Friday, August 22, 2014

40% off -- can't say no to that

The trip with Linda to the quilt shop closing its doors was definitely a big success.  I really can't remember the last time I've purchased fabric, so..... the way I see it, I can justify this loot! ;)  
Eight yards of orange that'll be destined for backing on my Celtic Solstice
9 3/4 yards reserved for the backing of Hawaii Sunset
and all the rest.... stash.

Once home, I was feeling a bit drained, but I turned on Break Dawn, Part 2 as background noise and got busy piecing backing and batting for Berquist Beauty.  By the time the credits were rolling, the backing was pieced, batting pieced, backing/batting/top loaded on the frame, and the first path of quilting completed.  A bit over 2 hours just to prep the final stages for quilting.  Such a process.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Berquist Beauty - top done; crocheted dishcloths

Berquist Beauty - 105" x 105"
My sister and BIL's quilt had been resting on the sidelines downstairs, awaiting the final four seam lines to put the top center together.  Between Bonnie's QuiltCam Monday night, and another half hour tonight, the final 3.5" brown borders were attached.   It has joined the pile of LARGE quilts resting on the carpeted basement area, awaiting fabric selections for backings.  I truly feel I'm going to search out some wide backing (108" and/or 116/120") for the two king-sized quilt tops that have been finished recently.  {{Celtic Soltice, in addition to Berquist Beauty}}

Tomorrow, Linda and I are road tripping to a town 30-or-so miles to the west.  Sadly, a quilt shop is closing its doors, and we're going to head there to check out what's included in the 40-75% sales.   We're going to enjoy the day regardless if we come away with any great deals or not.  School is right around the corner (she teaches in the 3-6 wing of our district's school building), and we've never road tripped together before.  I'm sure the day away will be enjoyed by both of us, and we'll do our best to leave the school-related chatter to a minimum ;)

Last Friday, my parents made a detour for a short visit with us before traveling on to their weekend getaway at a neighbor's cabin 'up north.'  As grandparents often do, they had purchased some school supplies/shoes/clothes for the girls that needed to be delivered.  (And yes!  My sister was involved with that shopping spree as well.  The family truly helps out with our girls so much!!!)
I'm not exactly sure how one of my crocheted dishcloths ended up as the topic of conversation, but Mom hinted about wanting some for Christmas.  I sent her on her way with a couple that I had in my linen drawer;  I'm not a bit fan of the cotton yarn dishcloths; at least the YARNS that I've tried so far -- maybe she'll end up liking them more than me.  There really IS a difference in yarns, and I haven't found a yarn I like yet for dishcloths.  

With another ball of Sugar 'n Cream left in my stash, I made up another cloth with a new pattern (Granny Dishcloth).  I LIKE this pattern!!!  Now to just find the right yarn.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Hawaii Sunset top done; new project (really?!?!!?)

Hawaii Sunset (c. 1845).  90" x 90"
Almost 2 years from the day I began the Hawaii Sunset (1845) adventure, the top is finished.
This started as a twisting of the arm idea between a couple of online quilting friends:  Andee and Andra.  I budged my big ol' butt into inviting myself to join them, and we worked out the math with all the units needed and turned it into a small block-unit swap between the three of us.
Andra has long finished her version;  Andee is still plugging along with hers.  In fact, part of Andee's Around the World blog hop post today talks about her progress in Hawaii Sunset.  She's nominated me to participate in next Monday's postings, so watch for that.  

In fact, it's Andee's nomination that kick-started my quilting progress again.  THANKS ANDEE!

Another neat fact...
The Sundae Quilter (Nancy) and I quilt-skyped for the very first time back on the day I began working on Hawaii Sunset.  In a crazy twist of fate, she and I skyped yet again yesterday as I was working on the final seams.  Kinda cool.
Nancy and I have both shared conversations about aspects of blogging.  I truly can't believe I only posted THREE TIMES in July this year!  Wha???  But, I just didn't feel like it.  Taking pictures, editing pictures, writing posts.... it all takes time.  I had/have been posting loads to my FaceBook account.  Finding time to duplicate it all to the blog just didn't interest me.  But... I think I'll be back.  

One PRO about keeping the blog:  It's an EXCELLENT journal!  Truly!  I love being able to trek back into years past just to see the timeline of my quilting projects, the progress of the garden, the changes in the family, etc...

Let's go back to Andee for a moment, shall we?!?!?........

A-hem.... yes.  Our dear Andee simply MUST accept at LEAST 90% of the blame for this.  
A NEW PROJECT?!?!?!  REALLY!?!?!?!?   AS IF I don't have a bazillion-n-a-half other projects/UFOs/WIPs!
However, my plan is to treat this as a Leader-Ender.
The colors definitely have meaning:  being a Wisconsinite, I simply have to make at least ONE Green Bay Packer quilt in my lifetime :)
After a quick google search, I was lead rather quickly to the following blogpost: Shirley Anne's Heart.  The jewel pattern shown on her post is my inspirational picture for this project.  I LOVE jewel patterns!  

Let's wrap up this post with a lovely comment towards two amazing online friends!
Recall one of the few July posts I wrote, where Caitlyn was determined to knit by using sharpened pencils!  The picture was posted to my Facebook page, and two wonderful ladies jumped into action!  I've often read stories about people doing kind acts, but I've never been on the recipient end of such acts.

Judy and Nancy both sent packages of hooks and yarn for Caitlyn to enjoy and start her down a REAL path of knitting...

THANKS ladies!  You are simply amazing!

It TRULY is wonderful what our technological world has allowed to happen!  There are many of you I've come to know over the past 7 years of my online experience, and I enjoy our online friendship just as much (if not more) as some of my face-to-face friendships.

Happy Monday.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Red Heart Prairie Star progress [Crochet]

I've been continuing to put more time into crocheting lately than quilting.  After spending some time perusing Ravelry Tuesday AM, I was compelled to jump into a new project despite having a few WIPs going.  I swear, my crochet world is slowly starting to look like my quilting world!   But when a project screams and pleads to you to be made, what'cha gonna do?!??!?  
Red Heart's Prairie Star [Red Heart link | Ravelry link | YouTube series] caught my eye.  It reminds me so much of a Lonestar quilt.  One feature I love about Ravelry is the ability to look through projects others had made.  Color combination after color combination, but the original color grouping still pleased me most.  I love greens.
So, I dug through the small stash that I've accumulated so far since my crocheting addiction began last summer...

And I jumped in, full steam ahead.
This is a join-as-you-go project; definitely have grown to like this method if it involved motifs/units that need to be attached.  The joining method took me a bit of stitching and frogging (crocheters slang for removing stitches);  the directions were a bit wordy.  Eventually, the lightbulb went on--duh!  Easy peasy.  I had found the YouTube video series and tuned into the clip that explained the joining method. The footage is a bit dark, but it did verify I had figured out the join correctly.

The motifs have become second nature now, 54 diamonds into the project.  Each diamond takes about 9 minutes to stitch, join, and sew in the ends.  So....54 motifs x 9 minutes = ~8-9 hours of time already invested.

I know there are ladies who set timers for 10 minutes in order to get some quilting/sewing time in.  I figure if I can get at least a couple motifs in everyday, this'll eventually see a finish. :)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2014 - August greens [RSC14]

Trying to get back into the swing of things in my sewing room! ... and the blog ;)

It's a Saturday!  And I've sewed!