.ย  I just have to do labels for these and wrap them .. I’ve had enough and Reg is sleeping – oh yeah .. I’m designated wrapper in this house – but I put my foot down on wrapping my own gifts – LOL

We are going to do a Russian Christmas here this year. For several reasons .. Kyle ordered a gift for me and while it came in, due to a miscommunication between him and my dad (shock bloody surprise), he didn’t get out to the mall to get it. Reg’s gift didn’t arrive on time (still not here either – altho my book is :/). The spinner quilt isn’t done either – so on January 7th, everyone will get the rest of their gifts …

Here’s wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a fantastic holiday with family and friends. Blessings to you and your loved ones on this most precious of days – The celebration of the Birth of Christ!

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

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ยบF 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!!

Setting Triangles – something’s wrong

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I finally got to sew yesterday and today ๐Ÿ˜€ .. WOOOOO HOOOOOOOOO My goal for last nite was to get all of Matthew’s blocks done .. easy peasy .. I just cut out for the blocks and that was it .. I figure that I’ll cut for each section as I come to it ..

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ah - oops

Before I even started to piece all the blocks together, I made up one block just to be sure that I’ve measured and cut these right. This is the Through the Windows pattern for quilting.about.com that she published a few weeks ago. She did this as a pp pattern, but I would rather cut and piece – I really have to be in the mood for pp and I’m not .. soooo, I measured the block and added my seam allowances and voila .. had cutting directions for myself ๐Ÿ˜€ Like I mentioned, my goal was to get all 12 blocks done last nite .. but when I saw this and then realized that I had cut the thread on my machine, I realized I was to tired and stopped for the nite .. Not a big deal – I really didn’t feel like frogging that

So today I start off right where I left off … frogged that mistake and then proceeded to do it again LMBO – I just kill myself **znerk heh .. yes I am truly laughing at this .. **scratches head I have noooo idea how on God’s green earth I did that TWICE!! The good news is, it wasn’t on the same block. heh

hpim2253So I get all the blocks done, pressed out and squared – moving right along, time for the setting corner and setting triangles. I cut out my units for the black and stitch them on half the blocks; then I pull my setting triangles that I’ve cut and line it up and ^@#$@##& It’s like wayyyy to big .. and I’m truly confused here ..I checked the directions twice before I cut them, and thenhpim2252 doubled checked my squares before I cut them, and I even squared them up and they are 9ยพ”. I reread the directions, then check out a chart I have, and check a few online and they all say for 6″ finished blocks, setting triangles are 9ยพ” I just checked my squares again and that’s what I cut .. Why is this soooo big?? HELP!!!!! This doesn’t seem right, and no where do I read that it’s going to be THIS much bigger than the block .. oh and before you ask – Yes the blocks are currently 6ยฝ” squared and unfinished .. the corner triangles of 51/8″ worked just fine .. now why is this one so much off????

Can someone please help me? My first reaction is to just cut them down, but to what size and why is it so much bigger when all the charts say to cut this size .. is this normal???? DO they need to be this big for a reason .. Do I just stitch them then trim them down??

Needless to say, I’ve stopped sewing until this is figured out .. I just can’t blithely be stitching these together if I’m wrong and then have to frog them all .. Oh and if this is normal, don’t laugh to hard .. I’ve never done blocks on point nor ever done setting triangles ..

**cries .. gnaws nails ..

heh .. I’ve figured it out .. I’m such a bloody twit .. I didn’t have it on the longwise grain .. I took a break for a smoke and started to think about what I had read and realized that they all said LONGWISE GRAIN

So it’s all good .. I’ve figured out my own mistake .. okay … I’m off now to finish it ๐Ÿ˜€