Fine lines

I’ve been wanting to try a tutorial I found at Art with a Needle for a while, and this weekend, with the family gone for long stretches and the mornings cold and foggy, I’ve had a free period of time to experiment.

I didn’t have a plan in mind when I started – just wanted to get the technique down.  But now I am enjoying what is emerging from the cloth.  I think it looks like a map, with a small town growing in the center and less developed sections on the outskirts.  Each line I add is another road going in.  Sort of what is actually happening in the area I live, with the farms and fields rapidly being replaced by housing developments.

The blue isn’t very map like though.  I may try again with more earth tones and then embroider in details: buildings and trees and landmarks.

The tutorial has each slice going across the whole length of the fabric, but I cut the pieces into pieces and added in extra short lines throughout as you can see in the pics below.

It shrank as the lines were sliced and diced, so I added in more fabric at the bottom and right side.

I think I’m finished.  It is all in one piece again anyway.  I would like to have a few more lines in the busier section, but there isn’t really space for complete width slices, and anything else would entail far too much seam ripping.  Maybe I can make a very detailed modular section next time to get the spacing right for an embellished map.

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There are some puckers and other random weirdness, but for a first try, I’m happy.

It will be a decent size wall hanging when it is quilted.  White lines on the white lines?  Or blue lines crossing over all?

The process sure makes for a thread filled back.

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Slow progress

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In random moments, I’ve been working on the king size bed quilt made from a fraction of the multitude of 2 1/2″ squares I have in my scrap bins.  The pattern is called Growing Up Odd.

It is moving slowly for a couple reasons.  One is that I ran out of the sashing fabric.  By the time I eventually replenished that, I was working on other projects and it got pushed further back in the queue.

But the second, probably stronger reason, is that I can’t quite decide how I want to proceed with this.

I really don’t want to wrestle an entire king size quilt through the harp of my sewing machine, or deal with moving the the bulk of it around for free motion quilting.  I could probably manage the whole thing at once with plain straight line quilting, but I’ve been envisioning squared off loops.  And I’m far too cheap/broke to pay for professional quilting.

I have been vaguely planning to quilt it in strips, but I haven’t really figured out how to then attach them to each other and deal with the backing.

So I keep working on other projects instead, where I really know what I am doing.

But now it is finally approaching the stage where the top is done – I have just a small amount of the sashing strips to still add.  So I’m going to have to start researching various ways to quilt in stages and how to put the pieces together.  I know the right method is out there, I just have to find it and figure it out.

How many does this make?

fabric with butterflies and maps

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.

Little birds, finished

I had to stay late at work last week for open house, so before it started I took the time to pin my sister-in-law’s baby quilt. This weekend, gray and rainy (finally! I know we’re going to get tired of the rain in upcoming months, but we really needed it) was perfect to sit down at the sewing machine for a while.

I used a rainbow thread to quilt a spiral in the center, with painter’s tape as a guide to keep the width consistent, and then a lighter variegated thread to outline the birds.

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I went back and forth for a while about whether the rest of the light background needed more quilting. I want it to be a sturdy blanket, but I also wanted the outlines of the birds to really stand out, so in the end I left it unquilted. None of the open area is very wide, so it should be fine.

The quilting went quickly, except for one bird where I caught the backing edge folded over while outlining the legs.  The extra fabric was going to be cut off anyway so I could just slice it close to the stitching lines and pull out the remaining fabric thread by thread.

I used the extra fabric cut off while I was squaring it up plus a few other leftover strips to bind it.  Then I had to watch a YouTube video to remind myself how to miter corners that weren’t at 90 degrees.

The yellow corner caused a little trouble – the navy thread looked horrible and highlighted my less than perfect stitching, so I ripped that part out and switched to a cream thread and it looks much better.

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I learned a lot and would make some changes in the future, but I think it turned out to be a very cute blanket for our new family member.  It will fly to Israel with my husband in a couple of weeks to wrap around its new owner.

FE5D0985-3BFD-4593-BA5D-E981413E04D6The finished quilt, before washing

FF0F31F0-1D45-45F5-B442-C3061693FBF1Out of the dryer and in full crinkle

D247B9CA-0D48-47C8-AF32-04D7CDE742FBAnd the back

 

 

Knitting along

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I recently finished a two color shawl that I really like. It’s a triangle that grows from one side point across to a wide edge on the other side.   It is mostly garter stitch, but with just enough variations and slipped stitches to make it interesting to knit.

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I haven’t blocked it yet, so it is bound to grow larger.

Shawl: Lochlyn, in Mad Tosh Merino Light; colorways Cove & Whiskey Barrel

The shawl done, I needed more to knit, so I went stash diving and came up with two very different skeins.

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The first is some of my handspun, polwarth wool and silk in a DK weight two ply.  I dyed it turquoise and brown before spinning it, and while I’m not crazy about the final color, it is springy, cheerful, and quick to knit with.  The cowl pattern I chose is a good one for mindless knitting in meetings and easily interrupted, so it has become my work project.

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For home, I pulled out a very shiny tencel yarn that I bought at OFFF a couple of years ago. It is slick, and has absolutely no give, but I love the color and sheen. I chose a lacy shawl pattern with a bunch of charts, so I’m working on it in the evenings at home when I have time to concentrate.  I’ve never blocked tencel, so I will have to do some research into methods.

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It makes for a messy looking wad of yarn on the needles, but lace knitting becomes magically different once it is stretched.

Tencel yarn: Teresa Ruch tencel 5/2; colorway Sedona