Thursday, May 18, 2017

Seems To Be A Theme

I have finished a few things recently and they are all red - it just happens to be my favourite colour.

I made a few pillows to go on my bed along with my new quilt, and the whole cloth anniversary quilt I made a few years ago. The two pillow shams are just sewn out of rectangles of fabric, with a layer of batting for support, and a little flange stitched around the edge.

The little cushion is a piece of cross stitch on linen, with a fabric border and matching binding.

The larger pillow is a piece of fabric with free motion quilted feathers - 

I started by marking and stitching the feather 'stems', plus the tips of the feathers,

and then stitching in all the 'lobes' freehand. These are 'Bump-Bump' feathers. I used a layer of cotton batting with a full layer of wool batting on top.

I added parallel lines for the background - you can see a few of the lines that I marked with a Hera marker as a guide for the angle. Super quick and easy to make!

Here is how they all look on my bed. When I made my anniversary quilt the plan was to have it as a backdrop for other quilts, and I love this more formal look.

I also finished knitting a red vest using some hand dyed, hand spun merino and silk. It is light weight and perfect for this time of the year (more details on my Ravelry page if you are on Ravelry).

For a change I started a scarf using some green/blue hand dyed, hand spun yarn. This is a free pattern on Ravelry called Waves of the Atlantic by Deborah Wilson. It is an easy knit, and all the magic is in the blocking.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!♥︎

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Power Quilting!

I never seem to follow quilt patterns exactly, so I decided it would be nice for a change! The quilting book Simple Comforts by Kim Diehl  was one of my first quilt books (and still one of my favourites), and I have always loved the quilt Twilight Hopscotch (if you click on the book link you can see all the quilts in the book). I ordered some fabric that was on sale and it came last Thursday.

It was lovely to know exactly what to cut out with out figuring it out by myself.

I started piecing last Sunday, and because cold weather was in the forecast for the week I decided to challenge myself to make a quilt in a week (I have done it once before, a long time ago - probably the last time I followed a quilt pattern too!).

By Wednesday it was all pieced and ready for quilting. I tried a 'new-to-me' batting - Tuscany Cotton Wool blend by Hobbs (80/20 blend). It was nice to quilt on my sewing machine, but I don't think I would quilt a full size bed quilt with it - it is heavier than just wool or silk. It will be interesting to see how it washes - it is supposed to get softer with repeated washings.

sewing the last few stitches for the binding
Finished the machine quilting today.

The quilt is 61" square, with 12" blocks and 2" sashing and outer border. I am really pleased with how it came out and it was a fun experience.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!♥︎

Sunday, April 9, 2017

BOM Blocks

I am participating in two block of the months this year.

These are the blocks so far for the Yankee Diary BOM from Barbara Brackman's blog Civil War Quilts. This month's blocks are the 5 Double Tie blocks. They are 6" blocks. Some of my blocks so far are just the correct size of background fabric since I haven't decided what I will appliqué yet (I'll decide when more of the blocks are finished).

These blocks are for the Welcome Home Mystery quilt from Kathleen Tracy (A Sentimental Quilter) - she posts the instructions on her Small Quilt Group on Facebook and Yahoo. The latest are twelve 3" Nine Patch blocks. I also added the border to the house block - the block is now about 15".

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!♥︎

Monday, April 3, 2017

Some Recent Finishes

A quick post to share some recent projects -

I finished up the table mat from my last post (I pieced the blocks on International Quilting Day). The mat is 12"x28", with 4" Courthouse Steps blocks. I went with this layout, although I preferred (as well other commenters from the las post) a different layout, but I realized it would be the same as the quilt on the couch -

I free motion quilted an all over meander design.

A couple of knitting finishes using yarn that I dyed and spun-

A sweater made with all kinds of fibre - linen, 2 breeds of wool, 2 types of silk, bamboo, alpaca and tencel. You can see more information and photos on the Ravelry page. This was my own pattern.

A simple cowl knit with silk and merino. The pattern is Botanical Cowl by Megan Goodacre, a free pattern on Ravelry.

I also finished weaving a piece of fabric that I plan on making a vest with - kind of scary cutting it up, but it should work! Technically not a finish yet. It is made with yarn that I dyed and spun also.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!♥︎

Saturday, March 18, 2017

World Quilting Day

Today is World Quilting Day (International Quilting Day) and I was happy to do some online sewing with a dear friend in New Zealand.  

I pieced 21 little Court House Steps blocks. They are 4" blocks that I had cut out earlier in the week. The strips are 1/2" (cut at 1"), with 1" (cut 1+1/2") centres.

Now I have to decide on which layout I like best -

I am making a little table mat.

Happy World Quilting Day! Thanks for stopping by!♥︎

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Finished Westering Women Quilt

I finished machine quilting the Westering Women quilt last weekend.

Now it is all washed and soft.
The design is from the Civil War Quilts blog by Barbara Brackman. The quilt is 54"x67". It was a fun quilt to make, along with interesting stories to go with each block design.

I love sampler quilts, but seem to struggle on deciding what free motion designs to quilt. For this one I decided to keep it simple and only use three different quilting designs - Continuous Curves, Swirls and Hooked Feathers. I am really pleased with how it came out.

I used my favourite combination for a lap quilt of silk batting (Hobbs Tuscany Silk) with minky/plush backing (it comes 60" wide, that I why I made the quilt a bit smaller than the original pattern). It makes for a lovely, soft, squishy, warm on bare skin, lap quilt.

For the free motion quilting in the sashing, corner stones and blocks I used this brown thread - it was amazing how well it blended with all the different colours.

I used red Aurifil thread for the hooked feathers in the border.

I did stitch in the ditch around all the blocks before free motion quilting, and for that I tried using Bottom Line thread, but my machine really doesn't seem to like it these days, and somehow it kept cutting the thread (I even removed the blade from the built in cutter, but that didn't help). So I ended up switching to a thread from Connecting Threads called Essential Pro. It is a 70 weight thread that I had bought on sale and tried for the first time - it wasn't quite the right colour, but worked very well.

When I was picking out fabric from my stash for the binding I thought this fabric seemed appropriate since the quilt is designed by Barbara Brackman.

Barbara's quilt-along for this year is called Yankee Diary,

and this is my first block (invisible machine appliqué). It is 9"x12". The next two block patterns are out, and I knew going into this quilt along that it would be more 'American' than I would like (stars and US flags...), so I am still deciding if I will just make whatever appropriately sized appliqué blocks, or wait and see what appliqué will work when the other blocks are finished. The style for this quilt-along is one of my favourite - random sized blocks with a mix of appliqué and pieced blocks, so I knew that I wanted to join.

These blocks are for Kathleen Tracy's quilt-along for the Small Quilt Group.

I also decided to go back to working on my Pineapple quilt blocks this week. These are large, 14" blocks, and I had forgotten how long they take to piece. I have 18 out of the 49 blocks pieced now.

In the Knitting/Spinning department I have a couple of finishes -

This shawl is from the pattern Neato by Jumper Cables (a Canadian designer), that I made with hand spun yarn that I spun last year from fibre that I won during Tour de Fleece. It is a 50% Silk, 50% Merino blend that I spun into a lace weight gradient.

This little chicken I knit out of some leftover hand spun. The pattern is Bock Bock, I'm a Chicken by Patricia Grace Evans.

These next two are a couple of skeins that I finished spinning for the Spin the Bin Challenge 2017-

100% flax/linen.

100% Merino that I dyed and drum carded to blend. The grey is heathered and the coloured one is a gradient. This was spun to make a Leftie by Martina Behm.

I also did some dyeing -

100% Finn wool that is part of my Spin the Bin 2017 Challenge.

And for fun I dyed some Cashmerino sock yarn.

I love to have a pair of plain socks on my needles for simple knitting, and it is more interesting with fun yarn.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!♥︎

Monday, February 20, 2017

Spin the Bin 2017 Challenge

This year I decided to participate in something 'new-to-me' through the 'Completely Twisted and Arbitrary' group on Ravelry. It is a Spin the Bin Challenge.

This is the fibre I chose for the year. I picked out an assortment of fibre - some that I have had for a while, others that I thought would be a challenge and some that I just love to spin. There are a few rules, but basically you pick out at least twelve fibre bundles of at least 2oz to spin during the year. I also joined the 'Use It or Lose It' club, so that if fibre doesn't get spun it becomes a prize for someone that spun their whole bin (a good motivator to get everything spun).

This is all my fibre in it's bin (having a photo of the fibre in a bin gets me a free pass to exchange one of the fibres, otherwise if I take a fibre out I have to replace it with two bundles).

Here is what I have spun so far -

Tussah silk. This is the first time I have spun pure silk (it was much easier than I thought it would be, I think because it is Tussah silk it is easier than other silks to spin).

The finished skein - about 55g of fingering weight yarn.

I dyed it after spinning because I didn't know how it would be to spin if I dyed it first.

50/50 Merino and Silk. This is one that I had previously dyed.

Finished skein - about 50g of fingering weight yarn.

35/65 Silk and Superwash Merino that I had previously dyed (twice because it was too pale the first time).

The finished skeins - about 225g of sport weight yarn, enough for a short sleeve sweater.

This is an assortment of two types of silk and merino that I put together when I was getting the bin together, but I decided to add to it to spin enough for another sweater.

I also added this white flax that was already in the bin,

and added some more fibre to make a 'kitchen sink spin' (another spin along happening on Ravelry).

I dyed about half of the fibre,

divided it into two and drum carded it to make rolags (two different colours for each of the plies) - something 'new-to-me' too).

This is the yellow/green/blue fibre on the drum carder - I 'painted' the fibre on the main drum (again something 'new-to-me'). When I was dyeing I chose the colours to compliment the already dyed fibre (blue wool, black silk and blue Tencel).

The finished skeins - 429g, about 820yds of DK weight yarn,

plus a small skein made by plying with a rayon sewing thread (something else that I tried for the first time).

All the finished skeins together. I am half way through the bin, and hope to have it finished before the start of Tour de Fleece in the summer. Here is a link to my Spin the Bin on Ravelry where I go into more details.

I have been sewing too -

A few new mug rugs (more on these later in the year).

I added to my Welcome Home Mystery quilt - from Kathleen Tracy.

I have also started quilting my Westering Women quilt. I have done all the stitching in the ditch and FMQ'ed the border, now I have to decide what to quilt on the blocks.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!♥︎