Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lost Hexigons

I don't know why but I have decided to call whatever I make out of these Hexigons to be named Lost Hexigons. 
As I have mentioned before I found a stack of squares in my inherited fabic.  I have made 2 lap quilts (one became Jenny's Quilt, and the other is still a top awaiting it's backing) out of them but I still have more squares.  I found inspiration in hexigons and decided to make them into big hexies and then decide what happens.  Either another lap quilt with hexy flowers spread around a top color randomly or pillow cases, I don't know yet. 

Baby/ Recieving Blankets

     I made up two quick receiving blankets last Saturday.  It took me longer to cut out the pieces then it did to sew.  The first one (Birds) has a top piece of 30" and a bottom piece of 40" like the instructions from the video on youtube from Missouri Star Quilting Company.  The second blanket (Owl) I wanted a larger one and didn't feel the need for a huge binding/boarder so I cut the top fabric 38" and the bottom was its full width at about 42". 
     On the Birds I learned that you can't just iron the edges and it will all lay flat.  I got some puckering and the top piece was not fully stretched out before I did my top stitching around the border.  So on the Owl blanket I smoothed it out with my hands on the floor and pinned around the border for the top stitching.  But I then also learned to make sure that the border/binding is even on all sides.  I have one side that is a little thicker then the others.  Oh well.  Still a good quick project that definitely encourages some fun fabric. 
     I have left overs of all four of these prints so I'm going to try to do up 2 more of these but they will become scrappy fun.
I know I need to post pictures, I promise tonight.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Self Binding Baby Blanket

This is a great tutorial that I wanted to share with you all from the Missori Star Quilt Company.



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Jenny's Quilt

I have a friend that I have known since Kindergarten.  I think she is boss.  Here is my quilt to her.

It is lap size.  I sewed squares together until it felt right.  This one is backed with a dark teal.  I cut the backing larger than the top so the backing is also the binding.  I used embrodery thread to tack the layers together.  These are some of the squares that I found in my inherited stash.  I hope Jenny wears this quilt out.  A good quilt gets dirty, patched, and eventually thrown out.  Enjoy.

As Always,

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Cooking

I love Easter.  It is my favorite holiday. 

I am sure it has something to do with the fact that as a small child I knew my birthday was coming because it was always after Easter. 
My mom had these window decals that she put up for all the different holidays and then special birthday ones for when our birthday came.  I loved them.  It was also a great way for small children to learn when certain events line up with the seasons.  Easter = My Birthday. 
We would always get kites on Easter.  Mom would hide jelly beans around the house, I don't like jelly beans but I appreciated her effort and spirit of the holiday anyway.  We would also get a small basket with treats and little toys.  We always loved the parachuting GI Joes.

As an adult I enjoy the gathering, the meal and wearing your Sunday best (even if you don't do the Sunday thing).  I live to far away from my family to visit on Easter, because really we can't get the Monday off, so I try to make sure I get to do something special for Easter weekend. 

This year I planned an Easter Brunch.  Only I don't have a home big enough to entertain and I forgot to plan ahead.  I called up my friend and low and behold he was not busy on Saturday. Great I said, Easter brunch on Saturday at your house I'll bring most of the food.

I made:
Blueberry Muffins
Orange Blueberry Bread
Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake
Spanakopita pie
Blueberry Scones with Lemon glaze
Quiche with mushrooms, onions, and broccoli

I got the linked recipes from a blog called Mehan's Kitchen.  She has a lot of different cuisines that I enjoy so I think I'll be coming back for more.  I could see myself trying everything she has listed....

The Blueberry Muffins were great.  The recipe calls for sour cream which I think is an excellent addition.  The muffins are still moist several days later.  I added a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar to the top of each muffin. 

The Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake is delicious.  It isn't too sweet and it is hard to call it a cake.  Cakes, in my experience, are fluffy and moist.  This is sort of a cross between a muffin and a cake.  It was perfect.  It came out firm so you could cut a slice and then wander around eating it without a plate. 

I used Mehan's Spanakopita recipe because I couldn't find the one I has used last time I made it.  And why not try something new right?  It was good.  I didn't find it amazing and I don't see any reason to do the time intensive egg separation steps (but I'm not a chief).  I found it a little bland, however, the recipe just says 'salt and pepper' and 'dash' of spices.  I should have added a lot more and tasted.  That is my fault.  I do better when a recipe says "x teaspoon of ingredient" and then I know I can double it based on my tastes. 

The Blueberry Scones were wonderful.  I was worried at first when the dough was really sticky, cause how do you roll out the dough if it is that sticky.  I put a layer of flour down on the table and a layer on top of the dough so I could roll it out.  The extra flour didn't ruin it or anything mostly because I think the flour wasn't incorporated in.  In talking to some of my friends who used to and are pastry chiefs and they have informed me that I can always roll out dough between 2 pieces of wax paper with or without a light dusting of flour on it.  I did make the Lemon glaze to put on the scones.  I think making half the recipe would be fine, it makes a lot and if you poured the whole thing out the scones would be swimming in it.  Tasty though.  Also for me the glaze was to thin, I didn't change it, but next time I would add more sugar to thicken.  Quick and easy to make.

I make Quiche all the time so I don't follow a recipe anymore.  I started using the Joy of Cooking base but it didn't fit my needs so I've adapted it a lot.  I don't separate eggs, I don't like wasting them, so I throw the whole thing in.  If I don't have cream I use milk and who cares the % of milk.  I use nutmeg generously.  I use 2 cups or more of extra sharp Cheddar.  I make my pie dough with less water then it calls for (which makes it hard to roll out and place in pie pan) so when the quiche cooks the dough doesn't get soggy.  I put a light layer of cheese on bottom before I put my veggies in.  I use between 3-4 cups of veggies or whatever will fill in the pie pan to the top of the crust before I pour in my egg mixture (I have a 9.5 inch pan).  Oh, salt and pepper-I am able to eye ball it now but always put more in then you think is necessary particularly pepper. 

Orange Blueberry Bread
It was fun to make and easy.  Smells great.  Makes a decent sized loaf.  Looks appealing.  Half it is gone so I guess people liked it.  Had a slice a couple days later and it was wonderful.  My husband said to be last night, "you have to make this again."

I guess the theme of my Brunch was Blueberries.  Since most of my dishes contains them.  I have a lot of frozen blueberries thanks to my Mother who lives in blueberry country in Maine.  Last summer I asked her to put up some for me.  Apparently 'some' means a 5quart ice cream tub, one of those large Folgers coffee tubs, and a couple sour cream containers full of frozen blueberries.  She asked if I needed more this summer, I politely said 'No'.  lol 

Happy Easter

As Always,

Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday Finish: Red Ziggy and Coral Wall Hanging Tops

I am very proud I have 2 finishes this Friday.  I have been working on a zigzag quilt with left over parts and I have the top done.  I am hoping to put it all together this Sunday, but we will see given it is a Holiday weekend.
My other finish is a little girls wall hanging.  I had stacks of blocks that was found in my inherited box of random fabric.  These stacks have become one lap quilt and another top that is yet to be finished already but I had pulled out all these coral design fabrics.  I was looking at them this week and couldn't resist a drawn line triangle technique to make my design.  I just decided which color was going with which and made them into triangle pairs and let that dictate what the outcome was going to be.  I am quite happy with it.  If our baby happens to be a girl I'm going to keep it because I just love the fabric design and color, but if not I know someone who is having a girl and they'll get it.  Either way it will be loved.

Red Ziggy

Coral Wall Hanging
Forgive the out of focus photos, I don't know what is up.  My camera is normally very good but I just can't seem to get the lighting right in my apartment and maybe the lens needs a cleaning.
I am rather excited about quilting the wall hanging.  I don't have a quilting machine proper but I am planning to do something fun and hopefully bordering on real quilting with it.  Well that is my plan anyway.We'll see what actually happens.
Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts

As Always,

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Books Read 4.4.12

I got 3 more books read. 

People of the Book By Geraldine Brooks
HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method by Marie F. Mongan
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

People of the Book
I really liked People of the Book, I listened to it on audio tape so the story telling format was hard to get used to until I figured it out.  But if I had been reading it it wouldn't have been a problem.  The story for me was compelling.  The forensic anthropology of how the book was made and where it went and who it effected....I enjoyed it. 

This is about relaxation techniques to be used in childbirth and other birth information.  The scripts that are taught; relaxation and deepening techniques would be useful for anyone in any situation.  I have already used it at work at my desk and in particularly stressful meetings.  My husband took the class with me and has been reading the book and he has used the techniques himself since and enjoys practicing with me.  We are planning on using some of these techniques during our birth. 

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
For me this book started off a little slow.  But again it could be because I had it on audio tape.  How else would I get all this quilting done!  The story, though fiction, has a lot of truth in it about WWII.  I also particularly enjoyed reading about characters that have a different culture then myself.  Good story.  My favorite character is the Jazz musician. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Some Little Sweaters

 Here are some (more) sweaters I have knit for my Little One.

Child's Placket-Neck Pullover by Joelle Hoverson

A Simple Baby Pullover by Erica Kempf

Baby Boy 5-Hour Sweater by Gail Bable 

 All of these patterns were free.  Yeah Ravelry!

 As Always,


My first Zig Zag Quilt Post #1

Alright.  I have these left over parts of quilts and scraps.  I decided that I would make a zig zag quilt with the rectangle technique.  Only I wanted a skinny stripe (red) and a thick stripe (black).  Since my left overs were already cut into strips and some sewn together all I had to do was cut the red fabric in half and in some cases unstitch two black fabrics.  Then I cut them all into lengths.  Laid them on the table.

Looks nice, right?
Have you noticed the problem?
Think about how that is going to be sewn together.  Oh!

My choices are cut down the black portion of the fabric so I have an easy sew together but no more thick stripe, or sew together with half sewn joints at every corner...... what to do?

I want my thick stripe and I want to maximize the fabric.  So crazy sew together it is.  But I have made a compromise with myself.  I already have these other table runner size portions of left over quilt that I will sew to the top and bottom of this lap quilt so I will only do the zig zag crazy sew in the middle and not the whole thing. 

 Current state:

As Always,

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wedding Present for Mrs. Muerl

47" by 63"

Close up of the white fabric design

This is a lap quilt for a friend who got married August of last year.  I didn't really 'quilt' it, I ran horizontal stitch in the ditch every two rows.  The batting I had on hand was a kind of polyfill that I doubled over to make it a more puffy.  So because of the minimal quilting it has a nice bounce to it. 
I called the recipients today to tell them that I have their gift and they seem quite excited.  They'll get it on Thursday.

This is the last top of a series of quilts that I made for wedding presents over a year ago.  The year I got married we had 7 other weddings that we went to.  I contracted out 2 of the tops for a friend to make for a reasonable fee.  Now I have the left over fabric from those quilts that I have a couple plans for.  A Zig Zag quilt should look nice.  All I have to do is cut the squares into rectangles.  Should be fun piecing them together. 

As Always,

Friday, March 23, 2012

Come Here Little Mice

I have a cat and I have scraps of fun fur/ stringy yarn.  These things have decided to come together to become toy mice for my ever loving Graham.
The stingy bits that stick out from the completed mice tickle the face of my cat and causes him to go into hysterics of must get this mouse fun.
The first mouse was made with increasing stitches twice on probably size 4 needles.  The second mouse was made the same way but on size 2 needles which incidentally was much to small.  The third mouse was made with 3 increases on size 5 needles.  I like the 3rd mouse, the size is just large enough so that the cat doesn't get the mouse lost under the TV console. 
Pattern found here.

Update on Crazy Quilt
I have 125 completed blocks.

Well that is all for now.  I'm an linking up with Crazy mom quilts for the finish it up Friday.

As Always,

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Quilt ideas

I am way past due date on making several quilts.  I like to make lap quilts as wedding gifts.  I don't know, I just decided one day. 
I am behind on 2, and coming up this year 3 more!
I want to find a way to use what I got on hand with only buying batting and backing.  I came across this idea.


I won't be able to do big blocks like this one because my fabric is already cut out in 5" blocks, I think.  And some of them will have to be unsewn from each other.  But I have left overs of blacks, whites, black n whites, reds, and teals/aqua.  Maybe do a "fade to black" quilt.  If I do white sashing I won't be able to use the white style blocks.....
I am also trying to find ways to use up this scrap fabric that I inherited.  I started a crazy quilt.  I really like how the blocks are coming out.  It is fun, easy, and it feels like I'm zipping through making them.  I worked most of a Saturday and got about 60 blocks done.  I have a queen size bed and I would need 252 5" blocks which sew down to 4.5" to cover the top of the bed (60"x80") .  That's a LOT of blocks.  If I could dedicate many more Saturdays to crazy quilt block making, where I made 50 blocks a day, I would need 4 more Saturdays!  So I tried to think of other patterns that would be fun and look great to.  Because the crazy quilt creates 'diamonds' I feel it is best to try to but them in rows of 2.  Here are some of the designs I came up with.  Please let me know what you think.

Design 1; 205 blocks needed

Design 2; 197 blocks needed

Design 3; 233 blocks needed

Design 4; 152 blocks needed

Design 5; 208 blocks needed

Design 6; 197 blocks needed

My favorite is design 4 or 5, but I think 5 would be better.  But I would only be saving myself 44 blocks.  I don't know what I'm going to do.  I am going to need another 150 blocks though.  Maybe this is a project that takes awhile and goes on the back burner a lot.  I guess I'm okay with that.  Not what I thought I was doing but that's life. :)

Other Ideas for using up these scraps:

These would be lap quilt size ideas. 

As Always,


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Crazy Quilt (in progress)

I received a bunch of random fabric from a Great Aunt when her daughter passed.  It was nothing I was particularly interested in but my mother saw a visit from my brother as an excellent opportunity to unload this miss-match of stuff on me.  I was none to please since I live in a 4 room apartment with no storage for piece work fabric.  Regardless I have held onto it.  I still need to pick and poke in it and throw away the fabrics that are gone by (stained, worn). 
I have been seeing a lot of people making quilts specifically to use up there scraps.  It inspired me to go through and find my inherited scraps and do the same. 

My table laid out with all the scraps from one tote.

Piecing together on 5" blocks.

Pre trimmed.

Pre trimmed underside.

Trimmed pieces.
 There is quite a wide variety of fabrics in the pile and has made for a diverse selection of blocks.

 I had to clean all this up so my husband and I could start on another project.  Homemade butternut ravioli with mascarpone sauce!  Yum.  I forgot to take pics of the final product but here are some fun ones of use making them.

Dear Husband working on the filling and sauce.
Getting the sheets rolled out.
getting the right thickness on the sheets.

Aprons are a must, especially when your prego belly keeps getting in the flour!

 As Always,

Saturday, March 10, 2012

SunnySide 0-3 months

Just the sleeves left to do.
Front side.  Still needs buttons.  Cables turn toward the front.

Cables turn toward center back.
 I found this pattern on Ravelry.  Sunnyside by Tanis LavallĂ©.

This pattern is good and I will share what I figured out as best as I can. I am thankful for free patterns. I also love this design.
I wish this pattern did the math for you. Instead of saying “increase 6 sts evenly” since the writer had to figure out where evenly was they could have written it into the pattern. Also increase how? Does it want a yo, m1r, m1l, co1; There are lots of options.
Here is my re-write or at least helpful to those who are not advanced knitters.
I made the smallest size so all instructions are for that.

Cast on 52
Rows 1,3,5, 7,9: Knit
Row 2: k6, m1r, k8, m1r, k8, m1r, k8, m1l, k8, m1l, k8, m1l, k6
Row 4: k6, m1r, k9, m1r, k9, m1r, k9, m1l, k9, m1l, k9, m1l, k7
Row 6: k7, m1r, k10, m1r, k10, m1r, k10, m1l, k10, m1l, k10, m1l, k7
Row 8: k7, m1r, k11, m1r, k11, m1r, k11, m1l, k11, m1l, k11, m1l, k8
Row 10: k8, m1r, k12, m1r, k12, m1r, k12, m1l, k12, m1l, k12, m1l, k8 82 stitches

Work a Buttonhole row by doing k2, yo, k2tog, k1, on the 5th row and then every following 20th row (every 10th garter ridge).
30 stitches increase, 82 sts total.
Next row (rs): place markers for pattern portion and raglan sleeves as follows (this is row 1 of charts):
Size 3-6 mo:
Row 1: insert from original pattern
Row 2: k5, knit the k’s and purl the p’s as they appear until 5 sts remain, k5 (row 2 of chart)
Row 3: increase row: (row 3 of chart)
k5, slip marker, work chart over next 8 sts, slip marker, knit to 1 st before next marker, m1r, k1, slip marker, work chart over next 8 sts, slip marker, k1, m1l, repeat from 3 more times. Knit to next marker, slip marker, work chart over next 8 sts, slip marker, k5. (8 stitches increased.) 98 sts total.
Repeat rows 2 and 3 for 14 times working appropriate chart row between markers and remembering to work a buttonhole as indicated until there are 210 sts.

BH = buttonhole row
^ = Increase row (row 3)
& = regular row, k the k’s & p the p’s (row 2)
cable = C6F for the first 3 cables and C6B for last 3 cables. I like to have my cables face each other instead of all going the same direction. F= front, B= back.
5:^ cable
5:^ cable
7:^ BH
5:^ cable
5:^ cable
7:^ = 210 sts total
8:& separate for sleeves.
When the sleeves are separated from the body it splits the cables in half which is great b/c if you wanted to you could continue a cable down the side of the sweater underneath the armpit.
All rows now are knit the knits and purl the purls unless it is a BH row or a cable row. So I’m going to mark the rows as whether they are mostly knit rows (right side) or mostly purl rows (wrong side)
This is the exact number of rows I did to get my 5 inches plus a couple extra to fit in my last BH row.
3:k BH
5:k cable
5:k cable
5:k cable
7:k BH
5:k cable
5:k cable
3:k BH
Work desired hem.

I found these directions to be straight forward. One tip would be to count how many rows makes that first inch so you do it the same on the other sleeve.

Happy Knitting.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Ribbed Baby Jacket: Finish up Friday

I have been working on baby sweaters recently.  My latest creation is the Ribbed Baby Jacket by Debbie Bliss.  I got the pattern here.  It is a weird page but wait a few seconds and then download the pdf.  If you are on Ravelry you can also search for it that way.
 This should fit a 6-9 month old.  
I still need to add a button about half way down.

 As you can see the body is knit in one piece and then you pick up stitches for the collar.  Seaming is in the underarm from wrist down the side to the waist. 
With just the collar to be put on.

Before my Gram passed I was given her totes full of craft stuff.  So I have pounds of yarn that is good washable yarn that I am trying to use up.  Baby sweaters are perfect because I don't have to worry so much about having enough yardage to finish the project.  Thus I have been searching high and low for patterns that use approximately this yarns weight. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Valentine's Day

I have a friend that likes Valentine's Day and last year She invited myself and husband to a V-day party at her house.  It was such a lovely time.  She has a great big island in her kitchen that looks beautiful when spread with all the V-day themed items. 
This year when I got the invitation to her party I couldn't help but think of a gift that would be holiday party appropriate.  I went to my local JoAnns and picked from what they had of said themed fabric.  I got started on Cocktail napkins and a table runner for that gorgeous kitchen island.

 I machine sewed the hems.  I have been wanting to do napkins for while because I get all these ideas from Purlbee.com.  Specifically I made these ones as x-mas presents one year.  But check out all the other napkin ideas they have... I think my napkins would have come out better if I had followed these instructions instead for the Simple + Spooky Cocktail Napkins.  

If you would would like to use fabric paint and design your own take a look at these napkins
These nautical flag napkins would also make a great quilt top.

Next the table runner:


 I don't normal quilt my projects, I will hand tie my quilts.  But a table runner, in my opinion, doesn't work if it has hand ties- so this is how I did my machine quilting.  I also prefer that not all the quilting show through to the back of the batting, I chose to do most of the quilting with just the top to the filling.

This is a close up of the quilting I did with just the top and filling.

 This is what it looks like on the bottom.
Finished quilting show from the backing.
 Finished quilting from the top.

Well there you have it.
We went to the party, had another wonderful time.  The gift was well received.  I have been told that now her husband wants her to make one for St. Patty's Day for his family!  I'm just glad they enjoyed it.  I wish I had brought my camera to the party so I could show what it looked like under the heart shaped cookies.

As Always,


Saturday, March 3, 2012


I started a book about 6 years ago and I'm still not finished.  It is one of those "I'm book ten in this adventure series and then the author died so you feel compelled to finish" books.  I picked it up again, committed to finishing it, because it isn't even my book.  It is the longest book loan ever.  I was about 1/5 of the way through before and now I'm about 3-4 /5 through.  In my excitement to be reading again I joined the book club at work.
Now that I have all these other books to read I haven't picked up this other monster since I had set out to finish in the first place.  agh!

Anyway here is a list of the books I have read since December 2011:

Unassisted Childbirth By Laura Kaplan Shanley
The Broken Kingdoms #2 By N.K.Jemisin
Ina Mays' Guide to Breastfeeding By Ina May Gaskin
Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman By Robert K. Massie
Girl in Translation By Jean Kwok
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms #1 By N.K.Jemisin
Pride and Prejudice By Jane Austen
The Hunger Games By Susanne Collins
Sarah's Key By Tatiana de Rosnay

Can you tell which ones are on the book club list and which ones are mine?  Yeah, yeah the pregnancy ones are obviously mine, but there are others...

7 Months Pregnant

I am almost 7 months pregnant.
I thought I would warn you.
There might be posts about baby stuff.  Later there will be pictures of the darned thing. 
For now here is a picture of me:
I know, I know because I'm not turned sideways you can't see how big my belly really is.  However, no one really looks good in a side pose anyway.