Showing posts with label Thread. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thread. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sashiko, Perhaps?

Greetings from Argentina! Unfortunately my 16.5 hour travel day turned into a 41+ hour travel day(s) thanks to a major flight cancellation. But I made it here. I know most of you visit me here to talk about crafts and quilts so I'm not going to bore you with travel details, but for those of you who are interested in following my journey you can pop on over to my new travel blog In Search of the Elusive Rare Parrot and I'll promise to keep this one primarily about my crafty life.


I did mention that on my last trip to New York I was able to make a pit stop at Purl Soho and I managed to be relatively good while I was there. I did consider buying some yardage while I was there but I ended up putting the bolts back on the shelf and convinced myself that since I was about to fly to South America for three weeks it would be totally insane to spend money on fabrics with no purpose. That's not to say I didn't buy anything.


I had been considering what type of hand stitching project I wanted to take with me on the trip. Traveling alone for three weeks I knew that I would be jonesing for some kind of sewing while on the road. I was leaning toward English paper piecing but then at Purl I ran across their Sashiko kits. I have always loved the look of Sashiko and I have always wanted to try the technique so I thought this trip might be the perfect opportunity. Purl has several patterns to choose from and has a range of traditional Sashiko threads for sale as well. I ended up with two kits to take on the road with me and a variety of colorful threads. This project wil be entirely portable, since it's compact and light. The only thing I forgot to purchase at Purl was a Sashiko needle. I looked for one during my one day home, but ran out of time so I opted to pick up a pack of quilters basting needles as a substitute. When I researched the technique I discovered that traditional Sashiko needles are longer than regular needles and the eye of the needle is close to the same size as the shaft. Hopefully these are a viable alternative.


And I know I said I walked out of there without any yardage... but I did break down and buy a few remnants. I was able to justify these fabrics because they were end of the bolt and slightly discounted.


I also bought one of their scrap bags because I was intrigued by the bird linen scrap. Sue me. Hopefully I'll find some intriguing crafty stuff to report about while I'm on the road. Until then, Adios y Buenos Noches!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

PTS6 Sent!


My package for Round 6 of the Pillow Talk Swap is out in the mail traveling to it's new home. The pillow isn't exactly my style, but I think I gave my partner everything she asked for - at least I hope I did. I do love the color scheme of the white with lime and aqua. Those colors always work in my book.


Unfortunately after it was finished, I realized that I must have had some Kona Snow lying around with my Kona White because in the sunlight I noticed a couple squares off just a shade. Ugh. And it was too late to start over. I am sorry partner! Hope it's not too noticeable!


I added a zipper enclosure on the back and kept the back plain and simple white as I thought it would match my partner's desired color scheme. And, as always, I included some extras to round out the package... some lime and aqua Kona cotton, thread, pins, a seam ripper, some Pearle cotton embroidery thread and some cute buttons.


I really hope I was able to predict my partner's style and I hope she likes everything. As for me, I am waiting, anxiously, for my pillow to arrive. Which one will it be? I'm in love with so many of the creations I've seen in the Flickr group.


And I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween! It's one of my favorite holidays and this year we celebrated in Phoenix for a friend's 40th Birthday. For anyone who hasn't seen the new series "American Horror Story" on FX you should set your DVR! It's our new favorite show. It's so creepy! And my costume will make a lot more sense.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

MMM Fall Package Catch Up


I'm playing more catch up. Way back in August I sent off a super secret package to my partner in the MMM swap on Flickr. I didn't want to post the goods until she received them but they had to travel a very long way, across the Atlantic to find their way home. Luckily, everything made it there safe and in one piece but the package arrived during all the craziness so I didn't get a chance to share it with all of you.


I was so lucky to be paired with Dorte. I immediately knew what I wanted to make for her as soon as I saw my pairing. She asked for something she could use for her sewing stuff when she travels and I initially thought about making her a travel sewing kit, but I also saw that she was obsessed with bags so I settled on making her a cool duffle from a pattern I saw in a recent issue of Stitch Magazine. I had been wanting to try this cute pattern for a while. I thought I could add some internal pockets to make it more sewing friendly, but I should have read the pattern all the way through before settling on this pattern. The way it's put together it leaves the raw edges exposed on the inside of the bag and I would have preferred for the lining to be used to hide these edges. And since the external fabric and the lining are put together like a sandwich, I wasn't able to add internal pockets so I added a second pocket on the opposite external side panel.


I also worked hard to track down at least a small piece of every fabric on Dorte's ISO list. The last one I found on Ebay the day before I was supposed to send her package, so her package went out a couple days late, but I don't think she minded. I also filled the bag with some goodies that might be harder to find in Denmark than here, like variegated thread and the latest copy of Stitch Magazine.


I really loved making this and searching out these fabrics for Dorte. Honestly this is one of my favorite swaps on Flickr and I plan on joining in the next round as soon as it's announced.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yard Sale Find

Last weekend was Yard Sale City in my neighborhood. It seemed like everyone was trying to unload their unwanted goods off on their unsuspecting neighbors. We love checking out garage sales. Most of the time we don't but anything but this weekend I found this...


Without knowing what what inside of it I scooped it up for next to nothing and took it home. At the very least I was intrigued by the vintage thread it contained.


Once at home I sorted through the treasure chest and found a plethora of vintage threads and buttons which was enough to make the purchase worth it for me. I'm planning to display the thread along side my collection of vintage thread I inherited from my grandmother once I get my studio organized.


Same with all the buttons. I'm envisioning a giant glass vase full of them. Of course, I will put them to use when I find the proper project.


Some of what I found was crap, but I'll add the vintage patterns to my collection and I love the vintage notions. They're showing some wear and tear but I still find them charming.




And, while some of the scissors are going right into the junk drawer (hopefully my husband will start using those instead of reaching for my precious sewing shears) I did luck out and I'm now the proud owner of a "new-to-me" set of sewing and pinking shears.


For some reason, this needle book from the 1940s might be my favorite thing in the box. I might frame it.


Not a bad find for a yard sale I think.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

July Sewn Together Block


July was Anna's month in the Sewn Together Bee and she loves trees so she assigned each of us a month, sent us some scraps and asked us to each make her a tree based on the month she assigned us. And I got December. We don't celebrate Christmas in our house, but I love that time of year because everything is so pretty and decorated so I was actually really excited that I was responsible for making a Christmas tree for Anna.


My first idea was to cut a more stylish tree on the fold of the fabric so I started sketching out half trees.


But then I suddenly changed gears and chose to cut 2.5" and 1.5" HSTs.


I pieced the 2.5" triangles together alternating rows of batik, tree lights and reindeer and I did a raw edge applique to secure it to the main block.


I decided to use variegated Green Gutterman 100% cotton thread for the machine stitching on the raw edge. I thought the green would add some color and dimension to the red fabrics while sticking with the Christmas theme. I then did a raw edge stitch around each of the 1.5" HSTs , circling each twice both for aesthetics and security. Then I used a variety of Pearle cotton thread to secure each onto the tree. I wanted to create a flowing, textured look.


Each was secured with a french knot and four stitches to simulate fairy lights in the tree. Each row the straight stitches alternate and either lay on the diagonal plane or the horizontal plane.



No Christmas tree would be complete without presents under the tree and friends and family surrounding. I imagine they're singing Christmas carols as they're joining together.


Then I hand stitched a star on top using two different Pearle cotton gold threads and again French knots and straight stitches.


I call it my Shabby Chic Christmas Tree. I really hope Anna likes it. I love trees too and am always looking for a good one to climb. I loved making this block. It was fun to let loose and let the imagination go wild.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

SUTK Round 2 Reveal


Whoopie! My SUTK package has made it's way across the Atlantic Ocean and landed safely at my partner's house so I can finally show it all to you. My secret partner was Wendy and she lives in the Netherlands. I started stalking her and immediately I knew what I was going to make for her. Wendy loves yellow and linen and really wanted a table runner. I almost instantly got to work, which never usually happens when I get a new swap partner. I usually let it simmer and wait to stalk a while before I get to work. Not this time. I dove into my stash and even cut into my coveted City Weekend to pull a plethora of yellows for Wendy and I took them with me on my trip to Hawaii to make my hexies in a variety of sizes. (It always makes me smile when I type hexies because the auto correct always changes it to hexes and makes me feel like a witch. Hee hee!)


When I got home I pulled out some linen and started laying out the hexies in a pattern that had them spilling down over the continuous piece of linen. My one fear was the length of the runner. I initially made it long - like the runner I made for Missy. I even reached out on the swap message boards to see what size she might like and though Wendy (thankfully) answered most of my questions she forgot to answer the one about size, which was really the only answer I needed. All the other questions were merely diversions.


Well, some of you may remember that I had the *brilliant* idea (note the sarcasm) to spray baste my hexies onto the linen and then sew them on once I had my quilt sandwich basted together. And this *brilliant* idea resulted in me creating a shorter runner than originally designed. Turns out that the new, shorter runner is the perfect size for Wendy's table and the original one would have been too long so I guess everything happens for a reason.


I ended up straight line quilting the runner using 100% cotton yellow variegated Gutterman thread and I added It's A Hoot Yellow Dots for the binding.


I made her a hexie bar towel to match, included some additional yellow goodies in my package and wrapped it all up in some Denise Schmidt fabric that Wendy had on her ISO list. I even used some Nicey Jane strips that I initially cut for the hexies as ribbon. After I cut the Nicey Jane (another favorite of Wendy's) I realized that it was too green-y yellow to match the other yellow fabrics I pulled so I opted to just send her the scraps instead.


I totally fell in love with this runner and it sounds like Wendy is in love with it too which makes me so incredibly happy. Enjoy Wendy! I loved making it for you! P.S. If you're looking for the Amy Butler giveaway you can find it here!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Quatreflowers Quilt

If you're looking for the Amy Butler giveaway you can find it here... In other news, I have another finish under my belt and I'm calling it "Quatreflowers" thanks to Nilya2011 on Flickr who thought that the quatrefoil blocks looked like flowers. Cool, huh? I finally found the motivation to quilt it last week and I bound it on my trip to Chicago this weekend. I pulled it out of the dryer this morning and it's all ready for me to take to Tucson tonight for the silent auction.


I decided to keep it simple and I just pieced the back with Kona Red and Kona Robin Egg.


Then I used Gutterman 100% cotton variegated red thread to quilt it.



When I first picked up the red polka dot fabric for the binding I thought it was perfect but the more I stared at the fabric the more it made me dizzy. But I don't regret my decision. I think it was the perfect binding for this quilt. It actually works in small doses like this, just all en masse it was an eye sore.



I decided to straight-line quilt on the diagonal and I was going to cross-hatch it but, honestly, after the first round of cross-hatching I decided it would take too long and I just wanted to be done with it so I stopped. I think it looks cool anyway so I could have said that I planned it that way but really it was just me being lazy. Shh! Don't tell anyone!



The quilt measures 66" x 54" and I need to thank all the members of the Red & Aqua 2 Bee who helped me create this beauty. You can find the pattern for the Quatrefoil Block here. I hope it will bring in a few bucks for the UWPIAA. This is the first time I have auctioned off a quilt so I don't know what to expect and I know there is at least one other quilt up for auction as well. Keep your fingers crossed! The money we're raising goes entirely to new student scholarships. I'll be in the sweltering Tucson heat through Sunday and I'll bring you a full report on Monday.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pillow Talk Swap 5 Reveal


I can finally reveal the pillow I made for my partner in this round of the Pillow Talk Swap! As luck would have it, my secret partner was the talented Darci of Stitches and Scissors. If you haven't had a chance to check out her blog you really should. Darci is super sweet and so talented and she also hosts the popular Spicing Up The Kitchen Swap on Flickr. She also has a great eye. Darci had me in the SavVy Seasons Swap last fall and made me a cute table runner that was perfect for my Thanksgiving table, a matching dish towel that has a permanent residence on the handle of my oven, and a super cute mug rug that lives on the desk in my office, in fact it travels from job to job with me. So the pressure was on to return the favor. In all honesty, I was actually thrilled that I could return the swap favor to Darci. Opportunities like this don't happen very often.


I had a good sense of Darci's likes since I have been loyally following her blog since I received her awesome package back in October. I knew that Darci loves scrappy and green (which is my favorite color too) and I started to stalk her to find out some of her favorite fabrics and designers. I really wanted to include some of her favorites or ISOs in what I was making for her. I also know that Darci has two gorgeous girls and is not afraid of a little whimsy.


I had a different plan for her pillow initially but then she posted a comment about the hexagon table runner I was making in another swap and I got an idea and ran with it. I knew that Darci also loves spiderwebs and string blocks so I gathered some of her favorite fabrics (Midwest Modern, It's a Hoot, Park Slope) and decided to make a hexagonal string pillow.


I wasn't sure if my idea was going to work at first but I drafted a paper template and thought I would give it a shot. But I also took a risk and left the center open so I could put an unbroken, whimsical hexie in the center. Much to my surprise it actually worked. I topstitched the center hexie on and used straight line quilting with variegated yellow cotton thread.


I kept the back simple using some Park Slope (one of her favorites) and made an envelope opening. She had also mentioned that she was wild about the It's a Hoot yellow dots, again in a different swap (how fortuitous) so I used that to finish off the back.


I rounded out the package with some large Park Slope scraps I had left over since it's one of her favorite lines. And she lucked out because that It's a Hoot Yellow Dots that she had on her ISO list was still in stock at the Urban Craft Center so I picked up half a yard for her. Then I threw in a 20" x 20" pillow form and some useful tools in her favorite color (green) to round out the package.


This was a tough one to part with for sure. I fell in love with this pillow and I hope that Darci feels the same! I really, really loved making this for her and it was a great feeling being about to return the swappy love.