Whew, the year is just flying by! How are we almost to Thanksgiving? I’ve been working away on holiday gifts, but today I’ve got a fun new project to share. My love of Lori Holt’s quilt designs is well documented, so I had a hard time resisting the new sewalong for Lori’s Prim & Proper Quilt:
Can we just take a moment? I love this sweet nod to tradtition. Cross-stitching was my very first craft and I love the “cross-stitched” border! The quilt is all traditionally pieced and Lori writes very clear patterns, so I am very excited to try my hand at this one.
I am using Prim fabrics and it’s been a lot of fun pulling different combinations. The one thing I can say for sure, is there is going to be a lot of pink in my quilt!
Today is the kick-off for week 1. For my flowers, I opted for these pretty teals with gold centers. My sewing machine supervisor mostly approved, but he kept getting distracted during the process.
That’s it for this week, be sure to stay tuned on Instagram for my progress over the next seven weeks. There are lots of other sewists joining in and I’m already loving their flower blocks. I can’t wait to see this one come together!
About a week ago, I had really cleaned up and cleared out. Preparing for holiday making and the end of the year, I had it all planned out. I’ve got my little end of year to do list all written up, yarn caked, fabric pulled. Spoilers, the list has no check marks – I’ve needed a creative kick start.
I’ve been hemming and hawing with decisions about gift knitting, so naturally I put that on hold and started myself a sock. I’m only just a little sorry, but it did the trick.
This sweet pattern is Coast Range by Lindsey Fowler and the yarn is Stress Knits yarn in the Eucalyptus colorway. This color is just pure heaven! I’ve actually got a second skein tucked away for a colorwork sweater one day.
Sometimes when I have a hard time making a decision it helps to work on something that I don’t have to think too much about. The sock helped me settle down a little bit and now I’ve made a little headway on gift knitting. The one thing I’ve really been searching for is my sew-jo. To be honest, my sewing room has been a bit of a mess with little random bits and bobs that needed attending.
I had several minis laying around to be hung up – one of mine and two of Astra’s. We got hers on the wall in her room, I’ll have to write about her new foray into quilting – it’s been so fun! I also finally got around to hanging my Pineapple Mini. This corner of the sewing room gives me all the smiles.
On the other side of the sewing room, I’ve had a bit of a situation brewing. Cosi, like many cats, likes to be on top of things. Recently his favorite perch has been my pressing board, much to the its detriment. I’ll spare you the gruesome pictures of holes and batting everywhere, but let’s just say it needed an overhaul.
I’ve been putting it off since it’s not the most glamourous use of 2 yards of fabric but I finally relinquished this sweet Lori Holt floral and I’m so glad that I did. Definitely a bright and happy redo. Don’t worry, the board comes off the shelf and goes behind when not in use. No more cat-astrophes!
That shiny new pressing board finally got me in the mood to do a wee bit of sewing last night. I thought a quick, instant gratification project was in order and so… pillowcases!
I used a little kit and instructions from Maker Valley and honestly, it couldn’t have been easier. The whole thing takes a wee bit of pinning and pressing and literally three seams. Three! You even come out with some rather French seams on the inside.
All in all, from opening kit to finished object it took about a half hour. So I made another one. You guessed it, this was another kit. Holly of Maker Valley is a whiz at fabric pairings! I’ve got a few ideas for other fun pillowcases, this was a great pallette cleanser.
I’m very excited to have these paired with the Happy Christmas quilt on the guest bed this holiday season. My #yearofchristmas plans are really starting to come together. I think this makes eight finished Christmas projects!
I think I needed these little puttery projects to get the creative fires burning. I’ve got some weekend sewing plans that I am now super excited to get to. Finally.
It’s that time of year again, my friends. The air turns crisp (sort of, it’s Maryland after all), we’ve got pumpkins galore, and Christmas and New Year’s are nearly here. Now I know that sounds a bit crazy at the beginning of October but bear with me.
I tend to try to accomplish two goals towards the end of the year: knit holiday gifts and finish up WIPs. I like to have clean needles (of the knitting and sewing variety) come January, to varying degrees of success over the years. The crafty readers among you will know that this is no short order. It all takes time, and sometimes lots of it.
I spent a hot minute evaluating the current state of affairs: I’ve got a few long-really long-term projects going, several rather quick wins, holiday gifts, and a couple of upcoming projects. I’m limiting the new starts to the essentials, but there will be a few new projects coming down the line. With that, I was ready to finish up the projects that were just about done.
Anyway, I just dove right in and got started. Binding is kind of at the top of the list. I’ve gotten Astra’s Minecraft Quilt back from the quilter but I need to figure out how to finish that one in secret. The kid’s Christmas quilts will be back soon, so they’ll go on the binding pile as well. But I did have one project that’s been sitting around for months and I finally just up and did it.
It’s a tree skirt! I started this project back in January and just now got around to finishing it. This is the Joyful Jelly Roll Tree Skirt by Fat Quarter Shop – the top comes together pretty quickly with a whole lot of strip piecing. There are a lot of bias edges as you go which did give me some fuss, but I think the finished project turned out just fine.
I used a jelly roll in Little Tree by Lella Boutique, with Moda Bella Solids in Green Apple. I’m typically all about a fun backing but this one is going on the floor, so a solid seemed the way to go. The bias binding is also a Moda Bella Solid in a red I can’t recall. Nicole of Kwilt It! did a great job with the quilting. I’m kind of glad I waited to finish this because I wound up machine binding it. Knowing our cats, I feel as though this one might need to be washed a million times so we need durability on those edges.
I really, truly enjoyed this project. It was so much fun to build each block step by step. I’m probably most proud of the cottage, so so cute! I used the kit, all in fun Vintage Happy 2 fabrics. Now I’ve got to ship it out to Nicole, and then it will go back on the list for binding.
Take a look at the left most quilt on the “clothesline” – cute, huh? Well the fun thing about that one is the method in the pattern makes a duplicate of each unit. Add to that the bonus pillow pattern that uses those hourglass blocks and I bet you can see where I’m going…
Cute, right? I love this pillow! I used up some scraps from the Quilter’s Cottage quilt and some Lori Holt stash to put this one together in an evening. It’s called the Quilter’s Quarters pillow; it finishes at 24.5″ square and has an envelope back. It’s as big as my chair but boy does it make for a cozy spot.
My final finish of this recent little flurry is my Waiting for Henry socks. I just cannot. They are so pretty! This is a pattern by Tabitha Gandee, I knit them up in the Eloise sock kit from Stress Knits. The main color is Eloise; contrast 1, heels, and toes is Sunflower; and contrast 2 is Pillowmint. This pattern was a joy and I love how they turned out!
Once these were done, I turned my attention to some holiday knitting. That will, as usual, stay secret but things are moving along. I’ve got one other project I’d like to finish up by the end of the year and it’s about 1/2 complete. Buckle your seatbelt, we’re going way back to the very, very start of lockdown when I cast on a sweater. The body is complete but we still need sleeves and a collar. It’s really been lanquishing, but I think I’m about ready to pick it back up again.
Well, that about does it for the end of the year plan. As the weather has gotten cooler it’s starting to feel a bit more natural to be holed up at home. Astra even had the idea to pretty up the front of the house with some fall flowers and pumpkins. We had a fun afternoon at the local produce stand and decorating outside. I’m usually doing quite a bit of travel in the fall, so this is a nice change of pace. Silver linings, eh?
I usually know what I’m doing when I knit socks. Leg, heel, foot, toe – I know how long I like them, where to put them, and how to knit them. Sometimes though, the unexpected hits and you’ve got to roll with the punches.
A few weeks ago, I found myself frantically running out of the house and anticipating a lot of waiting. So I did what any sane person would do, instead of putting on makeup or drying my hair, I wound up a skein of sock yarn.
Everything I had on my needles was either not mindless or was close to completion – neither stressful waiting appropriate. So I grabbed this happy skein of rainbow and wound up. Threw it into a bag with a 9″ circular and a 32″ one, just in case I knit like crazy and got to a toe.
I cast it on, got through the ribbing, and just knit round and round. If you’re a knitter you probably know how calming that knit knit knit can feel: meditative and repetitive. Once I got a bit down the leg of the sock, I remembered one crucial fact about this skein of yarn: it is one single, very long rainbow repeat.
I immediately went for my project bag and – nope! – no measuring tape, no extra stitch markers, none of my usual sock-figuring tools. So then a light bulb popped on in my head, thinking about how the yarn was one long repeat I realized that obviously I’d want to see all of the colors. But I hadn’t weighed the yarn before hand (and even if I had, it has a built in contrast color included) – so I had no idea how long to knit the first tube.
I thought and thought and realized – we could meet in the middle! Knit the other sock from the other end of the ball and put in the toes when there is just enough yarn left for them. EUREKA! I moved the first sock to the long circulars, wound off the contrast color, and cast on the second sock.
Once I got home, I kept going with them, pretty excited about the socks. This way the legs are mostly cool colors, while the feet were likely to be the warm pinks, yellows, and oranges! Cool stuff, if you ask me. So I knit…
Until I had about 9 grams of yarn left between the two and was at the end of a stripe on both socks. Each sock tube measured a whopping 15.5″ at this point! I put in the toes and wound up with just over 3 grams once they were done. All in all, I’m pretty proud. I think there is about 3/4s of the last two stripes left – you can just see that stripe starting at the tips of the toes.
With that, I used the contrast grey that had been included to knit the heels and we’re done! These are some pretty snazzy socks, if you ask me.
I think you just can’t help but smile. They are so happy!
I wound up using 82g of the 85g of striped main color and about 6g of the included grey contrast. I really adore how the stripes worked up, it is very subtle as you knit them but the overall effect is pretty stunning.
These are the 95th pair of socks I’ve knit and it was really fun to have to think a little and improvise away from my normal sock knitting routine.
I really like pretty much everything I make. I know I throw around a bunch of loves, amazings, and gorgeouses around here but buckle your seat belt – I’m really about to gush.
Could it be better? I am honestly in love. This is the penultimate holiday quilt to me. I’m really pleased with how everything came together and the finished object is just bright and shiny and joyful.
Let’s take a closer look at the quilting, that may be my favorite part – and I didn’t even do it! Nicole did such an amazing job, the pink thread is just too good! The pattern is called simple snowflake and the texture is perfect.
If you recall from a few days ago, this beauty has been sitting around the house just waiting for me to finish the binding on the back. I finally finished it up, and I’m really pleased with how this has turned out. These are my best corners ever!
I’m getting pretty excited to have some Christmas-y handmades around the house this year. If you’re keeping score, this is make #6 for my year of Christmas. Maybe I’ll catch up and maybe not, but I can’t seem to care when I’ve got this beauty and her baby bro in my house.
I really just cannot. How are they both cuter when they are side by side? I wondered if I was being silly making the mini version of a quilt I’d already done and I can say now that I have no regrets. Worth every stitch.
As promised yesterday, I’m back to talk about all of my current works in progress. I’m focusing on the projects that are actually getting attention lately, so the languishing will continue languishing.
Back at the very beginning of August, I decided to try a new strategy with my slowest WIP and applique for 30 minutes every day. Overall this has worked really well, I made pretty steady progress on my Granny’s Garden quilt for several weeks.
I’ve finished fourteen blocks now. My routine got out of whack towards the end of August with some family stuff, but I’m working on getting back on track. Things have been a little more hand-sewing every day since I need to prep some more blocks, but I’m not mad.
I spent a bit of time with a practice piece learning the basics of big stitch hand quilting and once I was a little comfortable with a technique, I moved on to the real deal. I’ve basted my Norah quilt and started by quilting the center block. It is definitley slow going, but the look and feel is worth it.
I’ve been experimenting with machine binding to some success so I thought I’d give it a go on my Happy Christmas quilt. It didn’t go so well so I’ll be back to smaller practice projects for some more project. All I really got out of this try was a two hour date with my seam ripper.
I have since moved on to hand sewing the binding and this is my last corner! I have to say, the flannel backing makes for a pretty easy, smooth hand sewing experience.
Since I’ve been making such good headway with those other quilts, it seemed reasonable to start a few more, so here we are. This is a quilt pattern called Green Gables, a fun rainbow log cabin quilt in Liberty Fabrics. I “participated” in the block of the month club for this project from Duckadilly, but we should use participated loosely here. Let’s just say I’ve started, at least.
My other new start is another sewalong – the Quilter’s Cottage quilt by Lori Holt. She’s fast becoming a favorite designer of mine! This one is a weekly sewalong and I’m completey caught up and on pace! I am really proud of this project.
I decided to go ahead and assemble the quilt as I go – I’ve learned that assembly and sashing are my least favorite parts of the process. This method has the added bonus of fun in-progress shots like this one! I’ve only got 4 weeks to go, which will be the final row and some borders. I’ve cut out the blocks for the final row already.
A few months ago, when I finished the quilt top for my Fat Quarter Pile Up quilt – the kids loved it. Both loved the big blocks of pattern and the big throw size. Later on, Joshua specifically asked for a Christmas quilt and so I told them they could each pick out fabric and I’d make them holiday snuggle quilts. Once I finshed my bright and cheery version a few weeks ago, I spent a half day on a Sunday putting together their quilts.
This is Astra’s quilt – fabrics from the Polar Magic line from Lemonni.
And this is Joshua’s – fabrics from We Whisk You a Merry Christmas by Kimberbell. Seriously, this is the fastest quilt I can imagine. It’s a really fun canvas for some fun quilting and we went a bit nuts with the backing – you’ll see! My kids never ask for anything so I’m pretty happy to oblige when they put in a request.
Moving from quilts to blankets – my blanket grows. This is 55 rows out of a probable 120 or so and it’s folded into quarters width-wise. It’s postively massive. I’ve gotten much quicker with practice and have been putting several rows on each week. The nice thing about crochet is that it’s usable as a blanket all the time, so it’s cozy to work on.
And finally, I’ve got a pair of socks I’ve been working on. A few weeks ago I had some very stressful waiting time on my hands, so I grabbed the most rainbow skein of yarn in my stash and just started knitting. I got pretty far and didn’t have a tape measure or scales so I switched needles and started knitting from the othe side. I’m hoping to use all the yarn for the tubes and then I’ll cut in some contrast toes. Gosh I love a good rainbow. This is Color Study by Gauge Dyeworks.
I’ll leave with you a sweet shot of my crafting buddy in the quilt hoop. Cosi has been a constant companion with all this sewing going on. I think we’re all caught up and some of these things will be getting finished up soon, so until then.
As seems to be usual these days (this year) it has been quite a while since we last spoke. That always leads me to a bit of a conundrum as to what to write, whether to pick up where I left off or just give a current state of affairs. I’ve been thinking about my goals with this blog and one is to have a bit of a diary, so I don’t want to leave things out.
With that in mind we’re going to do this in two parts. Today, we’ll have a bit of a F.O. parade. We’ll just waltz down the memory lane of projects I’ve completed this summer. Tomorrow, we’ll have a (much longer) chat about what I’m working on. You’ll need your favorite beverage on hand for that one, I’ve got a lot going these days. Without further adieu, let’s dive in!
Back in June, I was deep into sock knitting mode and was pretty far along on this pair. They were finished in pretty short order and have been getting quite a bit of wear. The yarn is ONline Supersocke 4-fach Neon Color in colorway 1721 – deep, deep stash from about five years ago.
Continuing on the sock train, I knit another pair of Rainbow Connection socks! I really love this pattern and this yarn combination really spoke to me. I knit a pair of socks in this amazing self-striping yarn last year and I am pleased to have used up even more of it. The self-striping is Tiny Human Knits (I don’t think she’s dying right now) in Cumberbund and the main color is The Wool Barn in Eden. The pattern is by the Crazy Sock Lady.
It was around this time that much of time was taken up by a super secret project – details in my last post. Once that monster was shipped off to the long arm quilter, I began taking a look a around the sewing room, looking for a quick finish.
Enter my Happy Christmas Mini! I started this one in the spring and finished up the top and quilted it in May, intending for it to be my fifth project for my year of Christmas. Well, the year of Christmas has gotten pushed to the wayside a bit and I hadn’t finished any holiday projects since April – until I finally got around to binding this one. I tried out machine binding for the first time and was pretty happy with the result.
It was a bit of a learning curve, but I thought it was a good time to try since it’s just going a wall! Speaking of, I wound up using some old stash that’s not my fave for the backing – we’re not going to see it much while it’s hanging on the wall. I’ve been lax at showing the back of my quilts, but I like to see what people choose for backing, so here you go!
My quilting mojo was full tilt at this point in early August, so I started and finished this sweet little mini all over a few days. This was a kit I had purchased from Maker Valley, the pattern uses a single block from her Pineapple Love pattern. It was a really fast make and turned out pretty stinkin’ cute. As advised in the kit I used scraps from the top to make the binding and used that same black polka dot fabric for the back.
These socks were knit very slowly over nearly three months and, to be honest, I really only finished them because I needed their needles. The yarn is from A Homespun House in the Whale Belly colorway. They are lovely peachy-pink that is dreamy and I’m happy to have them in my sock drawer. I’m in this place where I want tonal and solid socks, but I don’t really want to knit them. Not that I’m knitting that much, but more on that soon.
My final F.O. for now is my Fat Quarter Pile Up quilt. Yep, this baby has been quilted and sitting around for months. I finally just decided to bite the bullet and machine bind this one as well, so it took me about 2 hours to finish it. It’s so bright and happy! I used a bundle from Mkaer Valley, some orange fabric for the back and some pre-made binding that was laying around here. Since I had it quilted by Nicole at KwiltIt! (who is amazing, by the way), this one only has about 6 hours of my time in it. Talk about a fast project! My machine binding was a little less satisfactory on this one, but I’m chalking it up to a learning experience.
Last, but not least, I crocheted a dishcloth. Something came over me and I decided I needed a finish in the crochet department since my blanket is, umm,taking a while. This is Spread the Dishcloth Joy, a free pattern, using Knit Picks Dishie Multi in Aquarium. Mine came out to be about 9″ x 9″ but I really don’t know anything about gauge in crochet. I used the recommended size hook and followed the pattern except that I don’t know how many rows I did. I went on until it was square and it seems to have worked out.
Well, there we have it. A summer’s worth of completed projects. I’ve been flitting around a lot between various projects so we’re less finishing and more progressing around here – but sometimes that’s how it goes.
As you may have heard, this summer has not been what any of us expected. When last we spoke, I was deep into a sock fog and I’ll admit my knitting mojo has not come out of that haze yet.
One thing has happened as expected, Astra’s summer visit out of town. A few months ago, I saw a pattern on sewing blog that I just knew had to be made for Astra – but she’s probably the hardest to make a secret make for. The boys are easy, mostly because they sleep in, but my little early-riser is tougher. Enter the super secret summer sew: The Minecraft Quilt!
I gathered up the fabric and got started about a week after Astra left. The pattern is less of a pattern and more of a tutorial/guide from the Seriously… I think it needs stitches blog. I started with Steve and progressed on through. I made the face blocks in batches, cutting out 3 blocks at a time and chain piecing my little heart out.
It took me about a week to cut and piece all 20 face blocks. I did have a bit of advice from Joshua for a few modifications. Block 17 became Diamond Steve and block 18 subbed in the chicken. All in all I enjoyed the process quite a bit.
I knew I wanted to do the Ender Dragon for the back so I checked all my measurements when I was trying to decide on sashing and border widths. Turned out, unless the sashing was bizzarely wide – that dragon would be wider than the front of the quilt. And so I did what any normal quilter would do… I made more blocks for the front.
I decided we’d do her name down the side to widen it out a bit. Next came the dragon. Much like eating the proverbial elephant, the dragon came one bite at a time. The tutorial broke it down into three sections, with 10-15ish blocks in each section. I think the whole dragon alone was something like a 12 hour project. For reference he finished at 70″ wide and 27.5″ tall.
I finished this guy up last Sunday, and from there it was just sashing and borders for the front and a whole lot more purple for the back. In the middle of the week I picked up my new sewing machine and that made the final bit of the process fly. I’ve packed it all up and sent it off to be quilted. When I get it back, I’ll just need to spend a few nights hand sewing the binding before tucking it away for Christmas.
The top finished at 74″ x 80.5″ – a really generous throw. I used the recommended Moda Fabrics fat quarter bundle with a few scraps from my stash thrown in. I also purchased additional black, light, medium, and dark grey, and a ton of purple – all from Moda as well. The fat quarter bundle isn’t available any more but the list is provided here – I didn’t use all of the colors. I also used less than a half yard extra of the greys, an additional 3.75 yards black and about 5 yards total of purple.
Overall, I enjoyed the process and I’m super proud of how it came out and that I finished it and shipped it out before Astra’s home. I do have to say though, it was way out of my usual wheelhouse and I am beyond ready to get back to the pretty, floral lights and brights that I usually sew with. That was a lot of solid purple and black!
I’m not going to dwell on world events today, suffice it to say that 2020 is not how any of us expected. I’m a cheerful introvert at the best of times, but I’ve been feeling quite withdrawn from everything over the last few months. I stopped writing here, I stopped posting on social media, and I nearly stopped knitting.
The only crafty pursuit I’ve been up to at all is sock knitting, and I’ve not even picked it up on some days. I do have a bit to catch up on with you here, as it’s been two entire months, but for weeks it has been socks and socks only. Here goes nothing, the last two months:
I finished my mini Happy Christmas Tree Quilt. This guy and the full sized one are sitting around here now, all quilted, binding attached — sometime I’ll get around to sewing the binding down on both of them.
Don’t look now, but this was another patterned sock finish! The pattern is Rhinebeck Roomies by the Crazy Sock Lady. I used Skein Yarn in the Early Morning Mist colorway.
Vanilla Socks — “Where does the good go?” by StressKnits
Joshua turned 15 in the midst of all of the quiet stay-at-home time, but we had a nice day. He had a mask wearing walk with a friend, we hung out and listened to records while I baked his cake (see below), and we just had a generally lovely day.
Ok, friends. This is hands down the best strawberry cake I’ve ever had. The recipe is pretty amazing. We enjoyed cake for breakfast for a couple of days after this and I’m not even a little sorry.
I cast on this cuff, started a pattern, messed it up, and started another pair of socks. Now that I’m almost done with those, I think I’ll come back to these. I actually think I might switch gears and knit this pair vanilla and cast on another pair of Rainbow Connection socks in something else for my pattern fix. This yarn is “Whale Belly” by A Homespun House.
Last but not least, the aforementioned other pair of socks. These have been surprisingly enjoyeable. This another pair of what I deem workhorse socks, turns out they’re awfully nice when you’re at the house all the time. This is yarn is ONline Supersocke 4-fach Neon Color in color 1721. This is some deep stash, so it’s nice to finally knit it up.
That gets us up-to-date. Thankfully, I’m feeling the funk fade a bit over the last few days. I’ve got a secret project for Astra for Christmas that I want to start and I’ve got 3!! quilts to finish (4 if you count the tree skirt). Other than that, I’m not minding the sock train one bit. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again — I’ll always come back to socks, my very own crafty comfort food.
Honestly. I did the math and less than 5% of my finished socks have been patterned. I even currently have a patterned sock on the needles that I’m mostly making no progress on. I cast on patterned socks from time to time, and I often frog them.
Recently, I was watching the Crazy Sock Lady podscast when she revealed a new pattern: the Rainbow Connection Socks. I always like the look of Kay’s designs, but rarely give in because, well, you know. But these socks just intrigued me and I couldn’t get them out of my head. So, I did what I soemtimes regret doing – I cast them on.
The pattern uses a main color and mini skeins or self-striping yarn for the contrast. I had received these minis in “little box of hygge” from A Homespun House in March and they just called to me. The main yarn is a merino/cashmere/nylon from Woolberry Fiber Co. in the Snow-kissed Mountains colorway. I got started and the next day…
I was so in love. I just couldn’t stop and so two more days…
I was in full swing by Friday. On Saturday, I momentarily came to my senses and put some work into finishing my Norah Quilt top. Come Sunday though, I finished up the toe before we were done slaying orcs in D&D.
I am telling you, I could not have enjoyed knitting this pair of socks any more. The pattern and the yarn were just a perfect match and it was highly enjoyable. I’m already looking around for some other pairings to knit more. I’m looking at you rainbow sock leftovers…