2020 Mini Quilt project – January

I have been thinking about crafting goals since last December. I have the habit of making lists of things to do that are so huge that there are literally not enough hours in the day to get it all done. Then I get frustrated that I can’t get 40 hours of work done in a 16 hour day (assuming 8 hrs for sleep … but not accounting for anything else like work, or dog walking or laundry… you get the idea). SO This year I decided to set ATTAINABLE goals for my creative endeavors. I am still working through the details on knitting and memory keeping (but enough to say that my goal is to use up both stashes of supplies) but I have narrowed down quilting and garment making.

Today…I present to you completed project #1 on the quilting list for 2020! My quilting goal this year is to complete at least one quilt block and a mini quilt each month following Alyce Blyths “Mini Master Pieces” book of 12 essential blocks and techniques. I love Alyce and several years participated in a Half Square Triangle quilt along with the result being a beautiful quilt for our home!

The first lesson is a basic 9-patch block, super simple so I wanted to play with dark backgrounds and using some fabrics from my stash that have been aging like fine wine under the piles ;-). I’m very happy with the result!

The block finished size will be 6″ square and I made up 7 to set aside and see what percolates after working on more blocks from the book.

I don’t have a design wall but fortunately, the mini quilt is about 24″ square so laying out the squares on the craft table totally works! Some blocks were fussy cut around motifs and I will admit to liberal use of the seam ripper when I sewed blocks together in the wrong order and upside down.

No photos of quilting, I used two layers of scrap cotton batting… I think by the end of this project I will have used up my bin of batting scraps in the attic – huzzah! I set my machine to it’s slowest setting and used my walking foot, remembering I had quilting gloves after about 1/3 of the way done. Definitely room for improvement as far as machine quilting. But that is the beauty in smaller projects, room for experimenting on a small scale.

I am very pleased with the finished product! This series will also be a good exercise in binding. My corners need a bit of work and there was a bit of hand stitching involved but still a success!!

Looking forward to Februarys block…I’ve got my fabric all pulled and set aside!

What projects are you working on in 2020?

(Also…am not a huge fan of this new “block” arrangement on WordPress, I feel like it’s getting in the way right now more than it’s helping…anyone else out there have feelings on this???)

In the Studio:: On tossing out and starting fresh

This past week I did an extensive studio clean-up and scrapbooking supply organization (don’t get too excited, still not quite done with that part but it’s coming along nicely).  I have a pile of sewing projects to start/finish and a list of layouts and albums both digi and paper to work on, oh and hello…December Daily will be upon us before we know it – ahem!

I have been vexed by a dress that I sewed in April, and it has been in the pile and on the list since then.

Enter McCalls M5890

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I had a lot of trouble with my sewing machine which resulted in not a great sewing outcome for this garment… the fit was OK and I wasn’t as wild about the fabric as a long dress, and the topstitching was horrible due to said machine problem (since having machine thoroughly cleaned this fall, the problems have all resolved themselves…magic!)  and I just wasn’t feeling it.  at.  all.   For months I’ve been going back and forth… can I fix the topstitching?  Should I just make a skirt out of it (I have about a yard extra to make waistbands etc…) and try and salvage something?  Do I even like the pattern anymore?  Do I like the fabric anymore?

Answers to above ?’s ??  No fixing the topstitching… No to the skirt, it’s just too contrived…No to salvage….No to the pattern, at least the top of the dress, don’t like how the neck/arm/capsleeve came together weirdly…No to the fabric, maybe for a t-shirt or shorts but not a dress, plus, it’s winter now ugh.

So here is my answer to the above conundrum:

freedomfromtiedye

Yep…86’d the whole thing… including the extra fabric…and I crossed it off my list.  I have to say, it was really hard to just toss it in the trash.  The save-every-scrap part of me was screaming but for the good of my sewing karma, it had to go.

I feel so much better now.

On to the next project!

Have you ever totally trashed a project?  Was it freeing or guilt inducing?

 

In the Studio: knitting a Scottish Reel

Last summer I was able to spend a weekend at Squam Art Workshop  (I’m super excited that I went for a whole week this year!).  During the Vendor Faire, I spotted this gor-ge-ous cowl at the Knitspot/BareNakedWools booth.   It looked so complicated, it was beautiful, I even loved the name…Scottish Reel…so romantic!  I thought there was no way I would be able to make it  (note to self:  you know more than you think you do)  It’s even beautiful draped on a mannequin…f55adef2704ab2be80586d968cbfb0d7.image.450x337The lovely gal who helped me was so encouraging…  her:  Can you knit and purl?  me:  yes, definitely   her:  have you ever knit in the round?  me:  of course   her:  then you can make this, it’s only knit and purl   me:  whaaaat??? no way… I’ll take one !

So all last fall and part of the winter, I worked on my Scottish Reel…with this beautiful ghillie yarn (which is fingering weight…very fine!) on size 4 needles (I think the smallest I’ve worked on yet).  I knit watching TV, at friends houses, at karate practice, on airplanes…everywhere! And I finally finished it….this spring…and it’s sat in my studio waiting to be blocked and be ready to wear this fall.   Aaaaand finally….it’s all done!!  So excited to wear this as the cooler weather sets in, I have more yarn leftover to make a smaller version or something else.  It’s so pretty and I will say, hides some of my patterning mistakes quite nicely thank you!  It’s also lightweight and warm and big enough to wrap around twice and still be able to pull part of it up for a hood….love love love.

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Here is the link to the pattern from Knitspot for the Scottish Reel Cowl  and the beautiful ghillie yarn  or you can buy the whole thing as a kit!

Now, go make something!

 

Four boxes and two bins…the two bins

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!  And all the stuff crammed into these poor baskets, OK here we go last pile of stuff to purge!!

Giant Pile of Mess

Giant Pile of Mess

I think I didn’t realize how junky these two bins had become…my intent was for them to hold fabric/projects that were next up on deck.  Instead they have been relegated to the bottom of the closet and had stuff dumped on top.

Keeping

-Leftover lengths of PB “Simone” drapery fabric…I had to hem all of my draperies when we moved into our new house and I kept the cut off bottoms to make pillows, cover benches etc…

-Handmade batik fabric… My mother bought me two yards of this from one of the cruises she went on back in the 80’s.  She thought it would make a great skirt…which it would have but I’m glad I saved it.  I used pieces of this to fill the glass doors on our console in the front hall.  I’m going to use the rest of it to make a quilt.

-Orange bottomweight fabric – shorts for Gwen, when I see orange fabric, I buy it for her. Think I have a pattern in my stash

-Printed interlock knit – top for Gwen, need to find a pattern

-Paisley cotton – A’la Amy Butler, have perfect pattern to make a tunic/top/dress…need to go get some coordinating fabric as it’s a really pretty patchwork-y top

-Paris Fashion conversational print… originally purchased to make a window treatment in my old studio, never did anything with this…may use to slipcover my office chair.

-Gardening jeans to patch

-Knit top (one i love) need to figure out how to camouflage hole in front at waistline.

-Three crewelwork pillows that my great-Aunt made, I love them and I know how much work she put in to them.  The really sad thing is that she lost her sight to macular degeneration and could no longer embroider, or near the end, do much of anything.  So I really love that I have them, need to figure out how best to display them.

Pitching / Donating 

-Almost one bins worth of fabric scraps from making the quilt for our bed.  I’ve never done anything with these pieces and they are taking up space so out they go.

-Two apple green gingham check long curtains … from girls old bedroom, was saving in case they wanted to use them in their new rooms but they are not interested… out they go.

-Two pieces lavender gingham check…was curtains in our old house, cut off the trim to re-use and out they go.

Throwing out

-Old muslin for blouse

-Misc scraps and pieces of lining.

yes, another blurry picture…so exhausted from sorting I couldn't hold the iPhone still  ;-)

yes, another blurry picture…so exhausted from sorting I couldn’t hold the iPhone still 😉

Oh My Word, got through everything and its in some kind of order!!   The two piles on the left are keepers, the bags need to be hung up and the pile on the right in front of the basket are pieces that are going away.  Next step…putting all this in some kind of order that makes sense and figuring out where to store it so it is not i

See the other posts in my 2014 Fabric de-stash series:  

Box ONE  ,  Box TWO , Box THREE and Box FOUR

 

 

 

Four boxes and two bins…part four

Yay!  The last of the big boxes…I am so happy I took the time to work on this project.  Definitely time to clean out the old and start making stuff…I can feel new projects on the horizon…but now on to Box Four…

piles of stuff...

piles of stuff…

Ah ha!  So this is the box with the lighter weight fabric earmarked for clothing…. wondering where this went….Have a lot of sewing to do from this box in the next few months.

Re-purpose

-pieces of fleece leftover from making “cozy pants” for the girls…I’ve been cutting them up into 6” squares and will sew those squares together for throws for each of them.

Keeping

-Two lengths of linen colored linen fabric…originally purchased for shorts/capri’s and a jacket…may turn into shorts and skirt

-Three lengths coordinating Amy Butler “Blossom” (I think) prints….one for a skirt, one a blouse and one for jacket lining…. definitely going to sew these up this year, not quite sure into what yet.

-Three lengths denim, from mid to very lightweight…. skirt? shorts? top?  All of the above?

-Linen/cotton windowpane plaid…have had this forever, not sure what to do with it but it is really beautiful.

-Three lengths cotton prints for sleeveless blouses….honestly, one of these pieces I am not really that thrilled with so I may let that go.  The other two are cute and I have to dig around and see what pattern I could make with them…

-One length pansy print fabric I have had forever and have been afraid to cut up… I think this is the year

-Two pieces cotton twill, black and brown…for shorts…now that I’m wearing my shorts longer, I hope there is enough of each.

-Length of linen/cotton/poly blend print…black and brown batik…I really liked this when I bought it but now I’m not quite so sure… can’t decide if I want to put the effort into making something out of it or not…would probably be a full skirt….will keep for now and think about it.

-Big length of muslin for fitting.

more crummy photos, I know…trying to shoot quick and move on to the next pile of stuff!!  you get the idea!

more crummy photos, I know…trying to shoot quick and move on to the next pile of stuff!! you get the idea!

Pitching 

-cotton print no longer thrilled with

-pieces of blue bottom weight cut out but never sewed…now lily is too big for them!

*Yay*!  (insert jumping up and down and hand clapping)  The big boxes are done and just taking things out and re-folding them I have gotten a lot more room.  Definitely will not need all four boxes going forward.

Now just the bins to go through…on to the next post!

See the other posts in my 2014 Fabric de-stash series:  

Box ONE  ,  Box TWO and Box THREE