"Buttons and patches and the cold wind blowing,
The days pass quickly when I am sewing"
~Author Unknown

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Something quilty this way comes.....

And it is high time! I have been doing lots of quilt projects but have not shared any lately on the blog. No idea why but here are two of them...

I missed posting last month on the day of our quilt group. I have since then not only made two months worth of blocks but also decided on a major change for my own Farmer's Wife sampler. First, I removed the blocks with red in them as I am going to make a small sampler for my mother using only red accents in the blocks. It is her favorite color and I kept thinking as I was sewing the patchwork that my mother would love them. So now she can.

Then I decided to use 25 blocks to make a smaller square sampler using my blocks. I arranged the blocks in a pleasing order and needed to start setting them with sashings, cornerstones and setting triangles. I am giving the group the information this month so they can start adding sashing with the idea that you do not have to do it all at once at the end this way. I needed to decide on which fabrics I would use myself. I wanted to use a darker shade of brown for the sashing. I also knew I want to use a fabric in my stash with a stripe which I think will make the border striking. Then can the big choice (as I really like them both) between old rose or cream background for the floral stripe. And the winner is.....

I went with the cream background as I thought it brightened up the overall quilt. What is it about brown that works so well in a quilt to me? I love brown and find it works well with so many other colors. Brown and pink are one of my favorite combinations. This is a Farmer's Wife in the Garden quilt. *grins*

Another quilt project I started a while back is the Civil War BOW (block of the week) quilt. I am having trouble getting into this project enough. I just find the blocks so large after many small sampler blocks as well as doll quilts. *sigh* I think once I get enough finished (and no I am not making them all) so that I can start playing with a setting, I will enjoy them more. I specifically wanted to dig into my old purples for this quilt. It seemed too two dimensional to me so I started to add touches of red which is really making it zing.

I need to finish the last bits of a border on a doll's quilt so it can be finished off. It will stay a surprise for later when I have it finished though. I think doll quilts are just about my favorite things to do. I love to stitch over one for the small look and love the small quilt blocks too. Perhaps it is all a normal thing following my efforts for three years now to work from stash only?

I also am hand quilting a row robin that was made by my quilt group a number of years ago. Back to the quilting and more about it soon.

"All the flowers of tomorrow are in the seeds of yesterday."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring and bouquets.....

Where does time go? It must be the sunshine that put so much distance between this and my last post. *grins*

In the beginning of March, I came across this SAL going to start very soon. I told myself no I did not need to start yet another project and definitely not one this big. Did my self listen??? Nope! I thought I really needed this as another little pillow on my patchwork quilt in our bedroom. Small it is as I am stitching this one on 30 count off-white Flemish farmer's linen 1 over 1. I do love stitching this over one! The smallness of the stitch seems to do something magical to the piece.

In my quest to use more and more of my stash, I pulled colors out of my jars of overdyed threads for this project. I am using Crescent Colours: Jakey Brown, Clay Pot, Country Lane, Dandelion Stem, Desert Mesquite, Milady's Teal, Wavy Navy, Whatley Woodlands and Bramble Bush.

The next section has the first of three alphabets. I do love anything with an alphabet on it and this one has three and my other favorite thing....a house. But for now, I will enjoy my pretty blue flowers on a sunny spring day.

Hope you are having a day filled with stitching sunshine wherever you are!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Goin' gardening!

That is where I will be this weekend. We have some major catching up to do in the garden at Cranberry Cottage so it will be a nice spring weekend here and we plan to use the time pruning and clearing things up.

But I am also gardening indoors with my crochet flower afghan. I have lately become totally addicted to crocheting these flowers. While my afghan has big and blousy flowers, I started some small ones using this tutorial for a shawl. They are so much smaller and it is fun to make both sizes.

I am using a very fine yarn which I think will give this shawl a chic look for wearing out to a restaurant on a summer's eve.

This weekend, I am going to try and crochet many more flowers for the afghan and will show you my progress next week. I have a great incentive to finish as I have already bought yarn to make an African flower hexagon afghan next.

Can you tell I have become totally hooked on crochet??? so much so that I joined the CAL (crochet a long) at The Flower Bed. They are all so inspiring there!

I promise a quilt-y and stitch-y post later this weekend. I am very busy with a couple of projects and want to share them with you.....

Have a great and creative weekend!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

This is why.....

Please turn off my music on the sidebar as you need to hear the clicking of the knitting needles which is something I remember as a child. Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee or hot chocolate and take time to watch this amusing video and be sure to watch it to the end.....

Mother...will you make me a scarf??? *wink*

Now my mind turns to two conclusions after seeing this cartoon:
1. Now I understand why my mother has always had short hair!
2. I know why I took up crocheting instead of knitting. *grins*

Hope you are all having a great weekend!

Friday, March 11, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.....

...at least it is in Ohio with all its snow. So I will celebrate it with a little Christmas finish here in a springlike Holland. *wink*

Yesterday I found this freebie and decided it would be nice to start and finish stitching something on the same day. All my stitching projects at the moment are large. So I dug into my stash and pulled out some 26 count unbleached linen and thread. I was aided along with yummy dark chocolate covered raisins from my friend Carolien who visited on Tuesday for a fun playdate. They are delicious so thank you so much Carolien.

Even though I am having another fibromyalgia attack today, I was able to sew and stuff the little pillow today. I am having attacks much more often than I used to have. I think my having Hashimoto's disease now is making my FM flare ups come much more often.

At least, I have the comfort of needle and thread and can enjoy this finish. I want to make more little pillows including some little quilt block pillows. I am going to use them as bowl fillers for my large wooden trough (dough bowl) at Christmas with some green branches and berries. Oh how I do love Christmas and we have such a long wait until it comes again. *sigh*

Anyone else working on fun Christmas projects? *grins*

Monday, March 7, 2011

I'm in the garden.....

...the front garden that is. Time has been passing too quickly and I had a couple of blog entries to write which I never got around to. We spent two weekends working on our front garden of our new house. It was a big job as there seems to have not been much maintained in this garden in the 16 years since it was planted. It looks like the only thing done was trimming the beech hedge and even that was not done well resulting in a hedge that is far too high and too deep out onto the street. We worked on cutting out dead wood from the tree, trimmed some plants, weeded out the moss which was everywhere and turned the hard and compact soil. We also created a larger path so that we can enjoy the evening sun there when spring and summer arrives.

Gardening must be on my mind as I was persuaded by Hazel to start working on a crochet flower blanket. My first flower is sitting outside on our bench but it is too chilly to crochet out there just yet. I will be attaching the next flower to this first one today so I am excited to see how it comes out. I decided to work from what little yarn stash I have to try a flower out. Seeing how it work up and the yarn matching my couches well, I decided to go ahead and make the flower blanket from this yarn. I have 8 skeins of this yarn so I will see how large the blanket will become as I go along.

I will be planting up my crochet flowers along with real ones out in the front garden as the temperatures allow.

With all this gardening, you must be hungry? How about a cookie and a cup of tea? I love cooking and baking. I have been trying out many new recipes for the last two months.

When I do not have a needle in my hand, I have a book instead. I finished reading a young adult historical fiction series which I really enjoyed. It is The Quilt Trilogy by Ann Rinaldi.

The first book is A Stitch in Time introducing you to the Chelmsford family. Sisters Hannah, Abigail and Thankful are each stitching their part of the family quilt which goes with them as their lives take shape far apart from each other.

In Broken Days, Thankful's daughter returns to the family with her piece of the quilt. Thankful had been captured by indians in the Ohio territory so will her daughter be accepted by the family?

In the final book, The Blue Door, Abigail's granddaughter returns to the North to visit a family she has never met. These books combine quilting with American history especially the history of the mill houses of Lowell, Massachusetts.

Speaking of gardening, here is the stitching UFO that I finished recently. I had mentioned it but wanted to share it after I had sewn it into a finish. I have not had time to do it yet and thought I would go ahead and show you the piece. It is from a SAL I did last summer. I had been waiting for the last email when I realized that I had missed it. I got the email but it ended up truly getting set aside. There was so little left to do that it was a shame it got pushed aside. Now it is done and I want to have it totally finished well before the summer this year.

Jos and I have both been sick. We have bad coughs that keep us up at night. He has a terrible cold along with it and I have lost my voice. It was a whisper for the last four days but today it is starting to get stronger. You don't need a voice to garden, crochet, read, stitch...do you? *wink*

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Life is a ball of yarn?

Yep...it just rolls along and I am week farther before I blink an eye. Gardening, more fun with friends and preparing for the quilt group tomorrow has kept me from blogging again. In the meantime, I also finished a baby blanket.

My niece is having a baby girl named Abigail Lynn this summer. She is already being referred to as Number 3 Lynn by us in the family. You see I am Number 1 Lynn and Abigail's mommy is Number 2 Lynn. So I wanted to make my little namesake a blanket (click here for the pdf of the pattern) for her mommy and daddy to wrap her up in when she comes home from the hospital.

I did not lay it out very flat so sorry about that. I used 3 colors of baby yarn which is so wonderfully soft. Abigail will have the cuddle factor a little extra when wrapped in this soft afghan.

This is only my fourth crochet finish so I was really pleased when the edging came out so nicely. I searched online for one and used this pattern which worked up very easily.

This beret and scarf have been finished for a couple of weeks and I still had not posted it. I must tell you it is not easy to get a good picture of these without wearing them. *grins* For some reason, my scarf has grown about 60cm in length since I finished it. Is that from the loose stitch used for it? Anyone know? I keep teasing Jos that if it grows much longer, we can wrap it around both of our necks. *wink*

The past few days, I have been making the next series of 20 granny squares for my afghan. I have to make 140 of them total so I am working on it on and off...20 at a time. It is fun to work on but not that many of them in a row. I do not have a deadline for it to be finished and just want to have fun making it.

Humm.....tomorrow evening my quilt group comes and I must go take the photos of the next block to share with you. Until then.....