Making tracks

IMG_1868With the Royal Stars top done and put in the to-quilt pile, it was time to pay some attention to another neglected project – Walk Like A Dinosaur.

I hadn’t touched it since I put that first set of toes together way back in February. I only had a few hours the other afternoon, but I managed to complete three more pairs.

The plan is to have three columns of tracks like this, each with six pairs of prints. The middle column will probably go in the other direction.

I’m still debating if the columns will butt up against each other, or haves some sort of sashing in between them.

Before all this dreadful COVID business, I was able to get the two fabrics on the left from Lens – they will be some sort of sashing/borders when I get to that point.

IMG_1869

The fabric on the right came from Mom’s stash – and adorable chunk of flannel that just feels like it was made for this quilt!

But… I’ve got 14 more pairs of prints to make before I even worry about backing it!

What a doll!

Ages and ages ago, when I was planning a big full-blown wedding for Dave and I (as you know we ended up going with something much smaller), I was having a heck of a time finding wedding cake toppers that represented us properly. Finding a bride that looked somewhat like me was easy…. finding a long-haired groom…. well that was a heck of a lot trickier if I didn’t want to pay more for a topper than I paid for my dress (which was under $100…I was a very thrifty bride).

Anyway, the big wedding idea went out the window, and there was no longer a need for a topper.

Many, many moons later (sometime in late 2018), I was out on a shopping trip with neighbour Krista and I came across a Barbie doll that looked just like me!

ea8a79f2f9f51d4425db7d9da0787b22

Complete with cat-themed outfit! It was only $10 so you know I had to buy it. But as cute as she is, I was a little sad knowing I’d never find the perfect Ken/Dave to go with her.

That is until this January, when Mattel released this long-haired hunk…

161524023

Can you believe it??? I couldn’t. I had to pre-order him on Amazon, but you can bet your bottom dollar I didn’t hesitate. Sadly, his wardrobe wasn’t very Dave-like. Dave is too much of a rockstar to ever be caught in a tie-dyed tank top, and shorts…. well let’s just say in 17.5 years, I’ve seen Dave in shorts exactly once…. when I took him to Mexico a few years ago.

Now, I could have probably made him another outfit myself, but it was much easier (Barbie clothes are crazy fiddly!) to order him something off ebay. It took a few weeks, but finally, Ken/Dave is dressed for success!

IMG_1713

No – it’s not fancy, but it’s much more suited to my guy that the original outfit.

IMG_1714

And don’t we make the cutest couple? I just need to get some doll stands and our dopplebarbies can join our lego copies on the shelf!

 

Friday Felines

While Burton is definitely my little lovebug, he’s actually not much of a snuggler since he outgrew kittenhood.  Not with the other cats, and not with me. He’s usually not far from me, but he prefers to lay on the opposite end of the couch (usually upside-down), or drape himself across the back of it behind my head

So imagine my surprise when the other night, I stretched out, and he came and made himself comfortable between my knees.

Of course, when I’m stretched out like that, Rupert has to get in on the action, as he loves nothing more than curling up between my knees. Yet that space was already occupied…

IMG_1689

I guess there’s always room for one more…

Starstruck

One of the things I love about the internet is that it’s full of inspiration. On my last post on  Royal stars, I mentioned that I had an amazing plan for the final layout

I can’t take credit for it. The idea came from a post from another quilter in the Blockhead Facebook group:

IMG_1360

Turn your cornerstones into stars! You all know how much I love stars… so it’s got to be even better with MORE stars!

And turning those cornerstones into stars is not that difficult. It just means a few extra steps: First, you get everything cut

IMG_1827

Small squares for star points, big squares for cornerstones (or star centres), and long rectangles for sashing strips.

Then, you snowball the ends of your sashing strips

In the layout I chose, some needed both ends snowballed, some needed only one end done, so it took a little bit of forethought and attention.

Then, you build your top just as you normally would and voila! Stars EVERYWHERE!

IMG_1854

The sashing stars are  a few inches smaller than the main blocks, so it adds a nice bit of interest to the quilt.

IMG_1855

For those sashing stars, I used fabric leftover from the back of Sewing on my Back Porch.

I’m so happy I was able to use it here, because it’s a gorgeous fabric. It was the perfect shade of purple, with just the  right amount of reds and browns to work with this quilt.

Another small thin border of white, then a wider border of the purple floral and this top is complete!

IMG_1856

And it’s a wonderful lap size at about 54″ x 62″.

Sadly, you won’t see this one quilted anytime soon. Because of COVID, we’re sticking close to home, so that means no quilting at Mom’s. But also, I don’t have fabric that will work for a back on this one.

Lens has closed until further notice (thankfully Mom and I stocked up on essentials… solid fabrics and threads), and I won’t be ordering anything because our dollar has tanked, and all my favourite online fabric places are south of the border.

Still it gives me something to look forward to when all the dust from the virus mess has settled. And I’ve got plenty of other projects to keep me occupied in the mean time.

 

 

 

FO: Hungry Bear

Valerie’s toy workshop is open again!

Years and years ago, my lovely nieces gave me this lovely pattern book:

51Ni8Bp4aBL._SX378_BO1,204,203,200_

…and for some reason, I’ve never knit anything from it.  Now was the perfect time to rectify it. I had one ball of leftover madtosh vintage in Rosewood. It was the perfect colour for a Hungry Bear!

IMG_1777

The pattern was fun,  but it had some challenges. Mostly, getting the eyes and nose in the right spot on the face. In the pattern, they are embroidered on after stuffing. But as I was using safety noes and eyes, I had to put them in before stuffing. That meant getting the placement right was tricky. I wish I’d gotten the eyes closer to the snout, but it will have to do.

All the pieces are knit flat, and if I make another one, I’ll make them in the round. That said, this gave me some great practice on mattress stitch

IMG_1781

You can barely tell where my seams are!

I loved the addition of the fabric accents on the paws and ears…

… which gave me the chance to practice my blanket stitch too!

And now that’s more yarn out of the stash and another item in the box for Natalie’s fundraiser!

Scaling scrap mountain

Quilting, like knitting, has a tendency to create a lot of leftovers. Luckily, like knitting, those leftovers can all be used to create many more wonderful projects.

But in a small space like mine, those scraps have to be kept organized. I have several baskets and boxes where I keep some basic sizes (2.5″ squares and strips, 3″ squares, 4″ squares, and 5″ squares), and usually, after I finish a quilt top, I cut all the remaining pieces (that are smaller than a fat quarter) into these sizes.

But I also have a large box where scraps go to live when I don’t have time to cut them up right away. I let it go a little too long and that box was overflowing.

Most of it was leftover pieces from quilt backs. With quilt backs, there are are usually long, thin strips that you trim off the sides after your quilting is complete. And there’s usually quite a bit of material there, depending on the size of your quilt. I didn’t want a huge pile of 4 or 3 inch pieces in one fabric, so I got the brilliant idea to cut them into 2.5″ strips – the perfect size for binding.

IMG_1772

Now, when I need binding for a quilt, I will check this bin first before digging into the stash and cutting up a bigger piece. And of course, this collection will grow next time I finish another quilt!

IMG_1773

I also cut some of the larger pieces into 10 squares. I already had quite a few random 10 inchers left from various layer cakes. These are great because they can be cut into smaller pieces as needed, used for patterns that use layer cakes, or make bowl cozies!

After that was all done, I cut all the smaller bits into appropriate sizes, adding a few new sizes to my collection

IMG_1775

I now have everything sorted by 2″ strips, 2.5″ squares, 2.5″ strips, 3″ squares, 4″ squares, 4.5″ squares and 5″ squares… all ready and waiting for scrappy projects. The 5″ bin is REALLY full, so a project with them will be my next Leader and Ender project when Traffic Jam is done.

And in my clean up efforts, I came across the leftovers from a Fish Called Rhonda. I still had quite a bit left, so I cut up a bunch of it…

IMG_1776… and it’s already to go for a new under the sea baby blanket.

Here’s where all my other quilts are at:

  • Under the Sea: Pieces cut and ready to go
  • Royal Stars: Stars are done! You’ll see a completed top soon!
  • Walk Like a Dinosaur: Still building dino toes
  • Calico Garden: Still building giant stars
  • Blockhead: Patiently awaiting Wednesday
  • Leader and Ender quilt – The traffic jam is building up!

I’m not sure how it is for the rest of you, but here in Ontario, we’re pretty much going into almost complete lockdown in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. Up until now, most closures have been voluntary (except eat-in restaurants, bars, theatres, and other entertainment establishments). Sadly, a lot of of things stayed open, and people continued to go out. As of yesterday, we were up to more than 500 confirmed cases, and eight deaths.

So, of midnight tonight, anything non-essential must close. Luckily, Mom and I did a Lens run  last Friday, and stocked up on some essentials (plain solid fabrics, and thread), so we can keep sewing. And we have enough knitting supplies to last us several years!

 

 

FO: Regular guy (or gal) hats

I’m continuing my knits for Natalie and her menagerie. In addition to contributing to a cause I believe in, it’s also helping me clear out some random/leftover yarn from the stash.

Case in point:

I still had a ball of Patons Classic Wool in Commotion kicking around from when I knit a Kitty Cat hat for the fair. My plan was to make another cat hat, but I found the wool a bit on the itchy side… not great for a knit that touches the cheeks.

So, I whipped up something simpler.

IMG_1700

The pattern is Regular Guy, though it works just as well for a gal. It’s easy, quick… and when I was done I noticed there was still a fair bit left in the ball. So I ran some quick numbers and…

IMG_1701

I knit a smaller one. This one is about toddler-size.

And now, Natalie can auction the pair off as the perfect Mommy and Me set!

IMG_1699

I’ll have to dig through the stash to see if I have anything that will work for a Daddy and Me set too!