Monday, February 21, 2011

First Socks

Along with quilting and cross stitching I am learning to knit.  Here are my first socks.  The first one is a little to big but the second one fits much better.  My friend Sue who is teaching me has suggested going down a size on the needles.  So Size 1's here I come. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Another Long Term Project

Although I am primarily a quilter - I started as a cross stitcher many years ago.  In Cross Stitch and Country Crafts they used to publish an annual Christmas Stocking.  I had the wonderful idea to make one for each of the family.  I started with my daughter and finished it fairly quickly - she was born in 1989 and the stocking was done in 1995.

The one next worked on was for my son (born in 1992)and it was finished in 1997.

Then I started on my husbands.  This was the cross stitch pattern from hell.  The pattern either changed color every other stitch or it was a half stitch.  This stock was finished in 2004. 

Finally I got to mine.  I loved the combination of quilting, knitting, and cross stitch on the pattern.  I also have a black feather weight sewing machine.  I started it as soon as my husbands was finished (2004).  This year I decided to finish or get rid of projects.  So in January I picked up the stocking and have tried to do one 18 inch piece of floss a day.  When I started I had only finished the name and the angels on the bookcase. 

It is amazing how much you can get done by doing just a little every day.  Maybe this Christmas I will have a new stocking to hang on the mantel - stay posted to see my progress.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I have been working on this small art quilt started last year.  My friend Dotty taught our art quilt group - Art That Works -  a technique she learned at a class.  You start with a plain piece of black fabric and without a ruler cut into pieces.  You then use these pieces as templates for your quilt fabric.  I decided to use some Cherrywood fabric I had - mostly very small pieces - so ended up with lots of curved seams. 

Since the pieces were cut in a very free form way - they did not always fit together smoothly.  After I pieced it - I could not decide how to quilt it.  At first I planned to quilt it in sections horizontally - and used tracing paper to try out some various designs.  It was not exactly what I wanted.  The piece needed Texture - so each piece is quilted in a different design.  To keep continuity - I have used the same color thread in each of the vertical columns.  I have one more column to finish.

I like the way the thread seems to change color based upon the fabric it is on.  I have learned a lot of different quilting patterns - I am so done with stippling everything in sight!

Now to decide how to finish it.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Finally Finished and Finally Started

Starting a blog is something I have wanted to do for over a year - but sometimes my intentions are great but my actions are slow.  I have just finished a quilt that I started in 1988 - hence the Finally Finished and Finally Started title of this post.

In 1988 I didn't have children and decided to pick up a new hobby - quilting.  I had always sewn and had several friends who quilted.  I took a class through the Raleigh, NC park and rec department from an elderly gentleman who learned to quilt from his mother when he was a child.  Did we do a small pieced quilt or a sampler - on no we did a queen size Dresden Plate - 12 fourteen inch blocks.  All cut by templates and scissors.  This quilt did not see a rotary cutter until this year when I squared it up.

I didn't know what an applique stitch looked like - nor was a quarter inch seam stressed.  My husband called the blocks doilies.  By the time I had appliqued all 12 blocks and had pieced the top - I was sick to death of this quilt.  I tried - twice to hand quilt it - once with a fluffy polyester bat.  I am not a hand quilter. 

Then I moved on to machine quilting.  The first time I tried to quilt it using a very small table - about two feet square - epic fail.  Then I moved on to a John Flynn quilting frame - epic fail. 

I also moved four times and had two children (both now in college).

Last year our guild started a PHD program (projects half done) as an incentive to finish all those UFO's around.  This quilt made it on my list last year - and that is as far as it got.

This year the quilt not only made the PHD list - but it is Finally Finished.  I have a wonderful table my husband made for me, a machine that has needle down and speed control, and a lot more experience under my belt.  I started seriously quilting it after Christmas and put the label on it today. 

The quilt I am working on now - a pieced, abstract art quilt about 18 inches square.