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March 2007
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May 2007

She Likes It!

The doll  quilt has crossed the country and made it to Marisa. And I'm so happy that she's pleased with it.

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She'd specified a love of authentic Japanese fabrics, but I just haven't come across many of those here on the East Coast, and I'd actually cut & planned the top before I got that word from Lisa. Because I'd started saving strips when I have leftovers, many of these fabrics can be found in the few other quilts I have made, including the other one I'm currently working on. But I think my favorite fabric is the fairies one that appears in a full strip, purchased from Cia's Palette for a 100 Good Wishes quilt square swap last spring. I had a lot of fun trying to quilt around the fairies and flowers on that piece of the quilt.  As I noted after Easter, I've only just begun to try my hand at the free-motion quilting, so that was fun ~ and challenging ~ here, too. I had a problem with the thread splitting and breaking, and I still don't know if it was due to my limited skills or was a quality issue or a problem with the needle or machine. In some places I stitched in the ditch, which I am actually pretty good at, thanks to my walking foot. It's so nice to have the proper tools! The other thing that was new for me here, inspired by a pattern I picked up recently but have yet to try, was the curved piecing of the back of this quilt. I used the Curve Master, and like the way it turned out. (Toddler fingers snuck in to the shot.)

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All in all, a great experience ~ and I haven't even received the quilt that's coming to me yet! Clearly this big ol' internet is full of fine craft folks with more great ideas and exchanges than I have time to discover, but I'm sure glad I happened by this swap this April ~


Sneak Peek

I can't believe I completed a quilt in two weeks, even such a small one. I'll write more about it when I can show its entirety once it's reached its destination. Here are some numbers: 18 x 20.5 inches; 37 pieces of fabric (exclusive of the binding), 31 of them different; three types of machine quilting; one variegated thread. And one proud maker, despite its minor imperfections, happy to have stumbled upon this Doll Quilt Swap.

Dollqdet


Squares

Rather than reveal the WIP that is my doll quilt ~ and I just restocked my batting so can move on to the actual quilting any minute now ~ I'll show a few blocks I've cranked out. At the festival I bought a template for Mystery Wheel after finding an amazing gadget called the Curve Master, which is essentially a specialized plastic presser foot. The curvy pattern was just the thing to test drive, and I had a bag of new scraps from the show as well. Here are the first two:
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I've pieced another and have one more cut and waiting. Whether this is merely an exercise or will result in a very scrappy and disjointed quilt remains to be seen.

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Buckblock2These blocks, however, are likely to become a finished quilt, cohering as they do since all use Thangles in their construction, and batik fabrics that are precut by the LQS as part of their monthly Buck-a-Block offering. I'm not sure what size it will become, accommodating the 12 blocks I'll have come winter, but they'll start selling finishing kits this summer. As if I didn't have a long line of quilts in the works or in my head already ~

I waited the past few days to return to the blog after the tragedy that struck just hours from where I live. Mostly I have been monitoring the radio to ensure that my girls do not hear of the senseless killing; fortunately, television is not part of our daily routine. I attended my college reunion over the weekend, but the news kept me from sharing that happy experience . . .


Palling Around

Is that a verb? It looks funny, but all I am trying to say is that I have signed up for

Sockapalooza4_button

That amazing Alison, she delivers her baby and then gets right down to signing up nearly a thousand knitters to swap sox for the fourth time! I did the second swap, so it looks like I may be an even-numbered-swap gal when it comes to this. With the girls and the job, I don't -along as much as others ~ you'll see I am still knitting the Trek-Along  socks I started with Margene and Norma last summer; in fact, I just cast on the second sock yesterday. But since I managed to meet the deadline the last time, in the summer that I also swapped houses, with all that a major move entails, I figure I can do it again.

And, if that wasn't enough, in keeping with my renewed quilting interest, I have also joined

Dollquiltswapbutton

This one has a tighter deadline, just over a three-week turnaround. But I managed to piece the whole top of my little 18 x 21" quilt over the weekend, so inspired was I yet again. I'm still not quite sure how I did that, what with the cold weather keeping the girls mostly underfoot. I want to check with organizer Lisa first before I post a photo of the work in progress. I bet it's OK, since the recipient won't know who she is, but I haven't gotten it in front of the camera yet. 


Free Motion

Saturday night I finally fitted the darning foot on the Singer, along with Plate F that covers the feed dogs, and gave it a whirl on some little whole-cloth quilts, if they can even be called that, to line the girls' Easter baskets. And, wow, MaryB, was that fun! It took longer than I thought, and used more thread ~ now I see why they were trying to sell me a holder for a giganto spool of thread at the Quilt Festival. And I know why they suggested running a bunch of bobbins before beginning to stitch.
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I found the two coordinating fabrics just last week at my LQS (do quilters use that acronym?), where I bought a pattern for some cute little petal bags I intended to make, but time ran out and the free motion option called. I didn't have any batting scraps, so I just used some fleece fabric. The only difference is in the patterning; Caroline likes "swirlies," so I tried to do a bunch of them on hers, and then went really free-form on Betsy's. They went into the tiny baskets instead of that annoying fake grass.
Easter
And in the baskets they remain, while the cups and shoes and chocolate got the immediate attention. As neither girl is presently into doll play, I am thinking of sneaking them back and saving them to use as placemats . . .


April S&B

We welcomed Cathy & Heather to knit nite last week, and they both had bags to show. Heather's is that great unfelted one, I think from the Folk Bags book. Click the photo to see the maker showing it off (since I can't seem to wrangle Typepad to reverse the images).
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Cathy is crocheting a striped bag. I can't recall if it is for herself or for her mom, but I can' wait to see how it felts. By the way, I washed some thrift-store merino sweaters in my low-agitating front loader, trying to felt them so I could cut the fabric for Easter bunnies, but after three cycles I wasn't convinced the fabric had gone as far as it could toward fulling. More on the Easter baskets in the next post!
Ccathy