Monday, February 11, 2013

You win some, you give some away

I am leaving for Florida in 8 days to run the Princess Half Marathon. I'm not as ready as I'd like to be thanks to getting sick and taking a month and a half off of training, but I'll be able to finish, and I'm hoping to run more than half of it.

In the meanwhile, I'm trying to finish up a few more projects!  I've had a serious new project bug for a couple weeks and I finally succumbed to it yesterday, but not completely.  I have been really wanting to start my next quilt for a while and having all of these fantastic fat quarters taunting me in my office for the past 6 or so months has been driving me nuts.  Okay, I'll start a new quilt, but I need to finish my first quilt and a dress I've had in progress since last June.

So Saturday I took down the dress.  I think it's really cool!  The fabric is fair trade and from Ghana and I LOVE the print.  I was working on it pretty well until a cat peed on it a few months ago and I washed it and then put it away, and if you know anything about my crafting then you'll know that if it's out of sight, it's out of mind and that's why it takes me forever to finish things. When I started Saturday morning it was here...
I had to add 6 more pleats to the skirt to make the fabric match up, assembled it all, added a zipper to the back and a solid red contrast fabric to the top to give it a nice finished look.
I tried it on to figure out where to tack the straps in at the back and's about 3 sizes too big.  So if you live in the Indianapolis area and have a 36"-38" bust and would like to have a dress with fabric from Ghana, let me know.  If not, then I'll learn to alter. Bleh. 

Sunday I took the quilt in progress to my knitting group where I stitched diligently for about 3 hours.  I made it about 2 feet across in my binding.  I still have around 15 feet of hand sewing to do before I can officially start my new quilt. 
 Yesterday I was only going to wash the fabric for the new one and maybe iron it...and then put it away until a few more projects were done.  As you can see, I'm lacking a bit in the self control department.  I have decided that I won't go any farther than cutting the fat quarters before I finish a few more projects though.  This is going to be a little harder to ignore because I don't have the background fabric yet.
*I actually do have 4.5 yards of the background fabric washed and ironed upstairs.  But then I got to looking at the quilt pattern.  It calls for 18 fat quarters and 4.5 yards of background fabric for a TWIN bed sized quilt.  I was aiming for a queen sized quilt that covers at least a foot of the bed on each side- maybe a king size quilt just to be safe.  So I have 27 fat quarters that I've been buying one or two at a time for a year or so and once they're all cut up I'll go and buy around 8 or 9 yards of an off-white fabric to use as the background. The 4.5 yards I have is not enough and a little more taupe than I had intended to buy- don't buy fabric in poor lighting peeps! I'm sure it will work for a future project though- fabric doesn't go bad.

**Prewashing your fat quarters is a giant pain in the butt.  But from here on out I'm washing all my fabrics before I start cutting and sewing, I don't want any more surprises like I had on Emery's baby quilt.  A few of the articles I read said to surge the ends, a few said to pink the ends with pinking shears, and one or two said to put stay stitches along all four sides.  So I thought about it and the fact that I have a bit more fabric than I'll probably need and just threw them in the wash with one of those color catchers.  They unraveled a bit at the sides but I probably saved myself a few hours of pinking/surging/stay-stitching and I'm pleased with my decision.  Having more fabric than you need is a real treat- you're so much less stressed about unraveling, miss-cuts and losing a piece.  Not to mention that some fat quarters can be a little on the skinny side if they're coming from a quilt shop trying to finish up a bolt of fabric.

I did finish one more project since my last post, and that's Rob's Valentine's Day hat.  It blocked out beautifully and he seems to really like it.  I made him try it on for pictures and he asked if he really had to wait another week to have it.  I can't say no and he's got his Valentine's Day gift early.  Here he is getting his Zoolander on, plus a cat in the hat.
I do have a few more little things I'd like to finish up before I go, including a doily for a wedding that Rob and I went to in October (whoops!).  I'm on the penultimate letter and between my 2 shows tonight I'm hoping to finish the doily and get the border on there.

I'd also like to finish a pair of socks in sport weight yarn.  I'm just past the gusset on the second one. Probably doable.

I'd like to finish a fair-isle cowl that needs to have the bottom 2 inches ripped out and redone.

I NEED to finish a cupcake hat for a 1 year old by Friday. I would like to knit one for a newborn and get pictures of the two next to each other and start working on the pattern.  I've had enough complements on the cupcakes and sales of the finished products that I'm going to be publishing the pattern and selling it for $3 on Ravelry.  I do need to get it photographed and written up and figure out how that whole Ravelry shop thing works.  If you have a pattern for sale in your Ravelry shop and want to give me some pointers, that would be pretty awesome.  I'm particularly interested in licensing so that people can make and sell the cupcake hats and how I go about selling licenses for that sort of thing. 

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