Saturday, October 04, 2014

Its been sooooo long..........

Its been so long since I posted that I had almost forgotten about this blog.  I was talking with a friend about needlework and was reminded that I had better check in today and see if the blog still exists! There were some outdated things on it, so I took care of that.  I want to post this photo of one of my current blooming african violets.  Hope to finally finish my maroon Celtic Dreams sweater which has been in hiatus since last spring. I would like to wear it this winter.
B-Man's Alessio

Friday, July 26, 2013

Catching Up on Cables

After almost of year of my knitting being in suspended animation, I have recently gotten back into my needlework, partly due to finding a very good knitting video cast called Sittin and Knittin with Dianna.  She has inspired me to take up my needles again in a big way, I am back to my ongoing syndrome of "start-itis".  I just love starting new patterns, but my Celtic Dreams aran sweater is an old one.  I was on the sleeves and had to rip back to figure out where I was.
This is a great pattern, but I found I did not like doing the sleeves in the round because I had to constanly turn the whole sweater, so I decided to not connect the sleeves as the pattern calls for, but am knitting them back and forth and then will just seam them up.  This yarn is Patons Classic Wool, "Plum Heather".  Its gorgeous and good to work with.

Long Hiatus

I can't believe it has been a year since I posted.  The explanation is that this is what I have been doing---

Last Aug.  I started collecting and growing African Violets and it has been my main interest since then, but I recently got back into my needlework and will posts some updates on that.  The top plant is called Optimara Little Ottawa Girl, a semi-miniature that never stops blooming, and the bottom plant is called Golden Rubies, a large plant with ruffled foliage.  My knitting friend Tricia gave me Golden Rubies which is one reason I got so interested in named collector's varieties.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Vintage Linens

Just sharing these vintage beauties.  I did not make them, I picked them up at a yard sale.  One of them is a pillowcase, but it looks great in my kitchen.  The corner cabinets are in my vintage style kitchen in my older home. You can click on each photo to see a larger view.  The dishes are mostly vintage, some of them are Lu-Ray Pastels which my grandmother had when I was a child and I have maintained a great love of those colors all my life. The flowered plates are Homer Laughlin.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Current Doings

I have been doing a lot of this:

I have also been using my drop spindle.  I really enjoy both, not sure which I like better. I mentioned my new Russian Spindle in my last post.  The technique is different from the drop spindle.  I watched some really good videos on using a supported spindle on YouTube, just do a search on the term "support spindle" and you will find some good ones.  But after doing that for a while my fingers started bothering me so I had to give that up, I will try it again, but not a marathon of it like I had done. Using a drop spindle is not hard on the fingers as I found support spindling to be.  But still, I really love the support spindle too.
I also wanted to share a picture of this really beautiful pattern called "Belt Welt" found in the Barbara Walker Second Treasury of Knit Patterns.  I made this blue shawl a few years ago, but recently was thinking of starting a new project with it.  It is a lovely pattern and very easy to memorize.
Blessings All.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Catching Up

Wow, its been a long time since I posted.  I've been spinning quite a bit lately, also recently got a Russian spindle after viewing some support spindle videos on YouTube.  Been using my wheel too.
For Christmas I received a Kindle from my youngest son, so got busy and crocheted this cover for it.  Just a simple long rectangle in random single crochet and double crochet rows, then folded the long rectangle over and sewed up the side seams.  I did decreases for the flap part and made a buttonhole, then just sewed the button on with regular sewing thread.  Love it.
Blessings from Susan.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Singer Treadle Machine

Last week I found a wonderful Singer model 15-30 treadle machine.  This is my first one.  I got it for a really great price and she works great too.  With just a little oiling and cleaning I was able to start sewing. I had a little learning curve, but soon got the treadling part down okay.  Maybe being a wheel spinner helped with that because I found myself treadling and sewing without even thinking about it.  I made some blocks out of some scraps to start with, just some wonky houses and random piecing.
These are "Before" pictures.  I have since gotten the bobbin slide cover and the belt too.  A good site for ordering parts is:

I thought I would paint the iron part black, but after oiling it the dark color came back, so I think I will leave it that way.  I have some minor refinishing on the cabinet to do, but nothing difficult.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Free Motion Detail

Here is a picture of some of my machine quilting up close.  This is the green color family quilt I made, the bear paw pattern.  I put all my green fabric that I was tired of together and they took on a whole new life on a white background.  I used a green Sulky Rayon thread in the green sections and invisible nylon in the white sections.
Click on picture to see a larger view.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Tumbling Blocks

I can't believe I didn't do a post on one of my favorite finished quilts.  I made this a couple of years ago.  I used the old fashioned english paper piecing technique.  I cut each little diamond out of paper and then basted the fabrics onto the paper, then whipped stitch the blocks together.  I love the quilt, but will never use this technique again.  Even though it is hand pieced, it is machine quilted.  I tried my best to make it look old.  It has three hidden animals in  it for the kids to hunt for.  They love it.

My Top Ten Quilting Tips

1. Spray starch and press all of the washed fabric you will be cutting, your accuracy will increase greatly.
2. Rayon thread is great for machine quilting, it buries itself in the fabric and looks more natural. I like Sulky Rayon. You can still use cotton in the bobbin too.
3. Curved lines look more flowing and natural in machine quilting than straight lines, so I gently curve my grid lines randomly as I go along with my walking foot. Just gently wave the line along. You can see an example in my older post called Plaids and Stripes.
4. I wash every completed quilt. The washing evens out bad stitching and even small puckers and hides your errors. Plus you get the benefit of the "old quilt" look. I use almost no agitation when washing a quilt. More of a soaking cycle with maybe one minute agitating. Then rinse and spin out. I put mine in the dryer for about five minutes. Then lay out flat to block and dry.
5. Pieced bindings look great. Connect the sections with bias seams and the connections will disappear. You can easily find YouTube videos on pieced bindings.
6. A binding done in a completely different fabric from anything in the quilt looks wonderful if you pick a great color that sets the quilt off. For example, in my green and white quilt, I used a light blue print binding. It looks great and makes the green pop.
7. When you get tired of the fabric in your stash, group color families together and the fabric will look new and exciting again. Grouping in color families also helps when you are indecisive.
8. For the authentic 1930's look, be sure and use old clothes in the mix of fabric. 100 percent cotton, of course. They used clothes back then and you can't get that look without doing the same thing.
9. I use striped fabric for making labels for the back of the quilt. The stripes help my writing look straight. I use an archival permanent pen made for fabrics.
10. For free motion quilting, if you do not have a machine that will let you drop the feed dogs, all you have to do is set your stitch length to "0". The feed dogs will not move. I do this all the time even though my machine has the drop the feed dog feature.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


After several years, I finally finished my huge flying geese quilt. I made the mistake of hand quilting it. I used Dream cotton batting, which was supposed to be easy to hand quilt, but I still found it difficult. I will never again be able to hand quilt a large quilt. I am sooooo happy this one is finished. I did my best to make it look like an antique quilt. I used reproductions and fabrics that just looked old. I used brown quilting thread in the brown parts, and couldn't see it, so I turned it over to the back and quilted it from the backside. It is approximately a queen size. I designed this version of a strippy setting.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Filet Crochet Design

Here are a couple of pictures of my efforts in designing a filet crochet pattern based on an antique sampler pattern. I have decided to re-work some of it, so will unravel back to the letter "A". I haven't done any filet crochet for several years, but for some reason have gotten enthused about it again. I love the simplicity of it, its just so easy to do. Only two stitches involved, chain stitch and double crochet.