October!

Autumn is my favorite season and I’m getting so excited about the leaves changing and the cooler weather … we have some trees just starting to change in the yard.

We’ve lived in Florida 18 and a half years out of the 31 years we’ve been married and while I have many happy memories of those years and am enjoying our time in Tampa, I’ve always missed Fall! This little quilt I’m sitting under now was made for me by Mom but the first several years I was quilting, I always made a fall themed quilt for myself and I use them year around!

I mentioned that we’re seeing fewer deer in the yard than we did this summer but they’re still visiting every few days … this one walked up and peered at Keith through the window this morning. If I didn’t love my space downstairs so much I’d be a little jealous of his office – great big windows that look out on the front yard with a great view of the wildlife in the area. He had a flock of turkeys out there last week! Finn enjoys his spot right by the window too.

Camping

Chris and the girls went camping this week in the Great Smokey Mountains and he shared some photos with me. I love that he’s creating these memories with them! Click the arrows to scroll through the photos.

Assembled

The Rail Fence and Friendship Star top is assembled. I wasn’t happy with this one at first, the blues lean a little too close to turquoise for it to look like a veteran quilt to me but now that I’m done with the top I’m happy with it. It will be donated when finished.

Brief instructions can be found on my website.

I’ve also made good progress on the other 3 projects I’m working on. The crochet linen stitch blanket is done except for weaving the ends in, the hand quilting is done on the doll quilt and the binding is ready to be hand stitched down, and the magic loop hat is about half way done.

A Rainy Tuesday

I don’t mind rainy days especially ones I get to stay inside and sew/quilt/knit/crochet all day and that’s my plan for today! If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know assembling blocks into a finished top is my LEAST favorite part of the quilting process so I’m sure to drag it out but that’s OK because I’ve got my work lined up for the rest of the week.

I’m moving back and forth between assembling the Rails and Friendship Star top, big stitch quilting the doll quilt, knitting my magic loop hat, and crocheting my linen stitch blanket and maybe by the end of the week I’ll have something to show for it!

And since I’ve already shown you everything I have in progress … how about a photo of my inspiration for the Rails and Friendship Star? I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to use this idea again. I love the pieced blocks scattered amount the rail fence ones and rail fence quilts in all their many forms are favorites of mine and I’ve made MANY of them through the years! I’ve got this one out right now and I’m enjoying using it as the leaves outside begin to change. I LOVE fall!

Brief instructions for my Autumn Leaves quilt are on my website at this link.

Stanley Cup

The Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup tonight!!!! It’s been a nail biting playoff series and we’re thrilled with the win. Funny, but considering all the years in Minneapolis, we didn’t become hockey fans until we moved to Tampa.

Magic Loop

I had a request for a hat but of course my needles are back in Tampa so while I was out at the post office today, I stopped in to the small quilt shop in Jasper that also sells yarn and needles … only they didn’t have double pointed needles in the size I needed to go along with the circular needle I found there. The shop owner suggested I just make the hat using the Magic Loop method …. something I’m familiar with but have never tried. I had to restart once because I twisted it while I was fiddling with the cable but I think I’ve got it on the 2nd attempt.

I haven’t made much progress yet but I think I have the process down so we’ll see how it goes. I’m not using her pattern but I watched this video a few times to understand how to set up the hat and how to manipulate the cable and needles. Do you use Magic Loop in your knitting? Do you like the method?

New lighting!

I love it! I had 4 LED lights added to my sewing room at Big Canoe … three are shown in this photo.

And one shown in this photo. All 4 areas are work zones and with just one light in the center of the room, I would cast a shadow over whatever I was working on. I was using a couple side lamps that I’d move from place to place as needed but this is SO much better. The new lights are on a separate switch and have a dimmer too although I don’t expect to have to turn them down when I’m working.

Blocks are done

I went with a 9 x 12 setting and the quilt will end up about 54 x 72 which is the size of many of my donation quilts. I’m having some additional lighting added to the sewing room tomorrow so I won’t be able to start sewing it together just yet.

I’ve got leftovers from the ends of my strip sets which will become a doll quilt but I want to add a few pieces to make it larger so I cut a few extra strips. I’ve set it aside for now but I hope to get it assembled while I’m here. It’s always easier to get these little ones done when I finish the main quilt or they sit in a baggie for a long time! This is not the layout I’ll use, I was just trying to get an idea of how many I had and what size quilt I could make with them.

I also layered and pin basted another little doll quilt. I was going to quilt some quick diagonal lines on the sewing machine but after finishing the pink and purple quilt, I decided I’d use the gray crochet cotton and hand quilt the straight lines. I know it’s crazy but I just can’t stand throwing away these leftover stripset pieces and the girls like the little quilts for their dolls. They can also be donated. And I get to use up some leftover backing and batting pieces so it’s a win all the way around!

I was enjoying my afternoon in the sewing room and watching out the window. We’re not seeing as many deer as we did this summer but every few days one of us usually sees some. I saw three today.

Another new start

I’ve made good progress on the Rail Fence and Friendship Star blocks … just a few more blocks to make and while I should have frogged the Feather and Fan scarf and started over with a different pattern, I started a new blanket instead. The scarf is just not draping well with the yarn/needle combination and luckily I haven’t gotten too far with it. I like the pattern so I will try it again later … maybe with some sock yarn.

  • Pattern – Linen Stitch blanket – Pattern came with a BluPrint kit, haven’t been able to find it online.
  • Hook size – I
  • Yarn – Mandala Ombré – colorway Joy

This may be my new favorite yarn and I’m pretty sure I’m going to need an additional skein for this blanket so I ordered more, a lot more! I’ll cross my fingers and hope the dye lot is similar.

Something new

I know I won’t get it right all the time but this is the second pieced project in a row that isn’t turning out like I want. I knew the shade of blue wasn’t right … I like gray/blues for my veteran quilts but I ordered these and decided to use them anyway. Then, what I thought was a 2 inch finished HST die, turned out to be a 2.5 inch finished HST. Not a big deal since I had Thangles here which is how I usually make my 2 inch finished HSTs but after cutting a while, I realized I should have just gone with the 2.5 inch HSTs and cut the strips for my Rail Fence block 3 inches. UGH!

I don’t abandon projects that aren’t working out like I planned … I know that just because I don’t love a particular quilt doesn’t mean that someone else won’t … in fact Chris was begging for the square in a square top I just finished (he won’t get it, he’s got plenty of quilts and that one’s for donation) but he really liked it.

So, I’m going to finish these blocks and assemble the top but I am going to downsize it some by making fewer rows. I’m aiming for about 48 x 66 but it’s possible I might go 54 x 72. I’ll wait and see how it goes.

I will make this one again because I like the combination of stars and the rail fence blocks and I think I’ll even use the 2.5 inch finished HST die when I do make it! I do have brief instructions on my website at this link.