Tying up loose ends.

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.

If you follow me on instagram, you might have seen that I’ve been sewing along on the Quilter’s Cottage quilt by Lori Holt. I finished ahead of schedule, but have been waiting and waiting for a sunny day to get good picture that does it justice. Finally!

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?

Happy fall, y’all!


and happy making!

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