Baby K’s Quilt: Finished!

Last … July? I started a quilt for my neighbors, who were having a baby in late August. I chose Baby K’s Quilt, by Audrey of HotPinkQuilts, which she featured during the her spot on the Lets Get Aquainted blog hop organized by Beth of Plum and June. I had high hopes of finishing it and giving it to them as a baby shower present. Then the semester began, and all my best intentions, well, we know what happens to good intentions.

Well, I finished it just before Christmas. Finally! This is what it looks like:

I used scraps for nearly all of the postage stamp squares, though I fussy-cut some 1001 Peeps and the little blue pigs. The green is Kona Clover, the stripe is Hello Pilgrim.

I’m really pleased with how the postage stamp squares turned out:




I free-motion quilted the squares using Elizabeth Hartman’s orange peel pattern. My peels aren’t quite as plump and pretty as hers, but I’m not unhappy with them.

I quilted the borders on each side of the seam, which was, well, not quite as much fun as the orange peels, but I’m happier with how it turned out — though I need to learn how to adjust my stitch length better next time.

I waffled on the backing for a little while, and finally settled on fleece: I talked to friends this summer who had a little one, and their favorite part of the quilt their mother had made was the soft fuzzy backing. As a bonus, it shows the quilting well:


So that’s one of the things I started last summer and finished in December!

Linking up with Thank Goodness It’s FINISHED Friday. Because, really? I’m so glad this one is done.

WiP Wednesday as the semester first kicks in

The fall semester has been kicking up into gear, so I’ve had less time to work on projects recently. It’s also influenced what I’ve been working on to a certain extent. That said, I’ve still gotten some things done!

I made three notebook covers for classes, following Rachel’s tutorial on Stitched in Color. I’m going to make one more in yellow and red, to match the Plantagenet colors, for my class on the Angevin Empire. And this time, I’ll (hopefully!) remember to add a pocket before I sew it all together!

HST BoM QAL: some progress! I made the second July block & and my first of two August blocks.
July-August HST BoM
-finish second August block (cut and partially pieced)
-fix botched May block already!
-start thinking about how to arrange the blocks & what to back the quilt with.

Knitting lots of progress!
-monkey socks in Persia (Malabrigo sock):
Malabrigo Monkey Socks
The more time I spend on the subway going to and from work/class, the more knitting I get done — I may have to take up hand-stitching things, if the majority of my crafting time continues to be on the subway.

Perk Me Up Bag: some progress.
I finished one side of the bag, which is a patchwork of the various fabrics, and I quilted it, because it’s a lot sturdier that way: I didn’t want to risk knitting needles poking their way through the bag and stabbing someone.
-iron interfacing to back of bag exterior and/or quilt it, too.
-attach pocket to back of bag exterior
-cut strap extender, strap and closure strap, attaching appropriate hardware
-sew lining together with internal zippered pocket in place
-attach lining to exterior pieces
-finish strap and etc.

Simple Math: trimmed a few more blocks!
-finish trimming blocks to 6″ square
-find sashing fabric
-baste, quilt & bind

Baby K’s Quilt: no progress since last week. This one is what’s laid out on my WiP cart right now, but I keep putting things on top of it — I should just get it done! There’s a bit left to work on.
-sew together two more postage stamp panels
-construct pinwheels
-lay out & attach borders
-construct backing
-baste, quilt & bind

Kitchen Window: no progress since last week.
-sort out cut fabrics into groups for individual blocks
-cut black fabric for frames
-cut green fabric for background parts
-start constructing blocks
-fiddle with layout
-make back
-baste, quilt & bind

Spinning: no progress since last week.
-Merino/yak continues to entice me, but I’m not watching much TV, so not much spinning is getting done. Perhaps I’ll watch a move with friends/family one night this week, to give myself some time off before things get crazy. That might be fun.

Baby K’s Quilt (& WIP Wednesday)

First off, I find it hilarious that Audrey, of Hot Pink Quilts called this quilt Baby K’s Quilt, because the baby I’m making for it? His last name starts with a K! It fits perfectly!

Part of the challenge for me on this one was to work entirely from stash: I’ve got a lot of fabric, and I really need to use it! And as much as shopping for more fabric is fun, I really can’t justify it right now, with the volume of stuff I already have.

Luckily, I was able to cut nearly all of the little squares of it from scrap!
Panel Layout

The only ones that didn’t come from scrap are the little black and white Daiwabo elephants, the blue pigs and the 1001 Peeps fussy-cut people and horses. Everything else was leftover from previous projects — and I’ve been cutting scraps into 2.5″ squares for a little while now, which was a big help.

The borders were a quandary. I have a lot of black and a lot of white, but neither of those says “baby” to me — particularly not white, since, oops, stains! I had a yard of Kona Kelly green that had no particular intended use, and two half-yard cuts of the green stripe from Hello Pilgrim, which (when I stood back and looked at my stash for a moment) started hollering “baby quilt!” at me. I think the two of them together should work nicely!


There was one oops: I cut three strips of the Hello Pilgrim stripe before I remembered that I wanted the stripes to go lengthwise, not width-wise. Ooops. Now I have a few strips of 3.5″ wide green stripes. I’m sure I’ll find a use for it eventually.

That reminded me that I’m not certain how I’m going to make sure that the stripes in the pinwheels line up properly with the stripes in the borders (problem with a directional patterned fabric!) but I suppose I have time to fiddle with that. And if it’s not perfect, it’s not perfect.

I’m going to use a half-yard cut of an adorable Japanese train-line print for the back. Zoom in on the picture above and see what the various stops are called: I love it. I think it’s the perfect print for a NYC baby.

I was worried that I would find piecing the little squares together too tedious, but it turns out I really enjoy it! Neither of the two blocks I’ve finished so far are perfect, but they’re still really cute, if I do say so myself.



I’m really looking forward to getting to work on this more! It’s been loads of fun so far. I’m going to free-motion quilt the little blocks with Elizabeth Hartmann’s Orange Peel pattern, but I haven’t decided what to do about the borders just yet.

As for other projects, I’ve completed my second June and July blocks for the HST Block of the Month Quilt Along, and one August block. I pieced them all on the Singer 66, and one of them came out a little too small, but I can live with that.

The Mabel messenger bag hasn’t really shifted much: I need to fuse the pieces with interfacing, now that it’s arrived in the mail, and start putting it all together. Simple Math has gotten a few more blocks trimmed, but that’s really quite tedious, so they’re not all done yet.

Knitting-wise, I finished one pair of socks, and started another. I’ve still got a pair hanging out on the needles waiting for the cuffs to be finished, which might turn into a TV project, and my enormous baby-blanket-log-cabin project, for which I have to do only two more sections, but of course they’re the largest ones.

Spinning-wise, I’m spinning up a merino/yak blend by Spunky Eclectic in a green-and-brown colorway called Walden’s woods, and I was making really good progress on it during the Olympics — now that I have fewer excuses to sit down in front of the TV, it’s going more slowly.

My (new) sewing space

I just re-organized quite a bit so that all my crafting materials are in one room, and my desk and schoolwork are in another: having the sewing machine next to my computer was too good for procrastination.

I pulled a table and an old TV cart out of the basement, and now one wall of my bedroom looks like this:

(I haven’t found a chair yet. The step-stool works okay for now.)

If you turn to your left while sitting at the table, you see this:

All of my fabric, fiber and yarn in one place. There was some serious tetris-like packing going on while I organized this, and I have a sinking feeling that it’s going to be like packing a suitcase for a trip: on day one, everything fits, but by day three, you can’t shove it all back in no matter how hard you try. So far, though, it’s been great incentive to use what I have and work from stash, because I simply don’t have enough space for more fabric to join me.

The bookshelf below actually holds a lot of books that ought to be in my study, but they fit here, so I have to get up and go get them, if I suddenly need something on Troilus and Criseyde, or on how to date manuscripts, or late medieval literacy rates. The top right shelf is history/biography that’s not related to school: I call it the “shelf of depressing” because it’s all things like Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, and a biography of Ernest Shackleton, and 1491, and so on. Interesting stuff, but a lot of lying, betrayal and death, none of which is fictional.

But back to crafting. Here’s a closer view of just the supplies, not the books:

The basic layout is: top row fiber, second row mostly fabric (but some fiber on the right), bottom row mostly knitting stuff (but fabric & books on the left).

There’s very little on those racks that isn’t yarn, fiber or fabric, so I’m using an old TV cart to hold tools & supplies. When I’m not using it, it fits snugly under the table like so:

The cart’s organization is still something of a work-in-progress itself, but it’s working well so far. The top left is a box that holds my rotary cutters and scissors and sewing machine feet, as well as any small random things that I don’t want to have to get up to put away right away. The top left is my sewing kit, with chalk pencils, velcro, binding tape, needles, pins, a pincushion, etc. Behind them is a work-in-progress: my second Mabel bag, which is waiting on the arrival of more fusible interfacing.

On the bottom left, there’s a box that holds my bags of scrap fabric. On the right, there’s a little Lane cedar box. When it opens up, you see:

Some of these are spools I’ve had for years (from well before I knew how to pick thread) and I’m planning on gradually replacing my thread with better quality as it runs out, but for now, I’m using what I have.

The top of the tv cart is where I lay out works-in-progress. The tabletop I’m using as my bench is only about 18″x36″, so the extra space is handy.

Speaking of the tabletop, here’s what it looks like close up. The left side has pieces for my Kitchen Window quilt:

The center is where the rotary cutting mat lives! It has pieces of the Hot Pink Quilts baby quilt I’m making for our downstairs neighbors, who just had a baby boy:

The right is where the sewing machine lives. I move it to the back when I’m cutting, or line it up along the edge of the table. It’s not perfect, but it works!

Overall, I’m pretty happy with it: it makes a distinct space where I can sew and quilt, which doesn’t overlap with my desk at all.

I do have to be careful, though — if I leave the tv cart out, I can’t get into my closet! Gotta love living in NYC.

PS: I’m still de-stashing fabric and a little bit of spinning fiber.