Sharp teeth

More progress on the Oceans quilt for my younger son!

IMG_8149

I got the dolphins block finished last week. I made some color choices that didn’t work out that well, making the dolphin on the right a little hard to see against the background, but I’m hoping quilting will help with that. And he liked it, which is the main thing.

Apparently I got so caught up in it that I forgot to take progress pics. Assume it looked pretty much like the pictures from the block I started next – cutting out the pattern pieces and then sewing various pieces of batik and marbled fabric to them:

This next block has sharp teeth!

IMG_8160

I’ve been using different blues for the watery background for each block.  I cut it too close this time and at the end had to piece together small scraps to make slightly larger scraps.  And even then I had to make one sliver of ocean from pieces that had the waves going in the wrong direction.  Frustrating, but I wasn’t about to start over at that point!

The pic on the right below is all I had left to put on the final small pieces.  I also snuck in a bit of another dark blue in small places where I didn’t think it would be noticeable.

The next to last step last step is trimming each piece to with a quarter inch seam allowance.  It takes a while with so many pieces.  As I trim I lay them out in the general arrangement in which they’ll be sewn to make it easier to find each piece as I need it.

IMG_8214

And the final result – a fierce denizen of the deep:

IMG_8215

This block was designed by the same person who did the Oceans block of the month quilt that the dolphins came from but it wasn’t part of that QAL.  But he really wanted a shark, so I added this one from her designs on Craftsy.

I think the quilt needs just one more block and then I can start putting them all together.

The arrangement so far, though it may change again:

IMG_8218

 

 

 

Clue 3 – Surrounded by Scraps

Today I worked on the third clue of Charlotte Hawkins mystery quilt-a-long, called Surrounded by Scraps.  She was delayed in posting the clue by a massive windstorm that knocked out her internet, along with a lot of trees and other people’s power lines.    They are recovering now from that storm, so it was on with the sewing.

IMG_8142

Clue 1 had us sewing little 4 and 9 patches.  In Clue 3 these joined together with some background rectangles to become larger squares.

IMG_8146

The other part of the clue finally used the larger squares we’d cut.

IMG_8145

My background fabrics are scrappy as well as the darker pattern fabric, and I’ve been a little worried that it dilutes the contrast between the two.  I’m still not sure after finishing this clue.  Maybe I should have stuck with a solid or near solid background?

Here are all the blocks so far.  It will be mid April before we get another clue.

IMG_8147

 

 

Adding to the yarn stash

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve made some progress in moving fiber from the spinning piles to the yarn stash.

First is the Polwarth/silk yarn I finished at the early March finishing weekend, off the bobbin, wet finished, dried and in its final skein.

From this:

img_7818

To this:

IMG_8138

Over the last week I also plied and finished this humbug BFL fiber that I dyed back in January.

These:

IMG_8095

Became these:

IMG_8136

This makes 1.6 lbs. spun this year.  My goal is 6 lbs. so I need to pick up the pace a little bit, but my goal is definitely doable.

In knitting news, I’ve also started to work on a new cowl, practicing the two color brioche stitch that my friend taught us.  I started with a scarf, but didn’t like the way the edges were going, and I prefer cowls and shawls to straight scarves anyway, so I ripped it back and cast on for a cowl instead.

It is fairly simple now that I’ve gotten the hang of it, so this will be good mindless TV knitting.

 

We interrupt the silence to bring you a smidgeon of crafting news

Life has gotten a bit crazy lately.  We’ve spent a lot of our non-working/sleeping time house hunting, and now we are in the throes of house buying, with all the paper gathering and emails and phone calls that entails.  In the meantime, the kids still needed to eat and have clean clothes and get to track and Cub scouts and who knows what.  Some balls have been dropped, and getting anything crafty done has been one of those balls.

But I did abandon my responsibilities last weekend for another trip to join my fibery friends.  We rented a place through AirBnB and raced off through the rain storms to catch the ferry to Anderson Island for the weekend.

 

There was a lot of spinning on my part.  I finished the blue two ply yarn in the pic below, and filled another bobbin with the third single I needed to make another yarn.  I also worked on the I-cord edging on my Volt wrap.

IMG_8109

 

There was also a lot of learning.  Paige taught us all how to do two color brioche knitting, and Leslie 2 was quick enough at it to knit a shoulder wrap/cowl thing.

IMG_8108

We also learned it takes a great deal of junk food (and pineapple cider) to fuel so much creative effort.

IMG_8082

It was hard to leave and go back to the real world.  But we had a satisfying pile of progress to show for it.

IMG_8090

Clue 2 finished

The Surrounded by Scraps mystery quilt-a-long came out yesterday, and today I finished up sewing the rectangular blocks.  A few 1 1/2″ squares sewn to 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ rectangles and a colorful pile is ready for clue 3 to come in March.

img_7921

img_7922

Lots of chain piecing, which goes quickly, especially as I just finger pressed until the blocks were done.

img_7924

Now they join the 4 and 9 patch blocks and wait in the closet for their next addition.  I’ve a big pile of bigger squares that will be involved somehow.

This is all the sewing that I’ve gotten done since before the weekend, because we’ve been very occupied with this new little addition to the family:

img_0478

Meet Theo, our new five month old beagle/dachshund/mystery mix puppy.  Who maybe should have been named Puddles.

My youngest son has been asking for a dog for years, and we decided that he was old enough, and responsible enough.  Now we are all taking turns spending a lot of time outside, usually in the pouring rain, waiting for him to decide to pee.  It takes up a lot of sewing time!

But he’s sort of adorable, so it is hard to mind.  Actually, last night at nearly 10:00 as I stood in the cold, dark, dripping backyard, it wasn’t that hard.  I bought a huge golf umbrella on the way home today.

 

Feeling a little crabby

img_7852

I forgot to blog this little creature when I made him last week.  He is now my favorite block for the Oceans quilt!  I love the shadow effect.

This block is not from the Oceans BOM, but it fits the theme perfectly.  I got the pattern from Silver Linings.

I mixed the sand fabrics because I didn’t have quite enough of the polka dots left.  I like the two tone effect better anyway. I had only these scraps left when I was done:

img_7846

There were also some extremely tiny paper pieces!  This pattern came without the seam allowances, so some of them were so small it was hard to hold on to them.

As usual, my backs are rather a mess of paper bits and crisscrossing seams.  In the face area there are so many folded layers so close together that it got really thick and stiff.

I love the results, and I would definitely buy another of this designer’s patterns.  In fact there are a couple of fish I have my eye on.

 

Shore bird

Another finished block for the Oceans quilt, this time a little shore bird.  The pattern says plover – I thought it looks like one of the little birds we see in the dune grasses at Ocean Shores.

img_7861

I gave it a sandy background since they stick to the beach.

The pattern is a free one on Craftsy.

And now I’m experimenting with how the blocks will be arranged in the quilt.  I need at least two more – my son wants dolphins and a shark.

img_7859

We are home for yet another day due to weather – freezing rain this time – so I have time to sort through the fabric for suitable grays for dolphins.  The 10th day of school we’ve missed this year!