Sunday, August 30, 2015

A duvet cover

I know, long time no write!

Duvet Cover Top

I started this duvet cover a year ago. I had actually intended to finish it for last winter but it took much longer than I had expected and I lost some motivation.

The fabric: I used 2 fat quarter packs of the Spring Harvest Sweet as Honey collection from Bonnie Christine for the squares. The border is from the same Sweet as Honey collection but the Fall coloring. The white fabric is Kona Snow. I bought a bolt and I may just have to keep myself stocked with bolts of it and use it as my default white.

The pattern: The square block called Garden Fence and I first saw it on pinterest. The duvet cover is 7 blocks by 7 blocks. I was able to cut fabric for 3 blocks per fat quarter for a total of 60 blocks. I was thinking of making matching pillow cases with the extra blocks but decided to do something with them for the back.

Duvet Cover Back

Since it is a duvet cover and not actually quilted down, I did have to finish off the edges so they didn't unravel. Rather than just sewing the seams to piece, for each seam, I then went back to do a zig zag stitch along the edge to finish it off and then I ironed the seam down and top stitched it so the seams are actually sewn down and can't flop around.

From the right side, it does look quilted, but really, it's just the top stitching. It's a good thing I love sewing straight lines!

Duvet Cover Detail

Duvet Cover Detail

Monday, April 21, 2014


I've pretty much given up on the window farm. It was great to have herbs but there was a lot of maintenance on it. They also kind of died a quick death when I was traveling and had to move them to my friend's house. It wasn't my friend's fault but just that the set up with the tubes and air pressure is very finicky and I had it set up just right at my house. When I moved it, it was another long continuous fight with the air pressure to get the water to flow.

So, I'm sticking with my orchids! Who would have thought that I could get these guys to grow! My mom had an orchid that was her prized plant. I was terrified of killing it so for 15 years, it has been in a foster home. I was hoping that I could learn to grow orchids and not kill it. It's taken a while but I think I've finally got the hang of it. It helps that I have large east and south facing windows that get a lot of light.

The orchid that I call my Home Depot orchid was my last shot and trying to grow these guys. I knew I had to water it but I couldn't over water it. With this guy, I found my own personal trick on keeping them watered. This may be the third spike that it has sent up since I've had it and I'm very happy because it means that it likes me!

Home depot phal

I did miss seeing the current spike develop and so I didn't get it staked in time which is why it just grew side ways. When it's not being photographed, I have the flowers staked to...

My little lady slipper!

Lady Slipper

When I bought this plant, it had a flower and two developing growths on the side. This flower is coming from one of those growths!

I also have this phalaenopsis. I got this guy and the lady slipper and my little mystery oncidium at the National Capital Society orchid show in 2012. Since then, I've had at least one flower on this guy! I am absolutely amazed! The flowers last for a long time and as they die off, more develop. With our wacky weather and the constant and drastic temperature changes, I think it's been promoting now branch growth for flowering. I expect to see some flowers within the next couple of months!


My mystery oncidium was purchased from the members' table at the orchid show. The members' table consists of little baby off shoots of members' plants. This one, I got for $3 to grow as an experiment. Okay, yes, it is actually labelled with what it's called but I rarely look at the label so I just call it the mystery oncidium. Orchid growth takes patience and I knew that it would take a couple of years before I could even possibly see a flower. It is that young. I just had to keep it watered but not over watered and keep it alive. Well, imagine my surprise when I looked at it the other day and saw a new growth and even root development! I'm doing something right!!!

Mystery Oncidium

Finally, my mini phal. I got it at one of the orchid society meetings and it had grown a spike once it had come home with me. I had noticed a few months ago that it started growing funny. It was growing little keikis! Keikis but no roots. I asked around in an orchid forum online and got some suggestions that the potting medium was probably too moist and suffocating the roots. After pulling it out of the pot, yup, they were right! I definitely still had a few good viable roots but it was definitely too moist. I just repotted it yesterday and I'm hoping it will settle in and dry out and roots can develop on those keikis so that I can separate them out into other plants!

Mini phal

Friday, April 18, 2014

Spun to finished

It's taken a couple of years but I'm always excited when I take a project from fiber, spin it up into yarn and knit up something with it.

It started out as a purchase in 2008 at Rhinebeck

Frabjous Fibers - BFL - "Cottage Garden"

And through the years it changed

Frabjous Fibers - BFL all spun up

It sat around for a few years as I tried to figure out what to do with it. I didn't want to make a hat or mitts. Then a couple of months ago, I stumbled across a pattern called the Quaker Yarn Stretcher that only takes a couple hundred yards of worsted and looks great with hand spun and creates a good sized scarf/shawl.

And so...

Quaker Yarn Stretcher

Quaker Yarn Stretcher

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Taking a break for some socks (WIP Wed)

Heel turn!

Sometimes, one has to take a break from other projects and just get the heel flap and turn done. Because sometimes, you need that peace and quiet to be able to concentrate. I just need to pick up stitches and the sock is ready to go as the traveling/commute project again! By the way, this is sock #2!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Some mitts!

It has taken me a while to get these mitts washed, blocked, and photographed. When I finished them, I was on a bus on my day trip down to Phillips Island to see the penguins. I was excited to finish them that day since it was going to be sun down when the penguins came back to land and it was the farthest south I was going to be on my trip to Australia and I wanted something to keep my hands warm.

After Australia, I was in Taiwan and still didn't have a chance to wash and block. After I returned home, I was constantly wearing them until now, when our weather has turned weird to be either too cold for fingerless mitts or too warm for mitts of any sort at all, all in the same day!

These are the Dual Cable Fingerless Mitts (ravelry link) with some Cascade 220 Sport yarn I got in a Puck This! swap. The cables were a little annoying but once I picked up the stitches for the mitt, it all went quickly. I did change the thumb to do a thumb gusset instead because I like that fit much better.

Dual colored cabled mitts

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Galaxy Elfe

Galaxy Elfe

I give you the Galaxy Elfe. The sweater pattern is called Elfe and it uses a continuous sleeve method so one doesn't have to break the yarn. I had about 1200 yards of a continuous long color change to work with and I really didn't want to break the yarn!

Bullseye Bump - Galaxy

Bullseye Bump - Galaxy
All of this having been spun from 2 bats of the Galaxy colorway from loop!

Bullseye Bump - Galaxy

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Knitting away

Yup, all I've been doing is knitting. Not quilting, beading, or spinning. Not only just knitting, I feel like I've been knitting on this sweater for about forever. I've ripped back large parts of the sweater at least twice. It is some really soft yarn!

Elfe progress

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Quilted things

It's been a while. I was away in Australia and Taiwan for a bit. Then I came back and immediately jumped into Quilter's Quest where I got some nice kits and fabrics. So, I now share with you some finished things.

I have a couple of baby quilts. I took the leftover fabric from the quilt I made for my cousin and made a couple of small practice pieces. I quilted one on a long arm machine at my local quilt shop and quilted the other at home on my machine. I also played around with doing a machine sewn binding and found that if I cut the binding a tiny bit wider, I don't have a problem with sewing down the binding on the machine.

Baby Quilts

Both were quilted with a general meander line. I'm just trying to get used to the motion here.

Baby Quilts

Baby Quilts

And the backs - cute little animal prints and science prints!

Baby Quilts - back

The next quilt is a kit I picked up on the Quilter's Quest. I had seen that border print at the local quilt shop and LOVED it. The rest of the fabrics are all in the same line and the rest is history. I did buy the binding print separately since the kit used that same border print for the binding but it seemed a little too blue. The binding I did use makes for a nice contrast and it goes really well with the backing fabric that I have.

Nautical Throw

For the quilting, I used some curly ques to simulate waves. In between, I had some standalone star shapes for starfish. It all fits into the nautical theme.

Nautical Throw - close up

You can see it better on the back. See the starfish in the middle?

Nautical Throw - back

Finally, the borders.

Nautical Throw - binding

This is going to make for a nice snuggle under the couch throw!

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Looking for some bag testers

I'm expanding the etsy line of hex bags beyond the small hex bags. It's part of the quest for the perfect (knitting project) bag. I like the general size of these bag for a "medium size" project bag but the devil is in the details.

Quick summary:
Bag testers needed. Pick one, two, or all three of the models below. I am looking for feedback on the size, shape, and functionality of the model. What would you change about it? Do you feel any part of the bag is out of proportion to the rest? You can pick your own fabric or I can grab something out of my stash as a surprise. I am looking for about 3 people per bag. What you get may not necessarily be the final design that I go with.

I'm charging a nominal fee to cover the non-fabric costs. You get to keep the bag and leftover fabric.

I don't plan to start sewing until November. After November 4th to be exact, when I get back in front of my sewing machine. For the month of October, I'm hoping to get some volunteers and I will send you fabric requirements, if you choose to use your own custom fabric. This gives you time to find the fabric and get it to me.

Bag A has a 10 inch hex frame. It's just over 10 inches wide, 8.25 inches tall, with a bottom width of 4.5 inches. It comes with a handle that fits over your shoulders so this can work as a knitting bag or an everyday purse. There are interior pockets.

Med Bag A

Med Bag A - interior

Bag B has a 10 inch hex frame. It's about 10.5 inches wide, 8 inches tall, with a bottom width of 7 inches. This has a much wider bag bottom. The photo below has a handle for over the shoulder. Unless you specifically request this model, what you'll get will probably have two handles, one on each side of the bag. Also comes with interior pockets.

Med Bag B

Med Bag B - interior

Bag C is a zippered pouch. It is 10 inches wide, about 8.5 inches tall, with a bottom width of 4.5 inches. If you note the single D ring on the right side of this bag, there will be a wrist strap/handle on this bag. Also comes with interior pockets.

Med Bag C

Med Bag C - interior

Bag A - $14
Bag B - $12
Bag C - $16
If you choose to not provide your own fabric and want to leave that up to me, please add $8.

If you're local to me, we can just meet up somewhere
If you are not local to me, we can sort that out in email.

For those that have read this far and are interested, please email me at sewJudybags at gmail dot com.

Monday, September 30, 2013


It's like I'm on a finishing streak!


This is Semele. I first started knitting it on my Addi Click interchangeable needles. Really, those needles are not fit for thin yarn. By thin, I mean anything thinner than a DK weight yarn. It gets caught in the cable needle join WAY too easily. You spend too much time fighting the join as you inch the working stitches up from the cable onto the needle.


After I finished the Sunday Henley, I swapped out the needles and starting knitting this on some Chiagoo needles and voila! It went much more smoothly! Not only that, I finally hit the half way point. This is one of those patterns where you increase until about the halfway point and then you start decreasing so that there is minimal leftover yarn. Between the change in needles and hitting the halfway point, it started to feel like I was making progress a lot faster!


I neared the end and started panicking about not having enough yarn. I sat on the couch yesterday morning and knit and knit and knit and then, I was done! There is an itty bitty bit of yarn leftover that I can add to my scrap blanket so I'm excited that it all worked out. I'm not sure what would have happened if I didn't have enough yarn!


Pattern: Semele
Yarn: Wollmeise 100% Pure Merino
Needle: US 6 (4.0 mm)

Friday, September 27, 2013

FO Friday - A sweater! A finished sweater!

It's the Sunday Henley pattern by Neoknits from her book Metropolitan Knits.

Sunday Henley 

Funny story behind this. Someone else on the ravelry Puck This! group was knitting it when it caught my eye. I found I already had the yarn called for by the pattern and there was a little bit of egging on in the group to get me to knit one. I LOVE the stitch pattern so that's what helped me to decide. So, it was a little bit of peer pressure. Now that I think of it, the person on the ravelry group is a Pittsburgh Penguins fan. Neoknits is a Philidelphia Flyers fan (and pointed out this is a nice Flyers orange). I'm a Washington Capitals fan. In most other worlds, we would not get along.

Sunday Henley

Pattern: Sunday Henley
Yarn: Quince & Co. Chickadee
Needles: US 6 (4.0mm), US 7(4.5mm)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

PA National Quilt Extravaganza

On Thursday, I took the Quilter's Unlimited bus up to the King of Prussia area to check out a quilt show. It was pretty awesome, aside from having to get up before 5am which does not leave me feeling right all day. At least I didn't have to drive since we did hit some rush hour traffic on the way back.

I came back with some fabric and some patterns and I was really happy to find some novelty print hockey fabric! I was so excited about this one that I came home and immediately made a knitting project bag with it.

One of my purchases - the hockey print fabric!

Aside from vendors, they also had many quilts on display. As a newbie quilter, it was very inspiring to see them all. I have the full flicker set here but here are a few of my favorites:





Saturday, September 07, 2013

Day in Pictures - Sept 7, 2013

In an effort to get myself out and about and out of my introverted head, I'm going to try to capture the day in a few good pictures so here we go.


1. Farmer's market - buying some peaches, 2. Bikes on a beautiful day, 3. Bridge Opening ceremony for 11th St Bridge, 4. Police cruiser from the late 1960s, 5. Naval ship behind the Navy Yard, 6. Doing some beading

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

WIP Wednesday - quilting a queen sized quilt

Quilt #2

I know that normally, one quilts the layers before trimming and sewing on the binding but I changed the order around slightly. I basted my layers together and stitched in the ditch around each square. Then I quilted the lines in the border and sewed on the binding. I had a friend coming to visit and I wanted to make sure there was a lighter blanket available should he need it. I also wasn't sure how I wanted to quilt the blanket but I didn't think I wanted to stitch in the ditch around all the pieces. I was inspired by the lines in the border and decided to go with a free form line stitch. It's my first time using the darning foot on an actual piece I expect to finish and not just a test swatch.