Friday, July 25, 2014

Two New Mini Quilts

I recently moved into an office from my cubicle and immediately set out on a decorating adventure.  I don't love blank walls--especially blank walls that are painted a cement color, bleh--so I knew I'd make mini quilts to cover the boringness.  And let's not mention the 16-pack of dry erase markers that found their way into my Amazon cart, along with a pair of gingham-print scissors and a coffee mug with Lucy Van Pelt on it.

I had time last weekend to start on my mini-making adventure.  It's been a long time since I was able to make something for me, especially a quilt.  I've been so busy prepping for the Indie Craft Parade that I've only focused on project bags for the last two months.  My WIPs are gathering dust.  It felt so good just to crank something out for me.

First is Carolyn Friedlander's Shirts pattern, which is entirely paper-pieced.  I've been wary of paper-piecing--so fussy, so exact--but I'm taking a class at QuiltCon all about it, so I should probably get some practice in, right? turns out I love paper-piecing.  Seriously.

I used Denyse Schmidt prints and Moda Bella solids for this mini quilt.  The solids were a bundle from FQS in 2012--they're QuiltCon colors, which go surprisingly well with Denyse Schmidt.  I'm sure that's no coincidence.

The other quilt I made is another Modern Maples quilt.  I've done these before--a full-size and a mini--but decided to mix up the layout so I'd have some varied sizes and shapes on my new walls.

I was able to cut into a lot of my stash for this mini, including my newly-acquired Cotton + Steel and 1canoe2 fabric.

The back is a Martha Negley print with gingham to help lengthen it.  Doesn't it make you want fall right now?  It's been overcast and rainy here for weeks, yet very hot.  It's so deceiving.  It helps to be in air conditioning all day, so I can still comfortably drink hot tea.

I bought two other Carolyn Friedlander patterns, so I'm hoping to get those on my walls soon.  What have you been up to?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sparkly Yarn!

I added some sparkly yarn to the Honeycomb Yarns shop this past weekend.  And can I say?  I am in love.

Terrible Love

I tend to be a glitter girl as it is.  I've owned more than one pair of shoes covered in sequins or glitter.  For our new home, much to Nick's chagrin, I'm seriously considering using the glitter paint I recently found at Lowe's.  (Nick is really dreading this.  I still haven't worked out the details yet.)  I just love sparkles.

Terrible Love
So it was only natural that I dyed some yarn with Stellina in it.  This is sock yarn with a bit of nylon, and the silvery Stellina bits are woven into the fibers.  They're subtle, but when I had everything drying outside (yay for living in the South), the sun caught every little bit of sparkle and my heart soared.

Heart of Glass
I was playing around with the colorways for this one, too.  It's tempting to go dark with these, dyeing them all black or navy (which is fine!  I love me some navy and charcoal gray), but I felt like it was time to go big or go home.  Out came the hot pink.

Heart of Glass
It's definitely girly.  It's a little in your face.  But sometimes you need to go all in.  That's my motto--we're here to go all in.  (I saw that on an Emily McDowell poster, which I need to buy for my new craft room.)

Dilworth II
I did some planning and experimenting with these skeins.  Some turned out exactly how I planned; others, not so much...but that's not a bad thing.  I do like the outcomes, though, no matter how they turned out!

Looking for Astronauts
Can I also say how important it is to have iTunes open when you're naming skeins?  I'm absolutely terrible at naming things.  My mom is better, but she's also safe, so I think some of these colors kinda took her by surprise.  Again, not a problem!  Someone will love how crazy they are, or I'll get to keep them!

So go check them out in the store!  As an update, we're moving in T-19 days.  We have about seven boxes packed.  Better than nothing, right?!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Finished: Wrapped in Leaves Shawl

Some projects just put themselves together.  You buy the yarn with a pattern in mind (or vice versa), you breeze through the knitting or sewing, and before you know it, you have a finished project to show off in real life.  It doesn't linger in your WIP pile, it doesn't come with a million unforeseen issues.  This is one of those projects.

Ravelry notes here.  The pattern is Wrapped in Leaves, found in Alana Dakos' Botanical Knits.  It's a really pretty pattern, but I tend to like streamlined, simple designs (which is why I'm not a lace knitter!).  However, when I found the yarn--which is Miss Babs' Yowza! in Crawdad--I just knew it had to be this shawl.  Whatever that feeling is (kismet?), it happened, and I cast on almost as soon as I received the yarn in the mail.

The pattern is wonderfully written.  It's not too detailed and assumes you know the basics, but it doesn't leave you scratching your head anywhere either.  I will say adding the leaf edging had me a bit confused, but it was one of those things where you had to just do it to understand it.  Stop reading and thinking about it; just pick up the needles and do it.

The yarn is ridiculously wonderful too.  The colors are gorgeous and deep without being too dark for me, and the masculine palette brings down the feminine leaves a bit.  I haven't worked with Yowza! before, but I should've known it would be amazing--every skein of Miss Babs I've ever knit with (or even touched!) has been my most favorite skein yet.  It's a good thing I have a stash of her yarn!

Is it bad that I'm already looking forward to fall so I can wear this?  Yes, it is.  It's finally warm, I should enjoy it!

What have you knit lately?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Finally Finished: Lucky Quilt!

Okay, brace yourselves, folks: I have two finished projects to show you this week!

Things have been so crazy lately.  We bought a house and close in less than a month!  Kelby visited this weekend!  Nick's dad is visiting next week!  My mom and I started a yarn dyeing business!  Oh, and we're still going to our day jobs everyday!  Needless to say, time is at a premium, but everyone is busy so I have very little right to complain.  How are you?

Let's talk about my first finished project, my Thimble Blossoms Lucky quilt.  I don't think I ever blogged about these blocks, but I know I posted some pictures on Instagram and Flickr.  Basically, I won a one-yard bundle from Leah Duncan, celebrating the release of her first collection with Art Gallery Fabrics, Tule.  (She's about to debut her third, so it's about damn time that I finish this.)  I had also purchased a FQ bundle of the collection, and I knew I wanted to use it somehow in our home.  The colors are a bit saturated for Nick, as he is a wimp when it comes to color, so I decided to focus on the guest room instead of our bedroom.  I had also bought the Thimble Blossoms Lucky pattern and it was just sitting in my Google Drive, waiting for a match.  Thus, a quilt baby was born.

Did you know Nick hasn't touched either of his guitars in over four years?  Yet we're about to move them for the third time?  Now you know.

Again, I started this quilt last September.  Really.  It's all HSTs with sashing, so it isn't like the piecing is super intricate.  I just moved onto other things for some reason.  I started knitting, I focused on Christmas presents, and Lucky got tossed to the back of my sewing closet.

Let's not focus on the negative, though, okay?  It's a really pretty quilt and the colors are so happy.  I used all Art Gallery solids with the blocks.  I think I bought them all from Hawthorne Threads, but I'd be happy to figure out the names if anyone wants them!  I backed the quilt with a plain white sheet from Target: not only is this thrifty ($13.99 vs. five yards of quilting cotton) but it also makes the quilt super soft and luxe.  Because this quilt is for a bed and won't be stored in a cabinet or on a quilt ladder, I needed to make sure the quilt will withstand the use but also will drape right.  I think it looks pretty good for a sheet!

I quilted with the orange thread from the Thimble Blossoms Aurifil set--I can find out that number as well, if anyone wants it.  It matched the peach in Tule perfectly!  Again, this is a bed quilt, so I wanted it to be soft and snuggly.  I quilted about 2.5" on either side of one diagonal throughout the quilt.  I know my quilting is boring but it served a purpose and also went really fast!  I quilted and bound this in about three hours.  

My main reason for suddenly rushing on this was because Kelby visited this weekend!  I wanted the guest room to be as done as it's going to be, until we move and make a new guest room.  We had a blast--we visited the Mint museums, walked through the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens, ate everywhere (including Tupelo Honey--my favorite!) and had so much fun together.  She got to meet Nick and the animals, who all loved her, especially the cats!  Schnoz loved her too, despite freaking her out by licking her knee.  He's kind of a weirdo.

Part of finishing the guest room was hanging new art--the "Yay Summer" print is by Emily McDowell and the other two prints are by Nan Lawson.   I have some of their prints picked out for our new house too.  When is it too soon to start buying things?!

Finally!  I just wanted to mention Kelby made beautiful yarn labels for us:

I took all new pictures of the yarn today, trying out a new background and showing off the labels.  Check it out!

So that's it!  Lucky quilt: Check!  Come back later this week for a new knitting project!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

So Much News!

It's been forever since I've blogged!  I'd apologize, but no one really cares about that, right?  Let's just jump right in...

Something I haven't been doing in the last month or so is sewing.  I've made a little progress on my current quilt (saving the details for the big reveal--such a cliffhanger!), mostly because, while I have a ton of motivation to sew, I just don't have the time.  I mean, who does?  I remember when I used to, and I really miss those days.  I sew little bits here and there, but I can't even tell you the number of projects I have on my to-do list that will never get done.

One of the reasons I don't have time to sew is because we bought a house!  Well, we signed a contract.  We still have to get through the appraisal and the inspections, but I'm really optimistic and so happy.  It's the house of our dreams and we love it so much.  I've been pinning like a mad woman--I have so many ideas for decorating and painting.  I've never cared about interior decorating before but now I'm obsessed.  It's all I think about!

Just a selection of my "New House" Pinterest board

We won't close until this summer, but we're so excited.  I'm also hopeful that, while it's only six miles from our current house, the internet will be much better.  It died twice just while writing this blog post.

Something else I've been doing is dyeing yarn!  My mom and I have been going crazy with our yarn--we started with Kool-Aid and food dye and then we went head-on into acid dyes.  It's so fun!  While we both have a lot of hobbies, none of them are unabashedly creative--everything involves a pattern and accuracy.  Not so with dyeing!  You just mix the colors and splatter them on.  I love seeing how everything interacts!

In true Emily fashion, I went all in and bought sixty (yes--6-0) blank skeins.  Not that I needed 60, or even 30, more skeins of yarn.  My mom and I have had so much fun doing this that we decided to open up shop!  You can find us on Etsy and on Instagram--and if you follow us on Instagram, you'll get discount codes!  I'd look out for those if I were you.  I'm adding 10 more skeins to the shop this weekend!

So in addition to the house, and the sewing, and the dyeing, I'm also working full-time (same job), discipling a one-year-old Schnauzer (yeah, I can't believe it's been almost a year either) and trying to keep up with life!  I'll try not to let so much time go in between updates.  I don't like being away!

What have you been up to in the last month?