Sunday, November 27, 2011

Fruit Salad Quilt - Part 1

About a month ago, I introduced you to a jumper from 1984. I thought at first I was going to rework the entire garment into a new one, but when I started pulling it apart, I realized that the green fabric had faded and should be folded into the fabric stash. The pink skirt part had some possibilities. So, I cut a big hunk out of the middle of the front and used that fabric as the waistband.

I also cut up a muslin shirt (one of those projects that seemed like a really good idea at the time but ended up being a one-wearing outfit that then got wadded into the back of the stash). When I trimmed out the front, back, and sleeves, I had enough fabric to serve as a lining.
I figured that the lining didn't have to be as long as the skirt, and this lining is about knee-length. Last weekend, I put elastic in the back part of the waistband. (I have never done anything like this before; I've always put the elastic all around, but I had noticed that the ready-to-wear skirts I like best have the elastic just in the back.) I sewed the ends of the elastic to bits of muslin and pinned the ends into place at the side seams.
Then, I sewed the ends down with several lines of stitching, removed the pins, and folded over and sewed down the waistband all around. Sharp-eyed folks will notice that I didn't do a try-on after I had the elastic pinned into place. Shall we just say that the middle of the back of the waistband has been opened twice, the elastic cut and sewed together twice (because certain people don't learn very quickly....)? Since I didn't tamper with the hemming when I was disassembling the jumper, I could go straight to the buttonholes.

While most people in Washtenaw County were either huddled in front of their televisions or standing in Michigan Stadium living and dying play by play, I was in the sewing room cursing my sewing machine, my inability to read simple directions, the thread I was using, etc. Periodically, I'd dash downstairs to catch the score or watch a replay (because the radio in the sewing room is permanently tuned to the local public radio station, and it's too confusing to be changing stations, that's why) and then dive back into the buttonhole mess. Anyway, I ended up with 14 pretty well spaced buttonholes, and then I attached buttons I had scavenged from a shirt that I had torn up for rags earlier this month. Here's the finished product:
I like it, it fits nicely, and I have another versatile skirt for the spring and summer.

I have finished another cowl; this uses the Braided Vines pattern I found on Ravelry. It was pretty quick and easy (while I was working on this, I also made a Duet hat for a lady at church - no pix, sorry).
With this cowl done, I pulled the next yarn I wanted to work with, a wool/silk blend I got at the Fiber Expo two years ago and decided on the Scrunchable cowl pattern from Ravelry.  I was hanging out with friends all day on Friday, knitting my little heart out, and I got home to show my husband that I had made about an inch of cowl - I had trouble pulling enough yarn for the long-tail cast on (three tries with the first needles), then I didn't have the gauge right (which I discovered after knitting for two hours), which meant I had to start over, and it took three tries to get the right sized tail for the second set of needles. Then I realized that I still didn't have quite the right gauge, but I also didn't have the next size of needles. So, I did a few judicious decreases (which took me two hours to figure out - okay, dinner was mixed in there), and finally, I really got going, and here's the cowl about half done:
Isn't that gorgeous? Do you see why I stuck with this yarn and with this pattern? I could totally see myself making this pattern in another color way. There are some gorgeous single-colored cowls showing on Ravelry.

Do you know that I still think of myself as a quilter? This afternoon, I pulled out that pile of fabrics I had pulled a couple of weeks ago and then did something I very seldom do: Opened a book and looked for a quilt pattern. I like to design my own, but sometimes I just have to let someone else do that work. I opened Jan Krentz' Lone Star Quilts and Beyond, found a pattern that I really like - Remembrances - and started sorting fabrics. Here's what I ended up with:
The lighting isn't very good, but trust me, we have oranges, lemons, apples, cherries, pineapples, peas, and jalapeno peppers. More pictures next week, I promise.

Finally, a new cat has been seen in the fabric hutch:
I have not seen a conflict between Little Bit (whose domain this has been) and the Princess interloper, but I am curious about how the timing works. Is it that Little Bit (who doesn't stay in the hutch when I'm in the sewing room) simply cedes the space to Princess when I'm in the room? hmmm

1 comment:

Esch House Quilts said...

That skirt will be perfect for the warmer weather!

The cowl looks wonderful too.

Sometimes making all the quilting decisions is so much fun - other times, it is just as much fun to let someone else do it and just sew!