Roisin from my favourite yarn shop, Great Balls of Wool, has been knitting up variations of the beautiful Butterfly Shawl (pattern purchased from Ravelry) and displaying them in her shop. Not that I need another shawl, but when she decided to offer a class, I think I was first to sign up. Our first class was in October, but with all the gift projects I had on the go I couldn’t get it completed before Christmas. Boxing Day was a relaxing day so I sat down & did the deed. Mine is made with only two colours of yarn, one a solid and one a variegated. Roisin helped me select the yarns and I’m so happy with the result. Although it may look like a difficult knit, it’s actually easy. What’s difficult, at least for me, is the accurate stitch counting that’s needed and watching TV detrimentally affected my focus at times! I love it Finished size: about 60″ at its widest and about 32″ long. Yarn used: Drops (75% wool/25% polyamide) and Mirasol (40% wool, 40% silk and 20% viscose). There’s enough yarn left over for another small project; hmmmm…what shall it be I wonder…..
Although our own grandkids are getting older (the youngest is 13) we are fortunate to have young friends with youngsters three and five with whom we get to spend time and are very happy to babysit occasionally We’ve even been lucky enough to have spent several Christmases with the family. Because of Covid our interactions are less frequent these days but that doesn’t mean we can’t give gifts at Christmas. I’ve been doing lots of stitching leading up to Christmas, some of which I can’t publish until after tomorrow, but here are the fun projects I completed for these delightful children – glow in the dark door hangers and novelty place mats.
This year’s place mats are half of the four piece set Critter Placemats from Vanilla House. I made the first two a couple of years ago and forgot to take photos but ben bear and friendly fox scored a photo session this year. In addition I made a couple of door hangers with glow in the dark thread and I’ll bet the kids will like those!
The last few weeks, among other activities, I’ve been making some Christmas presents – those I can’t post yet! I took a break from that to make yet another scrappy community quilt that started with some orphan blocks I ‘found’ while doing a deep dive in one of my totes in the scrap purge I’ve been conducting lately. Some of my fabric and some Guild fabric supplemented the blocks. The Guild provided the backing and batting and one of the members provided the fabric for the binding. Finished size about 59″ x 71″ before laundering.
The pattern is ‘Hodgepodge’ by Fiber Fantasies (they seem to no longer have an internet presence), one of many variations of the Disappearing Nine-patch block that you can find all over the internet. The quilting is a combo of FMQ feathers and ruler work; I love the texture that feathers create! All the quilting is hand guided by me on my Sweet Sixteen. I used Glide thread on the top and magna-glide in the bobbin.
Now I really must get back to making Christmas presents; I’m not done yet! No more quilts until after Christmas….really…
Another passion of mine, and one in which I don’t indulge much since quilting seems to have taken over my time, is machine embroidery. There are still times though when I incorporate embroidery in a project and this is one.
Hubby asked me to make covers for a couple of pieces of his woodworking shop equipment that he doesn’t use frequently; he hopes to reduce the amount of dust that collects on them. My job was the easy one as he designed and provided me with the patterns and on one of our trips to the Island we picked up the nylon fabric and the piping for it. He’s hoping that the nylon fabric will shed most of the dust that settles on everything in the shop…….my experience is that dust sticks to EVERY surface no matter how slippery it is but we’ll see how this works out..lol.
In his pre-retirement life there was a lady on his staff who was skilled in graphic design and he had her design a logo for his joe handyman custom woodwork™ hobby. Now for those of you who know my DH doesn’t that look just like him? I love it. Several years ago I digitized the logo and this seemed an ideal project on which to use it.
My mother taught me to sew when I was pretty young and for years my stitching consisted of clothing, crafts and home dec. As I neared retirement I started quilting and after retirement it took over, although I haven’t totally given up the other projects. So…..last winter I started addressing the scraps & some of the mystery ‘why did I buy that fat quarter’ pieces in my stash. I’m determined to keep emptying tubs so yesterday I dove really deep into the UFO collection and came up with this. In the late 80s when my son was little he wanted a Care Bear (he’s now in his 40s ). After cutting out all the little pieces of fake fur I started to realize what many people before me did; fake fur can be a b*#% with which to work. So there it sat in pieces for 30+ years……until yesterday. My question now – do I send it to my son for Christmas? My takeaway from this project? I’ll never work with fake fur again!! The scraps are in the bag destined for pet bed makers. And now I must go vacuum my sewing machine and everything in the work area that’s now covered in fake fur fluff…. Happy stitching friends whatever your project is!
Sparrow Quilt Co’s 50 Blocks in 50 Weeks really inspired me to deal with some of my scrap overload. I’ve made two quilts now from most of the blocks (48) and the remaining ones will go toward additional Community quilts. Our Guild does a Block of the Month project of blocks this size so they’ll just be added to the pile. In order to assure this wavy quilting design gets added to my muscle memory bank I repeated it on this quilt, same as the last one. I really love it for the undulating wave effect and it just might become my new favourite….at least until I find a new favourite lol. I used Glide thread on the top, magna glide in the bobbin and the HQ Wave B ruler and quilted it on my Sweet Sixteen. Fleece backing again!
I finished quilting, laundering and blocking one of the scrappy quilts that I pieced using some of the blocks from Sparrow Quilt Co’s 50 Blocks in 50 Weeks series. I’ve long admired Anita Shackleford’s Modern Curves pantograph and wanted to do something similar using a ruler, so I purchased Handi Quilter’s Wave B ruler and played with that. I love, love, love the optical illusion of undulating waves created!
I backed this quilt with fleece. First time ever doing that and now I’ll do it again for sure; it’s so soft and cuddly I hate to give it up! It will go to the Guild to which I belong, Timberlane Quilters’ Guild, and be donated to someone in need in our community.
Quilting goes by the wayside every summer as yard and garden work assume priority and this past one was the same. But in September I start getting the urge to put the garden to bed and start quilting again. I’m running a little late tho! I’ve been trying to deal with the scraps that have accumulated over the years since I last made an attempt to deal with them. They multiply in the closet, right? I started last fall with Sparrow Quilt Co.’s 50 Blocks in 50 Weeks series and completed the blocks in May, but there they are on my design wall still waiting……… They will both eventually be Community Quilts, but they need sashing…. and sandwiching… and quilting.
And then there are the placemats I’ve been intending to make to coordinate with the tablerunner I completed in 2017 for Canada’s 150th birthday…. oh happy day I finally made them! More scraps used up. I even rounded the edges of two of them to fit the table.
And this time I’ve even started crumb quilting and I’m determined to make blocks as the scraps accumulate…. hahahahaha. I think I need to buy brighter fabrics don’t I?
And not only do I collect fabric scraps, I have an entire box of yarn scraps (I know that sounds bad but I used to have almost two boxes!). They also multiply in the box. But this last time when I finished knitting a pair of socks for myself I immediately knit up the leftover into a pair of kids socks. I haven’t decided if they’ll get gifted or donated…. The yarn is Estelle Yarns Sock Twins Mouline.
So that’s my scrap adventures to date this fall; more to come!
Whew, I worked my way through the stack of community quilts; nine quilts quilted in a month! That’s definitely a record for me. To streamline the process I used the same overall design in each one, Angela Walters’ Swirl Hook. I love it. Five of the quilts were made of good quality flannel and were so soft & cuddly with which to work. And no, I didn’t piece any of these.
While we are still in isolation mode because of COVID-19 none of our quilts can be distributed to the community but we have a large supply ready once restrictions relax.
I’ve been rushing to get these done by the end of the month because my folding layout/cutting tables I need for each quilt are set up in the spare bedroom that has a Murphy bed and we have a guest arriving this weekend who will be using that room for an indefinite amount of time. The tables have to go! I just made it in time!
I don’t think there will be much quilting going on for awhile lol. Here are the last of them:
I finished quilting two more of the Guild’s community quilts today; I love seeing the stack of finished ones grow. Angela Walters‘ swirl hook is so perfect for an all-over design on scrappy quilts I think and gives them beautiful texture. These two are just more of the same…happy day!