Kimono Finished

Finished today but not blocked yet. Doesn’t look like much on the floor but it fits perfectly. Will get pics of it on me tomorrow night.

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What have I been up to…

If I don’t write a post soon, it will be March. In the past couple weeks I actually have moved a couple of quilting projects forward in between all my knitting adventures.

This is probably one of my oldest UFOs. I call it Asian Splendor and I finished the top in 2007. It’s made up of a bunch of Asian F8ths I received in a swap.

It’s quilted now and yesterday, my dgd picked out the binding fabric for it.

This little pastel quilt is made from the left overs from a larger Sassy Sixteen quilt I made a few years back. It’s quilted now too and has binding chosen.

On the long weekend in January, my friend and I went up to Sea Ranch (Northern California) for a mini-retreat and I finished this top made from Breath of Avignon. Have to find a backing fabric for it to keep this one moving.

I’m getting ready to head out for Indianapolis on March 1 for our annual Danville, IL retreat at Threads of Time. My plan is to keep moving on Celtic Solstice. But Jennifer threw out a new challenge and some of us will be making Missouri Star’s Disapperaring Pinwheel Quilt with layer cakes from stash. I’ve got my fabrics chosen but not yet cut. Need to get busy!!

Headed out to my Monday KAL group now!

2013 UFO’s

I am woefully behind on my blog posting. But that doesn’t mean nothing has been going on. I’m also behind on reporting my UFO finishes. Let me just catch up the past few months.

October was number 7. That’s my Asian Sampler quilt. While I didn’t complete the quilt, the real challenge for me was to get these 12 blocks into a top. And, that is complete!

November was number 3. For me it was Sloane’s Happy Quilt. This is my granddaughter’s Christmas present. One of them anyway. Finished earlier this year.

December was an easy one. Number 10 is a preemie quilt that I finished to use up some pastel fabrics that weren’t playing well with my stash. Finished.

And, I’ve finished my bonus, number 13. My 2012 Keyhole quilt. Finished in August and given to my niece who is undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer.

This was a very good year for finishes for me. Also, a good year for donations. I’ve donated 20 pillowcases, 5 quilt tops, and 6 finished quilts to charity. It feels good to get these out of my house and doing some good locally and across the country.

Check out Marti’s posts at 52quilts.com for more finishes.

Celtic Solstice Part 3

Since I’m using one tan for my yellow and only a couple of oranges, I decided to make my HSTs using the printed templates and strips of fabric.

I had 64 sewn and sliced in less than an hour. I’ll pull the papers off in front of the TV this week and press them open. And make 136 more.

But this weekend was busy finishing up Christmas Gifts.

Linking to Bonnie’s Part 3 post.

Easy Chevrons for Celtic Solstice Part 2

Just took a look at Part 2 of Celtic Solstice Mystery. After all the units like these I just made for Lazy Sunday, I am not looking forward to making more of these.

UnknownLight bulb moment!

Why can’t these be strip pieced? The answer: They can!

I did a little math and it looks like I can make these with strips as follows:

  • 1 5/8″ strip of green
  • 1 5/8″ strip of neutral (the green portion needs to be 1 1/8″ wide for the corners to come out right)
  • 1 5/8″ strip of yellow or in my case tan

Sew together the three strips with the green in the middle. Then cut the strip sets at a 45 degree angle, some in both directions to get opposing chevron pieces.

photo 1

Cut your 45 degree angle slices every 2″ to get the right width. I used my 3.5″ square to measure the 2″ inches and I line up the 45 degree mark on my 6 x 12 inch ruler with one of the green/tan or green/cream seams for accuracy.

Then line up your 3.5″ ruler with the side and the two green points.

photo 2

Slice off the excess tan and cream and you have a perfect 2″ x 3.5″ unit.

photo 3

Sew together and press the seam open. A perfect 3.5″ square.

photo 4I still have waste triangles of the tan and cream, but no waste green triangles. So I figure I’m saving some amount of fabric and loads of time with this method. My waste triangles are now in my box for the Wild and Goosey paper pieced blocks.

Update:

To save even more time, take two strip sets and press seams in opposing directions as Bonnie suggests. Then sandwich the strip sets together before you slice on the diagonal.

photo 1

Then you can slice the opposing directions all at once.

photo 2

Trim by lining up your 3.5″ ruler at the end of each seam line where the points form, and you’ll have your units nested together all ready to sew.

Tried this again today and it works perfectly to get your 3.5″ chevron unit with no trimming required.

I’ve added a link to a printable version of this post here.

I’ll hook this up to Bonnie’s Monday Progress post when it goes live.

Enjoy!

PS: Someone asked about the border units for Lazy Sunday. Use three 2″ strips, cut diagonally at 2.5″ wide and it works.

December Getting it Done

Well November seems to have completely passed me by, so I’ll report on my October Goals:

1. Finish my Swirl jacket (Knitting). Done and donated to One Warm Coat. This one just didn’t feel right on me so I gave it to someone who will get much more use and warmth out of it. Here’s my granddaughter modeling it.

2. Make Alaska Wall Hanging at Ships. Finished the top at Ships, which was my goal.

3. Make Crossroads top at Ships. Finished this top at Ships, which was the goal. Mine is one the left. Muffet’s is on the right.

4. Quilt my Asian Sampler top. October’s UFO. This one didn’t happen. Too busy with my new knitting project.

For December, my goals will have to be simple.

1. Finish my Water and Stone sweater.

2. Finish the two pair of fingerless gloves for Christmas gifts.

3. Start and finish the Mielie Vest which my KAL group is starting on 12/4.

4. Finish and donate the 20 pillowcases I have started and donate them to SF Quiltworks. This used up 22 yards of stash fabric. Yay!

I will also be keeping up with the latest Quiltville Mystery each week.

Linking to Judy’s Getting It Done post.

Shipshewana Recap

Can’t believe I haven’t posted about retreat yet. Or that it’s been over a months since I got back. Time flies.

As usual we had a wonderful time. It was great to catch up with all my friends from the Mid-West.

Four of us were making the same pattern, Crossroads. Three of us finished our tops, although one was a slight variation due to a cutting mistake. But it is lovely just the same. Mine is on the left in the pic below.

I also finished my wall hanging top that I purchased in Skagway, Alaska in June. It turned out better than I expected.

I did purchase some things, but I didn’t go overboard on yardage this year. Here’s my loot:

Bobbins and Bits from Pat Sloan purchased at Yoder’s.

Also, purchased at Yoder’s Savoniere Jelly Roll. The Rooster fabric came from Lolly’s basement. As did the Fat Quarters. The Atkinson Design’s patter came from our stop at Erica’s on the way home.

Christmas Towel and Table Runner kits purchased at Erica’s in South Bend.

Cute zippered bag for my rotary cutter from Atkinson Design’s purchased at Erica’s.

Paris Flea Market Fat Quarter pack purchased at Erica’s.

And then there was the free stuff:

Fat Quarter gifts from local merchants. The cute scissors were in Muffet’s door prize and she gave them to me. :)

And I won this cute table runner pattern and fabric. Donated by Carol’s boss, Terri Degenkolb of Whimsicals. I’ll start this one after the holidays.

We’ll all meet again in March in Danville, IL for our Winter/Spring retreat.

A Couple of New Projects

I seem to be knitting more than quilting lately. That will change this next week in Shipshewana at retreat.

This week I started a new Knit-A-Long at Nine Rubies. We are making Swirl. I’m using Shalimar Breathless in a beautiful wine color. I actually started knitting last week. Here’s my progress so far.

I’ll be journaling in detail on Ravelry here. The KAL will run for 2 months. I should be able to finish the sweater in that time given my progress on my Swirl.

And, I started another fun little project, Knitted Knockers. My Mom saw the article in the October Reader’s Digest and had me download the patterns.

The recommended yarn is Cascade Ultra Pima Cotton because it is so soft against the skin. The pattern calls for using dpns but I had a terrible time getting started even though I’ve used them before. So I used the Magic Loop method and Judy’s Magic Cast On. Worked perfectly.

My 32 y/o niece just had a single mastectomy so I’m making my first Knitted Knocker for her. After that, I’ll donate them. Follow my progress here.

October Goals a Little Late

I’ve been a poor blogger these past weeks. Having too much fun I guess. Haven’t been reading any blogs either. That’s unusual for me.

So here is what I accomplished in September against my four goals:

1. Finish the center of Lazy Sunday. (Not committing to the border) DONE

2. Finish hand sewing binding on Monster Bash. DONE

3. Cut and prep fabrics for Shipshewana. DONE and packed 

4. Quilt one more UFO that is waiting to be quilted.  Not done. I’ve been knitting instead.

In addition, I finished sewing the binding down on my Christmas Mystery that has been a UFO for a very long time. Not the oldest I have, but close.

What have I been doing instead of quilting? Knitting.

  • I finished the knitting on my Swirl jacket and blocked it. Now I have to sew the one long seam to finish it.
  • I started knitting on fingerless mitt’s for Sloane for Christmas.
  • I tried knitting a sock from patterns on the Internet. But failed in sizing. So I attended a class at Nine Rubies on 9/30 and got some great help. Eventually I’ll try socks again.

So now on to goals for October before it’s half over.

1. Finish my Swirl jacket (Knitting).

2. Make Alaska Wall Hanging at Ships.

3. Make Crossroads top at Ships.

4. Quilt my Asian Sampler top. October’s UFO.

The first three are slam dunks, but number 4 will be a challenge to get that far this month.

Finished Knitting

Friday, I bound off the last three stitches in my Swirl. Friday I also received my blocking wires which I’ll use when I block the piece. First though I need to get all my little thread ends taken care of. It’s much too hot this weekend to work with wool so that will have to wait until it cools off a bit.

I have very little yarn left from the eighth skein. I was beginning to wonder if I would have enough. As it was I had to rip out both my swatches and use most of that yarn.

This was a great project for me to try some new things and learn to read a pattern. I will definitely be making another Swirl from some lighter weight yarn.

Getting it Done for September

Well, I never got around to posting goals for August so I’ll have to comment on my July goals.

1. Finish the Caroler Table Runner. My UFO number 8 for this month.

Done.

2. Pull fabrics for my Shipsie project. Muffet has challenged me since she has her fabrics pulled already.

Done.

3. Quilt Monster Bash

Done. And the first part of the binding is sewn down. Working on the hand sewing now.

4. Bind Christmas Quilt that I just finished hand quilting.

Well, the binding is sewed down but the hand sewing still needs to be done.

My goals for September are:

  1. Finish the center of Lazy Sunday. (Not committing to the border)
  2. Finish hand sewing binding on Monster Bash.
  3. Cut and prep fabrics for Shipshewana.
  4. Quilt one more UFO that is waiting to be quilted. (Not sure which one yet.)

These should be easy enough. Linking up to Judy’s post a little late.

Swirl Progress

It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted progress. Frankly, I haven’t touched the Swirl since Sunday the 25th. I was in Atlanta all last week on a business trip and I took a ball of yarn, a circular needle, and a pattern to make socks. Much more portable.

So here’s a picture of the Swirl as of the 25th. I’m working on the left front yoke and collar. Although it looks like the picture shows it inside out so it looks like I’m working on the right side.

I’m getting close to finishing the seventh ball of yarn. I hope I have enough of the eighth ball left. I made two swatches from that ball to check my gauge. Worst case, I’ll have to rip out the swatches.

I have to finish the welts on this left side and then repeat this section on the right side. And then I’m done knitting.

Meanwhile, I did start knitting my first pair of socks. I’m using the toe-up magic loop method. I grabbed a pattern from KnitFreedom for Beginner Magic Loop Toe Up socks and so far so good. Although, the sock seems a bit big to me. I did measure my foot and followed the guide. I turned the heel on the flight home from Atlanta.

I figure even if the first sock doesn’t fit I’ve gained the experience. I can always rip it out and start again.

This is the yarn and needle that I purchased in the Yarn shot at Threads of Time in Danville, IN last March while on retreat.

This past weekend, I did actually sew a bit on Lazy Sunday. That post will be next along with my September goals.

Knit a Long Week 5

Not much sewing going on here. I haven’t turned either of my machines on for at least two weeks. I’m determined to make as much progress on this Swirl while the Knit a Long is still in full swing. I see complicated parts in my near future. :)

At the end of four weeks of knitting, I have finished Welt 25. This also finishes the inner collar and lapels. I’m about halfway through the fifth skein of yarn at this point.

You can see in the picture how the body narrows towards the top. That’s the inner collar and and will fold back to form the lapels. It’s all starting to make sense to me.

The next few welts will start adding stitches to form the sleeves. Scary stuff for me.

What I learned this week:

  • I can drop a stitch and recover from it with my crochet hook.
  • If I just do exactly what the instructions say (and trust), it will be okay.

Knit a Long Week 4

Not much quilting going on here. I’ve been down with sinusitis for the past week and laid low on the weekend. Great for knitting though. photo

I’ve finished Welt 13 and another skein of yarn. 

I’m ready to begin the decreases for the Inner Collar. But, I’m stumped by the directions so I posted on Ravelry hoping someone would be able to help. There was a Coat of Many Colors KAL thread and I read through all the posts which helped some. When I posted my concern, I was lucky enough to have Sandra herself respond and between us we figured it out.

Somehow the direction to slip the “last” 113 stitches, for me turns out to be the “next” 113 stitches. But Sandra assured me it made no difference as long as I end up with my new starting point in the middle of section F. So I’m happily moving forward now.

What I learned this week:

  • How to break and then rejoin the yarn without fear.
  • Read and reread and question the directions if they don’t make sense.

Knit a Long Week 3

At the end of week 3, I’ve just finished row 5 of Welt 8. Here’s what it looks like today.

And last night I started the third ball of yarn. So I’m averaging a ball a week so far. 8 balls; 8 weeks?? We’ll see.

I’m definitely starting to feel the decrease in stitches. I’m down to about 35 minutes per row.

What I learned this week:

  • At our group last Tuesday, I learned about safety lines or threads. I hadn’t see this before but it makes sooo much sense. It was actually shown on a different project altogether. But isn’t this what these groups are for? Sharing and learning.

Knit a Long Week 2

At the end of week 1, I’m just about to start the 2nd row of Welt 4 for my Swirl. And, I’ve just finished my first skein of yarn. This is what my Swirl looks like right now. The color is too light from the flash but it shows my progress better.

It’s taking me about 40 minutes to complete a row. And, I’m averaging 2 rows per night during the week. I did spend about 5 hours knitting on Sunday while catching up on some TV on my computer. Not much watching; mostly listening.

I’m about to join a new skein using the splice method. I’ve never done this before, so I’ll report how it went later. Off to the second meeting of our Knit a Long later today.

Lessons learned this week:

  • Hold tight to the ends of the needles when adjusting bulk. I dropped about 20 stitches but luckily I was able to get them back on the needle before they unraveled.

What Have I Done

Instead of quilting, two weeks ago I found a Knit a Long at a LYS, Nine Rubies in San Mateo. The book we are all knitting from is Knit, Swirl! By Sandra McIver. I just love this style and couldn’t resist.

The group meets every Tuesday for the next six weeks. We’ll see how this goes. I am a very sporadic knitter and I stick to scarves and maybe a hat or baby blanket. So this is very ambitious for me.

The picture on the cover is the pattern I’m making, Coat of Many Colors. Only I’m using a single color, Cascade 220 Superwash in Heather (purple) on a size 6 Addi Turbo 40″ circular needle. It’s knit as all one circular piece with only one seam to finish.

As I post this, I’m about to start row 7 which will finish the first welt. All in purl. The next welt will all be knit. I started with 569 stitches. The good news is working from the outside in, you decrease 16 stitches every welt, so it will eventually be more manageable.

Things I’ve learned so far:

  • Count, count and recount. And then count again. One of the ladies in the group who started her Swirl in May is having to rip out many, many, many rows because somewhere along the way she skipped some decreases. We were so sad for her.
  • Casting on using two skeins of yarn so I didn’t have to estimate how much tail to have for so many stitches. Very clever.
  • Joining the round after Row 3 was so much easier than trying to join right after casting on.
  • How critical the swatch is. I started with a 7 and while the welts (rows) were good, the stitch count was way off. So I moved down to a 6 because the welts will expand on their own. And I can give them a nudge when blocking if necessary.

 

 

Getting it Done for July

I’m back from vacation, sort of recovered. If you want to see what we were up to, I posted all our adventures over at this blog. I wanted our family to be able to follow along on our trip.

I did visit a few quilt shops in Alaska and came home with two kits and two half-yard Alaska themed Batiks.

photo photo1

 

 

 

Here’s a link to the table runner kit/pattern. Only the kit I got includes a purple Fusions 7 (my favorite fabric ever) as the background and one of the rings. But the rest is pretty much the same color scheme.

http://quiltswithatwist.com/store/details.php?prodId=58&category=&secondary=&keywords=rainforest%20rings

Here’s the wall hanging that Darby insisted I make:

http://www.northernthreads.net/p-21302-northern-lights-pattern.aspx

So back to reality. Here’s what I hope to get done in July:

1. Finish the Caroler Table Runner. My UFO number 8 for this month.

2. Pull fabrics for my Shipsie project. Muffet has challenged me since she has her fabrics pulled already.

3.  Quilt Monster Bash

4. Bind Christmas Quilt that I just finished hand quilting.

I think I can accomplish a lot more than these four things, but these are a good start.

Linking up to Judy’s Getting It Done post.

Getting It Done for June

I’m getting this post written early since I’ll be on vacation from tomorrow until the end of the month. I made great progress this past weekend on my four goals for June.

My June Goals were:

1. Finish hand quilting the Christmas quilt.

Done, done, and done.

2. Sash the Asian Sampler blocks

The top is done; ready to find a backing and quilt it.

3. Bind Jared Takes a Wife

Done. Last stitch in the binding was done Thursday, the 20th.
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4. Complete Blocks Y and Z for Lazy Sunday

Done and Done.

Haven’t thought what I want my goals for July to be yet. I’ll figure those out and post about it on July 1st when I return.