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Craft Room Chit Chat

I have finished objects to share, but they are mostly doilies that still need blocking and photographing.  Soon, I hope.

Meanwhile, just to get back in the groove of uploading photos and blogging, there are some random craft-related photos I've yet to share.

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The first topic is related to longarm quilting.

One of the big benefits of using a quilting machine on a frame is that you can skip the tiresome and often time-consuming process of basting the quilt layers with pins, basting spray, or basting stitches.  (Okay, you still do use some basting stitches, but the machine does the work, and it's usually only necessary along the edges of the quilt top.)

Of course, the quilt layers still have to attach to the frame somehow.  How, exactly, depends on your frame and how you use it.  With mine, the SR-2 from Grace, you "float" the batting and quilt top, but the backing is attached and rolled onto two rails.  The usual way of attaching the backing to the leader …
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Quilt FO: "Rainbow Slant"

Oh-so-long ago, I blogged about how I liked this quilt pattern I'd seen online, "Rainbow Rows", by Lissa Alexander.  I ended up making a version of it-- if you use the very loosest definition of "version".

Basically, it ended up as a collection of 9-patch blocks made of light-and-dark four-patches and larger squares of low-volume fabric.

I didn't feel up to the challenge of setting them on point, so I didn't, and apparently that on-point setting was a big part of what I liked about the inspiration quilt.  That isn't to say that I don't like my version at all, but it's not quite as charming as the original layout.  Also, after making that change, it bears little resemblance to the inspiration quilt. It's not so much "Rainbow Rows" as it is "Rainbow Slant".

I didn't manage to take any good "whole quilt" photos.  (Really do need to try harder, next time!)  Let's start with the photo that shows the most …

One Truly Crumby Quilt

I like the idea of naming things, but sadly, over the years I've come to accept that I'm maybe just not that great at coming up with names.  I tend toward the obvious/literal, and if I try to venture out from that into something more creative, I feel like I'm being obscure or pretentious or... just weird.

What brought on this bout of self-reflection?  Why, trying to come up with a name for a recently-completed quilt, of course!

It's a crumb quilt.  I'd like to think I'll make lots more crumb quilts, in the future, and don't really want a series of "Crumb Quilt the Second", "Son of Crumb Quilt", "Crumb Quilt 4: The Crumbling", and so on.  Begin as you mean to go on, so I need a real name (even if it is "just" a dog quilt).

So I racked my brains and came up with something marginally more creative than "Crumb Quilt #1".  Well, I came up with something, at least...

I could've sworn there was a phrase I'd…

FO: "Ahmanet"

I have one more doily blocked and photographed, and it's a doozy!

Pattern: "Ahmanet", by Grace Fearon
Thread: America's Best Country Cotton, "Denim" (discontinued)

"Ahmanet" is the largest doily I've crocheted for quite some time.  (Maybe it's even the largest ever; "Pretty Baby" might have turned out larger but with fewer rounds...)

After blocking, it came to 23.5 inches from point to point.  (...I think... Somewhere around there, at least!  I have a hard time remembering numbers without a ton of repetition.  They just don't stick very well.)

There are some challenging elements early in the pattern, and glancing at my project notes, I see that I had to go back and fix mistakes a couple of times later on in the pattern.

With a doily of this size, there's a certain amount of "challenge" just in the sheer size of the thing.  Even a relatively simple round can feel like it will never end.

I took two months to finis…

FO: "Elysium"

According to my Ravelry project page, this doily came off the hook in October, but I didn't block it until the latter half of February.  High time it gets its moment on the blog!

Pattern: "Elysium", by Grace Fearon

This is a particularly lacy doily with something of the look of frost or a snowflake. 

Thread: DMC Baroque Crochet Cotton (size 10), in "White"

This thread has been in my stash for a while.  From what I remember, it's a nice thread, but it's not available in many colors, and working with plain white after the exciting variegation of Alize Miss Batik was, well, a little boring.

Still, the resultant doily is nice, and one good thing about plain white thread is that it can go just about anywhere without risk of clashing with a color scheme.