Thursday, January 25, 2018

Box of 15 and Quilt Jungle are finished!

Box of 15 is finished! 

When I got the Cricut Maker, I wanted to cut fabric so I found a free pattern on Riley Blake Designs website. I used the Cricut to cut the black bands with the serpentine, the crayon points, and the sides of the points. It worked well! Well, there was a bit of a learning curve. I pulled solids from my stash and made 28 crayons. This quilt used 16 and the other 12 will show up in another quilt one of these days.

Box of 15 is 45" by 47". I used Dream Cotton batting and Aurifil thread for the piecing. 

I used a walking foot and orange Aurifil thread to machine quilt this quilt. 

This is a donation quilt and I hope the recipient just smiles whenever he/she uses it.

The back is orange and yellow with a green crayon.

I thought the binding went with the crayon colors.

A while back when I was getting ready to go on retreat, I was trying to find a couple of extra projects to take along. I came across two pieces of 'jungle' fabric that went together and decided to add some red and make a quilt. Well, a couple of weeks ago, I found that project bag and decided to finally make this simple little quilt. Quilt Jungle is 45" by 49". 

Of course I used Dream Cotton batting and Aurifil thread. 

I machine quilted this with a walking foot in a cross hatch design. I think you can see it better on the back.
Oops! I just finished exercising and my white sweat socks are showing.
This is also a donation quilt.

On my to-do list is the next crayon quilt and also another sailboat quilt using the leftover boats. The list is really much longer which is good - I have lots of choices!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Quilt Shops we visited...

On our little trip to Rock Island, Illinois, we visited three quilt shops - the important part of the trip!

The first shop was Expressions in Threads in Le Claire, Iowa. I didn't think to take photos inside.

I'd only been to this quilt shop once before, a few years ago, and I loved it. Some things don't change! The shop is still fantastic as are the people working there. I found so much that I wanted but of course, I had to choose. I'll show you some of my purchases in a few minutes.

The next shop was Quilts by the Oz. It was an interesting shop with lots of fabric. The owner was very kind. I found a few pieces that I just had to have. Sorry but I didn't get any photos of the shop. 

The last shop, Quilt Addicts Anonymous, is almost a year old and wonderful! Stephanie, the owner and a quilt designer, was very pleasant and helpful. We were able to visit with her, her husband, and their delightful daughter. 

The shop is bright and cheery, showing off more modern quilt fabrics and quilts made from Stephanie's patterns. I'm not a photographer and I was busy looking at everything so my photos aren't the best.

The shop isn't huge but there is a nice selection and everything is gorgeous. Everything is also available online at their website:
Beautiful fabric and quilts

Precuts, kits, and inspiration

I think this is the newest BOM that Stephanie designed. She was working on the finishing touches of the instructions when we arrived. Isn't it fantastic? I love the bright colors.

They also do longarm quilting. Look at that striking quilt behind the longarm machine.

This little gem was on the wall. Stephanie also made it in a large size and had Leah Day quilt it. 

So what did I buy at all of these shops? Well I can't show you everything since I'm making a quilt that is a surprise but I'll show you the rest.
I plan to use this for the next sailboat quilt using the leftover sailboats.

No plan - I just loved the colors and designs

These will probably be backings.
These will be backings.

These will probably be backings.

The crayons will be used in the second crayon quilt.
I fell in love with the stripes and they followed me home!

Now I just need time to sew! I do have a couple of finishes that I'll show you soon.

A little trip...

One of the nice parts of being retired is doing things on the spur of the moment. We decided to take a little road trip - not too far, only about 100 miles. We found an airbnb rental and headed south to Rock Island, Illinois. We thought Ray might find a few eagles; I might find some fabric; we could visit the Rock Island Arsenal and visit the museum, and ...

We left in rain and fog on Monday morning.By the time we reached LeClaire, Iowa, the sun was peeking out and the temperature was in the 50's! We visited a couple of quilt shops (more in the next post) and hunted for eagles - we only found 2!

When we got up Tuesday, the weather was no longer in the 50s. It was 30 and COLD. We visited another quilt shop and headed for the  Quad City Botanical Center. It was a fun stop and Ray got to take a few photos; I did to:

There were many quilts on the walls!

There were a few colorful blossoms.

In the winter they have a sand area for the children!

Another colorful blossom

A beautiful orchid

The waterfall

There were koi ponds

More gorgeous orchids
One of the guys working at the Botanical Center told us where he had seen some eagles that morning and also gave us ideas for lunch. We ate and then headed to Arsenal Island. On the way, we stopped at Gathering Point and found some eagles! It was so cold that I was only out of the car for a few minutes. 

Once on Arsenal Island (it is a military post and you have to have a pass), we headed to the museum. Thank goodness the government shut down was over so the museum was open. Ray loved seeing the museum and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. No pictures since we were within a military installation.

We visited the Mississippi River Visitor's Center. It is on Arsenal Island and overlooks the lock and dam. We enjoyed visiting with the fellow on duty and seeing the lock and dam although there was no river traffic.

This morning the temperature was again around 30 but didn't feel as cold. We headed towards home with a number of stops on the way - most to see eagles. We did find some in a few different places all the way home. This is my only good shot but I think Ray took a couple hundred pictures!

In the next post, I'll tell you about the fabric shops - the important part of this trip!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Some Finished Socks

In the big fiasco where we accidentally felted some of our hand knit socks, Ray lost two pair (all of his hand knits). His have now been replaced but with very different yarns/colors. I have many more pairs of hand-knitted socks so I was anxious to replace Ray's first. I would like to find  some of the yarns we felted and remake the same socks. WE ONLY HAND WASH OUR HAND-KNITTED SOCKS NOW SO WE SHOULD NEVER HAVE ANOTHER FELTING PROBLEM. I knew hot water could felt yarn but I did not know that agitation, even in cold water, could felt yarn.

Although Ray chose the yarn, he now says that these are pretty wild for him! However, I know he'll wear them because he enjoys his hand knit socks as much as I do. 

We bought the yarn at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival last September. The yarn is Merino wool with nylon. I find it interesting the way the yarn makes a spiral pattern down the sock. 

I knit my new socks with Classic Elite Yarns Alpaca Sox yarn that I bought at That Little Red House Yarn Shop in Grand Marais, Minnesota, last September. I loved working with the yarn and have another skein in blue for Ray unless I decide to keep it for me!


Now I am working on a sweater with some gray alpaca yarn that I found at a farmer's market in Virginia last July. I ended up tearing out the first sleeve yesterday and starting over; that sleeve is now about half done. I'm not sure I've ever made a sweater starting with the sleeves but it's rather interesting. It'll be a while before this is done - I have a ways to go!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Tamarack is finished!

I am finally feeling better - that flu is strange and the fatigue is unreal. Last week I began cooking again (we were living on whatever was in the freezer and our ready-to-eat supplies were getting low!). One day last week, I fixed an extra nice dinner and we celebrated New Year's a little late.

On Friday we went to an Elvis Spectacular Concert; the tickets were a Christmas gift. We weren't sure we were going until Friday morning and thankfully I felt well enough. We got home after midnight so Saturday was a couple of long naps and then all was good. I do think I've turned the corner - yay!

I've been sewing a little most days and also knitting some.

I've just finished Tamarack. I love this quilt - it could be the colors! The free pattern is on the Tamarack Shack blog and is called the Four Patch Charm Quilt. You can find it here. I think I made my squares and HSTs larger than what the pattern said. I kept referring to my quilt as Tamarack since that is where I found the pattern and the name has stuck. 
Once again, this is flat; I just didn't get on the floor to straighten it out.
All of the colored fabrics are batiks and the white is plain cotton. Everything was from my stash. The quilt is 65" by 81". I used Dream Cotton batting and Aurifil thread for the piecing and the quilting. The white parts are quilted with the paisley motif - it was definitely time to do some free motion quilting. I love the texture.

The batik parts are quilted along the edges with a walking foot. In the centers, I used a ruler and free motion quilted a wavy line. 

The back is a batik from my stash that just seemed to have all of the right colors.

All of the photos are inside today. It is cold, snowing, and windy outside. Actually, it is a great day to be inside sewing!

We can't decide if this is going to the donation pile or not. Both Ray and I love the quilt.


I have a few quilt tops waiting to be pinned and quilted including the first crayon quilt which I've named Box of 15

The second crayon quilt is in the design stage. Here is one possibility:

I would like to pin and quilt some in the pile before I piece more . . . that is, unless I find something I just have to make!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

It's been interesting

It's been interesting.

On Christmas Eve, we went to the Candlelight Service at church. It was a nice service on a cold evening. The only problem was that someone took my coat! I was hopeful that they just took the wrong coat but that doesn't appear to be the case.  It was a nice coat that was rated for -25 degrees; a coat that is needed with our current weather. 

We had a great Christmas Day and hosted a fun party. 

Then I got the flu late in the day on December 27th and it just hung on. Ray had a lighter case and is now doing well. We both had flu shots; it might have been worse if we hadn't. After a week, I am finally feeling some better, however, I can't seem to handle much physical activity. At first, my eyes wouldn't focus well and I slept for many hours each day. Now my naps are minimal and I'm getting a few little things done interspersed with lots of rest. 

My new coat should arrive tomorrow although I don't think I'll go anywhere. My appetite is slowly returning so I'll stop this crazy but cool weight loss. The New Year is getting better every day!


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