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Wednesday, April 01, 2015

March in a nutshell

In March I started working again, after almost 3 years of being a stay-at-home-mom, and boy has it been rough.  I know a lot of new moms miss their careers, but if it wasn't for financial need I would be more than happy raising my little girl and working away on all my stitchy projects.  So far it's been really hard to find time to sew/knit, but that's also been because Olivia's been sick with bronchitis for a few weeks (first antibiotic didn't get rid of it completely and last weekend it came back with a vengeance!).

In order not to lose track of my various wips, I started making a list of the things I was working on, and what my next projects will be when these are finished.  Then I realized I was just in time for a nice Wip Wednesday post! And for the first time in months, I've also got something to share for Lynne's Fresh Sewing Day, so here I am.

Just finished...

  • Flowering Snowball Quilt
I finished this quilt about a month ago, but between rain and harsh March sunlight I haven't been able to get a decent picture of it, and I love it so much, it really deserves a few decent pictures.

  • The Lottie Cardigan
I actually finished this adorable sweater at the very end of January (just under my self-imposed deadline!), but still haven't blogged about the finished product.  I will be doing that soon!

  • Far Far Away Baby Quilt
This was a last minute make but ended up super cute!  Will be blogging about this next week!

In the middle of...

  • Kona Squares II
This is a commission from my mother in law, one that I struggled against for a few months because I didn't want to just make the same quilt again.  After she shot down my best suggestions, I gave in a few weeks ago and started making a twin sized version of my original couch quilt.  Pick your battles right?

  • Palos Verdes Herringbone
Last year I splurged on a half yard bundle of the Palos Verdes organic voile to make something for Olivia's big girl bed.  I finally just said "what the hell" and jumped right in to another herringbone QAYG quilt.  I added a few Cambridge cotton lawn's in solid colours, which also helped make the bundle stretch to a twin size.  I've go the strips made and I'm just thinking about ordering some yardage for the backing.  It's just too gorgeous to go and put a plain cotton backing on it!

  • Single Girl Quilt
I started cutting the 16,000,000 pieces needed for a queen size Single Girl back in October, knowing full well this would be a slow-paced, long term quilt.  Ideally I would like to get it done by the summer.  I've got about six of the sixteen blocks done (with four quarters in each block).  I work on it once in a while when I need a break from the other stuff I'm doing, when I just want to sew without having to accomplish something.

Projects between now and summer

I have a big bundle of Little Folks voile in blue/yellow/green colourways that has been patiently waiting for me to get back to it.  I love the AMH voile quilt I made last summer so much, but it's a bit too small for two people.  I just received another half yard bundle of AMH voiles (above) that I ordered from the ever-awesome Jen, (love her!), and can't wait to mix them all up and make a nice big 90" square quilt.  I'm thinking a nice plus quilt would be good.  As soon as I get that Kona squares commission-monkey off my back I'm diving right in!

Of course the list doesn't count baby quilts which will be made as they become necessary.  I have the one finished that I'll be showing you soon, and two currently on the go.  I also have a shawl to knit and a ripple crochet blanket on the go!  (Re-reading this post I think I might possibly be out of my mind!)

Linking up with Lily's Quilts and Freshly Pieced...

Thanks very much for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

WIP Wednesday - Nae Shawl

A few months ago I stumbled across the Nae shawl on Ravelry, and last week I finally cast it on.  I've never done a shawl before, so I am a little anxious that after all the thousands of hours it will require, I end up with something decent that I will be proud to wear.

I love the clean lines of the shawl, and the pattern seems simple enough, even though some of the stitches (knitting through back loop, purling through back loop), were new to me.  It's a free download too!

I absolutely adore Lavidaloca's Nae, so I found the same yarn online and bought it in the same colour.  Isn't hers gorgeous?

Wish me luck - any shawl knitting tips appreciated!

(By the way, the last photo is an homage to Amanda at Hey Porkchop, who takes the most beautiful pictures of her knitting on quilts!)

Will be linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced... in a bit!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Finish - About last October...

Ok so I know we're all dying for spring, and nobody really wants to read about Halloween, but I have a few little finishes I didn't want to forget about, so please bear with me!
Last October I was so into the fall atmosphere, I decided to whip up a little fall themed runner for my table.  What better represents fall than some modern maple leaves?  I went through my precious AMH scraps and made a little autumn flavoured gradient selection.  (How gorgeous are AMH fabrics?)  I used a low volume print with a touch of gold metallic from Carolyn Friedlander's Botanics for the background.
In the end I had to cut some leaves out because it would have been too long - as it is it's a yard long!  We also made two jack-o-lanterns because doing them with your kid is a lot of fun and one wasn't enough!

We also made some awesome chocolate sugar cookies and decorated them to take to Olivia's first Halloween party, organized by some of the "expat mommies" that I know.  She wore a little mouse costume we picked out at Carter's in August (I plan ahead peeps!).


My sister in law, who was visiting from Buenos Aires, also requested a little set of four placemats and I happily obliged.  She asked for orange and yellow, and I used the ever awesome Lemon Pepper pattern that I've already mentioned many times here.  I defy you to find a stain on these placemats!

Thanks for going back to October with me for a minute.  Next week: a springy finish!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Flowering Snowball Quilt

I have finally arrived at the basting stage!  It's kind of a double-eded sword.  I have a finished quilt top, so I'm happy.  But it also means my back is killing me because I've been crawling around taping and pinning the quilt sandwich every few inches this morning, while trying to keep Olivia (in my slippers!) off of the quilt and out of the pins at the same time.  I don't know which is harder!

I have to tell you the best part: almost all my seams match!  I pinned the edges of the flowers so that I would have nice, smooth seams in the white snowball parts.  But even the middle of the flowers match.  I have no idea how it happened.  I'm just going to put it down to me being awesome :)

I would love to have this quilt hand-quilted like Mary did, but that would mean I would have to do it, so it ain't happening.  I think I'm just going to do some wavy lines in white Aurifil, to fake the wonderful, crinkly stippled look, which I am also not able to do.  If I was smart I would probably devote some time to learning FMQ and hand-quilting to expand my repertoire of quilting techniques, but once I get to the basting part 1. I'm anxious to get the quilt done and 2. I don't want to screw it up practicing on it!  

It's going to be backed with some vintage cotton sheeting that my friend gave me.  It's got little yellow flowers so it'll fit right in with the retro fabrics in the top.  I've got so much sheeting left I could even make a fitted sheet and pillow cases for Olivia's twin bed!  (I love me a matching bed set!)

Ok.  I've got another third to do and it's nap time now so I better get to it.  
Thanks for popping by!

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced...

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Finish - Robot Baby Quilt

Here is another baby quilt I worked on this past summer and delivered in September.  I got this fabric and made the blocks so many years ago I can't remember the designer or name of it.  At the time I wanted to try "improv style", which for me is really rather difficult.  I'm much better at following the rules!

This was another commission from my sister-in-law, and it now lives in Rome with her friend's little boy.

Thanks for stopping by!
Linking up with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts...

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Finish - Drawstring bags

So, unfortunately my good bud Nicole is moving back home to Philadelphia next week.  Although I've known this was coming for a while, I am pretty sad about this.  Not only was she a good friend to me and a great auntie for Olivia, she was a fellow knitter!  And over here at least, finding someone under the age of 70 who knits is a rarity.  I never would have had the courage to try a cardigan if it wasn't for her.  (She has also been my Downton Abbey buddy for two years!  Who am I going to watch it with now… my husband??)
So besides chipping in for a nice big Amazon gift certificate with the other expat gals, I wanted to make her a little something that would keep me in her thoughts, especially when she pulls out her knitting needles.  I decided a few project bags would do the job.  
I had a lot of fun looking through my stash to find coordinating fabrics.  After a quick run to the merceria, I had matching cotton twill!  

First I did two with some beautiful AMH Field Study.

Then I made one for myself.

Then I had to make two small ones for my daughter and my friend's daughter.

I got the idea from this tutorial but also watched this very helpful video.  I don't think I'm done making these bags yet, but I'm going to keep that under my hat for right now.

Thanks for stopping by!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts

Friday, January 09, 2015

Friday Finish - Wee Wander Baby Quilt

Do you remember the Wee Wander quilt I made for my little girl?  I made it using the Lemon Pepper quilt pattern (I adore this pattern!), and made extra blocks so I would be able to squeeze a baby quilt out of it.  It uses a Wee Wander pink bundle, some Michael Miller Cotton Couture solids, some Mirror Dots, and some Briar Rose strawberries.

A request came in July for a friend of my sister-in-law's, so I quilted it and embroidered the baby's name and birthdate on it.  The quilt was made over the summer and delivered in September.  I actually made two baby quilts for my sister-in-law, but I'll save the second one for next Friday.

Thanks for stopping by!

Linking up with Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts...