FO: Hungry Bear

Valerie’s toy workshop is open again!

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

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…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!

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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

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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.

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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!

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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

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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.

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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…

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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!

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

Show me the green!

We had a nice warm day on Friday, and in between the showers (we can’t seem to get warm AND sun at the same time!), I did a poke around the gardens.

Naturally, I had company…IMG_1811

Nothing makes that boy happier than having someone outside to play with him.  Just look at that smile….

Now… back to the green and growing things…

It’s looking like the daffodils will be the first to bloom this year. Though it’s hard to say how quickly they’ll actually pop open. We didn’t get blooms until mid-April last year, but this winter has definitely been much milder.

So mild that the roses and butterfly bush as already starting to show signs of life… weeks ahead of normal.

There a spring bulbs coming up all over the place. And it looks like they’ve multiplied!

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I will probably have to thin the day lilies this year as they are off to a fantastic start.

And we’re seeing the start of all the summer perennials. I’ve got to get in and clean out all the leaves and such, but there’s plenty of green already peaking through.

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And last, but certainly not least… strawberries! So nice to have these coming back. I can’t wait until June!

Blockhead bounty

It’s been a while since I’ve updated you on my Blockhead quilt. We’re up to week 10, and here’s all the blocks I’ve made since I spoke about it last…

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Such a fun array! Here’s my total blocks so far…

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I know what you’re thinking… there’s 12 blocks there, but it’s only week 10… where did those extra two come from? Well, one of the weeks I made the alternate offered, as well as the main block. And on another week, I decided I wasn’t going to make the main block, so I made my own alternate. Then a few days later, I changed my mind and went back and made the main block.

But that’s the fun of the quilt along… you can do it anyway you like!

All my blocks are 12 inches (the biggest size offered), so they are already stacking up to be a good-sized quilt. I may have enough for two by the end of the year!

FO: Dog Logs

When I finished Whirly Geese off, I decided to run Calibre’s quilt through the quilter too. It’s not very big, so it was done in no time!

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It’s about 28″ x 40″. Not huge by any means but the perfect size for our favourite beagle pup.

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Mom had the perfect chunk of flannel for the back

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And now this is all packed up and awaiting our playdate which is set for mid-April… provided the Corona virus plays nice with all of us, of course!