Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Charity Quilting

At the last Annapolis Quilts For Kids the members got together to make quilts and pillow cases. I popped in and picked up a couple kits and quilts to finish.
This quilt top was pieced by another member of Annapolis Quilts for Kids.
I pieced this top after pulling a few squares of green fabric from my stash. That's what big collection of fabric is for. Now I just need to hand these over to another member for trimming and binding.

2016 Charity Quilt Count: 33

Monday, August 29, 2016

In the Mail Monday

I finally decided it was time to try out some Jazz Handz Fusion Fiber. Look at how nicely this packaged for me!
I ordered two cakes in the Bird of Paradise colorway. Three luscious colors of cotton that will become something awesome. As soon as I figure out what that will be. These colors are just so bright and fun! You should check out more amazing colors at Jazz Handz Fusion Fiber. I almost picked up the color Exploding TARDIS. Maybe next time.
My latest thread club order came from Superior Threads. I also added another cone of Masterpiece in Graystone to the bin and some pre-wound bobbins. These are perfect for the embroidery machine so having a few dozen in different colors is handy. I always try to pick them up when they are on sale.
Lastly was this amazing dragon sheath made by Dog Might Games. This is the second Kickstarter of theirs of I have supported and I'm more than pleased with the product. This is a highly customizable dice holder that is sure to meet the high expectations of many a gamer. I may have to order another one of these.

It's time to get to work on those mid-winter gifts, folks!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Tiny Knitting: 5 Shawls in 5 Days

I came across the 5 shawls in 5 days challenge and couldn't resist. If you want to learn the basic construction techniques for knitting shawls this is a great introduction to several shapes. this is the first, a simple triangular shawl. 
Then the crescent shawl. This is before I blocked the tiny thing.
The 3/4 shawl. I think I will have to ponder this shape for a while before I decide to knit a full-sized shawl. Good construction technique, though. I wonder how hard it will be to make it have another point?
The asymmetrical shawl. This is the basic boomerang shape and I'm still not convinced that I like it for a shawl.  
The final shape was the swirl. Mine isn't perfect as it seems I dropped a stitch somewhere. Another one that I think I may have to play with to get it to work with my creative style.
Finally, is the lacy one on the bottom. This is one that has been knocking around in my brain for a while. I was pretty sure it would work, but hadn't gathered the nerve to actually knit it until now. I'm working on the 7th tiny shawl. I think I'll knit doll-sized shawls for all my experiments.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Long Arm Quilting Panel

I was asked by my guild, the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild, to participate in a long arm quilting panel.
I am not a professional long arm quilter. I would love to be a professional quilter, but with a full-time job it just isn't in my schedule. I do quilt for charity quite a bit and love, love, love doing it. I put together some informational cards and stuffed a bag with quilts for the panel. I sat on the panel with two professional long arm quilters. Their work is amazing. Their knowledge was impressive, too.
I figured I could share a little bit about what I shared during the panel. I took some thread color cards and more than a little thread.
Needles for comparison.
Bobbins for comparison.
A selection of threads.

I will admit, I asked as many questions as I answered. It was a great experience and I hope I didn't ramble too much for people. There is so much to quilting that I know I will never be able to learn it all.

Monday, August 22, 2016

It's in the Bag

I've been working on more than a couple fun knitting project bags over the last week. Pattern is based on the great, free tutorial from Noodle-Head.
First was this fun knitting fairy bag. The machine embroidery design is from Urban Threads and was the perfect thing for a knitting project bag.
I also stitched up a couple more. One with the fun knit-themed fabric I picked up at a quilt show and the always fun Waking Dead fabric. The blood splatter fabric is the perfect companion. Zippers from ZipIt Zipper Supply.
Finally, we have the package I received as part of the All That and a Bag of Handmade swap. Look at all these great things! I love swaps where my partner puts thought into my package and comes p with something awesome! This was perfect. Fun colors and great finished objects. I think the phone case (purple on the bottom right) is my absolute favorite!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Love Is Shipping Quilts for Pulse

During the last Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild meeting I set out the four completed Quilts for Pulse so those that contributed blocks could sign the donation sheets to be included with each quilt.
I surprised myself by being able to cram two quilts into a large flat rate box. These were shipped off to the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild to join the hundreds of other quilts that have been donated.
I love that quilters will come together to create such wonderful things. Thank you to everyone that helped with this wonderful projects. If you made one block you made a difference. Thank you!

EDIT: I forgot to add the quilt count.
2016 Charity Quilt Count: 30

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

No, I won't hem your curtains

We've lived in this house for over a year. We put up enough window treatments to ensure modesty and privacy. But we hadn't done anything fancy. Not that this project is going to be fancy. I don't do fancy. We picked up some reasonably priced curtain panels at IKEA.
That's where the sewing machine comes in. We chose these based on price and opaqueness. There were thicker curtains, but the price point was higher. It also meant that they were about 20 inches too long. While my Darling Husband was more than happy to hang them as they were, I was less than impressed with 20 inches of curtain on the floor. Likely picking up a lifetime of dog fur.
After trimming and hemming the curtains I would have been left with five panels worth of 20" of curtain. I suppose I could have made tote bags, but I figured adding that bit to the top of the panel would keep the room a little darker (the real goal of this window treatment is to prevent glare on the television) and I wouldn't be left with scraps. I simply folded under about 1/4 inch on that raw edge and top stitched it below the seam at the top. It sure isn't fancy, but it isn't wasteful, either.
About two hours later I had my five panels finished. They block out the light nicely and look pretty good while doing it, too. After I was finished, I decided that I would evaluate the value of this work at $50/panel. This is where I tell you again about the wonderful articles you can find on Sam Hunter's blog and learn more about the We Are $ew Worth It way of thinking.

I would love to teach you how to use a sewing machine and how to hem your own curtains. No, I won't hem them for you.

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Knitting Fairy

I keep meaning to use these machine embroidery designs. Especially one like this. 
The knitting fairy is perfect for a knitting project bag. Isn't she darling? That turquoise zipper is perfect!
I couldn't leave her hanging out all by herself. I had to give her some free motion quilting to keep her company.
The back of the bag needed some free motion quilting, too. 

Now I just have to sew it together into a fun knitting project bag. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Knitting Update: Dark Wing

I wanted to play with the boomerang shape and this yummy yarn I picked up at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. I started the project at the Baltimore Washington International Airport. I like simple knitting for travel.
A light fingering weight yarn, worked with size five needles. This was an experiment with i-cord edging and bind off. It was also an experiment with using short rows to make the shawl much bigger. There is no pattern for this shawl as I designed as I went along. I have some scribbled notes, but that is far from a proper pattern. Maybe one day I will write it up.
The yarn is from Dancing Leaf Farm. The colorway is Severus Snape. With a name like that I couldn't leave it behind. Dark and somewhat brooding and perfect for a shawl.
After almost 200 grams of yarn I reached the point I was able to block the shawl. The color reads a little more purple when you see the whole thing. Very dark.
This really is an over sized shawl. Much more like a triangle shawl than the boomerang I was shooting for. Not that I think that is a problem. I love this shawl. It would be great worked up in a bunch of leftovers and maybe some more lace panels included. I'll definitely play with this again.
Just so you don't think I've run out of projects, here is some car knitting of my Color Affection Shawl.
And some more car knitting, this time on my Bosc Pear Shawl. Only three projects. That's the limit.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

What is in a swap?

A Here are some progress shots of some of the projects I've been working on for my latest swap. I joined the All That and a Bag of Handmade swap weeks ago and have been slowly working towards completing all the projects. Warning: the post is full of progress photos but no finished object photos.
My partner wanted the double-zip wallet by Anne Graham in her book Handmade Style. This is a great project and I'm glad I decided to make this wallet. My first ever magnetic snap, if you can believe that. The directions were easy to follow. I also made another Open Wide Zippered pouch using Noodle-head's free tutorial.
Next up was a dumpling pouch. This pattern is free from Michelle at Michelle Patterns. She has some great patterns for sale and she is a master at little things. You should totally check out her blog.
I also made an eyeglasses case using a free pattern from Pink Pony Design called Raccoon Case. This was the first time I used this pattern and while I made some modifications to suit my zipper collection it was very easy.

I buy all my zippers from Zip It! Zipper Supply on Etsy. Great prices, selection, and service. Every time.

My swap momma for this swap is the patient Cyndi from The Nosy Pepper. This is the second swap where she is a swap host and it has been great. Check out that blog for links to great projects an other creative people.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Summer Adventures and Photos

I recently had the opportunity to travel for work. I took some photos while going for a walk or two during my time.
Sometimes I just found a pretty flower.
One time I almost got caught in a thunderstorm that included hail that was scary.
At home I wandered over to a nearby meadow.
Which is also a Monarch Waystation.
After work, I came across this pretty young buck on my afternoon walk. Most of these first appeared on my Instagram.

It's great to get out and get moving. With the weather as hot as it has been mornings are better than afternoon but getting out is great.

Friday, August 5, 2016

The Color Challenge: A Charity Quilt

Do you remember the fabric challenge I participated in during the last meeting of the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild?
Well, this is what happened. I made a huge stack of half-square triangle blocks. This isn't the final placement of the squares. This spent at least a week on my design wall while I moved blocks about.
This is what I finally settled on. Slightly different. Loads of movement.
Even the quilting has movement, but not in those straight lines. I used some of the scraps for binding. I managed to squeeze the Baltimore MQG's label into the bottom corner.

I really like this little quilt.