Thursday, October 29, 2009

Better Than a Box aka my pattern in One Yard Wonders

Jeffery T. loves a box. As soon as he sees an open box he is in it without regard to whether or not the box is empty or about to be used for something other than holding a fat cat. Here are some examples.

{We call this the luxury box, notice the flap over lid for extra lounging space all of which is being utilized.}

{The creases is from Jeffery T. forcing himself in a too small box.}
In an effort to save our boxes I made Jeffery T. a comfy, cosy bed. It was a hit and better than a box.
{Perfect for watching lizards run around outside}

{A view with out T. He was most likely eating.}
{One day when I was leaving for work, I thought he looked all cute laying in his bed}
{And it is just were I found him 10 hours later when I got home from work}
Since T. likes it so much, I thought other kitties might like it too. I read about a new book looking for submissions for sewing patterns using only one yard of fabric on Sew, Mama, Sew! The pattern was submitted and, much to my surprise, Rebecca and Trish chose it as part of their book One Yard Wonders. Yea!
Flash forward about a year and the book has been printed and was shipped yesterday! I haven't seen it in the flesh yet, but I can't wait. Of course I want to see the Better Than a Box pet bed, but also the other projects. Just in time for Christmas gift making. Couldn't be better.
After the pattern was chosen, I was sent a yard of fabric to remake the pet bed for the photography in the book and the trunk show, etc. Jeffery T. approved of it, too.
{He tried to claim it for his own.}

{I say, "No, Jeffery T. This is not for you." Jeffery T. says "I can't hear you. I am sleeping."}

Apparently, dogs think it is Better Than a Box, too. Sure, small dogs will like it, but big dogs, too. Proof?

{Pea, thinking thin and jamming herself into the bed.}

{And Beeker called dibs on his friend's.}
Rebecca and Trish are having a release party on November 6 at Crafty Planet in Minneapolis. Click the link for more details. The Flickr group is up and ready for photos. Now, go get the book and start cutting that coveted yard of fabric you've saved for just the right project. You'll find it in there. =]

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Snip.Sew.Send. ~ October for Nichole

First, the purple shot cotton Nichole of Indie House sent us for October's Snip.Sew.Send. is delicious. It is my favorite shade of purple (which is my favorite color). I think she said the color name is Thunder. The fabric has a deep purple base with threads of dark blue and almost a warm burgundy.

Nichole's instructions were to make a 16.5" square block pulling in 1-3 flowers from our stash. The final quilt will look like a field of flowers. Lovely idea.

I didn't think I had a lot of flowers in my stash, but I was able to find several. These three looked best in the Thunder field.

Amazingly, the block when smoothly and that scares me. I checked and double checked the instructions so I think I am good on that end. It was fun to arrange and rearrange the flower placement. I decided on this so that the flowers were further from the center, but still kind of balanced. I am really interested in seeing Nichole's finished quilt. The block should be in the mail tomorrow! =]

Sunday, October 25, 2009

It's a Win-Win

Yea! The Steelers handed the Vikings their first loss of the season with a 27-17 win.
And... chose Anne's number to win the Schwartzy pattern!

Yea for Anne and the Steelers! =]

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Handmade and Giveaway Goodness

I've listed a few new handbags for sale in my Etsy shop. Here is a little peek:

{My classic trapezoid show bag stenciled with a hand cut stencil of (Dirty's) Single Cab}

{And a new take on the classic (the binding) with a hand cut stencil of a panel bus}

{New handbag design made from a tapestry. soft and textured}

{Handbag with velvety and embroidered outer fabric}

{Pretty tan paisley handbag with snap closures and decorative (not functional) buttons}

{And my favorite new bag}
It is a slightly larger version of the previous handbags that started out as this skirt:
{And I thought I was through with you...}
After all this Etsy talk, how about a giveaway? If you would like to win a PDF copy of the Schwartzy messenger bag pattern, just leave a comment and make sure there is a way for me to contact you. I will use a random method to choose the winner Sunday afternoon after the Steelers game. =]

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I Like Having More Crafty Time

For anyone who cares: Later in this post I am going to show a picture of my cuff from the
Through the Loops 2009 Mystery Sock. It will be directly after the part about my Snip.Sew.Send. quilt. You've been warned. ;]

My work schedule has changed a bit and I now have more free time which means more time to sew and knit and clean our house. Oh, yes, it is usually in that order.
{Dirty's first sock}

I started this sock in January. It is the first sock I have tried to knit and I am glad that I finally finished it. Although I didn't work on it very consistently it did seem to take forever to get enough length in the foot. I did a little searching online and learned that I was not knitting properly. Instead of inserting the needle left to right in the front, I was going right to left in the back resulting in every stitch being twisted and tight.

{What you can't see is that my foot is turning purple}

Due to that, this sock has NO stretch and barely fit my foot and started to cut of circulation in my foot after wearing it for about 2 minutes. No way is it going to fit Dirty's foot.

{Sock 2 is going much better}

I cast on for the second sock with US 4 dpns instead of the 3s I was using before. I also adjusted my knitting technique which is making a huge difference. This one has stretch and potential. Not to mention I am using about half as much yarn and about a third of the time I spent on the first. I will frog the whole first sock and make a matching pair for him.

Ravelry info here and the pattern tutorial is great and is here.

{Rainbow Button Tab Hat}

OK, so it is 90 degrees today with 100% humidity and I really won't need a winter hat for about 4 months I couldn't help but cast on for the Button Tab hat by Marcie Nishioka. (Thanks for sharing yours, Heather.)

I am using gifted acrylic yarn for this so it won't be super fancy, but I am hard on my hats when I do get to wear them. It will be permanently fixed to my head for about 3 months and will no doubt get grass clippings, concrete dust and who knows what else on it. I prefer to just throw it in the washer rather than having to hand wash and air dry a hat. I think it will be OK. I am not much of a fabric or yarn snob. I just use what I have for the most part. My Ravelry info is here.

{The layout for a stacked books baby quilt}

Thank you for all your suggestions on how to showcase a fabric in a quilt. I really liked Anne's suggest of a coin quilt, but uniform straight lines scare me. And the fright makes me sew crooked. So I took Anne's suggestion and tweaked it a little with my style and decided to make a stacked book quilt. I took inspiration from this quilt and although I think there is a written pattern for this I am winging it.

{Left stack sewn and needing a good trim}

I am using a mix of new (Heather Ross VW buses on blue and Amy Butler Full Moon in the light blue/gray colorway), scraps and thrifted/flea market find fabrics. The white is from a twin-size sheet. I am loving how this is turning out. I construction is going smoothly and I get more and more happy with it as I go. Thankfully, the baby isn't due for a few more weeks and I may get this finished before the birth.

{My Snip. Sew. Send. Quilt: the front}

This new schedule also gave me a little time to work on my Snip. Sew. Send. quilt. I have the top finished (except for trimming it it size) and am working on the back.

{A closer view of the blocks}

I am very happy with this quilt so far. It will be the biggest quilt I have made so far and I really want to get it finished and start using it.

{Probably layout for the back}

The back will be something like this. Probably three strips breaking up the purple on the back. The strips will go all the way across, I think. Kris and Gretchen both sent back two blocks so they have one on the front and one in the strips on the back. So, so happy with this.


If you don't want to see my cuff for the Through The Loops 2009 Mystery Sock stop scrolling now.

{The mystery cuff}

I am so happy that I decided to participate in the Through The Loops 2009 Mystery Sock. Each Thursday Kirsten posts a portion of the sock pattern. First was the cuff, pictured above and last Thursday was the leg, which I am working on. I like having the pattern in sections. It makes it easy to manage and very exciting. When I was younger I loved grab bags and those games where you close your eyes and stick your hand into something that feels gross (like peeled grapes or cold pasta). I would have been horrible on Let's Make a Deal. But Mystery Socks are a win-win.

I am using Alpaca with a Twist yarn in a really pretty green/purple colorway that I did buy special for this project. I validate it because I did not have fingering weight yarn in my stash. My Ravelery info is here.

So far the sock looks pretty good to me. It is the first project where I have to do yarn overs and thanks to my trusty Stitch n' Bitch by Debbie Stoller I've got that technique in my knitting bag now.

So that was a couple of pretty productive weeks. Hopefully in the next few weeks I'll get some things finished. =]

Friday, October 9, 2009

Quilter Bees - October - Houses for Anna

For the October installment of Quilter Bees Anna asked each of us to make 9.5" square blocks with little (3-4") houses on a light gray background (to mimic the cloudy skies of the Pacific Northwest).

I am really angry at Anna for requesting these. Although she did warn us that the house blocks are addicting, she has really started an obsession on my end. As soon as I started the first block I wanted to make more. Addictive doesn't even begin to describe how fun these blocks are.

{I didn't have enough gray left over to finish out this block, but Anna does have more gray, so don't worry.}

Living in the warm, beach area of the south I decided to make a pink house taking inspiration from 1950s Miami. Jeffery T. (my cat) is peeking out the window. I appliqued him on the window sill so that the edges frayed a little for his fur.

{Pea sitting by her house}

I had some fabric left over so I made a dog house. Again, I appliqued on one of our dogs Black-Eye Pea. She can't fit inside the dog house because the door is tiny, but that's OK, she wouldn't go in there anyway. She would rather be outside chasing squirrels.

As Anna suggested I looked over the tutorial on Quiltville. It is very good and was very helpful to me since I had not made a block like this.

I already have a sketch for a quilt using little houses and all of our pets. Like the "To Do" list needed another member... =]

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Local Quilt Show

Last weekend I attended the local quilt show...and I still don't know how I feel about it. As many modern quilters have noted, I didn't see many quilts that I could really relate to. There were several that I really liked and will take inspiration from, but sadly I got bored quickly and that's not like me.
Too many quilts were the same pattern, just with different fabrics. And not even really different kinds of fabric, just different colors or color schemes. I imagine that may be partly trends/fads and maybe what quilt groups/guilds worked on throughout the year, but seriously, 4-5 "One Block Wonder" hexagons in every row is just not all that interesting.

Fear not, dear quilty friends! I did see several quilts that spoke to me and beckoned me down each and every aisle. Some are modern. Some are traditional. Here is a smattering of those lovely quilts, the descriptions from the ID placard and some personal commentary in purple: (And please forgive some of the fuzzy pictures. My camera is on the fritz. The quilts were so pretty, I didn't want to exclude them for fuzziness.)

{No Postage Due by Shirley Pope}
Each square in the quilt was individually cut and sewn. Many of the 1-1/2" squares were fussy cut. This was so much fun to make. I really want to make another. Quilted by Betty O'Neil.

{Close up of the above quilt. Shirley Pope was one of the shining stars of the quilt show, in my eyes. She submitted several quilts and I liked all of them. You can tell by looking at her quilts that she really enjoys quilting and has fun doing it. I was amazed at how big this quilt is. It has to be 8' x 8'. There were embroidered messages such as the makers name, the quilters name, a thank you to her quilt guild and a note that read: Bunny, Thanks for looking past all the quilt droppings. Your the best. Love always, Rose.

{Ring around the Rosie by Teresa Megna}

I started this for our 50th wedding anniversary - Feb 2008. Finished it in our 51st! Quilted by Dell Dunman.

Really nice mix of black and white and yellow. The yellow is actually a little more vibrant than what came out in the photo. It also had interesting swirly quilting in yellow thread.

{Hexagon Beauty by Shirley Pope}

I love scrappy quilts so this one really taled to me. I did not duplicate any fabrics in this quilt. The hexagons told me that they wanted spiral quilting and I loved it.

Me, too.

{My Dear Jane by Louise Flowers}

Dear Jane - hand pieced and hand quilted.

Freaking A M A Z I N G. This is the first Dear Jane I have seen in real life and saying it was stunning doesn't even begin to describe it. I don't know that I would ever have the patience. Two thimbles up to all of those who make one.

{Zack by Klonda Holt}

Zack is from the pattern "Zag: by Linda Hibbert of Silver Linings Originals, a pattern company in Colorado. The pattern was enlarged 150% and is totally paper pieced.

Zack was awarded a Judge's Honorable Mention. Each of the stripes is a different white or black background fabric. Many of the black stripes were from different prints. I am really mad that it is fuzzy. =[

{Hawaii Wedding Wish for my Son by Theresa Lee}

Colors of this hand dyed fabric remind me of Hawaii. The one continuous circle design symbolized harmony and happiness. Orgids and Philodendroa leaves depict love, life and peace.

There were several Hawaii style quilts, but this was my favorite.

{Misty Mountain Flowers by The Quilting Sisters Guild entered by Barbara Meunier}
This is an original design from our member Kitty Gonzalez. It was put together by members of our guild.

{Details of the quilt. Lovely colors and interesting quilting. The flowers and leaves have soft dimension. It deservingly won the Collaborative Quilt catergory.

{Pollination by Rue Hawkins}

I love painting, so in designing this quilt I choose to paint the extreme center block. The border is pieced. The insect in the center is also hand painted. Quilted by Ivette Mitchem.

I like the idea of painting with thread and thought that the verigated brown/yellow of the center of the daisy was perfect.

{Lazy Log Cabin by Nan Moore}
Top and binding made completely from plaid shirts.
My camera is about to get chucked to the weeds. The colors on this quilt are much better in the next photo. Thought this was a great idea.

Better coloring on the plaid shirts and a nice detail of the quilting.
{Girls Just Want to Have Fun!! by Nancy Matthews}
Bikini Quilt pattern by Ami Simms. Obviously, these are the only bikinis I own! "Fannie" is having fun on the beach. Her "book" is audio!! Quilted by Cheri Edmonds
Fannie building a sandcastle. I really liked the quilting on the sandy area.

{Celestial Celebration by Nancy Martinez}
The meythological Queen of Orange celebrates in the night sky. Original design; fused and pieced applique, machine quilted, painted, dimensional. Created as a challenge for Kumquat Festival. Won Best of Show.
The oranges and rings have dimensional qualities. I am disappointed that this photos is fuzzy. The quilt is so vibrant and with fabulous movement. This was one of my favorites.

{Checkerboard Stars by Judy Wheeless}
Pattern by "Fig Tree Quilts"

{Dot-Dot-Dash by Joyce Grande}
This quilt is machine pieced, machine quilted, embellished with yo-yo's [the dots] and rick-rack[bordering the scallop edge]. It was inspired by a pattern by Mary Mashuta.

{What Were We Thinking! by Janet S. Walker}
This is the ultimate in Recycling! Only the ugliest ties made the cut for this baby! The background is Oxford cloth highlighted by butterlies fashioned from only the ugliest of double knits!
I laughed out loud at this quilt. I noticed it was different when I approached it. After reading the description it instantly won my heart. The triangles around the outside are the points of collared shirts and the ring around the Dresden Plate is made from manufacturers' labels. Love, love, love this quilt.

{From a Different Perspective by Jane Hamrock}
Original design, machine quilted, machine thread painted, hand beaded, machine pieced and machine appliqued, hand embellished.
The long hanging vines are stuffed and hanging off the quilt to give it great dimension.

{Pledge to Earth by Gretchen Jolles}
Using fabrics from my scrap box, I pieced a portion of the EArth Day pledge to demonstrate the idea that we can all "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" to hlep preserve and conserve our natural resources. Quilted by Joyce Snyder

{Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make Do, Do Without by Mary Ann Leonard}
Unfortunately my photo of the label is too fuzzy to read the description, but this was a Challenge Quilt from the show. It was made with help from the Day Quilters group. I like the saying stitched around the outside. The ladies said it is a saying that their grandmothers used, and they find themselves using now, too.

{Log Cabins by Billie McCray}
Ms. McCray is a local fiber artist. She said she doesn't use a rotary cutter and she never throws a scrap away. This quilt was made from Nigerian fabrics gifted to her by a friend. I had never seen such skinny log cabins. I love the design and the "use it all" attitude.

{Paradise in Black and White by Melanie Jensen}
Mismatched block backgrounds and appliqued palm trees. Saw similar pattern in magazine and loved the color comvinations. The quilting is unique, look for the palm trees in the border. Quilted by Shirley Robinson.
{Like Grandma's Quilt by Helen Anne Roesler}
I inherited a quilt made by my grandmother before she got married in 1980. The quilt has been used and is worn and dirty and faded into muted colors and yellow whites (I assume). I decided to see what the quilt would look like after a centruy. I chose fabrics similar to the orginal ones and friends helped me piece and quilt this including some of her mistakes!

Thanks for making it through my review of our local quilt show. I saw that Park City Girl is hostessing another online quilt show. Check that out, too. The spring show was excellent. =]