Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bulky Lace Vest

I bought a few books from Interweave when they were having a sale a few months ago. One of the books, New England Knits, featured this bulky knit vest that incorporated lace into the pattern. I loved the idea of using a bulky yarn which would make the vest quick to knit. I love lace and thought this would be a great pattern for me.

My daughter is modelling it for us! I bought that shawl pin at the TKGA show I went to this past Friday. I love that I didn't have to worry about buttons and buttonholes. That pin does all the work.

Here's a great view of the lace in the back. It's loosely fitted and very comfortable. I'm not looking forward to the cold but I have the perfect thing to wear when the cool weather returns!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Gorgeous Yarn!!

I went to The Knitting Guild Association's conference and show this past Friday. I didn't take any classes but did enjoy visiting the vendors and seeing some exhibits. These vendors are very interesting since many of their products come from their own animals and are hand dyed. You would never find these yarns at the chain craft stores. I found so many of these yarns gorgeous and irresistible! I didn't buy too much but wanted to share what I bought.

This was hand dyed by the people at Holiday Yarns. I couldn't resist the splash of color running throughout these hanks. It's a DK weight and I hope to make a shawl with it.

You can't really see it but this yarn has sequins running throughout. This little kit came with a pattern to make either a shawl or cowl. Love these colors!

This yarn was on sale and I just couldn't resist the price! It's a lace weight yarn and I think it would also make a great shawl or scarf..

Also from Holiday Yarns, this is a little kit to make a cowl. It even included beads! I've  never tried using beads but there's always a first time!

I also bought a few magazines and special issues devoted to socks. While I was there, I joined TKGA and received a magazine for members only called Cast On.  There are no local chapters of the guild and was told we could actually start our own! Anyone want to join??!!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Border Feathers

I finally did it! I quilted feathers in a border. The border wasn't very wide. It was 4 1/2 inches wide. I didn't think I had the space (or the expertise) to quilt feathers with a curved stem so I decided on a straight stem. I marked the space I wanted to cover and drew the stem exactly in the middle. I sewed the stem first and then followed with feathers on either side. My feathers are not perfect but it was much easier than I expected.

I chose to use Aurifil 50 weight cotton white thread. I wanted to see the feathers but I didn't want a lot of contrast. I was under enough stress trying these feathers. I feel I'm still practicing. Also, my machine loves this thread! I never have any problems when I use Aurifil.

Here's the whole quilt. I just finished the binding. So glad I finished it! It always feels so good to get a project completed! Thanks to everyone who have given me advice on quilting feathers on a border. It helped me out so much!

I'm linking over at Amy's Free Motion Quilting Adventures. She's featuring feathers for the whole month of July. She also has some great advice as well as videos to watch. Hope you go over and take a look!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Little Clamshells

I've finally finished quilting the white background of my Basket Case quilt. It took awhile but I'm glad I kept going.  You can see the swirls quite nicely in the strip portion of the quilt. I free motion quilted little clamshells in the white background. I think I've got this pattern down pretty well after all this practice!

Here's a picture of the whole quilt. I spray basted this quilt but felt the borders had moved a little. I have the borders all pinned just to keep everything nice and smooth.  I'm going to try to quilt feathers in that last border. I'm not quite sure if I should use a straight stem or a curved stem. I only have 3 3/4 inches available for the actual feather. Hopefully, I'll show you what I decide!!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Victorian Doily

I thought knitting a doily would make a good summer project. It's not very big and I can actually use it.  I've knit doilies before but this one is different.  It's made as 2 separate pieces, the body and the trim. I wasn't really sure how it was going to turn out. 

The body is a bit wavy. I thought the trim wouldn't fit it properly. I did like the picture of the finished doily so I just kept going!

Here's the trim. It was fun to make. I thought it was pretty right from the start.

I attached the trim with pins to make sure it fit and to ease the waviness of the body. After sewing, I washed the doily and pinned it to this board. It was 12 inches across so it was pretty easy to pin to the proper size. Once it was pinned into place, I sprayed a good amount of starch all over it. I put it out on my deck to dry for awhile. I  had to keep my cat away from it. She loves removing the pins. (??)

Here it is! All dry and being used on my table! It came together quite nicely.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Free Motion Feathers

Feathers are being showcased this month over at Amy's Free Motion Quilting Adventures. I have practiced feathers much more than actually used them on a quilt. I do have a few examples. This photo is from Blogger's BOM from a few years ago. I drew in the spine with a washable marker but quilted the feather free hand. I thought it looked pretty good for my first time!

This photo is from a quilt I designed. The feather is quite similar to the BOM feather.  I followed the same technique where I drew in the spine. I was able to stitch these feathers quite quickly after doing a few. (Many!!)


This is from the same quilt but this feather is the mirror image of the one above. It was actually a little different to quilt. The direction of the spine changed the way I stitched the feather. They both look very similar.

My next goal is to quilt feathers in a border. I'm a little concerned about how to space them out. I also have to decide if the feathers should be curved, straight, etc. So many decisions to make! That will be my next challenge.

I'm linking up over at Amy's blog. Hope you check it out!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Grid-based Clamshells

This was my first attempt at making clamshells using a grid. I used a 1 inch square grid. You can barely see it in the photo. I found it a little awkward and felt my clamshells weren't as rounded as I wanted them to be. I couldn't maneuver a nice arc from corner to corner the way I intended.

A few days later, I tried again. It seemed much easier this time. I was more round and less pointy! My actual quilting felt less jerky. I think I'll use this pattern after I practice a little more. I felt it was a positive sign that I felt more comfortable just after 2 practice sessions. The clamshells create a really nice texture and add a lot of interest.

Amy has some great ideas to make these clamshells even more fancy! Check it out at Amy's Free Motion Quilting Adventures. She makes it look so easy but don't fall for it!!  I'll be linking up at her website.

Old and New!

I made this quilt about 15 years ago. It's called Starry Night. I signed up for a Block of the Month. I would receive directions as...