Sunday, May 30, 2010

Potholder Pass 3 Swap

When I saw that Amy was hosting another potholder swap, I jumped at the chance to join in. Have a look at the gorgeous potholders people have been sending and receiving in the flickr pool here!

I received these beauties all the way from Scotland! Lochside Quilter sent me two lovely potholders, this adorable strawberry needlebook, ribbons and bits of fabric.

Her piecing and stippling is so impressive! Check out all those little 1 inch squares. Beautiful! My only instruction for her was that I wanted something bright and these are so perfect. :) They're so nice that I'm afraid to use them.

Amy, our swap host, was my swap recipient. I confess, I was a little intimidated to come up with something for her. She's made such fantastic potholders (owl and leaves) for others and sews really nice clothes for her kids. She didn't really have any specific requests so I decided to experiment with blocks I had not made before.

I found a tutorial for the block on the left, Love in a Mist, on the Modify Tradition blog. The block on the right I modified a bit from this tutorial at The Bloomin Workshop blog. I felt a bit silly for not realizing I could use the Easy Angle and Companion Angle to make flying geese blocks, so I'm glad to have come across the tutorial.

Things went pretty well until I needed to quilt the potholders. I used two layers of Insulbrite and it was difficult to get my walking foot on top of all that batting, even after I decreased the presser foot pressure. Let's just say they are a bit wonky. When I was attaching the two ends of the binding together on the last potholder, I accidentally cut one end a bit too short! I was thinking I was beyond that stage in my quilting career, but it seems that I am able to make such mistakes at any time. :)

I also wanted to make a pincushion for Amy and there's one that I had long wanted to crochet in the book, Kyuuto Japanese Lacy Crochet. I used Online Linie 164 Java, a cotton-rayon blend, and found a cute vintage button from my stash to embellish it.

If you are looking for a good thread crochet book, I can't recommend this one enough. It has gorgeous photography, as you would expect from a Japanese craft book, along with lots of charts paired with some word explanations and photos showing how to make the stitches for each crochet symbol. The patterns are really beautiful and I think if you are wanting to learn to read charts, this book can help ease you into it.

I'm nearing the end of piecing together 99 blocks for a queen-sized quilt! I will share more about this soon. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Processing & Serendipity

I was very fortunate to be the winner of a recent blog giveaway by The Sometimes Crafter for the book, The Gentle Art of Quiltmaking. I've been reading and poring over the gorgeous photos! One thing that really struck me about this book is Jane Brockett's description of how her quilts came about. She explains how fabrics and things around her inspired her and the process she went through to choose fabrics and a design for each quilt.

It was really nice to learn how someone else thinks about putting quilts together and makes decisions about what does and doesn't work in a quilt and why. It made me realize how much I would like to see this in other books and in my own blog (and the blogs of other quilters, knitters, crocheters). One of the problems I have when making just about anything is that part of me wants to rush through it and get the finished product and this really takes away from enjoying the process for me. So I had been thinking about changing my blogging to include more of my actual thought process and then I came across a link to this post by Rossie and I was inspired to commit to talking more about process on my blog. I've joined the other quilters making a "process pledge" and I look forward to seeing where this leads me.

A funny thing happened with winning that book. That same morning, I received an email from Artquiltmaker saying that I had also won her giveaway of a package of tie silks. Just let me say that I have never won a blog giveaway, so to win two at the same time was a thrill! Here's the package of silks that she so generously sent to me.

Aren't they gorgeous? I love the dots!

Now here's where I figure I'm receiving some kind of message from above: in the book is a great pattern for a quilt made out of tie silks! I think I had better make this quilt! Here's a close-up of the quilt:

I'm on the look-out for wool suiting fabric for the alternate squares. This quilt won't materialize any time soon, as I'm working on a queen size quilt at the moment, but I'll post my slow progress.