July 2010

There’s been little sewing done on this project in the last 2 weeks, but I haven’t been idle! Linda released the half-clamshell templates in Inklingo this month, so I added halvsies to each side of the second row of the quilt. This appeals to me much more than the idea of taking my rotary cutter to make a straight edge later.

I decided to let some of the back side show so you can see what I mean about the grid pattern I drew on the back of the templates to help me line up the clams for sewing.

What did I spend my time on, you ask? Well, I wanted to have a good assortment of clamshells to choose from for row 3, so I decided to prep a whole bunch at once. I printed out the Inklingo clamshells on my soluble stabilizer sheets, added the vertical and horizontal registration lines with a fabric pencil (wash-out), and glue-basted the fabric over the templates. Once I rinse the quilt top in water, the stabilizer will be soft and stitchable.

I think that’s a pretty good assortment. On to row 3!


Another sunny day, perfect for taking a few pictures of progress on the clamshell quilt. I have now completed the sewing on the first two rows:

These are 3-inch wide patches, and this strip is 20 clamshells wide on the top row. Once the piecing is done, I plan to add an off-white border all around. Maybe polka dots? I’ll do some experimenting with border fabric once the rest of the clams are together. I do love these fabrics.

The pleasure of creating one-patch quilts is influencing my knitting, too. I’ve been thinking about knitting a blanket. Yesterday, I grabbed some leftover sock yarn and made this:

A little knitted hexagon! I used the “Komb” pattern from a Berroco leaflet. The original blanket is knit in a much heavier yarn, and is knit flat. I substituted sock yarn (Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in South Shore) and 2.25 mm needles, and converted the pattern to knit in the round. I hate sewing up seams! I forgot to measure the little guy, but each side of the hexie is less than 2 inches long.

The pattern gives instructions for joining the hexagons as you knit. I thought that would be a neat idea until I realized that I would have the growing blanket in my lap all the time. Which would bother me more, that or sewing  all the little hexie seams together? I’ll have to knit another one and try sewing them together before I decide how to proceed.

I’ve been rethinking the Paper Bag Roses quilt, both the fabric and the sewing method. I was using English Paper Piecing, similar to what I’m doing with the clamshells. I think it is still the best plan for those small curved clams, but I’ve just done this hexagon flower with Inklingo, and I like it so much better. So I’ve restarted Paper Bag Roses, and changed to some brighter fabric, too.

I’m using Inklingo as it was designed to be used–printing directly on the back of the fabric, and using a running stitch to join the seams together. It’s fast and accurate. Here’s a shot of the back of the hexie flower, so you can see how I pressed the seams.

I haven’t officially joined Karen’s One Flower Wednesday challenge group, but if I can stay on track with this project, I may just do that. I’m working away at the clamshells, and will have a new photo of the finished rows very soon! It’s hard to stay indoors and sew, though, when the back yard garden looks like this:

I almost can’t stand to look at this shawl today…we have record-breaking heat this week, which is scheduled to continue at least until Friday. With the humidity factored in, it feels like 41 Celsius outside right now. Yes, this is Ottawa, Canada, and not Riyadh! The sun is perfect for pictures, though, so I briefly ventured out to snap a few pictures.

The first Multnomah I knit was for a swap. It was difficult to give it away, and I vowed to knit the pattern again for myself. There was a niggling bit of doubt in my mind, though. I worried that I would get bored and not finish it. No worries, there! It was fun, and I immediately started another feather and fan shawl after I bound off.

The yarn is Malabrigo sock in the “Indiecita” colourway. I used less than 2 skeins. This is a larger version than the original pattern. I wanted something a bit larger, so I increased the number of garter stitches to 265 before starting the feather and fan border.

I think this photo has the best representation of the true colour of the yarn. My 2 skeins were the same dye lot, purchased at the same time, and yet were surprisingly different. I knit the garter stitch portion with one ball, which had lots of lighter green and no purple whatsoever. When I started the feather and fan pattern, I began alternating skeins, knitting two rows of one, changing to the other, and so on. I knit the last 3 pattern repeats with just the second skein, the one with the lovely dark purple in it.

What’s with the peanuts in the 2nd photo? They’re a gift for this guy:

He (she?) comes by to relax once in awhile. He can tell I am fascinated by him, and will stay on the deck to eat his snack, so I can check out his bright eyes and glossy fur. I have heard that squirrels can be yarn thieves, so I don’t leave any of my creations outside unattended.