Saturday, October 22, 2011

Quilty Pleasures

I recently took over leadership of the local American Sewing Guild neighborhood group that concentrates on quilting.  We had a meeting today and worked on the Lucky Charms table runner from the book, Fast and Furious, Quilting As You Go.  We had all of the pieces cut before we started and many of us finished before we left.  I decided mine needed some buttons and I found the perfect ones in my button box when I got home...imagine that!

Here it is on the kitchen table.  It's so great to have a new finished project!

Friday, October 14, 2011

I know, I know

Yes, the summer has come and gone and it looks like the fall has come and almost gone too...and I haven't done any blogging. Work has over taken my life this year. I am so exhausted by the time I get home that I can barely think. I'm finally beginning to think again, maybe blogging won't be far behind. (This post is a good start, don't you think?)
I do have some things to show and as soon as I take some photos I will share them here. Until then here a few of the happy things I experienced in the last few months...

Our niece's new baby girl...isn't she a beauty?

One of my favorite summer had at least two blossoms all summer!

My baby sister and her sons after she finished running 26.2 miles...26.2 miles? How does anyone do that?

My quilting buddies on our mystery getaway...I'm taking the photo so I'm not in it. There's nothing better than good friends!

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Next Knitting Project

While my last knitting project seemed to take forever, this one is going so quickly I can't believe it! It probably has something to do with size 5 needles vs. size 10 1/2 needles. This is the Tuck Stitch Tank by Classic Elite Yarns from their book Picnic. The yarn is Katydid, which is a cotton tape/ribbon type yarn that is a dream to work with. On the 10 1/2 needles it makes a soft, drapey, stretchy fabric. I chose an apple green color which is not my normal color, but I think I was ready for something a little different.

The back is done to the underarms and the front is almost that far. The next class is a week away and I'm going to have to hold myself back from finishing it before then! I guess it's a good thing that I signed up for two more knitting classes and just ordered some yarn for another sweater! I might never get back into my sewing room!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Green Gable

A finished project! And just in time because tonight I am beginning a new knitting class at my LYS. This is Green Gable. It was easy to knit, but it seemed to take me a long time to get it done. I used Lion Brand Cotton Ease that was in my stash for a loooong time.

I added some extra waist shaping and length to the body and the sleeves. I also did a single crochet edging around the neck to stop the back neck from rolling. It still wants to roll but it's not as bad as before the crochet.

And here is my Superhero pose...I like the way the sweater looks like this. If you see me walking around with my hands on my hips it's only because the sweater looks better this way!!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

An Update

When my kids were young I always found the month of June to be the most hectic time of the year. It was always such a relief to get to July and our summer vacation. No routines, no set activities, just fun at the pool and a little tennis thrown in. Now that I am working at a school I'm feeling the same way! Throw in a wedding and suddenly I don't know which end is up!! Hence, my blogging vacation.
My son got married last weekend and it was a perfect day in every way.

We traveled to Burlington, VT. The wedding was at St. Michael's College chapel and the reception at the Essex Inn. It was lovely.
Since then I have been lazing around enjoying my summer vacation. I've done a little knitting and some reading. I planned on spending some time every day in my sewing room. I think that begins today! Woohoo! I love summer vacation...

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Easter Trip #2

Our first full day in Holland was spent at the Keukenhof. Seven million bulbs = tulip goodness. It was beautiful. Fortunately we didn't miss any of our tulips and daffodils in bloom. They have just started blooming this week.

Beautiful color combinations.

Beyond the gardens were the tulip growing fields. Rows and rows of color.

Next up: Normandy.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Easter Trip #1

We went to visit our son in Europe the week before Easter. It was a fantastic trip. First up...Amsterdam. We loved it there. The weather was perfect, sunny and warm, but not too warm. Everyone there rides bikes, they even have a bike parking garage that holds 2500 bikes...and it's not big enough! There are bikes parked everywhere.
My husband and son.

Beautiful canals.

Our hotel, a former shipping warehouse turned into a beautiful hotel.
The view from our hotel room.

The street outside our hotel. Next up, Keukenhof.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Red and White Goodness

I spent last weekend in NYC with seven of my quilting friends. We went to the quilt show at the Park Avenue Armory: Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts. It was a spectacular show, like nothing I've ever seen before. Watch this clip from the Martha Stewart Show to see all about it.

You can see more of my photos here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to my youngest. 21 years old today.

Ahhh, I breathe a sigh of relief, we made it. They're all adults (at least agewise, actions could be another matter all together!)

A Twice Finished Sweater

Okay, okay, I know I'm crazy, but I couldn't help it. I put the sweater on and all I could see in the mirror glaring back at me was my mistake! I wore it to work tried not to point out the mistake and it worked until I went to knit with a group of women after work and it all came bursting out..."I made a mistake, it's right in the front!" It made me feel better that no one could find it, but I knew it was there.
So...over the weekend I took part of the underarm and side seams out, removed the sleeve, ripped down the front to my error and fixed it. It's all back together and now I'm happy and I try not to look too closely at the sweater because I don't want to see any more mistakes! I'll get a photo of it on me next time I wear it.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Now It's Really Done

My last post suggested that I only had to finish knitting the front/neck band of my sweater. Little did I know it would take me four tries to get it right!! It was worth it though. I finished sewing it together tonight and it is drying right now. I am very happy with the way it turned out...except when I had it laid out for blocking I noticed a mistake. UGH! I don't think anyone else will notice and I have promised myself that I won't mention it to anyone admiring the sweater when I wear it. I just can't bear the idea of taking it apart. I am planning on wearing it this week and will get some photos of it on.

I have started another sweater and don't like the yarn so tomorrow I am going back to the yarn shop to do an exchange. In the meantime I think I will whip up a baby sweater. I think I need a quick knit and I have a niece who is expecting in July.

I can't believe the weekend is to bed to dream of new sweaters!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Knitting Is Done...Almost

I only have the neck and front band left to knit on my Drift sweater. Now comes the difficult part...sewing everything together. I made it a little shorter than the pattern. I hope it fits!

I have my next project ready to swatch. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Letterpress Love

I love letterpress. Ever since I first noticed cards printed that way at the Paper Source store in Boston I have been enamored with it. I even took a class at a local print shop. I have wanted to be able to recreate the technique without buying a huge, old, expensive printing press. Enter the new(ish) L Letterpress by Lifestyle Crafts. Mine arrived on Monday and today I finally got a chance to play with it. I am in letterpress love!!!

I watched youtube videos and read some great blog posts about the machine here, here and here. Then I jumped is my first printing. I used rubber stamp daubers instead of ink for the first tries. This is the first printing I did. You can see the ink got on the edges of the designs.

Then I tried a print without any ink. It was gorgeous!!

So I dug up some notecards that I had and pressed them. Lovely.

Then I got the ink and the brayer out. The brayer that comes with the kit is terrible. The blog posts I read had prepared me for that. I will buy a new one.

My inking needs work and there is a tip from Boxcar Press that I will use. I am off to design some things and have some custom plates made at Boxcar Press. I never find the time to send out Christmas cards, but maybe this will be the year that I get my act together. I certainly have plenty of time if I start now! Stay tuned...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Great Serger Experiment

I found this wonderful piece of sweater knit fabric at JoAnn's before Thanksgiving. There was just over a yard of it which was less than I needed to make a jacket. I bought it because it was the perfect color to go with a skirt that I have had for about 5 years and hardly worn because I had nothing to go with it! I decided to jump right in and see what I could do with the fabric.

I started with an old Simplicity pattern that I have used for years for a simple, unstructured, knit jacket. I had enough fabric for a shorter jacket with 3/4 sleeves, but I don't particularly like 3/4 sleeves - especially in the winter. I set the project aside to think about it (remember I am a great thinker!).

When I went back to it I decided to use my serger to add pieces to the bottom of the front and back and sleeves to make them longer. I used a flatlock stitch.

I went with that idea and added plackets on the front and a neckband. Here I used a combination of flatlock and cover stitches. The neckband went on 4 times before it was what I wanted! I ended up putting the raw edges of the neckband over the neck edge and topstitching with the coverstitch.

I'm so happy with the results. The only thing I may still change on it is to add some shaping at the waist in the side seams and maybe shorten the sleeves.

Now I have the perfect thing to wear with my plum colored skirt, but it also goes with my gray dress pants, faded black jeans and gray skirt!