Goodbye February (and don’t let the door hit you on the way out)

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I hate February, no exaggeration, it’s just one month too much of winter, the weather is always horrible and I just want it to be done so we can get on with some more light and warmer days. Add to that my coming down with some virus that made me feel like hell for a week and then both boys coming down with chicken pox (Piggle went back to school today, Jim will be home for a few more days yet) and due to that us missing meeting the baby Cousin and my Grandma’s 100th Birthday party (to be fair, she missed it too as she’s in hospital at the moment…) I have not been in the best of moods lately and tired is an understatement…

I’ve also not felt like sewing and haven’t been in the sewing room, except to glue baste some more hexagons for the Hexy MF quilt, in over a week. I was working on the dress pattern that I’m testing when I ran out of sewing enthusiasm. It’s not a bad pattern at all and it was coming along nicely, then I stuck the bodice on the dressform and saw it has that odd underarm sticking out issue that I seem to come across all the time (I guess it’s something to do with the way patterns are graded up, larger women need the space at the front, not under the arms, either that or I’m deformed in some way I’m not aware of) and I ran out of steam. I will get back to it but it’s going to be a few days yet as I’m now terribly behind on the University work I wanted to get done and I’m writing next week which means I will be knackered in the evenings…

Anyway, I did finish off some things before my mojo left the building. First up is the quilt I made for Siblings Together (button on the sidebar if you want to learn more about this charity). I used the Scrappy Tripalong tutorial that was doing the rounds on the internet around Christmas time.

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(just noticed the cat looking to jump on the quilt in the bottom photo, my cats are big fans of quilts)

I used up all the leftover fabric from Jim, Piggle and baby Cousin’s quilts and threw in about 5 fat quarters from the stash to make 30 blocks in total. I realised half way through that using almost all directional prints was probably a mistake but I made sure I rotated the blocks the same way to get the diamonds to work and I think it came out ok in the end, although the pattern shows a lot more in pictures than it does in real life.

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It’s kind of an ‘I spy’ quilt as there is tons going on in it. There are a lot of elephants and camping prints in there and hopefully lots for a little boy to look at and enjoy. The binding is a grey and white polka dot stripe that I had in my stash, in fact all I had to order in for this quilt was the backing, the batting and some Aurifil 40wt white and green thread for the quilting.

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I got the backing from The Fat Quarter Shop on sale at $5 something a yard. I bought 4 yards but I could have done with an extra half to match up the print a little better and to not make it so nail bitingly close to the edges while I was quilting it.

The quilting is done every other row. I started off using my new stitch in the ditch foot but found that it was runching the quilt (even though it says on the package it’s a quilting foot) and wasn’t really working with the many seams so I swapped back to my walking foot which means that it’s not in the ditch all the time but it seems to look ok. It made a nice grid pattern on the back too and there’s enough quilting to allow for the fort building and throwing on the floor that this quilt will no doubt encounter in its life!

I pieced with Aurifil 50wt and, as I said, it’s quilted with 40wt Aurifil. The batting is Quilters Choice, the thinner of the two (they have such stupid names, I can never remember if it’s Request or Select that’s thicker). I actually prefer the thicker batting for my own quilts but I didn’t want this quilt to be too heavy (quilts are weightier than you think) so I chose the thinner one for this.

So, that’s that one out of the way. I’ve not decided which quilt to work on next, I keep changing my mind but I need to finish off the smaller projects I have sitting about before I can get to it anyway so I’ve got time to make up my mind. I didn’t manage to get my Lucky Stars BOM done last month so I have two to work on this month. I also still haven’t started the quilt using the Simply Solids Stash Club fabric so I’ve got three months worth of that to do now too!

I did make yet another Open Wide Zippered Pouch though, again cutting a 14″ square for a tall bag.

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This is for cross stitch storage again, but not mine this time, Jim’s. He did some cross stitch at school and enjoyed it so I gave him my box of threads to play with and then we bought him the above robot sampler. It’s probably a little bit complicated for him but he’s working on it slowly and it is a grown up enough design that he shouldn’t think it’s babyish before he finishes it. It also has glow in the dark thread and he can put his initial on it which he’s excited about. My Mum says I’m bag mad but I just like things to have a place and his thread was going all over the living room and we were constantly hunting for his needle, now he can stick it in the bag and it’s safe and neat.

My final finish for February was the first knit FO of the year, my Peasy cardigan.

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I needed a red cardigan to replace my Sitcom Chic that I made about 8 years ago and is thus looking rather ratty now. This pattern, like all Heidi’s patterns (I’ve made enough of her patterns now that I think we can be on first name terms!), was simple but interesting to make and I’m sure I’ll use it again at some point. The yarn is Patons Linen Touch which I got from Kemps for about 99p a ball (it’s discontinued like all nice yarns I like). I have some stashed in navy blue for another cardigan so at least I get to knit with it again. It evened out nicely after a good soak and I’m pleased about that as my purling wasn’t great with the cold weather effecting my hands. Now it’s a bit warmer my hands are co-operating a bit more and I’m finding knitting less painful so I’m hoping to have another FO in the next week or so.

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The only change I made to the pattern was to re-jig the buttonholes so there were five rather than six so I could use these buttons I’ve had in my button box for ages (sorry they’re blurry). I really like this cardigan and I think it will be in regular rotation once it’s warm enough to wear a 3/4 length sleeve cotton cardigan.

So, those are the February makes. Hopefully I’ll have something else to show you soon if life lets me get anything done!

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3 responses »

  1. Love the pop of sunshine in your quilt! And I hope its new owner will make up some wonderful stories from looking at it :)
    I agree about February. Roll on spring!
    Ooh – and red cardi love too!

  2. I’m with you on February. Horrible month, nothing to recommend it.

    Wow, wow, wow, that quilt is gorgeous! Reminds me I must post about one I made (not nearly as lovely) but good blog fodder.

    PS: ALWAYS odd numbers of buttons/buttonholes. ALWAYS.

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