Snow incentive

A winter storm warning is in effect (yeah!) and I have some unfinished business to take care of.

I finished piecing and layering this lovely quilt over the weekend.

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Cool, right? Each block is basically a nine patch but stretched in various ways.

I am considering finishing a bunch of quilts (I’ve acquired several almost finished projects) and then quilt them all at the same time, or serially, to work on technique. That should keep me busy for a while.

My Harmonia Rings möbius cowl is complete. I may have to arm wrestle Shirley for it though.

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Second time is a charm. I almost followed the directions to a tee, except my gauge was smaller and I added a few stitches. I even added beads for the first time. I think that’s why Shirley likes it so much.

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So blue

Two projects completed, infinitely more to go. This will be classified as my blue period.

I tried this new technique, which is a woven quilt!

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Both passions in one project. It’s from the book, Simply Stunning Woven Quilts.
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I didn’t have the right fusing material on hand and tried using the zigzag attachment on my little ole’ Singer Featherweight but it was more than it could handle. There are some amazing 3-D patterns in this book.

The technique is simple. Fuse two pieces of fabric onto Thermaheat (double sided iron-on fusible material, which I didn’t have) cut into wavy strips and weave them together. I made it in case I couldn’t weave a few placemats in time for a trip to Washington, DC to visit my darling daughter.

But I did.

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I didn’t use a thick enough yarn for the weft for the first placemat so it became a towel and I was left with an odd number of placemats. I will definitely try this again – but not before my trip.

Pay homage or rearrange

My quilting stash of someone else’s almost completed projects keeps growing. These are basically quilts that could be finished with a few seams.

My latest acquisition poses a dilemma. The quilter completed several blocks with stars comprised of two fabrics: light and dark.

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There are enough additional, partially sewn blocks to create several more. I could follow the same process and sew two fabric stars or…

20130216-101305.jpg I could shake up the remaining pieces and make multi-colored stars.

20130216-101748.jpgThen if the corner blocks were dark, in shadow, it would create an entirely different effect. You may have to squint your eyes to see the difference but it surprised me. I think it’s an excellent first lesson in color theory for me.

So sometime in the future I will have to decide. Shake it up or not? Always a good question to ask yourself.

Unfinished business

It’s a sad day when you are invited to raid another crafter’s home. I didn’t know this woman but friends did and her widower kindly offered to give away her fabric stash and library.  I’m not an opportunist, but got more involved in weaving after I acquired equipment, I couldn’t even name, at an auction of another local crafter’s home (raddle and bobbin winder).

In both instances, the saddest items to see were the unfinished works in process.   Were they abandoned earlier or still active projects? The family had already gone through everything and this is what they didn’t want.

A baby quilt, which only needs a few seams, with Dresden plates I would probably never make myself.
Dresden Plate baby quilt

 

Or a larger version.

Unfinished business 008With a separate patch  quilt.     Unfinished business 003

Some patches and more Dresden Plates.

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And, what I thought was a reasonable amount of fabric.

Unfinished business 010This made it imperative to organize my fabric, which had been stuffed into shelves.  I try to make it seem as if I don’t have a lot because, not only do I have a store of fabric,  there is raw fiber for spinning; spun and purchased yarn for knitting; weaving cotton for weaving; and fabric for quilting.  It will be much harder to find my entire stash because  it is literally tucked away all over the house.  In what appear to be empty suitcases, in an old trunk, in various baskets.  I read about one woman who stored her yarn in the  “boot” of her car.

All of this made me think  of organizing at least my fabric, craft library and weaving cotton.

First, all the fabric went into piles with similar prints or colors.

Unfinished business 011

 

Then it went back on the shelves with more  order.  Now if only Tim would straighten out his stuff.

Unfinished business 012

 

Almost finished projects were kept together and I will piece them in a pinch.  In the meantime, I went back to working on my blue and white quilt with a clear head.

 

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Crazy quilting

Scrap quilting makes a lot of sense. Old pieces of fabric were reused to make a blanket. The method I use is quite different. I buy large quantities of beautiful fabric, cut it up into little pieces and then sew it into a large beautiful quilt. It seems like a crazy process when you think about it. Here’s what I’m talking about.

These little scraps

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Get pieced together into bigger squares

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And will one day soon become a large quilt with some optical illusions, my favorite type of quilt project.

My horse neighbor is wearing a very sporty coat. I’m not sure why he was wearing it when the temperature was in the high 40’s but he knew he looked handsome!

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My little amaryllis, I was so happy with, has quadrupled! Four times the pleasure, four times the fun.

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Crazy quilting

Scrap quilting makes a lot of sense.  Old pieces of fabric were reused to make a blanket. The method I use is quite different.  I buy large quantities of beautiful fabric, cut it up into little pieces and then sew it into a large beautiful quilt.  It seems like a crazy process when you think about it.  Here’s what I’m talking about.

These little scraps

Image

Get pieced together into bigger squares

Image

And will one day soon become a large quilt with some optical illusions, my favorite type of quilt project

My horse neighbor is wearing a very sporty coat.  I’m not sure why he was wearing it when the temperature was in the high 40’s but he knew he looked handsome!

Image

My little amaryllis, I was so happy with, has quadrupled!  Four times the pleasure, four times the fun.

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Roofing 101

I’ve been hijacked from my knitting, quilting and weaving. Tim got a big boost on the cabin last weekend when Andre and Doug visited and helped figure out and lay the roof.

Then they left and he was stuck with me to finish up. I’m not much help since I don’t enjoy teetering off the tops of ladders or hanging from the rooftop.

Yesterday we were racing the weather. Sparks were flying.

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Thunderstorms moved in and I didn’t think it was such a good idea to be on a hill, the highest point on our property, standing on an aluminum ladder while holding onto a tin roof. So I quit.

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I have to admit, it was very cozy standing in the cabin, dry, while the storm moved through.

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Today we finished up one side of the roof (check out Tim’s blog for photos) and I finally had a chance to play with fiber.

I finished a wedding quilt,

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built a copper loom and had a chance to try tablet weaving. I borrowed the idea for the loom from another weaver.

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Tablet or card weaving is so simple but can produce wonderful results I even had an aha moment.

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Fiber monkey on my back

My love of all things fiber continues to grow and expand. It began with knitting an Aran sweater in 2005 and, today, includes knitting, spinning, dyeing, weaving, quilting and sewing. In addition, I’ve always had a love of linen table fibers, as evidenced by the dining room drawers jammed with lace, damask, tatting, linen and hand crocheted doilies, tablecloths and runners, a few even hand made by yours truly.

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My true addiction was revealed
yesterday. I couldn’t pass up a yard sale I saw on my way home from the recycling center. There were hand crocheted tablecloths, linen-hemstitched napkins, and embroidered table linens, all meticulously clean. They sparkled in the sun and smelled so fresh. I decided upon a crocheted tablecloth and set of linen napkins.

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I got home and decided to organize the linens. Unlike my other fiber stashes, which are sequestered and scattered throughout the house waiting for inspiration, table linens have to be accessible. So they are. Stuffed in drawers.

Lo and behold, I already have a set of hem-stitched, linen napkins. But you can never have too many. I hung up the tablecloths, which were wrinkled because they had been jammed in the drawers, and, since it was a sunny, breezy day, washed a few of them and hung them on the line to dry. My domestic goddess is happy.

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Back to homework

Our farm share now includes cream cheese and we decided to make cheese blintzes for breakfast. I found a low(er) calorie recipe online at MyRecipes.com. They were a smashing success. I’m pretty proud of the presentation as well.

I finished this lovely Na Craga sweater after we got home from sailing. I knit both sleeves while on the boat. It’s been assembled, blocked and the collar was modified a little bit. Instead of a rolled funnel collar, I made a crew neck. I fear it may be too big. So I will hand deliver it and figure out what alterations need to be made. My gauge was correct but my son wanted it longer and now I could wear it as a dress (and I don’t like showing my knees). It’s also the first time I made a drop shoulder sweater and didn’t really account for the part of the sweater that was part of the sleeve, so the sleeves double as hand warmers for me. We’ll see. At least I know I have the means to alter it and make it smaller if I have to. Much better than having to make it bigger. It took 21(!) skeins of Knitpicks Wool of the Andes.

I’m working on a pair of socks for a Friend’s birthday. I am using the embossed leaves pattern from Favorite socks. I made a pair for myself in the summer of 2008, while at Seguin Lighthouse, and I still wear them at least weekly. They are one of my nicest pairs and I thought the pattern goes really well with this yarn, Melody by Jojoland.

Since the sweater is complete I am ready to tackle a quilt for my daughter. I’m using beautiful batik blues and greens from Hoffman fabrics. It seems one of the good things about batiks are you can’t tell the front from the back. I think this will piece together pretty quickly and may even try to bring the top to her next week so we can pick out a border and backing. I may be too ambitious but it’s supposed to rain and/or snow all next week.

Piecing a life

The past week has been filled with personal growth.  Hopefully not literally (although maybe literally) but it has been a good week. My leg is getting stronger with physical therapy and I am almost walking normally. Still not dancing the tango. I attended a writing workshop and spent a lot of time reflecting on where I live, the people I know and how much I love it. Then to top it off, this morning, I attended a quilting class and by this afternoon, my quilt was pinned to batting and backing and ready for the next step. Six blocks with 3 seams per block. I bought precut fabric, which was a splurge, and didn’t have to cut anything! Pretty amazing even though I always end up with a few wonky seams. I am planning to give it away as a baby gift. Tomorrow night I learn new methods in machine quilting and will work on this quilt. All the pieces are coming together.