Sunday, June 29, 2014

Quilty gifts

One of the really cool birthday gifts that I received this year was a mini quilt from Terrie:

S for Sam - fabby gift from Terrie

Isn't it pretty! This is going to take pride of place in my craft room.

I was really touched that Terrie had made this for me.  Her work is impeccable and fabric selection couldn't be more perfect. I am one very lucky girl.

Terrie shared this with me at last month's quilt guild meeting and there was much oohing and aahing from the quilt guild members, and the decision was made that we should have a swap of similar mini quilts using the initial of the first name of our swap partner. My swap partner is Wendy, and she shared that her favourite colour is green.  Here is W for Wendy. Front:

W for Wendy

The W fabric is from a line called sewing box, of which I had a layer cake. The design on this one is tape measures. I quilted along the tape measure lines to give them a little definition. The W template is from a Moda blog hop, called Spell it with Fabric, where each blogger is assigned a letter of the alphabet. The end result is pretty cool, and the templates are available for download in pdf format. Imagine the possibilities with this one - a child's name on a quilt, or a fun crafty statement on a mini quilt... Since I already have my initial letter, my swap partner will be making a letter for Naomi. I think Naomi is going to be so happy to have one of her very own as she is big into letters right now, especially those letters that form her name. I'll post a piccy next month, after the swap.

Since I'm rambling about quilty gifts, here's one that I made for another friend's birthday.  A reversible fabric bucket:

Reversible storage basket

Storage basket

Reversible storage basket

Isn't that cat fabric adorable!  It is catnap from Lizzie House.  The pattern is on the Birch Fabrics site: fabric buckets.  I made the large size, with a couple of modifications: instead of interfacing I used batting, and I added a pocket for storage of nik naks - scissors, dpns, you name it...

I need to make some of these for myself - so cute and extremely handy. I know that someone's toy cupboard might also benefit from better organization too :)

Hope you are having a lovely weekend,
Sam xxx

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Zauberball Man Socks

Between road trips and work trips I've been able to whip out another pair of socks. This time for Joe (although the pic below is modeled on my feet):
Man socks
Quite the dazzlers aren't they :)))
The yarn is Zauberball and is dyed to gradually progress through the colours.
While this is a really nice effect, I thought I'd make them stripey by knitting one row from one end of the skein and the following row from the other end of the skein. Typically I make my stripes thicker. But this has a fun effect with the single rows of each colour. For the cuff, heels and toes, I stick with working from one end of the skein so that they appear as a solid(ish) colour, instead of continuing the stripes.
Man sock

I like that the socks don't match exactly... but clearly belong together.
Another pair to tuck away in the Winter Woollies box.

Oh yes, I didn't follow a published pattern for these. Just winging it using my basic sock approach and a size 2 needle. I like the simplicity of the basic sock for travel projects - my hands can stay busy, while I can zone out and relax.

Have you been taking any fun trips?
What are your projects of choice when you are travelling?

Wishing you a lovely summer,
Sam x

Monday, June 09, 2014

Road Trips!

I've been absent from the blog. Mainly because Mum was here and we've been spending the precious time hanging out, including taking a couple of fun road trips!

The first road trip was to celebrate my birthday. I consider all birthdays to be special... but this year was a milestone one: The big 40! Which is why Mum had come over to celebrate. Seemed only right that we mark the occasion by doing something fun - and that was our first road trip to Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico.

The day started off with a Grandparent's tea party at school. Talk about perfect timing of Mum's trip! I'd joked with Naomi that it was really nice of her school to throw me a birthday party. At which point she went over to the teacher and told them it was my birthday and asked if it would be ok if she could sing happy birthday to me. Little girl has more confidence than me to get up on stage, grab a microphone and sing in front of an audience. To say I was touched would be an understatement. Best birthday gift ever!

Anyhoo... Santa Fe is a really great place to go visit especially if you love southwestern art .  What appeals to me is the beauty of the town, the numerous galleries and the laid back European vibe. Needless to say I stopped at a couple of my favourite knit and fabric stores that I had identified from my last visit. :)  In Tutto knitting store I picked up a couple of skeins of yarn that they had custom dyed. A sock yarn and some lace weight. In pretty autumnal earthy tones. If you are in the area I encourage you to go check out this store. The owner is a real darling and he even recognized me from Ravelry (I'd knit a scarf he had designed). How cool is that!
Tutto Santa Fe Tutto Santa Fe
While we were in Santa Fe there was a very interesting street art market with a couple of booths showing handspun or hand dyed yarns. I did pick up a skein of this bulky angora goat yarn that was spun straight from the fleece. It has a rustic quality to it that appealed to me. I'm thinking maybe I'll use it for a small cowl, or a hat... I am open to suggestions if any of you have pattern ideas?

Handspun goat
In Taos I went back to the Uncommon Threads fabric store and purchased some woven fabric to make placemats, and some cool skully fabric to make... erm, no clue yet (but I am sure if my sis spies this she'll think of some way to put it to good use).
New placemat fabric Taos fabric
Toward the end of Mum's visit we went to Mount Rushmore, South Dakota. It was something that was on Mum's wish list and was thoroughly enjoyable. The drive up from Denver was relaxing and beautiful. The black hills area of South Dakota is spectacular. Mount Rushmore is really impressive and nestled in this stunning location.

Mount Rushmore
While we were in the area we drove through Hill City, where I found a wonderful quilt store - Hill City Mercantile. Aside from the wide array of fabrics, impressive display quilts, unique designs from local artists and super friendly staff, the thing I loved most was the attention to detail in this store. The owners had completely renovated the building and all the fixtures and fittings were in keeping with the style of the renovations. I was really thankful that I had the good fortune to stumble across this store.

Hill City Merchant Quilt Store

Loved how they renovated this building
During the Mount Rushmore trip I started another plain sock - the perfect road trip companion if you are looking to keep busy but want something simple to work on. These beauties are going to be for Joe.

Man sock
That's all from me for now.
Hope you are well and wishing you a great week,
Sam xxx