Archive for December, 2012

Still sewing

Not much to show as I’m still piecing string blocks and backings during our HeartStrings sew-along so I’ll share this photo of the kids. Rae was baptized yesterday in Philadelphia (or maybe New Jersey) and the kids arrived safely back in GA today.

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Go Vikings!

In between watching the games, I continued sewing along with HeartStrings.

Can you believe my string bin looks worse than when I started?? I don’t think I’ll ever get these under control.

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HS sew along update

I started my blocks and while I was VERY tempted to do color coordinated blocks ESPECIALLY after seeing the one Jackie posted (yes, she pieced the blocks, assembled and has it already tied!) I took another look at my large string bin and decided I’ll stick with my kitchen sink version.

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A reminder for those joining in — don’t forget to press! I make 8-10 blocks at a time and always press the previous string before adding another one. If you’re making more than one block like I do, you can add two strings to each block on either side of the center before having to get up to press.

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In addition to making the block look nice and neat, it gives you the opportunity to check that you don’t have any gaps in your seams and to pick out those stray strings that get caught up in the seams. For those of us who quilt the HeartStrings tops this is SO important. Getting our hopping foot caught in a strip that isn’t completely sewn down is time consuming as is having to stop and repair the quilt AND to pick out stray strings.

I square my blocks up from the back and a 9.5 inch ruler and rotating mat make it easy.

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My first blocks are finished but I’ve got a ways to go to finish the set of 48 that I need for my HeartStrings quilt. Remember, to participate you don’t have to make a full set. You can send in as many blocks as you want for group quilts.

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HeartStrings Sew Along

For the 4 day New Year’s weekend, HeartStrings is having a sew along. We’re making purple centered blocks for donation quilts using our standard block guidelines EXCEPT we’re substituting purple for the Blue or Red we usually use. We will be busting some stash piecing backs too.

I’m getting an early start since I’m having trouble sleeping …

I pulled my blues off the shelves, chose a group of them and pieced a scrappy back.

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After pressing well, I squared up the back. An important step especially to those of us using the backs on our longarms.

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If you’ve never squared up a back, it’s not hard. Fold the backing in half, and then in half again. You’ll have folds on two sides and you will be trimming the other two ‘open’ sides. Use the lines on your ruler and the edges of the backing to make sure you’re square.

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Also important — make sure you remove selvages – do not sew them into a seam; press all seams after piecing, and take into account that the backing is oversized and don’t place seams too close to the sides. You don’t want them to be at the edges of the quilt after trimming.

I also cut my foundations and pulled a pretty purple and cut it into 2 inch strips for my block centers. While I could make my centers scrappy and use a number of different purples for this quilt I will be using just one and I’ll bind the quilt in the same fabric.

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Obsessed with hats

Super cute pattern but I don’t like the recommended yarn – too stiff which is disappointing because I went out and bought several skeins of it. I’ve just been playing around with these in yarns from Joann’s but I think I will order some Knit Picks yarn.

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I didn’t put the beak on and can’t decide whether it needs it or not. I have a yellow or a brown yarn but not a gold one.

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Bound and labeled

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That was UFO #12 for the year and it will be the last one finished.

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Still knitting hats

I might have to get one of those heads to model these …. It’s hard to get a good photo of a hat that’s not on someone.

I got this idea from several hats I saw on Ralvery but I didn’t really like any of the patterns. I used the Child’s hat in Knitting for Peace (just a basic roll brim hat) and then crocheted and attached the spots. The antenna is an icord.

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I also forgot to share the recipe I used for Sugar Cookies this year. Usually I make several different types of cookies but it was just the two of us and we didn’t get home until late on the 23rd. I was nervous about using a new recipe for our only cookies but we both loved them. Not too sweet, not too buttery and easy to make. They’ll be the only sugar cookies I make from now on.

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Leftovers

I thought it appropriate to finish up this leftover quilt during the holidays. It is a UFO but wasn’t one on the list to finish this year – it’s # 12 so I will still meet my goal of finishing 12 UFO’s although I did substitute a couple during the year.

I’ve blogged before about leftover quilts – when I’m cutting for a scrap quilt I will cut more than I need for variety and make another quilt from the strips or pieces left over. This one was made from leftovers from my Diamonds and Rails quilt which is back on the website now.

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The pantograph is Jilly by Keryn Emmerson

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Merry Christmas

A quiet day for us. We don’t give gifts (except a donation to Habitat) but Chesty did get a reindeer sweater.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

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I’m easily distracted

In between cooking, eating, and spending time with Keith I managed to knit one small hat and crochet another. While I had lots of quilting I could do, these were perfect for working on while I watched the kitchen timer and kept Keith company.
EDIT: this hat was modified from this pattern

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Not the best photo but I don’t have a model here. You can find this one here.

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