I don’t know about you but did it seem like January was concurrently extremely long and extremely fast moving?? I had meant to post a recap of my making adventures last month but since it feels like February is the new January … here goes!
Last year was super busy with two graduating HS Seniors, College selection / College visits / Buying all the things for College, a business and a household I was not sure that I actually had managed to make anything… but the photo evidence tells the tale (as I may have mentioned in a previous post, I am not super good at tracking things). Photos below in no particular order (and I’m experimenting with photo display style so bear with me…
Knitting makes included: My second pair of socks in Regia Perfect yarn : Lace Cowl (can’t remember the pattern now) : Cable hat out of Madeline Tosh Home (just needs the faux fur pom pom I bought last weekend) : Cable scarf out of Madeline Tosh ASAP (needs to be re-blocked!) : Baby sweater for our contractors first baby ! There was also a lot of filler knitting on the scrap blanket that is always nearby and also STILL working on the brioche shaw…which I should finish before I am eligible for Social Security!
Sewing makes included: Hemming and altering 3 Prom Gowns (!) : Drawstring shorts : Cashmerette Springfield Top in floral rayon : Sew Liberated Metamorphic reversible dress in sanded rayon (it’s like wearing secret pajamas!) : Butterick 2925 grey knit top (no idea where I got the fabric!) : 2 underwire bras in an Orange Lingerie weekend bra workshop : Helen’s Closet Patterns Elliot tee shirt in black jersey and Elliot Sweater in grey sweater knit : Helen’s Closet Patterns Blackwood Cardigan in denim blue herringbone french terry ( LOVE this pattern and have a cream sweatshirt material on deck for another sweater) and some more organizational pouches for Charlie out of my cotton fabric stash!
As I mentioned in my post about quilting, I am making modest sewing goals for 2020… one wardrobe piece a month. January will be the Sew Liberated Hinterland dress in red/black buffalo check flannel (yes, I am aware that as of this writing it’s February 4th). February will be some kind of shirt/tunic out of a butternut herringbone flannel and March will be pants in a olive green heavy twill. I am determined to winnow down the wardrobe fabric stash this year and all three of these fabrics were purchased in 2019 or earlier !
Wish me luck! What are you sewing in 2020??? Do you plan or do you sew on a whim??
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???)
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
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:
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?
I’ve been broadening my podcast horizons lately and have started listening to the “Modern Sewciety” podcast and I love it, Stephanie has such a lovely way of chatting with her guests about quilting and the quilt world (which I admittedly do not know much about). I have made a number of quilts over the years but would not consider myself a “quilter” because, well, I didn’t use an established pattern, I made everything up and made my own patterns. And, I don’t quilt as in put the three layers together and hand stitch them on a quilting frame the size of my dining room table…no thank you. I have quilted smaller quilts on my home sewing machine, tied a number of larger quilts and sent one out to Nebraska to be machine quilted, hmmm funny still didn’t consider myself a quilter. Well, I guess that is all about to change with this quilt-a-long I heard about on Stephanie’s podcast a few weeks ago. I’m embarking on the Modern Half Square Triangle (HST) Quilt Along this year courtesy of Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts .
2 blocks per month x 12 months will equal enough squares for a nice sized quilt. I’ve pulled fabrics from my stash and purchased just a few pieces to round out the color palette, I’ve also purchased a light grey fabric with white printing that will be the background fabric in each block, I am waiting until the top is done to decide on the sashing and binding fabrics.
Aren’t they pretty?! I went with very highly saturated colors for the most part which I think will give some nice contrast against the background.
Aaanndd….here is my first block! Yay! I have had that dark blue fabric for YEARS! I’ve been hoarding it as it’s one of my all-time favorites but now it has found it’s perfect home as part of the new quilt! The block is a little rough around the edges as I need to “true” the block up, I’m waiting to do that until I purchase a 12.5″ square ruler specifically to that task. But it’s done! It didn’t take forever! It didn’t make a huge mess! Everything went back onto the shelf until it’s time for the next block! Win Win Win!
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…The 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.