She Quilts: Chevron Baby Quilt

A friend is due with her first baby in July. I made this quilt for them.

Progression
Started – February 15
Completed – May 20
Duration – 95 days = 13.6 weeks

OK, the actual work didn’t take this long. The top was finished and the whole thing was pin-basted on February 17th. Then it languished for a couple of months while I debated how to quilt it. I quilted it in one night. Then it sat another couple of weeks before I found a suitable binding. I could easily have gotten it done in a weekend if I had a whole plan and all the materials from the get-go.

Pattern Info
Improvised by me

I made up this design. The blocks on the front are plain rectangles that finish at 7″ by 8″. It is quilted in a large chevron pattern on the blocks, then has zig-zag stitching in the border. And it is finished with a satin blanket edging with faux-mitered corners. Next time I use this sating blanket edging, I will join the beginning and end of the binding together as with normal binding because the join, here, doesn’t look very good.

I added a name plate on the back corner, which I really love. I embroidered the baby’s name and my first initial and last name, and the year. I like this better than stitching right onto the quilt, like I did for the Walnut Hill Quilt. I just slipped it in when I sewed the edging, then came back and tacked down the top folded edge.

Fabric Info
various cottons

The top is all quilting cottons, the back is a flannel cotton (so soft!). The edging is satin.

Photos

Advertisements

A Year of Crafting: 2015

Here we go again. 🙂

1. Julius’ Blanket (knit)
Started: November 25, 2014
Completed: January 20
Duration: 57 days = 8.1 weeks
Yarn: 75% cotton, 25% acrylic; 872.0 yards
This was a gift.

2. Kori’s Hexa-ghan (knit)
Started: October 2, 2014
Completed: January 26
Duration: 117 days = 16.7 weeks
Yarn: 100% acrylic; 463.1 yards
This was a gift.

This was the first time I knit a blanket bigger than baby size.

3. Wine Blossoms Shawl (knit)
Started: January 26
Completed: April 3
Duration: 68 days = 9.7 weeks
Yarn: 70% merino wool, 30% silk; 387.2 yards
This was a gift.

This was my first time working with yarn containing silk.

4. Carseat Strap Covers (sewing)
Started: April 8
Completed: April 9
Duration: 2 days = 0.3 weeks
I designed this.

5. Slippers for Mom (crochet)
Started: April 4
Completed: April 13
Duration: 10 days = 1.4 weeks
Yarn: 100% acrylic; 153.7 yards
This was a gift.

6. Walnut Hill Quilt (quilting)
Started: February 4, 2013
Completed: April 21
Duration: 807 days = 115.3 weeks = 2.2 years (Wow!)
I designed this.

My second quilt. I was very, very pleased with this project. I hope my next quilt doesn’t take as long!

7. Interchangeable Cords Case (sewing)
Started: April 27
Completed: April 27
Duration: 1 day = 0.1 weeks
I designed this.

8. Toddler T-shirt (sewing)
Started: May 7
Completed: May 7
Duration: 1 day = 0.1 weeks
I designed this.

This was my first sewn article of clothing and also my first experience drafting a pattern from existing clothing. It turned out OK, but I would love to experiment more with this approach to sewing clothes.

9. Summery Floral Romper (sewing)
Started: May 10
Completed: May 10
Duration: 1 day = 0.1 weeks

My first experience with snaps.

10. Floral Romper, Take 2 (sewing)
Started: May 11
Completed: May 11
Duration: 1 day = 0.1 weeks

11. Footed Newborn Pants (sewing)
Started: June 2
Completed: June 2
Duration: 1 day = 0.1 weeks

This is the first item made for Jelly Bean. 🙂

12. Rose Psalm (cross-stitch)
Started: May 27
Completed: June 7
Duration: 12 days = 1.7 weeks

13. Sprout’s 2015 Sweater (knit)
Started: January 28
Completed: May 13
Duration: 106 days = 15.1 weeks
Yarn: 100% wool; 313.7 yards

First color work project. I would like to do more in the future, especially now that I have a yarn guide for color work.

14. Velocity Socks (knit)
Started: May 13
Completed: July 2
Duration: 51 days = 7.3 weeks
Yarn: 100% wool; 323.4 yards

15. Jelly Bean’s 2015 Vest (knit)
Started: July 3
Completed: July 7
Duration: 5 days = 0.7 weeks
Yarn: 100% wool; 100.0 yards

First use of the alternate cable cast-on. Also first time working in garter ribbing.

16. Toddler’s Wallet (stitching)
Started: July 12
Completed: July 13
Duration: 2 day = 0.3 weeks
I designed this.

17. Jelly Bean’s 2015 Hat (knit)
Started: July 7
Completed: July 15
Duration: 9 days = 1.3 weeks
Yarn: 100% wool; 53.4 yards

18. Sprout’s 2015 Hat (knit)
Started: July 16
Completed: July 16
Duration: 1 day = 0.1 weeks
Yarn: 100% wool; 82.2 yards

First time working knitted smocked stitch. I would like to try working this stitch in a finer gauge, maybe on the chest of a sweater.

19. Paper Moon Socks (knit)
Started: July 18
Completed: August 6
Duration: 20 days = 2.9 weeks
Yarn: 100% wool; 272.6 yards

20. Johanna’s Stocking (knit)
Started: August 6
Completed: August 10
Duration: 5 days = 0.7 weeks
Yarn: 100% acrylic; 180.9 yards
This was a gift.

21. Scrap-Busting Baby Toy Ball (knit)
Started: August 11
Completed: August 11
Duration: 1 day = 0.1 weeks
Yarn: 75% wool, 25% nylon; 69.3 yards

22. Baby Brother’s Bunny (knit)
Started: August 12
Completed: August 13
Duration: 2 days = 0.3 weeks
Yarn: 100% wool; 73.9 yards

23. Big Sister’s Girl Bunny (knit)
Started: August 13
Completed: August 14
Duration: 2 days = 0.3 weeks
Yarn: 98% acrylic, 3% metallic; 112.0 yards
Yarn: 100% cotton; 3.5 yards

24. Confetti Cake Socks (knit)
Started: August 16
Completed: August 22
Duration: 7 days = 1 week
Yarn: 90% wool, 10% nylon; 261.1 yards

25. Confetti CUPcake Socks (knit)
Started: August 22
Completed: August 23
Duration: 2 days = 0.3 weeks
Yarn: 90% wool, 10% nylon; 73.0 yards
I designed this.

26. Reversible Stripes Scarf (knit)
Started: September 3
Completed: September 19
Duration: 17 days = 2.4 weeks
Yarn: 100% alpaca; 211.4 yards

First time using alpaca. Very soft and fluffy.

27. Baby Tag Quilt (quilting)
Started: December 15
Completed: December 16
Duration: 2 days = 0.3 weeks
This was a gift.
I designed this.

28. Gift for New Mom (sewing)
Started: December 16
Completed: December 16
Duration: 1 day = 0.1 weeks
This was a gift.

29. Gift for Sister (sewing)
Started: December 21
Completed: December 21
Duration: 1 day = 0.1 weeks
This was a gift.


Project Totals
Projects: 29
Crocheted: 1 (3%)
Embroidered: 0 (0%)
Knitted: 16 (55%)
Sewn: 8 (28%)
Stitched: 2 (7%)
Quilted: 2 (7%)

Gifted: 8 (28%)
Designed: 7 (24%)

I made 10 more projects than last year; I accomplished more sewing. I am most proud of (finally!) completing my Walnut Hill Quilt.

Yarn Totals
Total Yardage: 4,006.4 yards (That’s 2.27 miles!)
Acrylic: 1,125.5 (28%)
Alpaca: 211.4 (5%)
Cotton: 657.5 (16%)
Nylon: 50.7 (1%)
Other: 3.4 (0%)
Silk: 116.2 (3%)
Wool: 1,842.9 (46%)

I used more yarn this year due to knitting more. I knit with two new fibers this year — alpaca and silk. Both were pleasant. 🙂 Also, natural fibers dominated my yarn crafts this year — 70% versus only 25% last year. I learned this year that I prefer working with wool and wool blends over acrylic. Although, some projects require the durability and wash-ability of a synthetic fiber.

She Quilts: Baby Tag Quilt

I joined in a baby board book swap with a group of ladies online who had babies around October. I purchased a cute board book full of pictures and words — a style of book that Sprout has enjoyed — as opposed to a story book.

I wanted to include more in the package (one book was the minimum), so I made the little boy a tag quilt.

Have you ever noticed that the tag tends to be a baby’s favorite part of the toy? Many babies like to suck on the smooth ribbon. Well, a tag quilt (or blanket) is a toy that is made for the tags!

The general idea is to make a small blanket (16″ square seems typical) with various ribbons sticking out of the edges. It looks a little silly to adults, but is loads of fun for baby. 🙂

This one is filled with cotton batting, and I quilted a star on it. I used 6 different ribbons for the tags.

Progression
Started — December 15
Completed — December 16
Duration — 2 days = 0.3 weeks

Pattern Info
Improvised by me

I read through a few tutorials online for making these things… but it’s really quite simple. And I didn’t follow any of them exactly because I added batting to make it thicker. 🙂

Fabric Info
4 fat quarter prints
100% cotton

Photos

finishes at about 16″ square plus the tags, which are 1.5″ or so

 

quilting in contrasting thread

 

She Quilts: Walnut Hill Quilt

This quilt is finally done! I am so excited to share it with you. 🙂

Progression
Started – February 4, 2013
Completed – April 22, 2015

If you had asked me back in February 2013 how long this quilt would take, I’d probably have said a year. But, I also wasn’t pregnant with our first child at the time. 🙂 The piecing took longer than I anticipated. I actually basted, quilted, and bound it in a matter of days.

Fabric Info
Walnut Hill Farm by Blend Fabrics, LLC
Designed by Charlotte Lyons

I adore these fabrics. They are perfectly gender-neutral for a married couple’s bedroom. The backing fabric (shown in an image below) is romantically pretty, to me, and makes the whole quilt seem a bit more elegant. And that is perfect because I’ve always thought our bedroom furniture (was my grandmother’s) has an elegant country feel to it. Perfect match. 🙂

Pattern Info
Crossed Canoes 6″ block from 365 Paper Pieced Quilt Blocks
Construction and arrangement, improvised by me

The finished quilt is very, very far from what I originally planned when I bought this fabric. I intended to do the entire quilt out of the crossed canoes blocks you can see dotted throughout. It soon became evident that paper-piecing is very time-consuming. Each canoe block easily took an hour to construct.

When I had 16 of these blocks (needing something like 150), I knew I had to change my plans! I measured the fabrics I had left, determined how many 6″ blocks I could cut from each, and came up with a layout that best broke up the colors. I even incorporated some of the border fabric to ease the busy-ness of the main fabrics. I had to make 2 more canoe blocks to evenly spread them throughout the body.

The main portion is 14 x 15 blocks, each block roughly 5.5″ square. The border is about 4″ wide. The binding strips were cut from excess backing fabric, of which I barely had enough to make it around the quilt.

It is quilted very simply with diagonal lines. On one angle, the lines are 2 blocks apart. On the opposing angle, they are 4 blocks apart. The quilting is difficult to see in the pictures. I prefer less quilting than is usually done. I think it makes the quilt cozier. 🙂

Photos

She Quilts: WHQ Planning

I told you there would be a more detailed post coming about the Walnut Hill Quilt. 😉

Before diving in with my good fabrics, I decided to work up a few test squares in order to get comfortable with the pattern and find any possible difficult areas. I made test squares using solid yellow and green fabrics (the yellow is leftover from JJ & Hilary’s Wedding Quilt and the green is a fabric I bought in the remnants bin a while ago). I figured they would make great pot holders for a new kitchen I might have soon. I’ve always wanted to decorate a kitchen in green and yellow. So I made these:

practice squares

practice squares

If you are as observant as I think you are, you will notice that one of these is particularly different from the other two. Yes, you see it–the block at the top of the photo is the correct block. I discovered during my next two attempts that it is quite easy to stitch the wrong color to the center triangle piece. I decided to leave them wonky because, after all, they would just be pot holders, right? I will probably make at least one more to have a good set, especially if I do get to decorate a new kitchen soon. I’m thinking I would do another correct square and then one with solid yellow in the middle.

I was glad to discover that little tendency on my practice squares, and I was very careful not to make that mistake with my good fabrics. So far, I haven’t. These blocks also gave me a chance to practice lining up seams and getting crisp, neat corners. I don’t think I have made a single perfect square yet, but all 6 of my finished blocks are above decent, I think. I have been particular about ripping seams when the intersections turn out too wonky.

If you remember, I originally intended to have three different blocks–three pairs of fabrics. Upon further day-dreaming, I realized the quilt would not look as scrappy and patchy as I had hoped. To remedy, I decided to make 6 different blocks. I have one of each completed. Here they are, in slide show format:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The quilt requires 165 squares in the proportion of 11 x 15 squares. It is my intention to assign each of these blocks a number, 1 through 6, in a particular order. The first row of blocks will be numbers 1-6, then 1-5 (to get the 11 blocks I need across). The second row will be number 6, then numbers 1-6, then 1-4; the third row will begin with 5 and 6, then 1-6, then 1-3… Do you see a pattern? Essentially, like blocks will align to create diagonals in the quilt that will be subtle, but will provide some order amid the chaos of busy fabrics and patchy blocks.

Every couple of days, I set out these blocks and try to figure out how I want to order them, how I will assign them numbers. And each time, I get an arrangement I like and think, “Yes, this looks nice.” And then the next time I pull them out, I frown at my previous arrangement, play with them some more, and get a new arrangement that I am certain is better than the last. I hesitate to share today’s ordering with you, as I’m sure I’ll have to update it in just a few days. I figure I have plenty of time to decide on how to order them, though, so I’m not letting it bother me. I will need 28 of each of blocks 1-3 and 27 of each of blocks 4-6. I plan to make 27 of each, and once I settle on an order, make 1 more of each of the first 3 blocks.

So that is my progress. 🙂 I like gazing at the completed blocks, day-dreaming about the finished quilt. Nate is quite excited that I am making a quilt for us. I hope to have it finished by the onset of next winter.