Poor. Neglected. Blog!!!
I hope everyone is having a great summer! We’re in the middle of a heat wave which us west-coast-wimps don’t handle too well. But you aren’t here to talk about the weather. Moving on!
I don’t know if you have heard about the “For Keeps” campaign founded by Amy Gibson, a talented quilt designer, author and all-round wonderful person. While this movement focusses on sewing and quilting, I think that it applies to any creative process. Being intentional and mindful of what we are making with our hands, helps us nurture the creative process which culminates in a finished product that is going to be used and loved and enjoyed and shared.
When I began this blog oh so many years ago, this space was a way for me to have placeholders for all the various projects I was working on. I added a smattering of life and everyday stuff, but this blog was mainly a creative journal.
I have to admit that most of my crafty endeavors have been swayed by the pursuit of “ooh shiny”. It was only a couple years ago that I stepped back from acquiring more stash than I can knit or sew within this lifetime. (Yes, I still continue to purchase yarn and fabric – I don’t think I can ever put a complete full stop to that!) However, my purchases have become more intentional and focussed. More and more, I am beginning to think about the end product and if it will actually get used before I commit to bringing that stash home with me.
In the spring, I donated a bunch of handknit items to a local women’s shelter. I am ashamed to admit that most of these I wore only the one time when I took pictures to write up a blog post! I do however know that each item was created from the heart and I hope that the person who uses it will find some comfort from that in the midst of their often intolerable circumstances.
It was perfect timing when I read about Amy’s campaign while I was putting this donation bag together. That was when I decided that from here on in, I will be more mindful in making things that I know will be used and loved. Projects that will bring joy to me and my family, benefit my community and those in need.
I’m taking the “For Keeps Pledge”!
Do you have handmade items in your closet that you’ve never used?
**Fabrics are “Up Parasol” by Heather Bailey and “Violette” by Amy Butler and there is print in there from Amy Butler’s older lines. I think all of these play nicely together!**
After I finished my Stripe Study Shawl (still waiting on the sidelines to be blocked, ends woven in, photographed), I was hankering for a smaller project. I’ve been hoarding this skein of sock yarn from Sweet Fiber Yarns and it was time to just knit something with it already!
This spring-worthy colorway called Grapefruit had to become socks with a lace pattern. I picked Cadence Socks, a free pattern from VeryBusyMonkey (Ravelry link). Turned out to be the perfect pairing of colorway + pattern.
Considering that there are lace charts, I thought that this would be a project that I could knit slowly until summer rolls along. Wrong! These socks were finished in under a month, with no knitalong deadlines or anything… a first for me especially with socks!!
I absolutely adore how these turned out and the color is just incredible! The yarn has cashmere in it. Now, that’s just mmm mmm!
The lace pattern isn’t complicated at all. The only thing you have to be mindful of when you are knitting the second sock is that the stitches are distributed differently to produce a mirrored pair.
This pattern is well written and the finished project is so worth it. I made no modifications, just enjoyed creating these 🙂
Cadence (Ravelry notes)
Pattern: Cadence Socks by Verybusymonkey
Yarn: Cashmerino Sock by Sweet Fiber Yarns in “Grapefruit”
Needles: Size US 1.5 / 2.5 mm
Look! I’m knitting a sock!!
Confession :: this post isn’t about knitting but a post without a picture is, you know, meh!
I just finished a book and the words continue to linger with me. Does this happen to you sometimes when you read something powerful, or watch a movie that’s especially moving?
The Pearl That Broke It’s Shell by Nadia Hashimi is the book that I just finished and it was such a tender story with a powerful message.
At first, I picked the audiobook version to listen to and I wish I had switched to the actual book with pages earlier on because the narrator, while very good, sounded more Middle Eastern than Afghani. However, this didn’t spoil the storyline and the way the characters were developed through this fascinating book. I just couldn’t put it down!
Crisscrossing in time, The Pearl That Broke Its Shell interweaves the stories of two remarkable women who are separated by a century but share the same courage and dreams…
Ultimately, I wrote this story to share the experience of Afghan women in a fictional work that is made up of a thousand truths.
– Nadia Hashimi
If you’re looking for a great read, I highly recommend this book!
I used to read voraciously until the crafting bug sort of took over. I missed reading but then, I discovered audiobooks! Craft and listen? At the same time?? The ultimate match! Some books however, are best read… crinkly pages and all!
I’ve challenged myself to read more this year (scroll down the right sidebar for my 2015 Goodreads challenge).
Are you a bookworm too? I’d love to hear your recommendations.
While I don’t have the luxury of time set aside to craft each day, I am grateful for the slivers of creative time I do manage to squeeze in. A few moments to work on a knitting row. Scratch that, who am I kidding! More often than not it’s just a few stitches moved from one needle to the other! Or sometimes, chain piecing a few squares together at the sewing machine.
All these moments add up and yesterday, I finally cast off on a long term project, my Stripe Study Shawl! Cue Hallelujah chorus!!
A few days before that, I finished all the “Block 1” blocks for my Shortcake Quilt 🙂
These crafty moments do make a difference!
There was some other sewing too. I attended my first ever Quilt Guild meeting last month at the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild and what a hoot that was! I had such a blast that I went again to this month’s meeting along with blocks for the evening’s block lotto :: Wonky Hashtags.
These were fun to make and to share!
Next up are the “Block 2” blocks for my quilt and my Five By Five Cowl.
Being creative everyday, even if it’s just slow and steady ♡
** Linking up :: WIP Wednesday and Let’s Bee Social **
Today is the last school day before spring break begins… two weeks of fun, goofiness, day trips and snacks, always with the snacks!! I thought I had better begin something new to celebrate the early onset of spring and sunshine that has bathed our lovely neck of the woods.
Did you spot that cute little bee 🙂
Last summer during our trip to the Oregon Coast, I went to this adorable fabric store called Jane’s Fabric Patch. Actually, it’s a cute little cottage jam packed with goodies and I walked out with an arm load of happiness! Among my purchases was this jelly roll of Miss Kate by Bonnie and Camille for Moda.
Like most crafty types, I am guilty of adding to my stash at a quicker pace than actually using it. Ahem, overflowing yarn bins! Something ain’t right with that picture! No point in hanging on to stuff if I’m never going to make something with it.
If you love it, use it!
So, this is what happened today…
That neatly packaged roll of fabric is undone and now the only way forward is to cut it up so that I can sew it back together again!!
I looked for a jelly roll project that was easy but at the same time, interesting enough to make me want to keep going.
I found a great pattern called Shortcake by Allison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew.
I’m thinking I’ll make the throw size quilt but I’ve got a bunch of Miss Kate scraps in my Moda Scrap Bag, so I might go larger. We’ll see.
I also noticed that there’s a no pressure quilt along #shortcakealong on Instagram… extra bonus!
I’m all set to begin cutting and then I’ve got to do some serious chain piecing. Serious, but oh so fun 😀
What about you, do you have plans for some of your forgotten stash? I’d love to hear!
Another mini quilt is done and no wonder, these are so quick and so much fun to make… even more so if you don’t need to follow a pattern 🙂 I really wanted to use my scraps to make a ticker tape quilt.
Saturday was a lovely day to be out and about with camera in hand. I remembered to grab my quilt and a couple of push pins as we walked out the door. If you keep driving north for about 10 minutes down our main street, you get to this place…
Towering mountains, the lake and plenty of wildlife. I discovered the perfect spot for taking pictures of my project, the viewing platform. But as I got closer, I saw the ‘orange mesh thingy’ stopping people from going up. Good thing I brought those push pins 🙂
Back to my project. I chose linen for the background because I just love the texture and it’s fairly neutral :: the perfect canvas to show off bits of brightly colored fabric.
I think ticker tape quilts are inspired by ticker tape parades. I haven’t really researched it, so I maybe totally wrong. Any of you lovely readers know more about their origin?
I added pieces of fabrics as the project moved along. To secure each piece, I used my walking foot and a 1/8″ seam allowance all around. I backstitched at the beginning and the end around each scrappy bit to prevent the stitches from unraveling. No knots or weaving in ends… win!!
In keeping with the scrappy nature of this project, I used leftover bits of binding from various projects. Scrappy binding 🙂 I love that the wind played along and you can see that I backed it with a larger cut of the floral butterfly fabric.
This was a great way to use up leftovers and make a little something without having to be too precise. I’ve begun another one for my mom and I’m sure she will love it!
Ticker Tape Mini
Fabric: Various bits from my scrap bin
Dimensions: 16.5 x 12.5 inches
** Linking up with Lorna for Let’s Bee Social **
“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
Time to open the windows and let the spring air in. Well, it’s still a tad bit nippy to do this for extended periods of time. But it’s here :: spring!
Bright green shoots are everywhere. Buds are reaching towards the sun and I’m thinking of casting on for a new project, something small… socks maybe!!
At my sewing table, I’ve also got this little spring project going. A ticker tape mini quilt/table topper/little thing.
Initially when I began this project, I intended to use my pink and red scraps. But when I laid everything out, the whole project had a certain Pepto-Bismol look!
I decided that it need some tweaks. I added a bit of green
some birds on a wire. Much better.
All I’ve got to do is finish the binding and this cute little thing will be done. Bring on spring!!
Linking up with * WIP Wednesday * and * Let’s Bee Social *
Today is Family Day in British Columbia :: a day dedicated to celebrating family.
The city has various family related activities lined up, but we decided to stay home (other than a quick milk run) and just hang out.
I think, with all the busy-ness of daily life, taking time to slow down and savor a non-agenda type day is the perfect way to recharge.
The teenager did normal teen type things, you know… Instagram, Facebook, beating me 3 times in a row at Trivia Crack!
I’ve declared war 😉
The hubster cooked lunch… he’s a keeper!!
The little miss ♡♡♡
I worked on my Stripe Study Shawl and now I’m on the home stretch.
Movies and popcorn in front of the fire are the only vague plans we have for the evening.
Yes, it’s been a good day 🙂
Moda Fabrics makes these mini charm packs, aptly called Moda Candy. I can’t resist candy! I bought two packs of Moda Candy and went on a Half Square Triangle making spree. I didn’t really have a plan in mind for these and so once I got those HSTs made, they were forgotten.
Two weeks ago, I was sorting through my WIPs. I found some projects that need the ruthless treatment i.e., rip-rip-rip. I’ve totally lost steam with these projects, better to salvage the yarn and start over with something fresh.
During my “organizing”, I found the forgotten stack of half square triangles. Half the work was already done and that’s always a good thing. I sewed them into 9 patch units and arranged them in a diamond pattern.
I love how this fabric line has a mix of geometric patterns and sweet florals.
I got sewing those patches together and just like that, I had a mini quilt top done!
I didn’t dawdle with the finishing this time (ahem, still hand binding that mega quilt!). After seeing spiral quilting everywhere lately, I’ve been meaning to try it out. This mini was the perfect trial project. Using these tutorials, I decided to go for it and it worked!
The rest was quick. Binding attached, knots buried, loose threads clipped and here it is, my new mini quilt 🙂
Pattern: Um, world-wide-web inspired
Fabric Line: Happy Go Lucky by Bonnie & Camille for Moda
Dimensions: 18.5 inches square
**Linking up to Finish It Up Friday**
When the festive season surrounding the holidays is done and it’s not quite spring yet, there is this period of Bleh.
It doesn’t help that Vancouver has been enveloped in a dense fog for days.
The eerie scene pierced by fog horns is actually pretty cool and keeps all sorts of nautical disasters from happening. I’ve heard that it’s bright and sunny on our local mountains, thanks to temperature inversion.
Spring will be here before we know it. In the meantime, I’m going to introduce some color and cheeriness around here.
What better way to do it than cut up a whole bunch of happy fabric and sew it back together again!
Tiny half-square triangles pieced together into nine patches.
The fabric is “Happy Go Lucky“ by Bonnie & Camille for Moda. Such a perfect name for this fabric line.
It’s coming together and I’ve got just enough of the nine patches to make a mini.
Time to brighten this drab with some fab 😀
PS: On a whole other note, I think it’s totally wrong that Cadbury Creme eggs are already out on store shelves tempting us!
**Linking up: WIP Wednesday on Freshly Pieced and Let’s Bee Social on Sew Fresh Quilts**