Friday, February 27, 2015

OTN and This and That - Feb. 27, 2015

I didn't quite finish my pair of socks, but it has been a good week, and there are still a couple days to go before the week is official over, right?

My blue variegated socks are over half finished and I'm anxious to get them off the needles so I can start another pair from a different angle -- toe up.

Here's the reason I did not finish my socks.   I saw a review of this book online and it sounded so good, I reserved a copy from the library.  If you like to travel and enjoy wild and funny adventures, this book will do the trick, all from your own living room. It is a story of unusual experiences for a family in Maine (with 2 teenagers), who decide to take a 6 month vacation volunteering across the globe.  They venture to Costa Rica, India, Thailand and other exotic locations. Their experiences and the people they encounter will entertain and amaze you.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book so much that my knitting and quilting took a back seat until I finished it. 

Last week when I posted about my finished baby quilt, I originally forgot to post a picture. Now it is really finished. Here is a completed picture of the baby quilt with the binding all hand stitched down. 

Take a few minutes and stop over to Judy's Patchwork Times and see what other goodies are on the needles this week.  There are sure to be lots to inspire you.  Also linking up with Michelle's Let's Make Baby Quilts. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Finish and Fabric Report, Week 8

This week was pretty productive in the sewing room.  I finished the pillowcases that I had cut the tops and accent strips for last week plus one additional one to go with a quilt I'm giving to a friend.  They went from this
Tops and Accents selected
Pinned into sausages ready to sew

Finished - 7 pillowcases
I'm keeping up with trying to finished one UFO each month, Finally quilted this red, white and blue baby quilt that was started in 2013.  It's been waiting for it's turn on the quilting pile. Actually, it's not quite finished since I am working on the binding today, my slow stitching Sunday.

 Updated to add picture that I forgot.  Oops.

All of this to say, that my numbers got a big boost in the 'used' column this week.  Yipee!

Numbers for Week 8
Fabric Added - 0
Fabric Used -  7.71 yd - pillowcases, plus backing and binding on baby quilt
Fabric Added YTD - 0
Fabric Used YTD - 23.71 yds
Net used in 2015 - 23.71 yds

Check out more reports over at Judy's Patchwork Times. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Reversible Binding Tutorial

Last month I finished a quilt that was pieced by a good friend that passed away suddenly.  I agreed to finish her UFOs  to give to her family. After quilting this one, which goes to one of her sisters, I realized I did not have any good fabrics for the binding.  The final border was a wide red print, so it was a bit challenging to find something to go next to it that looked good.  After searching my stash, I finally found what I thought would work perfectly, but it was only a half yard cut.  Since this quilt was 80" x 110" I knew that would not be enough fabric for a traditional double fold binding. The solution -- make a reversible binding.  My calculations said I would need 10 strips of binding which would require around 25" for a traditional binding; but for my reversible one, I only needed 10 inches. Yes, it will work.!!

So for those who who asked how I made this reversible binding, I will try to show and explain what I do.

Cut enough strips of both colors (front & back) to fit the circumference of your quilt.  Cut the front color 1" wide and 1.5" for the back color. 

Next fold the 1.5" piece in half with raw edges together.

Lay this folded piece on top of the 1" front strip, with right sides together and sew them together with a 1/4" seam allowance.
I used dark thread here so you could see the sewing line better. Typically I match my thread to the fabric colors.

Finished binding, ready to attach to quilt.
Now take this "newly made binding" - all 400" here
and sew it to the front of your quilt in the usual way. Starting in the middle of one side of quilt, place the right side of the 1" strip to the front of the quilt, raw edges even with each other. The folded piece (tan in pic) is pushed out of the way to the left of the 1" strip (red stripe) and sew with a 1/4" seam allowance.

When you come to the corner, use your same technique as if it were one piece of fabric.  Stop 1/4" from corner back tack a stitch or two, cut thread and take it out of machine; turn quilt and fold binding up away from quilt and back down even with the raw edge of quilt edge.  This should form a 45 degree angle next to the quilt corner.  This forms a mitered corner on the front of quilt.

Starting at the top, continue sewing 1/4" seam allowance down the next side as usual.  As you come to each corner, the technique is the same.
Continue down next side

When you finish all the way around, you can join the beginning and end in your favorite way. I usually join them on the diagonal the same way I make my original binding strips, but with this one, I chose to join them with a straight perpendicular seam because of the red and white striped fabric.

Here's the finished  binding on the quilt from the front.

And from the back.

I hope this tutorial helps you if you decide to make a reversible binding. This was my first attempt at making a tutorial like this, so if you have any questions, please let me know. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Fabric Report - Week 7

Still plugging away at my stash a little at a time.  This week I finished 2 more dragon pillowcases.

Do you remember me saying that I had almost run out of fabrics suitable in colors and sizes for the top cuffs of these pillowcases?  Well, my friend Kevin, the Quilter came by and brought me from his stash, some great pieces that can be used for tops and accent strips.  Thank you so much Kevin.  This will make it much more fun and interesting with different fabrics and playing with new combinations.  It's always fun to dig into someone else's stash, don't you think. :) I didn't waste any time doing just that! I cut enough for 6 tops with accents and hope to find some sewing time this coming week.  These tops won't be counted as being from my stash, since they were not mine; but the bottoms are still fair game for my stash reduction report.

Numbers for Week 7
Fabric Added - 0
Fabric Used - 2 yd
Fabric Added YTD - 0
Fabric Used YTD - 16 yds
Net used in 2015 - 16 yds

If you have time, check out other fabric reports at Judy's HERE.

Friday, February 13, 2015

On The Needles - Fri. Feb. 13, 2015

Didn't realize today was Friday the 13th, until I typed in the post heading.  Are you superstitious?

Almost finished the Mobius Cowl that has been on my needles way too long.  I'm making this one longer than my first one.
1st Mobius Cowl
I wanted to be able to double it for wearing as a short cowl or worn as a single long infinity scarf. Here is my starting point ....

 ... and now I just have a little bit more yarn to go.It measures approx. 8" wide by 40" long 
2nd Mobius Cowl

On the sock needles is the variegated Pacific blue socks.  I'm ready to start the toe decreases on the first sock. I hope to get this finished today and be ready to cast on the second sock later this weekend.

Hope everyone is keeping warm this winter.  I feel badly about all the awful weather you all are having in the Northeast East coast.  We are getting frigid temps, but have been spared the big snowfalls this winter.  

To be inspired by more knitting projects, stop by Patchwork Times.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Fabric Report - Week 6, 2015

I had to resort to making a few more pillowcases in order to keep my numbers moving in the right direction. lol  I've also been making blocks for a couple of my UFO projects, but nothing that can be counted yet.

There is still a lot of dragon fabric waiting to be used, but I am having a hard time finding the right colors for the top cuffs.  My stash doesn't have much more in the way of yellows, oranges or black in the right size needed for the cuff. I really don't want to piece a fat quarter for the WOF size.  So I found another piece in my stash that I think will make really cute cases.  It is Michael Miller's "Paris Bags".  There are cute little purses and shoes scattered over it.

If you are lucky to be enjoying some warm weather as we are, you are probably finding it very hard to stay inside and sew. That's my excuse the last few days.  I hope Spring is just around the corner.

Week # 6
Fabric Added - 0
Fabric Used - 3 yd
Fabric Added YTD - 0
Fabric Used YTD - 14 yds
Net used in 2015 - 14 yds

Take some time and stop by Patchwork Times.  to check out other fabric reports this week.

Friday, February 6, 2015

On and Off the Needles - Feb. 6, 2015

More progress was made on my Pacific blue socks.  I've finished the leg (longer than usual) and the heel is complete.  Now it's smooth sailing through the foot.

Off the needles is the Augustine Cowl.  I'm not sure why the pattern was for flat construction instead of in-the-round, but I followed her instructions since I'm not an advanced knitter yet.  This is my first knitted finish for 2015 (well almost, I still have to join the two sides, block and bury the ends.)

Augustine Cowl 
It can be worn with the points up around your face and neck or flipped the other way so they fall on your shoulders. The pattern and the two ways it is worn are on Ravelry here.  I know it's going to be really warm on those cold windy days that I know we are bound to have yet this winter.  Tomorrow though, it is going to be almost 60 degrees here after being 7 degrees 2 days ago.  What a roller coaster winter we have been having here in the Midwest.

There are lots of other pretty knitted items over at Judy's OTN here for your enjoyment.  

Now it's back to the quilting studio to finish a quilt and bust some of the stash. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Fabric Report and Knitting - Week 5

This was a busy week for me.  The last week of the month usually is for many reasons. I belong to two quilt guilds that meet the 4th week of the month (Tues. and Wed.) and our Quilts of Valor met on this Friday for all day sewing. Then there was two days with company, finishing 2 customer quilts and cooking and cleaning -UGH, so needless to say, not a lot of sewing from stash.

However, I did make another of those dragon pillowcases (dragon #11)-and a couple blocks for my piecing group. Since it will be my turn next Wednesday, I had to get my sample blocks done for my next quilt using my scraps. The yardage on this one won't be counted until the top is complete though.

Fabric Added - 0
Fabric Used - 1 yd
Fabric Added YTD - 0
Fabric Used YTD - 11 yds
Net used in 2015 - 11 yds

Since I was gone all day on Friday, I didn't have time to post to Judy's OTN.  I know it's a little late, but better late than never, they say.:)   I started another pair of socks using Pacific Tonal by KnitPicks. I'm doing a simple plain pattern since the yarn is so busy. But I have a new toy to use.  See that cute little blue and green yarn bag?  That was a gift to myself for Christmas.  It holds 2 balls of sock yarn and your knitting, plus it has several zippers and little pockets inside for other small items needed for the job.  It's so handy having this ready to grab when running out the door.

Take a few minutes and drop by Judy's Patchwork Times and and OTN to check out what others did with their fabric stash and knitting this week.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

First Finish in 2015

I am on track to finishing one UFO per month in 2015.  Do you remember the Honor Flight quilt that I started before Thanksgiving last year?

It is now quilted, bound, washed and ready to be given to one of the WWII veterans for their upcoming flight in April to the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC.

I found this American flag fabric in my QOV stash and thought it would make the perfect backing for this little quilt.

This may only be a small finish, but I hope this will motivate me to keep moving in the right direction for using stash and cleaning up many UFOs that I have started over the years.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Fabric Report - Week 4, Jan. 25,

Not much time was spent in the sewing room this week; but I did finish one pillowcase. Only one yard can be counted as used since last reporting.

This week has flown by so quickly.  It started Monday with a Quilts of Valor sewing day, followed by a sew day the next day with one of my quilting groups.  We bring handwork to work on and I took the red quilt to continue sewing on the reversible binding.  It's almost done.  I'll post pictures when I get it finished. I did take some pictures for a tutorial as I did it, but they are on my cell phone, and I haven't figured out how to get them onto my blog yet.  It wants to download all 850 photos from my phone and I don't want them all!!  Just the last few. 

Thursday found me on a road trip with two friends to A to Z Quilt Shop in Quincy,Illinois.  This is a fairly new shop and it offers large variety of designers and styles of fabric. You can find everything from batiks to homespun, civil war, flannels, Thimbleberries, modern solids, stripes and the popular zigzag, minky, wools and more. They are enlarging the classroom area and it has great lighting with lots of beautiful samples displayed everywhere. The shop owner is also a long arm quilter too. Be sure and check it out if you are in that area.  It very close to Hannibal, MO too.

Our next stop was The Dutchman's Store. in Cantril, Iowa.  About an hour from the quilt shop.  This was so much fun.  It has an old time feel of a general store and is run by Mennonites.  There were bolts and bolts of fabrics shelved by colors, or themes and types of materials. They also carry wide backs, batting by the roll, quilting notions and books, and almost anything you can imagine -- in one section of a huge building.  But fabric is not the only thing of interest in this quaint store.  You can do your weekly shopping for groceries, shoes and clothes for the whole family, hardware supplies, bulk spices and dry goods and great meats and cheeses and all kinds of other foods, free coffee while you shop and fifty cent ice cream cones. I had a great time browsing and loading my cart as I strolled the aisles.  Although tempted, I held steady to my goal of not adding to my stash quite yet and did not put any fabric into my shopping cart. It was so tempting though because of the good prices.

Here's the fabric report:
Fabric Added - 0
Fabric Used - 1 yd
Fabric Added YTD - 0
Fabric Used YTD - 10 yds
Net used in 2015 - 10 yds

Hope you are making progress on using your stash this week.  Drop on by Judy's to see what everyone else did this week.  

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Stash Report - Week #2

Got in a little sewing this week. I found some more coordinating fabric for another cuff on those dragon pillowcases and made a bunch of reversible binding for this quilt.

The top side of the binding is the red and white stripe and the reverse side matches the backing material. This is a good binding to use when you don't have enough for a one color binding.  I use 1" wide strips for the front color and 1 and 1/2" wide strips for the back color.  Does this look like 420 inches of binding?  Trust me, it is.  Now the fun part begins.

The binding yardage was counted last week since it had been cut, so I can only add one yard used this week for the pillowcase..

Fabric Added - 0
Fabric Used - 1 yd
Fabric Added YTD - 0
Fabric Used YTD - 9 yds
Net used in 2015 - 9 yds

To see how others are managing their stashes, drop by Patchwork Times

Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Project On The Needles

Here it is, the second week of January and I'm still on track with my 2015 goals. Haven't bought any fabric yet, but I have added new yarns to my knitting stash.  Good thing I'm not keeping track of yarn yardage, and since there was nothing in my goals about not buying yarn, I'm good, right?  

Santa brought me some new knitting needles along with some beautiful yarn.  I've been anxious to try this wonderfully soft yarn (baby alpaca and bamboo) on my new Addi Turbo Lace circular  needles.  The yarn is from Classic Elite Yarns and it's called Chateau.  Here's how far I've gotten on this cowl. The pattern is Augustine Cowl and you can see the two ways you can wear this cowl on Ravelry here. 

I'm using the yarn they suggested in the pattern in colorway #1456 (a medium purple). 

Today another squishy package arrived from Simply Socks Yarn Co. and I'll share what was in it as soon as I get a picture.  I chose yarns to make warm hats, mittens and socks in a DK yarn, which I've never tried before.  

Take a look at Judy's Patchwork Times to see what other knitting is going on this month.