Wednesday, December 17, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Home Stretch

It's the Christmas home stretch, you guys. Are you ready? Not me, but it will all get done somehow. It always does, right? Right? : )


So remember that second baby quilt I needed to make? It's now officially for a boy. So I need to finish up one girl baby quilt and one boy baby quilt, like, yesterday. This photo shows how far I've gotten on the boy one—i.e., not at all far. : )

In other news, I managed to finish that Christmas stocking I've been working on, and it turned out great—except for the fact that it is strangely, comically gigantic. I mean, this thing is ginormous. The pattern says it should be 20" from the top of the cuff to the bottom of the heel, but mine is more than 26". A full 6 inches too big! (No, I didn't check my gauge before starting, and yes, I have now learned my lesson about that little oversight!) Anyway, I'm contemplating washing it and then throwing it in the dryer, in hopes it will shrink. Is that crazy talk? (It's alpaca yarn.) Any other suggestions, or am I just stuck with this oddly gargantuan stocking? It's like something Hagrid would knit. LOL.

Hey! This WIP Wednesday has been brought to you by Pink Castle, and I think Christmas actually came early to WIP Wednesday land, because Brenda at Pink Castle is offering an uh-MAZ-ing giveaway this week. This bundle of Cotton + Steel fat quarters will go to one random winner. Comment on this post for one chance to win, and/or link up your own WIP Wednesday blog post or IG photo (with #wipwednesday hashtag) for a second chance to win. By the way, this is the November bundle from Pink Castle's Cotton + Steel club—a great way to get a monthly Cotton + Steel fix!

Pink Castle also has an awesome sale going on right now—20% off all imported Japanese fabrics with code JAPAN20. Sometimes it's hard to justify buying Japanese fabric, with the higher prices, but this sale kind of makes it hard to justify not buying them. : )

What are YOU working on this week? Here's how to link up:
1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the Instagram icon at the bottom of the link-up screen, and use the URL of your IG feed as the link (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/freshlypieced). Please hashtag #wipwednesday
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!

Scheduling note: WIP Wednesday is taking the next two weeks off for the holidays. Our next WIP Wednesday will be on January 7. Happy holidays and have a wonderful new year!



Friday, December 12, 2014

Fair Isle Sew-Along: The Big Finale!

Welcome to the final post in the Fair Isle Quilt Along! This week you should be ready to make the back, baste it, and quilt it! : )

So, this is where I admit: I haven't started quilting mine just yet. Yes, you heard me correctly, I have not kept up with my own quilt-along. LOL. My excuse is that I already have one Fair Isle quilt to keep me warm this holiday season. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. : ) But my top is done and ready to go—I just need to come up with some time to make the quilting happen! I have to admit, I'm sorely tempted to send this one out for long-arming.


First, let's talk about the back! For the back of my original Fair Isle quilt, I used the Riley Blake Christmas Chevrons, Medium Size. I can't even tell you how much I love this print for a Fair Isle back. You've already got the zig-zag rows on the front, so the chevrons play up that element nicely. I'm strongly considering ordering this same print again for the back of my new red-and-white Fair Isle!

But of course there are so many other cute options when it comes to Christmas fabric. You can keep up the reindeer theme with this one:

This Mid-Century Christmas print is perfect for a back:

Or go full-on folk art with something like this:


As for the quilting, I just went with a classic stipple on my original Fair Isle. I'm thinking about a nice diagonal cross-hatch for my new Fair Isle, which somehow seems to play in with the knitting theme.

But this is the kind of design where you could really go crazy with the quilting (long-armers, I'm talking to you!) You could quilt each row differently if you wanted to, to highlight the differences in the rows. I could see that being really fun.

Or you could do some star/snowflake details like Cornelia did (silberregen1 on IG). This is beyond my quilting abilities, but I love it so much! It's perfection for a Fair Isle quilt, don't you think?

Okay, this is it—it's finally time to link up your completed Fair Isle quilt! It's so exciting, I can't wait to see what you all did with the pattern! This link (along with all the Fair Isle Sew Along links) will stay open indefinitely, so you can link up your Fair Isle quilt whenever you finish it, to share with everyone who's working on the pattern now or in the future!

Thank you all for sewing along with me, I hope you enjoyed it! This is the type of quilt that's always more fun to do with others. Now go wrap up in your new Christmas quilt!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

WIP Wednesday: It's So Tinsel

Happy Wednesday from Christmas Central! Every year I'm surprised to remember how much work Christmas is. And yet somehow, every year, I manage to add even more work for myself by doing silly things like getting an extra Christmas tree or attempting to knit a new set of stockings for the whole family.

Which is a long way of me saying that I didn't do much sewing this week, I just checked off a few Christmas to-dos. Ah well.

But look! The stocking has a foot now! Or at least part of one!

And the tree is in da house. (Still need decorations on my white tree in the studio though.)


This week's WIP Wednesday has been brought to you by Westwood Acres. Westwood Acres just got in Follie by Lotta Jansdotter—love the colors in that line! And they've got all kinds of good stuff now available for pre-order, including Doe by Carolyn Friedlander and the upcoming Cotton + Steel collections. Head over there to check out all of their offerings!

What are YOU working on this week? Here's how to link up:
1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the Instagram icon at the bottom of the link-up screen, and use the URL of your IG feed as the link (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/freshlypieced). Please hashtag #wipwednesday and mention me, @freshlypieced
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!



Friday, December 5, 2014

Fair Isle Sew Along, Part 7: Assembling the Top

Welcome back to the Fair Isle Sew Along! It's an exciting moment, because this week we finally get to assemble the top. Home stretch, you guys!


Theoretically, when sewn together, all of your rows should measure 72-1/2" wide. Theoretically. : ) But in reality, there are a lot of seams in these rows—and of course, being just a tiny bit off on your seam allowances can add up to major differences across all the seams in each row. My zig-zag rows, for instance, actually measured 73", not 72-1/2". (My reindeer row ended up surprisingly accurate. I'm sure nobody is more surprised about that than me!)


So my advice for this week is, don't worry about the size of the blocks or the rows. Don't even think about it (much). I've left some room to trim from the sides of each row if necessary.


So start by getting all of your rows sewn together. This should be quick work, since the zig zag and checkerboard rows should already be done. Next, measure all of the completed rows. For any rows that are too long, trim them down to 72-1/2". If you find that one or more rows are too short, trim all the other rows to the length of the shortest row (you will need to trim your long sashing pieces as well).


Now you're ready to assemble all of the rows into a completed quilt top! It's like Christmas came early (literally)! I found that it worked well to sew the sashing pieces onto the top and bottom edges of the zig zag and checkerboard rows. Once you have that done, you should have only two more sashing pieces left, which go at the top and bottom of the quilt. Then it's just a matter of piecing everything together and .... done.


Next week is our final post in the sew along, and we'll be talking about the back and the quilting. Great job, everybody, I have just loved seeing all of your versions of Fair Isle! That really is like Christmas for me. : )


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In addition to my paid sponsors, I sometimes accept free fabric, notions, or tools in exchange for posting about it on this blog or my other social media platforms. But I pledge that this practice will never change one of my product reviews or lead me to use fabric or other items that are not "my style."

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Copyright and Permissions FAQ

Can I make a quilt that looks just like one of yours? Of course! You don't need my permission for that. But remember, it's polite (and helpful to others) to credit your source of inspiration.

Can I share one of your photos on my blog or website? Probably! But please contact me for permission first. Use of my photos for commercial purposes is prohibited.

Can I pin your photos to Pinterest? Yes, please do! I love Pinterest!

Can I sell individual items made from your tutorials or patterns? Yes! But please don't open a factory and start churning out hundreds of them. : ) And please do not reproduce or sell the patterns or tutorials themselves. Thank you!