Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Creative Time

I've been making time each day to weave on my bright twill kitchen towels. Have I mentioned how relaxing it is to throw the shuttle? I wove the last towel using a bright orange 8/2 unmercerized cotton yarn for the weft.

The weave structure is Halvorson #5 pebble weave from A Handweaver's Pattern Book by Marguerite P. Davison.

I just cut some mug rugs off of my vintage Harrisville Model A loom that I wove using hand dyed rug wool. I still need to tie the knots for the edge finish.

Speaking of finishes, I finished hand quilting my large improv quilt and it is now resting on the back of the sofa in my family room :-) I used it for the first time this morning and the wool batting is light and warm. The scrappiness of the quilt makes me grin. What a great way to use up bits and pieces of leftover fabric!


This morning I'm off to work on a special quilt for someone who might read my blog, so I can't say any more.

Here's hoping that you have time for fabric/fiber today,
Judy

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Playing with Improv

I was going to type in improv work and then I thought-it really isn't work at all-it's play and very enjoyable. I finished up the free-form quilt for my living room made up of 48 twelve inch blocks created from my scrap bin of beiges and greens. Okay, for full disclosure, I added green strips to the stack so that I'd have a good variety in values.

I'm hand quilting this using pearl cotton #8 thread in white. My son, Seb, asked me the other night why I'm hand quilting it when I have a good sewing machine. I laughed and told him that hand quilting is quite peaceful. The simple act of taking the stitches one by one, slowly watching the entire quilt transform is rather rewarding. I don't mean to denigrate machine quilting, but there are times when you just want to do the hand work. When I look back to think of quilts that I've made in the past, I find that my favorite quilts tend to be the ones that I've done hand work on.

I'm taking part in a Valentine's day postcard swap, and I just mailed them off. I'll share a photo of a prototype after they've arrived at their destinations!

I'm currently sewing on another improv quilt which will be hanging in my studio. I have a good stash of pinks and purples, solids and batiks, plus I've added gray, white, yellow, peach and a bit of spring green to the mix. I have twelve blocks done with four more to go.

The other day I was wandering around my favorite quilt shop, The Quilt Crossing, just taking in all of the luscious fabrics and threads-calorie free too!! Some wonderful variegated Valdani pearl cotton threads came home with me-
And there's a box of variegated pearl cotton threads in vibrant colors still at the store, calling my name ;-)

It rained up where we usually ski, and since I don't really like skiing ice, I'm waiting for the next snow storm before heading back up the mountain. Darn. But there's always fabric/fiber to play with instead....

Take care,
Judy

Friday, January 9, 2015

Creative News

I had a wonderful holiday season spent with my family, enjoying the snow, good food, and then just taking it easy for a bit while watching some good football, especially Ohio State rolling over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Woohoo!!! Do you make resolutions for the new year? I was reading someone's blog the other day and she mentioned that she sets goals instead. I realized that I do the same and this year my goals are close to last year's: to stay fit and try to exercise like I should; and to challenge myself creatively to try new things, and this year I want to experiment with silk screen fabric printing.

Recently I moved my Baby Wolf loom back into my studio, wanting to start weaving again after a long break. I don't know why, but having it in another room made me not want to weave. Okay-that's good to know about myself-the loom is back to where it used to be, and I'm weaving again. Nice! This is a warp that I put on the loom in order to weave kitchen towels, way back in December 2013, with various colors of 8/2 cotton. I set it up as a four shaft twill and I wanted to be able to play with different colors in the weft.

First off was a tomato red weft:




Don't you just love the texture that you can achieve with weaving-seeing those short floats and the little bursts of color? I put on some good music and threw the shuttle for a long while. It felt really good.

A sunny yellow weft:


And a bright turquoise weft:



On the quilting side of things, I received my first quilted postcard from Egléa, who blogs at Jeito Mineiro De Ser, and who lives in Brazil. How neat is that?? I was delighted to see the envelope with the postmark from Brazil waiting for me in my mailbox.


Thanks so much for a lovely postcard! Sheila, who organized the Christmas postcard exchange, is starting another one with a Valentine theme if you want to sign up.

On the quilting side of things, I have an overflowing neutral scrap container which meant it was a good time for an improv or free form quilt. I'm calling it my "Why Not?" quilt, as I'm combining solids, batiks, and traditional fabrics all in one quilt. Gosh. I think that I'm breaking some sort of quilting rule by doing that-shhhh, don't tell ;-) I love the freedom of the quilt form and I have 37 blocks done so far.



The other day my husband, Marshall, and I were out hiking with our dogs and came across some little tracks in the snow. A raccoon, maybe?

Here's hoping that you have time for fabric/fiber today,
Judy