Thursday, February 22, 2018

Rookie mistake!

Our guild has issued a challenge to make a small quilt using only fabrics from  our stash.  I took a look through my fabric and found these little embroidered birdhouses that I bought at a quilt show years ago:

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The birdhouse squares measure 5 inches, and I thought I would combine them with red and white pineapple blocks to make a little quilt.  I knew it was an opportunity to use the "4-5-6 Pineapple Trim" ruler that I had bought for my Long Time Gone quilt. 

"Great!", I thought, "I can make the 5 inch size Pineapples to go along with the 5 inch squares.

I happily started building each round of my Pineapple blocks:

After eight rounds, I had finished my Pineapples so I could set them out next to the birdhouses and see how it was going to look.

It was only then that I realized my Rookie mistake....

The birdhouse squares measured 5 inches unfinished, and the Pineapple blocks measured 5 inches finished!

I do not  know how I could fail to realize that the birdhouse blocks would finish at only 4 1/2 inches.  (*smacks head with  palm of hand*)

It's going to take some creativity to make this work, but I'm determined to get a finished mini quilt out of it.  Stay tuned....

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Sunday, February 18, 2018

In my world, stashes are for fabric, not yarn

When I started making Prayer Shawls back in 2014, I decided that I would not generate a yarn stash.  However, it seems that no matter how hard I try to estimate the amount of yarn that I need for a project there is always some leftover.  Hence, the following collection:

These were all leftovers from previous finishes.  I thought I would use them all together in one shawl with a  ripple effect style similar to this old gem from my youth:

The pattern I chose is one that I've done several times now.  (Ironically, it's called the One Skein Wrap, although this project would be using multiple skeins.) I began crocheting with the first three pink shades, but I decided that there was too much of a jump in hue between the two darker pinks and the light pink.

I went back to look in my leftover yarns, and came up with one more skein in the dark pink/red range, and decided to ditch the pale pink and set aside the teal/aquas for another day.

Then I added in a thick, variegated yarn in the same color family.

 The thing I love about this pattern is the stitch called "dc7tog", or "double crochet 7 together".  You make 7 double crochet stitches, without pulling the yarn through the last loop, leaving you with a bunch of loops on your hook like this:

Then you pull the yarn through all the loops left on the hook.

Lastly, you gather them all together with a single chain.

The result is a series of gathered shells that create the peak in the ripple pattern:

To make the shawl, I varied the yarns as I went along and this is the way it turned out.

 In this closeup photo, you can see that the thick, variegated yarn introduced a bit of blue.

When all was said and done, I still had some yarn leftover, but I had certainly made a dent.

One more photo that shows the color variations.  I think they all came together very nicely!

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Monday, February 5, 2018

Of Football, Fish and Florals

I learned that our local Quilt for Kids chapter was ready to accept new quilt donations, so I got out some of the fabrics I had set aside, invited a friend over to join me,  and did some sewing.  I began with this set of fat quarters, and a coordinating half yard of the white flowered print.

 From each of the fabrics pictured, I cut a wide strip, sewed a narrow pink strip to each side and then subcut them into units like these:

I set the units into alternating directions and came up with this:

To be honest, I thought the vertical units of the white flowere fabric would look more like stripes, but  that's what happens sometimes when you work on the fly.  I brought scraps of the fabrics to the fabric store and found this watermelon fabric that I thought would tie it all together.

I added a narrow strip of a dark pink as an inner border, and the whole thing turned out like this:

I had quite a few units left over, and so the next day  I  made up another quilt top with just the leftovers:

I actually like it better than my original plan, in fact I might make another just like it.

While I was working on my pink watermelon top, my friend Linda was busy sewing up two quilt tops from kits that our Quilt for Kids chapter puts together.  I wish I had taken photos of the two cute quilt tops that she finished that day. 

I liked the idea of sewing from a precut kit, so I decided to make up a couple of my own. 

I had one yard each of a football fabric and an fish fabric.

I picked a tone-on-tone yellow that coordinated with both of them, and then a blue and green to pair with the yellow.

The last piece of the puzzle was to search the stash to  find a fabric for a narrow inner border for each.  For the fish quilt, I chose an orange, and for the football quilt, I found a dark brick red that matched the footballs.  I cut all the fabrics and had two kits ready to go:

In what seemed like very little time at all, I put together both quilt tops.  By working on both kits at the same time,  I was able to save steps at the ironing board and at the cutting table.  Besides, not being a football fan, it was great  to have a project to work on while everyone else was watching the Superbowl.

Here is the fish quilt:

And here is the football quilt:

Hope this quilt makes some little football fan happy.  I know that the football fans in my house were not too happy last night. 

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Friday, October 20, 2017

When Genealogy meets Quilting

When I'm not occupied with making quilts, I'm very likely to be researching ancestors.  On my Italian side, I learned that prior to immigrating to the U.S., my grandfather lived in Santa Domenica d'Aspromonte in Sicily.

Earlier this year, while on vacation in Italy, my brother and his wife visited Santa Domenica and took  this photo of the beautiful stonework streets.

Of course, as a quilter, my first thought was to make a quilt from the pattern.   I brought a copy of the photo to my local quilt shop and picked out these fabrics:

Then I set about using Electric Quilt software to come up with a pattern. I decided to make a table runner.  I did a little virtual design, and  also did some old school cutting and pasting and came up with this:

Here is a portion of how it all came together:

It's not quilted yet, but I expect to have it on my table soon.

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