Tuesday, December 27, 2011

All the candles were lit.

This was the last night to light the Chanukah candles. Aren't they pretty?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Time to watch my Dresden Plate

Look what the Hubs found:

I can hear you saying:  "So what?  It's an old watch.  Big deal!"  Well, it happens to be a big deal.  His Royal Hubserooni has a thing on wind-up watches, and looks for them wherever he goes.  We know they are out there because that's what we used before battery-operated watches.  You'd think they'd be all over the place.  Nope, they're  not.  So, anyhow, he ordered a bunch of watches from Ebay, and this ladies' watch was in the pile.  And it's a wind-up watch and it fits my small wrist.  Every morning I wind it, and then it keeps perfect time all day long.  I rather like it as a retro-watch.  I really want a new, snazzy one, but this one makes me smile at the moment, so I'll use it until I find the perfect watch.

And what are we watching?  OK, looking at?  This!

My first Dresden Plate quilt.  Appliqued by moi, and hand-quilted also by moi.  Not quilted in the ordinary way that hand quilters quilt, just in my method, which is probably wrong, but it worked for me.  I think I might have quilted it a bit too closely, but it's all a learning experience for me.  After many struggles with trying to pull through a knot, and failing and cursing miserably, I played around with one of my old embroidery skills of threading it ahead of my line, taking a tiny back stitch, and then quilting through all the layers.  So, the back is kind of messy, but boy did I learn from it!

I loved the entire process of the hand-work.  I seem to like all the quilting processes with selecting the fabric the most, of course.  I like the machine sewing the least, mostly because straight lines and I don't mix.  I swear I'm going to become a hand patchwork sewer.  Growl.

I truly adored making the Dresden Plate and now want to make many things with it or part of it as the design.  So easy and such fun, and I didn't louse up the machine piecing on it either, which really surprised me.  I backed it with a solid fabric.  Not a good idea because you can see my messy white thread stitches on that deep teal background.  Ick.  Next time I use a print for the back side.  The other thing I did which I won't do again is apply the binding to each side rather than go around the piece.  It was fast, but I made really messes on the back with trying to get the pieces to go together without raw edges showing.  I'll do the regular double binding the next time.  And I really really like to do the hand binding part.  And I think binding clips are fun and adorable.

We are having a nice Chanukah.  Quiet, just the 2 of us.  Light the candles, say the prayers and sing a song or two.  Miss P has taken to calling me a couple of times every day and she brings me up to date with her presents and such.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Chanukah!

First night.  Yep, candles are burning, but you can't see the shames.  That's the candle that lights the other candles.

Said the prayers, sang the songs.  No latkes, however.  We went to Mom's residence's Chanukah party on Sunday and consumed enough tasty fried food for the rest of the year. 

Our menorah was bought a few years ago and depicts an immigrant family setting out for New York. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Finished and crinkled!

She's finished!  The little doll quilt for a certain grand is done!  Here's the before the crinkle:

And here she is after a nice tumble in the dryer, crinkly and cute as can be!

I must say that the crinkle effect really hides a lot of messes I made. 

I learned a lot from this quilt. 

  1. When you piece the half-square triangles, it helps to have that seam on top so that you have a prayer of a chance of sewing at the right spot.  Good thing to learn.
  2. Little polka dot binding really ups the adorable factor.
  3. I need to make smaller quilting sts.  This may be impossible for me.  I'm taking a hand quilting class at The City Quilter in February.  Hopefully I can do it and quilt smaller sts and not get my wrists into major ache mode.
  4. I loved doing this, all of it.  From selecting and buying the fabric, cutting, sewing and then all the hand-work, it was such fun to do. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What's new?

We went to the NY Botanical Gardens on Sunday to see the train show.  The trains were OK, nothing to write home about, not even worth the wait, BUT the buildings were amazing!  They are fashioned out of twigs, leaves, acorns, etc, etc and are adorable beyond belief.  I half expected to see a little elf or fairy pop out of a door.

You cannot imagine how charming this all is!  It was tons of fun watching the little kids taking pictures and exclaiming over the trains.  Kids like the trains a lot.  Me?   Eh on the trains, but oh, the buildings!

Sewing news:  DD's Fruit Cup quilt is coming along quite nicely.  It's about 1/4 done, and I'm zooming along at odd moments of the day to work on it.  All those nice straight seems.

It certainly isn't a shy quilt at all.  Bright and cheery, and perfect for a dark NY apartment.  The blocks are on my design floor, aka the living room floor, and are just set up to get an idea of size.  Not the final placement.  And of course I'm now thinking of a bunch more quilts to do.  This stuff gets into your head and I obsess about it, even dreaming about it.

Knitting news:  It's time to sign up for the next edition of the Light & Dark Club.  Roxanne is doing the dyeing, and I've finished and blocked the shawl.  Yes, it is a mystery shawl, but I'll give you a teensy sneak peak.

The yarn is a singles, and works up beautifully. My wonderful test knitter, DragonYady, tells me that this is her favorite shawl!  I love it, myself.  I'm not a good blocker mostly because I have no patience, but if you make this, you can block those gentle points very very well.  And then you can reblock my piece.  tee hee.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fruit Cup

Some pics of the Fruit Cup quilt for elder DD taken late today.  It sure is bright and cheery. 

Why didn't anyone tell me that strips were easy to sew?  I'm even getting my seams straight.  Gasp!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dear Jane

If you would like to see some Dear Jane quilts, look here.  I figure it'll take me 10 years to do it, and by then I might be dead.  So then, Miss P will have to finish it.  After all, she's my total inspiration for quilting.

Here's the original Dear Jane website.  Go drool on that one!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Whoo hoo!

I got into a Dear Jane class at The City Quilter!  Yes, indeed!  I've been checking their site for days and days, because the classes fill very quickly.  And this one in particular is extremely hard to get into.  I'm so excited I could just jump up and down.  But then my rotten right knee would hurt.  So, I'll be mature and not jump.

I also signed up for a hand-quilting class.  This should be interesting given that I have cranky wrists.  But I'd like to try and anyhow, it's an adventure.

I finally decided on a quilt for elder DD, and started cutting out the pieces.  This is going to take forever.  Good thing I like to do it.

Yippee!  And leftovers for dinner, too.  And the Biggest Loser on TV tonight.  What a day!

scrapperjen - These little blocks finish at 4.5".  Can you just imagine it?  I'm so psyched.  I think I'll learn a ton of information.   

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Get that towel out; you're going to need it.

This post is heavy on drool.  Keep that towel handy as you salivate over my new fabric.  Don't say I didn't warn you, either.

The peachy/rosy/orangy colors.

The green colors.

Put them all together and you get cantelope, cucumber, honeydew, and other assorted sorbet colors.  What I did not show you is the soft off-white polka dot on soft off-white.  Figured it wouldn't show up well.  BTW, the colors are softer than what my camera is showing.  It really is pretty.

 Elder DD wants a quilt!  And not in black or gray or neutrals!  Whoopie!  The New Yorker likes color!  I always knew she was a classy dame!

So what to make with it all?  I have tons of fabric here, although I think I'll need more of that off-white.  Easy enough to get. Rail block with that off-white as one of the strips?  Some sort of diagonal strippy thing?  I have no idea.  Clearly it'll need white to keep it under control.  Otherwise it'll tend to look like the great pumpkin, only with more peachy tones. 

More sewing stuff:  here are the 2 doll quilts now at the hand quilting part.  I'm not terribly good at this.  Can't do the hand under the quilt thing because it hurts my hands.  So I slowly do a running stitch.  It's quite pleasant to do, although I have learned never to quilt through seam allowances unless I have to.  So far I can't seem to get more than 10-11 sts/inch, although going down to a size 9 between is helping.  Well, so it goes.  I'm certainly never going to enter anything in a competition.  I'm just doing this for the fun of it.

I started another doll quilt, also.  This is from a Schnibbles pattern, only I'm going to make it smaller for a doll.  I'm learning how to make flying geese.  Ack.  What a mess it is, except that I seem to be able to fudge it well.  Just don't look on the wrong side.  Next time, I'll really spray with more starch!

I have another row of geese to sew, and then add all the cute sashing in-between, etc, etc.

Here's my take on quilting:  I love picking out the fabrics and looking for patterns. I actually like some of the cutting out very much.  I love arranging the blocks, and then hand-quilting them.  The machine sewing part is OK; not my greatest love, mostly because I'm so totally inaccurate.  And basting the layers together is not grand fun, although on these little pieces, it's kind of pleasant.

I was chatting with the shop owner about how much I'm loving this craft even with my crummy cutting and sewing,  and she told me that she can barely knit.  So there you have it:  Different skills and some of us are great at one thing, and others of us excel at other things.  It's a challenge to step out of your comfort zone, and it keeps the brain alive.  Plus all those colors!  What can I say?  It's all about the color!

Knitting?  I'm working on the next shawl of the Light & Dark Lace Club.  I had this gorgeous border planned, but I know I won't have enough yarn, so I'll put the pattern aside for another shawl, and come up with a cute little guy.  Can't show you pics, BUT I can finally show you Arachne's Delight, the current shawl in progress.  I had the best time knitting it, and don't you love that adorable border? 

Arachne's Delight will go up for sale in Feb.

And that's enough of my blather.


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