Monday, April 20, 2015

Flowering Snowball Blocks

I pieced a few Flowering Snowball blocks, just to see how they would look. I think they are going to make a very nice quilt, and I see other possibilities for quilts using this die (they are cut using a GO! cutter). Thirty three more blocks to sew. These are 12" blocks.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Leftover Quilt Block

When I was stash busting a few weeks ago I found a leftover 7" log cabin block, as well as lots of 1.5"x2.5" pieces. I put them together to form an 11" block. Added 5 light 1.5" strips to one side, then embellished it with appliqué.

All to make a little (11"x16") table mat for my sewing room.  I used two layers of batting (cotton with wool on top - just what I had in that size). The appliqué is invisible machine appliqué. The free motion quilting is done with 100Wt Invisafil thread - straight lines and feathers, just for fun.

A pretty sign of spring.
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Spinning Wheel

I got a new spinning wheel - an Ashford Traditional Double Drive.

It is a joy to spin with - I was amazed how different from my other spinning wheel (an Ashford Kiwi - which is a really good wheel too, just different).

I spun my first skein of yarn on the new wheel - it came out very even (the fibre was easy to spin).

This was the fibre - 75% Superwash Merino and 25% Nylon (Bare Stroll Roving from Knit Picks), that I dyed with an odd assortment of colours (I am trying to step out of my 'colour box' when dyeing).

The bobbins before plying.

The colours were beautiful to watch spin, and I look forward to seeing how it knits up. I was hoping to make socks, but (surprisingly for me!) it came out a bit too thin. I might try making gloves with this yarn.

This week I also crocheted something - it has been a long time since I have crocheted anything (when I was young I made a lot of things in crochet), and I really enjoyed it.
I know I have two 'crochet' patterns on Ravelry, but I consider Romanian Point Lace a type of embroidery.

I made a little bag to attach to my spinning wheel, to hold the oil bottle, yarn gauge etc. I felted the bag when it was finished.

The colour is better in the top photo. I used some of my first hand spun yarn from two years ago.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

FMQ Class and Progress

First I just want to mention that my Free Motion Quilting Class is being offered again this spring. The class is listed online here. The class was very successful last fall and I am really looking forward to this one. This time there will be four classes.

I did some free motion quilting last week when I finished piecing this leader/ender project. Little thimbles that are just over an inch tall. Hard to believe this mug mat is made up of 198 thimbles. It is 11"x19" (after washing).

I used some 30Wt Sulky variegated thread for the quilting. Here I "auditioned" the thread (I chose the  green one in the top left hand corner). I used a #90 Titanium needle for this thread, with regular sewing thread in the bobbin (a dark beige colour).

All the seams were spiralled so they would lay flat (the top of the thimbles are 1/2").

I chose an all over meander for the quilting, because I love quilting this design and I like the crinkly look it gives after washing. The fabric is "Old is New Fabric" by Lecien.

Since it is for hot mugs I used two layers of cotton batting- cotton lays flat, and two layers really protect the table from heat (I don't always have foil batting, but I have small pieces of leftover batting). Two layers of cotton are also great because they can absorb a whole mug of hot liquid (ask me how I know!).

I have been sewing Courthouse Steps blocks, 34 so far with 20 left to sew.

The last of the snow is almost melted,

and the tulips have started growing!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Stash Busting

For the past week I have been stash busting - whittling my 4 containers of fat quarters and smaller pieces down to 3 containers.

Since it is the same amount of work to cut out one quilt as three, that's what I did.

Pieces for a Flowering Snowball quilt cut with the GO! (the link for the die). I used some yardage for this one too. Here is a link for images of this quilt pattern.

12" blocks. The plan is for 42 blocks, with a 6x7 layout, the blocks alone will be 72"x84". I might add borders - big enough for a bed quilt.

Pieces for a Tumbler quilt (again cut with the GO! - 3" Tumbler die). I love this die and have used it many times, it is a really great way to use up the odd pieces leftover from cutting out other blocks.
There are just over 650 tumblers, and this quilt should be about 56"x78" (26 rows with 25 tumblers per row).

Pieces for a Courthouse Steps quilt. One of my favourite quilts is a Log Cabin quilt I made two years ago. I had a few leftover pieces, and I wanted to try something different. This style of quilt is a fabulous stash buster - 1+1/2" strips . I really enjoyed piecing the Log Cabin, so I am looking forward to this one.

9" blocks. The plan is for 54 blocks, with a 6x9 layout, resulting in a 54"x81" quilt.

With all the small leftover pieces I cut about a million (probably exaggerating, but there are a lot in that container!) Thimbles - these will be 1+1/4" when sewn. I like them as leaders/enders, and they will make pillow covers/table mats... without much thought.

Now comes the hard of deciding which one I will make first.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 6, 2015

March Year in Colour

The Year in Colour (a yarn club from Tanis Fibre Arts) yarn for March was a lovely 100% Merino wool,  DK weight, soft yarn.

The colour is called 'Spun Sugar" - a soft pink/lilac.

The pattern that came with the yarn was for this cable hat.

It was a lovely pattern to knit. I wore it for the first time today, and it is a bit small for my large head (it stretches, but then it is too short, even though I made the ribbing extra long because I knew this might be a problem). I am considering knitting it again with an extra repeat of the cable and bobble section.

Time for some nature photos from the past week - 

an amazing sunset
the ground was hopping with little Juncos after some snow

a red squirrel visiting
 Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Spinning for a Shawl

Thanks to everyone who left such kind comments on my sweater post. I wore it yesterday for the first time, and it is just lovely! So soft and warm.

Now I have been spinning for a shawl. I love knitting patterns from Boo Knits and there is another mystery knit along coming up in May. The pattern (Be With You MKAL) calls for two fingering weight yarns, one plain, and one variegated and fuzzy, plus beads.

I used a blending board to combine fibres for spinning - this one is silk, BFL wool and a small amount of baby alpaca. These fibres are their natural colour.

the rolags ready for spinning

The yarn was lovely to spin, and because of the silk has a lovely shine.

I dyed almost half of the fibre for the second skein very pale shades of pink to blend with the natural fibre. This one is BFL wool with silk, baby alpaca and a small amount of angora for a fuzzy yarn.

I am all ready for the May 4th release date!

Sunrise this morning.
 Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Finished Sweater!

 I am so pleased to be finished knitting my first hand dyed, hand spun sweater.

I started with 2 lbs/almost 1Kg of pure merino wool fibre (from Ashford in New Zealand, purchased from Fibre Detours in Quebec). I divided the fibre into 9 bundles (just over 100g each) to make dyeing easier.

I dyed it (how I dye is described in this post). I had way more fibre than I ended up needing (but better than not enough).

I spun 800g of the fibre.

Here are the 3 skeins of yarn that used for the sweater.

The final sweater!! Before weaving in all the ends, washing and blocking - I just couldn't wait to show it off.
The sweater is a top-down, raglan sweater. I didn't use a pattern, but these types of sweaters are so easy - there is a basic formula once you figure out gauge and the number of stitches that need to be cast on for the neck. After that it is just trying it on and increasing and then decreasing as needed. more details of the sweater can be found on Ravelry (you might need to be a member to see this page). Top-down is a great way to knit a sweater because they end up fitting perfectly.
This project took exactly one month - I started spinning on February 26th, started knitting on March 4th - finished March 26th.

Yesterday we had a snow storm with heavy wet snow (all the old snow was almost gone).

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Sweater Progress

I finished the sleeves on the sweater, and should have lots of yarn left to finish the body (hopefully this week).

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 23, 2015

International Quilting Day

This past Saturday was International Quilting Day. I finished up a few projects.

I pieced the pillow top last week, and machine quilted and finished it this weekend. I started piecing the table topper last weekend and finished it this weekend. The little coaster/mug mat I made this weekend as part of a sew along.

For the pillow I added a piece of needlepoint that my Mother made a while ago - it has been waiting around for the right project and I thought it went very well with the French General fabric.

The diamond shaped table topper was made with the Mini Hex n More ruler. It is a great little ruler (about 3" long), and a nice way to use up little bits of fabric (it is pretty easy to figure out how to combine pieces for the patterns too). The table topper is about 18"x31" (measured from the points).

The mug mat pattern was from Kathleen Tracy (A Sentimental Quilter). It is about 4"x7".

Can you tell I am trying to use up every little piece of a French General fat quarter pack! Two quilt tops (waiting for quilting - the Double Wedding Ring quilt top has some French General yardage too), a pillow cover, a table topper, a mug mat and a little chicken pincushion.

 This is what is left of the FQ's - enough for a little selvage bag I think/hope.

Yesterday it looked like this-

and we woke up to this this morning-

The beauty of snow in March is that it will melt soon.

The animals had to dig for seeds. The snow didn't stop the partridges from fighting (you can see them in the background).

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!