Monthly Archives: February 2014

Color Craving, Complete

Finally!

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2013 was the 3rd year I signed on to take part in Stephen West’s Mystery KAL (Color Craving). 2011 was fun, and I wear the finished product all the time. 2012 required a restart- I hated the way my first color options were playing out- but when I finished it, it rapidly became one of my favorite knits ever. So of course I bought the pattern for the 2013 project, and rapidly ordered some yarn…

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(Knit Picks Palette in Sil er, Cosmopolitan, and Ash)

It took me a while to get into the resurgence of neon, but I finally did.

I started the project in September, 2013. And I ran into one problem after another. I accidentally skipped changing colors for a stripe, which I didm’t catch until a few stripes later, and then I broke a needle, and tried to sub in a different size, and it made a crazy huge gauge difference that was completely noticeable. Did I mention all these issues occurred in Clue #1? Out of 4 clues? And I got cranky, and I put the project down.

Yeah.

And then in January, I finished a pair of socks, and had no other project ready to go. I realized I felt guilty about my abandoned project. I picked it back up, and frogged it completely. I rewound the yarn, and started from scratch, this time with the larger needles from the start. I paid much closer attention to the color changes, and I finished Clue #1 in just about a week. And I felt good! So I kept going, all the way to the over 100 inches of picot bind off.

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I finished the final picot bobble just as the women’s olympic figure skating ended…

I was so excited to finally be done that I soaked and blocked it ASAP.

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The shawl was longer than my dining room table, with both leaves in. I had to get creative with the blocking matts and build them out from the table… But the yarn is so light, it dried overnight, and was ready to wear!

So now, the many, many photos… This is the strangest thing I have ever knit. The process was odd, and the shape is unique to say the least. But I’ve actually fallen in love with it. I wore it to work on Monday, and got so many compliments that it darn near made the ordeal of knitting it worthwhile.

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And the other best part of finishing it? I cast on my first socks from the 2014 Cookie A Sock Club!

Did you have any finishes this week? I was planning on showing you a gorgeous, completed skull quilt- but I had a major sewing machine malfunction on Wednesday night. I won’t know how bad until I can get into the repair shop on Saturday. So the quilt is stuck at 1/3 of the way quilted- and the baby is due any minute. Sigh. Cross your fingers for my poor little Viking…

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Filed under Knitting, Shawls, westknits

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Maya

Through my husband’s job, we were lucky enough to have after-hours, nearly empty opportunity to tour the Denver Museum of Nature and Science‘s new exhibit, Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed. It.is.awesome.  Go.now. (If you can…)

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(PS, okay a few more words… These are all subpar cellphone pix. I didn’t bother to take the real camera, as 99% of the time you can’t take photos inside of a special exhibit. This turned out to be that 1%. Oh, well… can’t win em all.)

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Filed under Annie, Henry, Kids, Wordless Wednesday

Tula Tuesday: Blocks 9 and 10

Okay, this is by far my dullest Tula Tuesday post to date. The 2 simplest blocks to date- 9 and 10- are all I have to show you.

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I’ve been crazy busy with family stuff (the Alamo Drafthouse has been showing “Miyazaki Madness” all week in anticipation of the release of The Wind Rises, and we couldn’t resist going to see My Neighbor Totoro and Howl’s Moving Castle on the big screen), and quilting the giant skull, and finishing the very odd Westknits 2013 Mystery KAL shawl (more on that later this week…)

But! Blocks 9 & 10 are done, and that means I stuck to my 10 blocks/month plan, at least for the first month! Hooray!

Block #9- a simple  cross. I decided it was time for some pink. Some hot pink…

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Once again I featured that Dowry print I love so much.

Block #10. Time to cool it down. I’ve wanted to add more grey, so…

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It’s amazing how different the fabrics look with different solids. That Tula Parisville print in the center looks so different in Block # 6, where I paired it with deep purple.

I don’t love either of these blocks on their own. They’re just fine, not great. But I’m working on the theory that when there are 100 all together, a few plainer or duller blocks might end up being a good thing for balance. (I hope!)

Here’s 1-10…

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Don’t forget to come back next week when I’ll kick off the Tula Tuesday link party! Looking forward to seeing everyone’s blocks… Grab a button and come back next week!

Tula Tuesday at Diary of a Madfabriholic
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Filed under Quilts, Tula Pink QAL

Sunday Stash: Solids and then some…

I’m back today with my biggest installment of Sunday Stash yet- but I feel like I need to justify my shopping by pointing out that most of these pieces of fabric are 1/2 yard cuts…

The Fat Quarter Shop has Moda Bella solids at 20% off all month long, and I really needed a few new colors. Aside from fleshing out my stash for my Tula Pink City Sampler blocks, I need them for the Catvent quilt I’m about to start.

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First up are the pinks and purples: Shocking Pink, Berrylicious, Freesia, Amelia Lavender, and Terrain Iris (1 yard of this one).

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Next up are the greens: Amelia Green, Grass, Honeydew, and Pistachio.

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Now on to greys: Silver and Graphite (1.5 yards of it- it’s the Catvent backing fabric.)

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Of course, I couldn’t stop there, so I added some Lizzy House Pearl Bracelets- also on sale- in: Green, Lilac, Grey, and Black (1 yard of this one.)

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Finally, two tiny pieces of Tula that should blend beautifully into my City Sampler blocks. Acacia Midnight Hummingbird and Acacia Raspberry Diamonds.

Now, to finish quilting my giant skull, so I can start cutting into these! Hope you had a week full of wonderful fabrics!

Linking up with Sunday Stash.

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Filed under Stash Enhancement, Sunday Stash

WIP Wednesday: Now What?

The backing fabric arrived last week.

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And I pieced the back with just a little bit of the greens from the front.

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It took my husband and both kids to hold it up for a quick pic. We probably could have done it without Henry, but he didn’t want to be left out. Who can argue with that? I had planned to use more of the green prints, not just the solids, in the back, but I only had tiny scraps of some of them left. And I quite of like the strong graphic impact of these bands of solid greens.

You’d think with a 3 day weekend, I would have gotten more done. But Saturday was cleaning day, and Sunday was for Trader Joes, and Monday we wasted over an hour in the waiting room of Henry’s doctor, who was over an hour late for our scheduled appointment, with no apology. Ugh.

I did still manage to baste the quilt…

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Which meant moving all the furniture in my living room. I’m feeling like a moron, because this was my best basting job ever. The back is sooooo smooth. Like buttah. Because I finally realized, thanks to Sunday Morning Quilts, that I needed to be using way more tape when I stretched my backing out on the floor, and place the tape way closer together. Duh. So obvious, but not to me!

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So, now, it’s basted. (And, bonus, I finished streaming season 1 of Sons of Anarchy to boot..)

But now what?

How would YOU quilt this? Especially if you were me, and you do not have FMQ skillz? We’re talking walking foot straight line action over here.  Not to mention, wrestling a 60×72 quilt through my Viking… I’m setting the bar low, but I would appreciate any and all ideas. I had been thinking of a crosshatch patter in the greens, and either echo quilting the skull to make it stand out, or a smaller, tighter crosshatch in the skull. I picked up green thread and white thread over the weekend, as well as black for the back.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced, and looking forward to seeing what you’ve all been up to.

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Filed under Baby quilts, Gift, Quilts, WIP Wednesday

Tula Tuesday: Blocks 7 and 8

(Also known as the blocks with the teeny tiny squares…)

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I only have 2 blocks to show you because I’ve been busy basting my skull quilt, but more on that later. Like, tomorrow…

Blocks 7 and 8 both contain a multitude of teensy squares. I’m sure these are less square than the ones that came before…so much room for accuracy to be lost with those tiny bits.

Block 7 is very, very green, with that dowry print I love so much in the corners.

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Block 8 incorporates some more Tula, from the Nightshade line. I’m a bit worried the colors of the print are so much flatter than the other blocks so far, but I do love that fabric so very very much. I also used that brand new houndstooth I just showed in in Sunday Stash.

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From my post last week, it sounds like some of you WOULD be interested in taking part in a Tula linky party. Here’s my plan: start Tuesday, March 4th. I’ll host the link up- if anyone out there is great at button making, I’d love help! Folks will be welcome to post any Tula city sampler progress they have made, and of course, will be encouraged to visit and comment on others’ posts. Of course, we all want to see what everyone else is up to, so that should be easy! I’ll leave the linkup open through the week, and we’ll start the whole thing over the next week.

Sound good?

If so, help me spread the word- and I’ll try to get a button ready ASAP to help with that.

Meanwhile, let’s end with my progress to date… 2 more blocks and I’ll be done for February.

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PS I’m also linking up with the Let’s Bee Social linkup…

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Filed under Quilts, Tula Pink QAL

Sunday Stash: Skulls and more

Here I am, a little bit late for Sunday Stash, but with loads to show.
(I’m late because I had to go shopping this afternoon… because finally, finally, finally, Trader Joe’s opened locations in Colorado! We’ve lived here for 13 years without one, and now, all is right with the world! And I have a stuffed full freezer…)

First off, we have the backing fabric for my super sized skull quilt. Not sure who the manufacturer is, but I bought it from Fabric.com for $7/yard.

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Next up is an impulse buy: Michael Miller’s Apothescary. I love this fabric, and it will eventually make its way into a Halloween project I’ve been planing for ages. I kind of wish I’d bought a little bit more of it…

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Next, a lovely turquoise herringbone print, from AE Nathan. This will certainly end up in my Tula Pink City Sampler blocks, and probably many other projects as well.

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Now we have another turquoise, again from AE Nathan, called “fancy peacock birdcages.” This one is also planned to end up in my Tula blocks.

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And finally, the ultimate impulse buy. This afternoon, I stopped into Holly’s Quilt Cabin, one of my LQSs, to pick up green thread for quilting the skull top. And I had to get a yard of these Riley Blake zombies! They’re so darn cute. And they go with the turquoise herringbone fabric perfectly!

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Linking up with Sunday Stash over at Molli Sparkles. Here’s hoping you had a fun fabric week, too!

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Filed under Stash Enhancement, Sunday Stash

Happy V-Day From Me to You

For my sewy friends
1940's Valentine 1[3]

And my knitty ones as well…

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February 14, 2014 · 1:35 pm

WIP Wednesday: The Skull is Done

I might just have made the largest baby quilt ever.

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Cause that’s my 5’9″ husband holding the quilt up over his head… (Thanks, honey.)

When I started the quilt, I intellectually knew it would be big. 60″x72″. But those were just numbers in my head. I didn’t think, hmm, isn’t that 5 feet by 6 feet? I did think about cutting all my pieces 1/2 the recommended size, but that seemed too fiddly. 1.25″ strips didn’t sound fun to work with. And then I thought about only making the center, skull portion of the quilt, but that was too boring.

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See what I mean? Mixing up the greens in the center blocks would have detracted from the skull, and the 2 solid greens by themselves bore me… Plus the skull seems off balance somehow.

So, the biggest baby quilt in the world it is!

They can cover their whole floor with the quilt, and lay the baby down, and not have to worry about vacuuming 😉

I did cave in and order some new fabric for the back- I found some perfect stuff on http://www.fabric.com for $7/yard on sale, so, yeah, I bought it. It’s due to be delivered today, so maybe I can piece the back- I’m planning on mixing in some of the leftover solid greens- and baste it over the weekend.

Have you ever given a quilt this big to a baby? Do you have a go-to pattern for baby quilts, or do you mix it up?

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

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Filed under Baby quilts, Gift, Quilts, WIP Wednesday

Tula Tuesday: Blocks 3, 4, 5, and 6

It’s time for the second installment of Tula Tuesday. This week, I worked my way through blocks 3, 4, 5 and 6 (pictured in numerical order.) 5 and 6 were super duper fast- in fact, I pieced 6 while Annie was pinning her pillowcase!

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I actually took #3 apart once. I had a green fabric in the corner squares, and I hated it. So I replaced the green with the blue Pearl Bracelets, and it was all better.

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Number 4 features two of my favorite fabrics from Parisville.

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Number five is back to purples, and includes more of that Parisville. (I love how I don’t notice the threads all over my blocks until AFTER I take the photos!)

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And number six has even more Parisville- along with the green Tula that I kicked out of #3…

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Here’s everything so far…

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This upcoming week, I may not get more than #7, or maybe #7 and #8, done. There are 20 1×1 squares in block #7! That will require some attention paying and precision piecing- which are both totally my strengths. NOT.

Meanwhile, I’ve got a question for you guys. Since I posted last week’s blocks, I’ve heard from several folks who are part way through or just starting their own City Samplers. Since the official QAL is over, and the prizes have been awarded (and, if you haven’t checked out the results, what are you waiting for?), I wondered if anyone would be interested in linking up their progress throughout the year? I was thinking every Tuesday, or maybe just one Tuesday per month? It would be so much fun to see what everyone is up to, and to encourage one another along the way. You could be doing all 100, or just your faves… anything goes! Anyone up for it?

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Filed under Quilts, Tula Pink QAL