Friday, April 6, 2012

what I've been working on

There has been precious little time for working on any big projects lately, but a few little things have been accomplished.  Not complaining, just explaining.  With my parents and son visiting and making sure I see little Ian every couple of days, my machines have been kind of quiet. 

I found a free pattern for a cathedral window pincushion from Poorhouse Quilt Designs.  I have never made a cathedral window block but decided to find out how to do it.  I did a little checking about the block itself, and it seems to be originally from around 1930-1950 from what I can tell.  It is unusual in that it is actually about 3 layers of fabric with folds that create even more bulk at intersections.  Believe me when I tell you that the button is not only decorative, but serves to hide those untidy corners!  I thought the block was only done by hand, but this is completely machine stitched, except for closing up the filling hole. 

 I made this from a bunch of blue and white random 5" squares.  It makes a pretty large pincushion.  I filled it with 3 things (because only 1 would just be too simple!):  cotton stuffing, poly stuffing and crushed walnut shells.  I made a small muslin pouch for the walnut shells, I have had some 'migration' of dust from the shells in other pincushions and thought enclosing them in another layer of fabric would cut down on that.  If you are not familiar with the walnut shells, you can locate them in some large pet stores where they are sold as bedding for among other creatures, lizards.  I like to use them because they add a certain weight or heft to the pincushion that I like.  This project was one of those things that was totally not on my list of things to do, but intrigued me so much that I had to give it a try.

Sometime in the not-so-distant past, I put together this simple small quilt that will be a shop sample.  The pattern is Painted Moon from Villa Rosa Designs.  The fabric is from the Honoka collection by Anna Griffin.  I did simple quilting and just finished putting on the binding this morning.  Check one more off the list!

I recently taught a little intro to wool applique at the shop and this is the sample I was working on for demonstrating the process.  I am nearing completion, just have 2 more little vines to stitch and then attach the backing.  For sure it will be ready for pumpkin season!  This is a pattern and kit from Bareroots, available at Bear Patch.

And because I always have to have a knitting project (or 2 or 3) underway, I have been working on a scarf for myself.  It is made from a yarn that Dan bought for me when he was in Alaska--what a good son he is!  It is made from muskox hair, merino wool and mulberry silk.  Sounds and feels luxurious!  The pattern for the scarf came from a calendar of 365 Knitting Stitches a Year published by Martingale.
It is chock full of good ideas.  This one is called Arrowhead Lace.  You can see some of my index tabs that mark other stitch patterns that caught my interest and could go to some good use in the future.

And now to get back to work----!  Not really work when you love what you do!  Dan is winging westward and his bike was packed up and shipped yesterday so they will be reunited soon out in CA.  Ian (and Brita and Ben) is coming for a sleepover tomorrow so I better get this place sterilized!  And, of course, make sure his Easter basket is ready!

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