Monday, 30 December 2019

Dancing Stars

In November I made a surprise quilt: a surprise both to me and to the recipient. I called it Dancing Stars.

Dancing Stars: about to be rolled up and taken to my friend
I heard in the middle of November that a good friend was to be operated on her back at the end of the month. Knowing that operations to the spine can require a long convalescence I decided to make her a large lap quilt to cheer her up and keep her warm during the process.

Not having much time I decided on a simple repetitive design and went into mass production mode first cutting all the pieces for the stars and then making all the triangle in a square units. Quite an experience for me to see all 64 grey triangles with their accompanying left and right side triangles stacked together to the left of my machine.

Most of the centre squares I cut from a single fabric with a large print to match the star points, but I didn't have large enough pieces of interest fabric in some of the colours, and so there are also 4-patches and hour glass blocks as star centres.

Detail, before washing
After completing the star units I added strips of background fabric to two sides of the units and arranged them as in Bonnie Hunter's pattern "Dancing 9-patches" , giving the stars room to dance while making the quilt big enough! The top was finished within four days of starting cutting! A personal record!

The quilting is straight lines, half a walking-foot's width from the seam lines in both directions. Extremely boring, but effective. This took longer to do than piecing the top, mainly because I didn't want to overburden my shoulders again.

All in all finished within the fifteen days; from buying the background and backing fabric to washing and drying the finished quilt. I gave it to my friend on 7 December which was in time, because her operation had been postponed for two weeks.
dimensions: 145cm x 145cm   (57" x 57")
star fabric: from stash 
background: Kona: Iron
backing: Free Spirit: Wales from Parson Gray World Tour
Quilting thread: Mettler 1358 50 wt.

Although his hasn't been my RSC project for 2019 (that is ready for me to quilt) 
I am linking up this finish using scraps. 


Click on the button to see more rainbow finishes.

Happy Sewing


Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Hand-knitted sweater

This is my finish for the two link-up's above. Click on the images (OMG at the end of December, and FAL at the beginning of January) for my goal-setting posts.

Finally all the ends have been darned in (there were a lot!) and my husband's sweater is finished!

The pattern is Evo, by Natasja Hornby of Moonstruck Knits. The sweater is knitted in one piece from top to bottom. There are no seams, and only the stitches for the neck ribbing were picked up right at the end. All that then remained was to darn in the ends. I am trying to use up my wool stash, and this wool was bought by my mother in the UK more than 50 years ago! In those days wool was sold in 1 ounce (oz) balls (roughly 30 g) and there's not much yardage in 30 grams! My mother was always afraid of running out of wool so I've still got loads left. I wonder if my husband would like a matching hat (just plain; no cables!).

The front and back panels are done in a twisted cable. I'm OK with straightforward cables but this was a new stitch combination for me, and I'm sure there must be an easier way. Nevertheless I persevered, and it's now finished, about six months later than I expected. (We just went out for a walk and he assured me that it is very warm: those cables serve their purpose!) The upside of the pattern is that while the side panels and sleeves are in reverse stocking stitch (all purl), the pattern included instructions for turning the work inside out for the sleeves, which were then knitted in stocking stitch (all plain) which I can do much more quickly. This made no difference to their appearance.

I shall be linking up to:

when they come online in the next week or so.

With my best wishes for Christmas and 2020,

Happy sewing



Tuesday, 3 December 2019

December's Goal

I'm linking this post to Elm Street Quilts for One Monthly Goal.

Pattern: Evo by Natasja Hornby of Moonstruck Knits.

This sweater for my DH could have been finished three months ago, but wasn't!

All I have had to do is darn in the ends which are everywhere, and not just the two visible in the photo. The others are all on the inside, but nevertheless need to be finished off. The problem is I absolutely loathe darning in the tails in knitting: I've tried three techniques and they all give fiercely ugly results.  I'm sure when I was a teenager I got better results, but maybe I was just less critical! If anyone can point me to a foolproof tutorial I'd be so grateful.

I'm linking this to:

in the hope that DH will be wearing this before the end of the month.

Click on the button to see more goals for December.

Happy sewing