Bad to Worse and Back Again!

I know I mentioned in my last post a teaser about a knit project, but for reasons that will be explained later (real later not end of post later) I needed a break, and so I am going to skip back a bit to follow up on an item from The Good, The Bad and The Brioche.

You may recall my commentary on how I bought the wrong interfacing and was attempting to forge ahead anyway with my Mario Mushroom quilt along block.  Well I did get my first seam in… the one where I was joining together the two bits with interfacing to make one giant square.  And then THIS happened:

Do you think it gives more or less life if its been sliced, diced or julienned?

Do you think it gives more life or less life once its been cubed, sliced, diced or julienned?

So clearly my prior plans were not going to work and so I paused my quilting game and ordered one of the recommended interfaces instead.  I ordered online as its never enjoyable to drive 30 minutes just to see if they have what you need.  First there was an issue with the order amount, then there was snow in Georgia that delayed the order but eventually I did get at least a good portion of my interfacing.

So I carefully laid out all my small squares (they are 1 1/2 inches) onto the new interfacing.  Bonus being that this new kind was wide enough for a whole block of them!  And then you iron them down.. and begin the seams.  I started with the horizontal.

Twilight Zone now controls the horizontal.

We will control the horizontal.

Now I did find a couple places near the edge where I didn’t do as good of job with my ironing where the squares came loose, but that’s my own user error and I can fix that going forward.

Next you start seaming the Verticals.

...and the verticals.

We will control the vertical.

And eventually you end up with one 18 inch square Mario Mushroom pixel block.

Its a me, Mario!

Until next time on… the Quilter Limits!

One thing I really like about this method is that all the seams line up just so nicely!  I only wish I didn’t feel like I was 2 months behind on the Quilt-A-Long Project.

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The Good, The Bad and the Brioche!

The Good

Thus far this month, I’ve tackled a few smaller quilting projects.  One of which started out as a simple conversion of a bedskirt into a set of valances for Dale (of the Sunflower Dresden quilt fame).  But then I had fabric left, and if you do any kind of scrappy quilting that you can’t let so much as a perfectly good 2 inches of fabric go to waste, let alone any amount larger than that!

So I made a normal pillow case, trimmed in “valance plaid” and then I had more fabric so I made a few quilt block decorative pillows too.

Three pillowcase fronts.

Three pillowcase fronts.

The blue and yellow floral is new, but the dark blue and yellow are scraps from her sunflower quilt, the light blue from my first quilt.  Both smaller pillows are backed in her “valance plaid” to help tie the whole ensemble together. The inside pillow forms were made from some of the plain white that was a part of the bedskirt.  So all told I bought a yard of fabric, and ended up with 3 pillows, 3 valances and I still have a smidgen left.

Smaller pillow features my first ever button holes on my sewing machine too!

Smaller pillow features my first ever button holes on my sewing machine too!

The Bad

First off, I decided to join in a Quilt Along (QAL) with an online group.  (Details here) Now the joining wasn’t the bad part; its probably more of the good part since I don’t belong to a quilting guild or tend to get very social with my knitting and quilting.  But… the shop was out of the recommended interfacing, and the line was forming behind me at the cutting counter so in the words of the third knight in the Temple at the Canyon of the Crescent Moon, I chose poorly.  I chose a non-fusible/non-sticky kind, and its too narrow to do a whole block at a time.  I am attempting to forge ahead with some spray adhesive to see if I can make it work.  Thus far I’ve laid out the first block:

Here's a photo while I was waiting for the adhesive to dry.  You can see where I will need to seam the two sections together.

Here’s a photo while I was waiting for the adhesive to dry. You can see where I will need to seam the two sections together.

Like most of my quilt projects, I tend to take several cell phone photos of it as a work in progress and post them in an album.  Which you can check out here.  Wish me luck!  I might just need it.

In other mixed good/bad news, I did forge ahead with three more stars on my giant star quilt.  I am not super thrilled with how some of the points came out, and was feeling kinda crummy about it.  I do think the later pillow project actually helped, as it has similar cuts and came together very well.

A Green and two blues

A Green and two blues

The Brioche!

A while back I fell in love with a certain pattern for a shawl on Ravelry that uses Brioche stitch.  So this year I told myself I was going to learn.  And with the help of some left over Seahawk Action Green, I started with a nice beginner brioche scarf.

Brioche doesn't look like it has a wrong side.  Just a side of a different color.

Brioche doesn’t look like it has a wrong side. Just a side of a different color.

And so just before the Seahawks finished up with the 49ers, I finished up with my Brioche Scarf!

The tails are done in single color.

The tails are done in single color.

Now I just need to find the yarn I want for the shawl project and I’m all set.  I’m looking for a spring green  for one color and autumn spice for the other.

Shawl we get this over with? – And some philosophy

So you know that shawl I posted from my stash just the other day… well yesterday and this  morning… I finished it!

Fanned out and on display

This shawl has been in my stash for a very long time… it had two of the half fans that form the top border on stitch holders and just hanging out because I ran out of yarn.  It was the first modular design piece I decided to try.  Since it was a learn to do it project… I used stash yarn that I picked up… likely from the clearance section of the yarn shop, and didn’t have enough as it turns out.  So I ended up finishing it with a later not-quite match.

Here you can see where the new color row fits in with the old color

Now…. the philosophy ramble…. (skip to the end if you want the pattern link).

I don’t tend to worry about gauges when I’m testing out something to see if I can do it.  I don’t plan nearly as much as I probably should… but since I am in more of the beginner stage of knitting, I don’t think that is a bad thing.  I could see where this would be an issue later on when I want to make a sweater, or to get the right fit on socks and gloves, but for learning the principals of stitches and patterns on scarves and blankets  it really doesn’t matter.  If what I want to know is… can I figure out how to SSK/cable/double-knit something… it does not bother me in the slightest if its 30 inches instead of 36, or vise-versa.  No one else but me has any idea how its supposed to turn out anyway.

Sure, I could follow the recommended yarn brand, which would have cost me about $60, and it would probably be worth it… but the whole time I’d have started the project I’d be fretting about cutting up that beautiful and expensive yarn.  Or I can test out a pattern and not worry about the yarn for about $10 on the same project.

If you are learning and you see a pattern you like and want to try, don’t fret over having “Super-silk-cashmere-yarn-of-Amazeballs™” just bust open your yarn stash and get to work with what you have!  Learn something new… and find what you love.

And with that… here’s the pattern.

Stashed Away!

So my baby afghan spree has revealed a few items that are still floating about in my stash…

Such as this baby sized chunky afghan that finished off a couple skeins of patriotic red, white and blues on some giant needles…

Soft and Thick Patriotic Flavor

And this angelic little preemie/doll size of a hourglass eyelet stitch.  I really like this stitch because even the wrong side looks pretty nice!

Front side, with a simple crochet edging.

Backside. Looks like a fancy basketweave.

And then there is this shawl I am finally going to look at finishing… because I finally found a yarn I think will go well with where I ran out of the last batch…

Fan shawl

So now its off to see if I can finish the fans this month before I have to get started on a September Stocking, finish my snowflakes quilt and various other crafty projects!

I hate it when a plan doesn’t come together….

So sometimes the concept of what you want to do makes you excited and you look forward to it with anticipation…. for me it was this plan:

This is a flat view of a round stocking… with a line down the middle, splitting mario and 2 blocks from the last block and the piranha plant.

However… as it came together there was some puckering. And then the scale was off. Like so far off I was debating about salvaging it into a stocking hat. But I think I’ll pull it out and go back to the drawing board:

Disappointing…. 😦