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Batik circles/swirls

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Mr. W pointed out that it has been awhile since I posted anything to my blog.

Here’s what I’ve been working on this week. I can’t remember where exactly I first had the inspiration to do these two little artsy-fartsy pieces…..I think it was from Brenda Gael Smith/Serendipity Quilting but who knows. As one of my favorite quilt peeps says…..is there REALLY anything new under the sun? Aren’t we all just re-interpreting things that have been made before? (ahhhh…..yes, you are right Mary!)

Anyway…..I’m doing the quilting with my walking foot on JaniJanome. That Craftsy class I took on straight/walking foot quilting has paid off big time. I much prefer doing my quilting with a walking foot rather than free motion quilting. However – they both have their uses.

Quilting is finished but they still need binding and sleeves. I’ll post final pictures once they are 100% completed.

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Random bits and pieces

Rug I finished using 1″ strips.  Crocheted with a very large hook (I’m too lazy to go look at the size right now).  I wasn’t sure I’d like it but it feels good underfoot in the bathroom in front of the sink.

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FINALLY finished this scarf.  I was real sick of it by the time I did the stretchy bind off.  500 meters of fluffy sock-weight yarn.  Not sure who will end up with it but it’s rather cute, especially when wrapped around the neck a couple times.  It’s now time to start on my 2nd sock (I am suffering from SSS – ‘second sock syndrome’.)

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Design process using left over bit and pieces from my Celtic Solstice quilt.  I have 20 star blocks.  Thinking to add 2″ sashing and gold corner stones with scrappy gold setting triangles on the outside.  I don’t think I have any blue or gold for borders, and I don’t want to purchase any fabric for this quilt – so I might bring it back and see what mom has in her stash that would work.

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And for absolutely no reason – I’m putting a picture of our bed here.  I REALLY REALLY REALLY love my New York Beauty quilt and have been using it each afternoon to cover up with while doing yoga nidra or meditation.  It won’t be long until Summer arrives and I won’t have a need for using quilts for a few months.

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Wolle’s Yarn Addiction?

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This is probably the longest post I’ve ever done.  Don’t bother reading it if you are short on time.  It’s really just a little glimpse into my world.  Crazy world as it is.

You KNOW how much I’ve been into knitting the last year or so.  Ravelry is one of the places I visit nearly every day.  LOVE IT!  Sometimes I’m only there for a minute or two but other days….well, it’s like getting lost down a deep dark hole.

While exploring Ravelry patterns one day I discovered a yarn (Wolle’s) and an entire new world of people addicted (yes, I said ADDICTED) to a specific yarn.  The yarn is hand-dyed with long color changes.  Lightweight.  Cotton.  4 ply fingering.

About 6-8colorways are available once a month.  If it doesn’t sell out – you can buy it later but typically, the most popular colors sell out very fast (like in 5 minutes or so).   This yarn is ONLY available one day a month during the hours of 2-3pm Eastern Time.  And only on Ravelry.  (The exception to this is that the woman does do some yarn festivals throughout the year on the East Coast).

Every item I have seen made with this yarn is gobsmackingly gorgeous.

The basic process to get your hands on this delicious yarn…..well, first you have to be on Ravelry’s forum (the group is called Fans of Wolle’s Yarn Creations) to get the information you need.  At some point, there will be a post telling what day of the month is the order day.  Mark it on the calendar. Between 2 and 3pm ET on order day (that’s 4-5AM the next day for me), the forum thread goes LIVE with her posted colors for the month.  Ready, set, GO!  She only does a set amount of yarn.  First come, first serve.  She fills the orders as they come in.  You quickly look at the colours and dash off an email to her and then wait to find out if you were successful or not.

Right now, you are thinking to yourself…….so what?  What’s the big deal, Krissy?  Well……follow me further down into this deep dark rabbit hole…..!

I’ve ‘participated’ in the frenzy for the last 2 months.  The first month – I did it as a (somewhat) casual observer.  I wanted to know what all the fuss was about.  Plus, I frequently have insomnia so I was up anyway (rrrrriiiiiiiiigggghhhhhtttt!).

I log on to the forum.  I find the thread about the July Pre-Order and I watch.  I ‘watch’ these women cuss and discuss how excited they are to place their order.  I read about how to maximize your chance of getting what you want (pre-write your email so all you have to do is pop in the color and hit the SEND key).  I read about the colors that ‘got away’ in previous months.  I read about how one poor woman has been trying to get her hands on some of this yarn for 3 months now without success.  I read about how you need to continually hit the renew button (F5?) so that you don’t miss the starting gun.  They note when Elizabeth (Wolle’s woman) logs on and off.  They lament about how they are missing lunch – how their kids are screaming but they are ignoring them – how they are sitting in the doctor’s office HOPING that they don’t get called into their appointment before the bell goes off.

I know what you’re thinking…..CRAY CRAY CRAZY!  I agree.  Totally.   Finally, after what seems like an eternity (47 minutes in July and nearly 55 in August) the thread goes live and the colors are posted.  OMG……it’s like a Black Friday sale at Walmart.  Or when the new Beanie Bag shipment used to arrive at Lewis Drug (that reference is for Kelly – not that she reads my blog or anything).  Then the posts start about what they ordered and how they HOPED they’d get their choices.  And what TIME they placed their order.  And then…..you wait.  You wait to see if you get a confirmation or a regrets email.  You don’t have to wait long though – usually within a few hours people start to get notification and then the crying and/or shouts of glee begin.  So many happy people.  So many sad people.

And then…..it’s over for another month.  The thrill of the chase is over and we’re back to watching for the order date to be released for the next month.  In the meantime, we troll the threads looking at all the pretties that others are making.  All the while knowing that we COULD be knitting.

Full disclosure?  I DID pre-write my email in July.  (Just in case, you know.)  Well, after ‘listening’ to these women for over 45 minutes, I had the bug.  I HAD TO order.  I quickly scanned the colors.  Made my decision.  Typed in the 2 colors I wanted and hit the send button.  I placed my order within 4 minutes of the thread going live.

Was I successful?  Partially.  Even though I hit the send button and ordered within 4 minutes – only one of my 2 colors were available.  WTH?  Cray Cray.  Since it was just a little fun on my part, I wasn’t upset or irritated.  It was rather like playing a game and I actually thought it was pretty enjoyable – an hour or so of entertainment.  Some people get really upset though – that they’d ‘wasted’ an hour and not gotten what they wanted.  Most people who play this game were very chillaxed but some were down right nasty.

This is what I want to make with one of my balls of yarn.  I’ve already bought the pattern, $4 called Dangling Conversation by Mindy Ross (from Ravelry) and just need to buy some beads.  Isn’t it gorgeous?

dangling conversation

ANYWAY…..surprisingly I had insomnia again in August on the order day (quit laughing) and since there isn’t going to be an order day in September I caved and ordered.  I was only successful on 1 of 2 colors.  So, I now have 3 balls of this yarn.

The funniest part of my process?  I won’t even see the yarn until I get to the USA later this year as I’m having them sent to my sister’s place.  I might need one more color though……..I still have October and November to play the game.  However….I SORTA made the comment the other night to Mr. W that I was putting myself on a yarn diet so we’ll see if I have insomnia again in October or November.  I could ALWAYS buy a ball or two for a gift now, couldn’t I?

If you’ve read this far…..you now have confirmation that I am nuts.

FMQing with a Quilt Halo

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I’ve tried several techniques in this path to mastering free motion quilting (FMQ).

I started my FMQ path with Leah Day and she quickly convinced me that gloves and a Supreme slider were great tools to have.  (It also helped that my sister is a long arm quilter and somehow acquired each of these tools and didn’t need them so sent them on to me!)

One day I complained to a friend about how hot it was to FMQ with gloves and she suggested glycerine.  Mr. W had a bottle in his wine laboratory so I started putting just a dab of glycerine on my hands prior to FMQing instead of gloves and that worked like a charm.

While in Canberra at the craft show, I came across a lady demonstrating Sharon Schamber’s quilt halo.   Once I received my halo I  went to town learning it.  Studied the videos on youtube.  Read the reviews (they were mixed).  Tried it.  FAIL.  I wasn’t impressed.  Put it away for a month then tried it again.  hmmmmm…..not so bad!  It actually makes FMQ easier on my body.  My shoulders aren’t near as stressed and cramped.  My hands don’t have near the tension in them.  It truly does glide (because you use a slippery mat underneath).  I’m actually rather impressed and will keep using it.

The mat that came in the hoop combo is called a sewslip (see images above).  It’s OK but not near as  nice as the Supreme Slider.  After one usage, it started to curl.  It’s not near the weight of the Supreme slider and I don’t think it’s as slippery.  I will be buying the queen sized Supreme Slider in the future.

 

 

Progress – Wonky Basket

 

 

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Progress on my wonky basket quilt.  It’s been a LONG time in the making – I’m thinking it’s been at least 4 years since I started it as I remember doing some of the appliqué blocks while sitting in the hospital with Mr. W nearly 4 years ago.

I started by outlining each basket.  Then I did a 2nd row.  Then I became obsessive and decided to draw on the Japanese Boro and Kantha stitching styles and I just kept going around and around the baskets until I reached the edges of the individual blocks.  It’s very meditative – doing this type of stitching.  I typically do about an hour or two of it in front of the TV each night – or until my naughty finger gets sore.  My callus is developing nicely!

I’m about 2/3rds of the way through the basket section.  I’m not 100% sure what I’m going to do in the borders….I’m of two thoughts – one doing a cross hatch about 1″ apart – the other is to outline all the motifs once more and then do trailing lines through-out the background with bees and bugs and dragonflies here and there.  The second option is almost a little too cutesy for me – but I’m considering it.

This is the quilt where I’m using Finca Presencia Perle cotton 12 and the wadding/batting is a woven cotton fabric that is used in tailoring suit coats (think it was call Light Quilters wadding or something like that – I bought it at A2F in Canberra).  The batting is very light weight – midweight between a muslin and a cheesecloth.  It’s very easy to quilt through and will make for a nice, lightweight quilt.

 

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