Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Rose Star Quilt

The Rose Star quilt is finished. I started it in February, as a long term project, thinking I could just poke away at it over the years while I had other stuff going in the foreground. But, at heart, I am a one-project-at-a-time person, so I made block after block until it seemed I had enough and then forged ahead with the background piecing. The total number of Rose Stars was 32 whole blocks and 6 half blocks. I didn't count up the background pieces. 

English Paper Pieced using ladder stitch

Machine quilted with golden yellow thread

Hand quilting with No. 8 Perle cotton, various colors

The finished size of the quilt is 57" x 68", which is simply how big it became.  I did put a two print border on it, which it seemed to want, sewing it on by hand to avoid losing any of the pattern to a seam allowance.

Binding and borders
The backing is a single print - Alexander Henry Folklorico Fiesta Fireworks - which I found at a local fabric store. 

Backing with binding
I didn't set out to make a clown bright quilt but it sure turned out that way. I'm glad it is done and I'm pretty happy with the result. It was never really difficult to let it sit for awhile but it did teach me that I should probably keep these hand work projects a bit smaller in scope. I do like to get them finished up. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Doll Sweater

Here is a pattern I found on Ravelry, Doll Aran. It came together easily enough; I changed it a bit by making the fronts and back at the same time up to the armholes then using a three needle bind off for the shoulders. I picked up the stitches for the sleeves and knit in the round down to the cuffs and also changed the neck and front edges. Even with all these modifications, it is nice to use a pattern and not have to calculate the sizing and chart out the pattern stitches.

The yarn is by Lorajean Kelly - The Sassy Girl, at knittedwit.com. It is 60% superwash merino wool, 30% bamboo and 10% nylon. I got it at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in Portland. 

The sweater will go to the daughter of my co-worker friend, Jewell. I saw Jewell yesterday and she said the doll clothes I had given her recently are being put to hard use in play land. That's good to hear.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Apple Press

It's been a good year for fruit, though the farmers don't deserve any credit. We did the same thing this season that we do every year (nothing) and our apple and pear trees have given us bushels of produce. 

We have consumed quite a bit of fruit in all the usual ways and have bags and bags stored away in the freezer for using up later. We borrowed an apple press last week (Thanks, Lou!) and squished the remainder of our crop into juice.  

Chop up the fruit
Grind and press

Strain the juice


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

John Corso Pictures

Here are a couple of more pictures from my friend, John Corso. He snapped a few shots of a hat for me while he was taking some pictures of Dave in his shop. John is a talented self taught photographer and his example inspires me. I keep resolving to learn more about my camera and to actually install Photoshop Elements on my computer. Maybe this winter...

Photo by John Corso
The hat pattern is Ida's Kitchen. I have made a couple of versions with 7 different colors but this one is made with self striping yarn. It probably should be slouchier but I decreased for the top when I got to the end of the skein. Good enough.

Making boxes


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunshine Socks

Photo by John Corso
My latest socks were made with Madelinetosh Tosh Sock yarn, 100% superwash merino wool. I love this stuff - it has just the right amount of sproinginess and body and comes in dozens of yummy colors. I got this skein in Portland recently at Twisted, a very cool store; the color is called Earl Grey. I am usually drawn to the darker colors but intentionally chose a lighter one to highlight the twists and cables in the pattern.

My guest photographer, John Corso, was at our house to take pictures of Dave in his shop. A magazine author is writing a feature on the motorcycle toolboxes Dave builds and they needed some images for the article. I was joking around about photo styling for knitted socks, and how easy it is to keep taking the same old boring pictures. This is a first for me - BMW 1200GS hardware as background.

Photo by John Corso
I did make two - the pattern is Sunshine from the book, Sock Innovation, by Cookie A. They are for a friend who has larger feet than I do, so I think the fit will be just right.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bee Blocks

Our hostess for Cheer circle of do. Good Stitches this month is Amber. She asked for two spiderweb blocks out of red, turquoise and gray fabric scraps. For our assignment, she referred us to this tutorial, which was quite easy to follow.

The blocks were quick to sew together though cutting the strips took some time. I guess some folks save their "strings" for such projects but I didn't have any around. It is great to try making some blocks in small numbers like this because it gives me an idea of whether I might want to make an entire quilt out of a particular design. This spiderweb is a good example of a block that is perfect for a group project, because it will look so pretty with a big mix of scraps - and each person only makes one or two. This also seems like a nice choice for a child's quilt - high contrast and happy colors. 

I failed to post my August bee block to the blog a couple of months ago. It was requested by Tamiko of Patchwork Notes. The tutorial we used for this block, a Sawtooth Star with 16 Patch Center, is here. I only made the one block; it was hard for me to find fabrics in these colors that looked good together.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Doll Clothes

Bucket hat
Oh, dear, I am making doll clothes. They are not for me - wow, that would be bad. A friend from work has a 10 year old daughter who has several American Girl dolls. She let me borrow one to use as a model and I've been making clothes for her.

Sundress and skates

This is an Oliver and S pattern sized for 18" dolls. It also comes in sizes 2-8 for real girls. The link is here.

This little cutie is called the Katie Dress. I found the tutorial on a blog called Sew Like My Mom. 

The bucket hat up top and the rest of the clothes below were all made from a book I bought when I went to Portland a couple of weeks ago. There are a lot of patterns available online and in the stores and it seems pretty easy to make up your own, once you have a feel for the sizing and some of the techniques for working at this scale.

Shorts and top

A recycled linen blouse
This last outfit was the most fun to create. I used an old scrub jacket from the back of the closet to make her pants and to cut some bias trim for the top. These are the approved colors worn by the nursing staff at our clinic so she is dressed just like most of the women I work with! Adorable!

Monday, October 01, 2012


The Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival was held last weekend down near Portland, in the small town of Canby. Arriving from different directions, my sister and I met in the parking lot and wandered around the various booths and exhibition areas together for most of a day. It was such an easy and perfect day to look at animals and fiber products and enjoy visiting and hanging out. 

It is a five hour drive to get there so I wanted to take a few days for the trip. I had some time before the Festival to wander around and relax in Portland, and was able to check out a couple of yarn and fabric stores that I hadn't been to before. I guess I am not a very ambitious shopper, though, because I did not hit all of the places I had on my list. These are worth checking out and are easily found on the internet.

Fabric stores:

Fabric Depot
The Whole Nine Yards
Josephine's Dry Goods
Cool Cottons

Yarn stores:

Knit Purl
Close Knits
Happy Knits

Anita and I also joined a friend, Luanne, and her sister, Joanne, for a lovely dinner at Nel Centro and a night at the Oregon Symphony where Luanne performed as a percussionist. Great job, Luanne!