Saturday, July 15, 2017

instant gratification

I love green, blue, and aqua in almost anything. These are some of my favorite fabrics I have in my stash, and I am so pleased with how pretty they all look together! That starburst fabric is a particular favorite of mine, so it was a perfect pick for the pocket of a little gift I made a couple of weeks ago. 

I followed the Crochet On The Go Bag pattern I found at Sew Mama Sew (here) and ended up with a cute birthday gift in an hour or so. Super easy and fun to play with fabric. The idea is a bag you can throw your yarn in and hang over your arm as you crochet (in lines, walking around (!), etc.). I also think it's a cute project bag even for someone who doesn't want to wander around with their work.

The part that makes it really fun is the pocket. It adds interest to the outside structurally and is also a place to mix and match different fabrics. Let's also not forget how much difference the perfect button can make. There is no orange in any of the fabrics, but just that little bit in the button pops and makes everything else look even better. I could also say that the round shape ties in nicely with the round starbursts and polka dots, but that might just be too much design speak for me to describe a situation where it really was 'I just picked the coolest button I had in my stash'. 

There are several pockets on the inside, and the way it is sewn onto the bag makes a deep pouch between the pocket and bag that is good for holding larger things (a printed pattern maybe?) as well. The pocket is slightly smaller than the pattern calls for, just by an inch or two. This is primarily because the fabrics I wanted to use were scraps that weren't large enough for the pattern as-is, but I think if I made this again I'd still like the pocket smaller like this.

I added top stitching around the handle because I like the way that finish looks, and it also helps make it feel sturdier. The bag is large enough to hold a couple of full skeins of yarn, and I included some of the more commonly used crochet hook sizes in the pocket. 

It was so nice to start and finish something in the same day --- similar to the smaller knitting/crocheting projects I don't think to do very often because blankets, shawls, and quilts are so much more tempting. Lesson learned at the sewing machine as well! Do the small things, they're super fun too.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Retro Granny

It's so funny to go back and track down when I last picked up any given project. My last post on this quilt was from January 2016 and full of optimism that it would be done very soon. hehehe. It took me until early April 2017 to do so, and it's now July and I'm writing about it.

First off, Kepler would like me to explain to everyone that is is very hard to be a cat in the Schoen household. But he does appreciate all the opportunities to help out with craft projects.

Secondly, I can explain that the long gap was partly due to a new job taking up time, but mostly because I didn't have quilt batting. A normal person's solution to that problem would be to go out and buy some batting the right size for the quilt. My solution? Order a huge roll of batting online. Seriously. I have something like 40 yards of batting on a roll in my closet now. It's a beautiful thing. Of course, it required totally reorganizing the closet to get it to fit in there, but now I have the convenience of cutting off whatever size batting I need for all the quilts I'm going to make. (For like the next 10 years....) 

Back to the quilt at hand, the roll o' batting really did make it very easy. I had a gray flat sheet hanging out with my fabrics that I think works with the 'cool' colors in the Millie's Closet fabrics really well. 

I thought about hand quilting it, but ended up machine quilting using straight stitching along each side of the sashing strips and adding in diagonal lines across each row of blocks. The photo below shows one of the diagonal quilting lines where I chose to stitch three parallel lines. I did this every other diagonal, which made a really neat looking pattern that for some reason makes me think of argyle socks. Maybe it's more of a slant rhyme to plaid, but either way it's cool. White thread makes it just a textural effect rather than additional color. 

I used leftover strips from the Millie's Closet jelly roll to make binding. Jelly rolls make binding oh so easy. The colors progress from pink to yellow to green to blue around the edge of the quilt rather than being assembled randomly. It's probably not noticeable to anyone else, but I'll know it! I stitched the binding on by machine as well, tacking it down with a zigzag stitch in green thread. 

The final quilt is 43" x 54" which is a pretty good size.