Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Faster than a speeding frog

I loved this heading from Yarn Harlot, so I decided to steal it and use it myelf. It has no real connection to the post.

While it may be widely thought that I never actually finish anything I start, this is a vicious rumour. Last month, I showed you a skein of 50% merino, 50% silk that I bought at a Creative Fibre traders' day. Here (ta da!) is the first thing I've made from it - I say the first, because this took only around 30 grams of yarn. I have plans for the rest - and not just plans, because I am actually working on 2 other items. Watch this space. Dye is involved in one of them.

Feast your eyes on this very simple but cute scarf/shawlette. So soft and warm! If I achieve my aim of moving to a colder region, I'll be making lots more of these for winter.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Designer Dyeing

Turquoise to Fuchsia in 8 steps.
Azure Blue to Chocolate Brown.
4 shades of Turkey Red.
4 shades of Dark Green.
And all the leftover dyes went onto what was originally a piece of ghastly orange and pink dyed fabric.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Colour gradations

Aren't colour gradations irresistable? Yesterday I made these 5 shades of Basic Blue, and this gradation set of Tangerine and Scarlet.
And this is where the leftovers go!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Post #700 - hooray!

Who'd have thought that, when I started this blog nearly 5 years ago, it would still be going strong today? This is my 700th post, according to Blogger. I love looking back on what I was doing and how things used to look, and the blog is perfect for this.

Now it's mid-spring, and heading for summer here in New Zealand. In my normal contrary way, I've decided to knit a thick Aran cardigan after coming across a pattern that appealed. Of course, I'll get bored with this after a while and put it aside to work on something else. That's how I roll.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Stitch one, stitch two...

For Christmas, I made my daughter Sophie a bag out of brown furnishing fabric lined with brown linen. I made the handles out of linen also as I had more of it. However, the bag is being used daily, and the loads it's carried have taken their toll on the handles, linen not being a fabric that takes hard wear. Sophie brought it around last night for me to take remedial action.
Linen is a lovely fabric to work with, but the same can't be said of furnishing and upholstery fabrics, which are much heavier. I decided that the new handles would need more batting inside, and this made sewing them a bit tricky, so I stitched the first seam down as it wouldn't stay in place with ironing.
Then I folded the other side over with the edge tucked in, and pinned it seriously. Those decorative stripes make it thicker to sew. The handles also have a seam in them to make them the right length, and an emergency trip to the quilting shop to buy jeans needles was called for after I snapped a needle on the second one.
There. As good as new. Now I have 2 tops to alter - Sophie bought them in a sale, but both have bindings on the sleeves that no Western size 12 woman could possibly put her arms through. A teeny tiny Chinese woman, perhaps, like the ones who made them. They're a bit harder so I'll attack them another day.

When my son Cass was here for my birthday a couple of weeks ago, he produced a couple of pairs of jeans for mending. Nothing unusual there. I've been mending his jeans since he went to university at 17. He is now 29. No, I don't know how many pairs of jeans I've fixed in this time, but some of them I mended more than once. He likes to buy expensive jeans because they fit better, and it would be crazy to discard them because of tears or worn patches. I have become quite good at patching which is all done on the inside.

Sewing machines. Aren't they a wonderful invention?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My "Cut-out" Period

When I broke my ankle 4 years ago, I couldn't dye fabric. In fact, I couldn't do much at all as my leg was screwed together and I wasn't able to put any weight on it for 12 weeks. A friend very kindly persuaded her husband to make me a fabric-covered board I could use, and instead of dyeing, I turned to fabric painting. With time on my hands, I also explored cutting out positive and negative images, and appliqueing them onto a background. Here are 2 of my favourites, both of which are PHDs (Projects Half Done).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Top Model

Here's the finished quilt top, photographed on location in exotic Rangiora in the company of heritage apple, Peasgood Nonsuch (yes, I bought it just for the name!).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Which one looks best? Help needed!

I am about to add the last quarter strip to Hidden Wells, but can't decide where to put it.

Option 1 - light purple top and bottom, darker purple in the middle, 5 large purple/beige diamonds
Option 2 - light purple top half, darker purple lower half, 4 large purple/beige diamonds.

Let me know your thoughts!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Halfway to the top

Well, really that should read "halfway through the top" but that doesn't sound as good! This is the Hidden Wells quilt top with 4 of the 8 units completed. You can get a better feel now for how the pattern comes together - or, at least, how this particular layout does, as there are a number of ways that the individual triangular pieces can be re-assembled. Unlike other patterns where the blocks are mixed up and scattered throughout the top, this design is meant to have each section with all the same fabrics in it, so that the design and colours change across the quilt.
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