Monthly Archives: July 2016


Published / by Mary / 1 Comment on Lazy!!

It’s 1pm and I haven’t even showered or started to work today – so, so lazy but I was up really late last night. First knitting and then reading. 

I was ready to cast on a new hat in fingering weight yarn but I just didn’t want to think as hard as the Slipstream hat was going to require so I cast on an easier one. I will make the Slipstream one eventually but in addition to the unfamiliar stitches, it’s going to require some adjustment in the number of stitches I cast on … Which means adjustment in the pattern when it’s time to decrease and my brain just wasn’t up to all that last night. 

So here’s one from a book I bought a while ago – haven’t ever made anything from it so this is good! My yarn will work up differently than the one she used but maybe I can find a similar yarn with shorter color changes and make another one later. The pattern isn’t available online although you can see the ones people have made on Ravelry

One thing I love about Ravelry is the notes that people add when they make something – in this case I thought that 5 inches before the decreases would be too short and reading the notes, I see that it is so I’ll know to knit to my usual height about 6.25 before starting the decreases. The Ravelry notes for the SlipStream hat were also helpful In that they told me that the band was too loose with the number of stitches cast on. All good stuff to know before starting a project!


Published / by Mary / 13 Comments on Quilted

This one is for my sister – Mom pieced it, I quilted it and I hope it’s not too heavy! Luckily, she lives near the mountains in VA so it should be nice and toasty this winter. She wanted a quilt that was soft with a lot of drape so we used Minkee for the backing – I’ve done these both with and without batting and she wanted batting in it – She may need a summer quilt too. 

Quilting is hard to see on the front but it’s the pantograph Leapfrog. It’s the most open one I have and she wants this to be soft and “broken-in ” feeling. 

Here’s a photo of the back.

#11 of 15 to be quilted in July. There are just 4 more to quilt while I’m here – one last one of my Aunt’s bed-runners, another RWB donation quilt of mine, and then I’ll choose the last two from my other donation tops waiting for quilting. 

I also finished the crown decreases on my first hat and will cast on the second one when the plumber leaves. We’ve got a couple minor things needing attention so I scheduled the work to be done before we leave. 

The yarn is a KnitPicks worsted weight.


Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Quilted

The 3rd bed runner for my aunt is quilted – #10 of 15 to be quilted in July. Freehand swirls and thankfully I just have one more of these left to do!

I took this photo earlier today but I’m already about half way done with the crown decreases. I’ll finish it up tomorrow and cast on another hat (a different pattern). The pattern’s called Huricane Hat (free on Ravelry)  and it’s an easy knit. 


Published / by Mary / 12 Comments on Quilted

#9 of 15 for July – my RWB double 4 patch. Quilted with the pantograph Ebb and Flow. 

I also drove an hour to the nearest Joann’s for knitting needles today – I need to make some hats and all my ‘hat’ needles are in FL. I’ve started one already – the Hurricane Hat – free on Ravelry and I’ve made this one a couple times already.  

What’s your knitted favorite hat pattern? I’m going to make some from worsted weight yarn but also from fingering weight and I’m looking for patterns that are somewhat decorative (but still easy) as opposed to just functional. 

Family time

Published / by Mary / Leave a Comment

We had Chris, Becky, and Rae here but I missed the hiking today … I had an annual homeowners meeting and I needed to wind some yarn – I have hats to make before I get back to FL so I’ve been searching Ravelry for patterns and we’re going into Jasper so see if I can find some needles. I really do need to replace this swift!!!

The hikers

I even cooked dinner tonight for all of us and they all went back for seconds!

I’m taking a break 

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on I’m taking a break 

Absolutely no sleep last night so I slept a few hours this morning and we’re going to head out for a walk before the kids get here for dinner. They’re staying tonight and tomorrow so I won’t get back to the sewing room until Sunday or Monday but it’s been a productive week so I’m OK with that. 

Current progress 

Quilted – 8 of 15 done

Trimmed – 6

Kitted projects – 5

Pieced backings – 9

Pieced batting – 

Borders added – 1

Call me crazy but with all the pulling of fabric for the two Sharon inspired HeartStrings quilt, I had set aside another stripe. I’m tempted to see if I can find a group of 7 fabrics to go along with this one too – not that they’d all get done for a while but it’s kind of nice to have projects that I can just pull and start cutting and sewing. The background is navy not black although it may be hard to tell in the photo. 


Published / by Mary / 1 Comment on HeartStrings

Several people have asked about the Sharon quilt – the planned version of our HeartStrings quilt so named for Sharon in Maine who inspired us. If you follow this link, you’ll find a post with the details of our challenge and how we make these. 

HeartStrings Sharon Quilt Challenge

If you decide to make one yourself, I’d love to see it so I can share it with my HeartStrings group. 

Decision made

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Decision made

I read all your responses to my question of which group of fabrics to use for my HeartStrings quilt and of course you’re right, I should do both. I searched out a few more options in the bins today and then packed up both sets. I found another purple to add to the bright set …

And some orange to add to the brown! I’m not sure yet which option below I like best so I packed it all up and will decide when the time comes to make the quilt. By the way, I know you see me work with a lot of bright fabrics but that’s because I make so many donation quilts – I really think that brown is my favorite color so I won’t find them boring to work with at all. 


Published / by Mary / 2 Comments on Quilted

Another of my Aunt’s bed runners – this one is 33 x 111 inches. Freehand quilted with funky flowers I learned from the Pajama Quilter DVD although I tend to add more petals when I’m quilting them. First some quick practice – are you seeing how just a little drawing can help you get the quilting path established in your brain?!

Then the quilt – so much rolling in this one because it’s too wide on the 111 inch edge for the longarm but after doing the other one lengthwise, I think I almost preferred the shorter rows today. 

This is #8 of 15 and I’m officially over the halfway mark. Tomorrow I’ll load one of my donation quilts. 


Published / by Mary / 36 Comments on HeartStrings

Stephanie from my HeartStrings group is making another Sharon quilt – that’s a planned HeartStrings quilt using 8 fabrics and putting them all in the same place in the block – so I thought I’d look to see if I could pull together a group of fabrics to make another one myself. 

I love how my previous two turned out. 

My first one

My second one – it’s quilted now but waiting for me to get back to FL for binding. 

I love to start with a stripe fabric for the center and pull my other fabrics based on that SO tonight while I’m waiting for Keith to get home, I searched the bins and came up with two possibilities. 

The first is weird … Not sure about the hot pink with orange. (I’ve got one extra fabric in each group that will be left out but I like to have a backup just in case something doesn’t work when I get started)

This is safer and would make a nice ‘guy’ quilt

So what would you go with? Safe or weird?


Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Quilted

The first of my Aunt’s bed runners is quilted.  This one was 37×95 so I was able to load it lengthwise. I decided to quilt overall leaves and practiced drawing them first. Can’t remember the last time I’ve done these (and maybe it shows even with the practice). I’m just glad to have one of these done – #7 of 15 tops to be quilted in July. 


Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Quilted

With 32 tops sitting here at the beginning of July, do you wonder how I choose which ones will be quilted and in what order?

Usually I’ll decide what my goal is before I leave home. In this case, I knew I wanted to quilt 15 while I was here. My Aunt sent me the 4 king size bed runners and they all needed to be done this trip, I have 5 of Mom’s tops and all but one of them needed to be on the agenda. That left 7 of my tops and only two of them needed to be quilted this trip so I could ship them off to be donated. 

Once I get here I decide the order of quilting by things like how difficult it’s going to be (those I procrastinate doing !), what thread and quilting design I’m using and I try to minimize the number of times I have to change the thread, whether there is a back already made, and I also try to quilt as many UFO’s as I can. 

I have to get at least one of my Aunt’s runners quilted this week but since I had the Jilly panto on the table and bobbins with the thread I planned to use already wound, I went for the easy finish today. Mom’s flannel geese is done – #6 of 15 for July. 

While I’m talking about process I thought I’d share a thought or two on thread choice. Most of my quilting tends to be overall quilting – either freehand or a panto like the one above – so my thread choice is very important. I like my thread to blend into the quilt rather than stand out and many times I can use a medium shade of thread on my scrap quilts and have it work well. However, quilts with more contrast in their fabrics can be a little more challenging. My general rule of thumb is if the background is light, I’m going to use a light thread like yesterday’s quilt. There’s nothing more distracting in a quilt to me than a dark colored thread in a light background fabric. 

In a quilt with a dark background, I’ll usually choose a dark thread and I like quilting a scroll like design because I find it doesn’t detract from the lighter fabrics in the quilt. The quilting on my Diamond and Rails top was a good example of this – I used a black thread because of the black background fabric, quilted a scroll like design – it just happened to be Bubbles which is similar to Jilly – and yet it didn’t look bad in the lighter solid color fabrics in the quilt.

A new Cabinet

Published / by Mary / 2 Comments on A new Cabinet

I’ve been very frustrated for the last couple years about the quilts piled in my guest room here at Big Canoe and not having enough storage space for them. Saturday, Keith and I were in Jasper and wandered into a furniture store on Main Street and I found the perfect solution. We’ve got two stories here – two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a dining/living room combination, and a kitchen upstairs – a sitting room, bedroom, and bathroom downstairs (the downstairs is my sewing area) – but the rooms are all small and after I brought most of our stuff here from Minnesota, there’s quite a bit of furniture so arranging things is a bit of a challenge. 

Chris took one dresser from the guest room on Sunday so that’s a little less crowded. 

Originally, I’d intended to replace it with this cabinet but both Keith and I decided we’d rather have it in the dining area so we moved a few things around to make a space for it. I didn’t even realize when we bought it that it matched the dining room table perfectly. I couldn’t resist folding up a few quilts and snapping a photo but I’ve got to get downstairs and finish the one on the machine.  

I love this table – I can open it up when the kids are here but otherwise it stays folded up out of the way giving us a little more room. 


Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Quilted 

I can’t believe it’s already July 11th – my time here is flying by but so far I’m staying on track with my goals even though it remains a challenge to balance all the things I want to do while I’m here – time with the kids, quilt, cut kits to take back to FL, relax, knit, hike….

I made a mistake this morning, usually I load and quilt a top and then spend time cutting kits or piecing backs. Today I started cutting and finished kitting the green 5 Stars quilt and started cutting the Carpenter Star since I had the greens out already. I ended up spending way too much time searching for the browns in my bins and I got a late start loading and quilting today’s top but luckily I was able to finish quilting it and still get my 5 mile hike in before it got dark. 

Another one of Mom’s, quilted with the pantograph Jilly by Keryn Emmerson. This is #5 of 15, I still have 10 left to quilt to meet my July goal.