Leo’s Mane Sew Along

Friday 31 May 2013

Pooling socks challenge.

Today is the day that the final pictures of the socks Judy challenged us to make here are due. The challenge was to choose a yarn that we thought would pool, I chose an Antonia yarn.

We were then tp take a picture of the yarn  on a March calender to show that it was a new pair of  socks being made.

 Here's a picture of my final product on my feet. I used a set of double pointed needles, size 2.75mm and cast on 60 stitches. I played around with the tension as I was knitting in order to try to control where the colours were landing. I love the effect. The next time this type of yarn goes on sale, I'll have to get some more.
 Here's a flat picture of the socks facing one way,
and facing the other way. I like the way the colours pooled on these. And, considering this is only the third pair of socks I've made, I'm very happy with them. I'm linking up to the reveal post at Judy's Patchwork Times.

Thursday 30 May 2013

Getting it done challenge

For the month of May, my goals were:

1. Catch up on Grandmother's Choice block of the week. I'm not caught up, but I have more done now than I did at the beginning of the month, so I'll count this as partial success.

2. Paper piece 10 border units for Cactus Rose. I did 8 of them, so I'm going to count this one as success, too.

3. Finish step 2 of Lazy Sunday Mystery. Not done. :-(
4. Do 2 blocks for Thanksgiving quilt. Didn't even open the box. :-(
5. Quilt Endless Chain. Done!
6. Bind Disappearing Nine Patch. Not done, but I did bind Endless Chain, so I'm going to declare this one as a success, since I did get a quilt bound, just not the one I said I would. And Endless Chain was a lot more difficult to bind, with all the irregular edges.
And, considering the challenge, stated by Judy here says to list 4 things, and I listed 6, I'm going to consider myself as achieving May's goals.

Now, for June:
1. Finish step 2 of Lazy Sunday Mystery, and begin step 3.
2. Continue with catching up with Grandmother's Choice block of the week.
3. Continue working on Meteor Shower.

4. Quilt and bind Gratitude.
 I'll be linking up to the Getting it Done Challenge post at Patchwork Times when the link up is posted. It's up and posted here.

Tuesday 28 May 2013

Note to self...

Do not work on projects that require the brain to be fully engaged when I know my brain is not fully engaged.
 That star in the upper left corner is supposed to have 4 blue points and 4 orange points. The offending piece is already sewn in place, and I'm not ripping all those seams out.
I'm going to take an orange diamond and applique it over the blue one. And then I'm going to find something to do that requires no thought at all.

Customer quilt

I'm sitting here in my chair, looking out the window and enjoying the sight and the sound of the rain. There is something soothing in it, especially the quiet but constant spring rain that comes just in time to water what was planted yesterday. I woke up with a headache this morning, at about 6:30, and it took 2 Maxalts and an Advil and 2 cups of coffee, but it's finally gone, six hours later. So I'm a bit late and a bit fuzzy getting started with my day. And I had such great plans for getting all kinds of stuff done today, too...... sigh.

Charlene picked up her finished quilts last night, so
now I can show a picture of it. There was a baby quilt as well, but for some reason, I didn't get a picture of that one. She probably wouldn't mind if I posted pictures of her quilts before she picks them up, but I figure it's not fair that others get to see them before she does. This one was made from fabrics that she purchased at the fabric party Gail had last spring, sponsored by the online store Mad About Patchwork. I think Charlene said that the pattern for this quilt was out of a Fons and Porter magazine, but I'm not 100% sure about that. Anyway, the whole quilt is done in continuous curves, with the curves extending into the white fabric echoing the piecing. Thanks, Charlene, it's always a pleasure working with you.

Monday 27 May 2013

Design Wall Monday, May 27, 2013

I had hoped to get some more work done today on the Meteor Showers block I started the other day, but events today decided otherwise. So it still looks the same.
 I had a meeting this afternoon at one, that took up a large chunk of the afternoon. Then, after the meeting, Scott and I decided that today was a good day to go out and pick up some annuals for the flower garden around the one tree in the back yard. The forecast for tomorrow and the next day is for rain and thunder storms, so we took advantage of the one nice day.
 After picking up the flowers and having supper, there was time to put in the flowers before Charlene came to pick up her quilts at 7 this evening. I didn't get any pictures of the finished planting, though. I do have a picture of Charlene's quilt, that I'll do a separate post about.

Then Scott and I decided that the weather was still good enough to be able to get out and get a good walking workout in. We now live less than a 5 minute drive from the best park in the city, Springbank Park. It is a huge park that follows the river for miles. It's like not even being in the city at all. I'm hoping, on days when the weather is good, to get in a daily walk there. So, it is now 9 pm and nothing quilty has yet been accomplished today. But, once I post this and link it to Judy's Design wall Monday, that is going to change. Maybe I'll be able to get the last of the pieces for this blocks assembled and the block put together.

Sunday 26 May 2013

Stash Report, Week 21, 2013.

After 2 days of cutting for a new quilt this past week, I can report more fabric usage, and no fabric income. Now, I must confess that there might need to be something coming in to add to the lights for this new quilt. But it will be a while before I get enough of it sewn before I find out if I have to go out and buy some. I'm hoping to get some more sewing on the first block done tomorrow, and maybe even another one started, before I post for the design wall Monday, so I can show one finished block and maybe the beginnings of another. In the meantime, I have to work this afternoon, so this will be a quickie post.

Used this week:                                      5.2 yards
Used this year:                                      68.4 yards
Added this week:                                      0 yards
Added this year:                               131.25 yards
Balance:                                              62.85 yards more in than out. I've passed the halfway mark in using up what I've brought in, so that's not too bad, even though that isn't necessarily my purpose or focus. It's just kind of fun to see where the numbers are going.
I'm linking up to Judy's Stash Report.

Friday 24 May 2013

Friday catch up

I've been really busy this week, working on customer quilts. I finished Charlene's, and loaded Maureen's Easy Street. I can't show  a pic of Charlene's until she picks them up, but I can show a sneak peak of Maureen's.

I spent a large part of Wednesday evening and yesterday cutting the fabrics to start making Meteor Shower. Last night I finally had enough cut to be able to begin sewing. This one requires the total engagement of the brain in order to make sure that all the colours are in the right place and that none of the units are turned the wrong way. I found that out the hard way, which involved a couple of sessions of unsewing. But I am lovin' what I'm seein'. One of the light blues in the light blue star section is a bit too pale, but I have something in my stash that can replace that particular fabric. This pattern is my Newfo for May. I hadn't thought I'd get much more done on it, since we were planning on going away next week. Those plans have since changed, so there is a whole week left to sew on these, and also some other things. Right now, I'm going to pull out my Grandmother's Choice box, and piece together 2 blocks, and see if I can't keep doing 2 per week until I'm caught up.

Monday 20 May 2013

Design Wall Monday, May 20, 2013

I have the results on my design wall of working on some of my getting it done goals. First off are some of the border units arranged around Cactus Rose. Eight done, 28 left to go. I haven't decided if I will sew the curved seams as I go, or wait until they are all done, and then have a marathon curved piecing session. Then comes the decision on how to quilt it.

And I managed to get 2 more of the Grandmother's Choice hand pieced blocks finished. The umbrella, and the 7 pointed star down at the bottom left. The umbrella is, unfortunately, upside down, but I'm not taking it out. I'm still behind on this one, but it's coming. Out of 49 blocks, I have 28 done. I really like the way this is looking. Seeing it here just might give me the motivation to get caught up. Maybe if I do 2 blocks a week. That shouldn't be too hard, says she who is having trouble even getting one a week done these days. LOL!
I'm linking up to Judy's Design Wall Monday. Lots of fun eye candy over there today.

Sunday 19 May 2013

Stash Report, week 20, 2013, and a little hand stitching as well.

One of my getting it done challenge goals for myself this month was to get the borders for Cactus Rose started. Well, this past week, before we went away, I got the cutting for them done, and some of the paper piecing started. I'm hoping to maybe get more done today, so I'll have progress to show tomorrow for Design wall Monday, which is a great motivator.

Used this week:                                               4.5 yards
Used this year:                                               63.2 yards
Added this week:                                                0 yards
Added this year:                                          131.25 yards
Balance:                                                           68.05 more yards in than out.

That balance number is coming down nicely. All I have to do is resist pushing any more "checkout now" buttons, and it should continue to come down. But we all know that's not going to happen.
I got the opportunity to sit outside in the yard yesterday for a bit, and plan on doing more today, during which time I was able to do a little hand stitching on one of the Grandmother's Choice blocks.
It's a Seven Pointed Star for Australia. It has a lot of really odd shapes, and I debated for quite some time with myself exactly how to approach it. I finally decided on English paper piecing. It seems to be working OK, but I think simple hand piecing after drawing the lines on the backs of the pieces would have been easier. It looks a little wonky right now, but once it is done, and the cardboard shapes removed, and it is pressed and trimmed, hopefully it will look the way it is supposed to.
I'm linking up to Judy's Stash Report and Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching.

Saturday 18 May 2013

We're home again, and a good time was had by all.

We made it in at about 10:30 last night after a good time out camping for the first time this year. But I must say it was COLD!! Winter is hanging on way too long in these parts. We saw some interesting things up in Grundy Lake Provincial park, including some of these:
Bear tracks down on one of the beaches. We never saw or heard the owner of these tracks. They were pretty small, so we think it might have been a very young one. But these were the only tracks we saw, none that were bigger that could have belonged to a mama bear. Oh, and those other tracks that are in that picture belong to moose.
After we picked Noel up from the theater in Sudbury, we headed off to Awenda Provincial park. Unfortunately, we didn't realize we were going in the wrong direction until Noel mentioned something about a sign saying something about the distance to Sault St. Marie. Oops........ After some map consulting, and some turning around in the right direction, we ended up about taking 1 1/2 hours longer to get to the park than we thought. That, unfortunately had us arriving after dark, in a completely empty park, trying to find a campsite that had the hydro post in a position that would work for our trailer and its 15 foot long plug in cord. We did find one, and then came the challenge of backing the trailer onto the site, in the dark, directed by flashlights in order to miss backing into the trees and the rocks. Noel did a great job of that, and we finally got all set up and settled and the heater on. One big bonus of the cold temperatures..... no mosquitos.
We spent the next 2 days visiting with Avery. What a lovely, sweet and happy boy he is.

 He loves Thomas the Tank Engine, and has lot of the railway toys and characters that go with them, and he can name most of them. There is a large square, Avery height table in their living room that has buildings and tracks on it for all his railway stuff. And under the table are all his trucks and cars that he loves to play with.

We went out to dinner with them for his birthday on Friday, and, for the most part, he was good as gold. He got a little restless at times, but nothing too bad. He spent most of the time playing with his car and fire engine and the crayons.
It was so good to see him again. It took him a while to warm up and get used to us again. But by the end of our visit he was comfortable and was freely giving out hugs and kisses. I get to talk to him again tomorrow on skype, and I'm sure there will be more Avery visits during the summer and fall.
Today was spent unpacking, although Scott did most of that. I find travelling, and sitting in one place in the car exhausting, and I'm not sure why that is, and have taken most of today to rest, and to go through all the photos and pick out the best ones. I miss him already..........

Tuesday 14 May 2013

We're here....

And the first thing we saw when we pulled into the campground was a sign saying "active bears in campground" Oh oh, guess that means all food stays in the car and not in the trailer. The next thing we saw, but I wasn't fast enough to get a picture were a couple of young moose calmly trotting down the road of the campground. They stopped, and turned around to look at us as if to say, "Hey you.... what are you doing here on our turf?"
We found a campsite, not too hard at this time of year, we saw 2 other campsites in the whole area occupied, got set up, and went for a walk. There are trilliums everywhere!!

The whole area is carpeted with trilliums. They are everywhere. The pictures don't come close to doing them justice.
We walked down to the lake, and I'm pretty sure that's a loon. But we haven't heard it calling, so maybe it's only a duck. The picture is as zoomed as I could get.
It's about 15 past 9 at night, and so far we're not too cold. We have one heater going, and 3 quilts on the bed, with another heater, and more quilts available if necessary. I'm so excited to be seeing our son again tomorrow. And dare I say it, even more excited to be seeing Avery on Thursday. I wish we could stay and visit with Avery longer, but Noel has to be at his new job on Saturday, so it's a flying visit this time. But there's lots of summer left for more camping and more Avery visits. 

 Oh, and the sock?? The leg is done, and the heel flap is started. I have a couple of other pairs of hand knit socks with me, to keep my feet cozy and warm, and this pair should be done in the next day or 2. It's a good thing I can knit without watching what I'm doing. Once the rain stopped, it was such a lovely drive. Some of the trees are just starting to leaf out here, and they are such a pretty shade of fresh spring green. And there is something about the rocks of the Canadian shield that are just so fascinating, the colours, and the patterns. I want to get some pictures of them before we go home. I'm thinking that those colours, made up into some kind of bargello type pattern would be stunning. Something that would echo and remind me of the ribbons of colour through the rocks. Maybe using Stonehenge fabrics. I've been eyeing those fabrics, wanting to do something with them for a long time now, so this could be it. And, thinking about it now, we have the other computer, that has the electric quilt program on it with us here at the campsite. Hmmmmm............

We're on our way

On our way to Sudbury to pick up Noel. I have a sock I'm working on in the car as we drive. It will be interesting to see how much of it I can have done by the time we get there.

Monday 13 May 2013

Design Wall Monday, May 13, 2013

Another Monday, and still nothing new up on my design wall. I've been working on bits of things, but not enough to actually put up and show. I did start some of the paper pieced arc units for Cactus Rose yesterday. I have 8 of them partly done. I need 36.
Today has been spent doing our pre first camping trip of the year running around. We're heading up to the Sudbury area tomorrow to pick up our son, Noel, and to also spend some time with our grandson Avery, who turns 2 on Friday. It should be an interesting trip, considering the weather is calling for a low of 3 degrees Celsius tomorrow night. It was ice pelleting here yesterday. I'm wondering if there might still be snow in the campground. Wouldn't that be an interesting experience? There won't be too many people there this time of year, so getting a hydro site will be easy, which means we can have the heaters running, good thing. The rest of today is going to be spent getting stuff organized and packed into the car, so all we have to do in the morning is put in the food, the last minute things and then head out. I don't think I'll be taking any sewing with me, this time, just lots of knitting.
I'm linking up to Judy's Design wall Monday. Lots of interesting and fun stuff to see.

Sunday 12 May 2013

Stash Report week 19, 2013

I did more sewing this week, on the Lazy Sunday Mystery, which meant more cutting into fabrics. That part didn't amount to very much, considering the small pieces Bonnie Hunter uses. But if there are enough small pieces, it eventually adds up. Then, I bound a quilt, and made a backing for another. The backing made the numbers grow. And I resisted yet another ad from Thousands of Bolts for a sale on fabric for less than $4.95 per yard..... so far at least. *giggle*

Used this week:                                6.1 yards
Used this year:                                 58.7 yards
Added this week:                             0 yards
Added this year:                              131.25 yards
Balance:                                           72.55 more yards in than out.

I've been looking at the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the month, and have realized I'd better get working on them.

1. Catch up on Grandmother's Choice. The weather is getting nicer, so I can do some of the hand pieced squares that I'm behind on while outside. 
     - I started English Paper piecing one of the blocks, which was quite the challenge. But the weather has turned cold again, so outside sewing will have to wait. It was ice pelleting out there about 10 minutes ago!! I find I need the natural light these days to do hand piecing. Even the amount of light coming in the window doesn't quite cut it.
2. Paper piece 10 of the border units for Cactus Rose. Maybe if I break this down into smaller sections, it won't seem quite so overwhelming.
   -haven't touched it....... maybe today
3. Finish step 2 of the Lazy Sunday Mystery.  
     -working on it
4. Do 2 more blocks for Thanksgiving Quilt
      -haven't touched it
5. Quilt Endless Chain 
6. Bind Disappearing Nine Patch.
    -haven't touched it, but I did bind Endless chain, so maybe I can substitute? But I'd still like to get this done.
Maybe I should write this list out, and post it n the fridge where I can see it. That might focus me a bit.
I'm linking up to Judy's Stash Report

Friday 10 May 2013

Endless Chain is finished

It's finished!! After checking back on earlier posts about this quilt - one of the many bonuses about blogging is being able to track progress on different projects - I discovered that I started this quilt in March of 2010, so it's been over 3 years in the making. This is a pattern that I originally saw on the front cover of a book by Emilie Richards, called Endless Chain. A number of years ago, at least 4 or 5, I found a series of books by Emilie Richards called the Shenandoah Album series,  5 books that follow a group of friends in a small community. Of course, quilts figure strongly in the books. If you have never read any of her books, I highly recommend them, by the way. All the books in the series are named after quilts, and when I saw the picture of this quilt on the cover,

I fell immediately in love with it, and sent away for the companion book to the novel that had the instructions for this quilt.  In the original quilt on the cover of the book, the coloured wedges were done with a striped fabric. I decided to make my own stripes, and string pieced all the wedges. I think this is one of the most challenging quilts I have ever made. The block units are all hexagons, so there were lots of set in "Y" seams. But I am so glad I persevered with it and got it done. This one is going to live on our bed.
I decided to keep going with the stripes theme on the backing, and pulled all the striped fat quarters I had for the backing. And them I used a diagonally printed stripe for the binding. All in all, a wonderfully satisfying feeling to have it done. And to make it better, I think this is my first finish for this year. I'll be linking up to Finish it up Friday and Can I get a Whoop Whoop for the first, but hopefully not the last time this year.

Thursday 9 May 2013

Charlene's Spinning Four Patch

I finished one of Charlene's quilts on Tuesday, but this is the first chance I've had to write about it. It's a gorgeous version of the Spinning four patch design. I love the colours she used, and how she framed each block with the beige or the teal blue colour. I used the pantograph Northern Star, by Patricia Ritter. I love the texture and movement this pantograph has. I've used it a lot lately, and it seems to fit in a lot of applications.

Sunday 5 May 2013

Stash report, Week 18 2013

There was stash usage this week. I pieced a backing out of fat quarters for my Endless Chain quilt. I didn't get a picture of the backing before I loaded it, though. It used up 23 fat quarters that have been in my stash for quite some time that I was never quite sure what to to with, all with some sort of stripe. There wasn't enough of some of them to do anything with the stripe, so this is where they've ended up. I tried getting a picture of it on the machine, but i didn't work out too well, so the picture will have to wait until it comes off. The good news is that I've broken the 50 yards used mark. Woohoo! If I keep this up, I'll be over 150 yards used at the end of the year. This is my 3rd year of doing stash reports and looking back both last year and the year before my usage numbers at the end of the year were in the 160's. I'd like to beat that this year, if I can.

Used this week:                    6.3 yards
Used this year:                   52.6 yards
Added this week:                    0 yards
Added this year:               131.25 yards
Balance:                             78.65 more yards in than out.

I got an email this week from the store Thousands of Bolts, advertising over 4500 fat quarters. You should be proud of me. I deleted it, and didn't go look, otherwise that fabric added number would have gone up, again. I have to work this afternoon, so this is just a short one. I'm linking up to Judy's Patchwork Times.

Saturday 4 May 2013

Endless Chain

I've been working on one of my very old UFO's the last couple of days. Endless Chain, which is my adaptation of a pattern by Emilie Richards. Here's what it looks like so far, just a close up, sneak peak tease. I'm doing some continuous curves and some figure 8's inside the individual wedges. The overall effect is starting to look like it will enhance the overall effect of the chain. The boundaries between the blocks, never very easy to find to begin with, are completely disappearing, which is exactly what I wanted. I'll just have to leave you with this tease, since it is 2 in the afternoon, and I have to leave for work in 30 minutes.

Thursday 2 May 2013

Customer Quilts

I've been doing quite a bit of customer quilting lately, but I haven't had a chance before now to sit down and go through the pictures and show them. But I have some time this morning, so I thought I'd do that now.

 This first quilt belongs to Gail. She blogs over at The Cozy Quilter, and she also showed a picture of this quilt, and also her Great Granny Squares that I did for her, but didn't get a picture of. (Wow, that's really bad grammar and sentence structure). This quilt is from Bonnie Hunter's free patterns, and is Bricks and Stepping Stones. It's quilted with the pantograph Leaf Pile, by Donna Reinarts. The picture below is the backing, pieced with some of Gail's leftover blocks. I've noticed in the past year, or so, that pieced backings like this, or even more intricate, are becoming quite popular.

 This quilt belongs to Maureen. She is a new customer, to me, and I'm very glad to be able to work on her quilt. It is also a Bonnie Hunter pattern, from one of her books. It is quilted with an overall pattern called Square Spiral, designed by Keryn Emmerson. One of the many bonuses of purchasing patterns like this as digital downloads, is the ability to do them up to the size that is in scale with the quilt they are being used for. I have another Square Spiral pantograph, but the scale was too big for the small pieces in this quilt.

 The next 2 quilts belong to Sandra. They are both baby quilts. This one was done with an overall loops and hearts design.

 This one is a panel. Unfortunately, the colours are a bit washed out in this picture, so the details on the panel are hard to see. It's a village scene, and has cars, and the word "vroom" in spots on the panel. The pantograph "Hotwheels" by Dave Hudson, was perfect for this one.

Thanks for looking. I'm going to try and be more consistent in taking pictures, and writing about the quilts that I do, as long as the owners give me permission.

Wednesday 1 May 2013

May Newfo

I got so excited yesterday, after posting the pictures of this quilt that I want to start this month, that I went to my drawers of fabric, and starting pulling colours.
 I need bright and pastel oranges,

 bright and pastel blues,
 bright and pastel purples. These look more blue here than purple. But they are purples.
 Bright and pastel pinks,
and bright and pastel greens. I'm not sure exactly when I'm actually going to start cutting and sewing for this quilt, But these are going into a project box all their own, to bake and simmer and shake around some more. I want to check my various sized strip boxes, as well.
The next thing to find is about 20 some odd different creams and beiges and tans. When I find those, and as I find them, I'll add them to this project box. It's going to be hard not starting on this one right away.