Whatever is lovely…

June 24, 2015 § 5 Comments

CharlieBoy BoySocks

Boy kitties  ::  Charlie (Charcoal Briquette)
And Boy socks  ::  My latest knitting finish.


~ More about the Whatever is Lovely project.

A challenge & a swap

June 18, 2015 § 12 Comments

Can you believe that I have never done any English Paper Piecing before this?  Me neither!  These are 3/4″ hexagons made with scraps from my out-of-control baskets.

This was both a challenge project and a swap project.

My swap partner has received her package so I can now share the project. She mentioned in her questionnaire that one of the things she would like is something to organize her crochet hooks.  I put all of mine in there to test it out before sending it off.  I was inspired by this linen crochet hook case that I found on Pinterest.  But I knew I wanted it bigger. And I had real trouble finding any suitable linen-like thread to crochet a doily for the flap. So I ended up using hexies instead.

Just for those who are wondering what size this case is, I started with the outside cut measurements of 16 1/2″ x 8″.  The crochet hook pocket was cut 4 1/2″ tall and the individual hook pockets were stitched 1″ apart.  The flap was cut 3 1/4″ tall. I used 3/4″ hexagons for the closure flap and black snaps to secure it.

The text fabric along with both the inside & outside black dot fabrics were part of the 2nd installment of my local 4-friend challenge. (Our 1st challenge was last fall) I added the creamy spirograph type fabric.  As soon as I opened up the challenge package I knew what I was going to make.  It was providence because my swap partner said that black dots are her favorite!  I’m pleased that she is pleased. And I’m tempted to make another for myself!

Mini Heart block

June 1, 2015 § 6 Comments


June is my month to oversee the block making for my Do.Good.Stitches group. So I am asking my fellow members to make these heart blocks for me. I was inspired by this mini quilt I found on Pinterest.

I intended to make more blocks for this tutorial but my rib has been holding me hostage.  It keeps moving around, popping in and out. We (the chiropractor) are hoping that it will settle down by the end of this week. Those pesky muscles need to forget about the previous bicycle trauma and start doing their job!  The massage therapist did a fantastic job this morning in aiding my muscle memory. Let’s hope it sticks!


From the heart fabric cut:

  • 1 – 4 1/2″ square, cut in half diagonally twice to create 4 quarter-square triangles. You will only use 2 per block.
  • 1 – 4″ square, cut in half diagonally once to create 2 half-square triangles.

From the background fabric cut:

  • 1 – 4 1/2″ square, cut in half diagonally twice to create 4 quarter-square triangles. You will only use 2 per block.
  • 2 – 4″ squares, cut in half diagonally once to create 4 half-square triangles.

All of the measurements are cut slightly larger and then trimmed down in the hope that this will create more uniform results for everyone.


From two of the 4 1/2″ quarter-square triangles of each the heart fabric & the background fabric, sew a left-facing and a right-facing half-square triangle unit. Press the seams open to reduce the bulk.


Place a 4″ background half-square triangle on top of each unit and sew the diagonal seam. As you can can see, the triangle unit with the heart fabric is slightly larger.  Don’t worry about this. You will trim the block down to the correct size in the next step.   Just make sure that the smaller triangle is centered on top of the larger triangle.  Press the seams open to reduce the bulk.


With a square ruler or square up ruler or any ruler that gives you the appropriate diagonal line and inch measurements, trim both blocks to 3 1/2″ square.  Be sure that the 45-degree line that marks the center of the half-square triangle is placed on top of the diagonal seam line so that the heart portion is also centered.


Here is a closer view in hopes that you can see what I am talking about.


With the remaining 4″ half-square triangles, sew a background fabric to a heart fabric and press the seams open.  Trim these blocks to 3 1/2″ as well, again, placing that 45-degree line on your ruler directly on top of the seam line so that the block is centered.


Another close-up of the half-square triangles so that you can see what I’m talking about.


Arrange the half-square triangles as shown to create a heart motif.  Sew the squares together in each row, pressing the seams in alternating directions. Then sew the rows together to complete the block, nesting the opposing seams in the center to aid in matching the triangle points.


Voila! Your finished block should measure 6 1/2″ square including the seam allowances.  If anyone has any questions, please let me know.

If you are making these for our Do.Good.Stitches group, repeat these instructions to make 6 blocks total.  There are additional details about the blocks, fabrics, etc in our discussion thread for the month of June. Thank you!


May 30, 2015 § 5 Comments

Caramel Cardigan

#widrn is a hashtag that stands for “What I’m Doing Right Now”  that goes around on Instagram from time to time.  My dear friend, Letty, tagged me a couple of days ago and I haven’t posted anything yet.

What I am doing right now is taking it easy and recovering from a dislocated rib that was a result of my and my hubby’s bike crash a week and a half ago.  He fell off the edge of the bike trail where there is a 4-inch drop and toppled over on his bike. I was right behind him and ran into him flying over my handlebars. Apparently my ribs hit the bike and dislocated a rib. (It happened so fast that I don’t really remember the finer details) Everyone kept telling me that it was probably a hairline fracture and there wasn’t much to be done about it. So I never went to urgent care. But after a week it just didn’t feel right. And after searching the web for different rib symptoms I concluded that I needed to see a chiropractor.  Huzzah!  It was indeed dislocated.  It’s back in place now but I am really sore. A little more adjusting and therapeutic massage and I should be good to go in a couple of weeks. Whew!  What an experience!

Above:  It has been a perfect excuse to dig out an old knitting UFO, the Caramel Cardigan (Ravelry link), and binge watch Netflix.

Whatever is lovely…

May 19, 2015 § 9 Comments

NIght & DayNorth Dakota Stars

My current sewing project is reminding me of the stars at night when we were camping in North Dakota three years ago.  (You really need to click on the photo for a larger view to get the full effect)

– – – – –

Sometimes there isn’t much to say about what is going on around here.  Life moves on without much fanfare. So, rather than not blogging at all during those times, I thought I’d start a project that might help me look for the lovely things in life and be thankful as well as give you something lovely to look at until I have more to say.

I’ll choose two photos to post in a diptych sort of manner.  It will force me to get out my DSL camera more often, slow down and pay attention to the little details around me.

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”  ~Philippians 4:8

Oh baby, baby!

May 12, 2015 § 13 Comments


Some dear friends recently added a baby boy to their family. And when I saw this quilt made up in a local quilt shop I just couldn’t resist making it for them. The fabric is just SO stinkin’ cute!  And it reminds me of my roots, growing up on a farm in Iowa.

The fabric is from Studio E and called Farm Friends.  The center of the quilt is a book panel that is cut apart and sashed with coordinating fabric.  The pattern is free.  I couldn’t find it on the Studio E web site but did find it over at Fabric Depot.



The way that the sashing is cut to frame the book panels is goofy. It wastes some extra fabric. But it works. I recalculated the math so that it didn’t waste so much fabric.  In addition, the shop where I purchased the kit gave extra yardage beyond the pattern requirements. So much so that I was able to piece it all together for the backing.  I love the back as much as I love the front!  And look!  There is a black “Charlie” cat in the story that is making me grin.


Behind the studio door

May 8, 2015 § 8 Comments


This is the third quilt that I have made using the American Made Brand solids.  I have to say that they are now my favorite solids to work with. They sew up nicely. They wash up nicely.  The colors are vibrant and they don’t bleed when washed.

Summer Cabin is currently featured in Fons & Porter’s Easy Quilts Summer 2015 issue.  It is made of giant log cabin blocks that go together quickly. It would really be great made with all your leftover scraps!  I have been cutting 2 1/2″ strips from any leftover fabrics from previous projects. Maybe one day I will make another quilt like this with all those leftover strips.

There really isn’t much to say about the inspiration behind this. I just love the traditional log cabin block. And there are so many possibilities with different sizes and arranged layouts. You’re sure to find a combination that fits your taste. This is a zig zag type of layout.

You just might find me napping in our hammock this summer with this quilt wrapped around me. Life just doesn’t get much better than that!

*photos courtesy of Fons & Porter


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    Hi. I'm Anita. I like vintage textiles, old houses, fresh bread, and dinner under the pergola. And... I like making things. Thank you so much for visiting!

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