Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tote Bag

I made this tote bag using Malka Dubrawsky charms I bought at Alewives when we had our quilt retreat. I found this tutorial online. The pattern uses 16 charms, 8 per side, so I made mine very orange on the front and very turquoise on the back. I'm ready for summer now. Oops, I do need to attach a button, that little thing in the middle is the flap to secure a button. I may stitch a button to the flap and use velcro underneath. I do like a tote bag that fastens but velcro is the way to go.

I sewed a pocket onto the lining out of the orange batik and decorated the pocket with another charm. Love that bow!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Camp Kieve and TAST

We have had glorious summer-like weather here in Maine for the past week. Last weekend I was at Camp Kieve with some of the members of Back Road Quilters. There were about 17 of us on Saturday and Sunday. Some people arrived Friday afternoon, a few had to leave early. This is the building we were in. My room was on the bottom floor overlooking the lake. Our main room was behind the porch railing on the left also overlooking the lake. Wonderful accommodations, good food, good friends.

A view of the ice on Damariscotta Lake. We saw many flocks of geese fly overhead and could hear them honking. It was a gorgeous weekend and when not sewing or eating we walked the winding roads at the camp which covers a large peninsula on this very large lake. 

On Sunday my friend Donna and I took a walk and sat on a bench in the sun overlooking this small pond. The sun on our faces and the sound of running water was delightful.

A cove near our building. A beaver dam is off to the right but I couldn't take a good picture of it. There was plenty of evidence of beavers chewing trees all around this spot. 

Behind our bench was an angel garden and this building with this lovely stained glass window. I love how the image fills the shape and how there is so much movement in the piece. I think this may be a chapel and I wonder what it looks like inside, particularly if this is Leda and the Swan. Whew!

I worked on a new "Ann" quilt this weekend. I think it is going to be very pretty! These are Kate Spain  fabrics I bought at Mariner's Compass. Beautiful design and really good quality fabric, which I so appreciate. 

TAST Week 11 and 12
Take a Stitch Tuesday is led by SharonB over on Pintangle
If you click on "Blog" on her header you can read about how she is protecting her copyrighted site from Pinterest and how you can protect yourself, too. I was a Pinterest fan, but I've deleted my account as a result of Sharon's information. 

Week 11-Whipped Wheels. The green wheel in the upper left is whipped with a velvet cord. The brown  and yellow wheels are done with pearl cotton. The green spidery wheels are done with embroidery floss.

Week 12 is Barred Chain and Alternating Barred Chain Stitch. This green vine is the alternating version. 

 In this photo you may be able to see that I changed threads. The darker green on the left is embroidery floss, then I changed to a lighter olive green pearl cotton.

 Barred Chain Stitch using pearl cotton on the right and Caron's Windflower (I think!) on the left. I'd like to get some wooly threads for a change in texture. I think something a bit fuzzier would really show off the thorny vine character of this stitch.

It's a showery day here so after I finish a little baking I am going to see if I can make a little more progress with my new Ann quilt. Housework? Blah, maybe a little of that, too.

Have a fun week!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Quilting, Knitting, and TAST

Spool quilt on the design wall. Those paper labels on the spools helped me keep my rows straight. I've decided to do the applique border after all, it really adds a nice touch. so far the leaves and flowers are just pinned on but the vine is sewn in place. This wall hanging is from Edyta Sitar's larger quilt pattern from her book Friendship Strips and Scraps.

Saturday I went to Bath and shopped at Mariner's Compass quilt shop. I bought these three fabrics to make another "Ann" quilt. This will be my project at the quilt retreat next weekend. Sunday I washed and ironed the fabrics and cut all the pieces out for the quilt. I put together one block. I told myself it was because I wanted to have one complete block to refer to when I get to the retreat, but really I just wanted to see one made up! I hope to get the whole quilt top made next weekend. We go to Camp Kieve in Nobleboro which is on Damariscotta Lake. Such a beautiful location and the facility is the best, we are treated so well there, I can't wait to go! 

I've been knitting sock for hubby. I'm ready to turn the heel on the second sock. Trying to get these done before the weather is too warm to wear them. Realistically, it won't be too warm to soon here in Maine. I'm knitting these with Paton's Kroy sock yarn which I bought at Joann's. Joann's has really improved their yarn inventory. I was pleased to find this yarn which is 75% wool, 25% nylon. I used to knit with Paton's yarn when I lived in Halifax in the 1970s so it is fun to find it again. 

TAST Week10 - - - - - - -  Running Stitch
The cloth was purchased at Joann's and is called a Bread Cloth. It has a nice feel to it even though it is polyester. I sewed the blue stitches with perl cotton. 

Here's a close up of the yellow running stitches. I whipped the yellow perl cotton with various threads. The whipped stitches are simply threaded under the running stitches without going into the fabric. The bottom row has blue perl cotton, the center row uses a red chenille yarn, and the top row is green velvet thread which is more like a cord. You can see that the blue thread is whipped from the top of each yellow stitch while the green velvet goes in from the top on one stitch, then in from the bottom on the next stitch. Maybe that's not really whipped, but I don't know what else to call it!

I looked at some of the other TAST running stitch samples and saw a sample from the small forest that I really liked, so I tried it out on my sampler. The fabrics are some hand dyed fabric I made five or six years ago. I used regular embroidery floss, three strands for this. I really like how it gives texture and color and it's so quick and easy. 

Here's another little sample form the that same piece. I don't know if this is really running stitch, but it is just straight stitch. Two stitches paired to make an interesting background. 

Check out more samples from TAST (Take a stitch Tuesday) on SharonB's blog "Pintangle".

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy! 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Catching Up

TAST (Take a stitch Tuesday) Week 8 was the chain stitch. I used perl cotton throughout. The design comes from an old pattern resource book that I have had for years. I like this odd shape, sort of like some sea creature. Chain stitch in perl cotton gives a nice full line.

TAST Week 9 was couching. I used a thread from Rainbow Gallery called Very Velvet, 100% nylon. This is a deep purple color and as the name says, very velvety. Couching is when the thread (the velvet) is held on top of the fabric and stitched down at short intervals with another finer thread. The couched thread stays on the surface. I used a matching embroidery floss, 2 strands, to couch the velvet. I embellished the letter with detached chain in a wool variegated thread. 

Now, on to quilting. Here are some of the spools I made and some are from our swap. First we swapped strips to make the spools, then we swapped spools. If you remember this is an Edyta Sitar pattern. I did not want to make the full size spool quilt she shows in her book, although I have enough spools to do so. Instead, I am making a wall hanging for my sewing room. Edyta's quilt has a lovely applique border around the spools. I have been playing with some of the shapes and probably will incorporate some of the vines, leaves, flowers, and birds in my hanging. 

I chose a pale lavendar batik for the alternate blocks and borders. the spool tops are in blues, purples, and a brown. Love those batiks!