Nov 30, 2008

Donation quilt

This quilt, plus two others, (and a baby sweater and hat that I crocheted a few months ago) is gone to a good cause. My grandchildren took them to the "Adopt A Family" project at their college. Isn't that nice. My plan was to utility quilt this one using the Methodist Knot stitch. I used a 3 inch Soft Sculpture Doll needle and pearl cotton size 12. And that worked fine. But I didn't work so fine, I simply didn't find the time to sit down and do it. Eventually, after completing only a couple of rows of the utility stitch, I wanted to finish up this quilt and send it to the Adopt A Family in time for the deadline. So I adjusted my sewing machine and machine quilted it with a wave stitch.

Nov 27, 2008

Baby quilt

Happy Thanksgiving to all my dear blogging friends. This happens to be my 200th blog entry! I got up early and baked some brownie cookies for the big dinner. I have a lot to be thankful for today. First of all, I woke up today. And I have a wonderful family, friends and neighbors. Lots of things to be thankful for, our free country among them. My darling oldest daughter is making the dinner today. I'll go over and pitch in. And besides that, I have completed this quilt.

Nov 23, 2008

Now it can be told

Here they are, the secret can now be revealed. I made vests for each of my youngest grandchildren. I know that they read my blog, so I didn't post the vests until the girls received them. Now that the weather is turning a bit colder, I hope that they will get a chance to wear them. The red vest is crocheted, but I didn't make crocheted ribbing. Instead, I made the vest and then knitted on the ribbing. The purple vest was a plain pattern and I added a knitted mosaic pattern that I found in a Barbara Walker book.

Nov 20, 2008

Strips Baby Quilt

Here it is, all pin basted. It's a Strips Baby Quilt and makes a very quick donation quilt. To make it, cut strips of children's fabrics and other fabric to fill in, the full length of the fabric from 2 1/2 to 6 inches wide. I usually make the baby fabrics the wider strips. Sew them together, making one edge even. When the quilt is about 36 inches, it's done. Trim the uneven side and press. I want to try doing some of that utility quilting on it.

Nov 19, 2008

knitted poncho

A neighbor decided to give me her yarn in a big bag. It turned out to be some very nice bulky wool yarn (which I never buy) and there was enough to knit a poncho. Here's some of it, as it's still on the needles. She had started a lovely afghan out of boucle yarn (also something I never buy) and since it's made of granny squares, I just picked up where she left off. So there you are, and I don't even know the lady's name! Now, back to my sewing!

Nov 18, 2008

Due to family stuff going on, I've hardly had time to sew the last couple of days. I live in Southern California, and although I'm about 30 miles from the nearest wildfire, we do have smoke in the air, even though the sky looks so blue. It's really a shame about the folks whose homes have been burned, and those who had to evacuate. The firemen and police did a great job. I really admire the pilots of the planes and helicopters who have been flying day and night to fight the fires.

Nov 14, 2008

Utility Quilting

Because of all the interest, I have made a quick sampler of utility stitches. I learned these stitches from the book "Rotary Riot" by Judy Hopkins and Nancy J. Martin.
The stitches are from left to right: Crow footing (I call it fly stitch), Cross stitch, Buttonhole stitch, Mennonite Tack, and Methodist Knot. The principle of these stitches is that a small stitch of about 1/4 inch long is taken through all layers. The next step is to slide the needle through the batting to the position for the next stitch. I used a darning needle. I made the stitches in the sample with quilting thread. However, pearl cotton or crochet cotton can be used. The thread can be any color. Please pardon my messy stitches--except for the fly stitch, they're new to me.
1. Crow footing or fly stitch: Slide the needle into the first position, go through all layers from the other corner to the point. Tack in place by sliding the needle into position and through to the spot for the next stitch.
2. Cross stitch: The needle goes through all layers to form the top of the "X", then crosses and slides through and goes to the next spot.
3. Buttonhole stitch is just like the crow footing, only the thread is at right angles.
4. Mennonite tack: Take a back stitch through all layers, about 1/4 inch long. Slide the needle to just before the starting point, and take a tiny stitch, over the end of the back stitch. It forms a little "t," sliding the needle forward to the next spot.
5. Methodist Knot: Start with a back stitch through all layers, and follow by a smaller back stitch in the front, through the top layer only. Slide the needle through the batt to the next spot.
I have only tried the last two stitches just now, and I found them to be additive.

Nov 11, 2008

Utility-quilted liberated baby quilt

Here are the pictures of the completed quilt. I tried the utility quilting method. I used bedspread type crochet cotton for the stitches. I spread the quilt on the table and stitched it, using a darning needle. The backing is flannel, so the stitching was quite easy to do. As you can see in the photo, the method gives the quilt an embroidered appearance. And it looks puffy. The only change I would make is to use a regular weight batt, instead of the thin acrylic one I used. I think that regular weight batting would have given a more puffed effect. And I would recommend this method over the usual tying, especially for a baby quilt. So I've learned how to do something really old-fashioned, and a nearly forgotten method.

Nov 6, 2008

Another way to tie a quilt

Well, happily I'm feeling much better from the eye infection, I'm so glad that I went to the doctor. And I have pin basted the baby quilt that I'm making. I hope that you can see from this photo. I'm using the bedspread crochet cotton, and a nice darning needle. (Does anyone darn anymore? I can't remember the last time I darned anything.) And I'm stitching fly stitches, quite far apart. It's easy. I guess it might be better if I put the quilt in a frame, but I'm a frameless person. I tried a hoop, but I didn't like it. I started at the middle top. The method calls for sliding the needle through the batt from one stitch to the other. You bring the needle up to the surface, and then you stitch through all layers when you make the next step in the stitch, from the side down to the point. Then you stitch through the point, and slide the needle through the batt again. I guess I made that clear as mud. I hope that you can see it in the photo.

Nov 2, 2008

There's good news and bad news. The good news is that I have pieced together a quilt top for my charity donation. Some liberated stars put together with yellow gingham. This seems to be about the last of my yellow gingham, of which I had nearly a whole bolt. "I'm waiting for my ship to come in," as they used to say in my old book, The Five Little Peppers," which I read over and over when I was a kid. Ha, ha that book is so dated now--actually I'm just waiting for the batt that I ordered to arrive in the mail! Now on to the bad news--after spending a couple of hours in the doctor's office--I have conjunctivitis--known as pink eye, and etc. So now I'm taking those little pills. And here I was feeling so good, after enduring two weeks of the last sickness. Never mind. I want to make another quilt this week, too. I have in mind a Chinese coin of some kind--but I'll think about it. Meanwhile, I have finished knitting socks for my cousin Sandy. They're knitted with Kroy yarn. I don't know when I'll get to the Post Office to send them to her. To be continued.