wip and new fabric!

I have been working slowly but surely on the lap quilt for kim.
my studio today
This is a nice shot of my studio area. Or at least the entrance to it. I have carved out space in a cluttered home to work in. I am liking this top so far. I really like the some of moda’s puzzle pieces line. The greys are really warm, dove grey you might say? The idea of bright colors on neutrals is one I will explore further.

roman stripes

I am so new to quilting, and entirely self-taught. This is my second project with half square triangles, and I want to practice them more and more until I get those darn points sharp every time! The situation is improving with practice. I sew such wobbly seams.
After such a long break from the internet, it is really exciting to read blogs again and gain inspiration. I look forward becoming a more skilled quilter!

I did get a piece of new fabric:
frippery
This from andover fabrics Frippery line designed by Thomas Knauer. There is some of that line in the above project, it looks like little eggs…
I couldn’t resist cruising Hawthorne Threads’ sale page the other night. I am on a super budget (for me), but that’s what several shots of herbal liqueur will do to you, I guess. Hawthorne Threads has such super fast shipping! I got 5 yards of this bad boy in the mail within two days. And that’s across country! So, I am figuring this will be a back someday. I did find a pretty neat piece of apparel fabric at the thrift store for you, Alice, but I don’t have a pic of it yet so next time.

progress report

meander

Finally! I finished the quilting on the Candy Coated quilt Alice and I have been making. Quilting this, I used a free motion foot for the very first time, and so, it is definitely wonky! Embarrassingly so, in spots. I mean, I didn’t even start with the darning foot! I was using the walking foot for awhile, until I realized that was inane, and I was going to be insane by the time I was done. I got some tips here and elsewhere, and while I knew that I should practice first, I was impatient, and besides, when it comes to quiltmaking, I am somewhere in between the first and second stages in this article by The Sometimes Crafter. So I just went for it. It was really fun, once I figured out how to postition my hands to reduce the strain. After awhile, I stopped trying so hard to follow a “pattern” and let myself go, get a bit more swirly, doodle, if you will.
I will keep practicing, probably on some smaller pieces. It will be okay!

I will have more pictures and more analysis once I have the whole thing bound. Or at least the binding sewn onto one side. I think I may ship it off to Alice at college and she can handsew the edges. bwahahaha!

things to keep one warm and dry

I want to get all of the projects that Alice and I got done during her winter break documented before too much time elapsed. Here is a step in that direction.
Determined to get at least one quilt done, we started and finished this nine patch:

nine patch

When she arrived, she had with her a beloved quilt that she was given after the house fire, but that had seen much better days. There were spots that were transparent due to lack of batting. It was a nice quilt, done in maple leaf blocks of green with a main fabric of solid lemon yellow. We think that it dated from the fifties, to judge by some of the fabrics. Anyhow, it was clear that we needed to get that quilt stabilized somehow, and what better way than to use it as batting?
As neither of us have much experience with complex piecing, it was decided we would make a nine patch, and we sorted through my not-very-extensive stash for just the right fabric. I have stashed a lot of greens and turquoises since I have scrappy projects in mind or underway using those. And I happened to pick up some very unassuming ecru on sale, a lot of it. so there you have it.
We both cut, and she did all of the piecing and made the back. (You can’t really tell, but the centers are a really pretty wonky red polka dot, and so are the small squares on the back.)

pieced back
I love Joel Dewberry’s Floral Drop pattern, and bought a bunch of it when I discovered Hawthorne Threads, many yards in the above colorway, because I knew I would want to use it for a back. Before I had even made a quilt back! I was thinking ahead in the summer when the tips were rolling in! I knew there was a reason I spent hundreds of dollars on fabric, even though I had no time to sew…

I did very simple straight line quilting, using the walking foot for the first time, and then we bound it in more Floral drop, this time red. (Keep your eyes peeled here for an upcoming dress project using that fabric. Coming from Alice’s side of this blog.) The red binding draws attention to the red in the center squares. It’s awesome!

a bit of binding

I was going to post about the parka that Alice made for Mark, but I feel like I should leave that for her to talk about. Here is a picture of it though!

gore tex parka

miscellaneous

alice piecing on the singer
sewing action shot, and the little country studio.

Shannon here. I wanted to share a project that I just started, one that I have been dreaming about for a long time, but have lacked the confidence to undertake, due to its duration. Knitted leggings, on size 0 dpns. Yeah bud!
I am starting with the ringwood pattern stitch from Nancy Bush’s Knitting Vintage Socks, That done up in some merino sock yarn (dyer’s name forgotten by now), and then I switched to Poems sock yarn, one of those yarns that emulates the Noro color effect. You can see the massive increases there, in order to get a harem pant-style leg. These leggings are going to be made up of sock yarn remnants, so get ready for some chaotic color blocking!
freeform legging

Over winter break, Alice and I completely finished one quilt (as yet unblogged), got almost done with this quilt, and started a third, smaller quilt for a friend of mine. It was regular quilting bee, and there will be posts to come about it, I promise.

Also, exciting news is as of last night, no one had moved into the other half of the quad at Alice’s dormitory. Is there a squatted sewing studio in the futurre? Here’s hoping!

piecing alice’s quilt

I (Shannon) am a pretty uncommitted blogger but this blog isn’t seeing much action what with Alice in school and anyway, I have been meaning to post progress on a quilt I am making.  This will be the first largeish quilt I have made, when I finish it.  There was baby quilt once that came off my machine when we lived off the grid.  It was sewn on a borrowed Singer treadle out of old dresses and some velveteen, with an daggy old fleece blankie as batting, but that has long since disintegrated.  (That is a good word, think about it.  Dis-integrate…)

Since Alice’s favorite vintage quilt is going south, we decided she needed a new one.  (The conversation went like this:

A: “My quilt is falling to pieces.  I need a new one.”

S: “Okay.  In the meantime you could always use an army surplus blanket.”

A: “Yes, well.  But it has to be pretty.

So, after getting rid of the lion’s share of my quilting cottons last time I moved, I find myself buying them again.  I love buying fabric. Hawthorne Threads is the bomb. Low shipping costs, and the send stuff out so fast!

I started thinking I was going to elaborate on these wonky log cabin squares I made a year and a half ago.

wonky log cabins

I realized, however, that I am sick and tired of that block. When I started sewing those, 8 years or so ago, I thought I was creating something original, but I have since read (in this book that they are the most popular modern quilt square, and no wonder. They are awesome and easy! (Here are some previous examples…)

So, with Sunday Morning Quilts in hand, I decided to make a version of the Candy Coated quilt, which is the one on the cover. Here is a lovely version of it.
And here is my progress so far:

alice's quilt in progress

Work and home and drinking schedules really let me only get one or two rows done per week, so I will be right on schedule for my winter holiday deadline. Hang in there, Alice! And remember, I’ll loan you a wool blanket if you need one!

Girls and Bikes

Blue Scorcher Bakery

Image

sofie

 

Image

theresa

in front of the

 

sofie

sofie

teresa

theresa

both in front of the Blue Scorcher Bakery in June.

Sofie may come out this weekend to make a duct tape dress form.  With duct tape given to me by theresa, no less.  I need to find adequate instruction, but I am sure there are tons of tutorials out there.

generation gap

Here’s Alice after an early June shopping trip at Funkytown Vintage in Portland. She scored this breathtaking cotton poppy blouse, as well as a very very old silk vest that has a few years of dignity left. There will be a photo of that on another day…

It was really great to see Jeffrey at Funkytown after all these years. His shop is really awesome, 4707 SE Hawthorne.

Floral explosion:

what’s happening in the spring around here

Mark and I went on a very wet walk, me to pick nettles, which I did. Everything is pushing upward, outward, flowing as it does every spring. It’s so exciting!

I always pick my nettles barehanded. The sensation of tingling in my fingertips is something I have come to look forward to each year. One year I picked so many, I could feel the pins and needles all the way into my wrists. That may have been a bit too much…

here’s a happy nettle before she went over the flame:
fresh nettle tops

and the spring that flows near the nettle patch, but only on the rainiest of days:
spring
That hole in the ground is where the water comes out! I find this mystery to be almost scary, in a way.

here is the osoberry blooming. When I was in Portland last week, the oso was done, the trilliums were finished, everything there is a couple weeks ahead of us, it seems. And the forests are covered in ivy…
osoberry in bloom

one more picture, of the alder logs we have cut. we are waiting for the shiitake spawn to arrive, and then we will inoculate and crib them. we have good luck with shiitake here, since we found a strain that produces well without being intensively watered.
alder logs for shiitake cultivation

Okay, that’s all for today. I have to go serve beer in a couple of hours.

new roving and thoughts about dye

I have been focusing my dye operations. Working almost solely with Blue Faced Leicester rovings and sabraset dyes, I have been delighting in this new medium.

wool roving

This process has been liberating, adding a new field of interest to my days. Since my move, I have been increasingly able to let go of ideas that are not going to be implemented in this life, and also of the great amount of stash that I have collected to support those unrealized ideas. I have become more selective. What is challenging for me is to sit still with the process, and understand that I am on a path that is leading me to a deeper degree of competence in my chosen field.

I’m leaving something out here. It relates to yesterday’s post about meaningful storytelling in my work. I am working with a flawed medium, in that these dyes are tested on animals, the wool is sourced from who knows where, that kind of thing. There are alternatives, and I will incorporate those alternatives as I learn. Through cosymakes, I learned that there exists a family of heavy metal free dyes that I plan on bringing into my studio.
Don’t mean to be heavy. How about a beautiful photo to lighten things up?

the x-ray botanical art of Hugh Turvey