Saturday, May 23, 2015

quilts Mother and I collaborated on

I found some pictures of quilts Mother and I collaborated on and I am playing with Hubby's computer to see if I can up-load them.  Guess what, I think it is going to work!
This is the last embroidered quilt Mom and I made together.  This quilt is for a friend of my younger sister.  Tricia and my sister went to high school together.  Mom and Dad kind of finished raising her, the hugs and encouragement when she needed it and the lecture/boot when she need that too.  If Mom called, as she became frailer Tricia was right there to help Mom when we couldn't get to her.  As a token of Mother's appreciation for Tricia's time and trouble, Mom wanted to make her a quilt.  My sister helped with color selection for the embroidery floss and borders.  I suggested the flying geese sashing to tie all the different blocks and colors together.  The great part was having Tricia help to pick out the fabrics because Tricia didn't know the quilt was for her.  She was just having fun playing with fabric!

As I was researching how to make flying geese, I discovered the symbolism of the background as being the sky.  I had originally planned to make the background scrappy too.  So my 'ah moment' was to turn the background into blue and make all the corner squares green for fields.  I thought it pulled the quilt together quite nicely so did everyone else.  The original idea for the border didn't work once I had the main body done.  So a trip to the quilt shop with it laid out on the floor in the classroom auditioning fabric culminated with me calling my sister and asking her to come help.  Boy, does it ever help to have someone who has had some art/color training!  She didn't have any trouble pulling the hand-dyed fabric for the outside border off the shelf.  I looked at it, but it was expensive...and I was spending Mom's money.  The inside border took a little more trial and error to get the right shade of green for it.  Tricia was so overwhelmed she cried when Mom gave it to her.
Mom's being silly in this one!  She likes having her picture taken about as well as I do!

This quilt was for my sister.  The embroidered blocks are lilacs and dragonflies.  I decided it needed to be set together with some kind of lattice sashing.  There are two colors of green.  The blue patches are the same fabric as the border believe it or not and the on-point cornerstones are a deep purple.  I had to hand-sew the points to the border to get them to come out right.  There were 50 billion little pieces to this sashing.  I was surprised I didn't have more problems setting it together.
This one went to my older brother and his wife.  The embroidered blocks are Jack Dempsey rose blocks.  As my sister and I were trying to find fabric to set this quilt together with, one of the ladies who worked at the quilt shop said, if it were her, she would eliminate so of the excess white around the edges.  The light bulb went off for us and we changed up the layout.  Then, as I am wont-to-do, I changed it even further after I got home and started playing around with the idea.  I ripped and resewed several spots because I was having trouble getting it to lay smooth with no puckers.  There were a few spots I ended up hand sewing to get it right.

Yeah, a blog post from some pictures I found while cleaning out and rearranging closets!  And yes, I'm avoiding the mess, why do you ask? LOL

I hope everyone is having a good day!

Judy

Thursday, May 7, 2015

just checking in

Just checking in, been having all kinds of computer problems.  Took my tower into Best Buy and they tell me my motherboard is dying although the funky sound is coming from the hard drive.  I got on Hubby's computer and sent an e-mail to his brother-in-law because I decided they were full of it.  However, I will have to stop calling them names after he e-mailed back and said it is a good possibility that something on the motherboard isn't working right and not feeding the correct power to the hard-drive.

So, I've got to dig through all of Hubby's computer stuff and see if there is a spare motherboard lying around.  Find all the disks for the software and if I have the right ones.  I'm also looking at just moving my hard-drive to his computer.  Then running both hard-drives from his, but I will need all the software before I start and his computer needs to be upgraded to Windows 7 cause his still has XP on it.  Also, he has some sort of exotic motherboard that is specifically for re-mastering music and videos and the standard stuff isn't always compatible.  Ah, for the days of our old KLH 286 with plug-n-play.

Don't have much to report on the quilting front.  I have two quilts started and with the blocks about half quilted.  I have lost interest in both.  Come to think of it, I have three quilts started and laying around. Sigh!

I haven't started cleaning out the second bedroom.  I need to get a move on it as I am heading to Kansas the middle of June to load Sister Suzy up to bring her out here with as much stuff as possible.  I would love to rent a truck and empty the storage room and my sister's garage but I may not have the funds to do it. Another sigh!

On another front, I'm beginning to think I may be allergic to corn. (Sister and oldest daughter are/were allergic to corn.)  I've been watching my caloric intake in an effort to take some strain off my knees.  I had a bowl of popcorn about a week ago and overnight gained five pounds.  (I gain 2 to 5 pounds if I have any dairy.)  It has taken me a week to get most of that weight back off.  If that (being allergic to corn) is true, I will probably need to drop peas and soy from my diet as they are/were both allergic to those items, also.  Double sigh!

Well enough grousing!  There are lots of good things going on, too.  Even if it's nothing more than John Bradford's, "there, but for the grace of God, goes I."

Y'all have a good day!

Judy

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

latest additions to my summer wardrobe

Here are the two latest additions my summer wardrobe.
The pink print is your standard V-neckline with one important change.  I bring the point of the 'V' up about an inch, as I really don't like exposing my cleavage.  My last name isn't Kardashian, so leaving nothing to the imagination, just isn't my thing.  Something my dear sainted mother pointed out when I was 13-14 was, if you wanted to be treated like a lady, look like one and act like one.  It rang a bell, along with, you are responsible for any child you procreate until that child is 18.   Do you remember how old 18-year olds were when you were 13-14?  E-gads, they were almost as ancient as my parents!  LOL  And did you know that a V-neckline has a slight curve to it?  I didn't until I took that pattern making seminar.
The green Hawaiian print's neckline was inspired by a pattern I saw when I was making sure I was spelling Butterick correctly last week.  That was pretty easy to do.  I took the front opening for the slit-neckline and using the lid off the rice storage container as a template I drew a slight curve on the facing.  Then I laid it down on the front of the shirt matched up the neck line and sewed it on leaving about two inches unsewn so I could attach the back facing and sew up the shoulder seams before finishing the rest of the shirt.
I am reorganizing and cleaning the kitchen so I maybe off-line for a while.  I need to make room for Sister Suzy moving in with her stuff in July.

I hope everyone is having a good day!

Judy

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

second improvement to summer wardrobe

The second improvement to my summer wardrobe finally got finished today after a couple false starts and an attempt by myself to screw up the other knee.
I used the pattern pictured as inspiration for a better neckline.  I redrew the neckline a couple of times before the old noggin remembered I had a pattern making kit in the closet.  I dug it out and got the neckline much closer to what I wanted. (Still needs a bit of tweaking)
Some of the best money I have ever spent.  I bought this kit and the one for pants back in the mid-80s.  There was a seminar that went with it to explain how to get the most out of the kits and some pretty cool tidbits like; why Simplicity patterns are usually two sizes too big, McCall's are one size too big and Butterick and Vogue are usually dead on.  Which helps explains to me why I always preferred the fit of the Butterick and Vogue patterns, as well as the fact they were more couture/stylish.  Interesting side note: while I was making sure I spelled the names of the pattern companies right, did you know McCall's now owns the Butterick and Vogue labels?  Me, nether!  If you ever run across either one of these kits or the clear acrylic ruler that goes with the kits grab them.  The best thing that ever happened to altering patterns so what you make fits.

Anyway back to my new shirt, I went through my button box, which is a plastic 7” x12 “x12” drawer in one of those tower thingy's, and found a button in the buttons I inherited from my mother I liked really well.
It's old and some of the gold is worn off but I think it adds to the charm of the button.  I moved the button loop down a little from the edge of neckline for the fun of it.  The jury is out as to whether or not I think it was a good idea.

Well, on to the next one.  I'm thinking maybe a keyhole neckline for the next shirt or a V-neck or a scoop then there is a square neckline.  I don't think I want any collars but who knows where my imagination could wander off too.

I hope everyone is having a good day!

Judy

Oh yeah, the knee!  Friday morning as I was coming out of the kitchen my left knee popped and I thought I was going to the floor but caught myself with the table and hung on for dear life.  I finally got myself back to the bedroom using a folding chair as a walker to get to Hubby's cane.  Then, I used both of them for the rest of the day to get from the bed to the bathroom.  I was eating naproxen like it was candy.  All I could think of was, "Man as bad as I hurt, I don't even want to experience this pain without these pain relievers."  It took me until the middle of the night to remember I have a TENS unit for the other knee that would work just fine on the one that was hurting so badly.  LOL, I know, kind of slow! By Saturday afternoon all I needed was the cane to get back-n-forth.  Yesterday, I made it down the stairs to the dumpster and to the mailbox only using the cane for the stairs part.  The weird part is the lower calf muscle is painfully tight and the muscles up the outside of leg into the hip are stiff-tight.  So much for my doing a bunch of exercises to strengthen the muscles that support the knees and doing more walking to get the weight off for the time being!  Jude

Monday, March 23, 2015

the state of my wardrobe(summer)

The state of my summer wardrobe is sorry, sad, embarrassingly ragged.  Since the temps are in the middle to high 80s the situation is becoming critical if I want to leave the A/C off for a few more weeks.  I have repaired or remodeled 6 pair of shorts and should get another summer out of them.  The tops?  I'm down to 2 shirts that are only fit for rags and don't want to be seen in public in them.

So I have gone through my fabric stash and found 8 pieces of fabric that there is enough yardage to make shirts with.  I even found a pattern that I had never used rolled up in a piece of fabric.  What could be simpler than a front, back and neck-facings?  I have the first of the new shirts made.
The shirt pattern takes about two and a third yards.  Not thrilled with a boat-style neckline so the next one will have something different.  Probably bring the back of the neck up to the natural neckline and change the front to a v-neck or a scoop neckline.  Have also considered cutting a square opening just at the mid-line of the bust and inserting a button closure, kind of like the dickeys of my youth.  I'm waffling on this as it is more work (buttons and buttonholes) but it would add some more pizazz to the shirts.

And no, I did not use the shoulder pads! LOL I have football-player shoulders and neck muscles.  Which is why I want to bring the neckline back around to the natural neckline.

I hope everyone is having a good day!

Judy

Thursday, March 5, 2015

another pretty - shamrock

I made me another pretty to hang on my wall.
Since it is March, why not something to do with St. Paddy's Day?  I looked at leprechauns, rainbows, pots of gold, shamrocks and all sorts of thing to appliqué.  As beautiful as some appliqué is, I don't have the patience nor do I like it when my hands go numb from gripping a small object such as a needle for long periods of time.  So I when I discovered a pieced shamrock over at Quilting Works.com I went for it.

This is what I came up with in EQ6:
Once again, EQ6 did not have this block in their Block Library, so I went to the Easy Draw section and drew the block.  I then imported the block into my lay-out.  The block is a 12-inch block set on point.  I played with the inside border to get just a section on the bottom.  The outside border is the binding.

Need to cut:
(12) 3.5-inch blocks for the patchwork of the leaves of the shamrock.
  (9) 2 3/8-inch blocks of background for the shaping of the shamrock leaves.
 (1) 6.5-inc block of background for the quadrant the stem is in.  This is where I variated from the pattern and instruction, and used a 10-inch piece of bias binding cut down to 1.5".  Pressed the sides under a 1/4" and machine appliquéd it across the diagonal of the 6.5" block.
 (1) 6 7/8-inch block cut on the diagonal for the 2 lower triangles around the shamrock of background material.
 (1) 9 7/8-inch block cut on the diagonal for the 2 upper triangles around the shamrock of back ground material.
 (2) 6.5 x 7.5inch blocks for either side of the flowerpot on background material.
 (1) 9.5 x 7.5-inch block for the flower pot.  The flowerpot was another variation from the pattern and instructions.

I had to square up the block after I added the four side triangles and before I added the flowerpot bottom.  I trimmed off about 3-inches of the stem part of the block.

I was having trouble pinning the trimmed flowerpot to the two pieces of background until I had an Aha! moment.
Take the piece you cut off the pot and lay it on the background to get the right angle for pinning.

Sew it down and press.
Repeat with the other side and trim the seam allowance to a 1/4-inch.  Attach to the bottom of your block.  I echo quilted the background and stitched in the ditch around all the colored parts of the quilt with an echoed flowerpot in the center of the pot fabric.

When I got ready to make binding, I decided I didn't want the original green binding but something different.  Why not a gold binding to represent the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?  I found a goldish-yellow print in the stash.  I think it was just what this pretty need.
The label is on
So now I need to get busy with a wedding gift for Hubby's nephew that is getting married this June.  I have a couple of ideas, so we will see where they lead me.

I hope everyone is having a good day!

Judy

Thursday, February 26, 2015

cabled wedding blanket - my version

This is my take of the Cabled Wedding Blanket.
The original pattern calls for super-bulky yarn.  What I wanted to use was worsted-weight Red Heart's Fleck in Oatmeal.  I already had the yarn in my stash as a partially done, crocheted afghan.  I had decided I would not finish it due to the strain on my hands from crocheting and the amount of yarn the afghan was sucking up.  I knitted this whole afghan (48" x 72") with about a skein leftover from about a 48" x 36" partially done crocheted one.

I decided on 12-inches of my favorite basket-weave pattern around the center panel.  Then I decided 5 cables in the 24" x 48" center would fill it nicely, 2 Celtic braids and 3 Aran braids on reverse stockinette.
I knitted it on a 40" US #6 circular needles. My gauge was 5.25 stitches/inch.  So needless to say I did a boat-load of swatching and research to get it to work.

One thing I learned was that cables pull in and you will have to add stitches to get it to lay flat without heavy blocking when going from one pattern to another.  I had to add 4 stitches/cable on the set-up row before beginning the cables.

I still got some rippling after washing the afghan as you can see in the picture above.  I didn't dry it in a dryer so I don't know if it would have dried tighter or not. (Laundromat dryers are notoriously hot!)  Nor did I block it very hard.

The basket weave pattern I used is:
Row 1:  Knit
Row 2, 4 & 6: K6, P4
Row 3 & 5:  K4, P6
Row 7:  Knit
Row 8, 10, & 12:  P5, K6, *P4, K6*, to last 9 stitches then P4, K5
Row 9 & 11:  P5, K4, *P6, K4*, to last 11stitches then P6, K5
I cast on 250 stitches and did seven-n-half repeats to get my 12-inches of basket-weave.

I built myself a chart in Microsoft Excel for the center panel.



I highlighted the two spots I kept screwing up the crossovers.  It is a pain to un-knit that part of the cable and re-knit it up to get the crossing right when you notice you screwed-up several rows down.  And, I did it a time or two even after I highlighted it!  Shesh!!!
When you get to the last row of the center panel and are decreasing it helps to decrease the same amount that you increased!  LOL  I had to rip back the last row of the center panel twice until I figured out what I was doing wrong!

So there you have it!  I saw a concept on Ravelry that I liked and made it my own.  It only took me 3 years to finish it!  And no, my dearest sister I am not going to send it to you!  You have to knit your own.

I hope everyone is having a good day!

Judy