Monday, October 29, 2012

FNSI Results

I finished the arrow quilt (well, I still need to sew on the label, but it's bound and washed!) and the mittens. 
Here's the back of the quilt.  This is the first time I've done a patchwork back, and I really like it!

I'm happy with the way the quilt turned out, but I found the tutorial at Moda Bake Shop that I used to be incredibly frustrating - and sometimes just plain wrong.  I usually don't follow quilt patterns - I usually draft the blocks out myself from pictures and do my own quilty math.  But in this case, I decided to be lazy and just follow the pattern.  This was a mistake.  When I follow a pattern, I expect the math to be done right and the instructions to work out.  This was just a tutorial, but since it was on the website of such a reputable quilt fabric manufacturer, I trusted it.  The tutorial calls for, among other things, a half yard of the border fabric and a half yard of the binding, and these two fabrics also make up the stripe in the pieced back (the backing fabric alone is not enough to make the entire back). 

I bought the fabric in the amounts called for, and started cutting according to the instructions.  When I got to be border and binding, I realized that the tutorial calls for cutting 18.5 linear inches from the binding fabric! Out of a half yard!  Also, it says to cut four 3" by WOF strips for the borders.  The quilt is supposed to be 47" by 47", so you clearly need five strips!  Add this to the 6" strip for the back, and you need to cut 21 linear inches out of a half yard of fabric!

I had already cut the 6" strip of the border fabric for the back, and I needed it, so I ended up cutting five 2.5" strips for the borders, skipping the binding fabric that was supposed to be in the back, and piecing the back out of scraps of the arrow fabrics.

Another, less crucial quibble I had with the tutorial was the construction method for the arrows.  The tutorial uses two half-square triangles for the points of the arrows.  I'm sure this is designed to save fabric, but I think it would have looked better to use a single flying goose instead.  Several of my arrow fabrics have stripes, and they ended up meeting at right angles - you can see it in the top photo.

Other than that, I'm thrilled with how it came out!  I was going to free-motion quilt it, but I chickened out and did diagonal straight lines with my walking foot instead.  The only hiccup was that the yellow chalk I used to mark the two major diagonals didn't quite wash out ... but I don't think it's very noticeable, and I hope they'll continue to fade.

And here are the little mittens all done!  I decided not to do a string.  My cousin can add it if her daughter needs it.  I'm happy with how they turned out, and I hope they will keep my cousin's daughters hands all toasty warm this winter!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Night Sew-In tonight!

I'm excited for Friday Night Sew-In tonight!.  My goal is to finish the mittens from the last post, finish sewing the binding on the arrow baby quilt, and maybe make a sock-knitting bag for a new friend from Yarn School!

FNSI is hosted by Heidi at

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Colloquium knitting

I'm almost done with the mittens!  I was the CMS speaker today, but the second mitten seems to be going faster than the first one did - in colloquium I got all the way from the thumb gore to the very tip of the mitten.  Now all I need to do is tie off the top, knit the thumb, and weave in the ends. 

I'm trying to decide whether to make a string for the mittens.  I don't know how long it should be, or whether I should attach it to both mittens or let the parents do that. 

I'm almost done with the baby quilt, too--I should be ready to mail these gifts this weekend!

Monday, October 22, 2012

CMS and Colloquium and more CMS

We've had some strange Seminar schedules lately.  First there was CMS on a Tuesday, and then I went to Yarn School, and then there was Colloquium on a Monday, and then there was a normal Thursday CMS but no Colloquium ...

The top picture was taken in the airport on my way to Yarn School (which was TOTALLY AWESOME).  It represents progress as of the Tuesday CMS, which was about two weeks ago now?  It's hard to remember.  I got some work done on it at Yarn School, but now it's on hold while I work on this:
This picture was taken after the Monday colloquium.  The first mitten is now finished.  These are a "congratulations on becoming a big sister" present for my cousin's two-year-old.  Now I just need to knit the second one and finish the binding on her baby brother's quilt!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

CMS/Colloquium times 2!

 I was apparently too lazy to post last week, but here's where it was after the Thursday seminars last week.  It's finally the right width! Yay!!
And here it is right now.  It's coming along!