Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Muddy Spring Flowers

I finished a quilt today. I started it a couple months back after seeing a Fons and Porter television episode on a certain strip technique that I immediately decided I just had to try out. I had some delicious fabric in my stash that I believed would look just darling together in a quilt, so I gathered it up and began cutting strips. I had been waiting for the opportune project to come along so I could use all those lovely designs, and this seemed to be the one. 

After cutting enough 2.5" by WOF strips to total around 40 in order to end up with a good lap sized quilt, I pulled out some 2.5" squares that I had already cut for a previous quilt and were extra. I counted them up and had enough of the browns to use for the quilt, so that's what I went with. (In hindsight they don't really match the quilt, but they are also the inspiration for the name. When it's spring and there's rain, there of course has to be some mud along with it. This quilt kind of portrays the way spring can be as one walks down a lane: pretty flowers blooming, a patch of mud, another row of flowers, another patch of mud, and so forth. You have to think a little creatively to see it. As for the kitties on the back, well, that's just for the person cuddling underneath the quilt to enjoy as the backing is flannel and whomever gets it I'm sure loves kitties.)

I then sat down at my machine and began sewing away. I grabbed a random strip and sewed the 2.5" end to a square, grabbed another random strip and sewed it to the other end of the square. I continued with this pattern, strip square strip square, until I had one loooooong strip of strips and squares and had used all my cut pieces. This is where the fun part come in. I took each end of my long strip, put them right sides together, and began sewing them together on one long side. I continued sewing (it took a bit!) until I made it where the middle of the strip would be. It was twisted here, but that's okay because I just snipped it and finished up the sewing to the end. I then had a long double strip half the size as it was before. I again put the two ends together and sewed the long sides together. I did this until the quilt was the correct size. It is a neat technique and comes together fairly quickly, depending on how fast one sews. I have already taught two of my friends who have never made a quilt before how to do this and I am proud to say that one has already completed her quilt top and is moving on to sandwiching it together. She did not use squares and carefully chose matching fabrics for her strips, so it is very lovely. I cannot wait to see it finished!

Here is mine all finished, after ripping out part of the quilting that "eyelashed" and redoing it, it actually didn't turn out too bad. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

West Virginia Wild Flowers Blankie

*I don't know why this post has decided not to work. When I figure out how to fix it, please check back to see all the lovely pictures! Thanks!*

You know how a couple blog posts ago I showed you some granny squares I had been working on?  I kind of left you hanging, so I'm sure you would like to see what became of them.  I decided to crochet up some circles in different colors after being inspired by wildflowers as we drove through the state of West Virginia on a trip.
Displaying photo 2.JPG

Displaying photo 1.JPGThese are made with the same type of yarn that I had used for the granny squares.  I then randomly laid them out together and adjusted the colors to be spread out to see how many more I would need.
After I had enough to make a baby sized blanket, I started the crochet-as-you-go method.  Let me tell you....I was SO glad this blanket was of a small size!

Displaying photo 3.JPG
Joining it all together.

Do you see how this process could take awhile?  The finished product is just so lovely, though.

Displaying photo 4.JPG
Here is the back with all the ends that need to be sewn in to make sure the entire project does not unravel!  Ta da!

Displaying photo 5.JPG
All complete with a border.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Training for a Half Marathon

Lately, my passions have turned from crochet to quilting and running. I really need to show you the lovely and fun quilts I have been sewing, but for now you will have to be content with my recap of yesterday's run.  Keep in mind that I'm not a fast runner by any means. I usually only run 5ks, and if any of my friends run the race with me then they usually win medals while I'm close to last in our age group. I have been working on it with more of a gusto this past month, however, (after barely running at all last year), and I'm pretty determined to run a half marathon. The longest race I've participated in was an 8k, and before yesterday the farthest I've ever ran at once was six miles. If you have a goal you want to work toward and want a little inspiration, here's one of my running stories:

My adventure yesterday:

I needed to do a long run, but I didn't want to drive anywhere so I decided to run to our nearest park. (Which, in the process of my run I found it to be a mile and a half away.) I live in the middle of urbania. Literally. So, the run to the park was an adventure in itself. Even if I was on the sidewalk, there's still hundreds of cars flying by you and switching lanes, then there's the matter of crossing roads and intersections.  When I finally got to the park, I ran the nearly two miles around it and the lake.  I thought it had been windy before that, but oh boy was the wind off the lake strong and cold! It was creating small waves and making it hard to run against it.  I found out later that wind gusts were 19mph with wind chill at 27 degrees, and I definitely felt that. I thought about going around again, but I still had to make it home so I headed back. I then had to wait on a light, so I ran up and down the sidewalk waiting for the light to change. Mind you, this street has four lanes to cross and is on the way to the interstate, so I'm sure lots of people were staring from all those cars sitting there and speeding by. I did make it back without getting run over. All of that excitement and that trio wasn't even five miles, so I had to jog a bit around my neighborhood. I didn't make my goal of seven miles for the run, but I did make it to a half of a half marathon (6.55) and over an hour and a half of running. That's my farthest and longest run to date and perhaps the most exciting!