Monday, March 09, 2015

Frosted Rosebuds FO


My Mom's quilt came back from the long-arm quilter's and I finished the binding shortly thereafter.


I like the three-color theme of this quilt. I'm so used to making multi-fabric quilts with dozens of prints, this one has a subtlety about it.


After I put it in the mail, I called Mom to tell her when to expect it.


We agreed to Skype when she opens it. 3,000 miles apart, but we can share the moment.


Thursday, March 05, 2015

Quick Quilt


My quilt guild makes community quilts to donate to Children's Protection Services and the hospital. They don't have to be elaborate, just something to cheer the recipient.


I pulled these colors from the fabric pile on the Freebee table at guild and finished it in very little time.


I hope it warms a child's heart.
 

Friday, February 06, 2015

Fiber Test


Once you become known as an avid knitter, people give you stuff; skeins and random leftovers.


I like to knit with wool and other natural fibers, because there's a pleasant ease to the yarn. But without the ball band, I don't know right off what the yarn's made of. This yarn looked like wool, was soft to the touch, squishy and appeared to have guard hairs. But was it wool? 

I put it through a few tests. First I buried my nose in it and inhaled deeply. Inconclusive. I can usually smell wool. It takes a little practice, but you learn to notice the lanolin fragrance and/or its wooliness.

Next I did burn test.


I snipped off a piece, lit it with a match and watched it burn. Wool and animal fibers will burn slowly and usually self-extinguish, a sure indication that the yarn has a high wool content. This one burned quickly, fizzled and had to be blown out before it burned my fingers. Wool leaves a soft ash and the smoke smells like burnt hair. This ash was medium soft and I couldn't tell if it smelled like burnt hair. Still inconclusive.


Next I sprayed it with water. If it was wool, it would smell like a damp dog. It didn't, it just smelled damp.

For whatever reason I wasn't convinced it wasn't wool, so I cast on to knit a 4" x 4" swatch. Within the first 2 rows I knew it was a synthetic by the way it acted as I cast on and knit. No give, no ease. 

I know there are times when a synthetic is a good choice. Like when you want a washable hat or baby item - but I didn't enjoy knitting with it - so I passed it on.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Paper


I drive the 40 minutes 'to town' about once a week for shopping and errands. This is what I come home with almost every time.


With all the digital technology available to us, you think there'd be a better way. Too much wasted paper, in my opinion. *Yeesh*


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Kindle Cozy


I got my first Kindle for Christmas. I decided it needed a cozy, I don't want the screen to get scratch.


I was so absorbed in creating it I didn't stop and take process pics. But here are the steps:

  • Chose a rectangular remnant that was just the right size, it was laying on the cutting table
  • Picked a lining fabric to match from the light fabric tub
  • Pulled out a remnant of felted lamb's wool for the batting, leftover from a felted purse project
  • Layered with washable spray baste
  • Pulled out a precut plastic quilt template from a previous quilt project
  • Got to use my white pounce pad received a few Christmases ago
  • Pounced the quilt pattern onto the fabric, traced over it with a white chalk pencil to help it stay
  • Installed the even-feed walking foot on my machine and quilted with a slightly darker blue thread on top and white in the bobbin


  • Added channel quilting along the cable pattern
 


  • Measured the Kindle to the fabric and marked the depth of the pocket
  • Sewed the side seams, turned right side out and pressed
  • Just happened to find a strip of the same fabric in the scrap bag for self-fabric binding
  • Laid the round lid of my bobbin keeper on the flap and traced it on the flap. Trimmed to round the corners
  • Sewed the binding on the right side, turned to the inside and top stitched on the outside through all layers
  • Found a strip of blue Velcro in the notions box. Folded down the flap to mark placement of the Velcro. Stitched in place, matching top and bobbin thread.



Serendipity. Two hours start to finish and all materials happened to be on hand! So spontaneous!


February BOM


Paper Pinwheel:



Perspective Correction


I can't always photograph my quilts on the design wall. But I don't like how distorted they look when photographed on the floor either. Enter PaintShopPro's perspective correction tool.

Before:


After:


Wish I could apply this little utility to my thinking sometimes!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Jewels


Once Christmas gift making and baking was done, I wondered what I should get back to. I have an on-going list of knitting and quilting projects.

I don't remember how I got started on this, I was just fooling around in the sewing room one day, but I made a navy blue block from my pre-cut 2 1/2" squares. I named it sapphire.


I loved the way it seemed to shine. So I made another one. I named it Ruby.


One block lead to another. Most of the pieces were cut, it was just a matter of going through the collection of pre-cut squares and matching shade and value, varying pattern and theme.
 

Emerald.



I didn't have a plan, I was just enjoying the color, so intense, so stimulating. I made more.



Amethyst.



Topaz. This one took a little more effort, going through the yellow/gold fabrics and digging deep into the scrap box.


Aquamarine. It was amazing how closely valued squares appeared different depending on where they were in the layout, or how the block looked in morning light, room lighting or in the semi-dark. Each block became a study in subtlety.


Well now I had six, maybe I better create a plan. How about a 3 x 3 layout, set with lattice? What color should I do next? It might work if I balance the cool colors with an orange, or pink. But if this quilt was going to be called "Jewels" are there orange gems? This quilt was leading the decision making, not me.


Tourmaline.

I wanted a cool color next, so I auditioned Jade. Nope. In my entire fabric collection, this was all I could come up with in the same shade.


How about a lime green block? Not possible either.
 

Here's the layout at this point.



How about black for Onyx? Nice idea... didn't look good at all, like a black hole, no shine. I needed another warm color. I auditioned yellow. So far the fabrics in the blocks had only repeated 1-2 times. With a limited collection of yellows in the same hue, I repeated fabrics 2-3 times. It looked okay.




Citrine.


I put them on the design wall and they suggested a warm, cool, warm row alternating with a cool, warm, cool row. That told me the last block should be orange.



Spessartite.


44" x 44" at this point. It's still talking to me.

Gem names and colors can be seen here.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Feather and Fan Cowl


Since the mitts didn't fit my neighbor, I offered to make her a cowl. I used a cotton/acrylic/wool blend from my reclaimed collection. Maybe with only 10% wool, it wouldn't make her itch.


I do like this pattern. It works up well in a variety of fibers and gauges.