plus quilt for patrick and katie


plus quilt

Last summer when I gave my cousin Meg and her husband Josh their quilt, it was the same week that my cousin Patrick and his longtime girlfriend Katie solidified their venue and wedding date, so we got to talking about colors, personal preferences, etc., because I knew I’d make them a quilt, too. They both liked the colors in Meg’s quilt but definitely seemed to be leaning blue and green rather than the blues, greens, and purples I put in that one. I floated the idea of asymmetry and that was not met with enthusiasm, which is just fine, and helped greatly in narrowing down what kind of look I’d go for. I hit on plus signs and was sold—perfect for a wedding theme, and the bride works for the Red Cross! I mean it was meant to be. I kept the design a secret from them, though.

plus quilt

Several fabrics were left from Meg and Josh’s quilt, and I liked that I could use them here. I bought a few new ones to round it out, and then I set to cutting strips. I liked the pluses to have one long leg and then the cross-piece, rather than piecing the plus like a 9-patch. I even deliberately cut the strips so that the direction of prints would cross too.

This one came out pretty big, but with Patrick well over six feet tall, and Katie not far behind, it seemed good to go a little big. It’s about 65 x 80, I think. This meant quilting it was an enormous ordeal, and I’ve sworn off quilting on my dinky home machine any longer. As a result, the quilt got only straight doubled vertical lines because there was just no way I could curl it up crosswise and get it through the narrow throat. I like the simplicity, though.

quilt back

This was shot in February on my knitting weekend away with friends, using the awesome stand that Caro brought for me to use, on a somewhat windy day. In fact it seems Caro took two of these photos for me, though we’d originally planned for me to just do the shooting myself. Anyway, we did this before I made the label. (I finished the quilt specifically for this weekend away knowing I could have a nice photo shoot there!) So this is what the back looked like before I added the label. Hilariously, now that I’m looking at this picture I see that I originally thought of the green polka dot on the back as the bottom! Oops, I totally forgot that and placed the label in the khaki in the lower right. There’s no real top or bottom to the quilt, of course, but as I was piecing it I oriented it this way, so I always thought of that as the top. Ha! Want a peek at the label? Check my most recent post, here.

As always I hope the blanket brings my cousin and new cousin-in-law comfort in times spent snuggling on the couch! We leave for the wedding tomorrow and the weather is due to be 85 degrees—a sharp contrast to what it felt like when I photographed their quilt!

sneak peek

In two weeks, we head to the wedding of my cousin! He’s known his bride-to-be forever, and in fact I’VE known her since she was in high school, if that gives you an idea. We’re thrilled to see them getting married and can’t wait to party with that side of the family. Of course, I sewed them a quilt. I need to mail it off to them—but I’ve never mailed a quilt before, so it feels like a Big Deal and I’ve been avoiding it—before I show you the final product, but for now, a peek at the label:

quilt label

I was inspired by all the typography stuff that’s become so popular lately; it seemed perfect for an embroidery project and would feel “of its time.” Also I didn’t want to cop out like I have in the past! This is a proper label, made separately, hand-stitched on, etc. It helped that I finished the quilt a while ago and knew I had plenty of time before I needed to send it out (that is, I wasn’t staring down a hard deadline). I just used a khaki colored thread that matches the background of the backing, and I like the effect. The solid green is a Kona cotton.

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in training

In the same way that I haven’t been to the gym in ages… I haven’t been keeping up with my hand exercises.

grip strengthener

When I saw the hand doctor in September, he “prescribed” a simple solution: get a hand grip strengthener and do some exercises 3x a day for six months. He wasn’t specific about what exercises to do, but he did insist that I stretch before and after. That was it! I did the exercises diligently for, oh, about a month, and noticed improvements in even that short a time. I could knit for short stretches without excruciating pain. The tingling that I got in my hands (a result of forearm inflammation) after washing my face each night subsided. So…

I

got

lazy.

And then I started knitting again like I wasn’t just recently off the DL. And… it aches. My hands tingle again. So here’s my re-commitment to my exercises! I selected a handful of exercises from this site (you can go through any portal—the moves are the same—but I thought the musician one was more interesting to read!) and I’m back to doing them. I swear. Perhaps I’ll take a little video to show off my moves someday. ACCOUNTABILITY.

from city to the country

Last post was about my visit to Seattle—a thoroughly urban experience, with friends who are best described as urban. The next day, I took the water taxi across the Sound to Vashon Island, which is decidedly the country. Friends recently moved there and we had a lovely, relaxing day on their new island.

rocky beach on Vashon Islandview from Vashon IslandVashon IslandVashon Islandtrees on Vashon Islandcow on Vashon Islandameraucana chickenchickensVashon Island

I mean look at all that nature. And animals? What is going on. The skies were a leaden gray, as befitting a trip to the area, and the water was super still. I almost think I preferred it to a boisterous sky full of puffy white clouds. But I would still love to see it in that state, too. I guess I’ll be back!

my first visit to seattle

I have only a short mental list of cities in the US that I’ve never been to but want to visit, and Seattle is one of them. (I think the lone other is Austin, Texas.) I’ve been to Portland several times and like it there, but Seattle was yet to be explored. The weather decided to show me a good time on the one day I had for sightseeing, giving me some blue skies and puffy clouds! I did all the typical stuff, with my friend Jeff as my guide while his wife, Holly was at work (we met up with her in the afternoon).

space needle

view of puget sound

view of downtown

chihuly museum and garden

chihuly museum and garden

chihuly museum and garden

monorail

starbucks

pike place market

fremont troll

I was wholly satisfied with just a photo of the outside of the first Starbucks (coffee is coffee), but I’ll admit I was bummed that the fish throwers didn’t budge when we lingered at first and launched one when we were on our way back, too far for a good picture! Still, I got to see all the sights and eat some really delicious food. Dinners at Staple and Fancy (the tasting menu) and Kickin’ Boot, and a lunch with a view at Sky City Restaurant, the rotating restaurant at the top of the Needle! (Pricey, but a reservation gets you automatic access to the top of the Needle instead of waiting in line.)