Saturday, March 25, 2023

A Towel and A Pillow

I wove a handspun linen towel!

It is an Atwater-Bronson lace weave.
It is based on the Pure Delight towels from Handwoven magazine, issue Jan/Feb 2015 (I changed the sett, number of repeats, ends per inch, and a bit of the treadling).
I spun the flax - that took a month! And I only had enough for one towel (lots of white left though).
It is a four shaft weaving pattern, and very easy to weave. I couldn't have fit in another pattern repeat, and used up all the warp and just about all the yarn for the weft.
The above photo is the loom waste, and the small amount of linen I had left,
I used some for the hemstitching.
Fresh off the loom the towel was 'crispy', but after washing, rolling, pressing and drying it is quite supple, and has a nice shine.
I am not quite ready to use it all the time, but soon (I am trying to use what I have and not keep things as 'precious').

The other thing I tried recently was ruler work quilting, and made a pillow-

This is with a quilt block I pieced years ago (the pattern was from Kathleen Tracy).
My son cut some rulers out of acrylic for me to try out.
The clam shell one worked well for the borders too and created a nice semi circle on the corner.
It was lots of fun to try out, but I can't imagine quilting a large quilt this way (it isn't as fast for me as free motion quilting, but maybe I just need more practice).

This week I cut out pieces for a Drunkard's Path quilt (enough for a ~90" square quilt).
This is with a GO! cutter, using the 3+1/2" and 7" DP dies, along with some 4" plain squares.
This is a long term project that fits in a tin, just to have something to sew without making a big mess.

I also made a little pincushion for my Mom like the one I made with a canning jar lid.
She had a little pottery paté dish with a spot for a knife that she wasn't using, it made a nice pincushion with a spot for little scissors (the pincushion - stuffed with crushed walnut shells, is just friction fit in the dish so no harm done). Miss Maggie had to check it out - she had a cold last week and her eyes didn't look the best, but she is all good now.
She never lost her appetite, and was eager to lick out the dog food bag.
Still lots of snow.

All the best!♥︎

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Having Fun! & My 1000th Post!

I finished a few things recently.

This quilt is the Laundry Basket Quilts Mystery Quilt 2021 (all the patterns are still on the blog).
I finished all the blocks in the summer of 2021 and put it all away (busy with outside activities at the time). I finally pulled it out to sew the blocks together, and was pleasantly surprised that 2021 me had even stacked and labeled all the blocks ready be sewn!
I quilted an 'organic' feather design around the border, echoed it on one side, for the star in the centre I quilted 1/4" from the seam lines, and then quilted a meander to fill in the rest of the quilt.
The batting is wool. I used Connecting Threads Essential Pro for the machine quilting (top and bobbin).
It was the first time I quilted the border before quilting the centre, and it was just fine.
For this next project I used little scraps - squares cut 1+1/4".
I used the walking foot to quilt it (with a thin layer of cotton batting).
Started by adding a few rows of the decorative stitch that looks like hand quilting (invisible thread in the top, that pulls up the bobbin thread every few stitches), then the rest of the rows were stitched with Invisafil 100wt thread. I washed and machine dried the little quilt because I wanted it to look like an old quilt that had been cut up (without cutting up an old quilt).
I made a chair pad for a small chair that is a perfect size for my old Raggedy Ann doll to sit.
I used to cover my sewing machine with a small quilt, but now my sewing machine has a cone holder attached on the back, so I had to make a little quilt cover with a cut out.
Once again this one was made with pieces from the scrap bin.
For fun I tried out different free motion quilting designs.
I also made a little pincushion using an old canning jar lid (a "Gem" size) and tiny hexagons (link - I used a website to print off the size of hexagon paper I needed - 0.6" for this one). The pincushion is filled with crushed walnuts (when you buy a bag of lizard litter at the pet store it fills lots of pincushions!).
I finished weaving another table runner. A simple overshot pattern with commercial yarn for the warp and plain weave weft, and some handspun wool for the pattern weft.
I knit another Sophie Scarf - this time out of commercial yarn.
Plus I finished spinning some more flax (maybe now it is linen?).
This one is really fine - thread, for weaving.
I think Molly must wonder why Maggie doesn't play ball with her, she always tries to share it with Maggie. Molly is wearing her Sophie Scarf.

 All the best!♥︎

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

My Multi-Craftual Room

Multi-craftual seems to be a word I keep hearing recently, and it sure applies to me - I quilt, spin, weave, knit, crochet, dye, embroider, sew clothes, do stained glass, make jewelry, bead, paint... (you'll see I am a collector too, but I don't think that can be called a "craft"). I recently saw a video of someone's multi-craftual room and wanted to share mine. The rest of my home isn't like this, but this is my creative space.
We have lived in six different houses and this is the second time I have been lucky enough to have a room designed especially for me.
This is part of our basement. I wanted a room without a door, so I could 'spill out' if I needed more room.
I have a great old drafting table that is the perfect cutting table. My husband was given this table about 30 years ago. Above it are old kitchen tools, mainly from my maternal grandmother's home, as well as a sampler she made over a hundred years ago.
Across from the table is my spinning wheel, my paternal grandmother's sewing machine cabinet, a curio cabinet from my sister and a quilt ladder my Dad made for me. The clothes on the wall were from my Mom's family, except the little green sweater - that my Mom made when I was pregnant with my first child, both my children wore it home from the hospital, so I thought it deserved a spot on the wall. The basket on the sewing table was given to my grandmother when my Dad was born, full of fruit from her father-in-law, now I have old sewing notions in it.
One of my big splurges is my sewing machine cabinet - I absolutely love it and it has made quilting large quilts a breeze.
The back flips up and I add a folding table beside it.
It has a perfect spot for when I need to use the serger too.
The wall is full of small quilts I made over the years. The first one is the pale one, made with the large blocks that my maternal grandmother pieced. I find all the quilts an inspiration for colours, quilt styles and machine quilting ideas (only the first one is hand quilted). The little wooden shelf was made by my youngest son in wood shop when he was in middle school.
Around the corner is my weaving loom (an 8-shaft Schacht Mighty Wolf).
Next to the loom is a storage room. 
When we were deciding how to reconfigure the basement the one thing I wanted was a storage room, with a door, just for my craft supplies (the size was determined by basement necessities - like support posts and plumbing drains). It is so handy - it acts as a small workroom too. Along with the big sturdy shelves there is a small table, some bookshelves and some benches. The warping board for weaving is in there (in the photo it is the thing hanging in front of the bins above the bench). 
Next to that I have a few old print maker drawers that are perfect for threads and small things.
Off of the room there is the laundry room. It is a room with a sink for dyeing, and stained glass (also a place to start seeds for the garden and overwinter plants).
It also has a door - the only original door in the house - the door is handy to keep pets out when I am working with glass.
This room sure is my happy place!
It's nice when the pets come too.

All the best!♥︎

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