Now where was I?

I can’t believe how busy I’ve been.

There have been family visits, (both out of town guests coming to visit us, and us going out of town visiting family).  And writing that little sentence doesn’t seem like it would make life so hectic and busy, but it does.  There is lots of pre-visit and post-visit work that takes me away from stitching both on my knitting projects and my sewing project.  Mostly it takes me away from my sewing projects.  I can still knit while in the car driving someplace.  But being from a family who isn’t as craft obsessed as I am, it feels odd to be the only one sitting at the dinner table with either needle and thread or yarn.  So I tend to put it away and focus on reconnecting with people I never feel I see enough of.

So now I need to remember where I left off and try to get this finished.  I’ve discovered lots of patterns that I want to do next.  But I’m trying hard not to create an overwhelming backlog of quilting projects in progress like I have an overwhelming number of knitting projects in progress.  So I must finish one quilt before starting another.  Although I have kind of made an excuse in my head for starting another.  The other one I want to start is applique, and the blooming nine patch is patchwork.  So I could justify working on both at the same time because they aren’t in the same category.

In the meantime I’ve also crocheted a few toys for my kids. 


And I made my first mug rug.  It was for a mug rug swap.  The recipient has the ravelry name of Barbknits.  Since I know she also quilts and likes pink and brown, I made this for her.  It has a patchwork background and simple fused applique letters. I was lots of fun to design and sew. In case you’ve never heard of a mug rug, it is a coaster that is big enough to fit a drink plus a cookie or brownie.  In other words something bigger than a coaster but smaller than a placemat.


I also discovered something very interesting about an acquaintance who is way more quilt obsessed than me.  She has two sewing machines.  One is in her sewing studio and one is in her kitchen.  She says that she has the one in the kitchen so that while she is cooking and waiting for something to happen (like water to boil, or something to brown before flipping) she sews a little bit.  Hmmmm,….. maybe I should try that.  It might keep me in the kitchen long enough so that I don’t burn as many meals. I’m always running out of the kitchen the minute I think I can get away with it. What do other people do in the kitchen while they are cooking?


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blooming nine patch day 5

Day 5 of my blooming nine patch project didn’t see a completed row.

Only a few completed nine patches

Maybe later today I’ll have time to spend with my favorite toy – Bernina.

Have I raved about this little sewing machine to you before?

It really is a gem.  Lots of the things I hated about my old sewing machine are solved with this one.  For one the thread ends don’t get sucked into the hole when I start sewing.   I don’t even have to bring up the bobbin thread to start. Having a nice machine makes a huge difference in whether sewing is a joy or a pain.

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Blooming 9 patch day 4

It finally occurred to me that at the rate I’m going (about one row per day) it will take me a total of 28 days to finish this top.

I’m still torn about whether to iron seams to the side or seams open.  To the non-quilter this means nothing.  But I’m learning that in the quilt world there are two great debates with passionate advocates on both sides.  And those debates are “pre-wash fabric or not” and “seams pressed to the side or seams pressed open”.

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blooming 9 patch day 3

It is starting to bloom.  I don’t think I’ll be able to get a row done per day after this point.  It is starting to get too big.

I’m excited that the colors are starting to blend together better.

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compare and contrast update and blooming nine patch day two

I mailed the quilts to my brother.  It was fun doing the free motion quilting.I was almost sorry when I was done, because 1) it was so much fun to swirl around the stars, and 2) then I had to do the binding…….ack.  I’m still working on my binding skills.  They are nowhere near perfect.

But in the end I was happy with the way the quilt turned out.

Here is what day two looks like on my Blooming 9 Patch quilt.

Still unimpressive after two days of work.

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A blooming nine patch and a Panda Silk DK Shawl

I’m not doing anything original right now.  I’m following other people’s patterns.

For knitting, I started another Panda DK Silk Shawl.  I’ve made one already in Noro Silk Garden Sock. It wasn’t in colors that I normally gravitate to, but I was happy with the end result.

This new one is in colors that I LOVE.  I’m very motivated to get this one finished. From experience I know that despite the start looking like a mess, it will block out beautifully.

And I also started a new quilt.  This time I’m planning to keep this one for myself.  I’m not sure Greg will be happy with it.  As I was ironing one of the fabrics last night he said, “what is that going to be?”  I told him it was for a quilt, and his answer was, “Doesn’t look very quilty to me.”

Anyway, despite Greg’s questioning of the fabric choice, I’m very excited about this project.  The nice owner of Quiltermaker’s Cottage in Hershey helped me with the last two colors.   She was also very helpful in putting together this cheat sheet to help me remember which color goes where.

Inspired by Noro yarns I choose two fabrics in colors I disliked and 6 fabrics in colors I love.  I’ve learned from Noro that the juxtaposition of yum and yuck colors is much more magical than all yum colors.

And here is the start of my blooming nine patch.

I’m starting at one corner instead of the middle.  The dark purple is one of my yum colors and the lavendar is something I’d consider a yuck color.  Just with the two fabrics, the effect is so so.  But I think adding even a third color magic will start to happen.

I’m trying really really really hard to cut with precision and sew with precision.  So far, I’d get a C for the cutting and a B- for the sewing.  At least my points are matching up.

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Kindle cover

I got a kindle for my birthday.  I’m excited that I can download pdf knitting patterns to my kindle and hopefully get a handle on the paper monster that is threatening to overtake my knitting bag and house.

I’m toying with putting together a tutorial on how I did it.  It was easy peasy.

Maybe tomorrow.

This is what the cover looks like on the inside.

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