Sunday, May 27, 2012

Bags, Bags, Bags

Ah, I love a long weekend. I had a delightful afternoon making totebags. I made four bags! They are so quick and easy to sew. I found a tote bag tutorial online at Skip to my Lou

Here's a chance to use some of those fun fabrics in your stash. 

I made this applique piece years ago when I took a class with Becky Goldsmith of Piece o' Cake fame. I've had this block kicking around for all that time. Recently I added the running stitch embellishment. I backed the block with quilt batt to give it a little more body, but I did not use any batting or interfacing on the other bags. 

A lovely soft yellow Fig Tree fabric.

I've had this Australian piece of fabric for a long time, too. So cute! 

My quilt group is having an end of the season ice cream social and auction tomorrow. I plan on bringing a couple of these bags for the auction. Generally, we just bring in stuff we no longer want and someone else buys it and the proceeds go to the chapter. Last year I brought home some real goodies. I'll report back later on what I bought.

Enjoy the Memorial Day weekend!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bullion Rose and Petunias

We had perfect weather here in my part of the world this weekend. Clear blue sky, temps in the upper 70s and dry with low humidity. It could stay like this all summer and I would be very happy. I bought two baskets of petunias at a local farmstand. 

Purple petunias from Mother's Day. Thanks, Bill!

Purple pansies from my birthday. Thanks, Gaye!

TAST Week 20 Bullion Knot
I made a bullion rose. It is about the size of a dime, quite small. I had difficulty with this stitch with other threads but this one is with 3 strands of embroidery floss. One of the keys to making this stitch is to use a milliner's needle. It is very narrow at the eye, not wider than the shaft so the needle passes easily (or more easily) through the wrapped stitches. 
As always, you can see more TAST stitches at Pintangle. Sharon highlights some of the most interesting samples of the week and they are well worth a visit. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Purple Ann

Remember this block? This is the block I worked on during the Camp Kieve retreat back in March.

Here is the finished quilt! It is another of my "Ann" quilts. 

Here is the first Ann quilt that I made last January. These quilts are about 65 x 70 inches. The curious thing about this purple quilt is that it is very difficult to see the rings that are so evident in the brown and pink version. The purple quilt photo shows the rings much more clearly than in real life. I had the quilt top on my design wall and I kept looking at it and looking at my pattern wondering if I had made a mistake in the piecing because I just could not see the rings. The only thing I can think is that the light purple fabric is just too busy, it doesn't recede the way the smaller pink print snowball does. All that piecing and the design is lost! I really thought there was a good contrast in the fabrics so the rings would pop out. It worked when I tried it in EQ7. I still like it, I'm just surprised with the way it turned out. 

Here is the recipient. Sophie turned 5 on May 5. I made her a doll quilt, which she seemed to like. Not sure about the quilt, but her mother liked it.

 Here is the back side of the quilt. Love that purple fabric! I bought the quilt top fabrics at Mariner's Compass in Bath and the backing at Fiddlesticks in Belfast. I used a wool batt. Oh, the back of the doll quilt is a pink fabric with little girls dressed up like princesses having a tea party.

Knitting news: One member from my knitting group took two of us to the home of a woman who was given bags (bags!!) of yarn to give away. Apparently the owner of the yarn developed arthritis and could no longer knit. I think she may have owned a store.  She wanted her yarn to go to good homes so we got to pick what we wanted.

Betsy and I were a good team. She wanted all the bulky weight yarn to knit tams. She showed us an old photo of a group of children with their teacher (1900?). Four or five of the little girls were all wearing solid color knitted tams with big pom poms on the top. Betsy is happily knitting tams now with her new yarn.

I gravitated to a wool sport weight yarn called Pony from Lang. There were bags of each color, so I have plenty for many Fair Isle projects. I decided to try a hat first. The pattern is from Charlene Schurch's book Hats On!

I enjoy knitting Fair Isle patterns, but it always takes me a while to get into the rhythm of the patterns and remember how the repeats are set up. There was considerable tinking at the beginning. In Fair Isle the color rows of the motifs are mirrored. You knit with colors A,B,C,D and then at the middle knit D,C,B,A. The ribbing is corrugated ribbing which doesn't seem very stretchy. I am making the extra large size (176 stitches) knit on Addi Turbo needles, size 4, 16 inch. Fun!

Thank you generous knitter who gave us this yarn!