Friday, March 8, 2013

A Friday (Knitted) Finsh

It's been another week of "secret sewing," so I have no quilt finishes to show you.  But I did finish knitting a "Hats for Sailors" beanie!

If you've been following 52 Quilts for awhile, you may remember this photo:

16 Hats in 16 days -- my Ravellenic project during the 2012 Summer Olympics.  I announced my goal to knit one hat per day for "Hats for Sailors."  Then I found out how many days the Olympics continued.  So I was committed to knitting one hat per day for 16 days!  I met my goal, but my hands and wrists were out of commission for days afterward!

This year, I decided I would knit one hat per month instead!  Here is the one I finished yesterday:

It's the "Naturally Comfortable" beanie from this pattern book:

The book is from Leisure Arts, available at JoAnn and other "big box" craft stores.  It's a pretty fast knit, but more interesting than my standard Navy Watch Cap.  The yarn is Cascade 220 Superwash.  Of course, I tossed the ball band, so I don't know the color.  It's more green than the photo shows, reminds me of the ocean.

"Hats for Sailors" knits hats for sailors on selected ships each year.  Thus far, knitters have donated more than 1600 handknit caps to Sailors!  Go here to find out more, look at the free patterns, and find out where to donate your handknit hats.

Linking up to Thank Goodness It's Finally Finished Friday at Quilt Matters, and Link a Finish Friday at Richard and Tanya Quilts.

Have you commented on this post for a chance to win a PDF copy of Deb's "Dishcloth Diva" book?  It's a great way to get started knitting!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Book Review -- and a Giveaway!

I know you're a quilter -- but might you be a knitter also?  Or a knitter wannabe?

Do I have a book for you!

"Dishcloth Diva" by Deb Buckingham features 20 fun-and-easy dishcloth patterns, as well as detailed information about choosing yarn for your dishcloths. And an intro by the famous Kay Gardiner, of Mason-Dixon Knitting fame!

If you're a beginning, or timid knitter, this is a wonderful resource.  Even a knitter with the shortest attention span can knit a dishcloth!  And if you make a mistake? so what, it's a dishcloth, for heaven's sake!

If you're a little more ambitious, choose one of the patterns and keep on knitting -- long enough to make a scarf, or not quite-so-long, seam the ends, and make a cowl!  "Dishcloth Diva" would make an excellent prezzie packaged up with some sticks and string (knitting needles and cotton yarn!).

All of Deb's patterns were extensively tested (some by me!) so they really work.  And, Deb's publisher, Cooperative Press has donated a PDF copy of the book for a giveaway.  I love PDF patterns and books, no waiting for the UPS delivery!

If you'd like to win a copy of Dishcloth Diva, leave a comment on this post and tell me if you've ever knit a dishcloth.  Or wanted to knit a dishcloth.  Or wanted to receive a handknit dishcloth!

Giveaway ends Sunday, March 10 at noon MDT.  Of course, international entries are welcome!  If you're an anonymous or no-reply commenter, please be sure to include contact information!

I think I've used up my year's allocation of exclamation points on this post! But really, I love this book!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

BOM-day and Tuesday Tool

I missed BOM-day yesterday, so today will be a two-fer day.


My whiteboard list of Blocks-of-the-Month is really helping me keep up with them!  Today I completed two more on the list.

First, a tricky patchwork technique by Jackie Robinson of Animas Quilts.  This is a two-year old project, I had the first two months completed when I decided to add it to this year's list.  Each month requires four blocks, which can either be put together to form one large block, or saved to be randomly sewn together for the quilt top.  Three Dimensional Patchwork:

Those completed so far, clockwise, are Sparkling Star, Brown Goose and Sailboat.  I wish you could see the dimensional effect of the blocks.  For example, in the Sailboat blocks, all the colored fabrics are folded so they aren't sewn into a seam, but are loose on top of the background fabric -- three dimensional!

I also finished the third block in my Patchwork Party quilt.  I am so hooked on Marti Michell's templates, even a complex block like Rocky Mountain Chain (right-hand side) goes together flawlessly!

Thus far I have completed 11 blocks of 14 for my March UFO:

I've about decided not to make the last three blocks from the Shop Hop patterns, but to make each unique. There are too many interesting block patterns to repeat ones I've already pieced!

Tuesday Tool

Thank you to Cathy at Ruth's Stitchery for demonstrating this tool at last month's block party. What a timesaver!

Jodi Barrows is famous for her "Square in a Square" technique.  The Crosscut 4-Patch ruler is a variation which enables the quilter to make four patches quickly and perfectly.

The Ryokan quilt has patched sashing -- 490 two-patch units!  It's a little hard to see in this photo, but the taupe sashing between the blocks is actually pieced. (photo from ThimbleCreek Quilt Shop)


Rather than use just two colors for the sashing, I decided to use a Daiwabo ombre fabric to make my sashing.  The pattern calls for 1 1/2" strips, sewn together and cross cut into 1 1/2" X 2 1/2" pieces:

Once the strips are sewn together, place the ruler on the sewn strips with the heavy line on the seam and the appropriate "box" lines on the edges of the strips.  As you can see, I am cutting 1 1/2" "chunks."

 Presto, perfectly-sized two patches ready to sew together for sashing!  I think this is going to look like cobblestone streets when it is sewn into the quilt.

I can cut two sets of sashing strips from each WOF strip -- and I'll need 22 sets.  Even with Jodi's cool ruler, this is going to take some time.

Come back Thursday for my review of a new knitting book -- and a giveaway! 

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Two Winners!

I know I said I would announce the winner of the February UFO Parade on Monday, but really, why wait?  It's not like there will be any more entries!

First, let me announce the winner of the Bag It! giveaway.  This is an "instant gratification" prize, because as soon as I send the winner's email address to Sara, the pattern will be emailed from Sara to:

Commenter #26, Rebeckah Austin, who wrote:

Here is a photo of the bag chosen by Rebeckah:

Congratulations, Rebeckah -- I'm sure Sara will send you the pattern soonest!

If you didn't win, don't despair.  You can buy your own copy of any of Sara's patterns at Sew Sweetness!

While we're picking winners, why not pick the winner of the February UFO Parade?

Once more to the Random Number Generator, and the winner is:

Who turns out to be Sooli, in Australia!  Here is the winning entry:


Sue, I think you should have another bag pattern!  Please go to Sara's website at Sew Sweetness and choose which pattern you like best.  Let me know, and I'll email the link to you.  Instant gratification! (since I learned it can take three weeks for a package to get to Australia)!

DH tells me it's supposed to snow again tomorrow, so I'm turning off the computer and going OUTSIDE! Happy Sunday!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature