Friday, October 31, 2014

Count Twice, Knit Once!

I was working quite nicely on this shawl. The yarn is Rozetti Polaris. It's a light DK weight. It is made up of these gorgeous colors that seem to alternate. The sequins are built into the yarn. It's so fun to knit this shawl and have all the hard work done for you. However, today, I realized I forgot an increase. I didn't think it would be a problem. It was only 2 rows down from where I was. I dropped a stitch on purpose to make the increase and then all hell broke loose!

The sequins get stuck in the yarn so you can't just pull a stitch or two. It pulls 4-5 stitches at a time.I had loops of yarn all over the place! I ended up pulling out about 1/3 of my poor shawl. I suppose I'm lucky I didn't have to start over again.

Oh, well, I'm back at it! I'm counting every row to make sure I don't forget my increases. Guess I just learned a lesson the hard way!

Hope you all had a Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Mom's Request

I finally added all the borders to this old quilt top. It's at least 15 years old. I left it at my mom's house and completely forgot about it. I used Quilt in a Day. Definitely, a long time ago! My mother thought it would be so nice if I finished it for her. We decided on an orange and blue border since the calico has tiny orange flowers all over it. (Remember calico?!) I'm not sure I'm crazy about the color combination but it's done! It's what my mom requested. She loves it and I guess that's all that counts.

 I thought it would be nice if I had 9 patches sort of floating all around. I got out my trusty calculator and figured out how long the pieces should be in between the 12" square 9 patches.

 It actually worked up pretty quickly. I made the 9 patches last week. I put the 3 strips together for the border yesterday and today. I was a little scared my math wouldn't work out but it was fine! I'm almost embarrassed to tell you how large it is! My daughter helped me measure it tonight. It's a whopping 105" by 95.5"! It's huge! I'm going to try and find a nice backing on sale somewhere. I think a king sized batting will be fine. I hope I finish this beast in my lifetime! Doesn't it remind you of Halloween even though it's blue and not black?!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Matching Socks

My socks are done and I hope they make a great Christmas gift for someone on my list. I haven't written out my list yet so I'll decide soon.

I used self striping yarn to knit these socks. I challenged myself to try and make them as identical as possible. That's the hard part about self striping yarn, no control! I tried to figure out the pattern of the stripes. After much measuring and ripped out yarn, I think I came pretty darn close! Not perfect, but okay!

I've started a shawl with one of the kits I bought at the last yarn show I attended. The yarn is gorgeous! It has sequins already attached in the yarn. This is the kit I'm using.

The color alternates between a deep purple and a shade of pink! Very fun! I'll show a picture when I have a little more on the needles.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dresden FMQ

I'm making more progress quilting my Dresden Plate quilt. I've completed machine quilting 8 blocks and have started the 9th. I'm outlining each appliqued Dresden Plate and then McTavishing the background. I noticed the sashing was looking a little puffy from all that heavy quilting. I was afraid I might get puckers when I finally got to the sashing area. As soon as my bobbin ran out, I decided to try quilting the sashing.

As you can see, it came out fine! That was a load off my mind! I did pin the sashing at first, but decided it wasn't needed. I'm so happy to see it's working out! I had heard if you stabilize the whole quilt, you don't have to work from the center towards the outer edges. It's the first time I tried that method. I stitched around each block before I started my quilting.

 I'm liking it so far! Here's another area. So glad I can just keep going!

I joined the Mystery Quilt at my guild. These are the fabrics I chose. That middle fabric is gray. The colors don't look very good in this picture. The yellow is from the Grudge line by Moda. It has odd textures sort of thrown in all over the fabric. The accent fabric actually has purple in it. I couldn't find anything that looked good except for that gray. Hope it works out! Mystery quilts are a little tough when it comes to choosing fabrics.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Shawls or Socks??

I was working on a shawl not too long ago. You may remember the picture I posted. Well, I decided it just wasn't working out well. The yarn was self striping and I just didn't like how it was coming out. That is a drawback of using self striping yarn. You just don't have the control. I had one area that worked out to be practically a solid color. It just didn't look right. I decided to give up and actually knit a sock with sock yarn! I really like how it's coming out. It's rather busy but looks great as a sock! I've already started working on the second sock. I'm trying to match up the stripes but it's pretty hard to get them exact.  

Our guild's quilt show is this weekend. I was the chairman for the November raffle basket. Since my month was November, I chose Thanksgiving Dinner as the actual theme. All proceeds are donated to Breast Cancer this year. I know you can't see what's inside but we had quite a few hand made items.  Hand made items included an apron, place mats and a table runner. There were many food items as well as fat quarters and quilt magazines. Hope the basket is a success!!

Have a wonderful weekend! I'll be working, again!!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Snappy Slippers!

After finishing the Tone It Down quilt top last week, I thought I'd work on a smaller project. Using some leftover charm squares, I decided to make these slippers. I used these charm squares to make a quilt for my daughter's friend this past spring. I thought they'd be cheerful and help me get up in the morning! (I'm not a morning person!)

This is the pattern I used. I bought it at Keepsake this past summer. Gerri Richards wrote the pattern. The directions are quite easy to understand and plenty of illustrations help out also.

Using fusible fleece, you cut out the pattern and arrange strips that were cut from the charm squares.  Each slipper has 2 halves.

Once trimmed, they are sewn together and lined.

Once top stitched, you match tabs and have the fronts overlap.

You make a left and a right. I used non-slip fabric for the bottom of the slipper. Inner soles were made and placed inside. Then you have your new slippers!! I needed to make something that didn't take very long. I guess I needed some instant gratification. I'll be starting a new quilt project soon. I'm washing fabric. I'll share pictures soon!!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Tone It Down

I'm so happy to say my quilt top is done!! For those of you who don't remember, each block was made up of 97 pieces. I didn't even figure out how many pieces in the sashing. Suffice it to say, this top is made up of more than 2000 pieces! I'm so glad it's done! Each block is 15.5 inches square. The quilt finishes up at 75.5 inches X 93.5 inches. It's pretty big! The picture above was taken with lighting while the one below was not. The fabrics look a little different. 

I'm not quite sure how to quilt it. I'm still machine quilting a Dresden Plate quilt. I have plenty of time to try and figure that out. It needs to be ironed pretty badly. Other than that, I'm so happy to be done. So labor intensive but definitely worth it!!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Swallowtail Shawl

I started a new shawl. I'm not sure if it's a Christmas gift but I do think it will be a gift for someone. I'm using a self striping sock yarn. I'm still working on the body but the border is gorgeous! It's called Lily of the Valley. I can't wait to get to that part! The body has been easy to knit so far. I love how the colors emerge. So easy! The yarn does all the work!

Here's a close up of the lace pattern. It's really a pretty pattern and so easy to memorize! The lace will look so much better once it's blocked. Lace patterns tend to scrunch up and make it difficult to see the all the different stitches.

The pattern came from this book by Interweave. I love their lace books. So many ideas but not enough time!

Disco is Done!

Even though I'm busily working on my quilt Christmas gifts, I did manage to finish this quilt top! It's Disco by Jaybird Quilts...