I finished Daydream night before last, or mostly finished it. Right now I don't like the satin piping that I used in the eyelets, it's beautiful but it's too stiff to tie into a knot, so I'll find some satin ribbon instead. There's no buttons right now because I never button things on babies. But it needs something, so I may sew some buttons on and then add snaps for ease of dressing.
The sweater is quite pretty, but there are some things I'd change if I were to make it again. First, the pattern, in Rowan Babies, called for Cotton Glace, but I used Milk Cotton fine, which was fine gauge-wise. It's a very loosely plied yarn though, and ended up splitting easily and unraveling while I knit, which I didn't like. I also think I'd love it even more in a 4-ply wool yarn. Still, it's probably a good fall sweater for Baby Q.
I caught my back end split tonight. I've been working on this trick for weeks. It's still not smooth, but I'm getting there. I have three classes before the show that the school is putting on - so hopefully I'll get my act cleaned up a bit!
Thank heavens this one is done, because it's been weighing on my mind. For your viewing pleasure - one completed pink quilt.
I'm mostly happy with this. Again, I seem to have issues with proportions - it would be better had I made it one more block wider I think,or had I made it square vice rectangular. But I'm figuring things out slowly but surely. the blue quilt will have the same issue, but the next one will be better for sure :-)
Anyway, the quilt. The front is made from 100% cotton fabrics, all 1930's feedsack reproductions that have been in my stash for years, at least since I was living in San Diego. I have a sneaking suspicion that some of the fabric is actual feedsack cloth because the stuff I bought that was stored in a Ziploc baggie is no longer where I thought it was. But I'm okay with that, because if that really is the case, it's a perfect fit.
The backing is not reproduction fabric because I wanted a modern touch as a complement. It's a pretty pink fabric with daisies scattered to balance the geometric lines of the front. The binding is also modern, white fabric with yellow and pink stripes that while vertical on the bolt, become diagonals when turned into bias tape. I'm thinking of using the leftovers (and there are plenty) to make quilted coasters or something similar. It's quilted in concentric diamonds to echo the squares, and I'm happy with the end result there. Here's a closer look -
So, for you blog readers, if you have a little girl in your life who might need a wall hanging, a play mat or a car seat blanket (it's warm enough for use as a blanket, I had it draped over my lap for days sewing that binding on!) keep this baby in mind. It will be going up for auction sometime in October to support buying knitting machines, supplies and lessons for Columbian Orphans. And even if you're not interested, let your friends who might be interested know about it...and check out the auction anyway (stay tuned for more info,) because I know for sure there are some beautiful items that are going up on the block.
On Sunday I started making bias tape for the pink quilt's binding - using some striped fabric I bought at the same time as the backing. I like it better than the yellow I'd originally planned to use. It jumps out a bit less. Stormy helped, of course.
It turns out that half a yard of fabric makes *a lot* of bias tape.
Which turns out to be a good thing because the inch and a half tape there just did not work for me, so I unpicked the entire front half that I'd already attached and made a new set two inches wide, which is working much better. It's been re-attached as of last night and just under a quarter of the back side has been blind stitched down. But I can only do that for so long before I need to see some progress in something, anything.
The butterfly mobile I mentioned also didn't work out, so I broke down and bought my friend a gift card. But I hate giving something that impersonal, so I found a tutorial at Show Your Workings (I am spending waaay too much time looking at sewing blogs these days...) for a neat little bag that works with a couple of fat quarters, of which I have several.
For this I used a quarter yard (not a fat quarter, I happen to have two yards of this fabric because I loved it when I bought it - still do.) of this Japanese print and a fat quarter of a pink dupioni silk I bought in Portland, OR years ago. I'm so glad I found a good use for this -I have several more and I think I can find cottons to complement each of them. Here's a closer look at the lining,
The silk really adds a lot of body to the bag and I think it's a great gift bag. There's another in the works that I'd been working on in tandem, but with a blue silk on the outside and the same print on the inside. I'd have finished that one too, except that I sewed a right side to a wrong side about halfway through that process and decided that one could wait. Sometimes you just have to cut your losses, you know?
Remember the memorial quilts I've been agonizing over for the last three years? They're done. Really, really done. The fronts all look essentially the same, with rows of coins separated by longer strips, like this:
The backings on the four quilts are all different, ranging from the woodies on the nephew's quilt:
To the simpler one here: Mom particularly likes the butterflies, shown here wit the embroidery that's on each back.
I'll give them to their respective owners soon. Not sure I'd volunteer to do this again. It was emotionally draining, but also pretty expensive, too, given that I had them machine quilted and finished so that I wouldn't screw them up.
In the meantime, I'm trying not to screw this one up -
I finished the quilting on Friday evening, it's concentric diamonds echoing the white diamonds. You can sort of see on the back...
I've got the binding sewn down on the back and am about 2/3 of the way pinning the front down and trying to decide if I want to sew it by hand or machine. I'm leaning towards machine just because it will save time. And because I need something to do when I'm sick of wrangling thin bias edging, I've started a butterfly mobile for a friend's birthday. Which is Wednesday. This Wednesday. I may be insane.
Tonight I made a couple of big steps in class! First, I took off from the second riser, which means that instead of taking off from the platform, which is 23 feet in the air, I took off from a small plank placed about a foot above that. I did this in San Francisco, but they move to this a bit more slowly here in DC. The best part about it is that it places me higher and therefore I don't have to lean as far out to reach the bar. (Much better for my sore shoulder, too.)
Second, my swing is good enough that instead of doing the front end tricks I've showed before, where I move into one position at the front end of the swing, and then into the final position at the back end, I swing forward to gain momentum and then slide directly into the final position at the back end of the trick, hence it being called a "back end" trick. I started working on back end tricks last week and I'm still pretty bad, but I did manage to get myself through the trick on my last non-catching swing of the evening. Hopefully I'll be catchable next week!
Recess is over and while I had a quiet morning, the Good Idea Fairy came out in the afternoon and threatens to overrun the rest of my week. Pray for a good hard rain so that I don't have to just skip trapeze tomorrow night. I'll be happier if I just can't go at all rather than missing it for work.
Thank heavens for babies, or I might not get any knitting done this year.
This is the back of Daydream, from Rowan Babies, done in Rowan's newish Milk Cotton Fine rather than the Cotton Glace recommended. I'm enjoying the pattern - knit the chevron bit on the flight to Indianapolis, then the rest on the flight back having neglected it during the rest of the weekend. I started the left front on the train this morning and am one row from finishing the lace bit at the bottom. I'm thinking of a bit of cording rather than thin satin ribbon through the eyelets, and securing it with a snap or velcro for easy access.
This weekend I flew out to Indianapolis for the U.S. Nationals. I didn't go so much for the races as for the chance to attend the roast they held to celebrate my dad's 50th year in organized drag racing. (I'm told he started much earlier...but it wasn't legal or organized, just guys on a stretch of straight road.) A good time was had by all - when they brought him up to the stage, two of the Roasters decided the only way to control him was to tie him down with their belts...
There were four of them, but only the guy on the far left got the message that it was supposed to be a Roast...it was a love-fest from everyone else. One of them told me he'd been worried about the evening for weeks because he couldn't think of anything to say. Of course, between the four of them at the table (the the alcohol they'd imbibed,) we could have given them any random subject and just listened to them hold forth... Frank Bradley, Don Garlits, Jim Head, Chris Karamesines
In the end, the old men just couldn't get enough of each other and during the sole portion of the evening where Dad got to speak for himself...he wasn't actually alone. All in all, it was a great evening and here's a tip for the future...this type of party favor will flummox the TSA agents when you're going through security.
I got lucky on Friday and my afternoon meetings were canceled, so I made a run to a local quilt shop to check out fabric options. The boy quilt I will back with stashed fabric, but I didn't have anything suitable for the girly quilt. At least, nothing in enough yardage. I just wasn't up to piecing a back, too, although I did consider doing so. But, I think I found a winning combo...
It's not the color combination I'd expected. the shop didn't have much in the way of 1930's reproduction fabrics, which is what the top is entirely composed of, and I'd been thinking in a modern direction anyway, just for contrast. I actually started looking at blues and greens for a binding, and at polka dot prints on a white background for backings. Then I found some stripes and finally this pretty daisy print. I'm still iffy on the yellow as a binding, but I think it's bright and works both with the daisy centers and the yellow fabric on the top.
I'll start working on the quilting next week. Maybe.