Thursday, August 29, 2019

Plaidish Done-ish

Picture from Kitchen Table Quilting.
Pattern is "Plaidish"
Remember the Plaidish Quilt I was working on?

It didn't take long after my last post about it to finish sewing all the blocks. Soon after that I took them to church and laid them out on the tables there:
I laid them out in whatever order they were piled up in. Although there wasn't much I could do to "organize" them in any particular way, I did a little rearranging based on colours but not very much. I did convert the picture to black and white to check my values.
My darks could be a lot darker, but it worked well enough. To get some pieces light enough, I used the back side of the fabric, but you don't have that option to make a fabric darker!

You may notice in the pictures above that there are two empty spots. Despite my organization and counting everything at least twice, I still ended up two blocks short! Maybe that had something to do with the fact that I was working on two quilts at once. ;) I had my extra bits and pieces (I cut more than I needed in some cases) with me so I put together the blocks while I had it all laid out.

This week I was itching to put them together and I managed to do so!
I don't have immediate plans to quilt it, so I hung it on my wall so I can enjoy it. One great thing about this scrap quilt is that I could use fabrics I categorize as "multi coloured". Most of my scrap projects are organized by colour and it's hard to use fabrics that have more than one major colour. In this quilt, it didn't matter as long as they were the same value.

Linking up with Oh Scrap! on Quilting is More Fun than Housework.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Bright Stars on Black Quilt Finished!

I mentioned I'd been working on the quilting of the Bright Stars on Black quilt but had to put it away while entertaining company. When I was ready for my living room to be taken over by my sewing machine and paraphernalia again, I brought it out and continued the job.

The first thing I did was figure out where my bright strips were going to go for the binding flange and then pieced the pieces together. I didn't have enough length or variety to match the colours of the inside stars, but I followed the general flow from one colour to the next as best I could.

I hand stitched the flange on all four sides to baste it in place and sewed the binding to the back instead of the front. That was so I could fold it over to the front,
 and use some more "big stitch" sewing to finish the binding.
I used two strands of floss (as I did in the center) and changed the colour to match the thread colour used for the stars in the border.
You can see the floss on the binding stitching
change from orange on the left to green on the right.
Although I did mitre the corners of the binding like usual, I simply overlapped the ends of the flange:
I like the colour it gives on the perimeter of the quilt, but the flange is rather sloppy, as you can see here,
 and here:
I think I could have pulled the flange tighter when I applied it (and that's what I'll try next time). Since this is put together already, I am considering sewing the flange down. It would be about the same amount of sewing as sewing a binding down. Or I could let go of perfection expectations and just enjoy a little "texture" on the quilt!

Before I sewed the binding on, I tucked in a hanging sleeve. The top is sewn in with the binding and the bottom is sewn by hand to the back of the quilt.
The sleeve doesn't run all the way to the edge of the
quilt. You leave a little room for the hanging hardware.
The sleeve was sewn from strips of the backing that were cut off the sides of the quilt. I had never thought of that before, but I'll keep it in mind. You often cut off about 4" when you trim a quilt and a hanging sleeve is usually made from an 8" strip. So sewing two of them together would usually work. (In case you're wondering why the hanging sleeve looks so loose, it's done on purpose to leave room for the hanging bar.)

Here is the quilt on a bed:
 The center part covers the width of the bed, and the border hangs over the edge nicely.
I didn't specifically plan for that it's not too surprising. By that I mean, if the centre had worked out to be much larger, I wouldn't have added a border. If it was much smaller, I would have added two borders. Although I didn't make it "for" my bed, I did want it to be a bigger quilt (without becoming a king size!)

I've shown the quilting I did in the center, but I don't think I've shown the borders. I did some dot-to-dot quilting between the border stars. (The straight lines below.)
I was going to echo the angle in the outer part of the border to get triangle shapes or maybe a zig zag, but when I drew it out (in chalk directly on the quilt) it just didn't work because I didn't put an equal amount of space between the stars. Then I thought of just going straight down the border adding simplified "line stars" wherever it seemed best. I liked it.

So I decided to add the same kind of stars between the centre stars. The first one I did had three "scattered" stars, not lining them up.
Then I realized it would be easier to just imitate the border stars and do the three of them on a continuous line:
That save me a few starts and stops.

At the sides where there was a little more space to fill up, I made a "T" at one end and added some stars there too.
In the areas where there was even more space, I again filled it in with scattered stars before realizing that three lines of stars would fill the space just as well. (Again, with many fewer starts and stops!)
Here is the entire quilt:
And the back:
The coloured floss is more visible to the eye than on camera, but I think you can get the idea.

Project Summary
This was a fun quilt to make. I started it in 2017 after two things happened. I saw the Pecking Order quilt tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company and my first thought was that it would look great with bright fabric on a black background. Then soon after, I got a lot of black fabric! (A lot!) The fabric didn't have the best feel to it, but it was sold as quilt backing so I decided it was good enough quality to use. It was all in small chunks (about 11x17) with a few very long strips (which were great for the borders and binding!)

Since all the center blocks units are the same (the stars are created with the arrangements of the units), I pulled out some scraps and made units to my hearts content. I thought I had kept track, but when I finally got to putting the top together, I had enough for two tops!! This gave me plenty to chose from to make stars from units with similar colours. And once I had the stars together, I laid them out to figure out the arrangement. I really like the ombre rainbow effect, but I didn't go into the project planning it.

I like to use leftovers from the front on the back, so that is where the flying geese (the triangles) come from. The rest of the back is pieced from the never ending black fabric. Like I said, it doesn't have the best feel, but I just couldn't justify using other fabric when I had all this black fabric to use up. I pieced two 7x14 pieces together to end up with a 14x14 square. (All finished measurements, in case you're wondering how that worked.) Then I sewed the squares together, alternating the seam from horizontal to vertical so that two seams never met.

I didn't keep careful track, but I am quite sure that I did not buy any new fabric for this quilt. It helps when you get a boatload of black to work with and the rest of the pieces can use small scraps. But I did approach the quilt with an attitude of using what I had and seeing what I could make of it.

Size: 91" square
Started: September 2017
Finished: August 2019
Batting: wool
Pattern: centre based on the Pecking Order quilt by Missouri Star Quilt Company. I designed the rest, including borders.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

County Fair Quilts (2019)

Ready? I said I'd do this a couple weeks ago, so I hope so!

I'm going to keep it simple this year and pretend like we're walking through the Home Arts building.

First up, as always, are the raffle quilt blocks. Here are the ones that made it onto the quilt (usually 20, if they have enough entries):
 Here are the top six, if you'd like a closer look:
 Then we have the quilt blocks that will be made into pillows:
Hanging above are this year's blocks. Below on the shelves are last year's pillows.

And here are all the extra entries. There were a lot this year.
Some of these didn't meet the rules for the use of the fabric or didn't fit the theme. The block way on the top left was judged to not fit the theme ("Grandma's Scrap Quilt"), but look how great it is!
So cute!

After this year's blocks comes last year's blocks made up into the raffle quilt:
Click here to see the blocks last year to compare to how it looks now with the sashing. Always an amazing transformation.

Next is the Grand Champion of the larger quilts:
 That was a lot of fussy applique. Almost everyone exclaimed at this quilt as they walked by.

A Tshirt quilt for a USPS deliverer:
 A couple wall hangings:
 This is the quilt that bested my blue and white elephant quilt. It was hand quilted:
 A few more wall hangings. The hippo one is really cute.
 The following quilt was hanging from the scissors lift instead of along the wall:
(It hides the lift and the big garage door behind it. Shhh.)
There is a lot of detail in the border of this one:
All those pieced triangles!
 Next is the row of wall hangings that fit over the photograph and art displays.

 Look! More hippos! There were two of this quilt!

You can see the one below on the left was the Grand Champion of the smaller quilts.
Beautiful! And on the right is another Tshirt quilt. One of the local high school teams is called the "Eddies" and you can see Eddie at the top centre.

That's the end of the second wall. There's nothing on the third wall (no room), but when you turn the corner you see my quilt hanging by itself in a corner:
It might look lonely, but it must have worked since it got the People's Choice Award! (It's also one of the few spaces for a big quilt.)

Carrying on along the fourth wall, some more wall hangings or smaller quilts:
 A lovely Christmas quilt:

That's the end of the hanging quilts.

There is always one set up on a bed. This year it was a maze illusion quilt:
And since the number of produce entries was down this year, some of the shelves were used to hold two more quilts:
The superintendent mentioned that mine might have been displayed here, but one of these had a white backing and she didn't trust hanging it against the wall. Since my quilt had a dark blue backing, she thought that was safer!
And there you go. Quilts at the fair. I love seeing other people's work and I hope you have enjoyed seeing these too. I think clicking any of the pictures will get you a larger view and I encourage you to take a closer look at them.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Shorties! Shorties! Shorties!

Last summer I knit my first shortie socks (ankle socks) because I had some yarn that was no more than 50% wool. I thought they would be good for some warmer weather socks. I've enjoyed wearing them, so this summer I started taking any single ball or partial ball of sock yarn I had and knitting them into shorties.

I had one ball of this 50/25/25 wool/bamboo rayon/nylon that I had used a little of for a previous project. Even a full ball is not enough for a pair of socks, so I started some shorties.
I had a little (15 grams of 50) of the same kind of yarn in a contrasting colour
so I figured between the two of them, I would have enough for a pair of ankle socks.

I knit the first sock with no problems, adding a little of the navy in a pattern at the top.
The sock is a little big which is why I'm
grabbing it at the toe. The white string is
how I kept track of the number of rows.
I started the second sock and soon realized I was in a game of yarn chicken. I wasn't quite finished the heel when the yarn ran out:
This is what losing at yarn chicken looks like.
I undid the cast off of the first pair and started knitting with that yarn, unraveling the first sock as I knit the second. When the second sock was knit as far as the first sock had unraveled, I would know that was the most I could get out of the yellow. Of course it wasn't quite that simple because I had to redo the colourwork section, but I got it done (although I did have to knit the last five stitches of one sock with a piece cut off the end from the cast on!)

I changed the pattern around the cuff and knit all of the ribbing in the navy and was able to finish the pair.
It was a wonderful yarn to work with: soft, plush, and cushy. They felt great on my feet, but they were not for me. I made them a little larger and gave them to my younger sister. I had given her a pair last summer but they were too small. I wanted to make that up to her. :)
Project Stats
: 27 May '19 / Finished: 4 Jun '19
Pattern: made up as I went
Materials: Serenity Sock Solids by Premier Yarns in Hot Lime DN150-08 (44 grams) and DN150-10 Navy (5 grams)
Ravelry project page: Summer Shortie Socks

I had about half of this skein left after using it for my Water for the Elephants socks.
It's a really satisfying red (simply named "Really Red"). I cast on a new sock the day I cast off the pair above.
I wanted more pattern in this one so I ran three cables up the front of the sock.
I also started matching cables on the bottom of the heel flap so that they lined up with the front cables at the top of the heel.

In order to line up the ribbing with the cable pattern, I had to decrease some stitches, which makes them a little tight going over my heel. Now I know better for next time. These aren't as plush as the pair above, but they're nice to wear. And the crisp cables are very satisfying.

Project Stats
: 4 Jun '19 / Finished: 21 Jun '19
Pattern: made it up as I went
Materials: Pagewood Farm Chugiak Hand Dyed Sock in Really Red (55 grams)
Ravelry project page: Red Shortie Socks

I had a little less than two-thirds of this yarn left after using it for my Broken Seed Stitch socks. It was a skein I bought in the Netherlands when I was there with my mom.
I started another pair of shorties with this yarn the day after finishing the red ones above,
this time with one cable running up the side.
Yes, I moved the cable on the second sock so it was a mirror image, going so far as to change the direction of the cable twist as well.
Another plush sock yarn. These are also a little big and I hope they will be big enough for the person I have in mind.

Project Stats
: 22 Jun '19 / Finished: 22 Jul '19
Pattern: I made it up
Materials: HPKY (Hand Painted Knitting Yarns) Sock Donegal in "Fire" (47 grams)
Ravelry project page: Shortie Socks

The day these were finished, I found another single skein of sock yarn in the stash and started another pair. I should start calling these potato chip socks.

May I suggest?

I Say! or at least I did once...