Archive for January, 2010

A little more dwirling

To finish up the month, this donated top pieced by San and her group in NC – backing pieced by Tish (thank you SO much!). I was able to load this one tonight and quilt it quickly just before the end of the month.


A swirly version of Dwirling from the Pajama Quilter DVD – quick and easy.


I also managed to turn the heel on my red sock. Still have a few errors but not as many as on the first sock.

I have a good reason

I started a new pair of socks before making a mate for sock #1. While the instructions in my book are pretty good, knitting tends to be more vague than quilting and I was told to knit leg to desired length….and after I was done I decided the leg was shorter than I liked.

So I started a new pair — same yarn, different color and this time I’ll make the leg a little longer. I ordered more of the beige yarn too and I plan to make a pair with a longer leg from it and then if I have enough left over from both batches, I’ll make sock #1 a mate.


I also managed to load and quilt one of my tops, the twisted Kaleidoscope quilted with the Circle Lord Swirls template.



I did mention that while that template is on the table, I’ll be doing several quilts with it. This is #2 and I’ve got at least one if not two more tops that will get this design before the template comes off.

There’s just one problem….

Well really, there are several problems with the sock but hey, it looks like a sock and it feels like a sock and I’m very proud of myself….now to do something about that other poor bare foot!



I’m Glad I went back down to quilt

Just another hour and a half and I was done with this donation top from Sharon that I’d spent most of the afternoon working on. I think this is a Disappearing 9 Patch but I could be wrong. It’s hard to get a good photo downstairs at night but you can see the floral prints she used and the flower quilting I used from the Pajama Quilter DVD.


And a little of the quilting on the back. This was a large quilt so I was happy to have the backing pieced for me by Sheree.DSC_0023


I’m in love with socks and I think they’re going to be the perfect travel project just like I wanted.

I did take a break from my sock this afternoon to load and start to quilt another donated top. I’m using a flower motif from the Pajama Quilter DVD — the simple one but there are lots of florals in the quilt so it’s looking good.

Keith got home tonight and I think he’s home now until our trip to Los Cabos in a couple weeks.  We’re looking forward to some beach time.


In the meantime, since it’s too early to sleep (12:45AM) I think I’ll go downstairs and quilt for an hour or so.

Up all night

I’ve gotten my days and nights completely switched again so I’m getting ready to head to bed now at 6AM. I’m not sure what happened to yesterday  – I slept, read, watched a movie, knit and UNknit on this sock of mine and here it is time to go to bed and I didn’t quilt a stitch but I did do some Wii exercises around 2AM and it chastised me with a mini lecture on the importance of getting enough sleep.

Ignore the chubby little foot but I’ve got a heel of sorts. I had a hard time understanding the instructions after I turned the heel – I figured out how to pick up the first set of stitches but ….well, it’s just too hard to explain. I’m not worried about my mistakes because I’m learning from them.


Maybe I’ll get a top loaded on the longarm when I get up but I have a feeling I might be picking up this sock again.

A good Tuesday

Well I worked on the QAYG blocks and got my backing made but nothing worth taking a photo of ….I’m up to 72 QAYG blocks and am working my way toward 96 which will be enough for two quilts.

A few people have written asking how to join the blocks and while I haven’t done it myself, I do have links to Jan Mac and Keryn’s blogs at the bottom of the page with the block instructions that show you how they assemble them. So check out those links if you’re curious.

I think I mentioned that my goal was to be able to knit two socks at a time, toe up, on two circular needles and I’m still aiming for that but after practicing on the toe a few times I decided to do the easy part first….and I also decided I’d try to do a single sock before attempting two at a time.


And I just LOVE these needles except I like the longer one so I’m going to have to get another set of them. Nancy recommended them and I can’t believe how much nicer they are than the Clover Takumi ones I had here and they’re prettier too!


By the way, they’re sitting on one of the books I bought but I’m actually using the instructions from the other one.


On my design wall

The same twisted 9 patch blocks are on my design wall but I’m slowly making progress on them. I need to go back to making 9 patch blocks now as I’ve twisted all the ones I had.

This quilt will take (48)  9 inch blocks (blocks are 9.5 with seam allowances and I started with a 6 inch 9 patch block (6.5 with seam allowance)) It will measure 54×72 which is a good size donation quilt.


I also finished quilting this top sent by Cecile for me to quilt and donate. I used my Circle Lord Swirls template. It’s been a while so I was a bit wobbly in places — it won’t be very noticeable when it’s done thanks to cotton batting and washing/drying the finished quilt.


Bouncing around in the channels with the stylus is my biggest challenge with these giant templates but I love the texture and the results I get and once I’m warmed up it’s not bad. In fact I just ordered the Pampas Clam board the other day — I’ve been wanting a clamshell version and this can be quilted with or without the *grass*.


I always make sure I have several quilts lined up before loading one of the templates on the table so you’ll be seeing a few of these in the next couple weeks although I’ll alternate with some freehand quilting too.

Are you stashbusting this year?

I have kind of a weird system for tracking my stash used – I add it to my database as I USE it since that’s the easiest way to make sure I track it all but technically I only count it as used at the end of the year if the entire quilt is finished so I have carry over from last year. It’s an odd way to count I know but that’s what works for me….I don’t think I’ll try to report weekly but maybe on my monthly summaries I’ll monitor my progress.

I’m at 51 yards used just for the finished quilts, my pillowcases, and QAYG blocks for HeartStrings that will get sent to Jay to assemble and finish but the faster I finish things, the higher the number will climb because I’ve got stash in a lot of tops and pieced backs waiting for quilting.

I didn’t buy any fabric this week but I wasn’t so good earlier in the month.

I did work a fair amount today  with progress made on the 9 patch quilt and I’m about half way through quilting a topbut I’ll show you those tomorrow since I didn’t take any photos.

On the subject of football, I was sorry the Vikings lost tonight and won’t be going to the Super Bowl but given all the turnovers it would have been a miracle if they’d won.

Another day without quilting

At this rate, I won’t have many quilts ready for binding in time for the Olympics.

Has anyone out there had any success with Wii Fit?

We were out most of the day and since coming home — I’ve been playing with the Wii Fit we bought today. I’m not sure if I believe it’s going to help me lose weight BUT I’m hoping the Yoga stretches will help.


Meeting new people and some fun mail

I’m such a loner most of the time but it’s always fun to meet new people that I come in contact with via HeartStrings or blogging. I had a great lunch today with Susan and Wendi, two local quilters. Susan had very generously invited Keith and I to her home for Christmas when I blogged that we’d be spending the holiday alone. We didn’t join them for Christmas but Susan and I agreed to meet for lunch — what a fun fringe benefit to blogging!

Susan brought two of her quilts to show which were both gorgeous and she brought me a pieced quilt back too.

And in the mail this week I received a prize after being nominated on a blog as a “Generous Crafter”. Two very nice pairs of Frisker scissors.

And last but not least, I received 3 HeartStrings tops from Melva to quilt and donate. You might remember this gorgeous top of hers that I finished and donated to Habitat for Humanity recently.

A little of this, a little of that

First, this HeartStrings top pieced by Sue or her Mom from donated blocks – quilted with a swirly version of dwirling from the Pajama Quilter DVD. Since I finished all the bindings I had here, I’m working on building up a stack of quilts to bind during the Olympics next month.


Yesterday I didn’t accomplish much, played with some yarn trying out the directions for knitting socks, placed an order for yarn and new needles for actually knitting them once I figure out what I’m doing and twisted a few more 9 patch blocks.


I haven’t written up instructions for this one yet but I’m getting some questions — I use one of Sharon Craig’s methods using skinny triangles cut from rectangles. You can see how I do them in the Twisted Happy Block instructions. These blocks are ending up at 9 inches (9.5 with seam allowances) so I’ll set them 6×8 and end up with a quilt the same size as our standard HeartStrings quilt – 54 x 72 which is just about my favorite size for donation quilts.

I also managed to get Chesty to the Beauty Parlor yesterday and I hope that Vicki notes that I left him with lots of fur so he won’t get too cold.


Tuesday is for Strings

I started twisting a few nine patches last night and I wanted to play with them today


….but Tuesday is for Strings. I finished the first set of Quilt as you GO blocks I’ve been working on for HeartStrings.


Now I’m going to get out of the house for a late lunch and stop by the corner grocery store to pick up a few essentials like milk on my walk home! When I get home I still have to piece a backing too.

Back to work

A small HeartStrings top quilted this afternoon — from donated blocks, assembled by Sue or her Mom (I never know which one of them assembles a particular top) .


I don’t usually like to quilt loops but sometimes I like to do these double loops.


Hard to believe this is my first top quilted in 2010. I’d better get to work and get some more done because February is going to be very busy with non quilting stuff.

From the 70’s to 30 degrees F

We’re heading back this afternoon but luckily it’s warmed up at home.

Friday I spent the day on the beach by myself and then yesterday in the Spa with my sister-in-law. It was a short trip but nice!


I did have a little company on the beach….


Cool and overcast

But SO nice to be outside reading! This is the view from our room.


There were some raindrops when we walked out today so I convinced Keith to go to the Spa with me. They have a *private* outdoor pool and hot tub and lots of indoor space to relax. After a soak and swimming for a while, I had a pedicure while he worked out in the gym. No one else was out by the pool so we had it to ourselves – it was heated so it didn’t matter that it was cool outside.

Do you think the robe’s a little small for him?



Just a reminder to check out the sidebar now and then.

Want to know what I’m reading? Or instructions for a simple quilt? Check under the links section.

Rather than paging through all my previous posts, the Just Quilting links will take you to different categories of pages just with quilting — want to see what I’m quilting? Choose Quilt Designs where I identify what freehand designs or pantographs I’m using and always try to show a close up too.

Want to visit other blog sites? Page down to the Blog Rings section and check out the newly added HeartStrings Blog Ring.

It’s a little cool still

but I headed straight for the beach this afternoon while I was waiting for Keith to arrive.


 Of course by beach, I mean the beach bar!


Heading South

lesson 4 clipping mask

It’s still Tuesday and finish #7

I’ve been fighting the clock all day but I’m always busy the day before a trip.

It’s Tuesday so I’m supposed to piece a quilt back and work on string blocks – I pieced a back for another donation top and made 4 Quilt as you Go blocks. I would have made more but I really wanted to get this last quilt waiting for binding done.

Pieced by San and her quilting group in NC, it will go to Alycia as a QOV.


The white in the binding kind of jumps out in the photo but not so much in person.


Quilted with one of my favorite designs – a swirling version of Dwirling from the Pajama Quilter DVD.


Now when I get home from my trip I can jump right back into quilting since I’ve finished all the ones waiting for binding.