Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Over the Rainbow

Well, I've finished the top for my Over the Rainbow quilt that I started in 8th grade. This was long overdue and I'm really happy with it!

I'll measure it once it's all quilted and bound up, but I'm guessing it's somewhere around 65"x72". I've decided I'm not going to put a colored border around it, but I think I'm going to frame it out in a little bit of black. Then I'll put a scrappy binding on it with the left over fabric from the colored blocks.

Here are all of my blocks ready to be sewn together. I love using my windowsill for this. It's the perfect size and away from the mischievous paws of my cats.

Speaking of my cats... This quit was cat tested...

And cat approved...

All before it was even sewn together. :) Now I just need to figure out how I'm going to quilt it. I was thinking of an all over stipple in variegated thread (which I don't have yet), but I'm not so sure. I think I want it more subtle than that. Maybe just stitch a quarter inch away from the seam lines on either side of them so I get a grid pattern with a walking foot? That would certainly be a really fast way to quilt it up. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them. I just don't want to detract from the bright colors too much. Anyway... Happy crafting everyone!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Quilt Design

Do you design your own quilt patterns? Or do you use books, magazines, PDFs, etc? I used a book pattern for my long-term WiP - Over the Rainbow - but that's the only one I can think of...

Sun, Moon & Stars

Designing is something I love to do. Obviously every combination of squares, triangles and rectangles have already been put together, so I'm guessing none of my blocks will ever be "original," but that's OK by me. 

Rainbow Sherbet

I guess I'm not drawn to patterns in books or magazine very often. I want to really be a part of my craft from start to finish. There's something therapeutic and kind of magical about seeing something I design come to life.


Sometimes I get into binges of designing patterns with all the same theme. Like stars, or half square triangles or Christmas quilts.

Christmas Morning

Other times I want to make a design with big pieces (or really small pieces).


Lately I've been putting together quilt patterns with lots of different blocks. I saw what I would consider a "sampler quilt" at a bed and breakfast we stayed at this summer and just fell in love with it. Sampler quilts remind me of cozy lodges and being comfortable - curled up by a fire with a good book and a snugly quilt.

Cabin Fever

I can see so many things done with lots of different scrappy fabrics. 

Northern Lights

I tend to keep my patterns in pencil shading so that I can picture them with any color. The ones I've specifically assigned colors to I probably wouldn't change, but I don't want to hinder the process - especially if I have some kind of color epiphany when I dig my patterns back out.

A Stained Glass Christmas

Most of these I'll never get around to actually making in to quilts. It would be great if I had that much time (and money) to spend on quilting, but there are only so many hours in the day.


The other issue is that once I get these ideas down on paper there always seems to be another pattern that takes their place, or something I want to work on first. So everything ends up on the back burner. 

Forest Lights

I guess I don't have a lot of works in progress (not enough storage for all of that), but I sure have a lot of patterns in progress!


So, if you're ever in need of a quilt pattern, and you just aren't finding something that tickles your fancy, let me know! I'm sure I have a couple you can borrow. I might even figure out the yardage for you... :) Happy crafting!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Longest WiP (and other projects)

Hello everyone,

I've got a special project to share today. It's still in the works, but I can feel the completion date getting closer and closer. I've been working on this quilt since I was either in High School or 8th grade. I'm thinking 8th grade since I know I was "too cool" to quilt in High School. (Wow, I can't believe that was 12-13 years ago!!)

It's a quick and easy 9-patch quilt called "Over the Rainbow" that I fell in love with many, many years ago. I've always loved Amish quilts with vibrant colors and black backgrounds, so my mom and I started planning this quilt. I was lucky enough to find one patterned fabric in all of the colors - purple, pink, red, orange, yellow, green and 2 shades of blue.

I've been carting the fabric around from apartment to apartment through college and after, knowing that some day I would eventually finish it. Earlier this year it finally earned a spot in one of my 3 WiP drawers. That means I need to finish it before I can start another project because I'm not letting myself store in-progress projects anywhere but those 3 drawers. (Unfortunately, all of my current projects are large quilts, so this was the next one to finish up.)

My 8th grade self had already done most of the leg-work. The fabric was cut into 2.5 inch strips and sewn together for quick piecing. I just needed to cut apart the strips to make the pieces for each 9 patch block.

Ta da! I've got everything all cut and ready to go for the blocks. (My 8th grade self had even pieced together the light blue blocks, so I'm one more step ahead of the game.) I'll have to put a close up of the fabric I'm using in the next post. I can't decide if it looks like puzzle pieces or germs (maybe a combination of the two??), but I still think it's amazing that it came in all of those bright colors! I'm pretty sure we bought it at Wal-Mart - back when they still had a decent fabric section - but it could have been JoAnn Fabrics as well. Either way, I doubt I'll be able to find anymore if I happen to run out...

On another note, I finished the second Color Bee Shocked block (the one for November) and sent everything off in the mail today. Here's what I came up with:

It looks a little wonky to me, but hopefully not too bad. This was the first time I'd really worked with set-in circular seams, so I practiced a couple times first. I made the fugly Americana pot holder in my previous post and also made the below block. I plan to make it into another pot holder/trivet for my sister. (She said she needed a lot...)

This one I like way better than the Americana one I made. It almost looks like a little house - maybe a gnome home? :) My sister is coming to see me on Sunday, so I've got to get this little guy finished up by that time. So, with the circle bee block completed, I've finished one of my November goals of finishing up both Color Bee Shocked blocks. I also finished the knitted birthday present for my sister as another goal. I won't be showing that off until November 30th or December 1st.

With those two projects done, I the last goals I have for November are to sew together half of the Leaf Quilt blocks and plan/cut out the fabric for the Christmas quilt for my dad. I'm not sure the Leaf Quilt blocks will get done this month, but I've already planned out the pattern for the Christmas quilt and have the fabric for it. Hopefully I can finish the Over the Rainbow quilt top and get the Christmas quilt fabric cut and ready to go.

Anyway, this post is way too long, and I have some blocks to sew! So, happy crafting everyone!! :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Little Projects

Tonight I wanted something to work on while watching the votes come in, so I decided to practice some in-set circles. One of the bee blocks I'm supposed to make wants a block with circles (something I've never done before) so I wanted to give this technique a try.

Fittingly, I was working with some left over Americana prints. I decided to make my creation into a fugly pot holder for my sister. She said she's running out of pot holders because she's worn through most of the ones she has. She likes to cook, and apparently likes to cook a lot! I don't think I've ever worn through a pot holder. I usually only get rid of them when they have so much cake batter on them they can't be cleaned.

Anyway, I thought I didn't do too bad on the in-set circle, even if the whole thing does look pretty ugly. Now I just need to do this on the real block with the real fabric!

I also put together the hand-made portion of the birthday gift for my sister. Here's a sneak peek:

Obviously you can tell that it's red and knit. :) I'll post the entire project on November 30th or later since that's the day my sister will be getting her present. :)

Lastly I put together the bee blocks for the December host in the Color Bee Shocked bee. I know, I know, I'm going out of order. I should have done November's block first, but circles are intimidating!!! Here's a pic of the blocks I put together for December:

Nice and easy flying geese. :) These were really simple, but the pattern made a lot of waste. I think if I were to put some of these together for a project for myself I'd use another method where there isn't as much scrap fabric to cut away. Otherwise, I really like the choice of fabrics the host sent along.  Lovely color combinations. :)

So, whether or not the votes went the way you wanted them to this evening, I hope you all were able to work on something fun! Happy crafting!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Irish Hiking Scarf Finished

I've got my first November goal finish in this post and it's only November 4th! Makes me feel like I'm ahead of the game, but that probably won't last for long.

I used a whole skein of Caron Simply Soft in Sage Green for this project (pattern here). I had just a tiny little bit which my cats Sasha and Leia are now enjoying. I didn't have enough to do one more repeat of the pattern otherwise I would have tried for one more.

This gift is for my mother-in-law. I was thinking of giving it to her as soon as I finished it, but I think I might want to keep it for a Christmas gift.

I'm pretty sure she'll like it. My husband told me it's the best "knit thing" I've made yet. So, that's definitely a good sign. He likes this better than the scarf I made for him. He was even interested in how I made the cables and was pretty impressed with how they turned out.

It looks so good I think I'll keep it for a while just to look at it. I see many more cabled projects in my future.

This means I have to get some more sizes of double pointed needles other than just size 9, but that's a pretty standard size for a lot of the projects I have bookmarked on Ravelry.

Besides the scarf, I finished another knit project that I'll be using for a Christmas present. My dad has been wanting a case for his kindle and I hadn't found the right project until a few days ago.

I tried my first knitting in the round project with this using circular needles and Judy's Magic Cast On method. It worked so well that I'll be using that method to cast on again for another special project this month.

The case isn't completely finished yet. I still have to add the buttons to keep the flap secured. There will be 2 buttons about a half inch up from the bottom of the flap and one third of the way in from each side.

Here's what the back looks like. I didn't want something really feminine (like a lot of knit patterns that are in my skill level tend to be). I think it's manly enough for my dad and it's made from the same soft wool yarn that I made my husband's scarf out of.

Really my dad likes anything that I make, so I know he's going to love this even if it does kind of look a little wonky. :)

For the rest of this week, I want to focus on making the Bee blocks that I have fabric for. I've got 3 envelopes/package to send off besides those projects, so I'll be spending some time at the post office too. What are you working on this week? Happy crafting!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Wicked Winner

Hello everyone! Just a quick post to let you know who won my giveaway.

Thanks to random.org, the winner is comment #7: Theresa who said:

Love your tale of Halloween naughtiness! that peanut brittle looks 
very tasty indeed. Your blocks are fabulous, especially the spider.

Thanks so much Theresa. I've sent you an email about your winnings. :) 

Thanks also to everyone who stopped by during the hop. I'm sitting out for the next 2 hops hosted by Mdm Samm (coin purse and Christmas pillow) because I just have too many things to get done between now and Christmas. I hope you'll all continue to stop by and I'm sure I'll be back in the hops next year. Sounds like there are going to be some great ones coming up. Happy crafting everyone!
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