Sunday, March 31, 2013

Scrappy Quilt - Part 2

Happy Easter!

Since my quilt blocks have been done for weeks now, it is time to pick a layout and sew them together.  I first blogged about my Scrappy Quilt here:
Next step you choose a layout.  Since I chose the lap size, I only have three (3) layouts to choose from.  I mean, you can do whatever you want, but to have some pattern, there are 3 ideal layouts for this size quilt.  I will lay them all out for you and then I will tell you which one I am doing.

A neat trick I learned in quilting class, is when you have your blocks laid out and you are trying to figure out which one you like best, you look at it through a peephole.  Yup, a door peephole.  A peephole for a door can be bought at any hardware store for about $5.00.  If you work with colors and palettes, I highly recommend a peephole.  It makes everything look like a kaleidoscope.  Wait and see....

Ok, I'm getting ahead of myself.  The next actual step is to press your blocks on the wrong side to get all of the seams laying flat and pointing outwards.

That is the back of one block.  See how one seam is all crazy on the right?  You will press that down so it is neat as a pin back there.

Next you "square-up".  Squaring up is a crappy job.  Nobody likes doing it.  It is easiest if you have a clear plexi quilting square in the size of your block so you can just zip around it with the rotary cutter.  Alas, I do not have said plexi square.  When I measured my blocks, the numbers were all over the place.  I had real job in store for me.

Not sure how or why the blocks were as much as an inch off one another.  No clue how that happens, unless I cut the strips wrong, and I would have noticed a half inch difference when I was making the blocks.  Whatever, no need harping on what I can't figure out...

So, because of the measurement differences, I now had to pick a size and cut them all to that size.  In the end, no one will notice that the outer strips are a 1/4" thinner than the next one.  I cut them all to 13-1/4".  They should have been about 14".

Now for the fun part...the layouts!  You will now see why I separated the Lights from the Darks.

Layout #1: Fields and Furrows

Kind of chaotic.  Now look at it through the peephole:

Can you see the Light and Dark diagonal stripes?  Cool, huh? 

Layout#2: Timberline

That one makes one Light diagonal line with the other Lights pointing to the center stripe.

Layout# 3: All Sevens

I am noticing on this one that one block is not facing the right direction.  All Dark corners should be pointing down and to the left.  The bottom middle is pointing up and to the right.  Darn!  You get the idea!

All my log cabin quilts have been done in the Fields and Furrows layout.  Can you guess which one I am choosing to do??

If you chose Fields and Furrows, then you would be WRONG!  I'm breaking my rut and choosing Timberline.  Below is all of the blocks sewn together in the correct order.

The book explains how you ensure that your blocks are in the correct orientation when you go to sew them.  I won't explain it here.  All I have to say is pay attention when you do this.  I did make one mistake and had to take the seam ripper to it.  Also, be careful when you rip out these seams, you can poke a hole in the fabric.  Ha, trust me.

Next will be making the borders.  I will save that for some time later in April.  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cabled Cardi KAL - Part 1

A KAL is short for Knit-Along.  A Knit-Along is when two or more people knit the same thing at the same time and help each other and are generally there for companionship  and support during the project.

These KALs are often done online in large groups or at knit/yarn shops.  My sister and I will be doing our own KAL and I will be blogging our progress.  We will go at my pace, or rather, I will blog our progress as I progress.  I'm a lot slower than she.  My sister's name is Kathy, so I will just be referring to her as Kathy throughout these posts.

Kathy chose a cabled cardigan from called Mr Greenjeans.  Here is a pic from knitty:

Picture from

It is a one-button cabled cardigan with raglan sleeves.  It is worked from the back of the neck, down, then the sleeves are picked up at the raglan armhole and then the sleeves are knit in the round (no seams) to the cabled cuffs. Then stitches are picked up along the front and neck edge and a ribbing is knit.

Ok, not too bad.  The experience level is "Tangy" per knitty, and that means, intermediate. I never let the experience level stop me from doing a project.  The techniques needed for this cardi are basics of any raglan pullover.  Should be no problem.

The yarn we are using is Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool (100% pure virgin wool).  I am using Natural and Kathy is using Birch Tweed (78% pure virgin wool, 13% acrylic, 9% nylon).


Birch Tweed

Kathy mentioned to me that she was going to use Fisherman's Wool and I said, "Hey, I have a few skeins of that in Natural already.  I was going to knit you an Irish Cable sweater one time, remember?  I guess your not getting that Irish Cable sweater!"  Yeah, she figured she wasn't getting one, since I've had this yarn since before Ames closed in Raynham, MA (~the year 2000-ish).  Still has the Ames price tag on it: $5.00 on clearance.  What a steal because it is about $12.99 for an 8 oz skein now.
We are using size 8 circulars.  The pattern instructs to change to 7's when you cable.  We are going to stick to 8's because the cables tend to be tighter anyway, so going down a needle size will only scrunch them up further.  

First the cast-on is done and we get an inch or so into it:

Nancy's Start

Nancy's Close-up

Kathy's Start

Kathy's Close-up

So, we are off and running.  Kathy is already way ahead of me.  It was snowing in MA when she was knitting, so she sat and literally knitted all afternoon on one weekend.  I, on the other hand, not so much.

So, check in every once and a while to see how we are doing on the Cabled Cardi KAL!

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Scrappy Quilt - Part 1

Here is the start of the scrappy quilt.  I bragged about my previous quilts in a recent post: Quilts - Brag Pics.  I got a couple of comments and a bunch of people viewed it.  It was great!  Now this quilt I'm making now takes a little bit from each one of the quilts, sort of like a memory quilt.

I am making another log cabin (they are easy and I don't need to learn anything new) and I follow the fabric needs and instructions in the Quilt in a Day book series.

This really is a great book, as you can tell in my previous Quilt post, I made several and had this book by my side each time.  This time I am choosing to make a Lap quilt size, which should be about 54" x 68".  I will need a total of 12 blocks.

Above is my collection of fabric.  Some are already cut into strips and some are still fabric that are whole pieces.  I tried to separate into light and dark.  The reason why I do this is so that you will see a distinction in the pattern when I put it all together.

I cut a bunch of strips, about 2 or three strips per fabric.

Those above are my "Darks."

Those above are my "Lights."

I chose the same fabric to be my center square.  I thought choosing the same fabric would give the quilt a focal point or points of reference that would give order in a chaotic array of fabric.  Now, I like the thought of scrappy, but I have rules to my scrappy.  They are:

  1. Have to have separation from the Lights and the Darks; I could not let it be completely random
  2. No two strips of the same fabric could be in the same block
  3. No two strips of the same fabric can be next to each other once all together
I guess you could say this is an OCD Scrappy Quilt.

Here is the "Center."  It was one of the main colors in Alex's quilt. 

Once the center is cut into a square, you need another set of squares to be your first addition strip.  I chose two different fabircs, so they don't look that different yet.

Above is adding on the second strip.  You pretty much go around the square adding on either a Light or a Dark strip until your block measures about 14" x 14".

The beauty of strip quilting is that normally you make the blocks all the same so you sew them all at the same rate.  The challenge with this scrappy way is that I wanted each block to be unique, so I was dealing with having to constantly grab new strips rather than the same one.  Might not sound like a big deal, but it was a bit of a hassle.  A labor of love, that's all I can say.

Almost there...

Here is one finished block.  I have finished all 12 blocks.  You will have to stay tuned to see how it progresses.  I will leave you with that one block to fantasize how scrappy the other 11 blocks are.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Relay For Life - Knitted Donations

Our work is involved in a charity, Relay for Life.  It is an American Cancer Society event and we are putting up a tent and walking a track on April 5th from 6 pm to the next morning.  We are getting excited to do this because this is the first time our company is having their own team there.  We have a monetary goal of $5000.  Which sounds like a lot and we are doing all that we can to raise this money.

If you would like to donate, please follow this link [Relay For Life] and click the orange DONATE button.  Then choose the blue Search For an Individual link.  Type in Nancy Victorino.  Any donation is greatly appreciated!

One of the fundraising events we are having is called a Silent Auction.  We asked the employees to donate a new or gently used item and on a designated day, they will be displayed for everyone to go around and place a bid by recording your bid on a sheet of paper for that item.  At the end of the bidding (We gave 2 days), the person with the last and highest bid wins.

So, I have donated a few items and two of the items are knitted items that I never got around to finishing them in time for the baby there were originally intended for.  I won't mention who they were supposed to be for (I feel too bad about it).

First up is a baby sweater knit in Berroco Touche (50% cotton, 50% rayon) in a raspberry pink.  The yarn has since been discontinued.  

All I needed to do was sew up the side and arm and weave in ends.  This was a UFO, so I am happy to be completing it and giving it to charity. 

I don't even remember what size I was making.  Probably a 6 month old or 1 year.  I can't tell!  I don't have kids, so I really have no clue how big or small babies are.  I know, for shame!!

Next up is a pair of baby booties knit in Berroco Suede (100% nylon) in a tan color they called Butch Cassidy.   This yarn has also been discontinued.  The name was cute, so I remembered it all these years.  I would consider this yarn a novelty yarn.

These were actually already complete, just sitting in my yarn stash and UFO bin.  They have little fringe going around the top edge.  So cute!

I am glad to have brought these two out so that some baby may enjoy them.  I've been wanting to knit for charity, so since I have not yet, here is my chance.

The auction is coming up on March 12th and 13th.  I'll update everyone if they sell! 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Hawaiian Halter Top

This was a quick and fun one to do.  My friend was having a murder mystery birthday party where we were the participants.  It was a lot of fun, even though none of us really knew what to do or say to each other.  It was sort of scripted, where you got clues and questions to ask each other.  It was to take place at a hotel luau in Maui, Hawaii.

My character was name Poni and I was the star of the luau.  My character was to dress in a grass skirt and a tropical top.

I was not going to wear a coconut bra, that was for certain.  Yea, I've been working out, but I do draw the line somewhere!  Instead I decided to make a chic top from a kitchy hawaiian shirt that I bought at Goodwill.

I bought it oversized, because I did not really know what I was going to do with it.  I did some internet surfing and found a blog that made a halter top out of a button-up blouse.  The blog was called In-Perfection and she gives a step-by-step on how to do it.

I will be brief on it, because it did not really go according to plan and I had to make all sorts of corrections.  But the basics are here.

My shirt had a pocket, so I took that off.

What you want to end up with is keeping the collar and cutting away the sleeves and the top of the back.  So I marked with white chalk, where I was going to cut away the arms.

I cut around the neck/collar and shaped the front.  I cut straight across the back.

That was where I should have taken more care in cutting across the back.  I cut way to low.

I then sewed the raw edges just one fold all the way around.  It was big around the body, so I tucked it in the back and sewed a new seam.  I should have taken in the sides, not the back.

I sewed the lapels down, they were all over!  As you can see, I did not cut even on both sides.  Granted this was for a costume party, so I was not that sad about doing a sloppy job.

Here is me and my $4.99 grass skirt.  The grass skirt did not hide much, so I wore the halter tucked in, which barely covered the booty and wore my black running spandex.

The conclusion: no one noticed my sloppy alterations and we all had a great time.  Even though my character was the annoying miss-goody-goody that told on everyone, I was not the murderer!  Ha ha!