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!

Social Filter Smackdown

Let’s start off with a small discussion on social filters.

So, I was sitting somewhere that it is socially acceptable to have a spinning wheel in public…and spinning on my Schacht Matchless. Spinning away. Loving every second.

And then…this woman comes in to the general vicinity of myself. She watches me for a few minutes. And then promptly states “I just hate double treadle machines”. To which I politely told her that that was fine, and mine was a single treadle.

(My wheel looks like this…..)

She stood there for a few more seconds and then said “Well but you’re using two feet”. I calmly explained to her that I was choosing to do that, but I could also treadle with one foot. I have a SINGLE treadle. ONE. ONE PIECE OF WOOD THERE. (I didn’t get shouty. Be impressed.) So she stood there some more, walked around me and finally said “Well, I have a CLASSIC single treadle, single foot machine.”

Good. For. You.

Did I ASK you if you liked my wheel? NO. Did I ASK you if you WANTED my wheel? NOOO. Do I CARE if you hate my wheel?? NO I DO NOT!!! Are you rude in walking up to someone and telling them you hate something they clearly at least like enough to borrow or own? YES!!! For the love of all things wooly, social filters, people! Social filters!!! Let me tell you, there was a LONG list of very rude things I thought about telling her that I “hated” but due to my upbringing and SOCIAL FREAKING FILTER, I maintained my good manners and didn’t tell her my thoughts.

She had a friend with her…and personally if one of my friends had have said something like that out loud to another human, I would have physically hit them. Or another option, the one I currently utilize, is to not be friends with rude people. I mean, turning to your friend out of earshot and expressing your loathing of jeggings is one thing…but walking up to a stranger and telling them about their fashion faux pas is not in your job description unless you are Stacy and Clinton. For seriously, people. SOCIAL FILTERS. Use them and encourage others to do so as well.

Social. Filters.

Moving on. And not beating anyone with sticks.

Knitting News

I fell down a rabbit hole today. I just discovered VeryBusyMonkey. Oh. Em. GEE. Have you SEEN her patterns?!!!? MUST HAVE ALL THE PATTERNS. Usually, I’m a free pattern knitter. I’m broke, in grad school, and value my free patterns. Yeah, I buy books and magazines, but I’m getting more than just a pattern or four with that. It is RARE for me to buy a pattern. Not because I don’t value the designers work, but mostly because I prefer to buy a whole book or magazine for some reason. I don’t know. It’s just me. I’m odd. Also, it’s rare that I like ALL of someone’s something (yarn, fiber, patterns, whatever). The only other designer I’m hardcore in love with is Wooly Wormhead. So now I’ve found another favorite, which is awesome.  I bought her Shawl Pattern #4 collection. I want every single one. The good news is that I’m getting one of these for Christmas. I’m gifting the patterns to a friend for a swap. I knit her socks, she knits me a shawl. SO EXCITED. I don’t know which shawl I shall get, but it will be AWESOMETASTIC.

I’ve also been working on mittens for KP’s mom. One done and size-tested on everyone’s hand I could find, since I do not know the exact size of KP’s mom’s hand…but I assume it to be larger than my tiny ones. If I was a good blogger I would have pictures. But I slacked. So sorry.

I did manage to get some spinning done though!!!

Spinning Stuff

DONE!!!! My first TIBH spin is all done!!!! Not sure on yardage yet, it’s resting on the bobbin right now. I’m also not sure what it’s going to be…. The colorway is Olivander’s Wand Shop. Mostly greens which isn’t something I wear a lot of…so I’m not sure what it will become just yet. But it was super-fun to spin. Love me some TIBH.

Photo Sep 21, 12 59 17 PM

Single ply…

Photo Sep 22, 7 05 39 PM

2 ply with some chain at the end because….I fail at spinning evenly.

More pictures once it’s skeined and set!

Craft-tastic Crap

Well as you know both DF and I are major University of Tennessee fans…and thanks to pinterest I have been stalking some super-cute UT wreaths. Then at the flea market I found wooden wreaths for $3. So why not make one???

I got some ribbon and wooden letters, painted them up, wove in the ribbon, and…..

Photo Sep 09, 8 25 40 AM

Super cute, yes?!?!

Well, that’s it for now. I’m going to go do some meal planning, school work, and remember to use my social filter!!! ❤

The Destruction of a Delivery Man

Hello!!!! Yes, yes, I know. I’m a smidge late on posting. My apologies. Pet sitting overtook my life. Let’s dive right in.

Knitting News

Working at a yarn store…creates yarn-buying accidents. I’ve bought…oh….9 skeins this week?

Ok, ok, ok, before everyone yells at me…it’s only around $8 a skein, AND it’s DISCONTINUED!!! Ok?!?! I had to. I mean….discontinued yarn means….it’s over. Done. Finite. End. I HAD to buy it if I EVER wanted to knit a thick and thin black and pink scarf!!! And then…uh….a orange and white one too? BUT IT’S TENNESSEE ORANGE!!! I HAD TO!!!!!

This is the pink…I have a weakness.

No one tell DB. Seriously. Do not tell him. I’m so totally supposed to be on a budget in preparation for grad school…but…ICOULDNTHELPITANDITWASPRETTYANDISPENDALLMYPAYCHECKONYARNINSTEADOFFOOD!!!

Yeah so I can’t eat for a week or two…but my scarf is pretty.

My lighting is bad. But my scarf is pretty.

I need to work on Christmas stuff…ugh. Is it that time already?!?! How about you? Any Christmas projects yet??

Spinning Stuff

I have kind of fallen off the Tour de Fleece wagon. I am going to pull the “I had to pet/house sit” card. I lost at least 2 hours a day due to driving/destructive dogs. I did, however, start spinning silk for the first time ever!! It’s going well so far. I’m starting from silk caps, pulling them apart and stretching it to roving. It’s a little easier than the Merino/Silk blend I did last. It sticks together a little better….but if I spin too thin and it snaps…I can’t splice it back together. I have to tie it together…unless you have a better suggestion?? Again, totally new at the silk stuff…any thoughts would be super.

I’ve got a little more than this, but this is my start.

I’ve done two pulls out of the first cap…didn’t weigh it beforehand so I’m not sure how much weight-wise yet. Hopefully this week I’ll jump back on the wagon.

Wants and needs

My good friend just got one of these wheels…and I so totally want one!!

It’s a spinning wheel with a bike tire!!!

I either want my dad to make me one…or find out where I can buy one. I’ve googled my little fingers off…but I can’t find any makers!!! This only makes me want this wheel more. I have “It’s not easily accessible”-itis.

Workout World

This week was really up and down for working out. Thursday I did a nice 3 mile run then a 30 min swim…then Friday I couldn’t get out of bed I was so exhausted.

But today….awesome run! I ran an easy 3 miles at the park and met a new running pal. There was an older gentleman up ahead of me, about my pace when I started. It took me almost a full mile to pass him. We were very evenly matched. Also known as…I’m a slow runner. Ha.

So we chatted and ran another half mile together. He had just retired from teaching high school, so we had lots to discuss. Then I turned around and he continued on. Hopefully I’ll see him again sometime!

That’s my favorite part about running. All of the people you meet. Almost everyone is friendly and they all have stories to share. It makes the miles go a lot faster.

I’ve got 6 miles on the books for tomorrow. Hopefully this week will be an up week!

General Chatter

ALMOST UNPACKED!!! Yes!!!!! I think I cleared out about 6 more boxes today. I can see most of the floor in my office now!!! It’s exciting. Trust me. And no one tell my mother that all the stuff I’m storing at her house is probably going to stay there. Hehehe.

So we’ve mentioned the house sitting this week. What I didn’t mention thus-far is the insane dogs. Sweet…but nuts. They obliterated a package that the UPS man delivered…and possibly the delivery man himself. I’m really not sure. All I know is I got home from work, and there were shreds of packaging at the gate…and 4 innocent looking canines all wagging their tails.

I got to the porch…and there was the rest of the packaging, including a large plastic bag that the delivery man had clearly intended to protect the package from the elements with. He didn’t come prepared to protect it from a pack of wild animals. I managed to dig out the packing slip which managed to only sustain one or two bite marks. The package was a water testing kit…and I looked all over the floor of the porch, in the bushes, around the house, around the gate and couldn’t find the actual bottle for testing.

Then I looked up.

The testing bottle…in a box…was resting on top of the upright kayak. With one tiny bite mark.

Let’s recap…shreds of packaging at the gate. Majority of the packaging and packing slip on the porch. Contents (or all I could find) of package 5.5 feet in the air, precariously balanced on a kayak.

So…any physics or animal psychology experts want to take a stab at this one??

All I can deduce is that the UPS man left the package at the gate…realized the dogs were going to shred it…took it to the porch….then a monstrous battle occured between man and beast…and the UPS man did his very best to protect the package…put it out of the dogs reach…and ran for his life.

Mind you…I’ve been wrestling power tools away from these dogs all week so…this is a totally plausible story in my mind.

Awesome Award

So I just found a new comedy band…Garfunkel and Oates. They are definitely rated R…and offensive to most…but if you enjoy adult humor, check them out.

I think this is possibly my favorite song ever…I wish I’d found it sooner. Could have been useful.

 

 

And on that note…have an awesome week everyone!!! (And don’t buy more yarn than I do. It’s not healthy.)

 

Seriously? He Said That??

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let it be known that on this, the twelfth day of February in the 2012th year of our Lord and Lady….my boyfriend just stated the following:

“You can never have too much yarn, right honey?”

Yes. He said that. He did. At approximately 5:40pm he uttered that statement. This has now been entered in to the public record in every way I could possibly think of. I am keeping this one.

Also he is now a tad flustered by my reaction and trying to redact his statement. He’s beginning to realize the grave, grave error he just made in giving me free reign in any yarny area I can afford. Poor thing. I love him dearly. He just has no idea what he just did to himself. For the rest of his life I will remind him of this. Poor, poor man.

Here’s a little insight in to what exactly my stash looks like….

Around 150 different listings in Rav. About 30% have multiple skeins and some are fiber for spinning. Ohhh the poor man.

Just wait until he has to help me move it all, come June!!! HA!!!!!!

You heard it here first, folks. I CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MUCH YARN!!!!!!!!!

Watch out Loopy Ewe…here I come.

 

 

 

He’s still trying to figure out the magnitude of his error. It may take him years….or Rhinebeck to grasp…

 

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.

I Confess…

I need to confess my knitterly-sins.

But don’t you look at me like that!!! You know you’ve done it too!!!!

You know how when your family/friend/co-worker/auto mechanic finds out that you knit…they always say one of two things….either “That’s so cool, I want to learn to do that” or “That looks really hard” and this statement, no matter which it is, is inevitably followed by “You should knit me a ________.”

Yeah. You know that conversation.

So let’s say this person is someone close enough to you that they might actually deserve a knitted gift. Let’s say they are a close family friend. We’ll call her Jane. So Jane tells you how pretty your knitting is…and that she’d love a hat. But then…Jane says that one phrase that drives all knitters insane.

Jane says “But I’m allergic to wool.”

Yeah. She said it. You heard that. She’s allergic. ALLERGIC. Mhmm. Yeah. You know what’s going through your head. You know you are sitting there thinking that Jane probably has never felt the soft kiss of merino. You’re betting your tape measure that Jane has only experienced itchy store-bought machine-knit things or, heaven forbid, is thinking of her grandma’s itchy acrylic crocheted afghan…and making a horrible mistake.

So what’s a knitter to do? Do you knit her something with cotton, or God-forsaken squeaky acrylic??

I’ll tell you right now…this is where I become a very bad knitter. Telling me you’re allergic to wool, without any supporting stories or evidence…will almost ensure that I will knit you something out of wool.

I mean come ON, have you people FELT Malabrigo?!?! How can anyone resist THAT??? Or say that it’s iiiiitchy.

Whiners.

My aunt told me she was allergic to wool.

Guess what she got for Christmas.

Yeah. Hand knit socks.

And has she mentioned a mysterious rash? Noooo. Did she wear them all day on Christmas? Yeeeees.

Allergic my ass.

There. I’ve confessed. I’m a knaughty knitter and I’m proud of it.

Don’t judge me. You know you’ve slipped someone some Malabrigo too!!!

 

Boatload of Random

Welcome to the Wonderful Wednesday of RANDOM!!!

I have made some pretty awesome discoveries lately.

  1. I own 4 pairs of size 8 needles, and 2 identical size 9 circ’s.
  2. Needles hurt but I don’t pass out as long as it’s not a doctor holding the needle.
  3. I am not scared of heights, I’m scared of the ground and going towards it quickly.
  4. I drive a halibut.
  5. My cat thinks he is invincible.

Lesson 1: The first discovery was made when I found an AWESOME app for my Droid. The app is KnitStash and it is the answer to my prayers.

You see…I have the problem of just buying the needles I need for a project…when I’m at the store buying the yarn….I rarely think to look at HOME for the needles. No. That would make too much sense.

I keep trying to put my needles in to Ravelry…but I get all confused as to what I have, and what I’ve given to mom…and the metal ones I’ve gotten rid of…I mean I love Rav and the needle section…but printing the card just doesn’t work.

However…something in my phone? YEAH. That never leaves my side. So when I found that app, I went nuts. You can put in your needles, hooks, and projects! It also has a counter so you can use it for multiple projects…I can count rows on a sock, and stitches on a shawl!!!

Lesson 2: So…I got my second tattoo. *gasp* Yeah. The first one…didn’t really count. It’s Tiiiiiiiny. Teeny tiny even. This one is bigger…maybe 3x3in. And it’s right on my hip bone so…little painful. I laughed through the first part…then the pain hit and I wasn’t really laughing anymore. At one point I started wishing I was fat so there would be some padding between the needle and my bone! But I pulled through.

Fresh Ink!

Fresh Ink!

Lesson 3: Next I learned to suck up my fear of heights and get over it. I went rock climbing for the very first time!!! It was at an indoor gym about an hour from where I live. It was a BLAST. I also learned that you have GOT to trust that person on the ground and they really need to know what they are doing! I got a ton of pictures and videos.

Lesson 4: Auto text hates me. I tried to type “Chevy Malibu” but got “Chevy halibut”. Yes. I drive a white fish. Win.

Lesson 5: My dear kitty cat decided the top of my bathroom door was where he should be. He lept from the top of the bathroom counter…to the ONE INCH WIDE bathroom door. How he stuck that landing…I don’t know. But being the good cat-mommy I am…I ran for the camera.

Watch for a much more yarn-y update this weekend…and more pictures later today possibly. 🙂