Surprise! (Or maybe not so much now…)

So, I’ve written this post tons of times in my head but apparently never sat down and wrote it on the computer. I figured out what was causing my August dry spell. It ended up being a bit more of an intense dry spell than the usual summer slow down. Turns out I was having the first trimester blahs. haha. go figure.

We’re pretty excited. I think that’s the right word. Excited, terrified, busy planning, making room, in slight denial, you know, all the normal emotions. ;)

My second trimester came and I started crafting up a storm again. I made some things for the home, for friends, for other babies, and for the holidays. Now, I’m into my third trimester and steadily working toward my Evernote of things to make for the nursery. I would like to announce that I have successfully checked off 3 baby sweaters from my list. (And at this point, no more baby sweaters are “scheduled” before my delivery date.)

And all three of these have been knit since the New Year. Turns out baby sweatesr knit up quickly! Even newborn sweaters in fingering weight.

From left to right:

Newborn Vertebrae by Kelly Brooker in leftover Knit Picks fingering weight that a friend dyed for me awhile ago for a sweater for me.
Wee Envelope by Ysolda in yarnchef Cider in Tiger Energy and Light Roast. These are also leftovers from one of my sweaters. haha
Wyatt by Kelly Herdrich in Jill Draper Makes Stuff Hudson in Bing Cherry. I bought this lovely yarn at Rhinebeck this year and now I want to knit something for myself with the leftovers!

I foresee another slowdown in crafting around April. Three guesses as to why and the first two don’t count. ;) But hopefully once everything gets sorted and settled I’ll have more awesome and modeled things to share. :)

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Dry Spell

So every summer I end up with a dry spell in my knitting. I thought this summer I could avoid that by sewing instead but it seems that August may just be an entire craft black hole. :) I was able to knock out my quilt top for Craftmas in July and it’s currently sitting downstairs by the TV waiting for me to hand sew down the binding. I decided to do it that way because I didn’t want my thread to show on the red bit of the candy cane binding and that way I’d have something I could do while hanging out with the boy. Sometimes he feels a bit like a sewing widower. hehe

I am currently psyching myself up for some new knitting projects and carrying easy WIPs around with me whenever we travel but nothing is getting done. :) Sometimes it’s just good to embrace the crafty drought and rest assured that it’s highly unlikely to be extended. September, you are earmarked for crafty greatness – dogapalooza allowing.

I did stare at my spinning wheel for 3-4 episodes of Haven on Sunday night but alas, I did not write down which bag of fiber I was spinning from!!! when I took my hiatus from TdF. I know better, I really do, and then I do these things again and again. I *think* I may remember which one I was working from and may just allow the weight of the spun singles on the bobbin added to the weight left in the two bags to dictate which bag I end up spinning for the rest of the bobbin. I kind of can’t wait to see this yarn when it’s done!

How’s your summer crafting going? On par, with your usual or are you also facing a dry spell?

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Craftmas in July

Mary Heather posted over on her blog a week or two ago about a plan she cooked up with Sarah, and Christina of Ravelry. They’re going to work on holiday projects in July so by the holidays they’ll have awesome homemade decor. Since I’ve been on such a quilting tear lately this immediately sounded like a great idea. Then of course I remembered the Tour de Fleece starts July 5 so it looks like I’ll be splitting time between these two challenges. My husband is used to picking up the household chore slack in July by now. haha. :)

I have some awesome Christmas print FQ bundles that I want to turn into a quilt. The ultimate goal being to have a quilt for each season. :) Right now, I am just stuck. I can’t decide what color I want my sashing/borders to be to go with this print. I was trying to stay away from white because it just seems that’s the modern world’s default go to sashing color. haha. :) But for these prints, it may be the right color so as to not over power the other bright and cheerful colors!

What color for the sashing?

Any other color ideas?

I am also having trouble deciding from all of the quilt patterns I have queued up. I am thinking about Framed or Swell from Simply Retro, Trellis Crossroads from Modern Bee, or Pow-Wow from Cluck Cluck Sew. I really wish the quilting world had a Ravelry so I could make a nice little queue out of all the beautiful patterns I see on instagram and pinterest.

The rest of this week is all about knitting while I spend some time with family over the holiday. However, come Sunday, it’ll be all sewing and spinning around here with the occasional bit of knitting when I am out and about in the world.

Do you have plans to partake in Craftmas in July? What are you making?

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Sideboard Protectors

Back in 2010, after Chris and I got married, we bought a lovely Amish built sideboard for our dining room with some of the money we were gifted for our wedding.

Sideboard

Sideboard

In November, my mom and I did our Christmas shopping trip on Veteran’s day and swung by Sew to Speak where I picked out fabric to make protectors for the sideboard shelves. Ideally, these would help protect the shelves from all the shifting back and forth of the serving pieces and pots we have stored in there. Since I had just begun quilting around that time I was going to use these protectors to practice different types of quilting before diving in to larger quilts. So I worked out the math, bought all the fabric and batting, and it sat in my closet for ages.

Meanwhile, I sewed up a few quilts for our home and for friends’ babies. Finally, last October when I was home sick from work one day, I cut out the pieces and the batting so I could begin sewing any moment. You can see them in the foreground along with another quilt that I have been working on this year.

All cut up

All cut up

For some reason I still just worried about messing up the quilting (which is a bit ridiculous at this point) and they sat around the office. So you can probably guess what one of the first projects was that I grabbed when I got that sewing machine to test drive for the weekend. I came home and immediately quilted the protectors, figured out that I no longer liked the binding plan I originally made and cut out new binding. I attached the bindings with the machine so I could test out some of the new stitches on this machine. The binding change worked out pretty well for the drawer and long shelf protectors because I had plenty of scraps leftover in the backing prints. However, the 6 smaller shelf protectors are still waiting on binding because I don’t have enough of the backing print to bind them and I can’t decide what I want to use instead. I absolutely love the pillow-y look I got on these protectors by stitching along the pattern lines.

Ready for their binding. As soon as I figure out what that is. Ran out of the fabric I was going to use. #quilting

Waiting for their binding.

Yesterday, we put the dining room back together after steam cleaning the carpets and I got some shots of the protectors in place. Now I just need to figure out how to bind the smaller shelf protectors and I can finally cross this project off my to do list and call it done. :)

Drawer protectors - front and back

Drawer protectors – front and back

drawer protectors

drawer protectors

Sideboard - drawers

Sideboard – drawers

I’m really pleased with how they turned out. I learned a few things along the way so they ended up being the learning tool I hoped they would be. :) My machine’s applique stitch looks really neat on bindings. Also, I didn’t have enough spray baste on the longer shelf protectors and the fabric shifted on me. This is something I’ll need to watch for when I am quilting long stretches of fabric. I had a bit of trouble when I was cutting out the fabrics trying to interpret my notes from so long ago, to figure out what it was I was planning to do. I’m trying to be better now about writing out more detailed notes to myself. Although, I learned recently that this only helps if you actually read the notes… haha. :)

Sideboard protectors - long shelves

Sideboard protectors – long shelves

Sideboard - long shelf

Sideboard – long shelves

Sideboard center cabinet

Sideboard center cabinet

Do you have any languishing projects that you’ve recently finished or that you want to knock out this year? 

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Creativebug – Log Cabin class

Back in April many of my friends were taking the Line Drawing Class with Lisa Congdon on creativebug. I really wanted to participate but I knew with the work travel I had lined up and some other household projects that I wouldn’t be able to keep up. Then in May I was reminded again about creativebug during the Sew Mama Sew giveaway day. I saw a post for Susan Beal’s Log Cabin Quilting class and instantly fell in love with the baby quilt. After a bit of research into how creativebug works I signed up for a year subscription. There are many classes that I want to take and I feel like I can accomplish them all in a year’s time. If there are any of them that I want to keep forever I can buy them a la carte if I decide to not renew my subscription. They really are adding new classes all the time. I have vague memories of checking them out last June and their current course catalog has many more classes.

I really enjoyed the class and found Susan’s manner refreshing and helpful in reminding me that everything doesn’t have to be perfect to look great. I know I’ve mentioned before that I got scared off sewing when I learned about squaring up fabric. I am not saying you shouldn’t do it, but it’s nice to be reminded that the world will not end, nor will your quilt crumble into strands because your cut is slightly off. She was very informative and I feel like I learned a lot. I’m excited about the projects I made from the Log Cabin Quilting class. I knocked out three pillows that will grace our sofa in the freshly painted living room (once I get to the store and actually buy some pillow forms!).

Log Cabin Pillows - fronts

The little detail on the back for the envelope enclosure makes me smile. :)

Log Cabin Pillows - backs

I also made a baby blanket. I have a lot of prints and colors going on in this blanket, a few more than the original quilt so it has a bit of a different look. I think you can still see the design pretty easily. The top and back are pieced, Now I need to make the time to baste and quilt it. :)

Log cabin baby blanket - top

Log cabin baby blanket - pieced back

I’ve also started on a lap quilt version of the bably quilt for a friend. It’s all super hush hush but you can see this picture of the prints that I helpfully made B&W. :)

It's a secret quilt! dun dun dun!

I’m also looking forward to making Susan’s Modern Crosses Quilt that hangs in the background for the entire class. I even have some fabric picked out for the crosses. :)

Next up on my list of creative bug classes to take are definitely the Line Drawing course by Lisa Congdon and then the Pattern Drafting courses by Cal Patch. I have Cal’s book Design-It-Yourself Clothes and I think the creativebug courses will be the perfect companion piece while I work through the book.

Have you taken any great classes lately? Do you have any creativebug classes that you would recommend?

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