Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Secret Project - a Book!!!

Over the past couple of years the secret project that I've been working on is a quilting book that is being published by Martingale!!! The package that came is the manuscript that is in my court for editing. A few close friends and family were the ony ones who knew for the longest time, and I wanted to let the rest of you know the wonderful news! I'm not sure how much I'm allowed to say about it yet, but it will have 10 patterns and all the instruction to make them, and is scheduled to come out around the end of the year.

Sorry no pictures for this post, but I'll make it up to you once I find out when and what I can post to my blog.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I've made progress

and some of my projects are nearly completed...

My Mr. Greenjeans cardigan is almost finished! Just a few loose ends to weave in, because I weave as many as possible in while knitting, and then it needs to be blocked and a button.

My Astrological Shawl is off the loom, waiting to be finished, and I love it! I was supposed to wind a 4 yard warp, but have been winding most of my warps 4-1/2 yards long, and wound it that long as well. Luckily, I had purchased the small remainder of a cone of the black just earlier that day, because I ran out as I was winding the second border.

I've learned a few more things while making the shawl. First, I decided to tie the warp on, instead of knotting and lacing it on, because I wanted fringe. Well, I ended up starting over without ripping, and so wasted some of the warp (time is money too), but still ended up with the shawl and more than a yard and a half of yardage. (I'll have to remember to measure before and after finishing this time.)

One warp comes off the loom, another goes on. When a friend and I were in Bellingham, WA several weeks ago, we both purchased some balls of Jaggerspun Wool-Silk for scarves. I've been wanting to try a scarf similar to the ones that I saw over on The Weaving Studio, and chose apricot and black to try a small scarf. Depending on the light in the room, the apricot is looking more orange than I want, but in daylight it looks great, so I'm moving forward with the warping process.

Hopefully, I'll sit and finish threading the heddles and start weaving soon, although yesterday I picked up a package that needs my attention. It's for the secret project that I've mentioned here and there over the past year, and almost time for an announcement.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

While the Cat's away

the mice will play, or work... Does basketmaking count???

Yes, I've taken another detour into basketmaking, mostly because I need a better way to transport and store some of my stuff. You see, the new studio is just one big empty room, devoid of any storage whatsoever! While I have storage at home, and my last vacation studio had built in storage (it had previously been an office) my new studio won't have much in the way of furniture (until we get to move there - wish it could be as soon as it is finished), other than my old cutting table, past desk / sewing table and eventually, my new loom. I will be ordering some office furniture eventually (you know, some assembly required), because that is something that has always been built in, but I need immediate storage for things like yarn, fabric, loom accessories, etc. that I want to keep available for constant use. Well, I don't really have a workspace that is large enough for baskets, I cover and use the dining room table, and since my husband was going on a business trip, I took the opportunity to pull out the basketmaking supplies and make a few more.

This first one is really supposed to be a purse, although I think I'll probably use it as a small tote. I love the twill design, but I found it much more difficult to weave. It was supposed to have one longer strap, but since I didn't have one, I decided to use this pair of leather handles because they really go with the colors of the reed. The pattern is called "Flowing Twill Purse", by Wendy L. Reary, and can be found in the book "A Basketmaker's Odyssey", Over, Under, Around & Through" by Lyn Syler.

"Sasha's Christmas Basket" by Dianne Stanton. Now this basket was a joy to make, and will hold quite a bit of yarn or fabric. I love the way the pattern came out with the walnut and smoked reed!

"Rosie's Tote" by Gina Kieft. Several of my friends have a tote similar to this one, so of course I needed to weave one of my own. It will come in handy toting things to class, because it will hold lots of fabric and other supplies!

"Recycling Basket" by Brianne Feldpausch. Now this one is a bit different, and much larger, as a matter of fact it's huge compared to the others! I had planned to use all green reed, but the narro reed arrived in a different shade, so I decided to use a varigated blue instead, and maybe I shouldn't have, but it's ok. I love the size and shape of this basket, and even the patterning, however, the rim is an issue - it's beautiful, but much weaker than any of my other baskets. Since I've never done a braided rim before, and the instructions were for a single braided rim, it's wimpy, squishy, and basically leaves the rim very flimsy. It's quite possible that I should have kept the reed tight, or maybe it really should have been woven thicker? The only one I have seen online was a double braided rim that Basketmaster Nancy used on her Mini Muffin Basket, and that was a tiny basket compared to this one, but would be stronger than the one in the directions I was following. I'm thinking maybe I could just add a 1/2 round rim that would be on both sides, leaving the decorative loops below the twining and the top of the braid as a rim filler, but with the curved top it might not work out very well. Anyway, I'm not going to put a finish on it, and will set it aside until my friend Cathy is here again, so I can get an expert opinion on what I should do.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Sometime I will learn to work on one project

at a time. In the meantime, I've made progress on several.....

The quilting on my self portrait is more than halfway finished, as I just need to finish the background. I think it needs to have some embellishments added, but I'll need to dig through my studio and see what I have that will work.

I've also started cutting into these fabrics to make a bed quilt, working with block ideas from Karla Alexander's new book Color Shuffle. I'm not sure if it will end up being king or queen sized, but I'm in need of one king and two queen sized quilts at the moment, so it will depend how it works out.

I really like her "Shaken, not Stirred" quilt, so I tried out some blocks. I'm not very keen on the way they look with these fabrics, so I flipped through the book for another design.

I like these blocks from "The Square Within" project, and plan to make more, although I'm thinking I might like to change the setting, to take advantage of some of the prints in my collection, as well as including the solid. Only time will tell how this quilt will turn out.

Another thing I have done is pull out threads for more of my hand stamped art quilts, as I need to get these quilted!

If you think I've forgotten about my loom, I haven't. I'm currently working on an astrological shawl based on my personal horoscope, designed by Bonnie Tarsus, and I really like the way it's coming out!