I just finished the baby blanket I crocheted for the current afghans for Afghans campaign, and I’m so proud to have finished it all by myself in time to make the early October deadline! I used all yarns that were left over from other projects, so there’s a real hodgepodge in there, including some handpainted yarns that I received as gifts years ago and an angora/merino blend yarn I bought in New Zealand on our trip there in 2007. I crocheted a nice thick border around it to even out some of the edges…a lot of the squares don’t seem to want to lie flat. But it’s definitely warm, and that’s what matters!
I’m going to box this up and ship it out next week. I’m half tempted to keep making 10″ squares so I can have them on hand when the next campgain is announced, but I also just started knitting the verdigris pattern, so I might take a little break from squares for a while.
I finally finished the duvet cover I’ve been talking about making for what seems like eons now…for the most part I’m happy with how it turned out, although with every project there are things I sort of wish I had done differently. Please forgive the poor pictures, I just can’t bring myself to pull it back off the bed now that it’s finally on there!
The whole thing was made of repurposed fabrics. The fabrics for the top are all connected somehow with Afghanistan — purchased, used, or made there. They comprise three of my old shirts, a tablecloth, three scarves, and fabric used to wrap up carpets in. I’m really pretty proud of how it came together, despite the fact that those two blue and white squares look a little bit like eyes right up there together like that. The back side is made of extra pillowcases that I opened up flat and sewed together. Danny came up with the pattern for distributing the squares on the top — it doesn’t really show in this picture but the yellow and black squares form an X across the top, and the rest of the squares are scattered over it.
This is one of the blue and white squares. The blue fabric was salvaged from a shirt made by my favorite designer, Tarsian & Blinkley. I don’t have a picture of me wearing the shirt, but it was just like the picture on the right. The shirt ripped under the arms and was not repairable, but I was able to get enough material out of the bell sleeves to make the center of these panels. The white around the edges was once a white dress shirt. The ties at the bottom of the cover were made from the long sash that tied around the blouse.
This piece was previously the center of our tablecloth. I’m sure the fabric is something made in India and mass produced, but I love the colors and the shiny gold embroidery. The tablecloth was the largest single source of fabric for the duvet cover, and I like the fact that many of the squares look totally different based on what part of the tablecloth they came from. There are also little mirrors on some of the squares, which I think lends a cool sort of effect when they catch the light.
These were both scarves in their former lives — the black and white one may actually have been intended to be a table runner but I’m not sure. The black and red one was made by one of the NGOs in Afghanistan that employs local women — I can’t remember which one specifically. I love the embroidery, but never wore it as a scarf as the black fabric was too stiff to drape nicely as a headscarf and it was too wide to wear as a neck scarf. The black and white scarf had both big paisley-type parts like the picture on the right, and a smaller, more detailed pattern that you can see a bit of on the right side of the red and black square in the picture on the left.
The fabric on the left came from a large cloth used to tie up a carpet to make it easier to carry home. This is my favorite of the squares I cut from the cloth, as it has a watermark signature on it that I think looks really cool. The orange fabric on the right was a scarf that came with my favorite Afghan tunic. The tunic is almost knee length, and has a bunch of embroidery and little mirrors sewn on it. The scarf was made from the same fabric but had no embellishments.
This red and white fabric started out life as a tunic. It had a huge embellishment on the front with lots of sequins and shiny thread, but the first time I wore it a lot of the sequins fell off and left the shirt looking kind of bereft. I love the fabric, though, and am saving the rest of the shirt in case I can use bits of it in something else later. You can also see the ties I sewed onto the bottom to close the cover. I just couldn’t see trying to figure out making button holes on a project that was this large, and the ties seemed like a much easier option.
My only real complaint about the finished product is that it’s too long. 8 or 10 inches too long, which means the quilt will probably slip down a lot. The width is just about perfect, which is a huge relief. We made due with a king size cover on our queen-sized comforter for a long time, so I guess I shouldn’t be too bothered by the length, but it kind of irks me. I wish I had double checked the length before I sewed all the ties on there, because now I would have to remove them, re-hem the bottom, and re-sew the ties if I wanted to shorten it. Maybe someday, if it still bothers me, I’ll do that. For now, I’ll just claim that I did it on purpose so the end of the bed would be totally covered.