Archive for May, 2006

Our Quilt in Use

Monday, May 29th, 2006

Hi, Crackpots,
My contact at The Villages recently sent me several photos of our scrappy heart quilt complete with baby. I thought you would all like to see the fruits of our crackpotty labors in use, so here it is. The original photo was a polaroid that Lou scanned and e-mailed to me, so the quality may not be all that good, but I am sure you will all be able to appreciate how cute the baby is.
Villages quilt 1

Goofs! (Mariner’s Compass)

Monday, May 29th, 2006

Thanks, all, for the consolation. I do know that the photo is not upright, as I was only paying attention to getting it square. So perhaps the goof is not as obvious in the upright position. One can hope…


Sunday, May 28th, 2006

My goal for the month of May was to work on finishing projects, and not start any new ones. So far, I’ve done pretty well at reducing the list of crackpot projects in progress. One thing that I finished was this pair of socks. I had originally made the foot of the first sock too narrow (note to self: believe the pattern. 64 stitches for the foot is correct, at least with this yarn), so I redid the foot with fewer decreases at the gusset. It was a little scary to cut off part of a sock, but I’d put a thread through the stitches to prevent excess unraveling and it went quite well.

Oh, and on the topic of mistakes – it’s good to make things where you can position them in pictures so the mistake is not visible – I messed up the patterning on part of the sock I’m wearing on my right foot, but I’m not going to redo it.

retro rib socks

Retro Rib Socks by Evelyn A. Clark, Interweave Knits Winter 2004. I like this pattern a lot – I just don’t photograph it well.

Lang Jawoll in a gorgeous purple – I love that this yarn comes with a little spool of dyed-to-match reinforcing yarn for the heel and toe tucked inside the skein – especially because reinforcing yarn on its own is ridiculously overpriced and limited in color choices

Crystal Palace DPN’s, size 0 (my current standard sock needles)

Mariner’s Compass Quilt

Saturday, May 27th, 2006

Mariner\'s Compass
This is the Mariner’s Compass wall hanging I made for Jim, the Executive Director of the local social service agency I am involved with. The pattern is from Judy Mathieson’s book Mariner’s Compass Quilts: New Directions. It is paper pieced. The hardest part was trying to get the points to come out at the right place. I designed my own corner squares to paper piece.

I chose this pattern because Jim is a sailor and he led the floundering agency in a new direction. The trickiest part was figuring out what color to make it. I asked Jim’s 18-year-old son what colors were in their house, and all he could come up with was blue. Not terribly helpful…


I would like to make another one in colors to go in our house.

Magazine Review: Quilts And More

Monday, May 15th, 2006

I’m not sure why, but I’ve been getting progressively less-inspired by the quilts in Quiltmaker magazine lately. I’m still subscribed, but I’m just getting less out of it than I was a few years ago – maybe I’ve matured as a quilter since then? Who knows.

Cover of Quilts And More magazine
Anyway, I was looking for some light reading in, of all places, the grocery store a few weeks ago, when this magazine jumped out at me from the magazine rack. It’s produced by Better Homes and Gardens, and I’m not sure it’s a “real” magazine – with regularly-published issues and so forth. It might be some kind of irregular one-off, like their “home storage” magazine that comes out twice a year or some such (and which I’ve also gotten sucked into at least once).

It immediately caught my eye because of the eye-popping color on the front cover (and the feature quilt is even cooler than it first appears, see below). And the advertised “T-shirt quilt” drew my attention because I have a huge box of old T-shirts that someday I intend to do something with; the finished quilt they showed wasn’t particularly inspiring, but they included some useful instructions on stabilizing the jersey fabric before you cut and sew it. There are a few additional cool things that I noticed:

  • There are a lot of projects in this issue! They’re not kidding about 32 projects.
  • Very few of the projects are full-sized bed quilts. This is in stark contrast to Quiltmaker, which might feature a few smaller wall quilts, and maybe one not-quilt project per issue. Most of the projects in here are much smaller and more manageable, including things like table runners, and some cute purses.
  • The instructions are fairly comprehensive, including several sections at the end that deal with tricky topics, like binding and applique.
  • Patterns (like for applique pieces) are included on separate fold-out sheets, which can be pulled out and unfolded. This strikes me as a better system than Quiltmaker’s, which prints the patterns on the regular pages, forcing you to make photocopies to avoid cutting up the magazine.

In particular, two projects really leapt out at me: the cover quilt (click for a larger version):
Polka Dots quilt
Because I love bright colors and scrappy quilts. I think the designer made some poor choices in a few places (using a too-colorful print as a “background” fabric in one place) but in general I think it’s really clever and fun.

And this Kaleidoscope pattern:
Kaleidoscope wall quilt
Which I think could be much cooler with different color placements, in order to emphasize some of the secondary patterns. Plus, they included piecing instructions for this block that don’t involve partial seams!

So anyway, I got a lot out of this magazine. I’ll definitely be keeping it on the shelf next to my Quiltmakers, but I don’t think it’ll replace them, nor will I look into subscribing. I’ll also happily loan it to any Crackpots who are curious!