Friday, March 31, 2017

Bee Blocks: March

Thuis month I made bee blocks for the queen bee using a pattern from Blossom Heart Quilts. The block is called Alpine.
I pulled the requested colors from my stacks and stacks of fabric and cut two blocks for the bee. I didn't use the exact cutting directions because I'm not a fan of stitch and flip construction for flying geese blocks. I used my Easy Angle and Easy Companion Angle rules to cut those geese and their corners.
A slight miscalculation in cutting and they ended up a little more scrappy than I had planned, but I don't mind. Another project checked off for the week.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

National Puppy Day

Last week was National Puppy Day. These are my full-grown pound puppies.
This is Belle, a black lab mix. She loves tennis balls and trying to get on the couch.
This lovely, is Reesey. She will sit for ear rubs and has a wicked wag.
They are spoiled pups. Don't let them convince you otherwise.

Monday, March 27, 2017

In the Mail Monday

I promise to be more interesting later in the week. Right now all I've got is this thread. My subscription to So Fine! and some more color cards (they were on sale) to add to my collection. I love being able to see the color before I order.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Embroidered Projects

My Darling Husband handed me a couple bags (months and months ago) and asked me to add some embroidery to make them more interesting.
I have this great Carpe Noctem design from Urban Threads.
I embroidered the two bags with similar color combinations. The background on the smaller gray bag (on the right) was stitched in a fun variegated thread while the one on the left is a gray thread for the background stitching. I did consider holding onto one for myself.

Carpe Noctem

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Countdown to Christmas

For several years I belonged to the charm pack club by Fat Quarter Shop. Every month, rain or shine I would receive a stack of charm packs. I would often buy a couple yards of coordinating fabric, too.
This went on for a while and then I realized I may never work through all those squares so I cancelled my subscription. When I need an easy project, I pull out those charm squares and make a plan.
I picked up the 5" tumbler template by Natalie Dawn for Missouri Star Quilt Co. at a quilt shop in Connecticut a couple years ago. It is a great way to quickly trim those charms into shape. I trimmed all the squares and cut a couple extra from my yardage.
I didn't do much planning for this one. I was looking for simple construction.
This one will finish as a good sized throw quilt or would be great on a twin bed.
I used the yardage to add a couple borders. Now all it needs is a backing, quilting, and binding. I did cut the binding from some of the striped fabric.

I wish I could tell you that this project was on my 2017 UFO Challenge list but it wasn't. It was just some fabric I could pull from my collection and stitch up into a quilt. I should go see what is on that list before I start something new.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Charity Quilting

Today I'll share a good stack of charity quilts that I picked up at the last meeting of Annapolis Quilts for Kids.
I dropped this one off on Saturday.
I picked up some batting and got stitching.
I will trim each of these and hand them over to another member for binding.
These little quilts are a great way to try out new quilting designs.
And these kittens are just fun!

2017 Charity Quilt Count: 14

Friday, March 17, 2017

A Friday Summary

I had some time to accomplish more things and it seems I've squandered some of it. This will be a quick post to give you a bunch of quick updates on several of my projects.
I pieced clue number two of the mystery quilt the Baltimore Modern Quilt guild is running this year. Sure, it doesn't look like much, but I'm excited that there was sewing in this clue and not more cutting.
I started another holiday print quilt using a stack of charm squares that has been in my collection for what seems like forever. Working with fabrics I already own instead of buying new fabric just seems like such a great plan. This fabric is Countdown to Christmas from Moda.
I caked this yarn so it would be ready for a project when I get the crazy urge to cast on a new project. This is the yarn I received as part of the FibreShare that I participated in last year.
And I cast on Marled Magic Mystery Shawl Knit Along by Stephen West. Sure, I don't need another shawl or another project, but I had to join in on this one. I'm using a self-striping yarn to give me the same effect one could get with color changes but with so much less weaving in!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Charity Quilting

I have not fallen off the charity quilting bandwagon. If you are local, you should definitely come check out the next meeting of Annapolis Quilts for Kids on March 18th (information on the location on the blog or Facebook. Sew, cut, donate fabric, provide shoulder rubs, whatever level of support you can for this great group that provides quilts to children and others in need.
This fun string quilt was a nice change of pace. Quilted with a simple meander.
This one will make a super hero fan happy. Quilted with a simple meander.
Big swirls cover this simple design.
Monday night there was some freezing rain. This was the view from my front door on Tuesday morning. I went right back inside and closed the door. Even the dogs didn't want to venture out.

2017 Charity Quilt Count: 9

Monday, March 13, 2017

Quilted Cuddles

A friend asked me to quilt this darling panel quilt for her. I said yes. I also may have gone a little overboard with the quilting. I think it was worth it, though.
Why would anyone restrict themselves to using a single thread for a project like this when six different colors is so much more fun!

I hope the quilt provides loads of warm cuddles for the little person it was made for.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Knitting Update: Hale Bopp

I've been working on this shawl for a while. this is Hale Bopp, a mystery knit along put on by Ambah O'Brien. I've purchased more than a few of her patterns and I thought I would enjoy this mystery.
I did't bet past the cast on before I'd learned something new, which is always a good thing with mystery projects. Learning something new because you decided to try something new and never giving it a second thought. This shawl starts with the Turkish cast on. I think it is commonly used for toe-up socks.
This pattern called for three different yarns. I pulled out three colors of Chroma Twist fingering from Knit Picks and decided that I was ready for the mystery even when ombre yarns hadn't been recommended. I really like to live dangerously! I love this yarn and want to buy more. I am trying to be good and stick to what I have.
I've completed the first clue and most of the second clue. The fourth clue was just released yesterday (when you weren't getting my regular Friday blog post) so I'm not likely to catch up anytime soon.

I'm hoping I can find some time to get more done over the next couple weeks as I feel like I'm falling behind.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Reindeer Games

Reindeer Games is project number nine on my list of 12 UFOs for 2017. Nine was the number picked for March.
I designed and stitched the label onto the backing fabric.
Loaded it all up and got stitching! I covered the quilt with swirls both large and small.
Look at all that texture!
I do apologize for the poor lighting in this photo, but I wanted to share that it was done!

Three months, three finishes! Keep that magic moving!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Catching Up

Last week I blocked my latest Dotted Rays Shawl. You can also see my first attempt at sewing up Hawthorn from Colette Patterns. That is still a work in progress and will get a post of its own when I get around to finishing it.
I pieced a charity quilt for Annapolis Quilts for Kids. If you're local and you want to help out with this wonderful group you should check them out. They'll give you a pre-cut kit to sew a quilt top. Great for individuals that want to learn to make quilts, all sorts of crafty people, and clubs looking for a community project.
The daffodils in my front garden decided it was close enough to spring no matter what that groundhog said.
I loaded up project number 9 on my UFO challenge list and got quilting. It will be covered with a collection of swirls in many sizes. Finishing things is more satisfying than starting them.
I made it through the first clue of the Hale-Bopp Mystery Knit Along. I'm not terribly behind on this one, but I don't see myself catching up any time soon. Clue number three has been released and I've made it to clue number two.
DH and I tried something new this week. I heard about spatchcocking from Megan (The Bitchy Stitcher) and I had to try it out with this Cornish hen. It worked out great and shaved more than a couple minutes off the cooking time of this tiny bird. They say it works with birds of all sizes.

Have you tried any new techniques or tools for cooking or crafting? I would love to hear about your experience.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Crochet Experiment: Dragonfly Wing

Remember when I shared this project? that was before I found a giant knot part-way through the ball of yarn. Now, if it had been a simple knot that kept the ombre color-change going I would have just kept right on crocheting. Sadly, that isn't what happened. That knot took me from the darkest color (near the top of this piece) to the lightest color in the ombre- not even seen in this sample. This is Shawl in a Ball from Lion Brand Yarn. I was sad, but I did learn an important lesson: always re-wind your ombre yarn before starting your project (I had something similar happen to another ball of ombre yarn last year). I ripped out all this work, rewound both sections of yarn, and took a chunk out of the middle so I could get the color to flow as cleanly as possible from one to another. (I did fill out the form on their website to let them know about my issue. It has been more than a week and I still have not heard from them.)
I started again and the join is almost unnoticeable now that I have done all that extra work, and had to leave out a few grams of yarn.
This is an attempt to make a specific shape shawl. I couldn't find any that were this diamond shape when I looked through some of the hundreds on Ravelry. Plenty of triangle shawls, and rectangular shawls, but none that were somewhat like an elongated diamond. The shape of a dragonfly wing. If I can pull it off, I'll make sure to write up the pattern to share. Right now it is simple double crochet. I wanted to let the yarn do the work of making it shine. I may decide it needs fancy stitches the next time.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Knitting Update: Dotted Rays

About a month ago I shared another shawl I was making. This is a variation on Dotted Rays from Stephen West.
It starts off like a Dotted Rays.
Then you stripe yarns to create a blending effect.
Until you shift to the second color.
Then more striping with another color.
At the end you make some fun chevrons with the dark and the light colors.
After about a mile of i-cord bind-off you have a lumpy mess that still needs the ends woven in and blocking. It will still be pretty awesome, though.

Yarn is Hawthorn in fingering from Knit Picks.
Pattern is Dotted Rays - Speckled Fade from Stephen West.