Tuesday, March 25, 2014

 Dave's sister Theresa and her husband have been so great and helpful to us with our house.  They helped us put up shelves in all our closets, helped us hook up our washer/dryer and built drawers for our kitchen among many other things.  They've even gone to Menards to buy materials themselves and we've been nagging them for the amount we owe them.  They basically said don't worry about it which was so generous but she did mention that their church bazaar was always looking for knitted dishrags so I made her a stack of Warsh Rags from Mason Dixon Knitting.  These were all knit from cotton yarn I already had in the stash and it was a fun challenge to see how many combinations I could get while trying to use each color/way up completely.  I will make her sorry she ever asked for dishrags!

 I finished my second jelly roll blanket from my scrub scraps.  I pieced this one using the diagonal seam method and was impressed with it but I held my breath a lot because more often than not, the strip would look crooked.  I used a 1/2" seam when I started sewing the long strip and any imperfections were hidden but you really had to watch.  I also stopped after each long seam to press it open rather than doing it all at the end.  I love the finished blanket but the only thing I don't like is that because of the construction, it doesn't come out with nice right angles so finishing was a little trickier.

I backed this one with a busy green/gold chevron print.  This one turned out a little wider than the last one and I'm very happy with it.  I still wouldn't take something like this to the fair.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Jelly Roll Fun

I saw this video on someone else's blog a while back and have been thinking and thinking about it.  I have made quite a few blankets but I wouldn't call them quilts because as careful and fussy as I am, I can never get the pieces and edges to perfectly match up.  Years ago I made a simple patch work blanket using 6 inch squares cut from the scraps of my scrub tops.  Cutting out the squares was tedious, as was sewing together the individual pieces.  This technique really appealed to me because strips can be different lengths and you only have to measure 2 sides of each piece versus 4.  I also loved the randomness of this method.
Here are my 40 odd scrub tops from work.  My hospital changed to color coded scrubs for the various departments almost 2 years ago and these have sat in a bag ever since.  We actually used that bag as a door stop for a while!  I know I am a compulsive saver at times but I really didn't want to throw these away.  They represent my 14 year nursing career and were all made from carefully chosen beautiful prints of fabric.  I always tried to be seasonal with my work tops.

All the strips I cut were 3 inches wide and as long as I could squeeze out of the scrubs.  I cut the scrubs apart first, cut the pockets and neck casings off and then using my rotary cutter and mat, cut long strips from the back panels and middle fronts and then short strips from the arms.  It took me almost 2 days to get through all of them. 

Then I separated out each print and stacked them all up so they were evenly distributed.  I did some fancy math to figure out how many strips I'd need to make a full/queen size blanket and decided I'd need 4 stacks.  Oh, can you tell which scraps were Dave's contribution?

I sewed the strips together end to end but next time I will do the angled method.  This blanket was so much easier and forgiving to piece together.  It was almost mindless which is my kind of project.  When it comes to projects like this, I am a firm believer that busy is better and this is certainly a busy blanket!  I backed it with a very busy chevron print.  I have enough strips for at least 2 more blankets and I just bought 4 more queen size cotton battings on sale for 70% off!  We learned this winter that you can never have too many blankets when company comes and they make such great gifts because everyone can use and enjoy them.

Photo Op

Mom keeps telling me she wants a picture of me wearing my new sweater so I obliged her.  I was on call yesterday and took advantage of my clean hair to take a picture.  Lopi came with me for the photo.  She sat very nicely when commanded but wouldn't look at the camera.

Here is an action shot where I'm trying to get her to look at Dave for the picture.  I just love this sweater!  It is so comfortable and warm over a long sleeve t-shirt.  It is fastened with 3 buttons on the top third of the sweater and the lower fronts hang slightly open.  I used 3 large buttons from Grandpa Maynerd's button box and am pleased as punch to carry a bit of him with me.  I have so far only used his buttons on knitting I've done for his great grandchildren so it was nice to keep 3 for myself.  We miss you Leonard!  :)
My brother and his family came this weekend to stay with us and we had a St. Patrick's themed menu.  I made a corned beef brisket in the crack pot with cabbage, potatoes and carrots and baked a craggy loaf of soda bread.  We had to have something sweet to go with the coffee so I baked green tinted snickerdoodles.  I wasn't sure the green dough would look green after it was rolled in cinnamon/sugar but it looked pretty good.
Here they are all baked up.  Top 'O the Mornin' to ya!