UFO, Knitty Gritty, and Fun with Our Favorite Soldier

Finished a UFO (Unfinished Object) that has been languishing in the sewing room since almost a year ago—

mini-quilt for a romper

At least the baby girl it was intended for is not yet a high school graduate…Very cool (I think) Westminster fairies fabric!

Thinking of future projects and pondering the possibilities:

sketching, one more step toward making it real

My son was here on leave from Afghanistan this past week. We were able to spend some great moments together.  All too soon, he’ll be back over there and we’ll all be worried about how he’s doing, how we can communicate better, boost his morale, make him feel a part of the family and the country, while he’s away. If anyone who reads this and knows him, has some ideas or wants to contact him, let me know! He’d love to hear from somebody new.

He had some great stories to tell; some funny and some sad. One thing he noticed is that the Afghani people, who might make the equivalent of $1000 a year, are not wasteful with their goods like Americans are. He has seen them searching through the garbage on post, looking for discards that they can recycle into things to make and sell.

THE KNITTING GROUP on Wednesdays had a successful 2nd meeting! Everyone is either learning to knit for the first time, mastering the K or the P, or deciding on a project to begin! I’m not sure how they feel about being the subject of a blog, but we will broach that soon and know how much to write about…Me, I found that my purling was not purling and my knitting was through the wrong side of the loop. Once I got that straightened out, I was much less grumpy!

yaaaarrnn

I love the red yarn; it’s part bamboo and part wool, looks beautiful in stockinette, and feels good in my hands. I can’t say the same for the blue and white acrylic baby yarn I got on sale; I don’t like the feel of it on knitting needles. Maybe for a crocheted blanket…a mindless activity while watching Burn Notice or NCIS….

 

 

Take Yo-yo Baby Quilt and Go!

Continuing with the projects in Simple Serger Sewing edited by Julie Johnson, I went to the next in sequence, the Yo-yo Baby Quilt, for this week’s remnant re-do.  The blurb said “Fast and easy are the buzz words used in creating this delightful baby quilt…” You know me, fast and easy, and I’m there…except I did not find this project fast or easy.

I had some gator fabric remnants left over from a project, so I cut all the pieces required, according to the directions.

5 yards, MOL, fabric pieces

Then I proceeded to SERGE (since this is a serger project) the blocks to the border strips, as directed, referring to the assembly diagram. Well, the diagram showed 25 7″ x 7″ blocks, 5 7″ x 4″ blocks, and 10 3″ x 45″ border strips. So why did the directions say to cut 11 3″ x 45″ border strips? I never could figure out where the 11th border strip was supposed to go.  And when I serged the blocks to the border strips, of course, the border strips were cut off each time. The directions never warned me that was going to happen. It was a bit unnerving. Also, I didn’t realize it, but somehow I had cut a few blocks 6 1/2″ by 7″, so that on the way, my quilt top started looking like this:

Aaargh! Measure twice, cut once forgotten!

I didn’t see a way that I could remedy this, so perhaps in a future remnant redo, you may see this familiar fabric…

Back to the drawing and cutting board. The next ordeal was the box-pleated ruffles on the sides. Although they look kind of cool, what a pain it was to put them on. And the directions gave a bogus amount of material which meant I ended up piecing together some ruffles on the edges. At this point, I didn’t have enough fabric left that was 45″ long, so I had to make do.

”]I had to go back and cut way more than it called for, to get ruffles down both sides. Oh, the pinning and ironing, offering both stabbing and burning to the occupational hazards of this project. Like I don’t already have enough cuts and burns from cooking! And Sheila the serger was not unscathed either; due to my neglect she ran over a big pin and her needles were badly misaligned, so I was forced to change needles and went through all the bad times of re-threading like I used to do.

Next came the STOO-PID yo-yo’s. I never have liked yo-yo’s. I almost inadvertently roll my eyes at the making of yo-yo’s in any context.  But, this called for yo-yo’s so I got out my heretofore unused Clover yo-yo making gizmo and made the 16 that the directions called for. It said to sew a yo-yo at the intersection of the border strips (however, when I looked at the assembly diagram there were 24 intersections, not 16.  I thought it might look even stupider with only 16–like, where would I decide to put the 16?)  And, since this is a tie-quilt, the yo-yo junctions serving as the ties that keep the batting, top, and bottom together, I thought it needed those extra 8 to keep the layers from separating. I used high-loft crib-size batting (the only thing I broke down and bought for the project, with a 40% off coupon, of course) so it would have a comforter-like feel and weight to it.

serging edges of yo-yo

copius amount of lint piled up

And, did I mention how messy this project was? Piles of lint, scraps, thread, seam allowances, wisps of batting everywhere.

The whole room needs a good cleaning now.

And the STOOPID yo-yo’s had to be hand-stitched through

all layers, or course. I used heavy hand-quilting thread. With

such a large surface to negotiate, I poked the needle through

my fingertips A LOT! That’s why I keep YELLING in this post,

because it hurts to type!

finished (whew!) quilt

backing and box-pleat ruffle

This is the finished (whew!) quilt.

The design was by Lorine Mason. Pretty design, really, but fast and easy? Not really!

If only it had the original blue border strips; however, it now looks much more girlie than I had envisioned. Especially with the flowery-looking yo-yo’s.

But this is my postaweek2011 remnant project of the week!

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