Tuesday, April 7, 2015

April's ALYoF challenge post!

Seeing as the deadline to post my challenge for April's A Lovely Year of Finishes is in about half an hour, I decided that I'd sit down and post my project.  Nothing like leaving it to the last moment, is there? LOL
I have about 4 or 5 projects to choose from, so I'm not dealing with a difficult choice - but all of those projects need to be finished sooner or later (preferably sooner!).  April is still looking like it's going to be super-busy with other things, so I decided to pick something fairly simple to do - not quick, mind you, just simple.  Part of the challenge is that I had decided to make a quilt that I saw in a quilt magazine last year, and it used a Bobbins and Bits jelly roll - and I just happened to have that exact jelly roll!  So, I cut the strips into 8.5" lengths, and proceeded to sew them into blocks of 4 strips.  The idea was to turn each block a quarter turn before sewing them together.
Well, I did that, but for some reason, the blocks just didn't match up - so, I just gathered the completed blocks and threw them into a box with the unsewn strips and shoved it all into my closet.  Fast forward to a few weeks ago; I'm browsing through some projects I've bookmarked on the computer, and I found a quilt that will use my strips!  I had to trim them to 8", but that didn't take too long; I also had to cut some 2" x 2.5" pieces of Kona Snow (love that colour!), and I started sewing a Snow piece to each strip.  Once the strips are done, I'll offset every other row, and sew them together - like this:
I've just laid the strips out in the pattern - none of them are sewn together yet, but it gives the idea of the completed quilt.  My aim for this month is to finish the top, AND complete the entire quilt - quilting as well as binding the quilt.  That sounds do-able, right?

And finally, these are the blocks that I exchanged with Cathy - we started swapping 4 large-scale floral disappearing 4-patch blocks in January.  These are the blocks I gave her a week ago when we met for coffee.  We each make 8 blocks every month - 4 to give, 4 to keep; we'll probably skip July and August, and end up with 80 blocks at year's end to make a great quilt!  Cathy has drawn up a few options for the assembly, and I get just a wee bit more excited with each month's new blocks!  I'm off to link up to Melissa's ALYoF page.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March's Finish

So, today is the last day of March 2015, which means that I can't wait any longer to post my "A Lovely Year of Finishes" project.  It's been done for a few days, but I've been hard-pressed to find computer time lately, and this is one of the casualties.  I won't go into details, but between hubby and I both being caught off-guard by the nasty cold virus that's going around, having significant repairs to complete at one of our rental units, and hubby suddenly having to fill in on the farm, leaving me to pick up the slack here, have all made for a crazy-busy month here.  We're both still trying to get rid of this bug; maybe having the repairs (mostly) done at the apartment will give us the time we need to just take it easy for a day or two.
But, back to my quilty project.  I had completed a number of disappearing 4-patch blocks using 2 "Wishes" charm packs, and I really needed to have a baby boy quilt on hand.  I was hoping that this quilt would fill the bill for that - but, as the saying goes, "the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry" - and so did this quilt.  Not that things went wrong - they just didn't go the way I had planned!  I love the quilt, but it's not as boy-ish as I hoped for, and it's actually larger than I wanted.  I realize that I could make it smaller, but what would I do with the leftover blocks?
I've since decided to use it for one of my donation quilts for the Hands2Help charity quilt challenge (check out the link in my sidebar).  This quilt will be just the right size for a young boy or girl, and I hope that the bright colours and cheerful prints will make someone's day just a bit brighter (these quilts will be donated to a child in foster care).  Because it's already large enough, I'm not going to put a border on it.  I picked up a great turquoise print for the backing last week, so now it just needs to be sandwiched and quilted.  I just may make that my May goal!
Oops! almost forgot to show you the picture!  Here it is:
Thanks for stopping by for a look!

Friday, March 20, 2015

On the Needles Fri. Mar. 20, 2015 and a quilt challenge!

It's been a little while since I posted an "On the Needles" post - not because I don't have any knitting on the go (far from it!), but because some days, it feels like I don't have time to brush my teeth, leave alone blog about something that I have to take a picture of, and explain.  Don't go thinking that today isn't one of those days, because it sure was, but I have ulterior motives!
First though, is one of my "excuses" for failing to blog - we have a house guest!  Isn't she adorable? Try to ignore my hubby in the background...
This little girl was born a few days ago, and it was a pretty tough experience for her mom - a first-timer.  By the time Lambie was born, her mom basically decided that her part in this drama was over - which means that we are, for the time being, her foster parents.  Hubby brought her home from the farm, and we bottle feed her 4 times a day.  She's in a pen in our family room.  It sometimes freaks me out in the morning - I get up, usually not quite ready to be awake and up-an-at-'em, and I hear a plaintive little voice from downstairs, announcing that she's awake and wants us to do something for her - and really, could you resist that adorable little face?  I can't!
Anyway, I do have a knitting project to share - it's the Boreas Infinity Scarf, a free pattern on Ravelry.  I recently got this beautiful sock yarn online from KnitPicks, and decided to knit something other than socks with it.  I'm not a big fan of scarves - usually having something around my neck drives me crazy, but this scarf looks promising!  I try to work at least 2 rounds every day (that's 480 stitches!)

And finally, I came across a quilt challenge the other day - Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict is hosting the 5th annual "Hands2Help" charity quilt challenge, and this year, she has a Canadian site to donate our quilts to!  I also found a few new quilt ideas online, so I'm signing up so I'll have an excuse to make those quilts!  You'll have to check in regularly to see what I'm making.  Plus I still have my "ALYoF" project to finish by month's end - yikes!  I'd best get sewing!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

March's goal setting

It's the last day to link up my project for the "Lovely Year of Finishes" challenge.  I'm trying to NOT post in the last hour - I just checked, and there are 10 hours left, so I'm getting a little better...  I knew 2 or 3 days ago what my project was going to be - just didn't have time to blog about it.
So, without further ado, I give you: Disappearing 4-patch baby quilt!  I've had the blocks for this quilt cut for a few months - I left them beside my machine, and have been using them as leaders and enders.  When they were all done, I did the cutting (I only cut one set wrong!) and reassembling, and now have to make this quilt.  I'm hoping that it will at the very least look gender-neutral - I have baby girl quilts made up, but nothing for a baby boy, and I need one right away.  I don't care if it doesn't scream "baby boy", just as long as it doesn't say "little girl".  I used 2 "Wishes" charm packs, and cut Kona "Snow" yardage for the other blocks.  Here's a look at a few of the blocks:
A few of the blocks have an off-white background, but I used them if I thought that the print had enough colour to work.  I'm not sure if I'll actually need them, so I'll just hold onto them for now...
One other project that I've completed in the past week is a set of four quilts for our local NICU - they needed 24" quilts, with flannel on one side and fleece on the other side.  I had found some fun fabrics a few weeks ago, and I whipped these quilts up in a few hours.  They're just stitched all the way around the edges, then flipped inside-out, and top-stitched, so they're really easy to do.  I made 2 of each of the flannel prints, for a total of 4 quilts.  I may be able to make more another time, but just wanted to get these delivered at our guild meeting next week - and here's the pic of them: 
I also have my my completely finished Scrappy TAtW quilt - but I don't have a way to display it right now, so the pic will have to wait for another post.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

You're going to be surprised!

  It's that time of the month again - time to share the progress I've made on my "Lovely Year of Finishes" project.  You may remember that I decided to finish piecing the top of my Scrappy Trip Around The World - and I not only finished the top, I also managed to get all the quilting done! and the binding is ready to apply!     I had to decide though, whether to try to get the binding on, or to actually get the project photographed and blogged - and it's probably obvious which one won out!
  I'm quite pleased with how it turned out - and I think that I have enough fabric strips cut to make at least one more TATW - but that will have to be a project for another month...  I have something very different in mind for my March project - I'll have it posted in a day or two....
Anyway, I'll leave you with the pic of my February challenge quilt:

Friday, February 20, 2015

On my needles Feb. 20

...and here I am again, with another knitting post!  Last week, I was busy knitting a baby sweater for our neighbour's baby - and that's still a work in progress - except there hasn't been any progress this past week...  It's been a busy week, and it's been REALLY cold, and I've been having a hard time staying warm.  I was really excited to find a pattern for knitted socks using worsted weight yarn - they'd be quick to make, and warm!  I had just bought some great variegated WW yarn, so I cast the socks on late Wed., and have managed to squeeze in some knitting time the last 2 days.  I'm happy to say that I have the first one done, and the 2nd one about 3/4 done.  The heel is done differently than I'm used to - with short row wraps, but it wasn't too difficult to figure out.  I had to pull up a video on grafting the toes - I don't knit socks often enough to remember how to do it.  The one side doesn't look that great, but it will be inside my shoes or slippers, so no one will see it - and it won't affect the warmth, so I'm not going to worry about it.  Here's how they look:
And now I'm going to try to finish the 2nd one before I go to bed!

Friday, February 13, 2015

On the Needles (and other stuff...)

I hope that you haven't fainted - this is my second post this month!  My life is starting to slow down, with the result that I'm actually able to work on some things that I want to do, rather than things that I have to do.  Well, I did do a few things that I sort of had to do, but they were fun things, so they don't count!
But first - my "On the Needles" report.  Our neighbours just had their first baby a week ago - a little boy - and I am frantically trying to finish a sweater that I had started before Christmas.  The yarn and pattern are kind of gender-neutral, so I didn't need to find out what the baby's sex was, but it helps to know if I'm knitting for a Billy or a Susie...
I found this free pattern on-line, and had 3 balls of the called-for yarn (now discontinued), which is just enough to make the largest size - 22" if I recall correctly.  I have the front almost ready to divide for the neck, and the back is almost finished too; here's the pic:
 I'll probably do the sleeves next, and leave the hood for last, just in case the yarn isn't going to make it all the way - I can always alter the pattern then.
I also have 2 finishes for you - these were gifts, and I was hoping that they'd be in the hands of the recipients before I posted them - first is Pears the Elephant: 

She was meant to be a Christmas gift, but the knitting ended up being a little more of a project than I was expecting, so she was finished up Tues. morning, just in time to go to her new home.  Next up is the baby sweater that my new grandson was supposed to wear home from the hospital.  It was supposed to have a little hat too, but there wasn't enough yarn to complete it, and the yarn is discontinued...  Then I realized that the pattern was for a 6-month old - MUCH too large for a newborn!  It will be ready for wearing either this spring or in the fall.

And finally, I had mentioned in my last post that I had sent some quilt blocks to my friend Cathy, for a swap that we're doing.  She let me know that the blocks arrived safely, so I may share them here now: 
We're doing a Disappearing 4-patch quilt with large-scale florals, 4 per month for each of us, probably for 10 months.  I didn't have a really big floral stash, but I've found some fun ones since we started, and now I've spent part of the afternoon cutting florals for the next 2 or 3 months - do you think I'm getting excited about this swap?  I sure am!!