Thursday, January 31, 2013

Show Us Your Socks!

Ok, it's Thursday Sock Day, and I'm linking up to Judy L @ Patchwork Times!

This is the 2nd pair of socks made for me by my sister-in-law, and very good friend, Carol.  I bought the yarn in Alaska.  Carol and I were there on a stop while on a quilter's cruise (so fun!!!) in May/June of 2011.  I love them!  They're a bit stretched out, though, because I've had them on for awhile.

Update from last week: I have purchased some needles and yarn.... Next step - find a class and take the time to start my knitting lessons!

Come on over to Judy's blog & SHOW US YOUR SOCKS!!!  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Whatcha' Reading?

Judy Laquidara over at Patchwork Times has  new linky group called "Whatcha Reading?"  I need to write & link up, because I got a new e-reader for my birthday and have all kinds of books waiting to be read...

The book that I'm currently reading is called The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin.  What a great book so far!  I don't normally read what I would call "self-help" books, but the author had such a great idea when she decided to do this project....  She considers herself to be very happy and fortunate in life - great family, etc...  But, she says, she's still not sure she's entirely happy.  So, this goes month-by-month, focusing on different aspects of life and figuring out how she can be both good to herself, and good to others (like, for instance, her husband).  I sometimes glance over some paragraphs because I figure "I'll never do that," but otherwise, she has some really great ideas and I've taken a ton of notes (my particular e-reader has that option).  Loving it so far!

Gretchen Rubin's description of the book reads: "One rainy afternoon, while riding a city bus, Gretchen Rubin asked herself, “What do I want from life, anyway?” She answered, “I want to be happy”—yet she spent no time thinking about her happiness. In a flash, she decided to dedicate a year to a happiness project. The result? One of the most thoughtful and engaging works on happiness to have emerged from the recent explosion of interest in the subject.

The Happiness Project synthesizes the wisdom of the ages with current scientific research, as Rubin brings readers along on her year to greater happiness.
In fact, Rubin’s “happiness project” no longer describes just a book or a blog; it’s a movement. Happiness Project groups, where people meet to discuss their happiness projects, have sprung up across the country—and across the world. Rights have been sold in more than 35 countries. Hundreds of book groups have discussed the book; professors, teachers, psychiatrists, and clergy assign it. The Happiness Project was even an answer on the game-show Jeopardy!"

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Show Us Your Socks!

Judy L. at Patchwork Times does a weekly linky blog where people show their socks.

So, guess what - I'm joining in the fun.

 The socks I'm wearing today are a pair that my husband's sister made for me a few years ago.  I bought the yarn, and this is what I received in the mail a month shortly after!  LOVE these socks!  She's made 2 pair for me.  Now, after seeing all of the socks Judy made last year (13 pair!!!!!!), I've finally decided to take the plunge.  I hope to take a knitting class in the next month.  :)

Linking up to the Patchwork Times!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Design Wall Monday

I'm currently working on finishing the blocks to a "Buck-A-Block" BOM done by Thangles. I did mine through a super-fantastic shop in Seattle, called The Quilting Loft. I love them! They've got tons of batiks, which are my favorite. What are YOU working on?

 What's on your design wall today?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Meeting Blogger/Quilty Friends...

is SOO fun! I got to meet an "online friend" today. She's both a quilter and blogger, and is amazing at both! She's also a military wife & Mom to an adorable little girl. We've been "friends" for roughly a year & a half now, we've emailed and texted ~ and now we've met in person, ate lunch, swapped "how we met our husband and got engaged" stories, and went quilty shopping together! I'm normally pretty leery to meet online friends in person. I'm not sure why? Maybe it's the loony-lady who came and spent the night about 8 years ago? HaHa! This woman drove me C-R-A-Z-Y ~ so much so that I told her I had to work the next day, got up at 5:30 am and was "out the door" by 7am. She followed me to the freeway, and I high-tailed it home & back to bed! I've also had some really good experiences meeting online quilter friends, but that one just really sticks. You know how they say how it's easier to remember the negative things that happen to us vs. the good things? Maybe that really is true after all. So, anyway... back to today (which is now "yesterday," due to it being after midnight)... Today's meeting was FABULOUS! We went to Ruby Street quilt store, where I proceeded to spend a "little bit" (*wink*) on fabric & a fabulous book, "Making Quilts - the Promise of Joy," by Kathy Doughty. The author uses many fabrics in her quilts, but I do spot Kaffe Fassett fabrics in many of the quilts, which I love. There are several quilts that I'd like to make, but the first is definitely the "Red Centre" quilt, because it happens to be my favorite use of Kaffe fabrics, and I have quite a stack (in use for another quilt called Lollipop Trees," which I've blogged about in the past). So, back to the whole subject of meeting my friend... I had such a great time! I'm glad we were finally able to meet "in person," and I'm glad that I accidentally left my shoes there (long story short - I got a tattoo recently and am wearing slippers during the healing time... wore slippers into & out of her house, but when we went to the quilt store, I wore "real shoes"....) so that now we'll have to get together again very soon so I can get my Danskos back! LOL. "M," thank you for opening up my eyes to your world. I look forward to more visits in the future, and more story time, too!

Knitting Envy ~ I'm Guilty!

I have been following a blog, Patchwork Times, by Judy Laquidara, for about fifteen months now. Judy is a quilter, book writer, knitter, gardener, cook, canner extraordinaire, chicken Mama, and many other things. Judy is extremely inspiring, as I've recently drastically cut my work hours and am home more. I read her blog and can't imagine how she manages to do all she does. I LOVE her chicken & husband stories, I want to meet her dog, and I want to emulate her sock-making abilities!

I decided a couple of evenings ago, after reading Judy's most recent blog postings, that I NEED to learn how to knit socks! She made 13 pair in 2012, and every pair look so comfy! Most were colorful, and I think each pair was in a different knit pattern. Love love love!!! I'm not sure why I've been "nervous" to learn. Is it because I won't be able to figure it out? Or, maybe because I'm afraid I'll feel challenged at first, learn what I need to know, and then the challenge goes away and takes my desire to knit with it? I tend to be more afraid of the latter... I don't want to go out and buy a ton of stuff (like I "might" have done before with other crafts), and then not use it. I saw a friend today, and I mentioned my desire to learn to knit. I didn't realize (errrr - "remember") that she used to knit. I mentioned Judy's blog, and all of her 2012 socks, and how I want to learn how to make socks. My friend proceeded to give me the book "Stitch 'N Bitch," by Debbie Stoller, as well as a "Baby Knits Kit," by Sara Lucas, that has 20 super cute projects, mostly (but not all) for baby.

I've been reading some of the Stitch 'N Bitch book and have learned about needle and yarn size/weight, and some other basic stuff. Haven't tried anything with yarn yet. I had told my DH ("dear husband") the other night that I was thinking of learning how to knit, and taking a class to do so, and there's a chance he might even join me!! His sisters had actually taught him, or "started" teaching him, how to make socks several years ago. Maybe we will make socks together! One can wish! :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Design Wall Monday - January 14, 2013

Happy Birthday to me! I am finally sewing again AND posting on my blog again. YAY! Here is what is up on my design wall. It is 25% of a quilt I'm making to fit our king-size bed. It's going to be a monster! I love the fabrics - they remind me of fall. They're not too feminine, and not to masculine - just perfect. The design is a Disappearing 9-Patch. I've never made one before, and I saw one on the Longarm at my favorite local quilt shop (Fiddlesticks, in Vancouver, Washington) and just knew I had to make one! Turns out that I LOVE making this pattern! There are so many ways to put it together - I look forward to making several more, including baby quilts. Perfect way to showcase certain fabrics, or go completely scrappy.
The top photo is a better color depiction for most colors, but the bottom photo shows how it looks when 25% of the quilt is complete (I'm loving the results so far!). I have a total of nine fabrics for my quilt, with the center block the same for all blocks. Then, the rest of the fabrics are pulled randomly from a basket. My only rule is that I'm not putting the same fabric side-by-side. So, if I pull the same twice in a row, it goes back and I pull again. Hope you like it! Comments/Feedback are welcome. :) Linking up with The Patchwork Times, by the one & only Judy Laquidara!

2013 Begins Anew...

Ok, I'm starting to think I SUCK at blogging! Seems I get started, and then things start happening in my life, and blogging goes completely by the wayside. I'm excited that it is a new year and things have happened in my life to where there is more time to do things I enjoy, like spending time with my husband and our pets, spending time with friends and other family, reading, and.... SEWING!!! Ahhhh - I feel SO refreshed to be in my sewing room (which is CLEAN, by the way...). I'm happy. I'm invigorated! I'm renewed. I'm "myself" again, which is great after months and months of 50-55 hour work weeks! So, what am I working on? I've got not one, but TWO king-size bed quilts in the works. I completed 25% of one of them while waiting on some mailorder fabric to arrive for the 2nd one. Then, I started working on a "lap quilt" that had been started sometime early in 2012. TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY, and I think I will be finishing that quilt top before midnight! YAY. Here is a photo:
Ok, so you may think "that quilt makes NO sense at all!" Well... you're right! I think I will call it "The Crazy Non-Sensical Quilt" or something like that. I had purchased a bunch of fabrics for a "scrap" quilt, of sorts. Turns out it's way more scrappy than I can normally deal with (I don't normally "do" scrappy...), but I like each of the fabrics so much that I decided to stay outside my comfort zone and just "go with it." It's just a lap quilt for home use, for goodness sake. I'm not trying to impress anyone. It'll be warm & comfy just like any other quilt will be. Right? Ha! I will probably post another photo after it's quilted. There is at least one other quilt in line, at minimum, however, before I can throw this on the long arm. Give me a couple years... ;)