Thursday, February 26, 2009

Still Quilting

The last few rounds of quilting have been doing the boring cable around the last two sides of my DJ border. I've done 3 rounds, and the fourth on one side. I am going to do the fifth cable line on the third side so I can do some free motion for a while. This is just too boring.
On the non-boring front, I went to see Wicked Tuesday night. I loved it :) But it was a very late night, and I was very tired the next day. Very little quilting got done last night. Tomorrow should be better, it is Friday and a short day at work. Saturday is Stitches West, well it started today, but I am going Saturday. Since I am just a beginning knitter, this is rather intimidating, rather overwhelming actually. I have been plodding away at a little washcloth the last couple of days, getting my stockinette stitching better. Cotton is very unforgiving. I need to get a winder, and maybe a swift. We'll see. I can wait on the swift.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Finally Quilting

I've had the border to my Dear Jane quilt marked for a while. I finally got around to starting to quilt it this weekend. All of the plain triangles are now not so plain, they have a feathered triangle quilted in each one of them, 56 all told. When I was quilting the feathers I, every now and then, quilted a pieced triangle as well, so some of them are now quilted too. Then I started on the outer border. I added a border to the quilt so it will be big enough for my queen size bed, and marked a feathered cable on it. One corner might get remarked, but meanwhile, I am quilting what I like. One side is pretty much done (except that funky corner), and I am working my way around the next side, so at least one corner is done! I am using my walking foot to stitch the five rows of cable, boring, but essential. Then I do the other half of the cable with my BSR stitching a feather pattern. The second side is getting its feather treatment. If I can get them all done today, I will be happy, and the quilt border will be halfway done. More or less, I still need to add the background stippling after I do an echo quilting all the way around. But still, making progress.
Friday I finally got the backing pieced for my niece's quilt, and gave that to my sister to quilt. She came down to go to the Pajaro Valley Quilt guild's quilt show with me on Saturday, which was lovely. I saw lots of lovely quilts, and some lovely fabric. Michael Miller has some new Flower Fairy fabric, and I got some of the Periwinkle line. If you go to their website, they have several quick quilts, and I will probably end up doing one of them.

Then Tracey Brookshier had a booth. Love her BB bag, which I plan on making soon! But yesterday I got her Crane Moon pattern. You can see it at

I also got the center panel from her, and several coordinating fabrics. I just don't have that many purples! Or didn't, now I do.

I also got some applique thread that comes on bobbins. Such a great idea from Superior Threads. I got a set that comes on a bobbin holder. And a tip, store it upside down so it doesn't get dusty. I generally wind a thread color that I am using on a bobbin anyway, so this saves that step.

I made the fatal error of stepping into Pincushion Boutique's booth, and came out several Sweet Treats later, some to be used in the BB bag mentioned above . Others to be used with the Crane Moon quilt.

All in all, a very quilty weekend

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

E-2 Corn and Beans and knitting progress

One more SBS block done, E-2 Corn and Beans. I ended up using the Marti Michell templates for this. I have quite a few now, and rather than pawing through them willy-nilly, I put together a spreadsheet (one of my favorite things to do) with all the pieces (almost all, still have a few to add, like the Feathered Star…) and what the finished size was. Then I sorted by type and size and put an illustration next to the type so I can find things easily. The actual templates are in different tins, one with the 4” block bits, one with the 3”, and one with 8-pointed Stars and Feathered Stars. Somewhere I have the sunburst too, I think, need to get more organized. Anyway, doing that made it easy to see if I had the right pieces for Corn and Beans, and I did, so I used them.
Started another dishcloth this weekend, and finished it last night. I am much better at keeping an even tension now. Cotton is very unforgiving, no stretch or easing like wool that hides that unevenness a bit. So, I had to get better, and I did. I now hold my yarn a bit differently, more like the pictures I have seen, with the double wind around my finger, instead of just one, holds better, thus better tension. So this morning I started another swatch for my socks, using US size 1 needles, and with my new improved technique, actually got 7 stitches per inch, which is what I was shooting for! So now I can figure out how many stitches to cast on and start my first pair of socks, Woo hoo!
Made Russian Cabbage Borscht from the Moosewood Cookbook, by Mollie Katzen, last night, using mostly Farm share produce (beets, cabbage, carrots, celery), along with some staples (onion and potato). Tonight will be either lamb stew or Ham, yams and apples.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

SBS block update

M-9 King Davids Crown - this weeks BOW

E-10 Hunter's Star - the last BOW of January
E-5 Handy Andy - last week's BOW

The February challenge is to do nine blocks from the second column. I have already done several, so will add a few blocks from elsewhere to get to nine blocks.

A-2 Shoo Fly

G2 - Oklahoma Dogwood - February challenge block - redid it once, finished is better than perfect

I-2 Winding ways - done with John Flynn's templates, made it pretty easy.

L-2 Mother's Favorite

M-2 Wild Goose Chase

L-1 Friendship Quilt - another block with the same name...

Happy Valentine's Day

I got rose red yarn for Valentine's Day, along with a sweet card, from my DH. I told him I didn't want flowers, and this is much better. So soft, and enough for a pair of socks, maybe even two, if I knit them like I like to wear them. He also discovered a new to me yarn source, and showed me where it was!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What I've been doing

It has been a while since I have blogged, so to catch up with what I have been doing:

Knitting – I made a wool scarf using a Paton’s light and medium tan (two strands twisted together) and sent it to my son. Then I started trying to knit some socks. Trying is the operative word here, I knit three swatches trying to find the right needle size, well twice was the same needle, just a skinnier swatch, I cast on way to many the first time, still not happy and need to get skinnier needles. So that got set aside for a bit. Then I started a shawl for me, using a variegated black Lion Brand Homespun. So far I have one skein (of four) knit up, and I am getting bored with it. But committed to finishing it too. I have looked for a different pattern to use for the next one, one that will teach me something. So far, this one has taught me how to purl faster. That is a good thing too. The current one is stockinette with a garter stitch border, boring, but it will be useful when done. Since the other patterns also use US size 13 needles, need to finish this one or get more needles to start a new one. And I want to bring this one on the cruise, so want to get it done. So there you go.

Sewing – been making more SBS blocks, have four done this month, although one of them needs to be unstitched a bit, and then redone so I am happy with it. I got 11 or 12 done in January, so have 85 or 86 done right now. Getting there.

Dear Jane has been marked. Still not totally happy with that last corner, but it will do for now while I stitch the triangles.

Cooking – I have a ton (OK, not a ton, but a lot!) of apples from the farm share which I need to process.
I have not been cooking as much as I should, but did last night, and actually cooked Kale where I liked it. Mostly I boiled it for a long time (between 10 and 20 minutes), let the water come to a boil then added the leaves without the stems to the water and let it cook while I prepared the meat. Pan fried pork tenderloin cut 3/8” thick and sprinkled with lemon seasoning in olive oil, removed to a pan, added more oil and a bit of butter to sauté a few sliced mushrooms, then added 1 T water, 1 T Worcestershire sauce, 2 T Jack Daniel’s Old #7 mustard, and the juice of one lemon, let it reduce a bit, added the cooked Kale and the browned pork slices, let everything get warmed back up and serve. I served it with brown rice.