Thursday, April 28, 2011

WIPs--Works in Progress--Knitting that is!

Works in progress--WIPs--needles, yarn and pattern--all combine to get the creative 'juices' flowing freely--and this person can not be involved in just one WIP--oh, no, there has to be several at one time.  That way, you don't get bored!
Using some handspun merino/silk blend, we have embarked on another year long adventure through our favorite website--Ravelry.  This is the beginning weeks of 2011 Kalendar.  The 2010 shawl is finished but still there is the lack of motivation to block--don't know why--should just DO It!  Anyway, this triangle shawl will take several months to complete--which is good.  The group also features a square shawl, but heaven to betsy--we wanted to work with five needles all the time?!!  anyway, maybe some time in the future, we'll go there. The group is led by Never Frog
And yes, we do love mysteries!!  This is one from Ravelry again--solid socks group, but as you can see from the yarn, it's not solid.  The pattern is different and we are now working on the second heel.  Soon, we'll put the socks back on just two needles and continue knitting two socks at the same time--that way, we know the length will be the same.  The yarn is 100% merino wool from Rio de la Plata-- we found this on sale and bought several skeins at one time--different colors (mostly odd lots)
Always up to try a unique yarn, this one is 100% cotton yarn called 'color changing', dubbed "gemstones" by Wolle's Yarn Creations.  The pattern is easy peasy to knit--Upstairs Shawl by Michaela Behrends.  It's a free pattern, which is very kind of Michaela.  This yarn is unique in the fact that it is not plied but several single strands of yarn run together & every so often one color yarn is dropped and another color yarn is added into the four strands.  At first, it is hard to get used to knitting--sometimes, you do not catch all four strands, but once you get the hang of the yarn, it works really well.
And now, we add one WIP that has become finished!!  can we have a drum roll please......this one was on the needles for it seemed forever--somehow it was just forgotten in it's storage bag.  So, on our last flight, this one was taken along and we were determined to finish it on that trip and alas, it was!!  The pattern is Saroyan,
designed by Liz Abinante, who likes to create patterns from the television show "Bones". This is the third one in her series; all these designs are lovely and easy to knit. This wool/tencel yarn is hand dyed by these tiny little hands and comes from Wool 2 Dye 4--a great place to find yarns to dye.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Quilt Shoppe--Country Expressions--City Appeal!!

When my SIL suggested we take a 30 minute drive into the country and visit a quilt shop, the first thought to pop into one's head "what kind of a shop can this be?"  Well, greatly surprised is the answer when you cross the threshold into The Quilt Shoppe, outside the small town of Stewartsville, Missouri! 

This shoppe was featured in Better Homes and Garden's Quilt Sampler 2008 special edition magazine as one of the top ten quilt shops in the US.
The first impression has that WOW factor.  They were changing their display features but the overall effect was outstanding.  The shop is brightly lighted and spacious.  The quilts on display feature a wide arrange of techniques.

One of the featured quilt patterns is this contemporary pattern designed by Tula Pink
And there is the quilt made up in black and white prints!
The front porch boasts an inviting setting with laminate fabric coverings on the settee and pillows!  Yes, light weight laminate fabric and the design work is from the talented hands of Tula.  This fabric is soft to the touch with that nice handle one wants--this is not like the old oilcloth fabric of the days of yore!
Take a look at just one of the shelves teeming with wonderful soft spring colors!  And since this was a dark dreary day that we visited, the colors popped even more.
Kitchen accessories is not your mother's apron--this is one fashion statement you could wear on an evening out.
And there working away in her mother's quilt shop was none other than Tula Pink herself.  It was interesting talking with Tula about her patterns and fabric line.  Take a look at the smashing quilt in the background--another handwork from Tula's fabrics and patterns.  We could not resist--had to buy a couple of her patterns, some laminate and few other pieces of fabric.  Next time, my SIL suggest a drive into the country to visit this quilt shop, I'll be ready.

Friday, April 22, 2011

An Easter Tribute

On a trip to visit family, we were fortunate to visit a local church that was paying tribute to "The Stations of the Cross".  These series, hand carved by Alfons Josef Moroder, ca. 1915 are each 14" x 22" x 1" deep in European linden wood.  The collection from Greg Filardo was on loan to the Zion Evangelical Church, St. Joseph, Missouri.  The artist was born in 1882 to Josef Mororder-Lusenberg in Tyrolean village of Urtijie in the Gronertal Valley, now a part of Italy.  He immigrated to the United States in 1908 where he carved his masterpiece "Columbus Before Queen Isabella (photo is at the end of the stations.) These carvings, with different finishes, were used as 'samples' to sell similar stations to other churches.

The history of Stations of the Cross originated in Jerusalem during the late Roman period. It was an early Christian attempt to retrace the steps of Jesus through the city as he journeyed from his trial before the Roman procurator, Pontius Pilate, to the place of his execution and terminating at the tomb where his body was laid to rest.  This journey path is known as via Dolorosa.

Even though we are not Lutheran or Catholic, we are Christian and the carvings made an impact on our visit, especially since this was presented during Holy Week.  Please take a moment to walk along the 'path of sorrows'.
Please note that Station VI is missing.  It is not included in the collection and is owned by another collector. Station VI is Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.

Columbus Before Queen Isabella, ca 1909 is 35" x 48.5" x 4" deep.  The work was inspired by the painting  byVaclav Broszik

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hats! Hats! Hats!

We pressed 'green head' into service this past week. She was reluctant at first..............She thinks you might see her bald head between modeling jobs.  Alas, she does quite well once she begins.  Don't remember if you have seen this hat before but it is one of the knitting favorite patterns.  We call it Jane's Hat since the pattern came from a designer named Jane! who has this website Ewephoric Fibers  Yarn is soy silk from SWTC or Southwest Trading Company.
By using the mirror as a backdrop, you can get a better idea of how it fits on 'green head'.
This was quick to work up and using yarn from stash is always a bonus.  This yarn came from Interlacements and one of the yarns that were dyed during a workshop. The pattern came from Woolly Wormhead designs.  This is a favorite hat designer.
Nothing but regular worsted yarn from big box store!  Pattern is another one from Woolly Wormhead's design.
This hat was begun several weeks ago but 'aged' for awhile.  Now, it's off the needles and looks great on 'green head'!  Forgot the name of the pattern.  But, if interested PM and we'll find the pattern could be another Wooly Wormhead patterns.
This hat was one of the "mystery" patterns from Ravelry group--Minknits--join in the fun.  Usually each month there is a free mystery, with a section of the pattern given each week.  Somehow, these mysteries always appeal to this soul.
'Green head' was getting a little weary by mid afternoon, so this one got pulled down too far over her brows.  She didn't complain; just sat there and suffered in silence!  Don't remember this pattern name either--can look it up, if anyone is interested.
And Oh My Gosh--'green head; was getting silly now!  She wanted to try on the beaded purse that was a mystery pattern from December.  Hmmmmm, guess it could be a hat, if you had a very large head.  All these hats plus three scarves and one shawl are being packed in a box and being shipped to Knits for Needs. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Little Stitchin' Here, A Little Stitchin' There

The hands are busy! If the hands are busy, then the mind is busy. These pieces are works from past few weeks in the studio.
Trying to keep up with this series of BOM applique blocks has been an adventure to say the least.  We are learning new techniques and applique stitches are becoming more controlled.
This BOM (Block of the Month) Stitching has been quite fun to do--easy peasy and quickly completed.  Check out the right side of the blog to find "Summer Daze", which will lead you to this free stitching design.
Well, it's April, but we are stuck with February 'wacky love' calendar wall hanging.  This is also noted on the right side of the blog.  Each month it is a complete wall hanging--if you keep up.
The Ex-Patchers met this pass week in Judy's spanking new studio!  WOW!  Is it great!  Good lighting, nice comfy area with lots of working area--we are happy!  Judy is beaming with her accomplished goal--a Studio!
Karen is working away on her heart quilt; adding the magic square to the corners of the heart fabric.
With our work space, we can seat comfortably to sew and also lunch as Debby is doing in the background.  Karen is keeping her hands busy with her chain stitching.

Debby has a stack of chain stitched sections to her block.  She is using a handy dandy gadget given to her by friend Julie--a wooden block with a small slicer on top--just slice through the chain stitch--super fast!

This is the pattern that Debby is making with her fabric squares.  She is making this quilt for her German foreign exchange student (from years ago) who is marrying this summer.  What a lucky couple!
Here is our 'unofficial' secretary, Annette, with her latest creation--just look at all those tiny little blocks--all paper pieced--what a smashing wall hanging!
Annette is adding the finishing touches on the back.  We discussed rules about the hanging sleeve on the back of the quilt--learn something new every day from these gals. 
Okay, we are back in the studio to finish up February 'wacky love'--maybe, even get to the April applique pattern today as well.  Hope there is a little stitching in your life!

Monday, April 11, 2011

"In A Quilter's Garden"

The West Houston Quilter's Guild hosted their annual Spring show this past weekend. And very appropriately named too--"In a Quilter's Garden", so there were many flower related quilts displayed.  The Best of Show was this lovely work by Georgina Buschauer.  Look at the detail on the center............

Such lovely flower dimension--you could almost smell the flower aroma.
The quilting was also done by Georgina.  This was titled Challenge 2 and she states that the 'quilt grew on me'.   Well, it certainly grows on us!!
The photo came out a little blurry--sorry, but it doesn't take away from the overall look of this awesome best of show.
Small wall size hangings also glow with flowery containers.  Titled "Jammin Flower Power" was pieced and appliqued by Susan Jenkins and quilted by Marilyn Gore--great work gals!
The wall sections were hung with profession care and concern for the integrity of the quilt.
A traditional 'Barn Raising' scrap quilt was made by Lauren Semple and quilted by Pam Klein.  You just got to love these scrappy quilts.
This quilt really was eye catching! And a great play on words--"Dot Com"!  Pieced by Susan Jenkins and quilted by Karen Hansen.
Dots ! Dots ! Dots ! Big ones and small ones!
"Texas Tumbleweeds" blocks pieced and quilted by Debbie Huebel.  This block is usually known by the name of buzz saw, using 2.5" strips.
"Mary's Star Quilt" pieced by Julie Lisle and quilted by Valerie De Ruiter--this quilt uses a creative means of triangle points.
A close-up view of the quilting by Sharon Dixon.
Sharon also pieced this quilt using the pattern "Merry Go Round' by American Jane.  The quilting design is Honeysuckle by Patricia Ritter.
A close-up view of the donation quilt that was hung at the entrance of the gallery.
The donation quilted was hand appliqued and machined pieced by members of the West Houston Quilter's Guild and quilted by Jane Plisga.  The pattern  is "Midnight Floral Fantasy" and designed by Karen Kay Buckley and Janet Shultzabarger.  It measures 95"x95".
In keeping with the theme, flower pedals warned visitors 'Do Not Touch'!
A close-up of the quilting feature on "Friends in my Half Square Garden"
This lovely quilt was a production of a half-square exchange with a group of friends.  In all there are over 3000 half square triangles in this quilt.
"Tree of Life" by Pamela Pfeiffer and quilted by Jane Plisga.  This was inspired by 'Friendship Triangles' by Edyta Sitar.  It was also the result of the half square exchange, using 144.

This quilt shows how different fibers can be combined to create an imaginative quilt.  "A Primitive Garden" pieced by Nicole Chen and quilted by Cathy King was a BOM (block of the month) quilt from 2009.
Using wool fabric along with regular cotton quilting fabrics will give Nicole an indoor garden to appreciate for years to come.

This was only a small fraction of the wonderful quilts displayed during the two day event.  It is always amazing that dedicated volunteers will work tirelessly to install their handwork for such a small amount of time.  It is the way to bring some beauty to this world.