Monday, January 31, 2011

I get around!

Enjoy my blog? Now you can find me other places too.
I have finally updated my ravelry page to include the projects I have completed and what I am working on at the moment. Since it's for knitting and crocheting, I am not known as Rachel's Quilts, but as Calliopesmom, as she is the reason I really got back into knitting (first used ravelry to find a leg warmer pattern to make for her). I have literally spent hours looking at all the beautiful patterns. 

You can also find me on flicker as Rachel's Quilts. Content is basically the same as the blog but projects are organized so you can see all the pictures of a quilt from beginning to end or look at all the finishes for this year.

Links to both have also been included on my sidebar.

Weekend Wrap-Up and some frustration

 A kid size design board. I let my daughter use a bulletin board placed on the floor to play with her rail fence blocks. This is her final design. Hope to get this sewn together soon as the board, although portable, is always getting in the way.

 Here are the 2 baby boy quilts all quilted. I just stitched in the ditch around the blocks. A lot of the fabrics are pretty busy and I couldn't think of anything to quilt on them. Just waiting for their bindings and a wash, a photo shoot and then they will be in the shop.

Borders and bindings cut and ready to be used.

 Here is the frustration part of the weekend. Knitting in general was frustrating this weekend. I finished my cardigan and all the doubting thoughts I had while I was knitting it came true. It's a little small around the chest. The pattern came in only one size. I may try it again going up a few needle sizes to get one that fits me. This is now going to be a gift. I'm going to offer it to my SIL who has a smaller frame than me.

 Isn't the sock beautiful? I got this far Friday night, knitting through the family movie and then until almost 3am while watching the women's final of the Australian Open (Woohoo for Kim Clijsters). Why am I showing the outside of the sock when I know my sister reads this blog? Because I am unhappy with how this knitted up at the cuff and heel. The body of the sock looks fine, and I used the needles they suggested and the gauge was right. Unfortunately I don't think it was right for this yarn.

 Here is the cuff stretched out. It looks worse in person. The stitches look so loose. I even tried the sock on (which is incredibly hard to do when it is still on the needles). They feel like they will stay up but I just didn't like them.

 The gusset made me feel even worse about them. These socks are suppose to be a gift! Yuck.

 So, I went through my patterns and had picked out several I thought might work. Started one with the second ball of yarn (leaving the first sock together for now). Just didn't feel right. Took it apart. Started another, but after reading so many different patterns, I accidentally cast on 8 extra stitches. So after I was done the 15 rounds for the cuff and started the pattern... I had to take it apart, again. Ugh. The above picture is what I finally got cast on Sunday evening. Right amount of stitches that are staying nice and tight. It's amazing the difference going from 3.25mm to 2.25mm makes. Smallest knitting needles I have worked with yet. Here's to hoping the rest of it goes smoothly. I must really love my sister.

My 5 year old son took this blurry picture of me finally taking the first sock apart this afternoon. It felt really good to unravel it.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Getting ready for the weekend (and the week ahead)

 My knitting progress this week. I have about 45 rows left on the cardigan. It will only have one button at the top (it is not meant to meet in the middle anywhere else). I have also got a few inches of my sister's sock knitted. The sock is inside out in the picture - it's really pretty the right way but she'll have to wait until her birthday. Still trying to decide which project to work on while we watch our family movie tonight.

 Got my daughter's strips cut. There are 42 squares for a 6 x7 quilt top.  I played with them a little but the final design will be up to her. Hope to finalize the design this weekend and help her sew some of it together.

 Here are some projects for next week. 2 baby boy quilts basted and ready to be quilted for my etsy shop. It's been way to long since I added anything new to it.

 I need to attack this pile! On top is the Laundry quilt I was working on at the beginning of this month that got set aside while I finished my UFO for the challenge. I have even started to quilt it, just need to finish it. What else is in that pile? 1 baby girl quilt that needs borders added, 2 small/child size lap quilts (tops complete, just need to be quilted), and the quilt top from testing my sister's pattern last week. I'd like to have this pile done and most of it listed in the etsy shop by this time next week (the one from my sister's pattern is for me to keep). Judy pulls a new UFO number on Tuesday and I know I will want to start on it (whatever it is) so I am trying to finish up these little projects.

How's my diet going? STILL haven't bought any fabric! Am I making a list of what fabric I am going to buy when this diet is over? Of course I am! Go check out how everyone else's diet is going and wish me luck for next week.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

UFO Challenge 2011 #6 is done!

 #6 on my UFO Challenge list for 2011 is complete and hanging above my bed. It looks so small up there I might move it to the living room. It is 30 inches square.

 I am really happy with it, especially the quilting on the brown squares.

Close up of the binding. I really like it, even though it took my half an hour to find the fabric in my stash. I knew I had it, just had to find it.  Time to reorganize again?

Thanks for the challenge Judy. I wonder which UFO I will tackle in February?

Monday, January 24, 2011

One Thing, One Week Challenge Results

Not much has changed since I posted my results from Friday Night Sew-in, with this post. My challenge was to finish quilting my basket quilt (which was about half way done) and do test a pattern for my sister. Both of these challenges were completed on Friday.

 Here is the basket quilt as posted on Saturday.

 Since then the only thing I have done is cut off the excess batting and backing and picked a binding fabric. I decided on this brown fabric last night but it took me 30 minutes to find it. (I think I need to reorganize how I store my fabric).

Here is the quilt top to the pattern I tested for my sister. Since Saturday I have picked the backing and pieced it together (I used 2 fat quarters and a half yard of the same fabric). It is the busy fabric on the right.

Go to Amy's blog to see who else met their challenge. Thanks Amy for hosting; it's a great motivator.

A little bonus sewing that got done this weekend - but not by me. I helped my daughter sew these strips together on Saturday. She saw a rail fence quilt at a quilt show in the fall and thought it looked really hard. I told her she could make one. We are finally getting around to making it. I hope to get these cut into squares tonight and let her play with them this week and sew them together next weekend. The squares will be about 3 inches finished and there are 9 strip sets. Should make for a nice doll quilt.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Friday Night Sew-In Results with a Finish!

Last night was the first Friday night sew-in of the year. I usually get some knitting done while watching a movie with my family every Friday evening, but this time I got some quilting done too.

 This is my quilt for the UFO Challenge hosted by Judy. I finished quilting it last night.

 I love the wavy lines on the brown squares.

 Very tiny free motion to make the baskets pop in the center square.

 The backing fabric. More baskets!  I love this quilt!. Hopefully I can find some time to finish it this weekend.

 My other goal for last night was to finish testing a pattern for my sister. Obviously I am not allowed to show the finished quilt top, but it is complete and I love it too.

 Here are the leftover half square triangle blocks. I'll play with those later.

 Once I was done quilting for the night, I returned to knitting since I was really close to finishing this scarf. And I finished it! This will be a gift for someone this Christmas. Yes, you read that right. I have one Christmas present done for 2011. I'm very happy about that.

 Close-up picture taken outside in the sunshine. You can find the pattern, here.

And since I finished one thing, I started another. I cast on a pair of socks for my sister, a birthday present for next month. She picked the yarn so it isn't a big surprise.

Go check out Heidi's blog and see what everyone else did last night. I hope the next FNSI is as productive as this one.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Update with a Finish!

 Another week, no fabric bought. Yes, my mother gave me some but I didn't buy any. Yeah me! Check here to see how everyone else did this week.

 Getting ready for Friday Night Sew-In tonight. Basket quilt still not finished. The pattern I am testing for my sister is sitting to the left. Pieces are cut and ready to be put together.

 And a finish. Another pair of socks for me. Nice and bright to cheer me up with a house full of sick people (I am the only one to escape so far) and pouring rain outside, these socks definitely make me smile.

 Leg part of the sock. It is my first pair out of a book I got for my birthday. Not sure if I like the way the heel and gusset were done, but I still love them. The book did have the best explanation on how to do the Kitchener stitch at the toe

So what do you do when you have a finish? Start something else of course. I figure if I have one knitting project for me on the go and one for someone else I should be able to get a few things done this year. It's hard to do just knitting for others, so it is nice to work on something I get to keep. I also like to have one project using small needles (such as socks) and something on bigger needles to give my hands a break. This cardigan is done on circular needles and it's been awhile since I used them. Getting used to it though and enjoying how quickly this is working up. Also made my first knitted buttonhole last night and it wasn't difficult at all.

Come back tomorrow to see what I get done tonight. Still time to link up for FNSI!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I love my mom!

My mom knows I am on a fabric diet so when she mailed the birthday presents for my son (turning 5 on Sunday!), she included some fabric for me.

 The tree fabric on the right has been a favourite of mine for awhile. I only had a little square of it and now I have almost a full yard! Love the other 2 fabrics as well.

My mom had already sent me a yard of each of these already at Christmas. I liked them so much, she sent some more. She also sent along some Canadian chocolate. I love my Coffee Crisp!

Thanks mom! I love you, too!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up and a Challenge

 Jumper is finished! Everything turned out the right size except the neck, which was a little too wide. I used some decreases with the single crochet edging and was able to make it a bit smaller.

 I also decided to get rid of the little "v" that was in the middle of the front and made it a little "o" instead. I think this helped make it a little smaller. You can find the pattern for this jumper, here.

 I finally got around to putting the buttons on the tree quilt this weekend.  There are almost 40 buttons.

 Some of my favourites are these 2 snowman buttons that my mother gave me a few years ago. There is one on each side of the trunk.

 The cardinals. There are 7 of these at points on the tree, including the very top.

 Ribbon trees! I finished the 2 little ones on Christmas Eve, but ran out of ribbon for the big one. I bought some more ribbon on holiday clearance after Christmas and finally got them pinned in Saturday night. You can find out how to make your own, here. I might make some of these for gifts next year.

It's that time again! Go to Amy's blog and sign up. My challenge for this week is to finish quilting my UFO challenge basket quilt that got ignored this weekend while I finished other things. I have also challenged myself to test a pattern for my sister.

Here's a sneak peek of the pattern.

And the fabrics I picked to make it. I am finally using some of my "Greetings from Canada" fabrics that I have hoarded the last couple years. I think it will look great.

And if I don't get anything done the next few days, Friday Night Sew-In is this Friday! I've signed up, have you?

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