Monthly Archives: February 2010

I’m not such a slug after all

Published / by Mary / 12 Comments on I’m not such a slug after all

Since I wasn’t going to sleep anyway I worked all night.

4 quilts trimmed, binding made, and machine stitched on – ready for me to hand stitch while watching the Olympics when I get home.


And 2 rather simple postcards for my family exchange for February. The nice thing about exchanging postcards with the family is I never have to worry about how good or how creative they are – it’s very low stress and we’re happy just to exchange them with each other.

I even went outside and down the street to the mailbox at 4:15AM  (with my coat over my PJ’s) so I wouldn’t forget to send them before leaving. Since we live in the back on a dead end street of a small development — that’s not as bad as it sounds.


Keith will be up in about 30 minutes and it will be time to get ready to leave and I feel better for having accomplished something.

Not much happening here…

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Not much happening here…

I just seem to be puttering the last couple days.  A little knitting here and there, some string blocks yesterday and I did manage to piece my one back for the week too. Are you impressed? Using Tuesday for strings and backings is working out well for me.

We head to Los Cabos early in the morning and will be gone for several days so there may not be any posts. I’m not sure what my internet access is going to be like and I might just forget the blog and enjoy my time on the beach with a tropical drink in hand.

In the meantime, since I’m sure I won’t sleep tonight I think I’ll work on getting some quilts ready for binding – after all the Olympics will already be in progress when we get home.

It’s too big for the design wall

Published / by Mary / 17 Comments on It’s too big for the design wall

So on my floor tonight – the pink and brown Stars and Pinwheels quilt. I’m adding borders to make it just a little bigger and since Adam’s wedding is set for the end of March I can’t put it off any longer.


Someone asked what yarn I was using for my new socks — it’s a Stroll yarn from Knit Picks called Peacock Multi. Pretty isn’t it?


My first pair of socks are done

Published / by Mary / 18 Comments on My first pair of socks are done

I finished them up this evening while I watched the Colts lose the Super Bowl.


And just look at how neat that heel turned out!


I’ve already got another sock cast on but this one using fingerling weight yarn (the above socks are sport weight) and size 2 needles which feel like tooth picks in my hands. These are toasty warm and they fit so nice!

I was reading one of the sock books I bought today and she has several patterns for tube socks — it never occurred to me to not knit socks with a heel but I was thinking it might be a good pattern to practice two at a time socks since they look so easy and I wouldn’t even have to worry about the heels — has anyone made tube socks? Any reason I shouldn’t give them a try?

Tonight’s cleaning task is moving the 3 stacks of mail from the kitchen and filing it all right after I do my Wii. Maybe I’ll even get a little sewing in.

Things I’m learning

Published / by Mary / 17 Comments on Things I’m learning

About Socks

  • I can’t watch a movie and knit them but I can watch TV which takes less concentration
  • The harder I’m concentrating the tighter my knitting gets. I need to loosen up.
  • Socks are the perfect project because even with mistakes you can wear them and since they’re hidden no one has to know they’re not perfect. I’ve never been good at practice pieces that aren’t good for anything.
  • I LOVE working with the 2 circular needles. Having all the sole stitches on the 16″ needle and the instep on the 24″ inch needle makes things really simple to follow and my book shows me how easy it is to convert patterns written for DPD.

If you’ve been thinking about learning to knit socks you should go for it. I’m good at reading and teaching myself to do things but if you aren’t it’s worth taking a class.

About Wii

  • While I kind of like the Wii Fit, the routines or exercise seem too short and they don’t flow as well from one to the other as I’d like. Also while some are fun and some do get you moving they just don’t feel like you’re working hard enough.
  • After debating whether to spend more money on the Wii as an exercise option, I bought EA Sports Active (it’s made for the Wii) today and did one workout and it’s really SO much better. The intensity is higher and the flow of the workout seemed smoother or more connected is maybe what I’m trying to say.
  • From here I’d like to continue with the Yoga on the Wii Fit and add in the EA Sports Active workouts and see how it goes.

Finally, ignoring the mess in the house doesn’t make it go away! I need to go back to doing just one small task a day to get the clutter back under control.

I’ve been up all night

Published / by Mary / 21 Comments on I’ve been up all night

First quilting, then knitting, then piecing, and finally writing up instructions for the Twisted 9 Patch.

I didn’t expect to finish this top today but I’m glad it’s done. I’m ready to move on. If you’re interested in the instructions, click on the link above which will take you to my site.


I’ve turned my heel on the 2nd red sock so that one will definitely be finished this weekend as I’m planning on knitting while the Super Bowl is on. I don’t really care about either team but I’m sure we’ll have the game on so I’ll just sit and knit.

Now Keith and I are going to go out for breakfast and run a few errands before I come home and collapse into bed.

Quilting in the dark

Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Quilting in the dark

Keith came home this evening and asked why I was quilting in the dark – That’s what happens when your thread blends too well with the fabrics in the top and you need to see where you’re going.

This is another donated top from Tamera.

EDIT: If interested in how Tamera made this top, she has a tutorial on her blog.


Quilted with freehand leaves and loops.


I have a couple leaves pantographs I like a lot but the Circle Lord template is still on the table and I might do one more top before taking it off so I went ahead and quilted the leaves freehand. Given how well the thread blended with a lot of the fabric, a panto would have been easier.


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How fun to receive emails and photos from people saying they’ve used one of my instructions to make a quilt — and especially when the quilts are going to a charitable organization. Today I received an email from Susan sharing photos from their retreat where they use my Red Rover instructions.

And then later today I had kind of a funny feeling when I opened this email from Accuquilt with an ad for their strip dies and saw their free project quilt.

I know the Quick Strippie I’ve had posted on my site is a really basic quilt but other than the strip sizes in this one corresponding to the size of their strip dies it looks exactly like one of mine.

Go strip quilt

I almost deleted this post because I don’t want to sound like I’m the only one who can come up with such a simple quilt but who knew I was so attached to the idea of *MY* strippie being out there and used by so many people and really it’s the instruction sheet that’s downloaded most off my site and the one that I get tons of feedback on because the quilts turn out so cute and are so easy. Now when I see one out there, I won’t be able to assume they found it on my site.

The last of the Coins quilts

Published / by Mary / 11 Comments on The last of the Coins quilts

I’ve been piecing and quilting these tops from Coins donated during one of our HeartStrings projects and now I’m officially tired of them! Helen, one of our members from the UK offered to take the remaining coins off my hands (probably enough for another 2 maybe 3 quilts) so this will be my last one, at least for a while.


You’ll notice that yes, one again I used the Circle Lord Swirls template and I’m trying to decide if this is the last one for now or if I’ll do one more before taking it off the table and trying out the new clamshell one waiting in it’s box.


I’ve also been using this subtle King Tut variegated thread on the last 3 tops. One of the biggest things that saves me time is grouping tops together that I plan on using the same pattern and thread.  You might think it’s boring but when I have lots of tops waiting here for quilting even small things like that save me time.

As far as other items from my day…..

Red sock # 2 has been cast on and I’m working on the leg. Thanks to the bad influence of JudyL, not only did I order yarn for 2 more pair last night online but I searched out a local yarn store and bought yarn for two more…. that doesn’t include the yarn that should be here any day with my smaller needles too. (Yes, I’ll have yarn for 6 pair of socks waiting).

AND WHO KNEW that the yarn shop was on the block behind my grocery store and that we’ve driven by it multiple times to get in and out of the parking garage. In fact, the only time we drive to the store is when we buying more groceries than we can carry — yes, it’s even within walking distance just about a mile and a half each way.

Speaking of walking, it was snowing tonight so we decided to walk across the river for dinner (almost as far as the yarn shop) and played a little in the snow on the way home. Is there anything better than walking in the snow at night? I don’t think so.

I’m still on an odd schedule but I’ve been changing the date on my posts so that when I’m saying today or tonight the post matches the day I’m talking about. You probably don’t care but when I go back to look something up it helps me if the post says Thursday when I’m talking about Thursday…..because right — it’s really Friday.

I’ve done nothing today

Published / by Mary / 20 Comments on I’ve done nothing today

So I thought I’d just share this EQ drawing of the Twisted 9 patch that I recolored so I could calculate how much fabric I was using. Doesn’t it look kind of interesting?

twisted 9 patch - yardage

Today was one of those days I had good intentions but never actually did any sewing. I also didn’t get my 2nd red sock cast on. What I did manage to do was walk downtown to get my haircut, visit the library, read, and meet Keith for drinks at the Foshay .

An old friend

Published / by Mary / 13 Comments on An old friend

My machine was making a clunky noise this evening — even after a good cleaning and a new needle it still wasn’t running well so I pulled out the Elna and will take the Brother to the shop. I bought it in March last year so I guess it’s almost due for servicing anyway.

I’d forgotten how nice the Elna is to sew on but I can’t find the feet. I’d put them in a safe place when I took this in for repair last March and I never even opened it back up when it came home because I was already using the new one. I’m sure I’ll run across the bag I put them in somewhere but I managed to find a quarter inch foot that fits it (a Little Foot) although I’m not sure why I had an unopened one in with the Curve Master foot I haven’t tried (yet).


In spite of the challenges and since today is Tuesday, I managed to work on string blocks as planned and I got my backing for the week pieced also. I’ve got enough QAYG blocks now for 2 quilts (96 blocks) and I spent part of the day cutting up and piecing additional batting squares.

DSC_0121There are instructions for piecing the blocks on my site along with links at the bottom of the page to Jan Mac’s and Keryn’s blogs where they show how they assemble them.

And finally, I have a pair of socks. They don’t match but I finished my second sock tonight — not without some challenges but with more practice I might actually get good at these. Maybe tomorrow I’ll get the matching red sock cast on.


It’s colorful…

Published / by Mary / 24 Comments on It’s colorful…

Very scrappy I know and I’m sure it’s not to everyone’s taste. Framing each of the 9 patch blocks in a single fabric or putting sashing between the blocks would have calmed it down some but I love it like this. I spent today making the rest of the blocks and I’ve started to assemble the rows.


I’m also  enjoying  having my sewing table in front of the window — not sure why I didn’t put it there when we first moved here. Today I was able to watch the snow coming down as I was working ….and as you can see, it’s still snowing. Again, not everyone wishes for snow but I love it.