Friday, December 30, 2011

Screeching to a halt

My husband's sabbatical leave has now officially ended, so my high-level productivity will be coming to a screeching halt. sigh...I knew it would happen, but it was such a great non-semester... To wrap up my year, my friend Jane and I took a trip to Webs to check out their year-end sale. I bought their store-brand Northampton wool for two (!) sweaters. One is a beautiful pattern that I just found in the fall issue of Interweave Knits; I got a nice rich purple heathery yarn for this one, and I've already finished the tiny back-center cable inset and started the back. I also got the yarn for a nifty modular sweater pattern that I bought several years ago. Webs was discounting the yarn, so I wanted to buy it before I couldn't. I think the color that I got for the shaded yarn was the same as in the photo below, but I got a pine green to accent it instead of the black shown. I finished five octagons so far - this is slow going, but it's going to be beautiful once it's done.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


The Ood mask that I crocheted for my younger son came out terrific! I think he still wants the ball attachment, but that will only take a half hour or so when I scrounge up some white yarn. (Now I'll do it again for Child the Elder.)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Scrappy Holidays

Since I got back, I have been tackling my scrap collection (which is enormous and embarrassing, but somewhat organized by color). I've been cutting scraps for three different types of scrappy blocks, and three sizes of hexagons.

We've been pretty caught up on Dr. Who these days, so in my mind of think of the scrap hexagon quilt as "Amy Pond's quilt" (watch The Girl Who Waited and look closely at her bed if you're curious). I've been taking the effort to cut all the way down to a 1.5" square to make a "postage stamp" quilt. I'm not sure why this amuses me so...but it's a pretty neat effect.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Another Spiral

I can't stop making these things - I was eager to try one with the solids left over from my Sol Lewitt phase, so last night I got the top stitched:

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Embroidered Delights

I have had my (sadly neglected) embroidery machine humming this week. One of my favorites is this castle from a whole collection of "Dark Fairytales." The photo is a little light - this is stitched with black thread on a dark charcoal background, very subtle in its loveliness. I absolutely adore the Urban Threads site - they really have my number with their embroidery designs. I'm thinking that after I get all of these stitched out, I might assemble them into a bound, quilted (& embellished) book format. Plenty of time to let the idea stew while I finish the embroidery...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I saw one of these in a terrific little knitting shop in Nottingham. Holy geekdom, Batman! I could not resist it; accordingly, most of my after-dark work has been knitting for the past couple of weeks. (N.B.: This is a hush-hush project, so if you talk to my boys before Christmas, please don't mention this!)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Chocolate Cherries

I've been wanting to make a pink & brown quilt for a while - I love that color combo - and I stumbled onto a great pattern that was actually shown in those colors. I spent the day at my friendly neighborhood FLQS cutting all the pieces for the blocks. (No triangles, no waiting.) Here's a first glimpse at my progress:

Monday, December 5, 2011

Group Quilt

We have entered that delightfully hyperkinetic time of the year when most of my projects are too super-secret to post about, so I'll take the next few weeks to catch up on a few things I've been working on that are appropriate for all audiences. I'll start with the block I made for the Newington Schoolhouse Quilters' Group Quilt, which I am coordinating this year. Usually we ask everyone to contribute blocks of the same pattern using a general type of fabric, but this year I decided to try something different: I bought eight yards of one great fabric (a fun, bright, multi-color polka-dot), and gave everyone who wanted to participate a 10 x 18" chunk. They had to use that fabric to make any block they wanted, which will then all be sewn together into a single quilt. Here's my color-wheel block, featuring my favorite-for-now hexagons; I hand-pieced these cute little one-inch hexes, then machine appliqued the whole ring onto the background:

Tonight the blocks were due, and when I brought them home from our meeting I couldn't help slapping them all up willy-nilly on my wall. Spoiler alert for NSQ members: they look SPECTACULAR!! (If you drive past my house over the next couple of days you can probably steal a peek in my window...but you'll get a better view and an offer of a drink if you knock & come in!)