Sunday, February 21, 2016

Creative News

Have you caught the flu or a virus this winter? 
My family and I had been quite healthy until one day 
when we all came down with a rather nasty virus 
that knocked us down for over two weeks. 
I haven't been that sick in years! 
I'm quite glad that we've seen the last of that....

Needless to say, I haven't done much lately,
but some days I felt well enough to do a bit of sewing.
I'm continuing with the scrap quilt, 
vintage block theme.
 I was inspired by a quilt, Lauren's Hat Pins,
 by Carol Hopkins in her book
Civil War Legacies II.
I've always like the shoofly quilt block
so this quilt was fun to make.

I have to admit something to you. 
While I was sewing the T
block quilt, there were small half-square triangles that
were leftover that I saved. 
I know, I know.
I'm meant to be getting rid of scraps!
But I used them in this shoofly quilt so it worked out ;-)
I modified the quilt design as I discovered that I had
a lot of 2" (5 cm) strips, so in place of sashing,
I sewed strips around each block
log cabin style.
I want to sew two borders on the quilt, starting with a narrow yellow border.
While I was sewing the blocks, I realized I needed
a bit of zing, so I added orange, plum, acid green, 
and spring green to the mix.
The blocks are 8" (20 cm) and the quilt
measures 56 x 80 (142 x 203 cm)
before borders.

On the spinning side of things, I just finished spinning/plying some BFL that I dyed last May.
This was an experiment to see how long bands of color-sunny yellow,
sky blue, aqua, and plum-would look once spun.
So I painted the dyes on the wool top in 20" (50 cm) lengths,
rolled the wool top up in plastic wrap,
and steamed it in a canning pot to set the dyes.

Right now on my wheel, I'm spinning more BFL
that has been dyed a soft yellow, rose, lilac, 
sky blue, and spring green.

My husband loves making unusual kitchen implements,
and I have a container full of them. 
 I have to admit that some of them are so lovely
I can't bring myself to use them,
so I have them where I can admire them each day in my kitchen!
He hand carves each spoon, slowly creating each
spoon in an unique form until he's happy with the result.

Right now he's creating bird houses for us to put around our house,
so maybe we'll be able to see more chickadees.

On the weaving side of things, I'm slowly setting up my
Baby Wolf loom to weave an overshot runner
using one of Bertha Gray Hayes
miniature overshot patterns.
For the weavers out there, I'm using a 16/2 mercerized cotton yarn in ivory
for the warp, with a sett of 30 epi.
I have almost 600 ends to thread through heddles, 
so I work on it an hour or so each day.
I haven't woven with fine threads much, 
so this project is a stretch for me.

I have people ask me how long it takes to weave a project, 
and I laughingly think to myself if you have to ask,
you probably shouldn't take up weaving,
as weaving on a floor loom isn't for the faint of heart
or the impatient.
When it's done, it's done.

Here's hoping that you have creative time this week,

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Creative News

My husband, Marshall, had some quality shop time this past weekend, so he had his lathe up and running, happily making sawdust.

The first creative endeavor resulted in this lovely walnut bowl,
that has wonderful grain lines
running through it.

The second creative endeavor resulted in a delicate, fluted walnut bowl, 
which is an inventive change.

The other day I visited Cleo, who owns and runs the local fiber/spinning shop,
The Sheep Shed. I love visiting her shop which is filled with bags
of fiber and more fiber-processed,
unprocessed, dyed or undyed. 
As we talked about, you guessed it, 
our favorite spinning projects,
I wandered around her shop, just feeling the 
outstanding wool that she sells.
It's taken me years to find someone
who sells quality wool with very little vegetable matter.
You say to yourself weeds don't matter.
Until you have to handpick those bloomin' weeds
out of the wool as you're trying to spin.
So if you're in the market for some lovely wool,
call Cleo, 208-466-4365,
 and she'll find just what you want.

I came home with two Merino fleeces, one a delicately crimped
ivory color, and the other, a multiple colored silver that has
a soft hand to it.
I'm washing/scouring part of the silver fleece this morning :-)

Every time I visit her shop I pine after the cherry Matchless spinning wheel
that she has there. I have to mentally pinch myself,
and tell myself I do NOT need another wheel.
Even if it's a cherry wood with a gorgeous, dark, rich patina to it....
No. No. No!

On to quilting, and continuing the scrap, vintage block theme, 
I just finished a variation of the bear paw block.
The small quilt pattern is called Oso,
which is Spanish for bear,
created by Carrie Nelson.
This is my version, which has four inch (10 cm)
blocks and an overall size of 33 x 40 inches
(84 x 102 cm).

Here's hoping that you have time for fabric/fiber today,