Knitting Away

I taught myself to knit. It started here:

Dan's first knitted hat

This is the Ribbed Watchman’s Hat made for my hubby.

Then it went here:

Eli's Sockhead Hat

This one is the Sockhead Hat made for my son.

Up next was this one:

Dan's Ribbed Beanie

Free Ribbed Beanie Pattern for hubby.

Then I made a Thomas Hat for Dan:

Dan's Thomas Hat

And then a Honey Cowl for me:

My Honey Cowl

Then a Swirl Hat for Eli:

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And finally a Be Loving, Remixed! Hat for Dan:

Dan's Be Loving, Remixed!

All these patterns are free! You can also see the other projects I’ve made on Ravelry (monica21stl).

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A Little Quilt for Baby Self

I started and finished this baby quilt within a week! This was the first baby quilt I’ve made, so it was a lot of fun to play with and plan.

Baby Self's Quilt

All of the prints came from my scraps and stash. I tried to pull colors based on items from their registry, but it evolved so much into its own that it no longer resembles those things. I don’t mind things not matching. Hope they don’t either!

The gray background fabric is Kona Coal I believe, but don’t quote me on that. I’m not big on keeping track of the names of solids until I need to match one. Then, I have no way to figure it out and I wonder why I don’t keep track of them somehow. So I start to wonder how I could even do it and that’s usually when the cycle starts over…

The photo below is my little guy holding the finished top up for me to share on Instagram. I wanted to share this one (even though it was taken inside my sewing room) because I couldn’t get a photo of the whole thing finished without laying it on the ground.

Finished baby quilt top

I even did the quilting on my own machine! That doesn’t happen very often because my little Brother Innov-is doesn’t like quilting anything larger than this. I tried a lap sized quilt a few months ago, hoping I could manage it. My machine said quite firmly, “No.” I did diagonal lines across the prints. When I began quilting it, I was afraid of messing it up either from my inexperience or the machine’s stubbornness. I was really surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did and that the lines were actually straight enough to be called straight. Nice!

I used the Citrus & Mint tutorial from Craft Buds. It was super quick and fun!

This has already gone to the parents-to-be this past Sunday but I wasn’t able to attend because I had signed up for a workshop from Elizabeth Hartman that day. I gave Dan strict orders to watch them open their gift and report back to me whether they liked it or not. He texted me, “They were blown away!” That was more of a relief to me than actually finishing the quilt on time!

Drunk Math – Michael Miller Challenge

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Here is my quilt for the Modern Quilt Guild’s Michael Miller Fabric Challenge.

Drunk Math - MQG Challenge - Dandelion Stitching Co.

I knew I wanted a big, chunky, wonky strip plus in the middle, but the border plusses I didn’t plan till I was at that point. I kinda love this mini quilt. The fabrics have really great patterns, but the colors aren’t something I’d normally go for. I’m so glad I decided to take on this challenge.

Drunk Math - MQG Challenge - Dandelion Stitching Co.

Drunk Math - MQG Challenge - Dandelion Stitching Co.

 

Drunk Math - MQG Challenge - Dandelion Stitching Co.

Drunk Math - MQG Challenge - Dandelion Stitching Co.

Thanks Modern Quilt Guild and Michael Miller for a fun challenge!

 

 

A Quilt for my Mom

I told my mom last Christmas (2013) that I would make her a quilt as her gift. Fast forward almost seven months and she finally received it. I had her look through some of my books and patterns and she picked one out (Framed by Camille Roskelley, in her book Simply Retro). Luckily, that pattern was already on my quilty bucket list. Then I asked what fabric/colors she wanted. Her response was greens and blues with a white background. She let me have free reign from then on! So off I went to my favorite LQS, Janie Lou to pick out some fabric and seven months later I had this:

Mom's Quilt - Dandelion Stitching Co.

I had such a hard time handing it over…

Mom's Quilt - Dandelion Stitching Co.

 

I gave this one to Jamie of Sunflower Quilts to do some longarm quilting for me. She did these really cute spirals in a light gray thread. The echo-y look of is my favorite. Here’s a closeup view:

Mom's Quilt - Dandelion Stitching Co.

 

The back is a wide-back Carolyn Friedlander crosshatch, another favorite print of mine.

Mom's Quilt - Dandelion Stitching Co.

 

 

Mom's Quilt - Dandelion Stitching Co.

 

Mom's Quilt - Dandelion Stitching Co.

Gratuitous action shot of my quilt helpers:

Mom's Quilt - Dandelion Stitching Co.

The day after we took these photos, Bug brought his train quilt into the dining room and quite laboriously laid it out perfectly and said, “Mommy, my quilt is ready for you to take pictures!” I kinda love him a bunch.

 

A Few Finished Bags

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There is an awesome local quilt shop here in St. Louis called Janie Lou. They had a class with Casey York who taught her Ginormous Tote bag over two Saturdays. Needing a big bag to carry all of my sewing supplies to sew-ins, I quickly jumped on board.

Ginormous Tote - Dandelion Stitching Co.

 

This bag is gargantuan and I love it! It’s so easy to make, it just takes a bit of time to quilt the exterior and make the straps.

An inside peek:

Ginormous Tote-inside Dandelion Stitching Co.

 

And a bit closer:

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I had been eyeing the Sew Together Bag pattern for a few months, but having heard it was a little difficult to construct, I was kind of intimidated to try it. Then, I saw that The Quilt Barn had a sew along for it and I finally couldn’t hold myself back anymore.

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Sew Together Bag - Dandelion Stitching Co.

The construction on this bag is super genius! And thanks to the sew along, the instructions weren’t hard at all. The inside is pretty fun:

Sew Together Bag - Dandelion Stitching Co.

Comma is one of my all-time favorite fabric lines! Can’t get enough…

I’ve made three more of these so far, but one of them went to my mom as a Mother’s Day gift and I forgot to take photos of it. And the other two (yes, two!) went to my son to hold all of his Imaginext figures. If I can get them emptied for long enough, I may be able to get some photos…

 

I use this last bag as my everyday purse and couldn’t be happier with it. Plus, I made it with Comma. “Nuff said.

Art Student Tote - Dandelion Stitching Co.

Art Student Tote - Dandelion Stitching Co.

Art Student Tote - Dandelion Stitching Co.

My hubby helped me add a few zippers (He’s kind of a genius with the welt pockets… Don’t tell him I said that.)

Art Student Tote - Dandelion Stitching Co.

Art Student Tote - Dandelion Stitching Co.

 

We added a zipper on the back outside and one on the interior.

 

A Quilt for Dan {Finally…}

My poor hubby… He waited a while to get his own quilt. Not because I didn’t want to make one for him, but just because I always had a project with some sort of deadline. When I finally got to the quilting part, I decided to try free motion quilting on my little home machine (Brother) but it was too big and heavy for me to do it with my sanity intact. So I came up with a genius idea. Why not hand quilt it? Yeah, it was brilliant…

Orange & Grey Quilt - Dandelion Stitching Co.

 

Dan picked out the fabric, the pattern and the layout. All I did was stitch.

Orange & Grey Quilt - Dandelion Stitching Co.

Dan uses it every night. I gotta admit, I’ve been known to try to steal it. It never works.

The backing:

Orange & Grey Quilt Back

 

See that little crazy pieced strip between the white fabrics? Dan actually sewed that piece himself from the scraps. He’s just good like that.

Here’s a better look at the quilting and the binding.

Orange & Grey Quilt Closeup - Dandelion Stitching Co.

 

I had a tiny little helper at the park when I took photos. Isn’t he cute?!

Tiny Helper - Dandelion Stitching Co.

I think they like it…

Daddy & Bug Snuggles - Dandelion Stitching Co.

Daddy & Bug - Dandelion Stitching Co.

And just one more gratuitous photo:

Daddy & Bug Back - Dandelion Stitching Co.

He’s only had it for two months and is already planning another one for me to make him.

Quilt Stats
Name: Dan’s Orange & Grey Quilt
Size: about 60″ x 78″
Pattern: “Happy Baby Quilt” by Kristine Lundblad (Modern Patchwork magazine, Spring 2013)
Fabric: all from Joann
Quilting: Hand stitched by me
Started: July 19, 2013
Finished: February 8, 2014

 

 

Riley Blake Challenge Mini Quilt

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Better late that never, right?

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When I first started thinking about what I wanted to do for this challenge, I was going in a completely different direction.  Then, I got bored with that design, and came up with this simple one.  I chose black as the background to make the bright, summery colors really pop.  I also decided to try out flecked binding and I think it really adds interest.

Here’s the back:

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I echoed the empty box block on the front and made a larger, scrappy version. This is the first real project I did free motion quilting. Not too shabby for a first go… Lots of room for improvement!

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Quilt Stats
Name: Riley Blake Challenge Mini Quilt
Size: about 24″ x 24″
Pattern: my own
Fabric: Background – Moda Bella Solid Black, Empty squares – Bella solids (didn’t get which colors),
          Other fabrics – various Riley Blake prints and solids
Quilting: Free motion boxes done by me on my home machine
Started: December 29, 2013
Finished: February 4, 2014

Shattered Star Mini Quilt

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The St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild gave us a challenge to take the Ohio Star and make it modern.  You can read more about the challenge here.  Here’s what I came up with…

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I basically took each layer of the Ohio Star and separated them and twisted them.  For the quilting, I did organic straight lines.  This is the first project that I’ve attempted free motion quilting and I have to say I was surprised at how quick it was and so much fun!  Here’s a better look at the quilting…

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I made a really quick backing with the leftover fabric I had.

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We’ve just redone Eli’s bedroom and he has nothing on his walls, so I chose the colors based on his room (Thomas the Tank Engine and blue), while also keeping in mind that it’s not going to stay in his room forever.  I added a strip of fabric to the back of each corner to hang it up but for some reason one of the hooks keeps falling down.  Dan says there’s a ghost that only haunts the wall.  Um, sure…

The first time we tried it, Eli was napping and it woke him up!  Oops…  So after that we’ve only worked on it when he would be up for a while.  Either we’ll figure out why the hook won’t stay up or I’ll change to a regular hanging sleeve and it will go up in Eli’s room.

Quilt Stats
Name: Shattered Star Mini Quilt
Size: about 45″ x 45″
Pattern: my own
Fabric: Background – The Boo Crew Black Fly Trap  Colors – Bella solids (didn’t get which colors)
Quilting: Organic Line Stitching done by me on my home machine
Started: August 18, 2013
Finished: September 8, 2013

Chevron Overload Tote

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I am absolutely smitten with the Art Student Tote bag from Anna Maria Horner.  I made one and didn’t get a photo of it before I started using it and now it’s looking pretty rough.  I made another one with Riley Blake Chevron fabric.

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See?  Smitten.

The pattern is so easy to follow.  It took me a little less than 9 hours total to finish this bag.  Started on July 6, 2013 and finished July 8, 2013.  Once it was done, the bag was so pretty and crisp that I didn’t want to use it and mash up the fabric on the handles or let any other signs of wear show.  But I finally caved and brought it with us to the Great Forest Park Balloon Race this year.  It held a sweatshirt for each of us, Dan, Eli, and myself, plus other odds and ends so it was stuffed pretty full, but it all fit inside!

Messenger Bag

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I have to have pockets in my bags to keep me organized.  Cannot live without them. Seriously.  So, when I saw the Messenger Bag tutorial by Kati from from the blue chair, it immediately went onto my Project List!  And there it sat until I could muster up the courage to tackle it…  I got a little confused as to which piece went where, but that was my own brain getting in my way.  The tutorial is very well written with clear instructions and lots of photos.  Here’s how mine turned out.

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I’ve been using it as my purse for a few months now.  I did think it would end up bigger, because I was hoping to be able to carry Eli’s extra things on outings so we didn’t have to carry another bag.  But it only has enough room for my purse stuff.  Maybe next time I make one, I’ll make it bigger.

Here’s the back.

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And the inside.

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Yep, that’s an inset pocket.  Dan actually helped me a lot with that part!  And the clip for keys is beyond awesome!

I started this project on March 23, 2013 and finished it on July 4, 2013.  It took me about 12 hours from start to finish, including all the time it took me to sort out my confusion.  The fabric I used is Bekko by Trenna Travis and I ordered it from Hawthorne Threads.  It looks so professionally made that I was shocked when I finally finished it!  I thought, “That came from ME?!”  I also love the look on other people’s faces when I tell them that I made it!