Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Teenie Tiny Woman and knitting the Clara Dress

I was playing around with my kids this afternoon, reading through the quite book that my mom made for me when I was little.

In the back sleeve of it, there was a copy of The Teenie Tiny Woman illustrated by Margot Zemach.  

I can remember being scared out of my wits as a kid reading this book.  The sound of the ghost asking for his bone mom whispering it at first...then louder...

My kids were glued to the book as I read it, so they must have been spooked too.  It's such an awesome and kind of hilarious book at the end.  If you grew up in the 70's you might even remember your mom reading this to you....."TAKE THE BONE!".  Nuf said.

Speaking of teenie tiny people -

My sister's little girl is already a year old, but still quite teenie herself.  This fact leads to my uncontrollable urge to knit for her.

Tiny people of course make it MUCH easier to create something for them to wear.  I can actually probably knit this little girl an entire dress in the time it would take for me to knit one sock for my husband. 

My only goal is to make this little object before she grows out of it.  The down side of working with children is that they are always on the move, and just because you didn't finish their garment, doesn't mean they aren't growing like weeds all the while.

I cast on the Clara Dress, so we're off to the races.  It's me vs. the sprouting princess.  Game on.

A version of it knit by Posie Gets Cozy is here.  Not sure if mine will be this pretty, but I hope so.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Put your feet up and Quilt!

Raise your hand if you've been relaxing a lot this weekend.

You can count me out on that one.  We've been on the go as a family, but having fun all the same.

I will finally sit down for some quality time with my seam ripper tonight as I decided to re-do the border of the modern house quilt. 

The old border I have on there is so beautiful.  I love the rich dark chocolate fabric.  It is just too dark for these blocks though, and is a bit too busy.  Rather than framing the blocks like I thought it would, it detracts from the overall look of the quilt.

You, me, and the seam ripper makes three.  How cozy is that.  Ick.  Moving forward all the same sometimes takes some backwards movement as well.

For fun:

Love this modern Kobenstyle casserole dish by Jens Quistgaard: new at the Moma store.

I have a similar one that I got used in yellow, and I'm using it to store thread of all things.

Digital wallpaper to die for (in case you're ready for a change):  wow

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Becoming a Soccer Mom

I never thought I would become a 'soccer mom' but it's starting to feel like I am one.  Ok, I am one.  The above photo is from our 7 yr old's recent practice.  If you squint, you can see a tiny team of avid soccer players running across the field in the distance.

Although soccer is a huge passion for our son, signing up for a team has meant less family time, more running around town, and some adjustments.

Pressing on, and enjoying the kids play their hearts out.  Do folks out there quilt during soccer practice?  I'm thinking...applique, right?

Quilt wise:

Liberty of London Scrap Challenge: anybody can afford a couple of square inches of Liberty, but hard to decide what to do with those teenie pieces.  Some great ideas here.

PIQF (huge quilt show in San Jose, CA): less than one month away.  Time to charge up your camera battery. To answer you questions - No, I don't have a quilt in the show this year, but thinking next year will be my year.  Yes, I will be taking lots of photos for your viewing pleasure.

Other wise:

Camera tatoos:  Love photography like I do?  Want a tattoo of your fav vintage camera?  Lack the interest to commit to a permanent tattoo?  Photojojo has the coolest temp tattoos I've ever seen.

Artwork of Jes Hunt: out of the UK - I can imagine now cute a collection of her little Hinterfolk would be...

Are any of you fabric genius types out there good at screen printing?  I'm so curious to learn about it.  Thoughts on where to start?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Liberty of London Napkins

Liberty of London fabric has become a life-long passion of mine.  Collecting it, quilting with it, getting to touch it on a daily basis.  It's all so soft and delicious.  Like the cashmere of cotton fabrics.

We were running low on cloth napkins, and I had an extra yard of this Liberty of London vintage aircraft fabric.

A sin to create napkins out of it?  Perhaps.

Although, eating breakfast with such softness and it really a crime?

These napkins were made from 18" square fabric.  A nice size for a napkin I think.  Maybe the perfect size.

Does your Liberty of London fabric have a higher calling than mine?

Let me know, but while you're at it...pass the ketchup please.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Madelinetosh Beanie

I started and finished a new knit beanie for our 7 yr old this week.

It was fun to be able to have a tiny project to take around with me to piano, soccer practice and the like.

Madelinetosh makes yarns in beautiful colors, although I will confess I'm easily confused by their web site.  The yarn I used for this project is "Tosh DK" which is a 4 ply. 

When you check out Tosh DK on their site, it looks like it's a single ply, so not sure what's going on there.  Probably somebody out there can explain this to me.

Anyhow, the colorway is Antler, and it was a simple cast on of 88 stitches, knit in the round with size 6 needles.  I did a little 4x4 rib to create a flat band, and the rest is history.

I discovered that I can knit this yarn without looking at it, so I was pretty pleased to look down and realize a hat had been magically created.   

I am also wondering what to use as a backing for my modern house quilt.  I may go with a solid color, but would prefer to find the perfect print.  Will keep thinking on this topic.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Living to see 700

In most cases, you have to be a vampire, or Yoda himself in order to live more than 700 years.

I probably won't live that long personally (unfortunately), but my blog has finally lived to be 700 posts long since its birth almost 6 years ago.

With both kids celebrating birthdays this week and family here to help us get happy, it is fun but also busy times.

More news soon on the sewing and knitting that went along with it all.

For now, I'd like to thank my readers (that's YOU!) for reading along.

If this is your first time vising my blog, welcome to my own personal creative fantasy island.

If this is your 700th time reading my blog, please insert a deep respectful bow here from me to you.  Stay tuned for a little something special I'm planning.

If you are my DH and you have now proof-read 700 posts for me, I probably owe you a nice dinner

Sunflowers above were growing amazingly in my quilting friend Laurel's garden.  I had not seen them in this shade of yellow before.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Playing with Fire: A visit to Higher Fire ceramic studio

With little ones being the usual priority in our lives, taking some time to have a 'date day' with my DH is something I'm not sure I've done before.

We decided to have some good and dirty (literally!) fun at the local ceramics studio in San Jose, CA:  Higher Fire.

They offer classes where you and a friend (you can even take your kid!) can go for 2 hours of private instruction on how to throw pottery on a wheel, and how to play with making dishes using flat sheets of clay.

Of course I'm a big sucker for learning something new while getting to play with my hands.  

Our private instructor was so patient with us, and made sure we created some successful pieces to take home with us.  We could not have had more fun.  

I think we will wait a couple of weeks before the pieces are done being fired.  It's hard for me to not want to sign up for more classes there.  

Their next round of classes start next week.  I'll have to keep you posted on how weak I become.  It is so close to where we live...the temptation is so great...aaaahhhh!

I will hopefully use one of the pieces that we made to store my scissor collection (ahem, if it's big enough), and hopefully the other one will work for my knitting needles.

We also had lunch at The Table, a new fancy eatery not far away, in Willow Glen.  It was overall yummy, but the hard cider by Hogan was insane (so unique, so fragrant), as was the chocolate pudding-ish dessert we ordered: pot de crème au chocolate.

Oh and p.s. -   We didn't re-watch famous film Ghost, but gosh, after over 20 years, maybe it's about time to see it again!

If you're too young to remember this movie, you're either one of my baby-young friends named Kathleen or Susan, or lucky enough to have slept through 1990.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Birthday Siguature Quilt (part 7) and chillish weekend fun

We didn't do any big trips on our 3 day weekend, but we did have a great time chilling out at home.

- Listening to the Songza app - love this app, the 'hanging out with your kids' station includes the Wheels on the Bus song, and for under $5, you can split the audio ending arguments and curbing the popular refrain "MY TURN!!" (priceless)

- Checking out indie French band M83's album Saturdays=Youth.  Pretty cool, I think.

- Finishing knitting my sweater: yes, yes, I did finally after 6 months finish knitting a sweater.  More on that later of course.

- Making Japanese Hamburgers:  This is soooo easy to make (especially when your husband is willing to go to the store for you 3 times in order to drum up the ingredients).

- Falling in love with the art of Camilla Engman and the pottery of Karin Ericksson: I'm using one of their small vessels to store my short knitting needles for socks.  If you have a few moments to watch a video of Karin making her amazing hand thrown creations, this is one of the most beautifully shot videos I've seen in a while.  The light is stunning.  Her studio is called Manos and is in Sweden.  Teamed up with the art of Engman, the work is to die for.

- Awe stricken that rapper Ice Cube loves Eames architecture: this is such an amazing surprise to me.  If you are sensitive to rude language, please don't watch this, there is at least one bad word in this video.  Not for kids.

- QuiltMania did some pretty cool quilting videos as a guide to creating Yoko Saito's mystery quilt block.  If you speak French, you'll probably enjoy them even more than I did!  Parlez vous francais?

If all those links don't keep you entertained, I don't know what will.

The photo at the top of this post is the 7 year old's birthday signature block, in progress.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Birthday Signature Quilt

There are four birthday signature quilts floating around our family universe, well in progress.  

I am making one for each of my boys, and my sister is making the other two for her kids.  We picked out a unique font for each kid, and applique down a number on some plain white fabric backing.  

Around the number of their birthday that year, their friends and family sign their names and write well wishes for them using a pigma pen.

I usually let the kids help pick out the fabric to use that year. The final quilts will contain 16 blocks. 

The kids think that their 16th birthdays are a million miles away.  Funny how you sense time when you're a kid.  It's a gift.