It’s been a while since I’ve last written, I’ve been busy on vacation and with the garden, spinning and finally quilting. My grandson is having his second birthday this Saturday and it’s been a mad scramble to come up with a quilt and get it done on time. Finally tonight the last stitches were sewn into the binding and everything is now done, whew!
The quilt is made up of one layer cake and some additional yardage from the design team – Basic Grey from Moda fabrics. The fabric design is called Max & Whiskers. The quilt pattern is one I’ve done before and blogged here: Hunky Dory Quilt. I lost the pattern so had to refer back to my blog to figure out the pattern from looking at the picture I’d posted (I gave away the quilt). This is one of the reasons I blog – to keep track of projects I’ve done; there have been many times I’ve referred back to my own posts. It’s funny because there have been a couple times where I’ve searched on something and come up with my own blog. Stuff I’ve done and forgotten I’d written about, old age I guess.
When I ordered the fabric for the quilt I didn’t realize the backing fabric was directional. I had four yards that I intended to sew together in two pieces to create a 72″ x 90″ backing piece. Since the puppies needed to go lengthwise I was short material so to compensate I took some of the left over 10″ x 10″ layer cake squares, sewed them together and then sewed them to the top of the backing. It worked out really well because when the quilt is turned down you get to see more squares.
Finally the photos were taken at dusk with a flash so they look a bit off but I was to impatient to wait for morning.
Twin size quilt, fabric by Basic Grey, Max & Whiskers.
Close up of some of the puppy/kitten squares.
Quilt on double bed with top turned down.
Additional squares added to the backing to add length.
I have a few more things to post since the last time I wrote. I finished dyeing up the bulky yarn that I’d planned to turn into a hat for John and then I knit the hat.
Shetland homespun yarn dyed with Jaquard’s Sapphire Blue and over-dyed with Jaquard’s Jet Black dye.
Shetland bulky homespun knitted into a hat, the pattern is called Jason’s Tweed Hat by Melissa Thomson of Sweet Fiber Designs.
Next up is another baby quilt that I finished for the daughter of a good friend. She is expecting her first child come spring so I was invited to the baby shower and this is what I came up with. The fabrics that I used where from a charm pack of Aunt Grace 30’s reproduction fabrics. I chose to pair the fabric with plain white and then picked out some green homespun to match for the backing. Usually I dye my own backing but somehow with these prints I didn’t think funky tie-dye would work so I settled for the more muted green and I’m glad I did. Kind of scary that I’ve had this sitting in the closet since 2006, it just seems like yesterday I bought the charm pack. The quilt was made from a quilt tutorial put out by the Missouri Star Quilt Company. Go over to the right of the web page and click on Tutorials to find a listing. Zipper Quilt
Aunt Grace “Scrapbag 2006″ – Marcus Brothers textiles.
One of the girls in my Ravelry forum groups posted a cute little scarf and I immediatley thought of my mother-in-law who likes this type of scarf where you can put one end through the other, I think it’s called a keyhole scarf. Anyhow this one was a quick knit that I did while watching the Olympics. I just used a simple acylic for the yarn as she is allergic to wool.
Miss Marple Scarf by SusanneS-vV, done in Red Heart Supersaver.
This looks like the bulky yarn that I spun for John’s hat and it is wool from the same fleece but this time the yarn I spun is finer more of an Aran weight yarn. I’ve spun up two of these so there is about 360 yards. I was going to spin two hanks and then dye them together but I’m not sure what project I’m going to use the yarn for. I was thinking of an Aran sweater for one of the grandkids so I guess I’ll research the yardage needed and go from there but meanwhile here are two hanks of Shetland White.
Shetland White homespun, Aran weight approximately 360 yards.
Finally I thought I’d share some fiber that I have sitting out ready to be spun into something (at some point). Some pretty eye candy, I always like seeing fiber on blogs so here is some of mine.
The Great Pumpkin Patch dyed by Vickie from Vickie’s Raspberry Hollow, This is a Coopworth/BFL wool fiber.
Northern Lights dyed by Karen Burren Stained Glass Art. This is a merino/silk blend.
That’s all for now. I’m not sure what I have planned next but I’m sure it’ll be more spinning and maybe some more quilting as well. Now that I’ve done the two baby quilts I realize just how much fabric I have so I need to get some more sewing done.
I’ve done a lot of work since Christmas but I haven’t blogged it. I’d thought I’d only done a few things but went back to check the photos and surprised even myself so here goes…
First up is a headband that I knit using Kate Davies pattern WWWW #1. This is a free pattern that can be found on Ravelry so if you aren’t a member I can highly recommend joining as it’s one of the best databases out there with tons of patterns, yarns, forums, etc.
The thing that is special about this headband is that it’s the second finished project that I’ve knit using yarn that I’ve handspun myself. The headband is a bit tall in these photos but that’s my own fault because I thought I was off gauge so tossed in extra rows, I should have left the pattern alone. This is the first time I’ve knit a lining into anything and picked up a provisional cast-on. The white lining was alpaca for softness.
The next project I worked on was a cowl I started while on vacation in Florida. We went down at the beginning of January and I took the headband pictured above to work on along with a spindle. I also took a lot of books but ended up knitting and watching reno shows inbetween walking the beaches. Well I finished off the headband and then had to go out and find something else to knit so I picked up a ball of Berroco lace and started in on this cowl. It’s a nice drapey cowl and while it took a lot of effort to finish it I really like how it drapes and folds in on itself. The cowl will go to Dan’s girlfriend so I hope she likes it. The cowl is called Willow Cowl by Amelia Lyon and is another free Ravelry pattern.
I belong to the Bliss Spinning Wheel forum on Ravelry and the girls decided that this year will be one for the beginning spinners (there are a lot of us) so each month of 2014 will feature a different type of fibre or method of spinning. For the month of January the featured fibre was BFL – Blue-faced Leicester. I have some superwash BFL so decided to try my hand at dyeing again only this time using the Jaquard acid dyes I bought for Christmas. Unfortunately I’m not sure where the photos of the dyepot are, maybe I forgot to take them, oh well the pot was half blue and half yellow but mostly green by the time it was done.
Fingering weight yarn in BFL superwash.
Well before we left for Florida my chiropractor of eight years informed me that he and his girlfriend were expecting a baby in February so while I’m congratulating him I’m thinking that doesn’t leave me much time to get a baby gift ready. I see my chiropractor each week so he’s like family to me so I had to make something. Well we got back home and a week later I’m getting ready for my appointment when the office phoned to cancel as he was in the delivery room – three weeks early awk! Anyhow after thinking about it and going to my stash I settled on a very simple quilt with lots of colour and this is what I came up with – hand-dyed backing of course.
Backing dyed with Procion MX dyes in Lemon Yellow and Turquoise.
Finally, another handspun project for February’s challenge for the spinning group. This time the lesson was to try and create a big and lofty type of yarn, which usually means spinning woollen. I carded up some of the Shetland fleece that I had washed a couple of months ago into four big batts and then spun it up woollen. I didn’t fuss about what happened so the resulting yarn is quite rough but I wanted that look. I’m hoping to knit it into a hat for my husband John, something simple and guy-like that he’ll want to wear. I’ve decided to keep it natural for now and I can always dye it later if need be.
Well that’s all for now. I have another baby quilt to finish by February 22 and I haven’t started but I have an idea for it so that’s half the battle. I also have the hat to knit and then I should be free of projects for the next little while. I bought a new pressure canner while down south on vacation, saved myself about $200 so I was pleased and I’ve been reading up on pressure canning soups and meats so we’ll see how that turns out.
Spring has sprung around here so I haven’t been doing much in the crafting department lately and have been more focused on the gardening instead but I thought I’d post a picture of a little quilt I finished up for my grandson Carter.
I’d bought the panel with fat quarters back a couple of years ago on a special and it was supposed to be Carter’s nursery quilt when he was born but I never got around to making it. I’m ashamed to say once I started it only took me three days to finish aside from the binding, which took another few hours to do.
Hooty Hoot Owl fabrics by Riley Blake.
The quilt panel is surrounded by a white border from one of the fat quarters and the blocks were made from the rest of the fat quarters and then quilted with an all-over meandering stitch on my sewing machine.
I am a big fan of the Missouri Star Quilt Company and their tutorials. It’s the only tutorial that I’m signed up for through youtube so every time a new tutorial gets posted I get a link.
The latest tutorial caught my eye as it was for a quick and easy tote. I’d been thinking of making a tote bag to carry all my knitting supplies and I have a few books that are for making quilted bags but this tutorial looked so easy I had to give it a go. Tote bag tutorial
Instead of using charm squares as in the tutorial I decided to use one of my Moda scrap bags that have been sitting in my drawer forever. I only used about 1/3 of the bag so it doesn’t take much. I also wanted a larger bag that would hold my spindles and knitting needles and my plastic art bin. I decided to add a pocket to the lining as well. The pocket has four openings that are open at the bottom so the spindles and knitting needles can slide down to the bottom of the bag. I guess I could just have made a longer pocket but I only had a smaller piece of fabric left over so that’s what I used. The other sections of the pocket are sewn shut and hold the smaller needles and ruler.
Tote made from Moda scrap bag.
Hand-dyed lining with pocket to hold spindles, Knitting needles, double-pointed needles, circular needles, ruler. Bag has plenty of room for my plastic art bin tote and lots of yarn/fibre.
Front view of bag loaded with gear and ready to go. I’m thinking of putting in a snap as a fastener to close it up a bit so stuff won’t fall out.
All in all a very quick tote to make and I made it using fabric that had been hanging around the house for a few years. Even the batting was leftover pieces that I sewed together to fit the bag so I’m well pleased.
Done at last after spending three days of six hours each I’ve finally finished. Amazing what a deadline will do I still can’t believe I managed to finish sewing the binding down in one day. I’m surprised my elbows and fingers didn’t fall off.
Anyway here it is, pardon the pictures but it was very overcast and then I just slapped the quilt overtop a queen size bed without making sure it was all straight and pretty. Hopefully it will make one little grandson very happy. He recently moved into a new room and the walls were painted with the light blue and green from this quilt and he picked out the fabric for the backing, (which I forgot to take a picture of), so hopefully he remembers all this.
Riding the Rails by Renae Lindgren for Wilmington Prints.
The backing is the same green that is around the center block. The quilting was mostly in the ditch using a walking foot. There was some free-motion quilting done in the blocks and banner. Nothing special but the quilt seem to call for a lot of straight quilting and it was the quickest way to get it done quickly as well. It’s a big relief to get it done on time.
I finally finished up the binding on my Chinese coin quilt today so thought I’d post a picture. The quilt looks a bit washed out. I’d thought that photographing it in the sun outside would make it look vivid but I guess I was wrong. Anyhow, this is one instance where the quilt looks better in person than in the photo.
I’ve made this quilt before, it’s from the Jelly Roll Quilts book by Pam & Nicky Lintott and is called Bars of Gold but the common name for this pattern is Chinese Coin and I’m sure there are probably other names for the pattern as well.
The quilt used one jelly roll and I used Kate Spain’s “Terrain” collection. The backing was a batik that was on sale at Hancocks of Paducah. I had ordered co-ordinating backing but when I finally got around to laying out the quilt I realized that I had been short-shipped the four yards and by that time the fabric had all sold out. Hancocks did replace the one piece but it taught me a lesson that I need measure out the fabric that I order not just make sure that the pieces are shipped. The 4 yards of fabric is such a big piece of fabric I didn’t realize that I’d only been shipped 3.6 yards instead.
Chinese coin quilt, fabric Terrain by Kate Spain. Finished size 67″ x 70″ big enough for a queen-sized bed topper.
I like the size of this quilt because in the summer it gets hot but I’m the type of person who can’t get to sleep unless there is a cover over me so the quilt is big enough to cover the surface of the mattress but small enough that my feet can hang out the ends to cool off.
Next project in the works is a train quilt for my grandson called Riding the Rails fabrics by Renae Lindgren of Wilmington fabrics.
Just finished the binding on a baby quilt that I’ve been working on for a friend’s first grandchild. The quilt is a familiar one that I’ve done before using turnover precuts. The tutorial is put out by the Missouri Star Quilt company and is their Whack N Stack quilt.
The material I used was “Snippets” by Moda designer American Jane. It’s has a retro 30’s feel to it with some of the fabrics having little paper doll designs on it.
Closeup of pinwheel, machine quilted with hearts in the pinwheel and meandering stitch inbetween pinwheels.
Finally it’s done, over finished, yeah!!!
Some photos but given the overcast day they aren’t that good. I tried to show the quilting but it was hard.
Quilt on double bed. I couldn’t back up far enough to get it all in.
Border shot to show the binding. This stripe really brightened the quilt especially in the border against the navy.
One shot trying to show the stitching. I used thread to blend in with the background so it’s hard to pick out.
Another block showing the quilting.
I’m so glad this is finally over. I angsted over what thread to use but ended up just doing a meandering stitch with a background colour trying not to stitch over the drawings in the main blocks but quilting around the pictures. I used matching thread in the bobbin because I didn’t want any darker colour coming up and showing through on the top. The back isn’t pretty but it doesn’t look that bad either. First I used navy thread to quilt around all of the blocks to anchor them down before doing the quilting inside the blocks.
Well procrastination is my middle name. I’ve finally gotten around to blogging this little item. I bought the kit two years ago at a craft show in downtown Toronto. I love Thimbleberries fabric so when trying to find something at the show I settled on the Bearpaw table runner (Lodge and Lakeside fabric).
It ended up being a UFO as I decided to hand quilt the project and it sat for quite a while beside by my chair until I finally tackled it and got the rest of it done in one week. I don’t know why but it seems I lose interest in something only to pick it up later and finish it off in a short time – procrastination I guess.
Thimbleberries Bearpaw table runner in the Lodge and Lakeside fabric line. I’ve just realized that you can’t see the hand quilting of which there is quite a lot but I’m too lazy to take and insert another picture, oh well.
Speaking of procrastination I’m finally quilting together the Dr. Seuss quilt after I don’t know how many months of it sitting there as well. The quilt is big and it’s very heavy due to the wonky blocks being fused on top of the background blocks. That doesn’t make sense but trust me on this the quilt is heavy and awkward to handle.
Hand-dyed backing for the Dr. Seuss quilt. I can’t remember the dye but I think it’s navy by Dharma.
Quilt on kitchen table waiting to be pinned together.
Pinned quilt under the machine being quilted together.
Normally it takes me a couple of days to sew the quilt together once I get going but this is such a struggle I think I’ll be just working on several rows a day instead. Once I get the rows sewn I’ll work on the inside of the quilt blocks probably just meander and stipple stitching to set off the characters. I’ll be glad when this one is done. Then I have to start on the wedding quilt for Jonathan and Corina which is this December. I’ve already warned Jonthan that it might not get done on time.
Meanwhile I’ve been alternating some knitting with the quilting. I love to knit but have found lately that if I work too many hours at once I get pain in my shoulder so I’m knitting in chunks rather than huge blocks of time.