Friday, 21 September 2018

Little Boy Blue Cardigan


For Sunday best or visits only - this little cardigan will fit a baby boy once he is crawling and toddling.  In other words he will get it grubby in no time.  Navy blue would have been far more practical, but this is what I had in the wool stash, so pale blue it is.



I don't think I will ever stop loving random yarn.  It keeps you knitting until way past bedtime.



For the raglan shoulder shaping I tried a different method of decreasing from previous cardigans knitted in the same stitch.  Sooner or later I shall decide which method I like best and stick to it.  This is one of the reasons that I knit so many little cardies, so I can try out different stitches and keep ideas in reserve for bigger projects.
   

Of course, there is the element of fun.  I couldn't resist these spotty buttons.  

Linking up with Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 201 - Production Line Piecing


Oh the joy of piecing!  I have been playing with all the pretty floral prints that I pulled out last week and so far I have made tops for two cradle quilts.  Once I have made three, or even four, then I shall have a quilting blitz.  It adds to the excitement if you can finish several items in quick succession.

This top has a blue border, and the plan is to bind the finished quilt with pink... 



… and this one has a pink border and will be bound with blue.  The pink quilt will have a roses theme.  I have been intending to make a girly pink roses quilt for ages.  There is a very real risk that I shall be reduced to a heap of mush over my sewing machine while working on it.




Here goes for week 201:-

Many thanks to Andrée for linking up last time with her house quilt.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and see more:-


If you have no free motion quilting to show, feel free to link up and show any project you like.  Here are the usual rules, but feel free to ignore them.  To keep the original emphasis, however, preference will be given to free motion quilting when featuring projects from the previous week.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland and Brazil have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

A Picture for Sunday - Hops in Hawthorn


Red is everywhere in the hedges at the moment now that the hawthorns are covered in berries.  Seeing the beautiful green hops took me by surprise.  Shame my husband doesn't make beer any more.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Another Autumn Cardigan


Every time it is quicker and easier... this is the third cardigan I have made for myself using the same basic shape - first the fluffy winter cardy, next the autumn cardy, and now another autumn number.   

I thought that because the main yarn is a wool cotton mix that the finished feel would be cooler than the last one, especially as I have used a stitch that incorporates a band of lacy holes every few inches.  How wrong I was!  It is wonderfully snug, no doubt because the main stitch is essentially a spaced rib.  




I am extremely grateful to Patricia, who left a comment back in June suggesting creamy yellow would go well with the flecked pink.  As a result I spent an entertaining time in the wool shop choosing the yellow contrast and the random coloured yarn.  The yellow was ideal for a single row stripe, whilst the random yarn worked well for the ribbing and the bands of holes.  The dark pink fleck didn't have the strength needed for the strain that is on these parts of the knitting, whereas the random yarn is 100% acrylic and can take it.



Finding buttons in exactly the right shade of yellow was a great bonus.

It was strange putting this cardigan on for the first time.  Somehow it looked as though it had dropped straight out of the 1930s, which wasn't a look I had been aiming for.  Also, I had the feeling that my husband wasn't going to like this one.  On the contrary, he loves it!

Now I shall have to make myself a summer version.  Absolutely no rush...

Linking up with Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 200 - Florals


Home again, after a stay in Ireland to visit our son and daughter in law, and after a few days' rest I am just starting to get into the frame of mind to start sewing again.  Rather than do anything too adventurous, I have decided to make a cradle quilt so I can play with some pretty florals.  I have had the roses fabric on the right set aside for a while as backing, and now I'm itching to use it. 

Let's see if this colour scheme gives me the kick start I need.  Doing all the redecoration work earlier this year has thrown me slightly with sewing.  I have been diverting all the excess creative energy into knitting, which has the distinct advantage of causing far less disruption.  Instead of taking over the dining room table and setting up the ironing board in the kitchen, all I have to do is slob around on the settee surrounded by balls of wool.  Now I need to redress the balance.


Well, would you believe, it is the 200th linky today!  Doesn't time fly as you get older.  And now that I am mellowing with age, the rules are there to be ignored if you want to link up regardless.  To keep the original emphasis, however, preference will be given to free motion quilting when featuring projects from the previous week.


Here goes for week 200:-

Many thanks to Olena for linking up last time with her ballerina hanging.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and see more:-





If you have no free motion quilting to show, feel free to link up and show any project you like.  Here are the usual rules, but feel free to ignore them.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.
Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland and Brazil have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.



Friday, 24 August 2018

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 199 - Hybrid Buttonholes


The tight buttons on the hummingbird cushion have been bugging me, only very slightly, but enough to make me do something about it.  Yesterday I settled down in a chair by the window and started fixing the problem by hand.  I had made the holes with the buttonholer, and the easiest way to enlarge them is by hand.  My mind drifted back to my school days, and I was grateful for having had an old-fashioned needlework teacher who made sure we learnt the difference between buttonhole stitch and blanket stitch.  Do such teachers exist any more?

The job isn't half so bad as I had anticipated.  All I need to do is extend the buttonhole by three eighths of an inch, giving a massive buttonhole for the replacement buttons that I have bought, big olive-green coat buttons.  So far I have finished two buttonholes, so just one more to go.  The result isn't super-neat, and I have added to the devil-may-care attitude by using a different colour thread, which will be hidden by the buttons anyway.  

Now that the fierce summer is over and we seem to be rushing headlong into an early autumn, my husband and I shall be taking a few days off, which includes a sewing and blogging break.  So there shall be no more posts until the beginning of September, when I hope to return refreshed and raring to go.  

Here goes for week 199:-

Many thanks to Margarita for linking up last week with her colourful beach bag.  If you haven't seem her blog post yet, nip over now and see more:-





If you have no free motion quilting to show, feel free to link up and show any project you like.  Here are the usual rules, but feel free to ignore them.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.
Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland and Brazil have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 198 - Hummingbird Cushion


On the settee at last!  It seemed to take forever.  I thought I was slow starting this project, and it feels as though I have been equally slow finishing.

Much as I love the hummingbirds and orchids, the delay in starting was caused by the size of the design.  I only had a metre to play around with, and it was difficult to find the right section of it to cut the rectangle I needed so that an interesting part of the design was shown on the front of the cushion.  With the large areas of background, I found that it was all too easy to try and get certain elements to the front and then find a large gap would appear in the middle and flowers and birds would drift off to the edge.  In the end I managed to settle with three clearly visible birds and two complete orchids, one blue and one green.

The quilting was straightforward, outlining the design and leaving the background plain.  It was the construction that gave me problems, which was irksome, because after making three other cushions in the past few weeks, it should have been a pushover.  I blame the fact that I was getting over yet another bout of hay fever, caused by the harvesting in the fields near our house.  My concentration was sorely lacking.  To start with, I had forgotten to pre-wash the fabric.  Then I put bias binding on the wrong edge.    Next I had a real mental block trying to work out how broad the button band should be.



Then to cap it all I put the buttonholes a good quarter of an inch further from the edge than they should have been, so once I put the cushion inside the cover the buttons were straining.  I weighed up the options:-

1.  Move the buttons - pretty pointless, they are so near the edge I couldn't move them more than an eighth of an inch.

2.  Enlarge the buttonholes and sew on larger buttons - why cut the end of a perfectly good buttonhole and give myself some extremely irritating hand stitching?

3.  Check the cushion I had stuffed inside wasn't an exceptionally fat one - I swapped the cushion with the one inside the snakeshead cover and managed to reduce the strain on the buttonholes.  There is still a bit of a pull, but not nearly so much as there was at first.



Despite all the bother along the way, I am pleased with the result, mainly thanks to this little bird, my favourite of them all, who is now hovering in the top left hand corner.

Today I thought I would have nice relaxing sit down, propped up by this cushion, and get on with some knitting.  Back in January I managed to leave a part-made baby cardigan at my brother's house, and I have only had it back since last month.  I decided that today was the day I should carry on from where I left off, so I cast on for a sleeve and made great progress.  Once I had knitted a couple of inches I realised I was making the third sleeve.

Is it me, or is it the cushion?

Here goes for week 197:-

Many thanks to Angie for linking up last week with her lovely little baby quilt.  If you haven't seem her blog post yet, nip over now and see more:-


It's still hot (in places), so whether you are overheating in the northern hemisphere or shivering in the south, if you have no free motion quilting to show, feel free to link up and show any project you like.  Here are the usual rules, but feel free to ignore them.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.
Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.


So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland and Brazil have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

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