Nov 29, 2016


I should have taken a TON of photos at quilt camp this past weekend, but I didn't take a single one. I was seriously focused and I did have some non-sewing, non-eating, non-sleeping time, but I clearly didn't use it for taking photos. I was there from 1pm on Thursday to about noon on Sunday. What a fantastic way to spend a weekend and some days off work! What a terrible mistake to not take any photos!

I took three tops with me and finished one entirely. Obviously they didn't have very intricate quilting, and none of them was especially large. Two little ones got straight lines in one direction. The bigger one got loops and swoops all over. I have the two little ones waiting for labels (donations) so their binding isn't on yet. I like to stitch the label into the binding so that it's good and solid on at least two sides.

I had samples of free-motion quilting that I did in a workshop, which I bound together into a runner. I like quilt-as-you-go, and the finishing to get squares together isn't hard at all. Here's a tutorial that matches what I do. I'm really happy with the way the samples went together and with the success I had with the quilting.

I started a quilt for my nephew and got it sandwiched and ready to quilt at home. It's freaking adorable, if I do say so myself. It's from a Lorax panel, which I cut up and re-arranged. My kid wanted to steal it, but it really has to go to the nephew.

I sandwiched some pre-printed Halloween placemats and got them ready to quilt at home. I saw my expert quilter auntie Robin do some line-following on a panel that made it a thousand times better than flat and I thought it would be excellent practice for me since I have a hard time following lines or my own stitches. Practice, practice, practice.

Quilter auntie Jocy recently went to England and gave me a supercute little bus tin that could be a piggy bank, and came with some lovely tea in it.

Quilter auntie Cathy was there too, and she brought her finished one-block wonder top for show-and-tell. She was working on that at our last camp in March so it was good to see it all together. This camp, she set to work on a lot of Christmas things and made a lot of great progress.

While I'm naming names, there is a retired woman named Pat who attends all 5 or 6 of the camps that this one shop puts on each year. I see her there no matter what time of year I go. She's close to 6 feet tall, she's (I think) 85 now, she dragonboats, she skips and bounces during the fat quarter swap, and she loves to laugh. Inspiring.

I finished (they were close to done when I arrived at camp) three of these train cases (no piping) and they almost killed me. All that Soft & Stable and so many layers of everything! Expert quilter auntie Robin suggested a denim needle of size 100 to get through all the thicknesses and that was the best attempt I had had on the last few steps. My machine's timing was way off with smaller needles. Mum offered to try to finish the corners on her machine because mine didn't like corners, and that worked - thanks, Mum!, so then all I had to do when I got home was the hand-sewing to seal up the linings top and bottom. My thumb is sore from pushing that needle through so many times. But I am SO HAPPY THEY ARE DONE!

I'll have pictures of all this when I am able to get them outside and take photos. It's been miserable and gray and mostly rainy lately.

I have knitting too - a pair of socks, a gray cowl, and I have a mustardy-gold cowl in progress. The gray one is a Purl Soho pattern that's sort of an offset brioche, and the mustardy-gold one is a basic mistake rib of no documented pattern.

Anyway, that's enough words. More pictures! Fewer words!


Nov 6, 2016

love me some kootenays!

So here I am again in the beautiful West Kootenays. It's a long stretch this time, which is not so great, but it did let me spend a weekend here, which I haven't done on my own before. Luckily I had an extra almost 20 hours of work to keep me busy. However, I did have time to visit with my knitting buddy from Nelson - Karen! We met at the junction of 3 and 6 and got into one car together. We had made plans to go to New Denver to visit the yarn/fabric store called Sew Much More.

On the way, we stopped at a little coffee shop called Frog Peak and Karen goes there all the time, so she got hit up to knit pockets for someone's sweater. It was a really funky little shop and I can see why it's popular.

We drove through Slocan Park, Winlaw, Silverton and then got into New Denver. It wasn't a sunny day, but it wasn't raining either. Karen showed me where her knitting friends live, where she buys her eggs, and let me blow right past the street I needed to turn down to get to Sew Much More.

After I turned around, we found the shop. It was 10:38 and it opened at 10:30. Not keeners at all.

WHAT A SHOP! They probably don't have the biggest customer base, but with product like that, I'm sure she keeps things moving. She's got Sweet Georgia, Malabrigo, Madeline Tosh, Hedgehog, Regia, Cascade, big Lopi-like stuff, and SO much more (punny). I should have written it all down, but it's probably on their website. Needles from KnitPicks, Addi and Chiao Goo as well, plus another brand I can't remember right now. Really, anything you'd need for knitting, crochet or felting. On the fabric side of the shop, she has Moda solids, collections that it would be super easy to pick from for whatever project you have in mind, jelly rolls, layer cakes, charm packs, notions like needles, thread, rulers, and so on, and tons of fat quarters. All hiding in New Denver!

We spent about an hour there. I got a couple skeins of Tosh Merino light for a shawl, a fat quarter set, and a half a meter of some Christmas owl fabric. Oh, and three pens. I like the Frixion pens for writing, not for quilting, but they're getting harder to find. So I got three.

Then we went back to Silverton to the Cup and Saucer. We both had the Valhalla Salad and it was amazing.

After lunch, we walked up to a big tree we had passed on the way and Karen took some pictures of my recently-finished Oda. In nature. On me.

My hair matches the building. Karen thought that was hilarious.

More hair matching the building.

From there, we went back to the junction and split up. It rained a little bit, but nothing too bad. It was the nicest day of the week, I think. Well, since the Sunday before I got here anyway, when it was 20 degrees. It wasn't bad today either. When I went out at lunch, I had to wear sunglasses.

Anyway, on my way back from the meeting point, I saw that the lady just south of Castlegar had her quilt shop sign out, so I turned off the highway to go into the shop she has in her house. I added a few more things to my bag there. Gotta support the local guys, right? They be having good prices in the Kootenays.

And then it was time to work.

Here's an interesting tidbit. To drink a Guinness from a can, you're supposed to pour the whole thing out of the can, with the can held completely upside-down. It doesn't foam over or anything. I think the widgit has a role in that. When you're in a hotel room, you don't have a big beer mug, so I creatively took two plastic cups and, with a single pour, filled them without spilling a drop.

Can't wait to be home on Friday!