I’m making great progress on many projects this weekend (which means I may need to give the sewing room a tidying up today since I’ve been tossing things around as I worked in there).
So here’s two finishes. Both The Loopy Ewe (TLE)
April Monthly Mixer projects (fabric and yarn) had the theme of making something using a pattern from one of your favorite designers.
For my knitting project – I chose a Susan Ashcroft (Stitchnerd Designs on Ravelry) cowl pattern called “Mistakes – I’ve Made a Few” which uses the “mistake rib” stitch.
ETA – this is actually my March knitting mixer not April as I previously listed above. March criteria was to use a pattern or yarn or designer with “M” (for Mars) in it. – So the name of this pattern is what qualified it for March (even tho Stitchner Designs is one of my favorite designers too).
I started out using two strands of Bebop yarn held together. In order to get a bit more width as I was running low on the Bebop, I added in a Loopy Solids yarn in Navy (which I think I received as one of the Loopy incentives at some point) so switched to one strand of each. That’s where the pooling occurs along the bottom 2″ or so. The Bebop has a small section of navy too but it evenly spaced the pooling all around the bottom edge in about six places and I like it. I have a boring blue sweater so next winter I can wear this with it to liven it up.
For the April sewing Mixer – I made Bjorn Bear, an Elizabeth Hartman design from her Craftsy Class “Patchwork Piecing Woodland Animals.” It was a very fun little project to make. I used it as a practice quilting piece to try out a few different filler stitches from another Craftsy Class on machine quilting “Free Motion Quilting Essentials.”
I like how he turned out and am looking forward to trying the other animal pattern from the class which is Dwight Deer.
Bjorn Bear is nearly done. I decided to trim down that print border because it was just making my eyes go crazy looking at it in a wider border like I previously had it. This is so much better after adding the plain border too.
This is my TLE May sewing Mixer project (something from favorite designer) and Bjorn Bear (Elizabeth Hartman design) is definitely a Craftsy enabled project. I occasionally buy a class or pattern from Craftsy and they also have some great free patterns. The classes go on sale often so if there’s one I want, I usually wait for the 50% off sale. Anyway, Bjorn Bear came from a Craftsy class. And then with their most recent sale I bought a machine quilting class because I wanted to learn to do “pebble” quilting and some other filler stitches. So this is also a patchwork of quilting stitches (hence Bjorn being the “guinea pig for testing those stitches) – some good – some not so good but since only I know what I was trying to do only I know where it isn’t so good. LOL My pebbles, which I used on the snout, turned out rather well if I do say so myself….and I do, I’m pleased with them.
Hopefully I’ll get the binding finished tonight or tomorrow and can mark another Mixer project off my “to do” list.
I’ve been trying to play “catch up” on a few projects before Camp Loopy starts next week and I have had some success.
This week I finished off my Zen Pleats Cowl which is my TLE Montly Mixer project for April.
The theme for the April mixer was to use a pattern from a favorite designer. I love Stitchnerds Designs (Susan Ashcroft). Many of her patterns are simple but with great textures (like this one) and all the ones I have made (or have on the needles) are great tv knit of knitting. Zen Pleats was made in Finito yarn so it is incredibly soft and snuggly. I may need to start another one of these in a solid color where the texture should really pop for an upcoming gifting opportunity.
After finishing that cowl earlier this week, I pulled out my March Mixer project – Movie Night Socks. For March you needed to somehow include the letter “M” for Mars. So you could use a yarn line or color that started with “M”, use a pattern with “M” in it, etc. I had been a bit concerned by how much yarn the socks were eating up and I was less than half way through the foot so I weight the sock and the yarn that was left and had already used more than half. I also think I had made the sock a bit too large. Since I wasn’t loving how the sock was turning out anyway, I decided last night to rip it back and find a different project.
Again I went off to look at Stitchnerds patterns checking out what patterns she had that might fit the “M” theme. And there was “Mistakes – I’ve Made a Few.” Perfect! Another simple cowl with a great texture. The texture won’t be seen well from afar in mine because of all the crazy bright colors in the TLE Exclusive Bebop colorway but the texture should help stop pooling. The pattern is also written for heavier weight yarn so I’m using my fingering weight doubled. Don’t know how wide I’ll be able to make the cowl with the yarn I have but time will tell.
I want it more for the pop of color it will add to a winter coat or plain sweater on a drab winter day (and it will pop let me tell you) than for a “it’s 30 below keep me warm” kind of cowl.
I also have the second sleeve for my green sweater nearly finished – only about a dozen more rows to go. So lots of knitting in the evenings here this week.
One last photo for now – in between rain storms – the hill outside is again blooming like crazy with what I refer to as the “purple stink flowers”. 🙂 It smells like a perfume factory exploded outside my door and for a person with allergies, that’s most annoying.
Bjorn Bear has gotten his new spectacles. I’ve decided he’s going to live in the sewing room so I have him some glasses printed with little HSTs. The camera doesn’t really like the grid of that print so it looks all blurry.
I may decide to trim that outer border down and then add another plain border but will decide that another day.
Isn’t he cute? He looks a bit serious though so that will soon be fixed by his trip to the optometrist to get a new pair of “fun” colored glasses. I haven’t decided on the eyeglasses fabric yet but got my block all done last night.
I also haven’t decided what sort of borders to put around him but I think I will make him into a large throw pillow for the couch so need to pick up a pillow form first to decide how wide the borders need to be.
No, I have not started stitching down the binding on that last quilt I finished quilting — but will get at it soon. Today I decided to layer the peacock wall hanging made from my Turkey Tracks block and the free pattern setting I posted for the blog tour.
I found some fabric with peacock heads all over it in the stash to that is what’s on the back of it. I stitched in the ditch/outline stitched all the colored sections I also meandered all the background fabrics with a two-tone gray thread except those to rectangles that go the width of the wall hanging – I used some purpley variegated thread to put in some meandering feathers. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll get the binding cut and added to this one tomorrow – making two projects to hand stitch down binding on.
In the meantime I started on one of my Loopy Ewe Monthly Mixer projects – making a pattern by a favorite designer.
And I think I’ve mentioned bought this Craftsy class because I like Elizabeth Hartman’s animals so after debating deer…bear..deer…bear…I decided to start with Bjorn Bear. Of course I also cut all the main pieces for Bjorn from the opposite fabric that I planned to use for his main face color. Starting like that does not bode well, but I recut the pieces and am back on track. I’m working from the top down so once I join the ears to the top of the head, I’ll be ready to start on the part below his eyes – muzzle and bottom of head. It’s simple sewing but in some cases a lot of pieces. Each ear has 10 pieces of fabric — but it’s all stitch and flip corners and simple straight piecing so I’m enjoying building up each section. the hardest part will be decided what fabric his eyeglasses should be.
And just a heads up – since I noticed this when I was watching the above class today – Craftsy does have a sale going – 50% off favorite classes. There’s a free motion quilting one I’ve been contemplating so I may have to go back and look at that one..
I finally finished off all the quilting and clipped all the threads and got the binding attached. Just need to pin the binding in place so I can hand stitch I down
My photo is taken from a weird angle because that wall hanging behind the couch is hanging straight. 🙂
Just maybe by next weekend I’ll have all the binding stitched in place and this one finished off.
The pattern for the Warm Wishes Gift Tags design is now available on the free download page on the Hoffman California Fabrics website. The black circles on the gift tags could be appliqued but in this case it is written for black buttons to be added. Simple design that shows off those larger print fabrics.
I had kind of forgotten about this pattern since I think I was working on it last Christmas season but the fabrics for the Warm Wishes fabric line should start showing up in shops very soon.
Tossed on the Breeze is another quilt available on the Hoffman website for their Frosted Fall fabric collection.
Tossed on the Breeze
Keepsake Quilting also requested a similar version of this quilt – done in batiks – which will be available as a kit soon also.
Keepsake Quilting Tossed on the Breeze Kits
The final installment of Barn Dance is now available. I haven’t started sewing my blocks together yet but soon – need to finish off a couple other projects first.
The pattern instructions will remain available but the button in the side bar for the QAL will eventually be taken off the blog. You can find all free patterns under the PAGES section in the right side of the blog so even if the button is gone, you’ll find the link to the page there.
Now that I’ve selected a different April TLE Mixer project, I am cruising right along on it (maybe it’s that “Zen” thing – knitting is very zen-like).
And that Finito yarn – I have many yarns I like a lot but I think this one may be my favorite. It feels so soft and squishy and is great for cowls and scarfs since it’s so soft and cuddly against your skin. I also like the way the colors are sort of striping in a spiral effect.