Quilting

I sat down to quilt this morning and realized that in the last few weeks I have used all three main methods of quilting.

 

Hand Quilt

Currently, my evening knitting has been supplanted by hand quilting on a scrappy, somewhat traditional quilt in the works. I’m using a heavy-ish thread and big stitches for a rustic look. I’m even using my big PVC quilting frame! It all feels so old school, but appropriate for this particular piece.

 

 

Longarm Quilt

On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve also been renting time at a sort of local long arm quilting machine shop. I warmed up on some scrappy quilts, but my main purpose is to test out options for a custom quilt idea I have. I’ve decided that what I like best about the long arm machines are the “channel lock” option and the digitally guided designs — these are both things that I just can’t do on my domestic machine and they give a completely different look than what I can do at home.

 

 

Machine Quilt 2

And then there’s the quilting I can do at home on my domestic machine. Sometimes it’s frustrating to cram a big quilt into the machine, but it’s always there, ready when I am, and at no cost other than my original purchase of the machine. I can do free motion, I can choose straight(ish) lines. I can quilt quilts, or I can stitch up Kitchen Superheroes. I can use a wide variety of threads.

There is a time and a place for all types of quilting. In the last month I’ve worked on all the projects shown here, varied as they are. I am glad that I have taken the time over the years to become at least a little proficient at all these approaches, as it allows me to choose the appropriate one for whatever my project is.

 

Figure Friday

Untitled

Our new favorite male model. Maybe we can convince him to use The Cube next time…

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I don’t know if I’ve written about it here or not, but one of the things I really enjoy about typical figure drawing sessions is the variety of models we get to draw. Every size, shape, gender and age presents it’s own challenges and excitement. One week it’s angles and litheness, the next it’s all round curves, and then it’s monumental weight, or coiled up potential energy. I feel different approaching each personality, whether it shows in the drawings or not. Often it even affects which drawing tools I use. I definitely didn’t do this particular model justice this week, but trying is part of the reason I go week after week. My friend Terry has found me a figure drawing group in Portland for after our move. I am looking forward to a whole new range of characters to discover!

Knit Night

In contrast to last week’s knitting fail, this scarf may be my all time favorite knit. I’m making a second one right now.

Leftie

I made this scarf for my mom. She accompanied me to Art Quilt Elements last year, and on the way back I made her hang out at the Maryland Homespun Yarn Party while I worked for my friend “Wolle” selling her color changing yarn. As a reward I told my mom I’d make her whatever she wanted from Wolle’s offerings.

Leftie

This is what she chose: the pattern is Leftie, by Martina Behm, and it’s knit up in Wolle’s Adobe color way. In the original, the leaves are the part that changes colors, and the background is solid. I much prefer this variation where the background is a gradient yarn and the leaves are solid color accents. I think all Lefties should be knit in Wolle’s yarn.

Knit Night

Not all my knits turn out well. The really bad ones get “frogged,” and no one is the wiser as the yarn gets a second (or third) chance at becoming something I’ll wear or can be happy gifting to someone else. However, my attempt at Purl Soho’s White Caps Cowl falls somewhere in between. I finished it, and I’ll probably wear it, but I just don’t love it.

 

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I didn’t want to spend the big bucks for the kit, so I looked around for suitable substitution yarns. My mom gave me a lovely shiny yarn and super soft alpaca, but together they lacked the subtle undulation that a thick-thin yarn gives.

 

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I also received this pretty teal yarn from my kids, and while it’s also got the shiny/soft contrast I liked, since both are thick-thin, the cowl again lacked contrast. (My Blue Waves cowl on Ravelry)

 

White Caps Cowl, variation

I finally made the cowl with the shiny yarn from my mom and the recommended slubby cotton from the original pattern, but the shiny yarn is just too heavy and the whole project hangs limply. It lacks the frothy lightness of Purl’s version. (My White Caps cowl on Ravelry) Sometimes you can substitute yarns and sometimes you just can’t. This was one of those times.

Stitchy Ladies

This series needs a better name. They started out as Sassy Housewives, but also have been called Kitchen Superheroes and there’s Jilted Lovers too. I guess Sassy Housewives still fits, but it sounds a little like an adult video title. Anyway, I have completed six ladies and now I need to take a pause until I create more inspirational drawings. I could pay a model to pose for me, but I’m not ready to add that to my list of art “investments” yet. I’ve yet to get out from under all the framing I did for the run of figure drawing exhibits, and I’m investing in long arm quilting as professional development for my Modern Military Quilts project (I need to get back to this, but it won’t really happen until we move). I also need to get off my butt and update my website so that these ladies, along with lots of other (not so) new work can have their own gallery.

In the mean time, here are my six new studio friends:

Jilted Lover 1 web

Jilted Lover 1,  16″ x 20″  $350

 

Jilted Lover 2 web

Jilted Lover 2, 14″ x 18″  SOLD

 

Kitchen Superhero 1 web

Kitchen Superhero 1, 11″ x 14″  $300

 

Kitchen Superhero 2 web_Bubbles

Kitchen Superhero 2 (Bubbles), 12″ x 16″  $325

 

 

Clean Sweep web

Clean Sweep, 20″ x 20″  $350

 

Nice Jug web

Nice Jug, 11″ x 14″  $300

 

Have you seen my sink?

We’re buying our first house, and with that comes the fun part of putting our personal stamp on it. Just for fun (and to keep Team Decorate/Renovate on track), I made mood boards for the rooms that will most set the tone for the house. The house was built in 1952, and we want to keep a bit of that mid-century charm. Wanna see?

The living room is bright and white and sunny. I’m thinking our two paintings will set the tone. I covet the California coffee table, but seriously doubt that will ever be an actual purchase. A new sofa along the lines of the one on the board will be in order though.

Mood Board-Living Room sm

The kitchen is a big open blank canvas right now. It’s perfectly clean and serviceable, but I know it can be better. In a year or two when we we’ve had a chance to settle in to the house, this aqua and red, slightly retro feel is probably the direction we’ll want to go.

Mood Board-Kitchen sm

 

The real project is the downstairs bathroom. It’s a hot mess. My mom and I have been having lots of fun looking for renovation inspiration.

Mood Board-Downstairs Bath sm

On Thursday she found a photo of the perfect sink. I made a drawing of how I think the bathroom is shaping up on the vanity side.

Downstairs Bathroom sketch

After too much internet browsing and searching for the correct terminology for this style sink, I have determined that it’s a drop in, apron style, and this particular one is probably the Dresslyn by American Standard. And yes, I do want that yellow (though I’d settle for gray or white)! There are several resources in Portland and not in Portland, and my mom already has a guy keeping an eye open, but in the mean time, if you have a sink like this and want to get rid of it — email me.

Figure Friday

Good poses yesterday at life drawing, but my work was only “meh.” I’m working on the last of my stitchy ladies today though. (Last only in that I’m pausing while I wait to create more inspirational drawings.)

Jilted Lover WIP

Knit Night

I missed yesterday’s post. I have a knit fail I’m willing to share, but I haven’t gotten around to photographing it. I’ve got some fun knit related accessories though:

Circ holder 1

 

I made this circular needle holder last week. I made a book style needle case about a year ago, but it didn’t have enough pockets for all the sizes and now I have enough needles that it was getting too full. This pass-through style holder looks messy, but is actually more organized since each section only holds one size of needle, so I don’t have to get out my needle gauge each time I want to start a project.

Circ holder 2

 

Also, when I was at the Maryland Homespun Yarn Party a few weeks ago, I got this awesome monster yarn bowl from Claymonster. It’s so fun to look at this silly face every time I work on a yarn project.

Yarn Bowl and Elfe WIP