Sunday, August 20, 2017

OMG I did it again... on Slow Stitching Sunday

Oh my goodness... I did it AGAIN... and why do I have that Brittney Spears song stuck in my head... I have AGAIN miscalculated on a Lizzie Kate long project. Remember when I miscounted the  linen for the Jingles series... you can see my truncated version here... well I was super-duper, extra special careful when I cut the linen for the Lizzie Kate Boo series... I was NOT going to run out of linen again... BUT I ALMOST DID....ugh....


So here is how far I am today...


Moving right along... loving all those different fonts and images... when I arrived at the spooky house yesterday... and I thought to myself (note: thinking almost ALWAYS gets me into trouble...LOL)... it seems like I don't have enough linen left to do 4 more words and images... I should double check... and I did ...and I DON'T!!!!  Now I have more linen than I showed in the picture above but not enough to do all the sections. This time I did cut enough linen but I misread the instructions about how to space the sections and I've been putting too many stitches between each section and that has eaten up stitches almost totally a full section... arggghhhh.... what to do... what to do????

Well here's my solution... I am going to leave out one section... the one that says Brew... I'm going to move up the Ghost section because there is a pattern where every other section has the image on the opposite side and I want to keep that going. I'll be able to do the little house which says Fright, follow by Ghost, followed by Monster...he's adorable and then finish with Halloween.

By the time I figured out my error I had the little house done...



it was reduced to a pile of fuzz...


and then relocated up several stitches and re-built. I sometimes wonder why I like counted cross stitch so much when I have so much trouble COUNTING...but I do... I really really do!!!

Here's a close-up of the sections I have finished since I last posted...


The buttons really add a lot.. I love the frog and the pumpkin will get button eyes like the owl.

And I want to get this finished by the end of the month because I saw this the other day and I HAVE to stitch it!!!


Another Little House Needlework Sampler...Autumn ABC's... I LOVE LOVE LOVE this one!!! Fall is my favorite season and this one is so cute... the pumpkins ..the scarecrow ...the quilt on the line. I'm assuming that she is going to do more like this to join this one that I already stitched...


I really love the style of these and framed they will fit right by my front door...which I can see from my stitching chair ...and enjoy all year round. I'd love a Winter version and a Spring version. I'll have my Lizzie Kate ones for Christmas and Halloween... and it is lovely to have a spot
where I can rotate seasonal pieces.

So I will stitch some more this evening... dinner is prepped and ready to be popped into the oven... meatballs and spaghetti is the menu for tonight. The weather is hot today but they are promising cooler temperatures next week... I am soooooo ready for Fall. My window boxes are getting raggedy and I want to pull out the petunias and replant them with mums and add some pumpkins. My bed of marigolds is sporting the perfect Fall shades of orange and yellow and I think they'll hang in there for a while still. I even have a few dahlias... my first time to try  growing them...


That's my hand for size... its about 6 1/2" from palm to fingertip.and there are going to be 3 blooms on this single stalk ... and the color in real life is a deep burgundy red... I'll be looking for more dahlia tubers to plant next year. What wonderful Fall-ish addition to my garden.

Well I will link up with Kathy's Quilts today and Super Mom - No Cape on Monday. Hope you have a good week ahead of you... I've got a couple of things to do during the week and then something Friday, Saturday and Sunday... time flies by, doesn't it?

happy stitching-
carol fun 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Yarn is sneaky....

Yarn is sneaky.... that is the only explanation I can come up with to explain how so many skeins of yarn have appeared in my home recently... I'm not exactly sure how they get into the house... here is my mail slot outside...



The mailman shoves it into the slot and it comes out here...


See that little white door... sometimes when a package is big it pops right out on the floor...easy peasy... I don't even have to go outside... this is waaaaayyy too enabling...LOL!!  Now how it actually finds its way to my door is another story we are going to ignore at the moment... I seem  to have picked up some sort of digital tick which has me clicking on icons with baskets and carts...

So here are the new goodies I have to play with...


A skein of Miss Babs in lovely shades of green called Succulents... jade, sage, aqua, mint... so pretty... I'm thinking a shawl.

And then this skein appeared, I was totally smitten by the name "Lady Edith", my favorite character from Downton Abbey ...


This is from The Yarn at Home Mom ... here's a link to her Etsy shop.  These are not colors I would normally pick but I like the dark gray and the speckly sea glass green. I looked on Ravelry and if knit up as socks it is a gives a little stripe pattern..not sure what this will be but somehow I don't see Lady Edith in wool socks so again I'm thinking a shawl.

And then the other day I got sucked into another couple of skeins of yarn by the name but also by the colors. These skeins are from Must Stash Yarn... great name for an indie dyer...of course we MUST STASH yarn... these two skeins are from a series she is doing based on the Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album... the soundtrack of my teen years...


The mini yellow skein will be heels and toes for the top skein which I undid called Land Of Submarines... here's what it will look like knit up...


Isn't that cool???  She dyes them  and packages them so you will get two identically striped socks... now you know I don't usually do identical socks ...but I may this time... or I may start at the other end of the skein and have them go in reverse order... stay tuned.

The second skein is called Sgt.'s Score... I've ordered some pink and orange mini skeins for heels/toes/ribbing.

And then.. I know again with another skein... yep ... 2 more snuck in... I've noticed lately they seem to be traveling in pairs... safety in numbers, right?  These are two skeins of Malabrigo Mechita...



The top one is Anniverasario and the bottom one is Hojas  which means leaves and makes sense since it is has lovely dark green shades. These skeins were free... I purchased them through Amazon using my Cashback Bonus money from using my Discover card. I run a lot of purchases through this card and the Cashback Bonus is my mad money... I spend it on stuff I don't need but I want ...and I wanted this yarn because I had started this shawl...



This is Stormy Sky  ... a free pattern on Ravelry which you can see here. It is an easy pattern with 4 sections that repeat... a garter stripe, a dropped stitch stripe, another garter stripe, a yarn over strip... easy to knit and remember. Well I saw several version of this shawl done in the Malabrigo Mechita but I couldn't wait to start so I broke out this skein of Misti Alpaca in the Reaggeton colorway... it is a cloudy day here and I'm not sure you can fully see how bright this skein is. It reminds me of a Mexican serape or a stack of my Fiestaware dishes... here's a close-up.


The alpaca is very soft  and all those bright colors are a pick me up on a gray cloudy day... I think it will be a cheerful pick me up all winter long.

So that is the state of affairs in the yarn department at my house. I did this post today because Judy at The Patchwork Times has revived her Friday link up dealing with yarn and knitting. I really missed it as it motivated me to get something done to show... thanks Judy for doing this again...go here and see what Judy and others are up to in the yarn area... I'm sure there will be some lovely things to see and drool over.

It has been a busy week... an appointment or lunch or something  that HAD to be done every day this week. Tomorrow there is NOTHING on the calendar and I hope to keep it that way. Why is it that when we are young we don't want  to stay home but the older I get the more I LOVE to stay home.


ok ... I don't go to bed early... but I don't get up early either... but sleeping is still more satisfying as an adult than it ever was as a child.

Here's hoping everyone has a lovely weekend!

happy knitting-
carol fun

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

WIP's on Wednesday... I love alliteration....

Well I've had a couple of very productive sewing days and have two WIP's for this Wednesday. First, I have a good start on a new quilt using my latest fabric purchases .... two layer cakes of the new Lori Holt Bee Basics and Bee Backgrounds. Now I wanted to make a quilt that would use just these layer cakes and I wanted it to be an easy block....duh... and I wanted a positive/negative vibe and this is what I ended up doing...




An easy Puss in the Corner block... I used the tutorial you can find here... basically you layer two squares and trim them to 9.5"... then cut a 2.5" strip from each of the 4 sides... shuffle the darks and lights and presto!!!  2 Puss in the Corner blocks!!!

These fabrics have a lot of fun motifs... old fashioned fans, and little bicycles and chicken wire just to  name a few... here are a couple of blocks I like a lot...



I LOVE that old fashioned penmanship... do they even teach penmanship anymore?


And this sweet cross stitched heart motif comes in several colorways but the yellow is my favorite!



And while I kept as many blocks as possible monochromatic it didn't work out for all the fabrics so I paired the little scissors with the embroidery text print... love both of these!

Now I'm going to do 9 rows of 9 blocks... I want to start and stop with blocks that have the "solid"corners... it makes my OCD happy to have a symmetrical  quilt... so I need 81 blocks... which I had hoped I could get from the 2 layers cakes each having 42 fabrics... but it won't work out that way. Both the Bee Basics and the Bee Backgrounds contain these same two squares from the panel in the collection...




Now these are cute but they won't work for this project ... too busy... so I will be forced to make one single block from some of my other Lori Holt fabrics... oh no!!! I have several "basics" I can use but not any lights so a trip back to HomeGrown HomeSewn will be in order... I do love going to that shop!  Such a happy place...

The layout I have now isn't the final one but it doesn't look too bad... I'm even using the brown and gray fabrics which aren't my favs ... really pushing the envelope for me...LOL!!

And while I was starting a new quilt I decided to free a UFO from its plastic bin and chose this Churn Dash quilt I started over a year ago... Now I was shocked ...really shocked... to find that when I sealed this away I had cut out all the sashing and cornerstones and setting triangles and I had labeled ALL the parts and even drawn a diagram of what block went where.... What in the  HE-Double Hockey Sticks got into me???? I'm never that organized... I always think that I'll remember whatever it is I was doing... and anymore I never really do.

Anyway I spent about 4 hours  and got the center together....



All the little 2.5" squares are from an assortment of Sandy Gervais Fall collections... she does great Fall collections... and the sashing, cornerstones and border are her fabrics too. That lovely yellow is my favorite butterscotch Grunge.  To make the big churn dash blocks I used the Charm Pack Churn Dash pattern that you can see here.   My blocks came out a bit smaller than the pattern said even using a scant 1/4" seam allowance... mine measured 17 3/4"... all those seams eat up a lot of fabric.

Here's a close up of one of the blocks...



I tried not to repeat a fabric in a block so they are all very scrappy. Now things were going together very nicely and I had cut the side triangles all oversized so I could trim them down when I had the top all together...and it wasn't until then that I noticed that somehow I had cut ALL those outside setting triangles with the bias running on the outer edges....arrghhhh....what was I thinking???  I should take them off and re-cut them....but I'm not gonna do it!!! Insert stompy foot... it lays pretty flat. I stay- stitched in about 1/8" all around the outside... and while there is a discrepancy in the measurements of the top and the bottom of the quilt, it does measure the same size through the center. I'm going to put the borders on and ease in the extra fabric and it should be flat enough.

It is going to hang on the back of the couch or be on my bed so if it isn't perfectly flat it will be okay. I just want  it done and I'd like it finished by the beginning of Fall which is September 22... heck I'll be putting my Fall decorations out by the beginning of September... I LOVE FALL!!! I've already picked up a couple of new decorations... a polka dot pumpkin and a cute wooden skeleton... and I'm sure there will be more goodies too.  Fall is my favorite time of year and my favorite decorating season.

So I'm running late for several of the Monday Design Wall linkups, but better late than never, right?
I'm linking up with Small Quilts and Doll Quilts, and Em's Scrapbag.

happy stitching-
carol fun


Sunday, August 6, 2017

It appears I have a thing for vermin ... on Slow Sunday Stitching...

Well last week I was stitching squirrels and today I'm into spiders....it seems like I have a thing for vermin....LOL...not really... I don't like spiders and snakes....shudder!!!  And last week I whined about wanting to start the 2009 Lizzie Kate Boo Club piece but I wanted to dye/paint some linen for it...sooooo I got off my butt on Monday and did it....

This is what the linen looked like after I painted it with Rit dye...



I used liquid Rit dyes ...the ones in the bottles...and I diluted it a lot. I painted on the linen with a 1" brush and tried to keep the places where the dye would overlap to a minimum to avoid getting a lot of brown ... and then I put some purple splotches on at the end. If I remember correctly... and I'm too lazy to go to the garage and check ... the colors I used were Hyacinth, Apple Green, Tangerine and Lemon Yellow. I laid the linen out on a piece aluminum foil on top of cardboard  as I didn't want it to leak through to my kitchen counters. The dye didn't cover the back side as completely as the front side... it may have been that the aluminum foil kept that from happening... so this is definitely "painted" linen ...not dyed. I let it dry and then ironed it with a hot steam iron onto a white paper towel and only got a little dye transfer.

And here is what I've stitched so far...


I love that black and white check border... it has a MacKenzie-Childs vibe to it...  and here are some close ups...



The button eyeballs are a nice touch in this section...


And the button eyeballs on the cat remind me of Felix the cat...  yeah... I'm old...LOL!

Any who I've accomplished quite a bit of stitching since Monday night... I've given myself a deadline of September 1 to finish this so I can get it off to the framer and back to my  house by October 1...and I think it is doable. Each of these sections is less involved than the Lizzie Kate Christmas piece I did.

Today is a great day to sit and stitch... we had a cool rainy morning which lulled me into a nap after a big breakfast  with my son and daughter-in-law... I don't have any dinner to prep and my beloved Cincinnati Reds are playing ball on TV...and in their usual fashion playing badly... very very badly...the Cards are up 13 to 3 and its only the 4th inning... oh they make it so hard to love them... right now their stated goal for the year is NOT to end up in last play in their division for the 3rd year in a row...not looking likely to happen.

Well I'll thread up my needle and link up with Kathy's Quilts today and Super Mom - No Cape on Monday. Hope you are having a lovely Sunday afternoon...and I hope your favorite baseball team plays better than my Reds... I can't imagine they can play worse...LOL

happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, July 31, 2017

A little sewing time...

So I've found a little time to sew and propelled by the ever present guilt (which I'm trying to rein in) I did get the borders on two tops that have been languishing ...

First, the GIANT Tulip quilt ....




I LOVE this quilt!!!  Colorful and in my mind kinda folk arty...The blocks which are a Lori Holt design went together like a dream...but the borders were more of a nightmare... I ended up sewing each border (the little inner one and the big outer one)  on at least twice... with the inner border I had 2 of them on and went searching for the fabric I thought I had set aside which would let me do the other two without having to piece them... couldn't find it... made a pieced inner border...measured, cut, sewed it on... turned around ...moved a pile of stuff... FOUND the saved fabric...ggggrrrrrrr... debated with myself for a half an hour about whether to take off the pieced border and put on the unpieced strips that I had planned... don't want to do it... but realize that the hour or so I spend fixing it is just a nanosecond in the life of this quilt ... however I sew it now, it will be like this FOREVER... so I get out the seam ripper and fix it.

Felt better after I did that and moved on to the yellow outer border... put on the side borders ... and then it hit me that this is a rectangular quilt... those are rectangular blocks... this quilt is going to be longer than it is wide and the skimpy borders I sewed to the side weren't going to make this quilt wide enough for my bed ...(I like them to be a generous size)... luckily I had enough fabric to re-cut the borders and make them wider... finished size 85" wide and 89" long...

I was in a fast and furious text conversation yesterday with my quilty lady friends and was using talk-to- text... I was talking about this quilt but instead of typing "tulip quilt", it typed "toilet quote"... much fun was had with that slip... my older son was listening to this exchange and suggested perhaps I do a quilt with toilets and give it a border of plungers and call it my "Feeling Crappy" quilt... funny stuff but don't think it will happen...

My plans for this quilt is a mock Baptist fan panto in a variegated yellow thread... can't wait to get it to my long arm quilter.


And I got the borders on this quilt... the Double Slice pattern from Missouri Star...you can see it here. Very quick and easy to do and I really like it sashed versus block next to block.



This picture isn't the greatest  capture of the color of that grunge... it is a lovely sage-y olive... in the picture I have the scrappy binding I'm going to use pinned around the edges...



This quilt ended up about 73" square...should look lovely draped over the back of the couch in the living room.

So I'm feeling good about getting a couple of things done... I even attacked the Arcade quilt with the wonky sashing... haven't got it done but did get it un-sewn and re- marked. And there are several things I want to start... I got a layer cake of each of the new Lori Holt fabric collections...one all brightly colored and the other backgrounds... want to do something in a positive/negative kinda vibe...and I want to play with the Missouri Star Two Step quilt pattern...you can see it here...and I'd like to get the Fall churn dash quilt I did with Sandy Gervais fabrics finished...and maybe do a new Christmas quilt for my living room wall (love those wonky little improv Christmas trees) and I'd like to have a day with 20 hours of quilting available and still get 8 hours sleep...LOL

I haven't done this linking up  in a while ... here goes... going to link up with Em's Scrapbag... and Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.... and Love Laugh Quilt.

Hope you have a great week... I've got lots of plans ...have to see if they pan out!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Look a squirrel.... on Slow Sunday Stitching...

LOOK there's  squirrel...no really a squirrel...upper right hand corner...LOL



Now along with this being a squirrelly project...oh shiny new thing... it has also involved a frog or two or three... which is ridiculous for as little stitching as I've done on this piece. This is the Autumn chart from Prairie Schooler No. 50 Prairie Seasons. I got this as a reprint and I'm happy to have it but as I complained about before it is printed on very flimsy cardstock... really more just thick paper... don't know why it couldn't be printed on better materials Edited to add:  I'll quit complaining about the flimsy paper on the reprints... I found several people selling the original chart and  they want  FORTY FIVE dollars!!!! As Roseanne Roseannadanna would have said...never mind.....   

I switched to this piece as I realized how close Fall ( 54 days) ...Halloween ( 93 days)... and Christmas ( 148 days).  If I want some new seasonal stitching pieces I gotta get going... I kinda want to start the Lizzie Kate Halloween  piece but first I need to dye some linen for this piece and I haven't gotten around to it.  And there are some other cute small Halloween/Fall charts that have caught my eye...focus...focus...

As for the Jeannette Douglas Designs Vintage Birds here is my progress...


I was working on this one and realized I was missing one of the flosses...GA Logenberry... and that's the color I need for the flowers below that little lonely bird...darn... I ordered it but it will be a couple of days before it gets here...and yes I could have moved over to other motifs but I just didn't want to ...so I didn't...insert stompy foot pouty face...


I did pick up something from the framer.... Sampler Hill by With Thy Needle and Thread...


I really like the frame...that olive color is a lovely match for the olive green leaves and hill... and I like the outer edge on this frame...



This is a truer pic of the colors... however I'm not as happy with the actually stretching and pinning of the piece.. it is wavy and looks a bit wrinkly in places and I pressed this piece before I dropped it off... I'm obviously getting pickier in my old age... I'm thinking of taking it out and repinning it myself ...I've never done that before and I worry about getting it straight but I might do it...have to wait and see. Good framing is getting harder and harder to find.

So that's where my cross stitching stands on this Slow Sunday... I did get some sewing done... check back tomorrow and the shawl that refused to be finished is finished... yeah!!!

Thanks for all the lovely comments last week... I shall post when I can...no guilt, well as little guilt as I can get by with... and if I don't get around to responding to comments I think you understand... I'm not sure why I seem to have less time for the blog lately but that's how life is going. On the downside, there is never a day that  goes by that I get everything done that I want to get done... and on the plus side,  I'm never bored... sometimes a bit frazzled but never bored.

Well need to put dinner together... a sorta Mexican chicken roll up casserole that is a fav of my younger son... think we'll go to the custard stand for dessert...maybe they'll have key lime tonight. Hope you have a productive week ahead... I think I have some sewing time coming my way along with some running around.

I'm linking up with Kathy's Quilts today and Super mom - no cape on Monday... stay cool if it is hot where you are or stay warm if it is cool...Mother Nature is a fickle woman...LOL!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Finishing up a few things propelled by guilt on a Slow Sunday Stitching...

Hello - hope you had a nice weekend so far... last week was a busy one and some things were actually finished... hallelujah!!!  Finishing something is a good thing in many many ways but particularly as it pertains to the guilt I feel for not having stuff finished... it surfaces now and again... and I totally blame this on my 12 years of Catholic education which taught me that if something isn't done or done correctly it is no one's fault but mine. That whole thing about free will and choices...boy the nuns really drove that home... but while guilt sometimes plagues me I also believe that guilt it good... it makes us do things we should do but don't want to do... sometimes I think the world could use a bit more guilt and a bit more shame...perhaps it would keep people behaving better... but that's just me.

So lets see what got finished this week in my crazy cross stitch world....

First, I finished the Lizzie Kate Jingles  series and it is ready (after a quick press) to go to the framer...I've got 3 pics as it looks better than the 1 long skinny pic from my phone.







I had those two bottom border rows to stitch and then add the little buttons. There were also beads that could have been used but instead I just did a white cross stitch... I didn't like the fiddlyness of the beads.

Second... a small pillow that was started over a year ago...



I charted the alphabet off of a BBD piece that was given away by Moda some years ago... the little pillow was machined stitched with a row of numbers where I have the woven ribbon and it was edged with rickrack... well I stitched up the alphabet pretty quickly and then dithered for quite a while about whether to do the numbers and then just let the whole thing sit and simmer ... for a long long time.

I recently rediscovered the piece and decided it was fine the way it was...just get it finish...here's the back... fabric from my stash...


and here is how I displayed it...tucked in with my Summer decor...



I added the buttons to the corners to hide an unfortunate incident where I blew out a corner trying to get it square... just another opportunity to be crafty...LOL

Third, back from the Joanns framing department, BBD Garden Borders which I've dedicated to my Grandma Damon...


this frame is nothing special...and I think I'd like it a bit darker... I can do something about that. Joanns has less and less selection anymore...glad I found another framer.

And if things have been finished new things must be played with... and they were...


this is Jeanette Douglas Designs Vintage Birds and I am LOVING it!!!  I was able to get another skein of Portabella and while it wasn't an exact match for what I had it is close enough to mix it in...
here's a close up of the peacock... ain't he a pretty fellow?


now I still have to fill in all those squares but I'll wait till the end to do that as I plan to stitch a Smyrna cross or a a Rhodes mound and I don't want to wear the sheen off of the floss  which could happen as I'm not using a hoop for this one.  I'm using 2 ply of floss over 32 count and I really like the full coverage I'm getting.

So on the cross stitch front things are progressing nicely... my quilting is lagging a bit and my knitting is in a total slump...still working a shawl I started eons ago that just refuses to be finished. When I'm working on one project I'm feeling guilty about what I'm not working on... it is a constant battle... LOL...and I'm feeling a bit guilty about this blog. I am not updating the way I use to and I don't see that changing... so many things going on all the time and honestly Instagram is easier to deal with. Now I know lots of you are going to tell me that you don't do Instagram and if  I don't blog you won't see what I'm doing but you don't have to have an Instagram account to see me ...or anyone else...on Instagram... you can access it from your computer or phone at  Instagram.com... or if you are just looking for me go here to https://www.instagram.com/carolfun53/

Part of my guilt about the blog is not responding to the comments that are left... I use to be good at writing a personal response to each one but it takes a lot of time... I'm considering responding to the comments in the comment section of the blog which means you would have to come back to see if I left you a message...how do you feel about that?  Personally when I leave a comment on someone else's blog I'm ok  either way... if they respond that's ok ... if they don't that's ok too. I'd really like to know your feeling about this.

So many blogs have gone away and I've found their owners on Instagram...and I understand why they left their blog behind... I assume they don't feel guilty about it... but I do... I like reading blogs... I'm just not sure how often I can update... perhaps I should just do once or twice a week...which is what I'm doing now instead of the 3 to 4 times I use to do it and feeling guilty about... mulling it over.

Okay...linking up today with Kathy's Quilts and tomorrow with Super Mom - No Cape...

happy stitching-
carol fun