F2F2 blocks – quilting has begun!

Some rather exciting news to share with you . . . orange sashing has been added to all 30 blocks, and now quilting has actually begun!  Yay!  I’m rather amazed myself, at how motivated I am to get these blocks all assembled and made into a huge quilt.

But motivated I am!  Also somewhat scared . . . because the quilting stage is where things can go wrong.  I’m more of a piecer, where patchwork goes.  Not a very proficient quilter, and this project is even more scarey because I’m quilting so many gorgeous blocks made by other ladies.

quilting 6 down

For the moment, I have done six of the thirty.  Here they are (three from Lynn and three from Kate).  They’ve each got a little label pinned on to remind me of where they belong in my layout.  I’m quilting in orange thread and keeping things very simple.  A fair amount of echo quilting going on.  Some in the ditch.  And a very relaxed “let’s see what happens here” design.

quilting 6 down 01

Don’t know if you can see, but I’ve got a sort of “maze/labyrinth” thing going on on a couple, which seems to be working quite well.  Basically, each block will be quilted differently, depending on what the block pattern inspires, and within my limitations. 

In case you’re wondering – I cut wadding & backing fabric slightly bigger, and only trimmed once I’d quilted each block.  I’m using the QAYG method, so the plan is to quilt all 30, make sure they all measure the same, and then assemble with thin strips. 

stitching & knitting

Just so you don’t think I’ve gone off on a tangent with my knitting . . . here’s progress on “Victorian Charm” by Dimensions.  This photo was last month

Victorian charm 02

And this month

Victorian charm 12 05

A third window is almost finished, and I’ve been stitching the pointy roof on this part of the house.  It’s slow going, but I’m trying to stitch on it little and often.

Of course, the new knitting project is also keeping me amused.  I showed it to you only the other day

knitting 01

Well, I’ve just finished the first 50g ball of the main colour, and things look like this

knitting 02

This photo is a better one of the colours.  Main colour, a dark teal, with light aqua stripes.  This is the back of my sweater (or will be).  Three stripes so far, a total of seven to do.

Over the next few days, I need to get back to some sewing . . . that orange sashing on F2F2 blocks isn’t going to sew itself on  without a bit of help from me!  And then there’s the amigurumi tiger, still waiting for legs and a tail . . . it’s all go!  So many projects to work on, and not enough days in the week lol.

Abby & Ducky – 2 years

Oops, I missed birthday celebrations for our two youngest cats: the sister & brother act, Abby and Ducky.  They turned two a few days ago. 

Ducky was in the wars on the day.

ducky swollen

Can you see?  Swollen face on the right side.  That was the only visible symptom.  We figured he’s either been stung by an insect, or had an abces.  Quick vet’s visit the next day, even though the swelling had gone down – it was an insect sting.  Probably bee or wasp.  Anyway, he’s right as rain now.

And here’s Abby

abby may 01

In one of her favourite spots on a little wall. 

abby may 02

abby may 03

And a couple more photos of pretty colours . . .

violets

These little flowers growing in abundance, mixing in with the ivy . . . and in our neighbour’s garden

wild poppies

Which I suddenly realised were, what is known as “Wild Poppy”, therefore the colour inspiration for one of my current stitching projects!  Stitching with the colour “Wild Poppies” by Threadworx – what a coincidence!

CdesT stage 4 03

like riding a bike

I have discovered, that crafting is like riding a bike!  Once you learn, even if you don’t do it for years, you never forget.  The brain seems to remember what it needs to do.

As a child, I learned the basics of knitting.  My Mum and gran were both expert & prolific knitters, so at some point, it seemed logical they would try and pass on their knowledge.  I just wish now, that I’d been a more willing pupil because all I picked up were the basics: how to cast on, knit, purl, and how to cast off.  I never learned how to follow a pattern, and all I’ve ever knitted in the past has been scarves.

Saying that . . . after having taught myself to crochet, from scratch, these past few months, and gaining in confidence with my hook, I’ve been wanting to pick up some knitting.  Husband is partly at fault here.  Seeing me crochet on my little amigurumi projects, and churn out a few beanies, he unwittingly told me that: “If you make me a sweater, I’ll wear it with pride!”.  Hmmm !!!! 

I wasn’t thinking about knitting at this point.  My brain was locked into crochet mode, so I started browsing the net for free crochet patterns for men’s sweaters.  I only found one.  The rest were knitting patterns.  And the more I looked, the more lovely free knitting patterns I found.

What to do?  Pick up the knitting needles and see if the brain remembers how to knit & purl, I say! 

Husband is going to have to wait a while for his sweater, I’m afraid, because I don’t have enough of any yarn in my stash to make a men’s sweater.  I didn’t even have any long needles to make any kind of sweater, since mine were all 25cm needles (which are fine for scarves, but not much else).  A trip to the shops remedied that.  Several sizes of 40cm needles have been added to my stash.  And I’ve begun work on my first ever sweater . . . for me.

IMGP2953

This is the beginning.  I’m following an easy pattern from Red Heart.   Using a cheap acrylic yarn (I did my gauge swatch).  The main colour is actually a lot more teal than it appears in the photo.  Pattern is easy.  Ribbing, then 16 rows of stocking stitch with 2 rows of knit thrown in for the contrasting stripe. 

Husband is looking on with interest.  If I manage to make something wearable, then I’ll be ordering in yarn for husband’s sweater. 

SAL update – “Cirque des Triangles” #5

Another 3 weeks have flown by, and it’s time for SAL members to post photos of our SAL projects.

I’m stitching “Cirque des Triangles” by Ink Circles.  Last time things looked like this

CdesT stage 4 01

And for this stage, it looks like this.

CdesT 05

I’m now off to visit all the following links, to see what other members have been up to.

Avis, is working on the same CdesT design, but in totally different colours.  Other members are all working on a wonderful variety of projects:  Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina, SusanP, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, WendyLinda, Catherine, Mary Margaret and Timothy.

Next update on 4th June.

never too young

I firmly believe that, with crafting, we are never too young (or old) to learn.  Take me, for instance.  53 years young before I dared teach myself to crochet, and I’m having a ball.

Well, our neighbours have a 7 year old daughter: Cléo.  Cléo has seen me crocheting, and she also knows I do other crafts.  For Easter, I gave her one of the little owlet purses which I’ve already showed you.

owl purse x3

The dark teal one was for Cléo.  Well, imagine my surprise (and pleasure) when Cléo had a little sewing session with her Mum and gave me

IMGP2905

a little owlet in return!  This little owl is made in felt, and I’ve called her Emerald.  She’s hanging up in my sewing room.  Anyway . . . Cléo also asked if I could teach her to sew. 

Well, I don’t know about you, but when a child shows an interest in handicrafts, I think it should immediately be encouraged.  Cléo therefore spent a crafty morning with me, on my Juki (oh yes, I let her use the good sewing machine lol) and made these.

cleo sewing 01

Now, Cléo is only 7, so I did all the cutting.  However, these are Cléo’s choices of fabric & felt (after a long rummage through my scrap bags) and she did all the sewing.  Here are the backs, where you can the sewing more clearly

cleo sewing 02

The two pink bookmarks were the first ones Cléo made . . . and we had Juki on the slowest speed setting.  Cléo wanted to go a bit faster on the turquoise & blue one, so I let her push the lever up a notch.  Hihi, she soon discovered that even going a tiny bit faster made it more difficult to keep those seams nice and straight.  And agreed that “tortoise pace” is perfect for a 7 year old beginner sewer.

These bookmarks, obviously, were made as gifts for Cléo herself, and her deserving parents.  I have reassured her that she is welcome to come round, whenever she wants, for more sewing lessons, and to make gifts for other members of her family.  If she has a patient streak, then I’ve also promised to teach her to cross stitch but sewing gives more immediate results so I’ll understand if she prefers to continue with sewing.

such fun!

Since I discovered the joys of crochet, only very recently . . . I’m spending lots of time, having fun with my hook.  I think it’s like with any new thing – I’m feeling so enthusiastic, and I would hook all day if I could!

This post is going to be very full of photos . . . so make yourself a cuppa and continue scrolling.

First of all . . . a photo of the finished owl purses I made just before Easter, using a free tutorial by Moji-Moji Designs.

owl purses x3

I had shown you the purple one finished – he was my first attempt.  I then hooked up two more (on a smaller hook) which were gifted (filled with chocolate coins) as Easter presents.

As with any craft, I am always on the lookout for new supplies . . . and jumped for joy the other week while shopping in our local Noz.  They had a wonderful supply of yarn in.  Noz is a shop where, if you don’t grab it when you see it, it won’t be there next time.  So . . .

Noz buys 01

Noz buys 02

Noz buys 03

Noz buys 04

And, of course, I had to prove to hubbie that all of this was absolutely necessary, and not just an excuse to over-shop . . . so . . .

beanie 3

beanie 3 zoom

This beanie is for me.  I followed the myboshi pattern and it literally only took a couple of hours to make.  I love the way the yarn changes colour so subtly.

Something less subtle . . .

rainbow swatch

This was just a practice swatch to see how colours changed with this yarn, and to mess around practicing different stitches.  I reckon it’ll look a lot nicer when hooked in the round, and colour changes will give a more striped effect rather than splodges . . . so more beanies to come.  No idea if anyone would actually wear a beanie in this yarn, but what the heck!  I’m having fun.

And . . . even though chunky yarn is fun, and quick to work with . . . I haven’t forgotten why I wanted to learn to crochet in the first place.

tiger WIP

Am busy working on this project, using Stylecraft DK yarn.  He looks a little spooky at the moment, with a massive head, but I’m confident I’ll end up with something that ressembles the photo.  Roary the Tiger is by A Morning Cup of Jo, and is one of the designs in “Zoomigurumi”.

Zoomi 01