Only the beginning.

I’m doing it. I decided to take a huge leap in my making and dive right in to a fully appliquéd quilt. I have long loved the look of appliqué but much like colorwork knitting, I thought it was out of my grasp. Well, it seems I was wrong. At least so far.

I have started the Granny’s Garden quilt, by Lori Holt. It is so gorgeous I cannot stand it. I took some time reading through Lori’s other sewalongs and appliqué tutorials and it seemed like I could do it with some practice, so I decided to dive right in. And let me tell you, the water is deep and the shore is far.

I decided to go ahead and get all the cutting over with in one fell swoop. That turned out to be a monumental task. All in all, the fabric, background, and interfacing took me about 18 hours to cut. I also organized everything into baggies by block. Don’t worry, I’ll be saving the bags for the next inevitable huge project like this!

Apologies for this photo! I think it’s time for a more photogenic bedspread in the guest room. In the 18 hour marathon of prep, I also made about 8 yards of 1/4 inch binding for the stems. I like my little card with them all wound up!

That prep took me a whole weekend. I couldn’t even stand to think about sewing after that, and I’d done a pretty good number on my shoulder. So I took the night off and went for the first block after work the next day. Now, this is a cool appliqué trick. Lori has you sew the interfacing onto the fabric and then turn the pieces. This was my first heart, a little wonky at first.

A few minutes with my handy point turner and, voila! a heart!

After turning the rest of the shapes, I pin basted everything to be sure I liked the arrangement. I followed the pins with a nice little glue-baste to secure everything.

I’ll be honest, it took me a minute to get the hang of the appliqué technique. While it’s certainly nowhere near perfect, I think my stitching is starting to look pretty good.

I like the way stitching looks on the back of the piece, all the colorful outlines.

And that’s a finished block one! I think it turned out pretty well, though there’s a bit of wrinkling going on. At any rate, it’s super cute. I think I’ll try and prep more than one block at a time, since the hand sewing is the fun part.

I am way behind on the actual sewalong, she’s doing four blocks a week. With my skill level, free time, and multiple other projects that was just never going to happen. Kevin’s comment was that this quilt will take me forever. I think that’s mostly fair. I would love to complete it in year! My goal right now is to finish one block per week. At 42 blocks plus the appliquéd borders, that should be about right.

It’s really fun to learn a new skill like this. It’s challenging and takes a while and can be frustrating, but I’m hoping this quilt will really give me some good practice. After 42 blocks, I should be an old pro!


Happy making!

Whatever I feel like.

What happened to August? It felt like a whirlwind and here we are, a whole week into September. The kids are back in school and I’m back to cooking in a way that makes me feel good. Something has switched with me this week and I’ve felt motivated to make. Let’s catch up.

I finally finished my Christmas socks! The yarn is Lattes and Lllamas BFL sock in Ugly Christmas Sweater. That’s one off the #wipwipeout list.

I decided to try needle turn applique on soem clambshells. I’m using the tutorial from over on the Sunny Day Supply blog. I still need practice, but they’re super cute.

I finihsed a quilt top! I cut it out and sewed up the rows over my birthday weekend and then finished sewing the rows together a couple of weeks later. I really liek this quilt top, the pattern is great. It’s Arthmetic by Jeni Baker, I did the 4″ square version.

Pretty much as soon as the Arthmetic top was done, I started sewing up some rainbow strips for a bargello quilt. It’s still in the sewing strips together phase at this point.

I did wind up casting on another pair of socks, but these are a gift so I won’t say much.

I’ve been spending a fair bit of time in the sewing room and the stash shelves were starting to look pretty rough. That’s the before…

And this is the after! It’s pretty nice, if you ask me.

As I mentioned, the kids started back to school this week. This was at 6:30 right before Joshua walked off to his first day of high school. Astra was up early for breakfast with us, but her first day of fifth grade was hours away at this point.

Something made me want to pick up my No Frills and knit a row or two and now I’ve been obsessed. I’ve only got a couple of inchs to go till the ribbing now!

And last, but certainly not least, I have started an Everest of a project. This is the first block of my Granny’s Garden quilt, a fully appliqued monster of a quilt. I’m excited but this is definitley a long term project. I’ll have to ellaborate in another post, but let’s just say it took me about 18 hours to cut the thing out. Yeah.

Well, there you go. Not very much making for six-ish weeks but I’m trying to have peace with that. I do what I feel like doing and that’s ok. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I don’t have some quota to meet every year.

Making feels a bit all over the place at the moment, but I’ve really been just picking up whatever feels fun at the moment. At any rate, I’ve got some enjoyable projects going on right now, and I’m digging it.


Happy making!

Off the list, one way or another.

Do you ever notice how life just seems to get slowly, inexorably busier all the time? At least that’s how it seems. Somehow, I am making progress on projects. I have crossed some more things off my list–four!–all in the last few days. Last week, I wanted to finish my 4-patch heart mini quilt and get my No Frills Sweater past the split for the sleeves. I knew that I was headed on a work trip and that the sweater would provide all of the endless, mindless knitting I would need.

First, I started quilting the mini quilt. I decided to try something new, and not do all over quilting. It was really all going well until I thought I would try a bit of free motion quilting around the hearts. Hard nope. It took me about 2 hours to pick it all out, but I finally did. I wound up going with a very nice grid instead.

On Sunday last, I finally gave up the dream of finishing the mini and got back to the sweater. The rows had gotten long and felt like they took forever so I tried to just plow through. I finally got to the split on Sunday night. I wound up more yarn to take with me on the trip and… decided not to take the sweater. It was just too much bulk with the extra yarn. I had to carry on my luggage–which I hate–and it seemed like I should just take something else.

Enter the Divi Divi Shawlette. This is one on the list that I have been hemming and hawing about. I thought this would give me a chance to really put a dent in it and try to just get it off the needles, even though I wasn’t sure that I even wanted to knit it. I don’t think I did really want to knit it, I was trying to slog through, but it was a struggle.

And then, about 2 minutes after this picture, the lady in front of me dropped something behind her and proceeded to swat around and spill this cup of coffee all over me and the shawl. Decision made. The yarn got soaked pretty good with coffee and we were early in the day of travel, so it dried on. I will try to save the yarn but I’m done with the shawl. Cross it off the list, it’s out of my mental space now. Thank goodness that wasn’t my sweater! I’d probably have cried.

With the rest of my plane trip there and back again, I worked on socks. I’ve not had much sock mojo, as we know, but it was good to just kick back with a good book and put some rows down on a vanilla sock. I finished that first sock and pulled out my rose city rollers. I knit and knit on them and… ran out of yarn.

On the plane, I cast on the second sock for the other pair. When I got home that night, I pulled out a mini and knit the last threeish rows in pink and finished up my shortie socks.

These are Rose City Rollers, a free pattern by Mara Catherine Bryner. I used the last of some Tempting Ewe Yarns in the colorway Saftayy. The mini is from Miss Babs, in the color Hot Shot. I didn’t bring scissors or neeedles on the flight, so I also kitchenered the toe of the holiday socks once I was home.

Once the socks were in order, I went straight back to binding that mini quilt and managed to finish it up. This is the 4-Patch Hearts Mini Quilt by Jedi Craft Girl . I used the same fabric as the pattern, but I had a charm pack instead of a jelly roll. It worked out, although I didn’t have as much red in my quilt.

I love it so much! I am pretty proud of this one. It’s been tucked away in a box for about a year and half because the first block I made came out super wonky. Now my blocks and points are much better. I used some yardage of the same fabric line for the backing. I just can’t get enough of this print.

I also really went out of my comfort zone for the quilting. I really like the effect. I even washed this one to make the quilting stand out. I usually don’t wash minis, but this one was just begging to crinkle up!

Once on the binding train, I couldn’t really get off. I pulled out my bunny mini dresden and finally got it all bound and finished off. This was my first try at binding a circle. It’s a wee bit poofy but overall pretty good. I think it is adorable.

I had made the whole thing strawberry themed, inspired by how much the bunny loves his strawberry. I think this one will be a mug rug for my desk at work. I just love seeing this bunny hanging out. The back is a pretty little strawberry print.

I think that’s it for now. I’m working on my sweater and contemplating a few new sewing projects. I’m down to 8 WIPs and I have been feeling pretty diligent so I’m ready for a bit of freshness.


One other thing, in completely un-crafty news, I saw the pacific ocean! I worked a lot on this trip, but did manage to walk out to the water a couple of times. I’m a mountain girl at heart, but the ocean is just so peaceful.


Happy making!

Sewjo.

I really feel like assessing all of my works in progress has energized me. We are only a few weeks into my #wipwipeout and I’ve completed 6/19 projects. Pretty darned good.

I will freely admit that I have tackled many of the easiest and/or quickest to finish. The two quilts that needed binding, a mini quilt. The shawl was a fairly big undertaking as it wasn’t even to the halfway mark when I picked it back up. Anyway, I’ve still been picking up partially completed projects and knocking them off the list, and that feels good.

I finally dyed that Mathilde top that’s been sitting around for nearly a year. I was hoping for a blue I liked, and that isn’t really what I got.

This blue just isn’t me. It’s either not dark enough or not light enough and the hue just isn’t something I usually go for. As if that wasn’t enough, the dye did some wierd things, mostly due to user error I think.

Oh well, chalk it up to a learning experience and mark it off the list. Next up, I cast on a new sweater. I hope I can get my sweater mojo back with something oversized. That way if the fit is off by a couple of inches, it won’t be so noticeable.

This is my No Frills Sweater by Petite Knit. It’s knit with one strand of fingering weight yarn and one strand of mohair silk held double and the floof is just to die for. This part before separating sleeves is a bit of a slog but the speckles and texture are keeping me going.

I am currently on day 2 of a 4 day weekend. Yesterday was the 4th of July and thanks to a whole lot of rain, we didn’t really do anything. Which meant that I did lots of things.

First up, I made this lovely bag for my friend Hannah. She’s my bestest knitting buddy and when she texted me to ask if I would sew up this bag if she sent me the kit, I couldn’t resist. This is the Take Along Tote by Never Not Knitting–the kit is from them, as well.

The pattern is well written and clear. I didn’t find anything confusing and the whole project came together in less than 4 hours. That’s pretty good for me on a first time bag. There’s a lot of interfacing (every fabric piece) so cutting and ironing takes up quite a bit of that time. I will definitely be making one of these for myself. This is the large size and the bag part is about a foot tall. It would easily hold a large sweater project.

Once my sewjo was rolling yesterday, I couldn’t be stopped. I pulled out my 4-patch hearts mini quilt and thought I’d just see if my blocks would turn out bettern now. The first one was a vast improvement over the old wonky block. Take a look: the old block is on top and the new one is on the bottom.

Still not perfect, but much better. I think know my cutting and piecing of the half-square triangles was not exactly up to snuff. But I am really trying to take to heart that finished is better than perfect. It’s really all practice, in the end. And I was certainly not wanting to scrap all this fabric! I forged ahead and managed to compete the top last night.

I just love it. I don’t knwo what I’m going to do for quilting, but I think I’ll go for it this weekend. After all of that time at the machine, I was ready for a bit of curling up on the counch with some hand sewing. Enter Quilted Notions Pouch.

This little guy has been sitting waiting for binding and a zipper for about eighteen months. I finally finished him off this morning. This pattern is by Retro Mama and this one is the larger size. It’s still only about 5″ tall, so large is kind of an exaggeration. I used a fat quarter of this pretty cloud print and couldn’t throq out the quote on the selvege. It took some doing to squeeze it on and not obscure the clouds but I’m glad I used it.

I added this cute pink and yellow zipper that’s been hanging out in a drawer for forever and I think it takes the whimsy up a step. And I just love that giant pull ring.

This pouch requires a lot of hand finishing. The zipper is all hand sewn and you have to finish the sides and inside all by hand. It’s very worth it in the end, though. It comes out very nice and neat. I will make more, but probably not until I forget a little about how much work they take.

That angry cloud! I love that one. So far my long weekend has been quite productive. I love finishing up these projects but my head is really starting to buzz with all the ideas I’m getting. I’m feeling the quilting bug coming on strong. We’ll just have to see how long I can hold out. I’ve got 13 more WIPs left!


Happy making!

Yarn chicken.

Yarn chicken is not a game I play often. I had a rousing match with a skein of yarn recently — and lost. I didn’t realize we were even playing until I was almost out of wool.

The project that served for the playing field was my Lumen. I recently was quite inspired to pick it up again and moved fairly quickly. One evening, I became quite excited that I was on the last lace repeat before the border. For some reason, wool knows, I decided to weigh my yarn.

I had worked out how much of the shawl I had left to knit–thanks to this handy, dandy triangle shawl calculater–and discovered that having 30% of the shawl left, not including bind off, and 28% of the yarn left was just probably not going to work. Anything could happen, but I was spooked. I just knew I’d run out on the bind off or some madness.

So, I did what any knitter might do, I pulled the needles out and ripped back the last lace repeat. I figured that I could omit the last repeat and just go straight to the border. But the shawl looked teeny and I do not want a teeny triangle shawl. I put it away and decided to do a bit of sewing.

I thought about the shawl though, not wishing to have another stalled and failed project. I decided to go through my yarn stash and see if anything matched or would coordinate. No luck. I went online to see if I could purchase another skein of the yarn. No luck. And then, I happend to see my color cards. I went through all of them before landing on the Quince and Co. wool line.

Shell looked pretty darn good. Not perfect, but pretty close. I ordered a skein and went back to knitting Lumen. When the yarn arrived, it seemed about as close as I was going to get to a dupe.

And so, I knit Lumen until I had one gram of yarn left and then added in the Quince. I wound up using 10 grams of the Quince, so I certainly needed something it. It is, of course, not a perfect match, but I’m at a “finished is better than perfect point” with my knitting these days.

It’s all finished now, and really quite lovely. I wanted a soft pinky mauve triangle shawl and I got exactly that. Just for a recap, this is Lumen by Sivia Harding for Brooklyn Tweed. The yarn is Jill Draper Makes Stuff Mohonk Light in Powder Puff, finished off with Quince and Co. Finch in Shell. My only modification was to use Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off instead of the recommended method. Turns out when a Brooklyn Tweed pattern says something is tedious, they aren’t messing around.

I do like it very much. I think it will be a lovely addition to my cool weather wardrobe. I am also very glad that I didn’t give in to the yarn chicken loss and rip the whole thing back. I suppose that while I lost the match, I won the game in the end.


Happy making!

The end of the line.

Welp, I’ve done it. We’ve finally come to the end of my storage space on the blog. Two and a half years of craft blogging really does a number on the old photo uploads. While I figure out what I’m going to do, let’s talk quilts.

I came to a bit of a frustration point with Lumen, so I decided to step back into the sewing room. I pulled out those sewing WIPs and that kitten dresden was calling my name. I finally bit the bullet and just quilted the thing. I finished the binding the same day and lo’ and behold, a mini quilt:

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It’s so precious! I did pretty simple quilting and I think it turned out very nice. It measures about 8″ x 8″ so it’s a generous mug rug size, but it’s just hanging on my wall for the moment.

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After that, I was in a bit of a binding mood, so I went ahead and tackled my last full size quilt WIP. It took me a couple of nights to get the hand stitching done, but now it’s finished and it’s my favorite by far.

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This is Layer Cake Pop – another free shortcut quilt pattern from Fat Quarter Shop. I used a 1930’s reproduction style layer cake from Lecien. I love the old fashioned looking prints in bright, fresh colors. I quilted it on a long arm at a local quilt shop.

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That’s two sewing projects off the list! It’s back to the drawing board on this blog thing, we’ll see where we come out. I’ll just be over here plugging away (hopefully) on Lumen.


Happy making!

We were on a break.

I am definitely not batting 1000 over here. Sweaters are just not doing me any favors these days. I spent most of last week knitting on the body of my Damejakka Lopa. I knit a solid five inches more and decided to try it on.

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Womp womp. Too big, again! I know what happened this time: I made two mistakes. First, I swatched the colorwork and got gauge. I did not swatch the body, with it’s significatly lower colorwork ratio. Turns out my gauge is a smidge tighter on the dense colorwork. That makes a difference.

My second problem was in my size selection and subsequent decision to not incorporate any decreases. I chose a size with about 3 inches of positive ease in the bust. I think that’s probably too much but it’s definitely compounded by not including any waist shaping. Lesson learned, hopefully.

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Ugh, it’s so pretty. I’m working on figuring what to do, more on that later. In the aftermath of realizing this sweater is just too big, I sat down and just flat out finished up that Jelly Roll Twist quilt.

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PS. isn’t it just so green outside? Anyway, I only had half of the binding left to sew down and this lovely little quilt was complete. This is Jelly Roll Twist, a free shortcut quilt pattern by Fat Quarter Shop. The fabric is the Eden line by Tula Pink and I quilted it on a long-arm at my local quilt shop. That’s my first finish off of my to-do list!

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In thinking about what to tackle next, I was drawn to knitting something where the size would not be an issue. I wound up picking up my Lumen Shawl. I am over the halfway mark and really love this texture of the lace and garter stitches.

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I am really enjoying knitting this shawl at the moment. I know I put it down because I got obsessed with sweaters, but I don’t feel we’re in danger of that at the moment. Sweaters and I need to take a break so that neither of us says something we don’t mean.


Happy making!