Saturday, February 18, 2017

Swap Blocks

Some years back, I was in an online group, Handpiecing and Applique, with a small group of quilters who loved piecing and applique by hand.  When we parted ways, a few of us sent swap blocks to each other.  I received 8 blocks and I was not sure what to do with them, so I set them aside to figure out later.  Here it is almost 2 years later and I finally got around to sewing them together.  I want to thank the ladies who made these blocks for me.  I think of each of you often.
The blocks were made by:
Eileen T/California       Dorothy/Australia        Julia/Ohio
Evelyn/Washington       Mair/Massachusetts     Karen/Germany
Susie/Nebraska              Me                               Miriam/Idaho

If any of you are reading this, I would love to see what you have done with your swap blocks.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Some finished items

I finally made myself finish up the quilt block I started last year.  I've lost interest in this project, but figure I need to bring it to an acceptable conclusion  :)
Dear Husband is modeling the socks I just finished knitting for him.  He's such a sweetie - he loves the things I make for him and proudly shows them off.

Monday, June 13, 2016


This time of year the yardwork goes on and on  :)  Lots of planting and transplanting of flowers going on here.  I am dabbling in raised bed gardening with some veggie plants.  Up to this point, I've mainly grown a few veggies in pots, but I wanted to expand a bit.  Now I'm thinking I might need another small raised bed LOL  :)  I've got sugar snap peas, bush zucchini, red and yellow cherry tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes and strawberries.  Oh, and lettuce.  I think I will skip the lettuce next year.  It grows well, but I just have not been using it that much, so I might as well use that space for something else.

A con of the raised bed idea: I am wondering if it wouldn't be better to just plant more pots and set them on top of something because some of my plants have had the tops eaten off by some little critters.  A pro, though, is there's more room in the raised beds and it's easier to stabilize/prop up the plants in the beds.

Lately we've had a lot of heat and humidity.  And the state bird (the mosquito) is starting to come out in force.  Ah, the joys of summer in Iowa   ;)

Saturday, April 2, 2016


Spring has come to northern Iowa with it's high winds and wildly fluctuating temperatures.  My Spring bulbs are close to bursting forth with their glorious color, if the night time temps in the 20's don't kill them off  :)

I've taken a break from sewing lately and turned my sights on learning to knit socks.  My first few efforts have been pretty lame, but I am learning with each attempt  :)
A friend generously gave me the 2 striped yarns to get started with.  I am amazed how warm hand knit socks are and how nice they feel on the feet!  And I was also surprised that once I started to understand the process, I really did enjoy making them.

There seems to be lots of different techniques for knitting socks and each way seems to have it's proponents for why that way is the best, so it can be pretty daunting for a beginner with no one close by to offer guidance.  I have tried cuff down and toe up.  My preference right now is toe up.  I have tried double pointed needles, 2 circulars and Magic Loop with one long circular.  My current preference is Magic Loop.

I've learned so much through trial and error (and Youtube videos):  how a hole "magically" appears where you don't want it, how the stitch count can get off, how to avoid "laddering", how important "gauge" is, how to pick up a dropped stitch, how critical a loose bind-off is at the cuff, and many others things along the way.

Always something new to learn or be inspired by  :)

Friday, January 1, 2016