Friday, September 27, 2013

Ornaments and Downton Knitting

I've got 4 ornaments done for my Christmas table runner. I'll applique them by hand when I'm done the remaining 5 ornaments. I like to applique by hand and am not really sure how I would applique by machine since the table runner is all quilted and bound. I suppose it wouldn't be a bad thing to see the machine stitches on the back. I think if I hand applique, the stitches won't even show.

Here's a few pictures of my ornaments while I was working on them. I used freezer paper which I then basted while turning the edge under.


You can see my basting stitches on the larger pieces. I just appliqued the gold embellishment onto the larger piece. I took the freezer paper out of the gold pieces before I finished my applique. Five more ornaments to go. I find it so relaxing. I'm sitting on the couch with the cat near me while I stitch and watch tv! What could be better?!
I went to Barnes & Noble today and found quite the surprise! Look!!
It's a knit magazine devoted to the time period of Downton Abbey! Such gorgeous projects.. It's very similar to Jane Austen Knits which comes out next month. More to look forward to!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Christmas Gifts

I've decided to start working on some Christmas gifts early this year. I had high hopes last year but started too late. I guess I learned my lesson. I've started by making a few scarves. I love the black with gold accents. It's quite elegant but so easy to make! I'm planning on giving this to one of my childhood friends.

The colors came out a bit too bright on this one. It is purple but not quite as vibrant. I'm hoping to give this scarf to my friend's college age daughter. I love how popular scarves have become. If you're thinking of making one, Jo-Ann's has a ton of new ruffled yarn. They're even in Christmas colors! I may have to buy a few more. These are always great to have in your stash. They can be made in as little as an afternoon.

While I've been busily knitting on the couch, Lily has been watching me and taking her usual cat naps! What a life!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fast and Furious!

I made this table runner in two days! That's a record for me. I learned two new techniques with this project. I learned bargello and quilt-as-you go! I was a little nervous when I first started it but the directions made sense and I caught on right away. The pattern is by Ann Lauer and her directions were excellent.  I think it looks much harder than it actually is.

I sewed together 20 strips, 2 1/2 inches wide in a specific order. I made 2 sets of 10 strips that were identical  except for the direction of the seam allowances.  I made a tube of each set. Then I followed a cutting guide. I would alternate cutting strips between the 2 tubes. The seam allowances always fit perfectly and nicely since they were pressed in opposite directions.

I also bought a flannel with a grid to help keep the strips nice and straight. There were 41 strips in all. It went so fast. The best thing is that it's all quilted when you're done! I'm in the process of putting the binding on it now. 

The next step is to applique ornaments and bows. I'll enjoy working on the applique by hand.  I'm so glad it will be all ready for Christmas! I was hoping to work on it last year but never got to it.

So it looks like I have a hand project now that I have this table runner to applique. I also have a piecing project I'm working on. I'll post pictures as I make more progress.  And last but not least, I'm making progress on machine quilting my Pinwheels and Posies quilt. I guess that's enough. I can't start anything else for awhile.

Almost forgot to show my assistant helping me throughout the process! She had to keep everything nice and warm with her fur!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Great Day Off!

 Not sure if you all know, but I work most Saturdays.  Having a Saturday off is a real treat for me! And, yes, I was off yesterday! I had such a nice day. I thought I would write about it since it was so fun for me.

First of all, I didn't have to get up early! So nice. I have friends who go to a quilt shop monthly for a class and yesterday was the day! I met them there. I got to shop and walk around Quilter's Way in Acton, MA.  I bought some Aurifil thread. It's about half an hour from my house. Due to construction, it took longer than expected but I still got there! I love this plaza. I also got to visit a few other shops.

I got to shop at a really nice yarn shop. They carry the finest yarns available. I bought a nice self striping sock yarn. I'm not sure if I should make a shawl or socks with it.  You can see too!

Isn't it pretty??  I really love the different blues.

The best part of the day took place in the coffee shop! All three of us sat down and had coffee together.  So nice to sit and talk with friends. We're all around the same age and are all quilters. We had plenty to talk about! Thank you, Gwen, Linda and Marlene! Hope you had as much fun as I did!

For dinner, my husband and I went out to a local restaurant. A great ending to a perfect day off!

Monday, September 9, 2013

What have I been up to??

I've been slowly quilting this quilt. I thought it was going to go fast but it's quite slow! I'm meandering the background and outlining the flowers. I figured I would meander between the flowers, outline and move on.  Hmm, not so fast! I do build up speed but then have to slow down to outline.  It's really difficult to sew at any great speed since the flowers are rather close. I do like how it's coming out. Just a bit tedious!

Here's a close up.

I'm also working on a Christmas table runner.

I'm making the top one. It's a bargello quilt as you go pattern. I've never tried bargello and I've never tried quilt as you go.  I have 2 tubes of fabric strips sewn. I'm getting the backing and batting ready. This seems like a slow process to me too! I think it will make more sense when I get to the actual sewing.

Tomorrow night is the first guild meeting of the new year. I've missed it and am looking forward to seeing everyone!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

EQ Summer Drawing Series Block 4

This is the last block of the EQ Summer Drawing Series. It was a 4 block series but I only made 3 of the blocks.  I knew I wanted to make a table runner and 4 blocks would have been too big. The blocks measure 12.5 inches square. Once sashing and borders are added, the size was more appropriate using 3 blocks. The block I didn't make was an applique block. I've done a lot of applique so I didn't mind not making it. I did complete the lesson using EQ. I just hope I don't forget what I learned this summer! There's so much you can do with this software. It's really amazing!

Here's my completed table runner! It's already on my table. I feel like it's still early for a fall table runner but I couldn't resist! It looks great on my kitchen table. I'm so glad I made it! I'll be linking up to the EQ blog. Go visit here and take a look at all the other beautiful blocks!

Old and New!

I made this quilt about 15 years ago. It's called Starry Night. I signed up for a Block of the Month. I would receive directions as...