Tuesday, January 24, 2012

In a Sea of Purple

I had some unexpected free time on Saturday afternoon.  It was snowing out and I spent the day doing a few chores (house cleaning - ugh!) and having some quilt fun.  I sat at my sewing machine on my brand new sewing chair (a Christmas gift) and sewed together more of those 1" squares that will the the checkerboard sashing for the Florabunda blocks.

I had taped a ruler to the machine bed to make sure that I had consistent 1/4" seams.  When your blocks are 1" finished, being a little off will show, so I'm trying to be as consistent as possible.  But, with the ruler taped to the machine, I was having a hard time getting to the bobbin case.  This wasn't a terrible hardship, just a bit of a pain.  So, I went on-line looking for accessories to my machine that I could attach to the throat plate with a screw that had an adjustable barrier to make consistent seam lines.  When I couldn't find anything suitable, I decided that my old treadle machine came with every attachment available at the time.

So, I looked in the drawer and found just what I was looking for.  I also found a "Quilt Wizard" foot that I had received as a Christmas gift a few years ago.  This foot has a little guide that gives you a consistent scant 1/4" seam.  It works wonderfully and I had forgotten all about it.  My only complaint is that I cannot engage the walking foot when using this.  I may have to perform some surgery on this foot to allow the walking foot to work, too.  But, I'm happy that the purple sections are coming together.  I may get to hand quilt this top yet!.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Two Socks!

The socks are completed!

They were fun and pretty quick to do.  I've been working on so many large, long term quilts lately, that I've really enjoyed the couple of small, quick projects I've completed.  The details of the socks:  Deborah Norville Serenity Sock Weight yarn, super fine of 50% wool, 25% bamboo and 25% nylon in Aquamarine color.  This was the least expensive sock weight yarn that JoAnn's had to offer.  I didn't want to sink a lot of cash into something I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy or use.  I am quickly finding out that you can spend LOTS of money on yarn.

One funny thing I found this week was a posting from Judy Laquidara on her blog (http://www.patchworktimes.com/) telling about some completed socks using this exact yarn and at least one more reader of her blog commented that she just finished a pair, too.  So I guess we're all in the New Aquamarine Sock club.

I'm trying hard not to go overboard, but I did go back to JoAnn's and get two more sets of double pointed needles, a cable needle and two more skeins of yarn.   I'm getting bold because this is a little thicker yarn.  I'm planning to try another pattern that I saw that has a simple cable running up the front.    I haven't started yet.  I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Socks and Other Projects

Just a little update on what I've been up to lately (but not necessarily in chronological order)...

First, I finished the sock and started on its partner.  What's even more exciting is that it fits!  What I'm a little afraid of, however, is that I won't like the feel on my feet.  It is definitely different from the mostly cotton socks I usually wear.  I'm reserving judgement until I get both of them done and wear them for more than the few seconds when I tried the first one on.

This is a thread catcher that I made some time before Christmas.  I was having thread catcher envy from all the ladies who I went on the last quilting retreat with.  They all had these beautiful thread catchers made with fun, brightly colored fabrics.  I decided I wanted one made from Laurel Burch cat fabric.  No, I don't own any of that fabric, but that doesn't stop us, right?  You may have noticed that this particular thread catcher has no visible cats on it.  I went looking for the fabric of my dreams, and came up short.  The fabric I had in mind is no longer in print.  And, when I went searching for it on the internet, I found it was more expensive than gold.  So, I raided my stash and cut into some of that sacred fabric I had bought many, many, many years ago with no project in mind and was afraid to cut into.  Irises are my favorite flower.  This was a good project for the fabric because I'll get to see it often.  And, frankly, I don't LOVE the fabric nearly as much as I did 20 years ago.

Another true confession... I am obsessed with boxes, bags and other storage things.  I could spend obscene amounts of money at the Container Store.  They don't have to have anything in them, but for some reason I like containers.  

When I saw this at the Quilter's Gathering in November, I bought the pattern knowing I had to make one or more of these cute little bags.  Here she is.  Now I have no idea of what to do with it.  It's a bit on the small size (about 9" from tip to tip and 5" tall) and because of the shape and stiff interfacing (Timtex) doesn't want to stay open.  Currently I'm using it to hold my sock knitting, but it's a bit small for that because the needles stick out.  Maybe with a floppier interfacing, it would be easier to stay open.  Any ideas on a good use for a small bag?

Friday, January 6, 2012


I've seen a few of my friends at quilt guild meetings knitting socks and I became intrigued.  I've been reading a few blogs where the author has knit socks and I became obsessed.  I've put off doing anything about knitting socks because it's been 23 years since I've knit anything.  (I knitted a sweater for myself when I was expecting my daughter.  That's why I know precisely how old that sweater is.)  I don't have any knitting supplies (I gave them all to afore mentioned daughter when she dabbled in knitting a few years ago), and socks look reasonably complicated.

But I keep thinking about knitting socks (I'm obsessing, remember?).  So I asked for some supplies for Christmas and my darling daughter complied.  She got me a book and a gift certificate for supplies.  I picked up needles and yarn before New Year's Eve and got started.

Here's a few shots of my progress:

Working on the heel flap.

 Forming a heel.

Working down to the toe.

I'm really enjoying this, even though I've had to do quite a bit of ripping to get the pattern correct.  But, I'm having fun!