Monday, October 31, 2016

In the Mail Monday

When Superior Threads has a sale I can't resist to throw a couple things in the cart with my monthly thread subscription. This time it was some So Fine! pre-wound bobbins. The thread for the month included black to go with the M-style bobbins. I'm ready for Halloween quilting.
A few weeks ago Spoonflower had a free shipping deal and I've been watching a couple brain-themed fabrics. I ordered a yard of this fun brain print. I think I'm going to use it to line a couple Walking Dead knitting project bags.
The other cut is a yard of this super fun project to make brainkerchiefs in four different colors! If you know someone that would love a head-covering that is fun and funky this is great.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Odds and Ends

I participated in some totally unwarranted retail therapy over the weekend. I picked up some fabrics that I don't need but I couldn't walk away from. I see some holiday gifts in this pile of fun fabrics.
I came across this buck during one of my afternoon walks. It took him two tries to find a comfortable place to lie down.
 I pulled out my stack of holiday prints and decided it was time to make something with them. I swear, I do not buy these so I have no idea how some of them came to be in my house.
I'm using a pattern and ruler from Sew Kind of Wonderful. This is Metro Rings made with the Quick Curve Ruler. I figure I have enough holiday fabric to make a good-sized quilt with these. This is my first try at this pattern and some of my blocks are less than perfect. I'm getting better trimming and getting blocks close enough to the right size. So much to learn!
I've been making slow progress on my Time Traveler shawl. Pattern is Virus Shawl, yarn from Knit Picks.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Anchor: Piecing it all Together

The pattern has each row constructed separately. The background fabrics are cut as each section is pieced.
This helped me stay on track though it did challenge me a bit to make sure I cut the background correctly the first time. A mistake could have sent me back to the fabric store.
In truth, I almost made one of those mistakes. Almost.
The top half was pretty easy. In hindsight, I should have started at the bottom.

Free pattern by Tula Pink. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Mystery Knitting: Playing Catch Up

I'm not usually a swatch person. Particularly when it comes to shawls, but it seemed like Stephen was trying so hard to get me to swatch that I felt it might be important. Here is my little swatch. I got pretty close on gauge, so I'm calling it good. I was sick the first week of the knit along so I my progress was pretty abysmal.
I really liked that this section had four separate parts and each built on the last. The construction is interesting and the knitting is keeping me interested.
I got a little bit more than this before the second clue came out. I'm so behind!
 I made it through the first clue.
And started on the second. This is my first foray into brioche knitting. I found Stephen's video very helpful and decided to try something new. I'm almost to clue three. I will be perpetually behind on this one. Not that I'm letting it keep me down.

Pattern is the Building Blocks Mystery Knit Along by Stephen West.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Mystery Knitting: Perfect Yarn

I couldn't resist joining Stephen West's 2016 Mystery Knit Along. I have enjoyed every shawl I've finished using his patterns.
Neighborhood Fiber Co. created this amazing custom color for Fibre Space. I liked it so much I used it as the base for my color choices. It is called Ziggy Stardust. The other colors are Mondawmin (pink), Woodberry (blue), and Remington (purple).
All four of my selections for the mystery KAL are Studio Sock from Neighborhood Fiber Co. Such fun and vibrant colors. I thought they would be perfect for a Stephen West creation.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Anchor: The Cutting

Another update on my progress with the Anchor Quilt pattern by Tula Pink.
I would try to cut one or two colors in the evenings after dinner. It didn't take long. Maybe 15 minutes per print to cut the 40-100 squares in each print.
By the end of the week I had cut all the squares and sorted them. That didn't mean the cutting was done!
Each row includes cutting instructions for the background fabrics. Then I had to layout each section so I could begin to assemble the sections. This was when I knew the print choices were what I needed to get the desired effect.

I see this project hanging around for a while before I get to the finish line. Much more like a marathon than my usual sprints.

If you want to keep up with my progress in close to real-time I recommend you follow me on Instagram. I post almost every day and several times on the weekends. Everything from crochet, to knitting, dyeing yarn, shopping and quilting shows up in my feed.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Knitting Update

I finally finished my shawl experiment. I may have over done it, but I love the finished piece.
Yarn is from Jill Draper. I didn't use a pattern as this was an experiment with short rows. I really like the results and I may write a pattern.
I've decided to get to work on an asymmetrical shawl I learned while doing the 5 Shawls in 5 Days challenge. If you want to learn about basic shawl shaping I highly recommend you check it out. This is my test to make sure I knew what I was doing with my lace edging. I used a lace edging design I found on a lace knitting blog. If you are interested in lace-knit edges I recommend you do a couple searches on you search engine of choice. You will find both charted and written directions for more lace than one person will ever need. I worked my sample in worsted so I could see what I was doing for the sample.
Once I had straightened myself out with the edge lace, I incorporated it into the shawl shape to make sure I was on the right track. I was so pleased that it went as quickly and easily as it did. The next step is to find the perfect yarn and knit up a small shawl. I think I can do that!
I've started on my Time Traveler Virus Shawl. I'm so glad I picked up this yarn from Knit Picks. It's just so much fun.

My quest for more shawls than any one person needs continues!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Charity Quilting

I took some time to quilt a couple charity quilts that I pieced a while back.
I'm trying to work through more than a few half-finished things. I just need to get these bound and labeled so I can take to the next Annapolis Quilts for Kids workshop.

If you are local you should stop by and say hi, or join the group to make quilts and totes. Quilts for Kids is a great way to learn to make quilts and learn the basics of sewing while making a difference in the lives of local children.

2016 Charity Quilt Count: 41

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Anchor: Fabric Choices

A friend of mine asked me to make a quilt for her friend to mark a big occasion. She asked if I could make Tula Pink's Anchor Quilt in pink and blue.
I spent over an hour at Cottenseed Glory picking out fabrics until I found the perfect collection of prints.

 I added both some Kaffe Fasset and some Tula Pink prints to the stack.

 This quilt design is going to challenge me but I think it will be a great finish. I didn't tally the number of 2" squares I cut, but there were many.

I'm using the tools Sam Hunter provides on her webpage to track my time for this project. I've seen several wonderful quilt designers/creatives share the cost in time of making a quilt and I want to use this one as my study.

I hope to include several posts cataloging the progress I'm making on this project.

Monday, October 10, 2016

In the Mail Monday: Knit Picks

Knit Picks recently had a sale to clear out all of the Felici sock yarn in some fun self-striping colorways. I had been keeping an eye on a couple colors and wanted to order some. This sale was the push I needed. I ordered ten 50 gram balls of the two colorways. The one on the left is called Dark Side, on the the right is Time Traveler.
I cast on some chains and got hooking on a Virus Shawl with Time Traveler. This yarn is so soft and perfect for a shawl project. I wish there were more ways to use self-striping sock yarn in a shawls that used the stripes to good effect. I bought so much I think I'll also end up with some fun arm warmers out of at least one of these colorways.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Charity Quilting

I know it seems I've fallen off the quilting wagon and jumped onto the knitting wagon but I assure you I have not given up quilting. Not at all. When I took quilts to drop off at Annapolis Quilts for Kids a couple weeks ago I picked up a couple kits to piece together.
These were both simple quilts and I finished both tops in a weekend.
Quilted and ready to be handed off for binding.

2016 Charity Quilt Count: 39

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Sew My Stash 2016

I often forget to clean out my sewing machine and when I do remember I find this fluffy mess. You can scold me for forgetting to respect the power tool (thank you Sam Hunter for keeping me honest) but you can't say I don't use this machine -- All. The. Time. Because being creative is important.
I scraped and picked and dusted and brushed and that lump is what came out of the bobbin workings of this wonderful machine.
I used up the last of a 2500 yard cone of Masterpiece from Superior Threads and started a new cone. If you want 100% cotton piecing thread this is perfect.
As part of Sew My Stash 2016, I dug through my ridiculously large stack of 5" charms to put together a small quilt. I regularly trim my scraps to usable sizes. I create 5" charm squares and 2.5" strips to clean up after a project. Sometimes this means I have one or two charms, sometimes more. I also create 3.5" tumblers and 2.5" charms. I'm still collecting both of these so a quilt out of those will likely be a way down the quilting road.
For this quilt I pulled greens, oranges, yellows, and some low volume and fun kid prints to make this small quilt. I've had a plus quilt made with 5" charms on my list for a while and this exercise allowed me to get that out of my system along with moving some charms from my stack into a quilt. I think I have at least one more scrappy quilt to work out of this collection of scraps before the end of the year.
I found some green flannel for the backing that will be perfect for this quilt.

There have been some posts, discussions, and opinions about derivative works and some rules The Modern Quilt Guild published for quilt submissions for QuiltCon. I haven't waded through the mud and muck of that, but if you want to take a gander at some opinions, Sam Hunter wrote a post that is an excellent read and links to several other sources (to see the original post from MQG you have to be a member but they did post to their blog about it). I haven't made a decision about how I feel about all of this since I consider myself a quilter first. I am a member of the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild but the decision to join was more out of my reluctance to join a traditional guild than about joining a modern guild. I'm not here to sway you one way or the other. Go read about it and formulate you own opinions.

I think I'm just going to keep being a BadAss Quilter. At least that title always seems to fit.