Keeping Busy

 I’ve been keeping busy with holiday happenings and here’s a few things I’ve been working on.

This has been done awhile, it is my November “Let’s Be Together” block:

And  I have received 6 of my blocks back:

Been doing a wee bit of knitting – like quilting I have serveral on going projects, so it’s nice to toss in a quickie dishcloth:

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Sunday Grateful Thoughts

I’m grateful for adventures and new life journeys and new chapters.  I’m heading to Florida tomorrow with mixed emotions.  My dear friend Stacie, has fulfilled one of her dreams to move, work and live in England.  I’m so excited for her, but it saddens me at the same time the next time I visit Florida, she won’t be there.

I’m grateful for this new adventure for our friendship and knowing all we have been through in the first 10 years of our friendship will have prepared us for this new long(er) distance relationship.

We met online and then in person 10 years ago this coming week – kinda fitting that we’ll be spending the week together as she prepares for her next chapter in life.

While all my friendships are important and valuable, this one has taken the most beating and most growing as two people can go through without being family – – though we are very much sisters at heart.
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I know we’ll make the time and effort to continue to communicate and visit each other and knowing she is always a part of my life is one of many things I’m grateful for this Sunday.

Created with flickr slideshow.

My Week

I took 3 days off from knitting, to make a bag just for holding all my knitting paraphernalia!  In two weeks I have accumulated a bit 🙂

I’ve always wanted to make a professional tote, but never had a “need” for now . . . until NOW!   So, taking a few hours a day earlier this week, I “whipped” one of them up.  I’ve now worked in 2 different states and 2 different shops and I have to say this is the most popular pattern over the past 5 years! 

Let me say I’m in love with my new bag!  It was basic and simple, just a lot of details and prep and steps!  I have no desire to do another one – again, no need – – – -unless my knitting paraphernalia over grows this bag 🙂

Created with flickr slideshow.

I also made a case to hold my needles that matches my bag – forgot to take pictures of that.  And I’m working on some yarn bags.

Happy Veterans Day!

Sunday Grateful Thoughts

Another beautiful Fall weekend is passing and with the additional hour of sleep tonight, there is always so much to be grateful for.

My crockpot is the best time saver I have!  It has been very depended on here.  By the time I get home after work, I’m not up to cooking an entire meal for the family.  I take a few minutes before work, stuff my crockpot with something yummy and when I walk in the door after a long day of work, it smells wonderful.  Not to mention how yummy and satisfying it feels to know I don’t need to spend an hour in the kitchen on my feet.

I think this is my favorite way of cooking a chicken, but we do eat beans and spilt pea soup a lot as well.  Do you have a favorite crockpot recipe?  I think need some new ones.

So tonight we are having Beans and Corn Bread – – yum.

And as I took this picture, I promptly crashed my glass lid on the floor and it shattered into tons of pieces. . . let me say, I’m very grateful for my husband’s new job so I can get a new crockpot (can’t get a replacement lid, out of stock) and continue to make dinner the easy way this week.

Sooo easily distracted. . . .

Well, I’ve truly dived into a new realm.  Raverly.com is a dangerous place.  So many patterns, discussion boards and pretty shiney things.

Do you know you can document your entire stash on Raverly (yarn stash that is), including your tools and projects and future projects?!  Now why isn’t there a quilting site like this – it really is amazing!

I’ve started my third knitting project yesterday and learned how to purl.  I saw a cowl on Pinterest.com and wanted to recreate it – it was the whole reason to start knitting.  I had put off learning to knit because I dreaded the concept of purchasing another whole hobby and stash.  But with Raverly, it will be a bit easier to contain it……I hope 🙂

So, I did a KAL (knit along) at my new favoritest shop – about 20 minutes away from me – Forget Me Knot Yarn Shop.  They offer GREAT assistance and free! 

I love the feel of these yarns!  I hope to find the “perfect” button, but do you know how how it is to find buttons online?  How do you google them? 

This is what if should look like when I finish.

This is from Laura’s Lovely Fibers Etsy shop.

I’ve actually paid for a Learn to Knit class and it starts today at a different shop, so we’ll see what my next dishcloth will look like 🙂

Happy Halloween!

It’s my favorite time of the year!  We attended a party last night and sat around a fire and had good scary food!  Saw my co-workers in great costumes!  Hope to share an image of that later today – we are a goofy bunch!

I have started a knitting stash….YIKES!  It’s a bit more challenge to purchase yarn, you really need to ensure you pick it for a specific project to get enough.  I have started my first dishcloth, I’m almost done – this picture is at the half way point – I’m further a long now:

And my new stash.  First picture is for my first scarf.  It’s called Molly’s Scarf.

And this yarn is was on clearance and I really want some fingerless gloves and maybe a matching scarf or hat…I think I’m going to call Theresa at Forget Me Knot to see if there is 2 more left:

I want to get two dishcloths out of the way and then I’ll start my scarf!  I’m soo excited!

Oh and please add me if you are on Raverly.com – I’m quiltingpirate.

I think I’m going to adjust my name now …..the knitting & quilting pirate?  🙂

Sunday Grateful Thoughts

I decided to finally take a leap and learn a new craft.  I felt I was at a point to learn something new and different.  I walked in to a local knitting store and for almost 3 hours, the owner herself spent time teaching me!

I’m grateful this week for teachers who value time to share their knowledge with others.  Who make efforts to help students become successful.  Time is precious and knowing someone took their time to give to me is wonderful.

I’m grateful for this gorgeous tree in my front yard.

What are you grateful for this week?

Taking Time to Enjoy Friday!

My picture from Wordless Wednesday is my violets in my teacup pot, but I should have taken a full picture with my teapot pot with pansies the same coloring. . . .so here’s what they look like together (not the best picture, it’s cloudy outside.

They are both happy plants, but I’m afraid with all the very cold temps we’ll get the next few days them won’t be.

I also think we have the prettiest tree on the road here – it was beautiful yellow a few days ago and now is a rich red.

I have done some “non-quilting” lately.  I need more skirts for church, so found this quick and simple pattern at the shop and thought I’d try it out….LOVE it!  So, now I have fabric for second one as well.  First fabric is a new line from Moda called Etchings by 3 Sisters and the other fabric is from Kaffe Fassett.

 Now to enjoy my day off and see if I can learn how to knit….scary isn’t it? 🙂

Tuesday Tip

Ensuring accuracy in a square top, I suggest these “key” important steps:

1.  Always iron before you cut your fabric!  I also recommend light steam and a starch product (I love Best Press).  This helps pre-shrink your fabric and stabilize it at the same time – making sewing/piecing easier.  I have also noticed when I do this, I rarely need to use starch again, even when I final press my blocks.
2.  Ensure your 1/4″ seam EVERY time before you sew.  Now if you are one of the lucky ones who owes a 1/4″ presser foot with a guide – no need – I am very sure you can purchase them for all machines now days and I highly recommend it.  I still make sure the guide isn’t bent out of place and check my 1/4″ seam regularly.
3.  Pin, pin, pin!  Pin as often as you can.  This ensure your block seams match up perfectly.
4.  Squaring up your blocks as you finish them.
5.  When adding your borders do the following steps:

a. Lay your quilt top flat.
b. Measure left to right on the top, middle and bottom of pieced top. bor
c. Average those 3 measurements.  Use this measurement to pre-cut your top and bottom border pieces.
d. Sew on top & bottom border pieces, using pins – pin at each end FIRST, pin in the center, then space pins between other pins about every 3-4″.
e. Press your borders.
f. Repeat step a – e again for the left and right borders.

I teach these things in my Beginner Quilting classes, I don’t teach perfection, I teach accuracy and how to “fix” things if need be.  I feel strongly if you follow these “key” steps, your top will end up square.