Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Stopping by to say Hello

Stopping by to say Hello

imperfect patchworkGlad to have you back, Readers.

Today I'm in the blog neighborhood for a chat. Most of what you find here are articles. Lately, though, I've been pulled in different directions. Here's one.

Years back, when a new homemaker, I did some quilting. With household moves in succession - keeping much of our things in storage - quilting faded into the past. Then, homeschooling was a practical concern and much of my spare time was given to reading.

I'm still reading. I read for hours. But lately I've been dabbling in quilting again. I've started with doll size quilts in the "scrappy" old-fashioned look.

Imperfect Patchwork
In my attic office/sewing room I have a chair which seems to be used, these days, more for laying out a small quilt design than for sitting in. The fabric sticks to it nicely. My sewing machine is next to this chair making it handy to sew pieces and return them to their orderly position. Oh, how frequently I change my mind! In the case of this simple quilt I decided the pink dotted flowers, for setting the squares, were dizzying. I ripped out what I had sewn so far. It is rare that I sit down to sew anything without using my seam ripper on some change or mistake. If points don't meet I will rip out and sew it again.

Sometimes, when points don't meet exactly, even when I'm being careful, I'm satisfied. I leave them just as they are. These misses may look noticeable when the the quilt block is flat, but quilting the layers tends to soften the lines and minimize imperfections. And isn't it these slight imperfections that give charm to a homemade quilt?
the scrappy look

I recently bought a rotary cutter but haven't used this modern streamline-method yet. Instead I measure the pieces as accurately as possible with a quilt ruler and cut the pieces out with scissors.

easy doll quilt with squares
I read that for scrappy patchwork, if I like the colors I shouldn't be concerned about them clashing when placed side-side. If the same color is used in at least one other spot, it creates a somewhat planned appearance. I followed this advice with my quilt. Can you tell?

I baste layers together generously because I don't use a hoop. It is easier on the fingers to hand-quilt without one.

Because I lack confidence I quilt in the ditch of each square. But I'd like to stitch some designs into the quilt squares I'm piecing now.

After watching a YouTube on how to sew on a binding I ordered a "walking foot" for my machine. What a fabulous tool for preventing puckering. And while I was at it, a piecing foot, too - that keeps my scant one-forth-of-an-inch seams consistent.

I'd like to hang this quilt somewhere.

stone house in autumn

Autumn Colors
One scrawny wild-in-the-woods-maple is showing a beautiful shade of red leaves. Splashes of autumn color are finding their way in the doll quilt I'm piecing now (not shown) - and found their way into a skirt I made for myself.
 A remnant on the bargain shelf - of a store five minutes into town - caught my eye. 
Right there I dreamed up a frugal three tiered skirt.

skirt in fall colors

Other Writing
Another direction I've taken is "other" writing. I made a good start on something secretive. In the middle of this writing Israel Wayne contacted me. He is building a website where homeschool pioneers tell their story. I felt honored to be invited and was busy writing for it last month. I hope to link to his website when the article is in place.

Once in a while my writing appears in a magazine. I am happy to help spread the word about Miss Charlotte Mason's ideas which are to this day as-relevant-as-ever. Hours and hours go into writing one article. This article appeared in The Renewanation Review that promotes Christian worldview education.

My family came together for my birthday. It was joyous. We are infrequently all together. That same Saturday Dean's friend from Bible college and his wife, were touring in Lancaster and stopped by. My daughter asked them to take an impromptu photograph.

Baby Eloise is getting a little bigger.

I've been knitting a cardigan for her in tutti-fruity colors.

I always knit sleeves in-the-round.


knitting sleeves in the round

Daniel and Yolanda (left in photo) drove me to see my parents for a week-end in early autumn. I brought my knitting. When I got home I was surprised to find the sleeves did not match the body of the cardigan with the right amount of stitches - when attempting to attach them to the yoke. While packing my suitcase in haste I  scribbled down the stitches to be cast on and my eye must have landed on the wrong number - (haste-makes-waste). I ripped out the sleeves and started over. Anyway, it is coming along.

Here's a tip for cardigans. Slip the first stitch of each row. This forms a much neater edge. (See above.)

To hold my double pointed needles together I bought a set of plastic coils. I like how tidy they keep my narrow dp needles especially.

Here is a link for Clover Coils.

They come in small and large.

Nigel and I went to Philadelphia to see our pain specialist. Nigel has made very small improvements. I'll be honest. My chronic pain level has risen. The medicine I've succumbed to taking has side-effects. But I'm hanging in there. Mornings are my golden hours when I can accomplish tasks. Afternoons are restful. I've been a naturalist of sorts, and probably have eaten a barrel of locally grown broccoli this year. Still, I thank God for family, modern medicine and for creative Mother Culture.

Facebook is new for me. Welcome to my Author's Facebook Page. 

I've been reading the names of each person that has "liked" the quotations and excerpts I've posted. Keep walking with Jesus, my friends.

Until next time,
Karen Andreola