Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Workshop Wonders

I've been pretty quiet on the blog lately, but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy making all manner of shawls, quilts, and wall-hangings.  I took a couple of quilt guild workshops, one from Sue Rasmussen on curved flying geese.  She's a great teacher, I love the sample I made, and I hope to make more of these.

I've made a few curved flying geese before using directions in the book Flying Colors by Gail Garber.  Slightly different techniques, and I love the book, but there's nothing like a live teacher, in person, who can give you great tips for saving time, accuracy in piecing, and so much more.

I also took a workshop from Irelle Beattie, using her Not So Twin Strips pattern.  She's taking a break from her Etsy shop at the moment, but at some point, you may be able to buy the pattern there at JibberishDesigns.  Here's the layout as I was playing with it a couple of weeks ago.  

Changes have been made, but I'm almost done sewing the top together.  Another super fun technique!

Thursday, September 20, 2018


Yes, I have made another Franken-object.  There was the Frankenhat, the Frankencowl, and the Frankenbear.  Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the latter, but if you click the above links you can read all about my Mad Scientist Knitting Experiments.

Just to give you some perspective, that chest the Frankentote is sitting on is three feet wide.

Here's how the Frankentote evolved.  A couple of years ago, I took a one-day class to learn how to make a sewing machine cover.  I was told I could modify the directions in order to make a larger one for my larger home machine.

Math ensued, sometimes correctly, sometimes not.  The instructor would try to help me from time to time, but she was busy with other students, and seemed to be having an "off" math day herself, perhaps.  There were many pieces, and there was foam to cut, and fabric, and ribbon, and so on.

The hours wore on.  The classroom was small and crowded.  Any time anyone needed to cut fabric or stabilizer/foam, one had to move one's sewing machine onto the floor, and pick up one's cutting mat and put it on the table, and then reverse the process in order to sew.

Couldn't you hear me cursing?  Don't you remember that day a couple of years ago when you suddenly seemed to hear someone cursing loudly right next to you, but you were alone?  You weren't schizophrenic--that was me!
By the end of the class, I had: nothing.  Basically a bunch of large flat pieces of foam and fabric.  Some of the foam was covered with fabric, some not.

These large flat pieces lay across bags and bins of other fabric in my closet for YEARS.  Sorry, didn't mean to shout.  They were in my way every time I wanted to dig something out of said bags and bins.  I was constantly moving them around, irritated every time.  Twice I pulled them out and said, "I am going to finish this," and I would read the directions again, because I had completely forgotten what I was doing.  I even retyped the directions with my math revisions hoping that would help me move forward.  I thought of making a tote out of it instead.  I couldn't decide.

It was too confusing, and I had too many other projects to distract me, and back the big, flat, annoying pieces would go, into the closet, forever in my way.

Then one evening, someone brought a Janome sewing machine cover to the Treasure Table at the guild.

She murmured something vague about how it might be a good item for one of our raffle baskets.

I said, "I need this," and shoved it in my bag and walked away.  I still marvel at my selfishness.  In my defense, she should never have brought it anywhere near the Treasure Table if she meant it to go in a raffle.

Now I had a sewing machine cover!  I didn't have to make one!  Glory, glory, hallelujah!

The decision was made:  the giant flat annoying pieces would be a tote!  Out of the closet, onto the cutting table, combining the original pattern with a different pattern.  There were a few mistakes made, there was a bit of seam ripping, a bit of cursing (under my breath; I'm certain you didn't hear me), and behold:  IT'S ALIVE!!!!!

With pockets!  Let there be dancing in the streets!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Quilt Show Boutique

Here are "before" pictures of my display table in the boutique at the quilt show this past weekend.

When I got there to set up, I saw I had mistakenly reserved only half a table.  I had enough items for two tables!

Luckily, fellow guild members came to the rescue and reorganized some smaller displays so that I could have a full table, right by the entrance to the boutique, no less.

I am so grateful!

Everything looks a bit jumbled, but I rearranged and re-rearranged throughout both days, so sometimes it actually looked appealing.

I was too rushed to take an "after" picture, but I did sell quite a few items and I'm pleased.

I also did some shopping, yet I am happy to report that I actually made more money than I spent!  It's a first!!!

I got the lovely purple and gold fabric from the Patti Cakes Quilt Shop booth, and the thread set, plus an extra spool, a major (but discounted!) purchase from Private Source Quilting.

Not shown?  Ten yards of white on white fabric for 3.95 a yard, also from Private Source.  That fabric is on a bolt and it has already been absorbed into the stash in my closet.  Yes, as a quilter, I have graduated slowly from buying fat quarters to half-yard cuts to entire bolts of fabric.  But look at all the money I saved!  (Fabric, for those of you who don't know, usually costs around three times as much per yard.)

As I write this, I'm getting the feeling I'm more excited by what I bought than what I sold.  This can't be good!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

New Pattern: Light in the Window Infinity Scarf

I wanted to design something lightweight, quick to crochet, and relatively simple for fall.  Behold the "Light in the Window Infinity Scarf" (or cowl).

I used Extravagance yarn from Hearthside Fibers--you know I never get tired of that yarn!

The colorway is "Spice"--and I know my friend Elisa will tease me endlessly because it's orange.

For those of you who have not read every single one of my blog entries, you may not know that I used to not particularly like orange.  I could go for the occasional burnt sienna, but a bright, fruity orange was not happening in my stash.

How times have changed.  It's just so great for complementing other colors!

Besides, "Spice" is very spicy-looking, sort of a mix of paprika and cayenne, with a dash of turmeric.

I know each of these pictures has a different shade due to the lighting and background when I took the pics, but the deeper spice is the truer color, at least on my computer screen.

I now hoard every scrap of orange-related fabric I can find, and I've been knitting and crocheting with various oranges, and the only bad thing about that is, once you use it, it's gone!  I cannot have my orange and eat it too, alas.

Anyhow, to buy the "Light in the Window" pattern on Etsy, click here.
To buy it on Ravelry, click here.

Happy crocheting!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Gourmet Delights

I made myself some lunch the other day, and as I looked down at my plate, I started to laugh.  I was thinking of some of my friends who post beautiful photos of delicious foods when they go out to eat.  I start drooling just looking at those gourmet delights.

And then there's mine.  Notice the artfully arranged "crudité" and the fashionable paper plate.  Just gives me a little laugh every time I think about it.

Obviously, it's better if I stick to posting fiber art!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Update on Holder's Clay

I decided to put the first chapter of my novel up on this blog, so you can read it for free by clicking here.  Or just click the tab at the top of the blog that says "Holder's Clay, First Chapter Free!"

I hope you find it entertaining.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Starflower Scarf

I've been playing with my Starflower crochet pattern (which you can buy if you click here.)  The pattern is for the block only;  you can make a blanket, a stole, a scarf, or whatever you like with the blocks.

I was going to make a throw, but didn't have enough of all the colors, and I realized one block with sport weight yarn was 6" wide, perfect for a scarf.

I crocheted ten blocks together, did a nice little reverse single crochet (a.k.a. crab stitch) border, and this is the result.  A nice light scarf for fall, which can't get here soon enough, imo!  Have I mentioned how hot it is here?  This is not normal!  I'm afraid it's the new normal, though.

Soon we won't need scarves at all, or shawls, or blankets, and then what to do with our yarn stashes???  Just kidding, I'll keep knitting and crocheting regardless.

P.S. I just want to mention that Blogger has quit forwarding comments to my email, so if you have commented anywhere on my blog, and I haven't responded to you, it's because I haven't seen your comment yet.  But I will find it!  Eventually.  I hope.