Sunday, August 24, 2014

Some Progress

A couple of particularly challenging projects have consumed most of my quilting time these days, but I have made progress on a few other projects. I'm working on the last quarter of the second Curvy quilt--finally--and hope to have the top finished by the end of the month. I am going out of town two days this week, and that cuts into my quilting time, but I WILL get this finished up in September, and the colors make it a nice quilt for autumn.

This little quilt, which will be donated, was a kit from a local quilt shop. There wasn't much piecing involved other than the borders, it just took a while to get around to quilting it. There was no pattern information per se, but the kit was called "Safe Harbour".

I finished the quilting on my Bali Stars quilt this morning and took it off the frame. I probably finished this top a couple years ago, and.... it just took a while to get around to quilting it. I am SO happy to say that this is my last big quilt top that had to be quilted. What a good feeling it is to finally be done with everything in the RTQ pile. All I have left are some minis, which are in their own separate pile, and I'll probably do them on my domestic.

I used a pantograph with feathers called "Glamorous", and I love how the quilting turned out. I've had my longarm now for about four years, and I still marvel at being able to make all my own quilts from start to finish.

The pattern for Bali Stars is the cover quilt from Kim Brackett's book, Scrap Basket Surprises.

I learned about the Rainbow Scrap Challenge from someone else's blog last December, but I haven't made much headway. The idea is that a color is chosen the first day of the month, and participants make whatever block they wish and as many as they wish. Every Saturday, the ScrapHappy blog owner puts up a Mr. Linky so participants can share their progress. It's a fun way to get some ideas and see what others are doing.

I chose a 6-inch Dakota Farmer block that was featured in Bonnie Hunter's "Addicted to Scraps" column in Quiltmaker magazine. Bonnie had a drawing on her blog (I think) of how she might put the blocks together, and I liked it, so I ran with it. To complete a small quilt, I need 7 blocks in each of 7 different colors, 49 blocks total. The color last month was red, and I think that's the only month so far that I've managed to get all 7 blocks done. It's not that the blocks take so long to assemble, it's that I'm trying not to use more than two of each fabric in a set of 7, so rummaging through the scrap bins and cutting up the scraps has taken way too much time.

Our local quilt chapter is having its first quilt show for the community in October, and we thought it would be fun for each member to have an apron to wear for the quilt show and maybe some future events as well. We chose a loon from Embroidery Library and added the lettering for the chapter name. Then each member chose which thread color she wanted and the name she wanted embroidered on her apron.

We parceled out some 45 or 50 aprons to a small group of us who own embroidery machines, and I finished my requisite six aprons last Sunday. What a nice idea, huh?

I always have projects on the needles, and I finished a little summer cardigan several weeks ago. The owner of my LYS came up with the pattern from Ravelry. I used a denim yarn, Jesse from Louisa Harding, which has body to it and was perfect for a cardigan. The original pattern, called Emma by Deb Hoss, is a pullover top, but I got help learning how to change the pattern into a cardigan and how to raise the neckline because the original was a lot lower than I preferred. It was a fun knit, and it's been fun to wear.

The weather has been surprisingly cool this summer, which is my kind of weather. One morning last week it was 46 degrees when my husband left for work. Even though it's supposed to warm up to the 80's this week, a few of the trees have already begun to change color in central Maine, so it's time to think about knitting warm sweaters for winter. This is the front of my Notre Dame de Grace sweater, another pattern from Ravelry. (If you're a knitter, and you're not a member of Ravelry, sign up now. There's no fee, and it is a tremendous resource.) I've finished knitting the back, front, and one sleeve, and hope to have the whole sweater finished by Wednesday. Actually, that's a bit ambitious, but that's what I'm aiming for.

The yarn I'm using is Berroco Remix, a mix of cotton, silk and some other fibers, and one of my favorites. Even though there's no wool in the mix, it's still a pretty warm yarn.