I usually wind up frogging knit WIPs if they sit around too long, especially garments. My style, size, gauge, and life slowly have slowly but surely morphed a bit over the years and any one or more of those factors tend to lead me down the way of the frog if something hangs around. This one was different.
Here she is, my finished Pink Fizz! This project’s saving grace is the cozy, slouchy, oversized look that meant a little fudging in those factors up there doesn’t make too much of a difference. And boy is it cozy!
This is the Pink Fizz by Andrea Mowry, knit in Stress Knits Yarn in the colorway, Glow, in the Favorite and Halo bases held together. I knit the 48″ size and it came out a bit larger than that, it measures 28″ on one side, flat. Not sure if that was gauge changes but I strongly suspect I should have swatched the lace to see how much it grew – I think that’s where the extra width came from. I’m currently a 41″ bust, so you can see how much ease there is. The only modifications I made were to knit the body 2″ shorter than called for and the sleeves 3″ shorter than called for. I’m glad I did – everything is plenty long enough!
I started this project on December 27, 2020 and finished it on January 6, 2023 – it feels so good to have this one checked off and in my closet!
That lace pattern is really just a work of art. I wound up getting in a nice groove with it, not memorizable but it’s intuitive enough. And let’s not even get started on this color. This was the day one color for the 2020 Stress Knits advent calendar and it was definitely love at first sight.
This one turned out so cozy and comfy and warm – I’m in love.
Well, we’re really getting into January and I’ve already been getting into my stash and doing even more dream-making.
Over holiday break and last week, I really focused on my Pink Fizz sweater. I also dug out my Madewell Cardigan, which I hadn’t worn in ages, and between working on a sweater and wearing one, my mind has been churning. I think it won’t be too long until I just can’t stand it anymore and start another sweater project.
I did manage to finish this one last Friday night, so there is a lovely late night bathroom picture for you. It’s a bit more oversized than I had in mind but maybe that’s what I get for finishing it 2 years after I started it.
It has been a bit chilly in the sunroom where I block knits so that sweater isn’t quite photo ready yet. Once I got it off the needles, I had been planning to pick up my Norah quilt to finish it’s hand quilting but… I just wasn’t ready for another big project. All my current WIPs are big projects so I headed down to the stash and came up with a new sock project.
I’ve finished the first sock and am nearly done with the cuff of the second. After having only worked on advent socks last month, it was just satisfying and gratifying to knit a whole sock in a weekend. This yarn is from Bumblebee Acres Fiber Farm and is their Corriedale base in the colorways Gathering Eggs (main) and Golden Hen (contrast).
The amazing Tera of The Quilting Smith – she’s the amazing longarm quilter who did my Green Gables and Homespun quilts – is releasing her first quilt pattern in February and I am honored to be testing it with a fun group of quilters. I spent a very long time on my fabric pull – this quilt could be made up in so many amazing ways! – but settled on this one:
I did edit the pull just a bit once I got into cutting but this is still the color scheme. I am quite happy – I even used my color wheel! Since I’ve been focusing on the sweater, I decided to just work on this bit by bit in the mornings. I tend to get up pretty early and like to take some time to myself before work starts up. Lately, I’ve just been putting a half hour into this project which slowly but surely keeps me rolling.
This morning I worked on trimming up my flying geese, which is not my favorite task but it’s not too bad in half hour chunks. I’m getting close to block construction so I’m thinking I’ll focus on this quilt over the long weekend. I’ve got a few kid commissions that I’ve been promising for a while, so those are probably up next after the test quilt is finished. On that list is a weighted blanket – check back here to see how that goes!
I also wanted to share these two beautiful books that I’ve been eyeing for some time and finally picked up. They are incredibly inspiring to flip through, the projects are just gorgeous. I think something will need to come out of each of these this year and I can’t wait.
Happy New Year! New Year’s around here is never much of a loud celebration, just a soft transition. I love this quiet, dark, chilly time for reflection and planning. For my making life, I’ve had my “year of” idea brewing for quite a bit. It honestly started with the satisfaction of my Thanksgiving outfit that came purely from stash. It made me think of all the beautiful materials in my craft room and how much joy it would bring to use them. You guessed it, 2023 will be a year of stash!
That’s right friends, we’re going to knit, crochet, sew, and quilt from stash this year. In addition to just the pure joy of using the beautiful materials around me, I also want to focus a bit on curating my collection. Like most of us, I don’t have infinite storage and it’s bursting at the seams a bit right now. My plan is to use what I love and destash what’s not in my wheelhouse anymore.
I am actively not setting any quantity goals – this is intended to be a joy and not a slog. I do have a few rules, of course, because you know I love rules. I have already cancelled all my subscriptions and block-of-the-month clubs. I do plan on another vacation with my mom and if there’s a vacation cast-on, that’s an a-ok purchase. No other incoming fabric or yarn is to be had. I’ll purchase necessary notions: thread, zippers, interfacing, etc. I’m only planning to purchase binding fabric if I really can’t find anything in stash to work at all. Other than that, I might purchase fabric or yarn for gifts but there I want to be really careful about picking up only what I need. I’ve got too many random fat quarters or spare 1/2 yards lying around because I over-purchased.
I’m really excited for this year in my making journey. I’ve learned a lot over the years about my style, color palette, and what kinds of things I want to make. It feels like the right time to put that knowledge and all the great shopping past Cortney has done to good use. Cosi and are ready to dive in!
Happy New Year’s Eve! This has become one of my favorite traditions, recapping the year in terms of my chosen theme or goal. I started the blog with a year of making and have come back to the “year of” idea the last couple of years. I’ve got a new idea brewing for 2023 but for now, let’s see how all those WIPs turned out. You can check out the original post here, but this is the list today:
Look at all those cross-offs! I wound up finishing 13 total WIPs. The list morphed a bit as I went: I found 3 projects that weren’t even on the original list and I frogged 3 projects. All in all, I started the year with 21 works in progress and I cleared 16 of them off my plate. I’ve been looking forward to piling everything up like I did last year, so here you go, all those finished WIPs:
Let’s take a closer look (with links to the original blog posts for details):
The other 5 projects are in various states. I picked up the Norah Quilt a bit but it’s still only about 30% quilted. I did a bit more on my Fairytale Forest and I’ve got 5 blocks out of 25 done. I restarted the crochet blanket with a new pattern. The last standing cross stitch project has been pulled out of WIPdom. I want to make that project but I’m still not settled on a background color so it’s going back into planned projects. Finally, since I finished the last bit of quilt binding, I’ve been putting time into my Pink Fizz. I’m ready to pick up for the sleeves so I hope to have this one off the needles soon in the new year.
Well there you have it friends, a year of WIPs. I did want to add that I certainly started other projects throughout the year. This process kept me quite contentious of what I was starting though so I’m happy to say that I only have 2 2022 starts rolling over into the new year. I had an additional 19 projects finished that I started this year. Lots of socks and quite a few gifts in that mix. To come out of it all with only 6 projects on the go feels so freeing.
I think the biggest thing I learned this year is that I really prefer to focus on one primary project at a time. I’ve pondered this before, I think at one point I even wrote that big projects sit around until I decide to just dive in and finish them. That seems pretty intuitive so I’ve never given it much true thought. A few weeks ago my little brother mentioned something over Thanksgiving that really resonated with me about project-based time management. You commit your brain power to one project until it’s finished and then you move to the next project.
My professional life doesn’t really go that way but I think my making should. This started to become clear while I worked on the Granny’s Garden quilt. Working consistently on that project helped me get in and stay in the rhythm of it. I had floundered over and over trying to do a block a week or something. Committing to the process and pouring my focus into it made it flow for me. I did this over and over this year and it really made a difference. So much so that I wound up cancelling some planned block of the month projects and just saving all my Avonlea boxes. That’s one of my rollover projects but it’s time will come.
All in all, this was one of my favorite “year of’s” so far. Clearing out brain space and getting beautiful quilts and socks and makes in return is a great exchange.
Buckle up y’all. I’ve been on a binding kick lately and I’m here to share what are probably my last finishes of the year. All of these projects were in my #yearofwips and bring my total up to 13 finishes.
First of all, if you read my post yesterday you saw me finish my oldest WIP. That left this one on the decade plus list:
My Split 9 Patch is complete! The full story is in a previous post and now it’s been quilted (by Wild Phil Quilting) and bound and all done. I found it awfully tough to choose backing and binding fabrics to go with this one. Joshua helped me pick the batik backing and then I just used a warm, rusty red Moda Grunge for the binding. I think it came together really nicely!
Next up, a quilt that’s never even been on the blog. I originally planned this to be a gift but it did not turn out the way I pictured it. Back when I first started knitting, it took me a long time to have a sense of how variegated yarn would knit up. Knitting a million pairs of socks really helped me train my eye and this quilt helped me think of fabric collections and precuts in a similar light.
I picked up two jelly rolls together to try the 2×4 quilt tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew. I thought the print – Elizabeth Hartman’s Berry Season – and the solid – Laundry Basket Solids – would mix well and they do. It feels like a bit of a mishmash though. I’d probably prefer these fabrics in a quilt with a true background or even better, pared down to use a few of the colors. Don’t get me wrong, I do like that it’s a little autumnal and I’m happy to keep it for snuggling. The pattern is a gem – highly recommend and I’ll be revisiting it sometime as well.
I used one of the green mushroom prints for the backing and a dark green from the Laundry Basket Solids for the binding. Wild Phil Quilting quilted it with a sunny yellow thread which i really like. One other note, I’m trying to mix in machine binding for practice here and there and this one was a prime candidate. The other night, I set it out by the machine in preparation for early morning coffee and binding. When I got downstairs, the cat had lovingly left a big ole’ hairball right on the quilt. Needless to say, this one has already been through the wash and is nice and crinkly!
Next up, we’ve got a little more than binding to talk about and we’re scaling way down. If you recall, back in March I came across another old WIP that I hadn’t accounted for. It was a needle turn appliqué clamshell panel, which I tried pick up a few times this year and just kept putting it off. Till this week! Happy to report that I finished the appliqué and then since it was such a teeny thing, I went ahead and trimmed it down to mug rug size and got ready to quilt it. I grabbed a stray layer cake square and some bright pink perle cotton size 8 and went for it.
I’ll be honest here, needle turn is pretty challenging for me. I know I need practice and this little bit wasn’t really enough to master it. I love a lot of needle turn appliqué patterns though, so I’m going to have to get around to it more. I used the clamshell tutorial from my favorite fabric shop’s blog, Sunny Day Supply. Once I quilted it, I used some leftover binding and just finished it right up!
It’s so cute! I finished it at 8′ square. I’m so glad that I finally decided to get it done; I started this project in the summer of 2019. It will be my last finish of the year, bringing the full total to 13 projects done.
Now, for the moment that I’ve been waiting so long for. Inspiration struck in 2019 and I cut it out as soon as I got my fabric. Drumroll, please.
Granny’s Garden is all done! Here is the full view:
This is Granny’s Garden by Lori Holt in all Granny Chick fabrics – I used the kit and followed the pattern exactly. The full blog post is here. I sent this behemoth to Wild Phil Quilting for fully custom quilting and she did the most amazing job.
When I started this project, I had never tried appliqué. Talk about jumping in head first! I am so proud of this quilt.
I’ll be back on New Year’s Eve with a final #yearofwips round up. All these projects had a different story, a different journey, and taught me a bit about myself as a maker. One of my favorite parts of crafting is taking those journeys and then having that reminder around as a useful piece of art. Cheers, y’all.
Picture this: It’s early 2008: I am a young mom going to community college, living life with this cutie pie:
I decided to pick up a hobby and naturally looked to quilting. My mom had been a big sewist and quilter when I was a kid so I had a general grasp of the idea at least. I remembered a log cabin quilt we had and decided that would be the project for me. I had some crazy ideas back in those days, like machine sewn or quilted quilts look store bought and it’s got to be sewn by hand to be “authentic.” Let’s all take a moment and chuckle at that one. Anyway, mom tried to talk me down off this ledge but I was not to dissuaded. She helped me pick out some fabrics I went home and washed them and cut a whole bunch of 1.5″ strips. I don’t recall if I was following a pattern but I know mom gave me the skinny on making a log cabin block.
This was before I ever even knew about progress pictures or Instagram or anything like that, so bear with me. I took pictures this year and we can look at those. So I got started. I marked a quarter inch sewing line with pencil, sewed my seam, trimmed, and pressed. I used a simple running stitch.
Again, the strips are 1.5″ so the blocks finish (pretty consistently) at 6.5″.
I dug out this project and decided to assess the best path to victory. I am far less averse to the idea of hand-piecing today but the real detractor here is the color scheme. Tastes change over time and this project just doesn’t reflect my style anymore. With 8 blocks finished it seemed like a great candidate for a mini quilt. I had a couple of ideas for places that a small wall hanging in these colors might work so that seemed like the way to go. I played with a few layout options:
Before settling on a simple 3×3 mini that would finish at about 18.5″ square:
I just needed to finish that one last block and we’d be golden. Once I did that, I hand stitched the whole thing together and voila! a mini quilt top!
I had this baby basted and sitting around for quite a while but this last week of the year is a motivating time so I finished it up over a couple of days.
I love how it came out. I really don’t remember anything about these fabrics – I know there’s at least one Kaffe Fasset and one Amy Butler print, but that’s it. They were all pulled together from yardage at a quilt shop in Boone, NC that isn’t in business anymore.
I hand quilted it in a really simple on point grid with size 8 pearle cotton in a lovely gold that I seem to use for everything. I used a solid fat quarter from stash for the backing. Please excuse the cat hair, Cosi loves everything I make.
I don’t have anything in stash that really felt right for this so I just used a couple of strips that were for the quilt for binding. Since the strips were only 1.5″ I decided to try single fold binding for the first time – I am a fan! It came out so crisp and flat, great for minis or pieces that won’t get a lot of wear.
If there were one thing about quilting that I’d tell past Cortney it would be that finished is better than perfect. Visions and plans don’t always work out and that’s ok. Sometimes you frog the project and sometimes you decide to just call at nine blocks and be done. I am really pleased that I kept this WIP and got this little mini out of it. It’s nice to have a little piece of the first quilt project I ever started to hang on the wall.
The blog and I have a complicated relationship. I love her, she’s a great listener when I feel like rambling and she’s the best at reminiscing. We just don’t hang out as much as we used to. Back when we first got together, we wrote together often and it felt great. Over the years I feel like I’ve lost my direction and wind up just dumping a bunch of FO photos on her every few months. This is something I’d like to focus on in 2023 – reflecting and documenting the process and not just the finished projects. It honestly sounds a bit silly but I really enjoy going back and reading through old posts. This is about as close to journaling as I’ve ever gotten and I want a bit more of it.
As we’re winding down (careening toward, more like) the end of the year, I’ve got a few posts planned to get you, me, and the blog all caught up and wrapped up. If you’ve been here before, dear reader, then you know as well I do that there’s a photo dump or two on the way. Let’s get to it.
First up in sock news, these were born out of frustration over the large number of OG socks that I need to darn. I’ll be doing some mending this winter but in the meantime, these squishy worsted weight socks are a bright and warm treat for my feet. I used Summer Lee’s Thicksgiving Socks pattern and the yarn is Knit Picks Felici Worsted in the Aquarium colorway.
While we were on Thanksgiving holiday, I cast on cuffs for advent socks. I used Stressknits yarn in the My Jam colorway, leftover from socks I knit a while ago, for mine. Mom’s cuffs are leftovers from my Zweig Sweater (scroll down for that one) – it’s the Endless Ocean colorway from Woolberry Fiber Co.
Since then, I started strong but got a bit behind. Mom’s are caught up to yesterday but I’m planning to finish mine over our Christmas holiday trip. I’m really digging the contrast colors with the fun stripes. This is the The Cozy Knitter 2022 24-Stripe Advent Skein. It comes in two 50g skeins and I split those in half to have 4 little balls of ~25g and 24 stripes each so that I can use up every milligram of this yarn.
Ta-da! You guys. This outfit is my dream. I’m so glad I went for it this fall. I saw a post on instagram with this general vibe – floral skirt, colorwork yoked sweater, tights, handknit socks, boots and was just in love. I had the yarn and fabric in stash and I was off to the races.
Sweater: Zweig by Caitlyn Hunter in (main) Endless Ocean colorway by Woolberry Fiber Co. and (contrast) Glacier colorway by Farmhaus Fibers. I wanted a more fitted garment than the oversize look in the original pattern, shocker, I know. My bust measures at 40.5″I knit the size 3 (40″). I also omitted the X pattern, knit the body 2″ shorter than called for, and added sleeve decreases in. Full modification details are over on my project page.
Skirt: Estuary Skirt by Sew Liberated. The fabric is a printed cotton poplin, purchased from Blackbird Fabrics. I cut straight size 16 but cut the back waistband elastic to the size 18 length. I just wanted a softer, easier wear than my first one. I think I prefer the longer elastic but may split the difference in my next one – and there will definitely be a next one. This skirt is amazing.
Other outfit pieces: – Tights – Snag Tights which I highly recommend. Proportionally, most of me is in my legs and butt, and finding good hose and tights has always been a problem. Not only do these fit but they are actually opaque! Miracles – Socks – knit earlier this year, Stressknits yarn in the Sunflower colorway – Boots – I finally took the plunge and went for some real boots. These are the Captain from Thursday Boot Company in Walnut – I’ve had them for about 6 weeks now and just love them.
I finished before we left for Thanksgiving and this was my outfit for the big turkey day – even though it was a little warmer than expected down in North Carolina. This outfit was one of those times, rare for me, where I truly felt like myself. Expect more skirts and sweaters in this space.
It warmed my heart to get to spend some time with our families. 2022 has been a tough year and little things like a walk with my SILs just filled my cup. Plus, check out all that knitwear!
Once I finished those advent sock cuffs, I dove into my Pink Fizz sweater. I cast this one on right after Christmas in 2020 and it’s been mostly languishing since. I got a lot done on our Thanksgiving trip and right and got it to this point – split for the yoke and a few inches up the front panel. I had a lot of quilts to finish this month, plus the advent socks, plus some major personal stuff to focus on. This is on deck once the advent socks and quilts are done.
Speaking of quilt binding, at the beginning of December I had six quilts to bind. I’m now down to only two left! Cosi really bemoans the loss of this fluffy stack on the cutting table.
This beauty will get her own full post but I had to share a sneak peek. Granny’s Garden is done!
Three of the quilts I finished are gifts, so they’ll need to wait for their time in the sun. I’m currently working on finishing my Split Nine Patch quilt from yore.
Finally, and this is what I’m talking about when I’m a little discombobulated, my Exploration Station is done. I finished this shawl on August 28 and I just wove in the ends and blocked it a few weeks ago. Mom and I both cast these on back in June on our vacation. I used Red Stag Fibres Highland Fingering in Great Hall (dark pink) and Castle Suri in Gilded (gold), Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok Light in Quartz Crystal (light pink), and Hedgehog Fibers Kidsilk Lace in Teacup (white/cream). This pattern was honestly one of the most enjoyable knits I can recall. I might just knit another one.
I purchased the Red Stag Fibres and the Blue Sky Fibers yarn at A Likely Yarn in Abingdon, VA. If you are ever that way, they’ve got some fun local finds and the people are just so sweet. If southwest Virginia isn’t in your plans, they have just started an online store. That Hedgehog mohair was some deep stash that I dug out at home.
Happy Wednesday from my corner of the world to yours, friends.
This is my year of WIPs. One part of that has been to focus more on WIPs than on starting new projects and don’t get me wrong, I have done that. Mostly. I’ve completed 11/19 so far and then…
You know I started a few things. A gift, a shawl, some socks… and I’ve finished all those things! The gift is obviously not popping up here and I still need to weave in the ends on the shawl but the socks! I finished the socks!
These are Harriet’s socks, made for my mom’s dear friend Harriet. I used some long-hoarded lolodidit in the colorway “Don’t Stop Believin'” – I hear she likes them. I also finished the pink and yellow pair I was knitting back in the summer, but I didn’t take a picture of them… I’ll pop them on here some time.
Happily we had a lot of fun over the summer. We kind of turned over a new leaf – we went swimming a bunch and went kayaking a lot – it was great. My little brother and his wife came up and we took them out on the lake complete with coffee and cool breezes.
While the sibs were in town, I got out my crochet blanket and had a good think with my SIL. In the above shot, the bottom strip is my old WIP. One challenge with that pattern was that I struggled to get in a good rhythm with it as a newbie crocheter. We looked for a pattern that a bit more simple than that, but still different than my granny stripe blanket. I went with the Easy Eyelet Ripple Blanket by Attic24.
I’ve put a bunch more rows on and am now a good fifth of the way in or so. I’m not rushing on this one but I know I’ve picked a good pattern when it’s tempting to just pick it up and add one more row.
I’m thrilled to share this little beauty – a dear friend had a baby this fall and I sent this along for baby snuggles. This is the Trippy Quilt pattern by Southern Charm Quilts. I had never made a trip around the world quilt and this was a fun way to dip my toes in. I have to tell y’all, Melanie of Southern Charm has an online class for this pattern all about accuracy and I found it so helpful! This is certainly not my first quilt but her tips and tricks are amazing! I highly recommend trying it out to learn about quiltmaking or just to brush up on your skills.
I machine quilted it myself and really love how that came out. And last, but not least at all, I tried big stitch quilting for the first time.
How sweet is that? Once I got going this was a joy. I used a perle cotton #8 and just went for it. I am really looking forward to adding this detail to other projects.
Speaking of binding, I picked up the Granny’s Garden quilt and bound exactly one corner of it and put it back down. If you’ve been around here for any amount of time, you know that binding tends to languish for me even though I like the finishing process. I’ve got a stack of four quilts (with two at the long-armer) to bind before the end of the year – I really don’t want them laying around after that. Send motivation!
One thing I’ve really learned this year is how much I enjoy a leader/ender project. If you’re unfamiliar, some quilters, including yours truly, have a practice to “sew over scraps” at the end of a line of sewing. This helps keep your thread from nesting and tangling when you start the next line. These scraps are often called leaders and enders and since you’re already taking the time to sew a few more inches, it’s a good opportunity to make that a real seam for a real block. I did this for my Split 9 Patch quilt over a few months and now I’ve moved on to using my Betsy 9 Patch pieces in the same way. I went on a tear a couple of weeks ago and cut all the pieces and finished up my in-progress blocks.
Pleased as punch that I went with pink – these are coming out great.
I have discovered a terrifying trend… my socks are really starting to wear out. Mine apparently wear most at the ball of the foot and now I have a big pile of darning. I’m thinking of having a little bit of cozy darning weekend over the holidays or in the new year, but in the meantime I’ve decided to start to cast on some socks. These were the first on that list and are first for me – worsted weight socks! I’m using Knit Picks Felici Worsted in the Aquarium colorway.
So all of that brings us to the current state of affairs. I was very inspired by an outfit post on instagram with a floral skirt and handknit sweater that just spoke to me. Around the same time, my craft friends were all talking about knitting the Zweig sweater and I had been resisting but this combination was too much for me to resist. I went to my stash…
I was so excited by this pull that I immediately swatched and cast on the next day.
Now about a week and a half later we’re really cooking with gas.
Can you stand it? This is the Zweig sweater by Caitlin Hunter. I’m using Woolberry Fiber Co in Deepest Ocean for the main color (dark green) and Farmhaus Fibres in Glacier (light blue). I haven’t picked anything up for a moment since.
Well, there you have it. Not as much #yearofwips progress as I’d have been expecting here in November, but the heart wants what the heart wants. And mine wants a new outfit for Thanksgiving.
Back in 2008, I had wanted to dip my toes into quilting and so I started a hand-pieced quilt (more on that soon). In short order, mom convinced me to give machine piecing a try. I quickly sewed up a Turning Twenty quilt top and was over-excited about my new hobby. (I know, hard to imagine) I went right out and purchased fabric for my next quilt and cut all the fabric
I got discouraged on the Turning Twenty quilt soon after which left me packing all of my quilting supplies up and not touching any of it again for years and years.
Fast forward to 2016 – I happened upon all of my old quilting stuff at mom’s and decided to finish up that old quilt top. You can read its full story here, but we’re here to talk about all those squares. I was just getting back into sewing at that point, so I sewed up a few squares in what I thought the pattern had been.
Now, for some of my first sewing in nearly a decade that’s pretty darned good. I wanted to practice more before I tackled this one and honestly, I was pretty daunted by all those squares. I still think it’s a bit intimidating – I’ve made a nine patch quilt. So I packed it up again.
Now we’re in present day and you may recall that I found this quilt again a few months back. Now seemed like the perfect time to tackle this monster. I’ve got a good number of quilts under my belt and it is the year of wips, after all. The big problem here was that I was reasonably sure that the sample blocks I had made in 2016 weren’t the right pattern.
I do have vague memories of what the pattern book looked like but it seems to be long gone from mine or mom’s possession. So I turned to a bit of math influenced brainstorming. I had conveniently written the quantities of each size square: 560 dark 2.5″ squares, 420 light 2.5″ squares, and 140 each light and dark 2 7/8″ squares. After figuring out that the 2 7/8″ squares would be used for two-at-a-time HSTS, we were on our way.
I brainstormed, I mathed, I looked up countless nine-patch variations until finally, I had it! This is called a split nine patch, though that is also conveniently what the other, wrong sample block is called but that’s quilt patterns for you. With that sorted, I decided to use these squares as leaders and enders for my sewing projects.
I sorted all the squares in a serious effort to have the fabrics well distributed. Whenever I was sewing a quarter inch seam, I sewed two 2.5″ squares together. When I was doing anything else, like snowballing or flying geese, I did the HSTs. I made quite a bit of progress that way.
Last weekend, I decided to to just get cracking and try to get the top finished. The first step was to deconstruct those old blocks so my seam ripper and I had a nice little party. With that done, I really got moving – chain piecing is so satisfying when you have a good audiobook, a hot cup of coffee, and endless seams to sew.
Now, I’m a big fan of nesting seams so I’ve divided everything into two sets of blocks – “in” and “out.” I press all the in-block seams toward the middle and the out-block seams toward the external squares. Since the piecing is all identical, all you have to do is alternate ins and outs and voila! Nested seams. I made 70 in blocks first:
And then I made 70 more…
Finally, I was ready to start laying them out. I think the original pattern I picked out was set in furrows, but I decided to try something with a bit more pizazz.
It took me forever to lay this out! I also got the in’s and out’s confused more times than I’d like to admit. I honestly didn’t worry too much about fabrics being next to one another. The only swaps I made in the layout were to distribute that gold a little bit. I really don’t love assembling quilts, so it took me a few more weeks to get it done, but now it’s a quilt top!
I can’t believe it’s done! I have to say, I don’t think I’d choose these fabrics today, but the finished top is pretty amazing. I’m so proud of myself for getting this one done finally! This is finish 11 of 19 for my year of WIPs (#10 is a gift, so you’ll see it way later) – we’re over halfway there!
All in all, I’m very proud of how well this one came out. One of the biggest things I think I’ve learned over the last 13 years is that, for me, finished is better than perfect. I do my best and in the end my quilts always look good enough to snuggle under.
Well friends, it finally happened. I got COVID. I’m staying tucked away in the house, nice and isolated, which isn’t the worst thing since we’re smack dab in the middle of this east coast heat wave. 99 degrees F outside? No thank you. Thankfully, I’m vaxed and boosted so even though I feel poorly, it’s like a bad cold.
As I sit here on the couch all day, I’ve realized that I’ve hardly posted to the blog at all! You know what that means – less text, more pictures! Cue up your 80s music, it’s montage time!
First off, I finished up my travel socks – these are in Stress Knits Yarn in the Sunflower colorway.
I finished my other travel socks – these are in A Homespun House in the Sugared Sweeties colorway
Last sock finish – Mom’s Mother’s Day socks. I knit these out of some Norah George Yarns in Apple Blossom – pretty deep stash from at least 4 years ago.
Kevin and I went up to Boston for a concert and I cast on another pair of travel socks. This is their current state, but it’s been a bit since I’ve worked on them. The yarn is A Homespun House again – main color is Pastel Paint Princess and the contrast is Marigold.
In early June, I took a little trip with my Mom. I had planned to make us both dresses, but only hers were successful. And really only one of hers was successful. This is the Popover Dress from the book Gertie Sews Jiffy Dresses. I just didn’t love the finished product on me and I made one of mom’s dresses a bit too small. Anyway, the green and purple one turned out great and mom loved it! She’s such a cutie patootie!
We really had a blast. We took walks, had port in the library every evening, and generally enjoyed just having lots of time together. Oh, and we went yarn shopping.
That’s about how far we got on the trip. Once we got home, I became obsessed. I have loved knitting this shawl. I made one yarn substitution, switching out the beige. All my current colorways are listed on my Ravelry project page.
This is the current state of the shawl, about halfway through the third section – so enjoyable.
I tried to balance shawl knitting with hand quilting my Norah Quilt, but it really didn’t last.
Continuing in the world of log cabins, I put together another month’s worth of blocks for my Avonlea quilt.
Next, I took a quick interlude to bind these two beauties, which you can read about here and here.
Looking for another quick finish on the #yearofwips, I finished hand piecing one final block for this ancient (oldest WIP I own) log cabin project. I hand pieced the blocks together and voila!
It’s a mini quit top! It’s currently sitting all basted and ready to go for some hand-quilting, which I just haven’t gotten to. Quick finish, right.
Not feeling like hand quilting, I picked up some this WIP. Needle turn applique is still pretty slow for me and I haven’t gotten any momentum going on this project, either.
Last but not least in this little train of get out the project and promptly put it down – we have Fairytale Forest. I finally decided to trim and assemble all the blocks I had done – a whopping 6 of 25.
They are pretty, though aren’t they? I am looking forward to getting back into this one.
You may be wondering what on earth I’ve been really been doing with all this a little bit here and a little bit there. Well, I have been working on these socks – they’re a secret gift so I can’t spill who they’re for – in some mega deep stash (dare I say 6 or 7 years old?) from lolodidit in the colorway Don’t Stop Believing.
I’ve also been obsessed with this quilt I’m making for mom. She knows I’m making it and has even picked out some of the fabrics, but that’s it so this is about all I can show you. Cosi really likes how the quilt is turning out and he’s helped a lot.
And there you have it folks – months of making in a flurry of pictures. I hope you are having a great weekend and until next time!