Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Book Review -- and a Giveaway!

I know you're a quilter -- but might you be a knitter also?  Or a knitter wannabe?

Do I have a book for you!

"Dishcloth Diva" by Deb Buckingham features 20 fun-and-easy dishcloth patterns, as well as detailed information about choosing yarn for your dishcloths. And an intro by the famous Kay Gardiner, of Mason-Dixon Knitting fame!

If you're a beginning, or timid knitter, this is a wonderful resource.  Even a knitter with the shortest attention span can knit a dishcloth!  And if you make a mistake? so what, it's a dishcloth, for heaven's sake!

If you're a little more ambitious, choose one of the patterns and keep on knitting -- long enough to make a scarf, or not quite-so-long, seam the ends, and make a cowl!  "Dishcloth Diva" would make an excellent prezzie packaged up with some sticks and string (knitting needles and cotton yarn!).

All of Deb's patterns were extensively tested (some by me!) so they really work.  And, Deb's publisher, Cooperative Press has donated a PDF copy of the book for a giveaway.  I love PDF patterns and books, no waiting for the UPS delivery!

If you'd like to win a copy of Dishcloth Diva, leave a comment on this post and tell me if you've ever knit a dishcloth.  Or wanted to knit a dishcloth.  Or wanted to receive a handknit dishcloth!

Giveaway ends Sunday, March 10 at noon MDT.  Of course, international entries are welcome!  If you're an anonymous or no-reply commenter, please be sure to include contact information!

I think I've used up my year's allocation of exclamation points on this post! But really, I love this book!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

BOM-day and Tuesday Tool

I missed BOM-day yesterday, so today will be a two-fer day.


My whiteboard list of Blocks-of-the-Month is really helping me keep up with them!  Today I completed two more on the list.

First, a tricky patchwork technique by Jackie Robinson of Animas Quilts.  This is a two-year old project, I had the first two months completed when I decided to add it to this year's list.  Each month requires four blocks, which can either be put together to form one large block, or saved to be randomly sewn together for the quilt top.  Three Dimensional Patchwork:

Those completed so far, clockwise, are Sparkling Star, Brown Goose and Sailboat.  I wish you could see the dimensional effect of the blocks.  For example, in the Sailboat blocks, all the colored fabrics are folded so they aren't sewn into a seam, but are loose on top of the background fabric -- three dimensional!

I also finished the third block in my Patchwork Party quilt.  I am so hooked on Marti Michell's templates, even a complex block like Rocky Mountain Chain (right-hand side) goes together flawlessly!

Thus far I have completed 11 blocks of 14 for my March UFO:

I've about decided not to make the last three blocks from the Shop Hop patterns, but to make each unique. There are too many interesting block patterns to repeat ones I've already pieced!

Tuesday Tool

Thank you to Cathy at Ruth's Stitchery for demonstrating this tool at last month's block party. What a timesaver!

Jodi Barrows is famous for her "Square in a Square" technique.  The Crosscut 4-Patch ruler is a variation which enables the quilter to make four patches quickly and perfectly.

The Ryokan quilt has patched sashing -- 490 two-patch units!  It's a little hard to see in this photo, but the taupe sashing between the blocks is actually pieced. (photo from ThimbleCreek Quilt Shop)


Rather than use just two colors for the sashing, I decided to use a Daiwabo ombre fabric to make my sashing.  The pattern calls for 1 1/2" strips, sewn together and cross cut into 1 1/2" X 2 1/2" pieces:

Once the strips are sewn together, place the ruler on the sewn strips with the heavy line on the seam and the appropriate "box" lines on the edges of the strips.  As you can see, I am cutting 1 1/2" "chunks."

 Presto, perfectly-sized two patches ready to sew together for sashing!  I think this is going to look like cobblestone streets when it is sewn into the quilt.

I can cut two sets of sashing strips from each WOF strip -- and I'll need 22 sets.  Even with Jodi's cool ruler, this is going to take some time.

Come back Thursday for my review of a new knitting book -- and a giveaway! 

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Two Winners!

I know I said I would announce the winner of the February UFO Parade on Monday, but really, why wait?  It's not like there will be any more entries!

First, let me announce the winner of the Bag It! giveaway.  This is an "instant gratification" prize, because as soon as I send the winner's email address to Sara, the pattern will be emailed from Sara to:

Commenter #26, Rebeckah Austin, who wrote:

Here is a photo of the bag chosen by Rebeckah:

Congratulations, Rebeckah -- I'm sure Sara will send you the pattern soonest!

If you didn't win, don't despair.  You can buy your own copy of any of Sara's patterns at Sew Sweetness!

While we're picking winners, why not pick the winner of the February UFO Parade?

Once more to the Random Number Generator, and the winner is:

Who turns out to be Sooli, in Australia!  Here is the winning entry:


Sue, I think you should have another bag pattern!  Please go to Sara's website at Sew Sweetness and choose which pattern you like best.  Let me know, and I'll email the link to you.  Instant gratification! (since I learned it can take three weeks for a package to get to Australia)!

DH tells me it's supposed to snow again tomorrow, so I'm turning off the computer and going OUTSIDE! Happy Sunday!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Few More February Finishes

For such a short month, February turned out to be pretty productive!

Once I completed my Scrap Squad quilt (blogged on Quilty Pleasures here) and my 100 Blocks magazine sample quilt, I just kept on sewing and sewing and sewing -- I think I averaged six hours per day at the machine.

First I finished the April Jelly Roll Party sample, "Garden Paths."  This is the quilt I complained about last Wednesday. Now I admit that, once the borders are on, I really like this quilt.  It turned out larger than most Jelly Roll Party quilts, too bad there isn't a great-niece with an upcoming 12th birthday!

Than I finished the most recent "Brown Bag Surprise" quilt from Ruth's Stitchery.  I love to do these projects, because Ruth cuts all the fabric -- all we quilters have to do is show up and sew!  This one is called "Indonesian Railroad."  The pattern is from the 2012 "That Patchwork Place" calendar.  Of course, it's called "Indonesian" because all the fabrics are batiks!

This is quilt #9 for 2013.

The sample quilt has a wide border of medium blue batik, but I really think this looks better as a "No Borders" quilt.  Vivian quilted the sample in the shop with a variegated blue and purple thread, which really sets off the various colors of the batiks.  (PS I hear there are one or two kits left over from the class, and as a bonus, when you buy a kit you get 12 patterns with the included calendar!)

Quilt #10 for 2013 is the last "Strip Club" quilt from High Country Quilts.  I will really miss that group, we met for seven years!

It's called "Iphegene's Walk," inspired by a walking path in New York's Central Park.  The path is named for preservationist Iphegene Ochs Sulzberger.  Go here to read more about her and about Iphegene's Walk.  I made my quilt from Kona cotton solids, and looking at this photo of the Walk in Springtime leads me to believe I made a good choice!  (photo from New York Focus website)

Isn't it beautiful?  Doesn't it just make you want to fly off to New York?  OK, let's wait a month . . .

BTW, according to Wikipedia, in Ancient Greek mythology, Iphegenia was a daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, whom Agamemnon was commanded to kill as a sacrifice to allow his ships to sail to Troy. Her name means "strong-born," very appropriate for Iphegene Ochs Sulzberger, who was influential in forming the Central Park Conservancy.  

On the schedule for today is the next "Sew Sweetness" bag sample, another 100 Blocks sample and the March UFO.

Here are the blocks I have completed for my March UFO project:

Only four blocks to go!

Today is the last day to comment on the Bag It! giveaway for a chance to win one of Sara's bag patterns.  Go here to comment, and good luck in the giveaway!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Friday, March 1, 2013

February UFOs Parade

Wow!  Just. Wow!

I can't believe the quilts and other projects that have been completed this month!  And it was a short month, too!

Before the parade begins, here is your assignment for March, should you decide to accept it:

UFO #1

I don't have a photo of my next UFO project, but it's a quilt from the 2010 Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop. The shops had a special "Colorado" themed fabric printed just for the hop, and each shop designed a block using Civil War reproduction fabrics.

I did get my own February UFO pieced (remember, in my world, ready to go to the quilter is finished!):

It's an oldie Buck-A-Block project, blogged here.

And now, Ta Da!  The February UFO Parade!

Look at this beauty!  Anyone who has made one of Bonnie Hunter's mysteries will appreciate Karen's "Orca Bay."  Go to her blog here to read "the rest of the story."

Sooli finished two projects in February.She says the first one took "no time at all," so she went ahead and finished her #3 UFO, the second bag.  Sooli is one of my Australian followers, visit her blog here.

Irene has a jump on next Christmas with this cute snowman panel quilt.  She says all it needed was the binding -- but you know it is hard for something like that to go to the top of the pile!  (I know, I know!  I hate binding!)

Another two-fer finish comes from Sandra in San Diego (lucky duck).  Her blog is called KwiltnKats, so of course, her quilts are named:


and Konfidential

The story "behind the kwilts" is here.

Another Australian friend, Susan, finished up this cute "houses" quilt:

See more of Susan's projects at her blog here.

Kerry got this lovely, challenging quilt finished just in time for the February parade:

In her blog post, here, she claims this pattern "goes together quickly."  I'm thinking my friend Holly is going to have another person on the bus . . .

Oh, man, here is another person who finished two projects in this short month!  AND she was battling the floods in Australia!

This is Noela's January finish (the power was out, so she couldn't email!):

And here is her Twister Table Runner for February:

Well done, Noela, and we all hope the flood cleanup is complete!  Here is Noel's story.

Jessi made this quilt in exchange for a friend's piano -- then found out the piano was too big to be moved!  But she still finished the quilt for her friend, who will be visiting China and considering teaching English there.  I had to share two photos, one shows the entire quilt, but the second one show the colors better (and oh, yeah, I see another Orca Bay in the works!)

Here is another Lil' Twister quilt, made by Debbi using Bunny Hill's Lily and Will II and a bit of Deb Strain's Cherish Nature.  Debbi reports that her 2013 UFO list has 15 items -- and she finished two this month.  But only sent one photo!  Hope to see the other finish next month, Debbi!

"Quilt Camp Carol" sent this photo of some lovely applique work.  She has such a great eye for combining colors!

And friend Martha claims her February finish would never have been finished if her son had not said "I want this one."  So glad he did!  I hope I get to see this one in person, Martha!

Once again, WOW!  I hope you'll visit the blogs of these fine finishers, and if I missed you this month, let me know.  I'll update the post -- and announce the winner of this month's giveaway on Monday.

From the desk of your auntmartisignature