Saturday, October 21, 2017

Keep At It

I make a lot of stuff ... stitched, quilted, knitted.  I'm often asked how I get so (sew) much done.  The easy answer (besides - I have no life!) is that I do it all the time.  Whenever I have a few minutes, my hands are busy.

Today, My Cute Husband and I went to the Post Office and then onto a local street fair.  I waited in the car while he did the PO business.  While driving there, while waiting in the car and then driving home, I got 8 rows knitted on a sock.  This sock has been in process for MONTHS but I only knit on it when we drive some place close by. It's my "don't have to think about it" project. I'm up to the heel-turn!

My sweater (11 days until I go to MD) is my "have to think some times about it) project.  Great for TV viewing or this afternoon, while watching Knit Stars2 ... a knitting seminar on line. I haven't finished the neck/front band yet but have moved on to sleeves.  I'm playing a bit of "Yarn Chicken" and afraid I might run out.

I'm quite sure I did NOT invent this idea but I had a light bulb moment last night (while watching some sort of cop drama - NCIS SOMEWHERE?). I didn't want to keep count of the number of decreases made and I did not have a pen handy to mark it on my ever-present sticky note.  I did have an errant piece of yarn in my knitting bag. Presto ... rows are marked at each decrease. This picture shows that I have made 5 decreases and I can easily see and count from the previous decrease to know when to make (and mark) the next.  

Knitting gets done while driving (as the passenger), while watching TV, while waiting for Mom at the hairdresser.

I like having a project cut and prepped. This is NOT always the norm but I do get more done if I have taken the time to do the prep.

Then, when I have a few minutes, I can pop in my sewing room and stitch up a few seams.  Today, I managed some time and I got 3 more blocks done.

Like magic ... there will soon be 15 blocks made. That's 1/2 of what I need.
But ... why stop at 30 blocks?

Friday, October 20, 2017

Crazy 8's or Tri-Square Triangle

 Next week, at Seaside Piecemakers Sew Day (Thursday), I'm doing a demo ... Crazy 8's.  In order to do a proper demo, I have to make a lot of parts for each step. I also needed to check some math and cutting and practice the steps.  Demo time is not the time to realize that I'm doing it wrong ... and yes, I have demoed doing it wrong!

Sew ... today was demo prep day.  In the midst of all the prep, it occurred to me that this should be my blog post.  Here goes ...

I call this block part The Tri-Square Triangle.  I think it probably has other names or maybe it's just part of a quilt block and by itself has no name.  Making 8 at time (of 1 part), my friend Cappy named: Crazy 8's.  Don't confuse this with Magic 8 ... you can goggle Magic 8 and see how to quickly and easily make eight 1/2-square triangles.  Craftsy has a free tutorial.  I'm doing a demo on this also but I didn't take pictures.

Anyway ... Crazy 8's ...
Start with 2 fabrics. I cut mine 5" x 5"
Make through the centers - top to bottom and side to side
Stitch 1/4" away from each marked line

For a better visual, I marked the cutting lines. In reality, I simple cut and don't mark these.  
Cut through the center between the stitching (top to bottom and side to side) AND cut both diagonals.

After you cut these apart, press to the dark.  You will have 4 with fabric #1 on the left side of the unit and 4 with fabric #1 on the right hand side ... KEEP THE LIKE UNITS TOGETHER.  You will have 2 piles.

Cut a 3rd fabric - this will be the larger of the 3 triangles. Cut two, 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" and then cut on the diagonal.  This will yield 8 triangles.

Stitch the larger triangle to the smaller units.  Remember to keep your 2 piles separate.
Trim the squares to measure 2 1/2" x 2 1/2"

Now you can play around with the 4 parts to make a block.

These are the same parts as above, just arranged differently.

The 2nd pile will make the same unit but the pinwheel (star) with spin in the opposite direction.

I hope this makes sense. Play around with this technique ... it looks a lot harder than it really is.  
These can also with combined with 5 "background" squares (4 1/2" x 4 1/2") into a 9-patch that measures 8 1/2" x 8 1/2".

Now I'm off to raid my box of 5" charms. I think I need to start yet another scrappy quilt. 

Will it ever end?

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Frisky Feline

Our cat's name is Rocky and he's about 12 years old. He was a rescue, so age is approximate. We've had him for 11 years. And ... he's not too frisky but he is a great cuddler.

Frisky Feline ... a class I took on Monday.  My guild offers monthly "member teacher" classes.

There were 15 of us and everyone did the homework! We brought a pieced 9-patch and other supplies but NO sewing machines to lug to class.

Each background was so different.

I loved this Halloween themed one.

Different backgrounds made the cats look different. 

Not everyone did a cat.

Another Halloween-inspired background.

This one is mine.  It needs a border and quilting ... on the list.

I am still furiously knitting on my sweater.  I leave for MD in 13 days. I have to make 2 sleeves and finish the front/neck band.

It is a bit scrunched up on the needles. 
I love stitch markers!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Gyleen Fitzgerald has a new pattern/class that she has offered online as a QAL (Quilt Along).  Each week a new part (clue?) is released.  It's not a mystery ... we know what the quilt will look like when it's finished. At least we know what HER quilt looks like.

And yes ... I have to make this quilt. 

This is the fabric that probably won't make the cut.

This is the fabric I have been auditioning.

These are the 3 rulers that are needed to make this quilt.

This is what I cut and should NOT have cut.
Reading the directions really helps!

This is part of what I should have cut (and did!).

And this?

This is what is all done and waiting for the next step ... to start stitching.

This quilt is made of large triangles, made up of polygons.  The math is already done. The end result will be fabulous ... I hope ...

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Autumn in Florida

It's 84 degrees and sunny today.  It was 84 degrees and sunny yesterday.  We did get a bit of rain this morning but that's done.  

This is autumn in Melbourne, Florida

I have spotted ONE tree with pretty "fall foliage."

To be honest ... I have no idea what this particular tree looked like in August.  Maybe it had pretty foliage then too.  

I'm heading to MD in 2 weeks. I hope I don't miss all of that autumnalness.  I just love that word ... AUTUMNAL.

Friday, October 13, 2017

4 Purls

In our family we cheer for the Washington Capitals Hockey Team.  We have hockey jerseys and hockey license plate frames and hockey bobbleheads. When the CAPS come to Florida - we go to the games.  The Capitals came to Tampa and we went.  It's 2.5 hours to the other coast and there are 2 yarn shops on the way (sort of). Roxy's Yarn is in Tampa but closed on Mondays

4 Purls is in Winter Haven and open on Mondays!  It's a mere 15 minutes off the highway and a great shop.  LOTS of yarn, very friendly people (it IS Florida) and I'm so glad My Cute Husband is always up for a yarn (or quilt) shop stop.

We spent about a 1/2 hour in the shop.  Steve visited with the man who owns the shop (with his wife) about hockey.  The shop owner is a Red Wings fan but we liked him anyway.

I shopped.

Probably won't get done any time soon but this will be a really pretty Autumnal scarf - light weight ... it IS Florida.

Of course there was a sock yarn purchase ... on sale!

Best of all ... something unique to 4 Purls ...

Emma is 16 and has her own line of hand-dyed fingering weight yarns.  She is 1 of the "4 Purls" - kids of the shop owners. We not only supported a small business, we supported a smaller part of the small business.

When he's not in the shop, the owner guy (I do wish I remembered his name) travels around in the Yarn Truck.  It's sort of a bookmobile for knitters.

Car travel is great for knitting.  I'm ready to work on shoulders and sleeves.  This sweater might actually be done in time to wear to MD next month.

Yes, I am ...
a Quilter who Knits!

PS ... the CAPS lost in overtime.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Definitely "B Side" Worthy

My Cute Husband pulled a quilt of the rack last night.  It's an odd story ... my blog - my story.  Our neighbors across the backyard have a faulty spot light that shines in our bedroom window.  I think it's faulty, I hope it's faulty - it's blinks on and off every 20 seconds ALL NIGHT LONG.  It only happens occasionally.  Last night was an occasion it was blinking.

So ... My Cute Husband pulled this quilt off the quilt rack and hung it over the window to add a little more barrier than the curtains provided.

I love this quilt! The colors are so fresh and pretty.  I made it a couple of years ago as a shop sample for Springwater Designs.  We needed to use a jelly roll and a Martingale Book.

Such a pretty quilt hanging up in our window last night.

This morning, when he pulled it down, I noticed the BACK!!  I had forgot that it had a great back.  I was determined to use up every bit of that jelly roll.

There were even some "cut-offs" that made it into the quilt.

This is a great "B-Side" quilt.