Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Quick Christmas Gift

I knit a hat for my husband, for Christmas (he needed a warm hat, that was long enough to go down past his ears - this should do the trick). The pattern is Baa-ble Hat, and ever since it came out, it has been one of the top patterns on Ravelry - it is so cute! I was so pleased to have a reason to make it.

I spun the yarn with wool from different sheep breeds - the first three are natural colours, white - Shetland, dark brown - Coopworth, grey - Gotland, and the last one is a Merino Cross from a local sheep farm (Sheeples), I had dyed it shades of green. The wool came from all over the world too - New Zealand, United Kingdom, and Canada.

I spun a thick, 3 ply yarn. The spinning took twice as long as knitting the hat (I do have some leftover yarn).

Three ply yarn is such a nice round yarn, and perfect for stranded colour work (2 ply is good for lace and plain knitting).
I made some modifications to the pattern and more details can be found on my Ravelry project page.

I wanted to share this post (link) from Angela Walters that I found on Pinterest today - it is tips on machine quilting - not technical tips, but how we are hard on ourselves and the reason why we make quilts, well worth watching. This is why I quilt - nothing brings me greater joy than seeing my family use what I make!

This is my oldest son watching a hockey game on TV, using two quilts (look at those curls! - his hair is short now). The quilting on the top quilt is nothing fancy, but my favourite design to quilt, I loved all the steps in making that quilt, it would never win any prizes at a quilt show, but I don't need it to, the fact that it is finished and gets used is everything to me!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!♥︎

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Mini Quilt Finish

I finished my Temecula Quilt Co mini mystery (We Wish You a Mini Christmas). It is 7"x19.5". I used two layers of thin batting, and regular cotton thread for the free motion quilting.
These mini mysteries are always so much fun - it is nice quilting along with friends, and this year I quilted along with my Mother too!

Here is her little quilt. She recently took her first Craftsy class (and loved it) - Creative Quilting with your Walking Foot by Jacquie Gering. Her quilt is quilted with one of the decorative stitches - it looks great!

Since I usually have two knitting projects on the go (a pair of socks and something else) I started a new project. This is Aglow by Kristina Vilimaite. I am using some yarn that I dyed and spun, it is a gradient, black to white. So far the pattern is a bit of a struggle, but I am sure it will be worth it.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Friday, December 11, 2015

One More and Some Finishes

One more block added to the growing pile of tiny blocks.

I finished the sweater I knitted from yarn I spun this summer. The yarn is 100% natural merino, that I chain plied (4 ply yarn), about dk/worsted weight. It is knit top-down with raglan sleeves - I made up the pattern as I went along (I had a basic idea in my head of what I wanted when I started).
This is the easiest type of sweater to make without a pattern because you start by make a swatch to determine the number of stitches per inch, and then all I did was measure how big around the neck I wanted the sweater to start out at - this determines the number of stitches to cast on (81 for this sweater). More details/photos can be found on my Ravelry project page.

Now I have started knitting a pair of socks. The pattern is Elm. I am using my favourite sock yarn - Blue Label by Tanis Fiber Arts in the colour Atlantic (these are the most amazing hand dyed yarns!).

Here is another finish, a couple of pillowcases for Christmas (I hope my sons don't see this, but I am pretty sure they don't read my blog!). A couple of years ago, for Christmas, I made my sons (young men) pillowcases, at the time I thought they just accept that their mother makes things (i.e. not much excitement), but recently when their pillowcases were beyond repair and I got rid of them, they both, independently of one another, asked me what had happened to their pillowcases - words like 'loved' and 'favourite' were used!! That was all I needed to hear, and I was off to the fabric store in search of novelty fabric (hard to choose!).
Here is the link for the pattern I used.

I thought it was interesting how the rabbit was digging in the snow for the seeds.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!♥︎

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

More Little Blocks

Nine Temecula Quilt Co mystery blocks finished, three more to come. These have been so quick and fun to make (2+1/4" blocks).

The local John Deere dealership always has a lovely Christmas display - this year Santa in a swather.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!♥︎

Friday, December 4, 2015

Little Quilt Blocks

I had forgotten that the newest Christmas Sew Along from Temecula Quilt Company started at the beginning of December, so today I caught up.  The blocks are just 2+1/4" finished - very quick to make (details on the sew along can be found here). I have made a couple of their little sew along quilts, and for this one I have chosen to just pick fabric at random (hopefully it will end up looking nice and scrappy!).

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!♥︎

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Double Wedding Ring Quilt

I took a break from this blog because I blogged everyday on my photo blog for a month. I really enjoy the photo blog, but find it time consuming to maintain two blogs - I need to find a balance that works for me.

I am still working on all my hobbies.
I finally finished my French General Double Wedding Ring quilt!

It is 60"x71". The fabric is a fat quarter pack of Rouenneries Deux by French General, along with some yardage for the centres and little blocks from the same fabric line. I used wool batting and flannel backing.

For the free motion quilting I used Bottom Line thread.

For the quilting designs I chose continuous curves for all the pieces in the rings, and also in the centres along with straight lines through the centres, there are also circles in the little lens shapes (to compliment the circles in the piecing - my son told they look like lots of eyes).

For all the continuous curves the quilting foot acted as my guide.

I used an acrylic ruler for the straight lines for the first time - it worked so well.

I also finished a few knitting projects -

A couple cowls -
Seeds to Flowers Cowl
Ice Queen
and a pair of hand spun wool socks -

Now I am working on a hand spun sweater. This one is knit top down (no pattern, just making it up as I go).

Back in October I had the Craftsy month pass and picked up a new hobby - baking! This hobby my family notices and loves.

pecan pie
cheese soufflé
meringue kisses
danish pastries
more bread

New kitchen appliances last month helped too.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!♥︎

Friday, October 30, 2015

Few Words Friday

I finally finished machine quilting my Double Wedding Ring quilt - time to cut all the threads on the back.

I practiced 'Plumifying" - from a Patsy Thompson Craftsy class on feathers.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!♥︎ 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Few Words Friday

Finished up the L'Enveloppe.

Starting knitting a Seeds to Flowers Cowl.

Still machine quilting!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!♥︎

Friday, October 16, 2015

Another Tumbler Quilt

I  finished the tumbler quilt I made over the summer.

The 3.5" tumblers were cut with the GO! when I was stash busting in the spring. It is 68"x95" (twin quilt size). There are 650 tumblers, set at 25/row and 26 rows. For this one I used the same fabric for the tumblers on the ends of the rows and added the same fabric as a border at the top and bottom, to have the tumblers 'floating'.

I quilted Hooked Feathers in the outer (5") border. I started by marking the curving spine with white marking pen that irons out (this is the one that doesn't look like it works until you let it sit for a few seconds, then the line appears). I am amazed that some people still recommend the Frixion pen with all that is known about it.
I stitched the spine first and then the hooked feathers on the side closest to the little inside border.

Then I added the binding without cutting away the excess backing and batting.

This way I had room for my hand, and could easily stitch the second side of the feather right up to the binding. Otherwise I run the risk of covering up the quilting when I bind the quilt. I know I could mark where the binding would go, but marking isn't my thing - the only marking I did on this quilt was the feather spine (I wanted it to curve back and forth evenly around the border), and the 45º at the corner.

For the corner I marked a 45 degree angle and worked the feather around.

For the other free motion quilting designs I chose to meander over the tumblers (just because I love stitching meanders), an angled 'bumping background' for the border created by the tumblers, and a small swirl in the 1" border.
All the free motion quilting was done on my domestic sewing machine using Bottom Line thread in the top and bobbin (all done in the same taupe #617 colour - a great thread that matched everything). I had a #80 regular Organ needle in the sewing machine. The batting is silk, Hobbs Tuscany. The backing is double wide flannel.

Silk batting is lightweight and warm, and so easy to quilt on a domestic sewing machine. After washing it shrinks slightly and has that nice crinkle look.

This lace hat is another finish this week. The pattern is from the Craftsy class New Directions in Lace (more details can by found on my Ravelry page if you are interested). It is one of the classes I have watched since buying the month pass. 
I am going through as many classes as I can, watching parts that I find useful, some I watch at 1.5 or 2 times the speed - it is still perfectly clear and easy to follow, I also have been downloading the class material from many classes that I might not have time to watch. 

I find the baking/cooking classes really nice and I am amazed at what I have learned (classes that I wouldn't have thought of buying).

This bread is from 'Artisan Bread in Minutes'. The recipe makes a large batch of dough and it is kept it in the fridge (for up to two weeks, but mine has never lasted that long - we are on our third batch in less than two weeks!), then you just take out as much dough as you need. The class shows all kinds of ways to use the dough.

We have been making pizza - quick and easy - the dough rests on the counter while the pizza stone heats in the oven.

These cinnamon knot buns I made with the brioche dough I made from the class ' Classic and Creative Brioche Pastries'.

Some WIPs -

I am knitting L'Enveloppe by Sally Melville, with some yarn I blended and spun.

The cowl I am knitting with yarn from New Zealand is coming along nicely  - this is my take along project because the lace is so easy to knit.

I am free motion quilting the double wedding ring quilt I pieced earlier in the year. It is wool batting and much puffier than the silk.

This work in progress is one that I am amazed by. I have been trying to grow avocado pits for years, and this one is growing!

In the summer I won a set of knitting needles during the Tour de Fleece. They were Knitters Pride needles, well KP had a photo contest recently and this was my entry (the theme was what our KP needles matched) -

I was surprised to win a set of double pointed "Marblz" needles.

They are so pretty!

Since I rarely use DPN's, and didn't want them to just sit in a drawer, I put them on display in my sewing room - with a crochet heart from my niece.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!♥︎
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