Cactus Basket Quilt

Finally the quilt that I’ve been working on for my mother-in-law is finished. The quilt was a kit featuring fabrics from Darlene Zimmerman’s Clothesline Club. I got the kit on sale from the Fat Quarter Shop several years ago. The fabrics used in the kit were reproduction 30’s prints, which I love. I saw the kit and thought of my mother-in-law. This January was her 95th birthday and she’s doing well and still living in her own apartment although she does have the VON nurses come in twice a day to check up on her and make sure everything is alright. I thought she might like the fabrics since she’s lived through that era so we’ll see if she remembers the colours when I give her the quilt at a birthday party get-together this April.

Laundry basket quilt kit - cactus flower
Laundry Basket Quilt – fabric and design by Darlene Zimmerman, Kaufman fabrics.

close-up cactus flower
Close-up of the block, which is known as Cactus Basket. I’m sure there is probably some other name for it as well.

dyed sapphire blue backing for laundry basket quilt
Shot of the backing I dyed using ProChem’s Sapphire Blue. The dilution was a weak one but turned out perfect for the quilt. There is a bit of mottling in there but you really have to look to see it.

Well another project done for now. Next up is the dinosaur quilt for Carter’s birthday in May. I have the top sewn together so I just need to sew the backing and then layer and quilt everything together.

Karen

Little Knitted Pouch and Lavender Socks.

Here are a couple of little projects that I’ve finished in the last week. The first are a pair of socks I made for my daughter but turns out she’s allergic to wool, oops.

lavender socks
Basic sock by Ann Budd knit in Paton’s Kroy socks – Lavender Jaquard.

The other project is a small bag made from a pattern I found on Ravelry but the instructions are here: Knitted Creations. The yarn was spun from the roving shown in my previous post.

shetland white corridale purple green yellow pink
White Shetland and coloured Corridale.

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IMG_5137

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Hand-dyed fabric I had sitting around from a previous fabric swap.

bag

inside bag
Final measurements for the bag were 6.5″ by 6″ with the flap closed. You can of course make the bag any size you want just adjust the repeats of the pattern. It’s a very easy knit.

And lastly I pin-basted the small basket quilt together using a piece of backing that I dyed a light blue to match. I was pleased with how the backing turned out considering I just tossed in some dye and threw it on the fabric. It’s a bit mottled but it’s hard to tell in the photo.

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Karen

This and That.

I’ve been doing some crafting but nothing is finished yet so the big reveals are yet to come but since I haven’t blogged in a while I thought I’d post some progress pictures of what I’ve been doing.

First up some beauty shots to brighten your day. These are some roses that I got for my birthday and Valentine’s day, which are one and the same day. The grandkids came over and we had a wonderful romp and some yummy tacos for dinner.

white and pink roses

yellow and orange roses

Next up is the current project I’m working on. This is a little lap quilt kit that I bought from the Fat Quarter Shop about four years ago, hard to believe the time has flown by so quickly. I thought I would make it up and give it to my mother-in-law for her 95th birthday. The kids are having a special party and get together for her this April so it should be done by then.

01 laundry basket block

02 more laundry basket blocks

020 laundry basket quilt kit tag

And finally a couple of goodies arrived in the mail this morning. It was somewhat puzzling given that I had two parcels winging their way to me, ordered a week apart but the second one arrived first. This is some backing fabric I ordered to complete a quilt that I’m putting together for my grandson and the theme is dinosaurs. The other item is a quilt kit called Ada’s Prairie Stitches quilt.

03 dinosaur backing fabric

04 Ada's prairie stitches quilt kit

Hopefully I’ll be able to get pictures up of the finished quilts soon. The hubby is going away on a golf trip so I’m torn between having a craft-fest or cleaning, you can probably guess which I’ll end up doing.

Karen

Dizzing off the Drum Carder.

Today I had more fun creating some roving off of my drum carder. The first time I tried this I didn’t have a proper diz and used a ceramic button. It was a tough go and didn’t work that well and I hadn’t tried it again until today. I used my proper diz today and the process was really easy so I guess it helps to use the proper tools.

I’m going to photo bomb the process again, mostly because I want a record of the colours used. I’m too lazy to make more roving and there is also the thought that when I spin this stuff up it might not look that great so I’ve only made 63 grams of roving. If I want more at least I can look back at this post and figure out what to do again. Blogs are wonderful, I don’t know how many times I’ve Googled something and come up with my own blog.

The wool used is some white Shetland from Jamieson & Smith and some coloured Ashford mill ends, which I assume are Corridale since they aren’t soft like Merino. The mill ends used are green, purple, yellow and pink.

1 bare drum carder

2 white

3 green on white2

4 green2

5 purple on green

6 purple on green

7 purple2

8 yellow on purple2

9 pink on yellow

91 pink

92 white on pink

93 starting to diz off drum

94 front view dizzing2

95 halfway through dizzing2

96 roving falling off drum

97 roving

98 roving nest

It’s a thing of beauty, how many years have I been posting and it only occurred to me today to place a number in front of the names of my photos so that they are sequenced properly and so when importing I don’t have to re-arrange them in proper order? It takes me a while but I eventually get there…

Karen

Treats and Eye Candy.

Yesterday I got a parcel in the mail from the Uk, it was a prize for a KAL that I had been in for the months leading up to Christmas. The KAL was to complete projects and record the yardage used. Now I wasn’t going to bother listing my yardage because all I’d done was a hat and baby blanket and there were others who completed a lot more work than I did but then I thought well I should get into the spirit of the KAL (knit-along) because the idea of the KAL was to try and use up stash yarn. Well imagine my surprise when I won, nobody else could be bothered to list their yardage, just goes to show you what can happen when you follow the rules.

Anyhow thought I’d blog the wonderful gift that Bev sent me:

package from uk
Exciting moment, the unopened box before me.

inside uk package
Ooh packaged up nicely so it wouldn’t move around, what is in here?

uk contents
Yummy, look at all those goodies.

I have to admit that I demolished the treats in fairly short order, I have no willpower when it comes to treats.

Now for the eye candy. I decided to play with my Hero carder today and thought I’d blast some photos out of the process. I call photos like this eye candy and I guess you’d only appreciate them if you were another spinner. I love seeing photos of colourful fibre. I forgot to take a picture of the first couple of layers but the order of laying out the fibre on the carding wheel was: black, firestar, purple, red, gold Angelina, orange, yellow, orange, gold Angelina, red, purple, firestar, black.

I made two batts for a total of 94 grams. The Hero is a small carder so doesn’t do batts above 50 grams and it was all I could do to get as much fibre on it as I did. Since there were two batts some of the photos are repetitive.

hero batt nova

middle of nova batt 2

middle of nova batt

nova with purple layer

nova with black layer

nova tail end batt 2

nova tail end

Nova end 1

nova end 2

nova 2 batts end view

nova batt 2

nova both batts tail ends

Since the main colours are black and purple with the red, orange and yellow as accents I’ve decided to name these two batts Nova.

Karen

Poppy Shawl and Café Pansy Cosy

I’ve been away on holiday down to Florida and the warmer climes, lol, now it’s back home and snowing like crazy, such is life. While driving down to Florida I managed to finish off a shawl I’d started back home using the yarn I’d recently spun from the mohair/wool roving I’d bought from the Woodstock Fibre Festival and Wellington Fibres Mill.

The pattern – Poppy Shawl – is by Liz Lovick and comes from the book called Centenary Stitches. A wonderful book filled with over 70 patterns of vintage knits that were created for the movie Tell Them of Us. The original shawl is red but I wanted to use my homespun for a shawl and this is the pattern I chose. The movie is about a family and shows their life as their sons go off to war and the love ones left at home.

Poppy shawl2
Poppy Shawl by Liz Lovick.

poppy shawl on wires
Shawl on laced wires being blocked. While on vacation I bought the wires from InSpinknity and I really like them, they can be bent and will snap back straight after use.

On the way back home from Florida I worked on another Liz Lovick pattern from her ebook Café Pansy and chose the tea cosy to knit. The cosy was knit with Jamieson and Smith’s 2-ply jumper weight yarn. The knit was an easy one but took forever because the weight of the yarn was so fine. The ribbing seemed to take a long time to knit, I really don’t like ribbing so that probably didn’t help.

pansy tea cozy
Pansy Tea Cosy by Liz Lovick. Actually the pattern looks like butterflies to me so I guess you could switch out the colours and get something different.

Next I plan on working on a dinosaur quilt kit for my grandson Carter so we’ll see how that goes.

Karen

Charlie’s quilt.

Charlie had her birthday the other day and she got to open her present from grandma.

Charlie opening present 2014
Hmm, what is this?

it's a blanket
It’s a blanket!

charlie on quilt
It’s Frozen!

she likes it
All smiles, I think she likes it :)

And that is why moms and grandmas all over the world go the extra mile and put the effort in.

Karen
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Scraps of Time…Day 18 & 19.

Well it’s done and in the FedEx office ready to be picked up in about 10 minutes. I had my doubts about finishing this quilt before the December 23rd 5:00 pm pickup time. Lets just hope it actually does make it out to Edmonton and that Jonathan does pick it up.

Progress shots.
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Extra material being added to the backing to get the needed width.

pinned quilt
Quilt layered together and being pinned.

The two shots above were actually from day 17 but I took them after I’d already blogged. I was pretty low after having blogged thinking I’d never get the quilt done in time since I was a whole day behind in my schedule but somehow I got over that hump I don’t know why. My husband helped me with laying out the quilt and we did a pretty good job of it. The width was really tight as the backing matched the quilt top exactly so we fiddled around a lot trying to match the sides evenly.

IMG_4905
Here is a shot of my MegaQuilter and the quilt in it. I spent most of the day – about 8 hours quilting. I quilted diagonally through the blocks with a walking foot so fairly fast with lots of short pivots at the ends. Then I made the decision to quilt along the borders and along the vine with the walking foot as well. I didn’t bother with the leaves although it bothered me but I was in a time crunch so made the decision to leave them for later if I had time.

empty pin container
All through this project I’d been very careful when transporting my pin container making sure it was closed when not in use. The only time I forgot to do this was the other night when I was layering the quilt. Well wouldn’t you know it as I grabbed the camera to take the picture of the quilt in the machine I also grabbed the lip of the pin container. I looked down and saw the empty container.

pins on floor
Then I saw this. Of course this only happened because I had the extra time to pick the pins up off the floor, don’t you know.

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Attaching the binding with the walking foot.

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Back side of the quilt after the binding had been trimmed. This shows the extra fabric added to the quilt, most of it has been trimmed away. At this point I’m hoping the light fabric will be hidden by the binding.

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The binding has been sewn down by hand. I spent 3 hours at night and then the next morning working another two hours before I finished. It took me a lot less time to sew the binding then I’d figured on so I was pleased. This shot shows a little extra fabric that didn’t quite get hidden. I had only two spots about six inches long each so it worked out fairly well.

quilted leaves
I finished the binding this morning at 10 am so figured I’d have time to quilt around the leaves in the border. I’m really glad I had the time to do this. It may not have been the most pretty job but it looks tons better with them quilted than not quilted. It really made the leaves pop and secured the loose batting.

finished scraps of time quilt
Finished quilt on the bed. I finished at 2:00 pm and got the parcel in the FedEx store by 3:00 pm and it’s supposed to go out at 5:00 pm.

On the label at the back of the quilt I renamed the quilt “Never give up, never surrender”. At night on day 17 after feeling like I was never going to get the quilt finished I rallied somewhat and that phrase popped into my head – “Never give up, never surrender”. Galaxy Quest is a fun movie that’s a spoof on Star Trek. Throughout the movie during all the action scenes when the going gets tough the actors are all saying “Never give up never surrender”. I don’t know why it popped into my head but all last night (when I’m sitting there sewing binding at 12:00 am with a headlamp on) and today when I was feeling sore and tired I’d just say to myself never give up never surrender, you can do this. I then got to thinking that’s not a bad phrase for life and a good name for a quilt. When things get tough don’t give up just keep going.

YES!! The quilt is done and on it’s way!

Karen

Scraps of Time…Day 17.

Well I’m not where I was hoping to be at this time. The game plan was to be almost finished the quilting and I haven’t even layered the quilt together :( Last night saw me spending time sewing down the vines in the mitred corners and then realizing that yes I was going to have to add more leaves to fill in the empty space there. I ended up sewing down an extra 14 leaves. I must say that it was worth the effort because it really was the finishing touch for the borders. I guess when the instructions called for 120 leaves even though 110 are pictured there was a reason. Although the pattern shows 110 leaves I ended up with 126, go figure.

And because I couldn’t decided which picture to post of the corners here are two:

corner of border

leaf vine border

So here is a picture of the finished quilt top hanging over the bannister. It’s all done and just needs to be quilted now and the binding sewn on.

quilt top finished but unquilted

Of course because I’m in a time crunch the next item to go wrong is the backing for the quilt. I was so happy to find the backing and I still am but when I looked at the yardage requirements on the pattern I had an oops moment when it called for 8 5/8 yards of backing. I only ordered six yards, I mean I’ve never had a queen-sized quilt that calls for more than six yards before so usually it’s my go to number. The quilt is bang on at an unfinished 87″ x 98″. The six yards cut in half and sewn together minus the selvages comes out to 88″ wide not enough to use and have extra allowance for quilting shrinkage. I did think of taking some extra off the length but there isn’t enough so I guess I’m going to have to see if I have enough leftover fabric to somehow piece a border to add in some width and maybe hope after the quilting is done and the binding applied that nothing shows.

Another thing is the batting. This really is an odd-sized quilt because my queen-sized batts are 90″ x 108″. Again that gives me 3″ divided by two so 1.5″ extra allowance on either side. I’m going to see how the quilt fits the batting before deciding if I need to add any. I might just quilt the blocks and then make the decision whether or not to add extra if I need it. All in all a pain and I’ve pretty well given up on getting this done and out the door by Tuesday.

Karen

Scraps of Time…day 16.

I have developed a loathing for little itty bitty leaves. I’ve finally finished sewing all the leaves on the quilt – I think. I guess it depends on whether or not I want to fill in the corners a bit after I finish sewing down the last of the vine in the mitred corners. I took a day off after cutting out all the leaves because of my back and now I’m regretting it because that extra day might be the one I need to get this quilt finished on time for mailing out to Edmonton, oh well.

On average each leaf took about 4-5 minutes to sew down. Of course there was extra time for all those mishaps like broken threads, bobbin changes etc, etc. It’s been a pretty intense couple of days but at last the vine border is finished or will be after I work on the corners. I still need to put a final border on the quilt, piece the backing and then layer the top, batting and bottom together. Then I have to quilt the whole thing. Looking at the blocks I’m just going to do a quick and dirty job of using the walking foot to quilt rows and rows. The hard part, once again, will be quilting the leaf and vine borders.

Once the quilting is done (please let it only take a day or less) I have to attach the binding and sew it down. I’ve never sewn a binding for a queen-sized quilt in one day. I’m not sure I can do it. Each border will probably take me at least 2 hours maybe more; I’m hoping my elbows and fingers hold out. The quilt needs to be at the FedEx depot by Tuesday at 5:00 pm to make Christmas, if not the back up plan is to finish the quilt, take a picture and say, “It’s in the mail”.

cut thread
Eeek! Yes that’s a single cut thread in the fabric done when trimming thread. Kind of amazed I only cut through one thread of the material but disgusted with myself that I did it at all. Lets hope the Fray Check works.

leaves and vine
Close-up of the leaves and vine applique, done with invisible thread.

blocks with borders
A picture of the blocks with the leaf/vine boarder attached. I keep taking these pictures at night and the photos look like crap. I still have to sew the vine down in the corners and attach another darker outer border before layering the quilt together. Bonus for the backing is that I actually ordered backing material at the same time I ordered the kit. I’d forgotten all about it and found it when looking for backing material stashed in my closet. Lets hope I ordered enough.

Karen