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Shifting gears

I’ve been kind of hung up on knitting lately. Have you noticed? Of course you have. How could you not?

Knits in progress, at Polka Dot Cottage

I was thinking about what I’m currently working on: three baby sweaters and a pair of socks. All knit.

I suppose there is nothing wrong with that. It’s a great time of year for the needles, what with the days getting colder and darker and all. But any time I get on one of these kicks, I can’t help but think about my blog, and the fact that I haven’t entertained you with anything other than yarn for about a month. Some of you may really enjoy the yarny things, but some others of you may be thinking that it’s been one big snooze-fest.

Ah, well. You can’t please everyone all of the time, and ultimately you have to create what you are inspired to create.

But that’s the thing. Once it occurs to me that my blog has been very one-track-mind-like, I nearly always get inspired to inject a little something else into the mix. And right now, I am thinking about quilts.

I have five quilts in progress, and they are all made up of simple squares.

One is for my living room. The squares are all cut and arranged in the order I would like to sew them, and they’ve been that way since (I think) 2009. Oops.

Another is for my bedroom. To call that quilt “in progress” is really being generous, since all I’ve really done is collect fat quarters in the proper color scheme. It’s nothing more than a bag of fabrics at this point.

A third is for my niece. I started it for Christmas last year. It was meant to be a slightly more feminine version of the one I made her brother, but I gave up after I started quilting it and made a real mess of the back. If I ever finish it, I will first have to pluck out all of my quilting stitches, and that is not going to happen without a lot of cursing (and perhaps a lot of wine).

The other two are for the boys, and were also inspired by my nephew’s little lap quilt. The boys’ quilts are to be twin bed sized. Both tops are complete, and I have the batting and backings set aside. I hit an emotional wall, though, after the debacle with my niece’s quilt, and decided that I really do need to use a walking foot. I have one. I’ve had one for several years, but I’ve always just gotten by with my regular sewing foot. I don’t want to risk it with these, though. I really want these two quilts to be special.

Kid quilts in progress, at Polka Dot Cottage

Those first three quilts are probably not going to see any action for some time, but the last two? I would love to get them done soon. I think I could probably finish them in a weekend, if I hunker down. It’s just a matter of getting that walking foot on my machine – a challenge that I have failed several times in the past.

I found a YouTube video this week, and a blog series that should demystify the whole thing for me, so maybe I can actually cross these suckers off of my list finally!

I think it’s time to clear off the dining room table and give it a go…

10 thoughts on “Shifting gears

  1. 5 quilts and 4 knit projects in progress?! I salute you!

    1. I wouldn’t call most of those quilts “in progress” in the “actively working on them” meaning of the phrase. It’s more like they have been stuffed away in a plastic bin for several years 🙂

  2. Tired?? Of yarny things?? Never!! lol I love your quilts. 🙂

    1. Good to hear, because even if I do manage to make progress on the boys’ quilts, I am still pretty addicted to knitting at the moment 🙂

  3. I enjoy seeing all your different craft interests so no worries!

    One idea for getting the walking foot going – I always do a small “mug rug” size version of every quilt I make as a demo. I test the quilting by using the same quilt sandwich and I also test the binding for thread color match, etc. If it turns out well I have a mug rug. If not, I have saved ripping out on my quilt. Anyway, thought I would share. Looking forward to seeing your finished quilts!

    1. What a great idea! I am totally going to do a mug rug or two!

  4. If I was anywhere near you, I’d offer my services of ripping out quilting stitches. I really enjoy ripping seams, and did so quite frequently in my sewing classes. If pulling out quilting stitches is anything like that, I would relish it.
    Sucks that it has to be done though 🙁
    -Nicole
    Mercantile519

    1. You know, when it comes right down to it, ripping out stitches could probably be just as satisfying an activity to do at night in front of the TV as knitting a sweater. I just have to get my brain in the mode of seeing it that way instead of seeing it as a chore…

      I am guessing quilting stitches are not quite as simple to remove as stitches from a seam, because with a seam, you can grab the two fabrics and pull them apart to help the process along. I don’t see how you can do that with a quilt. I could be wrong, though!

      1. I don’t know much about quilting, I will say that right off the bat. But if you worked from the outside towards the inside, could you lift the top away from the batting to pull out the stitches? This makes sense in my head. I hope it makes sense to you!

        1. Hmm, yes, you probably could. I wonder if it would be worth it, though, to disturb the quilt sandwich and make it all uneven.
          Really, I should just stop whining and just suck it up and try it – it’s not like it’s even that big of a quilt! It’s a yard square, if that.

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