Archive for January, 2009

Tulip Applique

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Here is the tulip applique that I started about a year and a half ago as my first attempt at hand applique. I was inspired by the Tulip Time quilt show both to try hand applique and to make something to enter in the show the following year. Of course, that year has come and gone. I finished the tulips pretty quickly, but it took me a while to get around to putting the squares together with the borders and setting triangles. Then, about a month ago, I finally put the layers together and got it ready for hand quilting. I haven’t done much hand quilting for a while, due to the 5 and almost 7 year old time constraints in my life. But it’s been fun to get back to it, on a manageable scale. I’m outline quilting the tulips, which you may be able to see faintly here:

Then, the plan is to do a tulip pattern to fill the setting squares, which is a little more visible here:

This may take a while, so it may not make this year’s quilt show, but there’s always 2010!

Second Pillowcase

Friday, January 16th, 2009

Here’s Andrew’s pillowcase along with a picture of the happy owner. He chose one of the fabrics Helene sent me for Christmas. It was a little smaller than the pillowcase pattern called for, so I made the red cuff part bigger. He’s very pleased with it!

Flannel Pillowcases

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

My current crackpot project is making pillowcases for Nicholas and Andrew. Nicholas picked out this flannel fabric himself. This was my first pillowcase, and I found it to be quite easy! It really took only about 30 minutes, just as the directions from Field’s promised. There was some leftover fabric, so Blanket Bear got his own matching pillow. Here are the happy pillow owners:

Now I’m working on Andrew’s pillowcase. I’ll post pictures when it’s done!

Holy Cow, I finished something!

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

Look, it’s the quilt label! Actually, like, attached to the quilt and everything!

There have been times when I’ve thought that I’d never finish this project, or any other project ever again. So I’m just going to go do a little “I finished it!” Happy Dance over here…

Spinning update

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

Here’s my first plied yarn! I’m very excited to have produced something that even a layperson would identify as yarn. Not spectacularly wonderful yarn, but hey – I’m new at this. It’s 25 grams of yarn, about 40 yards, 2-ply. My plying technique definitely needs some, well, technique. (click to biggify the picture; penny included for scale)

First Yarn!

First Yarn!

I’ve now started on my first not-just-for-practice spinning. This is some corriedale (that’s a kind of sheep) from Four Crows Farm, located in southern WI. I’ve got over 8 ounces of roving, which is a ball bigger than a basketball. I’m not sure what this will turn out to be. Socks, eventually, maybe? Or something lacy? It’ll depend on how thick/soft/tightly spun the yarn is is once it’s plied and washed. Those are variables that I can theoretically control, but I’m not experienced enough to be able to decide what I want in a yarn, and then produce it.

Singles, penny provided for scale; click to biggify

I hope you can see that I’m now doing much better at keeping the thickness of the yarn even. I still need to work out some ergonomics issues (holding my arm in the air while spinning for extended periods is not terribly comfortable); maybe I need to buy a spinning wheel?

Christmas Secrets Revealed!

Monday, January 5th, 2009

It is time to reveal some of the Christmas secrets. Here are some very cute pot holders Nancy made for all of us.

Mine are blue and Rebecca’s are red. I don’t know what other colors were used. Perhaps Nancy will post about her process of combining two sets of instructions.

Here are some thread catchers I made for the other crackpots. From the side:

From the top:

The thread catchers can sit on your sewing machine table, and you can put all the snips and ends of thread in them to save for another occasion (or to keep them out of the vacuum cleaner). Or you can fill them with chocolate. They are made from some of the hand painted fabric I made during the summer. Aha! At last an answer to the question about the fabric, “What is it for?”

You can read more about my fabric painting adventures here.

I found the pattern here. Thanks, Leanne!

New Mittens

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

I bought a new winter jacket this winter, and discovered that my mittens clashed horrendously with it. On the plus side, the hat I made last year coordinates nicely.

To avoid a fashion faux-pas on an international business trip, I decided the week of Thanksgiving that I needed to make myself some new mittens. My ultimate goal is to make another pair of stranded (multi-color) mittens – I have a ton of options in my Ravelry favorites and queue, but I knew there wasn’t time before my trip.

Instead, I whipped up a pair using some lovely wool-alpaca yarn that was originally intended for a sweater; I was unable to come up with a yoke design I liked for the sweater, so the yarn has been marinating in my stash since last year. The pattern was pretty much self-designed, based on various mitten patterns. I was in such a hurry that I managed to muck up the thumb gusset increases on one mitten and didn’t go back to fix them. (note the lack of photo of the palm side). The yarn is worsted-weight yarn, but I knitted at a very tight gauge on small needles to make them warmer and more wind-proof.

Of course, the weather at my destination was a little too warm and rainy for my new jacket, so I took different outerwear on that trip – though I did take the mittens.

I finally finished the embroidery this morning (I’d been wearing them with just the vine and one flower on the left mitten, and nothing on the right), and here they are:

(they really are the same size as each other)

(they really are the same size as each other)

Art Show Update

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

I snapped this picture of Marty’s fans* admiring her works at the State Street Gallery. Both of her pieces in the exhibition sold – to people who aren’t relatives. We’re so proud!

M and E, true fans of art

M and E, true fans of art

*they may be relatives, but that doesn’t diminish their fandom.