Wednesday, June 25, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Little Sperry Sweater

I love a fast knit.  This is another basic raglan sweater, but I actually bought the pattern for it.  Mostly, because it was perfect already and cheap, but sometimes it's just fun to support other crafters.  (Go Team Craft!)

Anyway, it's the Little Sperry from Amy Miller (get it from Ravelry here).  I love Amy's sweater designs, but this one is just perfect for what I wanted, a lightweight summery sweater for the boy to throw on on chilly evenings.  And my friend Laura (of Little and Lots) recently knitted this up for her daughter and it was just adorable.  She didn't post about it, but trust me, it was killer.

I got this great variegated cotton yarn on sale at Joann's, because I can't get a solid answer from the boy about his favorite color.  After years of blue, now it's green, but I didn't want to risk an all green sweater that never gets worn, so he gets both, plus yellow!  I'm skipping the stripes on this one, but I'm definitely going to do them on the next sweater.

Another fun tidbit, I actually knitted a swatch for guage.  Weird.  I ended up going down two needle sizes to get it right, apparently I'm a very relaxed knitter.

I couldn't get a good picture of the girl in it.  It's way too big, but the boy was unavailable for modelling.  This sweater is obviously too big, but I really liked the length on her with the shirttail hem.  I might make one as a sweater dress for her next.

Linking up with Lee for Work in Progress Wednesday!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday Finish: Earthy Goodness Quilt

It may have looked like a quiet week on the blog, but really, it was pretty crazy.  It was our first week out of school.  Husband built a new set of stairs for the front of our house.  I knitted half a sweater!  And we played in pools and got ice cream with friends.  (I also put some serious thought into naming my quilts, specifically this one, and failed to come up with anything.)

And I also got some serious sewing done.  This quilt was commissioned by my cousin who wanted a quilt for Father's Day.  I had about a week and a half to do it, so of course I said it would be no problem.

She wanted browns and creams, and I added a little pale blue and green.  I love how those colors aren't really screaming, but they quietly cheer the whole quilt up.  Because I had so little time, I went with a simple block, the disappearing 9-patch.  I think now that it wasn't the fastest block I could have chosen, but I love how it turned out.

I backed it in some super soft flannel and did some loopy quilting.  The result is a pleasantly floppy quilt that's perfect for cuddling under on the couch.

Linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish It Up Friday and Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for TGIFF!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Finish: Teacher Thank You Totes

So last night I had to sudden realization that today was the last day of school for my son.  And not only that, it's his last day at Montessori school because next Fall he'll go to the public kindergarten.

Anyway, I've been so caught up in all the last week of school festivities and looming deadlines (and maybe a little bit of avoidance), that I'd missed the class collection for gift cards, and hadn't even had the boy write out a thank you card.  But I really wanted to do something for the teachers because they are amazing.  Isaac is a very specific type of kid, and I could tell that while there were tough days in the class room over these last two years, they really loved him.  It's a big deal for him to go to kindergarten and ride the bus next year, but I'm really sad to be leaving this school behind.

So last night I pulled out a bunch of fabric and some batting scraps and made some book bags.  What teacher doesn't need more book bags?  I cut out a long rectangle, and then sewed the strips to the bag quilt-as-you-go style.  Once I had the whole rectangle covered, I sewed up the sides and boxed the corners.

I used some home dec fabric I had to line the bags and to make the straps.  In hindsight, I wish I'd added a pocket, but I was in such a rush, I decided to just make them as simple as possible.

Now to go deliver them.  I'll be that parent with glossy eyes awkwardly hugging the teachers.

Linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish It Up Friday and Riddle and Whimsy for TGIFF!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday Finish: A Second Pyramid Scheme Quilt

Deja vu? Yep, just a little.  When my mom saw the Pyramid Scheme quilt my do. Good Stitches group had made in February she fell in love.  After informing her that she couldn't buy that quilt off of me, I offered to make her another.

There were so many triangles!  I used a new method to sew all those HSTs, where you mark a 1/4" from your needle with a long piece of washi tape, then as you sew, you line up your leading and trailing points on that line.  It was really quick, and I managed to get a good rhythm going so this quilt top came together in about a week.  I was a little nervous about needing to trim because sewing the HSTs felt so inaccurate, but it all worked out in the end.  (I posted a picture of the method here.)

I was hoping to get this quilted this week, but life and other more rushed projects took over.  It will go fast when I do get it basted since my mom also liked the quilting on the first quilt, so I won't have to hem and haw over how to quilt it.

Linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish It Up Friday and Glory Be Quilter for TGIFF!

And if you haven't looked at all the awesome blogs on the first week of the Plum and June New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop go check out my intro post here, and be sure to visit the rest of the first week crew!

Plum and June

Michelle @ Michelle Bartholomew
Yvonne @ Quilting Jet Girl

Jana @ Jane Machado

Thursday, June 5, 2014

My Very Own Bundle of Cotton and Steel (AKA My Presssscious)

This Quilt Market was pretty crazy (note, I wasn't there, but I stalked the event like a pro on everyone's Instagram and blogs.)  And I have wild ideas about getting into Market next year!

The big news was Cotton and Steel, an amazing collaboration by five really creative and different fabric designers.  I was hooked in by the idea of it immediately.  All these great fabric designers that I loved separately creating a collection that would coordinate?  What could possibly be better?

 And then the pictures of the fabric came, and everyone drooled, then the video, which I may have watched a couple times through.  But the heartbreak of fabric releases at Market, is that there's still months to wait untili you and I can get our hands on it.

That is, unless someone is crazy generous and gives away a bundle of fabric.  I entered Rachel at Imagine Gnats' giveaway, totally not expecting to win.  So when the email came, I may have made a loud, high-pitched, celebratory noise that made my two kids and the dog look at me like I'd lost my mind.  Luckily, my crafting buddies on Facebook understood the gravity of the situation and responded more appropriately than my kids.

These fabrics are totally worth the hype.  Their soft and linen-y, but take a pressing really well and stiffen enough that I know working with them will be easy.  And the colors!  These pictures are good, but the colors are so much more vivid than this.  The green on the middle fabric is the perfect grassy green that I have searched for in all my local shops, but come up very short.  I'll be buying more of it for sure.

There was also this full cut from selvage to selvage.  I love the two Melody Miller bordered prints I got and plan on getting more, maybe in the lawn, to make skirts or dresses for myself.  This yellow is more gold (damn you pixels for not matching reality perfectly!) and needs to be a skirt pronto.

I've been debating on how to use these fabrics.  I could always use a new bag, but would love to make a quilt for my bed.  I think I'll end up buying more fabric, but I'm sure glad to have this pile to pet while I wait.

Thanks again Rachel!

Linking up with Kelly for Needle and Thread Thursday!

  Needle and Thread Thursday

Monday, June 2, 2014

Plum and June New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop!

Hi all!  Thanks for visiting my stop on the Plum and June New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop.  There's a really great group (and lots of us) this year, so I hope you get to visit all our new blogs!

Plum and June

I'm Mary and I come from a long line of creative people.  My great-grandmother was a knitter.  My grandmother knits and quilts.  My mom seems to do a little of everything, and was the one to teach me that if I wanted something I should try to make it first.

I wrote about my Economy Block Quilt here.

From a young age, I remember making crocheted dresses for my Barbies or wrapping fabric scraps around them and stitching them in place.  We'd make dolls and pillows, and every time we'd change the color of my bedroom walls, a new bedspread would be produced.  (One was made from two sheets splatter painted with acrylic paint, then tied together.)

Me at eight (?) making myself a doll with two sets of clothes.

In college, I was itching to make something, and decided to start quilting.  My grandmother gave me her sewing machine (with the desk it was built into!) and my mother and I bought a quilting magazine and a pile of batiks.  It's an amazing quilt, but I laugh about it because I hand-quilted it as I didn't realize free motion quilting was a thing I could do.

Here's the post about this guild quilt I did the final quilting on.

After a few hand-quilted quilts, I realized there had to be a better way and Googled "Quilting" (or something like it) and found the world of modern quilt blogging.  I learned so much from people like Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts and Elizabeth at Oh Fransson!, like how to actually free motion quilt, but also that there were really no rules and I didn't have to buy a pattern magazine in order to make a quilt.  And now I hope to add my voice to the quilting blogosphere.

Read about my kitties here.

My quilting style is always changing, but I love tend to love bright colors.  I use a lot of scraps, and will happily take scraps of any fabric from anyone!  And I love to quilt a quilt to death.

Now Beth has asked all of us to give you all some of our own wisdom.  Here it goes.

Blogging Tip:
I am by no means an expert, but we're all new here.  I'll give you the best tip I've come up with so far: RELAX!!  When I started blogging, I thought I had to post everyday, hit up every linky party, have the best photography, and never show any flawed work.  And for a while it all stopped being fun.  Now I post when I want, enjoy what I make, and I'm trying to be more honest about the whole process.

Quilting Tip:
There are so many great tricks and tutorials out there, but at the end of the day you're just cutting up fabric and sewing it back together.  So my best tip is to have a sharp blade, a sharp needle, and to just go for it.

There's nothing you can't learn from a YouTube video, and it's only fabric anyway.

Dream Vacation Spot:  The IceHotel in JukkasjÀrvi, Sweden.

Seriously, how amazing is this place?
Favorite Book:  The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Favorite Movie: Addicted to Love (with Matthew Broderick creates a giant camera obscura, and Meg Ryan rocks the best of 90s fashion.

Favorite TV Show: Sherlock and Dr. Who (just turn on BBC America and point me at it)

Fun Fact About Me? Toughy, there's a lot of weird facts about me!  At the age of five I could recite the alphabet backwards faster than forwards, and still can (though I haven't done it in a while, so don't quiz me!)  Sadly, this wasn't an early sign that I was some sort of child prodigy.  

Thanks for stopping by!  Be sure to check out the rest of the group!