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

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

As promised.....

After much frustration with attempts to blog this week, it has finally allowed me to download photos. I know others are also having problems so I am not alone. Not that it makes it less frustrating.

Finally, I can keep my promise to show you my Farmer's Wife sampler. I took this photo to share some time ago and since they have been working on the hand quilting. When it is not too hot, I am trying to quilt a block a day.

I am thrilled with the old fashioned look of this sampler. I think I have been under the influence of wanting to start rereading the Little House on the Prairie series along with watching the movie Sarah Plain and Tall again too. Oh....how I *love* that film! And to me this quilt looks like a prairie garden at the end of the summer. That is going to be reflected in the quilt's name which I will share only once I have finished the quilting. If the summer is not too hot then that should not be allllllll too long. *grins*

We have had three extremely hot days and when I was originally trying to post this blog entry I could do little more than sit at the laptop and drink one of these.....an iced coffee. I am also busy getting ready for next week. It is our annual 'Christmas in July' quilt evening. So many secret projects that I can only share with you after Wednesday evening. So back to work for Miss Pickles the Elf (that's me)! *wink*

Friday, June 24, 2011

Happiness with a crochet hook!

How can one be so happy with just a crochet hook to hand? I had promised myself when I finished my Japanese flower scarf I was allowed to start a couple of new quick projects before pouring myself back into my flower blanket. These were two projects that I had bought yarn for, looked up online tutorials and were waiting in the wings.

I made this up so quickly and I am so pleased with how it turned out that I wish it was October and full of autumn chill outside. Last autumn, on one of our grocery runs we make to Germany once in a while, I found a fabulous chunky purple yarn with a tweed look. As soon as I saw it I knew it would make a great cowl. It was the only skein left in a drug store but thankfully a large skein of 200g so just enough for this project. There is literally about 12 inches of yarn left.

If you are interested in trying a cowl, this is the tutorial I used. Just adjust the chain size to fit you. I used only 60 chains to start and ended up with rows of 59 double crochets.

*sigh* I do have to wait for the autumn chill so for now this is draped over my 'Lord Byron's lady' statue in my living room. You can not hide away such yummy yarn now can you???

My second project was to create a stool cover in a large granny square. Now I must admit this is one of two. The second is a little more complicated with it elongated shape and I had to put it aside for now as I needed to search for another skein of the same yarn. That project is still in the works but this one came up in no time.

Maggie had asked if I would share some of the videos I have used to learn to crochet. This is the one I used to learn to make granny squares. It is a really good clear tutorial and this one is for using one color with a link to her video for changing colors on the blog page. This is the YouTube link for easy scalloped crochet edge I used.

I am still working away on some secret projects but there is great news. I sandwiched my pink and brown Farmer's Wife quilt to start the hand quilting. I will show you my progress over the weekend next week. I am excited to get started on the quilting now!

Have a creative and color-filled weekend!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Mary, Mary, quite contrary.....

...how does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells,
and 78 flowers all in a row.

To say I am thrilled today would be a gross understatement! I have just completed my Japanese flower scarf which has been my most involved project to date. It is almost a year ago now that I put on YouTube videos and started to really undertake trying to crochet. Chatting online with Hazel got me addicted to these flowers. I started this along with a larger flower for a blanket back in March. Neither was progressing well enough so I decided to put all my attention to this scarf for the time being. I just love how it has turned out and 78 flowers later...it was all worth it. I never imagined I would be able to crochet even the simplest of things let alone this!

Now I cannot wait to be able to use it regularly. I have a scarf feddish and wear them a great deal. I had been using it already to keep warm with while I was still crocheting it. My medication levels are not right again I think as Jos says he can set the clock to me saying I am cold each evening and having to wrap up in something. What is most fun about having one project done is that I can grab the next.....

For more floral inspiration, you can visit TheFlowerBed blog. It is an honor to be joining in with this talented group of inspiring ladies. Beware though as it is addictive!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I heart crazy quilting!

I love adding crazy quilted touches to items I find. One of my favorite things is creating crazy quilted hearts on wooden heart ornaments. When I recently found a black metal heart that was supposed to be set on a table with candles on it, I saw what I wanted to do with it immediately! The metal has a lace look edging so......

I grabbed fabrics and laces from my stash and got started. I just love how it has come out and what better place to hang it that on my quilt studio door...

I heart crazy quilting!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Farmer's life.....

I am still among the living working hard on the farm...my Farmer's Wife sampler quilts that is. I finished the last block of my pink and brown version so the quilt is now being pieced together with borders. I will now fully turn to the red and brown version. The blocks below are the four used for my quilt group this month. We met again last week and it is fun to see all the different samplers coming together.

I am working on 14 gifts for my quilt group as our next evening is our annual "Christmas in July" get together. It is an evening of wonderful food provided by selected members of the group and a fun easy project appropriate for making as Christmas gifts. Until I get these gifts made, I have to keep my other projects running at a minimum but I do have a couple of finishes to share with you later this week. It has kept me quiet on this blog as I know a number of the ladies in my group read my blogs. An elf knows how to keep a secret. *wink*

The Farmer's Daughter, Elizabeth Gardner Bougereau
The Farmer's Daughter by Elizabeth Gardner Bougereau

*sigh* Some of you already know that I have always had a dream of having chickens but living in the middle of the suburbs I do not want the hassle of the neighbors not being happy about chickens. When I saw this painting, I knew it had to be the painting for this month's Farmer's Wife post. Can't you just hear the chickens squawking at her feet?

My blog visits have been sparse and I am missing going around visiting everyone. Things will be back to normal when my elf workshoppe closes for a little break soon. I will be back in a day or so with a finish I can show you though.....