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I am a wife, mama and grandmama getting through life by hanging on to a needle and thread.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Last Finish Of 2013

Success!  The merino wool yarn that was frogged and refrogged is now a beautiful Chinook Scarf all blocked and ready to wear!  What a great way to finish out the year!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Sock Solutions

I received several different solutions to my query about how to make hand-knit socks last a little longer.  One suggestion was to reinforce the soles of the socks by adding a strand of Woolly Nylon while knitting the socks (which I will definitely try when I make my next pair of socks).  Another suggestion was to use two strands of yarn on the bottom and the heel of the socks. This makes them a little thicker, but they last a bit longer.  Probably a very good solution for slipper socks!  As for socks that already have holes in them (like the ones in the photo did) I found a great way to knit a patch in place at Taking Time to Smell the Roses and what is better for a quilter than knit patchwork socks?  Now if I can just convince Anya to take Jean's advice and stop working so hard while wearing her socks and just keep her feet up!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Yours For A Merry Christmas

May your heart, this Christmas Day, 
Be Filled with joy and cheer,
And nothing give you cause to grieve -
Thoughout the coming year!
Yours for a Merry Christmas

Monday, December 23, 2013

Pint Sized Pines

I found the pattern for these little wine cork pine trees right before Christmas last year.  It was too late in the season to start the project then, so I set the pattern aside and asked a couple of friends to save some corks for me, so that I could make them for this Christmas.  Normally that means that everything would be shoved into a drawer in my studio and forgotten forever, but not this time!  I actually remembered the project and started in time to make one for several of my friends AND before Christmas too! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Scarf Pins

I normally leave the metal working to my husband and the guys down at our sheet metal and heating business, but when I started seeing pretty copper scarf pins in the yarn shops I had to give pin making a whirl.  After all, I already had a supply of beads and all the copper wire I would need was in the scrap bin at the shop, so why not?  They were very easy to make and I think they would be a nice accent to any hand knit scarf!  In fact, one pin and scarf has already been given away at last night's guild Christmas party and the recipient seemed very happy with her gift!

Monday, December 16, 2013


I guess everything about this little quilt is belated!  I pieced the top quite some time ago and promptly forgot about it.  Then a couple of months ago I found it and decided to get it finished up.  I did just that and then put it away...without photographing it or bragging about my finish!  Actually, it has worked out quite well that I haven't posted about it...with all the hustle and bustle of working on projects that can't be blogged about until after Christmas, I can show off my belated finish instead.

Friday, December 13, 2013

One Down!

I finished this top back in October, so considering my quilting track record, getting it quilted and bound in two months time is pretty fast!  My plan now is to quilt and bind at least one more quilt before starting another top.  It would be nice if I could pick up the momentum a little too, but that might be asking a bit much at this time of year.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Quilt Angels

This quilt has been hanging around my sewing room for quite some time just waiting for the perfect home.  Well the perfect home presented itself when I got an email from Gene Black - Alabama Artist reminding me that I had shown interest in helping with his Quilt Angels project.  Quilt Angels provides quilts to youth that are in a shelter situation.  The deadline for this year's collection is December 12, so if you happen to have a finished quilt in need of someone to love it this Christmas season, send Gene an email ASAP and get the mailing details.  If you don't have a finished quilt, then why not think about making one for next year's collection?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Holy Socks!

I have a puzzle for sock knitters today...
I knitted a pair of socks for my friend, Anya, a few years ago and when I noticed that she had worn holes through the bottoms I made her a new pair.  I gave her the new socks in October and they have already worn out in the same places as the old ones did!  The old socks were wool and the new ones are acrylic, so apparently fiber content isn't the culprit.  I suspect that the wear has something to do with pressure points from normal walking (or could it be that she's been sliding down the hallway in her socks a la Tom Cruise?)  Either way, can any knitters out there offer a solution to make the soles of socks wear longer?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Out Of Line

The latest assignment for my art quilt group, the Out of Line Quilters, was to make quilter's trading cards to exchange.  A fine challenge, but I had already exchanged trading cards with half the group during our guild exchange.  Not only that, but I had enough cards leftover from the first exchange for those in the art quilt group who didn't already have one.  I'm usually one to follow the rules, but I just couldn't bring myself to make more trading cards, so I decided to truly be an Out of Line Quilter and I made everyone bookmarks instead.

Monday, December 2, 2013

On The Needles...Again.

One thing that I really love about knitting is that projects that aren't going well can be easily ripped out and the yarn can be rewound to be used again.  No harm, no foul, and the only cost is your time.  Such is the case with this chocolate brown merino superwash wool.  I have lost count how many times this yarn has been frogged and rewound, but this time the pattern seems to fit the yarn and I'm past the half way point, so chances are looking good that this yarn will finally become a scarf!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I Really Didn't Need More Yarn

I don't know what happened.  When I fell off the wagon and bought all that fabric a couple of weeks ago, I must have bumped my head...amnesia maybe?  Because last week I walked into my favorite yarn shop and walked out with a bag full of yarn.  I really don't need yarn.  Honestly, my yarn stash rivals my fabric stash.  What was I thinking?  Can anyone tell me what makes fiber so darn addictive? 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Warm And Cozy Fleece Blankets

I have been on a bit of a fleece blanket kick lately and I now have three blankets finished and ready to be delivered to our local foster care office.  Fleece blankets are wonderful charity projects!  Fleece is very affordable and it comes in some great colors and prints.  Odds and ends of yarn can be used for the edging and it only takes a few minutes to learn how to do the edging...even if you have never crocheted before!  To learn more about how to make your own fleece blankets click HERE.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Piece One, Quilt Two

My quilty friend, Anya, over at Hills Creek Quilter recently said that she was going to quilt two tops for every one that she pieces in and effort to finish up some UFO's.  Not a bad idea!  Honestly, I could quilt three or four for every top I piece and still not get caught up, but I'll try the piece one and quilt two method and see how that goes first.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Best Laid Plans

My original thought was to miter the corners on the striped borders.  That plan actually worked out quite well on three corners, but no matter how I tried to manipulate, fudge, or convince the stripes line up, I just couldn't get them to match on the fourth corner.  Enter the seam ripper and plan B...I cut bias squares to put in each corner instead.  The bias squares aren't quite the same as mitered corners, but they sure were a whole lot easier!

Friday, November 15, 2013


I'm making progress on my latest project and actually the pattern, Tiny Bits from the book Seamingly Scrappy, says that the quilt top should be finished at this point, but I'm seriously contemplating adding a border before calling it finished.  The size as it is now is just 30 x 40 inches, so it's quite small.  Not only would adding a border increase the size a bit, but I think what I have in mind might add a little interest too.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I Fell Off The Wagon

I guess I sort of fell off the "use up the stash" wagon last week.  Two separate shopping trips in one week and all of the shops we visited were having sales that were too good to pass up!  Some of these fabrics I needed and will be used right away and others will go into my stash.  I have a feeling that it's going to be a long winter though and who knows when I'll get a chance to go fabric shopping again?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Quilted, Bound, And Labeled!

Here is the lil' cowboy's quilt all quilted, bound, and labeled!  It's definitely a one of a kind quilt (and, oh my, the color combinations) but now that I think about it...maybe we have another Kaffe Fassett in the making! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Meandering Along

I finally have the lil' cowboy's quilt on the frame and have started quilting it with a simple meander.  He's excited to have this quilt for his new room, so I'm trying to get it finished up as quickly as I can.  If you're wondering about that very purple backing, it is what the lil' cowboy ordered and is the only part of this quilt that didn't come from the scrap basket!

Monday, November 4, 2013


Glitz is the perfect name for this ruffle yarn, because that's exactly what it looks like...GLITZ!  It knits up into lots of ruffles and even more sparkle.  It's really just a bit much for my taste, so I think this scarf might become donation for the Christmas Tree project that my local yarn shop, Wooly Minded, just started.  All items donated between now and Christmas will go to the local women's shelter.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Friday, November 1, 2013

Lucky Charms

Cold temperatures and snow flurries are in our forecast for the weekend, so it's time to get the salt air charm quilt back out!  The charm worked pretty good at keeping the snow away last time, so maybe it will work this time too!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

How To Properly Measure A Quilt Top

I bet you didn't know the proper way to measure a quilt top is to spread it out on the floor, lay down on the quilt top, and check to make sure there is plenty of extra fabric on all sides.  If you didn't know this little tidbit of information, don't feel bad...I just learned it too, thanks to our 4 year-old grandson!

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Lil' Cowboy's Quilt

Our lil' cowboy is spending a few days with us while his mommy and daddy finally pack and get things moved to town for good!  He has a big long "to do" list  while he's staying with us and one of them is to make a quilt!  He's pulling out all of his favorite strips from the scrap basket and laying them out on the floor while I do the cutting and stitching.  It's probably not a pattern that we will be copyrighting, but we both think it's going to be a pretty neat quilt just the same!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

Mindless Knitting

There are some really good TV shows on this fall, so that means I'm in need of some mindless knitting!  Dishcloths are the perfect project for that!  If I get too involved in the show and knit when I should purl, it won't matter...the end result will still get the dishes clean!

The free pattern for this dishcloth can be found HERE

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Salt Air

Winter is trying to make an early entrance here in northern Pennsylvania, so I'm doing my best to push it back by working on another quilt top using a pack of Salt Air charm squares.  If that charm doesn't keep the snow away, nothing will!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Babies Don't Care

This was a fun little top to put together.  The pattern is Line Dance by Kathy Mack and can be found for free at Moda Bake Shop.  It didn't take a lot of time or thought, but after looking at the photo, I think I should have put a little more thought into it and spread the red squares around a little better.  Oh well, done is better than perfect and babies don't care if all of the red squares are grouped together!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

On The Needles

I have cast on another lace scarf, but this one is going to take a little more thought and time than my last one.  Although it's a pattern of easy stitches, it's a pattern that takes some concentration.  Definitely not one to work on while watching TV or thinking about something else, so I'm trying to make a little quiet time each day to knit a few rows.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Back In The Sewing Room!

I managed to find my way back into the sewing room this week!  I pulled out a charm pack and a few yards of gray solid and got started on a simple modern baby quilt.  It really felt good to sit down at the machine and work on something that didn't require a whole lot of thought.  I think it's the perfect project to help me get my quilting mojo back!

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Fall Finish

Here's my Magz Bias Scarf all finished just in time for fall weather!  Now that it has been blocked, the edges lay nice and flat and you can really see the lace pattern...blocking really did make the difference with this one!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Friday, October 11, 2013

To Block Or Not To Block?

To block or not to block?  That is the question!  A lot of the items that I knit don't require blocking, but the edges rolled inward on this scarf so badly that it really had to be blocked.  Blocking isn't nearly as scary as it sounds.  Simply wet the item, gently squeeze out the excess water, and then lay it flat to dry adding pins where necessary to help it hold its shape.  Seriously...that's it!  The hardest part of blocking is waiting for your newly finished hand-knit to dry!

You can find a great tutorial on blocking at The Purl Bee.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Another Scarf

It definitely seems like I have been on a knitting jag lately.  I guess I started knitting more while my machine was in the shop and I just haven't stopped!  This is a free pattern from Ravelry, Magz Bias Scarf.  It's an easy bias lace pattern, just a simple pattern row followed by a purl row.  Perfect for TV knitting! 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Eat More Cake!

Birthdays are nature’s way of telling us to eat more cake.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Friday, October 4, 2013

Airing Of The Quilts

See that forecast for Saturday?!  It's going to be perfect weather for the Airing of the Quilts in Tunkhannock, PA!  Tomorrow morning I'm going to load up the car with a couple of my quilty friends and we're going to take in the all of the sights that we can handle...endless mountains, fall leaves, and quilts, quilts and more QUILTS!  It promises to be a great day! 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


With four older sisters our littlest miss doesn't have any shortage of hand-knit-hand-me-downs, but I thought she should still have a few things of her very own.  These socks are knit with self-striping yarn and because her older sisters love mismatched socks, I purposely started the second sock with a different start point in the yarn pattern, so the stripes wouldn't match.  Little Miss won't know the difference, but her older sisters will get a kick out of the fact that her socks don't match!

Monday, September 30, 2013

And Then There Was One

I think that everyone knows by now that the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative is suspending their fundraising operations at the end of 2013.  They have already stopped taking quilt donations and are now busy putting quilts on reserve to be sold at the International Quilt Show in Houston, TX.  One of my two remaining quilts has already been put on hold for Houston and there's just one left for sale.  Good to the Last Scrap seems to be an appropriate quilt to be the last one of my quilts to be offered for sale.  It's made of selvages...the last of the scraps...the last of my AAQI quilts!  Maybe this little quilt will help raise the last few dollars needed to finally put an end to Alzheimer's Disease!

You can purchase this quilt by clicking HERE.

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