Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sailboat top

I made my niece (who is 21 months) this little top for summer.  It's the Geranium tunic from Made by Rae.  I cut the 18-24 months width but lengthened the bodice by 1/2" and cut the "skirt" about half an inch longer than the 3T length.  Then I put a tuck in the hem, which took out about 1.25" of length, so it can easily be lengthened as she grows.  My niece is tall and skinny.  I think it might even still fit her next spring and summer, so I hope the extra length in the tuck will come in handy.
The pattern directions say to zig-zag over the exposed edge of the flutter sleeve, but I decided to serge it with red thread instead - I don't have much confidence in my ability to zig-zag the edge of the fabric accurately.  I decided that as long as it was going to be visible it might as well be a design element (and luckily my serger was threaded with red thread when I got it, so red and white are the only colors of thread I have for it).  I think the red thread goes nicely with the sailboat fabric.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Sailboat Baby Quilt!!!

I am super excited about this quilt!  I made it for my brand new nephew and gave it to him (to his parents, really) last weekend.  This is a sailing family ...
... so I was super excited when I found this paper-pieced sailboat pattern at Ants to Sugar.  I learned to paper piece at Quiltcon, so this was a great opportunity to keep my skills up and make something really cool at the same time.  The fabric I used for the sails is a text print with sailing-related words.  It's from the Daysail collection by Bonnie and Camille from Moda.
I quilted in the ditch around the sailboat, did wavy lines in the water, stars in the sky, and a line of waves on the horizon.  Here's the back:
It's not super clear in the picture, but the top fabric on the back is origami boats.  The bottom of the back has more of the sailing words, and the two middle prints are sea animals.

The whales are Preppy the Whale by Elizabeth Hartman.  They were quick and easy to piece, despite the fact that they each have a fair number of very small pieces.
I quilted the whales in the ditch, too, so there are ghost whale outlines on the back.
I'm really happy with this quilt.  I love how it looks, and I feel like the piecing (especially the sailboat, but also the whales) turned out really well, better than I knew I could do.  I felt that way about the lone star quilt I made for this nephew's older sister when she was born, too!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tuesday spinning

Today is Tuesday, and Tuesdays Are For Spinning, so I spun up some more of my green singles this afternoon.  I can definitely see that my two bobbins are filling up.  I might have to ply these up before I finish spinning the singles, because with only four bobbins I can't have two pairs used for these singles - I need at least one to ply onto!

Yesterday morning I was amused to see that Huck thinks green wool is cosy.  I had to straighten up and re-order my gradient arrangement of the pieces of this combed top on the guest bed because he had climbed up and snuggled himself in a little nest of combed top!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Flying Geese Baby Quilt

This is baby quilt 1 of 2 .... the second one isn't quite finished yet, but hopefully will be this weekend.  This one is for my cousin's baby boy, who was born about three weeks ago, and it is currently on its way across the ocean to him.  I've admired modern flying geese quilts for a while, so when I decided to make two baby boy quilts in close succession I decided to take the opportunity to make one.  I used all scrap fabric for the geese: warm scraps for the geese and cool scraps for the sky.  A lot of these scraps (I think all of the warm ones) came from Hawthorne Threads scrap packs.
I arranged the flying gees in what I think is an interesting-but-not-too-crazy arrangement with lots of negative space.  My cousin is nuts about owls, so I was super excited when I found an owl print.  My original plan was to put squares of it in the quilt top where some of the negative space is, but I decided that was too busy so I put it on the back instead:
I quilted it very simply - in the ditch around all of the flying geese and three parallel rows in the outer border, all using the walking foot.  I hand-stitched the binding.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Tuesday spinning

Tuesdays Are For Spinning, so on Tuesday I weighed out another 32 grams of green fiber in two equal portions and spun green singles while I watched TV after dinner.  I think so far I've done 90-100g out of about 230g of top.  I'm excited to see how the yarn turns out, and to move on to spinning something I don't have to weigh all the time.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Lady Skater Dress

My mom visited the week before last.  When she visits, the two of us usually do some sort of big project.  This time, we made clothing - I chose the Lady Skater Dress, and my mom made a skirt from knits.  This was the first time either of us had worked with knit fabric before, and we both got really good results!
We traded off with the serger and my sewing machine - using the serger for all of the structural things and the sewing machine only for basting elastic in, topstitching around my dress's neck and arm bands, and hemming with a double needle (the first time either of us had used a double needle!).

I'm really happy with my dress, and I think I will make this pattern again.  This time I made size 4.  I lengthened the bodice by 1" and the skirt by 3".  Next time, I wouldn't lengthen the bodice at all and instead lengthen the skirt by 4", since I do think the overall length is right on this one.  I might also consider grading to a size 5 at the waist, since if anything it's a bit roomy in the shoulders but the lower bodice sort of seems to highlight the outward flare at the bottom of my ribcage.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Tuesdays are for spinning

I decided to get back into spinning regularly (in preparation for the Tour de Fleece next month) and am taking inspiration from the Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, the Yarn Harlot, who for many years made it a point (maybe still does?) to spin on Tuesdays.

I washed one of the braids that I dyed at Yarn School three years ago.  When I dyed this braid, I tried to do a gradient from light to dark green.  It was only moderately successful.  When I washed it, there was a SHOCKING amount of teal dye in the wash-water, and I've been getting some blue-green on my fingers as I've been spinning it.  I pulled the top into short lengths and roughly ordered them from lightest to darkest, and I've been using a scale to weigh out equal small amounts to spin onto two bobbins, so I can hopefully capture the color change when I ply.  I'm using a short backward draw, because that's how I spun the undyed BFL fiber that I plan to use with the green yarn - hopefully to make a color-block cardigan, if there's enough yarn at the end.