Thursday, June 25, 2015

Thursdays (and Summers) Are For Knitting

A month or so ago, I cast on a pile of Hats for Sailors to knit during summer travels. They're not all finished, but a few are!

Here are some photos of the finished hats. You can read the details on my Ravelry project page, username AuntMarti. And if you're a knitter or crocheter, we'd love to have you join us to knit a hat for a sailor!

First is "Barley," knit with Ewe Ewe worsted. This yarn just did NOT want to be knitted -- I unsuccessfully started three projects before finally finishing a hat!

This yummy orange marmalade colored yarn is from Inskein Yarn in San Antonio, hand dyed by Jennifer Caswell (the Discriminatin Knittah). I hope Jennifer dyes some more superwash merino, because I loved knitting "Willow Hat" with this yarn.

My best field trip while in Texas was to Comfort, and The Tinsmith's Wife. The June Hats for Sailors KAL is "Rib-a-Roni," and I used Black Trillium Fibres Pebble Worsted. Even the DH commented how pretty is this yarn!

Ten or so years ago, the boys and I took a "college visit" trip to the Pacific Northwest. One of the best places we visited was the Hudson's Bay Co. store in Victoria. I made up this pattern to celebrate the colors of the iconic HBC blanket.

Holiday Yarns is one of those yarns I couldn't find anywhere in Colorado. So I ordered this Wooly Ewe Worsted to knit "Rhubarb Helix" from Wisconsin -- then I found the yarn nearby at Colorful Yarns!

Thus far, I've knit 30 of 52 Hats for Sailors that is my goal for this year. As much as I love making quilts, knitting hats is a lot more portable for travel!

Not much quilting going on this summer -- I'm mostly sewing sleeveless tops to wear when I return to Texas next month. 

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer Block a Day

Being away from home for most of the Spring season made Summer arrive in a flash. I did manage to finish the blocks for my Spring Block a Day quilt, but it's not sewn together yet.

Here is a photo of my finished blocks:

I used the new Kona Cottons colors jelly roll for the colored centers. I arranged them just as they came off the jelly roll. Don't you think it turned out great? Thanks, Sue!

If you didn't catch the Spring BaD tute, go here to visit Sue's Quilts Bits and Bobs for the tutorial.

Today is is the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and the Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. Here in Colorado, it's officially the longest day of the year. We can play outside until well into the evening! So let's make an easy, quick Block a Day.

Few quilt blocks are easier than Half-Square Triangles. The HST is the basis of our summer block. There are many methods to make HSTs, but I will start with the easiest. I call it the "cut a square, draw a line, stitch, cut, and press" method.

Here's how:

  1. For each block, cut two squares of print and two squares of background fabric. I'm using 4.5" squares, but you can use a different size if you wish.

I usually make my BaDs from scraps, but this one will be made using fat quarters. If your fat quarters are fully 18" wide, you can cut 16 squares from each one. If not, you will need additional FQs to make the number of blocks needed (90).

2.  Place the print and the background FQs right sides together and press.
Pressing the fabrics will cause them to "stick" together, making it easier to cut precise squares.

3.  Draw a line diagonally across the wrong side of the lighter fabric.

4.  Stitch a scant quarter-inch seam on each side of the line.

5.  Cut on the line and press toward the print fabric.

6.  Arrange the four HSTs as shown:

7.  Flip the two right-hand HSTs on top of the two left-hand sides and stitch the vertical seams. Then stitch the horizontal seam.

8.  I like to use the "windmill press" on the reverse side to reduce bulk.

9.  Here is the finished block:

Using 4.5" squares will result in a 7" finished block. 90 blocks will result in a finished quilt (without borders) of 63" X 70" -- a large lap size. 

Have fun making your HSTs and your Summer
Block a Day quilt!

 From the desk of your auntmartisignature