Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Blog Break

I have been working on the Winter White piece since my last post.  Doing the math, if it ends up at 15 strips of 100 pieces each, that is 1485 strips I had to cut and. sew back together.  So far I am up to 11 strips, currently piecing strip 12.   At strip 9, I ran out of the original pile of fabrics and had to shop the studio for more.

Fortunately the local furniture place had a box lot sale of their upholstery samples several years ago so I have a lot to choose from:


Here are the strips before cutting further:


And the extra bits and bobs left from cutting the 1” x 4” strips:


A pile of strips waiting to be reassembled:


The large cone of bobbin thread I’ve gone through, and an empty spool of brown polyester I was using for the top stitching is also in this picture.  This has been some heavy duty sewing (though the bobbin cone was not all used for this piece).

The new even larger cone of bobbin thread.  I think this one should last a while.


Strip in progress on the sewing table:


And the pieced piece.  Since it is made of 99% upholstery fabrics, it definitely will match someone’s sofa.  :)


Hoping to post quilting in progress soon! T minus 18 and counting.

Break over, back to sewing.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wednesday Already?!

Wow, I can’t believe it is Wednesday already.  I have been busy trying to get things together for my art group’s show at the Parkersburg Art Center.  We were all under the impression that the show was running from April-May, but we found out on Monday that the work is due at the Center on March 7 or 8.  I have been cataloging items and finishing up works since then.

I was hoping to have a jumbo knitted item for the show, but I am not sure there is time to not only make the i-cord but then knit the object (of the two, making the i-cord is actually the more time-intensive part).  So today I am upstairs, madly piecing.

This is what I was going to work on:

turtle fuller shot

What Lies Beneath (detail), 2007-present  It is one of the water tower pieces.

turtle detail

I was planning on completing the applique on the turtle.  I was also going to make some freemotion lace coral for around him and perhaps the pods in the center of the piece.  If you look closely, you can make out the fish skeletons I quilted in the background.  I just love this piece.  I think that is one reason I’ve been taking so long to finish it.

But the power flickered while I was making bobbins and I decided I did not want to risk being in the middle of sewing a large freemotion piece if it did go out.  So instead I switched to piecing more of the Winter White piece (title still to be determined, something White though I’m guessing; or something Winter). 

winter piecing

I am really enjoying how Zen piecing this has been.  I have been working on enjoying the process and not obsessively counting each strip as it is sewn down, as that makes it take longer.  The strips are not complete because I am trying to get a feel for how wide the piece will be with “X” amount of strips.  In reality there are only three complete strips made and it is coming up time to cut more fabric (isn’t that everyone’s favorite part of quilting? ha ha).  Not my usual bright bright colors at all, but it reminds me of how the hillsides  usually look during the winter around here, with flashes of the occasional moss and cardinal in the woods.  I am excited to see how it looks at its full planned size of 60” x 60”.

For now I am taking a shoulder stretching break and blogging.  Tonight at stitch n bitch I will be sewing the sleeve and label on my Tyger Tyger quilt.  The Parkersburg Art Center has a beautiful gallery space and I’m looking forward to really representing in the show.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Baa Hurrah that is.  I received a wonderful set of size 10.5 knitting needles in the PhatFiber box last week.  Pointy tips and smoothed to a mirror like sheen.  When I checked out the site to see what else Beth had to offer, I found she takes custom orders, for needles up to size 35 and up to 36” long.

Well, I had been intrigued by the video going around of Rachel John and her Extreme Knitting, and so I emailed and asked for a quote. 

I was very pleased to find out that a pair of straights in size 35, 32” long, would only cost $16, and a set of 5 double points would be a little more, so I placed my order.

In the meantime, I made my yarn:

the jumbo yarn

I-cord on one of those hand spool knitters, made so far with about 12 ounces of mill end acrylic. 

And today the box arrived (yeah, I know you can see both sets of needles in the picture above, but still…)

the jumbo box

It was huge.   And it gave me a giggle when Marty walked in the door box first.

And the double points:

the jumbo double points

With the original 10.5 next to them for comparison.

And the straights (full picture later when they are in use)

the jumbo needles

I think I need a bigger yarn.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Finishings

Well, not totally.  Some of it is finishing parts of work started last week before the power outage.  And some of it isn’t mine (we mailed off Izzy’s final test for 3rd grade today).  But finishings nonetheless.

The fishtail scarf, still needs washed and blocked, and ends woven in, but I cast off on it today.  I’m really happy with how easy it was once I got started and have plans for making a large component using the hole technique now (thank you Lucy Neatby for the wonderful pattern!).

fishtail scarf complete

And what I started last week, strips of neutrals, old barkcloth, contemporary cottons, and upholstery samples.  Instead of pressing the seams flat, I decided to do something different and stitch them down.  I’m liking the way it looks so far.

winter tower strip

winter strip detail

If you look very carefully, you can see some of the topstitching at the seams.

This piece is approximately 100 strips and measures about 60” long.  I am unsure whether I am going to make 14 more of them, or if I am going to use this to make filler strips.

winter strip yarn

The ball is from these wonderful cones of boucle cotton that my friend Regina gave me several years ago “to see what you come up with”.  I probably won’t use the alpaca in the foreground, and the blue strips in the back are from another piece in progress, started late last year.

I’ll post more when I figure out what I’m doing next!  We are going to see Coraline in 3D tomorrow, it’s time for a bit of a break.  Hope you have a great weekend.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


On a Wednesday afternoon.  :)

I found this wonderful pattern while browsing on Ravelry a few weeks ago, and was able to send away for it.  I also signed on for the Lime & Violet Sock Marathon, so saved the project for February 1st, when the marathon started.  I cast on Monday night, and after a false start, I have this much complete:

fishtail scarf in progress two

I bought this pattern because the color and the idea of deliberately making holes in a knitted piece really intrigued me.  I’m finding the process very fun and am already seeing how to apply it to larger pieces.

fishtail scarf in progress

This is a strip of the holes at one end of the piece.  I am using Noro Kureyon sock in a blue/purple colorway, and am very happy with how the colors are knitting up.  My son is already asking me to make him one! 

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Vincent’s Apron

I have been knitting and listening to the inspirational broadcasts on Hay House Radio since Sunday morning.  This piece is the “Tilting Ladder Pattern” from A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker (page 210).  I used a skein of Colinette Jitterbug sock yarn in color #163, Vincent’s Apron.  This pattern looks like torah scrolls or mezzuzah covers to me, and so I am working on a large mixed media piece of quilting and knitting to express this feeling.  I just loved the color and softness of this yarn as I worked with it.  It was kind of overspun in spots and sometimes stitches would just pop off the needles, but it was a fairly easy problem to fix and I am sorry the piece is done.  I still need to block it and plan out the rest of the work. 

Vincents Apron one

And, as life is often wont to do, several prior commitments have cropped back up, and I need to confirm whether I am participating in a workshop at the local Hillel in less than two weeks, and pound the pavement to secure the sponsors for the SAQA conference that is here in town this May.  I’d say something about when it rains, it pours, but after last week’s ice storm, I’d rather not. :)