Thursday, June 27, 2019

Starfecta - FINISH

This one took more time than it should have to be D.O.N.E.  
But - it IS!!!

The blocks were made (almost) during the time frame of the class. 
I may have slacked a bit on the side blocks.

The top was put together within a year of the class.
The quilting?
That part took awhile.
The quilt did not sit on Binding Island too long.

And then …

It's bigger than I expected. Of course, adding borders will do that! 
78" x 92"
It will be the 2020 raffle quilt for my Relay For Life Team
Pints and Purls.

And then there was a day at the beach.
I took this picture when I realized how well coordinated everything was.
It was a much needed - quiet/lovely day.

And ...
There's is always knitting.
Socks that are taking f o r e v e r to finish.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Mini Trip To Market Square

Gyleen Fitzgerald of  " Colorful Stitches" does classes and mysteries and general inspiration on Facebook. Follow her - it's worth it! I did and do.  Recently she lead a group doing a mystery called: Mini Trips to Market Square … 1/2 the blocks are mini Trip Around the World and the other 1/2 are Market Square.

 I made all the blocks during the weekly "clue" reveals. I cut all the sashing and the corner stones. I even made the binding. I did not piece the top together. It was on-point and I needed a day - a whole day - when I knew no one (cutest grandie) was coming to visit.

That day finally came and I laid out all the blocks and the sashing and the corner stones. I picked up the pieces 2 (sometimes 3) at a time when I was feeling particularly brave) and carried them to my machine and stitched them. Then went back to the living room, laid it out to check it and carried the next pieces to the sewing room and stitched them.  I can NOT think sideways. On-point always amazes me. This took most of the day. There was the occasional break, visit with Mom, lunch, etc. AND … I made the backing.

I added a border (not in Gyleen's directions) because my edges were a bit wonky and it made the quilt a little bigger. It was loaded on the Handiquilter and quilted!

Now, it's ready for squaring-up/trimming and binding. It will probably sit for a little while. Other things - like the 365 challenge - are waiting.

Pros … I used up a LOT of 2.5" squares that used to reside in a dishpan in the closet. ALL the faric came from stash and some of it I thought I would NEVER use. Christmas gift for my sister (Goofy#1) is done … well - almost done (on binding island).

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Churn Dash

Hello June!

A long time ago - maybe 2 years (?), I wanted to make a quilt with various sizes of the Churn Dash block. It's a classic, traditional Quilt block.

I love a good Churn Dash block!

I also love a good scrappy fabric quilt.
Sew - the best way to combine these 2 loves …


My Just-Sew Bee mates joined me and we swapped lot of blocks, in 3 different sizes.
It took awhile but I finally received all my swaps.
of course
the blocks needed to sit and ferment for months.


I have put the blocks up on the design wall and have started making a plan.
In fact, I have actually started sewing the blocks together,
while adjusting my plan.

Stay tuned for the continuing adventure of
The Churn Dash Quilt.

In the meantime ...
I have continued to stay current (up through yesterday) on the
365 Challenge.
I even started stitching the center of the quilt together.
It's looking great!

And ...
of course, there's knitting.
There's always knitting.

This is a short sleeved (summer?) sweater that just might be finished before summer is over.
That's not until September but really I hope to get it done before mid-July.

I have NO outside commitments.
I am not babysitting the perfect Grandie.
I'm sewing on my Churn Dash quilt.

making today's 365 Challenge block.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Month of May

There's been travel and sewing and knitting and baby smiles, there's been pool time and family time and NO time. And it's all been a great time

I have a job. It used to be a part time job - sort of like parenting a middle-schooler - need to be available but my time was still pretty flexible, provide food, shelter and gentle guidance … ok, I might not quite remember what parenting a middle-schooler was like.

Now my job is more full-time - parenting a parent, who is elderly. I am NOT complaining, in fact - far from it. My mom has lived with us for 7 years. She is now 87 and still fully present in our lives. No judgments for those who could not choose this for their families. I am so very thankful that it works for us.

It does mean that my time is no longer very flexible. My Cute Husband (BEST son-in-law in the whole wild world, according to my Mom) and I get creative with scheduling and maintaining a happy household.  The month of May has been the most creative (and hectic) but we did it!

My Cute Husband is an avid hockey fan (Go CAPS!). I am a more moderate hockey fan. We have talked about visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame and we finally got to do it. I wanted him to go while the Capitals were still the Stanley Cup Champions (another team will hold that honor soon - Go BRUINS). I picked the dates … there just happened to be a FIBER festival going on in the same town that weekend … coincidence?

Kid#1 flew down from MD to stay with her Gram and MCH and I jetted off to Toronto for 5 days. The highlights - a thoroughly enjoyable day at the Hockey Hall of Fame. MCH was THRILLED to not only see the CUP but touch it. We then spent a thoroughly enjoyable day at the Knitters Frolic - let's just say we were great tourist and helped out the Canadian economy. I got bitten by a little dog - nothing serious but it scared me (we did laugh about it later). We went to a baseball game, walked all around downtown Toronto and rode a plane, a train and an Uber.

We flew home on a Monday and Tuesday, I flew to MD for my Bee retreat. 6 days of sewing and eating, more shopping and gazing out the window at a West Virginia valley that was just waking up to Spring.  I had offers from 6 bee-mates to borrow a sewing machine but decided it would be all handwork for me. I over prepped/packed, naturally. I planned for 5 blocks and completed ONE.

I've missed doing hand-embroidery. The colors looked a bit washed out, it's more vibrant. This BOM started in January. 8 blocks have been released and I've made 1.  This will be on my list forever.

The 365 challenge takes up most of my sewing time.
It also takes up most of sewing room.

These 3" blocks take more time than you would think.

The 6" light blocks take just as much time. Lots of cutting and sewing and resewing.
I have stayed current, caught up, stayed current and am almost caught up ... again.
The blocks are released daily, there's no "working ahead" and it's easy to get behind.
I am currently just 4 blocks behind.

I've been working (not as much as I should) on getting Dear Daughter quilted. It's a graduation gift that I started in April 2018 ... in plenty of time.  Graduation is Friday ... as in ... tomorrow.
This is how I will be spending today.

There's also been knitting. I'm such a sucker for prizes. I joined a KAL (knit-along) because there's a chance for prizes … so far I have not won. I guess the best prize is a finished shawl.

Actually no … the best prize is how happy the cutest-baby-in-the-whole-wide-world was to see her Grammie and Gramps after our travels.
This kid makes my heart so HAPPY!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

A Sock Story

Today's story does not start with a sock.
It all started with a sweater.
Well … really it all started with yarn. 

I must have really liked this yarn because I had 3 skeins of the same color/maker of yarn. I know I did not purchase 3 skeins at once. It was acquired over time.
It's Knit Picks Hawthorne in color: Rose City. It's a tonal of various shades of red. 

I really wanted to knit a sweater by Caitlyn Hunter of Boyland Knits.  She designs beautiful colorwork (it's a knitter thing) sweaters.  I didn't think I was quite ready for that adventure so I picked TEGNA … it's a pretty basic design with a lacework hemline.

After getting started on this lovely, I actually checked the yardage of my yarn and realized I might not have quite enough.  I've played a little "yarn chicken" before but I didn't want to get to the point of having a - One-Sleeve-Sweater.  So I ordered an extra ball and needed it.  I used just a bit of the last ball but I'm so glad I had it.

I did not do a gauge swatch. Yes, you are supposed to ALWAYS do a swatch. I lucked out that this sweater turned out perfect in the fit. There will be another sweater story someday that might not have as happy an ending … but that's for another day.

Now, what to do with the leftover of the extra yarn?
This is where the sock story starts.

I cast on a really simple "almost vanilla" sock.  It does have a little texture but it's a really easy to remember pattern on a very basic sock pattern.

Then I got nervous about running out of yarn for a second sock.
Yarn Chicken is a very real thing and I wasn't in the mood.

I cast on the second sock from the other end of the ball of red.  Now I have 2 socks going on separate needles working from both ends toward the middle.

This is actually a pretty ingenious way to make sure there's enough yarn for 2 socks. I will work one for a bit and then switch to the other until I use up the yarn.  The length of the leg will be entirely dependent on how much yarn I have when I get there.

I almost always, ya know - I think I can say ...
I ALWAYS have a sock on my knitting needles.  It's portable and great to take along for those times I'm waiting - Mom's hairdresser, doctor appointments, waiting for food at a restaurant. I "knit in public" often
It must be a thing … it has it's own hashtag!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

A Trip To Walmart

That title ...
it's enough to send me into a panic attack.
Seriously - I have total shopping anxiety.

I hate to shop!

But today, I thought maybe I could do a quick trip to Walmart.I wanted to get a few things from the Easter Bunny for 2 grandies, and some new undies for me. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and go to Walmart. After Mom's hairdresser appointment (it IS Thursday, after all), we stopped and got a quick sandwich. That's when things started to go wrong.

Jimmy John's is not very wheelchair friendly, no problem, we can do this with the walker and the oxygen is handy if Mom needs it. (she did not). The sandwiches were not very good - dry and the bread was stale. While we were eating, I heard the guy say, "fresh bread just out of the oven!" If only we'd waited a few minutes. I'm a water drinker. Everyone has a water dispenser - right? Except that Jimmy John's was not working properly - I got a big mouthful of carbonated water with no flavor and it was GROSS.

A brief interlude from the rant ... the other night we out to dinner with some friends. This was the view from our table.  I do love living here! Or as My Cute Husband says, "it does not suck living here!"

On to Walmart where it's crazy busy. I find a parking spot but someone has left their cart in the way.  Who does this?!!! The Cart Corral was 2 spots over ... just 2 spots.  Why in the world would someone leave their cart smack in the middle of a busy parking lot. I get out to move the cart, and step in gum!

Let me repeat that ...


I take out the walker, to get out the wheelchair for Mom, who bumps her head while getting out of the car. We then almost get run over by a guy driving a big-ass van. He waves (sorry?) and then stops right in the crosswalk to talk to someone in a big truck.  We go around him and into ...


By the way - I did laundry today. I really do think My Cute Husband needs to expand his color palette.  These are his t-shirts. 

We navigate our way through Walmart and into the crazy Easter-stuff aisle. Mom takes forever picking out a bunny for Baby Amelia ... this one is soft, this one is cute, this one is pink.

This one! it's soft and cute and pink.

Now for the 17 year old grandie who really loves plain M&M's.  
We found
caramel M&M's
pretzel M&M's
hazel nut M&M's
peanut M&M's
peanut butter M&M's

finally ... we found plain ordinary everyday M&M's.

Off to the check-out place. While I'm checking out our purchases, Mom is checking out the candy (she is 87 years old NOT 7 years old). I pay for our stuff and she hands me an Almond Joy bar ... and wants me to check out AGAIN. And I do.

Back to the car (without undies by the way because I forgot them), where I have to take out the walker to get the wheelchair into the back of my car, drop my wallet, which opens and my receipt blows away, get Mom settled into the car with her O2 and her Almond Joy. She was holding the receipt for the candy and it blows away. 
while the back of the car is open, the empty chip bag, that I accidently carried out of Jimmy John's blows away ... it was very breezy today. We're expecting a storm tonight and tomorrow is supposed to be really bad weather.

So ... to recap
1. my lunch wasn't very good
2. I stepped in gum
3. some people just suck
4. I littered 3 times accidently
5. I'm not making dinner tonight

And then I received this in a text message and all was right in my world.

Tonight we will be watching the Capitals play hockey - Stanley Cups 1/4-finals!
I will be knitting.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Relay for Life

Pints and Purls
Our knitting group has a Relay Team. This is the 3rd year we have participated.
A few members couldn't make this year
We walk (some)
We eat (some)
We knit (a lot)
We laugh (a lot)

My contribution to fund raising was this quilt.

It was well received and the winner was very excited.

So far April has been a bit crazy.
We are in the middle of a bathroom reno … so much dust! Mom has been displaced to the guest room while her bathroom is updated and made more accessible … walk-in shower!
I have to stay close to home while this is going on.
The workmen have so many questions ...
want the tile vertical or horizontal?
want the accent here? or here? or here?
towel bar high? or low?
grout color?

And in typical Florida laid-back fashion, they arrive around 10 a.m, take a lunch break and work until about 4 (most days). Tomorrow marks 2 weeks since this fun project started. I am actually hopefully that by the end of this week, we MIGHT have a working bathroom for Mom.

Staying close to home means … SEWING! 
I am current on my 365 challenge.
My Mini Trip to Market Square blocks are done. Still need to make it a top.
My guild "strip" is almost done. Needs some embroidery.
My 1/2-square swaps are done (80 blocks)
My Crazy Quilt blocks are mostly prepped.
Dear Daughter has a backing made. Still needs to be quilted.
My sweater KAL which ends soon (it might have already ended) is close to done.
My April socks … 25% done.

That's a lot of "almost" and "mostly". 
I need to move some things to the DONE column.