Sunday, June 30, 2013

Zoom Loom

Zoom Loom

Last week, I went to Bellingham with a couple of friends to look around at a weaving conference. The Association of Northwest Weavers' Guilds Conference had a Marketplace Mall where vendors set up booths and sold yummy yarns and weaving tools and other fun fiber related goods. There were also some displays put together by the guilds which showcased the work of the members.

I knew I would find some sock yarn (and I did) but I was also on the lookout for a Zoom Loom. Last fall, I had seen some small looms (see photo below) at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival but I didn't buy one and they were still somewhat on my mind. 

Hazel Rose Looms
I first saw the Zoom Loom on the Purl Bee website where almost everything they feature looks abnormally attractive. I don't really see the need for woolen drink coasters but I am strangely interested in weaving up 4 inch squares. I have made up a short stack of wool and cotton samplers and stitched a few of the cotton ones together to make a couple of face cloths. The cotton is much more difficult to work with and I only persevered because, well, I guess I just like to complete what I start and it seemed like they may be of some use to someone. 

I have some super soft alpaca/merino/bamboo yarn that is easy to weave which I might end up turning into a nice neck scarf. That is what I am envisioning at this point but I have a few more squares to go before I know what the scarf will look like and whether I will have enough yarn.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Project Bags - SPIN, KNIT and HAT

I have enjoyed making project bags for myself and some of my crafty friends and really didn't need to make any more. I think with these last three, my count is now up to a dozen!

I saw some cute bags on the della Q website that had words and phrases silkscreened on the front and it gave me an idea. I sewed up my usual bag, an enlarged version of Jeni's Drawstring Bag, inserting a panel of paper-pieced letters. It works!

The first bag is for Dianne, who is spinning up some beautiful cotton roving that she hand dyed. (Her husband's picture of her amazing work is going to make my whole blog look bad - ;).

Photo by John Corso
I made two other bags for knitting friends. Barbara knits all sorts of things, including fingerless mitts for American Girl dolls and Patty makes the most beautiful hats, one right after another - all stunners!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Lazy Days Lozenges Cushion Cover

From a blue skies and sunshine point of view, I'd say this pillow is a success. The workmanship and techniques came together well, but the fabric choices are nothing special and it makes the overall project sort of a dud. The yellow is a little too bright and the prints are a bit boring. 

English paper pieced

Appliqued onto a mitered border

Template for this block
Lily's Quilts

Circular machine quilting

The back with a hidden zipper under the flap

Sunday, June 09, 2013

St. Louis 16 Patch Quilt - Finished

This quilt has been done for a couple of weeks. I really like the front and the back and I am happy with the quilting but I don't think the binding is exactly the right finishing touch. I am trying to pay more attention to choosing the perfect fabrics for backgrounds and borders, etc. and not just use what I have in my drawer. I wanted to lean toward a light green shade for the binding and set out to find a lime and cream stripe. Nothing seemed right online and my LQS had a plaid that seemed like a great substitute. It wasn't until I had it sewn on that I realized it was not quite what I wanted. Oh, well - the back looks great!

Here is the link to the tutorial - it is an easy block and will work for so many different fabrics. I used a FQ bundle of Bike Path from Westwood Acres combined with low volume prints as I like a lot of contrast. The back is several prints from the Comma line.

The quilting is a loopy meander. It took me a few days to settle on what pattern seemed best for the quilt and what I felt like tackling. Free motion quilting is still a bit of a wrestling match for me; I sew away and feel rather out of control and don't like how it is turning out and then I walk away. It always looks better when I return and take another look. It's totally fine and will look even better after it has been washed and it shrinks up a bit. I'm sure my quilting will improve with practice.

Finished size 55" x 68"