Sunday, June 30, 2013

Finish-A-Long Q2 report

I rather optimistically entered six quilts this time around, and that just didn't happen. I feel I have been working on a lot of stuff these past few months, but not so much on finishing stuff, it seems...
However, lets focus on the good stuff, right? I did finish two of them, almost finish the third and three tops are also ready, one even layered and basted and that all counts as progress, so I'm happy with what I have done. What I haven't done is blog about it all- in fact I just realized that I never blogged about my Numbers quilt at all - I'm such a bad blogger! This is a whole cloth quilt - part of a duvet cover from Ikea quilted with white echo(ish) quilting in the white areas. I must admit that I stole the idea from Malka Dubrawski at Stitch in Dye, only her quilting is much better than mine, so no competition there. But it can still warm a baby at some stage, no doubt.
Next is the one that I'm really proud of: my x and + quilt which is heavily quilted with parallel lines - I love the texture this gives, so definitely one for my own wall, this one.

Then there is the garden quilt, top right here - it's quilted and bound, but still needs some embroidery around the stitcheries. Not much left, though. The Italy quilt on the right was basted today, so any day now, I can start quilting there. I also got the backing and batting sorted for the other two, so I have enough quilting to do - enough entries for the next round, it seems!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Seeing friends off

There are a lot of goodbyes at work at the moment. Several people are retiring or moving on to other jobs and that is nothing new, but some are more special to me than others, and sometimes it's nice to send them off with a little personal memento. I made the mug rug above for a friend who has worked in teaching and school admin. She got it at her leaving party last friday and was quite moved by it, so it made me feel good having made the effort even though the idea only came to me on Thursday evening.  
 I am a bit better prepared with this one as it is finished a week in advance. It is for an ever optimistic guy who has been like a whirlwind through the office this past year, full of ideas and enthusiasm. I just know he will do well wherever he goes.
 The mug rug is inspired by this story.
And if you look closely you might just see the outline of the pony here.

Saturday, June 08, 2013


Looking back I seem to keep claiming that I'm no knitter, yet I have knitted various scarves, shawls, socks and hats these last few years. The truth is that I do knit, but not very fast. My shoulders complain if I knit for too long and my mind complains if I there is little variation in whatever I'm knitting. So I always have several projects going at the same time, so I can switch between them when I get bored. After I discovered Ravelry and the world of beautiful yarn that is out there, I have been tempted to start several projects. The KnitCompanion app has made it possible for me to carry the patterns around with me, making it a lot easier to grab a piece of knitting when I go somewhere and just pick up where I left off. And so I have actually finished something! Meet Cladonia.

I have seen several versions of this on Ravelry, and fell really in love with it when I saw this version (and I totally agree with Rita about the yarn!). Blues and greens are my go to colours, so that combination really caught my attention. I tried to find the same colours of Madelinetosh Merino Light yarn online, but no luck, so I chose Betty Draper's Blues and Olivia instead. I wasn't too happy about Olivia when the yarn arrived, as it seemed too dark. But it has grown on me, and now I really like the combination. But I am tempted to make a lighter version as well.
It knitted up quite fast once I really got started, and the stripes helped both in counting the rows between increases and to keep my interest because you could really see it growing. And I love that lace border with knitted picot edging. It looks very complicated, but was quite easy, really. Can you tell that I'm thrilled with this? At the moment it is draped over the back of my sofa and I just can't stop gazing at it. Typically it was finished in time for summer, but the way things are going here weatherwise it seems it might get lots of wear.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Xs and pluses

I finally finished my xplusquilt and decided to do without borders. This was part of the x and + along on Flickr. When I first came across it in January I was intrigued, but hesitant about joining (I was in the middle of finishing a pile of UFOs after all...). Being able to use all those fabulous text fabrics I had been stashing was what won me over in the end, but I decided to keep it small - 25 blocks  at 7 1/2" makes a nice little wall quilt that I could hope to finish in a not too distant future.
I chose text fabric for the pluses and I finally managed to cut into a stack of Kaffe Fassett polka dot squares. The rest of the fabric is from my scrap pile. I planned the colour combinations and prepared all the fabric before I started sewing assembly line style, as that is the system that works best for me. If I were to do the blocks one by one from start to finish this would have taken forever!
I know I have said before that I would stay away from straight line quilting, as I can't sew I straight line to save my life, but after a lot of mulling over this quilt I decided that straight lines was just what the doctor ordered. I followed the seam lines in the blocks and added lines inbetween later, making a pattern of three lines close together, a sligthly wider gap and then another group of three. At a distance this isn't so noticeable, you just get an impression of lines all over and they even look kind of straight...

I used part of a duvet cover from Ikea for the back as you can't get enough letters on a quilt ;-) It works fairly well for a wall quilt, but as a duvet cover or backing for a lap quilt it seems rather loosely woven, I think. The binding is a Dear Stella stripe with little blocks of black inbetween the stripes here and there. It helps bring the whole thing together nicely, I think.