September Wreath

When I started thinking up ideas for my September Wreath fall colors immediately popped into my head.  Along with that came leaves changing colors, mums and cooler weather.  With temperatures here still in the mid-90's and the humidity still hanging high, not to mention the fact that everything here is still green,  I just couldn't picture putting up a fall leaf.  Not that it wouldn't look pretty, but the leaves here don't start changing for at least another 2 months.

With that idea labeled, "NO I pressed on.  I thought about a school house but I had no luck finding a block pattern last month, besides school started two weeks ago.  I contemplated making up a pattern, you know in my spare time, but realized that it would be at least October before that ever happened.  On to the next idea.

Then when I was up at the fruit stand it hit me, APPLES!  I love apple picking in the fall.  Not that there is any place to pick apples near us, but when we lived north it was one of my favorite fall activities.  The kids and I would venture up to an orchard or two in the fall.  We would fill our bags and our bellies with all the apples we could.  Once home we would make apple pies, muffins, smoothies and applesauce.

Thus the search for the September block was on.  I searched many patterns and stumbled upon the Apple Harvest Wall Quilt by  Marian Shenk.  It was printed in the Sept. 2002 edition of Quilt World magazine.  It had just the right block!  

The basket is pieced while the apples are machine appliqued.  I machine quilted a very minimal amount on this block but I think it works.

What a crooked picture!  Apparently I was still stiff and sore from all of the long arm quilting the day before and couldn't hold my camera straight.  I assure you it is hanging straight on the door. Hmmm. I better check that.


quilting again

With school underway I finally have time to get back to quilting.  I loaded up my machine with a quilt and got to work.  It was WONDERFUL!  I quilted for at least two hours before I was forced to stop.  Would you believe I woke the next morning with sore muscles in my back!  I didn't realize how long it had been since I had used my machine but apparently it had been long enough.  After stretching, Advil and a healthy dose of the heating pad I was quilting once more.  In no time I had this quilt finished and packed-up ready to ship out to it's owner.  

double circles and swirls


Not wanting to take a break I whipped up a new block for my wreath project and then loaded my next quilt.  I cannot wait to get started!!!



I hate bedtime.  Not my bedtime mind you, the kids bedtime.  Actually, I don't know a parent that really likes bedtime.  Let's face it, it's the end of the day we are all tired and yet we have one more job to do before we can actually rest.  It's a nasty business but someone has to do it.

I think my biggest hang-up with bedtime, besides all of the screwing around, is the stalling.  I just don't understand the stalling.  Why would you not want to go to sleep.  I personally love to sleep.  I would do more of it if I could.  My two youngest love to stall.  I think it is some type of competition between the two.  (Let's see if we can really drive Mom insane!)

I spend at least 15 minutes going back and forth between bedrooms answering questions and reassuring worried minds.  Emma I am sure does not want to miss anything.  So  being the youngest  she is always worried someone will get something, an infinitesimally small something EXTRA that she won't.

I am forever being called into her room to answer vague and strangely off the wall questions.  Such as...

"Mom?  What are we doing tomorrow?"  she'll ask.  This is pretty standard and my reply, which is also standard is "I don't know yet. Or I don't have anything planned.  Is there something you need me to do for you?"  Usually she says, "Okay, I was just wondering"

Sometimes I get called into their rooms to have them say, "Mom?"
"Yes, Emma/Jack?"  "Um?  I forgot?"  That one always makes my eye start to twitch.

Last night Emma called me in shortly after being scolded by Dad.  Never a good thing.  She looked a little teary and she said very rapidly, "Mom?"
Deep breath. "Yes, Emma?"
"Sometimes when I need to talk,  I need to talk to you not Dad.  I mean there are things that I can talk to you about that I cannot talk to him about.  Do you understand?"
 "Yes, I understand." I replied only slightly annoyed and  a little more concerned.
She went on. "Girls have things they need to talk with their mom's about.  Dads just don't always understand girl things, you know?"
"Is there something you need Emma?"  I enquired.
 "No.  I am not finished mom!  Just let me finish."  I sigh, sit down on the side of the bed to wait,  I could see this is going nowhere fast.  "So when I call you I need you to come and not Dad.  He just doesn't understand me like you do.  For example, if I had a hangnail I could tell you about it and you would say, something like, 'why don't you go down and get clippers.' or ' do you want me to trim it?'  You understand these problems, dad doesn't.  Tonight when I called him in and told him I had a hangnail he just looked at me and said, "Okay." and walked out. "What kind of  answer is that?"


Hat Trick

Here it is!

So, it's not a hat, it's a shrug.  But it is the third one I have made this summer.   I love, love, Love it when things work out so perfectly.  Unfortunately this was not one of those times.  I mentioned in previous posts that I was knitting these shrugs out of yarn from my stash.  The first two were completed in near record time and with plenty of yarn to spare.  This one, I was not so lucky.

 I new I was in trouble as I neared the final repeat of the pattern.  There I was left with a few choices, none of which I really was excited about.
1. Buy more yarn.  That is all well in good but the point was to use up the yarn in my stash, NOT to add to it.  Besides the chances of finding the same dye-lot and color are slim to none.
2. Rip out the entire thing and re-work the pattern in another yarn.  Not a big fan of the whole ripping back thing.
3. Finish out the sweater and add another color for the sleeves.  Okay, do able but not my favorite solution.
In the end I chose number 3.  While I am not unhappy with the result I really do wish I would have had enough yarn to finish the entire thing.  Regardless, 2 Christmas presents now finished.


Baby's got a brand new bag.

With the school day fast approaching Emma and I finished her school bag. She pieced the front of the bag by herself!  I think she did a beautiful job.  Great color choices.

The back we used a solid color batik, which I love.  I quilted a concentric box pattern around the back.

I finished off the rest of the bag, under her watchful eye, of course.

She had definite opinions about the location and size of all her pockets.

 If you're going to make it you might as well get what you want.


Folded sling bag

I have to say thank goodness summer is finally winding down.  sigh.  The kids head back to school on Wednesday and I for one am grateful.  I know I will have to adjust to being home by myself, don't worry I'll manage.  

I finished the Tutorial for The Folded Sling Bag,   I know you have been anxiously awaiting and here it is the folded sling bag. 

 Being on a self imposed tote making quest.  I have seen many, many, many patterns.  I have, through all my searching only found one sling bag pattern.  I wanted to make a sling bag but didn't want to endure sewing in a zipper.  I also wanted a bag that had a big opening and was big enough to hold a few essentials. 

 This was my first prototype.  I have to say I have had rave reviews from adults and kids alike.  It is a simple pattern that should be great for beginners.  I really cut this pattern down to be as simple as it is cute. 

The Folded Sling Bag Pattern  This pattern is on scribd.com as is the Nesting Basket Tutorial.

I also did a slightly updated and bigger bag for a cutie-pie I know. I think they liked them. This bag has a pocket or two along with a boxed bottom and I hope to have an optional closure figured out soon.  Once I do I will be offering a new tutorial. The messenger bag was from mmmcrafts

*10/6/2010 -  I regret that I have been forced to take this pattern off scribd.com, as they are undergoing some changes that I do not agree with.  I hope to have the tutorial and pattern available for download soon*


Second verse...

Same as the first!  Okay not exactly the same but really close.  Here is my second knitted shrug and my first knitted Christmas present.  Done in 100% cotton in light pink for a beautiful little girl.

One of the best parts about this shrug pattern is that it requires so little yarn.  This shrug was made with one skein of that I was gifted from a friends stash. (I think it was Brown Sheep Cotton)  How great is that! Can't you just see this cute shrug over a long sleeve T-shirt paired with some skinny jeans.  How cute would that be?  It would also work over a light spring dress.

For those of you that missed the last post about this shrug, this pattern is Heart Party Shrug.  You can find it by clicking the link or heading over to Petite Purls website.  They have really cute and inspiring patterns.

Don't you just love the bobbles!


Knitting a tale

Four GREAT Friends
Once upon a time there were 4 friends.  The lived apart but saw each other often.  Then the friends got married but still they continued to visit.  The men would talk, drink beer, ski and talk of toys to buy.  The women chatted, exchanged recipes and planned trips to far way places.

Watching the tubers
As time went by the couples, as couples often do, expanded.  The families still got together but maybe not quite as often or for quite as long. The men still talked, drank beer and water skied but maybe they were a little slower than they once were and the falls hurt a little more.   The women still talked and planned, but it was mostly about children and meals. Then there was knitting.  And all was well.

Girls tubing
 Years went by and the couples moved from place to place, changed jobs, quit jobs, but friends they still remained.  The visits slowed down and were replaced with emails and Christmas cards. The men still talked but the beer switched to wine and the water skiing was replaced by tubing with toddlers and small children.   The women's talks were infrequent and most of the time interrupted by children.  But the knitting kept on.

The Gang

Between one visit and the next, things went on as thing usually do.  Then one summer visit they stopped and realized how much things had changed.  While the men still skied, they were sore afterward.  The children it seems had taken over the skiing and tubing.  The women could hold a conversation and remember what they were talking about.  And the knitting, Oh, the glorious knitting!  The women went out and they drank coffee, and they knitted.  They got pedicures and they knitted.  

learning to ski

learning to ski

The children got older and before they new it the oldest was babysitting.  They happened to think, "Hey, we could go out on DATE NIGHT again!"  And so the planning began, the videos were rented and the pizza bought.  Then the women wondered, "Is it wrong to take knitting out on Date night?"  As tempted as they were the knitting remained at home.  The men talked of past times, skiing and boating.  The women talked of food, family and knitting.   And all was well.


August Wreath

Ah! August is here!  Which means school starts in just a few weeks.  In anticipation of school starting I wanted to find a school house block to hang on my wreath.  My short Internet search provided me with nothing I really wanted to assemble.  (mostly paper piecing)  While I'm continuing to wait for the perfect school house block for the first day of school; I went ahead and quilted up this little sailboat for my August wreath.  We have a boat, although it is not a sailboat.  We do have a boat and spend most weekends during the summer out on the lake.

For this little number I switched over to my old machine to do the quilting.  I used a wood-grain type stitch for the main body of the boat.  I quilted around the sails to give them the impression of filling with wind.  If I would have planned ahead, sigh, I would have added a little trapunto to the sails.  I think this would have really added to the effect.  next time.

 For the sky I tried a pattern that I have played around with on my long arm machine.  It is a cloud type stitch which I have difficulty performing on my long arm machine.  Somehow I thought it might be easier to perform on my White.  Boy was I wrong!  If anything it was harder.  I love, love, love to to curvy designs on my long arm.  It really feels natural and almost calming in a rhythmic sort of way.  Curves are much harder for me on my White.  I immediately plucked out all the clouds, as they looked more like sagging breasts then clouds, and used this stitch from Leah Day's 365 Days of Free Motion Quilting Fillers.  If you haven't been to her blog I highly recommend it.  This design is her Trailing Spirals filler.  As I said curves are new and difficult for me but I really am happy with the way these turned out.

The ocean on the other hand is I am less than happy with.   I tried to quilt in a rolling wave pattern I also use on my long arm machine.  It looks much better when I perform it on my long arm. But as I've said before, the purpose of the wreath project is to practice and learn new designs, not to be perfect.  Happy August everyone!