Monday, February 11, 2019

Good Fortune Quilt - Final Link-up, Plus Sock Knitting, Prom, and Wildlife

Today over at Quiltville, there is one last gathering of the Good Fortune quilts made since Thanksgiving of 2018.  Mine is a top, not quilted yet, but I am very happy with it:

 I was dubious at first when I was putting it together about my choice of colors, but I ended up loving it. I have seen so many different combinations and I like them all.
I'm afraid I am still not making progress on machine quilting anything. My Celtic Solstice is still on the frame and I am distracted by other projects.

Primarily, I have been knitting socks. There is a really fun knit-along hosted by Paper Daisy Creations on Ravelry, Lots of Socks -- in support of Down syndrome awareness. The fifteen sponsoring designers are offering great discounts through Friday on selected patterns, and donating profits to Down Syndrome International. Lots of fabulous prizes are being offered as well. The knitting goes on until March 21, which is World Down syndrome day. So far I have bought several patterns, cast on 4 socks, and finished one:

Emma had a great experience at the Night to Shine prom last Friday:
 I couldn't believe it, but there was an entire tent full of formal wear that had been donated, and this dress was free to us! All it needed was shortening the spaghetti straps.
It's just about the perfect dress for her!

We have had a little snow in recent weeks; the wildlife remains undeterred.
 I love this hummingbird feeder that I bought at the county fair last August. There are two regular customers but they don't get along with each other at all.
 I don't love the raccoons, but the tracks are kind of cute.
Smudge is not in this picture, but the Other Cat comes by regularly to eat whatever he leaves. Muffball, as an inside-only cat, is powerless to chase him away, but she sure tries. After watching the Tigers of Scotland documentary on Netflix, I've come to think of him as a Scottish wildcat.

Friday, February 1, 2019

January Finishes and February Plans

As I gradually make my way back into the world of blogging, I am comforted that, even with all the cultural craziness and political rancor, I still have the ability to make beautiful things with my hands, and this is relatively uncontroversial.

January was a productive month for me. I finished up the Good Fortune Quilt top from Bonnie Hunter's seasonal mystery.
 I changed up the color scheme from Bonnie's, leaving out the orange and bringing in yellow, and switching the colors around. I was a little unsure at first but I really like the way my version played out.
 I had to wait for a dry and clear day to hang the quilt out on the tree for this picture session!
 I especially love the green/blue outer border. Those colors together always make me think of Grandma Maffett.
The red chain blocks really stand out. But after you get through looking at them, you notice the cheerful yellow/green pinwheel blocks, and they make me happy too.
Overall, a very successful mystery quilt. I hope I can get in gear and crank out the quilting on the many quilts I need to work on. I enjoyed every single clue of the mystery, and had less than usual trouble in matching the corners when I was sewing the whole top together. Or maybe I've just loosened up on my perfectionism a bit. Either way, it's a win!
 I randomly chose "3" as my number for UFO work in January. I was supposed to spin this roving from Dicentra Designs, and I did.  No idea what I will make with it yet. I was also supposed to sew a knitting bag pattern that has been on my queue for several years and my countertop for several months. No, that went untouched. Instead, I have nearly completed my sewing-room cleanup and organization campaign, and I'm happy with that. That could be another blog post in itself.
 I finished the first of the Bovary socks while Quarta was at orientation for St. Jude Leadership society, and forged ahead with Kitchener stitch to close the toes. However, my memory was not so great. I vastly prefer toe-up socks for this reason. By the way, if you are looking for a worthy cause, there's hardly any one worthier than St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Quarta's donation page is here. I was able to remember the Old Norwegian cast on for the next sock just from muscle memory, so the second sock is about 2/3 done. I'm okay with that pace of knitting but I would prefer to get it off the needles because...
There is a "Lots of Socks" knitalong on Ravelry that is in support of International Down Syndrome. The idea is to knit socks from the 15 participating designers, and post them by Down Syndrome day (March 21). A different designer's pattern will be promoted each day for 15 days. Today is the first day and I bought the "Lots of Socks" pattern by Paper Daisy Creations, because it is really stunning. Here is my plan for main and contrasting colors. I am not sure about the Chroma yarn, a single that is prone to felting and pilling, but it is what I have to work with and I have already cast on the first sock, using a rather clever You-tube video by Tillybuddy for an extra-stretchy cast-on. I somehow doubt I will finish LOTS of socks in the next month and a half, but maybe one pair? But if all the designers have such pretty patterns, I may have a hard time picking. Plus Bovary, of course, just to get it off the needles.

So plans for February already include knitting socks and finishing the cleanup of my sewing area. Also I have some quickie baby quilts already half pieced. I am going to have to finish quilting Celtic Solstice, already on the frame, very soon or I will not be able to get anything else done. Also, the APQ UFO challenge picked "6" as the random number for February, so that means (she runs and checks her list)...

A machine quilting finish (good, I was already planning on that) and
Rosalind (a really pretty summer sweater that has been languishing for far too long). It's all good.