Monday, September 26, 2011

Wallhanging Redo

For the past three weekends, I've been bogged down in a project that had one problem after another. If I weren't so stubborn, I think I would have given up on it. In mid-August, I "finished" this project:
Every time I looked at it, though, I hated it more. So while trying to figure out what to do, I stumbled across these leftovers:
These should look familiar - see the quilt at the top of the blog. I had always figured I'd find a way to work these leftovers into another project. I started out by slicing the screen print pieces away from each other. Then, I proceeded to quilt the dickens out of each piece. Then, I added a layer of batting and the green backing to the hunk of yellow leftover. Here's a side view of the resulting strips.
I then got to pick out the stitches that were in the way, carefully stitch the top layer of the strips to the top layer of the blocks, giving me this on the back:
I trimmed away excess batting, folded over edges, put thread in the bobbin that would match the front of the piece, and prayed, begged, and cursed my way to this:
Yeah, I see the flecks of batting, but you know, they're going to be against the wall of my office! I added outside borders using the same technique, secured any remote seams and then stepped back and looked at it. The center was sort of odd looking, and, frankly, I was concerned about angle of the blocks. I needed to put something in the middle, and while I was pawing through various odds and ends, a holiday card from 2005 sent by my friend Rita Stark fell off the bulletin board. I took the card apart, added some ribbon trim under the edges of the piece to stabilize it and to help it stand out from the background.
And, here is the final piece. I am pleased with it. It's fun, it's a little wonky, and, best of all, it's done.
(It does have a top corner, unfortunately, I didn't notice the photography error until I was pulling it off the camera.) Now, here's some kitty loving - Baby Boy getting snuggles from his da-da -
I have been doing a lot of reading, and I plan to do a post really soon catching up on that front. The scarf for Hubby is closing in on done, and I am thinking about Christmas knitting. I have this wildly outrageous idea of trying to complete four cowls / neckwarmers between now and Christmas for my nieces. I looked up some patterns yesterday afternoon, and I don't think this is outside the realm of possibility. It'll let me use leftover yarn from other projects and give me an excuse to buy more.

I hope to be back here later this week. Take care.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cone Nebula - Ready for the Quilter

After a nearly three-month delay (since piecing the last block), I finally got around to the final steps of the Cone Nebula journey. I started the day by stabilizing the edges with bias tape. I have never seen this described anywhere, but I had been wondering about all of those little seams at the edges of the top. Last May, the quilt guild hosted Betty Ekern Suiter, whose quilts are utterly amazing. She explained her process and talked about how after the top is done she applies cotton twill tape to the edge of her top to stabilize the edges, and a light went on in my head. So, I bought a bunch of the sort of bias tape I use on dress hems, measured the vertical and horizontal dimensions of the quilt through the center, cut pieces of tape to those measurements, and pinned and sewed the tape to the underside of the top.
While I was sewing, though, I had some trouble moving the top around the way I wanted to. Can anyone figure out why the top seemed extra heavy?
(Come on! I am nothing if not consistent, and a picture of the Brat Cat is almost expected here, right?)

After I got the bias tape on, I pulled out the 90"-wide batting, carefully measured and cut a piece 10" longer than the top (the top is 124" x 109"). When I measured the batting I saw that it was really 94" wide. Cool. I needed to make it 10" wider than the quilt. 119" - 94" = 15" No problem. I chopped off a piece that I could cut into six pieces each 15" wide, I sewed them together and then sewed them to one side of the batting. When I measured, I started screeching. Aaaaa!!!! 119" - 94" = 25" Any blithering stupid dunderhead idiot child would have figured that out!! Aaaaa!!!! So, I got to make a second long strip for the other side.

I lightly lapped the pieces of batting and used the broken zig-zag stitch so that there are a lot of small stitches that just sink into the batting and hold it tightly.
With the second strip done, I set everything aside. I have e-mailed the quilter, and we have made arrangements to get together for the hand-off. I have never before sent a personal quilt to a quilter (I've sent a couple of raffle quilts off), so this is an adventure.

When I got downstairs, there was a mop of white fur on the end of the dining room table.
I started taking pictures, hoping to get something cute. I was rewarded.
Isn't she darling? Speaking of darling, I have to show you what I picked up from the school supplies area of my local big box retailer. I have now bought nine of these darlings and have my threads all organized by color family. It is so exciting. (And I only spent 59 cents on each of these!)
Finally, on the theme of darling, a dear friend of mine gave me a sweater's worth of Tahki Donegal Tweed yarn at the beginning of the summer. Hubby dearest had been asking for a new winter scarf. When I finished the Every Way Wrap, I pulled out the tweed yarn and looked for a suitable pattern. I am working off the chart for the center back of the Lough Corrib sweater from the November 2008-January 2009 issue of Cast On magazine. In the pictures below, the blue shows up well in one picture and the cables show up well in the other. The scarf is about half done at this point.
I'm pleased with the scarf, and so is Hubby. The next knitting project will be a pair of socks from the hand-painted yarn I bought last winter.

Thank you for stopping by!