Saturday, March 14, 2009


Putty was on ironing duty this week. He needed to inspect a new black that I picked up. I think he approves.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Knitting progression

This will be the last post in my flurry of posts. I'm still not caught up with the posts in my head, but I've definitely made progress.

Last Thursday, I took beginning knitting 2 at The Sow's Ear in Verona. The goal of the class is to learn how to use circular needles, double pointed needles and how to increase and decrease. The project we are making is a hat.

Here's a picture of my gauge sample. I felt bad about ripping this apart, so I took a picture of it for posterity. =)

I'm very happy to report that this project is going smoothly. I'm about 2 1/2" into the hat and I haven't had any major issues (yet?).
This weekend will be a very busy one. It's Canoecopia time again and I'll be wrapped up in that all weekend. I did schedule a Caturday to post, because Putty felt he hasn't been getting enough blog attention lately. Bauer will be visiting, so maybe I can get some good pictures of them together.

Star BOM 13

It's the final countdown. Dant-da-dahhh-donnnn. Dant-da-dant-don-donnnnn.

=) Sorry about the 80's big hair flashback!
Ummmm, I'm not really sorry. -big grin!-

Back to business. This is the last Star in my Star Block of the Month that I've been participating in for a while now. There's still quite a bit left to do on it: sashing, setting blocks, borders, etc. But it feels like an accomplishment to get these 13 blocks done. I'm doing a little happy dance. Of course it's being done that fabulous music!

Here is a picture of all of my blocks together. Right now they are laid out according to the pattern, but I think I'm going to make a few adustments to their final position.

Dant-da-dahhh-donnnn. Dant-da-dant-don-donnnnn. Try getting that out of your head now! It's the Final Countdown...

My work here is done!

Star BOM 12

Star BOM 12 is now done!

I used the golden batik fabric again in this block and just love, love, love it. At about the halfway point, I decided to use the same orange fabrics in each row. Scrappy, yet somewhat organized. Just like me! ;) Following that plan, I unfortunately only have 2 blocks using this fabric. I guess the bright side is that I still have a bit left and will hopefully be able to use it in another project.

One more Star BOM to go...

Star BOM 11

I'm all caught up with my Star Blocks of the Month. I think I was a bit like a horse that sees the barn. I knew I had only 3 more blocks to go, so I chugged along and got them done in short order (well, once I started back up with them!).

Here is Block 11. It went together effortlessly. I love it when that happens. =)

The Tortoise and the Hare

I've been like the Tortoise with my sewing lately, slow and steady. Just a little bit each day. Today, I'm going to be the Hare with blog posts. I've got so much stuff that I've wanted to post and today I'm going to go posting crazy! Weeeeeeeee. Here it goes.

Where to begin, where to begin?

On Saturday, I spent the day at my friend Kathy's house. She is borrowing her mother-in-law's sewing machine and I was there to help her learn how to use it, help her finish her messenger bag and work on some of my projects (especially big things that need space to lay out-- she has a LOT more space than I do.) She made lots of progress on her bag and just needs to put the strap on. Plus, she has a pretty good handle on how the machine works.

I was focused on trimming up some Heartstring blocks and putting them together into a top. The center is done and now it needs some borders.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Star BOM 10

I had this cut out and on my design wall for aaaaages. Yesterday I bit the bullet and put the pieces together. It only took 30 minutes. I think I was paranoid that I didn't have good color placement, but it's fine. Now I need to get going on the last few. I want to be all caught up before Judy posts the sashing instructions.

Messenger bag = Done!

Ayy, ay, ay, it's been too long since my last post! I keep composing posts in my head, but haven't gotten them onto the computer! And the longer I go without posting, the harder it is to get back into the swing of things. I have the best intentions-- really, I do.

Let's see... I'll try to pick up where I left off. Maybe I should try for shorter posts with less words? Would that lead to more consistent blogging? Who knows.

I finished my messenger bag! I love it and am using it all the time. It turned out fantastic!

Meanwhile, I packaged Kathy's bag parts up and put them in a shoe box. Everything is neat and tidy and ready to go. The other day, Putty had a vet appointment and I was having trouble finding him. It turns out he was helping out with Kathy's bag. Apparently there wasn't enough cat hair on it. This is where he was:

Monday, February 9, 2009

Crafty Saturday

This past Saturday, my friend Kathy came over to my house and we were crafty-- or at least we tried to be! Kathy was inspired to make a tote bag by something she had seen at an art show. Our plan was to pick a pattern from one of the many that I had and then "shop my stash" for fabric. The pattern picking went easy. She loved this messenger bag pattern from All People Quilts. The stash fabric shopping wasn't quite as smooth. Not a problem, we had plenty of time, so we ran to the fabric store. Originally, I was just going to assist Kathy with creating her bag and maybe work on some of my other projects, but the allure of all of the fabrics at the store proved too much for me. The last thing I need is another bag! Oh well.

We both found some great home decor fabrics. Mine is mod and geometric:

And hers is posh and sophisticated:

We only got some of the cutting done on Saturday (and a tiny bit of the sewing), but the day was a smashing success, because it forced me to get my sewing room back to a functional state. I took some pictures while cleaning and organizing, but they didn't turn out very well. Plus, I still have a lot of sorting and purging to do to really feel that the room is done. But I'm just happy it's functional. Yesterday I picked up where we left off on Saturday and have my bag about 80% done and I'm thrilled that I can just walk into my room and create again. =)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Heartstrings Workshop

In September, I volunteered to be the Community Service Project Chairperson for the Mad City Quilt Guild. I might have mentioned this in an earlier post, but I can't find it anywhere. My goal was to do something that the entire guild can participate in. The trick to doing a group project is to find a pattern that is forgiving, because a 1/4" seam isn't always universal.

I chose to use the Heartstrings pattern and spoke with the local Project Linus coordinator. She told me that the Dane County Foster Program requests bed sized quilts from Project Linus every year to give to the kids that turn 18 and are graduating out of the program. This seemed like a perfect match! So, in the fall, I explained the pattern to the guild and asked that people start making blocks. So far, I have received over 330 blocks from the members of our guild!

Last week, I organized two workdays for us to put the blocks together into tops. In those 2 days, we completed 2 twin sized tops,

have one set for borders

and made a bunch more blocks.

I was amazed at how much we accomplished! I've got 2 more workshop dates scheduled for February. I showed the tops off at our guild's meeting this week and sent the tops off with some members to be quilted or have borders added. We are having a lot of fun with this!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Update - Part 2

While at my parent’s over the holidays, I found that I wanted to sit on the couch and knit more than I wanted to quilt in the basement on the longarm. Lazy vacation mentality? I made quite a bit of progress on my scarf, though! It’s been at a bit of a standstill lately and I would really like to get going on it again.

I joined my mom’s Monday night church sewing group when I was home. Here’s a picture of some of them basting a baby quilt

After arriving home from my time off, it looked like my sewing room was ransacked!

It was ransacked— by me in my wrapping presents/pack up sewing stuff/pre-Christmas frenzy. I still haven’t taken the time to clean it all up and it’s really holding me back right now. I thought this week it would get whipped into shape, but that wasn’t the case. =(

Charcoal has been using my ironing board more than I have. That stack of quilts next to him is what I need to bind. I’m in a bind over the binding! The Australian Open has been on the last 2 weeks and I got a little bit of it done while watching that, but I still have a ton to do.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Overdue Update

Here is my looooong overdue update. Over the holidays I took an unexpected sabbatical from blogging. I was still getting some quilting done, but was busy with traveling and shopping and Christmas preparation that blogging went by the wayside. Unfortunately, this January my schedule has made it difficult for me to pick up where I left off. Starting in the New Year, I’ve added to my work schedule by doing phlebotomy during the daytime hours. To make matters worse, during my regular x-ray shifts, we’ve been working on a HUGE file room purge. Normally I get to do a lot of internet surfing (blog reading!) at work. I’ve even done some blog posts while at work, but right now, I don’t have a spare minute. I’m super behind on reading all of my favorite blogs, but the end of our file room project is in sight and I’ll be back to my old routine soon. Plus, the longer I’ve put off posting, the bigger the hurdle has become to write this return entry. Here’s a summary of what’s transpired since I’ve last been here.

While home at Christmas, I did a bit of quilting on the longarm. I had big aspirations because I had a lot of time off from work, but I’ve found that I work best under time pressure and without a deadline, my pace slooooows wayyyy downnnn. The first thing I tackled was the wallhanging my Aunt Nancy gave me for my birthday. It turned out ok, but now that it’s done, there are things I would have done differently. Every project seems to be a learning experience! The biggest take home lesson was that I put a complicated feather pattern in four big blocks, but because there was a busy floral pattern on the fabric, you can’t see the feathers at all. =( Oh well, it was good practice.

The other project I worked on was quilting Woodpile, a twin sized top that I’ve had done for a while (1 year?). It’s cool jewel tones and white and I’m keeping it for myself to use in my spare room. I bought a stencil that fit the triangular shape of the light/dark areas, but as I was quilting, I wasn’t thrilled with the way it was looking. After about 2/3 of the way through, I thought of a way that could have improved the results. Drat. Why didn’t I think of that earlier?? I didn’t finish the borders, so I left it at my parent’s house, to finish it later. Now that I’ve had some time to think about it, I realize that the quilting isn’t dense enough, so I might go back in and do some meandering around the stenciled shape. Maybe. It just needs more than what I’ve done so far.

More catching up later…