Sunday, 30 September 2012

Day off

On Tuesday I surprisingly got a day off. Between dropping grandson off at kindergarten around 09:30 and an evening meeting at 19:00, I had the whole day to myself. No plans at all. Whatsoever. After the first excitement settled, thinking of all the things I could have, should have, would have done, I decided not to do any of them. Instead I took at trip here

to the yarn factory outlet and bought alpaca for another sweater for daughter and knitted a small test sample for her to see the colour combination.

Feet up, telly on, in the middle of the day. Brilliant. Daughter has approved the colours, but I need to knit another sample on thinner needles to get the right gauge.

Then I spent some happy hours in my sewing room quilting the doll quilts from this post – 7 quilts, 7 different quilting patterns, all done with the walking foot.

I thought I knew how to finish them off easily, but it did not work out, so instead I dug out readymade bias tape in different colours – one colour for each quilt.

To spruce them up a bit, I decided to use one of the decorative stitches on my machine, and it worked well - for a couple of inches. Every now and then my machine would zig but not zag. I tried everything; all sizes of needles, rethreading, rewinding, recleaning, but with no luck. Finally I gave in and let the zags skip wherever they wanted.

I was almost done when I remembered one of my other machines probably would have the same stitch and it did. Why didn’t I think of taking pictures of settings years ago; it would have saved me a few trials & errors when picking up where I left off.

The last two bindings were done perfectly; zigging and zagging on all the right places.

Oh well, the dolls won’t care.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Monday morning

Monday morning started quite grumpy. A cold hit our household last week, and add a teething baby to the mix, well, some of us did not sleep very well. Fortunately things lightened up very quickly. A peaceful morning with the boys, doing the kindergarten run with the oldest, a good breakfast and realizing I’m actually ahead on the preparations for upcoming classes, I am happy to say all’s well.

I spent a few hours in my sewing room yesterday and after I excavated the area around my sewing machine, it was fun.

My project did not turn out like I envisioned at all, but that’s fine, sometime quilts have minds of their own, don’t they. Only a few threads to finish and it’s done.

I made a few kits with bits and pieces at the same time; better to do it when everything is out already.

Daughter is very happy with her new, super soft alpaca sweater and would like another one in dark brown. We’ll see.

Right now MIL is taking grandbaby for a stroll and won’t be back for an hour. Hmm, what to do, what to do. Knit? Sew? Lunch? Laundry? Nothing? Oh yes, like the sound of that…

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Task of the day, September 23

Daughter's soft and wonderful alpaca sweater is finally finished. Soaking in the silence of an empty house, I spent a few relaxing hours on the couch assembling the parts. I don't know why I have been putting it off for so long, but I have started 2 sets of wool pants for the grandkids since the sweater parts were finished and finished grandson's jacket.

Now onto the real task of the day - preparing for Vestlandstreffet at Voss in a week and a half. I'll be teaching 2 different classes and still have a little work to do for one of them - making kits and a new sample. Being a family of 5 these days, I'd better make the off duty weekends count...

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Sew In # 13

With only 3 grown ups in the house for the weekend, I signed up for last night's Friday Night Sew In. I am happy to say I got some knitting done last night and this morning, when I was supposedly working, I pieced 7 little doll quilt tops together. Just simple strips and some scraps in delightful colours. Happy scrappy indeed.

I also finally put on the new cover for my ironing board which has been waiting forever. Now my board is new and shiny with no burned patches in sight. At least for now.

Ok, I'd better get working. Have a lovely weekend:)

Monday, 17 September 2012

Company of quilters

We’ve made it through half of daughter’s estimated recovery period and I kicked off the second half in company with a small group of lovely quilters. Working our way through the Quilta Figurer class, we spent two days together this weekend. The students were eager to learn which is key in such a labor intensive class, going through different techniques and patterns.

I did my first class ever in English as one of the students was Canadian, and it worked rather well I’d say, there were no stitching through fingers or other hiccups due to communication problems.

They made lots of great samples and all started their quilted shapes projects during class.

I am looking forward to see the finished projects; they all turn out so differently. At the end of the second day my fingers were itching to get stitching, so I’m looking forward to life getting back to normal. Right now my batteries are pretty much empty at the end of the day, but it’s ok, life is quite good after all. Today grandbaby was 7 months and got his first tooth and grandson did his first preschool homework. Important milestones indeed.

After weeks of taking care of young people I really did enjoy a couple of days in the company of grownups outside my family, and even better – quilters.

Thank you for a fun weekend and for being such great students ladies!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


May you forgive the wrong doings of others - and others forgive yours.

Prayer flag for the exhibition at the Oceanside Museum of Art (original post here); hope it will make it there in time.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Under cover

of having to mend a pair of grandson’s pants, I snuck in an hour and a half in the sewing room yesterday while he was playing with grandpa.

The pants were done in 15 minutes as all I had to do was unstitching the non-child-friendly tires, colour with a fabric marker, and do a little free motion stitching to reattach everything back onto the knee.

The rest of the time I played with 3 small bags of scraps from various projects – purple from an advent quilt, hot pinks from girlie toiletry bags, and greens from the “Lots of little yellow ones” quilts.

The strips are now cut into 14” lengths (the length of my ruler at hand), and the shorter ones are stitched together for pieced lengths.

Ah, the joy of aimless play, well not quite aimless, but pure joy indeed. It has been many years since I made a doll quilt, and with no little girls in the family, I thought I could make a few doll quilts for grandson’s kindergarten. I sure do have enough scraps. Thank you, Brenda, for the inspiration!

Our weekend with grandson was filled with fun. There were circus, game night, bandy matches, movie night and bowling. I had to live vicariously through the other two for a few of these activities (silly allergies, silly knee), but that’s ok, still lots of fun.

This week will be just as busy as we’re having the young ones staying for the week and I’m back on baby lifting duty. Although a slow learner, I am now taking all kinds of precautions to spare my knee as much as possible, and daughter is getting better for each passing day. I just need to squeeze in an hour in the sewing room now and then; I’m sure there are some pants in need of repairing somewhere…

Friday, 7 September 2012

Knit, frog, repeat

With hand knitted clothing being all the rage this year, my daughter agreed to me knitting her a sweater. It’s quite funny, I knitted one just like this back in the 80-ies, and maybe it will resurface when we finally clear out our house. It had different shades of blue and even came with leg warmers and was ever so warm and comfy and fashionable.

I used to be excellent at getting everything just right back in my knitting days, and I would draft intricate patterns and get a perfect fit each time. Maybe it’s all the quilting or maybe it’s my age, but I actually knitted a test sample to measure the gauge and measured my daughter so I could calculate the number of stitches needed and so on. It was all looking good,

the back was done in the blink of an eye. So were the sleeves. So was the front. Wait a minute, after finishing one side of the neck, there were too many stitches on the other side. Maybe I should count the stitches? Huh, 8 stitches too many? How did that happen?

So, I frogged (unraveled to you non-knitters) the whole front. Having knitted with two strands of yarn, there was no way I would waste time separating the different threads and ended up with one giant ball of yarn containing 4 skeins. It doesn’t look that big in the picture, but trust me, it was huge.

So, I started on the front, again,

and the front was done, again, in the blink of an eye and daughter stopped by for an impromptu fitting. Wait a minute, the sleeves were too short. How did that happen? Whatever it was that killed my knitting mojo this week, the cast off on both sleeves were frogged and the sleeves made longer.

I am almost afraid to start the next step which is assembling the pieces. Who knows what will happen. Thankfully I absolutely love knitting with this yarn – Mini alpaca from Sandnes garn – it’s ever so soft and wonderful and the two shades of beige look lovely.

And I am happy to say that the week ended in a rainbow of colours. There was an evening with my fabulous quilting friends, an evening with two fabulous colleagues of mine from way back, and an afternoon with fabulous grandson playing games and just being silly and even a fabulous rainbow in the sky.

Wishing you all a weekend filled with rainbows!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Something blue

I have been feeling rather blue today. I guess my emotions are finally catching up with recent events. The only thing I want to do is to eat chocolate. Not exactly what the doctor ordered for a diabetic, but I caved into my cravings anyway. Honestly, it did not work. At all. Add guilt to the blues and there you go.

Thankfully I'm meeting up with my sewing group today. I started a scrappy quilt last month, but something was wrong. The solution popped up this morning - add something blue. Looking for the right blue, I came across some resently-ish purchased fabrics and threw them into the mix.

Now, who can be blue cutting into these beauties. Feeling better already. What will you be doing this Wednesday evening? Sewing with friends?

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Prayer flags in progress

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you may have seen some of my prayer flags. I made the first ones a little over two years ago when my father went through surgery, and the process was very comforting. Other flags have been made and released their prayers into the world since then, and those first flags are still hanging outside in our yard getting more soft and ragged for each season that goes by.

Vivika Hansen DeNegre was inspired to start the Prayer Flag Project which now has led to an upcoming exhibition of prayer flags at the Oceanside Museum of Art. When SewCalGal posted a call out for prayer flags to be displayed (and with pictures and a link to those first flags of mine), it was like things were coming to a full circle and I wanted to participate.

As this summer has been all about sheers for me (and face it, they are spilling all over my desk) it was natural to grab a few and start working.

For some reason I found it strangely difficult to get into it. The thought behind the flag would not come through, so after a couple of attempts, I left them like this.

Maybe I’ll feel it tomorrow.

If you want to participate, you’ll find all the details here.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Celebrate Back to School Days – Giveaway winner

First I would like to welcome to new readers of this blog; it’s very nice to meet you! It’s actually the one aspect of blog hopping I enjoy the most, meeting new people – my blog, their blog, mutual visits, all good. As you may be aware, life has been turned upside down at our house lately so I have not been doing much hopping or blog reading at all really, but life will soon enough fall back into place.

Here in Norway it’s now the evening of September 3rd and time to draw the winner of my Celebrate Back to School Days Giveaway. has done it’s little magic number and the winner of my two little wall hangings is Shannon who wrote

Congratulations to Shannon who will receive an email from me, and to the rest of you, thanks for playing along!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Making it work

First of all – thank you so much for all the thoughts and prayers you have been sending our way the last week! Somewhere I lost track of to whom I had replied, but please know that all your comments and emails were read and highly appreciated. I showed them to my daughter and she too was very touched.

The last week and a half was a rollercoaster – ups and downs and lots of moving around. Amidst all the stress and nighttime worries, there were enough bright and shiny moments to carry us through, one day at the time. Lots of cuddles, lots of fun, lots of visits at the hospital with the boys

– these two are amazingly good spirited and easy going kids.

We have been making things work; doing laundry on a daily basis even though I bought enough clothes for several days (quite a puzzle really), a new traveling cot serving as a playpen in our no-longer-baby-proof living room, bathing the baby in a tub on the kitchen counter; they were clean, well fed and rested and somehow I managed to stay the same although the first night they were gone I slept for almost 11 hours.

Daughter has been discharged from the hospital, liver injury, broken rib, concussion and all. It was so good to have her home and not sleeping with one eye on the phone every night. She won’t be able to lift anything for a while though, so all hands are still on deck. The boys have been staying with another set of grandparents this weekend and the upcoming week a friend will stay with them and we’ll take turns with the kindergarten run. We live in a 3 storey house so mid week my silly knee gave in from all that worrying and running up and down the stairs, but a couple of days of rest have already made a difference.

Searching through my stash of quilts for something to put in the playpen, I found one of my first quilts – my first triangle quilt ever. It has lots of pink but somehow I don’t think grandbaby cares, all the recycled thrifty fabrics and fabulous polyester batting makes it super soft and cuddly.

If you haven’t entered my giveaway there’s still time. I’ll be back with the winner’s name tomorrow evening; see you all then!