Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thursday is for Knitting

The deadline for Hats for Sailors finished projects is approaching -- November 11! If you've knit a Hat for a Sailor, go here to ask for the address to which you can mail your finished hat.


I'm excited to host the November Hats for Sailors KAL on Ravelry. Deb Buckingham (The Dishcloth Diva) designed a hat just for the KAL, "Fair Winds and Following Seas."

And as an added bonus, when you buy the Fair Winds Following Seas pattern on Ravelry, you get a coupon code to receive a free pattern for her new design, the Abby Slouchy Hat!

There's a new yarn shop in town! You know how I love a shop that has something I can't get anywhere else -- WELL, Ewe & Me Yarn Boutique is just that place! It's the first shop I've ever seen that stocks Signature knitting needles (expensive, but so worth it!). AND they stock all the colors of Rowan Pure Wool Worsted that are used in the Kaffe Fassett KAL!  

I'm thinking I'll make a cowl from these yummies:

Debbie (the owner) had some Lorna's Laces yarn custom-dyed for the shop opening, in Broncos colors:

Somebody needs a new Broncos hat!

But not this guy:

That's the Elder Son wearing his Viking Beard hat.  Melissa's pattern included a crocheted hat with Viking horns, but ES said he would never wear that after Halloween. So I just attached the beard to a regular stocking cap.

Speaking of sons, here's what My Little Sailor is doing back in Japan this week:

I have a Halloween finish to share tomorrow! Come back and see what it is.

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Planning Ahead

Many quilters consider planning quilts, shopping for specific colors, and diving into the "stash" to be the most fun part of quilting.

Clearly, I'm no exception! Have you seen Bonnie Hunter's announcement of her next mystery quilt, "Grand Illusion?" Have you started to pull fabrics from your stash? Maybe you need to do a little shopping?

Here are the colors Bonnie recommends for this year's quilt:

I stopped by Ruth's Stitchery this morning to see what they have in this color range. There are lots more, but here are just a few I picked out to match the color cards:

I prefer bright, clear colors -- so I had plenty in my own stash!

Note: Aqua leans to green, not blue, as does Turquoise:

I love this bright apple (or grass?) green:

Can you tell pink is my favorite color?

I bought the yellow on the left at High Country Quilts. Then I saw the one on the right at Ruth's today. It's the one "constant" color in the quilt, so I'll have to choose!

I'm excited that Ruth's is hosting a "sit and sew" for the Winter Mystery. If you're in the area, bring your fabrics, machine and printed instructions from Bonnie to the shop at 9 am on Friday, November 28. It's fun to sew with friends!

WIP Wednesday

I test-sewed one block for our December Jelly Roll Party. The pattern is "Basket Weave" from The Quilt Room.

This isn't the fabrics I'll use for the actual sample quilt -- they're leftovers from a Sandy Gervais collection. In case you didn't notice, the center is an Octagon -- NOT a Hexagon! I have several Hexagon rulers, but couldn't find an Octagon template! The pattern requires enlarging the Octagon template by 400%, with each side measuring 3.75". WELL, at 400%, each side measures 3.78"! The DH noticed one side is about 1/4" longer than the others. I'm hoping when I start on the sample, I'll be able to "sliver" down the sides to measure exactly 3.75".

If you're a knitter, come back tomorrow for a sneak peak at a new yarn shop in Colorado Springs!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Finish

This quilt isn't the oldest UFO in the bin, but pretty close!

It was a row quilt from several (maybe 10?) years ago. When my long-time friend wanted a quilt for her niece, I invited her to look through the "pile." She picked this one, so I had to put the borders on it and get it quilted.

The fabrics are all batiks. Some of the blocks were paper pieced -- and look, there is an entire row of flying geese!  Cornelia did a lovely job on the quilting. This quilt is featured in my soon-to-be released YouTube video about Susie's Magic binding.

Here is Leah holding her quilt. Isn't she pretty? And her Mama raised her right -- she acted excited about the quilt, and gave me a thank-you hug!

I dropped the ball on counting quilts this year -- I have no idea what number this one would be!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Playing Catch Up

After taking the entire month of September off, I'm seriously behind with swap blocks, Jelly Roll Party Samples, and pretty much everything else!

So today I sewed like the wind, and I have my Front Range Modern Quilt Guild swap blocks finished:

Angela asked for Erica Jackman's "Simply Style Stacked Squares Quilt" blocks in warm colors. Orange is warm, right?

Both Emily and Peggy asked for wonky log cabin blocks. Wonky is not my best thing, but I think they turned out OK.

And the next-to-last block for the 2013 Quiltmaker Magazine Scrap Squad swap:

Carol asked for "anything that reminds you of the beach." I actually bought this fabric when I was on vacation at the beach last month. The block is "Storm at Sea," in honor of My Little Sailor missing not one, but two typhoons while he was home on leave (whew!).

And the flimsy for the November Jelly Roll Party sample:

The pattern is Parallel Universe from Cozy Quilts. The fabric is from Sweetwater, their new collection, "Elementary."

I have one more Jelly Roll Party sample to make, then I'll be more or less caught up. With the quilting that is -- the knitting and the housework? Not so much!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Road Trip Stash and De-Stash

Road trips by car are dangerous for quilters and knitters.  All that room to fill with purchases -- even in the Mini Cooper!

Just for fun, here's a photo of Jack-in-the-Trees at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park:

Definitely a "bucket list" trip.

So did I buy any fabric on this trip?  Umm -- yep!


Enough Cotton + Steel deco weight to make a Noodlehead Super Tote for me.

Some "beachy" cottons from Creative Fabrics in Wheeler, Oregon. These are to make a block for one of the members of the 2013 Scrap Squad. She wanted "anything that reminds you of the beach." What's better than fabric from the beach?

I love to visit the shops in Quilt Sampler's Shop Hop magazine. We "happened" to duck into Boersma's Sewing Center in McMinnville (the GPS really, really wanted us to drive I-5 from Portland to California!). This is quite the shop -- at least a half-dozen long-arms in their basement classroom and at least as much fabric as Ruth's Stitchery! Their project in the magazine is my favorite, so how lucky that this is the one shop I got to visit.

The one place I wanted to visit in San Francisco was Britex Fabrics. So after touring numerous historic ships and Fisherman's Wharf, My Little Sailor followed me to Britex. Wow. Just. Wow. I was so overwhelmed, the only thing I bought was buttons for two sweaters, and big metal rings for Friend Mary to use on our next Abbey Lane Beatle Bag.

I missed one skein of yarn on Thursday's knitting post. This lovely thing is from Tangled Yarns in Tillamook. 

As is the lovely matching shawl pin on the left. The Julie Ueland pin is from the Latimer Quilt & Textile Center. Years ago, when I worked at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Julie also lived in Tacoma. Each season she had a special sale of her jewelry. So I had to buy this just for old time's sake!

Wonder what this is?

It's the ends of these glass knitting needles gifted to me by DD. Aren't they gorgeous? The "needles" are size 10, so I'll have to find some chunky yarn to knit a scarf using them.

Last purchases from our trip are not fabric, nor yarn. This Lucky Cat, or Maneki Neko, is black to protect family. Appropriate, as MLS returns to Japan tomorrow!

And I added a "few" Starbucks mugs to my "You Were Here" collection:


As a reward for reading all the way through this long post, I have 8+ yards of batik fabric to offer you! The first person who comments on this post with your PayPal email address and zip code, gets the de-stash for the cost of postage. It will fit in a medium-size flat-rate box, so US postage will be $12.65.

Think of me tomorrow as I make the early-morning trip to the airport to send My Little Sailor back to Japan for two more years!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Friday, October 10, 2014

I Love Yarn Day

Warning: photo-heavy post. And it's all yarn today! If you're not a knitter, or you don't want to be tempted, it's OK to skip this post!

Yes, it's the Craft Yarn Council's "I Love Yarn Day!" My Little Sailor and I took our own "Yarn Crawl" while we were in Oregon last month. 

Here is the complete 2014 Yarn Crawl 101 stash:

And here are the individual yarns and details. First, from the very tip of the Long Beach Peninsula and Tapestry Rose: Cascade's Tangier. The pattern is a great "Man Scarf," promised to MLS.

I really went "overboard" (sorry for the pun) at Purly Shell Fiber Arts in Ilwaco. You know how I love a shop with yarn I can't get anywhere else -- and this shop is the best! Lots of hand-spuns, hand-dyes, and just generally yummy yarns!

Astoria Fiber Arts is a fascinating place. Not only do they sell locally hand-dyed and hand-spun yarns, they have a weaving and spinning school.  I wish I lived close enough to take classes there.

This one is superwash, so it's tagged for Hats for Sailors.

Creative Beginnings in Seaside offered this incredibly soft "Mink" laceweight, hand-dyed for Trendsetter Yarns. (Don't tell, but it's a birthday gift for a knitting buddy!)

We had so much fun at Coastal Yarns in Cannon Beach. The designer of their Yarn Crawl pattern was also the clerk -- so I had her autograph my copy of the pattern! And Twisted! All colors, all weights -- such temptation!

Our home base for the week was Manzanita, Oregon. T-Spot Yarns saved a skein of their special "September in Manzanita" color way for me:

Here's the "I can't remember where I bought this, but isn't it gorgeous?" skein. Madelinetosh ASAP, super bulky superwash, and perfect for Hats for Sailors. Good reason for shops to include their shop name on the price sticker!

Custom Threads, also in Astoria, featured Cascade Eco Duo. Not a unique yarn, but one that is new to me.

I also scored some sale yarns for Hats for Sailors:

Back home in Denver, post-vacay, I promised a Halloween "Viking Beard" hat to Elder Son for Halloween. Rather than make the hat "Viking" style, he chose "Skiff" from Jared Flood. Whoo hooo, Fancy Tiger carries JF's yarn!

To celebrate my birthday, I picked up this Madelinetosh, "Marte." It has my name on it!

Whew! That's enough yarn to see me out! Fabric stash and de-stash returns on Sunday, see you then!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature