Oct 1, 2015

getting ready for the bee

You've seen bits and pieces of the man-quilt and now it's almost done. I will take it to my quilt guilds (yes, I joined two) over the next couple weeks so I won't post a spoiler here. That would ruin the surprise for my MIL. Actually, I don't know if she knows that I have a blog. But just in case.

So here's me hand-stitching the binding. Hubby picked the backing fabric and the very red binding fabric. Also, all the fussy-cut pieces on the front and anything with a pattern - he picked those too. I picked all the solids.

The binding is Jinny Beyer fabric and I got it from my Nan's stash. My Nan rocks.

We shuffled some things around and now I have a sewing nook. A whole desk on wheels that is dedicated to sewing, and a cabinet just for fabric and growlers and paper towels and light bulbs.

The cupboard doors close to keep the dust out. (I don't have much of a stash, but it certainly needs some organization. I think my best bet will be to sew more things.) I've started wrapping my 1+ yard pieces on a bit of cardboard (from the IKEA packaging) and it, obviously, made my stash take up even more room. That was dumb but I can see it all better. There's a positive and a negative for you.

I'm less than halfway finished the quilted bag for my knitting notions. I got stalled at the sew-in by a failure to take enough fabric, and by not taking stock of my zippers ... and being short two zippers. I was still sewing all day, so it wasn't the end of the world. I'll get on that once I finish this hand-sewing.

That's probably it for now.


Sep 18, 2015

basic pattern design

I completed my first pattern design on patternjam.com this morning. Really basic. I am very fond of pinwheels, and think that this design would come together really quickly, and be great for baby quilts or charity quilts, with just enough interest that you have fun doing it.

The gray fabric has zombies on it and I like the contrast with the white. I kept a pattern and a solid for the pinwheels as well, and think there's good contrast there too.

Honestly, this took about 3 minutes to do. It's not tricky and it's not time-consuming. Maybe this design isn't your cup of tea, but maybe it makes you want to do better. You probably can.

If you follow this link, you can sign up too, and maybe I'll get some free fabric one day:


Sep 16, 2015

about those photos


I don't think there's a way for me to stop my pictures from going to server 2. I will try deleting and re-adding when I notice that that's where they are, but I don't expect that to be successful.

This seems like the rambling of a crazy-person now. If you don't have a firewall that protects you from the dangers of 2.bp.blogspot.com, you have no idea what I'm going on about.

We'll get back to the quilting and/or knitting very soon. Peace out.


NOPE! I have discovered more. Apparently the 2.bp.blogspot.com server that some of my photos (that I took with my own camera) are being hosted on is the culprit. The ones on the 1, 3 and 4 servers are just fine and they display properly.

I'll do more digging and see if I can find a way to stop the pictures from going to number 2. We all know what number 2 is, right?

I got annoyed today. I went to look at my last post on my computer and found that the picture wouldn't load. I checked on my phone to see if it was knocked out there as well. It wasn't. I then tried 20,000 things on my computer with the html and couldn't get the picture to display.

Then I got smart. I put the url for the photo into the browser's address bar (Chrome, so you figure it would get along with Google, right?) and tried to load just the photo. The network, the browser, or maybe the computer beasties wouldn't allow it. I think that's the problem. It's not that Blogger is killing my photos randomly. It's some sort of restriction.

The problem isn't solved, but it's not one that I am able to solve. I can continue to look at pesky blogs that cause that issue with my phone, though. Mine isn't the only one - but so far I'm just seeing this behaviour on Blogger blogs ... which are also friendly with Picasa albums. I don't know which is the culprit, but I've searched every way from Sunday and haven't been able to find a solution that works for me. Maybe it's just me. If I'm spending all this time on something that's my issue alone, and doesn't impact my three readers at all, that's just ... grrr.

ANYWAY, I have spent several days working on the design for the knitting holder. Somehow it turned into a purse. I'm going to have to split this current design work into two different projects - one that is a purse and one that is a knitting notion holder. That shouldn't be too hard.

I'm going to rework the pattern notes tonight and hopefully then I'll be able to cut out the pieces soon. I'm really hoping to be able to sew up the sample on Saturday. Then I can show you!


Sep 13, 2015

borne of need

I hope this looks as crazy and aggravating as I feel it is.

Interchangeable needles, cables, stitch markers, scissors, sewing needles, needle gauges, bits and bobs and goodness-knows-what-else. Sigh. The red felted bag that it sits in used to have structure but it has been asked to do too much. It's wider than it ever was and clearly unhappy.

I've googled quilted knitting notion bags but nothing fits the bill. I need something. This necessity is the mother of design in my life. I generally don't design any old thing ... I decide that I want something, I hunt for it, and then when I don't find it, I'm determined to solve it myself so I wind up designing. That's how I developed the quilted rummoli board, the knitted one-skein baby blanket, the brioche cowl, and it will be how I develop the most perfect bag to hold knitting stuff. Not the project - the stuff.

Drawing: commence NOW. Perfect evening for it.


Sep 3, 2015

absofreakinglutely delighted

Our top secret Round Robin has come to an end.

To recap, this was my friend Amber's idea. She and I used to work together, but now she lives in the Ottawa area. She's really from Texas, though, and that's where her Mom is, who is also a participant. And to square it up, my Mum was a willing participant too. Two daughters and two mothers.

We started out with a 20" square design of whatever we wanted. I did a fun little wonky thing with purple in the middle and red and blue on either side, with white as well.

Then the idea was that we'd put it in the mail for the other three participants to add 10" borders all around, or the equivalent, growing it by 20" each way, every turn. Amber had it next and added a yellow border. That let her make the blue transition to green and the red to orange.

After Amber, my Mum got it and she added a sort of a bargello-fied round of super-bright colourful wonderfulness.

Then Amber's Mom got it and she put on the heavy-white final border with some really great pieced squares, some of them doubles, and some wildly fun paper airplanes (made of fabric) with their flight paths hand-embroidered. It's a Whimsical Wonky quilt top and I'm in love with it.

Now we all have an 80x80" quilt top ready to sandwich, quilt, embroider, embellish, whatever, and bind. It kind of makes it look easy when this part is already done, right? We had each step of this process for about two months. That gave us tons of thinking time and lots of sewing time. We could try different things, try different colours, and make a few mistakes that needed fixing.

When I first got Amber's Mom's (okay, her name is Donna) starter piece, I just about fainted. I've been quilting since fall of 2014, right? She did a beautiful art piece that was based on a photograph and had thread painting, clever folding and purposeful lumpiness, hand embroidery, and it looked done.

I put on the checkerboard border that pulled the colour from the lighthouse and the bird, and then did some colour echoing. I found a really neat sand-coloured fabric with footprints in it at a little shop in Oliver, BC. Amber then framed it all and added the compasses. My Mum added the also echo-y frame work in each corner. We all tried not to overshadow Donna's original piece. In the end, it looked like this:

Amber's idea started with a sign she saw in a pub, which she replicated with fabric.

The perspective is amazing, isn't it? My Mum added some flying geese and a tree, and Amber's Mom added another tree (tons of hand embroidering), a bear, a tent and a fire. She also did the zigzag border and the maple leaves. My Mum was a little short on her addition, so Donna, being a Mom, went the extra mile. I figured the canoe wouldn't go anywhere without paddles, so I added those on last.

And my darling Mum. She started off with an 11-sided circle in a square and Donna grew that into a fun thing with 60-degree triangles and an almost-hexagon.

I carried on with the 60-degree theme on two sides, and Amber finished it off. This one is a lot of fun. The picture below is actually a side view - the original 11-sided beastie is going to be in the bottom-right area.

That's all of them. Kind of amazing, right? I would totally do something like this again. It was frightening, overwhelming and really intimidating, but every time I settled on my idea for a piece, I let the stress go and got to work with the cutting and sewing. And I got to buy a new ruler and some fabric along the way, so it wasn't all scary.

There were no spoilers (I've been assured of this), which made today really great. We all opened our boxes at the same time and got a first look at the beautiful finished top. Then we dug into the journal and read all the juicy details about every step along the way. It was Amber's idea to journal things as we went, and that'll be a lovely thing to hang onto for years to come.