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!

(Mostly) Never before seen WIPS!

Well, now that it’s been three weeks I suppose we’re do for a bit of an update. I’ve been all over the place. Between the new sewing room, kicking off the year of Christmas, and a healthy audiobook obsession – I’m been doing quite a bit of making.

I am reasonably confident that the only active WIP that has even made a blog appearance is my Happy Christmas Quilt, so let’s do a montage. The current state of affairs of my crafting is as follows:

I cast these socks on over our holiday trip. My goal was a pair of utility socks, I love Patons Kroy yarn for hard wearing socks. I’m not in love with the color combination (Mexicali Stripes), but the socks will do their job.

I made Kevin a pair of pijama pants last year out of this flannel and he asked if I had enough left over to make him a pillow for the couch. I barely did, but I think it turned out cute.

I finally started these gorgeous socks this month. This is Gauge Dyeworks in the colorway All Together Now. I had some yarn management woes and a great deal of indecision with what color I wanted to start with, but they are kniting up quite nicely. This yarn is a plump dream to knit with, by the way.

I finished all the blocks for my Happy Christmas Quilt and here it is all laid out. I’ve since sewn all the rows up and just need to sew them together. For the beady eyed among you, yes, I fixed the mistake in the border before sewing. Thank goodness! I am in love with this one.

I made the top for a tree skirt, too. I’ve been talking about making a tree skirt for years and have, unsurprisingly, put off purchasing one because of that. So we have gone without a tree skirt for a long time. No more! This is a jelly roll pattern, which I thought would make it very easy, but the bias seams got me in the worst way. That was tough.

Since I started my year of Christmas with a quilt and a tree skirt that may as well be a full quilt, I thought it would be nice to get a bit of instant gratification. Enter the mug rug. I love making mug rugs and micro minis. They’re like snack sized quilts. This one included a paper pieced tree, which was a new skill to me. It was pretty easy and quite fun. I love the result! This is a free pattern from ThreadBare Creations and I used scraps from the Happy Christmas quilt and a bit of random stash.

The mug rug is my first project and the January entry in my year of Christmas. I think we’re off to a good start!

In the last few weeks, I’ve been obsessed with a couple of audiobook triologies. Nothing makes me quite so dedicated to a long knitting project as something compelling to listen to. Enter Marley. I cast it on in October, but hadn’t made much progress until about 10 days ago. Now I’m now only a few rows until the finish.

I’m still only halfway through the current amazing trilogy, so I decided to start another long project. This is not my first try at crochet, but it’s definitely the farthest I’ve ever come. I’m really enjoying the rhythym of it.

So that’s it. Quite a bit of variety these days. I’ve got some non-holiday ideas for the sewing room, we’ll see when I get to them. I’m also hoping I’ll be back very soon with a finished shawl and maybe even a finished quilt top.


Happy making!