Touch of Turquoise

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IMG_3292Here in the West, turquoise is almost always paired with silver.  You’ll see it as silver earings, bracelets, belts, necklaces.  I was growing tired of silver and turquoise, so thought to try something different.

Turquoise and copper pyramids.  In “real life” this bracelet sparkles much more than the photo shows.  The turquoise bugle beads have a luster about them; the copper pyramids have an oilslick finish (that doesn’t photograph well at all!).  Everything is accented with teal crystals and tiny dark gold charlottes.

Cowboy Up!

Ultimate T-Shirt

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IMG_3350The Ultimate T-Shirt is a Craftsy class taught by Katherine and Marcy Tilton. Craftsy is an online portal for various and sundry crafting classes.   It’s free to join.  They offer some free classes, and if you sign up for their mailing list, classes of one sort or another go on sale all the time.

The other nice thing about Craftsy is that there is no expiration date on the classes.  You can go back and take any part, any time, again and again and again.

True confessions time – while I’ve signed up for several classes, this is the first one I’ve actually finished.  The Ultimate T-Shirt class includes the pattern, which is mailed to you on enrollment.  Marcy & Katherine take turns with the videos, each showing a different construction step / technique.

I know, T-shirts.  How hard can they be?  Still, I thought it might be fun to take, and learn something new, which is exactly what happened. A new technique for neckline bands.  One which I’ll use on future tops, to be sure.  In case you’re wondering, Craftsy provides no remuneration or input of any kind to me.  I just took the class.

The pattern is Vogue 8793, by Katherine Tilton.  The class has you dropping the fancy collar pictured on the pattern for learning a basic collar band.  I made mine out of leftover ponte knit from the Mabels.

The good:  rather than being a muslin, as I had first thought, the T-shirt fits well enough that I will actually wear it.  The class is informative and light-hearted.  Even an old sewist can learn new tricks.

The operator error:  Screw-up in flat pattern measuring resulted in a sleeve that was way too tight.  Corrected by reducing the seam allowance.  Also had to lower the armscye.

Herculean Undertaking

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IMG_3290Did you ever get one of the bees in your bonnet that just won’t go away?  They keep buzzing and buzzing about, hovering in the background, being a pest.  Yeah, well this was one of those.

I used to have all my fabrics organized, but when it came time to move, at the end things got tossed into bins willy-nilly.  The past 2 years have seen me hunting for things I knew I had, and worse yet, getting more of what I had because I couldn’t find it.  I hate that!  So I put my extra free time to good use, and did something about it.

All the existing bins were emptied.  Stacks were made.  Knit print.  Knit solids.  Challis.  Linen.  Silk.  Cotton prints.  Bottomweight.  You get the idea.  There were even some “wonder” fabrics discovered, as in I “wonder” why I bought that.  Thankfully there were more old friends rediscovered than wonder fabrics.  The photo above took about 3 hours to achieve.

Then came the task of organizing:IMG_2953

  • Keep?
  • Donate?
  • Toss?
  • Re-fold
  • Re-label
  • Re-stack

Achieving multiples of the photo at right took all day long!  It was worth it though.  There is now a place for everything and everything is in it’s place.

Back as Front

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IMG_3345While I was out and about recently, I overheard a conversation where someone said that something always had to be done a certain way.  I started to wonder about this as it relates to jewelry.  Was there any reason why clasps always had to go in back?

I was nearly finished with this bead crochet rope, so thought I’d try a little experimentation.  What if the clasp went in the front?

Besides having the advantage of being able to see what you’re doing with the clasp to the front, it provides an interesting focal.  Of course, no namby pamby clasp will do, something with a bit of oomph is required.  Oomph.  One of those artistic terms.

The rope is bead crochet, using 5º clear AB triangles and variegated thread.  The thread shades from leaf green to lime – bright on it’s own, but lovely when covered with beads.  Silver caps and green crystals complete the piece.

Twirling Turnips

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IMG_3326I will be the first to admit I am not a quilter.  I make one quilt every 4 to 5 years, if that.  Not my forte at all.  I have this aversion to cutting up beautiful fabrics into little bits, then stitching them back together again.

That said, I also think quilts are like fine wine.  They need to age for a while.  This quilt top aged in the stash for over 3 years.  Maybe 4.  Long enough that I don’t remember an exact date.

IMG_3334I found myself with some unexpected free time this holiday season, so decided to finish it.  After all, it just needed to be backed, quilted and bound.  Easy peasy.  Simple wimple.  Even better, this one was for me!  It was NOT intended as gift.

The pattern is called One Block Wonder, which is pretty much the only quilt pattern I make any more. I like that it allows you to use the oddest prints – you know those funky graphics you like, but have no idea what to do with?  Those!  Once it’s cut up and reassembled, you get a lovely kalidescope effect.

IMG_3328I always try to get extra fabric, so I can incorporate the original print on the back.  As you can see this one started out life as rows of vegetables:  turnips, radishes, peas.  I really like the turnips!

To quilt it, I chalked around the central motif with 1 inch bands, creating a halo effect, then quilted it.  This allowed me to gradually work out from the center, so I was never trying to stuff the whole quilt into the sewing machine harp.  Worked pretty well, if I do say so myself.

Rain is expected today.  The cats and I will have something warm and cozy to cuddle up with.  Yum!

Cornucopia

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IMG_3324I don’t know why it is, but as soon as October hits, I start using table runners.  There is one for almost every holiday.  Jack O’ Lanterns for Halloween.  Snowmen for Christmas.  Hmm, is anyone besides me detecting a missing holiday?  That’s right, nothing for Thanksgiving!

IMG_3321This year I remedied that gap.  Culling through the embroidery designs, I found these squash and pumpkins.   They’re just right, as Goldilocks would say.  Festive, without being silly or too specific.  Good for Fall.  Good for Thanksgiving.

I don’t usually do machine embroideries this large, so knew it would be an experiment.  Would Enterprise behave?  Would I be able to hoop everything appropriately?  Heck, did i even have the right colors of thread?  Image my surprise when everything stitched out swimmingly!

IMG_3322I used a variegated thread on the cornucopia basket because I thought it looked more like straw.  The pumpkin and squash are pretty bright, as are the berries and grapes outlined in the back.  After all the backing was cut away and threads snipped, I did a simple lattice to quilt everything together.  Bind the edges and all was done.  Even done in time to be used for Thanksgiving!

If anyone is interested, the designs are from Embroidery Library, in their Autumn Bounty design pack.