Tumbler Crib Quilt

I had a special request for my goddaughter’s birthday this year – a quilt for her bed (aka converted crib).  After the epic quilt for my sister earlier this year, this quilt felt like a breeze.  Her mom chose the pattern from several I pinned on Pinterest and gave me the leftover fabric from the decorations in her room.  I had to buy some matching fabric to create the entire quilt, but that was easy to do.  This was my first tumbler quilt.  And the biggest free motion quilting project I have done to date!  Even though this quilt was only about 30″ by 60,” it was still a lot to free motion quilt.  My hands would really ache after working on a section.  But it was worth it!  The back of the quilt is a purple flannel fabric.  And I used a purchased bias tape for the binding.  I am really pleased with how this quilt turned out.  And my goddaughter loves it – always the best part.

Next quilt that is up for piecing together is the one from my wedding!  Hopefully I can get that one done before Christmas!

An Epic Quilt

In November, my youngest sister made a crafting request for her college graduation in December – a quilt big enough for her bed.  I almost fell over at the request for two reasons:  1 – I had never made a quilt that large before. and 2 – She usually does not usually ask for things.  I knew I was not going to get it done in time for graduation, but I immediately started planning.  First, I had my sister pick a pattern and colors.  We decided on the Raspberry Dessert pattern by Jaybird Quilts in turquoise and black.  Sometime in December I ventured out to Joann’s to choose the perfect fabrics.  My sister approved through Snapchatting photos.  Over Christmas break I cut the fabric into the strips and squares necessary, which I rarely do.  I am a pre-cut and/or wonky kind of quilter.  After this experience, I will stick to my pre-cuts, thank you.  Slowly I pieced the quilt together in January and February.

 

 

 

Then after I finished the quilt top and stitched together a back, I decided to send it to Missouri Star Quilt Company for the quilting part.  This size of quilt was never going to fit in my small machine and I would not want to have tried!  My sister picked out the quilted pattern.  I waited about three weeks for it to come back to me.  And wow, was I impressed.  They did such an amazing job on the quilting and getting the quilt square.  Saved me a lot of agony (well that is what I would call it – other people seem to enjoy this step).  After all of that work, I had to hand sew the binding, right?  Again, how people see that part as enjoyable, I am not sure.  And black binding was definitely difficult to see.  I spent about a week working on the binding in the sunlight.  I ordered a custom label from Etsy to include (my first quilt with a label!) and off it went to my sister – about six months after the original request and long after graduation!  But she loves it.

 

 

 

So this was the largest, most expensive, and best quilt I have ever made.  I have no desire to make another one any time soon…although I seem to say that after every quilt I make.  Next one on my requested list is a toddler sized quilt for my goddaughter’s birthday in August.  I can handle that, but I better start now.  🙂

 

2013 Goals – The Year of Acceptance

The past few weeks have led to a lot of reflection about 2012 and ideas for 2013.  Ali Edwards always recommends “one little word” for the year, and this year I am choosing “acceptance.”  For me, it means accepting who I am as a crafter.  With all these years of crafting experience, I think I know some of the things I like to do and some of the things I do not.  For example, I love scrapbooking, but I am just never going to be one of those “one photo super ephemera page” type of scrapbookers.  I know, never say never, but some things I can be pretty confident about.  I do not enjoy quilling or crocheting tiny toys.  I have no desire to knit a complicated cable sweater for myself.  These are things I know about myself.  But in 2013, I want to find other crafting realizations of acceptance.  Maybe I will always have a stash of yarn and I just have to accept that.  Maybe it is acceptable to have hundreds of buttons for scrapbooking.  I want to accept who I am and not feel guilty about who I am not as a crafter.  A lot of knitting podcasters have been talking about the “no guilt” year and “acceptance” is my version of that this year.

 

So all of that being said, here are my goals for 2013.  After seeing what happened in 2012, I am sure there are several projects I will come up with that do not relate to this list.  But I am excited to make these projects happen in 2013.

  • Keep track of three stashes – fabric, yarn, and fiber.

For the past two years I have kept track of fabric, so that should be easy.  I am not a prolific fabric user.  Last year I kept track of my yarn intake/outtake, which was quite the eyeopener.  It really helps me think about new purchases.  One of the ways I was able to help balance my yarn purchases last year was through buying fiber.  Well 2013 is the year for keeping track of fiber too.  The main goal for all of these stashes is always to use more than I buy.

  • Finish spinning the fiber for a handspun sweater and knit it.

This was something I started working on last spring when I became more serious about spinning and won a new wheel.  I m halfway done with spinning the 32 ounces of fiber and want to finish that.  I hope to three ply the fiber.  Then I want to knit myself a sweater out of it.  It is taking sweater knitting to a whole new level!

  • Do not participate in Campy Loopy this year.

This sounds like a funny goal, especially because I try to keep my goals positive.  But for the past two years I have participated in Camp Loopy, a three month long knitalong where you buy yarn for each project during the summer.  It is a great program because you receive free yarn and discounts.  But it also consumes my summer knitting.  Sure, knitting a sweater in a month is great, but it requires buying yarn and picking a new pattern.  I have plenty of yarn!  I want to knit what I want to knit this summer – no rules.

  • Knit six projects for myself out of the six “brown bags” I created.

Two years ago I knit 12 socks in 12 months, partially due to the incentive of the “brown bags” I put the yarn in.  It was surprise each month what I would get to knit with.  It also required a lot of my knitting time, as you can imagine.  So this year I am reenacting that goal by cutting it in half – six bags throughout the year.  I have already bagged up the yarn.  They are all skeins that I decided “I must knit with this in 2013.”  So that should be fun.

  • Make a t-shirt quilt out of my box of t-shirts.

This goal has been on my mind for several years, but I definitely want to make it happen in 2013.  I am confident enough in my quilting abilities to make it a success.  And it will be a great way to see some of my favorite t-shirts.

  • Create a master list of scrapbook pages that need to be completed and do them.

I am again behind on my scrapbooking pages.  I did not scrapbook as much in 2012 and need to get back to it.  Usually I go on a long retreat weekend to make it happen, we will have to see when I time for that in 2013.

  • Organize my stamp filing cabinet this year.

Almost everything I have is organized into a space.  In fact, some days I have time for crafting, I just use it to organize.  But somehow my stamps have gotten a little out of control in their filing cabinet.  So I would like to organize that in 2013 and be able to see all of my stamps easily.  One of the things I know about myself (part of acceptance) is that I need to be able to see it if I am going to use it on my cards.

 

Seven crafting goals for 2013, I think I can make that happen!  It is going to be another busy year, but I am looking forward to it.  Hope you are too!

Chevron Quilt for the Happy Couple

Last week we visited family for Katie’s bridal shower.  Just a month to go until the actual wedding!  Two years ago I made the bride’s sister and my sister quilts for their weddings, so I decided to do the same thing again. The happy couple has a black futon where this quilt can be displayed.  One blurry photo was taken when the bride opened the gift at the shower, but you get the idea.

 

 

 

Their wedding colors are black and Tiffany blue, so I used various shades of turquoise to make up the patterned pieces.  I ordered the main fabric from Connecting Threads and I was really impressed with the quality.  Not Moda quality, but not the cheap Joann’s fabric quality either.  Somewhere in between and excellent prices.  I used a soft anti-pill fleece for the back of quilt from Joann’s.  I actually had a lot of drama trying to create the design for this quilt.  At first I made 7.5″ square blocks of just the turquoise patterned pieces.  Then I realized I needed to add the solid black and turquoise, so I made half triangles.  At one point I needed to order more fabric.  Lesson learned?  Be sure I know what I am trying to create before I go into the project.  And maybe I am swearing off large, lap sized quilts for awhile.  But I am happy with the finished quilt.

 

And just to give you an idea about the rest of the bridal shower, here are some fun photos of the decorations.  The matron of honor, Katie’s sister, planned almost the entire shower herself, so I can’t take credit for these ideas.  I helped decorate on the actual day and sifted powdered sugar at 6am that morning.  And of course I ate my share of cupcakes and cake pops!

Soon I will be making a scrapbook from the shower and the rehearsal bouquet from packaging bows, so you will see more from the wedding events.  So happy to be involved in their big day!

I Spy Quilt for a Toddler

Today I finished an “I Spy” quilt for my friend’s three year old daughter (aka my favorite little girl).  I bought the pre-cut squares from an Etsy shop.  There are two of each fabric, to play a matching game, and then you can play “I Spy” by saying things like, “I spy popsicles!”  The backing fabric is her favorite – Miss Minnie Mouse.  Super simple to sew it together, but I kept distracting myself with other projects.  I meant to finish it in time for the baby shower in June, but then I remembered that I am trying to not stress myself out with crafting projects.  And with no air conditioning in the craft room this summer, the majority of my crafting has been limited to downstairs or at crafting events.  So yesterday I finally finished it.

 

 

Fabric Stash Update – Week 30:

Used this Week: 2 yards
Used year to Date: 5 yards
Added this Week: 0 yard
Added Year to Date: 2 yards
Destashed Year to Date:  5 yards
Net Out of Stash for 2012: 8 yards

Stash Report 2012 – Week 17

Well the fabric and yarn fast has ended!  I made it 16 weeks without buying any fabric or yarn.  And then I went on a trip and stopped in a yarn store.  And realized I wanted to make an “I Spy” quilt in time for visiting my favorite toddler in June.  But the good news is I finished a large knitting project!  So here I am with a stash report for Week 17.

Fabric Stash Update – Week 17:

Used this Week: 0 yards
Used year to Date: 3 yards
Added this Week: 1 yard
Added Year to Date: 1 yard
Destashed Year to Date:  5 yards
Net Used for 2012: 7 yards

 

Here is my Piper’s Journey.  I finished this on my latest trip (how appropriate for the pattern name, right?).  And I am super excited because I will get to show it off next week to the designer herself – Paula from the Knitting Pipeline podcast!  We are both attending Camp KIP.  So hopefully next week I will have lots of photos from camp to share with you.

 

Yarn and Fiber Stash Report – Week 17:

Knit Year to Date:  3185 yards

Traded/Sold Year to Date:  1036 yards

Added Year to Date: 750 yards

Net Destashed for 2012:  3,471 yards

Spun Year to Date:  1,105 yards

Crafting Goals for 2012

A week into 2012, I think I am ready to commit to my crafting goals for 2012.  I always enjoy hearing other people’s goals before I make my own, so these are very inspired.  And it is time to pick a new word of the year!  Last year the word was “relax.”  That worked well until December when I had a lot of gift knitting to do.  This year the word is going to be “mindful.”  I really want to be mindful during my crafting and enjoy the process.  Besides gift knitting, what is the rush, really?  And yet I always seem to get too deadline oriented with things that are supposed to be fun.  So I will be “mindful” when I am crafting in 2012.

My goals for 2012 are relatively short because it will be a very busy year professionally.  I will be writing my dissertation and getting ready to go on the job market.  So I am going to relax on the goals for 2012.

List of 2012 Crafting Goals:

  • Knit a lace weight sweater for myself without being concerned about the deadline.
  • I have enough yarn for two lace weight sweaters and one fingering weight sweater.  It is about time I start one of these!  For you non-knitters, this is a big goal because I will be knitting something big on tiny needles with thin yarn.  But I am really excited about it and will enjoy the process as I go along.  Now we will have to see when I actually cast it on.

 

  • Become consistent with my spinning.
  • I learned how to spin on my spinning wheel in 2011, so now it is time to actually become good at it.  I want to be able to knit with the yarn I spin in 2012.  I already have lots of fiber to practice with, which relates to the next goal.

 

  • Keep track of my fabric and yarn this year with the obvious goal of using more than buying.
  • Last year I kept track of my fabric and that really worked out well.  This year I want to keep track of my yarn as well.  I will try to do weekly check ins with the yarn since I knit much more than I sew.  But I am already on a “yarn and fiber diet” until Camp KIP, so hopefully I will be able to stick to knitting more than I buy.

 

  • Enjoy my gift crafting!
  • This may seem like an obvious goal, but strangely I like to stress myself out about projects for other people.  Especially where a deadline is concerned.  So this year, with one upcoming wedding and one baby on the way among my friends, I am going to not get stressed out, but enjoy the crafting.  I am looking forward to knitting for a new baby and testing out some new techniques.  And I will not be crafting furiously the night before the wedding – I refuse!  Either it is getting done early or on time.

 

  • Grow something new (successfully) in the garden.
  • Last year was my first attempt at a vegetable garden and I really enjoyed the process.  There were some issues with slugs.  And starting things from seed is difficult.  But I am looking forward to a new year of gardening.  And I would like to try something new this year.  Not sure what yet!

I think that will be plenty for 2012!  Looking forward to another great year!