Stitches West!

Whew! What a week. It was my last week of maternity leave and DD1 was sick and well, I was busy. But Stitches West was great! Look! Knitting! Bless my mother who did the majority of the driving while I knit and tried in vain to get DD2 to relax and nap in the car.

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Stitches itself was really great as always even if I was only there for less than 3 hours. The marketplace was filled with fun vendors and I was especially glad to meet the ladies of The Frosted Pumpkin since I’ve picked up cross stitch again. And my friend Erica snagged me one of the exclusive kits The Frosted Pumpkin was selling. So cute with little sheep and socks and such! My sister was thrilled to see Stephen West’s outfit.

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There was also Jennie the Potter. I’ve heard a ton about her beautiful work from people who have attended Rhinebeck. I told myself I wouldn’t buy a mug, but I ended up buying a small tumbler to bring out on special occasions (when the kids aren’t around).

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Mostly I like to just walk around and see what’s new and hot. Last year Plucky was all the rage and it was clear YOTH was this year’s hot ticket. By the time I got there around lunch on Friday a lot of their stock was already gone! But I hear they are coming to Vogue Knitting Live in April, so maybe there will be more selection there. Also, note to self – track down this gorgeous purple from Jill Draper Makes Stuff.

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My girls also had a good time. My mom and sister took DD1 while I shopped. I think the escalator was her favorite part, though her chocolate milk snack was a close second. DD2 had a great time snuggled up against my chest. I swear I couldn’t go more than a few feet before being stopped by someone wanting to take a peek at my red headed girl, but I don’t blame them. Babies in hand knits are irresistible!

In the end here is my haul of goodies.

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I’ve been busy sewing almost every night this week, so I hope to have more to share soon. But it will depend on if we get rain this weekend. I hope we do because we need it so badly!

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Stitches West Bound!

Tomorrow I’m off to Stitches West! That’s right. My mom and I are loading up her car with enough stuff to take care of two small children for fours days and heading up north tomorrow morning. My sister also lives up north so this is perfection in a visit. A little yarn and fiber goodies and a little sister time. Plus my sister got engaged last week. Squee!!!!!

See you in a few days!

Quilt Layout

Whew, this week has been interesting. Exhausting. DD2 is not sleeping as well at night all the sudden and we’re all feeling the effects after several nights of less sleep.

What was I say? Oh yes. Quilt layout.

So someone asked in the comments of this blog about how I decided to place my fabrics in the Fairies Quilt. Really it isn’t all that hard, just takes some thinking. For this quilt I had nine different fabrics. The first thing I did was look at the scale of the prints.

White – 2 – both large scale

Teal – 2 – 1 large scale, 1 small scale

Yellow – 2 – 1 medium scale, 1 small scale

Burgundy – 2 – both medium scale

Pink – 1 – small scale

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In order to best show off the prints, anything large scale needed to be a corner. The small scale needed to be in the center. The medium could fill in where needed. So I place the white and one of the teals in the corners to start and the pink in the middle. Then I played around the the remainder of the colors until I settled on the arrangement you see above. The goal was to make sure no two prints of the same color were right next to each other. In the end you have stacks of blocks that look like this.

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Then I just needed to place with the orientation of each square so see what looked best to me. There really is no perfect way to do it. Just a personal preference.

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Here you can see two slightly different layouts I tested. The one thing I would do differently next time is to do all the 9 patch squares exactly the same. For this quilt I wanted to be “fancy” and switched the placement of the burgundy fabrics in half of the squares and then when I went to lay everything out I didn’t have each fabric in the right amount for what I wanted. Oh well. Making my own quilts is about the process as much as the product, but perfection is not my goal.

In new project news, I do have a little something I’ve started working on using Princess Life by Ann Kelle. It’s another day care nap blanket for DD1, but I haven’t been able to land on an arrangement I like yet. Have thoughts? Let me know! I am stumped.

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Ruby, Pearl, and Opal Quilt

Finished and happily has been snuggled under for a couple of days. This is the quilt I made for me.

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And oh it was worth the work. I love this quilt even if it is riddled with mistakes. Notice how it was left very wrinkled. That is on purpose.

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There are puckers in the quilting. I hated the batting I bought! It seemed to stretch and stretch no matter how much it was pinned, but I also learned so much as I went along. Especially about machine quilting something beyond top to bottom lines. On this quilt I stitched two lines down every single white stripe. It seemed to take for-ev-er.

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Anyways, here are the details. Fabric is mostly the Folklore Collection from Camelot Fabrics. I added a few others to round out the colors. The pattern is Ruby, Pearl, and Opal from Moda Bakeshop. I feel a little like this was a giant leap from my first quilt in terms of difficulty, but it seems to have worked out well in the end.

Next time I’ll talk about how I arranged the color blocks in my Fairies Quilt.

Finally a Win!

As I mentioned in my last post, figuring out how to fit my body right now has been a little tough. Thankfully I made something that looks good!

This is the Tiramisu pattern from Cake. I recommend it. I highly recommend it.

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I’ve never sewn with knits before, but the directions in this pattern are very clear and it came together in a snap. Less than 3 hours total including cutting out the pieces. And the best part is the pattern includes directions on picking the best size. My upper bust is 35 inches, so I picked the size 35 for the top. Then is has sizing for different cup sizes. So I cut out a 35D to accommodate my 34G size bust. Then you pick a waist size for the lower half. So for my 35.5 inch waist I cut out a size 37.5. I wanted to go big on purpose because I do not want to wear anything clingy right now.

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I should have just gone with a size 35 for the whole dress. As you can see from the photo on the left, the waist band is too big and too long. But that was a very easy fix. I reattached the skirt one inch higher and took in the waist and skirt by about 1 inch. Next time I’ll also make the bodice a touch longer, but otherwise I can just cut a size 35 and that is an amazing feeling.

I love this dress and it’s the first time my top hasn’t been gaping open in months.

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Finding the Right Fit

I haven’t had a lot to show this week. Most of my sewing efforts look like this.

IMG_1616That’s my stack of completely horrible muslins trying to make myself some clothing that actually fits. I was using Kwik Sew 3682 as a base because it is the type of style I’d wear a lot, but the fit is all wrong. My bust alterations came out well, but the shoulders not so much. So moving onto something else.

Trying to fit a post baby body can be really really hard.

Story Time Sampler – January Update

Well, you might have noticed it is now February. But I am still plugging away on January’s clue for the Story Time Sampler. It is okay though. First of all, the January clue (the biggest one) didn’t come out until January 15th. Then my supplies didn’t arrive for another few days. Unless I dropped everything it was unlikely I’d finish the whole clue before January 31st, but I did what I could. So now I have Alice (from “Alice in Wonderland”) and Mary Lennox (from “The Secret Garden”) waiting for me to catch up. I’m getting there. I swear.

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