Saturday, June 20, 2020

For My Father

I was blessed to have a wonderful father.  He has been gone four years now and I still miss him every day, especially on Father's Day.    A few years ago, I made a quilt for my mother using his flannel plaid shirts , and this past year I decided to make a quilt for myself using his cotton summer shirts.

Dad's favorite color was blue, and it was reflected in the clothing he chose.  I had 12 different summer plaid shirts to work with, and most of them were blue so they played together nicely.

The pattern I chose was called "Cool Summer Porch" by Eleanor Burns.  The title alone seemed to make it the perfect pattern choice.

To start, I deconstructed the shirts and ironed the pieces flat.

Each shirt sleeve yielded two squares of fabric which I then subcut on the diagonal.  I cut them all individually so that I could be sure to line up the plaids with the straight edge of the ruler.

One triangle was sewn to each side of a white strip of fabric:

The resulting quilt was supposed to look something like this, according to my Electric Quilt software:

In the end, I eliminated the horizontal and vertical white sashing because it competed visually with the lines in the plaids, and I rearranged the direction of the white stripe.

The final result is this:

Of the 12 shirts I used, I was able to find a photos of my Dad wearing 9 of them.  I will be adding a pocket to the back of the quilt with copies of the photos as a keepsake.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads.  💗

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Saturday, June 6, 2020

A new life for an old bag

After many good years of service, my wood frame knitting bag looked like this:

The fabric at the corners was shredding:

The silky fabric interior was falling apart:

And the faded little ruffled accent just wasn't cutting it anymore:

I had a pretty blue printed panel that was given to me for free.  It was intended to be used to make pillows, but it would make a nice knitting bag too.  I figured that even if I goofed up, I had nothing to lose.

The only way to remove the old fabric bag was to cut it off from the wooden frame.   That would be easy enough, but how to attach a replacement bag?  I decided to try velcro.

I made the bag similar to any tote bag with a lining, but instead of handles, I made sleeves with velcro:

For the bottom of the bag, where the expandable legs are housed, I added another velcro sleeve:
View showing bottom of the bag.

And for the interior, I had just enough of a pale blue floral to make a lining with a pocket.

This is what the bag looked like before being attached to the wooden frame:

Here is what it looks like after!

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Friday, May 29, 2020

Long Time Gone gets Longer

A while back I finished sewing  my version of  a quilt called "Long Time Gone", a pattern  by Jen Kingwell.

The finished size was a 66" square but I wanted to make it longer so that it would fit a twin sized bed.  My plan was to design an additional strip that would be sewn to the top of what I had so far in order to create a longer, rectangular quilt.

To begin, I created a section of Tumbling Block units (that I wrote about here)  and that was as far as I had gotten.

Here we are in 2020 with plenty of  dedicated stay-at-home time and I knew it was time to get back to work on this.

 I wanted to have a section of little houses so I began with those.  It was fun to choose all the fabrics for the houses, doors and roofs.  These little guys each measure 3 X 4 inches.

The houses unit would be sewn to the left of the tumbling blocks, and I decided on Friendship Stars to go on the right side:

The pinwheel centers of the stars have a finished measurement of only 2".

I needed one more narrow strip of blocks to make the additional section wide enough, and I chose some Card Trick blocks.

These blocks required a good amount of concentration to keep the orientation straight, but I loved the end result.  They measure 3 inches, and made for a darling little filler strip:

As I finished each of the sections, I laid them out on the bed near the previously finished quilt top to see how they would look.  As you can see in the photo below I also added a horizontal filler strip of one inch squares, under the Friendship Stars.

I was pleased that the vertical sashing strip between the Tumbling Blocks and the Friendship Stars would line up directly on top of a vertical sashing strip of the quilt top I had made so far.  This would help keep the newly created strip  from looking like the add-on that it was.

Eventually, it all came together into a new, longer quilt top!

Designing the top row to compliment the rest of the quilt was a challenge, and actually took several days to complete.  The hardest part was coming up with design elements that helped balance the dark and light areas of the rest of the quilt.   I feel good about how it turned out and can't wait to get it quilted.

   Number of pieces in the Houses section:  110
   Number of pieces in the Card Trick section:  120
   Number of pieces in the Tumbling Blocks section:  306
   Number of pieces in the Friendship Stars section:  180
   Number of pieces in the previously finished part of the quilt:  2414

  TOTAL number of pieces:  3130

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Sunday, May 24, 2020

Been a while...

Poor little blog has been sadly neglected for a while now.  I've been actively creating and taking photos but I just haven't been good about updating on the blog.

As a start to getting reacquainted, I thought I would write a post documenting the prayer shawls I have made since my last accounting.

First up is this blue and white combination.  This is a pattern I had done once before using just one color all the way through, but I thought I'd mix it up a little bit.

This next pattern was called "Ears of Corn", and the sample was done in all yellow and consisted of uniform rows of little spaces, (which did sort of mimic an ear of corn.)  I started out making mine in all white, but then busted out some periwinkle blue yarn to mix things up a bit.

The "Ears of Corn" pattern turned out to be fast and fun, so I decided to make another.  This time I raided the yarn stash for any leftover skeins in the blue/green family and made each row a different color.  This shawl looks so different from the previous one even though they are the same pattern.

I was really enjoying this easy to memorize pattern, so I decided to make one more.   The multi-toned purple yarn was leftover from a previous shawl, and I got to use most of it up by combining it with white and a darker purple.

Still trying to use up what leftover skeins I had on hand, I chose four shades of teal blue, from dark to light, and returned to one of my favorite patterns to make up this next one:

I also selected a bunch of pink leftovers and, using the same pattern,  combined them with white to make this next one:

Having made the above pattern several times now, and always working along the lengthwise direction, I tried using the pattern  along the short side this time.

This next one is not my favorite, and the picture doesn't do it justice.  I had a couple of skeins of yarn given to me where the colors changed throughout the skein in various shades of blue.  Some of the color changes were very subtle, and others were more defined.  I chose a simple, repetitive stitch pattern and ended up with this one:

At some point, I got the itch to do some knitting, rather than crochet.  I found this beautiful rainbow colored yarn and just went back and forth in garter stitch for a relaxing change:

Back to crochet with a new pattern.  This one created a mosaic kind of design with repeating diamond shapes:

I then used the same pattern in white, but did it in the lengthwise direction:

For my most recent project, I went back once again to the comfort of a familiar pattern and made this light/dark purple shawl:

Shawl making, especially during uncertain times, gives comfort in two ways...once for the maker and once for the recipient.  I'll be getting started on my next one ASAP.
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