Saturday, August 3, 2019

Rainbow Baby Quilt

 One of my friends from high school had a baby boy in July, and I made a quilt for him.  I used a pattern out of a book I borrowed from my mom.  It was reasonably fast and easy to make, and I used a lot of scraps - I did buy new fabric for the background and backing, but all of the colored fabrics were leftover from previous projects. 

The backing is a nice thick cloud-print flannel.  It should be very cosy this winter!

I tried a new basting technique with this quilt.  I thread-basted it instead of using basting spray, which has been my go-to basting method for many years.  The thread-basting was very time-consuming, but it held the layers together nicely and I really appreciate not having to buy basting spray or deal with its fumes.  I was satisfied, and after I finished this quilt I bought some curved needles to make thread-basting easier in the future.
I quilted the quilt using the suggestion in the book with the pattern.  I used my walking foot to quilt a curved "echo" around each colored diamond.  It was relatively fast and came out looking really nice.  It's not a very dense quilting pattern, which made the finished quilt nice and soft.  

All in all, I'm really happy with how this quilt turned out.  The only thing I'm not thrilled with is my failure to heat-set the ink I used to write the label on the binding - it smeared in the wash.  But I've learned my lesson and I won't make that mistake again!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Process-Oriented Knitting

Since my baby was born a year ago, I've really been savoring my crafting time.  So I'm not upset to have frogged and re-started two knitting projects in the past week.  It also helps that I don't have a time deadline on these projects, so I can just enjoy the knitting process without rushing.  The first project is this striped raglan sweater.  It's a pullover version of this cardigan that I made for my niece a few years ago, and my intention is for it to fit my son this coming winter.  I've been really enjoying the knitting, and was very pleased with myself for learning a new technique for jogless stripes!  Unfortunately, it was coming out way too big (which didn't actually bother me, it will fit at some point), and I ran out of the grey yarn before I finished the first sleeve.  So I frogged it, and I've started knitting it again in a smaller size.  So far, I'm enjoying it just as much the second time.

The second project is a pair of Skew Socks in KnitPicks Felici self-striping yarn.  I started the toe, got several rounds in, and then noticed that I'd done the Turkish cast-on wrong.  I have now ripped it out and restarted.  I don't mind re-knitting this small bit of toe so that I'll have a nicer pair of socks when I'm done.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

New Baby Socks

I cast on the first of these socks almost a year ago, as I was sitting in my hospital bed waiting for things to get going on my induction.  In the few hours before the contractions got too painful and close together to keep knitting, I finished most of the leg of the first sock.  

Then almost all of my knitting time vanished.  This winter, I discovered that I can knit in the car on the way to church or other activities in the nearest city (while my husband drives us there) - and I started making progress on my socks again.  Then, the baby started sleeping more hours at night than I need to, and so we started to be able to watch a little bit of TV in the evenings after baby bedtime, and I started making more knitting progress.  I finally finished these socks a few weeks ago, almost a year after I started them.  
Here's my "pattern."  The yarn is Regia Design Line by Arne & Carlos 4-ply in color 3657 Summer Night, which was a birthday gift from my mom last year.  I have about 27 g left (of the 100 g skein) so I should be able to do something with the remaining yarn.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Swoon Baby Quilt

Another in the 2018-2019 baby quilt series.  This is a 24" square swoon block with some borders added.  It's backed with a nice cozy cloud-print flannel that I bought at my local quilt shop.  
This is for a baby girl born to some of our friends at the beginning of February.  Her mom is an ecologist, which is why I picked the trees as the main focus print.  It's actually supposed to be a Christmas print, but it works for any time of year!  The background has a shimmery metallic print, and the binding is a text print with a berry recipe on it - the parents are into canning, so I thought they would enjoy that.

I was careful to arrange all of the pieces so that the trees pointed upwards.  I quilted the swoon block in the ditch, and then did a square spiral in the borders.  The quilting was easy, and I think pretty effective.

We delivered this quilt in person during spring break in March.  The recipient is so sweet and adorable!

There are 3 more baby quilts to come this summer, not including my baby's toddler bed quilt (we were gifted several beautiful hand-made quilts and blankets, so I decided to enlarge the baby quilt I had planned to make.  The top is finished but I still need to piece the backing before I can baste and quilt it).  I'm a little burned out on baby quilts right now, so I'm taking a break during Me-Made-May to sew some apparel.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Me-Made-May 2019

I'm participating in Me-Made-May again.  Here's my pledge:

I, Katherine of WillKnitForMath, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May 2019. I endeavour to wear me-mades as much as I can, finish my long-term UFO Liberty pintuck blouse, and make several pairs of underwear during May 2019.

My goal with this is to get back into wearing me-made clothing - at almost a year post-partum, I'm still nursing my son and my weight is lower than it's been since junior high.  Because of that, a lot of my self-made clothing doesn't work for me right now, and hasn't since the early part of my pregnancy - a year and a half ago!  I also haven't sewn much in that time, because I haven't had the energy or the time to spare for it.  I plan to track which and how often I wear my me-mades, and fill a few gaps in my wardrobe (namely a work-appropriate blouse and some underwear, since the pairs I made 3 years ago are now very worn).

In general, I'd like to re-connect with my fiber hobbies.  I feel better and less stressed when I take time to work on sewing, knitting, and spinning.  I'd like to work through some of my stash, and actually finish some of the projects I've had planned or in progress for over a year.  My intention is to take some time (even just 5-10 minutes) to work on making things every day.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Stripey Nursing Dress

This is the Turn About the Room Dress, a free pattern from the DIY Maternity blog.  I cut out the small/medium size (with a few modifications to the skirt) as part of my Me-Made-May challenge last year, right before my baby was born. I sewed it up in little snatches of time last summer, and have worn it a bunch since then.  It works well for nursing (with a nursing camisole under it), and I get lots of compliments on it - people tend to be amazed that I made it.  It's very comfortable. 

I changed the sizes of the skirt panels because I wanted to wear the dress as a nursing dress instead of a maternity dress, so I wanted less fullness in front (and more fullness in back, because I have wide hips).  I also lengthened the skirt, because I am tall.  In the end, I decided to cut the front and back panels exactly the same: 13" wide on the fold (for 26" total width) by 33" long.  I also added pockets, using the Washi Dress extra pocket pattern piece. 

The dress went together pretty easily, and I liked the hem technique the tutorial suggests - using a narrow strip of knit interfacing to stabilize the hem.  I hemmed the sleeves and skirt with a wide twin needle, using wooly nylon in the bobbin.  I ended up needing to take several inches of width out of the bodice and shorten the twist bands significantly, as the whole thing was too wide.  On the other hand, the sleeves are a bit too narrow for me.  They're fine, but if I were to make it again I would do a wide-bicep adjustment to make them more comfortable. 

Friday, March 22, 2019

Another baby quilt

This is a baby quilt I made for some college friends of my husband's last summer.  Their baby was born the same week as mine, and I worked on the quilt off and on through the summer (often with my baby asleep in the bouncer chair next to my sewing desk).

I got the idea for the pattern from a quilt in a blog post I read last spring, but I didn't love the way the pinwheels were arranged in that quilt.  Instead, I chose 5 blocks from an old modern half-square triangle quiltalong, and made them 8" square.  I found this awesome paper airplane print for the back, and some typewriter keys for the binding (the mother is an archivist, so I thought she would get a kick out of those prints).

Then I quilted the HST blocks in the ditch and filled in each of the large bars with a different FMQ design.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out!