All the HSTs and a new WIP

It’s been all HSTs for the chuppah all the time around here. It’s been slow going with the trimming but finally I finished yesterday. Tonight, I’m going to start sewing the top (and perhaps try to chain piece the entire top similar to this method illustrated by Stitches in Play).

HSTs

Backing fabric for the chuppah is ordered and ready to go and the wedding is less than two months away. I think all my ducks are in a row!

I also started work on a new, exhausting WIP a couple of months ago. Here’s a progress pic after 12 weeks of work:

12 weeks ultrasound

I’m hoping to be done around the end of September. Expect an uptick in tiny knit sweaters in the coming months!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

Advertisements

Gathering Flowers and a Giveaway!

Happy First Day of December and happy Monday after Thanksgiving, American friends.  I am thankful for having the last few days to relax; starting a new job is tiring, yo!

Finished Gathering Flowers

The lovely, long Thanksgiving holiday also gave me a chance to finish the sweet Gathering Flowers quilt for my new baby cousin!

Finished Gathering Flowers

The back is a whack of the seahorse print from the collection Full Moon Lagoon by Mo Bedell for Andover, framed with the leftover solids from the petals. Perfect for a sunny Florida baby, yes?

Gathering Flowers back

The floral block motif is echoed by an allover little daisy free-motion quilting pattern.

Gathering Flowers quilting

WordPress kindly reminded me that today is my 3 year blogiversary. Hooray! To celebrate, I’m having a little giveaway for a $30 gift certificate to one of my favorite online fabric stores, Hawthorne Threads.

To enter, just leave a comment! Followers get a second entry; just comment a second time and let me know how you follow.

This giveaway is open to everyone, but if you’re a no-reply blogger, please make sure I have a way to contact you in case you win! I will draw a winner on December 8th and contact you via email.

The giveaway is now closed! Congratulations, Barbara Woods

It’s been a real joy to chat about what I make in this space and I’m thankful for you and the crafty maker blogosphere.   Here’s to many more years of turning fabric and yarn into quilts and woolens!

Finished Gathering Flowers

Adventures with Hat

I made a hat two weeks ago. I’ve been thinking about this hat for many years, since I don’t usually knit hats for myself, as I have the unfortunate tendency to look about twelve years old in most hats. But this hat, made from a gorgeous See Jayne Knit handspun bulky single languishing in my stash for nearly 5 years, would be different. It would envelop my face in a slouchy, wooly embrace and make me look cool and artsy and not at all like a mushroom.

Handspun BFL

After one or two false starts, I settled on a version of the
Zombie Killer Slouch by Luciana Young. And by “version” I mean that I skimmed the pattern and the stitch counts, cast on, and then did my own thing from there. And last Friday, I cast off just before my Father-in-law arrived to whisk my husband and I off to the airport on an adventure.

You see, I needed a new hat because I went to Iceland. In November. When the average temperature is in the 40s* and the weather report says rain. And it doesn’t get light until 10 AM and it gets dark at 5 PM. A new hat is needed for these conditions.

Skógafoss

The hat proved itself to be an excellent travel companion. It was perky and bright on the first morning in Reykjavik, where we wandered the empty city in near-darkness, fueled by coffee.

Sun Voyager

It provided a shield from waterfall mist and kept me warm and mostly dry.

Gullfoss

Even when we went behind a waterfall.

Behind Seljalandsfoss

The hat very much enjoyed seeing a geyser and hot springs.

Strokkur

And enjoyed wistfully staring out to sea.

Dyrhólaey

Grotta Lighthouse

The hat feared being felted, so merely observed the Blue Lagoon from a safe distance.

Blue Lagoon

The hat even got to see two shooting stars and the Northern Lights! (And yes, that is me and the hat in the foreground! Thanks to tour guide Helgi at Reykjavik Excursions!)

Northern Lights

The trip was capped off (oh ho ho, throwing a little pun in there) by a visit to the Giantess in the Mountain.

Giantess in the Mountain

All in all, the hat and I had a truly marvelous trip to Iceland and we’re hoping to return some day!

(But please don’t tell hat that I’m hoping to return in the summer!)

*Truthfully, the weather in Iceland was warmer than the weather in Boston during our trip.

Around the World Blog Hop

Ann at anniemac original kindly tagged me in the Around the World Blog Hop! As I am always up for thinking about why I do what I do, I’m happy for my chance to participate!

What am I working on?
I’m really enjoying working on bits and bobs of stuff after finishing B&G’s Metro Rings. I finished my Metro Medallion top, knitting a cowl and a sweater, working on an Aeroplane bag (maybe to be finished by this weekend?), planned out 4 Geraniums, have a Meadow and another secret project in the works… I don’t think I’ve ever had this many WIPs at once! Part of me finds it a big exhilarating; if I get tired of one thing, there’s something else available to pick up. But part of me finds it daunting; when will I ever finish everything? I think once the bag is done, I’ll focus back in on one or two projects.

Foxes Out My Window requilted!
The one that started it all – my first quilt.

How does my work differ from other of its genre?
I think my work fits very comfortably within “Modern Quilting” or just “Quilting” in general. I’m not setting out to push any boundaries, and my work makes me happy.

Llamas in Log Cabins closeup

Why do I write what I do?
I started blogging way back in high school, back when I had a navel-gazey OpenDiary. I’ve blogged on various platforms for nearabouts 15 years (That’s half my life and sort of a crazy number to think about). In college, I read a lot of knitting blogs and may have had one, but I knit so slowly and posted most of my process on Ravelry that the blog felt a bit moot. When I started quilting, I started back into blogging on WordPress just to document some of the ins and outs of a project, my own process of learning new techniques, and what materials and pattern I use. I try to aim for the conversational/irreverent/excited tone I use when emailing my friends because writing to “the internet” can be a bit overwhelming for me. I like having a place to document the things I make, because making things is a big part of my life.

Neptune on the bed

How does my writing/creative process work?
I consume a lot of online media: blogs, instagram, twitter, online news, Pinterest on a daily or near-daily basis. Frankly, it’s hard not to be inspired when seeing 50+ quilty, crafty images a day. I keep a running project list in a Google document showing WIPs and what I need to do to finish each WIP, projects I’ll start in the immediate future, and projects I’d like to make someday. Sometimes inspiration is immediate: I want to make a quilt for friends getting married; they have very clear ideas about color and I have a pattern I’ve wanted to make that suits a wedding scenario, fabric is ordered the same day. Other times, inspiration takes a while to percolate. On my “to make” list for about a year is something with a fq bundle of Tula Pink Salt Water and coordinating solids. Ideas include a kaleidoscope quilt or something with isosceles triangles, or maybe a Honey Honey quilt, but I’m still waiting for clearer inspiration to strike. I’m OK with the hazy thinking phase of a project; I like thinking through all the possibilities and waiting for the right moment to dive in.

Triangle Constellations

I’d like to tag Sam at Diary of a Madfabriholic. She’s working on this gorgeous City Sampler with Tula Pink and AMH fabrics and it is going to be stunning when it is all finished.

Rainbow Fangirl Meadow

Somehow I blinked and early September became the end of September. Or end-ish? I’m really not sure any more. But it is Wednesday and Wednesday is the day I try to blog!

Last Friday, I heard and saw the wonderful, warm Rainbow Rowell speak. Go read at least one of her books because they will make you have All the Feels. I don’t have a picture of or with her, but I do have a picture of the marching band I found on the way to the event. Hello marching band, blocking Friday afternoon rush hour Boston traffic with your peppy brass sound!

Marching Band

On Sunday, I took Lizzy House’s Meadow quilt class at Gather Here. It was great and all of you taking The Meadow at various stops along her Meadow Tour are in for a real treat!

Meadow Block

Here’s my first block. I’ll probably use this one for a pillow or break it up into its components because it doesn’t work with the scheme I’ve figured out.

Meadow planning

I’m calling this one my “Fangirl Rainbow Meadow” mentally and I’m in love. I may keep this one too (in addition to the Modern Medallions WIP). I’m going to be So Warm all winter long.

My kind, generous, and wise husband also encouraged me to take Lizzy’s design and printmaking class this week. Here’s my efforts from last night: One carved block and a fat quarter of printed fabric!

Printmaking with Lizzy House

The best part of the class was learning how to design repeats. It was like magic to doodle, cut and rearrange the paper, and then trace it several times to see the repeat come together. It was so nice to sit and draw for two evenings as well.

You guys, I’m so tired. It’s been a really interesting week but my brain is so exhausted. So linking up with WIP Wednesday and toddling off to bed.

Metro Rings FMQ

You guessed it, I’m still working on my Metro Rings. I’m filling in spaces with free motion loops and stipples and it is going well!. Here’s a little sample:

I’ve also been cutting and sewing for my QCR blog hop post, but you’ll have to tune in next week for the reveal(s)! In the meantime, I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Thanks so much for your thoughts on work and craft. It seems like a lot of us are in the process of thinking on this issue and living in this tension. This week for me at least feels more hopeful; I have a game plan for some additional creating on the side of my 9-5. Within my 9-5, my manager told me yesterday that she knows I’m creative and wants to use these juices in a few upcoming projects. So my mindframe is hopeful. Here’s hoping for creative outlets for you as well!

Last night’s Arcade Fire show included Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) which I’ve been humming all morning. Yes.

Work in Progress

I’ve been thinking a lot about my work lately, both my 9-5 job and the time I spend making things out of yarn and fabric. I would love to have a job that would allow me to to use my time and energy more creatively but I’m not sure how to get there. This has been an ongoing discussion between me and my husband for the past few months and I don’t yet have any firm plans on how to scratch this itch.

When I get blue about my voice as a maker or when I doubt my ideas or skills, or when I fear that I’ll spend all my days staring at spreadsheets in a cubicle, I have to remind myself that I’m comparing my beginning with someone else’s middle. I’m working and I’m in progress.

Quilting Metro Rings is coming along, still. I feel like I’ll be saying that for a while yet, but I really want to finish it by the end of the month. And in the meantime, I wanted to start something new, so pulled the following fabrics for a Metro Medallion quilt.

Happy fabric pull

A good half of those are personal favorites. There’s some Tula, some AMH, some Rashida, Melody Miller arrows, Patty Young bumblebees, and Lizzy House stars. And then I needed an extra magenta and had to seriously give myself a pep talk to pull my one precious Mendocino fat quarter. But good, lovely fabric is mean to be turned into something good and lovely, wouldn’t you agree?


This introspective WIP Wednesday post is being linked up with Freshly Pieced! Boom!

Year Change in Consideration

Hi.  Happy 2014.  It seems weird to type that, seeing how fast November and December went ’round these parts.  2013 was a really, really fabulous year, for the most part.  There was a lot of change, to be sure, what with the marriage and moving and new job/career, but all that took place in a five week period of February, and the rest of the year has been settling into life together.  My husband thinks I don’t cook nearly enough for him, and that I trail small bits of thread all over the house, and I do believe that I have seen more football this year than I ever thought possible, but for the most part, we have a cozy, happy life.  The new career direction came out of nowhere and sort of surprised me, to be honest.  While I have a few hesitations surrounding time and timing, I feel hopeful about it.  Between marriage and work, there were pillow fights and walks, chicken biscuits, family time, trips to the beach and road trips north, west, and south.  A good year.

I don’t often go in for resolutions, but I’m thinking of making a couple.

  • To get fitter.  To that end, my cousins and I are doing a 90-day fitness challenge.  I have some pain/tension issues in my upper back and neck, and I would like to deal with that as well.
  • Finish what I’ve started, regarding quilts and knitting.  I have three quilts ready to quilt and bind, and a pair of socks that needs to be done before winter.  Reduce the fabric and yarn stash (ha ha ha) to what will reasonably fit into two closet shelves.

And now for the obligatory Look What I Made in 2013 mosaic!

2013 FOs by Lucymade

1. Marilinda Socks, 2. Octopus!, 3. Petite Pachyderm, 4. Spring Stripes I quilt, 5. Llamas in Log Cabins, 6. To Boston with Love flag, 7. Stripey Pillow 1, 8. Blue Squiddy Socks, 9. Cuzco Crossing Finished, 10. Inglenook Fibers Garden Path, 11. Musketeer Toes, 12. QAYG Christmas Stockings Complete

Here’s to 2014!

Edge of the Avalanche

My feet get itchy this time of year. Something about the change of seasons makes me start thinking about doing things differently. Last year wasn’t so bad, because I was already planning a wedding and a new life, but in years past I’ve changed my major, decided to move to Oklahoma, found a new job. This year, I just feel antsy. I had a case of The Sad last week, work has been full of ennui, and I want a challenge.

So I’m going to do NaNoWriMo this year. Decided. I’ve had the seeds of a novel rattling around in my mind for a couple years, but it wasn’t until I had to spend 2 hours in traffic every day that characters, plot points, and setting started to come together. The story will be set in a post-plague fantasy Middle Ages and feature an inventor, a foundling, a regent, and a cook.

I don’t have all the plot details or timeline or any of that, but I’m not worried. My brain knows more than I do. I don’t write fiction much – most of my words go towards reports and emails for work. I participated in 2010 (and finished a novella, Creme Brulee and Casting Off, which I have never reread once finished) but I haven’t written much since then.

But I remember the feeling of rushing along the edge of an avalanche, of being picked up and carried along by words and story, and of tenuously trusting myself to keep writing, even if I didn’t exactly know where the whole thing was going. Rachael at Yarn-a-Go-Go recently posted a list of quotes about writing and I was reminded that my story doesn’t have to be great, it just has to be written. NaNoWriMo is an exercise in silencing my inner editorial voice, the voice that tells me not to write or think or do something because it is embarrassing or stupid or awkward. And, after all, in the immortal words of Ernest Hemingway, “the first draft of anything is shit.” I’m going to write badly with abandon, 1,667 words a day.

Who is with me?

To Vermont

Two weekends ago, Husband and I went up to Vermont. The leaves were turning orange and the air was crisp.

Indian Head

We drove all over the state and he shared some of his favorite places with me – the Miss Lyndonville diner, the family plot at the old cemetery, the Spiderweb Farm. We sampled cheese and ice cream and cider, looked at antiques, cruised Lake Champlain, pet the B&B’s resident Westie, and got to spend the long, unbroken time with each other.

Mosaic
1. Miss Lyndonville Mug, 2. Lake Champlain, 3. Cabot Cheeses

On Sunday, we went to the Vermont Sheep & Wool. Really, this was the reason we went that weekend instead of in February for our anniversary (also, it is cold and snowy in Vermont in February). C does not yet know the trick of buying something now and putting it away for Christmas, so I had to show him how it was done. We also saw some prizewinning cashmere goats, met a genial alpaca, and C learned to knit. Wonder of all wonders!

Mosaic2
1. VT Sheep & Wool, 2. Alpaca friend, 3. VT Sheep & Wool Loot

It was a lovely trip. and I’m looking forward to spending more time in Vermont in years to come.