“Terror Towel” Quilted Throw

 

Delivery ... and first thoughts

Delivery … and first thoughts

Several months ago a high school classmate asked me if I would be willing to make a quilted throw for him. He and his wife had collected “terror towels” from various sports events that he and his wife had attended.

I am a new but eager maker of quilts but this didn’t sound impossible to me but for months I’ve been “worrying” about this quilt. The terry cloth fabric is a different entity than the traditional cotton fabric. I wasn’t sure what would happen to the towels when I cut them to size.

So I picked peoples’ brains. I was advised that I should use a stabilizer on the backs of the towels. I was also advised that I should not use cotton fabric as a frame between the towels. The thought was that the two weight of fabrics would cause uneven wear. This made sense. Stabilizer, not so much.

As you can see from the picture above, that’s one funky shaped quilt. I had to somehow figure out how to make it square or rectangular … which meant making all the towels the same size.

Deciding on the design and directionality

Deciding on the design and directionality

What I ended up doing was using little paper “towels” to lay out my plan. If I could make the towels to a size of 14.5 x 16.5 inches I could piece them together and make a throw. After many hours of thinking and measuring, I had a plan. A few of the towels were not going to work in the size that I had chosen – three were too small (way too small) and one was printed in such a way as to make cutting it to any size difficult. But the rest of the towels, 16 in all, were going to work!

Day 1: I “ripped” out the stitching around the edges of the towels to make them a little bit larger and then I cut the towels to size. Even cutting the towels is a challenge. They really aren’t square nor are they printed with the designs exactly in the middle. But I used my 12″ square template to center the design and then worked around it to cut the two lengths thus making a 14.5 x 16.5 inch rectangle of each towel.

Day 2: I zigzagged the four sides of the towels to keep them from fraying. Terry cloth is a messy, messy (did I say MESSY?) fabric. Yuck! My studio is a horrible mess and I’m not even done yet!

Day 3: This is the moment … all the towels are laid out on the floor and I decided on the design placement. There are four towels with a different directionality. I chose to have them all facing the same (but different from the other 12 towels) direction. Here is the design that I liked best … the four towels with different directionality are not diagonally down the middle but one in each row and “randomly” placed.

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My final design … I’m ready to make strips!

So, today I started sewing together the rectangles. I decided that because terry cloth is so bulky that I had to sew the pieces together and then “tack” down the extra fabric on the wrong size by sewing them down. I sewed a 3/8 seam and then positioned my needle to the left and ran another line down each side of the seam tacking the bulk to the pieces. So far, I am really pleased with the strips. Tomorrow I will sew the strips together and then it will be time to find a backing. I am thinking that I would like to use two layers of cotton flannel. One white in the middle and a sports-themed print as the backing fabric. I will sandwich them all together but I haven’t decided whether I will simply stitch in the ditch or if I will stitch diagonally across the rectangles, too. I want them to be stable so that the towels wear well.

I’ll let you know how it progresses! I am thrilled to be working on this rather than “worrying” about it. Gone … sewing? (Actually my book club is coming and I’d best go get ready to greet them!)

Queen Bee WIPs

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Downton Abbey KAL with Jimmy Beans Wool – Lady Violet’s Dinner Gauntlets

This KAL is my first and I am really enjoying it. We’re knitting “Lady Violet’s Dinner Gauntlets” with Lorna’s Laces Sportmate yarn. I love the yarn, although, because we were away for Christmas, I decided to postpone buying the Christmas at Downton colorway and I don’t like my substitute (Spats) as well. I fixed that last week, though, by ordering a new skein of the Downton color way and it should be arriving soon. When the first gauntlets are done, I will happily knit up a second pair! The gauntlets (as you may or may not be able to see) have a violet pattern made up of little yarn overs and they have a pair of eyelets up the inside of the arm. I’m guessing that they’ll be laced at the end. We shall see. Today’s clue will finish the hand and thumb and next week’s clue will tell us why we cast on with a provisional cast on. I must be a real knitting geek/nerd!

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Churchmouse Yarns & Teas – Turkish Bed Socks

These adorable bed socks are the third pair I’ve knitted. The first pair were too big (and I’ve tried to felt them (sort of) to make them fit better. They still fall off my heels but I wear them anyway. They’re wonderful with my clogs!

Pair #2 was frogged. Totally too small because I didn’t swatch with a different sock yarn which turned out to be significantly “thinner” than the Koigu KPPPM that the pattern was written for. That won’t discourage me from trying again because my bee stripe yarn really wants to be a pair of bed socks!

This, obviously is pair #3. The yarn is a hand-dyed colorway that I bought in Maine last summer called “Maine Lobstah” (if my memory serves.) I love it. I did have to go up a needle size to get gauge!

IMG_0926This pattern is a different way to construct socks and it’s fun to do something different for a change. I’ve just completed the heel and joined the flat first part to knit the foot in the round. I should be able to complete this pair with a few hours of knitting time.

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Cantaloupe Baby Feet Wash Cloth

Two Baby Feet wash cloths are finished and off the needles but for weaving in the ends and blocking. I now need to knit a couple of pairs of booties for said baby feet. A sweet friend of mine (a much younger friend) is having twins in February. I thought it appropriate to send her a little something hand knit from me. I really loved knowing her and they’re going to have such an exciting time with two little bundles of joy!

Salmon Baby Feet Wash Cloth

Salmon Baby Feet Wash Cloth

Vintage Velvet scarf

Vintage Velvet scarf from Scarf Style by Pam Allen

And last but certainly not least, my Vintage Velvet scarf. This pattern is from the book Scarf Style by Pam Allen. I’ve had this book for years. Maybe even for a decade. All because I saw this scarf, made by a college friend, way back when and I loved it. When I saw the price of the yarn, however, (Meunch Touch Me), I decided it was too much at that time to “fork over” for a scarf. No matter how much I wanted the scarf. So, I’ve been waiting and watching for an opportunity to buy the yarn on sale. And lo and behold, I got my chance at a yarn shop that was closing (sadly) where the yarn was 50% off! So, for half price, I got my yarn and I’m knitting the scarf.

I wish there were “feel-a-vision” … like smell-a-vision only for those of us who like to feel stuff instead of smell or watch! It is the softest yarn I’ve ever knitted with. And it will be interesting to see how it changes when it’s felted. Yes, you heard me right, I’m going to have to felt it – chenille. Felted. Doesn’t seem right, does it?

So, there you have it. The Queen Bee’s WIPs! Now that I’ve told you all about them, I’m signing off and …

Gone knitting!

From my Northern Atelier

A dog on my lap, and knitting in my northern atelier … this is the best place I could be today. The sun is shining and there’s a gentle breeze blowing, the first laundry load of the season is hanging on the line. Life is good!

Thought I would catch you up with my knitting projects that are currently on my needles … they are growing and I have a bunch planned for this summer. I even brought a huge L.L. Bean bag full of yarn with patterns for most of them up with us from Florida. I had thought to knit all that up before buying any more yarn … well … it was a good try!

#1 – Log Cabin(-ish) Baby Blanket – I’ve never knitted one of these before and having seen a couple on the Internet, I decided to give it a shot. The yarn is an acrylic yarn because baby blankets have to be super washable and somewhat ordinary. But the blanket is coming along and almost finished. It’s pretty cute and I hope my customer likes it. After this, one more baby blanket will complete the order.

Log Cabin(-ish) Baby Blanket (Queen Bee Knits Original)

#2 – My tunic … which takes a back seat to “real work” is growing a bit since I last photographed it. I still love the color but the yarn is really splitty … maybe why it was wearing such a discounted price? Whatever … when it’s done, I think I’ll love it.

Dropps Tunic (Pattern #111-21) in Berroco Pure Pima (color 2243)

#3 – Fingerless gloves. These poor things have been sitting in their project bag minding their own business for way too long. I started them last fall and then put them aside because orders were flowing in and needed to be a priority (not that I’m complaining, that’s a great problem to have!) So, maybe now it’s time to pay some attention to them and get the second mitt knitted up, attach a couple of thumbs and send them to their intended recipient.

Vancouver Fog Fingerless Gloves in Cascade Yarns Lana Banbu (lot 93979 col 02)

#4 – One of the yarns that I bought in Gloucester is being knitted into a simple baby sweater and I’m totally in love with the yarn and the sweater (and the baby, too). The woman at Coveted Yarns told me that when you knit up the yarn it almost becomes a neutral and I’m starting to think she was right – despite the bright rainbow colors of the hand-dyed yarn. Hopefully, I’ll have enough to make a sweater and a hat or booties … but I am way ahead of the baby (who is not fully cooked yet!)

Knitting Pure & Simple Bulky Baby Pullover in Flat Rocks Yarns Whirlpool (#28 Grateful Threads)

#5 – Cooked Lobster Claw mittens – this my first original pattern that I will soon be adding to my shop on Ravelry. I have had two test knitters give the pattern a go and they’ve given me some wonderful feedback and a few photos of their projects. I’m happy to report that they’re really great looking and I think knitters will love it! I have one pair and one mitten knitted – so, unless I can sell single mittens, I had best make a matching one!

Oops! That's the real thing!

Ha! Well, now you know what I’m up to … I leave you with a photo of my laundry drying (yes, seriously!)

Gone Knitting!