Saturday, August 31, 2013

French General Baby Quilt

This small quilt was made out of offcuts from another larger quilt. It seemed a shame not to use them and it came together pretty quickly. I added a strip of a khaki colored solid to make it bigger but it still only measures 30" x 36". It's big enough to keep an infant off the floor and could then be used later in a crib or over a car seat. 

I'm planning to donate it to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. My friend, Jeni, works there and they outfit all parents of newborns with a basket of supplies, including a blanket or quilt for the baby. The hospital at the nearby Naval Air Station has several hundred births per year so I may have found an easy place to make donations.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Neep Heid Hat

I bought some yarn with the intention of making a couple of baby hats but the long stretches of shifting colors inspired me to head in a new direction. I added a second ball for background and got the fair isle effect the lazy way.

The pattern is Neep Heid by Kate Davies. It looks a bit better, I think, with the rich colors of real Shetland wool and the traditional fair isle method but this is pretty good for a shortcut hat. It turned out a bit small as I only did eight repeats of the design instead of nine as specified in the pattern. But I think it would have been short even if I had followed the directions and it just means I need to find the right person for the hat, like a ten year old girl who likes wool and old lady colors. How hard can that be?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

August Bee Blocks, a Project Bag and a Pouch

Today is a good day to toss a few odds and ends up on the blog. Our blocks for the August bee were String Quilt blocks - the tutorial is here. Mary Anne, the quilter, asked for blues and greens and not much white.

I also made a pouch and a project bag recently - the pouch as a small gift to include in a package I was sending out and the project bag as a donation to the Knit Along I am participating in. Fast and fun little creations!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Ray's Summer Photos

Ray went to Ecuador for three weeks with his high school Spanish teacher and one other student. It was a great opportunity to be somewhere new and foreign without his parents, to learn some more Spanish and to play the trumpet with a youth symphony in Cuenca. He didn't take many pictures but this is a shot of Gabriel, his teacher at the language school, taken on one of their field trips outside of the city.

He didn't take any pictures of his home stay family, and only this one shot of the house, but we did see his host mother once on Skype. She baked him a birthday cake and went to see his concert and he says he even ate his vegetables for her (and wore his hoodie when it was cold!). Good boy!

When he got home, he passed his driver's tests (easily) and Daddy bought him a car. Let's hear it for independence! Summer goes by so quickly - this one sure had a couple of important milestones. I'm actually going to miss driving him around.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Owlie Socks

I have been away, on a nice vacation. Before I left town, though, I cast on 6 knitting projects in order to participate in the My Sister's Knitter Knit Along over on Ravelry. It was formed to help folks finish up projects but since I am usually pretty good at completing what I start, I didn't have anything going in time to join in. Okay, now I do.

These owl socks were my second KAL project - I got them done a couple of weeks ago. This is a great pattern that includes links to two beading techniques that I had not yet tried and two links to tutorials for cabling without a cable needle. So, even though I have done both beads and cables before, I was learning some new tricks while making these socks!

There are also patterns on Ravelry for owl sweaters, hats, mittens, scarves and many other things. Also, stuffed owls. People are crazy for them, apparently, probably because they are so cute.

Pattern: Owlie Socks

Needles: US 1

Yarn: SweetGeorgia Yarns Tough Love Sock
Color: Ginger

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Malka Sunflower Pillow Cover

I started with the background pieces on this project, though I did have a general plan in mind. I was picturing a square pillow cover with bright, warm flowers made from hexagon sections. Malka Dubrawsky has a quilt called Modern Baby Quilt in her book, Fresh Quilting, made from these shapes and they look rather like Dresden Plate blocks in some fabric combinations. With the warm color way, they also look a lot like sunflowers. Here is another mini quilt she made with her own happy and colorful prints.

Sometimes I have made blocks like these and wished I had chosen different fabrics for the centers. Working from the outside allowed me to audition a few different looks for the middles.

Too busy

Too white

Just right

The piecing is all done by hand (English paper pieced) with the quilting and the rest of the construction done by machine. I always think hand quilting will fit better with a hand pieced project (purist!) but all of the layers create such a stiff fabric that I don't enjoy it much. Machine quilting also seems to add strength but really, there are so many stitches that I bet the hand stitched parts are just as strong. Most of the quilting is in the background, echoing the flowers, the edging is piping (yay, I love piping!) and the back has a hidden zipper under a flap.

Finished size: 18" x 18"