Monday, June 28, 2010

Poppies, Poppies...

The Western Washington Quilt Shop Hop was this past weekend, and although it's been busy around here, I was able to get to a few shops with a friend. Along the way I saw these gorgeous poppies!!! We've had California Poppies in the past, but I've never seen this type before, and I think I'll have to remember to look for seeds or plants for next year's garden.

These varigated blush-pink poppies are also new to me - and they would look great with the white, pleated ones above!

At first glance, these looked like the poppies I had grown before, but they are also varigated!!!


I submitted a design to one of my local quilt guilds Block Party Quilter's Club, and they chose to make it for the raffle quilt this year. The guild worked together, including a group sewing day for the pieced blocks. An appliqué group completing the compass center, Charlotte, the guild President appliquéd the eagle, others put it together and I believe Toni Nicholes quilted it. It is the first time for me to design a quilt for a group to make, as up 'till now, I've made and quilted all my quilts.

Well, here it is...

I thought you'd also like to see a close-up of the center...

and when I was there, a friend said I had to have my picture taken with it (I only wish I had dressed for the occasion).

Handwoven Scarves

The scarves from my first hand-dyed warp are finished! They are both so different that it is hard to believe they came from the same warp, and I love the way they came out!!!

The warp is 5/2 pearl cotton that I dyed with Procion-MX at a class at Weaving Works in Seattle, the weft is Webs 10/2 bamboo in a medium olive green.

For the other scarf, I tried the 8-shaft Wall of Troy draft posted on Weaving a Life's Blog, and will definitely try it again, because it gave the scarf a more complex look and when the light hits it the right way, it looks iridescent!

I thought you might like a close-up shot of the woven pattern...

Next on the loom (currently being threaded through the reed), is the Rayon warp that I hand-dyed at the same class for the twill scarf article, "Twill and Tencel for a line of luxury scarves" in the September / October 2009 Handwoven magazine (p. 46). There is one threading diagram, with four different tie-up and treadling plans, so I'll do at least a tiny bit of sampling before I start weaving.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Beading, Weaving, packing for Sisters, OR

The amulet is ready for fringe. I did attempt adding small beads to the sides, but was unhappy with the look (and needle I was using), so decided to gather beads for the fringe, and am still digging for more variety, and deciding what small beads I'd like to use - so it waits...

Ellen and I finished our shawl pins, and this is mine (sorry for the sideways view, I don't have time to Photoshop the pictures right now).

The rigid heddle warp is now set up for my first try at log cabin weave,

and the inkle loom is filling with bookmarks. I've got to try some others in different colors and patterns.

On the quilting side of things, I did put together the background for the Madrona quilt last weekend, but forgot to take a picture before quickly folding it up to bring home, and here at home, I'm working in a narrow hallway, so there is no way to get back far enough to take a picture.

I'm heading to Sisters, OR next weekend for a week of classes and lots of fun with other quilters, so I've been busy making kits for my class projects. In five days, I'm taking four classes, and have kitted up my supplies for three (yeah, it's the easy classes where everyone makes the same thing, in their own fabric choices), but the last class has me thinking "why did I sign up for this class?", although I do know the answer to that question - it's with Janet Fogg, and I'm dying to learn her design techniques, and design my own project using them. The problem is that her class sample is in a sort of 50's style, with lots of black and white, and the ideas for my project are quite different, and have animals. My son thinks I should do the one kind of animal with green leafy fabrics for fur, and the universe as tea in a cup. So what to do? My friend is going to come look at the piles, and piles of fabric I've pulled out and hopefully help me with a sanity check, because the last thing I want to do is pack up a ton of fabric and then wish I had chosen totally different ones when I am in class - it's way different than changing your mind at home!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Two kinds of weaving

Since the beads were already out, I decided to do a little rearranging, took some things out of the way that didn't belong and moved them, found some already bagged projects ready to start, and decided it was time for a new amulet. I haven't been wearing them as frequently as I have in the past, but only because some of them are in need of repair (mostly due to the neck strap thread breaking from wear against metal clasps, and I've since found French wire that will hopefully alleviate that problem in the future).

Anyway, this pattern reminds me of the quilt pattern Grandmother's Flower Garden. It is in the book Beaded Obsessions III, and has lots of beautiful designs (there are more on my to do wishlist) in the small amulet size I love to wear. I'm halfway finished, and will start working from the bottom down, which is actually the other side of the amulet, as this will be folded in half when the beading is complete, and sewn up the sides, and then fringe will be added to the bottom fold (sometimes I also add even smaller beads along the sides to cover the sewing).

On the weaving front, my first hand dyed warp is on the loom! It was a bit more difficult, because of the tangling that can occur when dyeing and washing out the dye, but I wound it on slowly, stopping to untangle as I went.

I'm almost halfway through the first scarf! This one has green bamboo weft, and I'm loving the way it almost dissapears in the warp! It's going quickly, but I do need to make more progress on the quilting side of things.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Project Progress

Hope you had a nice weekend, it was beautiful here, and look at all the daisies!

The little quilt top is complete and waiting to be layered and quilted. I didn't think about these UFOs when I cleaned out my stash a couple years ago, so I'll have to search what I have to see what I have for backing.

My original plan for yesterday was weeding, but since I was feeling a bit under the weather I decided to stay inside instead. In one of my boxes, there are some basket kits, and this tote was on top, so I pulled it out and decided to see how far I could get. I've made a little design change (it was supposed to be plain), because when the kit arrived and I saw the black, braided handles, I dropped several pieces of black reed into the package to give me design options. I ended up adding the two rows of black chain, and think it's just what it needed! Up until this basket, all the baskets I've made with wood bases have had the stakes glued in, but I didn't happen to have any, so tried doing without - and it worked!!! By the end of the day it just needed a rim, which I hope to get to soon, so that I can start using it, because it's a really nice sized tote.

Another thing I tried this weekend was woven bookmarks, using a kit from Weavezine. I only wish I had waited until I felt better to start on this, because it wasn't a pretty sight. The Tencel is slippery, but I've worked with it before, although this time I had tension issues, due to my lack of patience (and freezer paper - I think) when warping. The more I wove, the worse it got, and I think it is all because I didn't have freezer paper between the last couple rounds when I was winding the warp on the back beam. I've since cut this off the loom, and plan to re-thread to try the log cabin bookmarks.

On the scarf front, this is the longest scarf I've ever made, and it really should have been two. Of course that's what I get for not writing down my plans when I'm not going to continuously work on a project. When you don't see it for a couple weeks, it's hard to remember what to do, so I wove, wove, wove, until I was near the end of the warp, and only when I pulled it off the loom did I realize what I'd done. I'm thinking maybe I could cut and unravel the center to divide it???

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Progress, and finished projects

A friend and I have had our baskets needing to have rims finished, so we decided to work together this week. Her quilt basket is finished, and my recycling basket is finally finished, thanks to Basketmaster Nancy and her Mini Muffin Basket pattern. You see, I didn't like the way the first rim came out (too wimpy for a large basket), so I ripped it back off. As my friend Cathy suggested, I began the rim again, but with #3 round reed (instead of #2 in the pattern directions), and it still seemed too soft for a large rim, so I unbraided it while it was still wet. I remembered that I had downloaded Nancy's Mini Muffin Basket pattern, and it had a similar rim, so I decided to use her directions. There were some differences, and it made all the difference! It now has a sturdy rim and I"m happy with my basket. Thank you Nancy!!!

It's the end of the school year, and I needed a teacher gift, so I decided that I'd make a bracelet for my son's teacher, since she seemed to really like the last one I had given her. The first one I made is the green bracelet, but I wasn't sure if it would be the right gift, and decided to make another, different bracelet and made the blue wire work and bead bracelet. I didn't have the exact size wire that the pattern I was working from called for, and had trouble with the thin wire (that I decided to use because I already had it) breaking as I was making the blue one, so although I'm happy with the way it looks, it will remain mine, and I just plan to fix it in the future, if necessary. Therefore, the teacher is receiving the green bracelet today - possibly as I write this blog entry:-)

While I had the bead and wire supplies out, my friend and I decided to make shawl pins. We ran out of time, but may get them finished when she comes over later today. Here's how mine looks now:

When I was on Whidbey Island yesterday, I found a cute border and ric-rac to use on my mesh tote. I'm not sure I'm going to use the magenta strap webbing now, so will dig through my stash and see if I can find something that will work better.

This warp has move much slower through the loom as the threads are much finer than the other projects I've made, and I need to stop every 6 repeats to change colors (I tried carrying the unused thread along the side, but didn't like the look). Yesterday when I checked to see how much warp was left, it looked like I was getting really close to the end, so I decided I would just go for it, and stay up until it was finished. Yes, I stayed up way past my bedtime, but look what I have to show for it, probably 4-5 yards of beautiful fabric. It's in the washer and I'll measure it when it's dry and pressed to see how much I have to make something with. [It was supposed to be kitchen towels, but I wove it as yardage so I could decide later.]

Saturday, June 05, 2010

This week

It's been a busy week, although mostly those chores, like computer work, and prep work like fabric pressing, a little shopping for supplies, a little knitting, and I did get to attend one of my local quilt guild's meetings to see my friend Carol Hedeen's applique presentation, which was wonderful, and I even learned a few things that I'm going to try out in my own projects!

Knitting and weaving are some of those background projects I work on between everything else, and although progress is usually slow, eventually I manage to make things in time that would otherwise be wasted. My current weaving project is moving slowly, although I'm making progress and can see more layers around the cloth beam, pictures would be just more of the same, so I'm using it for the background of my knitting pictures. Right now I've got two sock projects going at the same time because I find it difficult to work on the teal socks without adequate lighting, and I can't see sitting in the car just looking out the window, watching the world go by, or waiting for appointments, without doing something, I usually have a sock project in my purse that I can pull out to work on.

The new sock pattern is Serenity Socks, from the book Sock Club, and are a free download from Martingale and Company, who is also the publisher of my book, Flower Show Quilts, which is coming out in October. I love this pattern!!! It's knitting up quickly, and amazing how much I can get accomplished with each road trip (luckily I'm usually sitting on the passenger side). I'm working on the toe, so should be able to finish it up and start the second sock on the next trip! The yarn is Ranco Multy sock yarn, color 311 from Araucania Yarns.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned these teal socks, as they've been in my purse for quite a while. I must admit that once I started the Serenity Socks, I was enjoying them so much that they have been neglected even when there has been enough light to work on them. The pattern is the TTL Mystery Sock pattern designed by Kirsten Kapur, for Through The Loops, and I beleive the yarn is Louet Gems, hand dyed by Cherry Tree Hill, that was in my stash.