Tuesday, February 26, 2013

For Liam

My niece's little boy, Liam, will be celebrating his one year old birthday in the hospital.  He was admitted 2 weeks ago with pneumonia, and 2 ear infections.  Today he is having surgery to scrape the gunk out of the lining in his lungs (pleurisy).  We have been getting daily updates through Facebook, and I feel so sorry for the little guy, sitting there in his crib full of tubes and wires.  Hopefully, he will be coming home sometime next week.
 I made a simple little cotton blanket for him based on this pattern and used up the odd leftover balls of Cotton Ease.  I stitched a few prayers in with the yarn.  Get better soon little baby boy!!!

Now if you need a good unexpected laugh, go check this out.  It's very short, but if you're like me you will play it over and over and then shamelessly send it to everyone you know.  I happen to like Taylor Swift, but this was too funny. 
Have a great week!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mermaid tea cozy

I'm getting near the end of my Heather Ross mermaid fabric.  There are only a few little scraps left.

 Yesterday, I stayed in my sewing room, drinking tea, sucking on cough drops and trying desperately to breathe through my nose.  I decided to sew a tea cozy to take my mind off my plugged sinuses.  I used the quilt as you go patchwork process again.  Love it.  It's like creating your own fabric.
 First I made two large rectangles of patchwork for front and back, fussy cutting a mermaid for each side. Then I cut out my tea cozy pattern, and sewed them together.  I lined it with a pink calico.
See that little button just above?  It's covering up a hole I made in my fabric as I was snipping all the little stray threads. Grrrr.  Oh well.
After the tea cozy was finished,  I still felt like poo, so I started a project I could work on laying down in bed.  Thanks to Jane Brocket and her book The Gentle Art of Stitching, I am now making one million yo-yos.  
I know this is going to turn into one of those projects where you start out all excited with dreams of sewing/ crocheting / knitting an amazingly huge Quilt/ Afghan/ Patio Cover or whatever, and you end up with a cushion.  Who cares.  I can do it laying down.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Waiting for breakfast

Here we are starting a whole new week.  February is flying by and March seems just around the corner.  Today is a holiday for most of us in the states, and so everyone here is home.  My husband is cooking sausages, and the kids are still in bed.  I'm taking pictures.
Another Claudia scarf is finished, this time out of a soft blue alpaca.  It measures 59x9 and was worked with a G hook (DK yarn).

Whenever I finish a project I usually know exactly what I want to work on next, but this time it's different.  I'm hovering between starting something new and working on all those half finished projects.  Nothing seems to be falling into place.  I either need a bit more fabric or a certain color thread, or I have to pick something apart to fix it first.  So I'm just playing.

Stacking blue fabrics for a blue and white quilt.

Laying out all the orphan blocks that I have saved over the years.  I'm thinking of a sampler quilt, but I don't quite know how I would tie it all together.

Found a little stitching project buried in with those blocks, which I might incorporate it into a mini quilt.  I seem to be drawn to them lately.

Okay I'm smelling sausages and onions from the kitchen now, mmmm!  Let me show you what I just bought.
A Presto percolator coffee maker!  Isn't it cool?  My parents used to have one like this when I was a kid.  I ordered it from Amazon (over 500, 5 star reviews!)  We have gone through so many drip style coffee makers, some expensive and some cheap.  They never last or seem to keep the coffee hot enough.   This one stays hot until you unplug it, and the coffee tastes really fresh.  Plus I love the little percolating noise it makes when it's brewing.  I wish it had the clear glass top though, so you could see the coffee bubbling up.  Anyway, I'm being told breakfast is ready and I need to top off my cup.  Time to put the camera and computer away.

Welcome to my new followers and Thank You again for leaving such nice, encouraging comments on my blog!  I hope you all have a wonderful week and enjoy whatever it is you're working on!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hearts and chocolate mini quilt

Are you all having a nice chocolate Valentines Day?   I don't know what got into me this morning besides too much coffee, but I found this pattern and ran for the sewing machine.

I challenged myself to finish it by lunch time.  So far the top is put together, and the quilting will be finished up later this afternoon.  I'm also planning on baking a heart shaped chocolate cake for the family, using Pioneer Woman's sheet cake recipe from her first book.
 Hmmm.  Might need more coffee.

Hope you have something fun planned for today!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sunny week ahead

I have two more quilts left in the closet that need quilting. Yay!!  This one is finally done.  The fabric is Simple Abundance by Bonnie and Camille.   It's 3 years old.  Old as dirt.
Good thing I still like the fabric.

I used a couple of charm packs (5x5 inch squares of the complete line of fabric) and simply cut them in half and stacked them to make a Chinese Coin quilt.  I'm pretty sure that's Kona snow as the background fabric.  I used some of the leftovers on the back.

This is the first time using my free motion quilting foot. When I started to quilt this (over a year ago), my machine broke when I was about halfway done, and I never went back to it until last week.  It was a good size for practicing  free motion quilting at 55x55 inches.

I spent this past weekend with my daughter and we had a good time shopping and decorating her apartment.  The weather was beautiful, and I had planned on taking pictures of my quilt out by the bay, but the Monterey Pro-Am golf tournament was going on at Pebble Beach and it was so busy, we had a hard time just navigating the city, never mind pulling over for a quick photo.
  I did find a yarn shop, although I won't say anything more than it was pretty disappointing.  I bought a beautiful hank of blue Malabrigo sock yarn, that seemed to mimic the colors of the ocean, so I didn't come away empty handed.
Now for some more yarn news.

I met a woman in the next town, who is raising 3 Alpacas, mostly to chew down the acres of grass on her property.  She just got them sheared for the first time, and was offering to sell their fleece.
Um, yes please!!!!  I bought four un-dyed hanks of pure Alpaca wool, and there is much more where this came from! 
Now I'm off for a walk.  I almost hate to post these next pictures, because so many of you are in the middle of a cold, snowy winter, but this is from my walk last week.

I know.  I can't believe it either.  No rain in sight and 62 degrees today.
 Sending you all love and sunshine from California : )

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


This week I've been sorting through some old WIPs, and reorganizing a bit.  My Mother in law gave me another bag of goodies from her stash, and I have been integrating it into my stash.  Sigh.  I need to work faster.  Here are some yo-yo's I rescued from an old quilt, and a pretty embroidered towel found at a thrift store.

A very old crochet table runner from my MIL.

A quilt that I made 3 years ago is finally quilted.  Just sewing the binding on now.   I don't know what took me so darn long to finish.  I'm pretty sure the fabric is out of print.
Ta-Da picture coming later.

I'm going on a road trip to visit my daughter tomorrow.  I made her a little something for her apartment out of an old pink and white embroidered towel and some fabric scraps.  Slapped on one of those yo-yo's , and a silk ribbon for hanging.  I miss that girl.

Then I discovered a women's center in town. It's run by volunteers, and they teach quilting, knitting and crochet.  It's a nice space with cubbies full of yarn, tables set up with sewing machines, and ladies bent over their work, chatting away.   I ended up signing on for an art quilt class.   But more important, I can go in every Wednesday morning and Jan is going to help me with my knitting! 
Somehow I need to squeeze some knitting practice in between all the quilting and crocheting going on around here.
  I plan on checking out the yarn shops in the Monterey Bay area this weekend.  I've been itching to start a new crocheted blanket.  What are you guys working on?