Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Royally Striped Update

We drove up to New England to have Thanksgiving dinner with family.
On that trip I managed to make some great progress on the Royally Striped sweater (pattern by Stephen West). I finished the second sleeve.
And moved on to the bottom border. Pick up and knit about a million stitches! Okay, not that many, but many more than you would think.
I didn't get the bottom border finished yet, but here it is in its lumpy glory. If you're on Ravelry, I have a project page that has the progress photos. I'll add some notes when I get a chance as I did make some modifications.

Pattern: Royally Striped by Stephen West availble for digital download on Ravelry
Needles: Knit Picks Options Interchangeable Nickel Plated Circular Knitting Needle Set
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Worsted (available in over 40 colors)

Winter is coming. Knit faster.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Mystery Quilt: On Ringo Lake

Every year Bonnie Hunter shares a mystery quilt with the quilting world. She is generous with her inspiration and her time. She provides the mystery quilt as a wonderful teaching tool that also lets thousands of her followers try one of her patterns for free.

This year will be my fourth mystery quilt with Bonnie. I'm really looking forward to it. This year it is called On Ringo Lake. You can learn about the quilt on Bonnie's blog Quiltville. This is my first post about the mystery.
As happens every year, I break with the provided colors and choose my own palette.
I've chosen some amazing greens that range from a somewhat yellow-green to a fun chartreuse.
Then, we have the pinks. I didn't have a great selection of these in my collection of fabric, but there should be plenty in these three cuts.
I really liked this low-volume print so I bought enough for the project. Maybe I should have bought more.
Finally, the background will be made up of blacks and mostly blacks (white on black prints). I really like this stark contrast.
Last Friday, November 24th, was the first clue. A simple clue that pushes you go be accurate with your cutting and piecing was the perfect warm up for the rest of the quilt.

Linking up with Bonnie's link-party. Check out her post On Ringo Lake Mystery Monday Link-Up, Part 1 to see all the other links people are sharing. Hundreds of quilters link up to share their progress.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Charity Quilting

I managed to piece this kit from Annapolis Quilts for Kids and get it quilted before the last meeting of the year.
I still have kits and tops to finish.
I love this scrappy one!
I dropped off three for binding.

2017 Charity Quilt Count: 45

I'm behind on quilts heading into December. I think I can catch 48 by the end of the year.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Kawaii Kitties

In case you don't know, there is a great designer that regularly releases free patterns to make all sorts of wonderful and fun things. If you have a minute, or more, please go check out the great stuff from Choly Knight at Sew Desu Ne.
This little cutie is the Kitty Bean Plush which appeared recently as a free pattern. I made two of them using some scrap fleece I had leftover from other projects.
I am too impatient to hand-finish the tiny faces, so I resized the embroidery designs from Urban Threads collection Kawaii Factory and let the embroidery machine do the work. After several attempts, I managed to get a kitty face I liked.
I liked it so much I stitched it out several times so I could make a collection of Kitty Beans. I see more of these in my future. They are just so cute and cuddly.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Royally Striped Update

I'm still working on my Royally Striped sweater. I've made it to the addition of the first sleeve. 
Knitting goes well with coffee. Or it is the other way round? Only a couple more sections and this will be done!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Recreating a Memory in Fabric

A few months ago I wrote this post about the name of this quilt block. The block design was taken from a quilt my husband received from his grandmother more than 40 years ago.
I had a stack of 1930s reproduction prints that I thought would be perfect for this quilt. I cut the pieces to make 25 of these blocks during the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild retreat.
I managed to finish all but one of those blocks as I misplaced a single square.
I arranged the blocks and pieced the rows.
Then I sewed them together. Now I need to buy fabric for an outer border and some backing.
Here are a couple of the original blocks faced and ready to be mounted and framed. That quilt earned its rest. I used this tutorial to attach the facing to these blocks.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Make Modern

I made these blocks for a group project.
You can find instructions to make your own Cross-cut Blocks in this post from A Quilter's Table.

My blocks measure at 12.5" by 12.5" (finish at 12") but the idea is the same.

Monday, November 13, 2017

In The Mail Monday: Badass Quilter

A few weeks ago I saw a post for this hoodie from BadAss Quilters. It had to be mine.
It showed up this past week and it has been chilly enough in the house and out-and-about to wear it every day since.

If this is something you're interested in I recommend you follow the BadAss Quilter's Society Facebook to know when specials like this are going on.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Royally Striped Update

While waiting for the doors of the ballroom to open for retreat, I knit away merrily on the Royally Striped cardigan. I finished the first section (which is really sections 1-3). 
I started in on the next section, section 4, the center back. I really like how this is coming together. Now that I'm sewing 20 hours a day at retreat I hope to make some more progress.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Sparkle - A Scrap Quilt

I grabbed my bin of 4.5" crumb blocks as a project I might, maybe get to during the Baltimore MQG retreat. Somehow, this became my primary project on Thursday. I started playing with the hundreds of squares and encouraged my guild-mates to lend a hand. I would go to my station, sew some half-square triangle units and look over to see what the design wall looked like.
I rearranged units regularly until I had something I thought would work. Then, it was late and I had had enough of sewing for the day. (Crazy, I know.)
Friday morning I decided the piece was good enough. I grabbed the first few rows, and the rest of the bin, and got to webbing the rows together. This was the final result. I think I'll dig through my stash for a suitable border to make it a little bigger. Right now it measures about 80" by 80". I'd like to add a border to stabilize it and bump that up a few inches.

Being able to pull a quilt out of the leftover bits is such a great feeling. Unless you worry about being a hoarder, then some of those fabrics from 15+ years ago make you groan a little.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Baltimore MQG Retreat 2017

This past weekend I attended my very first quilting retreat with the wonderful members of the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild.
As this was my first retreat, I packed more things than I could accomplish. I packed this fun 30's reproduction print quilt. 400 half-square triangle units cut and ready to assemble. I also packed a few other things but this one was one I really wanted to make great strides with.
I set up my sewing station. That brilliant little clamp-on ironing board is available from Penny Marble Quilting. The travel iron (Steamfast SF-717 Home-and-Away Mini Steam Iron) is really awesome for its size and I recommend it if you travel or just want a small iron that heats up fast.
I pieced and pieced and pieced.
I finished all of those half-square triangle units by Saturday and got to assembling blocks.
These blocks finish at 15" by 15". I did find I was missing a single 3.5" square of fabric for the center, so I only manged to finish 24 of my intended 25 blocks.
This finished stack is just one of the things I finished during retreat.

I'll see you later in the week to share some of the other things I managed to finish during retreat.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Royally Striped Project

After I tried and failed with the last Stephen West Myster Knit Along I decided to try another West Knits design I've had my eye on for a while.
This is the beginning of my version of Royally Striped by Stephen West. Modular knitting with more than a few short rows for shaping and I think this will be a great project to keep me busy for a while.
I'm using worsted instead of the recommended DK as I have loads of worsted and managed to get gauge on slightly smaller needles. So far I'm enjoying the process and I can't wait to learn how it all fits together. It has already given me so many ideas on new and different ways to shape knit.

Needles: Knit Picks Options Interchangeable Nickel Plated Circular Knitting Needle Set
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Worsted

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Improv Piecing

I needed a project that would use up some of these leftover bits of fabric taking up space in a bin. I pieced a bunch of bits and strips.
I added some wedge shapes to the mix. 
I kept going and filling in some of the empty space with larger pieces. Making more small pieced in turn. It is far from done and will be a creative process project for a long time. I'm glad I finally started this since I had been thinking about doing it for a while.

If you want to try something like this, I can make a couple recommendations.

Sherri Lynn Wood has a series of blog posts that take you through the creative process from color selection to curved piecing. Great way to start thinking about curved, improv piecing. You can also check out her book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously.

Victoria Findlay Wolf (15 Minutes of Play) has a great series of tutorials about scrap piecing that helps you cut and sew to create colorful fabric.