Monday, March 28, 2011

Figs and Ginger - fabrics found

Yeah!  I managed to find all the fabrics in my stash!!!  So far, I believe I have enough for two twin quilts, and have also pulled out two fabrics that I think may work for the borders, but I'm going to wait to decide on the border fabrics, until I have the center panels complete.

Here's my fabric:

In case you missed my previous post, I'm making the Figs and Ginger pattern from Stack the Deck Revisited, by Karla Alexander, and have invited my readers to quilt-a-long.  I've decided to make two for twin beds that are in the same room, but I'm making one the mirror image of the other, so that the angle of the design can point towards the other bed / nightstand, making a chevron design.  Have you chosen your fabrics yet?

Hydrangea Fair Isle Hat

On the day between classes at Madrona, the weather was beautiful, and I took a drive to the Allyn Knit Shop.  I've always loved the fair isle designs, and have made a couple small stranded projects in the past, but never a true fair isle, and the stranded work was only a small part of the project.  Well, I fell in love with a hat in their shop and the pattern and yarn for it followed me home:-)  I'm practicing knitting with both hands, and it's going slowly (because I only work on it for a few rows at a time), but I think it's coming out ok.

Here is my progress, and the yarns and tools I'm using (and yes, I"m using my bread basket to hold this project:-)):

Pine Needle Basket - the stone

Delighted Hands asked what was in the center of the basket, and since there might be others wondering about it, or the structure of the basket, I thought I should explain more in another blog post.  The centerpiece of the basket is a Dalmation Jasper cabachon, that is glued to faux leather that has a fabric backing, like Pleather.  The first row of pine needles are stitched to the pleather, as close as you can get to the stone, and the spacing of the stitches in that first row radiate out to the edges of the basket, and I know mine isn't perfect, but found it difficult to un-stitch, and it seemed to leave marks.  I kept the basket small, it is quite a bit smaller than the sample that Nadine makes in her video, and I would think that if you were to make a huge basket, you might be able to double the stitches at some point, to keep them from getting too far apart.

Here's a picture from the top:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pine Needle Basket

Well, I can now say I've made a pine needle basket!  

I've seen some beautiful pine needle baskets, and have been wanting to try one for some time.  A while ago, I bought Nadine Spier's video, that teaches how to make them, using a cabachon, black walnut slice, and other things in the center.  At the time, I didn't have the supplies, and once I did, I didn't have the time to follow the video lesson and make one - until the other day, when I had a few hours and thought it would be a small, quick project.  Ha!  It took me days longer than I thought it would, but I do think it came out ok, especially for a first project!  Will I ever make another?  Only time will tell.  I've decided that for now, it's not for me, although I've saved the supplies, just in case I get the urge to try again, or maybe one of my friends would like to try, you never know:-)  Besides, I've got plenty of other media to keep me busy!

Friday, March 25, 2011

How about a quilt-a-long?

I've been flipping through a stack of books from Martingale, and pulled out two of the Stack the Deck books by Karla Alexander.  I really love her books!

Book review:  The blocks in "Stack the Deck Revisited" are cut and pieced like crazy quilts, but many go beyond, making the crazy piecing only part of a more refined block, or set with other pieces and colored to make them into a very artistic quilt.  When other shapes added, you will end up with a quilt that I imagine will have many asking "how did you do that?"  The color washed quilts like Summer Solstice, Figs and Ginger, and the Scrappy Crazy Quilt Sampler are my favorites, but Goin' Green isn't far behind.  The stack the deck technique is easy and it's always fun to see how the blocks come out!

Yes, some of you may remember that I already have two projects from her books in progress, waiting to be finished, but they are larger projects, but I'm still collecting more fabrics for them (I've decided to enlarge them to Queen and King sizes).  My husband thinks making new quilts for our boy's twin beds has a higher priority, so I have a great excuse to start a new project, and thought some of you might like to quilt along with me!  If you do, I'd love to see your progress and quilt, and if you post it on your blog, I'd love to add a link to it from mine, so that everyone could see your version too!

The first quilt is going to be made from the "Figs and Ginger" pattern that is on p. 42, in "Stack the Deck Revisited", and I'm thinking that it might be fun to make a second that is a mirror image of the first, because I could put the mirror image quilt on the bed to the right of the first, and the diagonal stripes would move up and towards the center, towards the nightstand between the beds.

I usually take my time choosing fabrics, and will start with my fabric stash, hoping to find enough for two quilts (just in case I want to make the second, mirror image one coordinate with the first).  Since the fabrics wouldn't have to bee identical, just the same color families, and you only need 1/ 3 yard of most of the fabrics,  I think I might be able to find all of them right here at home!  Well, off to hunt for fabric!!!

Cardigan Progress

I've been making progress on my green Oatmeal Cardigan, and just like the turtle, it's usually slow, but steady.  This cardigan is worked from the bottom up, and the sleeves are the first parts to be knit.  I thought I had posted this picture, showing the first sleeve, but in searching back through my blog, it seems I forgot:-(  Anyways, here is the start of the first sleeve:

And here are both sleeves completed and being held on some yarn, while I work on the lower body.

I've knit about 9", and when I get to 14", or as long as I want the sweater up to the underarms, I'll get to  connect the sleeves, and continue on up to the neck.

Madrona Fabrics Finsihed!

The fabric for the acoustic panels at Madrona Digital, are finished!  I have yards and yards of fabric, just waiting to be stretched over the panels and hung in their showroom.  I can't wait to see the finished panels!

Here's the new, brighter warp on the loom:

I wove the second, small panel with orange carpet warp, and think it will look nice on their green walls:

Here's the start of another panel that I wove with the tan boucle thread,that I had used for the light stripes in the first sample:

And here's my stack of hand woven fabric:

Mitts Finished

My purplish mitts are complete, and have already been worn (quite a bit).  Sometimes, you just HAVE to finish a project, because you NEED it to wear!  On my way home from the Madrona Fiber Arts classes, I lost one of my blue mitts, which forced me to finish these because my hands were so cold.  Of course, now the weather is much warmer, and I don't wear them every day, but at the time, I needed them so bad, that I finished them and wore them immediately, forgetting to even take a picture!  At least I remembered to post them before wearing them out:-)

All Spun Up

Remember the wool I bought at Sew EXPO?  This is the core spun yarn that I made from the first batch of that wool, and is how I plan to spin the remaining batt.  I don't have a pattern picked out yet, but will decide when I'm ready to make something from it.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Share the Warmth!

To help celebrate their 35th anniversary, Martingale & Company wants to inspire quilters and crafters to help others and make 3,500 quilts, blankets and throws, donate them to charity, and then let them know.  They are encouraging guilds to participate as well, and will be awarding prizes to 35 individuals and one guild, with the drawing on December1, 2011.  For more information, click on the logo below, or here.

If you have a blog, they would appreciate you sharing the challenge with others, and have this downloadable logo and link to the information page for the program.

Monday, March 07, 2011


I had so much fun, hanging out in the Quiltworks Northwest booth at Sew EXPO this past Friday and Saturday!!!  I signed books and demonstrated how to use the quilting disks that I use, called Grip and Stitch, from my friend at Clever Craft Tools, which they were selling in their booth (Gathering Fabric also carries these disks).   She has a new company, and is busy building the website, but you can drop her a line and I'm sure she'll get back to you, asap.  Here's a picture of them with the package cover:

I don't have pictures from the show (wish I did), but I did take some pictures of some things I purchased.

First off is Ricky Timm's hand dyed fabrics.  His fabrics are gorgeous, and although I do like to dye fabric myself (my boys now have their coffee maker and other food things in that room, so I don't dare get out the dyes for fear of contaminating their food), I'm happy to be able to purchase such beautiful fabrics!

Of course, I also bought a couple cotton batiks for quilting:

I even found a couple totally gorgeous rayon batiks in the Indonesian Batiks booth, which I plan to make either light jackets, or tops from:

Cheryl Kuzcak, owner of Paradiso Designs, was also in the Quiltworks booth this weekend, and her purse designs are all so beautiful, especially when you see them in person.  I had already purchased her Anna bag pattern at fall market, and added Xine and Carry-All to my collection.  As usual, they look much better in person, especially Carry-All, which I would not have purchased had I not seen the beautiful version she had in the booth.  In fact she sold so many that she sold out of that pattern on Friday and I had to wait until Saturday to buy my copy!  She uses faux leather and nice, heavy hardware, so I made sure to get some to make my bags.

I was happy to see the Carolina Handspun booth, because I bought a black / multicolor fiber batt from her when she was at Madrona Fiberarts, and spun it up into a beautiful corespun art yarn.  I wished I had more, and what do you know, but she had another in her booth, which I brought home with me:-)

Now I'd better get to work and make something!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Sew Expo - Puyalup, WA

If you're headed to Sew EXPO in Puyallup, WA this week, I'm going to be signing books and demonstrating machine quilting in the Quiltworks Northwest booth on Friday and Saturday, from about 10am till about 3or 4pm.  They will have half the quilts from my book in their booth, and the other half are hanging at their store in Bellevue.  If you miss the show, you'll be able to see the quilts at their shop for the first three weeks this month, and then they'll be on their way to other shops. 

Come by the Quiltworks Northwest booth and say hi, have me sign your book, I'd love to meet you!

If you're wondering if the Flower Show Quilts will be coming to visit a shop near you, the trunk show schedule is on my website.