Nov 11, 2015

and now I can get back to my regular life

When you hear the words, "Mum, will you knit me something?" come from a 15-year-old, it's remarkable how fast you snap into action. She has scorned knitted garments for years. We hopped onto and found a crochet pattern for a lovely poncho with a cowl neck. We raced out to buy yarn, choosing 7 balls of grey and one of red.

I had to learn how to hdc (half double crochet). Easy peasy when you know three other crochet stitches already. So around and around and around and around I went, with increases placed regularly. Two and a half weeks later, it's done.

She doesn't know yet because she's out, but she'll see it this evening. And then she can stop nagging at me to work on it and get it done already. Time to focus on sewing!!


Nov 7, 2015

did I really get that done?

I had a quilting workshop today. It was on the topic of 'quilt as you go'. It's a matter of making small things, fully quilted, and then putting them together to make bigger things.

I knew I wanted to make a Christmas table runner. I cut pieces for the back and the batting, and took a lot of fabric for the fronts because I didn't know what we'd be learning. Would my 5" charm pack work? Would I need strips the width of fabric?

When I saw the pattern, I knew I wanted to use my charm pack. It's called Winterberry and I love it. When I saw the dimensions in the pattern, I knew that the 5" squares weren't quite big enough. So I decided to chop them in half, wonky-like. Then I started cutting others into 3, wonky-like, for smaller pieces. I cut them two at a time so they'd always have a buddy to mirror, so they'd almost always come out squarish when two pieces were sewn together (the middle ones on the 3-cuts didn't behave as nicely, but I had wiggle room).

Then I started chain piecing. Then I ironed. Then I pieced the pieces together. Then I ironed. Then I did it again, and even a fourth time, because I needed 8 things 4 x 5.5 and 8 things 4 x 10.5. I have *NOTHING* left from that charm pack but wee little trimmings. I used the whole thing and panicked that I wouldn't have enough. I squeaked through. PHEW!

I have four of these. I'm going to quilt them some more, and then I'll attach them to each other. They're all the same pattern, but will be different because of the randomness of the cuts.

Random. That's the word of the day!

It's pouring out. I'm going to make some soup and then turn on the radio and get sewing. So awesome.


Oct 27, 2015

Pattern Jam wants to give me free fabric

I don't want to stand in the way of, so if you:
  • are interested in using a computer to design quilts really quickly 
  • envision yourself one day sharing your patterns with friends 
  • want to sell quilt patterns to strangers
... then please go have a look! 

As a bonus, if 5 people follow that link and sign up on the site, I get the credit, and Pattern Jam will send me fabric. Awesome

Three of you lovely people have already signed up, so I only need two more. How easy could that be? We'll see......

Thank you in advance if you choose to sign up on their website. It's free and you can totally cancel it later if you don't like it.


Oct 25, 2015

knitting controlled by sewing

I finished my new knitting-notion bag and it's now chock-full of stuff.

Remember this mess?

Yup, I'm happy. That poor felted messenger bag (which I knitted and then felted a few years ago) really wasn't made for so much stuff.

I'm going to get a few opinions and maybe a tester or two, and then I may just publish the pattern. It really is neat-o.

PS - I'm sorry if you can't see the second picture. It's on server #2 and I don't have the source to re-upload it. Darned server 2! You're only affected if you're looking at this from behind a well-secured firewall, though, so get back to work!


Oct 13, 2015

the quilt I've been sharing my time with

This is the beast.

So named because it covers a queen-sized bed with overhang. The squares are all 12" finished and it's 7x8 squares. 

Here, below, is Carol's favourite way to take quilt photos - with 'church' in the frame. Carol took all the photos on this post. She's pretty awesome, especially since she did all the editing in record time. I cropped the photos a little bit when I used SnagIt to grab them from a Flickr page, so hopefully you'll blame me (and SnagIt) if the quality isn't as good as you'd expect from Carol.

See all the neat-o fabrics? Ninjas, zombies, jeeps, Rocky & Bullwinkle, sharks, flames, etc? Hubby bought pretty well all of them. I get him to go into fabric shops with me, and if he finds something manly that makes him smile, I encourage him to go to the cutting counter and ask for .2 or .3 in Canada and 1/4 in the US. After a while, he started going into fabric shops on his own when he was travelling. In this quilt, we have fabric from our home area, plus Washington state, Oregon and Utah. And the backing fabric is also one he picked out in Oregon, and that's the only American purchase I think I was present for. The binding he chose from my Nanna-fed stash and I decided on all the border colours.

It was really random - I started with black, white and the gray patterns for borders, and then incorporated solid gray when I got bored. After a while, I thought I should have orange. I only had a fat quarter, so that ran out pretty quickly. I had added yellow by that point, and red followed shortly. I really got lucky with the way it all worked out because I had little pops of colour that didn't get in the way of each other, and just the right amount of everything.

Another (cropped) photo by Carol:

At the quilting bee, we had a Block Lotto. That means you make a block and bring it to the meeting. You get one ticket for every block you bring. Then there's a draw and the winner gets all the blocks. My Mum ended up winning all 15 from her 2-block entry and she's going to put it together with the teenaged granddaughter. That's pretty cool.

Off to guild #2 tonight, and I'll show the beast again ... just 'cause. There's no overlap, so it's not like I'm annoying anyone with a repeater.

(I had a look at my html view before I posted this and I caught one photo on the bp2 server. I uploaded the picture again and it got onto a different server, so I was able to fix the broken link that you may have experienced before you experienced it.)