Friday, June 29, 2012

The Perfect Gift for a Quilter: Needle Case

My mom created the cutest needle case on earth for me with this Japanese ladybug fabric.

I think it turned out just perfect.  Had to share it.  

Do you ever photograph your needle cases?  I would love to see how you store them.  Email me a photo of something unique you have come up with.

There's a story behind the needles I'm keeping in this case, but that one deserves a post of its own I think.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Quilt Otaku Modern Objects: Danish Pot

Modern Objects Block 2 is finally available!

Partner blog Wee Wonderfuls has been kind enough to host this pattern.  Please head over there to get a link to the free pattern.

I have been a huge fan of Hillary's work over at Wee Wonderfuls for ages, so give her a big thank you for hosting the pattern this month.  Her plushies are out of this world. 

This second block is designed to represent a Mid-Century modern pot.  Complete with bulb-shaped wooden handle.  Inspiration from Danish enamelware. 

There are many many photos of pots like this if you do a google search for images

Enjoy the new block, and add your photo to the flickr set when you finish it!

See past blocks in other posts:
Modern Objects Block 1

Friday, June 22, 2012

Applique on Clothes: Chanin Style

What could be better than applique on quilts you might ask?

How about applique on clothing?  Well, at Verb, where I sometimes teach, they are getting quite into the work of Alabama Chanin.

I will confess that I am a sucker for an Applique Opportunity like this, and I'm thinking of trying my hand at making a skirt.  Ok, and a tank top too.  Ok, maybe with a jacket.

Project Chanin-Way, here I come.

I have never tried to make clothes before.  This ought to be....interesting!

Maybe I should take a's to hoping she's teaching near me soon.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Premie Hat

My sister's friend had a new baby recently, and I made this little hat for her.

I wonder if she will ever actually fit it on her head.  I am no expert at making hats, or tiny newborn hats for that matter.

If it never sees her sweet little head, at least I know it will fit on her teddy bear!

To those of you who actually know how to knit out there, how small is too small?  Ok, back to my quilting.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Handspun Yarn Bracelets: crafting with kids

I mentioned that we did a little spinning on both a wheel and a drop spindle with some 3rd graders recently.

The yarn they made was awesome.  Various colors, various thicknesses.  

I strung some wool felt beads on small pieces of yarn and turned it into friendship bracelets for them.  I'm sure they will love being able to wear a little piece of art that they made themselves.  

This project was almost too cool for school.  What a nice way to wrap up the year.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Living in a Glass Jar

Small succulent plants really float my boat these days.

I got this little baby at the garden shop of Filoli.  If you haven't visited there before, it is a country estate with an amazing house and manicured gardens. 

When you wander around there, you get a flavor for how the other half lived.  It makes me want to run home and watch a Jane Austin flick.

Our six yr old son adopted this plant and wants to be the only one to water it.  It might be because the watering procedure includes a spray bottle. 

Either way, it's nice to see kids interested in nurturing plants.

I'm itchy to design some applique quilt blocks inspired by succulents.  I'm not sure I've seen that before. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

French Monk's Finest

When I was teaching quilting a couple of weekends ago at A Verb for Keeping Warm in Oakland, a couple of yarn balls found their way home with me.

See a 2 color shawl made out of this color and some purple yarn here (not made by me).

They dye various base yarns in this colorway called French Monk's Finest which is a very interesting shade of yellow/gold with greenish undertones.

I wanted to do something quick and easy with it so I started an extremely simple shawl called Mizzle by Patricia Martin.  As I have been knitting here and there on it (often times during story time at night, when my husband reads to the kids or they read to us), I had a thought.

This is an AWESOME super easy pattern.  It is super simple, could even be a beginner project, and still looks very smart. 

It doesn't take much yarn at all, and goes super fast on size 6 needles. 

If you know of somebody who wants to learn to knit, or if you just like knitting while being social at the same time, this project might just be for you.

I have the perfect coat to go with this.  From the likes of this weather, I'm not going to be wearing it anytime soon.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hand Quilted Feathers

In case you are still wondering if I am going to finish hand quilting all the feathers on the baby quilt before my sister's 'baby' turns 1....I am sad to report that I will not be making it in time.

Quilting "feathers" as they are called were made popular by the Amish quilters and if you hand quilt you have probably tried to quilt them.  I think that they take something like 5-10x longer than quilting diagonal lines. 

Don't get me wrong, it's a thrill to quilt them, but they do take time.  You might want to put them in a quilt that doesn't have a deadline.  (note to self!)

Sigh.  This baby will get her quilt eventually.  She'll probably be able to walk on it by the time it's actually done. 

Don't they say that all good things come to those who wait? 

I am close though.  Another week of hard work on it (whenever I find time for that!) will finish it up.  Only the borders are left.

Maybe I'm the only who missed a self-imposed quilting deadline.  Or maybe there is company for me out there. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Daiwabo Fabrics: yarn dyed

Some time ago I subscribed to a BOM that Yoko Saito's shop was hosting in conjunction with NHK magazine

Every month, I had the Kinokuniya in Costa Mesa California ship me not only this monthly Japanese magazine, but also a little pack of fabric that Yoko Saito's shop had picked out for you to make the blocks as a kit.

I dutifully keep these publications next to the fabric packs in their little bags for ages as my plan was to make all the blocks.

Eventually, all the blocks were actually published in a book (doh!) so I didn't actually have to collect the magazines after all. 

I also finally decided to wash all the fabrics, iron them, and incorporate them in my regular fabric stash since it was unlikely that I'll be making all those blocks exactly as designed. 

I would have loved to follow the exact recipe, but the creative genius in me cannot find her way to duplication of an exact quilt.  I need more flexibility and I need to make my quilts take on my own asthetic.

The above fabrics are Daiwabo yarn dyed fabrics that came as part of the kit and are now ready for use in other projects.  I have already started cutting into them more and I'm glad that I decided to stop waiting to use them.

Maybe this is some sort of a late spring cleaning thing for me, but having new fabrics washed and ready to go is the only way they will ever make it into a quilt. 

That's the name of the game after all.

Are you out there doing a little late spring cleaning?  Maybe I'm the only one that still has late-spring early-summer fever.