Spring fling

I’ve been trying very hard not to spend any money I don’t need to. And for the most part, I’ve been succeeding. But a few weeks ago, I decided I really NEEDED a new cutting mat. Mine was a birthday gift from Mom at least four or five years ago. And it’s been through a lot of quilts since then. To say it was worn out was an understatement.

I really wanted and OLFA mat, because I’ve read really good things with them (i.e. cutting blades last longer), and Missouri Star Quilts had the best price on the size I needed. But that means I have to order other things to make the most of the flat rate shipping fee!

I decided a treat for myself was in order

Fabric to make myself a cheerful springy summer quilt. What you can’t see in that picture is that those fat quarter bundles….

Have GNOMES!!!!! I have some fabric set aside for a winter gnome quilt…. but I decided I had to have a spring/summer one too! I bought an extra yard of the flower & bug fabrics (bottom left and bottom middle) to give me more options. I learned with my second Blockhead quilt that it’s nice to have one or two fabrics from the line in larger amounts for borders or things like chain blocks.

The yellow splatter fabric is not part of the gnome line, but it was a two-yard cut, and on sale – I thought it would make a nice background fabric. The charm pack was just an extra I threw on because it was on sale. It will most likely end up as a baby quilt.

I’m not starting this project right away, because I’m waiting to see if I can get just one more thing for this gnome quilt.

This gnome panel is from the same line. It’s currently out of stock, but… if they get it in within a month or two, I may snap it up. It is pretty darn cute!

And remember the other week when I mentioned the lure of Felici…. Well. I caved.

I was having so much fun with burger socks, I decided to see if they had any colours on sale. They did, but only one really grabbed my fancy….

Dragonboat! And while it was nice, it was only $1 cheaper than regular price.. and not enough to make me pull the trigger. But then I saw…

GOTH KITTY!!!!! It wasn’t on sale. But it was low stock. With a name and colours like that I just HAD to HAVE it before it sold out. This one is definitely socks for ME, ME, ME!!!!

And then of course… I had to fill the cart so I could get free shipping…

Aquarium, Rainbow, and Punch Bug came along for the ride. Aquarium will likely be birthday socks for Dave. Punch Bug will be Paisley’s birthday socks. And the rainbow… undecided… but you can NEVER have enough rainbow yarn.

And then…

A skein of Static came along for the ride. This is the Bee Keeper colourway. I’ve been wanting to try this yarn for a while. I got a nice manly shade since that’s what my stash lacks the most.

And with that out of my system… time to go back to my penny-pinching ways!

BONUS CONTENT!!!!

Yesterday, Mom surprised me with a fat quarter bundle I’ve had on my wishlist for a while!

Barbie!!!!! I’m so excited! There’s a panel that goes with these fabrics too, so I may just snag it when I order those gnomes!

I’m going to have so much fun!

Just a little off the top

I had an unexpected free day this week, so I decided to get a quilt top together. The manly barbershop quilt was the closest to being done, so I thought it was the best one to tackle. All the blocks were done. It just needed borders and sashing.

As planned, I used some solid navy for the sashing (though it looks a little black here). It picks up the navy from the blocks quilte nicely. The cornerstone were made from one of the prints leftover from the jelly roll. And then I wrapped it all up with a lovely red and gold print I had kicking around in the stash. It gave me a nice-sized lap quilt at 60″ square.

As I hoped, the sashing breaks up the busy blocks and makes it much easier for the eye to focus and make sense of the quilt. Though the blocks are really neat, there’s a lot of bias in them, which makes them a little tricker to put together. Still, it’s a nice block to have in my repertoire, and I’m sure I’ll revisit it at some point.

Hopefully, as you’re reading this, I’m up at Mom’s quilting it. I’ve got this fabulous striped fabric for the back and binding. It’s almost an exact match for the neutrals in the quilt.

I love a good striped binding!

Friday Felines

As you know, we got a whole lot of snow over the last little while. Relic has not been amused about this… but as long as its not actively snowing, he’s content to go out and get some fresh air – as opposed to standing in the house yelling at me like I can make the snow stop falling.

Burton, who isn’t free-range like Relic, has been content enough to watch the backyard wildlife from the comfort of the house. That is, until the other day. Maybe it was because the sun was shining, but he saw Relic go out, and he wanted out BAD!!!*

So I suited him up and attached his leash. Normally, I carry him out the the middle of the yard, but this time I decided to let him make his own way. I opened the door….

And that’s pretty much where he stopped. And stood… and stood…. and stood, not putting a paw anywhere near the cold, white, wet stuff.

Now I can’t stand there all day with the door hanging open, so I picked him up and plunked him right down in the middle of the yard.

You can tell by his posture that he is not at all thrilled with this change in his playground. It looked much nicer from inside! The snow is compacted a bit, but its still soft enough that he sinks right up to his belly. It didn’t take long and…

He was ready for some couch time in a nice warm sun beam.

*This is not Burton’s first time in the snow. He’s been out every winter since I brought him home. However, on one of his adventures during his first winter, the neighbour behind us came out and crunched some snow, and Burton was sure it was a monster coming to get him! Every since then, sojourns into the cold don’t usually last long – even if he bugs me to go out. One little snow squeak and he wants right back in. This time actually lasted about two minutes longer than most, and he didn’t get spooked, he just decided this snow was too deep and too cold.

Round Robin, Round 6

We’ve reached Round 6 of the Stay at Home Round Robin challenge! This week is log cabins… but I’m afraid I’m still on Round 5 – wonky stars.

You will recall that I was going to wait to find out what Round 6 was, and decide if I was going to combine it with Round 5. Well… I didn’t do that.

A few days after Round 5 was announced, I was lying in bed, trying to fall asleep and the perfect idea came to me. Instead of wonky stars, I would use friendship stars, and I would echo the idea I used on my Plus Sign Round.

Work kept me pretty busy, but I managed to find some time to whip up my stars.

I needed four of each type, but they didn’t take too long.

Then a few days later, I got working on the border pieces. This involved some quilt math, and I’m happy to say I didn’t have a migraine this time and it all worked out perfectly.

The first border went on like a dream! My plan was to have it all the solid blue floral, but I didn’t have quite enough.

My solution was to piece in some blue paisley from the same line (and which is used elsewhere in the quilt), and it worked out just fine!

Burton helped me ensure everything was lined up just right. And after a few hours sewing…

I had the whole border on. The quilt is now about 66″ square, and as you can see, it hangs just over the sides of my Queen bed. Which is shame because it makes it hard to see those perfect little corner stars!

And now I have to start thinking about Log Cabins. I am definitely waiting until next week’s prompt though, because I do need to combine the last two. I won’t have enough fabric to do two full rounds. Even combining them, I may only have enough to add to top and bottom. But, we’ll make that decision after Monday!

FO: Black and White and Green All Over

Bear Necessities wasn’t the only quilt I wrapped up on the weekend. I also quilted and bound the little zebra quilt…

Isn’t it just the cutest? I love those zigzags… and they are so easy to make. (I’ve got great ideas for a rainbow zigzag quilt!) Those little zebras popping out all over the place really help too

And it’s hard to tell in the photos, but I used a variagated green thread for the quilting. It just adds a little extra touch. As does the backing fabric.

I love it when a quilt comes together!

Naturally, this one is now available in the shop!

FO: The socks are lava – Hamburger edition

I told you those Hamburger socks were going to fly…

This pair took me just nine days to knit. I’m not sure if that’s the fastest I’ve ever knit a pair of full-sized socks, but it has to be close!

As mentioned previously, the pattern is The Socks Are Lava, and the yarn is Knit Picks Felici in the Hamburger colourway. I added some leftover Alley Cat for cuff, heels and toes to keep the striping sequence intact.

These are now tucked away for Jenn’s birthday, and I’m excited to say I have enough leftover to make Rowan a matching shorty pair for her birthday! So guess what I’m casting on for next…

FO: Bear Necessities

Mom and I have been at it again…

Remember this top from late last year?

I left it with Mom for her to do her quilt-y magic…

She did all kinds of wonderful stitching around those cute paws, and it looks just amazing now!

Her stitching really sets off the bold bear-themed fabrics. We backed it and bound it with more of the red/black buffalo plaid and it’s just the cutest little quilt.

It’s available in the shop now!

Little leader

All the HSTs for the Leader & Ender quilt have been made. After it all, I ended up with 256, which will give me a quilt that 64 inches before borders. That’s not to shabby if I do say so myself.

That also means that it’s now gone from L&E quilt into the regular rotation.

And that I needed a new L&E project. I had just the thing. It involved cutting up some leftover white-on-white pieces into five inch squares. And gathering a pile of 2.5 scraps.

But that’s done, and now I’m ready to rock. Or snowball…

That’s right… simply snowball opposite corners. Then place those two blocks together like so…

And repeat many, many times… and you get a quilt top that looks something like this:

Mom shared that pic with me the other week after if popped up in her facebook feed. I immediately knew it was going to be my next L&E quilt. I only have enough of the white fabric for a baby blanket. But that’s ok. It will keep me going for a while anyway.

Here’s where my other projects are at:

  • Cluckin’ Eh! – Sewing those adorable chicks
  • Spinwheels – Sewing pinwheels still
  • Around the World in 256 Days – getting ready to sew all those HSTs together.
  • Shave and a Haircut – Blocks done, ready for sashing
  • Homecoming quilt – Waiting for round 6!
  • L&E quilt – As you see above

It’s getting hairy around here

One thing I’ve been trying to do the last few years is knit from the stash, and only the stash (with the exception of socks, because sometimes you just NEED self-striping sock yarn).

I’ve never been much for knitting with lace-weight. While I love the feel of the finished object, I just don’t enjoy the feeling of the knitting. As such, I don’t have a lot of lace-weight yarn in the stash. But there is some. Including a few ball of these

The Kidsilk Haze (colour is Meadow) was bought for a particular shawl. But once I started knitting it – I HATED the pattern. I ended up wasting a whole ball of it (because mohair doesn’t frog well) and the rest go relegated to the dark recesses of the stash. The Crystal Palace Kid Merino was bought on a whim – it was on sale, and I liked the colours. I think my intention was to mix it with a fingering weight something… but then I remembered I hate knitting with two yarns at once. Into the back of the stash it went.

But the other day, I was rooting around in there for something (I don’t even remember what now), and they came to my hand. And I thought… I’ve always wanted a fuzzy lace-weight wrap. Why not now?

So I cast on.

Nothing fancy… just a whole lot stitches and some feather and fan, alternating yarns every two rows. I’m not loving the knitting (It’s like knitting with fuzzy sewing thread)… but the fabric is creates really is quite nice.

That said, this is definitely going to be a long-term project. I’m making the commitment to knit a minimum of four rows on it each day. Slow but steady… and one day…one day I will finally have a lace-weight wrap.

That is…

… if Burton doesn’t claim it first.

Friday felines

I’m starting to think Rupert is part hibernating bear.

Of course – I can’t say I blame him. We got hit with about 10 inches of snow over the weekend. Then another 15, Monday night into Tuesday. Then another inch or so yesterday. With more expected today. And possibly more on the weekend. I guess that’s what I get for saying January was pretty mild…

Hey Rupert… is there room in there for me too?