Monday, April 16, 2018

Appliqué Block and Yarn

This week I made a block for my 'orphan/leftover/abandoned projects' quilt. It is invisible machine appliquéd, and 16".

It is an Oak Leaf and Orange Peel block from Barbara Brackmans' book Encyclopedia of Appliqué.
I decided to make this block because I didn't want to make last month's block for the Antebellum Album Quilt Along on Barbara Brackmans blog Civil War Quilts - the block involved templates and Y seams, which although lovely just aren't for me.

Here are all the blocks I have so far as part of this 'leftover block' quilt project I am working on for the year.

This is the latest block from the 1880 Sample Sew Along from Temecula Quilt Company, to add to the other blocks (a 4" block).

Last Manitoba Fibre Festival I bought a little bag of sari silk (bottom in the above photo), and thought it was about time I try it out. I blended it with silk, kid mohair locks, merino wool (50/25/25 percent) and a small amount of gold Angelina (for sparkle).

The finished skein is 90g and just over 400 yards of fingering weight yarn.

The sari silk threads add nice pops of colour, and some of the kid mohair locks are still visible. It is so soft with a bit of a halo.

The next big spinning project that I will be working on will be spinning during Tour de Fleece (an online spinning event held during the Tour de France), July 7th-29th 2018. In anticipation, this week I skirted another raw fleece and started washing and combing it. This one is quite clean and amazingly soft. I'll wait and see how much spin-able fibre I get before I decide what kind of yarn to spin.

The Granny Stripes blanket is progressing nicely - it is now a square (50"x50") - I am hoping to have enough yarn so that it reaches 70". Thanks Sally - it really is a blanket now!

All the best!♥︎

Monday, April 9, 2018

Handwoven Tunic

This week I finished sewing a tunic with a piece of fabric that I wove a few weeks ago -

The warp is all yarn that I had spun and the weft is mainly commercial yarn with some handspun, woven in a Soari style.

It is a very simple pattern,

from a Japanese sewing magazine (Amazon link). The tunic is so nice to wear! Sewing something with handspun, handwoven fabric is very rewarding.

~1967 England
I had a similar outfit when I was little (red shoes too),

so did my twin brother (our Mother made these - how she found the time to sew with 5 young children I have no idea!).

I made a couple of coasters with some leftover fabric.

A tip that I have about sewing thick fabric is to use a piece of wood when pressing the seams to really flatten them.

I know that there are fancy tailors clappers, but I just use a piece of 2x4 with a steam iron. After a burst of steam the piece of wood is pressed on the seam for a few seconds.

I also use a piece of 2x4 in front of the pedal for my sewing machine. I find it easier to control the speed of the machine when just my toes are on the pedal (really important when free motion machine quilting).

This is last weeks 1880 Sampler Sew Along block from the Temecula Quilt Co.

My Granny Stripes Blanket has reached the half way point! Just over 36" and about 650g of yarn used, so I should have plenty of yarn.

All the best!♥︎

Monday, April 2, 2018

Sewing Clothes

This weekend I made a "dress" (well really something to wear over my nightie - I love lounge wear).

I used batik fabric from Connecting Threads (this one is 'Delicate Branches' in Indigo).

The pattern is from a Japanese sewing magazine I bought when I went to Japan in November (the dress is shown in the top right corner, under 'vol.9').

I paid about $10 for this magazine, it has so many different types of sewing patterns (clothes, bags, decorations...), and you don't need to be able to read Japanese because there are great step by step illustrations. Link to Amazon in Japan for the magazine.

I made this dress because I needed a little warm up to sewing to have the courage to sew something with my hand woven fabric, and to check the size of the patterns (I am planning on making a long vest from the magazine).

The first cut of hand woven fabric is always the hardest!

My other sewing this past week is the 1880 Sampler Sew Along block from Temecula Quilt Company.

Nine 4" blocks so far.

I finished spinning and dyeing the last six skeins of yarn for the Granny Stripes Blanket. I ended up with 1534g (4820m/5272yds) of yarn.

I have crocheted about a third of the blanket and have used just over 400g of yarn, so hopefully I will have plenty of yarn.

All the best!♥︎ 

Monday, March 26, 2018

Handspun Socks

I finished knitting a pair of handspun socks this week.

They are toe-up socks, knit two-at-a-time on a long 2.75mm circular needle. 52 stitches with a gusset and half handkerchief heel.

I dyed the fibre following recipe/instructions from the Craftsy class Next Steps in Yarn Dyeing with Sarah Eyre. She calls the colour way Rhinebeck.

The fibre-

The yarn-

Knit up -

1x2 rib for the leg-

I really love the colour way. This was a new way of dyeing fibre for me, also different colours that I would have never thought to put together, that really blended well to create great secondary colours.

I also spun and dyed a few more skeins of yarn for the crochet blanket.

It is 15" long now.

I finished washing and combing the rest of the second raw fleece for this blanket! One skein spun and more waiting to be plied and spun. I think that this will be all the fibre I need for the blanket.

This is the latest block for the 1880 Sampler Sew Along from the Temecula Quilt Company.

All the best!♥︎

Monday, March 19, 2018

Woven Fabric

I finished weaving the project I started last week -

Fresh off the loom it was 4.5 metres (almost 5 yards) of 42cm (16.5") wide fabric.

After washing in hot water with lots of agitation, the piece of fabric is now 4.3 metres, and 41cm wide. I'll have plenty of fabric to make some kind of a top.

The fabric has a lovely feel. It is nice and soft. The warp (the length of the fabric) is my hand spun yarn and most of the weft is commercial yarn. More detail about the weaving can be found on my Ravelry project page.

I've been working on making yarn for the crochet blanket.

I 'skirted' (sorting the fleece out, removing dirty pieces etc) the rest of the second fleece last week.

The first four new skeins from this fleece,

and three more. I want to get all the yarn spun now so that the beginning of the blanket matches the end. I have spun almost 1000g of yarn (over 2 pounds), and I think I need about 1500g total.

I am really enjoying this project. It is fun to pick out a new yarn every row (technically a double row).

All I sewed this week is the new 1880 Sampler Sew Along block from Temecula Quilt Company.

All the best!♥︎

Monday, March 12, 2018

A Couple New Projects

This week I started a new weaving project -

I put 5 metres of handspun on the loom for the warp - I used all kinds of odds and ends of about lace weight yarn.

For the weft I am using a commercial lace yarn and adding small pieces of handspun for texture. The plan is to weave fabric for a garment.

I also started a crochet blanket - 

More like a scarf at the moment!

The pattern is Granny Stripe by Attic24,

and I am using the yarn I showed last week.

I dyed it various colours.

I think I need about 3 times as much yarn as I have,

draining after the first wash
so I started cleaning some more fleece (I was given 5 fleeces in total, that is why I decided to make a blanket).

Now all combed and ready for spinning (since I love stats, here goes - about 600g of raw fleece, became 473g after washing, and 231g after combing!). I am hoping that the weather warms up enough this week so I can get another whole fleece ready for processing (it is definitely an outdoor activity).

As for sewing news, this is my latest 1880 Sampler Sew Along block from Temecula Quilt Company.

All the best!♥︎