Wednesday, October 15, 2014

New Inspiration

Though lots of projects were in the works these last few weeks, none seemed big enough or near completion enough to blog about them. But after cataloging my yarn and while doing a second sort on the fabric samples I picked up for free this summer, I thought I'd go ahead and share some things that got done between all the organizing.

First, though, here are some beautiful hand-painted/hand-dyed fabrics brought back from the AQS Chattanooga show in September (click on a photo if you'd like to enlarge it).

Most of these half-yards and yards came from the Joy's Fabrics & Quilts booth. Some came from the Fabrilish booth. All are to dye for (get it? :). By the way, this is all my friend Janet's fault, because she arrived at the show a day before I did and knew just which booths I would like most. When the Visa bill comes and my husband sees it, she is in big trouble.  :D

The yardage not shown yet is this one...

...and it was used for something very un-quilty...

...which is the first outfit I've sewn for our first grandchild, due in mid-March. If you haven't guessed from the photo, we are having a granddaughter! :) :) :) Talk about new inspiration! Until this outfit, I hadn't sewn a garment for decades! Anyway, this photo just goes to show that hand-dyed batiks don't have to be used for quilts. This one was the perfect weight for a pair of toddler slacks. Which reminds me, my granddaughter won't be able to wear this until she's around 18 months old. Meanwhile, it hangs in the studio closet and makes me smile every time I open the door!

In the meantime, landscape quilting has not dropped off the horizon (good grief, another pun--my husband would be proud). Retrieving some Kona cotton sky and water pieces painted last year, I stuck them on the design wall and pulled out some batik scraps that reminded me of mountains.

The water piece looks like somebody cleaned up a murder scene with it, but that's not the point of this photo. What I'm especially liking here are the numbered pins. These came from the Chattanooga show, too. Here they are in their special container:

It is so wonderfully convenient to have the landscape pieces already numbered, in order, just by pinning them to the design wall. After that, you take a photo, upload it to your computer, and set it as the wallpaper on your screen (or print the photo) for reference. This makes it so much easier to re-position the pieces when you're ready to fuse or glue them.

Of course you can number flower pins with a Sharpie. But as the lady I bought these from pointed out, this container (which opens on both sides, with pins numbered up to 20) is the perfect way to keep them organized so that you're not rooting through dozens of pins just to find one particular number.

Another helpful tool used recently is the turntable cutting mat from Olfa.

But I wasn't cutting anything. Instead, it was used for tracing the mountain pieces onto paper-backed fusible. Instead of angling myself around the big cutting table to trace from all sides, all I had to do was turn the mat. It worked great!

Here's how the landscape quilt is progressing, so far.

It will probably change; in fact it might even get cut apart in the middle, between the mountains and their reflection. The bottom half (minus the grass) could be turned around 180 degrees and become the sky and some distant mountains for a second quilt. We'll see.

My knitting has been in turbo-drive for a while now. After finishing dog coats and sweaters for our grand-dog Rue, I started projects for our granddaughter. Here's something completed just today for her to wear on cool days next spring and possibly next fall. I call it 'confetti capelet and hat.'

I flew by the seat of my pants on some of this project; however the capelet is loosely based on a free pattern from the internet, and the hat sort of follows Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop instructions for knitted caps. I left the hood off of the capelet and just used stockinette stitch instead of Lara Neel's pattern, and added chenille yarn for lots of contrasting trim and some pom-poms.

Hoping to start work soon an another q-a-y-g quilt for The Center for Women and Families here in our town. That will be another great opportunity to use the wonderful old Singer 403 my husband bought at the thrift store last year for eight dollars. (I'll never get tired of bragging about that! :) But it will have to be worked around two big pre-holiday projects: cleaning out the china cabinet and shampooing carpets.

One last photo to share--The Visit being viewed at the Chattanooga show. This one tickles me pink, because the middle lady is actually pointing at it! :) (Obviously, I'm easily tickled.)

Update: It's Friday and time to get your Whoop-whoop on over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Check out Sarah's photos and all her linkups!

Hope you're enjoying your fall season, wherever you may be!

'Til next time,