Thursday, August 28, 2014

i'm alive and bored

I'm alive and bored to tears with the quilt I'm working on.  It is bordering on ugly to me and I can't think of a way to save it.  The quilt should have been finished last week and mailed by now.  I can't bring myself to finish it.  I need to slog on through because I have another one due out of here by the middle of October.  Then I have another one I've been working on for a while I want to finish before Christmas and get out of here also.

I'd rather be knitting.  I found a pattern for an afghan I really like how it is coming together.   I am using three colors:  green, white and blue.  Other than the 20 skeins of yarn to work the afghan in intarsia, it is an easy knit.

Hubby speech is getting better as time passes.  And so long as we don't OD on pork products his gout wouldn't be flaring up.  Some days I worry about us!

Missing Sister Suzy as she is back in Kansas for her last semester of college.  She called and ask for a care-package of Chocolate Gummy Bears and Tiger Sauce.  We will have to wait until it cools off before we can ship the chocolate.

I hope every one is having a good day!


Sunday, July 27, 2014

I'm not Job

God, I am piss-off at you!  After the second day of orientation for hubby's teaching position after being laid-off for four years, he comes home and has a stroke between 4:30 and 5:00.  I am grateful the stroke didn't happen while he was driving home or while he was a sleep. And I am grateful it wasn't worse, that it has only affected the muscles in his throat and face on the right side.  But really, enough is enough!  How about a break here?  I'm not happy about You playing craps with my life like you did Job's!  Oh, and thank-You for not killing off all my loved ones!

UPDATE: 8/9/2014 Hubby is home and we are doing speech and physical therapies.   He is still pretty Dutchy and the Cardiologist says he has a weak heart muscle so it is gentle cardo until the heart is built back up.

Friday, July 11, 2014

hubby is losing it

Hubby is losing it!  His dress clothes are waaayyy too big.  He hasn't really wore his dress clothes since he was he was laid-off four years ago.  I knew his dress clothes were getting loose, but oh-my!  He has to hang on to them to keep them up!  LOL

He had an interview and since we are flat broke, I sat aside my quilt and went to work.  I have two pair of pants remodel.  The great part is he signed the contract this morning!  Yeah!  So I have to get with it and finish up the rest of his dress pants.  

I'm going to let his dress shirts go until after his pants are done.    I'm not real sure I want to tackle his suit jacket.  (I done it before.  I made his three-piece suit for our wedding.)  Maybe, after he has worked a couple of months we can go shopping for a new suit jacket and donate his older one.

For those who have never tailored a pair of men's pants here is how I do it.  First thing I do is have whomever try on the garment and kind of look over where the problems are.  The next thing I do is get my handy-dandy seam ripper and CAREFULLY remove most of the waistband.  I leave the very front attached.  I don't want to mess with the zipper if at all possible.

Have them put the garment back on and start pinning out the excess fabric making sure back pockets and such stay in the right spots on the body.  There are two ways to do this.  One is wrong side out, which is easier.  However, the correct way is right side out, as they would wear the garment.  This takes into account the fact that no body is symmetrical.

Have them take the garment off.  Get a note pad and start measuring what you pinned out and where; then writing it all down.  If you don't have to take out more than an inch out of a seam you won't need to use your seam ripper to remove seams.  However, if you need to take up side seams you are going to have to move pockets.  So get your seam ripper out and CAREFULLY start ripping the seams out.  Make notes as to where all the bar-tacks are; any top stitching you take out.  Pay careful attention to how the garment was sewn together and how the pockets were built.  You will not be able to move the back pockets if they are plackets but most front pockets can be.

One other thought, leave any belts loops attached to the body of the pants if you can, because they won't move more than an inch ether way when you get ready to reattach everything.  I know weird!  You take out nine inches in the waist and the belt loops don't move that much.

 These are his pants ripped apart; the seams and pockets pressed flat with the notes.  I pinned the front side seams together and the back side seams together so I could mark and cut the sides the same.  I did not rip the inseams out or the back center seam.

 I got my tape measure out and marked where I need to cut based on my notes.  I then moved the pins just inside my cutting line and cut.  I was feeling quite brave and did not do the prudent thing on this pair.  Which is to baste up the seams and have him try the pants on, one more time.  It may come back to haunt me when he tries them on and they are too tight!
You can see where I fiddled around with the lines trying to get a smooth transition from one angle to another.  You can also see where I moved the marks for the pockets to the new cutting line.  The pockets in these pants were easy to move because they were side seam pockets.  I used a pleat to take out the extra fabric in the front of the pants as that is the style of pants Hubby finds most comfortable.  One pleat goes on the fold line up the front of the pants.  The two-pleat style goes either side of the fold line.

Put the pockets back on with any top-stitching and bar-tacking required.  Do the center back seam with any top-stitching needed.  Sew up side seams and any seam finishing.  Add any top-stitching required to the side seams.  Pin the waistband from the front to center back.  Pin where you need to take out the excess with a seam.  Trim the excess out and sew the waistband on.  Reattach the belt loops and you are done.

The other way to get rid of the excess fabric in the waistband is to take off whichever end of the waistband would be the easiest to rebuild.  If you have a riveted button you would take off the buttonhole end and make a new buttonhole.  On these pants if I were to do it this way I would have taken off the button end.  Trimmed the excess off and reattached the button.  The reason I don't do it the 'correct' way is the zipper and the buttonhole!  It can be a total nightmare!  The other way is easier for me.  And if they  wear a belt, who's to know?

Hey, everybody have a good day!


Friday, June 27, 2014

due to the weird

Due to the weird anonymous comments ending up in my spam filter I have turned off the anonymous comments, again. 

Really!  Your English grammar is worse than mine is!  And telling me how wonderful my writing style is, isn't helping your cause any.

I would love to see the statistics as to how many people actually click on the enclosed links in those comments.

Catch y'all later, I'm knee deep in a quilting project and I will post pictures later.

Hope everyone is having a good day!


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

t-shirt shag rag rug

I decided it would be cool to make Sister Suzy a rug to match her memory quilt.

I did some research on rag rugs.  Ilona over at Life After Money made a couple using the latch hook method.  Instructables has a how-to on braided t-shirt rugs.  Craftstylish has a how-to for crocheting a rag rug.  SheWhoMeasures has a how-to for knitted rugs.  Wow, look at what I just found, a PDF booklet on knitted rugs.  Spoonful has a tutorial on making a round woven rug and this one from Craftpassion is done with sheets but I think it would work for t-shirts as well.

But none were exactly what I had in mind.  I wanted a shag but didn't want to spend any money on a latch hook backing and I didn't have any netting like Ilona in my stash of craft goodies. So I pieced together 4 left-over backs to get a good sized backing.  I used a pieced quilt block design of a heart for the center motif from Simplicity and then doubled it.  I drew a 3" x 3" grid on my backing.  I decided based on what I had left in scraps that two-and-a-half-inch shag would use up too much fabric.  I went with 1.5" shag or a 3 inch square of fabric sewn every half-inch and then snipped in half inch segments.  I choose to use 3" strips of fabric as opposed to 1/2" wide strips because I thought it would make the sewing easier.  If you wanted a tweedy look then you will have to work with a lot of little strips.

As you can tell my half-inch seam allowances are approximate.  I would suggest drawing the seam lines if really straight lines are important to you. I ended up marking the ends, middle and quarter to help keep the middle from getting away from me.  I also discovered I was off on my grid work by a half a square lengthwise and width.  So I should have waited until I laid everything out or spent more time with a paper and pencil!  Most of the sites I read suggest spacing of a 1/4" but I just didn't have the fabric.  Or the stick-to-it-ness to pull that off!  I struggled with the second half because I got bored.

To finish you are suppose to pull each strip until it curls.  It really adds a nice finish to the parts I have pulled but I got bored and have not finished that part.  I'm hoping that the strips will curl after a run through a washer and dryer like t-shirts with cuts and tears.  The last thing for me to do is paint on some non-skid rug backing.

Now for a kitty picture:

She is so concerned about being where she doesn't belong!

Hope every one is having a good day!


Friday, June 6, 2014

chicken scratch quilt blocks

Also know as snowflake embroidery, depression lace, gingham lace or Amish lace.

I will probably never use the instruction my aunt sent my mother, as I'm not that much into embroidery. (I have tendon-n-nerve damage in my hands-n-arms from making a living beating the heat-treating warp out of airplane parts.)  I wanted to pass the idea on in case it might be of interest for someone.

Instead of repeating the information that is available out on the web, here are some sources.  This information was enclosed in the envelope my aunt sent my mother.  It covers fabric, hoops, needles and thread/floss. The information covers two of the stitches used in great detail and gives you a pattern of a heart.  There is a video available on the home page, which is very helpful.

The University of West Virginia has an extension newsletter on the subject:  As well as the University of Kentucky:  Both newsletters have a pattern enclosed of an 8-pointed star.

My aunt enclosed two 18" samples of the 8-point star block.

I really like the contrasting outline of the second block with the white center of the first block.  These blocks were done on quarter-inch gingham.  In fact all of the chicken scratch I've seen has been done on the quarter-inch gingham.  For a baby it would be cute done on eighth-inch gingham I would think.

Here is the full size pattern that was enclosed with the two blocks.

I would think any pieced quilt block could be converted to a Chicken Scratch pattern if drawn on quarter-inch graft paper. 

It appears from the photos of the quilts enclosed in the envelope.  My aunt made the quilts at least 4 x 4 in the center and used solid sashings and borders.  For each cornerstone she used a two-inch square of the white lace on a four-inch block.

Here are some links to different patterns:

I hope this is helpful for someone who is curious about this type of embroidery and quilting.

Have a good day!


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

something else I finished

Here's something else I finished but didn't blog about.

I have always wanted a Faroe Isle shawl. The shape makes so much more sense than a regular triangle or stole type.  They have shoulders knitted in so they stay on better.  There are two types one that is beautiful lace and a solid one similar to the one I knitted (cause I was cold).  So I got busy on Ravelry and found this pattern Top Down Faroese Shawl with Garter Rib Variation by Cate Leonard.  I knitted it using US#8 needles.  The yarn is Red Hearts Heather in Teal using a little over 3 skeins.

This shawl unblocked but washed and dried in a dryer measures 24 inches down center back, 53 inches along top edge and 102 inches across the bottom edge.  My ribbing was 5 and half inches deep.

I started this as the directions called for; got to the ribbing and did not like the body of the shawl.  Ripped it out and started over.  The band is garter stitch (cast-on 7 stitches).  The body of the shawl was done in stockinette and I think it looks so much more polished to me.  I slipped the first stitch on each row.

All increases in the body were, make one front and back, with yarn overs for the increase at the band and back panel.  My increases in the ribbing were done on rows 3 and 4; they were knit in the front and back of the first stitch to eliminate the hole.  I figured out how many increase per section and used stitch markers to keep track of where I was on the increases and to make sure I did not forget any.  There are 9 increases in section one, 12 increases in next RS row and 2 in back panel.  Section two has 14 increases, 17 increases in the next RS row and 2 in back panel.  Section three has 17 increases, 24 increases in the next RS row and 2 in the back panel.

I used a Russian join for adding in the next skein.

I added a short row of garter stitch in the band every ten ridges as per Techknitter’s instruction on how to keep the garter stitch bands from curling with stockinette.  Thank-you Techknitter it works like a charm!

I used Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-off.  Man I love this bind off!

I made this shawl pretty much per the directions because I couldn't figure out how to up-size it for me.  If I were to make one for me I think I would increase the size of the back center panel at the neck.  Then I would add a few more increases in the body of the shawl and make the body a little bit longer as I am considerable rounder than Sister Suzy and I would like it a few inches longer. 

I doubt, however, I will ever make another shawl especially for myself because the backs of my arms get cold not my shoulders. Draping a sweater around my shoulders doesn't help my cold arms.  I have to put my arms in the sleeves for them to warm up.

Hope everyone is having a good day!