Trying New Things

I am not sure what exactly is behind this but in addition to lace knitting, I have apparently decided it is time to do some free motion sewing. Or maybe attempt free motion sewing is a better term.

Monday I decided I really needed to make some Valentine’s placemats. Eight to be exact, well, seven but I rounded up. For the daughters and son-in-law and granddogs. I had a Jolly Bar (half a layer cake, a precut exclusive to The Fat Quarter Shop, in case you didn’t know) of the First Crush line which I purchased a few years ago to get the pattern that I used to make my Hearts of Flowers quilt. I used every bit of that Jolly Bar and a scrap of one extra fabric to do the tops of the placemats.

I have often thought that placemats are the perfect free motion practice pieces so I set up my machine for free motion quilting, practiced for a while on a practice piece 

And then I moved on to the placemats. I did learn a few things about me and free motion quilting.

  1. I do much better when I’m not trying to quilt densely. This is okay with me because I’m not a fan of stiff quilts.
  2. I do much better when I’m trying to fill a rectangle with motifs in straight lines. Also okay with me, but not always the shapes I have!
  3. I need lots more practice.
  4. Ditch stitching seems easier free motion quilting. Hmmmm!

Below are the pictures of the best three placemats, back and front. Not perfect, but a good start. I still have four more to bind – so much for having them for Valentine’s Day this year. Binding is today’s plan!

I ran out of diagonal red and white binding fabric after completing the first four placemats so I had to head to my most local LQS for something else. I found something and also this adorable fabric. I purchased half a yard and half a yard with a black background and half a yard of the matching floral. Just because I loved it. I may have to go back for more. And some of the glorious pansy fabric they had!

Quilt on!

Sorry on Sunday

I really need to apologize because it has been so long since I shared anything here. It’s not like I haven’t been doing anything to share, but I just haven’t been blogging. So let me share a little today.

I’ve been working my way through the Craftsy class (affiliate link warning!) Lace Knitting: Basics and Beyond with Eunny Jang. I am up to the final project now, a lacy scarf knitted with this gorgeous yarn.

Here’s a sample (unblocked) of one of the swatches I’ve been knitting. 

Knitting does not come naturally to me. It just doesn’t. I don’t think I’ll be a convert once I’m done, but I think I will be able to knit the shawl I started and failed, so that is a good thing. I think. Of course, I’m rethinking the yarn I got for that one, so stay tuned.

Maybe you’ve seen the pictures of various jelly roll rugs on Instagram. I got the pattern from the designer on Etsy (and that link is not an affiliate, just an ordinary share but you can also buy it at the Fat Quarter Shop). As we know, I have lots of jelly rolls! So I started one. Here’s the start.

I have also gotten to work on my Disappearing Pinwheel quilt. I got the rest of the pinwheels made and have started to make the blocks. Of course, I only have one made so far. And I accidentally destroyed one. Sigh.

And that is the current state of things. My plans for today include some Valentine placemats. And maybe more DPWs. And knitting. We will see.

Quilt on!

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Catching Up

Just because I haven’t been blogging doesn’t mean I haven’t been making stuff. Or acquiring things.

First there were the quilty Christmas goodies, a puzzle, a book, a table topper pattern and the Creative Grids mini Pineapple tool.

Next came the knitting fail. Remember how I am not a knitter but I’d fallen in love with this Craftsy Kit (yes, that’s an affiliate link)? And I was going to knit it myself with lots of help from my knitting friends? 

Yeah, well, I cast it on, knitted a few rows and ripped it out five or six times. This is what the last one looked like:

You didn’t really think that I was going to show you what it looked like five rows in, did you? Especially not five rows I repeatedly ripped back.

After that fiasco, I needed to feel accomplished at something so I made my first ever zipper pouch to contain the knitting supplies that Carolyn had so kindly lent me when I returned them. If we count this zipper pouch as a bag, I have accomplished one of my quilty resolutions. I made the bag a slightly strange shape because I needed to fit circular needles into it. It also, coincidentally, exactly fits Carolyn’s Bible.

However, I am apparently more stubborn than I originally thought about the whole knitting thing. So I decided to take a lace knitting class on Craftsy. I chose Lace Knitting: Basics and Beyond with Eunny Jang  (affiliate link) because it was on sale and I’m not a serious knitter. I just need to conquer this one thing. Seriously, now it is a challenge. If you are at all interested in lace knitting, I strongly recommend it. Eunny Jang is a great teacher and I’m learning a lot.

Of course, I had returned Carolyn’s knitting equipment so I had to get something with which to knit. I found a complete set of bamboo knitting needles and accessories at Amazon, the affiliate link is below.

Here’s what I got:

So, yes, I have still been doing some knitting. Mostly practice swatches, but I’m actually enjoying it. We will see how long this lasts. This isn’t my first go round with knitting. I learned to knit as a child and made a few things (including the world’s weirdest Christmas stocking for my oldest nephew), but I never really enjoyed it. We will see how this goes.

Of course I haven’t forsaken my first love. I have put the borders on the Christmas Jelly Roll Race. I don’t have finished pictures, but here is the fabric I used.

I finished Clue Two of the On Ringo Lake Mystery. I’m taking a break from that to work on Charlotte Hawkes’ Summer Stars on Fawn Lake Mystery, but I only have pictures of the On Ringo Lake Clue 2.

I have been working on hand quilting the 2009 Designer Mystery BOM. Here’s the block I finished most recently. Yes, most of it is stitch in the ditch.

And my husband brought a few of his mom’s collector’s plates up from the basement so that we can start trying to sell them. I don’t have much hope that they will sell for much if anything, but I do need to start listing them on eBay. Here’s the pile of them in the living room. And that’s what I’ve been up to. What about you?

Quilt on!

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2018 Finish-A-Long Q1 Goals

Whoopee! I wasn’t sure there would still be a Finish-A-Long this year. I know it must be a lot of work and I am incredibly grateful to the lovely ladies who run it. Imagine my delight when I saw Leeanne from She Can Quilt had a post to link up first quarter goals. Now to make some!

I usually hope for 5 finishes and, if I’m lucky, get one or two. So, here goes in the order I would expect to finish them.

  1. Christmas Jelly Roll Race – I have the inner border on and need to decide on and add an outer border, quilt and bind.
  2. Disappearing Pinwheels – I may have enough blocks already completed to make a throw sized quilt. We will see.
  3. Layer Cake Explosion – All the blocks are completed. Now I need to cut the rest of the background fabric and get it put together.
  4. The 2011 Designer Mystery BOM – All the blocks are completed. Next up would be cutting the finishing kit and putting it together.
  5. Getting to Know Hue – This is a huge reach. I have the gold blocks to make, the four appliqué blocks and the center star in addition to getting it put together, etc. Big reach. But I’ll try! 

So there’s my official list. Stay tuned to see how it goes.

Quilt on!

2018 Quilting Hopes and Dreams

Here are my Quilty Resolutions for 2018. You will be able to find them in the sidebar throughout this year in a little less detail!

  1. UFO & WIP Finishes – at least two of these:
    1. Disappearing Pinwheels – I seriously need to do this!
    2. 2011 Designer Mystery BOM – I think this is currently my oldest UFO.
    3. The Christmas Jelly Roll Race – I don’t know how I didn’t finish it last year!
    4. The Jinny Beyer BOM – I either need to finish this or let it go.
    5. Getting to Know Hue – I’d like this not to be a long term project.
    6. On Ringo Lake – I don’t want this one to get to be a UFO.
    7. Layer Cake Explosion – I should be able to finish this one soon also.
    8. The 2009 Designer Mystery BOM
  2. Start (and finish if possible) at least one of the kits I have around the house.
  3. Make at least two bags.
  4. Organize all the patterns I have pulled out of magazines.
  5. Make some serious progress on La Passacaglia.

That’s it for the Quilty Resolutions. I don’t know how realistic these are since one never knows the future. But a person can dream!

What are your quilting hopes and dreams for 2018?

Quilt on!

Craftsy End of Year Sale

Yes, this is an ad for the Craftsy End of Year Sale. This is a supplies sale of up to 70% off your crafting supplies. It lasts until Sunday, December 31st at 11:59 pm MT.

Click here for the sale and to help support this blog!

And, yes, the big question is “Can Gretchen avoid spending money on this?” I guess time will tell. I’ll get back with you on that!

Quilt on!

Odds and Ends

As we approach the end of this year, I hope to ramp up my sewing and quilting efforts again. I had a couple of weeks off, caused by the use of my cutting table and a dull rotary blade for present wrapping. (Jaye, just so you know, we still have rolls and rolls of wrapping paper from my MIL’s stash to use up before I feel like I can switch to cloth bags, but I am looking forward to that concept.)

Christmas brought some quilty goodness – a puzzle, Angela Walters’s most recent book, a Jaybird Quilts table topper pattern and the Mini Pineapple Trim tool. Yay! My daughters and sister provided some awesome future quilty fun. (And that is without mentioning the awesome puzzle board that my sis sent along.)

And then yesterday there was the gift of sewing time! I started Clue 2 (yes, I am that far behind) of Bonnie Hunter’s On Ringo Lake mystery. I got 70 of the 200 flying geese done but I haven’t taken pictures so you’ll have to settle for the pieces before sewing. (Just a note, a fat quarter of that pink fabric provided those 70 quarter square triangles.) In case you’re wondering about all those little pieces, I used my Kimberly Einmo Flying Geese ruler.  It may not be as fast as some methods, but it is very accurate – and when have I ever worried about fast?

What have you been up to lately?

Quilt on!

Progress on Something or Another

I did get a couple of other things done besides purchasing items.

First, I did the blocks for the Getting to Know Hue for the November month so that I could go down and pick up the last blocks. November’s were the green blocks.

I need to change the rotary cutter blade before I get on to anything else quilty, so that makes this the ideal time to use my cutting table and rotary cutter to wrap Christmas presents, so that is in the plan for today.

Here is my best nine from Instagram, complete with guest appearances by Kathy and Nonnie.

Quilt on!

I Succumbed to the Craftsy Sale!

Yes, I did. I try not to buy kits, but I bought three yesterday. Three!!!!! Here are links to the kits I bought so you can see how much I caved.

First, I bought a Judy Niemeyer kit. It was a pretty good sale price and I really liked the colors. Here’s a link and the picture.

Next, I purchased another kit I’ve had my eye on the 2016 Summer Amish Medallion Block of the Month.

And finally, I bought a knitting kit. I am not sure if I’m actually knitting this myself or begging/bribing Carolyn to do it for me, but it is a shawl I really like. So.

None of these links are the kind that benefit the blog. I just wanted to share my foolishness!

Quilt on!

Some Black Friday Sew-In Results

Here’s what I’ve been up to for the holiday weekend. Not pictured is my very anemic start to Bonnie Hunter’s On Ringo Lake Mystery Quilt. Hopefully there will be something to look at from that soon.

First up, this is a mat to go under the jewelry tree I purchased for the church auction. The fabric is from the Hoffman Challenge fabrics this year. Yep, that center hexagon is jewels.

I was attempting to take a picture of this table runner, but someone seems to think it is meant just for him.

Finally! I got a quick chance to take a picture of this table runner. It is also for Friday’s auction.

During some football Saturday, I got a healthy percentage of the next round of La Passacaglia Rosette 2 completed and sewed into place. The piece currently has a couple more of the pairs sewn on, but then my eyes gave out and said, “That’s enough of that!”

Not as productive as I would have liked, but something got accomplished.

How was your weekend?

Quilt on!

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