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.
I am so pleased to be able to share a new quilt and a new pattern with you today! The Jolly Bar Jump quilt is a snazzy new free, shortcut quilt pattern out from Fat Quarter Shop. I’ll tell you about my whole process, but let’s cut to the chase and take a look first. This is a fun one!
The pattern calls for 2 jolly bars, 2 charm packs, and fabric for the border. If you haven’t seen them, jolly bars are pretty cool – they are 5″ x 10″ precuts. When I was picking fabric though, the recipient couldn’t keep his eyes off of this batik line. So we used a layer cake instead and just cut each piece in half. As for the fabric, y’all…
This was so far out of my comfort zone that I think we were in a different comfort district. Now, I do think this is awfully pretty, I love the subtle variation and depth of the batik fabrics. These cool blues and neutral greys and browns are just a world away from my usual pastels and rainbow-brite style. Anyway, after Astra got her quilt for Christmas, someone decided they really needed another quilt. Joshua picked out Mali Blue Batiks and settled on Moda Bella Solids in Silver for the background.
This quilt is a snap to prep – if you use jolly bars there’s no cutting until you get to the border! Even so, it was a breeze to cut my layer cake squares in half and get sewing. In my eagerness, I decided to dig out the 1/4″ foot for my machine. I hadn’t tried it yet so I popped it on, whipped through the first step and then on to the second step. Back to the genius of short cut quilts – there are only 2 blocks here and they are so quick and easy! I love it. So I laid out my blocks and set to arranging them.
I spent quite a bit of time on this step. With such a simple, bold layout I really wanted an even distribution. I used the black & white filter on my phone to help. Once I was happy, I picked the whole thing up and went to my machine. Turns out the diamond blocks were a good near 1/4″ smaller than the Jolly Bar Jump blocks (rectangles). I have since learned that my 1/4″ foot needs the needle moved all the way to the right in order to be accurate. So yeah… I wound up trimming the jump blocks down just a smidge, so my quilt is a little shorter than it should be. You know what they say, finished is better than perfect! In the end it all worked out and I learned that you really should check your seam allowance… Anyway, back to this goregous quilt.
I sent off to Nicole at Kwiltit to be quilted and then I machine bound it, with lots of help from my supervisor. He will endlessly snuggle into a quilt while I bind it, even waiting while I flip it or move it around. Joshua loves to see the quilting pattern, so he opted for a high contrast black thread in a big bold orange peel style pattern. That’s not usually my style, but the effect is super cool.
All in all, I really enjoyed making this quilt. It is definitely a shortcut – it would make a great one-day quilt top. I’ve made several of Fat Quarter Shop’s shortcut quilts before. They really helped me get more comfortable with quilt making when I was first getting back into it. I made three right in a row a few years ago (1, 2, 3) and then made another for mom for Christmas. I think they make great skill-builders but are also a great quick project for any quilter.
So there you have it, my finished Jolly Bar Jump! Many thanks to Fat Quarter Shop for inviting me to quilt along on this one!
I have long admired the scrappy look. I love a bit of whimsy and bright, fun colors and patterns, but have been a little nervous about trying to pull it off myself. Enter the Homespun Quilt. A dear friend invited me to join her in the quilt-along and so I spent some time looking at other quilters versions, when I stumbled upon a rainbow scrappy version. It was so fun and so pretty, I knew that had to be it.
I spent a good deal of time going through my scrap baskets, trying to decide whether to do 9 or 16 blocks… I went with 12. I would up changing it up a wee bit halfway through, switching from doing 2 aquas to 2 greens. Anyway, my sewing room has been covered up in scraps for about a month.
And then I decided it should be full on scrappy, so I dove into the low volume scraps too and cut out all the background in one go.
At this point, I was already getting excited. I mostly proceeded block by block, cutting one set of main fabrics at a time, sewing up the block, and then moving on. I started with dark pink:
Then came light pink, red, orange, yellow, and light green:
Some colors were easier than others (I don’t have many orange scraps) and I debated a lot about which shades to include. In the end, I opted for a bit more variety in tone and shade and I think it works. After I finished the rainbow log cabin quilt last weekend, I was ready to just wrap this one up. I decided to cut out the next 6 blocks in one go, so I could just sew them up as I had time. It turns out the cutting was taking way longer than making up the blocks.
Not only did I fussy cut half or more of the pieces for the quilt, I also started breaking down smaller scraps. I cut long 2.5″ strings, organized the leftovers, and also cut a charm square out of most fabrics. I would up with a really nice stack of charms… might need to make a rainbow patchwork quilt some time.
Anyway, back to the blocks. Next came dark green, aqua, light blue, blue, navy, and purple:
That last block picture is pretty unfortunate, but I just couldn’t wait to take a good picture. I finished the last block last night after supper and just kept on sewing until the top was done!
Eek! I am so proud! I really think the colors work well and I love the variation between the really saturated blocks versus the light blocks. Ugh, it’s so pretty. So, details. This is the Homespun Quilt by Modernly Morgan designs. I have to say, this pattern is AMAZING. She has full instructions for using fat quarters or yardage, but she also includes a great guide for making a scrappy version – let me tell you, that was a lifesaver. I would highly recommend this pattern, it is super easy for such a stunning effect. This one was fun.
April has been a bit of doozy. Right around a month ago, we found out that we have to move. This was a pretty big shock to all of us and had us kind of reeling for a few days. Now we’ve been in house hunting limbo for weeks and it feels endless. I’ve been crafting and there, but today was a big day in my sewing room so I wanted to stop in and share the news.
I finished my Green Gables quilt top! Right before we found out about the move, I signed up for the next Duckadilly Block of the Month and decided it was high time I finished this one. This was last year’s block of the month, I did the 6 month rainbow version, as of wriitng, they still have kits available. It’s all Liberty fabric and I fussy cut all the centers.
I started in back in July of last year, but once I got down to business it really flew by. I’ve been piecing the blocks in sets, and finished the last ones last weekend. Today, I sat down and put it all together. I’m over the flipping moon, this is hands down the prettiest thing I’ve ever made.
Also, can we take a moment to appreciate some fresh green grass? I look out at that gorgeous tree out of my kitchen window and I couldn’t help but take snap a picture of the quilt on the grass with the pink petals all around.
I finished Joshua’s socks and he let me snag the record to take a picture of his inspiration and my creation. He reports that they fit great, are supremely squishy, and will be well loved. This yarn is Hedgehog Fibres Sock Yarn in Teacup. I went up a needle size to a 2.25 mm for these and really like the fabric so I might have to try that on some socks for me in the future.
After that, Joshua suggested that I cast on a pair of house hunting socks to channel the tension. He had the right idea. I finished the first one a few days ago and really dig the look. The main yarn is A Homespun House in Mermaid of the Black Lake, and the contrast is a scrap of Stress Knits Sunflower leftover from my Waiting for Henry Socks.
Finally, at the beginning of the month I had also decided to join in the Homespun Quilt-Along. I got hopelessly inspired by a rainbow version by quiltyobsession and just couldn’t get it out of my head. I’ve gone completely scrappy with a lot of fussy cutting thrwon in, so it’s not going as quickly as I’d imagined. The blocks themselves take to time to sew up, but the cutting…. Yep, that’s slowed me down, so I’m only half done. I’m doing an in-between size (also inspired by that OG rainbow quilt) so I’m about to get into the mint/teal/blue phase. It’s super cute so far, though!
Well, that’s really where I’m at now. It’s been tough to stay focused and looking at houses feels like a full time job right now. I’m not great with unkowns, I am a major plan-ahead person. I guess we’ll see where May takes it and I’ll just put some more stitches into those socks….
Happy Sunday to you! I’ve been crafting up a little storm around here so let’s jump right in!
First things first, I finished up this little cutie last weekend. This is the Thimble Basket pattern from the book Rainy Day Sewing by Amy Sinibaldi and Kristyne Czepuryk. The pattern is well written and pretty easy to follow, but the making itself is super fiddly. This little project took me a solid 8-9 hours to complete. This was my first time sewing thimbles (the rhomboid shape of the patchwork) and that’s nothing to sneeze at. Add to that all the single folod bias binding and well, let’s just say that when I broke a hand sewing needle – that wasn’t the first curse word this cutie got.
The details are darling, I will give it that. I had some bits of lace and this woven twill to embellish it and I quilted everything just as the example in the book. I had this linen laying around from some remnants I snagged for no good reason on a trip to Denver’s Fancy Tiger Crafts several years ago, so it was nice to find a home for this fabric.
This little guy is precious, I will definitely give it that. I love the look of it and it is the perfect size for my hand quilting supplies. I am not, however, dying to make another. Glad I went for it but that will be all the Thimble Baskets in my house for quite a while.
In other news, I finally picked up some more interfacing to finish my Take Along Tote. I cut this one out at the same time as Madelyn’s and it’s just been sitting around waiting for one little piece of interfacing. I do like this pattern and it came together satisfyingly fast, especially after the tiny basket that took a weekend.
I’ve been chugging away on Joshua’s socks. I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m actually really loving the texture of these. The last time I knit socks with Hedgehog Fibres sock yarn, I wasn’t over the moon about it. The yarn is quite a bit finer than what I usually go for but for some reason these socks are coming up so squishy and delicious. I’m a little jealous, but I already have socks in Teacup (this colorway) so I think I’ll make it.
I also cast on a new hat last weekend, but this one is getting frogged. This is the Musselburgh Hat by Ysolda Teague and the pattern is pretty groovy. You basically knit a top down hat, then instead of binding off you just start knitting a cuff up hat. They fold into each other for double thick warm goodness. My problem is the yarn I chose, I really don’t like how it knits up at this gauge. See that pooling? Yeah, not a big fan for a hat. Oh well, this yarn will go back in the stash and await it’s fate… socks one day, I’d imagine.
Last but not least, a little story. Last night, Joshua and I were hanging out in the sewing room talking. I was on the floor with Joseph in my lap. Joshua was perusing my precut shelf and happend on a fat quarter bundle from Maker Valley called Cat’s Meow. He pulled it out and we both got to thinking it would be cute to make a cat themed quilt out of all cat fabrics. So I started laying out the bundle, thinking about the color scheme (a little out there for me) when Joseph got up and plopped himself on the pile. After a few minutes, I tried to pick the fabric up but he was not having it! Joshua and I got a serious case of the giggles while the cat guarded his hoard from me.
Eventually he gave up in search of food and I was able to cut out the quilt. I decided on Fat Quarter Pile Up to showcase all the large scale prints in this bundle to best advantage. I laid out the quilt this morning and can’t wait to it all sewn together.
The beady eyed among you might be able to spot one non-cat fabric in there…. I snuck in a few mice for funsies. This little quilt will make for even better cat naps, I just know it.
Sometimes I struggle with writing a blog post. A crafty blog is an interesting thing – sometimes I have a finished object to talk about, sometimes I have a theme or idea that has been popping up in my making, and then, sometimes not. Sometimes I’m just putiting time into projects and there’s no take home message, no nugget of wisdom, just some stitches of this variety or that with pretty (or not) pictures. This is one of those times.
It took me a single night’s sleep after finishing my crochet blanket to want to cast on another one. I swatched a few different patterns and even cast on a different one before settling with this one. I’m still a crochet newbie and really just wanted another fairly rhythmic, easy pattern. This is the Hydrangea Stripe Blanket, a free pattern by Attic24. It hasn’t seen a ton of love yet, but it will get there.
I’m almost done hand quilting my latest mini quilt. I can’t say that I’ve really enjoyed the process. I used some white fabric that I had lying around for the background and the backing, since this will just be hanging on the wall. It turns out that something about the weave, or thread count, or whatever, makes it really difficult to hand quilt. Of course, I’ve chose to only quilt in the background, so you can imagine how fun that’s been.
I was so frustrated that I actually wound up going back to youtube looking for any tips or tricks to make it easier. I happened on a video that suggested using a silicon grippy on your pointer finger to help pull the needle – that made a world of differenc! I still can’t work on it for long periods, but I can’t recommend this enough. They’re very inexpensive, I’m using one on both hands to help with hand fatigue.
In other news – I finished a pair of socks! It’s been quite a hot minute since I last had a pair to share. These were my de-stress Christmas socks, cast on at the end of October, finished on Sunday. The yarn is from A Homespun House in the Holly Jolly Christmas colorway. My skein is quite different from other dye lots, it would seem. I’m not overly in love with the finished pair – I like the lighter sections much more than the dark. But that’s ok, I’ll wear them next holiday season with joy. At least they’re off the needles.
I was primarily motivated to finish the Holly Jolly socks becasue my oldest requested a pair of socks. Now, the teenager has been quite against handknits for some time, so I jumped at the chance to clad my child in wool once again. The kid has good taste too, this is a long hoarded skein of Hedgehog Fibres in Teacup. Even that little bit of cuff is just so sweet and pretty.
The last, barely started, project going now is this little basket. The Thimble Basket, from Rainy Day Sewing by Amy Sinibaldi, is a precious, teeny little basket that I’ve had my eye on for quite some time. The straw that finally broke the camel’s back has been this hand quilting project. It’s such a mess to move all my accroutement from desk to chair to couch… you get the idea. Plus it’s so cute! I’ve spent little bits of time all week pulling various teeny scraps and hopefully will get to putting it together soon.
Well that’s it for the current state of affairs, thank you for hanging out with me for today’s ramble!
Well, I’ve finally come out of the fog that has been the start of 2021. This is no coincidence, of course, I wrapped up a big conference at work Saturday before last. I honestly spent most of the next day napping and then sleeping. I had decided to take off the following Monday and Tuesday and that turned out to be fantastic idea for the ole creativity.
I woke up early to get the kids going for school and decided to have a good look at the afghan progress. Kevin thought I was getting close so I laid it out on our bed and to see:
I was actually amazed at how much I had done! I measured and figured that another 14″ inches or so would do the trick. After that, I spent my two days off devouring an audio book and hooking away. I’ve mostly worked on the afghan ever since, though once I finished the stripes, I stalled a bit on weaving in all the ends. Hot tip: dont’ wait till the end to weave in ends on 70ish stripes. It takes forever. While I was trying to muster myself to the task, I had a look around the sewing room.
It’s kind of been a mess in there all year. I had started a few secret projects and finally just decided to finish them and get them mailed out. First up is a bag I made for my sister-in-law, Madelyn. She’s been knitting a (gorgeous) blanket for a while and I heard through the grapevine that she’d outgrown her project bag. I decided to make up the Take Along Tote for her, in some lovely Rifle Paper Co. canvas.
It’s a sweet, fully lined bucket tote bag with a roomy pocket inside. This is the large size and is pretty roomy. I’ve made one before for my friend Hannah. I cut another one out for myself, but I’ve run out of the interfacing for the lining so now it’s on hold. I also finished up a super secret quit that I can’t share yet, but I’ve got a few sneaky peaks for you. The quilt is destined for my oldest, so the fabrics are quite a bit out of my personal comfort zone. We went with a cool, moody palate of neutral and blue batiks with a solid grey background.
I’ve finished the top and sent it off to be quilted, I can’t wait to see the finished quilt and share it with you when the pattern releases. In case you hadn’t guessed, this is part of a sewalong with my fave pals, Fat Quarter Shop. Once I had those two all wrapped up and mailed out, I still was in a sewing mood.
A few years ago, I got sucked into the rabbit hole that is #tinydresdenparty on instagram and wound up making a few itty bitty dresden projects. One was a wee little bunny dresden that wound up growing up to be a mug rug. Ever since that project, I’ve had the idea to make a little mini quilt up with dresden plates and that super sweet bunny fabric. Well, I finally decided that my year of minis would be the perfect time to make that idea a reality. Last weekend, I had a little fabric pull and got to work.
I just love the sweet and soft pastel pallete. I did a bit of brainstorming and settled on a simple design that would mix dresden plates and nine patch blocks. I used the template in this pinnie tutorial on Quilty Obession’s blog, the finished dresden comes out at about 4.5″ and oh so cute. The little chain of blades is even sweet.
I went pretty simple on these just mixing up the colors on the blades. Once I had the blades all sewn together, I just used straight pins to baste them to the background and hand appliqued them down. When I have multiple different colors like this and am not over concerned, I usually use a soft pink thread – I think it blends a bit better with different colors than a beige.
Next came the centers and then we were done with the dresdens. I made up the nine patch blocks pretty quickly and sewed the whole thing up into a fnished quilt top! I’m planning to hand quilt the whole thing and can’t wait to get started.
In the midst of all this sewing, I did manage to finish up weaving in the ends of the afghan. I’m on the fourth of five border rows now, so the end is actually in sight. Hard to believe this mammoth is coming to a close. Honestly, I’m already looking forward to another crochet project, it’s taken forever but I’ve enjoyed this one so much.
Well, I’ve got plenty to keep my hands busy but I am thrilled to be on the cusp of finishing not only another mini but one of my big 3 projects for the year! It feels awfully good. Soon I’ll get to decide which big 3 project gets love next, if the hand quilting goes well on the mini, I’m thinking about diving into the Norah quilt.
It’s been such a welcome reprieve to come out of the stress haze and get back to making. I’ve got a lot of joy and rest wrapped in these makes over the last week and a half and it feels glorious.
Is it just me or has January been a bit of a blur? I’ve had quite the perfect storm of work stress, video game addiction, and just all around lack of mojo. I’ve not really felt like crafting most days and so have fallen back into a certain game over and over. I’ll confess, I do love of Stardew Valley and I’ve appreciated the distraction.
I’ve certainly piddled around the sewing room, both Josehphine (sewing machine) and Paggy (serger) got a serious cleaning. I even rethreaded Peggy from scratch — for the first time… it wasn’t as bad as I expected. And then one evening after supper, Astra asked if we could do a little sewing because she had an idea. Tough to say no to that. So we lit a candle, turned on some tunes, and got down to business. She wanted to cut the fabric this time, so I cut strips and she cut the squares. A bit harrowing, but we made it out alive. While she sewed, I decided to play around with some scraps and see if I had what I wanted for a cool mini quilt tutorial I had come across.
The kids were a bit horrified at this scene, but I love it. I have tons of strips of all sizes leftover from my Norah quilt, ends of fat quarters, and even the packaging from some fabric orders! I had decided to try out this tutorial for a mini scrap quilt by Amy Smart. It’s foundation paper pieced and pretty darned fun. It took me far longer to arrange the scraps than to sew them down.
I fussed around with this for quite a while before I started sewing. I finished my first block right as Astra finished her quilt top. She likes to sew fast, wonder where she learned that? Anyway, this was her idea: a checkerboard table topper for the cats to sit on.
I kept on sewing; the cats had already settled into little scrap nests so there was no way I could leave that mess laying around for another night. By the time I was ready to turn in, I had all four blocks complete.
Cute, huh? Gosh I love a good pastel. Well, so this tutorial has you make these blocks, then cut them apart, rearrange, and sew them back together. Classic quilter stuff, there. Cut it up and sew it back together differently! Anyway, the effect is just darling, and much, much easier than making 16 little blocks!
Astra and I found a half yard of some soft pink fabric in my stash, so we split it into fat quarters to use for the backing for our quilts. She’s still working on quilting hers, but I went ahead and did a 1″ diagonal grid for mine. I’m really pleased with how the quilting turned out. I also machine bound it, which I think I’m getting better at.
Voila! There she is, the first mini of the #yearofminis. I love how it turned out and I’m especially pleased to have a few favorite fabrics included. I’m sometimes hesitant to use up scraps like those honey bears, but just a little 4″ piece and I get to look at them on my wall as long as I want. This honestly makes me want to dive into more scrap quilting. I’m trying to resist starting any more long-term projects, so be on the lookout for more scrappy minis this year!
In other news, I’ve been doing teensy bits on other things. The crochet blanket has seen a few stripes and I’m trying to spend a bit of time here and there prepping applique pieces. I really like the applique technique that Lori Holt uses, it makes it pretty easy to get the shapes right — but the prep is kind of a beast. It takes me quite a while and that’s been part of my stumbling block on this project. So I’m trying to eat the frog first on this one and get all the applique prepped so I can just stitch stitch stitch on it once I’m done.
Well, dear reader, that is that. Not much going on around here, but that’s ok. Sometimes I get a bit overly productivity minded with crafting, so I’m working on being kind to myself about just not feeling like it lately. The mojo always comes back and I’ll be here when she does.
So here we are, 2020 is in the books and we have a fresh and shiny new year ready for the taking. After I wrapped up my Year of Christmas last week, my thoughts turned to my next “year.” I’ve been mulling over ideas for a while, looking at stash and around the house for inspiration. I took stock of my current works in progress, and a few stood out to me.
I don’t usually have projects that languish around for very long. A couple of years at most and I will either finish or frog. I work on socks continuously, and my other projects–both quilts and bigger kntting projects–tend to just get finished up when I decide to really put the time in and concentrate on them. Recently though, in the last couple of years, I’ve started some bigger, longer projects.
These three projects are quite a bit more time consuming than my usual project choice. Let’s have a quick tour of these and talk about where they are and what they need.
My Granny’s Garden Quilt (whew my old phone took bad pictures!) has been going since 2019 and is my oldest WIP. I have about 16 blocks completed at this point, so we need another 26 blocks plus all the border applique before we can put this quilt top together.
Next up is my Granny Stripe afghan. This beauty was cast on last January and I’m over halfway done the stripes, then it will just be the border. Though, I guess “just the border” is a bit misleading since the thing is so darned big.
Finally, my Norah Quilt. Ugh, I love it everytime I look at it. I made the quilt top in pretty short order last spring, but stalled on the hand quilting. We need to quilt and bind this one.
I adore all three of these projects and really want to give myself the space to show them the love they deserve. Are you ready for the twist? Ok, so if you’re like Kevin you might be thinking that I’m gearing up to tell you that my goal this year is to finish these projects. But no! Well, sort of. One of my dilemnas with these projects is that the bulk of the creative energy is already spent. The idea has been had, the project commenced, much of the learning curve surmounted. They are all fully at the process stage, which is a bit of a challenge for me.
I love to finish things. If we’re really honest, a lot of my making comes in smaller or faster projects. Socks are a big part of that but also mug rugs and short cut quilts. I love the start and the finish, but that in-between part sometimes gets me hung up. So I started thinking of my “year of” in these terms – how do I keep the creative energy going with some finishes to keep me satisfied, but still have the time to work on the big guys?
Well, this year at least, the answer is mini quilts! In my ideal state of home decor, there are quilts everywhere–including the walls! I think this year will be the perfect time to boost the quilt to wall space ratio around here. My thinking is these smaller projects will provide the variety and gratification I know I need while also giving me the opportunity to try new ideas and new techniques. The bite size, low investment nature of minis can also leave time to put effort into the big 3.
Think about it – a whole year of minis! Mini quilts here, there, and everywhere! So here we go, a Year of Minis: 12 mini quilts in 2021. I’m not going to worry about monthly goals, that always goes awry for me. The only rule here is size – mug rugs don’t count and neither does anything I can cuddle under.
For a little nostalgic reference point, here’s a throwback to my very first mini quilt back in 2017! I’ve come a long way since and I am looking forward to seeing where this year takes me. This idea has me pretty excited and inspired. I know it was a little bit of a convuluted thought process to get here so thanks for sticking with me. I’m looking forward to sharing my progress on the long-term projects as well as all of the fun for the upcoming Year of Minis!