A Little Hat

It’s been a long and busy week, but I did manage to finish this little hat along the way:

GsHat2

This one was a request from Granddaughter G. and a second version of a purple one that I made for her a couple of years ago. It’s from this book:

VECKBook

The book is called Very Easy Circular Knits (in case you can’t read the cover in the photo above) and, true to its name, the Hat project is very easy and quick to knit. The last time I knit the hat, I finished it with a tassle, but the request was for a pompom this time so hopefully she’ll like that big one perched on top :).

Another view:

GsHat

Despite the knitting of hats, I’m hoping we get some actual spring like weather in Southern Ontario soon!

Be warm :).

L

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Progress

Well, I’m not exactly sure when the scrappy strips and flowers became the focus project since I was only working on them to give myself a break from the Quilt-As-You-Go blocks, but somehow that’s what happened. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – especially when I ended up with the finished quilt top I showed you last time. But now it’s time to turn back to those QAYG blocks!

You’ll recall that the outer strips were completed with straight lines of quilting approximately one-half inch apart (there was some “eye-balling” involved here :)) and I saved the centre, yellow strips for some free motion quilting practice. Am I ever glad I did!

QAYGBlocksFinished

So, just one block above, but all of the blocks are finished and waiting for trimming and sewing into the final quilt top. If you want to practice your FMQ, these Quilt-As-You-Go blocks are definitely the way to go. I’m usually okay if I can get my hands in the right place and establish a rhythm, but the small size of the blocks definitely helps, too. I also have a tendency to speed up in the straight-aways and slow down in the curves and this seems to be exactly opposite to the way that you would want to go to have nice even stitches – but I’m working on it. For now, I really like the way the loopy stitching in the centre strips turned out.

Stay tuned – more to come soon on this one (as soon as I track down a reasonably priced 9 1/2-inch square ruler to trim the blocks – hello, Joann’s!).

In the meantime, I’m thinking about what to do with these lovelies :).

CharmAndCandySquares

And is it ever nice to see that spring is making an appearance after all!

SpringFlowers

Hope it’s spring where you are, too!

L

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Cake?

I know, I know – it’s very late again for the post, but I have two good reasons. The first is that I was down and out with the flu mid-week so not a lot of sewing was happening for a couple of days. The second I’ll show you in a minute.

But in the meantime, you might remember this lovely “Way-Back” project from the beginning of January.

ScrapRows2

When I first showed off this WIP, I mentioned that I was conflicted regarding the flower print and a couple of people left very nice comments pointing out, quite rightly, that there wasn’t enough contrast between the print and the scrappy strips to really make the combination work. Those comments were spot on and I totally agree – but I really, really wanted to use that flower print (insert whiny kid voice here). So this scrappy project continued to languish for several more weeks.

And then, it occurred to me, if I can’t find the pattern anyway, who’s to say that I have to use just the scrappy strips and the flower print? Why can’t I add in something to make the two stand out a little more? Because really, it’s the contrast that’s needed to set these two elements apart.

So, off to Joann’s to find a lovely solid in Turkey Red (even the name makes me smile) and, along with the existing strips and print, here’s the result!

FlowersAndScraps

I love it! I love the scraps and the flowers; I love the bright, bold colours and the long vertical rows; and most of all, I love that it all came together in spite of having to sort through a few issues. It’s just what I wanted, and since I have lost the pattern (but expect to find it any second now since I’ve finished the top, ’cause that’s how we roll :)) I think I can also tell you “How I Made It.”

It starts with those long strips of 1 1/2-inch by 3 1/2-inch scrap strips – I had 8 rows complete and each long strip has 99 of these little scrap units in it. The number of units in each strip was definitely from the instructions in the original pattern but I have no idea whether there were supposed to be more or less rows included.

And here’s where I ventured out on my own to finish up this quilt top – I added 2-inch strips of Turkey Red to each side of the scrappy rows. I cut my strips from a 98-inch length of material so that I didn’t have to piece strips together (and I had enough length) but you could probably go 2-inches by WOF and piece together on the short edge to get the length you need. I also wasn’t quite as accurate with my seam allowances (apparently) when I did these strips years ago and ended up easing as necessary – I believe in the “measure twice, cut once” philosophy as well, but that doesn’t help when you figure out the wrong length in your mind and then realize afterwards that you should have added an inch to the total length (sigh!). Never-the-less, it did work out.

**Word of advice – measure your completed scrappy rows and then cut the length you need to match them.

And the final piece is to alternate 5-inch wide (because that is the width of my ruler so it’s an easy width to cut) by 98-inch long strips (or length you need) of the flower print with the scrappy strips, beginning and ending with the flower print. I ended up using 8 flower print strips, 14 Turkey Red strips and 7 scrappy strips to make the top – I wasn’t sure if I should add the extra strip, but after trying it on the bed, I decided the top was wide enough and I could save the extra strip for the back.

And ta-da!

FlowersAndScraps2

It’s nice to know that somedays you CAN have your cake and eat it, too! If this turns out to be a Scraps Monday over at A Quilting Life, I will loop back and link up since this was another project motivated by Scraps Monday. Otherwise, I will have to wait for the finish before linking up.

And now for the other reason for the late post:

LivingRoom

Time for a living room makeover! I have been painting like crazy all weekend and will provide you with a look at the finished project later this week. For now I will tell you that the drab grey is gone and a warmer, yummier colour is on the walls.

Hope you all have a great week!

L

Posted in How I Made It, quilting, Scraps Monday, The Way-Back Project, wip | 2 Comments

Coming Soon

Well, I thought I would get a lot more sewing done today, but between cooking and cleaning for a family dinner tomorrow, it didn’t happen. On the other hand, there will be a lot of yummy things for dinner!

PumpkinBars

I love pumpkin pie, but I can certainly do without all of the extra calories from pastry, so I was very happy to discover this recipe for pumpkin pie bars using ginger snaps to make the crust. You can find the recipe here if you would like to make them :).

I had hoped to finish the rag rug that I’ve been working on for some time – but it takes a LOT of scraps to get to a fairly good size, so it might still be a while yet. And the Quilt-As-You-Go blocks are also still in progress. Running out of thread didn’t help and with the Good Friday holiday most retail businesses are closed, so there was no way to continue today. So instead, I will give you a peak at one block from an upcoming project.

The pattern, Urban Cabin, is from the book Modern Designs for Classic Quilts and I really like the way the authors have re-interpreted the Log Cabin block.

BookCover

The instructions call for 16 blocks – 15 set in 5 rows of 3 blocks each with one left-over for the back. This size is a little odd for any of the beds that live in my house, so I decided to make 20 blocks total and set them in 5 rows of 4 blocks each. This size should work well with a double size mattress (although I’m debating whether to go back and cut enough fabric to make one extra block for a pillow). Their version was done with white and grey – I decided that I liked white and a warm beige better with the focus print fabric I found for the centre of the blocks.

ModernLogCabinBlock

You can tell the block is huge – 19-inches square when complete (I haven’t squared my block up yet – please don’t judge :)). The nice thing about big blocks is that you sure don’t need many to make a quilt top!

So, I seem to have many projects in progress right now (not an unusual situation) but starting sometime in the near future, I should be able to share many finishes with you as well.

Hoping you all have a wonderful Easter/Passover weekend!

L

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Friday became Saturday….

… and Saturday became Sunday – but better late than never, I suppose :)!

Just finished is the baby quilt for a co-worker whose little one arrived a couple of weeks ago. Here’s a look at the front:

BabyBoyQuiltFront

The back is a little different this time – I usually border the patchwork strip with white like the ones on the front. This time I actually followed the instructions and inserted the patchwork strip about 16-inches down from the top of the backing fabric. I think it looks nice this way too:

BabyBoyQuiltBack

This is the same Stacked Coins Baby Quilt pattern by CrazyMomQuilts that I always use. Now it’s off to the wash so that it’s all crinkly and nice for giving to the new parents!

In other news, here is what the (now) 5-year-old thought about his birthday quilt (it was a thumbs up, in case you can’t tell :)).

LsQuilt

Happy (belated) weekend!

L

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Still in the works…

…well, the posts seem to be slipping from the regular Friday evening into Saturday morning (and on into Saturday afternoon) and for that I apologize! I am attempting to get back to my regular schedule, but for at least one more week it may remain Saturday morning instead.

Not a lot was accomplished this week, but here are a few in-progress items that are a little more complete than they were last week!

QAYGBlock

I showed you a few of the Quilt-As-You-Go Made Modern blocks last week, and now there are 36 of them! My strategy was to complete all of the blocks and then circle back to do the quilting part. The only reason for my choice is that I wanted to try out a little free motion quilting on the centre yellow strips and I thought it might be more efficient to put the blocks together, quilt the straight lines and then finish up with the free motion loops I have planned for the middle.

You can see above that the lines are done in this block, but the centre is yet to be completed. I also don’t really like the very dense quilting that is so popular right now – I prefer a little less quilting overall, so my lines are placed at a spacing of about a half inch – with many more blocks to be completed, it might take me a while on this one!

BabyFront

I also have another baby quilt to finish up. Another co-worker has a tiny addition to the family and although I tried to get out ahead of things on the baby quilts, the new arrival is here and I still need to finish this one up. It’s the same pattern as all the others – stay tuned for the link next week once it’s finished, if you haven’t come across it here many times before.

BabyBack

And a sneak peak at the back – isn’t that dot fun? I think it should be perfect for a new baby boy :). And apparently, I need yet one more baby quilt for the nephew and his wife who are expecting in August, so there will be at least one more baby quilt in the immediate future.

Happy spring!

L

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In the works…

I apologize for the late post, but I’m coming off another busy week of travel and this is the first I’ve been able to capture any photos and sit down to write. Also because of travel, it’s WIPs this week and no finish to share, but some weeks are definitely like that around here:).

First, a new knitting project that’s travelling along with me:

NewAfghan

It looks simple, and in fact, the directions are rated for an experienced beginner (I would say I meet that or more!) and it still took three attempts before getting this much complete. The pattern has you knitting in the round, but some rows are turned so you’re knitting back and forth on the same stitches and some rows continue around in a circle.

Confusing to say the least, and when I knit it’s usually because I want something mindless to do that keeps my hands busy while “watching” tv not because I want to focus on something. My biggest hang up was, if you turn the work you’re going to have a bit of a gap – until I reread the directions and discovered that I was supposed to wrap the last stitch on the turn rows to make sure those gaps didn’t happen. Proof once again that you should always read your instructions thoroughly before starting!

Also on deck are these nice blocks:

QuiltAsYouGoBlocks1

I’m trying out the Quilt As-You-Go Made Modern method from Quilting in the Rain‘s Jera Brandvig. I purchased the book a couple of months ago with a gift card I was given over the holidays and I could hardly wait to begin. Luckily, I was also given a set of precut strips as a Christmas gift so I’ve combined the two to start creating these blocks. They are not quilted (I’ve chosen to sew all of the blocks first) or trimmed to size yet, but I’m about a third of the way to having enough blocks for the quilt that I’m working on.

And here’s another view of those blocks, just to prove that spring is coming to Southern Ontario (yes, that is grass showing under that tree in the background there!).

QuiltAsYouGoBlocks2

And now, back to the sewing room (oh how I’ve missed it :)).

Hope you all have a great weekend!

L

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