Tuesday, 19 September 2017

And the next update...

The theme of the last couple of months has been quilting, knitting and destahing fabric; the latter because I realised if I wanted to combine quilting and knitting there was no way I was going to be able to get through my healthy fabric stash.

Unless I lived to infinity which I don't think is possible just yet.

So let's kick off with Soy Amado. Three big bags of quilts went off last week and I'm just waiting to hear where they've gone which I will then, hopefully, share pictures of.

The blocks have continued to come and I have quite the leaning tower of blocks to choose from. I will get around to making some more soon but my sewing machine is currently occupied...more on that shortly.

Soy Amado No. 123

I have a thing for dahlias, the more jewel like the better.
It was raining when this pic was taken so there was no inclination to go looking for a local scene.
It was either the trusty washing line or my dahlia border and the the dahlias won out.

Soy Amado No. 124

No. 125

I know. Another chance to brag about the dahlias.

No. 126 was another beautifully made one from @grannyjack123 on Instagram and was a fabulously colourful shot on a miserably grey summer's day. If you look closely, you'll spot a couple of keen swimmers getting in to the sea.

No. 127 - many of the blocks are country flags, very generously sent by an IGer in Germany. There's even a Guernsey one.

I've carried on knitting.

This is a Mulberry & Silk yarn from Sherwood Yarn in a colourway called King's Ransom. The pattern (available on Ravelry) is called the Bosky Cardigan but I did slightly alter it by adding the vertical edging along either front edge as I felt it didn't add enough boobage coverage. It's lovely to wear and I've reblocked that slightly squiffy left (as you look at the pic) bottom edge bit. Can't recommend the yarn highly enough.

Appreciate it's not the most tantilisingly styled pic you've ever seen but I'm also seed stitch deep in an Addison sweater.

I'm knitting that one in Blacker DK Gotland. It's got quite a rough texture when compared to the cardigan above but when I wet blocked the swatch,it did go much softer. Currently finished the front and am half way up the back. This one is knitted in separate pieces, whereas one above was knitted top down in the round which is always much easier in terms of less seaming to do.

I also visited (and possibly may have purchased) a couple of yarn stores over the summer.

Imagiknit in San Francisco which, believe it or not, was completely overwhelming. I walked in the door and the choice was too much. Two rooms crammed with yarn, yarn and more yarn. Their system was to categorise by yarn weight and then composition but it was still a 'where do I start' moment.

Plus, I cycled there using Google Maps on my phone which told me it would be an 18 minute cycle ride from where I left my husband. I told him I 'won't be long' but Google Maps doesn't take in to account the hills in San Francisco.

I returned to him two hours later.

Definitely worth a visit though.

I also visited Loop in London.

Oh and a five minute walk from where I was staying in San Francisco was Britex Fabrics. Very hard not be impressed/overawed.

Long flights mean the opportunity for hand piecing and the following represent two transatlantic flights...minus the backing to the blocks which I forgot to cut out and bring with me.

I don't really have a game plan for these blocks - I think they're just blocks to do whilst on the move so maybe in a couple of years I'll have enough to put together for a whole quilt.

And then there's this.

My Pickled Fish Quilt finally got it's border put on it.

Simply put, scrappy quilts are the best. They're fun, quirky, happy, mad, zesty, visually interesting and completely and utterly by cup of tea.

A form of controlled chaos.

Which I love, love, love.

And now I'm on a mission to quilt it.
Lines just 1/4' apart which are giving the most amazing texture to the quilt.
I can't remove it from under my machine until I've finished so when there's a sneaky spare moment to be found, that's where I am.

I'm using all sorts of weight and colour of threads (including monofilament) every few lines so it's not just a uniform look but again, a disjointed feast for the eyes.

Hopefully, it's working.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Flying Geese...and other stuff

First up are these Flying Geese blocks which I made using Triangles on a Roll - foundation paper pieced for total accuracy. That is, until, I took the paper off and added the edge triangles and then I successfully managed to lob a few of the ends off.

Impressive huh?

Add caption
There's a very good video from The Fat Quarter Shop which clearly shows you how to assemble the block.

I have vaguely decided I'm doing some sort of rainbowish quilt and so far have made two blocks. They're a generous 17.5" each in size though, so it won't take many to make a decent sized quilt.

Then of course, I've made some more Soy Amado quilts.

No.'s 120, 121 and 122.

And there was a new delivery - this time to children in Entebbe, Uganda, who don't even have the basics of bedding.

I've continued to knit.

The pattern was chosen by youngest daughter who wanted something big and warm to wrap around her on beach summer evenings. It's called the Sick Day Half Pi Shawl (on Ravelry) and I'm knitting it in Wensleydale SheepShop Aran - purely because it was in a sale and I need to factor in teenagers leave things on beaches and it may become a casualty and I didn't want to spend oodles on it.

Regardless of that, one of the balls had a knot in it which manifested itself when I was half way across a row. I carried on which was a big mistake. The knot came undone and consequently so did my knitting. I was not hugely impressed.

This is now on hold though as the shawl has not been deemed big enough and the manufacturer isn't dying any for another month.

Which is ideal really because now I'm knitting the Bentley Cardigan in a gorgeous green from Sherwood Yarns.

And I also knitted a Border Ballad (again, all these patterns on Ravelry) in Amano Yarns Warmi.

Back on the quilting I took this long forgotten hand piecing and turned it into a sewing machine cover. It's called Vortex, requires you to cut out individual pieces with plastic templates and was quite interesting to do. I just got a bit bored of the limited colour palette I chose.

And I finally finished all the blocks for my Pickled Fish quilt and sewed them all together. There's still a border to come on this one though.

I really enjoyed selecting a disarray of fabrics for this one.

And that, for the moment, is that.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

And here I go again

I got a really nice email the other week. It was so nice I can't remember the name of the person who sent it but it was alone the lines of 'I just discovered your blog, haven't slept for a week as I devoured each and every word, savouring the wordsmithiness of them all and please don't stop'.

Or words to that effect.

So dear emailer, I hope the words in this post will suffice because I've set myself a time limit of one hour to write this post.

We'll start again with Soy Amado quilts. I do have quite a pile waiting to be delivered to their next destination of which I know not. The person I co-ordinate with to get the quilts to their end destination is sampling the delights of northern Spain until the end of next month so I'll hopefully have something to share then.

Not too many more in the last five weeks. Another one sent from @grannyjack123 on Instagram.

Soy Amado No.118

I'll be honest. These quilts are so beautiful and she has been so generous in not only sending me these whole quilts but extra quilt blocks too, that it sends me spinning into a short-lived frenzy of productive guilt and I knock one off within days.

So this is Soy Amado No.119, most of the blocks coming from the maker above anyway.

I finally, FINALLY finished one of my greatest quilt labours of love - the You Little Beauty Quilt which is a pattern by Chris Jurd I modified.

Herewith follows some gratuitous pics. All machine foundation paper pieced. Main body of the quilt was hand quilted and I machine quilted the wavy border.

When I started piecing it a year ago I had less than 10 spotty and striped fabrics in my healthy fabric stash. I asked on Instagram for people to swap with and I was blown away by people who not only sent me spots and stripes but didn't want anything in return. Someone in the US even screen printed me my own selection of spots and stripes for nothing.

The inspiration for the fabrics came from Jason Woodside.

I thought I would like to enter it into a show or two but I have an issue with some of the thicker threads I used on the border when I machine quilted it, showing through on the back. I need to sort that out before I attempt to give it a public airing otherwise The Quilt Police will be on to me like a shot.

I cut my binding on the bias to help with easing round the gentle curves I made on the edge of the border.

I'm not even going to pretend to be all self-deprecating and modest about this quilt because I can't.

It is nothing short of the dog's b*llocks.

There was more knitting.

I finished my Spring Fever Scarf.

Brilliant, mindless TV knitting in a selection of colours, mainly Primo yarns from The Plucky Knitter

I also finished my Colo(u)r Affection Shawl which was knitted in three colours of Malabrigo Lace.

Yes, it was/is that bright.

I've also started a Raiun Cardigan with The Most Gorgeous purple yarn from Dark Harbour Yarn

Back on the quilting front, I finished my Anna Marie Horner Takes A Drunkard Trip Around The World quilt, the top of which I finished piecing in November of last year.

And I'm still plugging away at my Pickled Fish quilt which is another Chris Jurd pattern

Here's a couple of the latest blocks - just four more left to go and then the border.

Consider yourself officially brought up to date on all things crafty. 😍
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