Checking In

Man, I have no idea where the last week went. I feel like I just posted yesterday, but according to the calendar, it’s been 8 days. Work, Work, Work, it sure makes time fly. I’m sure you’re busy out there too — it feels like it never lets up, doesn’t it?

I spent the whole of last weekend cleaning. and boy, was it ever needed. Sort of big cleaning. Like, clean the windows cleaning — I can’t remember the last time I cleaned the windows. In addition to cleaning, we had a visit from Winston for a few days while the kids had a few days away. I enjoyed being able to take him on walks in the neighborhood. Spring is finally peeking out from under winter’s rock — late, but here. And looky who we found on our walk:

Thimbleanna: Ducks

Can you see them? It’s Mr. and Mrs. Duck!  Winston spotted them right away and wanted to go and play. Sorry about the picture quality, but I felt lucky that I had my phone with me. Anyway, if you’ve been around for a few years, you know that our duck couple is our official sign that spring has arrived. The trees are just barely showing a tinge of green and in spite of the snowflakes we saw this week,  beautiful weather is right around the corner.

In the meantime, I’ve been doing a bit of sewing here and there.  When I started the Aunts’ Quilt, I mentioned to the Auntlets that they might want to think about prepping the scallops for the border as we go along, in order to save a ton of work at the end — only I haven’t been following my own advice.  After I finished last month’s blocks, I started to panic a little.  Only a few more months and it will be time to do those borders and I hadn’t prepped any of the scallops.  So, this past week, I got with the program and prepped some scallops in the evenings while we watched tv.  Very fun work.  And pretty too!

Thimbleanna: Aunts' Quilt Prep

And there’s been another little project too. There are a bunch of crazies over on Instagram and I’ve followed them over a cliff. They’re having a quiltalong – you make a few blocks a month from the book “2001 Blocks of Patchwork” by Chuck (it’s a woman!) Nohara. (Click on the link, scroll down, click on the book and you can view a few pages).  I need another project like I need a hole in the head.  But, the ladies are a fun group, and what’s another deadline anyway?  It’s good to keep busy, right?  I hope I can finish some of them in this lifetime LOL.  Anyway, here’s my first block:

Thimbleanna: Chuck Nohara 570

Before I go, here’s a few fun links for you:
Randi is making smoothies and this one looks deeeeeelicious!
Flossie Teacakes wrote a great post about solids. Do you have a solids stash? Mine is sadly lacking. Hey — maybe we should have a Moda Bella Solids of the Month Club and build our stashes.
Speaking of Crazies, Ms. Ric Rac has her very first line of fabric coming out at market. Here’s a peek. I can’t wait to see it.
And finally, Irene has a new book coming out and I can’t wait to see it too. Spring Quilt Market is almost here — lots of exciting things on the way.

Thimbleanna: Aunts' Quilt Prep

Ok, Peeplets — I’m off to bed. Have a great weekend!
XOXO,
Anna

The Aunts’ Quilt — Month 6

Happy Tax Day — for those of you in the U.S.  Aren’t we happy that‘s over for this year?  The less said about that, the better!  ;-D

Moving right along, it’s the 15th of the month and therefore,  it’s time for the monthly Aunts’ Quilt Report.  How are you Auntlets doing?  I haven’t seen many updates this month — I hope you’re just too busy to post.  I will say though that Karen R is killing us!  She even finished and posted early this month — WooHoo Karen — Congratulations!!!  I barely scraped by this month, but I got my blocks done.  Here’s the applique block:

Thimbleanna: Aunts' Quilt

I had a hard time with the applique block this month. It’s definitely not my favorite, and I think my fabric choices made it even less of a favorite. Maybe the parts that really annoy me will get fixed, and maybe not. Anyway, here are the two pieced blocks:

Thimbleanna: Aunts' Quilt

And my little sneaky animal piece? I chose a deer this month and I think he’s cute.

Thimbleanna: Aunts' Quilt

Here’s what the blocks look like all together. They’re too big for my little design wall now, so I had to lay them out on the floor. I’m sure they won’t stay in this order, and there are a few little pieces that need to be fixed, but you get the idea.

Thimbleanna: Aunts' Quilt

And let’s not forget the Cookie of the Month — a girl needs sustenance for all this applique work. I had some leftover lemons from the Debutante Lemon Cake, so I decided to consult my cookie board on Pinterest.  I ended up choosing Chewy Glazed Lemon Cookies and boy, were they ever good!  A great choice while doing hand work and stitching.  If you like lemon, you should definitely try these cookies!

Thimbleanna: Aunts' Quilt

Ok Auntlets, don’t give up yet! According to our schedule, we’re halfway done with this quilt (can you believe it???) — it’s all downhill from here! For month 7, we’re scheduled to do 4 inset triangles. Easy Peasy, right?

Ok — get going!!!
XOXO,
Anna

Too Late Lopi

Hello Invisible People!  How’s it going out there?  Did you have a nice Easter?  Ours was quiet and somewhat marred by the fact that I had to spend the weekend doing MeMum and BigDaddy’s taxes.  Oh well, it’s done now — Yay!  I did manage to make a cake for our Easter dinner.  I love lemon cakes in the spring, so I made Miette’s Lemon Debutante cake (I’ve posted about it here before, when I made it for Easter a few years ago).  I forgot one crucial step, but it still tasted just fine.  It’s a labor intensive cake, but well worth all the work, imho.  Then, the recipe makes sort of enough cake and frosting for another little cake.  I popped the extra stuff in the fridge for a few days, and then chose to make a little vanilla cake — all the work except putting it together was all done — what a treat!

Thimbleanna:  Miette Hot Milk Cake

Otherwise, things have been pretty boring here.  Like sitting around watching paint dry, we’re just sitting around waiting for spring to pop up.  It’s been raining the last few days and things are just barely starting to green up, so it won’t be long.  In the meantime, I finished my Lopi sweater.

Thimbleanna: Neon Wool Sweater

This is my third Lopi sweater and I looove them so much.  They’re big and bulky and oh-so-comfy.  Berglind and I decided to knit this together — if you can call it together, Berglind finished her version for her daughter several months ago.  This one is late for the season, but we’ll still have some cool, blustery days and this sweater will be perfect to wear without a coat.  And, hopefully, I’ll adjust to that neon green yarn — it looks radioactive to me.  (Berglind was much more sensible and chose gray and white – I know I saw a picture of it but I can’t find it on her blog.  Help Berglind!)

Thimbleanna: Neon Wool Sweater

I used my very favorite tubular cast-off method for the neck.  It gives a nice rolled edge to the collar.  I looked for on-line tutorials for you, in case you’re an interested knitter, but none of them are just like the method I used.  This one is very close, except that I do the set-up rows twice and I do all the work on the circular needle.

Thimbleanna: Neon Wool Sweater

I was happy to see that the sweater fits nicely in my new knitting bag.  The goal was to make a knitting bag that would be big enough for bigger, bulky knits — success!

Thimbleanna: Neon Wool Sweater

Here are my leftovers.  I didn’t have much blue yarn left, but I have quite a bit of the neon yarn. What to do, what to do. Maybe neon mittens or something.  We’ll see.

Oooh, hey — while we’re on the subject of knitting, you should check out these adorable American Girl Doll clothes that Marsha has made.

Ohmygosh — I need a little girl in the family!!!

XOXO,
Anna

A Knitting Bag

Hello Hello! How are things going out there? Warming up? Cooling down for those of you down under? Can you believe March is over? I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty happy about that — March is one of my least favorite months. The only thing that saves it is the First Day of Spring and the TheSecondChild’s birthday. Otherwise, it’s a pretty bleak month in our corner of the world. Lots of windy, cold, unpredictable weather. It does make for good hunker down time though, so that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing.

I’ve been wanting to make a new knitting bag for the last year or two, but I’d had a hard time deciding on style and fabric. When Amy posted her Maker bag a month ago, I knew her idea would make a perfect knitting bag. (I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one here who loves everything Amy makes — I’d follower her off of a cliff!)  I searched all my patterns and found a bag in a Japanese book that I’ve had for awhile. I don’t understand any Japanese and the bag in the book was too small, but luckily they have drawings and dimensions in those books, so I was able to extrapolate and come up with a bigger bag.

Thimbleanna: Knitting Bag

I added a few fun little details to the outside of the bag — some embroidered words that I made with my embroidery machine and a few little applique/embroidered knitting motifs that I shamelessly stole from the Vechernie-Posidelki blog.   I can’t pronounce the blog name and I can’t read a word she writes, but I can certainly appreciate the beautiful things that she makes.  You should definitely pay her (I think it’s a her) a visit!

I also put a zipper in my bag — just to keep things neat and tidy. I don’t think knitting bags usually have zippers in them — there’s probably a reason for that. I guess we’ll see how long it is before I get my project caught in the zipper. That Maker fabric on the zipper gusset is my very. favorite. print. I love it!  (Shameless fabric plug:  all prints are Art Gallery prints and the brown dot is the moda mochi linen dot in charcoal.)

Thimbleanna: Knitting Bag

I opted not to put any pockets on the inside — I’ll make some small little bags to hold knitting tools inside the bigger bag. I did put a pocket on the outside of the bag though — I thought it might be a good place to throw my phone and wallet if I take my bag to a knit night or something. (Hey Quilty Peeps — we need a knit night!)

Thimbleanna: Knitting Bag

I also debated what to do about the bag handles.  Over the years, I’ve learned that flat handles don’t work very well for me.  They get squished and never seem to last long.  I finally decided to use the mochi linen and wrap it around cotton cording.  Then I embroidered a bunch of little x’s on top of the seam line.  It really wasn’t necessary — because the fabric is dark, the seamline was barely noticeable at all.  And I doubt it will provide any more stability — if anything, those little x’s will probably wear out first.

Thimbleanna: Knitting Bag

Anyway, it looks like a weirdly shaped bag, but I love how it fits over my shoulder.  After several unsuccessful attempts to take a picture of it on my shoulder, I finally just hung it on my tripod so you get the idea how it hangs.

Thimbleanna: Knitting Bag

It’s just what I was hoping for and I’ve already pressed it into service with a new knitting project.  It’s a small project now, but it will grow and so far, there’s plenty of room.

Thimbleanna: Knitting Bag

So … Happy April!  I hope you don’t get pranked too badly tomorrow!!!

XOXO,
Anna

Spotted Socks

Hi There!  Did you have a good weekend?  Mine went way too fast.  It was a good one though.  Lots of sewing time, although, I had to call a halt to my little project.  I’ve been having fun with my maker fabric, but I decided I didn’t like the zippers I bought, so I’ll have to wait for some to arrive in the mail.

I did finish some socks this past week though.  Spotty Socks.  Or Dottie Socks.

Thimbleanna: Dottie Socks

I saw some socks similar to these in a Mollie Makes issue a few years ago.  They were for slouchy socks though and I’m not really a slouchy sock wearer, so I just used my old tried and true sock knitting method.  I did add the spots and the little band of colored trim at the top of the socks — just like the originals.

Thimbleanna: Dottie Socks

When I first saw the Mollie Makes socks, I thought the dots were knit into the actual sock, but I was surprised to find out that they are little knots.  I debated using a french knot, but in the end, I opted for a colonial knot.  My french knots often fall out.

Thimbleanna: Dottie Socks

These dots might not last long either.  They certainly aren’t practical.  Want to place bets on how long they’ll last?  At least if they start to fall apart, they’re pretty easy to remove.  I found that out the hard way — when I was half-way done with the second sock, I realized their spacing was too different from the first sock, so I took them out and tried again.

Thimbleanna: Dottie Socks

Anyway, hopefully they’ll be fun to wear — at least for a little while!

I hope you have a good week — March is whizzing by, isn’t it???
XOXO,
Anna