More Chuppah and Meadow

You guys, this second trimester stuff is great. The nausea is gone, I’m able to stay awake past Jeopardy, people give me seats on the train, and I barely dry heave at all! And best of all, the making-stuff mojo is in full swing, in order to finish a great pile of stuff before my life is turned upside down by the arrival of a small, tremendously dependent human. All that means that I have a lot of stuff nearing completion that I get to show off.

But first, the chuppah was a success! It did its chuppah thing during the ceremony and didn’t rip or blow away (my two biggest fears).

Chuppah at the Wedding

You can’t really see the top in that shot, but you can see that it worked as required.

I also finished my Meadow top. It’s gorgeous and I love it and it is huge and wonderful and I can’t help gushing about it. And did I mention it is huge? The top is approx. 86″ x 93″ (without quilting), which is a good size for our bed. I still love having the Neptune sampler on the bed, but it’s pretty much exactly the same size as the mattress. I’m a serial blanket stealer, so it invariably ends up on my side. I think a larger quilt will solve that problem.

Meadow Top

Meadow Top detail

As this one is huge, I’m planning on sending out to be longarmed as soon as I sew up the back.

I’m really thankful for this little window of maker mojo and I’m trying to make the most of it – I’ve finished a mini, have a baby quilt for a friend ready for binding, and have knit nearly 2 baby sweaters in the last few weeks. In addition, I’d like to make a quilt for the little guy before he comes.

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Chuppah and Meadow

Finished Chuppah

Boom. Chuppah done. I finished it over the weekend and the brides think it’s great. (I think it’s great too.) I actually went with a more streamlined version of my original plan, which was to quilt through the middle, but I think that step is unnecessary, and will make turning it into a quilt more difficult. The HST blockss shed a lot of loose threads putting the top together, so I’d like to try not to manipulate this top very much until it can be sandwiched and quilted as a quilt.

Chuppah loop

The chuppah has loops at each corner for attachment to the chuppah poles during the ceremony; I sewed them firmly but you never know. It seemed to do OK hanging on the fence like this, but I’m not sure what will happen if there’s a stiff breeze on the day. I’m sure it will be fine!

Finished Chuppah

I don’t think I’ll use the technique of chain piecing the rows together and leaving them connected as the quilt grows and then sew the whole thing together. It made ironing and sewing the rows together very fiddly, and I still had to trim the threads in order to iron open the seams. So – a good experiment, and I’m glad I tried the technique, but going forward, I’ll put tops together my usual way.

In other news, my Rainbow Meadow is coming out of hibernation. All the pieces are cut and organized and ready to sew and now I’m sewing. The blocks are a bit fiddly, what with the curves and ironing them a certain way, but the end result is making me very, very happy.

Meadow Block
Linking from Instagram because I’m lazy.

Oh and hey! It is Wednesday, so I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

All the HSTs and a new WIP

It’s been all HSTs for the chuppah all the time around here. It’s been slow going with the trimming but finally I finished yesterday. Tonight, I’m going to start sewing the top (and perhaps try to chain piece the entire top similar to this method illustrated by Stitches in Play).

HSTs

Backing fabric for the chuppah is ordered and ready to go and the wedding is less than two months away. I think all my ducks are in a row!

I also started work on a new, exhausting WIP a couple of months ago. Here’s a progress pic after 12 weeks of work:

12 weeks ultrasound

I’m hoping to be done around the end of September. Expect an uptick in tiny knit sweaters in the coming months!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

Getting Back To It

Well, hello there, unintentional month-and-a-half blogging hiatus. February was rough, yo. I think I was sick for the last month and a half, which isn’t pleasant in the best of weather. But here north of Boston, we have many feet of snow, which has pulverized our public transportation system (aka how I get to work every day). Not feeling well + commuting for several hours a day on crowded trains with cranky fellow commuters has left me very tired at the end of the day, so much so that crafting hasn’t been my number one priority.

To be completely honest, most nights I watch Jeopardy and then go to bed.

I did spin a little, turning this delicious Malabrigo Nube braid into 324 sproingy yards of delicious sport-weight yarn.

Malabrigo Nube

Malabrigo Nube

The braid itself wasn’t the easiest spin. The fibers seemed very compacted, so it was difficult to pull apart and each piece needed to be fluffed a bit before spinning. I was going for a slightly thicker spin (than my usual super thin) and I’m very happy with the finished product.

Malabrigo Nube

But! It is now March! We’ve gotten through yet another February and Spring, the most wonderful season, approaches! Already the light is returning and days are noticeably longer. Now for temperatures to rise above freezing and the snow to melt (also, for the storm scheduled to dump more snow on us tonight to not dump as much snow as predicted).

And it being March means that the wedding of my dear friend S is a little over two months away, so I better bust a move on the HST Chuppah. Today, I sewed all the HSTs and started trimming.

Stack o' HSTs

Stack o' HSTs

I’d really like to finish this top by the end of the month, so for a bit of motivation, I’m making this my March ALOYF goal.

Progress…?

Here’s the thing about knitting. It’s great for the knitter/blogger and less interesting for the reader. I’ve been knitting like a beast over the past few days. I churned out the first sweater sleeve over the weekend (hello, football games) and am making strides down the second one. The front and back are done. I may have a sweater sometime while it is still winter.

All this is super exciting for me but less exciting for you, because the sweater currently looks like this.

Sweater pieces

Oh yeah. Super interesting, right? A bunch of teal knit tubes.

The chuppah isn’t much better. Right now, it looks like this:

Chuppah "progress"

But they’re both coming along and soon, I’ll have actual items to show. And they’re both WIPs, so I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

Chuppah Plans

My best friend Steph is getting married in May. She and her fiancee are Jewish and will be getting married under a chuppah, which she asked me to make. After the wedding, I’ll turn the chuppah into a quilt They’re getting married at an arboretum and both favor greens, so I’m using a Kona Solid Fat Quarter Bundle in Farmer’s Market with 23 green FQs and they’d like a modern half square triangle (HST) similar to Shards by A Cuppa and a Catch Up. They’d like the finished chuppah to be around 6′ square.

Since I don’t think a heavy quilt might not be the most ideal chuppah, I’m planning on sewing a plain, solid back and then doing some minimal straight-line quilting to keep the two layers together for the wedding. I’ll use my old machine for this, as unpicking the quilting will be REALLY easy, as after the wedding, I’ll add a border, batting, and a fun back to make it queen sized.

Fabric for HST Chuppah

And now some math.
I’ve decided the finished chuppah will be 75″ x 75″. If I aim for a 5″ finished HST (5 1/2″ with seam allowance), that will be 15 x 15 HSTs for a total number of 225 HSTs.

If I need each HST to be 5 1/2″ finished, the original square has to be 6 3/8″ (I’m using this HST tutorial from Blossom Heart Quilts). I can get 9 squares this size from a FQ (with judicious cutting and piecing), which means I need 25 FQs. I’ll use the 23 from the bundle and add a grey or brown neutral and another solid (Kona Aloe or Cadet) from my stash.
Math over.

So this plan is all well and good until I started cutting. I can easily get eight squares from a FQ with minimal piecing. But that ninth square requires the selvage bits to be sewn to one end to make it incrementally longer.

Stretch that fabric

I keep telling myself that it will add a bit of texture to the top.

Here’s two untrimmed HSTs. The one with the pieced side will be 5 1/2″ when trimmed, but barely. And a couple scraps for other colors aren’t big enough to piece, so I’ll have to swap them for Cadet or Aloe.

HSTs

I’d like to finish the chuppah by the end of the month (I think it would ease the brides’ minds knowing that their chuppah is done!), so I’m making this my ALOYF Jan 2015 goal. Boom.

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