Monday, February 27, 2017

Lots of hexies

6 new blocks for Valse Brillante.

And more joined blocks.

Nothing happening on the knitting front.  Sock Madness 11 starts on Wed, so I'm resting my knitting wrists and hands.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A "duh" moment

I'm figuring that I can finish this EPP quilt by around the beginning of June.  That should be enough time to make all the blocks, with days factored in when I'll get nothing done.  A duh moment, here.  Forgot to add in that I have to join all the blocks.  Sigh.  So I decided to start joining them a little bit now.  Not too many because I want to have a lot of choices as to what joins with what, but it would be nice to get a head start here.

And here they are, the first two.  Maybe the end of a row?  Flip them so that the one on the right becomes the one on the left?  Since the two narrow blades are now joined, I pulled out the basting stitches.

And here are the next 2 blocks:

And that's it for today.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Knitting! Stitching!

I finally finished the latest basketweave socks.  They took me forever mostly because I was knitting the red socks for the little guy.  And also, I was really bored knitting them.  But Sock Madness starts early March, and those dumb socks had to be finished.  So, here we go again:  yet another pair of basketweave socks.

Last night I almost cast on for another pair with some sort of lace pattern, but I'm saving my energy for the crazy Madness socks.

And here are the latest 4 blocks of Valse Brillante.

If you look closely at the light blades, you might see writing coming through.  That's because I cut out the papers from magazine inserts.  They are almost the perfect weight.  I trace around the original paper and then cut just a hair in from the pencil line to make them the correct size.  They can be reused, too.

By the way, if you click on the pics and see them much larger, then you'll notice some of my stitches showing through, particularly on the little center hexies.  I don't mind them.  In the overall quilt, they won't matter, and frankly, life is too short to rip them out and redo. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Knitting with the gals

Sunday, I hosted a little lunch with some of my Sock Madness fellow knitters.  Five of us eating and chatting and even knitting.  Such fun!  I want to show you what one of the knitters made for me:

Isn't it pretty?  It's an origami knitting bag.  Everyone got a version of this. 

Jennifer sells them on Etsy, if you would like one.  Each one is simply charming!

Friday, February 17, 2017

And the blocks go on

and on and on.  There'll be about 121 of these little guys, and I've done 28, so we're all going to get very tired of them soon.  But since I'm posting these as a log of what I'm doing, I'll continue to post and yawn.  Here are the latest 5.  Click on a pic to embiggen it and get a much better idea of how the blocks really look.

Photographed on the porch floor.  It's so sunny out that I am looking for a good spot to take pics.  This next one is on the kitchen floor.  The reality of the color is probably closer to the top picture.

And here are the rest, all on the porch floor:

Happy Birthday to me. Older, with a couple more aches, wrinkles, and other aging moments. But it's awfully good to be alive!  The other day I realized that I have known people born in the late 1800's, 1900's and 2000's.  My grandmas were born around 1875 and 1885.  My dad in 1909 and my mom in 1914.  And my sister and I and our kids were born in the mid-late 1900's.  Grands in the 2000's.  Pretty neat, no?

Monday, February 13, 2017

More, more, more

OK, 3 more blocks finished.  Each block takes about 1.5 hours to do, maybe even more.  I don't really know since I work in short bursts of time.  That's also how I knit.  It really prevents damage to the hands and wrists.  It's meditative work.  Very simple and soothing, unless your thread knots.  Then you curse a bit, which is also good.  Do you curse?  I do, judiciously, and not often.  I love the explosive sound of my favorite ones, and I save the Big One for really angry situations.

BTW, you might want to click on each one to get the full color effect.  Much better than these little pictures.

I find it very interesting to see how each fabric plays out in a small piece.  The last picture has 3 different batiks.  The center hexie is fairly plain.  You can see it in the middle pic with the narrow blades.  But the fabric in the wide blades is complex, and you only see snippets of it in the block.  I love the serendipity of it all.  I don't much like to plan everything out; it's too controlled for me.

And for those of you who didn't have bad weather the other day, here's the bird feeder with little icicles hanging off it.  I'm done with winter!

And the ice pattern on the porch windows.  It's cute how the ice and the screens played with each other, rather like my haphazard fabric selections.

It's cold and very windy here today with icy places on the front walk and driveway.  I'm staying in.

Judy in WA asked my about batiks and such, and after I mailed her my answer, I thought that I'd also post it here.

It's not hard to stitch regular quilting fabric, but batiks can be a little difficult.  Not all of them, just the ones with lots of colors and the stiffer ones.  Still, these are short seams, so I can rest between them.  And they are such fun.

I place my fabrics on top of each other so I get an idea of how they will interact, and they look  completely different once they are actually stitched to each other. Some of the blocks look overly busy to me, but then I surround them with the plainer ones, and they give it that pop that I like.

Go try it.  I bought 2 pkgs of Valse Brillante, but I have to trace the pieces because there are not enough for a quilt.  I probably should have bought the entire bundle, but I got cheap.  I didn't buy the acrylics.  I like tracing the pieces onto index cards and then adding a 1/4" seam to them.  Cut out the middle, and I can get a very good idea of how the piece will look.  I don't actually cut on the seam; I place my ruler a smidge outside that seam, so the seam is somewhere between 1/4" and 3/8".  The thing with these little pieces is that too much seam is a pain.

Friday, February 10, 2017

I need a name for this quilt

I just plopped these down on the porch floor in random order.  Color isn't great because I took the pic at night.  But you get the idea of how they will look together.  So now I need a name for this quilt.  Any ideas?  I'm thinking Jeweled Hexagons, because each one reminds me of a little jewel.

These are yesterdays gems.  I have to say that it is much easier to hand sew regular quilting cottons as opposed to batiks.  It's somewhattough to push a needle through those dense batik fabrics.  But it's only a little bit of sewing, and I love, love, love batiks.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Two more

The latest two blocks, plus another snowy picture.  What more can you ask for?

Oh, the weather outside is frightful....

A good day to sew and knit.  I love snowstorms as long as I am not out in them.  And I want all the snow to disappear the next day.  But it is so cozy to be indoors and watch it all come down.  You would think I'd get a lot of hand work done, no?  No.  Because I wander from window to deck door and back again and have to check out the view from every part of the house.

Yep, we have an air-conditioned fence.  Last year we had a very windy rain storm and somehow the boards left the fence.  We should really replace them, but I kind of like the view of traffic. 

It really is snowing very hard at the moment, even though the pictures don't show it.  Cozy day.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

My favorite one so far

I just love this one.  It's even better in person.

Yesterday, I laid out all of the blocks (too big to photograph) and I'm very happy with all of them.  It's funny how your least-favorite block somehow fits into the big picture.

On the knitting side, I mailed off the last 2 pairs of red socks to the little guy.  Otherwise, my poor knitting is suffering.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Motoring along

Here are the newest blocks for Valse Brillante.  Can I tell you just how much fun these things are to make?  I might have to give up doing laundry and cooking.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

New fabric choices and blocks

The best part of any colorwork, whether in knitting or quilting, is picking out the colors/fabrics.  I can do this all day long.  Here are the next possible fabric sets:

Did you notice a bit of red/violet/purple thing going on?  It was calling me.  I probably will not use a lot of orange in future blocks, or maybe I will.  Who knows?  I just wander over to the fabric shelves and pick stuff out.

New finished blocks:

These things are addictive.  All I want to do is make them.  My poor knitting is suffering.

Signed up for Sock Madness 11 yesterday.  Yippee!


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