Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Because It's So Hot...

I'm sharing shawls!

My mother and her two sisters were all knitters. I think my mother was the most dedicated and prolific of the three. I did not get the knitting gene but fortunately my sister did. Many years ago she made this shawl for me:

She was a little shocked at how worn it was looking the last time she visited. Since then she has been on a mission to make The Perfect Shawl for me. :- ) Happily she hasn't hit upon it yet! (That means I get several shawls before she's done.)

That first effort has been wonderful but sometimes is too big and gets in the way. The next one was made of a wool and alpaca blend:

I think the pink and aqua yarn is a hand dye. I've had this one for a couple of years now and don't remember the details anymore. I especially like the lacy edging she created.

The most recent addition to my collection just arrived the other day:

This one is made from a variegated sock yarn in a color called bittersweet. The colors range from orange through red to purple. Just yummy. And look at the gorgeous knitting!

It's too bad my birthday is in the summer, otherwise I would be using this beauty daily!

Monday, July 21, 2014


I've had my laptop back for nearly a week now. Unfortunately my body hasn't been co-operating much of late. It's always something isn't it?!

Let's get right back to the chicken quilt I was working on before I dropped my laptop. I had the central feathered star surrounded by an assortment of blocks featuring chicken prints.

I remember commenting that I wasn't sure about the print I'd chosen for the sashing. I thought it might be too busy. Barbara was right; it looks fine to me now. :- )

I had to pleat the flimsy on the design wall in order to build the top out to the width I wanted for the finished quilt.

Here's what the finished flimsy looked like:

You'll notice that the blue print border does not extend all the way across the top and bottom. That's all there was!

Because the top is so busy I asked for a simple meander when my son did the quilting.

It's rare that I will choose a light color to bind a quilt but it was the best option I had in this case.

I haven't been able to get a full shot of the completed quilt yet. In the picture below you can see what I chose for the back. It's not quite the same red as what's in the front but close enough.

I finished another flimsy while the laptop was away. I'll have to show it to you in my next post. ;- )

Monday, July 7, 2014


There's good news and bad news from the Magpie's Nest. The good news is that the chicken blocks have been sewn into a flimsy and are awaiting quilting. The bad news is that I dropped my laptop on its poor head - accidentally of course! The body of the computer seems to function just fine but the connection between the guts and the screen has been compromised. It had to be shipped off to Who-Knows-Where for potential repairs and I have no idea how long it will be gone. My Dear Husband has set me up with his laptop for the time being but my abilities are limited at this point. We will return to what little normal programming there was as soon as possible. :- )  Thank you for your patience.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Beginning to Hatch

I've been fighting a mental block where the chicken quilt is concerned. In addition to the feathered star block I wanted to feature...

I have two 16" blocks I thought I would try to use:

This block pattern is labeled variously as Arrowheads, Stepping Stones, and Blackford's Beauty in my 1,001 Patchwork Designs book, depending on the placement of values within the block.

After putting blocks up on the design wall and taking them down again a few times I finally decided that the feathered star needed another border/frame around it before I went any further. Once that was done the 12" blocks almost positioned themselves around the star!

Of course, adding that extra frame required some sashing strips between the blocks to make them fit around the star neatly. Finding the right print for that purpose was another struggle. Up close I think the print I used is a little busy but it will  have to do; it's the best I could find in my stash! I may be able to tone it down a bit with whatever happens next. And what happens next may not be the Blackford Beauty blocks after all. They will make the quilt longer/wider than I want it to be. So it's back to the drawing board again. But at least there's been some progress!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Blocks of the Month

It has been a rough couple of weeks. Not all of it, but enough to keep me from posting - or even sewing much. I've completed a needlepoint cosmetic bag and have another one about halfway done. But no Bead Journal Project and no work on quilts in progress. {sigh} There have been a couple of bright spots however. :- )

My local quilt guild does a block of the month lottery most of the year. I don't participate in the block of the month all the time but every once in a while there's a block that especially appeals to me. Such was the case in May. The block request was titled "Spring's Flower Garden." I know the block as Seesaw. This is one where the placement of values within the block makes a big difference in its appearance. I don't think I have a picture of the Seesaw version to share with you. Let me go look...

Nope. But here's the block I made for the drawing:

That was so much fun to make that I did another one for the chicken quilt I've been slowly building:

Imagine my delight when my friend C~ informed me my name had been drawn as the winner of all the blocks at the last guild meeting! :D There were 21 blocks in all:

One block is noticeably smaller than the others. There was a paper foundation piecing option for creating the blocks and I suspect the maker of that block did not make her foundations quite large enough. Another block has seams coming apart right at the edges so those will have to be reinforced. The big question is, what to do with the blocks? I could make something out of the existing blocks and give it away or I could make more blocks and have a happy new quilt for myself.

Just for fun I made a couple more blocks to add to the collection...

They are the bottom two in the lower left corner of the picture above.

These are such pleasing blocks to make that I will probably make enough to have 30 blocks total. I'm pretty sure now that this quilt will be for me, at least to begin with. Then this morning it occurred to me that I could call it Birthday Bouquet since June is my birth month! Now I have an excuse to keep working on this project instead of building up the chicken quilt further. ;- )

Oh, and the block of the month for June is to use any technique to make a block that will finish at 12" for the "Dog Days of Summer." Since I have several dog prints in my stash I felt compelled to participate again. I started out by making a couple of 6" Double Pinwheel blocks and then combined them with simple four patches that feature fussy cut dogs.

I wasn't happy with all the different colors. It wasn't cohesive enough. So I remade the double pinwheel blocks:

Much better!