Growing Up Odd – a finish

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A windy photo shoot in the backyard for the finally finished Growing Up Odd quilt, based on a tutorial from the Wedding Dress Blue blog.

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We were racing to take the pictures in the last of the afternoon sunshine, hampered not just by the wind but by the fact that even on a chair and stretching, my son is barely 100” tall.  My husband didn’t need the chair but then he is 6’ 4” tall, before stretching.

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This quilt is made up of 2 1/2” squares from my precut scrap bin, sashed in Kona cotton’s windsor blue.  Nine-patch, 21-patch and 49-patch sections combined into 16 giant blocks randomly rotated to make a top that after quilting and washing is almost exactly 100” x 100”.  Bigger than a queen size, not quite a king.  It will be perfect for our bed in summer when the down comforter is too warm.

This is the quilt that I spent hours pinning badly, an epic fail of tape and will.  It ended up at Quilting Longarm Magic, a local service.

This was the first time I’ve ever sent a top out for quilting by someone else.  It felt a little bit like cheating, but then there are no quilt police, and I could never have done as well on my home machine.  It isn’t something I can afford to do often, but I can see doing it again for something equally large or a quilt that deserves really special patterns.  I don’t mind quilting, but it isn’t the part I truly enjoy, so I could finish a lot more quilts with the longarm help.

I chose a meandering squares pattern goes well with the multitude of square blocks.  With all those seams, I also wanted to anchor as many of the squares as possible.  A bed quilt will go in the washing machine and needs to be sturdy.

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The pattern shows up better on this section of the backing.  The thread used is almost the same blue as this backing fabric.

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He got it back to me in less than two weeks, on Saturday, and I spent Sunday squaring it up and then using the sliced off edges to make the binding.

It gives plenty of coverage on our bed.

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This is the largest quilt top I’ve ever made, and I have ambitions to make more now that this was a success.

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P.S.  I just did the math and there are 1,552 little squares in this quilt.  And I still have even more than those left in the scrap bin.  The scraps can never be defeated!

 

Papercuts

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I’m really excited about the block of the month quilt that I signed up for.  It is called Papercuts, is designed by Amy Friend, and I love both the idea and the execution.

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I’ve always liked making paper snowflakes — my boys and I used to make them and tape them in the windows to help attract snow. And a blue and white quilt is on my to-do list.  This BOM runs all year, so it will be finished in time for the holidays next year.

I got a late start, only stumbling across the pattern in late January, and then my background fabric order only arrived yesterday.  Turns out I also didn’t have much white fabric either, so I had to run to the store to get lots more.  But finally on Sunday I was able to sit down and make the first snowflake,

This block is called Cloud.  (Each snowflake is named after a descriptive word for white.)

There is a second one for January, and the two patterns for February have also come out, so I need to increase my speed.  It takes me a while to get back in the paper piecing groove when I haven’t done it for awhile.  There’s always some sewing wrong sides together and misjudging scrap angles when I first start out again.

Next up is Squall.

And the paper snowflake magic may be working — we have a prediction of our first possible snow fall tonight.

Two in one weekend!

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I was on a sewing roll this weekend, and after finishing the red and white quilt, I moved on to the next WIP.  This throw sized quilt is the second of the donation quilts that my sister and son and I cut out a while back.  It was pinned into its quilt sandwich at the same time as its sibling, but somehow the first was quilted, bound and sent off, but the second sat in a box and never happened.

Compared to the Christmas quilt, this one was a quick and easy breeze to finish.  I did horizontal lines, used the edging I cut off to make the binding, and after barely two hours, it was done.  It leaves me slightly embarassed it took so long.

How many does this make?

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More tunic fabric arrived in the mail, and was quickly attacked with pins and scissors.  I think that this makes numbers 6 & 7 from the pattern for Dress no. 2.  You can see some of the others here and here.

I made a few different adjustments this time.  As usual, I shortened the pattern to tunic length and left off the patch pockets.  I also tried out a v-neck instead of the scoop,  and narrowed the back a bit to replace the darts that I’d added to the others.  For the butterfly version, I added a tie in the back.  So, you know, totally different than the last five.  🙂

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There was one major screw-up.  I cut both front and back at the same time, and I forgot to remove the back piece when I cut the v-neck out on the butterfly version, making a v-neckline in the back as well as the front.  I mulled adding a contrast color insert to fill it back in, as you can see in the pic below, but ended up just getting another length of the fabric to recut with a higher neckline.

Oops.

My work wardrobe continues to expand, filling up with these oh-so-comfortable and colorful tunics.  They don’t look terribly flattering on the hanger, but I like the length and the roominess and it is fun finding the next fabric to use.

The fabric for #8 is on deck – plaid flannel next, for the cooler weather coming in.

Dress No. 2, #3

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I got the neck facing and hemming done on my third tunic made with the Dress No. 2 pattern and have already worn it to work at the library, where I ran around making everyone admire the book checkout card fabric.  We all agreed that finding such a specific fabric was a sign – though a sign of what is still a little iffy.  Maybe that it is OK that I’m going to keep making the same pattern over and over?

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I made all the same modifications, but I think I didn’t take it in quite enough with the tucks – it feels roomier than the other two, to an excess.  Easily solved with a few minutes at the sewing machine.

I did get another pattern in the mail this week, so there may be some variation in the clothes sewing in the near future.

Another tunic-to-be, so not a huge change, but a slightly more complex pattern.

Although I still have two more Dress No. 2s already in the works that just need the finishing details, so I’m not moving on yet.

Napkins

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A very quick sewing project during a spare moment.  I’ve been wanting some cloth napkins, so I found a couple of blue fabrics and sewed four two-sided napkins.

It is a quilting cotton, so not the heaviest, but doubling it up gives it a nice weight.  They were cut at 18″ square, which let me get four squares from each yard of fabric with a bit left over.

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It was about the quickest project possible.  Just a matter of sewing around the edges, turning them right side out, and then top stitching to keep the hems flat and close the hole.

I’ve already picked out some more fabrics to make more.

Update – 3/29 – Here is the next batch, folded to show the two fabric choices.

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Blue Planet 2

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I distinctly remember the first time I watched high definition television at home.  My husband, as a reward for a new job, got a horrifically large (to me) TV and signed up for an HDTV cable package.  Nothing about seeing news anchors’ pores that clearly seemed worth the money to me, and I don’t watch televised sports that aren’t the Olympics, so that didn’t do it either.

And then Planet Earth from the BBC came on.  And I never looked back or complained about ridiculously large electronics again.

It was so beautiful, so big and clear.  I watched every episode and related show repeatedly.  Then Blue Planet came along.  I’ve watched it almost every year since.  Giant screens and HD and BBC nature shows were meant to be together.

This week, at long last, Blue Planet 2 finally started broadcasting on BBC America.  I missed it on Saturday – because apparently I should spend time with my family on the weekends instead of the TV because I love them – but the wonders of on-demand cable meant I could watch the first episode on Tuesday.

And then I watched it again with on Wednesday with my kids.

This is not knitting television.  I could not work on even the simple garter lace shawl I normally would have had in my hands because I didn’t want to miss a minute of the visuals.

I actually twice rewound the section with a turquoise wave in slow motion, just to see it again because it was so beautiful.  And that was before the surfing dolphins showed up.  I want to BE a surfing dolphin.

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I do not want to be this bird.  Be warned, things are not going to go well for this bird.

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Who knew that fish could be so clever?

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And then there is this fish, with a life cycle far out of the ordinary, and a face I’m not sure even a mother could love.

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I can’t wait for the next episode, knit-blocking as it may be.  I may have to watch the first episode again to tide me over until episode 2 is available.  The kids can find their own dinners, right?  I need to find out the fate of the mama walrus!