A 2015 Finish for Gabe

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My second grand-nephew, Gabriel Alphonse, was born Monday morning at 12:52 am.  He is 8 lb, 9 oz and 20.5 inches long.

And, right on time, I finished his blanket–giving it to my niece in the hospital Monday night.  It’s a pattern I’ve used before– Attic24’s Neat Ripple Pattern. I absolutely love this tutorial.  It’s so clear and concise.  It has TONS of pictures to help you through.  It makes for a perfect first crochet project.  For mine, I cast on 115 stitches to make 8 waves with a J hook.  Each wave is 3 rows tall.  This one is made of Caron Simply Soft in Dark Country Blue and Peacock Feather.  It finished at 33″ x 35″.

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It’s the first finish of 2015!!!  Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.

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I’m back for Q3 of the 2015 Finish Along

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I’m back!  We’ve finally reached summer break– a time for family, sun, and crafts.  I’m so glad to have made it.

To celebrate my return, I’m participating in the 2015 Finish Along this quarter.  I’m looking to finish:

  1. “The Hooloovoo”– my niece’s wedding quilt
  2. My red and white lattice quilt
  3. “Sea of Rainbows”– my scrappy batik Arkansas Crossing quilt
  4. Quilting my “Starshine” quilt
  5. Quilting my “Rainbow Bricks” quilt
  6. Gabriel’s crochet baby blanket
  7. The skirts and tops I started last summer

I know that it seems quilt an ambitious list, but these are the months in which I get things accomplished.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

After a Long Break… A New Quilt

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This quilt has been a long time coming.  When I first started quilting, I checked out a copy of Better Homes and Gardens’ Grandma’s Best Full-Size Quilt Patterns.  In it, I found a ton of traditional designs– most of which were a bit too “old” for me– including a red and white lattice quilt I simply had to have.  I loved the simplicity and I loved the lines.  The handquilting on the original made me want to curl right up under the quilt.  I just loved it.  Unfortunately, the pattern was not reprinted in the newest version of the book and it doesn’t seem that many others have shared my love for this quilt– a Google search yeilded no pictures of the original for you to oogle.

I, however, do.  I will be posting a tutorial for this simple quilt in a week or so, but until then, I’ll leave you with some pictures.  I cut, subcut, and pressed 8 yards of red and white fabric:

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Then, I pieced and squared-up 84 (about half) of the blocks.

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Eventually the quilt will look like a 70″ x 80″ version of this:

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I am excited!  And linking up to:

WIP Wednesday: Skirts!

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After working through a different version of Vogue’s V9007 skirt pattern, I decided to take the plunge.  I cut up three fabrics at a time and am now chain piecing them on my machine.  They’re so colorful and awesome!  I’m wicked excited.

V9007, fronts

Unfortunately, as it is 9 pm, we have to settle for poorly lit iPhone photos, but whatever.  They are better than none!  And, yes, that is Michael Miller’s Edges dots on the right.  I’m really hoping the pattern will do it justice.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

Hopefully, I will be able to add a few posts for TGIFF this week!  Wish me luck!!  For today, I am linking up with Lee of Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday

A Finished Quilt Top (which still needs a name)

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I did it!  I did it!  I did it!  I finally finished the wedding quilt top (only a week after the wedding, whatever… it will be either a first Christmas or an anniversary gift).

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It’s a modified version of the Dissappearing Four-Patch from this tutorial.  I used 6 1/2 inch blocks to start and sliced 1 1/4 inches on each side of the seams.  I found some useful techniques while cutting these, so I may make my own tutorial later in the summer.  The biggest: buy a rotating cutting mat.  It makes everything so very much easier.

There are some special facbrics in this quilt.  In addition to a beautiful shot cotton and some great prints, there are two Spoonflower prints.  A lobster print for my niece, she has a HUGE thing for lobsters and seems to have quite the collection of random lobster things, and a rooster quilt for her husband, who it seems is equally fond of roosters.

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A note on Spoonflower prints: they definitely print lighter than you expect.  It wasn’t bad, but I was expeting more of a navy for the lobsters and it came out more of a dusty royal blue.  Other than that, they are wonderful and just what I needed to make the quilt special.

There is a 3 inch (finished) border of grey surrounded by 6 inch piano keys.  I made the piano keys by strip piecing 2 1/2 inch strips into groups of 3-5, then cutting them down to 6 1/2 inches.  Then I just laid them out randomly and got a great, easy border.

Linking up to Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday, which is in Australia today with Audrey at Glory Be Quilter and with Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts.

TGIFF                                                  Crazy Mom Quilts Friday

Work In Progress Wednesday: Bricklayers’ Edition

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Well, it may not be quilty, but the project getting all the attention this week in my house has been in the backyard.  My dad and I have been working to build a patio.

New Patio, Day 4

We’ve been planning it for years and bought the material last summer, but all sorts of things seemed to get in the way.  This year, with no lifeguarding to waste my time, I’ve been able to spend plenty of time at my parents’ house.

Sunday, my niece and I laid the first four rounds of quarter bricks while my dad cut and cut on the wet saw.  Monday, my father spent most of the morning leveling and re-laying our work.  We spent the afternoon finishing the circle.  Tuesday we worked in the morning, leveling again, then laying the first round of full length bricks.  We started the second, but needed another new blade.  Today, we made it through the rest of the second row and on to the third.

New Patio, Day 4

There’s still a lot of work to go.  We will finish the circle with a third row of full bricks, put a field stone sitting wall on the outside edge, and fill the distance from the circle to the deck with brick–hopefully in a herringbone pattern.  We’re also building a small installation for the grill with some counter space on either side.

New Patio, Day 4

Wish me luck!  I’m linking up with Lee of Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday

My First Quilt

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I started quilting at the beginning of 2013.  I finished my Rainbow Bricks quilt top, using skills I’d developed while making dresses.  Then, I realized, I was going to have to quilt the beast and ground to a halt.  I did some research, read some books, tried to figure it all out, but I wasn’t sure where to go with the top.  Any ideas I had were so clearly above my skill level.

Instead, I decided to try a small piece.  I looked through the Moda Bakeshop, at the time, my only real reference and found a charm-friendly pattern for a nine patch.  After buying some cute fabric, I cut and pieced and created a little top.  I made my sandwich, just like the books said, basted with pins, and used a cheap walking foot with a guide to straight-line quilt the entire thing.  Here are the results:

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It may not be perfect– the seams don’t all match, the quilting lines are a bit off in some places, but I like it.  It’s cute and cheery.  I gave it to my mother for her birthday that March because she would never care that it’s not perfect.  For her, I made it, and that is all that matters.  I’m now working on a quilt top that is destined for my parents.  It is much more technical.  The quilting will be much more involved.  Most of all– it will be bigger! (Queen Sized!)

Q3 Finish Along List

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Hello, there! Well, my Q1 FAL at The Littlest Thistle did not go so hot.  No finishes that quarter.  And I missed the Q2 link up entirely, which is fine as I didn’t finish anything then, either.  But now it’s summer!  Magical summer when I have so much time it’s nearly unbearable.  (I LOVE IT!)

So, in addition to a summer band and chorus, I will be hiking, trekking, redesigning curriculum, building a patio, building a sewing/quilting table, and finishing things!

Candidates for finishing this quarter are:
Quilts:

  1. Heather’s Wedding Quilt (still in need of a proper name)– the piecing is done, but I need to perfect my freemotion skills before I can quilt the giant.
  2. Christmas quilt– I was working on a big Christmas-colored star around the holidays, I may whip out that basket and start up again.
  3. My Parent’s pinwheel quilt– This one’s been on the back burner since last fall.  The biggest setback came when I realized that I had only made half as many blocks as I actually needed.  I should really pick it up again and get it done.
  4. My own Modern Totems quilt– I just adore M-R’s design.
  5. A scrap quilt with leftovers from the wedding quilt and/or the reject strip pieces from the first attempt.
  6. Rainbow Bricks– The quilting on this was put off in favor of new projects, but I want my own quilt!
  7. Starshine– Just needs quilting, but I have no ideas for it yet.
  8. The green and purple quilt kit I just purchsed
  9. Fall “Spin Cycle” quilt from connecting threads.  This one would be just in time for the new season.

Baby Stuff for the new grandniece/nephew

  1. Crocheted baby blanket (Also in need of a proper name)– This probably doesn’t count, but I’m working on it so it’s going here.  Right now it looks like I’ll need about 10 more rounds to finish (read: 11 hours).  Sounds like a great rainy day project with a bunch of movies.
  2. An elephant mobile–It will be made of felt and have various cheery fabrics for ears.  Totally a stitchy make, so it counts.

Clothes

  1. Black speckled wrap dress– Pattern and fabric chosen.  Now to cut and sew.
  2. Purple knit dress– In the same state as above, although, additionally, I am terrified of sewing knits.
  3. Solid knit dress– the pattern is chosen, but I am waffling on the rest
  4. The two batik skirts– The purple one is not only set aside, It’s been cut for a year!  I just have to stitch it together!  The red-violet fabric is chosen, but not cut yet.
  5. The dream white knit top.  It is insanely needed to wear with the above skirts.
  6. Any of the 5 knit tops I bought fabric and a pattern for this morning.
  7. Two cream and print a-line skirts
  8. Yellow eyelet a-line skirt
  9. Grey and silver polka dot skirt
  10. Brown polka dot skirt
  11. Black paisley-ish skirt

Wow.  6 WIP’s and quite a few clothing plans.  I may have until October 6th to work on Q3, but with all my school stuff starting up in September, I’m really looking at a two-month timetable.  Just a bit over-enthusiastic, I guess.  Sorry this post is free of any eye-candy,my fabrics are spread between two houses at the moment.  I know that the list sounds vague, but I promise, I have actually committed to all of these items over the past few years and have fabric and patterns for all of them.  Wicked scary, right? I guess I had better get to work!!!

Another goal for this summer is to be more present here on the blog.  I’m thinking of joining some linky’s like WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

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Sometimes, it just doesn’t work out.

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After a week of deliberation, and quite a few pattern purchases, I thought I had settled on a pattern.  I bought some extra fabrics and got to it.  After a few test blocks, I thought I was ready.  I started to make strip sets–cutting into some very precious fabrics and sewing up a storm.

Strip sets for days

And then I cut into them to make the blocks.

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And all was well.  But, on block number 6 of …lots, I started to think that I didn’t like it.  So I panicked, looked for new patterns, and eventually resigned myself to the idea that I may have no idea what I’m doing.

But now, I have found a new pattern.  I’m going to give the disappearing four patch a try.  Let’s hope it treats me better.

Taking the Plunge… Q1 FAL List

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I’m gonna do it.  I’m gonna join the 2014 Finish-Along.  Firstly, I must make a disclaimer.  My finishes this quarter and this year always fall lower on the list than my job and grad school. Also, I am pretty fickle, so I’m just gonna post all the things that are in my head right now as well as WIP’s and UFO’s.  It’ll give me a better chance at actually accomplish something.  Without further ado, here is my list:

  1. A blue quilt for my niece.  Probably HST’s sewn together to make small and large squares.  Gotta finish it by her wedding in June!!!!
  2. The “Welcome Back, Kevin” quilt.
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  3. Quilt my rainbow bricks quilt.  It has been languishing on the shelf for a year!!!!  The only decision left to make is black vs. invisible thread.
  4. Quilt the starshine quilt.  It’s mine.  I deserve a damned quilt.
  5. My parent’s crosshatch quilt.  Only 30 partial seam blocks to go!
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  6. The Christmas echo star quilt.  Okay, so this one probably won’t be done anytime soon.
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  7. Andy’s fingerless gloves. Attach the finger flaps, then knit and attach the thumb flaps.  If I don’t hurry up, it’s going to take me another winter.
  8. My mother’s blueberry pillow (or possibly throw-sized quilt, but probably pillow).  This should probably get finished before her birthday in March.
  9. My jeweltones scrappy quilt.
  10. The Vintage Quilt Revival sampler in solids!!!!!
  11. Possibly even a Retro Rubies tablerunner.

Well, that’s a long and entirely unmanageable list.  Can’t wait to get started on it this weekend!!!

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