Friday, April 27, 2012


Knitters to your posts.... MadMay2012 will be starting in 4 days.... So what is it?  I only heard about this marathon last week.  It is hosted by a HUGE group at Ravelry Madelinetosh Lovers group  If you don't know, Madelinetosh is a manufacturer of wonderful modern natural fiber yarns.  The Ravelry group is having an event in May which includes Knit/Crochet alongs, tips, prizes and tons of fun online social sharing. 

Blue Gingham & Fathom MadTosh next to Alchemyst Rose
Earlier I had printed off the pattern and gathered my tools, needles, yarn.  These are the two colors I am using.  Yesterday was the first day we were to swatch.  I did.  I got guage.... but it's tiny @ 32 stitches over 4" in pattern.  I wound my yarn, thoroughly reviewed the pattern, looked on Ravlery and made note of changes & techniques others have employed with the pattern I plan to use: Scalene by Carina Spencer.  One potential problem with the pattern is its tendancy for the edges to be too tight; to mitigate this, I'm following the suggestion to put a YO (yarn0ver) after the first stitch of each row, then drop it as one knits back, thus keeping the stitch count correct.  I did this in my swatch & it definitely helps. 

To enter into the competitions, we are not to cast on until May 1, so I'll set it aside and focus on getting other projects completed, so I can knit, knit, knit in May!  Happy Stitching!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Catching up on posting Hop to It blocks completed

My Hop to It blocks are such a delight, once I actually get to working on them.  I have 10 of 12 blocks completed, but am missing some photos.  So here's one of my favorites... with the sweetest little bunny...
I took this photo Tuesday evening indoors.  Even with flash & auxiliary lights pointed toward the block, I got a weird gradation in the photo.  Still, I think you can see how cute the bunny is.

Hop to It is a block of the month started last year... I'm almost caught up.  This is where I first posted about this quilt... First Hop to It post  I included info as to designer, teacher etc.

Thanks for stopping by! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Spring rains finally here and One Flower for Wednesday

Well, fortunately we have been getting much needed rains the last couple of days... just in time to sweeten the berries forming on my blueberry bushes and raspberry & blackberry canes.  Ymm.

Here is a photo of a flower added to my Grandmother's Flower Garden lap quilt; it is nestled in my favorite rose: Alchemyst.  As an inconsistent gardner in zone 7 who doesn't use chemicals, I am always delighted when my rose leaves are free from blackspot... short lived I'm sure.
Go on over and check out other lovely hexis and great tutorials for English Paper Piecing at Karen's Journey of a Quilter One Flower Wednesday sign-in

Now, I will most likely take a month long break from One Flower Wednesday to focus on some quilting UFO goals and because next Tuesday, May 1, will begin MadMay 2012 on Ravelry.

For those who may not know, this is a wonderful free website for knitters.  I looked on the site to try to figure out how many members there are, but couldn't.  I joined in December 2008 when I think there were about 250,000 members.  Seems like I remember there are over a million now.

At any rate, in May, one of the groups "Madelinetosh Lovers" has a competition/Knit&Crochet Along; Madelinetosh is a fantabulous yarn, in luscious colors.  There are over 6,200 members in this group.  Our goal in MadMay is to begin and complete knitting projects using Madelinetosh yarn.  I think it is so funny that knitting can be made competitive!  Now, I am too slow & have too many irons in the fire to win anything... but I just love, love external accountability to help with completion of projects.  So I plan to knit a pattern by one of my favorite designers, Carina Spencer: Scalene knitted scarf in yarns from my stash:- colors: Gingham (a silvery blue) and Fathom (a deep blue.)  We start our swatches tomorrow & cast on May 1. 

Hope you are all enjoying yourselves.  Happy stitching!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Finish! Happy Dance

Not sure how long ago I started this wall-hanging, but it's DONE!  Sleeve & label too.  The design is by Robyn Pandolph, but of course as always, modified a little.

The photo could use a bit of help.  For some reason, I am not good at getting decent lighting inside my home with my phone.  So I took it outside.  I should get some close ups! All that's left to do, is put up hardware to hang it upon!

This was a project for our monthly Applique workshop led by our Guru, Kathleen.  The chennile for the bunny came from another wonderful friend, Linda F.  Jill B machine quilted it on a domestic machine... she also had to fix (read replace) the tan around the little bee blocks as the fabric started ravelling & so we lost the seam allowance... she's a dear!  It makes me happy.

Happy Spring!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ooooo, A FAL... That is a "Finish ALong"

Okey Dokey... this seems just made to order for someone like me.  Well, truth be told, apparently i am not alone, as there are already over 80 linky's for Rhonda's second quarter linky; check it out.  Bloggers can be SO ingenious!  I didn't know about this in the beginning of 2012, but I just found it yesterday, just under the wire.... so I'm signing up.  Here's my list, oldest to newest:-

#1) Ye Olde Bento Box:
The pattern is by Tracie Brookshier.  Here's link to images: Other Bentos  Mine is a biggun: 90'x105.  Not sure how old this is... I had made it for my son & his wife, presented the flimsy as Christmas gift anticipating getting to quilter after the Christmas rush... years ago.  Surely, this one can get a back, sent to long arm quilter, sleeve added, bound & label by the end of June!

#2) Karen Poetzinger rug hooked hot pad:

This is my first, ok my ONLY rug hooked project.  (Photo is wonky as to orientation, sorry.)  Karen, an incredibly accomplished rug hooker, wool dyer and artist, taught a class here long ago.  I took the class, then took forever to finish... and yes, if you look carefully, there is a date in it... 2009... really?  really?  Told you I needed this blogging inspiration!  I just need to bind it.

#3) Bee Skep wall hanging:
This is the first block of a 2012 project in a monthly applique workshop group I have been attending for @ 7 years.  Now, everyone else (who finish their projects) is doing a whole quilt, but I am only doing a couple of the blocks... This one was started March 19, 2012.  I'll add a couple more bees & make it into a pillow.

#4) Hand pieced mini quilt:
Hmm, this one looks a tad over-exposed... still, you get the idea.  It is 9x15.  I took a class April 3, 2012 with Froncie Quinn in hand piecing, and I got the best results I have ever had in those tricky little places where 4 pieces meet.    Here's a site for Froncie's pattern website.  Among other things, like learning a lot about antique quilts, we made a couple of little nine patches in class; I came home, made some more, then added the little borders.  Now it needs to be quilted, bound etc. 
So, a relatively short list, long post tho.  Thanks to Rhonda for her wonderful Finish Along 2012.

Happy Stitching all!  Becky G in NC

One Flower Wednesday 4-18

My this spring is really flying by.  The combination of a beatiful spring in full swing, the end of tax season and a couple of decent night's sleep has me feeling more energetic!  Yeah!

Today, I have a completed two-round flower to post; granted the inner flower was done & posted earlier, but right now I'm focusing on small victories!

This block is nestled in an azalea Myrtle gave me to put in my yard.  She has been my second Mom since I was 8 years old.  Myrtle moves every couple of years and wanted this plant to have a permanent home.  This spectacular azalea was a gift to her from my Mother when Myrtle's dear niece passed away due to complications following a kidney transplant.  It is a an incredibly lovely, low-growing plant with personal and poignant memories... this year even more than before.

OFW in Azalea from Myrtle
To see more lovely hexi's, head on over to Karen's linky for One Flower Wednesday, better yet, consider joining us!
Happy stitching!  Becky G in NC

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

One Flower Wednesday April 11 2012 with what's blooming

Here in the States, we are zooming up on our income tax filing deadline.  This year it will be Tuesday, April 17.  Usually tax day falls on the15th, but whenever the 15th falls on the week-end, taxes are due the following Monday.  However, Monday, the 16th is "Emancipation Day" in the District of Columbia (DC), so our due date is moved to the 17th.  In the past, I was unaware of this holiday.  In 2012, this holiday marks the sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary of President Lincoln's signing of the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act.  He signed this about 9 months before his famous national Emancipation Proclamation.  This act freed about 3,100 enslaved persons in the District, and is the only case in which the federal government compensated the owners for the emancipation of their formerly enslaved persons.  Since DC is where our Federal government meets and this a Distrcit holiday, we all get an extra day to get those taxes (or extensions) filed! 

But, now to my weekly One Flower Wednesday check -in; again, just a single row flower (after all, I am most busy getting my client's work done for 4/17 tax deadline.) 

Hexi in Miss Kim Lilac
 Making these hexi's still delights me!  Go on over to Karen's blog for links to the whole group's hexi postings:  One Flower Wednesday linky party.

I only wish you could experience the heavenly fragrance of Miss Kim.  There are not many lilacs that thrive down here in zone 7, but she does!  Here's another close up of a blossom...
I took some photos from a distance, but her blossoms look all washed out.  She is absolutely covered in blossoms.

I posted about my Lady Banks rose a while back when she was just opening and now here she is in her full glory...

This photo shows a bit of her shape

This one more clearly shows how covered in blossoms she is.  Plus, I see she has overtaken my tomato stake which needs painting.
Here's wishing you a great week, with a bit of extra time for those who need to get their returns filed! 

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Most Holy Time

Last night, as a Christian, I went to Church and celebrated Maundy Thursday... the annual commemoration of Jesus' institution of the sacrament of Holy Communion, which of course is integrally related with the Jewish celebration of the first night of the 7 day (sometimes 8) season of Pesach (Hebrew) or "Passover" in English.  Both faiths engage in rituals to remind us of slavery and liberation, bondage and freedom... hard won liberation and freedom.  Today is Good Friday for Christians and at sunset, Pesach begins.  Here are a couple of websites I found informative as I learn more about the living roots of my faith tradition:  Judaism 101: and  One aspect I find most interesting is the removal of all items in the home considered to be "Chametz" which culminates in this wonderful ceremony The Search  Not everyone finds celemony and ritual uplifting, but I love them as means of demonstrating my willingness to submit to the will of God, to nurture my desire for Him and to participate with God in my spiritual formation.  So next year, I will add to my Lenten disciplines a literal and symbolic practice of shedding "chametz"; a deep spring cleaning to be sure! 

May you and your family deeply experience the promise of this season!

As a parting gift, some photos of my second (and happier) tree peony.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April 4 One Flower Wednesday

Just one today... and just the inner ring 7 hexi flower, but I am happy with how it turned out.

This photo includes a rose bud from my very favorite rose, a climber named Alchymist (the original spelling, now you see it as "Alchemist.")  It is very fragrant, with old fashioned blossoms which are usually in the apricot/salmon/peach range.  One Mother's day, my 7 foot bush was so laden with blossoms and buds, I counted them; I stopped at 145, having included only those buds that had opened enough to see the color of the petals.  Here is link to info on this wonderful rose: Alchymist Rose source 

Now here is this week's hexi sitting upon an Alchymist bud:
Go on over to Karen's wonderful website Journey of a Quilter One Flower Wednesdayto see the other fun hexi's on her link-up as well as links to wonderful info on how you too can make these fun flowers... Happy Stitching!  B

Monday, April 2, 2012

One of my favorite flowers

Here in the South, many folks are familiar with herbacious peonies.  (some say "pe O knees", I say "PE e knees"... the "e" in the second pronunciation ought to be upside down, but I don't know how to get symbols in blog typing.)  At any rate, the herbacious ones die back to the ground in the winter.  There is another kind: tree peonies which are not very well known.  They look like any other small deciduous bush in the winter, they are just sticks.  But look at this! 
Isn't it AMAZING!?!

For the most part, the colors in the photo are true; however in real life, the edges are more silver than they are white.  I think this one must be a tetraploid as the petals are as irridescent as fine silk.  The blossom is not quite as large as usual, only @ seven inches, often they are 9-10 inches... really.

I ought to move the bush to a better location, but I am afraid to do so.  I bought it at a farmers' market stall @ 10 years ago for about $13.  (At that time, White Flower Farm sold small bushes for $60.)  It was just a stick with a HUGE bud. I do not know the variety, so I could not replace it. I am afraid it may not survive transplanting.  Also, I don't think I could do a cutting as they are usually grafted to herbacious Paeonia root stock; a cutting probably would not survive here in zone 7.  For now, I just keep my fingers crossed it will continue to live, even tho it isn't getting much bigger.

Don't you think those colors would be a great color palette for a spring quilt?

Happy spring!  b