Its been awhile; a long while. I debated the continuing to blog vs not, and I guess I have decided to continue after all. (Either that or my arm is bugging me and so updating a blog isn’t stitching so perhaps it will be less stressful)
I am pleased to report that the Christmas Advent handing calendar seemed to be a success. So too with Santa’s laundry line. I did not finish my 365 quilt, but I did make it to August 4th, so that’s past half done. I did assemble the center and there is a pair of borders (dark double and light single) and larger foundation corners yet to go. Back on the goals list it goes for 2023 I guess!
On the knitting front, I did finish my sparkly lace shawl. I ended up frogging the sweater that was in progress. I decided the hem line was not particularly flattering and I’d be happier making up something new. And found a cardigan pattern with pockets! I’ve cast on but its early yet. And we are once again in Sock Madness season, which I’m partaking in because I always learn something new.
At the end of last year, I decided to do some work on my antique train set and its mostly been researching and finding storage solutions at this point, but seeing as I’ve already branched this to both knitting and quilting, and I’m actually not all that deep into the trains (they were inherited from my rail fan father) I’m not going to go much into detail here.
Mostly, this year I have been deep into a very late spring and planning to remodel the bathrooms in our home. I am eagerly looking forward to no more carpet in the master and the tile countertop. You may see a bit in the future as I’m likely to be making the curtains again.
Between sock rounds, I generally do a brief pick up of my crafting space. Earlier that led to a mini rug being made for under my jade plant that lives in that space, but this time around I decided to write out my various quilt projects to-do list and where they were at…. it was A LOT. Like 18 quilts long not even counting the latest request from my mom-person. Three of those are at the just need to be quilted stage; one being my wedding quilt and I am not sure I’m at the skill level I want to be to quilt that. One just needs backing pieced and then it moves into that pile too. I have five kits and one all the fabric bought for front and back so… just need to make the time. Of course the 365 is on there. So my goal now is to make significant progress on this list this year.
So yes, I did start all the way back in September and yes, I have in general finished the major Christmas crafted gifts. And while its only a few days into December, my house is decorated, my cards have all been mailed, and I have cookie dough in the freezer ready to bake to make cookie trays up, but I still feel behind. I am especially behind on my blog updates, but I figure my handful of readers are pretty used to that sort of status update. So let’s start off with some finishes to set the record straight.
First up, I finished a quilt that I can’t post yet because its a gift for someone in the house. But I also finished up the Advent Hanging and got it sent to my brother’s family. It has a small light string and 24 hand knit ornaments. I also finished up the log cabin quilt block swap quilt. And the top of the Jacob’s ladder block swap. Then there are a further two pairs of socks and a scarf from the yarn in the anniversary yarn year set. Oh yeah, and a linen blend sweater (which was my first using of linen)
I also apparently forgot to post the lace autumn table topper I finished (Final blocked size is about 40 inches in diameter). Which lasted most of the season, but had to take a short break when my aunt sent me a tablecloth that my mother made and gifted her for her marriage. Which I thought would be fun to post here so you can enjoy where my crafting roots came from.
Now I’ve lost a bit of steam on my current works in progress… I suppose I could blame it on the fact that we got an unusually early arrival of 14 inches of snow this past week. But here’s the honest answer. My November sweater I love the idea of its unusual construction, but in trying it on, the way it lays kind of emphasizes the part of my body I’m not exactly thrilled to show off. So I’m debating frogging back to the lifeline I put in and just knitting it a bit plainer. I have a lovely but significantly smocked knit shawl I want to work on but it takes a bit of concentration, as does the set of cabled socks I am working on for my husband. He is probably going to end up with a couple balls of yarn in his stocking at the rate I am going here.
This year has been a bit crazy as my crafting space has shrunk a bit and one of my stress habits is to go bargain shopping… which certainly hasn’t helped. So I’m hoping I can keep organizing and start to work more from my stashes (fabric and yarn) going into 2023.
As to the 365 block quilt… I am up to July 17th, which isn’t too much farther along, though July does include my birthday and there is a special block for that. Maybe I can get there in 2023?
I am once again behind on updating my blog. Sometimes it honestly feels like I am getting nothing done. Which when I go to put together a post, is clearly not true.
So first up, I participated in my second quilt block swap. This time it was groups of 16. I have just 15 blocks and am awaiting the last one, so this photo are the blocks I sent out. Its a log cabin design with a central red square. It was a great use of remnants from prior quilts in there. You will see my goldfish bargello, my guest quilt and a few other throw backs in you look close.
On the knitting front, I’ve knit up a few pairs of socks and the first of my Christmas gifts, a Santa’s Laundry Line. Yes, I am behind on some gifts while ahead on others. Its just how my brain goes in random directions sometimes I think.
I have managed to get more done on my 365 quilt. As of this morning I’m at July 11th. Which means I could add my light border, but I’m waiting until I finish all of July. There are 32 total blocks including the birthday cake block because my birthday was that month.
Lastly, here is a preview of an advent tree I am making as a gift. The Tree itself is based on a dresden plate type design. Which I am knitting a number of ornaments to hang on it.
This is just laid out flat with lights and button baubles laying on it to give myself an idea of how its coming together. The plan is to tuck the battery pack into a pocket on the backside an thread the light cord through with a button hole behind the tree itself. I have started ornaments, mostly just to get an idea of sizing for my pocket presents that should sit under the tree.
So first up, the top for my 365 quilt has grown not just in blocks made, but I finally was able to do some assembly with the post April blocks. Which made it look like this:
The very end of April, all of May and June are dedicated primarily to lighter 6 inch blocks which will then join for border around this section. I did manage to complete my May blocks, and then laid them out around the sides to get an idea of how it is growing. The hardest part here is explaining over and over to some inquiries that, yes I have completed over 100 blocks, but I also have over 200 blocks left to go. I am going to be at this awhile, and no, I’m not close to done yet.
I might be a bit further along, but its also been Sock Madness Season, and I made it all the way into the penultimate round this year! This year, I experienced my first stacked stitches and steeked designs.
Learning new techniques is one of the main reasons I participate in Sock Madness each year. Socks are a nice small scale project with a wide range of potential building techniques. I may not always adore every design, but its at least going to turn out something useful. And as usual, by the end of Sock Madness it gives me design ideas.
Lastly, I joined in my first quilt block swap. For this swap everyone made 12 Jacob’s Ladder Quilt blocks and mailed 11 of them off to their group members. This alone would make a more lap quilt sized blanket, but if you add some other blocks, then you can build a bigger quilt. Here’s my blocks I have to make a top out of:
A regular reader may know that now is the time of Sock Madness… a time of knitting socks as fast as you can for nothing more than bragging rights, skills building and overflowing sock drawers. I am once again playing, though after being rather unkind to my left shoulder this past winter, its now being unkind back to me and so I am trying to rest between rounds. I am apparently not very good at the resting it part. So first up a gallery of socks, including my own warm up pair made for Ben of green and rainbows, the qualifier that I affectionately named “Lisa Frank barfed in my shoes“, the sparkly Elven jewelry socks of round 1, and Sock Pockets! of round 2 (none of which are their real names but if you click on the links they do take you to the real pattern pages on Rav)
I have just barely managed to keep up with the date of my 365 quilt blocks as of today, if not for the fact that I am several years behind. April starts out with the 4 long narrow borders that go around the center medallion followed by the 4 corner blocks. At which point its then back to small dark squares but at the end of April you can assemble the center with its borders and the first dark border so that’s certainly something to look forward to.
And in other quilting news… another local quilter reached out to share a photo of what the full 2006 block of the month quilt was intended to look like and also gave me her extra fabric from her hard work! So that project is now firmly somewhere on the To-Do List of Quilting!
I also participated in my first quilt block swap this past month, and got all my blocks mailed out and several of my swapee blocks are starting to roll in. This was organized on r/quiltingblockswap on reddit and this time around was a Jacob’s Ladder pattern. I have a couple ideas floating around for final layout, but something for another update.
I am making progress on my 365 day quilt of 2016. I’ve completed February and I’m half way through March at this point. If I make it into April I can actually start putting some of the top together, that is when I get to some of the center borders (center was the end of February prize) and enough dark tiny squares for the first dark round.
I did manage to get some knitting in, and finished the sleeves of my Twisty Sweater and got it all seamed. I took some liberties with the pattern, Shifting Rib Pullover – Vogue. I made my back start with the same tulip hem as the front and continued the central spine cable. I also went for long sleeves as its an aran weight sweater and short sleeves didn’t seem to match as much for me, so I made them long and added one center cable all the way down each sleeve. Please excuse the lighting on a few of these photos. I am still not so great at selfies.
Lastly I squeezed in a pair of socks that I just finished this morning, and registered for the coming Sock Madness, though I am not certain exactly how that will pan out with all the other things happening right now. Wish me luck! And feel free to jump in if you want to try it out.
I realize I have been skipping several months over the past year, but usually I am on the ball come January and my goals, but this year, well its already 11 days in and finally here I come waltzing in.
First a brief recap of last year and why it was so much chaos. There have been significant changes in our family, in particular with my husband’s parents. His father passed; his mother is now living with us; and I was the lead on helping deal with their home in Kansas needing to be cleaned out of the 46 years of semi-hoarding accumulation. My craft supplies storage space shrank significantly and has had to be re-organized quite a bit. But hopefully things will not be so massively crazy in 2022. (Everyone collectively cross their fingers)
I did manage to finish the year of hats KAL, and even pulled off a sweater made of cotton for my husband in November. (which I may have just shrank a bit in the wash yesterday, so again.. cross your fingers). Then mid-December I pulled a muscle in my shoulder after finishing the back of my twisty sweater I am knitting myself and well… I have maybe 4 inches of one sleeve done since then. My green and yellow quilt is on the frame, but I am not super thrilled with how the first couple passes look so I’m debating ripping those out or not.
So let’s look ahead to what I want to get done in 2022. Obviously I want to finish the twisty sweater. its currently taunting me in its sleeveless state. I’d like to use up more stash, specifically in the scrap fingering weight department, so I am hoping to knit one of my Lotus Feasting on Scraps blanket pieces each month. I am also looking at my quilting stash and decided this is the year I work on the rest of the blocks for the 365 day quilt challenge that I started all the way back in January 2016. I am up to 38 squares, which means 327 more to go! I also acquired at some point some 2005 and 2006 Block of the Month blocks from a local quilt shop. Two of which were completed, so I’d like to finish those up and make them into something and liberate those from my stash too.
Mostly I just hope for some good sunshine and craft time in the coming year, and hopefully things will settle down again.
I live in the Pacific Northwest, known for its coffee, apples and lots of rain. So while I was eager to get photos of the rainy day quilt the weather forecast was saying “maybe next week” and I am feeling too impatient for that. So here are a few photos of my finished Rainy Day Quilt built around a couple broken up rows from the 2015 Row by Row with the theme of “water” and the Western Washington Quilt Shop hop with its umbrellas and raindrops special fabric.
While I was working this one up, it reminded me of an old English poem.
The rain, it rains upon the Just, And also on the unjust Fella But Twice as much upon the Just, For the unjust stole the Just’s Umbrella
Unknown (I looked, its been attributed to a wide variety but wasn’t able to pin down the original wit)
Which means I can claim three whole quilts fully finished this year. I have three more ready for quilting, but one of them is my wedding quilt and I’m not 100% ready for tackling that one in my long arming journey although I do think that some of the stippling turned out alright.
Its been yet another busy several weeks going to Kansas and packing up and painting. So I’ve just managed to get my hats of the month KAL caught up to November and a singular pair of boring vanilla socks completed in knitting. But now I’m back and its National Knit a Sweater Month, so I’ve started on a sweater. Let’s hope I get a bit more knit time in this month and can manage to finish it!
It has been quite some time, and while I wish this update was full of a heck of a lot more quilts and knits to show off… its sadly not. I haven’t given up on either of those hobbies; but life has certainly came along and whacked me upside the head with a frying pan full of life happenings. Since my last post I have been back and forth to Kansas about three times helping out my in-laws which is sadly now just a singular in-law who is now living with us. And, since the room she has moved into was the home of many of my hobby supplies, it all got squished into the craft space that houses my sewing machine and frame. I have needed to do some serious reorganization there.
My Rainy Quilt has been sitting on the quilt frame needing to be unburied to get back to finishing it up. I am doing a bit of all over stippling on the non-umbrella and boots blocks, and up to this point it has been coming together. Here’s a couple progress photos from before the room was taken over by all my unorganized stuff.
I did get a bit of a jump on organizing (Thanks past self!) because I had started to bolt my larger fabric lengths onto cardboard magazine backers with some small binder clips. This makes my fabric a bit tidier and fits in both bins and on bookshelves a bit easier. I had a couple display cabinets of dolls that I packed up and repurposed into my yarn and fabric stash cabinets, and the nightstand from the formerly known as guestroom turned out to fit some small bolts on 5×7 backers for roughly fat quarter size fabrics.
I did manage to finish up a couple pairs of socks but I think the last pair took a month and a half! I am trying to catch back up on the hats of the month KAL, currently behind August and September but I did actually start my September hat yesterday so hopefully it won’t take too long. And oh yeah…. holidays are coming!
So everyone keep your fingers crossed that things start smoothing out soon, or everyone is getting gift cards this year!
Well I am back… and while I did finish some more socks, I thought I’d talk about my first go at using a pantograph with my quilt frame. It certainly looks so much easier than it actually seemed. And the whole “sewing machine with laser beam” experience tickled the part of my being that laughs at other with laser beam combos.
I decided my next quilt was to be my bargello flag, and picked up a Stars and Stripes Pantograph from Sew Thankful based on the premise that the design would fit my working space and it didn’t look too complicated for a first run. I got my quilt all set up with the frame and machine and impatiently waited for the mail.
This past week (yes the week of flag day) I had my panto, and my quilt and it was time to get down to business. I can confidently say that I am not the smoothest of stitchers and the amount of wiggles in my stars and waves was certainly not what I had hoped for, but its a learning experience right? The ultimate self betrayal was when I realized about half way through that the orientation of my quilt and my pantograph meant that essentially my stars were rather upside down in relation to the flag on my quilt.
Look… I am not too ashamed to show my struggles. I did get a bit better as I got more experience, but this is clearly a quilt best viewed from a few feet away. I decided to finish this one with a folded/rolled over from the backing binding. That border and backing fabric was a bit stiffer since its made with all the stars as a glow in the dark.
I originally thought I might gift this one, but not sure if my quilting is quite up to snuff… so its currently sitting in the craft room to think upon. Overall, I think I’m going to try a simple stipple on the rainy days quilt next. But first I need to get myself some batting as otherwise its a few too many pieces to put together.