FO: Hamilton

Well of course, you all knew it would happen, but it always surprises and delights me a little…

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… when I finish a deadline project with time to spare! Yep. Dave’s Valentine socks are done and dusted. They’ll stay on the blockers until a day or two before V-day, when I’ll wrap them up with some jujubes and jelly beans (Dave’s not a chocolate guy.)

And I am so pleased with the guy version of my Hamilton pattern. Mine are short and spunky, but done full length with a little more width, they have a stylish, classic look.

Mom cranks Dave socks for every birthday and Christmas, so he has lots of crazy striped and variegated pairs. It’s nice because it means I get to make some more solid, but patterned ones for him – leaving the vanillas to mom and her sock machine. One of these days I’m going to have to count his pairs… I bet he has more than me.

Anyway… with these off the needles, it’s time to get back to that gosh darn poncho…

FO: Only in Kenya

Nothing cheers up a dreary January more than a bright quilt!

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And even more so if it’s got lions (and zebras, hippos, giraffes, and gators).

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This is such a simple pattern, but it has such a great result. And there’s so many options with it. It could be completely scrappy, or done in just two fabrics. Or, somewhere in between, like I’ve done.

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And as I mentioned in my previous post, the clearance bin yielded up the cutest piece of flannel for the back.

Now if only I could sew my way to a real Kenyan safari…

Chevy got a tune-up!

I don’t know if I told you, but when Mom and Dad adopted Chevy, they did it knowing he’d most likely need to have an operation.

There was a partially torn ligament or something in his knee. His previous owner had been managing it with medications for a while, but it wasn’t getting any better. When Mom took him to the vet not long after bringing him home, and they confirmed it – surgery was the only option.

He went in on Monday morning. Everything went swimmingly, and he was home in the late afternoon. I saw him on Wednesday when I was up helping Mom with her computer.

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Isn’t he just the biggest sad sack of a dog?

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Just look at that poor face.

But don’t worry, he’s doing well. He’s putting weight on it, and he got up on that couch himself. But they do have to keep him calm and steady for at least 10 weeks – absolutely no running or horsing around with Jem.

They got an extra big crate so they can confine him when they aren’t home to keep an eye on him.

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Though it looks like he might have to fight Winnie for it.

I’m a blockhead!

I’ve never really been a person who enjoyed mystery or surprises much (unless it’s a good book or movie, but not real life), so I’ve never really gone in for mystery knit/quilt-a-longs. I usually wait to see the final result, and then decided whether I want to make it. Then of course, the “a-long” part is usually over.

But last summer, Mom took part in a Moda QAL, and made the cutest little quilt top.

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Not all the blocks were from the QAL. When she didn’t like a block, she went online and found something she did like and added it in. She ended up learning how to paper piece, upped her skills and make one adorable quilt (though she’s yet to actually quilt it… I’ve offered to do it, but she wants to get all fancy with it… we know I only do meanders or loops.)

Anyway, this is a kind of long way of saying… I joined a QAL! Moda has another group called the Moda Blockheads. It’s a year-long QAL with a block (or two), released each Wednesday. This is the third year they’ve done it.

This year they are offering something like 56 blocks in a variety of sizes from ranging from 4-12 inches. You choose which size you want, and you can even mix them up. Each week the designers offer tips, tricks and other options.

Because there are a huge range of sizes and options, they couldn’t give exact fabric requirements, but they estimated that completing all the 12 inch blocks would require about 30 fat quarters and several yards of background fabric.

I didn’t have any fat quarter bundles with that many FQs, but I did have this.

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It’s Posey Meadow from Bluprint. It’s got 20 fat quarters, and I went through my stash and mixed in a few other pieces that would work. I’m not sure I’ll do all the blocks, so I may or may not have enough.  I’ll worry about it when I get to that point.

The first block was released on January 15th.  Several people found it challenging, but I quite enjoyed it.

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I did make a couple of small revisions to how it was made (making flying geese instead of sewing triangles and getting all fiddly.) This block also determined the size I am carrying on with. This is the 12″ block. Those little squares are only 2 inches (before sewing). I don’t work with pieces any smaller, so there was no way I was attempting the 8 or even 6 inch version! Yikes!

Block 2 was released on the 22nd. It was much easier, though I took a few liberties with it as well.

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Moda includes more “traditional” instructions for each block. I prefer more modern methods, so I used the 4 from 1 HST method, and whizzed through this one. The designer kept all her colours together in each quadrant, and I mixed them up. She also used plain blocks on each corner, and saved an HST of each colour for something else. I said “hang that!” and put them in!

But that’s the fun of this QAL. You can do it completely by the book or go right off the rails. It’s so fun checking out the facebook group to see what everyone is doing. Someone said the other day there is something like 30,000 members… wowza!

And of course, this is a new project, so it needed a project box. But since it’s going to be a year long project, I didn’t want it tying up one of my regular boxes month after month…

So she got her own!

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And now I have SIX quilting projects on the go (Thanks Mom….!). Here’s where everything else is at.

  • Spring Blossom – Still making beautiful batik blossoms.
  • Royal Stars – Still buildings stars – this one is not a fast project
  • Moon Dance – Loving this one! I hope to have the top done by the end of February, if not sooner.
  • The other birthday quilt – it doesnt’ have a name yet, and I actually haven’t started yet. Still need to cut those 10 white squares.
  • Blockhead: Two blocks done… over 50 to go. Wednesday takes so long to get here.
  • Leader and Ender quilt – Still making geese, but getting close to top assembly time.

 

Getting mooned

Jenn’s Birthday isn’t until mid-March, but here we are, approaching the end of January, and I’ve barely touched the blocks on her quilt.

I stole some time other other afternoon to bang out a few.

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I actually have five complete, but just photographed these four to give you an idea of the layout. They will have white sashing, with a black/grey paisley cornerstone.

Only 15 to go… I better get a move on!

Stitching in the Hammer

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As you can see, I’ve made some good progress on the Hamilton sock. That’s partly because Dave’s grandma ended up in the hospital this week, and Dave and I spent the better part of Monday keeping her company while they ran some tests. She home now though (thankfully it was nothing serious), and I’ve got the leg done and I’m ready to move onto the heel.

I’m on the downward slope!

(In case you’re wondering about the title…. The Hammer is Hamilton’s pet name)