Thursday, September 30, 2010

This and That

I dug out the patchwork stocking that I didn't sell last year and then made another one out of this retro looking santa print from Alexander Henry. I listed both of them in my store yesterday and am going to make more in the next week. I really like the patchwork one a lot.

This is the Nomad bag from All New Handspun Handknits. I think the dyeing came out really nice, especially the black. I have such a hard time getting a nice even black' The Fair Isle pattern on the front of the bag is pretty easy, and I really like the striping sequence on the back. All I have to do now is knit the strap and block the pieces before I sew them together. The top of the bag is supposed to get a piece of ultra suede sewn to the top, and a piece of fusible interfacing ironed to it. It's finished off with a lining. I'm pretty sure this will wind up as a gift.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Stairway to Heaven Revisited

I have been reading Led Zeppelin The Story of a Band and Their Music 1968-1980 by Keith Shadwick.It's a really good book, much better than Hammer of the Gods. It focuses much more on the music of the band and the creative process they went through to make the music, instead of the excesses that were the touring reality for so many 70's rock bands. I've been going back through all the Zep albums and listening to everything as I go through the book, and it occurred to me how little I have actually listened to Stairway to Heaven in probably the last 20 years. So I put it on today, and it came back to me what a truly great song it is. It has everything; a story with myth and magic that relates to the listener; a quiet, mystical, beginning that gradually builds to a crescendo of power and sound, but that ends with a gentle bringing of the listener back to earth when Robert croons the last line "And she's buying a stairway to heaven", one of Jimmy Pages greatest guitar solo's, it just has everything that makes music great. It is just a perfectly orchestrated piece of music.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday

This week is a lovely table runner from Diary of a Quilter

Ok to be honest, I did not make this today. With all I have going on I could not have made this in one day, so I started it on Sunday and finished it up this morning. I had actually been looking at it for a couple of weeks, knowing I was going to make it at some point, especially since I was so tired of the little quilted 9 patch table cloth that has been on the table for years. (That's it hanging on the back of the chair in the picture) I had thought at first about making it in fall colors, but I have so many civil war and traditional looking calico prints in my scrap bag that I went with those instead. Siobhan and I went to a nearby forest to pick the flowers on Sunday afternoon. It was the coldest, windiest day we've had so far, so we kind of just grabbed the flowers and left. I love the purple asters and goldenrod, they are so pretty together. Our neighbor across the street has a lot of purple asters in her back yard and they are just gorgeous.
I have also been working on a Fair Isle bag that I am using recycled yarn. It was fingering weight so I plied 2 strands together and then dyed some red, some black and some orange and left one ball in it's original tan/cream tweed. I have the body of the bag done and just have to make the strap which I'll at least get a start on later today. Before that though, I want to make another set of the Halloween coasters and a stocking for the Etsy store. I finished the cabled scarf I was working on and got that listed along with a couple of other things. I'll try and get pics up later today or tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday

I decided to try these little woven coasters today. They are really easy and turn out very nice. I got the tutorial here:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Compare and Contrast

I watched the film The Runaways today. I was not a big Runaways fan in the 1970's, actually Cheery Bomb left the teeniest of blips on my radar and then fell off into obscurity. Joan Jett made a bigger blip with I Love Rock 'n Roll, but it's not a song I would have added to my playlist then or now. It just got so much air play that it was impossible not to hear it. Watching the movie, I couldn't help thinking about another woman who will always be for me, the epitome of what a woman could accomplish in the mostly all boys club of rock/punk of the 1970's. Here she is. Patti Smith in 1976 doing Horses/Hey Joe:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

No Tutorial Tuesday

I won't be trying a tutorial today; I will be gone for the day. I'll be back tomorrow though, and in the meantime I'll be trying to figure out what I can do with the huge amount of scraps I've accumulated.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mercury Retrograde

Since Mercury was retrograde until yesterday, and because I unearthed my box of unfinished projects while reorganizing, I went ahead and finished these Halloween place mats. 3 of them were already quilted so I only had to quilt 1, and then put on the binding. The centers are vintage postcards that I printed onto fabric that I framed out in a rust print with stars. I love this vintage looking Halloween print, it's just so cute. There wasn't enough of it to bind the place mats, and there wasn't enough of the rust either, so I bound the long edges in one print and the short in another. I really really like these, and I don't know if I can part with them!

I also finished hooking the pillow top. When I dyed the sky blue last week it came out a bit dark, so I took out some of the sky I had already hooked and then added in the darker blue. I think it looks fine, and I will probably get a back on it today and then list it in the store this evening.

I've made more progress on the sewing room, too, I'd say I'm somewhere around 2/3rds of the way done. I got both the big and small bookcases cleaned out, and the small wall unit that Sio gave me and I am using on top of the small bookcase to hold magazines. The large bookcase has all the books that I use the most; the small bookcase has costuming and doll books on the bottom and my collection of doll clothes patterns on the top shelf. I am going unearth the Bleuette pattern binders and put them on the bottom shelf too. Plus I got all the patterns separated by type, and number into plastic drawers. I cleaned out a lot and am listing them in my store as destash listings. I found a really cute jacket pattern I forgot I had bought and am going to keep my eye open when I go to the thrift store for a nice heavier fabric to make it out of. I have some wool here but it's a bit too heavy, plus I don't really want another dry clean only jacket. I'd rather have a heavier cotton that I can wash. I also started knitting a scarf with odd small balls of leftover yarn combined with a skein of burgundy and a skein of a light olive I pulled from the stash. I had about 12 inches done when both mom and Sio told me it was too wide, so I unraveled it and started it over last night. It's a great take it with me project, I just keep it in my book bag all the time. I'm trying to keep more of a fall palette, although I may add other colors if I feel I need to for length.
I've also been cooking a lot, and I made these really yummy apple carrot muffins last week, as well as banana pecan for John's lunch. He didn't like the apple carrot, but I loved them and will make them again for me.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


I am obsessed with Foo Fighters lately and this is my very favorite song. Couldn't find a good live version so here's the official video.

I Know It's Wednesday.....

but it's hard to get any projects done in the midst of reorganizing. I did do one, but first things first. I ordered a grab bag of Amy Butler prints from Imagine Fabric on Etsy. I like the ones I got, although I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do with them yet. I ordered a couple of other things too, and I'm going to wait til every thing is here before I make any plans.

So here's the tutorial. I started yesterday and finished today.This week it was from Film in the Fridge where there is this great tutorial for patchwork napkins.
I really liked making these, and mine are green in two ways. There is the obvious; not using paper napkins, but not only does mine use scraps from the scrap bag it's also made from a pale blue thrifted sheet for the 2 front panels and then the back is from a white thrifted sheet. I think these would make great Christmas gifts and I can think of a couple of people that would will probably be getting some!

We are going to have to put off the New York trip due to some unexpected expenses that came up. It ok, Melissa said we can come for the Sheep and Wool Festival which will be a lot of fun anyway. She's been wanting me to go for years anyway, so this really works out better.

Monday, September 06, 2010

The Studio Re-do

A place for everything and everything in it's place. Those little fabric buckets work really well for rolled up fat 1/4's. And I love my new scrap bag! I made it from scraps that I foundation pieced to part of an old white sheet. I think I'm going to make another one to use as a laundry bag, and Sio said it also would look nice as pillow cases. Since the bag is stuffed with fabric scraps, I have plenty to do whatever I can dream up.

Here's all the shelves and drawers of neatly folded fabric, with my jars of buttons on top. There is a pile of fabric that I need to make a couple more of the wall buckets for. That's a project for after I get the sewing area organized. The rug making wools are stacked in the back corner on a shelf behind my spinning wheel.

On the right side are the bins for fiber that needs to be combed/carded,spun, my balls of handspun, crocheted rugs I am working on, and some breakalble vintage items I am selling on Etsy. As soon as I figure out another spot for those, they will go. On the left side are bins of rug hooking and weaving supplies and some misc craft items. There is a small set of shelves above this for my embroidery flosses and some pictures but they can't be seen in this picture.

These are the yarn bins, and the loom which is now unburied. Hooray! I can finally make some of the rag rugs from the book I ordered last spring.

And here are various things that can be hung. I am almost done with the hooked house and boat pillow top. I ran just a bit short on the blue for the sky, so I dyed a bit more yesterday while I was dyeing some yarn. I am going to try and get it done tonight.
All in all I am pleased so far. I did the bookcase yesterday, and am now trying to figure out the best way to store all the needlecraft magazines. Maybe Tuesdays tutorial will be something to store magazines in. Today, though, I think I'm going to go fishing.