Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Wicked? Who, me?

The Case of the Missing Halloween Candy

"No, officer, you must have me mistaken with someone else. I wouldn't eat all the Halloween candy before the kids get here to Trick or Treat. I'm not that cruel!"

"Ma'am, the evidence is overwhelmingly against you, but I'll hear your story before we put you away for good."

My heart was pounding. How was I going to get out of this. There had to be someone who could vouch for me. My head scrolled through the list of contacts in my phone, email, neighbors, friends, family - finally I came up with someone. 

"Mdm Samm and Wendy. They've been organizing this blog hop that I've been furiously sewing for. You see, I wouldn't have time to eat all of the candy, I've been too busy." I showed him the burn on my hand from the iron, the welt on my finger from the needle and he seemed to be considering my innocence. "They have a whole list of people who've been involved. You can find it on Wendy's website at: http://why-knot-kwilt.blogspot.com."

"I'll look in to those people too, but why don't you give me a list of the ones I should be concerned with today."

I searched my head and came up with a list of talented quilters who could have pulled off a candy heist. I told him if he looked into the following people he wouldn't be disappointed.

That should have kept him busy all day, but he was back questioning me in an hour. 

"Ma'am, all of those people have alibis and completed quilt projects as well. They've been too busy to steal Halloween candy."

My mind raced on to the last few people I could pin the crime on.

"OK officer. I was hoping it wouldn't come to this, but I have no choice. There's a couple strange people in town that have been asking questions all week on where to get more Halloween candy. But, they are a little spooky and live in that old house on Main Street."

We got into his squad car and sped over to Main. I'm sure the house was a lovely Victorian home when it was built, but now it was dilapidated and in bad need of repair. It gave me the creeps just looking at it and I desperately didn't want to go inside.

We knocked on the door and no one answered. I started down the front stairs, ready to jump into the squad car and lock myself inside. Instead, the cop knocked harder and the door did that creepy thing it does in the movies and opened up on its own with a haunted groan. Much to my dismay, we entered the house. 

"The first one you'll want to question is Belinda," my voice said with a crack. "I've heard talk around town that she's the biggest witch around - a real piece of work. I'm sure she had something to do with the missing candy."

We heard a wicked cackle behind us and turned around just in time to see a puff of smoke. Belinda had vanished leaving behind only her hat as evidence of her existence. 

"She's got style, I'll give her that, but she knows we're on to her. I bet she'll never show her face here again," I said. The cop just gave me a look of disbelief.

"There's one other person you should talk to before we leave, officer."

Horace had to be around there somewhere. He liked to lurk in dark corners and wait for prey to fall into his trap. He was my last chance of getting out of this mess. 

We walked up to the attic, the last place in the house to check. Upon opening the door we saw nothing but dusty windows and old cobwebs. Just as I was about to give up hope Horace swung down from the rafters and blocked our way.

"Leaving so soon?" He asked. "We haven't even had a snack yet."

This was promising. Horace was a devious little spider. He was gifted at catching anything in a trap - his web of horrors - and he could get himself out of any sticky situation. 

I patiently waited while the officer asked Horace for his alibi. Unfortunately for me it was rock solid and he had the web to prove it. He'd spent all week building it. This time his web looked hypnotic, almost like a time warp, and I was ready to jump right in and escape the house, the cop, the town - everything.

As I was about the jump, the officer placed me back in cuffs and herded me out to the street. The officer paused before putting me back into the car. "You spin a good tale," he said as he reached into his breast pocket for a photo, "but I'm placing you under arrest for candy theft."

I had one last option, but I doubted it would work. "Wait, can't I give you something to make you change your mind? Some fabric maybe? All you have to do is say something, anything, and make sure I can get in touch with you later to give you the fabric. I can get it to you by November 2nd, I promise!"

He shook his head and I knew my bribe hadn't worked. "There's just one thing I'd like to know," he said, and with a glint in his eye he flipped over the photo. "How'd it taste?" 


**Giveaway Closed**

I hope you've enjoyed this little tale and the picture of me eating a giant slab of peanut brittle. :) If you didn't get it from the story, just leave me a comment below to be entered in the giveaway. Please leave me your email address if you're a no-reply blogger. The giveaway is open to everyone. I'll pick a winner on Friday, November 2nd. Now go cheer on the other bloggers of the day! Happy Halloween everyone!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

October Finishes and November Goals

I know October's not over yet, but I'm not going to get any more of my goals done before the end of the month. I haven't done too bad this time around though. Here's what was on the list to get done in October:

1) Make the tie wreath for our door - DONE!

I just finished this one today. It really doesn't take that long to make - about 40 minutes from start to finish. That includes the time to get all of the supplies out and to put the supplies away at the end. It's super quick if you're looking for a fast project. This is the second one of these I've made. The first one I made out of a bunch of my dad's old ties. It's now living at his house, so of course I had to make one for my door too. Lucky for me my husband also has a collection of old ties he's no longer willing to wear. And, in case he were to ever change his mind, none of these ties were cut, glued or sewn to make this wreath. I just wrapped them around and pinned them in place. So if he really wants the salmon colored striped one, he can reclaim it. :)

2) Finish my projects for the Wicked Blog Hop - DONE! I've got 2 table toppers to show you on Wednesday this week. I really like how they turned out, so I hope you enjoy them too. One project is filled with lots and lots of 1 inch half-square triangles and the other project is my first ever paper pieced block (I even designed the pattern!!). I'll be having a giveaway that day too, so stop back!

3) Plan out what I'm making people for Christmas presents - DONE! This was obviously the easiest goal. I have a lot of knit and quilted projects in my future and a few paper items that I hope to finish as well. I plan to be very busy in November and December and I should be able to share most of those projects with you before they're given away.

4) Sew together half of my Leaf Quilt blocks - not done. :( Sadly, I didn't work on this quilt any more. I've been side-tracked by my knitting projects. I hope to get some work done on the quilt in November. Maybe I'll be able to give it to my husband for Christmas... It's a thought at least, but it's not officially on the Christmas gift list. At least I have all of the pieces cut and ready to go when I do finally have some time to work on it! :)

So, what should be on the list for November then? Here's what I'm thinking:

1) Sew together half of the Leaf Quilt blocks. I guess it should stay on the list since I didn't do any more with it in October.

2) Finish the birthday gift for my sister. Her 30th birthday is on November 30th (so I have to finish it this month) and I have a great gift for her. Hopefully she feels the same way about it when she gets it. :)

3) Finish the Irish Hiking Scarf I've started for my mother-in-law and give it to her. She bought my husband and I a Kitchen Aid Mixer for my birthday and our wedding anniversary, plus she taught me how to knit, so I want to give her a nice thank you gift in return.

4) Plan and cut out the pieces for the Christmas Quilt for my dad. It's going to be out of Peanut's character fabrics. I'm pretty sure he doesn't read my blog, so I'll be able to post pictures and updates with that project as I get it going.

5) Put together and send out the 2 Color Bee Shocked blocks I've received fabric for. One block is supposed to feature circles of any type. I think I found a pattern I like, but I want to do a practice block before I try with the real fabric. The other block is flying geese. I think that block will go together pretty quickly, so I just need one Saturday with a small chunk of time to sew.

I think that will keep me busy for major goals in November. If I'm going to get all of my Christmas gifts done by Christmas, then I'll have to spend some time on some smaller projects as well. So, what will you be working on in November? Happy Crafting!

More Knits

Remember when I said I was on a knitting binge? Well, I wasn't lying! Since then I have completed probably 2 more dish clothes, a full length scarf, and started a second scarf.

The first scarf I completed was for my husband. I thought about keeping it until Christmas to give to him, but it's in the 30's outside now, so he can put it to good use before December.

I used a wool yarn for the first time ever. I always associated wool with scratchy, but not this type. I bought it at JoAnn Fabrics - Lion Brand Superwash Merino Cashmere. It's marketed as the feel of cashmere and the warmth of wool. They weren't lying! My husband really likes it and it can be right up against his neck with no scratching.

I had to do some blocking on this scarf, which I've never done before. Actually, I didn't even know what it was and I kept seeing it mentioned on Ravelry, so I had to look it up. I don't have a picture of the blocking, but this scarf was stretched out over my guest bed for a day and a half while it dried out with a million pins sticking out of it. I was pretty obsessed with getting the sides to not have any scallops. My husband even told me that the scarf looked good while it was still being blocked, so I can tell he really likes this project. I didn't even have to ask him what he thought about it. :)

If you'd like to make this same scarf, the pattern is a free Ravelry download available here. There's even a pattern for a matching hat if you're brave enough to try. I'm not quite ready for knitting in the round. 

So, here's the second scarf I've been working on. It's another free Ravelry download (available here) if you'd like to try. It's the first time I've ever tried cables and I'm finally getting the hang of it. I had to take the whole scarf out after about 4 repeats because I didn't count diligently enough. I've also dropped a stitch twice somehow (still not sure how or when it happened), but I managed to weave them back up the few rows I had gone without it. There's one obvious mistake, but no gaping holes at least. 

I'm using Caron Simply Soft in Sage Green for this one. I was hoping to give this one to my mother-in-law (she's the one who taught me how to knit initially), but we'll see how many mistakes I make before I make any commitments. It might end up being a little wonky scarf for me. So far it's not curling, so I may not have to block this one out. I think it's the difference in weight of the yarn between the Caron and the Lion Brand Wool.

So, of course these projects have side-tracked me from obligations I already had to get done. Maybe today I'll spend some time with my sewing machine to finish up the last Wicked Blog Hop Blocks. My day to post is Wednesday this week (Halloween!) so come on back then. I have one project done and hope to have one more for you. :) Happy crafting!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Knitting Binge

I've been on quite a large knitting kick for the past couple of days. I've seen other bloggers mention the site "Ravelry" in their posts and hadn't spent much time there until last week. Wow was I missing out on some great projects!

I haven't been knitting for very long. This past March was when my mother-in-law showed me how to cast on and do the basic knit stitch. Since then I've been relying on youtube to show me how to do different stitches and to remind me how to tie a slip knot (I always forget, even though it's so simple!).

My mom gave me a bunch of cotton yarn to make into dish cloths, so I've been playing around with some basic patterns on some of those (Mom, if you're reading, act surprised when you get 10 zillion dish cloths for Christmas...).

Here are my two latest dish cloths:

The blue one came out a little dark in the picture, but it looks like a basket weave pattern. The white was was called a waffle pattern. Both went really quick and were just a combination of knit and purl stitches. Simple - just the way I like it. :)

I've flagged a bunch of "easy" patterns on Ravelry to try out in these dish cloths so I can figure out which ones I want to make in to scarves for Christmas presents. So far I do really like these 2 patterns, but I have about 15 more I want to try before I make any decisions.

Going along with that, I do have one of my goals for October done - I've made my Christmas present list of things I want to make for other people. I have probably 10 knitting projects and at least 5 quilty things plus a few other craft projects thrown in here and there. So, I'm going to be very busy between now and the end of the year. (I'm hoping we celebrate with at least one part of the family after Christmas so that I have a couple extra days to finish things up!!!) I'll show the things I can as we get closer to Christmas, but some I'll have to show after they've been given away.

On another note... I made my first ever paper-piecing pattern today. It was a lot harder to do than I expected. I ripped out just about every seam at least once, some of them twice. But, I did succeed at making one out of 3 identical Halloween blocks for a little wall hanging. Hopefully the next 2 blocks go smoother and faster. Come back on October 31st to see what I made!

So, what are you working on? Happy crafting! :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October 2012 Goals

Well, I just realized I never posted my October goals! First, let's see how I did on my September goals...

I had planned to do this:

1) Sew up all of the dots on dots blocks
2) Finish the dots on dots quilt (including the binding)
3) Make a new tie wreath for our door
4) Put together the quilt top I started in high school

Sadly, I only got 2 out of the 4 done. I managed to completely finish the dots on dots quilt, which I guess means I tackled the 2 largest goals of September. Not as much progress as I had hoped to make, but better than nothing. :)

During September I also put together one of the many blocks for my fall leaf quilt. I have all of the pieces cut and organized into blocks, so now I just have 29 more to sew together to be able to make a flimsy. :)

So, I guess I'll give myself a C for September. I just wasn't as productive as I had wanted to be. Unfortunately, October is looking much the same way, so I'd better keep my goal list short for this month. Here's what I'm hoping to get done:

1) Finally make that darn tie wreath! (I have the wreath form and the ties, now I just need 30 minutes to put it all together...)

2) Completely finish my projects for the Wicked (Halloween) blog hop. I would like to make one 12 inch finished table mat and one door hanger. The table mat will be regular piecing with squares and half square triangles and I hope my quilting will make it look a little more "spooky." The door hanger I hope to paper piece, and I'm making my own pattern. I've never done that before, so here's hoping it goes according to plan. My day for the hop is October 31st - Halloween day!! - so come back then for my creations and a giveaway. :)

3) Plan out what I'm making for Christmas presents and start getting the materials together for everything. I know I want to make at least 1 quilt to give away and hopefully some knitted items, so I've really got to get started on those projects too! I'll share what I can on my blog, but some recipients are followers, so those posts might have to wait until after the holidays.

4) Sew together at least half of the leaf quilt blocks.

So - those are my goals. Pretty attainable if you ask me, but I'm going to have 2 more weekends eaten by events coming up. Last weekend I went rock climbing and out to lunch with my dad. This weekend I'm going camping (it's supposed to be cold and rainy, so please send happy, sunny thoughts my way!!!), and next weekend we're taking a road trip to Michigan. That gives me one more weekend before the end of the month where I can get some solid sewing time in. Not too much time, so I have a feeling my leaf quilt is going to get neglected. The other projects should be manageable though.

So, what are you planning on finishing this month? :) Happy crafting!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Leafs Me Happy Giveaway Winner

Thanks so much to everyone who left comments and stopped by for the Leafs Me Happy Blog Hop! And, an extra thank you for those of you who are my followers. I'll need to ramp up my postings to keep you all tuned in now! :)

Normally I use random.org to pick a giveaway winner, but my husband told me there wasn't enough excitement in that. So, we typed out all of the comment numbers and placed them into a nice ceramic bowl.

My husband was then just going to pick one out, but I said, "Wait! You can't look in the bowl 'cause you can see the numbers on some of them." He said, "Well, blind fold me then..."

I got a tie (which I still need to make into a tie wreath yet...) and blindfolded him. :) He was very engaged with this whole number-picking thing and was thinking very hard of which piece of paper to draw out.

And here we have the winner... #171!

#171 was Karen who said "I love spice cake and baked apples with homemade carmel." (Karen, I've sent you an email.) I had asked everyone to let me know what their favorite fall food was, and all of the responses sounded delicious. Something that came up more than once that I haven't tried was apple pie with cheddar cheese! Being from Wisconsin, I feel it is my duty to try this the next time I have apple pie since we are known for dairy here. :)

Thanks again to everyone who entered the giveaway. Come on back for the Wicked Blog Hop at the end of the month (my day is October 31st, Halloween!!) where I'll have another giveaway. And, I'm over 150 followers now, so when I get all the way up to 200 I'll have another giveaway to celebrate. Happy crafting!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Leafs Me Happy Blog Hop and Giveaway

Fall is here! Fall is here! Fall is here! That means it's time for things like apple pie and the changing of the leaves! 

Fall is my absolute favorite season, so that's why I jumped at the chance to be in this hop! Thanks so much to Mdm Samm and Cherry for hosting and getting everything ready for us all.
You can find the full hop schedule on Cherry's blog - here. Here's a list of everyone sharing the day with me:

You Please visit them all and cheer on their day!

I have just one block to show you all, but plan on making many more of them. Here's the fabric that I used.

I wanted a variety of reds, orange and browns to bring out the colors of fall. I plan to make these into 36 blocks - 9 of each type. 

So, without further ado, here's the block I put together for you:
This picture doesn't look too good, so I  snapped a couple more outside on my balcony (see below). The leaves around us are right at their peak for changing colors and I wanted to capture that in my quilt.

This block features brown, crimson and red colored fabrics on an orange crinkled background. I plan to make 3 other leaf color combinations in reds and oranges for the other blocks with backgrounds in red, brown and tan.

I made up the leaf pattern myself. It's pretty similar to the other ones that I've seen. When I created it, I didn't have a computer nearby to look up a pattern, so I sketched it out and made it work. I hope that the finished quilt looks something like this, but with more saturated colors:

So, if you've made it this far through the post you deserve a giveaway! I have 2 things to give away this time:

3 fat quarters of this fall print. It has bird houses, wheat, sun flowers, hearts and other cute little prints on it.

And this Christmas panel. It has some really cute snowmen prints and quilty stars on it, so it would make a really fast wall hanging.

To enter to win, you have 2 chances. For the first, just leave a comment on the post letting me know what your favorite fall food is. For a second chance, be a follower and leave me another comment letting me know. I'll draw a winner on Saturday, October 6th, so comments will count until Friday, October 5th to 11:59PM central standard time. Good luck everyone!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Enjoy the rest of the hop, and happy crafting!
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