Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Find Your Fade Shawl

Ten weeks...that's how long it took me to make this shawl. Now granted, I also finished two pair of socks in that same time period, but I think it's safe to say, "This shawl took forever!"

I took the shawl with us on our recent weekend away hoping that I would be able to get some good photos of it. I also snapped a lot of photos of the local flowers.

The shawl is very large. This photo shows my favorite sequence in the yarns I used. 

The lavendar smelled heavenly and was so pretty in bloom.

Wisteria is one of my favorite blooms. I am always amazed at how high it grows and how thick the trunk of the plant can get. I've heard it can thrive for decades and decades.

When choosing the yarn for this shawl I was very impatient, so I started with a dark charcoal that I had in my stash and then would shop for each new yarn as I needed it. Bad decision! I had a hard time finding yarn to fade according to the pattern directions, so after the second yarn I changed directions in my idea of where to take the colors. Instead of going from charcoal to grey to white, I introduced burgundy, pinks and purples.

The flowers in Cambria were the perfect backdrop to my shawl. I ended up really liking the color combination and the way each yarn melted into the next.

I think I might plant some of these plants in my garden. I first need to find out what they are called. I'll be making a trip to the garden center this week.

This shawl is another finish on my first quarter Finish Along list.

Capitola Quilter

Yarns used:
1. Madelinetosh 100% Superwash Merino color Dirty Panther
2. The second segment...I can't find the tag
3. Spun Right Round 80% Superwash Merino wool 20% Nylon color Naughty or Nice
4. Madelinetosh 100% Superwash Merino wool color Tosh Loves Stephen
5. BAAH La Jolla 100% Superwash Merino wool color Rose Bouquet
6. Malabrigo Superwash Merino wool color Violeta Africana
7. House of A La Mode Bangin' Cash Sock 80% Superwash Merino wool 10% Cashmere 10% Nylon color Midnight's Moon
8. BAAH Sonoma 100% Superwash Merino wool color S"Mores

Needles: Addi Turbo 32" circular size 6
Finished size: 107" tip to tip and 27" from the point to the top of the shawl.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Knitting Bag for Ann

For the last three out of four years I have received a very special treat in the mail, all the way from the United Kingdom.
Here's the story...
In 2013 I noticed several of my friends living in the United Kingdom were posting photos on Instagram of their Christmas cakes being made for the upcoming holiday season. I am familiar with fruit cake but this looked and sounded very unlike the rum soaked cakes of my childhood (that nobody would eat). When I commented of my curiosity about these cakes my friend Susan sent me a recipe. But my friend, Katy, and her mom surprised me by actually sending me a piece of her Christmas cake. I was hooked. This cake is so good. Covered in marzipan and sweet but not too sweet. I look forward to my gift every year.
It's taken me this long to think of something to make for Ann because, unlike fruitcake, everything that I bake or preserve would not travel as well. Katy told me her mom knits so I decided to make her a knitting bag and include a few extras.
I had this piece of Field Study linen by Anna Maria Horner and a perfect coordinating fabric for the binding.

The interior of the bag has a vinyl zipper pocket on one side and several slots on the otherside to keep knitting needles and accessories. When opened the bag measures 10.5" x 20".

I'll pack this up and send it off next week. I still want to find a few extras to send with it.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Gifts for Mim

This week is my week to switch my creative hats. I will not be sewing this week but instead will be working on my scrapbooks. I will be in Seattle all week at my dear friend's house. My friend Monika and I will travel to Mim's where we will eat, talk, drink, talk and oh yeah...scrapbook. Mim and her husband spoil us with their incredible hospitality so it is only natural that I try to spoil her by making a few things that she has hinted at liking.

Giving a handmade gift is one of my favorite things to do. Sure, it's easier to buy something but making something, especially something a friend has hinted at that they would like, remains at the top of my list of pleasures.

This year I was listening when Mim hinted that she doesn't have any mug rugs. I decided to make her a set of non matching mug rugs, one for each season.

The first was made using Kate Basti's #talltalesblock. Mim loves to read, so her spring mug rug is a book and birds theme.

Summer wouldn't be complete without a yummy ice cream cone. This paper pieced pattern was found on the Freeze Frame blog.

For fall...a maple leaf block seemed like the best way to capture fall colors.

For the winter mug rug I used Amy's #riseandshinecoffeepattern. This is such a fun and versatile pattern.

Two years ago I made Mim a Valentine's Day pillow. (You can read about it here) This year, knowing she has the pillow form already, I thought it might be fun to make her a reading pillow. This was really fun to make. I started with the cutting guideline from Don't Call Me Betsy's tutorial and then assembled it my own way. It was very fun to cut words from text fabric and use selvedges as book titles.  This pillow finished at 20" square.

The last thing I made was a coin purse for each of my friends. This pattern is a standard in my rotation of things to make for friends. If you haven't tried making a coin purse hop over to Craftsy and grab this pattern. The lion is for Monika and the apples are for Mim. 

I am looking forward to giving my friends their gifts but I am more excited about spending time with my friends. I will be working on making scrapbook pages using photos from our trip to Ireland, Thanksgiving, Christmas, baby Valko (my newest grandson) and New Year's weekend. I hope I can get all these topics covered. I scrapbook using the Project Life app and then add other digital media to the pages when the mood strikes me. I'll be sharing some of my favorite pages on Instagram as they are completed.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Chloe's Quilt

Last Saturday I attended the baby shower of a dear friend's daughter and gifted her the quilt I have been working on these last few weeks. But first I want to share the cute cookies that we were given with the baby's name written on them. They were almost too pretty to eat... but I managed to eat the entire cookie and a chocolate cupcake, too!

This quilt is made from the leftover fabric of another baby girl quilt I finished last year. In writing this post I realized that I never blogged about my Flowering Snowball quilt. I posted it in a Finish Along post but didn't write a separate blog post about it. I guess I will need to do that soon. 
To make this quilt I cut all the 2.5" squares with the electric GO cutter last year at retreat in Wisconsin. I made four patch blocks using white fabric and the colored squares. To get the quilt up to what I think is a decent size for a baby I added an inner border of white and then used more four patch blocks as the outer border. I only had to make four more four patch blocks with additional fabrics from my stash to finish the quilt. 

I think my favorite part of the quilt is the quilting motif I used. I recently purchased the Quilter's Planner and it was one of the weekly motifs to practice. Not only was it easy to make but it gives the quilt a nice texture and leaves it soft and cuddly for the baby. In the border area I used straight line quilting. You can't really see it in these photos but the inner white border is quilted with a soft pink thread. The rest of the quilt is quilted with white thread.

The backing and bindings are also some of my favorite fabrics. The newsprint by Carrie Bloomston goes with everything and that mini stripe binding was the perfect finish for this quilt.

This is the last of four baby quilts I had on my to-do list; all but the flowering snowball has been gifted. I am saving the flowering snowball quilt for a very special baby girl that has yet to be conceived. I will share more about that when I blog about this special to me quilt. 

I have three more friends expecting babies to arrive this summer. It will be the second baby for each of them and they all have a boy as their first child. What are the odds that they will have girls? We will have to wait and see if I will be making more baby girl quilts or the tides will change for baby boys to arrive to my friends.

Quilt Stats:
Quilt Name: Chloe's Quilt
Fabric Used: Scraps of Tiger Lily by Heather Ross and Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Bright White
Backing: Story by Carrie Bloomston 
Batting: Warm and White
Binding: Dear Stella Intermix Dress Stripe in Marmalade
Quilting:By ME on my Bernina 820 Martini Olives motif from the Quilter's Planner
Thread: Pieced with Aurifil 50 wt. White
Quilted with Connecting Threads Essential Cotton 40 wt. Thread in white and Aurifil 50 wt. in light pink #2420
Finished Size: 51" x 51"

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Seeing Double

You're not really seeing double, but it might appear that way since I just posted Pinkie Squared, version 1 last week. I am happy to say that both quilts have been gifted and well received. 
Version 2 of the Summer in the Park quilt pattern ended up a little smaller than the first one I made, but otherwise they are very similar. I managed to make two baby girl quilts out of the jelly roll that I won last year at Quilt Con.

Pinkie Squared vs 2

Pinkie Squared vs 1

I really like the Cotton and Steel double gauze that I used on the back of this quilt.It makes it such a bright and happy quilt for my nephew's newborn daughter, Jianna Belle.

Once again I quilted it with randomly spaced and sized swirls. The combination of the double gauze and this quilting motif makes it so cuddly. You can really feel the squishiness...is that a word?
This time I was very careful not to stretch the quilt when basting and then quilting it. This really helped to not distort the quilt as much as the first one.

baby quilt

Michael Miller jelly roll quilt

For the binding I chose Lizzie House's mini pearl bracelets in a perfect apricot color.

I really like the ease of this pattern and would make it again.I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of both of my grand nieces lying on their quilts. I hope they use them for many years.

Quilt Stats:
Name: Pinkie Squared Version 2
Fabrics: Michael Miller Basics Jelly Roll
Michael Miller Cotton Couture Solids Bright White
Backing: Cotton and Steel Double Gauze  Orange Happy Garden from the Trinket line by Melodie Miller
Binding: Lizzie House Mini Pearl Bracelets Apricot
Batting: Warm and White
Quilting: by ME on my Bernina 820, free motion swirls.
Thread: Pieced with Aurifil 50 wt. White
Quilted with Connecting Threads Essential Thread 40 wt. White
Finished Size: 41" x 49"

This crosses off another project on my first quarter Finish-Along list.

Capitola Quilter