I got together with some of my craft swap buddies Wednesday night to do a yankee swap. I have no idea why it is called a yankee swap, but basically we all agreed to make one big(ger than normal) item instead of the standard 5 people, make 4 things. We drew numbers and the (un)lucky number 1 opened a gift. Number 2 could steal the item number 1 opened or open another package. And so on. And so on. (Remember those shampoo commercials?).
I was very excited for this swap. I have so many ideas that I want to try out, but most of them are not realistic when I am making 10 or so items on a budget. Other than the fact that I started and finished my craft Wednesday (those gifts for the nephews had to go in the mail!), this was a perfect swap for me.
My most favorite thing I have made since my patchwork bag is this blanket. Really. Truly. I had a hard time giving it up. It came out exactly how I envisioned it in my mind.
I was completely inspired by this gorgeous blanket on the Purl Bee. Of course, I put my own twist on it. I bought the dark charcoal gray wool at my local fabric store (on sale!) and then made a patchwork binding out of fabric from the stash. This bugger was hard to photograph - and it was about 6 p.m. and dark at the time - so I don't think its true beauty comes across. But trust me, it is luxurious.
It measures about 60" square and the binding is 1 inch wide on each side. And it was fast to make (about 4 hours including 1 1/2 hours of hand sewing)! The hardest part was figuring out how to balance the patchwork pieces - I am a bit nutty about scale and color. That's probably why I have never tackled a real quilt. But I digress. The second hardest part was the hand sewing of the binding. I rushed this bit - you can see the slip stitch - if I could have taken my time, the stitches would have been more uniform and less visible, I am sure. I don't think it matters. It went to a great home.
In case you were wondering, I did buy enough wool to make two. I had a feeling I might need one, too.