Monday, February 12, 2018

Quilt Blocks

I pieced six quilt blocks this past week.


These are the last of the blocks for a quilt that started as a quilt along with a couple of friends (we all seemed to have lost interested over the years). It was started about 5 years ago.


There are pieced and appliquéd blocks in this quilt (7.5" blocks).


The quilt is Pieces of Time by Lori Smith . Now to work on the appliqué border.


I also finished a skein of yarn from a fibre bundle that I recently won. It is a beautiful Polwarth and Silk blend.


I divided the bundle into light and dark to spin two different skeins, to then knit together in a project (I still haven't decided on what yet).


My Tealeaf Sweater is coming along nicely. This week I finished the neck band and started the sleeves - they look really short but because of the drop shoulder they are already past my elbows.

All the best!♥︎

Monday, February 5, 2018

Finished Embroidery

This week I finished off a piece of embroidery I had started a couple of weeks ago.


It was inspired by the Craftsy class 'Fabric Play: Sewing Mojo Minis' with Suzy Williams of Suzy Quilts (part of my Year of Craftsy). It started as a simple free form Log Cabin block, and I knew that I would add embellishments to it to make it my own.

drift wood, feather, tiger eye beads
It includes machine embroidery, fabric painting, lots of hand embroidery for texture.

shisha mirror cut from an old mirror
The centre of the Log Cabin is a scan of an image from a book that I printed on fabric (nothing fancy, I just ironed a piece of fabric to some freezer paper and ran it through the printer). The one thing that this piece doesn't have that I usually attach to my regular Crazy Quilting is buttons - stepping out of my box!

old lace, beads, fabric painted appliqué 


I attached the piece to stretcher bars to hang it - keeping it simple.


This week I also pieced a couple of quilt-along blocks. The large one is Wandering Lover, the first block from the  2018 BOM Antebellum Album by Barbara Brackman over at Civil War Quilts - it is a 12" block. The small one is the first block from the sew along called 1880 Sampler over at the Temecula Quilt Company blog - it is a 4" block.
I don't plan on finishing these blocks as the quilt-along quilts,


I plan on adding the blocks to other leftover blocks that I have to make an Orphan Block quilt (you might recognize some blocks from a couple of quilt alongs last year that I didn't like how they were progressing).


This week I really concentrated on knitting. I finished knitting the body, saddle shoulders and started on the neck band for the Tealeaf Sweater. I will knit the sleeves last because the neck band is quite wide and I want to make sure of the sweater's fit when I am knitting the sleeves (they are knit top down and the sweater has drop shoulders).

All the best!♥︎

Monday, January 29, 2018

Something New

Recently I was talking with a friend about starting new projects (the start of the year seems to always bring an abundance of quilt alongs, knit alongs, spin alongs...). She suggested it would be a good idea to remember being excited about projects we already had on the go when they were new, and to work on them for a week at a time to get them done. Brilliant idea!


So for the past week I worked on a project that I started exactly two years ago - a Pineapple Quilt. All the pieces had been cut and I had pieced 18 blocks before I got sidetracked by a few new quilt alongs that year (two of them I finished, and a third has morphed into another project). This week I finished piecing the rest of the blocks!! It was amazing how the thought that I was just doing this for one week made piecing these so much better (these blocks were not a joy to put together - 14" blocks, 53 individual pieces per block, they would have been better if they were 10" blocks).


I pieced 31 blocks last week. These are 49, 14" blocks in a 7x7 layout, the quilt will be 98" square. Sewing the blocks together and quilting will wait until another week!

For my 'Year in Craftsy' this week I dyed some fibre following a 'recipe' from the class Next Steps in Yarn Dyeing with Sarah Eyre.


I happened to have the dye colours called for in the recipe, and it was the first time I have dyed fibre this way (in citric acid in a shallow roasting pan).


It came out so nice, and definitely a technique I will try again.

the full bobbins
finished yarn
This a Merino/Nylon blend for socks, which always spins so easily.

All the best!♥︎

Monday, January 22, 2018

A Few Finishes

I finished weaving the M&W fabric (M&W is the threading pattern of the warp on the loom) -


This was a project to see how the crochet cotton I was given would weave up (to determine a good Ends Per Inch - EPI - the spacing of the warp thread on the loom), and what kind of fabric it would make, also to try out dyeing warp and weft threads. It was a good experiment, and I learned a lot! If you are interested in more information see my Ravelry project page for more of the weaving details.


I put the long piece of fabric on the buffet in the dining room. I was told by my children that it looks like a stained rag, but I think the colours are interesting -

close up of the dyed warp threads

When I was weaving I tried out a stretcher system on my loom (to keep the warp from drawing in too much during weaving). I had seen a fancy set up similar to this for about $80 (Leclerc Clip Temple System),


but I used $4 tarp clamps from Princess Auto, some string and a couple of old glass door knobs as weights (now that I know that it works I will add some eye screws to the loom, and figure out some better weights). I was amazed with how much it helped with the weaving.


I also crocheted a little thing out of a small amount of cotton I had dyed a few years ago. I wanted to see how the variegated thread would crochet up (since I plan on dyeing more of the gift cotton), I was also trying out some different patterns.


This past week I dyed some yarn (this is a Merino wool and cashmere blend from KnitPicks). This is for my sister.

This next finish is a little quilted mat - 10"x12" (the Thimbles are just over 1" tall).


I keep little cut Thimbles next to my sewing machine to use as 'leaders and enders' when I am sewing, then all of a sudden I have enough to make something with them (they are also a great way to use up the smallest scraps of fabric). This mat used beige fabric leftover from a GO! cutter project for something different.


This last finish of the week was a joint effort between my oldest son and I. He had wanted to learn stained glass so we made this together (the idea is from Pinterest - feathers are so popular these days). I just demonstrated each step, and he did great. We finished it off with some real feathers, a strip of moose hide and beads for decoration.

I am still working on a piece of embroidery, knitting the Tealeaf sweater, sewing,


and I have also been combing some wool for spinning. I am amazed how lovely it comes out with a couple of passes of the combs.

All the best!♥︎

Monday, January 15, 2018

Crochet Scissor Case

This week I made a little scissor case.


I was pleased to follow a crochet chart for this. It did take a couple of time to figure out the rows, luckily it is just small - the chart was different from the well explained Craftsy class pattern.


It was also the first time that I have crocheted around fabric - this is felt so it was easy to poke holes into.


The weaving that I started last week is progressing nicely, I've woven over 1m so far. It is nice to have something on the loom that I go just go work on when I have 5 minutes.

One of the Craftsy classes that I watched recently was 'Fabric Play: Sewing Mojo Minis' with Suzy Williams which inspired me to start the follow project -


So far I pieced a stylized log cabin block, painted fabric, added free motion embroidery with the sewing machine, and hand embroidery. I'll keep adding hand embroidery and embellishments.


Another Craftsy class I watched was 'Quick & Delicious Meals using a Vitamix Blender' with Nicki Sizemore, and I made a jar of  peanut butter!

All the best!♥︎

Monday, January 8, 2018

Cotton Dyeing

Last week I was given about 10 pounds of #10 crochet cotton, so I thought it would be fun to experiment weaving with it.


I dyed about one pound of it - it has been a few years since I have dyed cotton (I dye wool quite often and it is much easier), I had forgotten how long it takes - the cotton has to sit in the dye for 24 hours (wool only takes a couple of hours from start to finish).

The dyed warp and skeins plus the original cotton.
I have never had much luck dyeing cotton - the colour always seems to shift. I am happy with the colours. I dyed a some warp for weaving and a couple of skeins that I might use for the weft when weaving.


Above are the warps (4 metres long) - the two on the left are spot dyed, and the third I just washed with the other yarn so they would all be the same colour. I have only seen photos of spot dyeing the warp and it looked lovely, I am hoping that mine won't look like a rag used to clean up a spill (if you don't see this project again you'll know that it wasn't successful).


Putting the warp on the loom is a long process - I have over 500 ends to thread through the reed and the heddles. I am trying out a new-to-me weaving pattern too - a 'M&W' draft.


I finished a knitting project this week - a Rainbow Leftie.


The pattern is 'Leftie' by Martina Behm. I used Merino wool that I had dyed and then spun (a skein of grey and skein of a rainbow gradient). More details on my Ravely page.


I also finished spinning a skein of yarn - this one is a BFL wool and nylon blend for socks, that I had dyed.


The Tealeaf Sweater is coming along nicely - I am working on the lace at the bottom of the sweater (it is a lovely, easy stitch pattern).

All the best!

Monday, January 1, 2018

The New Year!

Happy New Year!

I don't make resolutions for a new year, but I do like to make 'crafting' plans - usually involving trying something new, a year long project etc. 
For 2018 the plan is to diversify my crafts. 
Lately I have heard of people calling themselves - a quilter with a capital Q, or a knitter with a capital K. I can't say that I am obsessed with one particular creative outlet, I enjoy everything that I do. So for this new year I want to try a larger variety of crafts - lots of old, but hopefully some new ones too.

This plan did start at the end of 2017 when we remodelled our storage room and I now have an area for stained glass (the boxes of glass had been packed since our last move 10 years ago!)

My first piece of stained glass in 10 years - idea from Pinterest
I used to make a lot of stained glass, it was really nice to try it again, and this is what motivated me to expand my crafting experience.

At the same time Craftsy introduced a membership plan. I have been a Craftsy fan for a long time, so signed up for the year with the thought to try as many things as I can.


This is the first project from a Craftsy class - a sampler cowl from 'See It, Crochet It: Reading Diagrams' by Charles Voth. I know how to crochet and made a lot of things when I was young, but I just made things up as I went along. Finally I learned the names of the stitches, new stitches and how to follow a pattern. Now I remember why I enjoyed crochet so much as a child. This cowl is made out of leftover silk and merino, fingering weight handspun.


This is a new project that I started today - the 'Tealeaf Sweater Knit-Along' by Bristol Ivy, another Craftsy class.

I just wanted to show something else new that I tried recently -


Soft and Stable batting to make a bucket bag. This stuff is fabulous.


The bag is lightweight and sturdy.


It is a perfect project bag.


I also tried some cross stitch again. This is a pattern by Veronique Enginger.

Another plan for the new year is to blog more regularly - I'll see how that goes!

All the best!