29 Aug

A Random Mix of Projects

Remember Pretty, or Pretty Ugly? It’s now Blorange.

Blorange quilt top

I like it much better, and I thought the top was done until I laid it out to photograph and realized that it was almost large enough for our queen sized bed. What it really needs though, is one more column of blocks on the side. I’ve used all the wider blue and brown strips, and I’m afraid I don’t have enough thinner brown to add enough width, so I may add a purply strip down one side. Scrappy, right?!

The name Blorange came from blue + orange since I have been calling my smaller foray Grellow (grey + yellow).


Grellow may become a gift. I rather like it in it’s oddness.

I spent today making bags for the kids out of the ninja and bacon fabrics I bought while in Oregon.

Ninja and bacon fabrics!

Seriously, how could I pass up coordinating ninja AND bacon fabrics?!

Zip pouches

These little zip pouches are loosely based on the Purl Bee Zip Pouch Tutorial. I interfaced the small one but forgot to do the same on the larger bacon one. It suffers a bit from that. The ditty bag is from a tutorial by Sew4Home. I love the way the ninjas dance along the top! The lined bag is of my own design (because they’re just that simple to make). The boy wants the bag and the girl gets the rest — much to her satisfaction.

Finally, I also made a half dozen little House Icons to add to an upcoming show with the 8 That Create ladies at Etui Gallery in NY. More details on that to come soon. These are so satisfying to make and I enjoy searching through my beads and floss to find just the right combinations.

Tiny house icons

16 Oct

15 Days of Halloween

Dalek Costume

The costume to-do list is getting shorter!

Buy interfacing, a hula hoop, little plastic cups, bronze spray paint, and a plastic hardhat
Cut out and interface fabric for Dalek
Assemble Dalek dress with straps and hula hoop for shaping
Attach balls to Dalek dress
Cover stiff interfacing hoops for helmet
Paint hardhat helmet
Attach hoops, headlamp, and cups to helmet
Cut fabric for Candy Corn dress
Sew Candy Corn dress
Buy tights to coordinate with dress
Gesso box for creeper head and cut out eye holes
Paint Creeper head with green grid
Paint green hoodie with some green squares

I’m half way done with sewing the candy corn dress and painting the Creeper head too. Of course, I’ve left the Dalek body for last since it’s the one I’m least sure about construction-wise. Still, plenty of time. Fifteen days still to go! Oh, and we’re collecting bits to assemble a Tusken Raider now too.

29 Sep

It’s Crafturday! (14)

Mostly I sew, but sometimes I knit. And now I’ve knit long enough that I’ve accumulated a decent sized collection of needles and supplies. I had been storing them all in one roll, which was great when there wasn’t much, but recently it’s been getting out of hand.

Knit and Crochet Tools Storage

So I spent Friday making tidy little cases for everything. The best part — I used hand silkscreened fabrics which I’ve had for a few years but been stingy with since I didn’t have a really good project for them. Now I’ll get to admire the fabrics every time I go to knit.

Circular Needle Book, closed

I started with a “book” for my circular needles since they were my trouble makers.

Circular Needle Book

The house fabric was oriented the wrong way and too bulky for the pockets, so I used this aboriginal-inspired print from my stash. I like that the colors coordinate and the fabrics share an Australian ancestry. I’m also busily plowing through my stash right now, using up stuff and that makes me very happy!

Crochet Hook Roll

Chuffed with my needle book success, I made a little roll for my crochet hooks.

Crochet Hook Roll, open

I realized after the fact that the chunkiest needles should be on the opposite end of the roll from the ties, and that I had missed an opportunity to line up the house fabrics, but that could all be remedied in the next roll. Before, my crochet hooks would fall out of the needle roll every time I opened it since they were in bigger pockets than my knitting needles. Now the problem is solved and I will no longer have loose crochet hooks rolling around!

Straight Knitting Needle Roll

Now I was on a roll (punny) and made a slightly larger needle roll for my knitting needles.

Straight Knitting Needle Roll, open

I realize that this would not accommodate a full flight of knitting needles like serious knitters have, but I’m not there yet and this will do just fine for the immediate future. Besides, now that I’ve taken everything out of my first needle roll, it is ready and waiting to be re-filled some day.

With one of the scraps, I even made a little lined pouch for the funny shaped bits and bobs like a stitch counter and a little container of stitch markers, my needle gauge, small scissors, tapestry needles, etc.

11 Aug

It’s Crafturday! (11)

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any Crafturday content. Today was Fine Art day for me as I joined a Life Drawing session at McGuffey Art Center here in Charlottesville. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do but had not found the appropriate time and place to get me motivated. The planets are aligned here though.

But back to the Crafts! Almost as soon as we arrived in town, I began to scope out the fabric shops, and our closest one, Les Fabriques, had a big sign for Camp Stitch signups. There were several options for sewing, fashion design, and upcycling for kids, and I knew a certain young lady who would love it!

So, my daughter spent three hours a day, for five days, with about six other girls her age, drawing, sewing, and transforming clothing into new fashions for their dolls. The two ladies who facilitated the class were sweet, and organized, and did an amazing job coaxing the creative vision out of these kids. They all made amazing things and had a great time doing it. We’ll be back for more “camps” for sure!

18 Apr


Several years ago, I had a wonderful experience quilting a zig zag quilt top I purchased from fellow quilter Wanda, and gave to my daughter. She’s wrapped up in it with our cat right now.

Just recently, I wanted to make a quilt for my exchange student daughter’s Sweet 16, and zig zags seemed to fit the bill. Even starting this one from scratch, it was a pure pleasure to make.

Zig Zag!

I quilted each colorful stripe with variegated rainbow thread and it blended so perfectly no matter what colors were present.

Rainbow thread for the colored zig zags.

I used wool batting which was light and squishy and lovely to work with.
I love how squishy wool batting makes a quilt.

I received an adorable photo of my “hanai” (adopted in the heart) daughter looking all comfy snuggled in her new quilt, but I can’t get it to post here, so here’s my photo of it before it left home.

Finished Zig Zag quilt

06 Apr

30 Lines Quilt

The upside of avoidance is that while you are NOT doing one thing (redesigning your website), you probably ARE doing another thing.

Remember the 30 Lines in 30 Days exercise?

Remember the quilt I started to make based on one of my line studies?

Once the quilt was pieced, it needed a little adjustment to lie flat. At the time, that was enough to get me to avoid IT and move on to other projects, but now resewing a few seams seemed positively fun compared to web design. I’m also trying to attack that pile of unfinished projects so that when we move in two months I will have fewer pieces to pack.

Line quilt

Based on the woodgrain fabric, I quilted more wood grain into the solid fabrics.

Line quilt, detail

For a bit of contrast I also quilted “pebbles” in some areas, and I loosely interpreted the lines themselves in others.

The sketch and the resulting quilt

The finished quilt is 57 inches square and will most likely end up as a lap quilt somewhere in our home. I’m not really sure where yet where it will be most happy.

17 Mar

It’s Crafturday! (9)

This time it’s crafting with friends.

Daughter chain piecing

Technically, she’s my daughter, not my friend, but bear with me. The girl was inspired by the zig zag quilt behind her and wanted to make her own little quilt, and not to worry, she would “do it by herself.” Well that turned on the guilty feelings about being so caught up in my own work that the kids know they have to fend for themselves. We found a compromise. She picked out fabrics while I sewed the final rows of the zig zag quilt, then I cut, and then she sewed (with a little help from me). She made a lovely little top of neutrals which we’ll quilt just as soon as I’m done quilting the zig zag (soon!).

H and my machine getting to know each other.

But that’s not the only craftiness going on at my machine. I have some new friends from Knit Night and one, H, who is an adventurous knitter, wants to learn to sew and quilt. She admired my Julie Tasche and asked if I could help her make one. Only problem, she doesn’t have a sewing machine. No problem. I have now completely spoilt her with my machine, and empowered her by making her do all the cutting and most of the sewing. I was basically just the pinner and ironer.

H's bag almost done!

It’s almost done — just needs the elastic through the top casing and the lining sewn shut. I can’t wait to see it in use next Knit Night.

10 Mar

Crafturday (8) with Quilting

I spent my Crafturday piecing. I spent my Thursday and my Friday piecing too. I’m making a quilt for a special young lady who wanted something with a rainbow. So, I decided that a rainbow zig zag with “modern” fabrics would fit the bill. As luck would have it, I was even offered a sample pack of charm squares from Windham Fabrics that looked like they’d play well with what I had in mind.

Sample squares!

I cut 5″ squares from my stash and arranged them in rainbow-ish rows. I had lots of purply reds and greens to aquas, but not much in the way of pinks, sky blues, or blue purples and I needed more white and grey (I’ve actually heard that hard core modern quilters buy these by the bolt!). So I did a little shopping here and in Austin. Stitch Lab is a charming little shop that stocks not a comprehensive collection, but a very nice selection of fabrics that would appeal to the hip sewist, lovely wool felt and plenty of cheerful notions for projects like aprons and bags. But I digress.

Squares ready to start.

I paired one square of each color with a grey or white for the stripe above and one with a neutral for the stripe below and sewed the pairs on a diagonal to make half square triangle blocks.

The cool zig zags

Once laid out on the floor, I could refine my arrangements. The HST blocks definitely look different than the 5″ charm squares without the neutrals mixed in.

Some warm zig zags

Sewing the blocks in columns and rows is easy and it was fun to see the sections grow. The new Cabana Blooms play very nicely with my stash fabrics. And, of course, there’s a bunch of Kaffe Fasset Paperweight in there too (six colorways!). It never ceases to amaze me how well Kaffe fabrics blend with almost everything else.

An interesting aside, I could really feel a difference in weight between the Kona cottons, the Free Spirit and Moda fabrics, and the Windham and Westminster fabrics. For a well used quilt or handbag, I suspect the heavier Kona, Moda, and Free Spirit would last longer, but on the other hand, if I were making wearables, I’d much prefer the drapier Windham and Westminster. I had no problem using the various weights together though, and if a fabric had a color and pattern that I liked I wouldn’t not purchase it just because it’s base fabric wasn’t as thick as something else. It was just an interesting observation I could make because I was using quilting cottons from many sources.

Zig Zag for J

A couple of days collecting and cutting fabrics, and a good solid three days sewing, and I’ve got a quilt top finished!

Zig Zag for J

I think it looks awesome. Now I need to decide how I want to quilt it.