Saturday, December 31, 2011

Three little items from my closet

I spent some time this morning rooting around in the sewing cupboard and trying to put things away and reorganize. In the process, I found three little project-starts that I probably won't ever take further -- so I'm offering them up to you, my faithful readers, in case something strikes your fancy!

First up is some scrappy strip-piecing on 2" adding machine tape. (spoken for!)
 Next is a set of 12 blocks from an "almost Amish" swap. They measure 9.5", mostly, and are made from black fabrics with bright tone-on-tone. (spoken for!)
 Finally, a little applique project from a "Piece 'O Cake" pattern called Cornucopia. This set includes the pattern, and the pieces I traced but didn't cut yet.  I'll make sure there's enough of the fabrics I used to cut all the pieces. (spoken for!)
If you're interested in any of these goodies, just let  me know!  If there's a barrage of requests, I'll pick a number.  I'd prefer to mail just within the U.S., though...

Friday, December 30, 2011

UFOs past and future

Yeah, yeah, it's time to show off what I finished in 2011 and confess to the ridiculous number of unfinished objects that remain.  All of the photos below are quilts that I finished except the "red squares"  which I donated to Blankies for Grownups as a flimsy for someone else to quilt. Three quilts were sold, two were gifted, and two were swapped.
My plan for 2012 is to do something with all the sets of blocks I've accumulated over the last few years, due to my addiction to the Block Lotto and random swaps and BOM projects. Here's my list:
- batik leaf blocks (2011)
- plaid/yellow BOM blocks (birthday swap 2011)
- checkerboard lotto blocks (2011)
- Friday block party -- at least 3 quilts' worth, maybe 4  (2010)
- black/multicolor blocks (birthday swap maybe 2009?)
- signature swap blocks (2009 or 2010)
- black & purple diamonds (2010 or 2011)
- Japanese sampler blocks
- log cabin block party blocks (2010)
- color blocks (swap in 2009 or 2010)
- stocking blocks (swap in 2011)
- maple leaf lotto blocks (2009?)
- black & batik swap blocks (old...)
- house blocks (birthday swap 2009?)

Wow -- that looks insane when I see it on the screen!  I might have to rethink this...  maybe a virtual garage sale?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

all things in moderation

Since many of my comments these days seem to be spam, I'm moving to moderated comments for a while...  the essay vendors have expanded into cruises to places I don't want to go and pharmaceuticals I don't need and it's just too annoying!  Blogger, of course, is no help. 

Thanks for your patience.

sewn objects

This doesn't count as stuff actually quilted, but I have done quite a bit of sewing lately...

First up is a top I'm calling "Junior Executive". It's a disappearing 4-patch made from a couple of charm packs of an older Moda line called "City Traditions" -- looks like shirts and ties to me, and will make a great boy-baby quilt one of these days.
And then there's this set of blocks of the month from a Yahoo group I've been with for several years -- I picked the plaid out of my stash last January and used a different yellow each month.  I have a plan to set these with a sort of Attic Windows sashing.
 Next up is the "Oh My Stars" block of the month from -- this was sort of a pain because the instructions were often late and had mistakes. I didn't really like my version until I got the second border on this afternoon; now it all ties together for me.  This will be a gift one of these days for an uber-nerdy, eagle scout nephew!
And last but not least -- here is Dorothy Young's Xmas mystery for this year. I made the "baby" size, which is about 40" x 40" and the pattern was terrific to do!
I was going to add one more picture, but blogger is acting up for a change and deletes my photos as soon as I upload them... too bad it can't be as diligent about deleting all the spam comments I get!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

delayed gratification

Heavens, it's been forever since I posted. I wish I could say it's because I was so busy with the holidays, but really I was busy mostly avoiding them!

I told my youngest brother, who has 4 kids, that I was celebrating Twelfth Night this time instead of Christmas, since I just couldn't get myself together to shop/make/mail anything on time. Pathetic.  Once I told him, the weight lifted and I've been super productive, though.

There are two hats done, a scarf, 6 flannel pillowcases, and one of a set of fingerless mitts.  What's left is one hat, one mitt, and a duvet-cover for my niece's heavy quilt. (by the way, she's slept under it every night for 2 years now...)  Photos are one mitt, and a Candy Corn hat, which I've been wanting to make for years.

I also made my annual batch of marshmallows -- yum!    And I'll have some quilting to show you shortly.

You can see that there's going to be some straight-line quilting in my future; I asked Al for a new roll of masking tape and this is what he came up with! One of each size...  what a champ!

Friday, December 09, 2011

finished objects

I am determined to quilt up at least one more UFO before the end of the year, since I'm doing pretty well so far with the "challenge".  Here's the latest:
It's from a Dorothy Young mystery at the end of 2009, and I call it "Monkey Town". I think it includes what is the last of my Funky Monkey fabric, which showed up in several quilts! I am a big fan of Dorothy's mysteries, as I may have mentioned before. They're very well written and not usually too intense.  Unfortunately she's only been doing one a year for the last couple of years.  If you're interested, there will be this year's starting around Christmas -- you can get the details by joining her Yahoo group called "A Pocket Full of Mysteries" 

And, I finished my never-ending brown wool scarf, so I can move onto something more colorful. I bought this one skein of wool in a small Wisconsin town; it was spun from the shop-owner's own sheep (hmm -- that doesn't sound right)  and I made up the pattern myself.  It looks pretty masculine too me, and since DH won't wear a scarf I think it will have to be gifted to one of my brothers!

Last call for robineers!

I'm getting all the ducks (robins?) in a row for the round robin that will start in January, so if you're interested you need to sign up quick!  Head over to the robin blog, check out the guidelines, and get in touch.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Round Robin -- come on down!

I've set up a new blog for the round robin, at Cotton Robin.  Come over and check out the guidelines...

Those of you who have already written to me -- I'll be contacting you this weekend, except for those whose email preferences are set to "no reply".  This includes:
Janet H in AZ

Please make sure that when you contact me you include an email address, even if it's in the body of your message!  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Yippee! My box finally arrived!  You can see, though, that it looks like someone poked their fingers in there to see whether the contents were interesting enough to walk away with -- perhaps that was what was happening during the extra sojourn in Jersey City?   Apparently my taste in fabrics didn't meet with their approval...

And here's a plug for this month's Block Lotto -- it is Bonnie Hunter's "Scrappy Trip" blocks -- so much fun to make!  Check out the website for a very colorful set of entries.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Miscellany

First things first --I received my quilt from ALQS6 today, and I am totally thrilled -- this was made from scraps of old Japanese kimonos, and the colors and texture and depth of it are superb!  It was made by Sandra Champion in Tasmania -- who happens to be a friend of my sister there. What a crazy world this is...  apparently Sandra didn't know about the connection until she casually mentioned that she had sent a quilt to Oakland and my sister said that that was her hometown. Too funny...

 Here's a close-up of one part of the quilt with some of the hand-stitching.
My quilt for the swap was this one, which went to Jay in Texas. I call it "Lucky Sixes" and I'm planning to make a "cousin" of it for myself one of these days.
(Interlude: Blogger is making me absolutely insane tonight trying to get my photos and words where I want them. And then it tries to turn all my text into hyperlinks. Why can't those geniuses make it work better?)

Okay, I feel better now.  This month's scrappy rainbow color is brown, and this is as far as I've gotten -- there's going to be a Kona Snow background,and probably a few more darker brown strips, and maybe a splash of something else to liven it up.

 And speaking of rainbows and strips, I finished "Think Green Thoughts" tonight. It is seriously wonky (no, it's not just my crooked photography skills) but I really like it and I think it will live in the trunk of my car for impromptu picnics and other emergencies.

Raptured in Jersey City... or Going Postal


Remember my story last week about how my Priority mail package spent two days sitting in Pennsylvania and then went 400 miles away to Jersey City on the way from Ohio to California?  

Well, then it sat in Jersey City for almost 4-1/2 days.  I decided that my fabric choices were so stellar that the package had been Raptured!  But then to my surprise the Post Office finally found the box sitting in a corner somewhere this morning and shunted it off 7 miles to Kearny. At least it's moving west now...

Note that the tracking page still shows an expected delivery date of last Thursday.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Fibrous content

Don't these look beautiful?  It's a totally improbable concept: baked kale chips -- I read about them on Smitten Kitchen and tried them out with half a bunch of kale yesterday afternoon.  They are wonderful!  They use just a tiny amount of olive oil and some seasalt, and they're full of all that cruciferous goodness and fiber, but they taste decadent.  They will be one of the snacks I serve on Thursday while everyone waits for the turkey to be done...

In other news, I finished a vest I'd been knitting for a while.  It stalled out for a month or two because it is a bit funky -- the variegated yarn may have been a mistake -- but I muddled through and added some crochet edging and I think I might actually wear it.

It's made from a cotton & linen blend yarn called Berroco Linsey that turned out to be a little floppier than I expected.

Quilty things coming up soon -- I have several projects that are almost done (especially if I can get the Brother to stop breaking my thread!)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

priority what?

If this is priority mail, why did it take two days to get from New Jersey to Pennsylvania? Aren't those two states right next to each other? In fact, it's a 400 mile drive, which is about a one-hour flight...

And if it was in new Jersey at 2 am this morning, is it really going to be delivered to me on the west coast today?

Me... skeptical?

Friday, November 11, 2011

round robin update

A couple of weeks ago (here) I threw out the idea of a bloggers' round robin project.  So far there are eight people interested and a few more who's arms could be twisted, I think...

Since the holiday madness is quickly approaching, let's plan on a January start for this.  Here is some preliminary information to get you thinking about it, though:

You will make a starting block that will eventually come back to you with a finished quilt around it. This block should be no larger than 8" square, but it doesn't have to be square. It should reflect the colors  /style / genre of the quilt you'd like to receive.

I would like for everyone involved in this swap to have had some previous swapping experience and to not be a complete beginner. So far, I know (virtually, anyway) all except one of the people who have asked to join in.  Please feel free to spread the information around to others you've successfully swapped with in the past -- the more the merrier!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

google madness?

I decided to spend a little time online this afternoon to catch up on a big backlog of blog posts that I had on Google Reader...  wasn't I surprised to find that Google had wiped my slate clean!  My list is still there, but probably 200 posts have been marked as "read" without any input from me.

If you wrote a post that you thought I should have commented on, and I didn't -- that's why!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

new socks!

I recently bought a few socks' worth of yarn from a blog-friend who was doing some de-stashing... not that I didn't already have quite a few socks' worth of yarn in the cupboard!  Anyway, this Limerick green yarn pretty much leapt onto the needles -- it is my absolute favorite green and seems to be very hard to find in yarn.  The socks are just plain stockinette, with a few odd rows of purls thrown in for no good reason. The weather has turned a bit chilly this evening: perfect timing!

Things are a bit crazy in my town these days, what with a near-constant "Occupation" going on, intermittent marches around the downtown area, random bands of idiots breaking windows and spray-painting buildings.  As a registered, Berkeley-raised, bleeding heart liberal, I absolutely agree that the 1% should pay more taxes and the 99% should have more support -- but damn -- how does disrupting commerce for all the struggling businesses in town help that cause?

Friday, October 28, 2011

blogger's quilt festival

It's time for the semiannual virtual quilt festival, sponsored by Amy!

This time, I'm showing a little quilt that was a mini-group project a while back; we all started with the orange & green mottled batik and swapped around a variety of other fabric strips -- I think three of us made quilts and as always, they all look quite different!


I can't wait to take a tour and see what else is on display!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

a few more robins to entice you...

I just thought I'd throw out a few Robin photos to get the juices flowing...  this first one is a project that I quilted and bound and then sent off to its final owner

the next one was done by an online group I used to be in -- I made the center block

 this was one of the Spring Fling Round Robin projects from a few years ago
 and this is another.  I made the center block on this one...
 Here's another project from an online group I'm in
 and last but not least, this was made by one of my local mini-groups -- they were not at all happy with my center block, but I just had to do it!