Sunday, July 18, 2010

I Won the UFO Contest!

Dear Terise! I have announced it in my Blog. I have no pictures to share about it though except this. One of the prizes I got was this little wall hanging that I immediately put up on my wall and will view it daily as I iron out my unfinished projects! I also won a huge amount of Fat Quarters which I at once put into my ever growing stash. Well, here's the thing. Even though I managed to finish more projects than anyone else in the group of 18 people, I still have way more than I want.

Recently I decided that I no longer want to do multiple projects. There will always be a certain amount of multiples but even still I need to rid myself of the things that have been dragging me down lately. I have updated my goals for the next year and a half and one of them is to finish the multiple projects and stop doing them. Here is a pictorial inventory of the multiples that I've been up to lately.

The Bead Knitted Bags

Each of these little bags takes 10 hours to complete. They are made with size 8 pearl cotton and size 10 or 11 seed beads, on size 0000 knitting needles. It's rather like trying to knit hair on wires. I have made at least 60 or 70 of these little things, and possibly as many as 100. Here are five that I haven't sold yet, I think there may be more of them somewhere, probably in the box of stuff I take to sell at craft shows.
Anyway, I had several more that I had strung and ready to knit. I spent the whole of this last week knitting them. One more day and should have another dozen of them to add to the collection. These are the new ones that are unfinished as yet. Each one now has to be sewn together, which takes longer than one might think, and then a beaded necklace added to each one. So even when the knitting is finished there is still at least one to two hours of work left on each one. For any of you who would like to buy one, they retail for $30. Yes, I have done the math and I am only getting $3.00 per hour for my work! It's even worse because that doesn't include the cost of materials.

UPDATE: These beaded bags were something I was making to sell in my booth. I still have several that I am trying to finish. All the ones in the photos above have been sold, so they are very worth while to make. Each time I finish a batch of about a dozen of them, I say, that's it, no more. Then I start to sell them and next think you know, I have collected the materials for a dozen more. I will add an updated photo when I can.


One of the things I love to make is socks. They are nice small projects. They don't take a lot of yarn. In fact about $10 will get you into a nice pair of socks. Granted it does go up to $30 at times. But when you consider the hundreds of dollars you could be spending on yarn to make sweaters, socks are kind of a bargain. And socks are also something that you really can't have too many of.
I have gotten to the point though where I only buy shirts and tops that go with a pair of socks I have made, and I only buy sock yarn that matches tops that I have. I usually pair my tops and socks with a neutral colored pair of tight legged knit pants for my signature look. After all, why bother making these beautiful colorful socks if your not going to show them off?

However, as you can see, I probably have enough socks. In fact, I have so many that there are a couple of pair I haven't yet worn. And I have yarn for 8 more pair. Once I finish these I will have 25 pair of hand knit socks. I wouldn't have to do laundry for nearly a month! Enough already!

UPDATE: I have not now, nor ever will stop making socks. Sorry, but that's one piece of handwork that I refuse to give up. I have however taken to giving socks away as gifts to friend, co-workers, and family members. Here is a picture of my active sock collection, meaning these are the ones I wear. Actually, I haven't worn at least three of these pair YET! On top of that, I just counted the balls of yarn that I have for socks and I have enough for 27 more pairs. That's not counting the ones I can make from leftovers. So all totalled I could probably, without buying another ball, make about 40 pairs of socks.

Plarn Bags

Plarn, or Plastic Yarn, is made from those annoying plastic grocery bags that you never quite know what to do with. They are flimsy and break when you're carrying things into the house and once in the house, you have the perplexing question of what now? Do I just pitch them and let them try to biodegrade for the next millennium in a landfill, or do I save them and try to re-use them, or do I take them back to the store and trust the store to re-cycle them in a proper way, when we really don't know what they do with them? What to do? Some people use them as trash bags thus saving themselves some money. Others use them to collect animal wastes. Others don't ask these questions and just use their cloth bags when they remember to take them into the store with them.

I make Plarn out of them. Many people have made rugs our of Plarn. I make grocery bags out of them and I actually use them, when I remember to take them into the store with me! They reside in my car which is why this picture is set in my hatchback!
But the problem is, even though I have enough of these bags to handle my most heavy shopping days, I still have this mess next to my TV chair of unfinished Plarn bags. The reason why I wanted to dedicate this Blog to my multiples is to show that I really don't need all of these things and to count how many I have in the works. But I have no idea how many Plarn bags I have in the works. I have 4 of them started. The yellow one is waiting for me to collect more yellow bags to finish it. The others just need to be crocheted. But part of the problem is, I have plarn pieces cut and stored in various boxes and containers waiting to be formed into Plarn, a very labor intensive task.
I have plarn balled up in various colors that I could make a striped plarn bag out of and I have bags collected and waiting to be cut into plarn pieces. It's a never ending process! And it's a real mess! I have to get rid of it. But I can't see my way clear to throwing it all out because well, that wouldn't be ecologically PC. It's why I have the mess to begin with. So I have a goal. I will put a sign on my rear view mirror that says, "Take bags" to remind me. I will not get any more bags from the grocery store. I will finish the Plarn I have and make weird looking striped bags with whatever I have left and I won't worry about it. I'll take the ones I never use and put them into my box of things to sell at craft shows. Then I'll put a nice end table in that spot next to my TV chair, and that will be the end of it.

UPDATE: SUCCESS!!! I no longer have bags, plarn, or half done Plarn bags. I use my Plarn bags as shopping bag and the only time I make plarn any more is to fix the bags I've already made. So that is one thing totally off my list!

Pattern Models

These are two of the projects that I've designed patterns for. Designing patterns for me is a sideline, kind of akin to my writing. I use these patterns in my classes and eventually would like to publish them and put them on the market. But in order to do it, I have to make several versions of the thing so that I have a number of them to photograph for the cover art. Also, since I use them in the classes I teach I make a new one for nearly every class, so I have a lot of them. But I need to go ahead and finish the patterns and package them so that I can sell them somewhere other than Tawni's shop.

Those are my multiple projects and my goal now is to finish them all before fall! If I can get all that done, then this fall I plan to build up my shoulder muscles as I machine quilt about 20 projects in preparation for the quilt show next year.

Wish me luck!
Finishing Multiples,
Cindy K-K

UPDATE: I am still designing as a sideline, but there has been a distinct change in my circumstances. I am now a full time writer. Designing is part of writing and I have several design patterns out. I need to try to sell them to shops. But all in all it's not a business venture per se, but a sideline which I might make a few extra bucks doing. There is a lot to selling patterns and I so far have not wished to put in the effort it takes. I just wanted to clarify this to whomever might be reading through my Blogs. Thanks, Cindy K-K

Friday, April 23, 2010


How long has it been since I Blogged?

I have not given up on my goal of finishing something everyday for a year. I've just given up on blogging about them all! LOL! So maybe it was pretty unrealistic to find one thing I could finish everyday. But TRYING to find one thing everyday to finish put me in a particular state of mind, that being one of striving toward a goal of finishing. With Quilting there are times when you can often get something done in one day, finish a paper pieced block, or finish putting the binding on a top. There are also times when you can work away all day at something and not get it done, such as doing the machine quilting on a large quilt, or putting 15 pieces on an applique project. There is just no way to finish some of these things in one day. Two days yes, maybe three, but I found myself not bothering to work on some of these more lengthy projects in order to get something else shorter done so I could blog about it. Soon I ran out of things I could get done in less than one day.

Then this whole Sookie Stackhouse thing happened and I thought about giving it up entirely. But I still have to finish things! So I calmed myself down and I started working on some of these longer term projects, and here are the ones that I was able to finish entirely.

First the quilts:

I got the blocks for this one a few years ago at swap. We were swapping fabric and blocks that we no longer wanted to finish and I think I swapped a shoebox full of scraps to this woman for the blocks for this quilt. Anyway, the blocks weren't made very well, I had to cut off most of the points in order to get them into a quilt top. But the top turned out nice and I practiced this greek-key type of football quilting on it. It turned out great, except, my husband, a Lion's fan, complains that the quilt isn't big enough even for a lap robe. I figured it could be a chair hanging or a wall hanging and maybe a bench warmer for the games.

This also started as fabric from a swap. I must say that this is one of the most effortless quilts I've ever made. The fabric with the bears on it is from a collection called "A Quilter's Gift", you may have heard of the story book with the same name. While I was cleaning out my stash several of these fabric came out and seemed to just go together. I put them aside and then one day as I was looking through the kitted projects I saw this thing and decided "today is the day!"

I pulled it out, gathered a couple more fabrics and started cutting, before I knew it the top was together, Easy peasy! I layered it at the library a few weeks ago and then this past month quilted it, it only took the better part of one afternoon to quilt. That night I sat watching TV and hand sewed the binding. OK, totally finished with very little effort! WOW!

This picture is only here to prove that when you see me display one sock that is finished on this blog, the other one is not far behind. Some people only make one sock and the second one never gets finished. I'm just the opposite. It takes me forever to do the first one but once that's done, I can't wait to get the second one finished!
While I was still in the winter mode I wanted to get some more knitting done. I finished this shawl in record time and then I used the leftover yarn to make a nice thick scarf. I used to have lots of leftover yarn, but these days I don't want both a stash of fabric and of yarn so I try to knit up whatever yarn I have leftover from a project into something useful. As a result, I have a huge number of scarves. I'm going to have to add them to the box of stuff I sell at craft shows.

Speaking of which, I probably should add these bags to that box as well. I now have about half a dozen of these I've made. I wrote the pattern for them and I need to take pictures of them to put on the cover. One of these days I will be able to really start working on my pattern design company and maybe making some interesting extra money. But for now that's in the future still.
Another thing I like to do is pick up the odd needlepoint project when I find them at thrift shops. I love to do needlepoint and have ever since my Aunt Joyce gave me a needlepoint kit when I was in grade school and I figured out how to do it. I made a mistake though. She saw that I was having fun doing the project and asked me what I was going to do with it once I finished it. I told her I would probably give it away. She misinterpreted it to mean that I didn't want the thing. And I never got another handwork kit from her. I wish now that I had told her that I didn't know what I was going to do with it after it was finished but that I was having a great time doing it and I loved the gift. That's the information that she really wanted anyway. I finish the needlepoint projects I do these days into the pockets of bags or purses that I design around the needlepoint.

I finished this quilt top for the store. We're having a class in how to do this quilt and how to use the ruler that this quilt was made from.
and another quilt that I finished for store use. This is a paper pieced pattern and I've taught two classes now from this pattern. It's so cool, I want to keep it. When it's run it's course at the shop I'm going to redecorate my living room around this piece! LOL!
Here's an applique block from the Country Cousin's book that we're doing at guild. I finished it and it's residing with the rest awaiting more blocks to make an album quilt.
this one is the Breadfruit Hawaiian style applique. I did this one for the Interquilten Applique BOM.
Last but certainly not least is a face quilt depicting my friend Anne Nelson. I took this picture when we were on a picnic after the bridge walk with a group of friends. We were eating cupcake's because it was Anne's birthday. Anyway, I was searching my coffers for a picture that I could use to make a face quilt. I tried taking one myself and found that if it's an indoor picture with a flash it won't work because the flash fills in all the cooler shadows and flattens everything out. The picture has to be taken in sunlight and it has to be at an angle so that part of the face is in shadow. After coming up with this little piece I was brainstorming with Tawni (proprietor of Interquilten and my employer) we thought about finding a photo of someone famous who will be performing at Interlochen this summer and making a face quilt of that person. If the person isn't too famous we thought we might try to approach the person into making an appearance at the store while they are here to see the quilt that we make. So Now I'm searching out images of either Garrison Keilor, Lyle Lovette, or Foreigner. Sheryl Crow is in June, which doesn't give me much time to finish a quilt with her face on it. She would have been my first choice. And a face quilt featuring the three talented men from the Moody Blues with a backdrop of a Knight wearing white Satin is just the thing I could sink my teeth into except having that ornate of a project done by June 26th and generate enough publicity to attract their attention? Might not happen.

OK, so these are the thoughts I've been having this past month. Was it worth the wait? I'll try not to wait so long to blog again. Maybe even later tonight if I get this one applique project done. I better get it done, it's due tomorrow!

Still finishing even though you don't know about it!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Falling through the cracks

Yes, there are things that are falling through the cracks. I have been finishing projects this month. Not as many as I should. In fact I came up with only these two that I could actually show.
This first one is a sock that I finished from yarn that was purchased in Ludington when my friend Pam from Australia was up to visit. She bought the same yarn (I was copying her not vice versa) and now I'm finally getting to finishing them 6 months later. I'm never without a sock to work on these days.
This one finally got finished and off my design wall! I call it,
"Deconstructed Star". It was a piecing nightmar . . . er I mean challenge! I managed to do only about six partial seams to put the top together. When I get finished with the big sale this weekend I plan to explore some more embellishments. Oh and the Border Babes are swapping Batik charm squares for a new project that some of them are interested in doing. I'm not necessarily doing the project, but I'm always interested in getting my hands on new Batiks!

Cindy K-K
Getting back on the finishing wagon.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sookie Stackhouse is to blame!

If any of you have been a fan of the HBO series "True Blood" then you know Sookie. Sookie Stackhouse is the heroine of a series of books about Vampires in rural Louisiana. They are very original (despite the whole Anne Rice phenom) and ultimately intriguing. If you enjoy a good mystery/romance/scary vampire story then you will love Sookie and her cohorts!

That's my excuse for not posting for the whole month of February. I read my way through all 9 books and most of the way through another collection of short stories staring Sookie. Yes, I'm on a first name basis with her for a reason.

Anyway, so today I am starting fresh on my goal of finishing one thing per day. Here is what I managed to get done during Feb.

I got this bear finally once and for all finished and it's now hanging up at Interquilten. It was a very fun project to do and I hope this will inspire some of you to delve into the possibilities of trying some of these techniques.

This is one Paper Pieced block of a wall hanging called "Majestic Fir" which I did for a class. The class was very successful and I can't wait to finish the rest of the wallhanging. It too will hang in Interquilten and we will have more classes based on this pattern.

This is the latest of the Applique BOM's, also for Interquilten. (Are you beginning to sense a theme here? Yes, I finished all the projects I should have for the shop but none of my own?)

Oops, how did I manage this? I finished this block which is going to be a page for my embellishment book. Eventually I will have a whole booklet of these wonderful idea pages. Yes, even at my age I have hope for the future!

Oh look! A project that I didn't need to do for the shop! This is the center to my latest Round Robin. It's going to be slightly different than most RR's. This one I'm asking for textures rather than colors and shapes. I found this little project at Goodwill in a kit that I paid $.53 for. I finished it in one day. It was for a little sachet type pillow with a lace edging. I put that lace on and then added another border. It's about 6 inches square at the moment and I'm hoping it will only get to be less than 18 inches total. But we shall see. Round Robins are like children, you put them out into the world and trust that they will come back to you as fully realized individuals!

Now I'm caught up to yesterday! Yesterday was March 1. I managed to finish something else in time for the guild meeting. I showed this project at the meeting so I present it here.
This is how it starts, as a yellow bead and button "Stew". The recipe for this Stew is in the book pictured here, Quilting Arts Book, based on the magazine of the same name. My take on the stew was to add certain charms, lapel buttons, and costume jewelry.
Here's what I made out of it. I began with a circle of a beautiful yellow and orange batik. I fused it to a piece of Peltex and then put another backing of fusible onto it. I then place a small layer of yellow and gold Angelina fibers onto the front with misty fuse and once that was attached I trimmed the entire piece the shape of batik. I peeled off the paper backing of the fusible and began to sew. I sewed the beads on in circular lengths that stood up from the backing. I also did kind of a bead fringe technique where you string on a row of beads and then skip the last one and go back through all the others. I tried to fill as much space as possible on the surface of the moon. I wanted to leave the outside edges free so that I could do a satin stitch around it to attach it to the finished project. This is just one design element in a larger piece. Also, the watch on this project is a dead watch that I had, I set the time to a significant time the time of my birth and that of my son's. I was born at 10:30 am, and he was born at 10:30 pm. My idea to finish this project is to commemorate the island of Kynthia where Apollo and Athena were born. Athena is the goddess of the moon. Kynthia is the derivation of my name Cynthia.
Side view showing the 3-D effects of the bead fringe technique.

More later!
Cindy K-K
Finished with Harris' novels; now on to more of my own projects.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Geese weekend!

I spent the weekend doing geese. Yes, geese. I've been wanting to do this project for a while. I know how to do at least five or six different methods to make geese, some handy, some simple, some dimensional. So I did them all weekend. I got the blocks for this top finished and on the design wall. I'm loving it. It's the first time I ever designed a quilt like this one. I had fun fun fun! And I had some blocks left over to make the sample for the class I'm having in the same technique. This is one of the blocks for that sample.
I also finished this applique block for a demo that I did at guild Monday night. Then I finished it yesterday after I did the demo. I know! I only had five more little tiny pieces to put on it, but I just ran out of time to do before the meeting on Monday. It's finished now though!
Today I went off and layered this bear quilt top. I have to go to the library. One of the tables on the second floor is the perfect size for this size quilt, so I didn't have to reserve a room or anything. Now I am free to work on Machine quilting. I figure I'd better get set up for that and get some of it done. The machine quilting is beginning to pile up around here. That's all that needs to get done on several projects. I could show about five or more projects next month if I spent just a week machine quilting. OK, so I will! LOL!

Talk with you later.
Cindy K-K
Still finishing.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Another top completely finished!

This one is like I said, over ten years in the finishing. But here it is! Now all I have to do is layer and quilt it! But I need to wait until I can find some batting on sale! Meanwhile, I'm going to a friend's house tomorrow to do some sewing. I also did some knitting and needlepoint today to get going on some other projects.

Stay tuned.

Cindy K-K
Finishing really old stuff.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Another 12 year old project finished!

This is the last block which I got finished today. I decided to do this beautiful star block instead of that silly Noah's Ark block with all the appliqued Animals! So I got it done today, doing the last of the applique while I watched a movie. Then I worked the rest of the day to get the top done.
This was a piecing nightm . . . I mean a piecing challenge! There were more partial seams in this one than any other project I've ever done, and I did a heart quilt for my friend Char where every single block had a partial seam. Anyway, the top is done except for the borders. Now I have to figure out if I want it to be a bed quilt because the instructions have a series of borders that take it from the lap sized thing it is now all the way up to a King sized. But I'm thinking definitely Lap robe. Two borders and I'd be able to use it for laying around the house at Christmas time.

I plan to use tomorrow to do some machine quilting. I know, I know, I seem to get stuck on that segment of quilting. But I made a goal and well, I need to do it.

OK, so I'll report back to you tomorrow!

Cindy K-K
Keep up the finishing!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Productive day

Unfortunately the most creative thing I did today was make Potato and leek soup. But I did get the border on this quilt top. I'm going to have to do something creative on top of this project to cover up the holes. Why does it have holes? Because the strips weren't wide enough. The SNS technique requires that you cut strips of fabric and then trim them down at angles to create the blocks (If anyone is interested in this technique, I'll be teaching a class at Interquilten about it) Well, I think there was a mistake in the instructions on this block, because it seemed like that last strip was consistently about a half inch short. But not to worry, I think I'll take some pieces of the flower carpet fabric and fuse it on all the holes before I machine quilt it. That should take care of the problem.
Then I also got the borders on this quilt. Isn't he handsome? I think I'll go over to the shop tomorrow and get the backing fabric for him and some batting and get him layered. I can't wait for him to go up in the shop. I can't wait to hear the comments.
Now this one only had about three more seams left to do today so I sat and did them. Now the top is finished. I kind of like how the sides without being trimmed form points. I am thinking about doing the same thing on the top and bottom. Unfortunately this project is wider than it is long. I don't like quilts that go the wrong way like that so I have to fix it, maybe with more rows or maybe with a larger border on the top and bottom, or maybe with two extra borders on top and bottom. But I want to keep the points on the sides, I kind of like them. So I'm going to have to do some more thinking about this project.
Anyway, here is a detail so you can see some of the unique kitty fabrics I collected to make it. Man I had a great time collecting those!! Actually I still have several that I plan to use on other projects.

I really want to spend the rest of this week machine quilting things, so I'm clearing the decks for that endeavor. I'll let you know more tomorrow!

Cindy K-K
Still Finishing

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Two of the three done.

I finished two blocks today. This one is the last of the total hand applique ones. I finished it today and it turned out OK, I think. Now I can piece a whole section of the Christmas Sampler quilt.
I also finished this block which is fused applique. Even fused applique takes a while to complete because of the use of fusible web. You have all of the prep work to do, even though you have basically none of the sewing afterward. So in other words, all the necessary stuff but none of the fun stuff! Oh well. I'm just trying really hard to finish this project. The last block that I have yet to do is a "Noah's Ark" block, but I couldn't really see what that had to do with Christmas other than the fact that it's a popular kids toy and a bible story both. But I just didn't want to include it in my quilt, so I looked through the Christmas blocks I had patterns for and found one that is called Nativity Star. It's wonderful and includes both piecing and applique. I pieced it today and I'll finish the hand applique on it either tomorrow or Tuesday. Wow, then I'll be done with a project I've been working on for more than 10 years.

I got a comment about the Bear quilt. I didn't make up the pattern myself, but it is available for purchase at Interquilten. As soon as I finish the project, it will hang in the shop.

Cindy K-K
Shortcuts to finishing!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Stuff happening!

I finished the binding on this little quilt tonight. That's the first thing I've finished in three days. I've been working on lots of stuff though.Including a new novel. Yes, I'm working on a werewolf novel. Jumping on that particular band wagon. I do believe mine is going to be a bit different though. More on that later.
Another project I've been working on lately is this Christmas sampler. You saw some of the blocks I finished for it earlier. I ran out of greens and needed to go buy some to finish the last two blocks for this quilt. I have yet to do that though. I will update more on this project later and keep you all posted.

Slowing down but still finishing.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

#25--A store project

I finished this quilt top today. Actually I started it today too. It's a store project designed to showcase the flowered fabric along with the Square in a square ruler and some of the many possibilities that can be accomplished for that. The pattern for this is the book Advancing on II. I still need to put a border on it, and you know, layer, etc. So I'll keep it on the list. But start to finish it was not a very hard project at all.

Cindy K-K
Finishing more than I start!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pair finished! #24

Finished the second one tonight. I also worked a little on the Bear from yesterday. I put on the first border and added the two leaves that went over the border. I think that Wednesday I'll be going in to Interquilten to get the rest of the fabric for the other two borders. So tomorrow I hope to run some errands and then come back and do some machine quilting. I have a pile of stuff that needs to be machine quilted before I can finish it. Maybe my next goal should be to finish everything that is layered before the next meeting. I'll take it under advisement!

Keep on finishing!

Finished the Bear! #23

I didn't finish anything yesterday, boohoo. We all knew these days would come. OK so I had my first one, of many probably. But I'll still try to catch up. But today I finished the fused applique on this wonderful bear. I now need to find some border fabric for it then I can finish putting the last two leaves on it.

I think I'll be finishing the second copper sock tomorrow, we shall see!

Keep on finishing!

Friday, January 15, 2010

I've been recovering!

I've been recovering from the move. It's taken me a while. I guess these old bones aren't as limber as they used to be! Anyway, I took a couple of days off, but today I tried to catch up. Here's what I did:
I finished putting together this quilt top. We'll call this number 20. You've seen this before when I finished the blocks the other day. Well, I put the top together today. Then
I finished the whole top by attaching borders. It looks pretty neat huh? I love the 3-D effect this pattern gives. I have big plans for embellishing this one. I'll have to work on it. We'll call this #21.
Then I sat down to watch some videos and finished this one sock. Number 22. I'll start the other one tonight yet. I don't really like to wait too long before starting the second sock. Sometimes you forget how the first one was made and then you have to try to figure it out. I eliminate that problem by starting the second one immediately and trying to finish it within a few days as well. So number two will be coming up soon.

Thanks for your patience! Tomorrow is Saturday Sew at the Library so we shall see what I can get done there.

Cindy K-K
Catching up with the finishing.