Thursday, June 30, 2016

Pot Holder Quilts

So you have a few small blocks just sitting idly by and you don't know what to do with them.  Then try this method, Potholder Quilts or quilt as you go.  Years ago I had a mentor, Anita Murphy, who used this technique for many of her garments. quilts, etc.
Anita didn't invent this style of quilting, she just picked up a way of historic quilting.  Only difference-- The Civil War quilts used smaller blocks.  "It was the easiest way for a club or church group to make a quilt because each contributor took the instructions, worked at home, and then returned the finished block. Though it might appear this was also a quick way to make a quilt, the reality is that many such quilts made for Civil War soldiers and other reasons, such as fundraising, presentation, or friendship, took as long as a year. The earliest known potholder quilt – dated 1837 – "  This information from Pamela Weeks.

Soldiers' Aid Quilt with each block
 individually quilted and bound
The quilt-as-you-go sewing technique. “each block was individually bound with pale blue silk and then the blocks were closely whip-stitched together on the back.” They appeared to be “elegant eleven-inch-square potholders” fashioned into a quilt. Well-known quilt experts such as Gerald Roy, Stephanie Hatch, and American Quilt Society appraiser Vivien Lee Sayre confirmed that this “block-by-block” method (the preferred description) was informally known as making “potholder” blocks. Civil War Quilts

Noted Civil War Quilt Historian, Barbara Brackman, has an interesting page on her blog concerning these New England Quilts.
The Constant Quilter, Wendy Canton Reed, is working away on her star 'potholders', which will be assembled into a quilt.  This is a good way for groups to make the small blocks and assemble for a charity quilt.  

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wednesday--Again Already?

I'm working away on my Tour de Socks--the first pattern, that is!!

I'm Almost finished!

Yes, I'm getting close to the toe!
I'm so far behind the group--I'm the last of the last--so many are working on the third pattern!
speaking of which, I love this third pattern!!  and I have the perfect yarn for this pair.
Diamondback designed by Kirstin Hall--what a pattern!
and would you believe the fourth pattern comes out July 1st????
oh, well, I knew I wasn't going to race to the finish.
I admire those who get the pattern one day and are finished the next!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Monday, June 27, 2016

Quilts That Talk!

Yesterday's blog was about secret codes in your knitting,
but if you are a quilter can you design secret codes in your
quilting.  Yes, quilts do talk! and they speak loudly!
Story quilts paint our feelings and thoughts!

And then there is the underground railroad quilts--The code "was a way to say something to a person in the presence of many others without the others knowing," said Dobard, a history professor at Howard University in Washington, D.C. "It was a way of giving direction without saying, 'Go northwest.'"  

Oh, what a way to communicate--a special code to only those in the know!  Our works of art speak a billion words without uttering a spoken word!  

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Hidden Knitted Codes?

Have you ever thought about knitting secret messages into your knitting?  The most famous or is it infamous character to do such a thing was Madame Defarge in Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities.  I came across this article the other day and found it fascinating!  How do you knit messages into your knitting? Purl one for this action, drop a stitch for this action--just fascinating!  Women are resourceful and knitting has been a supplier of assisting in passing secret messages--

so, if you have some time and want to learn how to pass secret messages through
your knitting--watch this video!
Just fascinating!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Magazine For Handspinners

In my many years of being a handspinner and weaver, I've gone through multi number
of publications for such fiberists.  About 5 years ago, I decided to discontinue my
connection to these magazines--mainly, there is so much you can receive through
digitization.  I have stacks and stacks of unused magazines--sometimes, I browse
through them, but mostly, they just sat there on the shelf.
Recently, I came across this magazine--PLY.  I thought--let's give it a try.
It is published four times a year--and I've received the latest issue
on Bulky yarns--I'm not the biggest fan on bulky yarns.  
I know there is a place for them in our fiber work, but not in mine.
This is a slick paper magazine--many colorful photos
and instructions on how to accomplish bulky yarns.
We'll see how the next publication is--
I'll pass this issue along to a bulky spinner.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Let's Read!

Now that the summer solstice is here, it's time to pull out a good book, find a soft comfy chair, pour a chilling glass of something cold and READ!
I found this list of books that are highlighted for 2016--which will you pick up?

Thursday, June 23, 2016


Anna Dalvi has designed these fingerless gloves to
give the world MORE LOVE!
You can capture her pattern here

The pattern is free until July 4th.

Let's outreach to each other and give

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Wednesday's Yarn Day

Well, there it is!  The dreaded Kitchener stitch!
I don't know why I think it's dreaded--it's easy to do,
if you concentrate while doing it.
It got me to thinking---hmmm,
where and how did this stitch begin.
Knitting played a big part in WWI and many 
were encouraged to knit socks for the soldiers.
Take a look at the history of this 'famous' stitch.

And how did Kitchener get its name--here is the low down!

The British Secretary of State for War, Horatio Herbert Kitchener, associated himself with the Red Cross drive to urge women to knit “comforts” or items for the men in the military, particularly mittens, socks and scarves. He was concerned about the foot problems the sock seams caused and personally contributed a pattern for socks which included a seamless grafting technique that would come to be known as the “Kitchener stitch”.

okay, I'm grabbing my needles and a quiet location to close up these socks
and I'll be done with another UFO!
Happy Wednesday Knitting or whatever fiber work you are doing.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Denver Botanic Gardens Presents...............................

These lovely works of art are created from various artists.
It's always a pleasure to walk the grounds of the gardens and
works of arts make the morning walk more pleasant!

"Goddess with the Golden Thighs"
Reuben Nakian

"Theater Set Element from Judith"
Isamu Noguchi

"Without Words"
Judith Shea

Judith Shea

"Hare on Bell on Portland Stone Piers"
Barry G

"Cavaliere (Horseman)
Marino Marini

"Down Tree"
Louise Nevelson
Saul Baizerman 

"Standing Figure"
Henry Moore

"Wounded Amazon"
Jonathan Silver

"La Grande Chiave (The Large Key)"
Giacomo Manzu
Deborah Butterfield

Take a walk through the gardens and savory the sights, sounds and peacefulness
of your journey

Monday, June 20, 2016

Quilts! Not Just Tops!

I'm so excited to have two of my tops returned to me from my Colorado quilter, Alycia.
I mailed them off to her in May, knowing I would be in Denver during June.
We met up last week!  Now, I have two lovely quilted tops turned into Quilts!

This one was from Bonnie Hunter's free list of quilts.

Alycia did stars!  Just perfect for this starry quilt!

The other top was my Bonnie's 2015 mystery.  I think it's no longer free pattern, but
I love doing this one--used up lots of my stash reds and golds.

This one was quilted with circles!  Love it!

Binding is sewn on--next comes hand stitching.
Hmmm, wonder if the blond headed daughter would like this one--
it is quite large and would fit her bed nicely.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father's Day

Father's Day in the United States

Father's Day in the United States is on the third Sunday of June. It celebrates the contribution that fathers and father figures make for their children's lives. Its origins may lie in a memorial service held for a large group of men, many of them fathers, who were killed in a mining accident in Monongah, West Virginia in 1907.
Father's Day is a day for fathers and father-like figures.

What Do People Do?

Father's Day is an occasion to mark and celebrate the contribution that your own father has made to your life. Many people send or give cards or gifts to their fathers. Common Father's Day gifts include sports items or clothing, electronic gadgets, outdoor cooking supplies and tools for household maintenance.
Father's Day is a relatively modern holiday so different families have a range of traditions. These can range from a simple phone call or greetings card to large parties honoring all of the 'father' figures in a particular extended family. Father figures can include fathers, step-fathers, fathers-in-law, grandfathers and great-grandfathers and even other male relatives. In the days and weeks before Father's Day, many schools and Sunday schools help their pupils to prepare a handmade card or small gift for their fathers.

Public Life

Father's Day is not a federal holiday. Organizations, businesses and stores are open or closed, just as they are on any other Sunday in the year. Public transit systems run to their normal Sunday schedules. Restaurants may be busier than usual, as some people take their fathers out for a treat.

Background and symbols

There are a range of events, which may have inspired the idea of Father's Day. One of these was the start of the Mother's Day tradition in the first decade of the 20th century. Another was a memorial service held in 1908 for a large group of men, many of them fathers, who were killed in a mining accident in Monongah, West Virginia in December 1907.
A woman called Sonora Smart Dodd was an influential figure in the establishment of Father's Day. Her father raised six children by himself after the death of their mother. This was uncommon at that time, as many widowers placed their children in the care of others or quickly married again.
Sonora was inspired by the work of Anna Jarvis, who had pushed for Mother's Day celebrations. Sonora felt that her father deserved recognition for what he had done. The first time Father's Day was held in June was in 1910. Father's Day was officially recognized as a holiday in 1972 by President Nixon.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Fall Cometh!

Elizabeth Felgate has designed this lovely shawl for Fall issue of Knotions


Friday, June 17, 2016

Hopi Rain Sash

 DAM (Denver Art Museum) had an exhibit of "Why We Dance" and on display were various Native American costumes--all decorated with beads, feathers, bells and also on display was this Hopi Rain Sash and Stockings.  The only info was "Hopi Artist--1950; Rain Sash and stockings".  The comment was cotton and corn husk.  I couldn't see the corn husk so did some research.  
Looking at this tightly woven sash, I could see a twill pattern--and it is definitely cotton fiber.

The display showed how it was worn

and the close-up shows the intriguing twill pattern, but where are the corn husks?

"The cotton stockings look to be crochet or netting--no info on the technique, just Zia Artist, 1940's--During ceremonies, many Pueblo dancers wear decorative white cotton leggings with long white fringe on each side to emphasize their movements. Another very important piece of the dance clothing is a white sash tied around the dancer's waist, sometimes called a rain sash.  The extreme length of the fringe simulates falling rain as rows of dancers move across the plaza"

Here is the other info I gathered in my research about the rain sash.
This is a very tightly woven example. Cotton balls with corn husk interiors symbolize rain clouds, rain fall and the expectation of vegetal fertility. “The wide belt is part of the bridal robe woven by the male relatives of the bride-groom in the preparation phase before the wedding. As in all Hopi textiles, it is full of symbolic references. The cords, tied with thick knots, represent falling rain. 
The thick knots, which represent clouds are filled with a ball of corn husk and the fringe represents falling rain. Corn is the ultimate objective of planting and irrigation.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Abstract Colors

It was a treat to visit DAM (Denver Art Museum) on members' preview day for
this exciting exhibit of women of abstract expressionism.
I tried to take a photo of each of the paintings, but
here I've posted just a few of the colors of
abstract paintings!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Wednesday, Here We Come

It's another Wednesday--'humpday' to the week.  And what's on tap for our Wednesday Yarn Along?
I'm so proud of myself--whoops, almost broke my arm from patting myself on my back!
Anyway, I have finished June's pattern for 2016 lace scarf designed by Elizabeth Ravenwood--found
on Ravelry.  The color looks washed out--I'm all caught up!