Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Tower of Inspiration

If you were to stack up all the fabric you owned, would it be as tall as the kitchen table?  Would it reach the ceiling?  Would it reach the moon?  I'm not sure my fabric collection would make it past the Ozone Layer but my yarn ball tower is trending in that general direction.

The beautiful yarn collection in this photo are the spoils from my recent adventure at Stitches West.  The bright colors are so eye catching.  I am not sure I'll be able to hide in socks made out of these colors. 

My friend Sharon at Knits are for Kids posted our photo booth photo and talked about what she liked at the show.  Susan from So Sue, another knit nite friend, did a post about it and shared her photobooth picture too.

I have a tiny case of the All Hat, No Cattle syndrome right now with my hand quilting progress.  I am so in love with the quilt that I'm quilting, I think about it all the time, and I'm over the moon about quilting it but somehow the stitches are marching across the quilt in more of a crawl than a sprint.  Sigh.

I'm sure you have probably already seen  Barbara Brackman's latest post including a ton of beautiful red and green applique quilts.  As for color combo's, I'm not sure it gets any more striking than that.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Bedtime Stories in Color

Often times when I am waiting to fall asleep my mind turns to thoughts of color combinations.  I suppose this may be a little strange, but anyhow it's what happens to me.

I don't try to think about colors, but I do occasionally wish that I wrote down some of the combinations that I think about as they look so beautiful together.

Fuchsia and Saffron, White and light Gray, Olive and Aqua, Navy and Turquoise with Red...I like to see new combinations play off each other.  

Benjamin Moore paint has a color called Savannah Moss that goes well with their Smoke Embers paint color.  I would love to work for a paint company.  Can new colors be invented?  Maybe not, but goodness me they could certainly use some help to edit the ugly out.

The above photos is of the baby quilt I started quilting for my niece.  I decided to quilt the nine patches on the diagonal and to put some fancy quilting in the spacer blocks in between.  

I've been a sucker for years when it comes to Kaffe's stripe fabrics.  I'm a huge fan of the color combinations.

Thanks for all your contest comments.  Will announce a winner this week.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Stitches West 2012

This evening I spent a lovely time at the knitting event of the year - Stitches West 2012 with my friend Sharon of Knits are for Kids blog. 

That's me on the left, that's adorable Sharon on the right.  Ysolda had a "photo booth" in her display booth.  We could not restrain ourselves from trying on some of her awesome knitwear samples and jumping in front of the camera. 

We had a blast, and Sharon even confessed to me that there may be hope to convert her over to becoming a quilter!

I also took a finishing class (if you don't knit, it basically means they teach you how to seam knit pieces together) with Chris Bylsma which I really enjoyed.  It's nice to learn the 'right' way to do things and to pick up an important skill like how to put the pieces together.

Some quick impressions:

  • Verb: not that I'm biased (since I teach quilting there) - best booth, most beautiful yarn, fiber to die for, nuf said.

  • Lisa Souza Dye Works: some cool colors here.  I could not help but grab a little lace weight yarn.

  • Sincere Sheep - more yarn that is dyed using natural plant-based dyes.  Soft wonderful colors.

  • Becoming Art:  Their sock yarn is not only perhaps the softest thing at the entire show, but may also keep me entertained for perhaps years to come.  Seeing Alana (of Coastal Knits fame) in their booth was a treat - she's sooooo adorable and friendly.

  • Podcasters:  One could not go anywhere without meeting up with some pretty incredible podcasters:
    • 2 Knit Lit Chicks - we ran into them and they were super cool.  I'm their newest fan.
    • FiberBeat - The oh so talented Michael Wade was there as well. 
    • Knitmore girls - I wasn't expecting to see them, but they were there with the new Knitmore baby (teenie, adorable)
Don't forget to comment on my give-away post!  Time is running out.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Smitten Family Portrait: Viewmaster...and a little something for you

I'm sure I mentioned that we are over the moon with our new Viewmaster Camera.  My DH has tons more about our passion for it over on his blog.  Above is a family portrait of us.

The camera allows us to make tiny 3D pictures of ourselves.  I'm thinking it would be fun to do a few photos of quilts in 3D.  It would be so awesome to do some photography at the Sister's Quilt show.  Have never been to that show, but have dreamed of going many times.

For those of you keeping score at home, I DID actually baste the quilt from my last post, so thanks to those of you who were rooting for me and cheering me on.  It didn't take all that long, just needed a little block of time.

In celebration, I'm hosting a little give away.

Leave a comment here and let me know how you feel about basting:  Love it, hate it, get your friends to do it, hire a long arm quilter to do it, skip it and love wrinkles in your quilts, have no idea what it is and would appreciate a video tutorial...let's be open kimono as they say.

I'll do a random number generator for folks who comment, leaving comments open until 9pm PST on Sunday 2/26. 

If you win, I'll send you your own Lego Quilt Studio (ok it's really a teenie fashion studio, but easily converted!).  It's Lego's set #3936 and it's pretty darn cute.  I'll ship anywhere, so if you're not in the states, don't be shy.

Here's to my basting party.  Let's raise the roof.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Quilt Baste-O-Rama: part 1

Every time I start to lay the backing fabric for this quilt out onto the floor to measure it, a little boy either decides to run across it or lay down on top of it.  

That of course is slowing my progress to baste this quilt (along with general house chores), but I cannot help but think it's pretty adorable that they like to play in my half made quilts. 

If I end up finishing some basting up this weekend, I'll host a little give away in celebration, so stay tuned.  This 9 patch and a house quilt are squarely in the path of my Baste-O-Rama energy.

Has anybody ever visited the Texas Quilt Museum?  I think it would be so fun to check it out.  I have never made it there, but it's on my to-do list someday.

I've been looking for the perfect set of everyday plates for eating on.  I love Heath (they are locally made, and have a certain heft to them that I love), but I am interested to check out the Russel Wright 1937 American Modern line from Bauer.  I am curious to see if they would hold up to the punishment we put them through.  White plates float my boat but scratches on them...unsightly!  Maybe I'll test a couple of them.

Finally, also on my to-do list this weekend is to check out Satori Team Company (37 N. San Pedro St., San Jose)  and to look for new flavors to share with my knit/quilt night girlfriends. 

If you're having a long weekend like some of us in the U.S. - enjoy and put that basting needle through it's paces.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Traveling Gnome

Anybody who has seen the movie Amelie or even just had a neighbor who put out a lawn gnome for too long probably understands the urge to pull the travelling gnome prank.

Although the above gnome hasn't traveled too much in his somewhat short life, if I were a gnome I would have logged at least 6,000 miles since I last had a moment to do a blog post.  Busy busy.  Home now and happy to be back.

I knit this little gnome for my mom to take around on her travels actually (and to possible tempt her to visit me).  It's from the Mochimochi book - very addicting.

I have this very strong urge to go on a basting binge.  Yes, to baste all the quilt tops I have laying around waiting for some hand quilting love.  Once they are basted they seem to quilt themselves and 'poof' finished quilts are flying off my hoop.  For lack of a quilt basting fairy visiting my house, I will have to get off my tuffet and have a basting party.  Wanna join along?

This week I started to run low on these little notebooks I sometimes make for myself and my sister so we can jot things down in them.  I ordered a few more chip board covers so I can make another batch.  I decorate them with calligraphy on the outside to make them a little special.  They cost only around $1 each to make, although they do take me a few minutes to put together.  

On the machine quilting front - have any of you out there got an opinion on Aurifil thread?  I've been hooked on it lately and wondering if I'm the only one in love with their 50wt cotton.  Maybe there are an army of quilters out there that feel the same.  Agree?  Disagree?  Never tried?

I recently got a question about how I made the quilt in my banner.  I'll have to do an upcoming post on that.  Oh and while I'm at it, maybe a little give away, soon!

Wish me luck on my baste-o-rama.  I'll be reporting back with my amazing progress (ahem, hopefully)!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival 2012, and cheating on homework

I'm sure you have heard about the Tokyo Dome quilt show before,  but in case you have not, I do love to see the quilts there.

Now, that said, it's through the eyes of other kind souls, because although I have visited Japan a few times, I have not been there at the time this show is going on.

Jan, of Be Mused blog has a beautiful blog all year long, but she is generous enough to take amazing photos and she has started posting some of them over on flickr.  I have no idea how she takes these photos.  The show is so crowded, but she manages to get a full photo of the quilt as well as several detail photos.  All I can say is my hat is off to you Jan.  Thanks so much for putting so much thought into this so we can all enjoy.

Also this year, Julie of My Quilt Diary (another awesome blog!) has shared some of her photos.  She has not only one, not only two, not only three....but four posts dedicated to photos of the show and notes about the quilts.

Of all the photos I have seen so far, there is this one fish quilt that stands out from the rest.  It is so striking.  It makes me want to try to quilt something with a similar spirit. 

As for other people who attended the show?  I'd love to hear about your experiences, and see your photos.  Maybe I'll get there myself someday.

My new teapot and trivets above from Alder and Co.  It makes less noise that my old pot when it boils the water.  I got it with my friend Susan in mind who has no love of noisy kettles.  If you are wondering if she is a true friend, you will know that she is since she spent the evening knitting my homework swatches for a knitting class I'm taking at Stitches West in a couple of weeks.  Is that cheating?  Oh how I love you Susan!!!