Tossed on the Breeze

I was perusing a quilting catalog website and looking at a quilt thinking “I’ve seen that somewhere before.”   Major head smacking with hand was needed – it’s my design.  I forgot about this version of a design I did for Hoffman California Fabrics.  There is one verison of it available on the Hoffman California Fabrics website.  This version is a bit different and was requested by Keepsake Quilting so they could kit it.  I’ve never seen this version made up – only my EQ images I did for them  – but I really like the colors of the batiks in this version.  They have it on sale at the moment.

(No affiliation other than it’s my quilt pattern design.)🙂

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On All The Needles…..

Well I really won’t show you what’s on all the needles — I’m not digging out all those projects — but my starting and working on various projects took another step towards insanity this week.   :-)  First off – spoilers at the bottom of this post of Camp Loopy Rewards so if you are going to receive them and want them to be a surprise – don’t read this blog post.🙂

On my Sept 11 blog post I showed a lovely hank of Sanguine Gryffon Traveller yarn which has been in the stash for a long time – wish I had used some of this yarn earlier since it knits up so lovely but is no longer made because I would definitely have added more of it to the stash …. okay probably best I didn’t know.🙂

20160917_18Well here is that yarn all knit up into Let’s Twist.  You have to look at the finished projects on Ravelry to see the great texture this stitch has – red is so hard to photograph and I could not get a close up this morning to turn out.  I knit this in two days and the stitch sequence for each row is easily memorized so although it’s not total “mindless garter stitch tv knitting”  it is still pretty darn easy and kept me wanting to do just one more row.  The actual stitch pattern is called Wickerwork but if you turn it upside down you see little Eifel Towers.  I keep looking at that cowl and thinking I’d love a sweater in that stitch pattern.  I may have to do some swatching with a different yarn and see if it will work.  In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I love this design and highly recommend it – no cables – just some twisted stitches.  And it turned out a perfect length.  I don’t like cowls that fit too closely around my neck (okay they would be warmer that way but it bugs me) nor do I want them hanging down too far and getting in the way – I didn’t cast on the number of stitches in the pattern, nor did I use the suggested needle size (since I knit a bit loosely) but it turned out perfect.  Okay – enough about this cowl…. moving on…

In last week’s On the Needles – I showed the yarn I wanted to use for the DaVinci Cowl to get the colors to stack into columns.  Here’s how that is looking — after two false starts (due to operator error) I found the “code” for this yarn and my gauge and am getting them to stack.  With all the short color runs in this yarn it looks different from the types of yarns the original cowl pattern is shown in but I can’t wait to see how it really looks all finished.  It’s a very easy knit after you “crack the code” for a specific yarn to get the stacking right.

20160917_25It reminds me of scribbling back and forth with a crayon.

After I finished the red cowl above for the Stitchnerd’s Ravelry Group “It’s All About the Red” KAL, I decided I’d start another red project since the KAL runs for a while.  I knew I had a ball of Zauberball that was very long color changing yarn all in different shades of red.  And I actually knew which plastic storage container it was in so that’s half the battle.

So Thursday night after casting off my cowl, I cast on a new TGV.  I had made one in the past but gave it away.  This is definitely a super simple project and is my current bus riding project.  Here’s the progress on that.

20160917_1 When you get half-way through your ball of yarn you start the ruffle (and increase a whole lot of stitches) and I’m nearly to that point.

Then as I was knitting on this project I spied my Stained Glass Cowl — still pinned to the blocker board where I had pinned it last week to take a progress photo.  That project had not gotten any love this week so I grabbed that last night and got a couple more rows added to it – I like the zig-zag section starting to appear at the top.

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Now as to those Camp Loopy Rewards — they arrived this week.    If you successfully finished all your projects you get a reward after your camp projects have been approved.

This year the Camp reward was a hank of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock.  There were three different colorways dyed exclusively to TLE for this to choose from and since I’m currently into speckled yarn, I chose Color in the Clouds.

20160917_4Not sure what this will become but it reminds me of the Angel Food confetti cake I always requested as my birthday cake for Mom to make.🙂

 

The fabric camp reward is a yard of fabric printed with this years pirate logo and a pencil with a bow tie quilt printed on it (don’t tell anyone that I have a fettish for pens and pencils printed with quilty things).

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I haven’t measured the fabric logos but I think they must be about 10″ or so and I think some fussy cutting of them and combining them with the fabric rewards for the past two years of fabric camp (safari themed and the other is printed with Loopy – TLE mascot) to make a lap quilt to keep me warm when sitting and knitting the winter away is a good plan.  But that’s a plan for another day.

Tester blocks

I’m not making much progress on anything today – I keep jumping from project to project.  Apparently with my knitting I must start things three times if they are cowls.  Yesterday I started my DaVinci color stacking cowl and the first time didn’t get the repeat right.  Re-did it and still messed it up.  I think this time I may have resolved the issue but only time (and a few more rows of knitting) will tell.

I was going to make some quilt binding – which I was going to make yesterday — binding still isn’t done but I did cut out and do some test sewing on the blocks for Points of View.  I’ve got one of each type of block made – star, alternate chain, setting triangles and corner.  Now I have to go back and see if I really have enough of the brown tone on tone print and background I pulled out of the stash to make all my blocks.  Very simple sewing on these.

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As I was looking for something else I also came across the yarn I wanted to use for a Stitchnerd pattern  “It’s All About the Red” KAL.  I really like her patterns and the KAL rules are any of her patterns knit in red yarn.20160911_3  Since I had plans to make a red cowl to put in the gifting pile for Christmas, it works out great.  And yes, even I realize I am working on way too many projects all at once!  LOL — never a dull moment

A bit of EQ time

I walked into the sewing room an hour – well probably 2 hrs ago – to see if I could find any leftovers for my quilt I quilted last weekend to make the binding our of and get that sewn on.  But turned on the computer instead and opened Electric Quilt and…..so far no binding made but I had a couple ideas for new quilt designs to play with some more.

I’m not sure where I’m going with these – if any where – but it’s an idea I’ve been playing with.   I started out diamond1.JPGwith this drawing and then thought what if I put more of this overall design next to each other and ended up with this.     beaded

A single  vertical section of this larger one would make an interesting table runner I think.

On the Needles – 9-10-16

Goodness – September 10th already.  I’m not sure where August went but it went quickly for me.   But this morning, when I could finally open the door and open a window (even tho it’s raining AGAIN!) we have gone from very warm and extremely humid, to a currently 63 degrees and supposed to stay in the 70s all week.  My perfect weather – 60’s to 70’s – I’d like another three months of that please…. tho we know that won’t happen.

Here’s where I am so far on the Stained Glass Cowl.20160910_2

Finally – the third try was the charm — I’m happy with the number of repeats and finally am a few rows beyond the spot where I kept ripping out and restarting.    I’m trying to do a couple rows each night and then I switch back to my sweater where I don’t have to pay much attention.

Here’s how far I am on Staring at Stars.  I spread the bottom of it out on two long needles so I could try it on. 20160910_5  Note to self – if you slid half the stitches onto a smaller needle size, the needle can slide out of said stitches as you are trying it on.  I’m a few rows beyond the spot in the pattern where you switch to the pattern stitch for the wide bottom band of the sweater.  I think I still need to make it longer but will I have enough yarn if I do that?  I recently added a new ball of yarn so I’m waiting to see how far I get with that ball to figure out how many rows I can get from each one.  If I don’t have enough of this color, I do have leftovers of the same yarn iin a different color that I could use to make sort of a color block look – but I would want to spread the second color around a bit – use it for the bottom patterned section – add a couple stripes of it before the sleeve cuffs and then use it for cuffs and neck/front bands.  So far whenever I thought I’d run out of yarn, I never had but I don’t want to get “nearly” done and run short.  I also need to see if I can find this color – it was discontinued on one website but maybe I can find more … just in case.

Speaking of more yarn…..🙂

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I had to have this – I jut love the color splotches among the white – and it will also be for my September TLE Mixer project where you have to use yarn with your school colors in  it.  My current plan for this is to see if I can get it to pool the way I want and will be making the DaVinci Cowl.  I love this designers stacked/pooling designs so just may have to work my way through all of them.

Time to get out of my jammies because that breeze wafting in the window is a bit chilly – I love it – nothing better than jeans and sweatshirt weather.   Although I really don’t need to start a new project today (or for the next two months or more), it’s a dreary day, and I’ve nearly finished my “bus ride knitting project” (with two days stuck in traffic on the way home and extra knitting time sitting on the bus) so I think the DaVinci Cowl will be my next bus ride project so I really should cast on and figure out the “code” for the repeat in my yarn.   Now doesn’t this sound like the perfect dreary, rainy, cool Saturday project – while popping in the DVD and rewatching the DaVinci Code movie no less.   Bring on the popcorn!

What’s a gal to do when stuck in traffic?

Knit, and knit and knit of course.  My usual 35-40 minute bus ride home tonight doubled to about twice that long due to an accident that had traffic at a stand still.  But slowly we proceeded at a snail’s pace which meant I got in over an hour of quality knitting time.  One of the ladies sitting next to me was commenting that I was probably glad I had my knitting along – she had forgotten her book to read.  I pulled out the book I had just finished from my bag, who happened to be an author she liked, so passed that on to her so she was happy too.

Here’s my Summer Camp progress to date

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I just started on a green stripe and when that’s done I have to count them up – and see how much yarn of each color I have left.  I’m not sure if I can add one more set of stripes or if I need to add the scalloped edging after this one.

Last night I knit a few more rows on my Stained Glass Cowl — I try to do just a couple each night  — and then switched over to my Staring at Stars sweater.  I’m finally nearly back to the point on that sweater that I was before I ripped back due to doing some increases wrong.  So progress on many fronts (and backs, and scarfs and cowls)🙂

 

A Quilting Question Answered

Kathy left the comment/questions below on a blog post so I thought I’d just repost it here and see if I can answer her questions.

I love reading your posts and seeing your quilts. I’m fairly new to quilting and wondered if you could comment on how you sandwich/sew/handle quilting such big quilts. I’ve only tried spray glue on throws or smaller things thus far. I’m also curious if you have a favorite free motion quilting instructor’s name/website/class for someone who has only used a walking foot/stitched in the ditch so far. I appreciate any tips you have if I’m not asking for too many questions or taking too much of your time.

First – no you’re not taking too much of my time and I’m happy to answer questions if I can. :-)   Of course, this is what works for me – there are many ways to do things and everyone had their own preferred method or needs to figure out what works for them.

I’m a self-taught quilter, from before there were internet videos/tutorials of all kinds of techniques available to watch.   The local PBS station and books were my teachers.  Today it is so much easier to find a video to watch to see step by step how to do something.

As to sandwiching and quilting large quilts – it’s all just more time consuming due to the larger size but I don’t know that I really do anything different on a small wall hanging versus a large quilt with one exception.   I do occasionally  spray baste small wall hangings or table runners but I pin baste with safety pins anything larger in size.

I have a banquet table that is my sewing table.  Black binder clips (from the office supply store) are my best friends when layering a quilt.

If you click on the images above they should open up larger.  The first is my backing fabric wrong side up binder clipped to the table.  I generally start at one edge on smaller projects and just let the excess hang over the other edge.  If it’s a large quilt, I generally clip the center of the backing centered on the table and work from the center out.

The quilt I’m pinning in the photos is a lap quilt so I’m just working from one side across the width to the other.  After clipping the backing place – repeat the process with the batting removing each binder clip one by one, smoothing batting into place and reclipping it.  Then repeat this step a third time, adding the quilt top and smoothing and clipping it in place.  That’s what is show in the top three photos.  The bottom two are just my finished quilting (I meandered this one) and backing fabric which I love and has been in the stash forever.

If my quilt is longer/wider than my table – after I pin baste the area on the table top, I unclip it and slide it over to the next section, smooth and clip it all down again and pin the next section and repeat until it’s all done.   If you’ve never pin basted a quilt  (or you can thread baste it too) there are many videos of how to learn to do that too.

This one wasn’t a huge quilt but it just takes more wrestling with your quilt when you are working on a larger one to get the area where you want to quilt laying flat and smooth, I sort of puddle the rest of the quilt around the area where I’m working so it’s not sliding off the other edge of the table causing drag (which will at the very least distort stitches and more importantly can break needles).   When I started quilting, many books said to roll the part of the quilt under your machine bed — for me that simply makes it much harder to deal with.  You have this long roll that has a mind of it’s own, weighs down the quilt etc.  I much prefer to “quilt in a puddle” with the rest of the quilt outside the area my hands are in just loosely puddled up.

There simply is a “just a lot more” needed for a larger quilt versus a smaller one — a lot more moving sections about to pin baste the entire thing, a lot more maneuvering of the quilt sandwich to get it flat where you want to quilt it and keep the rest around that area from causing drag on where you are quilting, a lot more moving, rearranging, smoothing —  but you just take your time, do one area at a time, move on to the next and above all relax.   I find it interesting when I read comments from quilters that they can’t make a large  and enjoy the process since it’s not a race to the finish.

I don find it funny when I read comments from a quilter that they can’t make a large quilt because they can’t quilt it on their machine — perhaps “they” can’t but many of us can.🙂.  Some quilters  may not “wish” to deal with quilting a large quilt on a home machine and choose not to  and that’s fine – that’s what choice is all about. And there’s always the choice to send it out to have someone else quilt it.   I actually enjoy machine quilting and have  quilted all sizes of quilts  for over 30 years on a standard size sewing machine  — and actually had to finish quilting a queen size quilt on my Featherweight because of a show deadline when my regular machine died (not that I’d want to repeat that experience ever again)!

I do now have a home sewing machine with a larger throat plate that I quilt on and the added couple inches and extended flat table have made it so much easier.  I haven’t quilted anything as large as Barn Dance  on this machine yet so am looking forward to seeing how much easier it is now that I have a bit more “wiggle room” to maneuver my quilt sandwich in.

Another definite must for me is quilting gloves – they grip the fabric and help move the quilt sandwich more easily saving wear and tear and strain on my fingers and wrists.  Again I’ve tried many kinds but love Machingers – they are my favorites and work best for me.

As for quilting instruction name/website/class.  I don’t really spend time surfing the web looking at that kind of stuff.  Perhaps someone reading this blog post can leave a link in the comments to their favorite videos/websites.   I do, however, make use of some Craftsy classes  (especially when they are on sale or when they do the “get one free” class promotions).  And they are on sale right now by the way.  Anyway, one of the classes I like is

fmq

This one has lots of different free motion stitches, and is presented in a format I like.  I haven’t actually even watched all of it.  I wanted to learn to do pebbles so I watched that part and then quilted a project with them.  I went back and watched another stitch that I incorporated into another quilt so most Craftsy classes I sort of watch bits and pieces of rather than watching start to finish but one of these days I’ll get all the way through it.  I like the way Christina Cameli presented these stitches – easy to see what she was doing since she demos on a small block rather than a whole quilt. Then when I was able to get a free class recently, I decided to get another of her free motion quilting classes but I haven’t watched that one at all yet.

Okay – this seems like just a bunch of rambling thoughts – but hopefully I’ve answered some of your questions Kathy.🙂

Oh and one of my favorite quilting books that I referred to a lot when learning to machine quilt – Harriet Hargrave’s Heirloom Machine Quilting.  A great reference to have in your personal quilting library or check out at your local library.

 

 

 

 

Stained Glass Cowl update

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Well not the most even looking stitches (but blocking should hopefully improve that.  I can see where there’s one stitch of a sequence I’m routinely knitting looser than needed so will have to keep that in mind.  But anyway — I’m about to enter into uncharted territory.

After restarting three times (and yes the third time seems to be the charm – I haven’t accidentally skipped any rows and I’m much happier with the 16 repeat length which I think should be exactly what I want), I’m now heading into the unknown – a new row that I haven’t knit three  times before! :-)  The past two times I got this far I restarted – no way no how this time.  Onward!

On The Design Wall and..

It’s finally a completed top!  My Barn Dance quilt got the last couple missing blocks made yesterday (missing because I think I didn’t originally make the right number of a certain size and not that they disappeared somewhere in my sewing room.  Got the sections of the last third of the top joined and here it is.

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It’s too big for the design wall so here it is tossed over the couch.  I just need to order a larger batting for it and check to see what I have in the stash of wide backings pieces. 

I also did a bit of work on my TLE Mixer project for February  (no, I have not necessarily been completing them in order – or keeping up with them especially since I was doing Camp Loopy but plan to rectify that)🙂.   The February requirement was to Pick the yarn or pattern or fabric that has spent the shortest amount of time on your “must make/use this someday” list. The project is made from some fabrics I had just recently ordered at the time using a free pattern from Craftsy.

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I’ve had this portion hanging on a rod in my sewing room waiting to be finished.  This is only about half the size of the full project but, as I was looking at it one day, I realized it was the perfect size (about 60″ x 36″) right now to hang in that exact spot in my sewing room so I decided not to make it into a lap quilt.   I have been busy replacing a couple of the pieces along the top row.  The light blue pieces along the top were originally the colors of the building bottoms that are connected in the next row above but I took out those sections and replaced them with “blue sky.”  So this one is ready to be layered and quilted now – once I decide how I want to quilt it.

Loopy Academy is back in session but I’ve decided to sit that out.  I have other projects on my “want to make list” and I enjoy doing the Mixer projects (and believe it or not am not insane enough to do Loopy Academy Yarn and Loopy Academy Fabric and Mixer projects all at once).

So now that Camp Loopy is over, I’ll be redoubling my efforts to catch up on my Mixer projects.  I’m trying to do all the Fabric Mixer projects and have done some of the knitting ones as well if they worked into my plans of things I wanted to make but probably won’t do all the knitting ones – just the ones that work for the projects I already plan to make.

But quilting Mixers – here’s where I’m at:

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January Mixer – use fabric line or pattern, etc. that starts with the letter “P” for Pluto.    This is Front Porch Press fabric line in just a scrappy setting made from a layer cake and a bit of yardage.  It needs to be quilted and may just get layered and started on later today.

February Mixer – that’s the houses above that need quilting too.

March Mixer – something that starts with “M” (color, collection, or pattern, etc.).   I haven’t made up my mind on this one yet but have some possibilities.

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Bjorn Bear

April Mixer – Something by favorite designer.  I made Elizabeth Hartmann’s Bjorn Bear from her Craftsy class.  He’s completed!

May Mixer — something from Batik fabrics – I just need to settle on a plan and get started.

June Mixer – something from a pattern you recently put on your ‘must make’ list.

I did another Elizabeth Hartmann design – Dwight Deer from the same Craftsy class as Bjorn Bear.   Dwight is also completed.

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Bjorn Bear

July Mixer – something with wool or flannel.  I have my wool, I have a plan and it should be a quick and easy project I get completed today – I hope.

August Mixer – Olympic themed or something in the colors of Rio.  Got my fabrics – need a plan.🙂

and lastly (so far) September – something in your school colors.  Haven’t come up with a plan for this one yet so need to mull it over a bit.

Whew – Okay I need to get off the computer and get busy sewing.

 

Third Times a Charm

Okay I said I wasn’t going to start over on the Stained Glass Cowl a third time because of that row I missed, and I’m not starting over because of that –  but I am starting over for the third time.

I clearly wasn’t thinking as I looked at this pattern and although I read all the information it didn’t sink in that it says it’s finished size is “approximately 78″ around.”  And I also didn’t realize until after I was working on mine that the photos of the cowl on the designers pages are of the cowl hanging double-looped.   Not any issue of the pattern, just an issue of my not paying careful enough attention and thinking it through.

Judy and I have be emailing about this this afternoon and we both arrived at the same conclusion — our cowls, as work as a single loop rather than doubled, are going to be exceedingly long. :-)   Especially so for Judy since I might happen to be an inch…..or two inches…. or twelve inches…. or …. let’s just say I’m a bit taller than she is.😉

Many people like double looped cowls but I don’t like to wear them myself.  I don’t like the bulky feel it makes around my neck like it’s weighing it down or something (especially if I’m wearing it over a winter coat which brings a certain amount of necessary bulk on it’s own around the collar.  So 1) I want to wear it as a single loop and 2)  I don’t want that loop hanging down past my waist or lower — which it definitely would in it’s originally written form.

For my second cast on – I left out three  repeats thinking that looked like a lot of stitches — well it is 72 stitches but I still really didn’t do the math.  Although I left out those three repeats, my gauge is looser on the second try than my first so it didn’t loose as much length as I thought it would.

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Now for my totally unscientific reasoning:   Here’s my two loops laid out on the floor for general reference (and just for a general reference, the tile measures 11.5″ square not including grouted area).  If I measure the longer loop at the top by just picking it up and holding the top of the loop over my finger as it hangs and lining the tape measure up letting it dangle down to the bottom of the loop – not stretching the loop or putting any tension on it, the larger loop is about 36″ long or 72″ around the loop.  The smaller one if I measure the same way is 34″ long or 68″ around.

Adding to the unscientific nature of these measurements — my gauge in the top loop is much tighter than the gauge in the bottom loop so just going by gauge alone based on those samples is a crap shoot.   I had a death grip on those yarns and needles my first attempt  and then loosed up on the second.  I don’t know why I seem to knit colorwork so much more tightly than my normal knitting but I have to make a conscious effort not to do so.

So the long and the short of it (no pun intended) is this.  I doubled the longer loop and put it on.  This doubled size is just about where I want it to hang for a single loop.  So half the stitches (12 pattern repeats), plus I think I need to make it larger to take into account the finished width of the cowl (which will make it hang differently than my skinny  little loop currently hangs) so  I plan to add four additional repeats for a total of 16 repeats.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it and this is the final cast on — whatever size it ends up, death grip gauge or looser gauge, it will stay however it ends up with 16 repeats!