Sunday, June 29, 2014

A summer sweater

I've been working on this sweater for a while. I bought the yarn in April before Ray's surgery so I'd have something to knit while he was in the hospital. Then after knitting a skein and a half, I decided the sweater was too big so I frogged the whole thing and started over! I've been working on it most days and have finally finished it.

Yay - it fits!

The yarn is Bamboo Pop - 50% cotton and 50% bamboo sports weight. A great weight for summer.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Creamsicle lap quilt finished!

After I made the table runner, I used some of the leftover fabric, Creamsicle Tonga Treats, to make this lap quilt. 

Some of the pieces were cut at 2 1/2" by 5" so I just cut lots of pieces that size and sewed them together.

Using my new quilting setup, I decided to quilt this with a square stipple. I always have trouble making square corners when I am free motion quilting. I still had some problems but overall I am pleased with the quilting. I think you can see the quilting better on the plain yellow back.

This quilt is about 40" X 45" and I used Dream Cotton for the batting.

I used a variety of the gray/blue leftover 2 1/2" strips for the binding. It's hard to see that the strips are different even when the quilt is in my hand!

I have no plans for this quilt so for now it will go on the donation pile.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

FMQ Improvements!

I have pinned the three smaller quilts in the pile waiting to be sandwiched. And two are quilted!!! I'm in the process of doing the binding by hand and then I'll share.

I want to show you my new quilting set up. After seeing a few people online using different ways to lift the quilt as they quilted, I decided I had to try it. I thought of many things but kept coming back to a background stand used for photography. 

You may recall that one of my husband's hobbies is photography. He wanted a background stand but decided to build one out of PVC pipe. I didn't think the PVC version was going to work for me so we hatched a plan. We would buy a stand and house it in my sewing room. When we travel or when he needs it, he can take it. And the PVC pipe won't be wasted - it already has a new use!

Photography Background Stand

This raises and lowers to whatever height needed. The width also adjusts. The guy at The Camera Company actually understood how I was going to use it and assured me that it could easily hold a quilt! 

Of course, I didn't think to take a photo when I had the stand up quite high. In fact I didn't take a picture while I was quilting at all - I just put this back by the machine when I finally got the camera!

You can see the clamps on the top. When I changed the position of the quilt, I often changed where the quilt was clamped. I got into a rhythm and it was really easy.

The best part is the ease of quilting with no drag. Wow! I can't believe how much my quilting improved!!!

Friday, June 13, 2014

A Fun Knitted Vest

In the last few months, I've been doing more knitting than quilting. Knitting is very easy to transport and requires no preparation on my part. It's been my go to craft during Ray's surgery and doctor appointments. 

I just finished a vest - the pattern is India Sweater Vest, designed by Beth Q. Beck and published by Cardiff Bay Handknits. The yarn is Gina by Plymouth.
Actually I finished it a while ago but just sewed the buttons on today.

This was my first time using self-striping yarn. Stripes don't match and my balanced Libra self will need to overcome a little discomfort!

A closeup of the front - interesting stitches and texture.

The back has a different texture.

A side seam - where the back meets the front.

Sorry the photos aren't the best - I just held my camera high above the counter and shot! Speaking of the counter, did you notice our brand new granite? The kitchen isn't quite finished but the counters are in and we have water again - yay!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Table Runner Done!

I thought I was making a bed runner but it's not quite big enough! It is 18" X 72". However, it makes a pretty table runner. 

I used Creamsicle Tonga Treats that I bought at Raintree Quilting in Juneau, Alaska a couple of years ago.

The colors are so soft and summery. I don't think you can see the quilting. I did flower 3 - 4 flower petals,  then echoed around the tips of the petals and kept repeating - it really added a lot of dimension.

With the leftovers, I put together this lap size quilt. The colors in the fuzzy photo below aren't true. The above photos are pretty accurate - very soft. 

This quilt top is about 40" X 45" and has been added to the needing-to-be-pinned pile. I do need to pin!

Scrap quilt pieced - finally!

I started this quilt a while ago and it is finally pieced! I was trying to decide the layout here. Oh my, that was over 2 months ago!

The quilt top is folded in half. My design wall is only so big! I think the finished measurements are about 55" X 75". 

Now it is on the needing-to-be-pinned-pile. Getting quilts pinned is the biggest hangup in my quilting right now - the pile is getting large!

Ray update - Ray walks everyday and has started some weight training. A milestone for him this week was mowing the lawn. He is definitely making progress although we both know he has a ways to go. Thanks for your prayers and get-well wishes.


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