Friday, August 29, 2014

Farmer's Wife 27

It feels like it's been a long time since I worked on any Farmer's Wife blocks. Life has gotten in the way of this quilt the past few weeks, but I think I'm back to working on this project every week. Hopefully this weekend I'll be able to make a few extra blocks and will catch up so that I can still finish by the end of the year.

#9 Box

I'm not sure how much I like this block, but I really love the name. There used to be a flour mill in my area called Prairie Queen Flour and several stores still carry the name Prairie Queen. I even worked for the Prairie Queen Bakery for a while when I was in school.

#70 Prairie Queen


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Almost there

Today's post is going to be short so that I can go back to knitting. I'm almost done with my front pieces for blueberry. The problems with the back still bug me so I think this weekend I'll be ripping that out so I can reknit it. After finishing the back piece I realized that this sweater is smaller than I thought it would be so I made the front pieces in a larger size. The fact that I'm changing more than just the placement of the lace panel makes it a lot easier to face the task of making the sweater back again. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Weekender Travel Bag Part 3

I finally finished my weekender bag! (Okay so I still have to make the false bottom and I'm adding a shoulder strap that I need to find clips for, but the bag at least resembles a finished product and is useable if the bottom and strap never get added.)

I love that this bag turned out exactly how I imagined it would. 

I was a little worried because I'd read that this was a really hard bag to make, but it wasn't too bad. I think I might be making this for Christmas or birthday gifts (haven't decided which,) but I've already started picking out fabrics for my next one.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Slow Knitting

This week's progress has been slow. (I suppose that happens when a complicated bag takes over your attention.) I love that every little stitch adds up. There may not be much progress from last week, but the sweater has still grown. Knitting reminds me to keep at the harder things in life. It may not look like much right now, but every little bit adds up to make something beautiful. Sweaters definitely aren't instant gratification, but they're worth the time.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Weekender Travel Bag Part 2

This weekend I've been working on my Weekender Travel Bag. My goal was to finish the main panels this weekend. The bag is a challenge, but Amy Butler writes an amazing pattern. (I've been intimidated by her patterns since the bags always look complicated, but having read this one I won't be intimidated by that again.) 

I was really surprised how easy the piping was. I found several tutorials on cutting bias strips from a fat quarter that provided the perfect amount of strips. I also followed the advice of several bloggers who used 1/4" stitch witchery to fuse the piping in place. (Sorry I looked these up on my phone and can't remember who's tutorial I followed so I don't have a links. If you google bias strips from fat quarter and piping with stitch witchery you'll find hundreds of tutorials.) I also read hints of using clips to hold the piping in place. I didn't have wonder clips or binder clips, but I did have clothes pins. I found they worked perfectly since I could position my piping in the little groove of the clothes pin and nothing wiggled. 

I saw lots of people that advised using a piping foot, but my machine uses slant feet so I used the zipper foot that she came with. Once I realized that I could position the foot to be on the side of the needle that the piping wasn't on it worked great. The zipper also went in without any problems. Now I just need to decide if I want to use the white flower fabric or the persimmon acorn fabric for the base. (I'm using the acorn fabric for the lining. I love the little pops of orange, but don't want to over do it.) 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Farmer's Wife Friday 26

I was so happy this week to get back to the book. Both blocks this week are straight from the book with no substitutions or alternations. It also looks like I'm getting back to some of the simpler blocks so maybe I'll have some time for some other sewing projects too.

I really have to give Lori credit for some crazy math skills. I'm not a fan of the templates, but figuring out the sizes for a 6" block with a 5x5 grid and seam allowances is insane. I'm so glad I could just use her templates and have the block come out the right size.

#45 Grape Basket

Morning was a lot easier. I love the nine patch variations. I The four black side units are designed to be flying geese with a solid strip attached to the bottom. I decided to eliminate the seam and cut 2.5" squares. I then sewed my white triangles to the top of the square to make an extended flying goose. This quilt has so many seams that I don't know if cutting out four will really make that much difference, but it did make assembly a bit easier. It would also make a huge difference if I ever decided to make this block for another quilt using prints.

#57 Morning

After playing with the Farmer's Puzzle block in EQ7 last week I finally broke down and bought the companion CD for this quilt. I'd read some reviews saying that the CD didn't work in EQ7 so I was hesitant to buy it. Since it was on sale on Amazon I decided to risk it. All I needed to do was change the file type to "Previous EQ Versions" and the CD worked perfectly. Since I've run out of space in my apartment to lay out all of my blocks I had a lot of fun putting all of the blocks I've finished into EQ. I'm not sure how to put the layout I want into EQ so I'm using the layout from the book for my sketch. I know that I've finished over half of my blocks, but it's still surprising to see how full the quilt is.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Double Trouble

One of the things I love about blogging is being able to see progress. For me knitting feels like a slow process. I love sitting in the morning with my coffee or at the end of a long day at work and relaxing while I play with my yarn. I focus on each stitch and row as it comes so I sometimes forget how much I've accomplished. I was about to write that this week has been busy so there's not much progress, but looking back at last week's posting I realized that my sweater has nearly doubled in size this week.

I'm so glad I chose to make both fronts at the same time. I messed up and repeated one of the rows. I didn't discover it until I'd knit three more rows. It's not a major mistake (if you look really closely at this picture you might see it,) but I know that if I was knitting one piece at a time I'd have frogged it. Since I knew the mistake was minor and was the same on both pieces I decided to leave it. I still love my DPNs so I probably won't use this method for socks, but I definitely see using it again for sweater fronts.