Monday, July 30, 2018

Bubblegum Pink Shawl

During the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this year I picked up entirely too much yarn. I'm constantly looking for new projects to use some of that yarn. This project uses the two sock blanks you see above, from Flat Feet.
I grabbed two cakes of yarn, my crochet hook, and did a couple test pieces to decide which fabric I liked better. In the end, the one on the bottom won.
I used that sample to get started on a new shawl. I crocheted in the car.
I crocheted at breakfast.
I tested out edging and ripped it back.
I decided on an edging and got hooking.
I crocheted at breakfast some more. I mostly crocheted during evening television time. We've been watching House
In the end, I had a shawl that turned out pretty nice after blocking.
It's a pretty good size, which is nice since it took about 100 grams of fingering weight yarn. 
The edging is lacy, but not too lacy.

Overall, a great project. I think I might use this edging again.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Big Damn Heroes

I bought some great Browncoat fabric from Spoonflower about a year ago. It has been waiting, patiently, to become a new bag. The pieces have even been cut for what seems like ages.
I fussy-cut the panels but still had to decide which one I was going to chop for the back zipper pocket.
I ended up cutting this piece for the back. I think it still looks great!
I fussy-cut the zipper tab for the zipper end. Not too shabby.
Big Damn Heroes on the front. My Teflon foot and I had a difference of opinion on the stitch length for the vinyl bottom, but otherwise this is a great finish in my book. Vinyl is Brown Leatherette from My PunkBroidery. If you want vinyl, she's got some great stuff!

A [bag] like this will be with you 'til the day you die.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Random Update

It seems I haven't managed to finish much in the last few weeks, so this post is just a mash up of a bunch of stuff I have been working on.
I received my order of goodies from I made a small error when placing my order, so now I have 1/2" strapping and 3/4" hardware. It won't slow me down one bit, but it did teach me something about checking the cart twice before checking out.
My Rise of Tribes (Amazon affiliate link) game from Breaking Games came in. It is a fun little game. It is a quick play, too.
I caked up some yarn I dyed. I think this is going to become a crescent shawl. I have to settle on a pattern. But I am eyeing up Stephen West's Knit and Slide. Maybe with a different knit border. I'm still thinking about it.
I started another Dotted Rays shawl by Stephen West. This time I'm using a trick I learned making the Marled Magic Shawl to blend some fingering weight together into fun new shades. We'll have to see how that works out. The best part is I'm finally using this yarn for something I like knitting.
New thread came from Superior Threads. Thread colors are like Pokemon, gotta catch 'em all!
I finished a Tensfield hat designed by Martina Behm. This is a great one-skein project.
I listened to an episode of The Moth Radio Hour and remembered how good it is.
I continued working on my pink crochet shawl.

I guess I have done many things in the last week or so. I just haven't finished a thing. What have you been up to?

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Bingo Quilt

The Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild is having a bingo event again this year. What is Quilt Bingo? Well, it is an event where you play bingo and the big prizes are quilts made by the guild. For a list of the kinds of prizes one might win at Quilt Bingo you should check out this great post, complete with links to free quilt blocks, bag patterns, and other quilty goodness.
I volunteered to quilt one of the quilts. I didn't make any of the blocks. They were made by members of the guild.
I quilted it with swirls and waves. I wanted to give some movement to the angles of quilt blocks.
I bundled it up (in a Green Bag Lady bag) after trimming and took it to one of the Quilting With Friends events at Spring Water Designs. It was a rainy day, so it was a great time to do some shopping. I'll share what I bought in another post. Now, it is on the way to another member of the guild for binding.

And for those of you keeping track, yes, this post is a day later than usual. It seems I got distracted before scheduling this post

Friday, July 20, 2018

Dead Inside

A couple years ago I was at a local yarn & fiber party and watched a fellow knitter go bonkers over a knitting bag made with The Walking Dead fabric. At the time, I hadn't seen but a couple episodes of the first season, so I shrugged it off. Later, while doing some online shopping, I found the same fabric and added a yard of it to my virtual shopping cart. I finally got around to watching several seasons of The Walking Dead and using some of that fabric.
I paired the print with with some black marine vinyl I picked up locally at a chain fabric store. I used a coordinating solid for both the lining and the strap. 
I carefully curated the side panels so I could get as much punch out of the placement as possible. This is the back of the bag zipper pocket. I have started putting my label on the back instead of on the inside. 
I received this order of hardware and webbing from so I could finish up the project have plenty of goodies for future projects. 
The back of the bag with the top zipper attached. At this point things go rather quick. The bag gets its structure from the fusible fleece on the outer panels. 
The finished bag from the front. This is my standard cross-body handbag. The strap is adjustable. There is a zippered pocket on the back of the bag. One main bag section, with three pockets suitable to hold your cell phone against the back of the bag, and it all closes up with a zipper top. It measures about 10" tall and 10" wide, 3" deep across the bottom. Someday I will write the pattern for this bag. Someday.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

All the Thread

A couple weeks ago I told you about my thread problem. I've been working on getting my upgraded thread rack built and installed in my thread closet (yes, I need a closet to hold it all, I'm not even sure all of it is in there).
Here is a look at what my thread storage looked like before I started.
This woodworking project took two people and more hours than I cared to count. We cut a bucket-full of pegs. Mostly because my planning was more than a little off. Not that that work will be wasted.
We drilled hundreds of holes. I was overly proud of this jig to help me evenly space the holes.
We constructed the frame. The staple gun paid its rent on that day.
And I glued hundreds of pegs into those holes. 
In the end, I had a new thread rack, with the capacity to hold about 280 spools of thread.
I grabbed my bin full of thread and started sorting. 
I don't know that this is the final layout, but it is a start. I didn't realize how many cones of tan-to-brown thread I had compared to the other colors. Not nearly enough blue and purple in my opinion. Good selection of grays, though. All the cones on the far right are King Tut and Fantastico, for those times you need a variegated thread. The others are my very favorite long arm quilting thread So Fine#50 from Superior Threads.

This doesn't include the threads I still have on small spools. I'll need to build another rack for those. Thank goodness I still have some materials left over.

Tools (affiliate links)

Monday, July 16, 2018

In The Hoop: Roberta Cross Body

I've been working on several in the hoop projects over the last couple weeks. I'm intrigued by the steps and how to incorporate them into an embroidery design. Basically, I'm learning the whys of stitch order and how that relates to bag construction.
I picked up a the Roberta Crossbody Zipper Bag from Designs by Little Bee. The design includes three sizes: 5" x 7", 6" x 10", and 8" x 12". This one is the 8" by 12" bag, which means it is big enough to hold an iPad Mini. The directions are very clear and include loads of photographs. This wasn't my first lined bag made with an in the hoop design, so I had some experience with the technique. I you're wondering why that anchor is stitched onto the stabilizer, it's because I didn't look at the anchor design in detail before starting and wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing before I stitched down the fabric. That's the placement line for the anchor. The stitching after that secures the anchor and does the details.
I added batting to the bag and that may have been a mistake. My machine was less than pleased sewing through all those layers on the final round of stitching. The applique has raw edges and I didn't use a fusible. The edges of the anchor should soften and fray a little with use.
Overall, I'm pleased with the outcome. I learned so much by making this bag. I learned some limitations of my machine (if I want to use batting I won't have the embroidery machine do the final round of stitching) and that I should wait for the hardware to show up before making more (I have placed an order with for sliders, wire loops, and even some webbing so I don't have to sew the strap.

I'm going to go stitch out the smaller bags to see what else I can learn. Have you found any great in-the-hoop designs you would like to share? I would love to know about them.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Road Trip Crochet

We recently had an unexpected road trip to help out family. I grabbed more than a small amount of yarn for the trip. I finished two projects and started a third.
I've been working on this shawl made with Red Heart It's a Wrap for what seems like ages. It was the first project I finished on the trip. 
I blocked it to open up the lace and I think it payed off. 
This one came out as a really big shawl.
I had another ball of It's a Wrap but I decided I didn't have it in me to make another like that, so I used a technique called Navajo Plying (includes a video for you visual learners) to triple the strands as I worked on this V-Stitch Vortex shawl. I'm definitely glad I added this technique to my tool kit.   
This is how far I had gotten on the first day of the trip. This is a great pattern for working in almost any gauge and it is really easy to stitch. I only had to rip back a few times because I failed to add the second stitch of the v-stitch.
Blocking opens up those v-stitches very nicely. I'm sure I'll use this stitch again, too.
I blocked it to open up the stitches and again I was rewarded.

Clover Armour Crochet Hooks (set)
Knitter's Pride Blockers Kit
Knit Picks Blocking Wires Kit
Balance From Puzzle Exercise Mat with EVA Foam Interlocking Tiles

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Short, Sharp, and Snippy

Yesterday my two copies Short, Sharp, and Snippy, more cutting edge quilt humor by Megan Dougherty showed up on my doorstep. If you don't know what quilt humor is, I recommend you check out Megan's website The Bitchy Stitcher. Sometimes irreverent, sometimes saucy, always my favorite quilt humorist.
I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but it will be on my nightstand for bedtime reading. 
I love it when I get to add another signed book to my growing collection of quilt titles. This one will go well with Megan's first book Quilting Is(n't) Funny (Amazon affiliate link). Let me just point out that quilting is funny and if you can't laugh at yourself you're just plain doing it wrong.

Want your own copy?
Short, Sharp, and Snippy from Amazon (affiliate link) both print and Kindle versions

Don't want to wait for shipping?
Short, Sharp, and Snippy in pdf format directly from Clever Notions (Megan's webstore)
Quilting Is(n't) Funny in pdf format directly from Clever Notions (Megan's webstore)
Both titles in pdf format directly from Clever Notions (Megan's webstore)