Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Dish Towels

I've been embroidering dishcloths.  I look at them not only as something to dry the dishes with, but as kitchen art.  So I'm working on a pair with square dancers.  Pintrest is a great source of vintage embroidery motifs.

I trace the designs on water soluble stabilizer--make sure to draw on the smooth side.  If you draw on the bumpy side it takes forever to dry.  Machine baste the stabilizer to your fabric and stitch away.  When you're done, throw the towel in the wash and it comes out completely.

Here's a finished pair.  These I embroidered with big chunky stitches, while the square dancers are done with 2 strands of floss and small stitches because the design is more detailed.

Another idea from Pintrest: I cut up a vintage tablecloth into quarters.  Three were trimmed with rick rack and seam binding from my vintage stash.  The fourth has a big hole it in, so it goes back into the drawer until another idea strikes.

They're the perfect size.  On number 3 I realized a loop on one corner could be handy. 

A Few Pictures of My Trip to Spain

Michael and I were very blessed to visit southern Spain recently for two weeks.  Here are a few pictures.  As you can see, there was a lot of creative inspiration.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Early Fall Garden Album

Here are some snapshots of scenes in my tiny garden.  Shawl pattern: The Lonely Tree Shawl by Sylvia Bo Bilvia, free on Ravelry.  Yarn: 1 skein of Malabrigo Worsted in Stonechat, and 1 skein of Elsebeth Lavold Favorite Wool in oxblood.

A moth whose wings form its own autumnal shawl.

Smokey the cat.

Some red lettuce gone to seed.

More lettuce growing.

Escargot with your kale anyone?

Suz, who I tagged in the Around the World Blog Hop will be posting once her technical problems are solved.

I'll be off line for a couple of weeks.  See you on the rebound.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Nineties Called and They Want Their Sweater Back

I've been saving this horribly out-of-date sweater for awhile.  It's so out of style Louie the cat can't look at it without wincing. 

It's not flattering on me, but the fiber is wonderful, mostly lambswool and angora.

I decided to make it into a cardigan.  I won't repeat the instructions, because I've written them up here.

I'll just show you the pictures of the steps.

Unlike in my 2010 tutorial, I cut the fabric on the straight of grain this time.  I figured it would be okay since it wasn't going to go over any curves.

I can't tell you how much I've been wearing this sweater now.  It's very cozy and much more flattering. 

Tuesday, September 02, 2014


I quilted the Forest Creatures quilt.  It got the black fleece backing after all, since the orange fleece was too small.  Free motion quilting is not easy with fleece, so I'd hate to do a big quilt  with a fleece back.  I think this quilt will go to one of the step-grands.  I have another small top for the other child, which I'll expand a bit and then back with fleece as well.

I realize that I'm organizing my space and supplies these days.  I unravelled three sweaters for their yarn, a steel gray Shetland wool fingering, a peal grey dk lambswool, and this very cheerful pink

worsted weight.  I wash and hang the curly hanks and then either leave them in skeins or wind up balls for storage.  Then they'll be ready to knit up when I am.  I feel the fall in the air here, so the serious knitting season will soon be upon us.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Forest Creatures (45 x 62)

Yes, it's another small quilt.  This one began with a panel, Bohemia by Julie Paschkis, I bought at a snooty quilt shop in New York.   I spied the very charming panel on a a wall and asked for one when I was checking out.  They brought me a neatly folded piece of fabric in a plastic bag.  When I got to my hotel room, I was disappointed to see that the panel looked like it had been cut in the dark by someone who'd forgotten to wear her glasses.  Yes, it was bad!   It was crookedly cut through the motifs and I got what I figured was an insufficient amount of the pretty prints around them.

When I ran across the panel recently, I was moved to cut into the thing to restore some of its lost dignity.  I salvaged the motifs and had fun digging though my scraps to make up the four-patch blocks.  The border is a piece of fake bark cloth.

I'm going to back it with one of these pieces of fleece.  I'm really in love with fleece backed quilts these days.  I'm partial to the orange, but you can talk me down if you think otherwise.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Little Quilts

I finished the baby quilt I made using my un-vented Foundation-Pieced Half Square Triangle Tutorial.  I backed it with fleece, which also acts as batting, and I bound it with a nice yellow gingham.  I'm becoming very partial to fleece backs on quilts.

Then, in a bit of serendipity, I ran across a bag of batting scraps I'd saved up, and I decided to makes some even smaller quilts (also known a pot holder).

I had this nice panel stashed.  I think I'd originally planned to make aprons from this fabric.

But the rectangular shapes made for perfect potholders.

I also resuscitated some orphan blocks.

Pot holders are perfect little showcases for some special single blocks.  Plus, I got to practice my machine quilting and binding techniques.