Project: Don’t ever try and hand-quilt a t-shirt quilt

Also known as “Make an easier quilt”.

Project: Don't Hand Quilt a T-shirt Quilt | A Life Of Projects

Yeah. So I had this wonderful idea sometime last year. Like…last summer probably. Or maybe before. Quite frankly I’m too scared to check the timestamp on the photo because I think I started this project over a year ago. Maybe a year and a half.

But it was a really good idea. I swear.

I wanted to make a quilt.

But not just any quilt. I want a quilt that is hand quilted by myself, my grandmother, and my mom.

And sure, there are several quilts floating around that have each of our work in them. But nothing that is just the three of us. And quite frankly nothing that has a significant amount of work on my part in any of them. Lezbehonest…I was a kid and getting me to do anything actually helpful was almost impossible.

So…I’ve realized that a quilt with all of our work in it….is something I want. Something that would be very special and meaningful to me.

Quilting has been a large part of our family. I’ve seen quilts my great-grandmother hand pieced and hand quilted, quilts embroidered by my mom and aunts, and as a child I spent many hours playing underneath that huge living-room-sized quilt frame. My grandfather had my grandmother make a quilt especially for me to remember him by. So quilts hold a lot of meaning for me, but it’s not something I’ve ever had a very active part in assisting with.

So it’s time to step up, right??

And at the time…having only really quilted for random spurts in my teens….I thought HEY I CAN TOTALLY DO THIS WITHOUT THINKING IT THROUGH. And then I thought “I’m poor”. And then I thought “I have a t-shirt hoarding problem”.

And the t-shirt quilt project was born.

Let that sink in.

I decided. To hand-quilt. A t-shirt quilt. WITHOUT INSTRUCTIONS. (Or basting, or interfacing…)

Yeah.

So grandma and mom and I cut my beloved running shirts apart, picked fabrics, and without looking up how to sew jersey knit to rigid quilt cotton…pieced this sucker together.

Project: Don't Hand Quilt a T-shirt Quilt | A Life Of Projects

Look at that concentration…”I’m so totally ready to tackle this” I thought to myself…

And it’s sat in a corner in my house for longer than I care to admit.

However, I’ve found a solution. It’s a 2-part’er.

  • Part 1: Beg someone with a long-arm to just put some lines in this beast and call it done.
  • Part 2: Start new quilt that is smaller, well thought through, and not t-shirt.

Thankfully, I’ve found a friend who is just getting in to quilting on her mid-arm…and is willing to do it for a nice barter-style deal…and I’ve managed to piece together a new quilt top to a much smaller quilt.

However I’ve learned a lot from this….year long experience. I’ve learned that I really do want something made by all of us. I’ve learned a lot about quilting and I know it’s something I want to continue doing, in a way to keep the heritage going. I know that hand-quilting is a big challenge and I have so much respect for all the people I watched do it as I was growing up. I’ve learned that interfacing is super-important (haha). I’ve learned that some quilts are just too big for your first time out of the gate. And I’ve learned that it’s ok to change direction in a project and admit (somewhat) defeat.

I will hand quilt! I will have a quilt with my mom and grandma! And I will never, ever, ever try to hand quilt a t-shirt quilt again.

Project: Don't Hand Quilt a T-shirt Quilt | A Life Of Projects

Ever.

Former Perfectionist Tip: If the going gets tough – Long arm it and start something less horrible.

A Life of Projects

What projects have you had to let go of or re-route? Have you made a t-shirt quilt? Have you hand-quilted a whole quilt? Share your stories down below!

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Festivus!

Best. Weekend. EVER!!!

Ok, I say that every year, this weekend.

Why? Because it was Montpelier Fiber Fest!!!! Every year I go with one of my favorite people in the whole world…she’s my mentor, my trainer and basically who I want to become when I grow up. I get to spend the whole weekend with her and her family, some other friends, AND we go to a fiber fest, AND get awesome food (because her mom is an amazing cook) AND I get to run one of my favorite routes, AND I get my flu shot!!! YES!!!

I’m not kidding, this weekend even makes me excited about flu shots.

I love this weekend so much. Only 363 more days until I get to do it again!!!

Friday night we got in late. I basically went right to bed so that the next day we could get up and go to the festival!!!

Photo Oct 05, 10 35 49 AM

I love this festival so much. Awesome vendors, great selection, but not over-crowded. I can look around, then go back around again and get what I wanted. No pressure. It’s fantastic. More on the purchases later. I promise.

So after the festival we headed home for dinner…and these awesome ladies gave me the most amazing card…and I lost it. Cried at dinner. They also got me a little gift to wish me well for the following weekend (this coming weekend) when I will complete my first-ever marathon. The full 26.2. The big dance.

*falls over*

So…I’m as prepared as I can be. More on that…next week.

Oh holy God I’m actually doing this, aren’t I? Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.

EEK!!!!

Ahem.

So. Stash that got acquired….

Photo Oct 06, 7 33 55 PM

 

From leftish to rightish: 1) Spinning gift bag from friend’s mom. Included a new lap pad for spinning WITH POCKETS!! What??!? Yes. 2) Alpaca fleece from friend’s mom is under that. AWESOMESAUCE. I almost bought one and was regretting it. She had some to spare. SO COOL. 3) Spindle and 3oz fiber for a gift for a friend that worked all weekend at the yarn store for me so I could go play!!! 4) 6 oz each of merino in slate and burgundy. Goal is to spin for the Tempest sweater. 5) White merino for dying. 6) So…I had a dream the night before the show. I dreamed I was knitting the Rocky Coast Cardigan….and I was wearing it in my engagement photos. So I bought yarn to make it. Why not. I feel like if something comes to you in a dream and it’s reasonable…you should follow that notion. 7) Random 3.5oz of cormo that was purchased to go with hard to see 8) which is my new supported spindle!!!! IS SO PRETTY!!! Better pictures later. 9) Spinners Book of Yarn Designs. *drool* Had wanted for awhile. Friends mom had it and I spent all weekend lusting over it. So I bought one. Then 10/11) is the gifty from the amazing friends and the card.

Fantastic weekend.

Well…3 days until Baltimore. I better get packed!!!

What Your Moped Means to Me

Hello!!!

It’s been a little while since I’ve made a real post. The last few weeks have been tied up with family issues and then vacations. First my Uncle, who is like a second father to me, wound up in the hospital and then had to have surgery…so needless to say I dropped most things and spent several days driving back and forth to the hospital. He’s still in the hospital, but is recovering fairly well. Then…I went on a much needed vacation to the beach. More on that in a wee-bit. Let’s get started.

Knitting News

I finished TWO projects since we last chatted!!! Two!!!! AND STARTED A THIRD!!!! And no one had better point out the other 15 UFO’s hanging out around my house. Most of which I haven’t even put on Rav because I don’t want to face the numbers. I am not a monogamous knitter, ok?? Ok.

So…the Inishbofin Cowl from KnitScene Accessories is DONE! He-whom-it-is-for does not know this yet…and hopefully won’t read this or see me modeling it. Hehehe. If he does, he can harass me about mailing it. I’ll get there eventually.

Cowl completion!!

;

Details

Then I knit up a pair of mittens for my Aunt for Christmas. Yeah, you heard me. ONE CHRISTMAS PRESENT DONE!!! HA!!!!!

;

Mittens DONE!!

Then finally, I started some fingerless mitts for myself. I used my regular mitten pattern and added a 2×2 cable about 6sts in for the left mitt, and 23 sts in is the plan on the right. For the left it should have been over another 2 sts, but…then I would have had to move things on to different dpns and my sts wouldn’t have been even on each needle and…I was lazy, ok?? Sheesh.

;

Fingerless Mitt #1

I worked on my neon socks a little bit too. I…should put some of these things in the Ravewhatever Games. I joined like 3 teams. I should…ya know…compete.
I’m a slacker. For more evidence, see below.

Spinning Stuff

Um….no.

Seriously. Haven’t touched a thing. I had a Tour De Fleece epic fail…and have continued to fail.

Wants and needs

To spin more.

Ha!

Right now…I can’t stop buying buttons. Mostly from Ephemera and Beanforest. I needs them. I wants them. MUST HAVE ZE BUTTONS!!!!!

They go on my nifty new back-to-grad-school bag.

Dr Who Messenger Bag!!

Yeah….I’m a dork like that. So far…I’ve bought 6 new buttons this month. I need to post a picture of my button board…my purse is covered in buttons too…and sometimes they fall off. And then I cry. I need to sew them on. I’ve said that for…forever.

So what I want more than anything is a magical monkey to sew all my buttons on to things because I’m a slacker. Kthx. 🙂

Workout World

Last week I did a killer 7 mile LR. It was AWESOME. So happy with that one…however…this week I went to the beach. Aaaand I did nothing.

Can you blame me for not working out??

Actually I walked a lot…but we were only there 3 days, technically…it was one. Monday…we drove, Tuesday we beached, and Wednesday we drove home. So…yeah. Thursday I did bike a little…but I felt awful most of the day. Vacations wear you out!! But I’m slowly getting back in to things.

Today…I did one leg of a sprint distance triathlon. So there’s that. More on that in a wee bit. Tomorrow the goal is to do about 6-7 miles.

 

General Chatter

Well…as I mentioned, I start grad school in a few weeks. It’s starting to get all kinds of serious now, with meetings scheduled, and my first training for being a TA…but the fun part is all the new school stuff. I’m a sucker for school supplies…I can’t help myself. I LOVE NOTEBOOKS. And pens. Oh and don’t get me started on post-its and highlighters. SQUEEEEE!!!!

In other news, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, my neighbor annoys the $@!* out of me. In addition to his antics, we also have “The Vertical Trailer Park”.

I swear, it’s just this one building. All the other buildings in our complex are older people, or young post-college couples just starting out. But the VTP is ridiculous. It’s also the newest building in the complex which that right there just makes me want to rip my hair out…anyway. Everyone in the VTP…seems to be what one might call “trailer trash”. Most…seem to be related or at least in close association. Often people are wandering barefoot from one of the buildings stairwells to another. Frequently dragging kids back and forth. Or just screaming from one balcony to the other while hanging off the edge.

The cast of characters includes Little Hispanic Girl Who Glares, Big Lady Who Wears Things With Writing On The Rear, and my personal favorite, Orange Mohawk Safety Vest Marley Moped Man. That’s just a few of the gems. In fact, there is a whole moped crew, which that alone terrifies me. Driving a moped says one of two things: Either “I’m too broke to afford a real vehicle and think driving 35mph is socially acceptable” or “I have had so many DUI’s that this is all the state will allow me to operate”. Both of those just rub me the wrong way.

It is quality entertainment, but it’s starting to make me uneasy. The other day a man tried to sell me an air conditioner…and I’m fairly certain I saw a woman from social services doing a home check on one of the residences. Also I think two of the apartments are occupied by a husband and wife who are now divorced, because they yell at each other, transport kids back and forth between apartments, and both discipline the rugrats. It’s lovely. Really.

Before I go off on a rant about letting your children sit in the middle of a frequently used parking lot at 10:30pm…we will move on.

Awesome Award

TA-DA!!!

Team KnitWits!

 

This week’s Awesome Award is for my mom and my good friend Jo!!! Both of them completed their first sprint distance triathlon as a relay team!!!!! Jo has a full-fledged sprint tri coming up soon, so this was her practice for it. Mom…is not a super-swimmer so this was a great way for her to compete without getting her feet wet!

Jo swam, I biked, and mom ran. It was a really great race and I’m SUPER proud of these two ladies for all their efforts.

And apparently we need to give my dad a bonus Awesome Award for his sprint with the camera. According to witnesses (DB and Jo’s Hubby) dad snapped a few pictures of me finishing the bike leg, then grabbed his chair, water, hat, and camera, and sprinted off to the run start to see mom before the rest of the group even knew he had moved. Apparently, he moved so rapidly that the rest of our support crew was talking to him one minuted, and couldn’t locate him the next. With all the races and horse shows dad has played pit-crew for, he clearly knows how to navigate a crowd, and make a speedy exit if needed. He also knows where to be with a camera. Thanks dad, for always supporting us. And way to be quick on your feet while toting all our crap and your chair…but next time maybe tell the noob’s where you went….

That’s it for now! Hope everyone had a good week or so while I disappeared. And look for more updates of the Vertical Trailer Park and Downstairs Neighbor…I’m sure they will come…

 

The Countdown

Ok Knitters…you know it’s time. It’s coming. You can’t stop it…and your fingers probably can’t knit fast enough. You may not like the songs already on the radio…the wrapping paper and decorations for sale already in stores…but it’s coming. Heck, it’s here.

1 month and 4 short days….that’s all the knitting time you have left. Christmas knitting season is in full swing. We are in crisis mode here, people!!! Or…those of us with an absurd goal are in crisis mode. Perhaps you are much wiser than I am…perhaps you have chosen a modest 3 or 4 knitted projects to take on.

Me? Well I do have 4 projects. 3 aunts and 1 grandma. That’s 4.

But then I have parents.

And cousins.

And friends.

And nephews and nieces.

And a sister.

And the total comes to….(Seriously I have to pull out the app on my phone for this) a minimum of 13 projects…there’s a possibility for 15…but the goal is to have 15 done by Christmas. Yeah. 15. You heard me. I. Am. Insane. Whoooo crazy. Batcrap crazy.

How many are done? HA…let’s go see, shall we?

Mittens for Cousin (or maybe niece)

Mittens for Cousin (or maybe niece)

 

Scarf for Aunt

Scarf for Aunt

 

Mittens for Cousin (or maybe nephew)

Mittens for Cousin (or maybe nephew)

 

Mittens for Aunt

Mittens for Aunt

Well…so I only have 4 done. And I…started in…July? HA!!! Wow that’s sad. Well let’s see what I’ve at least got in progress.

Socks for Sister (One sock 2 in from done)

Socks for Sister (One sock 2 in from done)

 

Multnomah for Grandma

Multnomah for Grandma (on 4th lace repeat)

 

Scarf for B (Also making hat for her husband and mittens for son)

Scarf for B (Also making hat for her husband and mittens for son)

 

Socks for Aunt C (One sock 2 in from done)

Socks for Aunt C (One sock 2 in from done)

So….8 done or almost-done projects total. Other projects include mittens, an earmuff head wrap thing, a hat, the hat and mittens for my friend’s husband and son…so that brings us to 13.

4 finished + 4 in progress + 5 to do = Christmas Knitting Insanity.

So what have you got on the needles? Anything off the needles?? Is anyone out there crazier than my 13 projects????? I will find you some kind of prize if you can beat me. I’ll bake you cookies or granola or something. Come on. Who can top me? (And you totally can’t be retired, that’s cheating. I work 10 hours a day teaching high school. I can’t compete with someone with even a part time job)

Share your Christmas Knits!!!

Also…let’s congratulate the Knewest Knitter I Know….Miss E!!!! I work with E and taught her to knit about a month ago. She completed her VERY FIRST HAT tonight!!!!!!!!! I am so proud of her…and super excited because I think she may be the real-life knitting friend I’ve always wanted. She gets squealy like I do about pretty colors. I’m hoping to pull her further to the dark side and go to fiber fests together…she will squee with me…I can tell. We squee over shoes together, it’s an easy transition to yarn!

Welcome to the best part of your life, E. Congrats on becoming a knitter.