Building a star

I had lots of lovely comments on my blocks for Marseilles Stars, so I thought you’d like to see how they go together.

I make them using charm squares (5 inch squares) and I make two at a time, because you get enough for two from the centre fabrics.

To make two you need

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Two charm squares of each print for your star points, six plain charm squares for the background, and one  charm square of each print for your centre.

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Then I take two of the background squares and cut them into 4 (2.5 inch) for a total of eight smaller squares.

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I also cut each of the centre squares into four in the same manner.

Then, using the four from one HST method, turn your remaining background and point fabrics in to HSTS. (Total of eight HSTs for each block)

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The HSTs then need to be trimmed down to 2.5 inches to match the rest of your pieces. Once that’s done, you can layout your block for sewing.

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I then work in quadrants and chain piece both blocks at the same time

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And soon enough, your stars are shining!

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The final block comes out to about 8.5 inches (and I only have six more to make!)

Speedy Gonzales

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I’m no  cartoon mouse with super speed and a penchant for cheese, but the work I’ve accomplished on the Carbeth cardigan is certainly making me feel like I’m fast!

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That pile of knitting is the lower body (back and fronts), one complete sleeve and a second sleeve start. Really, it’s not me that’s fast though – it’s  a cropped cardigan and thick yarn on big needles, all that adds up to quick!

I am really enjoying it though. The yarn (Knitpicks Chroma Twist Bulky) is very soft and I love the way the gradient stripe is knitting. It’s going to be a fabulous cardi and I can’t wait to wear it!

I’ll start saving next week…

I know.. I literally just said I needed to curb my spending. But then Lens Mills (my fav place to buy fabric) sent me notice about a sale in the clearance department. You know that clearance department where I always find awesome finds for quilt backs and remnants? Yeah – well now it’s an extra 50% off… how could I not go???

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I got these three little pieces from the remnant bin. And that pretty bird fabric actually isn’t that small – it’s about a yard and a half.

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I don’t really feel bad about this one – it’s going to be the back for the Autumn-a-whirl quilt. (And probably another small quilt, because I got lots!)

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Same with this one… it’s the back for Swan Princess. I did want a flannel for the back – but this print at a crazy low price – I’m not about to get too fussy.

These two are another story. The first is a gorgeous big print cotton (there are also large pale pink hibiscus on it). I got enough for the back of a full-size quilt even though I don’t have a quilt for it yet! But for $20… well I’ll have a quilt top eventually!

The second is flannel – there’s only a couple of yards, but it’s enough for the back of a baby/child’s quilt. And there’s always another baby around somewhere!

 

In with the new

I made a little promise to myself that I would be better about my frivolous spending this year. I say it every year, but as I creep closer to retirement age (yes it’s still a long way off, but each year brings me that much closer), I’m thinking more and more about needing a nest egg. I have RRSPs through work, but I don’t think it will be enough, so I need to squirrel away as much cash as I can. So this is the year to make a REALLY good start.

But  before this year rolled in (like literally the day before), I went on a little last blast spree. I ordered  a few new dresses from Old Navy (and by few, I mean four…)

And I placed an order with Knit Picks. I was very excited to discover they now not only accept Paypal, they finally have free shipping to the Great White North!

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Burton was very excited too!

In that box was several luscious skeins of Chroma Twist Bulky

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They will be used to make myself a Carbeth Cardigan. You may recall that I started one about this time last year in cotton, but it got put in a permanent time out. You may also recall that I said I didn’t want to knit myself any more cardigans until I lost some more weight… but… this cardigan is worn with a fair amount of positive ease, so it shouldn’t be too bad if I do lose the weight (unlike my favoured style of cardigans, which are all worn with negative ease). Plus the yarn was a great price – and do you know how hard it is to find inexpensive bulky superwash  wool? Really hard.  I wanted superwash because I find it much less itchy than regular wool.

Mom helped me get over the minimum for free shipping with these pretty balls of Chroma fingering.

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They were also an excellent price. She loves gradient and stripers for her circular sock machine – she can whip out a pair in no time.

And, what actually brought me to the Knit Picks site was an offer of a free canvas tote with orders over $50. Another goal is to cut down on our plastic consumption, and I do love a good tote bag. They had lots of prints to choose from, but you can bet your bippy, I went with cats!

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Because why would you not??

January QotG check-in

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Here we are, almost half way through January (how did that happen), so it’s time to get a handle on quilt projects. You’ve seen glimpses over the past few weeks, but here’s a full list of what’s on the go:

  • Marseilles Stars: Slow going, but I love it. I’m trying to do  at least two stars a week, and so far, that’s working out
  • A quilt for Ty: This one is a commission and it’s in a still inholding pattern until we can get out and get more fabric for it.
  • Butterflies, and bunnies, and birds, oh my!: This is the second commission quilt for Sam. They are scrappy nine patches that come together quick – I’ll have an update post soon.
  • Cat Fancy: Still cutting It’s a big job, but I hope to be piecing soon.
  • Leader and Ender HSTs: All the HSTs are done, and now we’re assembling crazy pinwheels! (Pictured above). This one is coming together quick, so it’s going to lose it’s L&E status soon… and I have to start thinking about a new L&E project…yikes!

Steady as she goes

While I showed you a glimpse of the first new project on Sunday, I still had another box empty. That meant I could still start something else (especially considering the nine patches from Sam’s quilt are stacking up fast – that quilt won’t be on the go for long).

Ever since Mom gave me the Cat Fancy kit for my birthday…

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I’ve been dying to get started on it. And at the same time… I’m absolutely terrified. I’ve never made a quilt from a kit before. I’m much more of a fly-by-the-seat of my pants quilter. This I have to follow instructions.

I also use a lot of pre-cuts… this has what feels like eleventy billion pieces that need to be cut. But fretting about it wasn’t going to get it finished, so there was nothing to do but get to it.

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That’s all I was able to get done before my back started protesting. But like the HSTs in the crazy pinwheel quilt… if I cut a few every day, I’ll be ready to start piecing in no time!