Sunday, February 28, 2010

Big Scrappy Quilt (70 x85)

I finished my big scrappy quilt top. It is foundation pieced on used dryer sheets, which, when all is said and done, is not worth the trouble in my opinion. I love the diamond shapes that the dryer sheets allow you to make, but mostly they're hard to iron and too smelly when you're sewing the whole quilt together.

I played a bit with concentrating the light colors in the center and the darks at some of the edges, but it only occurred to me to do this late in process, so it's not as prominent a feature as it might have been. I love this pattern (or un-pattern). I love the fished results, and I love the purging of odd sized strips.

Here are a few close ups of some of the blocks. These quilts are a nice album of favorite fabrics.

An you never know who or what you're going to see peeking out at you.
(That's George Washington in the middle there)

Have a great day. If the weather holds I'm going to do some gardening.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Fair Isle Vest

I'm knitting a Fair Isle vest. Fair Isle uses multiple colors: traditionally two colors per row, and anywhere from two to countless colors in the whole garment.

This vest uses nine colors and I'm making it from a kit: the Corrie Fair Isle Vest from Knit Picks. I bought two kits when they went on clearance. I'm knitting this one for my mom since she likes bright colors. Her vest is a good test project because I can knit the smallest size for her and getting a feel for the technique. It's very satisfying to reach each section and to see the patterns unfold.

The kit I bought for myself is in neutral browns and greens.

And what's goes with knitting better than cats? Here's a cute picture of Louie in a basket.

...and one of Fatty in a box on the porch on an old quilt.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Winter Madonna Update

Between making pillowcases for Operation Pillowcase, I'm working on my Winter Madonna. I've fussy cut some poinsettias from fabric and ironed them on to form a tree. Besides being a Christmas flower, the poinsettia is a Mexican flower, so it fits thematically with the Virgin of Guadalupe, though traditionally, her flower is the rose.

I'm blending silk ribbon embroidered poinsettias with the fabric ones, and I've added silk ribbon leaves that blend with the leaves in the background fabric.

The elements blend into one uniform plant with various levels. I can't wait to add beads to the centers of the silk ribbon flowers.

I've also added trim around the moon and duplicate stitched over the lace to highlight three roses. I used some shiny DMC thread.

Happy Valentine's Day to all my pals!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pillowcases Are in the Mail

I fit 33 pillowcases into my shipment for Operation Pillowcase. That includes 25 from me, 4 from my mom...

...and these lovelies from Julie at Floribunda Quilts. (Yes, sorry, that is a cat butt in the background. They insist on being in all photos taken at my house, and they're not particular about the angles.)

If you're thinking of participating:
--there are links to EASY pattens in the sidebar of the Operation Pillowcase blog.
--We need MANY more pillowcases. This is an on-going effort throughout the year, so you can participate now, later, or both.
-- You can make any number of cases, and mail them to someone near you who will bundle and ship them to service members serving in Afghanistan.
-- When you're ready to send your pillowcases, contact Debra through the Operation Pillowcase site, and she will direct you to a team leader who is collecting and shipping cases.
-- If you're in California, or in the Pacific Northwest, email me through my blog when you have some pillowcases, and I'll send you my address.

It's easy, and fun.

I have a new box from the Post Office ready to be filled again.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Shirts and Sheets (60 x 70) and a Package from Mom

Thanks to Debra, who quilted it for me, I finished my Shirts and Sheets quilt. The fabric is harvested from vintage linens and from some coordinating cotton shirts I'd collected.

One benefit of piling fabrics up around the sewing room, is that sometimes I'm surprised by the things that want to go together. These plaids with their blues, yellows and greens, coordinate nicely with the big romantic yellow roses.

This is a very nostalgic quilt for me. Yellow was my paternal grandmother's favorite color. She always had her kitchen painted yellow, and being a very independent woman, she always did the painting herself. She wasn't a sewer at all, however. I remember how proud she was once when she used hem tape to make a set of kitchen curtains, without sewing a stitch.

Of course these florals also remind me of the 70s, of clean sheets, and of the satisfaction of a well-made bed. The fact that these are re-purposed fabrics thrills me to no end of course.

And just so you know where I get my aesthetics, I'm showing you the contents of a package I got this week from my mom. Debra once aptly called her my "enabler," which isn't far from true. Like my grandmother, Mom isn't a sewer nor a crafter, but she has the best eye for goods than can be re-purposed. She sent me these three beautiful panels of home dec fabric. Each piece is nice and big, so I should be able to do something substantial with them.

She also sent four of these very gently used pillowcases in the perfect colors for Operation Pillowcase.

And for me, there where king-sized pillowcases I'll harvest for fabric...

and a big chunk of this thrift store fabric, which will likely go into more Operation Pillowcases for soldiers.

She must've been a crafter in another life. I've absorbed some of my best quilt making concepts from her attitude toward collecting, salvaging, and reusing.
She's got the eye, and I'm fortunate that she passed it down to me.

Who influenced you in your approach to your craft?

Sweater Genesis

  A few years ago I learned to harvest yarn from old wool sweaters.  I don't do it so much anymore, with the exception of if I find...