Monday, October 17, 2011


Yep. It's finished. What I'm talking about is the baby quilt for little Austin Littau. He's two months old now so it's time that he gets his quilt before he's too big for it. I'll package it and the books today and take to the UPS store tomorrow. I can hardly wait to see what mommy and daddy think of the quilt. And I know Austin will like the books. Here's a photo of the finished product.
It turned out really nice, don't you think?

The quilt is not the only thing that has taken up my time. I mentioned earlier this summer that I was working on a surprise for a friend. I gave this witch wall hanging to a fellow SWAN who very nicely gave me a quilt hanger. I felt moved to make something for her. Here it is the way she has it hanging in her house.The one I made is on the left and seems to go quite well with the other door decoration she uses.

And, of course, I'm always working on knitted items. I have been experimenting with knitting scarves lengthwise instead of crosswise. Does that make sense? In other words, each row I knit is on the long side of the scarf instead of the short side. The problem with doing that is you have to estimate during cast on how long the scarf should be. Since I'm not using a pattern, it's been a bit of trial and error. Here are the two scarves I've finished so far. The white one is a gift for my sister-in-law. The multicolored scarf is made of mohair yarn that I bought on a whim a few years ago...then didn't know what to do with. They both turned out nice, I think.

Now, I'm working on a pair of socks...and another surprise wall hanging. (That's all I'll say about that!) When the socks are finished, I'll post a photo of all the socks I've made this year so far. I've ordered more yarn so I suspect more socks will be constructed this winter. For some reason, it just feels right to knit socks when the temperatures are a bit cooler.

So, now you're up to date. I hope you have enjoyed looking at my projects. It seems there are always more projects rolling around in my head that I would like to do than there is time to do them. And for some reason it seems like I accomplished more when I was working than I do now that I'm retired. Go figure!

As always, thanks for reading my ramblings.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Making Progress

Hello again. Time for another stimulating post. :-)

As the title says, I am making progress on my projects. Still lots to go, but progress nonetheless. As I mentioned before, I signed on to test two patterns for The Quilt Pattern Magazine. Both patterns have been tested and the results and photos sent to the magazine. I can't show you the photos of the items yet, though, because they haven't been published. I can say that I am killing two birds with one stone with each item. One of the items is Christmas ornaments that turned out really cute and will serve as my contribution to the SWANS ornament exchange in December. The other is a stuffed animal that will be a perfect addition to the baby quilt that I'm making for my friends.

Speaking of the baby quilt... That little stinker decided to make his appearance three weeks early. Austin Lawrence Littau was born on August 8. Although he was a little early, his height and weight were about normal and he only stayed in NICU for a few hours while he was checked out stem to stern. That's the good news. The bad news is that his quilt isn't finished yet. I do have it all put together and am in the process of quilting it. If Austin had come at his appointed time, there is a really good chance that his quilt would have been ready. That's OK, though. He won't need something as warm as a quilt for a couple of months until the weather cools down.

I also have lots of other projects lined up on my to-do list. I am currently working on a thank you gift for a friend. I also want to make another thank you gift for a friend who is always doing things for me and never wants anything in return. And, of course, I have the "Quilting" cross stitch piece to work up into something. And I want to make a small wall hanging for my good buddy Pat with whom I have lunch once a month.

Whew! As you can see, I have lots of ideas and plans ahead. I have enough projects and supplies on hand to keep me busy until I'm 100...and I just had my 62nd birthday! Maybe I need to pare down a bit. :-)

OK. Now you know what I'm up to. No photos this time, but I hope my next post includes photos of a completed quilt that is ready for shipping to Pennsylvania.

Til then...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Back in the Groove

On Monday of this week, I decided to work on the baby quilt some more. And it was quite successful, in my opinion. I have completed the body of the top. A quick test of the red fabric for the first border showed that it was susceptible to running. Yes, I know. I should have tested it when it first came in the house, but I didn't need it then. So, I just ran it through a wash with Retayne and it is now drying. I don't have a working dryer so the fabric is draped over a chair in front of a fan. It should be dry fairly soon. When it's dry, I'll cut the strips for the first border. Here is a photo of the top before borders.

I thought you might also want to see the fabrics that I'll be using for the borders and the backing. I'll use either the yellow or the green for the second border and the other one will be used for the backing. My next task will be to decide which one to use for the binding. Fortunately, that won't be an issue for a while.
Unfortunately, I don't think the quilt will be ready for the expected birth around September 1. But the upcoming new parents live in Pennsylvania so it will be a while before a quilt is needed.

While the red fabric is drying, I think I'll cut the paper pieces for the English paper piecing pattern that I need to test. Lots of things to do! But maybe I'll take a nap first...

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

OK. Now what?

I feel all adrift. Or as my mom used to put it "at sixes and sevens." Yesterday I finished a wall hanging. I can't post a photo of it because it's a surprise for a friend and I don't want to ruin the surprise. Anyway, now that it's finished, what do I do? I could work on the baby quilt, but I'm not in the mood. I have done a little work on it. The purple diagonal row is finished and I'm sewing the blues together for the next row. But it's not exciting me.

I could knit on the sock I have started...but I'm not in the mood.

I am a pattern tester for The Quilt Pattern Magazine ( The pattern I'm testing is English paper piecing Christmas ornaments. But before I can start working on them, I need to cut paper pieces and dig out fabric. And I'm just not in the mood. Besides, the results of my test isn't due until the middle of August. Plenty of time!

I could do lots of things, but nothing is turning on my creative juices. It's like this for me every time I finish a project. I always have a boatload of projects in progress, but for some reason they are not appealing right after finishing a project.

Guess I'll just turn on the radio and see if I can find something to listen to. Or maybe I'll get the Kindle and pick up where I left off last night on the book I'm reading. It's about a couple right after WWII. The guy has trouble dealing with the mental aspects of the war and to save his wife and children from his nightmares, he leaves home. Keep in mind that times are really hard right then and he has trouble finding jobs. Anyway, it's a good book. Maybe that's what I'll a little bit.

I'm glad to have the project finished and can hardly wait to see my friend's reaction. If only I didn't feel so...I don't sixes and sevens!

Tomorrow is a new day and I'm sure I'll find my enthusiasm again by then. Today I'll just take it easy and enjoy the "cooler" weather. ha!

Thanks for reading.


Sunday, July 3, 2011


Yes, I have been A.W.O.E. -- Absent With Out Excuse! I do apologize, but what I have realized as a result of having this blog is that I basically lead a dull life. Not much with which to bore people. I will bring you up to date on what I've been up to since my last post of mumble...mumble...four months or so ago...mumble...mumble.

As I said, I have really gotten into sock knitting. I have now completed six pair and am working on the seventh. Some fit me; some don't. But that's OK. I'm sure there is someone somewhere who will fit into the ones I can't wear and I got the enjoyment out of making them. I didn't take a photo because they're just socks. Nothing to get excited about.

A quilty thing that I am working on is a baby quilt for friends of mine who are expecting a baby around the first of September. The quilt won't be ready by then, but here's a photo of my progress. I have about half of the squares put together. The fabrics are 30's reproductions. The remaining rows are blue, green, yellow and red. The inner border will be a skinny solid red and the outer border will be wider (probably 5 inches) of either a green or yellow print. I have enough of each for either the border or the back. I'll decide which color goes where when I get the rest of the quilt body pieced together. I prefer to do my piecing by hand instead of sewing machine and that's part of the reason it is taking so long to get this done. My enjoyment of quilting comes from the peacefulness of hand work. Usually about the only time I use the sewing machine is to sew on the border. All of the piecing and quilting are done by hand.

The reason I'm updating my blog today is because I have been chided by a couple of my stitching buddies for not posting anything in a while. And after one of those fine ladies gave me a counted cross stitch item that she didn't want, I figured I had no choice but to update. Here is a photo of the item:

It's lovely and I appreciate Sarah's generosity. My next task is to decide what to do with it. I will probably make it into a wall hanging, but I'm not sure just how I'll do it. I have a lot of burgundy scraps from a quilt I made a few years ago so I'm sure I can find compatible fabrics. The cross stitch kit also came with charms to put on the item. The picture suggested putting the charms on the quilt blocks, but that just doesn't look right to me. I'll come up with something, I'm sure. Here is a picture of the charms:

OK. Now you're up to date with what I've been doing. And it looks like a storm is brewing outside so I'd better get off the computer before something bad happens.

As always, thanks for reading my blog. I hope you managed to stay awake through all the boring blather. ha!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Welcome 2011

Yes, I know I haven't posted anything in a long time. I'm sorry about that, but the end of 2010 was not a very good time for me. Things are looking better now and it's time that I update my blog.

When I look back at 2010, one of my major accomplishments was finishing my whirligig quilt. I have more quilts than I'll ever need so I gave whirligig to my good friend, Pat. Here's a photo of it. Frankly, I'm glad it's over. Working with all that black got tiresome. But it's finished and Pat seems to really like it.

Our family had a nice Christmas gathering at my brother's house on Dec. 18. We always gather on some day other than Christmas. It was great, as usual. Lots of good food and even more conversation. I took along a bag full of things I had knitted so everyone could take their choice. The best part is I came home empty-handed! :-)

So far, 2011 has been good to me. I have tried off and on for several years to learn how to knit socks. Up to this point, my efforts were not successful. However, after Christmas, I pulled out some sock yarn I had on hand and my needles to see what I could accomplish. I found a sock pattern on the Internet that made more sense than the patterns I had tried before. And now I have completed two pair of socks. The first pair was definitely a first effort! One sock is a bit bigger than the other so I've been using them for my bed socks and they work great. Unfortunately, we have had a lot of cold weather so having warm socks to keep my tooties warm has been wonderful.

After my first so-so
result, I tried again to make socks and came up with a better result. At least these two are both the same size. That's progress, I think. :-) They're still not quite what I'm looking for, but they definitely are wearable and will be used -- either by me or someone. I'm now working on another pair of sock. I made a few alterations to the pattern and I think these will fit better. We'll see....

I haven't been to stitch group for a while. We met only once in November because the second meeting would have been Thanksgiving. The group had a Christmas party in early December, but I wasn't feeling up to par so I didn't go. Then last week, the weather was too cold for me to get out. I'm holding out hope for next week's meeting. The least at this point...says we'll be in the 30's so there's hope that I'll be able to make it. I sure miss those evenings of stitching and talking.

Well, this is pretty much my life in a nutshell. I'll try to be more diligent about posting this year. I'm pretty sure it won't be on a regular basis, but I think I can do better than once every 3-4 months!

Until we meet again, stay warm and stay safe.