Friday, December 31, 2010

Starting as I Mean to Go On

I'm greeting the year having finished two UFOs.  It's a good thing to bring some projects to a conclusion, even as I'm continually thinking about projects yet to come.  I quilted and bound my Bee Quilt, which features hand embroidered blocks from vintage patterns.  I blogged about the finished top back in June.

This is the unquilted top
 I quilted straight lines around the blocks, and I did some random free motion quilting over the embroidered motifs. 

 It's not perfect, but it's done, which is just as good these days.

 I had this cheerful floral backing fabric in my stash, and I was happy to put it to use.

Several months ago Debra quilted Big Scrappy for me and it's been waiting patiently for me to put on the binding.  Debra used a fleece blanket for the batting, and it's wonderfully warm and cozy.  Here's a shot of the unquilted top and here's the original post.

This is a time of beginnings and of endings.  It's good to wrap up loose threads, and prepare ourselves for what's to come.  I hope your New Year celebrations are joyful.  Many blessings to you and yours in 2011.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

All is Calm, All is Bright


This is the season of calm and bright, but the swirl of daily life continues nonetheless.  I'm almost done grading finals, and grades are due in a couple of days.  In the meantime, I thought I'd share the wall quilt I'm making in fits and starts.  In the outer border you can see some of the scraps of Debra's 12 original yards of Hawaiian fabric that has gone into so many quilts, but is still not quite used up.  Debra also posted some scrap blocks yesterday that feature some of this won't-die fabric.

The beautiful focal point of this quilt is a fabric print by Flor Larios, who sells  her lovely folkloric prints, including prints on fabric and other goods, in her etsy shop.  If I sat down for a couple of hours I could finish this piece.  Maybe it'll happen in a few days.

Here's the calm and bright scene in front of my stove.  All the cats decided to call a truce to share the warmth of the fire.  The black cat, Wee, is visiting from the kids' apartment.  When they both work on the weekend, she gets lonely, and likes to come to "kitty daycare" at my house.  We've had Wee for 15 years, and she was our original cat.  The others are, in her view, interlopers.  She's happy to visit the old homestead, and knows the routines at my house, then Allie picks her up and takes her home after work.

A favorite place by the fire is this cat bed I crocheted using triple strands of old acrylic yarn.  I used this free pattern for a crocheted bag as a reference for the increases and decreases.

Fun fur trimming make this kitty bed extra elegant. 

Happy holidays to everyone.  I hope your corner of the world is calm and bright.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Fair Isle Vest and a Baby Quilt--Finished!

I finally finished the Faire Isle vest I was knitting for my mom.  I began it early this year, intending to give it to her for her birthday, but it didn't go as fast as I'd hoped, and then I fell and needed four months of hand therapy to recover the use of my left hand.  Finishing the vest, I'm convinced, has helped me to recover the complete use of the injured hand.

This vest was a kit from Knit Picks, the on-line yarn company.  The kit is discontinued, but it was an excellent first major Faire Isle project for me.  I sent it off to mom, and she assured me that although she hadn't tried it on yet, she would wear it to church.  Arg!  I told her wear it often, because it's warm, but I should've realized she would likely save it for special occasions. 

 Here's the inside of the vest where you can see how the stranded yarn looks on the back.  Yes, I am showing off.

The vest is knit in a big tube with decreases for the neck and arm holes.  Then I sewed the steeks up on my sewing machine to secure everything, and cut the holes open with a scissors.  The little yarn ends felted nicely against each other, so I didn't feel the need to cover them with hem tape or ribbon.

I'm on a roll, so I quilted this top for Michael's new granddaughter Solis, who was born in November.  I had the top already made, and I like this toile fabric with a big brother and little sister, and the baby's mom said she was re-using the brown and blue bedding from baby #1, so this seemed a good choice.  It felt good to quilt again, so I basted another project and began quilting that one too.  

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...