Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Happy Halloween!

May the force be with you....
Are we excited or what?!?!
Hope you have a fun Halloween! I'll be back in a day or two with knitting! Meanwhile, don't get a stomach ache.......

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It's a Juggernaut!

Saturday morning, a beautiful sunny and brisk October day. Driving down the road with my kids in the back feeling relaxed and happy. Already finished with 2 soccer games and Cub Scout rocket launching, and it's only 11:30 am!


Then I see it!

Do you see them?!?!

Christmas Trees!

Nothing can land on relaxation and happiness like a lead balloon quicker than Christmas decorations before Halloween. I'm not even talking about decorations in the stores, (which I know they put on the shelves as soon as they clear out the school supplies) this is done by the city. My tax dollars at work, people.

Christmas knitters, start your engines!

Friday, October 26, 2007

New Quilt Friday

WOW! Thank you for all the table love! I always hesitate to post about something that isn’t strictly knitting or quilting, afraid I will bore you. I’m glad you liked it! Believe me, there is plenty more dusty old junk in the garage (and attic, and shed, and porch) for me to work on and show you later. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, how about a finished quilt?

I hate it when people complain or apologize for their own crappy photos, and that's exactly what I'm going to do now. I took photographs on 2 separate days, and they all look the same. The bright white pieces in the upper right corner are all light blues and greys, and in person the quilt is much more subtle than the washed-out photos show.

This quilt will debut at the Pressing Matters II special exhibit at the Chicagoland Mancuso Show in November. I was really stressing out this summer about having a new quilt for the show. I have a few ideas for some big new floral quilts, but I drew and drew and the time grew closer, and the closer it got, the more stressed out I became.

I have learned over the years, that when I am "blocked", the best thing to do is to go back to something familiar. I went through folders of old drawings and found a great black and white sketch in a block format, something I have always liked but never done anything with.

The block format is something I haven't done in awhile, but it reminded me so much of knitting, and I know that quilting is inspiring my knitting recently too (stuff to show you next week).

The quilt reminded me of stones in a courtyard, or a cobblestone path. I have temporarily named it "Cobblestone" but now that I remember that that is the name of a popular knitting pattern, I might re-name it.

Fused cottons, quilted with invisible thread (color-smoke), 35" x 25".

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Trash *Thinking*

Since I have a blog, I feel like my life is an open book.

But maybe here's something you didn't know about me. I trash pick on a regular basis. I rarely use the term trash picking around the kids, I prefer to call it recycling. My daughter calls it trash thinking. That term came from this conversation:

"Mom, that's not the way to school, why are you going this way?"
"I'm going around the block, honey."
"I need to go past that chair back there on the curb and think about whether or not we want that in our house."
"Oh, I get it. You're trash thinking again."

Sunday afternoon I was out running errands when I saw a small table by the curb. From a distance it looked like a child's chrome table from the 50's, similar to one my sister has.

Would you have put this in your car?!?

When I got up close and looked at the top of the table I was disappointed. It was a 50's chome and formica table. Adorable and rare child's size. But the top was in terrible condition. I had to take a pass on this one. Then I took one last longing look and realized something. That was not grey marbelized formica. It was grey marbelized CONTACT PAPER. I peeled a bit off (see upper right corner) and underneath, was grey marbelized formica!!!!

I took it home and peeled about this much off (see photo below.) There were some gouges (see those little lines) and since they had covered it with contact paper, I figured there might be some damage to the top, so I didn't get my hopes up. I had to leave it in the garage and forget about it all evening since we were having people over.

The next morning, I started peeling a little more contact paper off. The sides were covered with contact paper too, and the legs were extremely dirty, but not rusty. My sister has taught me a lot about refinishing furniture, especially this stuff from the 50's. She had an antique booth for awhile and cleaned up a lot of stuff like this. Super fine steel wool and chrome cleaner from the auto supply will make those chrome legs shine like new!

It took forever to peel off all the contact paper because it just came off in tiny slivers. And even after I removed all the paper, the top was still dirty and took tons of elbow grease. And after that came the shining of the sides and legs.....but the whole time I was thinking about the perfect spot for it:

Right next to our dining room table (which we eat on every night--because of the windows) in that empty spot snugged up to the windows. Great for drawing and homework and keeping it all off the table that I'm trying to set for dinner....perfect for the season of fall/winter crafting which is just beginning!

Here's a close up:

So shiny!! Those spots on the top that I thought were gouges ended up just being dirt!

I love it so much. And I guess the kids approve. It didn't take them long to get moved in!

*p.s. Little chair you see in above photo was "recycled" in '04, painted and recovered with Amy Butler fabric.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Whew, it's been a lot of sewing this week.....
but now that I have the Halloween costumes* out of the way (I'm giving myself a gold star** for being early for once!!) I'm ready to move on with my new quilt.

If you have a quilt where you don't want to interrupt the edges with a binding, try Melody's pillowcase binding tutorial. It's great!

* from left to right: fairy princess dress, cowgirl skirt, jedi tunic, belt, and cape.

**Kid story: Years ago when Ethan was about 3, we were backing out of the garage when he said "Mommy! Not buckled!"

I had forgotten to buckle him into his carseat. New mom's worst nightmare! I was so shocked, and so thankful and pleased that he told me, that I must have had quite an expression on my face as I exclaimed "Ethan! You get a GOLD STAR for telling Mommy!" And I placed an imaginary gold star on his forehead.

It made quite an impression, because to this day, as the kids are now 8, 6, and 3, they are still very pleased to get a *gold star* for good behavior. Although the oldest now occasionally makes the request for candy. (At least it's not money!) (Yet!)

Monday, October 15, 2007


This sewing machine is humming and the needles are clicking.
Patchwork quilting....

Patchwork knitting....
Details coming shortly! I'm busy transforming three little people into a Jedi, a cowgirl, and a fairy princess....

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Waves in the Square - Finished!

My new favorite shawl...

Yarn: Sophie's Toes Sock Yarn color Deep Rose. 2.5 skeins
Needles: Addi Natura size 2
Notes: I didn't change a thing. Love that picot bind off.

Thank you to my super talented SIL for the beautiful photos!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Waves in the Square

It is blocking as we speak......