Sunday, February 24, 2008

Project Spectrum - Fire

Ever since Lolly started Project Spectrum a few years back, I was intrigued by the idea - to challenge yourself to create something within a limited timeframe using a certain colour. A good way of stretching yourself to work with colours you don't normally use. I jumped in with both feet first declaring that YES! this was something I wanted to take part in. I started eagerly and followed the scheme for a while, but eventually the flow of projects dried in to just a trickle. A new surge came last year when we were to use colour-sets, but life intervened and I forgot about it. This year, however I have every intention of following through. There are only four groups of colour this time, and even better, they are linked to an idea - the elements, starting with Fire, which gives great inspiration. I have been mulling it over for a while, but now I am ready to start. My Spectrum projects will be quilts, of course, and I have the general idea of what to include in all four quilts, although that might change somewhat along the way, but I intend to end up with four quilts that will be connected by a common theme. They will be small: 8x12",which makes it more likely that I'll carry through to the end.
I have gathered the materials for the first quilt, Fire and the construction is well under way - oh what fun I'm having!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Harvest quilt

I know! It's the wrong time of year to be talking about harvest! But still, my quilt top is finished. It took a while longer than planned, what with life intervening and all, but it was simple enough to put together once I had decided on a layout. As you have seen from previous posts, it's made from three panels. I did wonder about quilting the panels separately before stitching them together, but decided against it - I just had to see what it would look like with the black border.

I really must see about improving my photography skills, though. I was about to blame the blurred look on lack of natural light again, but the rest of you seem to manage, so I'll just have to admit that it is the photographer who is at fault. I really haven't enogh space for photographing a quilt of this size indoors, but I will see about setting up some kind of arrangement with lights and background to take better close-upsat least. Maybe I need to read up on the subject too - any suggestions? I might start with the manual that came with the camera...

Anyway, I know I said earlier that there wouldn't be any turqoise in this one. Well... I can't resist it anyway. I have decided that I'll use it on the back. That way it won't interfere with the harvest colours, but you will catch glimpses of it when it is being used. At first I thought I would just stitch a few strips together - just to get a big enough piece, but then I thought that large squares in lots of different fabrics might be a better option. While my mind was playing with this idea, I remembered some sketches I did a while back of an all turqoise star quilt I would make in an attempt to reduce my stash of turqoise fabric. Then I thought: why not simplify that idea and use really large squares and just a few scattered stars here and there? Something like this:

I kind of like this idea - it won't take too long to stitch and I'll get to use two of my ideas in one quilt without having to quilt more than one. I'll have to mull it over some more.

The drawback is layering the two with lines matching, but with the help of a friend or two even that might be feasible. Hmmm, I think I'll go for it...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Be my Valentine

No Valentines for me today, so I bought myself half a pound of freshly ground coffe and a box of truffles. The coffee was wonderful, and surprisingly I didn't feel an urge to open the box of truffles, so I'll keep that for another day. I'm not feeling sorry for myself anyway, and truffles are best when shared. Well, actually I won't go on about them, or I'll find myself opening the box any minute now...
I had a great afternoon at the quilt shop in the company of some of my friends - quilters are great, something which I have a daily reminder of in this quilt (above). It is a memento from celebrating my 40th a few (very few...) years ago, when all my friends appliquéd hearts for me which I later put together to create this quilt. Would you believe that all the hearts are from the same fabric?
Keeping withing the theme of All Hearts' Day I'll also share this little quilt, a "Mended Hearts" experiment from some years back:

It is made from appliqué blocks that were stacked two and two, cut in half, and stitched back together with their opposites - if that makes any sense... I gave it away as soon as it was finished, and I haven't got any close-ups, so you probably can't see the decorative seams I used to stitch them back together, but it was a great way to use those fancy seams on my machine.
I have Van Morrison singing in the background, and a nice cup of coffee by my side, and now I'll spend some time visiting with my blog friends around the world before I spend some quality time with said sewing machine. Bliss! Happy Valentine's day to you and yours!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Knitting bug

As I mentioned in the previous entry, there has been a bit of knitting going on here lately. The pictures today might be slightly sharper, but I'm really looking forward to longer days when it will be easier to take good photos! I finished my Calorimetry thingy - well I must admit I haven't woven in the ends and attached a button yet, but I'm almost there. Whether or not I'll wear it, I don't know, but if not, it will be a nice enough present for someone, I suppose. I just enjoyed the work - somehow the technicalities of knitting something unusual is just so fascinating that I have to try just for the sake of it. The yarn is Jazz from Twisted Sisters a soft and lovely yarn which was great to work with.

Having finished this in two evenings flat, I dove into my knitting basket and came up with this - Noro Silk Garden. I have had some of this in my stash for ages, and had an idea that I would use it for a knitted spiral scarf. I found a pattern here, and had a go last night.
I have got the hang of it by now, but have come to the conclusion that the spiral is way too dense and rigid, nothing like the soft ruffle thing I had in mind, so it's time to pull the cord, so to speak :-) I think I'll try again on thicker needles and with less stitches, and maybe I'll come up with a result that's more to my liking. Or not. I might use a thinner yarn, of course, but this is the one I had in mind, and I am stubborn, so I'll persevere...

Monday, February 04, 2008

Yarn stash

For someone who doesn't see herself as a knitter, I sure have accumulated some stash during the last year or so...
It's a good thing that I have something on the needles, at least. What it is, will become clearer in a day or two (pun intended - I'm off to bed and too tired to take a new picture).