November 2, 2010

Hand Knitted Socks

Hand knitted socks! I love to knit them, I love to wear them. What I don't love is.....
making one sock on the regular double pointed needles and then having to make another sock just like the first. It is kind of like de ja vou, like a been there and done that type of feeling. If it has been any length of time between the making of the two socks then I have to remember if I made any changes to the pattern on the first sock. Yikes! I decided to try a different method, making both socks on circular needles at the same time. This way, when you are finished you are finished! I like that idea. I bought the books Knitting Circles Around Socks and Knitting More Circles Around Socks. The directions look pretty easy to follow and I have read that many have had success with these books. Why did I buy both books? Well, the second book has the knitting from the toe up method which is another thing I want to learn. The yarn just kind of flew into my virtual shopping cart when I ordered the circular knitting needles. That is my story and I am sticking to it! 

So far I have just knitted socks on the DPNs (double pointed needles) from the cuff down. In fact, I have a pair that I am working on right now on the DPNs. That is what you see in the lower left hand corner of the photo. Will I finish that pair before I start a new one? Yes, I will and this is the reason why - they aren't for me! They are a gift for a friend. I wanted to give my bff two pairs of socks for her birthday because she loves wearing them as much as I do. I didn't have the socks made in time, so I gave her the yarn. She understood and gladly gave the yarn back to me. :) I have three socks made and the last sock is on the needles. I will not allow myself to start the two at a time socks until I have that last sock made. I am afraid that if I allow myself to put the sock aside I won't get that third sock made in time for my friends birthday next year!  I guess I had better get knitting because I can't wait to make some more socks!

October 26, 2010

Toy Story Alien Cupcakes

I had some fun in the kitchen yesterday. I made some adorable Toy Story Alien cupcakes with these supplies:
Want to see what they looked like? Click here and you will travel with Galactic speed over to my other blog. Come on over....."You have been selected!"

October 18, 2010

Some more progress...

I have made some progress on the machine quilting of my New York Beauty quilt this past week. I have not had the time lately to quilt as much as I want, but I guess that is just life. I took about 30 photos of the quilt back and front tonight to try to get a good one, but the lighting wasn't in my favor. I am stitching in the ditch around each triangle and arc. Yikes! There are a lot of triangles in this baby!
I have added a little squiggle to the middle of each big triangle. Don't you like my technical term of squiggle? I don't really know what else to call it, so squiggle it is!
I am still undecided as to what I will do in the middle of the blue sections. I am thinking of adding a curving line down the middle of each section. As to the other open areas...I still don't know what I want to do. Kind of sad if you ask me! You would think by now I would know what quilting designs I want to do, but that is not the case. Oh well, I am sure something will come to me!

October 4, 2010

What you sew, so shall you rip!

This is a case of ripping out offending stitches. I decided to spend a little time yesterday working on my New York Beauty quilt. I shouldn't have.
My eyes felt tired and my contacts dry. Allergies are no fun at all. I knew that some of my stitching in the ditch wasn't totally up to par, but I thought it would be okay. After stitching along the row of triangles I moved the quilt out from under that sewing machine. I did not like what I saw at all. Now I am spending more time taking out the stitches then I did put put them in the first place. Ugh! At least I hope I have learned my lesson. Don't quilt when your eyes are tired and dry as you won't like the results!

October 1, 2010


I am still doing the "basic" type of quilting on my New York Beauty quilt - stitching in the ditch. I have so far gotten most of the blocks and sashing stabilized.
I am debating on sewing around each little triangle in the sashing. I plan on stitching around each triangle in the blocks, but oh there are lots and lots of little triangles. I have a feeling I will...sometimes I feel like I am a sucker for punishment. :)

I feel like all of the photos I have shared lately look exactly the same. How many times do you want to see the same quilt over and over? So, to remedy this I decided to show you a few photos of a quilt from a quilt show I went to this past August at Essenhause Inn in Shipshewana, IN. It is of an antique quilt that was made by many different ladies. It is believed to have been a wedding gift. The way the display area was set up, I couldn't get back far enough to get a photo of the whole quilt. Sorry about that!

I just love the different embroidered  blocks in this quilt.
Sister Alma is the one who made this block of course, and in 1941. Isn't it great that no one has to guess as to when this quilt was lovingly made?
The quilt won the blue ribbon for the Vintage before 1959 category.
Of all the blocks, I think Sister Silvia's is my favorite!

September 22, 2010

The Pinning of the New York Beauty

The pinning of the New York Beauty is finished! I believe in using many many pins as you can see here.
In fact, if I had more I would have probably used them, but I used every pin I own. I don't want the quilt top or the backing to shift while I maneuver this baby under  my little domestic sewing machine. I still haven't come up with a design that I want to quilt in a few sections, but I need to get going on this project. I will be using a product called Golden Threads Quilting Paper because many of the larger areas are too dark for me to trace the design on with a wash out marker - even with the use of a light box. Since this is the case, there is no need for me to wait before I do some stitching in the ditch to stabilize the quilt.  Now, if you aren't a quilter and you are reading this you are going to be scratching your head saying, "What in the world is she talking about? Golden Threads quilting Paper?" Just wait...I will show you this in another future post. Until then, I had better get going. There are more blogs to read that I need to catch up with let along start maching quilting this beauty!

September 15, 2010

Minnie Mouse Is A Quilter

As promised, I am back and now to tell you what I have been up to. This past Summer I became a Disney Travel Specialist with the 3D Travel Company. Last week I went to Walt Disney World for some training...
and then went on a Disney Cruise Line training trip too!  It was a three night cruise to the Bahama's. Whooo Hoooo! It was my first cruise, and I don't believe it will be my last!

 Did you know that Minnie Mouse was a quilter????? She is!

Please go to my new blog and read all about "Minnie The Quilter" here.  I would love to help my fellow quilters out there plan their trips to Disney Destinations. Let me know if I can fact, click here for a free no obligation quote. Walt Disney World has some free dining opportunities out there now but there is a limited availability. And by the way, Disney pays for my services so there is no charge to my clients!

Will I stop quilting and stop posting about my quilting now??? No way! I may not be able to quilt as much, but it will never stop! :)

September 6, 2010

The Planning Goes On

I have been working on the designs for my New York Beauty quilt. I like to take left over blocks and try out different designs, threads and battings. I think I know what I am going to do...but I reserve the right to change my mind. In the last post I talked about putting feathers in the large diamond shaped areas. I have changed my mind...I think!  What I am going to put there for sure is still undermined. The fabrics are pretty busy and I am afraid that the quilting will not be seen easily no matter what I put there.
I will not be posting for about a week but don't worry, I will be back! I have some non quilting related things going on this week that I will tell you about on my next post! See you then!

September 3, 2010

New York Beauty Quilting Decisions

I have finally finished my New York Beauty quilt top! Yes!! I am liking what I see. It is bigger then I had first envisioned, but that seems to be the usual thing for me. I get carried away in the designing process I guess. lol  This is a poor photo as it doesn't show the colors well, and it is draped over a couch, but it was the best I could do today to show you the size of the top.
Here are a few photos that show more of the details. I have used Civil War era reproductions and the colors are so rich. I wish my photos showed this, but I am better behind the sewing  machine then the camera I am afraid!
Now to decide what quilting designs to use. I have been thinking about it ever since I started to piece the blocks together. So far I believe that I want to do some type of feather design in the big diamond shape background areas.  I love feathers, but have yet to master them. I don't feel confident enough to free hand quilt them, so I will be drawing my own pattern. I am thinking of sewing in the ditch around the triangles and doing a little squiggly type of line in the middle of them. I have yet to decide what to do with the blue sashing areas or the blue squares. Decisions, decisions, decisions. Oh what to do! 

August 30, 2010

New York Beauty Quilt Continued

The  New York Beauty blocks and sashing have been sewn together, so now it is time to take the papers off the back of the sashing! It is a long tedious process, but I thing the end results are well worth it.
 I use a small pair of tweezers that I found in the cosmetics section at the drug store to help me. I would be lost without them! I can get the little corners out of the seam allowances with ease and my fingers don't become sore from the pulling and tugging of the paper.
 As I am taking the paper off the back I am thinking about what type of quilting design I want to put on the front. I will be machine quilting this piece....oh what designs to use????

August 21, 2010

Making Progress on the New York Beauty Quilt

I am excited! I have made progress on my New York Beauty quilt! As you can see, I have gotten all of my blocks finished and four small blocks have been sewn together to make twelve big blocks! I now get to start sewing the sashing and cornerstones in. Yes, I am excited! Wait until you see the sashing - there are tons on tiny triangles on them too. I am hoping that my next quilt project doesn't have triangles in it! Now, on to more sewing!

August 10, 2010


Yes! I am making progress on my New York Beauty blocks! Eleven more to go and I can start piecing the actual quilt together! I don't think I have ever used as many pins as I have in putting these blocks together. Oh the joy of dropping pins on the floor as they slip out of my hands while manipulating the arcs. I will admit that I have a habit of putting pins in my mouth instead of back into the pin cushion. My Hubby always stops and looks if I am sitting at the sewing machine before he gives me a hello or goodbye kiss. Are there any other quilters out there with the same habit? I hope so! :)

August 6, 2010

New York Beauty Quilt

My how time seems to slip through your fingers! It has almost been a full year since my last post! I have missed blogging. I have thought many times about how I needed to get back to my quilting blog. Why did I wait so long? I am not really sure, but the time as come to change that!

The quilting project I am going to talk about today was been in the works for the past year. Yep, the past year. This has been a very complicated project to say the least. (Of course it isn't the only project I have worked on in the past year, but it has been the main one - I promise!) I fell in love with a pattern I saw at a quilt store. It was a version of a New York Beauty quilt. I could just see this quilt in my home! Every year my quilt guild sponsors a ribbon and an award at the County Fair. The quilt for 2010 was to be a New York Beauty quilt. There was my answer! I just had to make that quilt! If you aren't familiar with a New York Beauty quilt there are many small pointy triangles and curved seams in the traditional block. Never fear I thought, I can do it! I decided to make a sample block because I have learned the hard way that all patterns are not written or drafted correctly. I tried out a block using the pattern and it was a failure. I posted about it here. The arcs weren't drafted correctly and the block would not end up square no matter how hard I tried. Was I ever frustrated! I then had to decide if I wanted to scrap the whole project and do something else or redraft the pattern. I really wanted to get a quilt made and entered in the fair. I played around with the quilt program called Electric Quilt 6 and was able to redraft my own version of the New York Beauty. I ended up actually preferring it to the pattern I bought, which is a very good thing! Want to see a photo? I know you do, but I am going to make you wait a little for that. :)

I will let you see a few parts of the quilt though! This is part of the sashing. I used the paper piecing method to make all of the little triangles. Lots and lots of triangles. Boy was I tired of triangles when I finished the last sashing piece.

I am now working on piecing the actual blocks together.
Because the sections are made up of arcs you have to use many pins to hold the two layers together. I know I am breaking a rule by sewing over the little pins, but these blocks are 8" finished and the arcs start out so small. It would be very difficult to keep the edges of the arcs right where I wanted them without that number of pins. I sew very carefully and slowly. I don't want to break a machine needle by hitting a pin wrong. Would you like to see the whole block? You will have to wait a little for that too. I know, I am being mean here, but I want you to see the whole block pieced together first. Four of the 8" blocks are sewn together to make one big block. Since I have about half of the little blocks sewn together I am going to make you wait to see what they look like when they are put together. I know, I am doing a lot of teasing in this post. Sorry - kind of. :) A side note here: I timed myself as to how long it took to sew each block. It takes an average of about forty minutes to sew one block. Yikes! If there are four small blocks in each of the big blocks...that is over 2 hours for each block. There are 12 big blocks. That is worth a double Yikes!

Well, the County Fair is next week. As you can see, this quilt will not be in it. Why has this project taken me sooooo long? There is a very good reason, but you guessed it. That answer will be in another post. I think I have rambled on long enough, and put out enough teasers for one post!