Space Baby Dress

In addition to pulling together my projects and post for the QCR Blog Hop (tune in on Thursday!), I also whipped up a little Geranium Dress from a Made by Rae pattern for my sweet niece. You may recall that she has a space-themed nursery, and this fabric, Riley Blake Rocket Age in Rocket Blast, begged me to turn it into a dress. A Space Baby dress.

Geranium Dress rocket ship detail

The Geranium pattern came together really quickly, even though I felled the skirt seams and had to break out my old Kenmore sewing machine to do the zigzag around the flutter sleeves and skirt gathers.

Tiny felled seam!

I love that all seams, except for the flutter sleeves, are enclosed, which means that hopefully the dress will wear and wash well. Key when sewing for a baby.

Dress lining

I broke out the Kenmore again for buttonholes and let me tell you: the automatic buttonhole feature is MAGICAL. I want to sew another garment just to sew more buttons. And the buttons themselves are pretty rad; I do love a good pop of alternate color.

Orange buttons say hooray

Here’s hoping it fits for at least a little while! If not, the pattern was so quick and charming that I may have to make another in the next size up!

Geranium in Space

To Finish In March

I’ve been wanting to participate in A Lovely Year of Finishes at Fiber of All Sorts for a couple of months now, but my ducks just haven’t seemed to get neatly in a row. January was a month of alternating travel and sickness, February was All Olympics and knitting (tune in this weekend to see a sock FO!), but March will be the month I finish my Quilt of Poseidon. If I end up calling it that. It’s a mashup of 12″ squares from the 2013 Sugar Block Club, Vintage Quilt Revival, and I think a couple of other sources, laid out using the Sampler Quilt On-Point pattern from Vintage Quilt Revival.

So that’s the plan. Here’s a small, dark, blurry phone shot of the progress:

20140307-130540.jpg

According to the running document I keep of my projects, I’ve completed 19/20 blocks. I have fabric and paper piecing templates cut for that last block (the pesky February Block from the Sugar Block Club, for those of you keeping a running tally) and I have the fabric for the simple repeating blocks, the binding, and the back, which will be the delicious Kitty Dreams and Butterflies prints from Lizzy House’s Catnap.

Catnap fabric!

Delicious. Also, my husband picked it out all by himself, and who am I to argue with that level of fabric selecting genius?

I will finish this in March. I will, I will, I will. I want this on our bed by the time the snow melts!

Linking up with the March Goal Setting Party!
A Lovely Year of Finishes

Blue Cross Block

I’ve finished one more Poseidon block! This is Red Cross (well, Blue Cross) from Vintage Quilt Revival. It’s paper pieced, and while the component blocks went together easily, putting the block together was more difficult for me. I repicked it several times trying to get the points to match closer, and finally decided that it was Just Fine.

Red Cross Block

With this one done, I only have three more blocks to finish! And one of those, Geometric Star, is half pieced. I need to cut fabric for the other two (Dakota Star and the February Sugar Block I’m going to remake) and cut fabric for the alternating plain blocks, but this is coming along! I want to have it done by spring to freshen up our bedroom.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

More Blue Socks

I am exhausted.  Family is in town (from the other side of the world, the land down under), and we’ve spent the last two days driving, seeing, touring, talking.

Porthos Toes

It was lovely, lovely time but I’m done in.  Husband and I (two introverts) barely said a word on the car ride home and as soon as we dropped our bags, he went out to run errands (man quiet time) and I put on PJs and a bathroom, put on my autumn mix of Hem and Alexi Murdoch (Lucy quiet time).

Porthos Socks

Before that, I finished the Blue Musketeer Socks. I just flew down the last sock, sped along by knitting in class and a long Sox game. I knit the 80 stitch size, because despite the small feet of the recipient, they may shrink a bit and I want to make sure she gets a lot of wear from them.

Porthos Socks

They’re really blue.

Finished Porthos Socks

Really, really blue. So blue that I need a break from blue, what with all the blue socks I’ve knit lately (with lately being defined as within the last 13 months).

So I did the only sensible thing, which was to cast on a pair of green socks. Green and blue are very different, right?

Ball & Skein Weatherfield

Socks and Stuffed Toys

Here are three quick and dark iPhone snaps for WIP Wednesday!

I finished one Porthos sock last week!

Blue Porthos sock

C’s best friend recently had a new baby girl. He already has a little boy, and C asked me to make stuffed toys for the kiddos. The rhino is almost finished – he needs his horn sewn on and to be fully stuffed and sewn up. Last night, C and I sat on the couch, got caught up on Parks and Rec, and rolled up little balls of stuffing (like how you would roll a ball out of clay). A friend of mine showed me that trick and I’m not sure if it is correct or not, but I like that it compresses the stuffing a bit before it goes into the toy so the toy doesn’t deflate.

Almost a rhino!

Rhino here is almost all stuffed and when I woke up this morning, C had filled an entire bucket full of balls of fluff, to use to finish Rhino and stuff Elephant.

Elephant in process

Elephant is almost done too – I’ll probably finish on Thursday. The patterns are from DIY Fluffies by Mariska Vos-Bolman. I’ve made each a couple times before and they’re just adorable. The fabric is Tula Pink, Prince Charming for Rhino and Birds and Bees for Elephant. I’ve been on a Tula kick lately – you’re going to see a Pink Tula Pink quilt here one of these months!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Arkansas Traveler

Monday night, while the cold autumn wind was blowing in our 4th floor windows, I took a long look at my workspace. Stuff was piled everywhere: fabric, bits of thread, pens and markers, an errant skein of yarn, patterns, and my QAYG stocking project. I tidied up the space, took a long look at the QAYG project, and decided I’d rather cut fabric than futz with my walking foot.

A couple hours later, while humming along with Mary Poppins, I had some nice tidy stacks of squares and HSTs.

Squares and HSTs for August Sugar Block

This stack will be for September’s Sugar Block, Come Fly With Me.

Poseidon FQs for September Sugar Block

I even completed this lovely block, Arkansas Traveler. It will be part of my Sugar Block Quilt, but the tutorial, by Lee at Freshly Pieced, is part of the Summer Sampler Series

Arkansas Traveler Block

I’ve been plowing my way through Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series. They’re pretty fun – a modern twist on Greek/Roman mythology. I used to love ancient myths as a kid, so I’m getting a kick out of seeing familiar characters and tropes revamped in a modern setting. The main character is a son of Poseidon (and gets called that several times each book by various baddies). And I’m making a quilt from a Kona Poseidon bundle (with a few other solids). I think I’m going to call the finished quilt the Quilt of Poseidon.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

Blue Socks and Granny Squares

My blue squiddy socks (Rav link with details) are done! Hooray! I took pictures last night and promptly folded them up and stuck them in my sock drawer – no soaking and blocking needed for this girl! (Recognizing, of course, that soaking and blocking drastically improves the appearance of knitting, but as these are just for me, I’ll block them after I wear them.)

Blue Squiddy Socks

Blue Squiddy Socks

I finished them the other night, while watching Elvis in Blue Hawaii on channel 25.2 or something. We got a new digital antenna that picks up all these random channels – we have maybe six versions of PBS – and a classic movie channel is one of them. I also started a pair of socks for a friend with this yarn:

Unknown sock yarn Steph bought in Philly

She bought it in Philadelphia years ago, knit a toe, stuck it in her yarn basket for a while, gave it to me, I raveled the toe and skeined the yarn, and then it sat in my stash until now. She forgot what it is, so I have no idea what the fiber content is, but it is nice and a little bit more hefty than a normal sock yarn. She picked out the pattern Porthos by Caoua Coffee and I have about three inches of the cuff done – it goes really quickly!

In addition to that, I got the itch to sew a bit last night and threw together two Granny Square Blocks! I cut all the 2.5″ squares from two Kate Spain Good Fortune charm packs and organized them into blocks when I cut the fabric for Cuzco Crossing.

Granny Square Blocks

The outer white squares are leftover charm squares from the Cuzco Crossing quilt, quartered. I plan to use them until they run out and then make the rest with setting triangles. I’ll sash the blocks in more white and the back will have a patchwork strip of leftover squares running down the middle.

I have a zillion other things I want to make this fall. I need a new pair of mittens, a friend needs more fingerless gloves, I want to make Christmas stockings for C and I (and maybe a couple of extras for down the road for kiddos), and I need need need to finish quilting and binding Cuzco Crossing. I’m so close on that one! In the distant future, there’s a Weekender bag, a Lizzy House Constellations triangle quilt, and maybe a scrappy Tennessee Waltz. I love having a to do list; even if I don’t get it all done, planning and figuring out what to make is part of the fun!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Stripey Pillows

Last spring, my mom bought some new furniture for her three season porch and requested some bright pillows. I made two big paper-pieced bird pillows for her last year (here and here) but the smaller oblong pillows languished in my closet bin. I wanted them to be scrappy to match the scrappy borders on the first block, use greens and blues with a bit of red, but I didn’t have much of a plan beyond that.

Then this spring, Laurie Wisbrun announced her latest holiday fabric collection, Holiday Sweet Tweets. My mom loves cardinals, and I immediately thought of her when I saw the cardinal stripe print. So there are my pillow backs!

Holiday Sweet Tweets

Once that piece fell into place, I got thinking and Pinterest browsing for front inspiration. I knew I wanted to finish them soon, because it is summer, the season of sitting out on the porch. A week ago, I saw these pillows by Glamscience Glittergoods on Pinterest and was inspired to make something similar. I sketched out a design, cut templates, and picked scraps out of my stash on Saturday (“the computer room exploded in fabric,” was my husband’s only comment). By Sunday morning, I had three cute foundation-pieced squares.

Stripey scrap blocks

Last night, something shifted in the atmosphere and all the humid soup that has been hanging over New England blew out and was replaced by delightfully cool, dry air. And I got to sewing everything together. Here’s the first pillow front, finished but not trimmed.

Stripey Pillow 1

I finished the pieced block of the second pillow and all that is left is to sew white sashing on the top and bottom.

Stripey Pillow 2

Here’s hoping I can finish these within the next few days! As usual, linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Two Blue Socks!

Technically, my last FO of 2012 is also my first FO of 2013. I finished Mom’s Marilinda socks on the 30th, while “watching” the Pats beat some other football team but couldn’t for the life of me find a darning needle. Somewhere in the detritus of my life, I have a small green bag that originally was part of a Clinique Free Gift set that my mom got several years ago that holds all my knitting tools like stitch markers, small scissors, and darning needles. That and my needle roll were once inseparable buddies, but it has gone missing. It is probably somewhere in my closet and will resurface when I move next month. Anyway, no darning needles were to be found in there.

I also used to keep a darning needle in my knitting needle roll. I’ve kept one there for green-bag backup for quite a long time. But then I used it to embroider my On a Whim quilt with the names of the couple. For a while, it was floating around my kitchen table, and then it was on my night stand and then it disappeared. Again, I’ll probably find it and several more of its kin when I move next month, but darning needles do have a tendency to go missing.

Marilinda Socks

When I explained all this to the fiance, he looked askance at me and said, “needles just… go missing?!” I could tell he was having visions of deadly sharp weapons hiding in carpet and on floors, just ready to stab a foot TO THE BONE. That’s not really what happens, especially as darning needles are pretty blunt and I wear slippers around the house. But it probably would behoove me to take better care where I leave them.

Fancy Heel

Anyway. I made a stop at a nice Joann’s in Concord last night and bought TWO PACKS of darning needles, one of which will live in my sewing kit for backup. Last night, I Kitchenered up the toe and Mom’s Marilinda socks (rav link for deets) are finally done! They are stretchy and blue and long and my mom really likes them!

…And then I cast on for a new hat for me. Because my old hat makes me look:
a) doofy
b) like I’m 12
c) ludicrous
d) all of the above.

We’ll see if this new hat is an improvement!