Getting Things Done – Knitting, Quilt Blocking, and Quilting

What a busy weekend! I kept wanting to post, but it’s been awhile and I haven’t done much to update the blog lately. So, here’s some updates with photos!

Last week I wrote a couple times saying that I had added things to the Etsy shop and/or finishedknitting some scarves.  Here are a few pictures. Using KnitPicks Cadena in Cranberry, I did this mistake rib scarf. It’s wide and long and I love it. It matches so many different campus colors and is a great unisex scarf for folks to be able to wear.

 

 

 

 

Secondly, I finished this mistake rib scarf, knit with my favorite yarn MoonCake yarn. Unfortunately, Mooncake isn’t made anymore, but this orange scarf is so soft and warm. If I could gather any of the Mooncake leftover in the world, I would do it and embrace with my whole heart.

 

 

 

 

 

Third, I have been trying to destash all of my yarn and stuff. As I was looking through what I had available, I found this Galway wool yarn which I had used to make a kid’s hat a few years ago. I didn’t have enough for an entire scarf, so I made a cowl with a pseudo-cable in it. I love how it turned out and am in search of a couple super funky buttons for it. I listed it on the Etsy site, but will update it soon with the new buttons.

Since then, knitting wise, I’ve picked up some light gray yarn I had to destash and am doing the mistake rib there as well. I love the mistake rib as it is so versatile, unisex and adds a little pattern to the scarf. As long as the color matches the individuals receiving it, the scarf works! The other knitting news is that I am preparing for a trip to Baltimore later this week for a wedding, but needed a project I could use for the plane and while waiting around during the rehearsal dinner, so I found a couple skeins of a yarn I had picked up a year ago which I love. It’s got great multicolor to it and I am excited to see how it looks when it’s all done. It’s Colinette Prism. Has anyone else used this yarn?

Okay, so the majority of my weekend was spent sewing. As much as I didn’t intend to do so, I spent the majority of yesterday and some of today sewing along. On Friday I pinned two quilts together after work real quick so that it would be ready to go. One of them is the Irish Chain I’ve been working on. The other one I pinned together was a quilt top I had made awhile ago.

Next, I sewed together the blocks for the various quilting bees of which I am a part. The easiest of the blocks for October was the Solid Bee Block. Kelly picked out some great grays and yellows and we were instructed to do a bit of a wonky log cabin-ish block. For the most part it turned out how I wanted it to, so I am pleased by this.

 

 

 

The second block I sewed together was for the Simply Strings Bee. It was my first time doing a string block and I love the blues, yellows, and greens that were sent out for this bee. I started by cutting all of my colors into different lengths and then started sewing them together. It turned out really well and I like the number of different colors that showed up for the bee. I can’t wait to see what the finished quilt looks like.

The third block I did was my first paper piecing. I’ve been thinking about it for the last several days and not able to conceptualize it. Finally, this morning it all clicked for me. I had some great help from the different tutorials which were sent out for the block, but what helped most of all was some encouragement from Cara. I tweeted about my frustrations and she came through offering advice/support yesterday. I took some time away from it and it all came together! Thanks again, Cara!

Yesterday afternoon when I was struggling with the Flying Geese block, I took time to finish sewing my blocks together for Freckled Whimsy’s Charm Pack Quiltalong. I laid the blocks out over the weekend and decided on my layout for it. The rows are currently sewn together in length and the rows are half sewn together. But mid-afternoon I couldn’t sit in front of my sewing machine any longer. I needed to step away and do some other stuff. I have my backing, my borders, etc picked out. While I am stepping away from sewing for the next few days because I am headed out of town next weekend for a wedding and to visit my sister in Ohio, I am continuing to think about the quilts I have awaiting. Anyone know of fabric shops I should be sure to stop by in Columbus?

I’m also trying to figure out what color combinations I should consider for further little wallets for my Etsy shop. I know I’m talking a lot about the shop, but I’m trying to get it going and figure out what types of items might have interest for people.

Finally, this weekend I really got to thinking about what I want to make for my swaps I’m a part of. For the Saint Nicholas Swap, I cut out fabric for the Meandering Path Quilt. I’m using 12 Days of Christmas by Kate Spain, which is one of my favorite new quilt lines. I think it will be a popular use by lots of people. I also purchased some small felt wool balls that I want to do some sort of wreath or something with. For the Modern Swappers blog, I’m working on a wall hanging with some great fabric by Anna Maria Horner. I fell in love with a tree skirt that she had done in felt a few years ago and while I watched for it to go on sale, I couldn’t get it at that point, so it will always be one of those “wish-I-would-have” situations…

Okay, I’m off. Likely no news from me for a couple weeks. Happy quilting and knitting!

 

Time for a Little Baking

I didn’t get photos, so I want to put that out there right away.

But, this weekend was a birthday party for one of my co-workers and so I made birthday cake before the party. As with my other coworkers, she filled out a questionnaire:

About

  • coffee? Pro or con?   Pro
  • Orange juice? Pro or con? Pro
  • Coconut? Pro or con? Con
  • Rum? Pro or con? Pro
  • Mint? Pro or con? Con

 

Choose:

  • Fruit or Chocolate  Chocolate
  • Orange Juice or Coffee OJ
  • Fluffy or Molded Fluffy
  • Ice Cream or None None
  • Favorite Alcohol Wine (Riesling or Cab)
  • Pie, Cake, or Dessert? Cake

And, the results allowed me to make a cake I’ve been wanting to make for awhile. Everyone seemed to enjoy the cake when we ate it, but I wish I had!

For the moment, here is the recipe I made:

Harvey Wallbanger Cake

1 pkg yellow cake mix

1 pkg instant vanilla pudding

1 c vegetable oil

4 large eggs

1/4 c vodka

1/4 c orange liquer

3/4 c orange juice

Icing

1 c powdered sugar

1 Tbsp orange juice

1 Tbsp orange liquer

1 Tbsp vodka

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, combine all ingredients for cake. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for 4 minutes. Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan. Bake for 50 minutes, cool 30 minutes; remove from pan.

Icing: In a bowl, combine ingredients. Mix well and drizzle over the warm cake.

 

More info soon! I’m gone next week as I am attending a wedding on the East Coast! Enjoy!

 

 

Updating Etsy

I just added a bunch of new items to my etsy site: http://www.gwensgroovygoods.etsy.com and updated my profile.

Now it says:
Welcome to my shop! It seems you are looking to find out a bit more information about me and I am thrilled to share this with you!
I work in Student Activities on a college campus, which means I spend my days, nights, and weekends with college students. We plan events, develop different skills, and try to create a sense of being around college outside of the academic classroom. This means that any given day may involve a presentation on leadership, contracting a band, and working with a lot of great students. My work is so rewarding!
Over the past few years, I’ve found myself needing to reconnect with the feeling of creation. As a single member of society, I want to contribute my stuff, but with a need to rejuvenate through my crafting, I end up doing this generally late at night, early in the morning, or during the brief time in the evening when one thing has ended and another is about to start. On occasion I try to get some friends together so that We can “Get-Down-and-Crafty-with-Our-Bad-Selves.” But, it doesn’t work as frequently as I’d like.
Although I started quilting back in elementary school, I’ve taken a looooooong hiatus from it. Recently, I obtained a new sewing machine and quilting has come back to me quickly. As an avid knitter, I’ve accumulated yarn and scarves a plenty. In thinking about how to continue with these wonderful activities, but still maintain my day job for the time-being, I’ve opened up this Etsy shop.
A lover of all things polyester and retro, Gwen’s Groovy Goods seemed expansive enough to let me try different things out, but reflective of my personality. You can also learn more about my process through my blog: https://iwillmakecrafts.wordpress.com
Take a look around, enjoy what you see, and if you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask. I’m happy to share my world of crafty-goodness with you.

Planning to do some crafting ASAP here! Look for more soon!

First Dinner for Hire

I don’t remember if I shared this before or not and I’m just a little too lazy to look at the moment, but a colleague at work has asked me to cook for her family once each week. I am cooking tonight for the first of these dinners to bring to work tomorrow. Tonight’s dinner is using some supplies from Trader Joe’s. I am making BBQ Chicken Sandwiches and Couscous Salad. In continuing to cook for her family, I’ve decided to embrace my love of church cookbooks and will aspire to use at least one church cookbook recipe each week in cooking for them (and eating myself).

So, here are tonight’s recipes:

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches:

  • 4 large chicken breasts
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 c Roasted Garlic Salsa

Put in crockpot for 3-4 hours on high. Shred and put on bun to eat.

 

Couscous Salad

  • 1 package Harvest Grain Blend
  • 1 can black beans
  • 3 ½ c chicken stock
  • 1 c corn
  • 1 jar Roasted Garlic Salsa

Cook Harvest Grain Blend with chicken stock per package directions. Add black beans, corn, and salsa. Serve warm or cold.

 

Pictures to come!

 

It’s Been a Productive Few Days…

Recently I have been doing a lot of knitting…and finishing up some quilts. I’ve finished up a couple of scarves recently. I also am over half finished binding my quilt and I’ve got two more ready to be quilted and then I’ll be ready to put those up on the shop. It’s been a few days of busy going on here while I am continuing to recover from my cold. Nothing contagious anymore, though, so I am getting back into the craft business. Tonight I’ll continue working on binding and a pretty fabulous cowl. More to come soon.

Has anyone had any thoughts about the mini wallet I made last week? I’m trying to figure out the price point for it…

Thanks!

Sick at Home…Might as well Craft

Well, I’ve been home the past couple of days recovering from a severe cold. It’s not really been all that bad, per say, but in the world of the first significant cold I’ve had in a couple years, so it was a bit overwhelming. I had class last night and it was one of those places where I was continuously thinking whether it would be more distracting to stay in the room and cough or leave the room and cough. Ugh!

But, in those moments where the medicine was kicking in and I wasn’t sleeping, I was able to do some crafting. Mostly, I finished up a scarf I have been knitting and then finally finished squaring up all of the squares for the Freckled Whimsy Charm Pack Quilt-along. Perhaps by the end of the weekend, I’ll have finished the top of the quilt.

Okay, off to rest a bit again…hope you are having a happy crafting day!

Pies and Pinot: A Fundraiser

Well, folks, October is here. Which means that while there are many great causes which take precedence throughout this month, the overwhelming one which people support in different ways is Breast Cancer Awareness. However, I take this month to recognize Rett Syndrome Awareness. October is International Rett Syndrome Awareness month. This syndrome is one which people have little information about, but which is increasingly important to recognize as a disorder within the world. Like so many other syndromes, Rett syndrome is now classified to be part of the autism spectrum. Affecting primarily women, it is one of several disorders which is misdiagnosed and misunderstood. You can find out more below:
 

However, you might be wondering what this has to do with food, which is the purpose of this blog! Well, I’d love to tell you. This year I am hosting my second fundraiser for the Rett Syndrome Foundation, which raises money to do more research about Rett Syndrome. This year’s fundraiser theme is “Pies and Pinot” and I am starting to collect my pie recipes. Although the event isn’t until the 30th of October, it’s time to start collecting pie recipes! One of last year’s hits was a Vanilla Cardamom Pear Pie, so we’ll have to see what is available.
If you are interested in learning more about Rett Syndrome, please visit www.rettsyndrome.org And, as always, I’m happy to answer any questions you may have. I’ll probably add more personal experiences as it gets closer to the date.