Happy spring! I am writing from my hotel room in New York City, I’ve got some downtime during my work trip and thought I’d better write before I finish all my trip knitting in one go.
You may recall that I cast on a new pair of socks for my trip to Charlotte back in February. I’ve kept them solidly to travel knitting since, but they are coming along. I just adore that color – Sunflower by Stress Knits Yarn.
After I finished my Habitation Throw, I had a craving for more knitting. I decided to just pick out something happy and speckly and here we are. This is Sugared Sweeties by A Homespun House. I powered through that first sock before I decided it was time to pick back up on one of my year of wips projects. Since the last two were pretty easy wins, it felt like the right time to go back to a project that’s a bit bigger and more challenging.
That’s right, I’m back to hand quilting. I’ve finally started to get my rhythm going with hand quilting on this full size quilt. It’s been a real struggle in the past, I’ve tried a bunch of different techniques and none have really felt right. It is definitely not perfect, not even particularly neat, but it’s coming along and that’s what counts in my book. I do want to try to get the stitches a bit smaller but no bother. I’ve got a fair chunk done now!
Isn’t it great? Speaking of quilting, I have a sneak peek for you! Just before I left for this trip, I got my Granny’s Garden quilt back from the long armer – it’s so amazing!
That’s pretty much it for today. I’ve made a good bit of sock progress since I took those pictures last weekend so how about one more update before we go?
Hi friends, it’s been a while. February felt like a bit of a blur – I always feel like I’m going to hunker down and get a lot done in February, but it doesn’t always pan out. This year, I’ve been making slow and steady progress on lots of things (most of them WIPs). Once I finished the Granny’s Garden quilt – it felt like a whole new world had opened up! First off, I didn’t have much to go so I just powered through the socks I had on the needles.
They turned out pretty cute! These socks are plain old vanilla, my regular go to. The yarn is Opal in the Juniper Height (9851) colorway. They’re cute and comfy. I cast these on back in October so it’s nice to have them finished. They are WIP 5/20 for my year of wips.
I finished those right before I took a quick flight down to NC to go to a concert with my brother and sister-in-law. I was only there for about 22 hours, but I knew the flights would need a sock. I wasn’t really ready to take a blanket or cross stitch, so I just hadto pick out yarn for a new sock cast on.
I picked Stress Knits yarn in the Sunflower colorway because the yarn was wound up (can’t remember why) and I thought socks in this color will just be amazing. I spent that day with the sibs in Charlotte where we wound up checking out the NASCAR museum first…
and then hit the concert at the end of the day…
I had such a good time just escaping for a day to hang out with these two. I was up the next morning at 5 to catch the plane home, so I didn’t knit quite so much as usual. This sock is tucked back away waiting for next weekend – my first work trip in two years!
After all of this, I was tooling around my sewing room, putting away some scraps when I suddenly came across a plastic baggie labled, you guesed it, “projects.” Luckily there was just one in there, but still…
This isn’t too bad, just a wee clamshell panel. I fancy I’ll do a bit better on it now that I’ve got so much more applique experience under my belt, but needle turn is still a bit of magic to me. I started this project back in 2019 and this makes 21 total projects on the list. I really really think that’s it.
With this project added, I saw I have 10 hand projects (hand-sewing, knitting, and crochet) on the list and 10 months left. Not too bad, just need to finish one a month and I’ll be golden. I decided to pull out a cross stitch project for March.
And this is my progress to date. I’ve added the sheep, barn, and grass so far. It’s slower going than I expected, but that’s the way it goes. This is a pattern from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. I started this back in 2017 – I spent a solid 6 or 7 months enamoured with cross stitch and then never picked it up again. I’m not in love with the process, but I’m finding my rhythm.
At the sewing machine, I’ve been working on catching up with my Avonlea quilt. I’ve completed January and am working on February now. These four blocks are the very center of the quilt. I just love how log cabin blocks come together.
And then… I saw some quilters on instagram talking about pulling out their Betsy stashes and so I just had to pull mine…
It’s so pretty. Y’all know I have a love affair with the Betsy pattern by Liberty. Last year, I made a Betsy mini quilt last year and so when Bec of Sew.Be put out the idea of a Betsy nine patch quilt, I just haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. Going through my stash, I pulled out a few solid pink fabrics that I thought might work for the background.
After a lot of hemming and hawing, I went with the middle color here. The sewalong aims to make four blocks a week. I’m starting with two blocks from each fabric and the results are pretty snazzy.
Well that’s it for now. How long do you think it will be before I discover another latent WIP? Start another project? Inspiration seems to be everywhere, year in and year out, so I’m not mad.
Is this my Everest? Perhaps. It feels like I’ve slayed the beast.
Cosi feels the same way, we’ve been revelling in our victory. My Granny’s Garden quilt top is finished.
Can you believe it? Two and a half years in the making, a solid 60 hours of prep, and probably around 150 hours of hand sewing – this was a lot of work but the so very worth it. I just love it.
This was an insta-love pattern for me. The pattern and all the fabrics are by Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet. This is called Granny’s Garden and I used the full quilt kit with all fabrics from Lori’s Granny Chic line. I hand appliqued all the flowers and the scalloped border. I used Lori’s suggested interfaced applique technique – you can read all her advice on her blog. I had never never never appliqued a thing when I started this project. I learned a lot and this method really did work well. My one gripe is that prep took a long long time – but sometimes that’s just the way.
The execution took some time, but once I buckled down and focused primarily on prepping in the mornings before work and appliquing in the evenings after supper it just started to flow. It took the better part of six weeks once I got rolling again this year. It’s finish 4/20 for my year of WIPs and what a finish it is! I’m shipping it off for quilting this week. I had toyed around with thoughts of machine or hand quilting it myself, but y’all – this sucker is heavy.
Greetings! January was a bit of a blur with some big work stuff, so I’m rather pleased to see February come around. I’ve been working hard at work and appliqué, I’m rather pleased to share.
One thing that really held me back on my progress with this quilt has been prepping the blocks. It actually takes quite a lot get all the pieces ready and basted for appliqué. I’ve started committing my early mornings to this prep work each day. I get up with the kids, but they are pretty much self sufficient at this point so I really just make coffee for myself and give hugs as they leave. Since they’re up so early, I have a good hour each morning to myself, which has just been amazing.
Bit by bit, I’m making progress. I just love this little teeny flower. Up this close, you can tell that there is nothing perfect about my work here. But I’m letting it be and taking my flowers as they come. Let me tell you, though – the overall affect is pretty spectacular! I started sewing up the rows as I planned to, and now that we’re over half way there, I’m more motivated than ever.
Ugh, it’s so good! I’m up to block 34 now I think – there’s another row to sew on and then I’ve only got 9 more blocks. And then the border… but I’ll think about that another day. As work really ramped up towards the end of January, I fell off with appliqué just a bit and focused on another project instead.
These socks had been my “hands too tired for sewing but not for knitting” project for a while, so I finally buckled down and finished them. These are my scrappy advent socks from the holidays, all made from the Stress Knits 2021 advent calendar. I knit 5 rows from each mini, and slipped every 4th stitch in an alternating pattern on the first row of each color. I wish I hadn’t done the slipped stitch pattern, it’s so subtle it almost makes the stripes look a bit messy. I finished off with the 25th day skein for the last bit of the foot and the toe. They are sweet and scrappy, and super squishy.
That’s WIP 3 of 18 done! I think that’s pretty good for the first month of the #yearofwips, but I have some confessions to make. The first is a planned project start – this year’s block of the month from DuckaDilly.
Can’t you just?! It’s another log cabin quilt and I’ve just started but my goodness. It’s a beautiful pattern called Avonlea, and you guessed it – all in Liberty. This doesn’t go on the WIP list, but I do want to keep up with it this year.
Now for the real confession – I found another WIP. I had kind of forgotten about them, but starting the Avonlea quilt reminded me of an old log cabin project I had buried in my mind and in the move, apparently. I did some digging, had a bit of a panic when I couldn’t find it, and dug some more before…
I found it. We can talk about the full story when I start working on this, but let’s just say there are 8 completed HAND PIECED log cabin blocks there and a million 1.5 inch strips. Let that sink in and we’ll get to the real kicker. When I found this project in ziploc bags under a bunch of batting scraps in a box in the back of the closet, there were other ziploc bags underneath…
Yeah. That’s another quilt, cut out and waiting. There are approximately 1000 squares. The practice blocks aren’t actually the right pattern, but more on that when we get there. Let me repeat – 1000 squares.
If you’re keeping track – that’s an additional 2 more WIPs that we didn’t account for. These both date back more than a decade, so they definitely count towards the #yearofwips. 3 of 20 is still pretty good, right?
In all of this hubbub, my sister-in-law had a birthday so I made her a thing.
This is the Take Along Tote by Sometimes Sewing made up in some gorgeous Rifle Paper Co. canvas. This is the fourth one I’ve made and they just get easier. Sewing these up is a snap and I can say that I jut love mine – the finished product is a great piece. I used a soft pinky cream print, also from Rifle Paper Co., for the lining and some oatmeal cotton webbing for the handles.
After making up that bag, I gave myself permission to start new projects. One major criteria for new ideas making the cut in the #yearofwips will be gifts. I’m not planning to start anything new in a category I already have going – I’m looking at you, pink socks – but gifts are an exception.
With that, Cosi and I hd a wee fabric pull for a new quilt for mom. He loves our choices very much. You won’t see much on this one for a long while, of course, but it will be quietly in the background.
Well, that’s it. I’ve made a whole lot of progress and piled a bit more on my plate. I don’t imagine that anyone is surprised. I’m enjoying everything that I’m giving time to, and that’s the most important thing.
I don’t want to speak too soon, but my year of WIPs has certainly lit a fire around here. The first ten days have been great! I know from experience that my mojo ebbs and flows throughout the year, so I definitely take advantage of it when it’s running high.
I knew out of the gate that Kevin’s hat would be the first item on the docket. He had waited so patiently while I knit advent socks that he deserved his hat finished next. I love how it turned out.
This is Kennecott by Caitlin Hunter. I’ve had this pattern for ages, it was great to get to try it out. It’s actually a very intuitive cable pattern and easy to do. I knit it without a cable needle as usual. The yarn makes me this pattern just soar. I used Sweet Sparrow yarns – bottom is the Chickadee base, suri alpaca and silk, in the On Softest Wings colorway; top is the Phoebe base, tweed DK, in the Blanketry colorway. I held them together to create the most luxurious texture and lovely soft grey-blue color. Kevin reports it as wonderful.
Next up, I finished off my shawl. The pattern is by Susan B Anderson, the Yowza Weigh It Shawl 3. Fun pattern to knit, tons of garter until you get to the boarder and then that’s even quick and meditative. I used Miss Babs Yowza, as called for in the pattern, in the colorway, Sugar Sugar. All in all, it’s soft, simple, and cozy. Just what I’ve needed on the last few cold nights.
After finishing two quick projects I was sorely tempted to plow right on ahead and keep finishing fast. Thinking about that though, I imagined being frustrated by the summer with only long or barely started projects to work on. So I am, in my own way, eating the frog first. I dug out my Granny’s Garden quilt.
One of my side goals this year is to talk more about projects in progress, so lucky you – let’s dive in. A brief history of the progress, starts and stops so far:
August 2021 – 14 blocks total, getting cozy with applique. I finished two more, one of my faves:
The project then basically snoozed until this week. I had the goal last year to finish the quilt, but we know how that went. I pulled out some blocks and made the shapes but then that was it. Found out we were moving or something, you know? And so this week, I pulled out those shapes and basted them and stitched them and voila! More blocks!
My goal is to finish 3 blocks per week because that amounts to finishing a row every other week. I like to build quilts as I go, when possible. I think that will be helpful to have the main part of the top complete when I start on the border. Because of course, it’s more applique.
I’ve really enjoyed stitching lately, I like hand sewing a lot. It does make my hands more tired than knitting, so I’ve been taking breaks and switching to knitting when I need to. The hard part of this project for me is making the shapes. It’s a great method for getting a really nice finished piece, but boy does it take some time. Cosi helped me yesterday morning before work. He’s very supportive.
Well, that’s where we stand. I don’t know that I really have the right mix of projects to balance them throughout the year like this, but I like this so far. I do have a block of the month to catch up on, but I’m doing my best to stay firmly on the applique train.
In typical style, I’ve been brainstorming lately about what my new year should be. My 2021 year of minis got a bit derailed by moving and all and I still have those big projects I wanted to finish. I was chatting with my SILs about it the other day and we went down to take a tour of the craft room and some of my WIPs. I wound up having a bit of a moon over all the bits and pieces laying around so yesterday afternoon, I made a list.
That, friends, is the current list of all my works in progress, plus my upcoming block of the month or club projects. Take a deep breath with me. Some things are very close to finished – quilt binding or a hat, for example. Some, not so much – I’m looking at you, applique. Let’s take a look at the list in another way…
Wowzers. Thats a big pile. That is a total of 18 current projects: 6 quilts, 1 crochet blanket, 7 knitting projects, and 4 cross stitches. Oh that’s right, I said cross stitch. My oldest unfinished project dates back to pre-blog times in 2015.
I think I’ll pull out the old project pictures and their history as I get to each project, but I couldn’t help myself from sharing this throw back. That’s my sweet old Twiggy, she was such a good kitty.
Perhaps you’ve guessed by now, but my 2022 goal is to turn that big ole pile of WIPs into a pile of FOs. Let’s take a quick look at what that would look like: Quilts: The finished tops I want to turn into quilts, bound and finished. The quilt tops that are still in progress, I just want to finish the top and have it ready to go out for long-arm quilting. Knitting/Crochet: Finished, ends woven in, blocked as needed and done. Cross Stitch: Completed and ready for framing.
A wee stretch goal would be to finish the year with only projects that need outside help for finishing (quilting or framing), which means keeping up with the two club / block-of-the-months projects I have planned. Since this is a tall, tall order I’m trying to not start anything new for quite a while (except socks, of course). I’m really excited.
Well here we go friends, my Year of WIPs starts today. I’ve got a lasagna in the oven and some cozy knitting just waiting. The supervisor even told me that he’s ready to get to work in the sewing room.
I finished the last bit of binding last night and just couldn’t wait to get some photos. As always daylight savings makes it tough, but Joshua and I managed to sneak some pictures in the fading afternoon light.
This beautiful log cabin quilt is made up in all Liberty of London tana lawn and was a block of the month club from Duckadilly. I have to tell you, this club was the bees knees! So easy to sew, so easy to follow. I’d estimate that there are over 100 different fabrics in the quilt top – this was incredibly fun to sew up. I made the 6 month rainbow version, it’s 36 blocks and came out 57″ square.
I fussy cut all the center squares – they feature cute elephants, owls, bears, and even cats with sunglasses and pearls on.
The beautiful quilting was done by Tera of The Quilting Smith – we went with a lovely fancy feather pattern. I couldn’t help but go wild for the backing – that’s Liberty Adelajda A, one of my favorites. The binding was a long debate, with many audtions. I would up thinking a sweet teal/blue floral wouldn’t compete too much with the front and would tie in to the aqua stars on the back. I used Liberty Amelie Blue A and I think it’s pretty swell.
Those stars y’all – those stars.
I’ve always loved log cabin quilts and rainbow log cabins is just a match made in heaven. This one a couple of firsts – first full Liberty quilt AND first log cabin finish (I started 2 log cabin quilts a million years ago, we should talk about that sometime)!!
I wound up sewing this one up in short order before we found out we were moving. Along the way, my sweet boy lost his battle with cancer. When I sent the quilt off to be quilted, I titled it Joseph’s Quilt, and that’s how I think of it now.
Tera of The Quilting Smith did the long arm quilting on this one and we went an all over hearts pattern – I just couldn’t help it with the sweet and snuggly kitty vibes of this one.
Because I’m nothing if not a stickler for sticking to a theme – I had this wide back cat fabric in stash so it seemed perfect. (2 images above courtesy of Tera)
I finished the binding today – this wide stripe is just everything! It turned out so well. I used a handmade, pre-made binding from Lynny Lou Fabric – let me tell you, pre-made binding is the ultimate luxury! I’m starting to keep a few in basic strips and others on hand, it’s just so nice to be ready to go!
And here it is all done! The bundle was curated by Holly of Maker Valley and the pattern is Fat Quarter Pile Up by Knot + Thread Designs. This is my fourth one of these and I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again – this is the easiest, most satisfying quick pattern I know. The lap size only takes 12 fat quarters and comes out to a generous 57″ x 70″ – perfect! I’m still not completely pleased with my ability to distribute lights and darks well – but who cares? It is done and it’s all cats (except for one panel of mice, I thought it was cute to sneak that in) so it’s amazing in my book.
Joseph was a big quilt conesiour – he helped Cosi oversee the creation but was the lead certifier of the finished product.
I miss my buddy, but Cosi and I have many plans to snuggle under his quilt in his honor.
Thanks for taking a trip down memory lane with me. Looking forward, this is the first quilt finish in the new craft room! I can’t wait to finish up the rest of the stack…
Well, we are really in the throes of moving now! Pretty much everything is packed or close to packed except for the kitchen and bedrooms. We’re officially two weeks away from moving but we want to finish packing early so we have time to paint and do other fun stuff at the new place. With all of that, my crafting has slowly been grinding to a halt.
I finished my Dust of Snow wrap a few weeks ago. I quickly realized that not only are the blocking mats packed, there isn’t really a place to lay this bohemoth out unless it’s in a walk way. I’m packing it up to get blocked at some point. It is awfully pretty though, huh?
I managed to make up a whole stack of blocks for a pretty little jelly roll quilt and then quickly realized there is no where free of boxes to lay out the quilt. So, this one has gone into the WIP box as well. I’ll write more about it when I get it back out, but I used 2 jelly rolls and this tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew- it’s dead easy.
With all of this, it’s no surprise that I’ve turned to the old portable standby of knitters everywhere… the sock.
I finished up my Nightwish Socks! I cast these on for a virtual concert and then knit them over a few weeks while Kevin and I watched Nightwish documentaries and past concerts. If you haven’t heard of Nightwish go check them out if you’re in the mood for a bit of symphonic metal. Anyway, the yarn is from A Homespun House, this is a sock set that I believe was dyed by Molly’s sister Amy a couple of years ago; the colorway is Fat Bottom Girls.
I’m in a real mood friends – with concerts coming back to our lives, I’m just getting too excited. I’m going to see my favorite band, Eagles, in September, so I pulled out this skein of Tequila Sunrise for my next pair of socks. The yarn is by The Cozy Knitter and I adore how it’s knitting up and I love the coordinating mini for the heel. If you’re still in the mood for some music, I’d recommend this version of the song to go along with the sock.
I’ve still got this pretty little stack out to deal with. This is four quilt tops and their backs to prep and send off for long arm quilting. My hope is that they will get back to me around the time we’re settling in a bit so I can do some relaxing hand stitched binding.
Other than those quilt backs to sew up, this is a view of all my making for the next several weeks. I’m actually hoping to stop by the blog with some more household related craftiness in August – Kevin and I are going to learn how to finish furniture! I hope you are all having a lovely summer and as always, happy making.
Ok, I’m just going to come out and say it – we found a house! We closed this week and move in early August.
I finished these socks right after we found out our offer was accepted and I’ve been holding on to them for good luck ever since. I’m so pleased with that contrast toe color, that’s a bit of leftover Sunflower by Stress Knits that I had from my Waiting for Henry Socks. The main yarn is Mermaid of the Black Lagoon from A Homespun House.
With all that’s been going on with house hunting, I’ve still managed to spend quite a bit of time crafting over the last couple of months. Back when I was finishing up a bunch of quilt tops in a row, I decided to pull out an old WIP and do something about it.
I started this project way back in the summer of 2019 with the plan to make a rainbow bargello quilt. I lost interest pretty quickly and just never felt like picking up the project again. Well, I was ready for this to be off the WIP cart one way or another so I just decided to finish sewing the strips up and sew them together. I used 2 Kona Cotton jelly rolls in the Bright Rainbow colorway. It turned out pretty huge so I’m excited to get it quilted up!
My next finish was an Ogden Cami in the midst of frustration over my Hinterland Dress project. Once I took a few deep breaths, I went back to the dress dand finished it up.
Real life here – I just realized there’s a cicada on my dress in this picture! Can you spot it? Anyway, this is the Hinterland Dress from Sew Liberated in the same fussy and finicky cotton/rayon blend from Joann’s that I made the Ogden Cami up in. I cut a straight 14 and after a bodice muslin I lowered the darts by about an inch. I’m not overly thrilled with fit in the shoulder and sleeves, a bit tight with full motion of my arms. Nothing terrible, just something to look at next time. It is super comfy otherwise, light and cute. I’m pretty pleased with it.
With the Hinterland done, I went straight for another Sew Liberated pattern – the Estuary Skirt.
Ok, now I love this one. So very much. This is a different fabric but is still a cotton/rayon chambray. I cut a straight size 16 and did a real placket – you can do a faux placket and just pull the skirt on, but the pattern advises you to go for the real deal if you have a significant difference in your waist and hip measurement. Hello! Real button placket for me. Anyway, you guys. The swish in this skirt is for real and those pockets? They’re about the size of a small project bag. Heaven and perfection in every way, I can’t wait to make more of these.
I don’t think these socks ever even saw the light of the blog – but here they are! So pretty. This is the Spring Honey pattern by This Handmade Life. Honestly, I just adore Olivia’s aesthetic – go check out her instagram and see if you aren’t inspired. Anyway, my only change to the pattern was to use a slip stitch heel flap in place of the plain one suggested. I think I’ll always use the standard slip stitch heel flap and gusset, it just fits the best. The yarns are some real deep stash and a recent-ish purchase. The deep stash is the speckle, Hush from Peepaloo Fields. It’s the same color as the main yarn from my Sunset Highway sweater from way back in 2018. The pink contrast is My Jam by Stress Knits. This pink is just perfect!
Of course, while I was knitting the Spring Honey socks I needed a vanilla pair on the go. These were an impuse cast on for a couple of virtual concerts that Kevin and I were going to, so I’m calling these my Nightwish Socks. The yarn is Fat Bottom Girls by A Homespun House – this was a sock set from a year or two ago.
In the middle here, we decided to start doing a little packing to get ahead of the curve. So we packed up the spare bedroom, which is where the yarn stash is stored, and then I started working on the craft room. I’m sure you can guess that I was not planning to pack up everything but saved myself out a few projects to work on until my next craft room is set up. A few.
There you have it – everything I can possibly work on over about seven or eight weeks (IF we’re being really generous about getting the new craft room set up quickly). There are about 6 WIPs plus 4 quilt tops and backs that just need to be prepped for the long arm quilter. I’m planning to pack them up and mail them out a few weeks before they move so they have a good chance of getting back around the time I’m done with the craft room. Anyway… now I’ve been plugging away at those WIPs. I also left out some knit fabric in case I got the bug to make another garment or two (or 5). And then there’s the sock yarn.
I pulled out some sock yarn out of the stash in a nice little variety and then I had some leftovers and frogged projects at my desk that got missed in the initial stash packing. So here you go, my potential socks over the next month or so. Now, if you’ve been keeping score you’ll be thinking there’s no way I’ll knit or even cast on that many socks in a month, much less while moving. And you’re right, but you just never know what could happen. Better safe than sorry, I say. We’ll see how all these projects are shaping up by the time I’m unpacking the stash again.
I definitely kept out my new block of the month quilt – Fairy Tale Forest. I was 100% behind when I took the pictures above, but now I’m completely caught up and ready for month three to get here next week. This is a fully foundation paper pieced quilt in Liberty tana lawn and it’s turning out to be really fun. I was super intimidated to start, but once you get going, the units just fly by. Here are the first two months in a series of terrible, late night pictures.
So there you go. Now, I’ve not been sewing the units up into the actual blocks so that they are easier to pack and move when the time comes. I really love this project – it’s so easy to get into a rhythm with the process.
I recently pulled out my Dust of Snow wrap and have really been enjoying working on it again. It’s been in hibernation since before Christmas but I definitely want to finish it up this year.
In Year of Minis news – we’re on hiatus at the moment. When we found out we’d be moving I decided to put it on hold because of not knowing if I’d have a craft room, what wall space we’d have, etc… Now I’m just going to pick the project back up in September or so. Who knows if I’ll get the full twelve in, but I’ll be back on the mini train before long. It was fun taking down all my minis from all over the house and stacking them up – what a cute pile!
Well, I think that’s everything for today. That was a long one! Lot’s of progress going on which feels good amidst the chaos. We’re slowly amassing a box kingdom over here, which is definitely making Cosi quite pleased.