February 5, 2015 § 4 Comments
It doesn’t seem like there has been anything noteworthy enough to blog about lately. But here’s the last month’s rundown.
~ I’ve been knitting along with the Downton Abbey Mystery KAL on Ravelry
~ I started working on a gift quilt
~ I found a cool crocheted doll that I want to make as a gift. I’m starting with Little Red, but I want to make ALL the clothes!
~ My hubby spent a morning in the ER with low blood pressure (the doctor says he needs to drink more water & stay hydrated)
~ I had an inner ear infection that required antibiotics
~ The beloved Seahawks played an extremely interesting game at the Superbowl (my first time watching the entire game. I’m not much of a football fan. Gasp!)
~ My featherweight needs a new belt
~ The vintage Singer 319w doesn’t wind a bobbin, so I’ve taken it apart to see what is wrong.
~ I’ve been sorting & organizing my sewing room for my sewing group’s rummage sale this Saturday.
On THAT note! All you local peeps, come out to the first ever Space Needlers’ Rummage Sale being held in Richla Ramsey’s sewing studio. Email me if you need the address, times & gate code. I have four+ boxes of stuff (fabric, yarn, books, patterns, rubber stamps) that I need/want to sell. One person’s discards is another person’s treasure. Help us clean out our studios!
January 12, 2015 § 6 Comments
Debbie at Shadows of the Blue Ridge invited me to join the Around the World blog hop. Today you have landed in Redmond, Washington, the land of large tech companies, cult-like coffee drinkers & bigfoot. And… home to my humble blog. (above, view of Mt. Si from Snoqualmie Valley Trail)
If I remember correctly, I met Debbie through a series of emails discussing my crochet mobius scarf. She crochets all sorts of things, including socks, as well as being a fabulous quilter. We kept exchanging emails and I have enjoyed getting to know her via our blogs and Flickr. Recently her block, Nested Bear Paw (photo above), was published in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Volume 10. Debbie is also a member with me in the Do.Good.Stitches charity Flickr group.
I’ve invited Melissa at We Shall Sew to continue hopping around the world next Monday. Melissa is the fearless leader of our circle in the Do.Good.Stitches charity Flickr group. Her fabulous Hope Takes Flight quilt (photo above) is a free pattern over on the Robert Kaufman web site. She originally designed this quilt for our Do.Good.Stitches group and explains the meaningful process of how the quilt came to fruition on her blog.
Melissa, Debbie and I, along with 7 other women, help make quilts to send to Restore Innocence, an organization that rescues girls from human trafficking. I have come to love this group more than I ever thought I would. While I’m certain that the quilts we make are a blessing to the girls that receive them, I’d have to say that it does my heart a mountain of good to make them. It’s hard to think of all they have been through and we rejoice that they are being made free from that bondage as we make the blocks & quilts each month. I’ve come to love & appreciate the ladies in our group who, each month, take time out of their busy lives to do a little sewing for someone in need.
How this blog hop works is that someone invites or tags you to play along, you answer a few questions and then they in turn tag 1 to 3 people to play along the following week. If you follow all the links backwards, you should meet many interesting people in interesting parts of the world. It’s just a fun way to find new blogs to follow and make new friends.
To add to the fun, I’ve been asked to answer a few questions. So here it goes…
1. What are you working on?
Well, you all know that I have WAY too many projects going on. But lately, I’ve been working on my Merry Mayhem mystery quilt gone awry (above). And, I’ve picked up my Merry Merry Snowman applique quilt again. I will have it finished for Christmas next year! More on those two quilts later.
2. How does your work differ from others of it’s genre?
I’m not sure that it differs all that much. But I can say that the part of the process that I love the most is the selection of the fabrics. I love the challenge of putting my own twist or flavor into whatever I am working on. It’s surprising to see how the same quilt pattern, whether old or new, can be transformed into something completely different just by choosing different fabrics. One of my favorite transformations was the Asteria quilt (above). Which… I just realized was finally finished but never blogged! Oops!
3. Why do you create what you do?
My grandfather on my mother’s side would make these dioramas from astro turf, twigs and all sorts of other leftover items. I loved them! And my mom taught herself how to sew. As I got older we would try our hand at every new craft that came along. Latch hook rugs. Needle punch. Sequined Christmas stockings. Cross stitch. You name it. We’ve probably tried it at least once. Fabric, sewing and just plain making things has been a part of my life since I was a wee little girl. I can’t imagine my life without some form of creativity.
I made this crazy clothing quilt (above) when I was in Junior High. You can tell that I didn’t know a thing about quilting back then. There was also an elephant quilt that I wish I had saved. Now that one was really cool. At least in my head I remember it being cool. As I’ve gotten older I’ve decided that I really only have time for quilting & knitting with occasional apparel sewing on the side.
4. How does your creative process work?
The creative process varies. But I have to say that a Kaffe Fassett class that I took years ago (maybe 2003?) really changed the way I approach the process of choosing fabrics for a quilt. His class reinforced making quick decisions and going with your gut feeling. Spending too much time analyzing what might be just the perfect fabric can be more detrimental to the process than advantageous. And I’ve come to recognize that more often it’s the not so perfect fabric that makes the quilt more interesting in the long run.
Above is my second Kaffe Fassett quilt. It still isn’t quilted. (oops!) Actually, I was thinking of adding a few more blocks to make it bigger. It seems like everything needs to be a bed-sized quilt for me at the moment. The first Kaffe quilt that I started is still in a box and in pieces. (embarrassing confession) I had totally forgotten about that UFO. I guess I’d better add that to my long list!
Well… I hope you didn’t find that trip down memory lane too boring. And don’t forget to go visit Melissa next Monday, January 19th.
January 5, 2015 § 4 Comments
Have you been assessing last year and making goals for next year? Me neither. Well, not to the extent that I did last year. I did, however, make a list of most of my projects, both in progress and stalled. Something happened yesterday that gave me the courage to finally face it all. I’m neither feeling overwhelmed nor ambitious. It just is what it is. I’m taking stock, I guess. I’m hoping that is a good thing. Admitting the problem is the first step, right?
Last year was quite a year. From losing my mom, to gaining a beautiful friend, then my oldest friend moving away and my health has been a yo yo between my thyroid disease and the chronic mono virus. I think it is best to leave last year as it is, behind me, while only counting the good things that have come from it.
It was wonderful to unplug for the holidays. But it makes it that much harder to start up with the routine again. I’m afraid it’s been a bit of slow start today. But that’s okay.
A friend of mine says that each year a word comes to her that seems to be the new focus. If I were to take note in my life I think the new theme may be watch and pray. I don’t spend time much time here talking about my faith. But it is, never-the-less, the underlying constant that takes me through this life. I feel more introspective this year. More calm and less scattered. It will be interesting to see what comes from 2015. 2015!!
I read an article not too long ago that talked about the “turn of the century.” My mind automatically went to 1899-1900. But we are living through a turn of the century. It’s so odd to think about that. I wonder what my grandparents or great-grandparents thought as they faced the same more than a hundred years ago. Weird. So I guess I will leave you hanging there. Ha! Where will the next 100 years take us?
** By the way, the photos above are in order of appearance… Plan B of the Merry Mayhem New Year’s Day mystery quilt gone awry, sewing the HST’s from the Merry Mayhem mystery quilt, Gary’s scrap socks and my Puffin socks, both finished over the holidays.
December 31, 2014 § 6 Comments
I don’t know what it is about the beach, but I always take way too many photos of the sea. It rained most of the time that we were there. But when we got breaks in the rain, we went for walks along the beach. There is nothing like the roar of the waves. It was a very peaceful week.
If you have been following along on Instagram, my knitting UFO status thus far is 2 pairs of socks finished, 1 sweater frogged and restarted and 1 sweater looked at but generally neglected. I aim to keep working on my UFO’s but it may take some time to finish the sweaters. Luckily, the one that got ripped all the way to the beginning again is a large guage. So it should move along quickly. The untouched sweater has one sleeve and a few inches at the bottom of the body to finish. There may be pics in the near future.
Are you joining the Merry Mayhem New Year’s Day Mystery Quilt-along? I might not get too much sewing done, but I do think it would be a good way to use up some of my scraps & stash. I might collect the instructions on New Year’s Day and then sew like the wind on Friday.
Can you believe another year has gone by? I think I’m going to stop counting.
December 19, 2014 § 6 Comments
This fall, four friends got together and challenged each other to use this polka dot fabric below. We also added that it needed to have an autumn theme. We finally had the big reveal a couple of weeks ago.
I decided that I had to make something useful. I have enough things in my house that I don’t use and have been trying to get rid of. So I made a table runner. But I made it reversible. Finished with big stitch quilting, the change in the color of thread makes a bright zig zag pattern on the back side.
Here are all of items together at breakfast when we had our big reveal. A tea cozy, a pillow, my table runner and a coin purse. It was fun. I so proud of my friends!
Are you ready for Christmas? I’m just trying to finish knitting a pair of socks for a birthday the day after Christmas. And even though my hubby & I decided to skip Christmas this year, I did order a little surprise online that I’m waiting for. It may or may not show up for Christmas. No big deal. We can enjoy it in the New Year. So far, it’s been really good to lay low through the holidays this year. I’m looking forward to our total disconnect next week. Pure relaxation. With the possibility of an Instagram post or two.
December 11, 2014 § Leave a comment
To everyone’s frustration, I had my web site redesigned a few months ago and we have never been able to get the pdf download function to work. I’m not sure what to do about that. So, I finally decided to move my patterns to Craftsy as pdf downloads. My shop is located here.
They aren’t all over there yet. But I did whip up a quick pattern for the flannel quilt that I recently finished. A couple of people have asked a few questions about how I made it. So I made it a free pattern over on Craftsy.
December 9, 2014 § 11 Comments
Hazzah! My tied flannel quilt is done. I feel like I’ve gone backwards in my quilting journey. But I don’t care. I’ve never done a proper tied quilt before. One night I got a bee in my bonnet and started searching the internet for dark cozy flannels when I stumbled across this kit plus an extra yard of a darker print at Bella Rose Quilt Shop. I didn’t use the pattern but the layer cakes were a great way to get a nice variety of fabric.
It was going to be my Thanksgiving weekend quilt project. I started the weekend before Thanksgiving. But it took a lot longer to tie all the yarn knots than I thought it would. Although this was a super easy project, it still takes time! The quilt ended up measuring 90″ x 81″ without a scrap worth saving in the end.
I was inspired by this photo on Flickr. Though my version took a bit of a turn because of the layer cakes. I really wanted the ties to be wool yarn so they would felt up into fuzzy balls of yarn after washing.
This is what the yarn looked like before washing. I used a double strand of yarn to tie a square knot at every corner seam.
And I used up most of my leftover wool batting scraps. There were four large pieces that I stitched together using a multiple stitch zigzag on my sewing machine. It is SO warm & cozy. My hubby loves it! And so do I.