“Northward” baby hat

After finishing the “Adorable Ewe” baby sweater, I felt the urge to do something to complement it and, by the way, put the remaining yarn into use. As I needed to practice cables for my big project to come (someday soon, I hope), I found that the “Northward” pattern by Tin Can Knits checked all the boxes.

I slightly adapted the pattern to work with two colours – I added an extra knitted row using the new colour between the ribbing and the cables, so there’s a smoother transition between them-. For the rest, it’s a great pattern for beginners and I had no problems at all to complete it in a reasonable amount of time (that meaning less than a week!).

The only concern I have is, taking into account the sweater is thought for a six-month baby, this hat looks more for a year old one. But anyway, sooner or later, the baby will be able to wear it, won’t she?

Project: Northward -baby hat
Date: May 2017
Pattern: Northward, by Tin Can Knits
Yarn: Lana Grossa Bingo, colour 23, 33
Needles: 5.50 mm

EPP Party #4: Plus and plus

Well, another block that was more difficult than expected. This one required lots of cutting -not only fabric, but the templates as well-, and it was a trial and error process searching for fabric combinations, placement and correct size of the templates to achieve a 12″sq block.

Total block pieces: 45

(The party is hosted by Mister Domestic and Pat Bravo and runs on Instagram under the hashtag #EPPparty).

A pillow envelope

Last month I attended a course about foundation paper-piecing at Cotton & Color. Although FPP is not new to me, there are always new tricks and tips to be learnt, and I really profited from that class.

So, in order to put the new techniques into practice, I tackled a pattern that had been on my to-do list for some time now, and that turned to be the perfect birthday gift for my brother. On this one I used a non-woven interfacing as a foundation, which tore away rather easily afterwards (I know I could’ve left that, but the idea was to try new things). Also, I used glue to keep the first piece into place, instead of pining it… I must admit that these past weeks I’m using glue more than I have done before, and with great results, so I should revisit my own opinions about that…

For the quilting, I decided to play with the diagonals of the succulent plant and quilt a 45º grid following them, but excluding the border. It just seemed the right choice and I really like the contrast the quilting gives between the block and the border.

I reinforced the backing of the pillow envelope with heavy stabiliser, which helps to give some structure to the pillow.

Project: Pillow envelope
Size
: 40 x 40.5 cm / 15 1/2″ x 16
Date:
May 2017
Pattern:
Fröliche Kakten, by Amanda Castor, published on Simply Kreativ Patchwork + Quilting nº 8 (German edition).
Top fabric:
L’s modern basics, Lecien
Mod Basics 3, Birch Fabrics
Cookie Book, by Kim Knight, Cotton+Steel
Grunge, by Basic Grey, Moda Fabrics
Modern Background Ink, by Zen Chic, Moda Fabrics
Bluebird, by A. Marcelle Abegg, Cotton+Steel
Background fabric: Bella Solids White 98, Moda Fabrics
Border:
Hey Dot!, by Zen Chic, Moda Fabrics
Batting:
Thermolam TP971 Fusible, Pellon
Quilting: machine-quilted, Isacord Thread 40, col. 0010

EPP Party #3: Thirds beauty

I found the third block for the #EPPparty quite challenging: not for the shapes themselves (it’s like sewing hexagons), but for the fabric placement. I gave it a lot of thought before deciding how I was going to face it, not wanting a scrappy block. I reminded myself I was aiming at a “Garden of succulents” with this quilt, so I fussy cut the succulent pictures and added the leaves print to reinforce the idea.

Although I decided on the red-orange fabrics to give contrast to the other two, and thinking perhaps on succulent flowers, on Instagram I got comments pointing out they resembled terracotta pots. I just loved the idea, so now this block is a potted garden.

On this one I changed the heavy paper used before (120g/m2) for a light card stock (160g/m2). It worked better, so I think I will continue using the later on the following blocks.

Total block pieces: 50

(The party is hosted by Mister Domestic and Pat Bravo and runs on Instagram under the hashtag #EPPparty).

Star Sampler Quilt (12): “Aunt Eliza’s Star”

The 12th block for the Star-Sampler quilt-along was a pretty easy one, comparing to other blocks on this sampler. It was really quick to piece, and regarding the fabric choices, I was limited by a self-imposed criteria of using each print at least twice. And these two had been featured on one star only.

Despite having the choice already made, I think these two fabric provide a nice contrast for this pattern. My only concern is with the green vs. the background fabric, but I hope they will work better once the quilt top is pieced.

Speaking of which, this is how all 12 stars look together. This was the last block, and although I have a plan of my own for the top, I’ll wait to see what Amanda has in store before going ahead.

(This sew-along is organised and hosted by Amanda Rolfe at 3and3quarters).

EPP Party #2: Equilateral

After the 1st block, the second one for the EPP Party QAL hosted by Mister Domestic and Pat Bravo seemed quite easy. However, it allowed for an extra twist: pattern matching in the big triangles. The challenge was to be able to sew the three pieces with a continuous pattern, despite the fabric cuts.

It was something really fun to try, although it consumes lots of fabric. In fact, for this quilt I’m fussy cutting a lot, which is outside my comfort zone due to the fabric waste it generates. But I must admit that the results are absolutely worth it!

I used paper and glue for the templates; however, for these bigger pieces it should have been better to go with light cardstock. So far, glue basting is working really well.

Total block pieces: 26

(The party is on Instagram under the hashtag #EPPparty).

Stars-quilt May’17 update

Last month I fixed a minimum number of stars to be completed each month. This May not only I reached that goal, but I was able to add two more finished stars to the count. Now I just hope I can maintain that pace!

Stars basted: 84/84 (504/504 templates)
Stars sewn: 84 /84
Background pieces basted: 504/504
Stars completed: 42/84 (+8 from the last stats)

EPP Party #1: Hexie’s Madness

As if I hadn’t enough projects running right now, there’s always something new popping on my social media feed that catches my attention. I’ve been able to resist to join several QAL since the year started, and when I saw that Mister Domestic and Pat Bravo were launching an English paper piecing QAL, my first thought was “I need to progress on my Stars-quilt”. Then I found myself wondering which of the fabric bundles I already had could be used on such a project.

And the rest is history.

So here is my version for the first block, “Hexie’s madness”. 68 1″ hexies on this one. I tried glue basting, and I changed the cardboard I’m using on the Stars-quilt’s templates for paper. I think that, for this smaller size, paper works better, specially taking into account the amount of folding needed to put the hexies together. However, I’m not seeing myself trying to baste with thread using paper as a base, and so far I’m pretty happy on how the glue is working.

For this QAL I’m using a fat-quarter bundle of “Succulents”, by Heather Givans for Windham Fabrics. I had this bundle sitting on a drawer for more than a year, and it seems that it was meant for this project. As solids I’m using Grunge, by Basic Grey, for Moda. This collection is becoming my favourite to use as a solid print, although they really aren’t. That’s what I just love about them!

So in the following 21 weeks I’m going to grow a garden of succulents. It looks like this year I’m going to do lots of hand stitching!

(The party is on Instagram under the hashtag #EPPparty).

Star Sampler Quilt (11): “Square & Star”

The Star-Sampler quilt-along (organised and hosted by Amanda Rolfe at 3and3quarters) is coming to an end, as it has only one block left. Before that happens, the 11th block was a quick one, and it seems that pressing all seams open is paying off, although sometimes I miss those nesting seams when pinning everything in place.

Looking forward to the last one, with no release date scheduled yet, which is perfectly fine now that I have all the sashing fabric to start working on The Splendid Sampler™ again.

Adorable Ewe KAL

The past weeks I was busy knitting a baby sweater. I didn’t plan to do so, but I was told about Michelle Hunter’s KAL and, well, I couldn’t resist. Also, I thought it would be a great training before attempting my own sweater, and that it would be a terrific gift for a friend who is expecting a baby.

And I did have lots of fun knitting this one, as well as learning lots of things along the way too. Lots of “first time doing this…” on this piece! The focal point of the garment is the back, which gives the name to the pattern, and among others, includes working intarsia and knitting bobbles. I think it will be some time until I knit bobbles again, though.

On the front I used buttons I already had, instead of going for the sheep-shaped buttons the pattern calls for. I really like these wooden buttons, and the natural look they give to the finish piece. For the yarn itself, I had trouble finding one that would meet the pattern requirements (reminder: don’t try to buy winter yarn in the middle of Spring), and although I wasn’t at all convinced with that yellow, it has grown on me and now I think it’s pretty appropriate for a gender-neutral garment, isn’t it?

With the leftover yarn from this project I made a baby hat. I still need to block it so I can give it its proper post.

Project: Adorable Ewe – baby sweater-
Date: April 2017
Pattern: Adorable Ewe, Michelle Hunter
Yarn: Lana Grossa Bingo, colour 23, 33, 67
Needles: 5.50 mm, 6 mm