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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Monday, September 18, 2017

Long Time Gone Rogue, at last

I had most of the parts of Long Time Gone finished, and it was time to make some decisions about how to handle the small filler spaces.  I started with the bottom right corner:

The pattern called for a double row of a checkerboard to fill in the bottom, so I made two rows of squares and laid it all out on the bed:

Then I thought, "why not separate those rows and put one above and one below the Flying Geese row?

I really liked the way that looked, and I decided to move the whole section up to the top:

The last big decision to make was choosing the sashing fabric.  I thought a medium value neutral would be a good choice to set off both the light and dark sections.   I cut a few strips and tried them out:

Nope.  Made the whole thing too muddy.  I decided that a light tone-on-tone fabric with a tiny print flower would be a better choice.

With the major decisions done, it was time to start sewing the whole thing together.  The quilt is constructed in 6 large sections which are then sewn together. At last,  after 6 months of work, and over 2,500 pieces, here it is:

 It was the most challenging thing I have ever undertaken, but I enjoyed it immensely, and it was certainly never boring.   I don't think the photo does it justice, quite frankly.

After all the sorting and cutting, my previously organized stash of Civil War Repro fabrics looks like this:
At least I managed to keep the lights and darks in separate piles. 

Of course, I still have to figure out how it will be quilted, and I will add some kind of border,  but for now, I'm enjoying just seeing it all in one piece on the bed in the spare room.

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