Monthly Archives: September 2015

Quality time

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Quality time

I kind of hate that phrase but since Keith and I are apart most of the month it kind of applies. Today we did some shopping and had dinner out. I leave early tomorrow so we just had about a day and a half together. 

I did manage some knitting too and my niece sent me a photo after receiving her scarf in the mail. This little FL girl is facing her first real winter in Erie PA.  


Cast on

Published / by Mary / 1 Comment on Cast on

Keith arrived home safely – thanks for all your comments. He found heavy security in Atlanta so obviously there’s a heightened sense of alert due to the anniversary of 9/11. 

Because we just have a day and a half together before I travel, I doubt I’ll get much done tonight or tomorrow on the sewing or knitting front. I still have to pack but I’ve got my laundry done and the supplies for the sew-in all assembled. I’ve made good progress on the Eyeblink shawl but I’m going to set that aside for now because I’ll be getting to the lace section before long and I want simple traveling knitting.  I love how the colors are blending together so far and I hope the final khaki color looks as good. 


I also loved how my Be Simple scarf looked in a skein of Wollmeise variegated yarn so I pulled a skein to make another one as my travel project. I got upgraded to first class on both of my flights Sunday (so unusual!) and I’ll have plenty of elbow room to knit on the plane. 


I just had another idea

Published / by Mary / 18 Comments on I just had another idea

I’ve got the butterfly die for my GO and I was just thinking wouldn’t it be neat to applique some on the Jelly Roll Strippie quilt? I took the butterfly from the Accuquilt site and placed it over my quilt top – I’m using the iPad so I had limited options – I was able to remove the background but not recolor the butterflies – this does capture my idea for later.  Applique circles would also look neat and are an option. 


Jelly Roll Strippie

Published / by Mary / 16 Comments on Jelly Roll Strippie

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again today – I don’t like Jelly Roll Race quilts. I just DON’T. 

I do understand why people make them

  • It’s fun to be part of a group event
  • A lot of us have Jelly Rolls laying around, and
  • Who doesn’t like a quick quilt?

I’m heading to Maine on Sunday for the annual HeartStrings sew-in held there and as I was gathering up my stuff to pack, I pulled out a couple Jelly Rolls – some of girls are going to have a Jelly Roll race (Last year they raced with Tumblers) and I thought I’d take one for my binding buddy and one for the winner of the race. 

Since I like quick quilts and I have Jelly Rolls I thought I’d try my hand at a strippie quilt using a Jelly Roll so I’d feel like I was playing along with everyone else. I don’t carry a sewing machine on the plane so I have to do mine either before or after the sew-in. If you do a search for Jelly Roll quilts you can see some people cut theirs and reassemble them in some fashion because they don’t like the finished top. Some people make Jelly Roll quilts by just sewing their strips to each other rather than in a long roll like the JRR quilts, and some people alternate lights and darks. I kind of jumbled these ideas together and came up with my Jelly Roll Strippie.

I’m done in just a few hours this afternoon. Since I’m done first does that mean I win?

If anyone is interested in my process – I posted the steps on my website. 


Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Assembled

I just love marking things off my list! This is the little HeartStrings top I’ve been trying to finish up from our project that ended In August. Technically, the quilts were supposed to have light centers — these leftover dots are kind of light, right?  It’s really a rather overcast day so not the best photo unfortunately. 

I rarely have enough yardage here in FL for backing but how lucky is this? I’m taking this little top to Maine with me next week to tie and donate there and we flip the backings around for bindings on those quilts. This one will work perfectly.  


Keith’s flying home tomorrow, am I the only one that still worries about a loved one being on a plane on September 11th? 

I sit too much, do you?

Published / by Mary / 15 Comments on I sit too much, do you?

With my little nook for reading, knitting, and binding, I’m in danger of growing roots! It’s so easy to settle in for a few hours of knitting or binding especially in the evenings when Keith is gone. The American Cancer Society is warning that women who sit a lot have a higher risk of cancer, even if they exercise. 

So, now that I’m home from running my errands, I’ll just sit and knit for 30 minutes while a quilt is washing downstairs and after I transfer it over to the dryer, I’ll get back to my sewing room and those HeartStrings blocks – when I sew I’m constantly getting up to press and cut so I don’t sit too long in there. 


Not completely wasted

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Not completely wasted

I did mange to accomplish a few things today. I chose the gold yarn and cast on Eyeblink, another shawl.  I’ve made some progress on it tonight but I’m not a terrible fast knitter so it will take a while. 


I washed a couple quilts which are now ready for donation and I pieced some HeartStrings blocks. I also did another walk along the bay — it is STILL so incredibly hot outside and I didn’t push it. Three miles was more than enough for me – I can’t wait for it to get a little cooler. Other than the heat, this feels a lot like walking in Minneapolis – the water, the views of downtown…much nicer for walking than where we were this past year in South Florida. 


That’s 2 hours wasted

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on That’s 2 hours wasted

With 202 items in my Ravelry queue you’d think I’d be able to quickly find my next project to cast on but noooo, finally after spending 2 hours looking, I decided I needed to choose something from my library and NOT purchase another pattern. So one decision made – I’m going to knit Eyeblink. Next I dithered over which yarn … Should I go bold or more subtle.  I’ll need the smaller skein no matter which one I use so they go with the larger skeins. 

Do you know which one I chose?! Yep, already cast on but I’m stopping for now and heading for the sewing room to finish up those HeartStrings blocks. 


Off my needles

Published / by Mary / 10 Comments on Off my needles

My Magnolia Glen scarf is off my needles and unfortunately not without issues. In attempting to bind off loosely, I used an elastic bind off and went up one needle size and my edge seems a bit sloppy although it does have about the same amount of stretch as my cast on edge so maybe it will improve with blocking. A second issue is that my ends don’t match – I took out my beginning section and redid it. I thought I’d figured out what I was doing wrong but unfortunately it doesn’t match my end section so obviously I didn’t get it right. 

I’m still planning to block and wear the scarf and while not exact, I think they’re similar enough that they’ll pass when wrapped around my neck. I’ll consider this my humility scarf – I’d just started to think I was fairly good at this.  



Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on Finished

I finished another binding this morning, my string rail fence quilt. I’d made the blocks almost 2 years ago and assembled the top last year. It’s finally finished and I’ll get it washed and ready to donate. 


The little strippie from the other day was also a UFO. My spreadsheet helps me track when I start and finish quilts and sometimes I’m surprised at how long it’s taken for me to finish a quilt. I find it hard to believe that little strippie waited 3 years to be finished!

Zoo Animal Strippie – Started Nov 2012 – Top Finished Nov 2012 – Quilt finished Sept 2015 

String Rail Fence – Started Nov 2013 – Top Finished Nov 2014 – Quilt Finished Sept 2015 

We drove over to Dunedin today to have a look around their Main Street and to have lunch on the water. Have to say there wasn’t much to see but I did enjoy my water view at lunch.  We also saw another one of the Little Free Libraries, they must be popular in this area.  I’ve always thought they were a neat idea. 


My kind of day!

Published / by Mary / 12 Comments on My kind of day!

I’d done well with my walking last year leading up to the November half marathon and we had plans to walk another in March and had been training for it but everything came to a halt as Keith’s mom got sicker. After she died, we started back house hunting, I was flying back and forth to VA frequently, we went to Europe, we moved, my foot was bothering me … Lots of reason not to walk but it’s time to ease back into it. I need to have my foot evaluated and it’s still crazy hot here but I can begin slow and hopefully we can schedule another half marathon (to walk not run) for sometime in the spring. So we started our day with a walk along the bay.  I love that this is just steps from my house!


Then we came home and tackled the problem of what to do with two doors that had no window treatments. We’d been looking at multiple options and I tried to convince Keith to just put a privacy film on them right now because eventually, I plan to redo all the window treatments at the back of the house. He finally caved in yesterday at Home Depot but he didn’t go down without a fight so it was very, VERY nice to hear him saying I was right this morning after we finished the first door.  My rotary cutter, ruler, and mat came in hand again!


We went for a swim, and now I’m going to knit a while, we’ll have happy hour on the porch, grill hamburgers for dinner, and then watch another episode or two of Homeland while I finish up another binding. This is my kind of day!

Finishing – #1 of 12

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Finishing – #1 of 12

This is one for me. When I bought the yarn, I couldn’t decide on which one I wanted to use for the fringe, one seemed darker than I wanted and one seemed lighter so I bought both and figured I’d decide which to use when it was time to fringe. Today I decided to use one strand of each. 

I’ve done a light blocking ( I like how it curls up a bit) and added the fringe …. Just have to weave in two ends and this one will be done just in time to wear this fall. 


Function vs fashionable

Published / by Mary / 10 Comments on Function vs fashionable

I’m a terrible decorator … I don’t have the patience to shop or at least that’s my excuse. I have a little nook in the master bedroom where I sit and knit or bind (or read) and the bins were piling up around my chair. I was using a snack tray to hold my supplies and I got up this morning and decided I needed to organize myself a bit. I’d been looking at furniture pieces that would allow me to use bins to hold yarn and supplies but to also have open shelf space to hold the current quilt I was binding or hand quilting and while many of them were quite pretty, they were also rather expensive. I also needed an end table to replace the tray table and I wanted a small drawer in it to keep my binding supplies when I wasn’t using them. 

I decided I’d look at Target for something functional rather than at a furniture store. My chair was bought at the time we moved in and the sole criteria was that it had to be large enough for Chesty to sit comfortably beside me. Now I think of him every time I sit there. The cubbies are just what I needed and the end table works too – it’s certainly not a designer space but it works for me.  I do need to put a few things on the walls and then I’ll call it done. 


One reason I decided I needed to organize myself was this basket of knit/crochet projects waiting to be finished. They’re all now in two of the white bins in the cubbies pictured above and finishing them has been added to the list of goals for the rest of the year. There are 12 items in this basket, a couple need fringe added and ends woven in, others need blocking and ends woven in, and some need one or the other. I have about 9-10 weeks at home before Dec 31 and the goal will be to finish all 12 items. Some are for me, some are for donating. Obviously, I like knitting things more than I like finishing them.