Friday, April 30, 2010

Busy, busy week and giveaway reminder

Here's some new reading material that I acquired this week. I'm hoping that I'll have a little time in the evenings or weekends to read through these so that I can try out some of the new techniques soon. There were a couple other books that I was looking for, but haven't found yet.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you may remember me mentioning the book Color Shuffle, by Karla Alexander. I was trying a few different blocks from the book, trying to decide what blocks I might like to use for these prints in a large bed quilt (king or queen). I've decided to use the blocks from her pattern "The Square Within", and although I did read the instructions, I just kept cutting more strips and blocks because I need a lot more than the pattern. Since I like to speed things up by working in a batch / assembly line mode, I have cut all the blocks and now have two tall stacks of blocks to piece.

Because I'm doing some blending, not dividing all the prints into light and dark, I do have a few pieces that didn't make full stacks, so have set them aside in case I need to cut more blocks (yes, I do have more fabric). The blocks are going together nicely, and I'll trim them to size after I've finished sewing all the blocks.

While I was downloading these pictures, I happened to find this picture of a quilt I started several summers ago (maybe longer). It's somewhere in my studio, I have an idea where it is, so when I get a chance, I'll need to dig it up and finish it!

This warp is currently half threaded through the heddles on my loom, waiting for additional heddles to come in the mail. If I had done more calculating before I wound the warp, they would have been here by now, but it's ok - I really do need to be working on my quilts!

In case you didn't know, I'm doing a giveaway of a knit bag that one of my helpful son's shrunk by putting it in the dryer. It still looks nice, but is much smaller than I'd planned. The pattern and remaining yarn that go with it will be included, in case you'd like to make the strap with it. If you missed the post, you can find it by looking at the "giveaway" link on the right side of my blog.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Flower Show Quilts - My Book!

Here it is, the cover of my first book, Flower Show Quilts (click on the link to see the summer catalog - my book is on p. 28) !!! I love the cover that they chose, and can't wait to see the page proofs that should be arriving in the mail in the next couple of weeks!

[The link to their print catalog page is here.]

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tulip Time in Tulip Town

This past Monday, some friends and I went to see the tulips in Skagit Valley, and it was the nicest day! There are huge fields of tulips between Mount Vernon and La Conner, and even though they started blooming earlier this year, there was still a beautiful display.

From left to right: Ellen, Cathy, Candy and me (Lynn), in front of the poster at the entrance of Tulip Town.

I did take some close-ups of my favorites:

Monday, April 19, 2010

Warp Painting

On Saturday, I took a warp painting class with Jeanelle Miller at Weaving Works and managed to dye three warps. [I had planned to show you the pictures in the reverse order that they are appearing, but blogger isn't letting me move them.]

Anyway, I rinsed out the warps last night and they are still wet, but I couldn't wait to blog them, so I'll take another set of pictures when they're dry. This first picture is a close-up of what I believe to be the 8/2 cotton warp (I was going to take close-ups of all three, but the camera battery died, and that will have to wait until they are dry).

In the picture below, I believe the order of the three warps (right to left) is 8/2 unmercerized cotton, 100% Rayon, and 5/2 pearl cotton. As expected, the unmercerized cotton did not dye as brightly as the others.

Jeanelle brought quite a few scarves to show us before we started choosing colors and dyeing. They were all so beautiful! Here's just few of hers for you to see the possibility of what might be done with the yarns I dyed.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Last Week

So far, this year is flying by, nd it's hard to believe we're already halfway through April!

I've managed to put a new warp on the loom. This one is the tool holder from the November / December 2008 Handwoven Magazine. It's a doubleweave tool holder, or really a shuttle holder that will add some decorative storage to a wall in the new studio. I'm using different colors than those in the pattern, and love to see how the change of pattern changes the look of each layer!

Another thing I've pulled back out is the floral strip quilt that I started at least a couple years ago. If I keep it the size of my original design, I think it will fit a double bed, but not sure if it will fit the new thick, queen sized beds at the other house, so I'm hoping to get there to take some measurement, and then see if I can make if fit. The only kink I might have is the outer border and binding has already been cut. Here's a portion of the quilt with the border fabrics I'm planning to use:

The studio at the other house is as organized as it's going to get for now. Until we move there, I'm going to have lots of open space, but that will come in handy for basting quilts like the one above. At least I have a cutting table and tables that I can put my machine on, as well as a couple movable carts, and bins for fabrics and supplies.

Of course my husband's favorite spot is manning the pizza oven. We tried it out and everyone loved the pizzas!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

beyond my control - giveaway

Sometimes, for one reason or another, things just don't turn out as you expect. Take this bag for example, the pattern was free with yarn purchase, and of course I chose a different colorway than any of the samples. It was easy car knitting, which was what I needed, and the shape was coming along nicely. There was such a small amount of knitting to finish the bag, I finished knitting while watching TV the other night, sewed up the bottom (if I try it again, I will use Judy's magic cast-on and not have to do any sewing).

I decided I'd toss it in the front loading washer along with some towels, because front loaders don't usually felt as well as top loaders (or so I've heard), and went about the other things I needed to do, thinking I'd check it at the end of the wash cycle.

Well, along comes one of my sons, who just tosses everything in the dryer. Of course I only found out when I went to check to see if the washer had finished running, and found it already dry, and looking like this:

Luckily it was still a bit damp, so I was able to do a bit of shaping before it finished drying, but it shrunk much more than I had intended. If I make another, I'll have to watch the washer, or hand felt it in the sink. :-)

So now what to do with it? I could just use it as a container in my studio, or maybe with some embellishment and a single shoulder strap it could work as a purse or small tote??? I think it just falls into the category of better luck next time.

I know, I'll raffle it off to someone who might want it! If you are interested in winning this bag, leave me a message before the end of the month, and a way to contact you if you happen to be the winner.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Thank you

everyone for all the wonderful, encouraging words about my projects! I really appreciate it!!!

Since I gave the colorful scarf sample to my weaving teacher (she likes to be able to keep samples of student's work, so she can show them to future classes for inspiration), I made another, similar sample,

and then started playing on the warp as I emptied the bobbins, trying different treadling patterns and coming up with some that were really nice.

Once I ran out of those threads I tried others, ending with some variegated sock yarn, and really love the way it looked.

Lastly, I repeated one of the treadling samples in black on black, just to see if the texture showed up, and it did.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Finished Quilts

Although it's been incredibly busy around here lately, I had to finish these quilts for the Stray Threads Quilt Show that is later this month. [Well, I still have a little sewing to do, but it's only stitching the labels on, and since I usually sign them in ink, they are already labeled, so the fabric label will be sewn on top.]

First up is my Self Portrait. This quit was mostly designed while I was taking Pam Allen's "Think like an Artist" online class, which was a fun filled learning experience. It took me a while to decide how I wanted to finish it, whether it should have binding or a facing (I decided on the facing), and other little details, but it's finally finished!

Second is My Little Chickadee, which was inspired by the little Chickadees that come to visit the bird feeder outside my kitchen window. They're such cute little birds, and I love the way they can hang upside down, as well as other silly angles. (The stamps on this quilt and those below are some of the ones that I carved last year.)

This unnamed floral has really been finished for a while, but soon it will have a label stitched to the back.

The last one is another floral, and I must admit that if I have enough time, I'm thinking that I would like to stitch little seed beads between the center panel and border, in a similar way that I added beads around the leaves in the quilt above.