Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Happy Birthday Kids!

I know my son looks at my blog sometimes... so son, please say a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Miss K and Master J! 

Make sure there's CAKE!!


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Tiny Geese and Frivols

My local quilt shop had Moda Frivols boxes on sale last week.  I picked up a couple for the guild raffle and me.

I already had one that I purchased a couple of months ago with a coupon.

Photo from the internet, not the one I bought.

The box contains 40-42 squares of fabric, each 7 inches square.  There's a card with a traditional block inside, with a clever quote on the back, a quilt pattern, and some other little present, sometimes it's a quilt label or two, sometimes it's a tiny tin to store things that might otherwise get lost, and one had some lovely embroidered ribbon in it.

The one I was working on last night was the Blue Barn Frivol, number 12 of 12.  The pattern is for a small table runner, the blocks are a simple star.

This pattern...

The sides are flying geese.  I actually enjoy making flying geese most of the time.  But these geese are baby geese.  Tiny.  Like the sides are half of a 2 1/8 inch square cut diagonally, and the centers are half of a 3 3/4 inch square cut into quarters.
This illustrates the size of the pieces - first squares are cut, then some of them are sub-cut once and some are sub-cut twice.  The result is tiny triangles. 

Things I learned from cutting this kit:
  • A seven inch square of fabric is relatively small.
  • Cutting directions are not always developed for the most economical use of fabric.
  • 2 1/8" is an odd size to find on most rulers. 
  • I personally need to cut the squares that are sub-cut just a hair larger for the way I sew.  
  • Even if you are the most accurate, careful sewist a quarter inch seam and a scant quarter inch seam can be worlds apart!
  • You cannot press out some errors...
  • When in doubt, cut a new piece.  It's OK to toss a couple of inches of fabric rather than pull out your hair.

Tiny geese, measuring 1.5 by
3 inches.  That's a small goose! 
Lucky me, when I cut out all the pieces there was enough fabric left to cut more pieces.  99% of the triangles were the proper size to make the geese with the proper 1/4 inch seam allowance at the points, but the ones that didn't fit REALLY didn't fit!

There are multiple squares of each color in the kit.  There are star pieces and background pieces, and they are cut from the same fabric.  You are instructed to cut four small squares and one large square from one pattern/color, then use the same pattern/color to cut a different sized large square and four small squares.  This got confusing to me,

I divided the frivols into two piles, making sure I had one of each color in both piles.  Then I took several off the top of the first pile and cut the one set of squares.  I took the same fabrics off the second pile and cut the second set of squares.  Or so I thought.

Doing this while binge-watching the replay Downton Abbey may not have been the best idea.

I should have just cut the first pile and then cut the second pile, keeping to one size of square at a time.  Why?  Too many of one color, not enough of another!

See the pile on the right?  That should be FOUR small squares, and it's ONE small square.

Lovely Blue Barn colors.
A word about Frivols -- at a normal price of $40-45, these tins are not inexpensive.  I bought mine on sale or with coupons.  The tin is adorable, and since I have a thing for collecting them, I thought they were worthwhile buying, but you can get about 15 fat quarters for the same amount of money, and there are free patterns all over the internet.  So think about it.

Some who bought Frivols on Amazon or other places were disappointed because they didn't come with enough contents to actually complete the project -- you have to supply your own batting, backing and binding.  Several commented that they were disappointed or felt misled.

To them I say:  IF YOU READ THE CONTENTS on the side of the tin or the description on the website, you should understand what's inside.  It's a four inch by two inch by seven inch tin!  How much did you think was going to be in there?

I'm very happy with my purchase of Frivols.  But not too happy with my cutting skills this week!

So lessons learned.  Crisis averted since I have enough fabric left to remedy my errors.  I made one complete block and about a dozen geese units before it was time to go to bed.  When I go back to this project I'll listen to the radio instead of watching TV... maybe classical music with no distracting words!
Sew on...

Monday, December 5, 2016

Doll Coat Update

Here's the doll coat I knit last week and posted about... modeled by my old Samantha doll.  After putting the coat on the model, I decided the sleeves were too short.  I knit the proper number of rows, but maybe the author's doll had shorter arms, or maybe my gauge was off slightly.  So I picked out the bind off stitches and knit more row.

I decided the sleeve length needed

I had one ball of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino that I used for the cap, scarf and mittens.  After finishing cap and scarf, I divided the balance into two small balls, eyeballing it for about equal distribution.  And of course after starting the mittens in blue I realized there wasn't going to be enough to finish.  If they hadn't been so small (20 stitches each) I might have attempted stripes, but I think finishing with the cream turned out well.
Isn't this cap cute?

One ball of Cashmerino was used for the accessories.
Miss A helped me choose some coat buttons from the Resource Center on Saturday, so now we're good to go in the snow that fell on Sunday.

Here's what the street looked like this morning at the first stop sign on my commute.

Knit on...