Tuesday, 28 March 2017

New quilt top, last socks and this and that

Today I finished this Paper Lanterns quilt top, just ten days after starting it. It has 100 blocks like my previous one, but half of them are just plain solid squares and the others are not too complicated either.

The pattern is Stephanie's Paper Lanterns, and you can buy it here. Her version is smaller and very feminine. I wanted to make bigger blocks and a bigger quilt, so I enlarged the blocks, and I made my lanterns shine in a dark August night. - I think I can manage to quilt this one on my sewing machine.

I used all my "impossible" fabrics, large prints, almost no colour in some, and fuzzy cut some big flowers from an odd shaped leftover piece. Some of the fabrics are from my mother, corner pieces left over when she made a round tablecloth. Some are my own curtain or cushion cover rests, and many come from my sister P. The fabric in the bottom row center is from a summer frock of my dear great auntie Saima. So once again I have sewn memories of the family into my quilt.

The blue and white sock challenge for babies born in Finland this year is doing really well. Of the 56,556 pairs of sock estimated to be needed, 55,706 pairs have been delivered to maternity wards throughout the country. A few hundred pairs are still missing from the big hospitals in the metropolitan area, and it is only March. I used up all my blue and white wool yarns and finished this lot last week:

I took them to the Flying Mitten on Monday, and once again they had a basket full of socks waiting to be collected and delivered. I reached my goal of 60 pairs, and even exceeded it by one pair. This has been a fun challenge, but it is over now and I have gone back to other colours and larger socks.

Little grandson has been busy painting and drawing, and his apron needs to be washed a lot. Therefore I was asked to make another one, and as there was some material left, and the pattern was there, it only took a little while to put this together for him:

It is time to clean the bird houses again for new residents. One house had fallen down in the strong wind, and another one had a big hole after an attack by a woodpecker. Mr K. made six brand new houses, with some variation in the opening diameter so the blue tits can take the smallest ones and others can choose between the larger entrances. Our trees have their birdhouses, so the new ones were placed in the woods around us.

We can see almost all of them from the kitchen window or from the places where we drink our afternoon tea in the garden. Not yet, but when the birds are nesting.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

100 finished, one lost and found

Finally the one hundred different blocks for my Splendid Sampler quilt are done. This was a tricky one but I liked the look of it:

This one, Centered, is the number 100.

I placed the blocks approximately in the numerical order and made some changes to avoid big light areas. While doing that. I misplaced the XOXO block. Couldn't find it anywhere, not on the floor, not under the rows already sewn together. Not under my table, or the ironing board. Not in the bin. The next day, no result in my search. Frustrated, I started to arrange a new row for sewing, and there it was, lurking under another block, completely hidden because the other block had the sashings on but the XOXO didn't,

I need to quilt this in two halves, and join them in the end. I hope this will work out. The two halves of my top are now finished, with borders and all.

The binding will be in the same gray as the shadow and the border.

Today Mr K. took me to the big fabric shop the get the batting and backing for this quilt. I only bought one other fabric, and it will be for my next project.

The campaign for blue and white hand knitted socks for every baby born in Finland this year is going well. Many hospitals have received their full estimate of socks needed, and the others are at least at 60 %. This week I took my newest lot of ten pairs to the Flying Mitten:

With the yarn I have left, I think I can knit five more pairs and reach up to 60 pairs.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Something else for a change

In 2008, when I had just started my blog, I found this book at a craft fair:

I fell in love with this pattern, it was tailor made for my growing stash of worn out men's shirts.

Later I started looking for light coloured shirts in charity shops, as my suppliers seemed to prefer dark reds, greens and blues. I also bought several shirts in brown shades.

Finally, in the Summer of 2015. I had a top.

It remained that way for a long time, but then my dear friend Suzie showed some quilts she had quilted on her longarm. She was willing to quilt my large quilt! No kneeling down, no pinning. no fighting with a king size quilt on my sewing machine for me.

Suzie did an excellent job:

The quilt is as soft and light as I had hoped, and all I had to do was to add the binding which I did yesterday.

And now my spare room/sewing room has a brand new quilt on the bed.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Snow, socks and Splendids

I like this arrangement.

I have been watching a lot of snooker while knitting these. The socks are, of course, again, for the new babies born this year, blue and white in celebration of our 100 years of independence. If you really want to know, yes, I have been counting and this lot makes my list 45 pairs long. The darker blue is the one from my sister, and I'm going to knit as least all of that yarn for this project.

A friend is going to have a grandchild any day now, so I knitted a tiny hat in the softest merino wool.

Suddenly we had some new snow. There was just plain ice everywhere before this, and pedestrian accidents happened. With the snow, it was the cars' turn.

Anyway, I like the clean look the snow brought, and now with the sun out again, there is so much light. - I bought this green ball at the Christmas market of the Malmgård estate over two months ago, and it is still looking fresh.

The birds have finally come back. Their food supply in the nature must have been fine with so little snow, but now they seem to need our help after all. Here is the first goldfinch in six years visiting us:

Even the bullfinches have been a rare sight, but now they are back, the Mr on the left and Mrs on the right.

Other projects have taken up my time, but I managed to finish three more blocks for the Splendid Sampler:

The pumpkin is one of the bonus blocks.

Fleur de Lei is number 98

and Four Corner Spinwheel is number 99. Now I have one block to pick from the ones I haven't done yet, and the number 100 which I have cut but not pieced yet.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Almost there

With these four new Splendid Sampler blocks I'm almost there. Five more to go and I have my one hundred blocks. This one is called Gran's button jar:

Here is Sunshine:

First Purse:

and The Early Bird:

I'm trying to pick the easiest of the remaining patterns, and I may need to check the bonus block possibilities too. Without the support of fellow bloggers I might have given up a long time ago.

This morning I tried to catch the almost full moon in the pale pink sky when the sun was just rising. It is there, between the trees, about one third from the right side:

In the opposite direction the colours were much stronger:

Saturday, 4 February 2017

February fun and some garment sewing

Believe it or not, I don't just sit and knit socks. Before Christmas I did some creative work and designed a protective garment for a very young artist as a Christmas gift.

I used a little girl's dress pattern but  as this is supposed to be an apron with sleeves, the back covers just the shoulders. The material is PU coated so the little guy will remain dry even when he uses watercolours.

Then I have been working on the Splendids again:

As I was itching to see what the suggested sashings would look like, I tried them on a new block:

And I crabbed some more blocks to see how they work together. It seems that my shadow grey is very close to a solid light blue I have used for the blocks and therefore a darker colour would have looked better.

This is what I bought and cut so this it is going to be.

Naturally I have been knitting too, so ten new pairs of baby socks are ready to be delivered.

My very pale blue 100% wool is almost used up, but no end of the project is in sight:

My sister P who is not a knitter, wanted to participate in this national project and bought four big balls of sock wool in blue and white for me to knit on her behalf. This means about 20 or more pairs of new socks. Luckily the Eurosport channel offers so much snooker, tennis and cycling that I will have a cozy time with Mr. K by my side and a knitting in my hands.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Dozens of socks and some blocks

The new year has started with knitting projects so I thought I'll show you some progress on that front first. Remember the Blue and White Baby Socks project? Our area is doing very well, about 47% of the socks needed  have been delivered to the local hospital's maternity ward. This lot is among the socks they already received.

These I took to the Lentävä Lapanen, Flying Mitten, on Wednesday, and they had two baskets full again waiting to be collected.

For Christmas I experimented with coloured yarns and my sock variation of the Aino'S mittens. These were all gifts to friends near and far.

This funny pattern was in a magazine, and I just had to buy some of that rainbow yarn to make them exactly like in the magazine, for someone who loves rainbow colours.

The rest of the burgundy yarn was enough for a pair of socks for our grandson, and he will get a pair of mittens too.

Sock front finally dealt with, I can show the little progress I have made with the Splendid Sampler quilt blocks. I have 79 normal blocks now and 8 bonus ones finished.

We had a late breakfast today, and before that I caught the beautiful pink and blue shades in the sky opposite the almost rising sun.