Making my way out of the haze.

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.


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!