The Alphabet Quilt

Today my sister-in-law and I started cutting (and appliqueing) pieces for the Alphabet quilt! We have a deadline of October 10th, and I sincerely hope that we can make it. with her 12-hour days and with me starting a new job, it won't be easy. I hope to put up a picture or two tomorrow when I get home from school.


Baby Bibs galore

My sister-in-law's sister-in-law is expecting a baby in November, so I and Jenlle (my sister-in-law) are extremely excited. WE already have the alphabet quilt in the works (so far we've bought fabric, but that's it), but the baby mamma is coming down this weekend and we wanted to do some small presents. Enter, the baby bibs! Although we didn't need patterns, we used two different patterns. The first came witha maternity top pattern, and the second came with a bunch of baby outfits. They came out very well. I made the second and the 4th (and did the applique on the third), but Jenelle made hte first and the third.

I think it's great seeing someone get (back) into sewing. I also things it's cute seeing someone who isn't 100% comfortable take all the long-cuts. I realize how lazy I sometimes am about pinning because I've gotten comfortable enough with my machine that I don't need to pin.
In knitting stuff, I finished a new winter hat. It's stranded (I can't stand intarsia, I'm afraid), so it's super warm and was super easy to make. I don't feel like double-posint pictures, but I have it on ravelry: Fireside Cap.



I have had an account on Burdastyle for close to a year now (at least it feels like it). I've bookmarked and favorited items, but I've never made any significant contributions. And now I've finally started taking picture of the things I've made and putting them up. I even did my first lame how-to for the skirt shown below.

Also, I really want to make this cute bolero...seems perfect for teaching. Plus, since it's T-shirt weight material, it's great as the weather is still warm and as it starts to cool a little bit.


The Quilt that started the frenzy

While perusing through past entries and also looking at pictures online, I realized that I never posted the Mother's day quilt from last year...the one that really put me back into quilting.

The blocks themselves were machine pieced, but all applique was done by hand. And was there a lot of it. . .


I was so pleased with the way this quilt turned out. It is by far the best quilt I made--too bad I'll never see it again!

The story behind it is my boyfriend's mom wanted a present for his younger brother (4th grade) at the end of the year. His mom has loved many of the things I've made (such as the table runner for Mother's Day that I made), so she paid me for materials and labor to make a quilt.
Now I've wanted to make the Drunkard's Path (also known as Fool's puzzle) since my mom bought me my first quilting book in about 5th grade or so. But I've waited (and waited) to make it because all those curves look daunting.

As usual, I've learned a lot (and I mean A LOT) with each and every quilt I make, and this was certainly not an exception. Clipping curves, something I often "skip" in making clothes because it isn't terribly necessary, was a MUST with this quilt. In addition, the iron has now become my best friend. And actually "squaring off" blocks... I had never heard of such a thing until I read one quilt book front to back...amazing.

But without further ado, I present my most favorite quilt ever. That being said, due to the complexity of the quilt, I doubt I will make it again anytime soon.



Oh! And I made an apron for the July Tie-One-On theme. The gallery is here, and this is my apron! The experience was awesome and fun (I love aprons even though I never wear them), and the comments I received were so lovely I think I'll have to make another one in time for the September theme--plaid!

I encourage anyone who likes aprons to do this!

Winter garments in August

I have tons of pretty sweaters in my queue on Ravelry, but to get my feet wet in the knitting world I wanted to start with some smaller projects (the dropped scarf was lost when I moved from Philly back home but was recently found again, so I'll be working on it after I finish my new projects.

I'm teaching for the first time ever this fall, and I want to show some school spirit. Unfortunately, I may only be there three months (filling in for maternity leave), so I don't want to spend $20 on an article of clothing that I may never wear again. My sister in law gave me tons of yarn from a relative, so I have lots of colors to choose from. The only issue is that most it is half a skein or less; not the ideal amount to make a scarf with. But 3 half skeins...that's doable. I was looking for something easy, and while browsing through Ravelry's multitude of patterns, I found this Super Easy Plaited Scarf. My modification was to only cast on 4 stitches (I really didn't have a lot of yarn), and I added tassles. Pictures coming as soon as I get my digital camera back.

In addition, my sister loves fingerless gloves, and I had her pick out a few patterns...only now I can't remember which patterns are for her and which were for me! I wanted a simple pattern for some classier fingerless gloves (my brown and cream striped glittens don't exactly scream "grown-up", so I decided to knit Carissa's Cabled Fingerless mitts. These have been significantly altered; all information is on my Ravelry page (username: mlichtenwalner).

I've got some sewing projects on the back burner--a biology quilt for my college biology department, a baby quilt for my sister-in-law's sister-in-law (she and I are collaborating on a project for her nephew), and some clothes.

Again, pictures soon to follow.


Quilt for Harmonoo

My one roommate, Harmony, moved in with us in January. She stayed until we moved out in May. For 101 reasons this girl was a blessing...she helped even out the male:female ratio in our apartment, she kept the messes down, she was clean, and, like me, she was totally into all crafty things. She also makes her Halloween costumes from scratch, she makes amazing cards and stuff with card stock (that I can't do), she sews, and she started knitting.

Needless to say, when I moved out to suburbia (and she moved upstairs) in June, I wanted to get her something special 'cause I hope we stay close. Then I realized it would be a thousand times better if I were to make something. However, since I decided this about 4 days before we had to move out, I was limited and was working on this quilt all the way through--and past the last hour. In the car drive to Philly and for about an hour past that I was furiously sewing the binding to the quilt, but I got it done.

The picture below was taken by Harmony. Like always, I forget to take pictures, but she graciously agreed to take one for me. I see now that my quilt is featured as a wall hanging in her new apartment.

This, like the table runner, was a scrap fabric-only quilt. But I think it turned out great.

Blocks are approximately 6" in diameter


The Table Runner

This Table Runner is one of the cooler (and more pattern-free) things I've made. As I've said before, my boyfriend's mom loves homemade stuff, and they have a gorgeous purple dining room...so I wanted to make something both pretty and practical. Enter: The Table Runner.

I looked for diagonally set quilt blocks and found the Carolina Lily pattern. There are a ton of variations, but I like this one because it requires no applique for the flowerheads...only the leaves and stems.

The entire project was made of scrap fabric, so that is why the center border is pieced there. I didn't have a large enough piece of yellow fabric, so I pieced two smaller ones with a central border.

She loved it, and my boyfriend constantly has to be reminded that it wasn't purchased from a store. I'll take that as a compliment.


New Project

So even though I only mentioned the scarf yesterday, I've been working on it since the Superbowl. And this morning, I ran out of yarn. So...until I go home again to get the extra skein, I had to switch projects (I don't want to be uselessly idle on my mornig commute).

So I'm starting my first intarsia project--an argyle sweater vest. At first I wanted to try Eunny's Argly Vest (I've had this yarn for a LOOONG time, since October), but it scared me a little too much. When I came across an adorable vest on Craft's podcasts, I printed it out. It's been sitting in my Ravelry queue for a while, but as of now, it is a started project! Woo!

I think that the idea for clothespin bobbins to hold all the yarn is a great idea. So far I've done the ribbing on the bottom and have set up all or most of my bobbins.
I didn't bring the CC2 yarn with me, but I think it may be better this way. If I don't like it, I have an excuse to learn grafting, right? 0=)


Disgustingly long hiatus...

You know, I remember I used to get so angry with people that were never "up" with their blogs. Where they'd have a frenzy of posts and then suddenly poof! Nothing. I am starting to get it: life is ridiculously busy and complicated, and only the truly dedicated can post regularly. I am impressed by them.

I don't have pictures of either of my Christmas gifts (still! I know, awful. Even "my notebook" in Ravely can't shame me into getting pictures enough.

I have started a new project with the remainder of the yarn from the shrug I made. I definitely forgot to read the part that said to switch to size 10 needles, so the thing doesn't even fit me. *sigh* Plus side is I have a lot of yarn, so I'm putting it to good use. I'm using the remainder (and if I need more, I will gladly frog the shrug) to make the Double Dropped Scarf. I'm using Cotton ease and size 4 needles. I ended up using circulars because they were the only thing I had on hand, but they're much better for commuting than regular needles. The shortness, flexibility, and ability to protect the ends much more easily is a definite plus.

I started student teaching, and since the commute is about an hour, I'm hoping to get some knitting done. The first week I was too nervous about missing my stop, but I'm getting better at it. The downside is that the buses and trolleys are usually packed to standing in the afternoons, so I guess it will only be a morning activity.

Regardless, here is a lovely closeup of the scarf. I love it.