Monday, March 30, 2009

Got Gauge?

Is gauge really that important? I've never been one to let myself get all caught up in measurements and numbers and the math associated with a lot of crafts. That might be why I suck at so many. But ok. I started the LA 63 Squares Crochet Afghan:

63 Easy-To-Crochet Pattern Stitches Heirloom Afghan By Leisure Arts - Crochet

Or rather I should say I restarted it. I've started it on three different occaisons and my colors were never what I expected. You think they look good and in your mind they do but when you crochet a couple of squares, lay them out together they look sick and not in the cool, hip definition of the word "sick" but in the these colors make me want to hurl definition of the word "sick". The oldest son told me what colors he wanted and I played around with several shades of green, blue and yellow before settling on Red Heart Spring Green, Bright Yellow and Royal, with a splash of Bananaberry thrown in for good measure.

The picture above shows the first five of seven squares for Row 1. I decided to crochet it row by row instead of 1-63. Don't look too closely to the square on the end. I crocheted five different times and never got gauge. I had trouble with the E hook, it was too small for the worsted weight, or maybe it was just me not liking that small hook, but this was crocheted with the F hook and it's still bigger than the other squares. I'm hoping I can block the others out a little bigger because I'm really sick of that block. Actually looking at the picture right now, I want to vomit. That's how sick I am of the Bushy Stitch. I liked crocheting it, it was a fun block, but the whole gauge thing is a pain in the ass.

So let's just look at the squares in a pile. They all look to be around the same size in this picture.
See I feel better already.

Friday, March 6, 2009

On the Menu Today

The Quilt Sandwich

This morning I will be putting together the quilt sandwich for my son's quilt. He pointed out that I started that quilt when he six or seven, he's now thirteen and that, well, the fabrics might not be appropriate any more. My response, I made this for you with love, it will keep you warm until I get around to making a more teenage appropriate quilt and hey, doesn't everyone still love Pikachu?

I've been laying the backing fabric out and I have discovered why I'm probably never going to go down in the history books as one of America's master quilters. I don't have a lot of patience. I can cross 100,000 stitches to turn blank fabric into a piece of art but I can't take five seconds to straighten out my fabric, make sure the batting is lined up and then make sure that the quilt top and the edges are all straight. It's not easy work and while the finished product is something to be excited about there's a reason handmade quilts cost $800, it's to reimburse the quilter for her chiropractic bills.

I love hand piecing a quilt top. There is something so very peaceful about sewing little pieces of fabric into a much larger block. I love that aspect of quilting. I also love collecting different fabrics because I am a fabric whore. I can't help myself. I dream of quilts, I love planning them, I don't mind the cutting out and I'm not a rotary cutter kind of chick, I prefer tracing the pieces and cutting with scissors which can add days or even weeks to the time it takes to piece a quilt, but it's ok, like my cross stitching I readily accept that quilting is a slow, time consuming process, but then it comes to wrapping it up, making the quilt sandwich and I want to fudge, I want rush along, I don't care about doing it right it's just DO IT already.

So it's probably save to say that my quilts will never be in the Houston Quilt show except as examples of what not to do....

Stay tuned for pics of the finished quilt...