Category Archives: Challenges

Success! I Knit a Hat.

I’m super excited to have learned a new skill. One of my new year’s resolutions was to try something new creatively every month. My husband suggested learning to crochet hats. Well, I enjoy knitting a lot more than crochet so I decided to learn how to knit in the round.

As with most things, creating something new comes with lots of… I’ll call them learning opportunities. The hat I’m wearing is the successful end result of four scrapped projects. I chose to unravel them to keep the yarn since the things themselves were not save-worthy.

  1. I got the hang of knitting a tube on circular needles. A small lumpy tube, lol!
  2. Then I began what I thought was a hat pattern in the library book I’m learning from. Flip the page and it’s actually a bag. I have no need for a knitted bag.
  3. Next I learned the importance of making sure the cast-on yarn isn’t twisted before joining it into a circle. Got a good 20 rows in before I realized the hat was going to flip around itself.
  4. The hat’s diameter in this picture was too big. I got quite a ways in before realizing the size was off. So I figured I’d learn how to close up the top before unraveling this iteration.

knittingintheround#5: Ta-da! It’s a cute and functional simple hat. I can learn more complex patterns as I go along. This one’s for me. Hubby’s requested a green one so I’ll take him yarn shopping soon for the exact green that makes him happy. Me, I’m happy to have learned so much and not given up!

Drop and Give Me Twenty

I’ve joined the “Drop and Give Me Twenty” challenge for February and pledge to quilt for at least 20 minutes every day this month.

I’ll be working mostly on the turtles quilt for camp. I’ve had this community project in my hands for quite some time now and it’s time to finish it up. Thanks to everyone who sent tree blocks I’m adding the final borders now. Soon it’ll be time to sandwich and quilt. Yay! I hope to get it completed this month.

There’s a Facebook group for the challenge here. It’s a fun place to share photos and ideas and encourage each other. Prizes are available too!

fourtreesborders   trimmingtreeblocks turtlesquiltborderstart turtlesquiltcenter

Spicy Coasters for Project Quilting

I made some coasters for the seasons challenge in Project Quilting. “Seasons” made me think of seasonings. So I started with colors of spices we have in the kitchen: white salt, green parsley, red pepper, and so on. Keeping with the cooking theme, I wanted to make an oven mitt. Plans changed when I didn’t like how the blocks I’d made fit together. These coasters are pieced from 1.5″ solid fabrics. autumncoasters

How’d I get that cool wavy thing to happen when starting out with a square grid? With the quilting. I went back and forth in straight lines which shifted the fabrics just enough that they came out a little wonky. Cool, huh? This happened by accident the first time but I liked it so much that I kept going.

autumncoastersquilting

Creating in Southern California as I wish my east coast friends a happy blizzard. Keep warm out there! Quilts help. Just sayin’. 🙂

Confetti Card for Project Quilting

The first challenge on this season of Project Quilting is confetti. I had lots of ideas for this one right from the start. I could make a cover for my art journal, a fun hat, an I-spy baby quilt, or a tote bag. Confetti could be happy, something to celebrate, exuberance, or a messy nuisance. There’s so much you can DO with this word!

Well, I ended up coming down with the flu and landed myself in bed for days on end. Ick. Still, I whipped up this little card by hand and can call this one done. It’s raw-edge applique that’s fused onto card stock then sewn through to finish. I left it pretty generic so I can send it out for any occasion, though I write thank you cards the mostest.   cardbackI art in SoCal and this little card measures 4×6 folded up. And yes, art is now a verb. ‘Cause I say so.

Day 31: 2015 in review

It’s the final day of the #31dayblogchallenge to write every day in December. I did it! Woohoo! My goal for January is to post twice a week.

2016 is just hours away so I thought I’d end the year with a fun report on my blog statistics for 2015. Click through to see all of it if you’re interested in that sort of thing. See you next year!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,800 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Day 30: Project Quilting’s Starting Soon

Lost your quilting mojo? Sometimes smaller projects with tight deadlines are super helpful in getting it back.

Project Quilting (PQ) is a series of one-week challenges. Season seven starts on January 3rd. Check out the full calendar here.  Post your completed projects and win random drawings for prizes. Vote for your favorites and win viewer’s choice. One week to create, another to vote, then another challenge begins. There are six challenges per season.

I’ve participated before and am looking forward to getting back into the groove of sewing. Here’s what I’ve made in previous seasons.

Day 29: Art Journal Page On Gratitude

Yesterday I blogged my thoughts on resolutions for 2016. I’ve got a general sense that I want to focus on being social, creative, and healthy. But why wait? There’s no rule that I have to have it all figured out or begin on January 1st.

So today I started a page in my art journal. It’s going to take a while to fill in all of the things I’m thankful for because it’s list-style. That leaves room for a LOT of things. It’s great to have focused on something positive and visually interesting.

I also started working out. My sister and I have a goal to work out at least five days every week through January. I watched the last half hour of the Lego Movie (which is hilarious) while strolling on the treadmill. Day 1, check!

Day 28: Thinking about 2016 Goals

Do you have a new year’s resolution yet? I’ve been thinking about what mine could be for the past few days.

Some of my family members have a Facebook group devoted to physical challenges, mostly related to food and exercise. It’s a great way to check-in and support each other. We’ve done several 30 day challenges. One was to cut out sweets for a month, another was to walk 10,000 steps a day, and we had veggies daily. Last month I tried to drink 80oz a day. I didn’t make goal most days but definitely was more hydrated.

Monthly goals are great for me because they help me stay consistent without getting completely overwhelmed by the thought of doing this for an entire year. 365 days is a big number!

The creative introvert who wants to be physically stronger in me is thinking of categorizing goals.

  • Creative goal: try something new every month. This can be learning to knit hats, designing a quilt, making a new page in my art journal, trying a new recipe, or a myriad of other things.
  • Social goal: something. I don’t know what I want this to look like yet. Touch base with each member of my immediate family? Make new friends? Invite people over? Initiate conversations? Join a quilt guild when I move? Teach classes?
  • Health goal: continue with monthly challenges. Get stronger. Stronger than what? How strong? Concrete numbers are good with goals because you’ll know when they’re attained. With my water challenge, drink more water is vague but drink 80oz is trackable.

So that’s where I am so far. How about you?

Day 9: Repurposing Mom’s Tree Skirt

 

A #31dayblogchallenge post.

It’s a little embarrassing that I’ve got a blanket wrapped around my Christmas tree stand, Linus style.

linusblanketaroundtree

Thing is, the tree skirt my mom made didn’t survive the wash. It was smelly when I took it out of the ornament box so I tossed it in the wash.

momstreeskirt

I knew it might fall apart because of the materials she chose to use at that stage of her quilting journey. Plus the ties weren’t close enough together. Mom’s later quilts were better but this skirt is beloved and has been used under my tree for years. Well, it got all lumpy in the wash.

momstreeskirtlumpybit

All is not lost. I’m redoing my childhood reading quilt and I can do something similar with the fabrics from this tree skirt. So I cut it apart and set the fabrics aside to repurpose into a couch throw later. They’re a little threadbare but with the right interfacing it won’t be a problem. For now they’re in a UFO box next to the reading blocks.

cuttinguptreeskirt    christmasskirtprints

Will you please help? The turtles quilt still needs more pieced tree blocks for the final border. Click here for more information and here for the tutorial.

Day 8: More Tree Blocks Please

This is another #31dayblogchallenge post.

Edited to add: Blocks due January 20th, 2016. After that I’ll make do with what I have and get this project finished. Thanks!

I’ve got three more #getyourquiltywishesgranted envelopes ready to mail and four that are waiting for me to buy stamps. In light of all the giving going on I thought I’d take this opportunity to ask for more help finishing a quilt.

turtlesdrawer

This quilt is for my childhood summer camp and has been a community project from the very beginning. Many artists have helped make the center turtle blocks as well as the tree blocks already.

treelineborder

What I’d love to have is more tree blocks for the final border of the turtles’ quilt. I still need 75 more to make it all the way. Will you help? There’s a block tutorial here for the easy 8″ x 11.5″ pieced blocks. If you’re sending some my way please email me for the address mrs.megan.null at gmail dot com.

treeblock