5.19.2017

FO: Boundless

After long waits to order border fabric, then find binding fabric, and to applique a bunch of squares on other squares for a non-baby quilt, Baby Quilt #1 is done:

This from a Boundless in Bloom set of charms (bought off of Craftsy), plus later some yardage from the same line.  Standard pattern, a 6x7 charm grid, 1.75" white border, 3.75" coordinating border. 


The backing is quilting cotton from JoAnn's bought with a 50% off coupon.  


The label is vintage bunny:  


The baby is due in June, and as of this afternoon has not made any moves toward arriving early.  


Also done is my very first yarn - not the first I plied, but the third or so one, and I'm going to keep it rather than use it.  

 
Linking up with Finish it Up Friday.  Happy Crafting!

5.02.2017

Purple Handspun

I've finished my third skein of 2-ply!  

Before washing:


After:


 With a quarter:

I wound it off the bobbin onto an acrylic quilting ruler again and came up with an estimate of 876 yards.  

It's listed in my Etsy shop (here!) and I listed it as over 850 yards because despite counting the number of wraps twice, I dread the possibility that someone buys it and then runs out because I didn't calculate it right.  Because there is no more where this came from.  

Again, despite being a 2-ply, this is a laceweight yarn (4.2 oz, 850-ish yards).  I really need to figure out how to spin thicker. 

This time I plied the singles immediately after finishing the second bobbin, and they were definitely energized and it was definitely harder to ply.  In the future I'll try to let them rest for at least several days.  

If it sells, I'll get some more fiber and start in on the next project.  BUT, the baby quilt list just keeps growing (5 and counting) and I do not have a big (or even small) pile of baby quilts yet, so it would probably be better to tear myself away from the wheel for a bit.  The first blanket is due in June, which is not too far off.  

Happy crafting! 

4.16.2017

A little bit louder, a little bit worse

Today I blocked the shawl I've been working on pretty monogamously since I finished the yarn (sagano shawl, rav link):


 Here's what it looked like before blocking, when I was wondering if I could actually make the top edge straight.  That teeny little ball near the center is what yarn I had left, but I foolishly wasn't worried about running out. 


 My 5-year-old remarked, "Mama, it looks like spiders."  Sigh.  Yes it does.  Where was the kid when I was picking out a pattern?  

An army of spiders

 I may not let the fact that it's made out of spiders and it's finally in the 70s stop me from wearing this at work this week. 


Here's where the project started:


I was not expecting stripes or gradient-ness - have a lot to learn about what to expect from fiber through the spinning process.  I've read lots of stuff that says that beginners might expect their first singles to be laceweight but are surprised at how much it plumps up, but my two-ply was definitely a laceweight, coming in at 650 yards over 4 oz.  I regularly hear about how small my handwriting is - maybe these facts are related.  For my next spinning project, I'm going to try to spin a thicker single so that I can make yarn for those worthy knitters in my life who aren't super into laceweight without having to spin 10 singles. 

I am finding myself tired, as I sometimes get, and a bit fallow, as my to-do list explodes.  Right before I started knitting the shawl that ate a month, I started an applique quilt knocked off from Crazy Mom Quilts:

Please ignore the purple/green blocks and orange circle, those are separate projects.

It went about like: I need a new quilt to make, something applique... yes, right there, that will do.  Monkey see, monkey applique.  This one will be for me, which is unfortunate because there is a long list of people I'd love to give a quilt to, and who deserve a quilt, and who I should be quilting for.  

::yawn::

Happy crafting!

3.18.2017

FO: Plinko Patchwork and yarn

Usually when I apologize for low-light pictures, it's because I've finished something well after the sun has gone down.  This, however, is the rising sun.  Through trees, to be fair, but yeah.  March in the cold northeast. 



Plinko patchwork is finished!  It was planned to finish at 60"x72" - after a wash it will probably be a bit smaller.  

I was stumped for a long time about how to quilt it, and I put this quilt down when the spinning wheel quilt came together.  Putting quilts aside before they're done is rare for me, but I safety pin basted this one and then set it aside.  As I worked on other stuff, I kicked around lots of options, then sat down and decided out of nowhere to quilt Hostess cupcake loops over the seams.  Then, because it seemed like it needed a bit more and I couldn't remember which batting I'd used and therefore how much space I could leave between quilting lines, I did diagonals across the whole quilt. 



 My loops are, let's say, really really organic.  I hated them while I was quilting, but now that it's done, I really like the effect and will probably use this again. 


The very top of the back is more of the banner fabric, the middle is spooky trees, and the bottom is "Blast Off," a nice neutral geometic-y Connecting Threads clearance score.  The banners were a Hawthorne Threads clearance score.  Then my husband liked it so much that I scored more to make this quilt.  

And, with great fanfare and a very tired leg, I present my first handspun:



Six ounces of a black/white wool/alpaca 2-ply.  I can see how my spinning improved over the course of the two singles - there is a substantial amount of single left on the second bobbin I did, mostly because I didn't have huge slubs that could probably have produced a yard or two of single.  I'm going to figure out how long it needs to rest and then wash it.  Then I'm going to shellac it and put it on the wall.  Maybe.  

Linking up with Finish it Up Friday.  Happy crafting! 

3.04.2017

FO: Twin Quilt 2

Twin Quilt 2 is done! 


It's the pattern that has become my standard for little babies, done in Connecting Threads charms and yardage with a couple other fabrics thrown in.  Charm squares in a 6x7 grid, white border, complementary fabric border.  I'm trying to adjust my buying to plan for this more in advance - the outside borders need a little more than a yard of fabric in order to not have to join (and match the pattern).  

Oh, look, a quick tutorial is happening.  

To match up these border fabrics, here's what I did:

First, I cut two portions of fabric that would together be long enough for the side border.  Then, I folded down a little more than 1/4" on the narrower fabric, and applied a little bit of glue along the folded down edge.  


Then I placed the fabric, folded side down, onto the fabric I was joining it to.  Then I pushed down on it reeeeaaaal hard.  


Then I carefully folded it up and pinned along the short edge.  I sewed right along the fold.  


Then I checked to make sure that the match was close enough that I didn't have to redo it, then trimmed the new seam down to about 1/4" and folded it open and pressed.  


It's not perfect, but it's hardly noticeable in the finished quilt, especially with all the horizontal quilting lines that cross the border.  

I also didn't buy enough of the backing fabric I'd originally planned for, so I turned to the stash and used these cute little seahorses instead. 

 

Here are the two finished quilts together.  Sometimes I have trouble getting finished objects to their recipients (on my shelf you'll find a scarf for the best boss ever, finished 11 months ago, as well as a baby blanket finished for a co-worker, whose baby is undoubtedly walking and possibly potty training by now.  To be fair, I don't see either of them on a regular basis), but I'm hellbent on getting these babies these quilts. 


Linking up with Finish it Up Friday at crazymomquilts.  Happy crafting!

Oh, look, some spinning, too:


I CANNOT WAIT TO PLY.  

2.24.2017

FO: Spinning Wheel Quilt

Last weekend I got the spinning wheel quilt back from the quilter.


At the fabric shop, I chose an orange that was right in the middle of the yellow-red range used in the quilt for the binding.  I did a 2" double fold binding and decided, due to a quick turnaround needed, to do my very first machine finish. It wasn't perfect, but it wasn't noticeably horrible, so hooray for a quick solution.  People say it's more durable than hand-sewn bindings, but I've never had a problem with my hand-sewn ones.  Maybe after a couple of decades it makes a difference. 


Most of the points at the edge of the quilt came out pretty well. 

Here's the back, with a white-on-cream swirly flower sort of print. 


A full shot:


Pictures over the edge of the deck yielded a casualty - a little tiny snag, which I appliqued a patch over.  Can you see it? 


And the only shot I took after its first wash, when it got super crinkly and snuggly. 


Even though the colors aren't really my deal, I was sad to see it go.  On the other hand, I was very, very happy to get this little guy:


Linking up with Finish It Up Friday at crazymomquilts.  Happy crafting!

2.08.2017

FO: Twin Quilt 1

The fabric for Twin Quilt 2 arrived the day I put the final stitches in Twin Quilt 1.  The twins may be coming home from the hospital as soon as a week from now, so I'd best get my Twin Quilt 2 on. 


Man, I hadn't realized how little turnaround time I have.  As I was stitching the binding down, it struck me how long that takes.  It takes a long time.  And it's funny to see how stiff these quilts are when they're first done - our two are so broken in that it's hard to remember when they weren't completely floppy. 


I had a hard time making fabric decisions for this quilt - I still kind of feel like the colors are almost random and don't cohere well, but I guess they kind of do.  There's some overlap of all the colors in the multicolored blocks.  The binding is a Kona dark purple, which I thought I'd run out of, then I ordered a beet red from Connecting Threads hoping it would be about the same, then I found and used a bunch more of the Kona purple, and then the fabric came and it was way the wrong color.  Ta-da! 



This is the first quilt I've put a bunny label on.  My mom recently gave me leftover fabric from the gingham patchwork quilt that my aunt made for me before I was born, and the bunnies were the backing. I decided to use the bunnies to make labels for all the baby quilts I can - a little piece of my beloved quilt going to all the new little babies.  Have been wondering if I could find any more of it. 



This is Twin Quilt 2 in its first stages.  I'm using Luna Sol Connecting Threads charms for this one.  I made an attempt to use the Acorn Park line, but my hope is to have as wide a color range as the first quilt, as well as as many focus fabrics as the first, and that just wasn't happening with my stash and Acorn Park.  I'll lose the solids here and add lots of other focus fabrics to flesh this one out. The border will be the moon fabric at the bottom right. 

I'm a bit in love with the light blue bunnies on the dark background - might get some more of that.  

Will link up with Finish It Up Friday when it's time. 

Happy crafting! 

1.29.2017

Progress toward the spinning wheel

Today I dropped off the barter quilt at the long-armer's.  I've never had a quilt quilted before and can't wait to see how it looks.  It will be a few weeks before it's ready.  

Here's the top, finished:



I went round and round about maybe taking the top two rows apart to get those yellows further from each other, but landed on leaving it and deciding that the top will actually be the bottom, which should make it much less noticeable.  On the whole ride there, I considered turning around and taking it home to fix, then taking it back next weekend, but once I looked at it in the store, it didn't bug me at all.  Which is good, because I don't want the longarm lady to think I'm crazy neurotic.  

Lesson: I need to be more careful with yellow.   

Here's the back of the quilt.  The shot cottons are very pretty, but they fall apart if you breathe within a 3-foot radius of them.  I tidied up the back a bit, but pulling all the threads would have taken hours and I know in my brain that it doesn't affect how the quilt looks when it's done, so I refrained.  I hope the recipients really, really love it, but I know that I worked really hard on it and am pretty happy with the technical bits (sharp points, perfect corners), so I feel like I've done my part. 


I owe a lot of babies quilts right now.  The preemie twins may make it home before their due date, so it's a good thing I have one quilt ready to cut and bind.  I have nothing to bind it with, but I'm sure the stash will provide. 


This quilt is done in what has become my standard baby quilt pattern - the middle is a 6x7 grid of 5" charms, then there is a narrow-ish white border with a wider-ish border of one of the fabrics in the quilt.  I bought a bunch of random charm packs and am throwing some stash in where needed.  Did not love using a fabric that reads pretty light as the border of this, but this fabric happened to have four colors used in the rest of the quilt (pink, blue, green, and gray) and was pretty much the only thing I had yardage of.  

I have another charm pack that I could use for the other twin quilt, but it doesn't coordinate at all with these colors.  Would that be weird?  I could probably use more Connecting Threads charms to come up with enough for another top, and I could duplicate one fabric with this quilt.  Lord knows there are other babies that I could use the other charm pack for.  

It's nice to have an open design wall for the moment.  On to the next baby quilt. 

Happy crafting! 

11.18.2016

FO: Elephant Abstraction

It's done!!

I'm wicked excited about how this turned out.  I made two major modifications to the color scheme, namely using a lighter yellow for the background and substituting a plain white for the "cream" color used in the tusks.  I did use cream for the toenails as called for in the pattern.  

Here it is before a wash (and well after dark, on the floor):


As you can see, there's not a lot of contrast where the white bits in the ears meet the yellow; that would have looked better with the gold background.   

Here it is after a wash, nicely wrinkly:


For about every 3rd or so line of quilting, I switched directions and quilted back the other way, to prevent too much biasing.  You can tell there's some pulling if you look at the yellow sections, but I didn't think it looked too bad. 

Here's the very boring back:


I had enough of the gold to cover the whole back, so I took the easy option.  You can see in this picture how non-straight the quilting lines get about a third of the way from the bottom - it's not super-noticeable on the front.  

The pattern is here, and I got a quilt kit for it (that had the original fabric selections) from Hawthorne Threads - an awesome birthday present.  Overall, this was actually a pretty good project to learn paper piecing on, because it's all solids. 

My backing fabric for Plinko Patchwork has arrived, as has fabric for skirts for each of my little ones, as has a fq stack of shot cottons for a custom quilt that I'm going to trade for a handmade spinning wheel:


Though these aren't in the color range I usually favor, I can certainly see the appeal.  The yellows/oranges/reds form a really pretty gradient.  The people I making the quilt for liked my weathervane island quilt, so I'm going to design a bigger one for this project.  

And, because two projects I am champing at the bit to get started on aren't enough, there are now two little teeny tiny preemie babies in the NICU who I thought I had a lot more time to quilt for.  But, no, I didn't, so that's on the list as well. 

I cashed it in super early last night, and will probably do the same tonight, because I'm tired.  I have quilts to design, fabric to iron, backings to make, and several things to knit, but I'm tired.  Sometimes you just have to sleep instead of make stuff.  

Linking to Finish it Up Friday over at crazymomquilts.  

Happy crafting! 

11.13.2016

Socks!

Finally finished up the three pairs that had stalled inches from the finish line:


The hardest part was finding them.  These are pairs 95, 96, and 97, and pairs 98, 99, and 100 are on the needles. 

My secret quilt project was busted about immediately, but it was met with approval, so that's good.  Here's the original design:


And here's the finished top:


It's easy to write something like 72" on the paper, but that's actually a pretty big quilt.  I'm happy with the size, though - it will be big enough to be a "real" quilt rather than just a snuggle quilt.  

I've got backing (and a bunch of other stuff) on order, and I hope to get this one done pretty soon.  Also progressing nicely is the Elephant Abstraction quilt, which has binding attached and is about to get a hanging sleeve before the binding is sewn down.  Plugging along.  

Happy crafting!