Yes. We really are having company and I really do have to clean up. In fact, I should be dusting and polishing right now.

I should not be on the computer AT ALL especially since I spent most of yesterday publishing a pattern for sale RIGHT HERE ON RAVELRY. 

This is a scarf designed as a commission from my niece NM for her mother, SouthFlorida Sister-in-law. She liked it, I thought it would be fun to see if I could publish a pattern, so there you go.


It is Grandmother's Choice day again. I am afraid to look, but you can if you click HERE.

ETA  I looked. I think I am out. When something one does for "fun" becomes a chore or task to avoid, it is not a hobby anymore. Now I will have nine more hours a week to clean up the studio.


New chicken in the house. Recent house guests--well, really, driveway guests since they bring their own motor home--my in-laws gave me a new chicken for my collection! She really works, too!


Finally finished last Saturday's BOW but I am not at all satisfied.

I am due to have company again so no doubt the block of the week will be Carpenter's Star or something else equally nightmarish. If this block was supposed to separate the wheat from the chaff, I think chaff just picked me to play for their side. 
I did not even get the second block done because I have to finish other things on my list.

Here is a picture of it, ready to be appliqued.


The guest teacher for September is Paula Reid of Batts in the Attic Quilt Studio. She is another example of a machine quilter who uses templates for "free motion". I just can not wrap my head around how templates qualify as free motion. Thanks to an earlier tutorial by Don Linn, I had the tulle method to help me transfer the pattern. Thanks to the other instructors, I had learned that it is okay to go back over some of the lines and more than once makes it look less like a mistake. I am gaining more confidence with this.

Since June, my 1630 machine has been out of commission. Instead,I have been using my 915. Obstacles include: no automatic needle down; difficulty changing the bobbin; no advanced warning of low bobbin. What I do NOT miss about not using the 1630: I can actually switch the light off and on on the 915; the 915 does not keep turning itself off and on at warp speed causing the needle to jump back and forth maniacally constantly resetting the needle down option.

Well, I have said it before. I. HATE. FEATHERS. But this is not so bad. She gave no directions as to where to start, inner or outer but said that it would be necessary to retrace lines. It is a lovely motif, but one I am NEVER EVER EVER likely to use in my own machine quilting. I do not even like feathers as hand quilting. I am sure some of the professional quilters doing this challenge have some lovely work. Me, I can see that precision and exact copy are not going to be part of my style. I prefer more "free" in my free motion.


OH, MY! Yesterday's block is a lulu! I have all the fabric chosen and cut. I just need about three more days to work it out. Meanwhile, I am worried that I might not make this month's FMQC. Company still here until mid-day Monday, and we are enjoying ourselves.


It is Grandmother's Choice BOW day again. I have company so that may slow me down a little. I hope it is one of the easy blocks or at least applique which will slow everyone down. Click the green and purple umbrella to the right of this post and see what today's block turned out to be.


I won another contest. Well, two actually. First I won buttons from INCOMPARABLE BUTTONS in Cape Town, which is about a billion miles east of Uruguay. They are on their way here (posted Sep 14) and I will photograph them when they arrive. If you know me at all, you know I have a great love of buttons. I will make something and show you how I decided to use these. I am not even sure which set I won but if you click on the link above you will get a look at a catalog I would leave around for Santa Claus if I had my own copy. Anything they send me would become my favorite set. Can't wait.

Next, I won a knitting pattern from RIDICULOUS KNITS-- a copy of  Kate Lemmer's shawl pattern Meddybemps, which she calls More than a scarf and less than a shawl... a Scrawl. It is an interesting lace project and I look forward to reading the pattern and learning the construction. Instead of showing you a photo, I put in several links so you can go see for yourself the generous blogger and clever designer and the Ravelry page where you can buy yourself a copy.


I am up early enough to see the miracle of sunrise. Today it will be filtered through clouds and mist. Miracle.

Absolutely HAVE to clean out this studio again. I have several quilting projects out in various stages of disarray. Then there is the knitting. I think I should probably triage every area and at least separate overflow into different media. 

I have decided to liberate that beautiful blueberry alpaca I wrote about on the 14th--click to see the picture again. I will have to put it on the swift as it comes off the sweater (definitely larger than I would like to wear anyway) and gently bathe it to release the crinkles. I may try the Downy Wrinkle Release first, which I really like to use.
I am thinking I would like to make Lara by Debbie Bliss, but I already have six inches of the first sleeve done on that in another yarn, another color. I do not like the fabric it made--too loose for the one ply yarn--so I may undo that as well.
This is the sweater destined to be the blueberry, I think. It is the Cara Crossover Cardi by Helene Rush. It will look lovely over jeans and dress up my usual winter wardrobe of jeans and a horrible partially acrylic WalMart sweatshirt in a color that was on sale, not necessarily one I would select for myself. No doubt I will make it two or three inches longer so I do not have to have gaposis if I need to bend over and pick something up.


First of all, let me say that I do not really like chocolate. I know, right? Everyone I know talks about chocolate with that swoony-dreamy look but I just do not get it.   
I do not hate it but if someone gave me a bowl of M and Ms, I would more likely sort them by color and make mosaics with them than eat the entire bowl.

Second of all, let me say that I do not really like soda. Maybe you call it pop, sodapop, or coke. I was sick so often as a child that soda holds no romance for me. Instead, it reminds me of why I was given soda in the first place. That is not to say that a frosty glass of a cola drink on a hot day would go undrunk, but usually my beverage of choice is filtered water. I used to live in Florida and our water tasted like pool water right from the tap so filtered is my favorite water flavor.
So when I tried THIS diet soda, my expectations were not high.

But I love it. It is the best. It is my new favorite drink. It is delicious. Get some. I have tried the Vanilla--very good--and the Black Cherry is in the refrigerator right now. I am going to be looking for the Black Raspberry next time I go to the store. But I doubt any flavor will be as appealing to me as fake chocolate. After all, when I go to McDonald's, my favorite milkshake is fake strawberry and I have never really enjoyed eating REAL strawberries. I know. I am an enigma.

ALSO, it is TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY, so here's a joke fer ye.
     So there's this Pirate with a parrot. And this parrot swears like a sailor, I mean he's a pistol. He can swear for five minutes straight without repeating himself. Trouble is, the pirate who owns him is a quiet, conservative type, and this bird's foul mouth is driving him crazy. 
     One day, it gets to be too much, so the pirate grabs the bird by the throat, shakes him really hard, and yells, "QUIT IT!" But this just makes the bird mad and he swears more than ever. The pirate gets mad and says, "OK for you," and locks the bird in a cabinet. 
     This really aggravates the bird and he claws and scratches, and when the pirate finally lets him out, the bird cuts loose with a stream of invective that would make a veteran pirate blush. At that point, the pirate is so mad that he throws the swearing bird into the freezer. 
      For the first few seconds there is a terrible din. The bird kicks and claws and thrashes. Then it suddenly gets very quiet. At first the pirate just waits, but then he starts to think that the bird may be hurt. 
     After a couple of minutes of silence, the pirate is so worried that he opens up the freezer door. The bird calmly climbs onto the man's out-stretched arm and says, "Awfully sorry about the trouble I gave you. I'll do my best to improve my vocabulary from now on. By the way, what did the chicken do?" 


Tea Time Tuesday    Check out the BigelowBlog
What a great day for a nice cup of tea! Well, almost. It has been cool here in the mornings, but not cool enough for hot tea in the afternoon. When it IS time for hot tea, I will be thinking about something decaffeinated. I did not know Constant Comment came that way.  Constant Comment is a favorite of one of my sisters-in-law. I have three: OregonSister-in-Law, SouthFloridaSister-in-law, and MidFloridaSister-in-Law. Constant Comment is SouthFlorida's favorite tea. 
I like to think it reminds us both of the fall and winter holidays. Must be the fact that we tend to drink hot tea in the winter and the scent of this one has orange, cloves and cinnamon; scents of the season. It is almost time, Sis!
If you are looking for a green tea, this one also comes in GREEN TEA FLAVOR! So far, I have never tasted a green tea I could stand but I am willing to try it. Maybe...


 Monday Mantra
 Thought for last week:I can do it.  And I did. Stick to the "new, healthy eating plan", I mean. The results are slow but I still feel good about saying I can do it. Nevertheless, maybe focus can go another direction at the same time. A friend of mine from grade three posted this on FaceBook and I borrowed it.
"There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle" —-Albert Einstein
What do you think? I pretty much think of everything as WONDERFUL. I know, it is a shortcoming that eternal optimists have to live with but as shortcomings go, it is a pretty great one. 
Do you ever get up in time to see the sunrise? Miracle! And that is just the first few moments of the day. Spend the week looking for and enjoying the everyday miracles. When you notice one, acknowledge it by saying to yourself, MIRACLE! And as much as I really enjoy sarcasm, if you say it sarcastically, it does not count and you run the risk of missing a real opportunity to take delight in the day.


The GC BOW block was Union Square. It took me from 9:30 until 1:30 to select and cut fabrics. From 2:00 until 7:00, I sewed and pressed. I enjoyed doing this one but because our days are growing shorter, sunlight had shifted a little more than I expected, plus I started about two hours later this week so photo editing was a little less than satisfactory. But I finished!


It is Saturday, the day of the GC BOW. Go HERE to see what block I am doing today. So far, my choice to hand piece has pleased me very much. Especially with last week's Y-seams. See you tomorrow.

sodium--target: about 2,000 mg daily
carbs--target: less than 20 grams daily
            first target: 5% by October 1 

Can't seem to make the sodium target

without bouillon. Made some cabbage


Found it. The missing sweater's worth of dark blue. 

Berroco Alpaca in the Blueberry colorway. It is beautiful, isn't it? It is an Allbut. It is a raglan, topdown pullover with Allbut one and a half sleeves. I hate the way the first sleeve was attached. I think the fabric of the sweater is too dense. I am considering frogging it and washing the yarn and starting over. Considering. I could also just take out the half sleeve which looks weird under the arm and redo it.  I could also just try it on and then decide.


Another Allbut. 
Also cotton but in a color I really enjoy. It is the Bistro Shirt from Oat Couture, by Annie Dempsey. Once again, a pattern I bought as a paper pattern but is now available as a PDF from Patternfish.
At least, I think this is the pattern I Allbutted. That is the exact color of cotton yarn I chose. It is in a bag with the pattern and I chose to do it in the round. It is finished up to the armholes. 

If it is not Bistro, it could be the Laguna Blouse , which I also found in the same bag... Whatever it is, I discovered that yesterday's Allbut and today's, both out of cotton yarn were abandoned because I take no pleasure--NONE AT ALL--in knitting with cotton.  I will have to get over it and finish these Allbuts. At least they were not acrylic.


So. I went stash diving again and although I could not find my sweater's worth of deep blue Berroco Ultra Alpaca--I am sure it was Ultra Alpaca...or maybe it was Cascade 220? Anyway, mid dive I found several Allbut projects. By that I mean, all but [fill in the blank] such as all but sleeves, all but three-needle bind off at shoulders, that kind of thing. 
 Such as this tank by Deb Gemmell. I bought it as a paper hard copy pattern, but you can go to Patternfish and buy it as a PDF right HERE I found out that I had only the shoulders to do and maybe a little crochet around armholes and neck. I did not rib the whole thing but only the underarms and I put a pattern stitch through the body. I remember when I bought the yarn they did not have enough cotton in a color I liked so I ended up with the same dusty, sick green I tend to have a lot of. It must be because everyone hates that green and buys all the other colors.I think IF I finish this, I might try overdying it or using it as an undershirt this winter. Generally, greens do not look good on me unless they have more blue undertones. I SURELY dislike dusty ANY COLOR but this was a class so I had to buy at the shop. More's the pity.


Tea Time Tuesday
Isn't this the coolest? Shared by my First Niece, it comes from iwastetoomuchtime.com

And here is THE EXACT LINK.


Thought for last week:  I can do it.  Started the new eating plan and followed it well. Had a little unexpected round of steroid medication for a severe wasp sting and could have eaten more salad. Still, I can do it helped me keep to the right choices. 

I would like to say I did a list item every day but that is not the truth. I did not waste any of my days since even the time I spent on the computer was enjoyable and I learned things. 

So this week?  Keep on finishing projects. I guess that is a lot like a list item a day. Some of my projects take more than one day to finish so if I work on one of those, does that count as a list item even if I do not finish? Keep on keeping on, I guess.


 Did it. It took about eight hours but that included breakfast, shower, and lunch so I think maybe six hours and change.
Definitely had challenges this week and I am glad I am finished. I will have to have some sort of square in a square treatment or variable frame between sashings if these are to be in the same quilt as last week's.


Today I work on Block 2 of the GC BOW (Grandmother's Choice Block of the Week)

Yesterday and the day before I did a lot of knitting and looking at new projects to start for knitting and spent a lot of time on Ravelry. Here are some things I am considering.

Stephen West's Colonnade shawl. HERE is a pretty version of it. THIS is the pattern--for FREE! It is knitted in a Malabrigo at about 3 stitches per inch and takes 3 skeins. I think I would do it all on color. Maybe later, though. I have a ton of shawls.
Hand Maiden's Sea Angel Jacket is a FREE pattern, just click the link. It is knit cuff to cuff and the gauge is 5 stitches to the inch. They use two yarns held together and it is an airy-hairy--not at ALL my style. I think I would try a sport and see if I like the fabric at 5 stitch/inch.

This one from ABC-knitting-patterns.com
looks like a good one to practice short-row bust shaping. Elaine Phillips has a slew of free patterns available. A lot of them are for American Girl Doll and use great big thick yarns so they would be fast knits using up scraps.
Here is the one I think I might try out. It is called Falling Stars Top Down Sweater.
Can you believe all these designers who are so willing to share their patterns? They surely are generous.

I am interested in the Transitions Yoke Cardigan which features top down styling. I think  could learn a lot from this one. I am sure I would learn how to use a different cuff style for the sleeve, not being a fan of  "gravy drippers". The rings at the top might be fun to do with color yarns.

All those things considered, I am thinking what I would really like to do is try out one of the Chic Knits patterns. They are downloadable--as long as you have a credit card to pay for them, but from all the reviews I have read, they are well-worth it. Here is a sample of some of my favorites.

Left is Sandrine, see better pictures HERE. You will also see a pullover style but I like the cardigan better. I like the waisted style and top-down construction. It uses DK yarn. She has a nicely shaped cardigan (right)called the Basic Chic V-Neck Cardigan that uses Aran weight yarn. It is a bottom up construction and that is holding me back from putting it at the top of my wish list. But isn't it cute?
Here is Cerisara. I like best the lacey vest look and the drapiness of the fabric due to the DK weight yarn. It is top-down but the drawback for me is the rolly-curl down the front. I would always be fiddling with that but I could probably modify it to have a smoother silhouette. 

*  *  *  *     MY TOP THREE   *  *  *  *
I really, really, really like this little jacket called CECE . Unfortunately, it is not a top-down, but I could overlook that because it seems fairly straight-forward. In fact, that makes it easier to do a longer version. I have seen all kinds of versions with 3/4 sleeves, long sleeves, longer body, everything. Maybe this time next year it will be on the needles for me and my new body. Love it.

Do you like Vonica?
It has a lot of potential. It has the drapey DK fabric, top-down construction, and I like the fact that the front edges would not need modification. Those ARE 3/4 sleeves and the model does not have dirty arms, although it does look like it. My version would have full sleeves with no dirt.

My favorite is Cinnie. I looked at every single Ravelry project that used this pattern and saw this modeled on a variety of body types in the long, and the cropped version. I saw it sleeveless, capped, short, and 3/4 with cuff. It looked pretty good on everybody. I even saw it on someone whose body looks like mine and she gave notes for how she made it look so good on her. I think this is the one I would like to start with to introduce myself to Chic Knits.

sodium--no idea
             target: about 2,000 mg daily
            target: less than 20 grams daily
            first target: 5% by October 1 

Ate two salads, one at lunch.Think the steroids are slowing me down. Should be back on track tomorrow.


 Knitted all day long. Blocked an Ambitus ,by Lankakomero

 photographed the one I adapted for chunky yarn, worked on Midnight Express vest. Click HERE to see my yarns. I only used the purple for this one and I am beginning to wonder if maybe the gauge ought to have been...we will see. Blocking and stretching will give it some fluidity. I hope the size is not too generous when I am finished.

             target: about 2,000 mg daily
            target: less than 20 grams daily
            first target: 5% by October 1 

Again, should have eaten more salad.


I got absolutely nothing done at applique. I actually did applique about 4 inches and I paid attention and learned the new technique but did nothing with my fabrics. I am disappointed in me. At the writing of this entry (yesterday at 6 pm) I decided to knit for the rest of the day since sewing just is not happening.

             target: about 2,000 mg daily
            target: less than 20 grams daily
            first target: 5% by October 1 

Should have eaten more salad.


I am actually writing this last Friday, August 31. I hope I will have a block to show you from Saturday (YAY--here it is, already blogged it) but in case I do not, here is a picture of the applique quilt our Applique Bee worked on. 

We each made blocks and our teacher, Connie Tackett, put them together, appliqued the border, and quilted it as a gift to the Mountain Presbyterian Church which gives us meeting space two days a month. It will be a raffle-style fund raiser but for some reason the Presbyterians are not allowed to call it a raffle. Isn't it beautiful? Mine is the second block on the second row. To the left of mine is the one made by TallyQuiltyFriend, and to the right is the one made by ORIGINAL QuiltyFriend and Knitter Gaining in Experience. Quite a title. I will probably just keep calling her QuiltyFriend.

             target: about 2,000 mg daily
            target: less than 20 grams daily
            first target: 5% by October 1 

Should have eaten more salad, may have to include the bouillon recommended by the diet to get enough sodium.


Tea Time Tuesday 

teapot_for_MichelleIsn't it lovely? It is fabric designed over at Spoonflower by a designer known as virginiao and it is called Teapot for Michelle. I think it is just about perfect. Teapot, pretty flowers, kind of a cottage theme, and has my name on it.  

In case you do not know, you can design and have your OWN FABRIC made for personal use or for sale. If you click that Spoonflower link, you can see designs by thousands of independent artists. You will be amazed.   

             target: about 2,000 mg daily
            target: less than 20 grams daily
            first target: 5% by October 1 

Should have eaten more salad. 


Thought for last week: I will try to do something from my list everyday.

My chant: I can do it
Probably should keep to this chant for this week, too, since starting the new eating plan. Yep, think I will.

That color doesn't REALLY remind me of candy corn, does it?

One Monday, I wrote about my thoughts leading up to having a personal mantra/affirmation phrase handy.  You can re-read that post HERE
             target: about 2,000 mg daily
            target: less than 20 grams daily
            first target: 5% by October 1


Yesterday I hand pieced two blocks for the Suffragist BOW. There are only 48 more Saturdays to go. I had already sort of semi-planned to use a lavender and green theme, borrowing the colors for the American Suffragist movement but when I saw the block and noted the name--yes, Barbara Brackmann chose Grandmother's Choice as the first block--I knew I would make two of them.

I always associate green and lavender with Auntie. In fact, the daisies in the larger triangles remind me of something she might have worn. Auntie was patient with me with all kinds of needlework and taught me a lot. I even have one or two sewing projects I think she helped my mother make back in the time period of these fabrics.   I am proud to make my first block in her honor. She was a lifelong "career girl" as they were called back then. She retired after 50 years as a secretary and was an inspiration to nieces and grand-nieces.
Her sister, my grandmother, almost always wore blue. I loved the puppies and kittens riding trikes and playing together because the children's novelty fabric makes me think of her life as a young mother. As my mother's mother, she no doubt influenced Mom in color choice. Mom has always favored yellow which reminds me of the painted kitchen cabinets and bedroom furniture at Grammie's house. I chose the yellow with the children's toys because Mom is a grandmother, too.

sodium--2903, target: about 2,000 mg daily
carbs--10.5, target: less than 20 grams daily
weight--  -.8, first target: 5% by October 1

Grandmother's Choice, episode 1--Introduction

THIS JUST IN--look at the wonderful Raffle Quilt made by some of the Misty Mountain QOV quilters, designed by my  ArtyQuilty friend. If you want tickets, get in touch with me.

Today, I am busy with my Block of the Week featuring squares honoring the Suffragist Movement.
Today I begin the GRANDMOTHER'S CHOICE BlOCK OF THE WEEK group making blocks honoring suffragists and women's equality issues. This is my first BOW but I am a frequent reader of Barbara's blog. She hosted a Civil War Block of the Week last year and if you wander around on that link I just gave you, you will see some pictures of some beautiful historic quilts as well as more modern quilts honoring quiltmaking from that era.

I am considering using 1930s reproduction prints because as soon as I read about this BOW, I thought of my grandmother and her sister, my great-aunt and how they were affected by women's rights issues. They were young women in the 1930s and lived with widowed Great-Grandmother (their mother) in a farmhouse in Winslow, Maine. Eleanor Roosevelt was a popular topic of discussion and now I wish I could go back and absorb some of those conversations.

If you want to join in, hop on over to GRANDMOTHER'S CHOICE and check it out.