Friday, October 21, 2016

Mustard Landing Shawlette

I had cast off my first shawl...ahem, shawlette, more on that in a minute...a few nights ago, and I decided last night was finally the time to block this bad boy and get 'er ready for this fall. Though the temps have been in the 80s for the past few days, apparently tomorrow is supposed to dawn with chillier weather full of wind gusts.

I used the Indigo Landing Shawlette pattern, which, for a first shawl attempt, was awesome. It had some fun detail, but it wasn't like a kajillion different types of lace. Definitely the right pattern for me!

This was only my second attempt at blocking anything. I did kinda sorta block my knit socks, which mostly consisted of letting them soak, trying to get as much of the hot pink dye out as possible. This time, I looked up a tutorial, let me shawl soak for thirty minutes, then carefully dried it as much as possible and actually blocked it. I had grand hopes that blocking it would shape it decently enough for me to wear it.

I woke up this morning, and my first thought was--shawl! I raced--okay, waddled--downstairs and removed the blocking pins. It had shaped well! And... was still way too small.

My first problem is that I picked a shawlette pattern, which I didn't notice until I was about to cast off. (Go me! Super observant!) 

As for problem number two, well, I knit tightly. I always have. I don't know why. I even tried to be extra relaxed with this shawl, but nope. It still turned out too tight. And even though I added a TON of rows in an attempt to lengthen the shawl, it won't wrap around my shoulders, which is just SAD. I even knitted a gauge in an attempt to be responsible, which I NEVER DO. In the past, I've always gone up a size in needles, which hasn't been a terrible thing as I was usually making stuff that didn't require shape. Next time, I'll just trust my gut and use the bigger needles.

But, that doesn't mean it's not a super cute tiny scarf thingie. And if I manage to procure a shawl pin instead of using a hair clip, I bet it would look EVEN CUTER. So I'll definitely wear it, and the yarn washed up so soft and comfy, and it's warm. My husband even thought it was supposed to look like this, so it rings of intent. But I still want a shawl! And a shawl I shall (eventually) have. (If you know of a good shawl pattern, hook a girl up, will you? Keep in mind I am not a super advanced knitter.)

This is my second finish from my Q4 FAL list. Woo!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Boo's Sew Together Bag

I made another Sew Together Bag! And it was way easier! Yay!

My sister has a November birthday. Since I might feasibly be having a baby on her birthday, it seemed prudent to finish up her gift early. My sister has a serious love for gray and yellow, so I cut into my cherished Echo fabric to make her a Sew Together Bag. (You know you love a person if you're willing to cut into your Echo.) When I first started quilting, Echo was one of the first collections to catch my eye, and working with it reminded me of my early days of quilting.

And this is the finished bag. I changed a few things from my first sew together bag, and I don't think I'll repeat any of them. Good experiment, but not what I wanted, you know? On the one I made for my husband, I used home dec scraps and duck cloth for the exterior, which already gave it support. The added batting further stabilized it. For this one, I used quilting cotton and batting for the main panel, but I also used batting to support the side pieces, hoping it would be enough. It works, but they are a little floppy--not the crisp edges that my husband's show.

I chose not to interface the pockets because interfacing and I are involved in a major feud at the moment, and I was using a light yellow fabric that I didn't want to scorch like the fabric I scorched the last time I tried to use interfacing. The outer zipper and batting give it enough structure to keep the bag from flopping over, but it is floppier than my first. Apparently forgetting the interfacing isn't an option for me, at least not when using quilting cottons.

My last change was how I attached the binding to the bag. On my first, I sewed it first to the interior, then onto the front. For this one, I sewed it first to the exterior, then onto the inside. I will definitely sew it first to the interior next time as I really appreciated how much cleaner the binding looked on the exterior of the bag.

The inside is lined with a yellow polka dot that was from my grandmother's stash. I thought my sister would appreciate the family touch, and she had better as I used up all of it on this bag! But it's such a happy fabric too, and I think it gives a nice touch to the interior. And I purposefully used a hot pink zipper so that every time she opens it, she'll think of me! (But I left it on the inside as I know it's not her favoritest color in the entire universe, which seems a bit crazy to me--who doesn't love hot pink as much as I do??? Honest answer: pretty much everyone.)

This is my first finish from my Q4 FAL list. At least I managed to knock one thing off before Vanilla makes her appearance!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Vanilla's Quilt Top

Friends, hopefully by the time you're reading this, I'll have finished basting this bad boy using my latest acquisition--505 basting spray. Hopefully, the spray is good to me, and it revolutionizes my basting experience. We shall see. But first! Details on this lovely, which is finally done!

This was my original sketch for Vanilla's quilt, aka, #10 from the #30daysofquiltdesign challenge, and I'm not gonna lie, I still really love this design. Three-quarter dresdens in two corners? Fun blocks of color? Yowzas! This was going to be epic and just right.

Except, when I finished my friendship star border, I started to get worried. I really liked the dark navy of the quilt and the feel it gave to the top. I loved my original drawing, but I hadn't bothered to color anything in, just assuming I'd go navy/LV/navy/LV/etc. as I worked. And the more I looked at the quilt top, the more I started to think a thick low volume final border would significantly change the feel of the quilt, and in a way I wouldn't like. I didn't want to do it. I wanted my navy!

I stuck with my gut, and I didn't make the final border a low volume pièce de résistance. I split it into two thinner borders, one a thin low volume, and one a slightly thicker navy solid border--Kona Indigo, I think? And when I finished sewing that second border, I knew it was the right call. While not as flashy and skill-challenging as the dresdens certainly would have been, it finishes off this quilt top properly, at least in my opinion.

Besides, there is already kinda a lot going on with this top. A New York Beauty center...

...a round of friendship stars, two of which intentionally rotate in a different direction...

...and a backing pieced from Heather Ross' Briar Rose collection, the ever delicious strawberry fabric that I have been hoarding for just a wee bit.

So while I didn't follow my original plan exactly, I let this quilt take me where it would, and it was the right call. I have no idea how I'm going to quilt it. I love the idea of a mix of hand and machine quilting, but I may just machine quilt it for now and add in the perle cotton elements later. I do know I intend a scrappy binding using the warm colors in the top because while this quilt has a lot going on, I'm sure to pack in more. It's the Audrey way.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Vanilla's Symphony of Pink.

(I have meant to write this post for days. DAYS, friends.) Isn't this the sweetest little pink quilt ever? And given my love of pink, you might be inclined to think this beauty came from my own hands, but no! She's the clever work of my lovely Stash Bee 2016 hive. This is my third year hive mama-ing, and this year I almost feel unnecessary as my hive is mostly self-sufficient and awesome and stuff. And then they're super lovely and make a gorgeous quilt for my little Vanilla bean. The back is a soft flannel, and it has the most gorgeous embroidered label with everyone's name. When I received it in the mail, I totally cried, right in front of my houseguests, and when my husband saw it, he loved it too! I promise I'll get a shot of baby snuggled in her quilt when she arrives and send it on to you hive mates!

This quilt is so special to me, and I am so grateful to my awesome hive. I had grand plans to photograph it, but I'm hoping y'all will forgive me when I plead a giant belly and third trimester pregnancy and stuff. I promise, I'll only use that excuse for another few weeks. Then I'll start in on the new baby excuses! Just kidding.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Q4 2016 FAL List.

The first six are items that I didn't finish last quarter. (I finished eight and scrapped two, so I'm calling Q3 a success.) And then some new ones, woo!

1. Negroni shirt for husband 
I completed a muslin that was waaaaaay too big. 
I need to make another before proceeding.

2. Midnight Mystery Quilt
Top needs to be sent to the long armer

3. Baby Quilt for Vanilla
Medallion Quilt--top is done

4. Big Boy Quilt for Lito
This bad boy is at the long-armer.

5. Dress for E
Geranium Dress pattern - pulled fabric; I'm going to be attempting a knit version.

6. Dress for Vanilla
Geranium Dress pattern - pulled fabric

7 & 8. Costumes for Banzo and Lito
 Pulled fabric--I'm planning to modify a pair of maxaloones and make a knit shirt

almost done with this one--then need to figure out how to block it, eep!

10-13. Secret Sewing for Holiday Gifts
 pulled fabric, have pattern and plan of attack 
Boo's DONE

14. Quilt for Baby P
I'll be using one of my own designs and color palettes from the #30daysofquiltdesign challenge.

15. Quilt for Baby K
I'll be using one of my own designs and color palettes from the #30daysofquiltdesign challenge.

16. Quilt for Baby S
Here goes another Northern Lights pattern featuring solids!

This list is a big stack of dreams as Vanilla arrives next month and who knows what my sewing time will look like then! But Audreys are known for their dreaming prowess, and I am a girl who lives up to my name. If you're joining in the 2016 Q4 FAL, I wish you the best of luck on your finishes!

I'm linking up! 
2016 FAL

Monday, September 26, 2016

30 Days of Quilt Design 21-25

21. Untitled
Numbers 21 and 22 were both inspired by my day 18 design. That one design served as direct inspiration for four others! For 21, I took the center bit and threw it on point. But it looked a bit funky, so I actually recreated it in photoshop to make the proportions happier, and I changed the corners a bit because I love me a good pinwheel.

While this color combination was a stretch for me, I like the way it turned out. I feel like I could make this quilt, and I could make it 'me'.

22. Untitled
This is the same block as 21, but with sashing added, and boy, does that make a difference! I didn't want the sashing to be white, but I'm not in love with the brown. I wonder what this would look like if I sashed it with the same light blue as the block? I really am learning that the options are endless.

If I look at them side by side, I think I prefer the no sashing look, but I think the color palettes are also heavily contributing to that conclusion. I really do need to mock them up in the same colors and verify that! 

23. Hexagon
Yet another example of my totally wicked naming skillz. 

24. Garden Patchwork
I picked up this Cloud 9 fabric ages ago, and I have been saving it for the 'right' project. (Y'all know exactly what I mean, I'm sure!) I wouldn't do it with solids--those would definitely be prints, but I think I've determined that I would love this fabric with just basic patchwork. If I didn't have a kajillion projects currently on my to-do list, I might pull fabric and start cutting now, but I'm going to exercise restraint and behave myself. (Probably.)

25. Graphic
And...back to graph paper, at least for this one. I had fun drawing this one. I think I would FMQ a quote over it in red thread. I'm thinking this one, by Carl Sagan:

"The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies, were all made in the interior of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff."

I have a thing for stars, and this quilt does nothing to evoke the feeling or appearance of stars, but it does make me feel that things aren't always what they seem, and they don't always go as expected, just like you wouldn't necessarily think of individuals as being composed of 'starstuff'. I like thinking I share the magic of stars.

And that, friends, is another set of designs for #30daysofquiltdesign. I sketched #26 last night, which means only FOUR MORE TO GO.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Hard at Work.

My in-laws are descending in approximately 1-1.5 hours--that makes it sound horrible, but I'm actually really looking forward to seeing them as my in-laws are lovely people--and I realized there has been a bit of sewing since I last chimed in around these parts, and maybe you'd like to see it?

I finished piecing all of the blocks for Lito's big boy quilt, decided on a layout, sashed them, and then started considering border options. I considered a single fabric border, but I didn't have enough of any one print to manage that. Then I thought scrappy. And THEN I decided to cut out half blocks of a sort, and do a border of half blocks (without the fussy framed bit) with sashing, which I thought would look awfully smart.

And then I laid out the quilt on my son's bed, realized it was big enough in its current state and a 5" border on all sides would make it HUGE, so I'm axing the border ideas and leaving it as is. I'll bind it in the lime solid, and I'll back it with leftover fabric from the top as I still have quite a bit left! I waffle between sending this out to be long-armed and quilting it myself.

This is where Bun's baby quilt sits at present. I think this measures 24"? But I could be wrong.

I'm making friendship stars for the next border. I've got eight done, and I need twelve more. I think I have fabric cut for at least five of those? For some reason, these 6.5" blocks are taking an awfully long time to finish, probably because I was trying to be really good about making sure my directional fabric is all proper. Then I went and sewed one up spinning the opposite direction. The Instagram folks say I should keep it as is, and I'm inclined to agree because 1) I kinda like the idea, and 2) they're taking so long that I'm loathe to seam rip anything that doesn't absolutely require it.

HSTs and 2.5" squares and trimmings. I'll finish these blocks eventually, but I'm starting to think I won't have Bun's quilt or Lito's quilt done before Bun arrives. And if not, who knows when they'll be finished? But I don't want to worry about that, so I'm not going to.

We've started a new project at my house, one that doesn't involve fabric at all! We--and by we, I mean my husband as I don't allow myself to use power tools or any tools really because I always destroy things--are building bunk beds for our boys.

My husband is my complete opposite and is requiring that each board finished is absolutely perfect and uniform, which is totally a good thing, but means our progress is slow.

And due to a kajillion (maybe a kajillion and one?) kerfuffles with our tool situation--I'm not kidding, it's laughable all of the things that have gone wrong--he has resorted to using old school tools, some of which date from the 1920s. Hopefully the situation will improve soon, but as we're still waiting on a delivery that should have been here THREE WEEKS AGO, it's hard to say when.

My good friend and her kiddos are coming for a visit just as my in-laws depart, so I'm not sure when I'll be popping up in this space again. I hope y'all are doing super well!


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