Postings and ponderings of a quilting and knitting addict!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

FINISHED Feels Good!

I did it!  I finally finished one of my UFOs!!!!   It is quilted, bound, and packed to go with me to the camp today. 100_3000

I call this one, “Camp Four-Patch Posey”.  It was a quick and easy quilt to make.  The floral fabric was from my stash and has been there probably 10 years.  I found it on sale at a quilt shop in West Monroe, LA and bought all that remained on the bolt (about 8-9 yards, I think) because…


I actually bought that fabric to make a shower curtain for the house in Arkansas.  The best laid plans…  That project never got done.  Now that we have moved and these colors don’t exactly go with this house, I decided it would make a great Four-Patch Posey.  I’m not crazy-in-love with it but it will do well for my bed at the camp.  The print was a little too open to get great, swirling results from the 4-patches.  Some blocks are better than others.


The quilting pattern is “Willowy Weeds”.  I think it imitates the vines on the print.  Of course you can see it better on the back.


YES!!!  ONE UFO done!!!

NOW… I am off to SIL Retreat with Mary Anne.  Our other SIL, Debbie, won’t be able to make it this time, but we do have a surprise guest to hold her spot.

The first thing I will do when I walk in the door?  Put my new quilt on my bed!

What am I working on?  Jeremy’s quilt!  I have all the blocks made.  I need 348 half-square triangles for the sashing.  I now have 230 so I am making good progress.  I hope to have the body of the quilt all together by Saturday evening, then I will only need to add outer borders.   IF When I finish this one I will have 2 more UFOs off my list (Making the quilt counts as #1; quilting and binding it count as #2.)

Tootle-loo, my friends!  I’ll give you a FULL report of all our fun and shenanigans next week!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Gussie & Inetta… BFF

Gussie Fay (the Gammill Classic Plus) and Inetta Qay (the IntelliQuilter) are now best friends again.  The dialog  I overheard went something like this:

GUSSIE:  “Inetta, please come and play with me today.”

INETTA:  “Not today, Gussie.  I am just not feeling well.”

GUSSIE:  “What is the matter?  Are you not my friend any more?”

INETTA:  “It’s not that, Gussie.  I really don’t know what the problem is, but it seems I am just not thinking clearly today.”

GUSSIE:  “Would you like me to take a look and see if I can determine anything?”

INETTA:  “Sure, if you want to.  But this may be WAAYYYYY over your head.  I love you, Gussie, but you are not the most technically savvy machine around!”

GUSSIE:  “I know, but I really want to help you if I can.  I’ll see….  “INETTA! 


What does this little white wire do…  This one that seems to be loose?”

INETTA:  “Uhhhhhh…. I don’t know.  I’m not thinking clearly.  WAIT!!  When you wiggled it, my thoughts cleared up a little!  Wiggle it again, please.   YES!!  That’s it!”

GUSSIE:  “WAIT!   I’ll go call KAT.  SHE can fix it!  She can fix ANYTHING!!”

And it was a happy ending.  Gussie and Inetta are now beautifully stitching on the UFO that Kat thinks she MUST finish today. 

Another fairy tale ending!

***Special thanks to my IQ dealer, Cristyn Merry, Zoltan (IQ inventor and technical support), and DH for helping troubleshoot.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Today In A Nutshell

Today I will…100_2992

1.  FINISH (I hope!) the hand-quilting on this customer quilt.  It seems every time I turn it over I find another spot that the quilter (not me!) missed.  This will take most of the day I think.  It will be wonderful to get it done.  Then to find fabric for the binding…. I feel a F.A.R.T.  (Fabric Acquisition Road Trip)coming on!  Friday, as part of the SIL Quilt Retreat we will be going to Hemphill, TX.  I’m sure I can find something there.

Yes, I DO have TONS of blue fabrics in my stash, but this is a king-size quilt and will require almost a yard to do the binding.  I only have a few things in my blue stash that are at least one-yard cuts, and none of them work for this.

2.  A little crafting will be going on.  I can’t tell you what I am making right now, but if you read the blog of a famous quilt teacher that loves to use recycled SHIRTS, you may already know.  I’ll fill you in when they are done.  You just might want to make one, too!


3.  Waiting for a call/email from my IQ dealer.  Gussie and Inetta decided they did NOT want to play nice together.  Thankfully it is MY quilt in the machine.  We have narrowed the problem down and hopefully today or tomorrow will have the issue solved.  I think I jinxed myself by declaring to the world that I WAS going to get a UFO finished this month.

And, on another note… last night at 10PM I finished these socks!  They turned out so cute!


And last night at 10:05PM I cast on THESE socks.  Yep… hooked. 


In my defense, I must remind you that my days of knitting wool yarn are very numbered.  I just can’t work with it once the hot weather gets here, so I am rushing to get as many wool socks knit as I can.  I will soon have to switch to cotton blend yarn.  I have 2 different cotton yarns in my stash so I am set up.

That is life in my corner of the world today…  What’s happening with YOU?


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Git ‘er Done!

Forgive me, Larry the Cable Guy, but I am actually accomplishing something and I need to celebrate it!

I finished up all customer quilts in the house and decided that Monday would be MY day to get a quilt done.  And then it dawned on me… I have SIL quilt retreat at the camp next weekend.  And one of the projects on my UFO Challenge list was the quilt made to go on “my” bed at the camp.  So…why not just get that thing done?

I got the quilt put in the machine this morning.


Thread was chosen.


Bobbins were wound.


Quilt pattern was selected.


I got back from town this afternoon and decided, why not just go ahead and let Inetta and Gussie go to work on it?  So I did.

I’m telling you all, a modern-day miracle is about to happen at my house.  I may actually FINISH one of my UFOs.  I mean, it has just been 3 MONTHS and I haven’t finished anything yet!  Of course, life did get in the way of my schedule but I make no excuses.  I almost decided to post a retraction to my participation in the UFO challenge since I was so far behind.  I am so glad now that I didn’t.

The binding will be made and stitched on after church tomorrow, then stitched down by machine.  This is a “using” quilt and not one that I am crazy in love with so machine binding will be just fine.

WOOHOO!  I will have 1 UFO checked off the list!  And guess what I am working on at SIL retreat…  Jeremy’s quilt.  I am making progress.  About half of the half-square triangles for the pieced border are made.  His birthday came and went, and the quilt is not finished.  I told him it will now be a “First Day Of Squirrel Season” quilt ready this fall.  After all, he doesn’t need a quilt this time of year in the South anyway!

AND… since the quilt is being done today, I just may get to work on something ELSE on Monday (like hand-quilting that customer quilt I showed you a few days ago).


Friday, March 25, 2011

Waning Willpower

I tried to be strong… I really did.  Yesterday while IQ was stitching I was working at the computer.  I finished my task… Idle minds are the devil’s workshop!  I got to thinking…

I really NEED some more knitting needles so I can get 2 pairs of socks going at one time.  (I know…. that sounds like I am HOOKED on knitting!)  And JUST in case something were to happen to ONE of the needles I have, I would be dead-in-the-water until I could order another one and wait for it to get here.  (We are in the boonies with no yarn/knitting supplies anywhere near.)

After this purchase I need to block knitpicks.com from my computer for a while.  Four new sock yarns will soon be heading my way. 

Felici 1

Oh, my friend Felici!  Your wonderfully soft squishiness is so enticing to me!

Felici 2

OH… and of course the 2 different sizes of knitting needles.  Since I use 2 circular needles (knitting one sock at a time) it would be terrible if something happened to one of them, and I HAVE had that.  Just let me say that size 1 needles can and do bend when you cram them into a knitting bag that is not quite large enough for your project.  Voice of experience talking here.


Ahhhhh… Stroll handpainted… your beautiful interweaving of colors delights my senses as I zoom through knitting socks!


And also on my list of supplies arriving…. those wonderful yarn darning needles with the bent tip.  I keep loosing my darning needles. 


They creep out of my package when I am not looking.  Perhaps they blend in with the woodwork when I set them down on the end table next to my chair.  I have lost 2 packages recently, so I just ordered 2 more.   I am currently using a needle the size of a size 4 knitting needle to weave thread tails… not a pretty picture!

Note that I am not affiliated with knitpicks… just a VERY satisfied customer.

Hurry up knitpicks!  Since I chose free shipping it will take about 10 days for my package to meander from Washington state all the way down to LA.  That is OK… I have plenty to be doing but I am so anxious to have some new yarns to squish and drool over.  Don’t say it!!! (I have plenty.)  



Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sock Quandry

You KNOW I am hooked!  100_2969

I did finish my pair of socks for March on the 10th of the month, but I am not really pleased with them.  I do love the yarn, but as you can tell, they are not the same!  There were only 2 balls of this yarn on the store shelf  and I did not think to check dye lots, but they must be from different ones.  It almost doesn’t even look like the same yarn.  Of course I threw away the label from the first ball when I finished the sock so I have no way of knowing now what the deal was.  The sock on the bottom is the one I knit first.  I tried to find the same color spot on the second ball of yarn when I started.  I thought I did but as you can see they turned out very different!  It almost looks like the 2nd ball was reverse-wound, but on each of them I started from the center of the ball of yarn, so I just don’t get it!  I do love the feel of this yarn… it is just  a little heavier than the other sock yarns I have used and I think it will be warmer. 

I don’t think I will be buying any more of this yarn due to the color issue and the difficulty making the 2 socks look the same.  I will still wear these because after all, no one will even notice this unless I take off my shoe, hike up my jeans, and say “LOOK AT THIS!”.  It is a personal trend toward perfectionism in some areas that drives me wild, but I just can’t help it!

I am still working with the Cat Bordhi technique and liking it more and more.  I plan on doing a critique of her book in a blog post soon, perhaps next week.

SOOOOOOO… since I was totally disgusted with those, I immediately cast on another pair using Felici self-striping yarn  (from KnitPicks.com) and here is my progress.


Felici has such a wonderfully soft feel… sometimes I just sit and squish the yarn ball and enjoy it!

Yep, I feel a 2-pairs-of-socks month coming on!!  And of course I am already planning the next pair.  And considering ordering more yarn.  They just come out with new color-ways in Felici, and I MUST get some more!!  What?  Did you say, “But what about the other 12 different sock yarns you already have in that tote?”  I’ll get to those later.

Hooked… totally hooked!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I Can’t Believe….

that JEREMY has a birthday today!  My “little boy” is 31.


He has always been a sweetie, and I am so proud of the man he has become.  He tells his mom he loves her on a regular basis… all moms appreciate that!

And as you can tell from the photo, he does NOT like us taking his picture!  This is one I sneaked at Christmas.  I don’t think I have any recent pictures of him actually looking at the camera…  I’m going to have to remedy that.

I cooked some of his favorite foods for supper… spaghetti and meat sauce, cornbread, purple hull peas, cream style corn from the garden, and cherry pie for dessert.  One sure way to entice him to visit is to cook for him!


Love, Mom


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Never Say…

the word NEVER!  You KNOW it always comes back to bite you!

Early last week I was telling my daughter,  “Your mom will NEVER hand-quilt again!”  I have not done any hand-quilting since shortly after purchasing my longarm machine in 2004.  I had not planned on doing any again.  My hand-quilting rails and stands are hanging out in the woodworking shop because I knew I would not use them again.  My bag of hand-quilting thread, needles, finger protectors, etc. can not be found… I looked high and low.  Of course they are in “that” room somewhere!  (The messy one I blogged about when I lost the perfect fabric.  BTW, it is still pretty messy.  I know that surprises you… HAHA!)

Last week I made a trip to pick up a quilt.  The customer said she thought it only needed the edges finished.  I interpreted this as “needs binding”.  When I got there it was a king-size quilt in beautiful blue and yellow.  Don’t you just love that pattern?  (And I had not noticed until I posted this picture that there is a “mistake” in the color placement in this section!  Perhaps it was intentional, a “humility” block?)


It was hand-quilted but not finished.  Almost one complete row and most of the border seams need hand-quilted, and the quilter was going in every ditch… there are a lot of pieces in each one of those blocks!

The customer said she just wanted it finished, and for me to just put it on the longarm and finish it… she did not mind that there might be tucks and puckers on the underneath side.  She just wanted it DONE!

My heart would not let me put this on the machine, therefore I am now eating those words I so positively uttered just a few days before.  All things considered, it is going pretty fast because the other quilter used large stitches, so that releases me to do the same.  I will have to do some patching on the batting around the edges.  Evidently this one has not been worked on in a long time and the poly batting is in pieces!  I have no lap quilting frame so I am just smoothing, pin basting, and doing the best I can.  I am remembering why we should not hand-quilt when the warm weather gets here.  It only takes about 2 minutes of being up close and personal with this quilt to bring on a major hot flash!

When it is all done and returned to the customer my heart will not have any regrets that I did something to the quilt that did not honor the first quilter’s vision.  It is taking a lot longer than I thought, and of course I did not charge nearly enough for that time, but it was a heart-thing.  I am sure you all would feel the same way.

Now I will NOT use those words again, because even though I sincerely hope I do NOT have to hand-quilt again, I am NOT going to bring more my way by saying “NEVER”!!


Friday, March 4, 2011

Top 10 List: Things That Make You Say “UGGGHHH!”

These are all quilt related, and I am sure you have all been there, too.

10.  When you discover the fabric you thought was mostly brown when you ordered it on the internet is actually GREEN and does NOT go with the quilt.


9.  When you discover your speed-piecing technique for half-square triangles yielded a pile of slightly-off squares and each one will need to be trimmed individually.  (So much for the SPEEDY technique!)

8.  When you discover that your ruler slipped just a teeny-tiny bit on that last cut of your border fabric, and now all border pieces will need to be trimmed down to make things right.

7.  Incorrect math in figuring amount of fabric needed.  Nuff said!

6.  Wavy borders on customer quilts.  Nuff said!

5.  Too-small linings on customer quilts.  Nuff said!

4.  When you roll the quilt and discover that SOMETHING in the bobbin area wasn’t quite right when you changed the bobbin, and you now get to rip out a whole row of quilting.  What takes 10 minutes to quilt will take 6 HOURS to take out.

3.  When people think you can make them a king-size quilt for $49.99.  After all, they can get one for that amount at the department stores!  HAHA!

2.  When quilters pay $10 a yard for fabric and then complain about paying $80 for quilting on a queen-size quilt.  (And this is usually prefaced with a remark like, “I’ve already spent so much on this quilt.  I need the cheapest quilting you can do.”)



1.  When your gut told you to do an overall pattern on your throw quilt.  Yes, it has busy fabrics and the quilting won’t show much.  But then you decided to do custom.  And it took you 3 days to get it right.  But you could have quilted the over-all in 3 hours.   UGGHHHH!

Have a wonderfully blessed weekend!


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