Thursday, November 29, 2012

I've Been Quilting!

I still need to tuck in the threads and make the binding.
It seems so long since I have spent any time actually quilting and I am feeling so good about making some headway! I finally got around to making the backing for my teal crumb quilt - it is a Project Linus donation quilt - and I loaded it on the frame and just got to it. I was really rusty at first but by the time I got to the bottom of the quilt I was feeling much more comfortable with the rhythm of the movements. I quilted it in a loopy-loop pattern and it looks like it is going to be a wonderful quilt for an older child. One thing I did change is my thread from 100% cotton Aurofil to 100% polyester So Fine. It has made a huge difference in my quilting experience because I was having so much difficulty with the Aurofil thread breaking. There were a couple instances where the So Fine did break but in general it behaved much better for me. I am quite pleased with the results.

Next to go on the quilt frame is my green/red log cabin quilt. I plan to finish making the backing today and then I will load it up. I made a silly mistake while making the backing yesterday and it ended up being the same length as the quilt top - oops. I will just sew a strip onto the bottom that is a couple inches long and just move forward from there.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


My husband's mother passed away on Monday, November 26. She lived a long and wonderful life - she was actually quite ancient when she died at age 97. She was a wonderful woman who loved her family well and she was equally loved in return. She was always such a busy, active person so the past several years had been difficult for her because she had declined so much. She was born in Ituna, Saskatchewan and was raised on the family farm. I guess it is no coincidence that for many years she had a fabulous garden and grew both flowers and vegetables. I swear that she had greenery growing out of her thumbs! The picture of the poppy above is from my garden but the flowers were transplanted from her garden years ago. They are gorgeous and continue to thrive and every time I look at them I will remember her.
Started 1951 - unfinished
Started 1951 - completed 1994

Adela had started piecing a quilt sometime in 1951 using fabric scraps of all sorts and her daughter, Wanda (who was a fabulous quilter), turned them into two quilts. When I took these quilts out of the cupboard I noticed that the basting stitches are still in place on one of the quilts because the border still needs quilting. Sadly,Wanda was lost to us too soon in 1998 and never got to finish it for her mother.

Rest in Peace
Adela Katherine Marcinkowski
October 28, 1915 to November 26, 2012

I am sure you have found peace with your beloved husband Chester and cherished daughter Wanda.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Keeping Busy

Time just seems to be zooming by and winter has made an appearance here. On Saturday, we got our first 'real' snowfall. We have had days where snowflakes have fallen but there was thankfully no accumulation. I guess our fabulous Fall has finally come to an end - too bad!

I have made many, many hourglass blocks over the last week or so (and now have a total of 517 to be exact) and that is more than enough to make the quilt for my niece Amanda. The next step in the process is for me to start sewing them into groups of 4 but I have decided to take a wee break from them for now.

Over the past couple days I have had Little Houses on my mind (in more ways than one because I also want to downsize...but that is another totally different story...and I better not get started!). I had originally planned on making 10 per month for a year but that fell by the wayside a long time ago. I now have 73 made including this latest batch of 10 and I have cut out enough pieces for at least 20 more. I think that is the most time consuming part and my back will attest to that. I need to come up with a better set up for cutting that is more ergonomic.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

More Hourglass Blocks

Almost every night this week I have spent time in my sewing room working on these hourglass blocks. I am happy with my progress - I still have 2 more stacks that are partially complete and I just need to sew the 2 halves together and press them open. I have no idea how many blocks I have made nor how many more I need to have the quilt top finish at around 80"x 96". I will eventually have to take a tally but for now I am content to just sew them together. I am very certain that there will be many more made than I will need for this quilt and I am perfectly okay with that. I won't mind having enough extra to make a second quilt. Originally, my niece Amanda requested Bonnie Hunter's pattern 'My Blue Heaven' but when she saw the picture of the hourglass blocks hanging on my design wall in an earlier post she decided that she really liked them just as they were.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Any Progress is Good Progress

Last night after supper I went into my sewing room and just sat down at my sewing machine. After sitting there for a bit I grabbed a notebook and started taking inventory of all of the projects I have started but have not completed. I can't believe how many I have been juggling - no wonder it felt like I had not been making any progress. Up until the past several months I would normally work on just a couple projects at a time and I would actually get them finished - that seems so long ago! I do have a couple long-term projects that I have been neglecting as well. The problem is that even though they are "long-term" projects I actually have to work on them or they will become never-ending projects.

Tonight I worked on getting all of the rows sewn together on my Stars & Nines quilt. I have decided to stick with the plain borders from my original design. I really like that this quilt top has a masculine look to it and I think the plain borders will reinforce that. At this point, I don't have any real plans for the weekend so I hope to get lots of sewing time in. I plan on making and adding the borders to this quilt top and to prep some Dear Jane and Midget blocks as well. Any sewing time that I have available this week will be used to sew more hourglass blocks together for my niece Amanda's quilt. Hopefully, I will make some really good progress on her quilt. The blocks that I have already made just look so pretty and I am quite anxious to see how they will look when they are all sewn together.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Molly's New Sweater

My crochet edging is a bit ripply!

Yarn change -it's not very noticeable.

Let's pretend that Molly is happy with her sweater!!
I spent the past couple days working on this sweater for my dog Molly. I didn't use a pattern other than comparing my work to a knitted sweater that I purchased for her last year. I think it turned out okay - I used up a partial roll of purple yarn and some novelty yarn that I had left over from making scarves for the nurses that looked after my husband when he was in the hospital several years ago. I didn't have quite enough of the purple yarn so I dug around and found some in my bedroom closet but it was a bit thinner. I just doubled it up and used two strands together. There is a slight colour variation and the texture is a bit different but since it is on the chest area it really isn't noticeable. The neckline is a bit big/baggy but maybe my next try will work out better. My sons have told me not to let Molly wear her new sweater.....I guess they think it is just too froo-froo and girly. I think she likes it and doesn't seem to mind what it looks like when I put it on her...especially now that it is cold out.

I really am a novice knitter and I basically have taught myself from books or magazines. Over the years, I have made a few simple scarves and also a couple sweaters for my sons when they were little. Those sweaters I made for my boys were really nothing to write home about but I did make them. I also have a sweater in progress for my son Adam that I started about six years ago and when I was looking for more purple yarn I pulled it out of the closet. I just might work on it some more and see if I can finish it well enough for it to be worn.