Saturday, December 4, 2010

Quiltapalooza Samples

Quiltapalooza is tomorrow at Happiness is Quilting (HIQ from here on out).  I have made three samples for it and have been dying to show pictures of them but have had to bide my time.  I am terribly glad I am done though because I need to get busy on my Christmas projects.  I made a spreadsheet that told me how many inches I would have to knit a day to get Madden's raglan sweater and Mike's Leisure Hive scarf done.

Mike decided he wanted a Dr. Who scarf like the one Tom Baker wore in Season 18.  We had watched the Leisure Hive episode and he was fascinated with the color changes in the scarf.  Be looking for pictures as I make forward progress on the scarf.

I am also preparing teacher samples for a class I want to teach in the spring at the store on clothing construction.   I am having difficulty deciding what would be really fun to make.   We'll see.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Diggin' It! - new gardening spot

I visited Diggin' It on Saturday and was impressed with her plant selections.  They were high quality and she carried a lot of interesting foliage which I love for my containers on the front steps.  She did not have a lot but what she had was in good shape and she was tending them.  I'll have to posts pix when the plants fill in.  I bought blue and orange pansies, Northern Lights chard, and mustard greens.  I am going to go back for some kale and more pansies. 

My great-grandmother always planted blue pansies so I feel I need to carry on the tradition. 

She also carries a line of organic fertilizers made in Dallas called Rusty Can Organics.  I bought one that was high in nitrogen that I thought would be good for my pansies and also put it on the azaleas.  I'll have to see if he makes one for azaleas or I should just mix it with old coffee grounds like I always do.

I bought an antique needlework sign and some soaps.  She had hand-painted rocks that said "UNT - Mean Green"  I bought one for my birdbath area where there is river rock.  Adds a touch of whimsy and my husband has not noticed yet.   Can't wait until he does.  My birdbath broke so I am on the lookout for an interesting alternative birdbath.  I thought of some kind of granite or concrete basin.  Any ideas?

Ribbing slog

Okay, the most difficult part for me in any sweater is getting through the ribbing.  I just lose interest.  I thought the corrugated ribbing would be better because of the constant color change but, alas, it is the same movement and my mind starts to wander to more pressing matters like paint color for the master bedroom.

I am about 2/3 of the way through the corrugated ribbing on the bottom of the paper doll sweater and the good news is that it's in the round so I am not faced with doing the ribbing again for the front.  I am slogging though away while listening to my old-time radio podcasts.  My favorite is Great Detectives of Old Time Radio with Adam Graham, Old Time Radio Dragnet with Adam Graham, and Case Closed!.  You can get all of them through ITunes.  I loved Radio Detective Story Hour with Jim Widner but he has not been able to keep up with it lately.  He would give background and historical information on the different radio detectived as well as critiques.

I would love to find a great doctor who to listen to.  Speaking of which DH has requested an episode 18 leisure hive scarf.  The original was made from chenille and he is not a chenille kind of guy.  I am thinking berroco comfort but have not selected color choices that would replicate it well.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sore Fingers?

I am working on my paper dolls sweater with those amazing knitpicks needles but the dang things are so sharp that I have developed a pin-sized blister on the fingers I push my needles with.  I looked around at Happiness is Quilting and found two different products I am testing:

I've been wearing them at work and around the house to see how they work.  Results later

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Veronica Sweater and other fun stuff

Photo  used with permission of Sarah Barbour
and published in Interweave Crochet

I've been dying to make this sweater (in orange, of course).  It's seamless, raglan-sleeved crocheted sweater and it given me cause to love a new designer - Sarah Barbour.  Check out her blog here.

Anyway, I am going to be making this in Berocco Comfort which is one of my new loves.  You'd think a town the size McKinney would have a decent craft store and I would not have to go to Lindale to buy yarn.  Sheez.

Also, very exicted about tomorrow.  We are supposedly going shopping for tile for our master bath and getting paint.  woo-hoo.  I am excited but then that means I have to go out and paint.

I am working on a sample quilt for the shop.  It's very hush-hush though because it is for quiltapalooza.  Also, I am making a cute quilted bag (a la Vera Bradsley) for a shop sample.

I am about finished with my i-cord cast-on for the paper doll sweater (see Nov. 1 post).  I think it will be awesome and totally wearable.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tree Skirt Update

I am making the Tree Skirt from Fast and Furious Holiday by G.E. Designs.  It is a "quilt as you go" design.  It looks really great but the "early" seams were popping open.  I increased my sea allowance to 3/8 about halfway through and that stopped later seams from coming open but I was afraid of what would happen when hung in the shop.

I asked my friend, Cindy, or Tops to Treasures, and Timi Ann what they would do.  They both suggested independently to sew crazy quilt stitches over the seams.  Specifically, Timi Ann suggested I used 60 weight thread in the bobbin and machine embroidery thread in the top.  Cindy suggested gold to make the gold tree section pop and a white or gray to make those areas recede.

I did as they suggested and it turned out really nice except for one area where the thread caught and the stitches are bunched together.  I tried to rip out the stitches and start over but the stitches were too dense.  I will just have to leave it

I am going to use bias binding.  I found really great instructions here for it at Anka's Treasures blog.

I will post a picture of the sticthes and binding when I get it done.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Paper Doll Sweater

Photo used with permission of Kate Davies

I purchased this pattern last night and am so excited.  I think I'll make it in my dale baby ull and some of my sock yarns I bought on vacation that are hand-dyed.

I decided to visit her blog, Needled, and I was impressed by her work, her shoes, and her story.  Although I have not had a stroke, I understand the long recovery process and grieving over not being able to wear cool shoes any longer.  I have a probable diagnosis of Behcet's Disease and each time I have a flare, I lose short-term memory.  After my first flare, my hands could not remember how to knit, crochet, or use my sewing machine.  I regained it in time.  One of the things I do is Sudoku to rebuild those connections.  I am not sure why that happens.  Thanks to my new medication regimen, I have not had a real flare since January.  That one was a doozy though, it took me 6 weeks to regain normalcy.  Anyway,  I kept two pairs of the shoes I loved just to keep my morale up.  I did discover Alegria shoes during this time so I am not suffering too much.

I guess I am writing this as much to encourage Kate and thank her for her courage.  

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pssst. . .Patchwork Party Peeps

My local quilt store just put 2 of the fabrics from the Maywood Studios Wild Rose line on sale.  If you are like me, I like doing the patchwork party blocks because they good, old-fashioned, use your template and your noggin exercises.  I don't always like the finishing kits though.  I was so thrilled when they chose a fabric line that Happiness carries and unknowingly put 2 of the fabric on sale.  I wanted to share the link with you so you could make your own finishing kit, make substitutions, or buy oops fabric.

Batik Paper Lanterns

Just finished this for the shop. It is made from the most amazing batiks. I picked the turqoise as a foil to the coral but it really glows. I am thinking about quilting it in yellow fireflies because they look like party lanterns in a night sky. They also kind of look like lava lamps.
I made it as the pattern suggested and omitted the large outer border. Can't decide if I like it that way or not.

Really love the Moa Grunge I used as the background. The grunge line is my absolute favorite in quilts. It adds nice texture and depth.
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Georgette Christmas Tree Skirt

Fabric Georgette by Anna Griffin
When I first started working at Happiness is Quilting, 2 months ago (Wow!), I was quite taken with this line of fabric. It is called "Georgette" and was designed by Anna Griffin.  I think it is one of the most sophisticated Christmas lines I had seen in a long while. I loved the use of mustard and gray as a matte metallic. I was so excited when I was asked to make a store sample with it. I have posted the tree skirt before binding. The pisture does not do it justice. I a very pleased. Now to tackle another store sample - a batik baby quilt. It will be very sophisticated. I think it will hang in the kids's study as a curtain between the kitchen and upstairs . Help with sound noise and light for when they play the Wii.
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day of the Dead Quilt

Sample of Luis Fitch Viva! fabric line made into a quilt and displayed as store sample at Happiness is Quilting
Another store sample. . .I actually completed this one before I started work at Happiness is Quilting. It's a Day of the Dead quilt. It has Our Lady of Guadalupe on the front and doves. I think I'll put grinning skulls on the back. It creeps my family out but I appreciate the humor that goes into the art. I like to see people try to tackle tough subjects with humor. I think I'm going to quilt it in variegated orange and yellow thread with big chrysanthemums or more doves. A solid black back could be really pretty too.

Detail of the quilt. Really loved this fabric because you did not have to fussy cut it!
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Square Dance

My friend, Elise, finished the binding on this quilt for me. It looks really fabulous. It was quilted by my friend, Cindy, of Tops to Treasures. This is one of my favorties to make up. It is a big size and looks great and crisp. I really don't like Turning 20 tye quilts that seem to have no order to them.
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New Tea Find! Yum!

Turkish Spice Mint Tea Blend
Photo property of Zhi Tea.
Today at Patina Green, I found a loose tea called Zhi.  It's made in Austin and it's organic.  We purchased both the Tropical Green and the Turkish Spice Mint.  I opened the Turkish Spice Mint and the most amazing aroma wafted around the room.  I am preparing the french tea press as we speak. 

(15 minutes later) It tastes really good.  It is sweet and minty when you first taste it and peppery on the back of your tongue.  I think I am am going to sign up DH for one of the clubs for Christmas.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Quilt Blockage

I have taken a knitting and crocheting hiatus to work on quilt blocks. I have several blocks os the month I have subscribed to over the past 5 years (Yikes!) and I've decided it was time to get something done on them. The above block, "Shroom", is an applique block that I designed for a sampler quilt I started almost 3 years ago.

I have also been working on The Designer Mystery Block of the Month from the Fat Quarter Shop (2008), the Patchwork Parties 2007 & 2010), Web Sampler Celebrations (2007), and Women of Grace and Charm (2008).

I have also begun working on Sylvia's Bridal Sampler with a group of women at Happiness is Quilting. 7 blocks per month for that one.

I also signed up for a Christmas block swap as well as another block of the month called Blueberry Stars which is a paper-pieced miniature quilt.
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Monday, October 18, 2010

Viva Vivi!

Had a visit with the lovely Vivian yesterday.  If ever there was a girl with a head shaped for hairbows, it has to be her!  She is so smart and so much fun to watch.  Sam and I were inventing hairbands on the car ride home that I could  knit but Carrie could change hairbows out on.  Hmm-m-m, it's an idea for Christmas.  I'll have to pose a pic of Vivi for you to admire.

Unfortunately while I was there I had waves of nausea only to discover I am having an allergic reaction to something.  Last night I got chills.  Today I have fever blisters.  Hate it when my body lets me down.  Oh well, cast all your cares upon Him.  It was probably just the excitement of seeing Madden run such a great race and seeing Vivi for the first time.  Fayetteville is such a fun place.  So much more so than when I was in high school.

Speaking of Madden's race, he ran a 16:33 and was 44th out of over 400.  His fastest time yet!

By the way!  I found a great new store in Fayetteville - Handheld Knitting.  I bought 2 patterns and three new yars for the stash!  One is a great baby dress and the other is an a-line cardigan for me.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

So Sorry!

Sorry I have not posted in eons.  Okay, I'll be honest.  This is like apologizing to a diary.  I got a fabu job at Happiness is Quilting and love it, love it.  I get to work on store samples which I love.  Sadly, my crochet and knitting are neglected but happily I am just patching away.  We all know I just piece.  I do not under any circumstance quilt.  I am also trying to move away from binding.  Egads!

Anyway, I am making tons of new friends and it's always fun when you know that it's providence.   I will start posting about all my projects again and of course, pictures of my dog!  He's so stinking cute and well, he's the least selfish person in my life, and that's cause he is a dog.

I am doing this really inspiring project called Sylvia's Bridal Sampler.  I'm meeting with a group of like-minded quilters (the fools, he-he-he) to complete the blocks and we've started a whole other blog.  I am going to establish a link.

I'll be posting pictures of my Sylvia's blocks in both places.  Be looking for more blocks coming out.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The New Muse


Meet the new muse! This is Dutch! Say Hi! Dutch is a two-year-old mini schnauzer that we adopted from Miniature Schauzer Rescue of North Texas. He is quite the character. More on his adventures later. Right now, I need a nap.
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Friday, June 11, 2010

Reaping and Sewing

Finished a week at girl scout twilight camp as the craft queen. It is my 6th year. Is that right? Seems like only yesterday Sam was a daisy scout. Now, she's a Cadette.

Anyway, through girl scouts I met another feckless leader with younger daughters who asked if she could go through my stash to find fabric to make dresses for her daughters out of. When I did, it caused me to want to sew again.

So, I am off on another sewing oddysey this summer.

2 sewing projects that have caught my eye:

Schwinn Romper

Habitual Simple Sundress

I became aware of both of these through BurdaStyle. So excited! I am going to make sundresses for all of samantha's little peeps and then they can be the Von Trapp family for halloween. Wonder if I can get Madden, Thorsten, and Eliison in lederhosen?

I was asked by Happiness in Quilting to make a Quiltapalooza market trunk show sample and I am making it in Viva! by Robert Kaufman fabrics. I love day of the dead and mexican folklore. Most people love it or hate it. I am making it in a pattern called Voila! I am so exicted! It is very funky and out there. My friend Cindy @topstotreasures (who does not like Day of the Dead - gives her the creeps) is going to have to quilt it. heh-heh. In skulls, heh-heh-heh

Monday, April 26, 2010

Now for Pattern Magazine Fasting

With money tight at the Ladwig household, I decided that I should pattern fast this year and work on the items I have in queue. I have enormous stash and pattern stash and yes, queue so I need to work on getting that down.

This is going to be a Herculean task but I am going to add it to my prayer list. It's like peeling an onion - removing all those unnecessary layers.

I just feel like removing all the areas of gluttony and greed and as silly as it sounds my fiber life is where I am guilty. I derive so much pleasure from knitting, crochet, quilting, etc. that I have indulged myself in these areas. It has gotten to the point of compulsion and I need to address this area.

Monday, January 4, 2010



The January socks for Loumms' Year of Socks are Caliente and Court Line. I finished one Caliente sock today. It seemed a little big so I washed it in cold water on delicate and it lightly felted it and removed my "ladders" created by changing needles. It is the first time that I made a toe up sock. Frankly, it was just my second pair of socks.

I am very excited to be using my new Kollage square DPN's (double-pointed needles). I got the medium length ones and they are a little awkward. I have poky ends I have to work around. I think I'll acquire the short ones too.

I washed Madden's Masonic Lodge socks and to help the ladders disappear and he likes them. He has planned an outfit to wear around them. Thursday, he says.

Now that I made Mike a scarf he says I never have to knit him anything else. He has not desire to wear socks made from imported wool. White cotton socks are fine. He can't see his way to $30 socks. I have made him all the hats he needs. Nevertheless, I have plans to make him a Mr. Rogers zip-up cardigan and a shawl collar tweed sweater (probably not this year but sometime) though. I want to make someone an Ernie sweater but I have no takers as yet. Anyone?

I thought about making Ellison one but I found a vest that is gray with yellow cables to look like an asphalt highway. It has pockets for hot wheels that look like a stop light.
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Sunday, January 3, 2010

First Socks!


I finished my first socks on January 1, 2010. I am going to follow the Loumm's Creations "A Year of Socks." I made them for my son, Madden, age 15. I found it satisfying to finish them. I had tried when i was a new knitter to make them buy was not able to understand the structure. I am about 75% complete on my second pair, Caliente. They will be slipper socks.

In January, I have decided to take a rug hooking class. I think I will take the pillow in I completed the front of (but never sewed) to have the instructor to critique. I have several pieces that Cindy's grandmother completed the hooking on but did not bind. I have also have several that are partially completed.

Rose Path Weaving in Lindale, TX opened a rug-hooking wing and that is where I would take my class.

It is interesting to me that beginning a year could bring about such creativity in me. I realized for Christmas that I had completed 3 quilts, 1 scarf, 1 pair of slippers, 1 pair of socks, 7 dish or face cloths, 1 trivit and 2 amirugumi santa clauses. That is not even completion of projects for the year. I think it has been a productive year.

I told my husband my and he said, "Are you tired?" and then said with tongue firmly planted in cheek, "Don't do it again."
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Unexpected Developments

My daughter taught herself to knit over New Year's weekend. She got a kit from my 8 year old nephew and sat and taught herself to knit. Understand that I have been begging her to let me teach her to knit and she taught herself with a kit.

Now, we have begun negotations over whether or not she will now make a potholder or coasters. Everything with Sam begins with a negotation. Unfortunately her project stalled because she ran out of yarn. I will have to find purple yarn for her to complete her purse with.

I have to dash I have to negotiate Sam's bedtime.