Monday, December 19, 2016

Busy Elves






I have been stitching away like one of Santa's elves. Work, work, work...


I finished the corner blocks for the Rowdy Flat Library Quilt, and I'm currently stitching on Block Five. "The March Of The Ladybugs... The borders are coming up shortly. I need to finish this block, and then one more. The borders are all appliqued flowers and bugs, of course. I've finally seen a photo of the finished quilt online. It's a mystery quilt and I only get one block pattern a month. As you know, there were a few months when I couldn't stitch because of my hand surgeries. I'm trying now to catch up.






I also started another quilt that has been quietly waiting for my attention. Now you know why there aren't many finished quilts in a year. I have a short attention span. At least it must seem like it, but in reality I spend about six hours a day stitching, sometimes many more. When your stitching involves nothing but needle turn applique and hand quilting, the progress must seem very slow.





The new quilt that I have started is called The Aunts Quilt. It has twelve pieced blocks, which I have done and six appliqued squares. There are also appliqued half triangles and appliqued borders. For some reason I thought that it would be a nice easy quilt to work on when I needed a break from some more challenging quilts, but I don't think it's going to be.


 Some days I don't get to stitch at all, because things like Christmas get in the way. I have been baking cookies, and wrapping gifts. The house has been decorated for weeks. The shopping is done. I need to do some more baking and cooking this week and the house really needs a quick dust and vacuum. I guess I better get back to work. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas with your family and friends.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Sadness




I belong to a weekly quilting Bee. I'm not even sure how long the group has been in existence. I have been a member for fourteen years. The women who are my fellow members are like my sisters. We know everything about each other. We know everything about our families. We share patterns, and projects. Each of us was invited by a member to come see if we would like to join. I was invited by a friend of my Mother. My friend is Lynn Merrifield. She and her husband just made a move to the beach. To be closer to their dear daughters. I'm going to miss Lynn very much.


We shared some of Lynns quilting fabric that she didn't want to pack and take with her. I found a treasure, and I wish that I had taken a photo of it last evening when I got home from Bee, but I didn't.  Then you could have seen it when it was in pristine condition.  It is a completed, hand appliqued block. I inked her name on it this morning. I was going to quilt it, and make a pillow using it. Change of plans...


I am so mad at my dear dog, Walter. I went upstairs at O-dark-thirty, to make a cup of tea, and when I came back downstairs, Walter was chewing on Lynns block. It has holes in it. In more than one place. I cried.

I think I'm going to press a stabilizer on to the back of it, sew a backing on to it, bind it, and pin it to my sewing room wall, where I can see it every day.

These photos are really bad, but it's dark and raining here this morning, but we are still in a horrible drought, so I won't complain about the weather. Plus I adore rain.

I'm sorry Lynn.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Beginning






It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas and I'm beginning to stitch again. 








Three weeks ago I had my right (dominant) hand operated on. It's called a Carpal Tunnel Release. I quite frankly was terrified, because I was afraid that something would happen and I wouldn't be able to stitch or knit again. Thankfully my hand surgeon was able to take care of everything and I will be fine, I think. I'm still sore and stiff, but better every day. The numbness and tingling have almost all gone, so I think this is a success story, and hopefully I never have to talk about it again.








The house is decorated. I've had my quilt group here this past Wednesday, which is always the beginning of Christmas for me. I managed it all last weekend, after a wonderful trip to see our oldest son and his adorable family for Thanksgiving.






In my next post I will show you the blocks that I've completed for the Rowdy Flat Library Quilt, but this one is just to let you all know that I'm back and looking forward to a lot of new knitting and stitching in the weeks and months ahead. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Rowdy Flat Library Quilt Block Three and Corner Block




I have finally finished block three. I think I love it, even if it is slightly different than the pattern. Sometimes making a large mistake works out rather well in the long term. I like having more Bees in the corners as they are my favorite design of this pattern. In fact I just ordered fabric for the back of this quilt, which is covered in very cute plump bees. The fabric is "Bumble Bee"  by Tula Pink. It's just perfect, I think. AND its on sale. Even more perfect. I feel like I have accomplished a large hurdle after finishing block three. I think it's the three weeks I had to stop sewing. It just seemed to take forever to finish. 






I've also started on the corner blocks for one of the borders. I love the "Queen Bee" in the center of this block. It's nice to have small blocks for a bit of a breather before I go on to the next two large blocks. At least I learned my lesson, and I'm reading the directions now. Sometimes I just think that I know what I'm doing and get way ahead of myself.  Reading is best...



Lesson learned.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Rowdy Flat Library Quilt Block Three





I'm sure that you have all heard of poetic license. Right? Well I have used artistic license on this block. By accident. I'll blame it on pain.



I started this block before I had my elbow and hand surgery. I was trying to get as much stitching as possible finished before my surgery, so I don't think I was as careful as usual in reading the directions for this block. Therefore, a big mistake was made. Usually if I make a mistake in my stitching, I will remove the part that is wrong and start over. However, in this case I was just too far into the block to be able to start over.


I made the outside wreath, (the one with the leaves) too small. If appliqued pieces are removed from the background fabric, in my experience it leaves marks. You can see an example in the above photo. I have been diligently stitching away this week. My hand and my elbow have been screaming at me in the evening, and my surgery was only four weeks ago. So, long story short... I'm making up my own Block Three. Not all of it, and the original concept is still there. My center is very crowded, but I kind of like it. The corners are kind of bare, and I'm adding to them. I'm still using the pattern that was provided by the author of the Rowdy Flat Library Quilt. I'm using her shapes, but putting them in different places.







I think that my Block Three is going to be heavily appliqued, and may be a bit different than the other appliqued squares, so I'm going to use it as my center square. I adore this pattern and just can't wait until I see it completed. It is colorful and fun and a bit of a challenge. I'm all about stitching on quilts that challenge me in some way, and this one is perfect. So perfect, in fact, that I have ordered another large pattern from the same designer. Her name is Susan Smith, and I hope she forgives me for tweaking her pattern.

Oh, and if you are wondering what surgery I had done- All because I spend my life stitching- I had a Carpal Tunnel Release, and a Subcutaneous Ulnar Transposition ( That means they moved the nerve in my elbow to a new, more protected position). AND I think I have to have the same thing done on my other side. I will find out in a week. Fun, right? However, if I didn't get it repaired, there was a high probability that I would have lost the use of my hand.



Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Getting Better





I'm recovering. Slowly. I still have to use ice in the afternoons, but no more too strong pain killers. Those things are brutal, but needed, for the first week-in this case. I'm still working on healing, and not yet ready for all day sewing sessions. Mostly I'm reading. Catching up on television shows that I've missed, and gathering inspiration for when things are back to normal. Reading blogs that I love. I think it will be at least a few weeks until I can really begin again to pick up a needle and thread. Then I will be planning to have the other arm and hand repaired as well. Oh, the things I do to myself...





Monday, September 5, 2016

Rowdy Flat Library Update ...




..and please think of me. I'm a nervous wreck. I'm having Carpal Tunnel surgery, and Ulnar Nerve Transposition in my elbow. Two surgeries at once. Leave it to me. I'm not afraid to have surgery, as this is far from my first. I am, however, very afraid that I won't be able to applique or hand quilt again. So, if you could say a teeny tiny prayer for me next Monday, I would certainly appreciate it.

Now on to the fun stuff.
These first two photos are of a big mistake. Big and black.




The fabric I bought for my "Bees" is actually gold and black striped, but I didn't notice how much my "Bees" looked like "Flies" until I took a photo of the finished block. Holy Moly, So, I un-sewed them and used cute yellow fabric instead,






I just love applique blocks with ink work on them. A lot. The next photo is of the completed Block one, and then the last two photos show sort of what things may look like together. It isn't the correct placement, as there are still many applique blocks, corners and borders still to be done. Remember that it is a mystery quilt as well, so I don't know what the layout is.








I just ordered another pattern from the same designer, Susan Smith. The name of it is Stoneyfields. I think it will be a year or two before I can even attempt it, as there is now quite a line up of beautiful patterns to work on. Then there is my forced time out. I just hope that it isn't for too long.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Knitting A Sock








I am knitting-a-sock... 
I have been doing this, it seems like weeks, but it hasn't been that long I guess. I've been reading as well.




Mostly, I've been hanging out with my amazing Grandsons. We had a BOYS ONLY weekend (except for Nana, of course). They went out for pizza. They went fishing, and only one of them fell in. They had an amazing water gun fight, with Otter pops after. They went to see a movie, with a ton of candy and slushies. They had a sleepover with one of the dogs, who only ate part of three socks. They had barbecues, with a lot of ketchup. Ice cream sundaes. They got new remote control Hexbugs. Hot dogs for lunch. Star Wars movies and video games. 



One of them told me it was his favorite weekend ever. Better than Disneyland... I did my best buddy.




Okay. Now back to that sock.