Homespun Harvest Quilt

I have been waiting a long time to post this, but I had to because the quilt I made ended up being a gift and I didn’t want to spoil the surprise online.

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At the beginning of January 2015, I decided to put aside my scrapbooking and cards and bring out an old project.  About 10 years ago, I saw this free pattern at Walmart and decided it was something that I wanted to make.  The pattern was a 24″x 24″ wall hanging, but I had designs to make it into a quilt so I bought enough material and first had to iron out 10 years of wrinkles before I could get started.  

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I loved this pattern because of the Autumn feel and all the harvest and rust-like colors.  I had never made a quilt like this before so it was going to be challenging to understand all the directions and geometric shapes. It involved a lot of cutting and measuring that took days in itself.  

Then I started piecing the blocks together, step by step and color by color until I had one square. 

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These first few weren’t too bad, but I really got tripped up when I came up with the left hand picture below and somehow had to turn it into a square.  You can see it ends up being a diamond shape in the center and not a square.  What I had to do was measure so far in on the outside strips and cut them off.  I then capped off what was left with a plaid triangle.  

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I made 9 blocks and you can see once I sewed them together, where they met, they created a whole new diamond pattern.  

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Traditionally, I don’t use cotton batting for the inside.  Seeing as this was such an odd size, I probably should have.  What I do is find a blanket to put inside, but because of this size I went with some plain (blaze orange) fleece cut from a bolt.  However, even the standard with of that was not enough so I had to piece it together and then trim the edges once I laid them on top of each other.  

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For the back I used an Autumn leaf print and folded it over to create an outline.  I can’t find the photo of the finished quilt, but here you an see how the edges come together. 

It was quite a huge undertaking for me and my quilting skill level.  Halfway though the project, I decided that when I finished it I was going to give it away as a gift.  The plaid patterns and Autumn colors and leaves reminded me of my dear friend Andrei and thought he might enjoy it as a Christmas gift.  He certainly did.  I hope it keeps him warm in the chilly months, and thinks of me as he wraps up in it. The one obstacle is that he lives near Moscow so I had to try and find the right way to package it up so it wouldn’t be so big of a box, as the post office loves to charge you for shape, weight and distance for international packages.  I used a vacuum space bag to flatten it as much as I could and then a slim type box.  Slightly more than a month later it arrived…. thus the posting of this blog now.  I don’t regret giving it away after all that work.  It just means now I can move on to my next project.

 

 

Re-purposed Sweater = Warm Mittens

Pinterest… it’s awesome! Don’t you just love pinning things. Then maybe later you’ll go back and click on the pin that hopefully has a functioning link to the page the image came from. And isn’t it frustrating when it takes you to a page that isn’t in English. UGHGH especially when you are all ready to get started on the project. That is precisely the reason why I am putting up the process I used to create these mittens out of an old sweater I had.

The nice thing about this project is that there are no paper patterns involved.  Sometimes for me the less instructions the better because I do not always have the best patience for sewing projects as I just want to get them done.

The sweater I used was wool and not knitted very tight. Various online sources tell you to use the Ugly Christmas Sweaters and show something that looks like a fleece or cashmere blend. I used what I had on hand (ha ha ha no pun intended… get it.. you know.. mittens.. on your hand…) & it just so happened that it has the feel of an Olympic style pattern as well (Sochi –  Winter 2014 ) .

First turn the sweater inside out and trace your hand (in a mitten pose or like an oven-mitt) making sure to utilize the side seam of the sweater as well as the bottom hem.  Make sure you trace enough space around your hand.  It can be made smaller when you are stitching it together.

Cut it out

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Because my sweater looked like it would be very airy as it, so I decided to line it with a pajama fleece material. So I re-traced the cut out mitten onto the fleece

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I used the pinking sheears around the edges so they wouldn’t fray over time

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I also top stitched around the fleece liner because it sounded like something I was probably told to do in school, but didn’t remember. Should help prevent any additional fraying.

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Next, pin the liner onto the wrong side of the cut out sweater piece.

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Stitch all the way around.

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Make sure that you will have enough space for your hand. Warp it around and pin where necessary. I had not been very generous when tracing and cutting out my sweater pattern in step one. This created a problem when trying to get a good seam. I will have to do a bit of hand sewing afterwards, but that’s ok.

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Clip any extra edges, such as the top round edge so that when you turn it inside out, it is smooth.

Now I’m ready to fight the Polar Vortex weather driving to work in the mornings and wearing my colors for the Olympics. Yay !!!

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