Nov 27, 2009

The afghan finds a home

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family. And the afghan is going home to University. Note the sunglasses--this is California!

Nov 25, 2009

Crochet Scarf

I was interrupted yesterday, and I cut my post really short! My ride came early--I went to get my annual mammogram. So I signed off in a hurry. Anyhow, here are photos of my free-pieced Shoo Fly blocks. I haven't finally decided on the way I'll set these blocks together, and I do have a bunch more blocks cut out and ready to sew. Meanwhile, a word keeps popping into my head, so I feel another free-pieced letter thing coming on.
And I wanted to give directions for my Jiffy Crochet Scarf. If you need a last minute gift--this might fill the bill. You need 6 or 7 ounces of Knitting Worsted and a Size J hook. Chain 28. Hdc in the third ch from the hook and in each ch across. Ch 2, work hdc in the back loop until you have the thing long enough, or use up the yarn.

Nov 24, 2009

Free-pieced Log Cabin Quilt

Wow, I finished sewing on the binding last night! And I'm happy. I recommend using up all sorts of strips and bits of fabric with a pattern like this.

Nov 19, 2009

Free-pieced log cabin quilt top

Oops! I miscalculated and I got carried away here. I made nearly twice as many blocks as I needed for this quilt top. My sewing machine was starting to kvetch--I had to stop everything and clean it and install a new needle (this particular machine doesn't need oiling.) Well, I guess that I could have just made a bigger quilt with those extra squares? Anyhow, I decided to put those blocks aside--they won't be wasted--I'll make a quilt with them someday soon. I really want to get back to that other quilt, the Shoo Fly one, that I started on at the same time as this one. So, I hunted through my stash and I found a perfect two-yard piece of brown fabric for the backing of the log cabin thing. I made the sashes from an off-white fabric that I like to use instead of the old-fashioned muslin. Even though I still have a few yards of muslin on hand, I've gotten spoiled, and I like the solid fabric instead. Meanwhile, I've been keeping my dining room table bare (except for meals) because I'm tying that denim quilt--that chore may take forever! So I can just sneak in this log cabin thing and pin baste it this afternoon. It can be my new "keep it on hand for emergencies" quilt.

Nov 15, 2009

Free to a good home

I've slowed up a bit on my sewing, but I'm still working on it almost every day. I finally completed this afghan. It has a story. I was walking past a yard sale one day several months ago, and the lady said to me, "Oh it's you! I know you like yarn. Here's a bag or two of yarn for you." And she held up two big white plastic bags. "How much?" I asked.
"For you, it's free." So who can argue? I thought I might be getting some yarn ends that I could use to make amigurumi toys. But no, she had given me some heavy weight wool (I was able to make a shawl for my cousin and a scarf or two from that) and a half-finished granny square afghan in a lovely nubby yarn. There were no directions for the afghan but she had finished several squares from which I could easily figure out the pattern. And she had made 56 centers. The afghan squares made a good carry-along project for me. I finished them in a few weeks. Actually, the thing I hate is sewing the squares together. I always make afghans that you don't have to sew together, because I find joining the squares to be a tedious chore. However, last week I gritted my teeth and finished it. I had an incentive--I have decided to take the afghan to my daughter's for Thanksgiving (there's going to be a lot of guests)--and the first person to want it, can have it! It's my kitten--Free to a Good Home!

Nov 10, 2009

Thank you to all who posted comments on my last post. I sent an email to all of you who had an email return address. I've got good news--the last few days I actually ironed the denim quilt and the backing and pin basted it together. And I even spent about an hour tying it. I figure that what with the tying and the binding, I might be done by New Year's. I'm making that my projected goal. Meanwhile, I have finished knitting and crocheting all of the children's sweaters that I planned to make for the holidays. And I have already given three of my grandchildren their sweaters. What luck--the sweaters fit them. I post photos of my knitting and crochet on my Flickr page, and there is a link it here on my blog page. I always have a man's hat on the knitting needles. The hats are a good portable project. I donate these hats to an organization that helps homeless folks. I ought to post the pattern for these hats, I guess. And here are some of the quilt blocks that I've been making. I squared up a few of them. They are 9 1/2 inches.

Nov 4, 2009

Two projects

I still need to put the backing on my second denim quilt. I hope to get started on that this weekend. I even bought more safety pins. They wanted $22 for a package of pins in the quilt store. I laughed at them and bought a bunch at a discount store for $3. And I took the advice and washed the flannel backing again today. So, meanwhile, I have to run the sewing machine, right? So I decided on two projects. I know, one should be enough at a time. I want to make a scrappy log-cabin type or maybe some crazy squares. And then, I want to follow our "bible" and make a Shoo Fly quilt as in Gwen Marston's "Liberated Quiltmaking." I have no plan for either quilt, so I guess they will get as big as they need to be. I do have on hand a couple of lap-sized quilt batts.

Nov 3, 2009

Home again

I've been away, to Nevada to visit family. Here's three of my grandchildren making something special for Halloween. They went for trick or treat and came back with big bags of candy of course. I had as much fun as they did. Naturally, I went shopping while I was there. I bought a couple of fat quarters and some books and magazines. I found "Quilts From the Selvage Edge" by Karen Griska and "Material Obsession" by Doughty and Fielke. Of course I never trim off the selvages when I make a quilt. But the book has great ideas for string quilting--and that I do all the time. Material Obsession has a web site at and you can find Karen Griska at