Monthly Archives: September 2008

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Finished Quilting

Whew!  I finally finished my little bluebird quilt.  For some reason this took about 10 times longer than I thought it would — I guess I’m getting slow in my old age.

Bluebird Quilt

Two of my very favorite standby quilting techniques are plain, big patchy squares and big toe-grabber stitches.  (Called toe-grabbers ’cause they’re so big your big toe could get caught in them while you’re sleeping.  Ok, so it’s a bit of an exaggeration, but we still call them that.)  So, I combined both of those for this little throw quilt.

Bluebird Quilt

Since the quilt pieces are all squares (4″ squares), I like to quilt big circles on them.  In this case, I used a smaller bowl (7″ diameter) than I usually do (8 1/2″ diameter), so that could be why the quilting took me so much longer than I expected.  Bigger bowls work just fine too.   I invert the bowl and use a disappearing pen to trace two interlocking circles at a time.  Then I quilt each circle with pearl cotton and a big needle.

Bluebird Quilt

Sometimes, by the time I get to the second circle, the ink has disappeared already, so I have to re-draw it — I love that air-soluble ink.  After I quilt two circles, then I draw two more, and so on and so forth until the quilt is done.

Bluebird Quilt

The only embroidered block in this quilt is the block with the three little birdies and I placed them in the bottom right hand corner.  They sort of blend in, so it’s a fun little surprise when your eye finds them.

Bluebird Quilt

I used lots of flower prints, a gardening print and a print with little bees on it, because this quilt is for a friend who loves to garden.  Maybe it will keep her warm on a chilly evening while she sits in her garden and enjoys the fruits of her labor.

Bluebird Quilt

The back of the quilt has a nice cozy flannel.  I love to put flannel on the back of throws — it gives them a little more weight and makes them extra cuddly.

Bluebird Quilt

And see that clever presentation technique that I’ve learned from all you bloggers out there? I love it!  (Oops, I forgot the cute little metal ring tag — I’ll have to work on that!)

So.  A finished quilt.  That doesn’t happen very often for me, so I’m really excited!  Did you finish anything fun this weekend?

XOXO,
Anna

Finished Knitting

Hey guess what??? I got my little knitting project done, so now we can have a drawing!

But first, you know I must draw it out by telling you that I took the day off yesterday and went to visit TheFirstChild and his amazing SweetiePie. It was SO good to spend the day with SweetiePie and see how wonderfully they’re managing. TheFirstChild is consumed with VERY long days (8 a.m. to midnight) and SweetiePie is taking fabulous care of him and their adorable little apartment. She’s working very long hours too and I’m beyond proud of my little hard workers!

Now, onto the drawing! Things started out very slowly, with only one correct guess from MichelleB,  I thought it would be a slam dunk for her.  Then a few days later, Miss Jean snuck in there with a correct guess.  And, just yesterday, Brigette threw her guesses in too, and one of them was good.  Do you know yet?

Slippers

They’re slippers!  (Not that sexy, huh?  LOL!)  I love me some nice warm fuzzy slippers when winter comes and my old slippers are worn out.  The part that I gave you the sneak peek of is a 1 x 1 ribbed cuff and I’m sorry, but I forgot to get a picture of the cuff — it’s concealed under my jeans.  Below is a picture of the old slippers, and while I wanted to get away from purple this time, I have to say, I much prefer the way the purple ones look.

Slippers

It really bugs me that you can see the stitch of the chenille yarn in the new slippers.  With the purple slippers, the chenille was so dark that you couldn’t see individual stitches.  It looked like a big fuzzy boot, which is just what I wanted.  The right side of the slippers is the stockinette side, but I don’t like seeing those stockinette stitches, so I guess I’m technically wearing them inside out.  Here’s my wrong side:

Slippers

The slippers are made from THIS pattern with Lion Brand Chenille Thick and Quick (in Antique White) and Lion Brand Fun Fur (in  Rainbow).  I got the biggest kick out of Kristy‘s daughter who studied the sneaky peek picture and correctly guessed the yarn, yarn colors, needle size…everything really, but not the final product LOL!  Excellent job R!

One thing I changed about the pattern is that I sew some jiffy grip to the bottom of the slippers.  This keeps me from slipping on my tile floors and it also prolongs the life of my slippers.

Slippers

I wear my slippers every day.  When I learned how to knit socks, the teacher told us to never wear our socks without something to protect them.  It’s a good rule to follow — I’ve never had a hole in my hand knit socks yet.  I have, however worn out three slipper bottoms.  And I hate to show such ugliness here, but just to prove it, here’s the bottom of one of the worn out old slippers, with two layers of hole-y jiffy grip.

Slippers

So, get on with the drawing already??? I had TheManoftheHouse pull a name out of the bowl of three correct guessers, and he chose….

MichelleB

Congratulations Michelle!

And, just ’cause you guys are all so clever and cracked me up, I decided to draw for another Vera Bradley passport holder, just like the first one.  So, if you had caterpillar as your suggestion, lost the first drawing (LOL),  or  ‘caught me on a technicality (a few of you did) I threw your names into the bowl too.  (I also included Kristy’s daughter, because analyzing that little sample took a lot of work!)  This time TheManoftheHouse (laughing about his contribution to the blog) chose….

TattingChic

Congratulations TattingChic!

Ladies, send me your addresses and I’ll get them off in the mail to you.

And to the rest of you, THANK YOU for a very fun guessing game!  I had a great time reading all of your comments.  I hope you all have a great weekend!!!

XOXO,
Anna

P.S.  From Jodi I’ve learned that there’s a new blog on the block and she’s having a great quilty giveaway that you’ll probably want to check out!!!

Hummingbirds and Gifts on a Beautiful Weekend

Boy, you guys are some kinda funny!  I’ve had a great time reading all of your thoughts on what I might be knitting.  I’m happy to report there’s been at least one correct answer, so there will be a winner.  (And if you haven’t expended your three guesses and want to guess more, there’s still time!)  Hopefully, I’ll be done with my little caterpillar by the end of the week.  (Speaking of which, I saw Jack Hanna in Chicago’s O’Hare airport on my way home on Saturday.  He was standing around talking on a cell phone.  I started thinking how cool it would be to have Mr. Hanna pose with my caterpillar (which I was working on at the time — and who better to be holding a caterpillar?), but by the time I got up the nerve to ask him, he was gone.)

Did you all have a great weekend?  Our weather was PURR-FECT!  It was so beautiful, it was hard to stay inside and sew.  I wasted enjoyed several hours yesterday watching our hummingbirds enjoy our hummingbird feeder.

Hummingbird

They’re fascinating entertainment.  I think there were three birds and they came to the feeder on and off all day.  They appeared to spend more energy chasing each other away from the feeder than actually eating.  It seemed like one bird would just arrive at the feeder, a second would swoop in to protect the territory, and while those two were flying off torturing each other, a third would come and have a few minutes of peace and quiet for drinking.

Here’s one coming in for a landing.

Hummingbird Hummingbird

Hummingbird Hummingbird

Very rarely, I actually saw a bird stick out its tongue.  It has a long skinny tongue that comes out the very end of its beak.  I tried and tried to get a picture of that tongue, but it was just too quick.  I guess I never thought of a hummingbird as having a tongue, so I was fascinated by that fact!  Anyway, it was a really fun way to spend a few hours.

When I arrived home from NJ on Saturday, I had two packages waiting for me!  First from Kim, a fun package full of love and hearts.  Kim and I occasionally talk paper crafts and she mentioned a fun bottle gift she’d done and offered to send me one.  Isn’t it cute, all filled with candy?  I love the “Love” tag on the front.  Can you see the beautiful earrings that Kim made?  And she was so sweet to include an adorable little ditty bag and some extra fabric.  I love the way she used the ric rac as a zipper pull — I’m thinking I might have to “borrow” that idea for bags like the goofy bags.  How perfect!  And the really funny thing is that the ditty bag matches the little needle books that I made for my quilty peeps over a year ago.  So now I have a perfect little matching sewing kit!  Thank You SOOOOO much Kim — I love, love, love it all!!!

Kim Gift

My second package was from Aldana.  She e-mailed me a few weeks ago and asked if I’d like to have a thimble swap.  I said yes and she sent me a cool thimble from Spain!  Along with some beads that smell heavenly (chocolate-yum!) and a very cute little needle book with a birdie on the front of it.   Thank you Aldi — I’m so touched that you would offer to exchange thimbles with me.  And don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about you and I’m on the lookout (it’s a bit of a challenge finding a thimble around here — local peeps, if you have any suggestions, I’m all ears!)

Aldi Gift

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must get back to my caterpillar.  There’s a drawing to be done soon!

XOXO,
Anna

Guess What I’m Knitting

How’s everybody’s week going?  I’m just doing my monthly hang-out-in-a-hotel thing, so I started a new knitting project.  Can you tell what it is?

Sewing Day

Anybody?  It looks kind of goofy and that’s not the greatest picture for you to be able to tell.  But I guess that’s sort of the idea.  I’m thinking maybe we could have a little Guess What I’m Knitting contest.  If you want to play, put your guess in the comments and everyone that has a correct guess will have their name thrown into a pot from which I’ll draw for a prize.  (I’m pretty sure there’s something grammatically wrong with that sentence, but you get the idea!)

How ’bout a brand new, only-out-of-the-cellophane-for-this-picture, Vera Bradley wallet/passport holder?

Sewing Day

No cheating.  Not sure how you’d cheat, but I thought I should say that.  I know someone will ask, so how ’bout three guesses per person?  I’ll just leave the contest open until I have a finished project to show (which, at the rate I’ve been completing stuff lately, could be February!)

In case you’re not a knitter or don’t follow Little Cotton Rabbits (IS that possible?) I thought I’d repeat, as she said, “an opportunity to spread a little happiness.”  If you’d like to take a few minutes out of your day to send a card to a very sick little girl who loves to receive mail, you can get the address and more info HERE.  Wouldn’t it be great if this little girl received more cards than the wall in her room could hold?

(Update:  Brilliant Brigette noted that the link above is a little confusing about where to send your card.  It needs to be sent to the TN address.  You can find out more HERE.)

And one last thing.  Felicia posted about a book festival she attended recently and one of the attending authors was Billy Collins, a past US poet laureate.  Several years ago I convinced two of my coworkers to go hear Billy Collins do a reading at the Library of Congress and we had an amazing time.  I LOVE Billy Collins.  He’s written MANY awesome poems (and has quite a few books available.)  If you have a few minutes, you can check out my FAVORITE poem of his HERE.  Oh, and you might need a hanky.

Have a great weekend!

XOXO,
Anna

A Day with the Girls

Did you all have a good weekend?  We got lots of sorely needed rain — yipee!  Our rain came from the leftovers of Hurricane Ike and it was gray and perfect for a day inside sewing with the blogless quilty peeps.

Jewels was our hostess and she went all out.  She had her house all decorated for fall and I had to take a picture of her adorable china closet.  How cute are these dishes?  They look like they just walked off of the Martha Stewart set!

Sewing Day

Jewels greeted us each with a fantastic Halloween gifty bag.  She had them all tied so pretty with a little Halloween ornament — I hated to open mine up.  But I had to, ’cause just look at all the wonderful goodies.  (I LOVE candy corn season!)  Look at the Halloween fabrics — I love them!!!

Sewing Day Sewing Day

We had enough food for the four of us AND all of you, and I’m not kidding.  By my count (and I’m sure I’ve forgotten something) we had two appetizers (fresh veggie dip and pumpkin cracker dip), two soups (Pumpkin and Maritatta — YUMMY for both!), 5 (yes FIVE) salads (Bruschetta, Broccoli, Apple Taffy, Seven Layer, and Hot Chicken), and umpteen desserts (Martha’s S’More’s Cupcakes (YUM and they looked just like Martha’s!), Apple Cake, Iced Sugar Cookies, Karen’s Awesome White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies, and HolyCrapTheseAreAmazing Cookies (Holy Crap, the other stuff was more amazing!))  Oh, and a wonderful variety of drinks which included hot apple cider — perfect for our stormy weather.  Ok, so we got carried away.  But it was all fantastic, and I don’t know about the other girls but TheManoftheHouse and I had leftovers all weekend.

Sewing Day Sewing Day

In between all the eating, we sewed.  Jewels worked on her fantastic Grandmother’s Flower Garden.

Sewing Day

Gurney worked on these super-cute embroidered squares for a baby quilt for her granddaughter.

Sewing Day

Junie made these adorable pillowcases for her daughter.  I wanted to take them home!

Sewing Day

And I worked on my little blue wren project which STILL isn’t done.  I was hoping to get it done this weekend, but I’m getting slow in my old age.

There were no Princess and the Pea beds or alcholic beverages harmed in the making of our day (like at SOME wild parties), but we did have a lot of fun and I can’t wait to do it again SOON!  Thanks for all your hard work and for hosting us Jewels — and Big, Big Smoochies to the best quilty peeps ever!!!

XOXO,
Anna