Monday, August 29, 2011

back on task

Since the first intent of this blog was to share some of my fiber fun, seems like I better get back to that after the vacation interruption. I had started on a Christmasquilt for Debbie before I left, but had only gotten as far as mounting it on the rollers. There it languished while I was away having fun. But first day back and I gotmy bobbins wound, machine cleaned and oiled, tension adjusted, good book to listen to and ready to roll.

We had decided that I would do my echoed loops and curls, a favorite all-over design, in a green thread. This quilt pattern is called Shadow Song and is designed by Terry Atkinson. It will be a class at Bear Patch this fall, a one night session for the Easy As Pie series. Our example uses a great group of Christmas fabrics, but as with any quilt pattern, you can choose your own favorite colors and designs. The picture above shows a partially quilted area and illustrates something that occurs during the process. See how the area of unquilted fabric in the upper left seems kind of loose and has some ripples? The quilted area doesn't look like that. I keep the tension of the quilt layers a tad loose so I am not stretching everything, and the rows of stitches take care of the rest. The more densely an area is quilted, the smaller it becomes in relation to the surrounding area. That is why it is important to keep the total quilted surface in a somewhat evenly quilted pattern, or you will end up with bubbles and puckers. Ask me how I know! This principle can also be put to work in a beneficial way for a quilt top that is pieced together unevenly, the biggest culprit being border sections that are too large. More stitching in those areas can do a good job on camouflaging bumpy borders, to a limit.

Flight time is perfect for me to work on a small knitting project, so I took along this scarf that I had started last spring.
I think this was yarn that I bought in a store in Sebastopol, CA, Balls and Skeins, last July. The pattern is one I have shown you before, the 22.5 degree scarf, available free on Ravelry if you sign up to be a member. I have lost the yarn label somewhere along the way, but I think it was from Araucania. It is a very nice yarn to work with. I never used to understand what that phrase really meant before I ventured into more knitting projects. Isn't all yarn just a bunch of string, anyway? Oh, no! Not by a long sight! After using a few different brands and types, I found some yarn that I would never use again because it felt rough or split between plies, or had knots, etc. Generally it is a problem encountered with yarn that I do not purchase at an actual yarn shop, not saying that everything at Michael's and JoAnn's is not useable, but it's just a case of buyer beware. Same principle applies to fabrics purchased at a quilt/fabric store as compared to a chain store. You can find some gems and/or disappointments no matter where you look, but you will have a much better chance of success at the store that is providing the individual service you are looking for, rather than departments for every craft under the sun. Just sayin'!

Can't resist one parting moment of vacation pictures--
Dan and Liz hard at work cleaning up the kitchen after our last dinner there.

And a beautiful wildflower from the shores of Convict Lake. Very interesting story about that lake if you want a little fun history and a tale that could be a John Wayne movie! What Wikipedia fails to tell is that the convicts were later captured nearby (Round Valley), taken to Bishop, and some were hanged. Not a happy ending--let that be a lesson! I like the image of the star flower much better!

1 comment:

MissesStitches said...

Thanks for telling me a tale about escaped convicts! I went to your link and found it interesting.

Your yarn and scarf look beautiful.