Round Robin, Round 5

This week’s prompt is wonky stars… and while I’m very excited to finally be making stars for this quilt (as you know, stars are my FAVOURITE!), I’m in a bit of a conundrum.

This is where we last saw the quilt…

It’s 54″ wide (and tall) right now. So here’s my conundrum. Do I keep going around and make it wider and taller, or do I only add to the top and bottom? Or just the top, and save the bottom for next week!

So… I’ve decided to not decide. As least until next week.

I’m going to wait to see what next week’s prompt is, and decide if I’ll work the two together, or apart.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share Mom’s Round Robin quilt so far. She’s been sewing along too, she just doesn’t blog any more so it’s up to me to show it off!

So different from mine! I love all her scrappy colours. And those “migrating geese“! I’m going to have to try some of those. And lets not forget those sweet hearts in the corners.

I haven’t done much applique… but maybe I should start!

And then she added her wonky stars…

Fabulous!

Hamburglar hijinx

As mentioned on Monday, with Dave’s socks done, I cast on for a new pair. My Sister-in-Law’s birthday is mid-March, so I wanted to get something done and ready to be mailed by the first week of March.

You may recall, I bought a pile of Knit Picks Felici last year, intending to make socks for my brother’s whole family for Christmas. That didn’t happen (I ended up making lots of other things, so it was all good). But I figured I might as well use the yarn to make their Birthday Presents THIS year.

This colourway is called Hamburger. And I don’t know why… as soon as I saw it, it made me think of my SIL. I think these will give her a real giggle. The red/brown at the top is Alley Cat, whichI’m going to use for heels and toes… it seemed to work well with the tone of the other colours, so I’m running with it.

Although there’s nothing wrong with a plain striped sock, I wanted something that would keep my interest more, so I’m knitting my The Socks are Lava pattern. I like the way they make the stripe dip.

I’m actually further along than the picture shows. That’s just what I knit up in the first night. The pattern, combined with the stripes make this pair so much fun. And the yarn feels great too… Every time I knit with Felici, I want to go out and buy a pile more!

But, I shall resist!….

Maybe.

Zig zag zebras

After we sold that pile of quilts last year, I invested some of the profits back into more fabric – specially stuff for baby/kids blankets. One of those purchases was a cute little fat quarter pack of some adorable zebras.

I also bought a bolt of solid black fabric, so I knew just what to do. It involved making A LOT of HSTs…

With chain piecing, and my handy-dandy HST trimming tool, they went pretty quick. Then it was just a matter of laying them out,and sewing them up. And that took no time at all!

What a fun little quilt this turned out to be! And of course, I’ve got the perfect backing for it too…

It’s not flannel, but it’s too perfect to pass up.

Oh, Burton want you to know, he’s black and white like a zebra too! Just fluffier… so that makes him EXTRA special!

FO: A walk with Emma

Happy Monday following Valentine’s! It also happens to be a holiday here (Family Day), so it’s a nice, lazy way to cap off a cold, snowy weekend. I’ll probably do some sewing today, but in the meantime, I figured I better show off Dave’s finished socks.

The pattern is Walking with Emma, and it’s a great unisex sock with multiple options. The yarn is Alley Cat BFL I dyed up in “man colours” just for Dave. It’s a nice denim blue with a whole range of shades.

It does obscure the cables a touch, but they do show up better once stretched out on a foot.

And now that these are off the needles, I’ve cast on again…. for ANOTHER pair of socks. But I promise, these ones are more fun and will just fly off the needles. Details in a couple of days.

Be Mine

Happy Valentine’s! It’s cold and snowy here (we got a good dumping on Friday and Saturday), so we’re staying warm and cuddled up inside. And really, can you think of a better way to spend Valentine’s day?

Relic… I said INSIDE!!! The snow is not going to go away just because you wanted Spring for Valentine’s day! And it’s not going to go away no matter how many times you go back outside just to check.

Sigh…

You’ll be happy to know that I did find my knitting mojo and finished Dave’s socks in plenty of time.

That and a pile of candy made up his gift. We’ve never gone crazy for Valentines, much preferring small gestures. We generally don’t even go out for dinner (too busy, too expensive). But we decided this year, we’ll splurge and order in.

We hope your day is sweet too!

Manly yes, but I like it too!

I was feeling like the barbershop quilt had been a little neglected, so I sat down and put together some more blocks.

They are really neat blocks, done with strip sets. And once those sets are sewn together the blocks go really fast. As a reminder, here’s the tutorial I used.

They went together so fast, that I got all but four blocks together before calling it quits for the day. And those last four will be whipped up in no time. Since I’m close to having them all done, I have to make some decisions about layout.

Right now, I’m really leaning towards a plain navy sashing between each block. They are so busy, I think it will help to break things up a bit, so they eye can focus better. It will also help to make the quilt bigger. Each block is about 10.5 inches, so with sashing and borders, this will be a good lap-sized quilt when finished.

Round Robin – Round 4

This week’s prompt was “Checkerboards” and I was quite thrilled with that because they day I had free to work on it, I also woke up with a mild migraine.

The migraine should have been a hint to take the day off, but some caffeine and Advil was keeping it mostly at bay… and I figured checkerboards aren’t complicated… I can totally handle this!

Can you feel the hubris already?

It didn’t start out too badly. I wanted a “scrappy” looking checkerboard, and I figured out pretty quickly that I’d need two different nine-patch blocks to accomplish this. And my quilt so far was 36.5 inches, so if I made my nine-patches 9.5 inches, everything should just work out peachy.

And at first, it did.

I made two of each of these nine-patches and sewed them together for the first side (I decided to tackle it one side at a time, just incase my headache got too bad, I could pack up quickly). Easy peasy. But… then I went to sew that side.

Even from the other side of the design bed, Burton could tell something was wrong (though he didn’t seem too concerned).

My border was almost an inch too long. My math was technically right, but apparently my sewing precision was not. This is not totally unusual… being off by even a 1/16th of an inch in your sewing can add up over time. It’s totally conceivable that I’ve been off a little in each round, and it’s added up to almost an inch.

No biggie, I can add a coping border. I thought this might look nice with a little plain fabric in-between this and the last round anyway. So I did a little more math and added a thin plain border all the way around.

I line up my checkerboard again…

WTF???? My head was really starting to pound now, but I didn’t want to throw in the towel just yet. Then Mr. Smug looked up from the bed …

and reminded me that I need to HALF the measurement I was short, and add that (plus seam allowance) to each side… not the whole thing – that would double my trouble. Duh!

Thats ok… too big is definitely better than too small. I just needed to trim a bit. However, I’m severely limited on space – my cutting table has just enough room for my 18″ x 24″ mat. And this thing was around 36″…. Cutting it on the table was not an option. Luckily, I’d rearranged my bedroom on the weekend and there was just enough floor space to lay it out.

My knees and back weren’t happy about it, but I got it trimmed. I lined the border up, and it was only a touch short this time so I decided just to fudge it a bit. (More hubris)

I decided I could live with it, and got moving on the second side. For some reason, I kept making silly mistakes on my nine patches. It was probably the universe telling me to walk away. But I couldn’t hear it over my migraine, which was naturally, intensifying.

Still, I got them all done, and sewn together. And wouldn’t you know it… the second side was now just under 1/2″ too short. Well… that first side was fudged anyway. I really should rip it out, trim some more and get it right. So I did. By this point, Burton had given up on “helping” and retired to his cat tree.

I should have followed his lead. But… after much swearing, bruised knees, stabbing pains in my spine and a screaming headache… I had the second side on…

… and it looked pretty good.

Now it was getting close to dinner time, and I really should have put it away. My head was throbbing, and I still had to cook…. but I REALLY wanted to get the whole thing done. Dave was working all evening, and would be re-heating whatever I made. It wouldn’t make a difference if dinner was late.

I’m happy to say, the third side went together with only minor hiccups (a few mis-sewn pieces, easily fixed), but went on the quilt with nary a hiccup!

Wow… it is dramatic!

Now it was well into the dinner hour, my body was screeching at me to stop… but I REALLY wanted to get that last side on. I returned to the cutting table…. and promptly ran out of my solid cream fabric! The universe was obviously giving me a swift kick in the butt for not listening.

It was all good though. We’ve got a whole bolt of it at Mom’s and she promised to bring me some more after work the next day. So, I packed up my stuff, said screw dinner, and ordered chicken wings!

The next morning, I was feeling much better (I’m pretty sure the chicken wings cured my migraine, because they frequently last two days). Mom showed up by noon with more fabric. I got my day job done early, and set to work finishing that last row.

It went together quickly, and then zipped on the top like a breeze!

It’s now 54″ square, so I have to decide if I want to keep going around, or just add to top and bottom. But I think I’ll wait for Monday’s prompt before deciding.

Burton says, “I knew all along it would all work out!”

FO: Into the Mystic

The owl baby quilt is done and dusted!

It wasn’t planned, but this one ended up being a bit of a collaboration between Mom and me. As soon as she she saw that centre owl, she was determined that I let her quilt it. So I did my usually loops all over the rest of the quilt, but left the owl blank. Then I handed the machine over to her.

She did a little free-hand work and I think it’s pretty spectacular!

As mentioned in my last post about it, I used the pretty purple floral flannel for the back, and the purple plaid for the binding. Like Mom’s quilting, they are just perfect!

This one is now in the shop and ready to fly to a new home!

Sock slog

I really truly expected to have Dave’s completed Valentine’s socks to show you today. The first one went so well. But then I cast on for the second one, and well…. then I just seemed to get into a funk

I’ve gotten the leg done, and just a bare few rows to start off the heel. But I really should be farther along.

It’s not that I haven’t had the time. It’s just that every time I’ve had time to pick up the needles, I’ve mostly chosen to do something else. Usually something non-productive.

And when I do pick it up, it’s a chore to stick with it. It’s not the yarn, that’s soft and lovely. It’s not the pattern – it goes along smooth enough.

I dunno… maybe it’s the colour. Maybe it’s just too blue and sad for these bone-chilling winter days we’re having?

Still. I must focus. I have until Saturday night to finish it. I have a little bag put together with cards and a treat for him, so I’d really like these to finished to put in there too.

That’s five nights of knitting! I can surely finish a heel and a foot in just five nights!