Friday, September 30, 2016

"Neighbors": Quilt And Other Art Forms

We were recently in Central Texas, Kerrville to be exact--when in town we like to stop in the Cultural Arts Center.  They always host interesting and informative exhibits.
This exhibit was "Neighbors", Quilts and other art forms:
Interesting progression of small quilts inspired by photographs
The quilter took their photo of historical house in their neighbor
and did their interpretation of that house in fabric

I loved this creative outlet to feature the city's historic element.

Each display had a statement about the history of the home

Some were whimsical, like this one-- for all they could see
was the swan flower pot on the porch

This quilt feature the mimosa tree in the front yard

Different techniques were used in each small art piece

Such a fun exhibit to walk through

Not only did I enjoy the quilting aspect, but I learned
about the history of the homes

If you have a chance, stop in the center and walk through history

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Knitting For Cooler Weather---Fingerless Gloves (FLG!)

I love having fingerless mitts--they are so handy for many purposes.
These are quite lovely too!

These are designed by William Nelson
I have the yarn and needles!
Ready, set, knit!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Kid 'N Ewe--

I kid ewe not!  It's time to think about registering your classes--time is fast approaching to November 11-13!  Yes, I know you think it's a long time off, but prepare your fall calendar now!

The 28th Annual Festival
November 11-12-13, 2016

Kid ‘N Ewe is Texas’s premier fiber arts festival for spinners, weavers, knitters, crocheters, felters, and anyone else who enjoys the wide variety of fiber arts.

Come shop for tools and supplies in our three vendor halls totaling over 30,000 square feet of nationally-known vendors who provide a wide variety of artisan made goods.

Try something new, or hone your skills, by taking one or more of our 50+ workshops taught by talented artists from Texas and surrounding states.

Visit the animals up close and personal in the animal barn and be on hand for demonstrations and sales.

Kid ‘N Ewe has something for everyone! Come join us!

Sponsored By

Fiber Producers Of Texas, Inc.

South Central Llama Association

Independence Fiber Mill

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Brown, White And Green---Cotton, That Is

I have so many pounds of natural colored cotton in my fiber stash--I have been spinning off and on this fluffy stuff for years--I think this stuff multiplies in the night!  I love the feel of this natural fiber.
I decided to weave some hand towels from my handspun cotton--so on the loom 6 yards went after I finished my towels.  I'm lazy--I just tied on the warp and pulled through.
It took some time before I could wind the warp as I have to ply my cottons.
I have some dyed cottons for another warp, but think I'll prepare
those well in advance to warping! 

Singles are not a good idea for warp!!
In this photo you can see where I tied on to the previous warp

And we are being carefully to pull through the lease sticks slowly to keep the
threads in order.  I ran two threads at a time on the warping board--don't know if
that's the best thing to do but it saves time.
We are well on our way to some handspun woven towels!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Stitching Halloween!

Amy of Random Acts of Amy has designed this cute Halloween sampler
for your stitching pleasure.  Check out the neat PDF she has for you.

Also, check out her backside of the hoop area--here she interviews
fellow embroidery artist, like herself.
This is a fun page to surf through
and the stitching is a bonus!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Spindles--Oh, Yeah!

Are you as crazy about spindles as I am?!  I love my spindles!  They come in various sizes and shapes; weigh little and spin wonderfully!  Easy to travel with and easy to store, and sometimes, easy to make!  Need more information on spindles, then check this out Ask The Bellwether

I have several of these 'wheel' spindles--these can be made to give as door prizes or
gifts.  In fact, the price is small too!  It takes only a toy wooden wheel, a cup hook and
a short piece of dowel rod (over time, I have come to favor 6" length on the dowel)

Some of the spindles are painted, some left plain--I also have couple clay spindles. 
I've even made spindles from old CD's, using a grommet to secure on dowel--it came be a
top or bottom whorl

In this photo you can see the rubber grommet on the dowel--I've also been known to
use a door knob for spindle top.  But, on the other hand, I've purchased some
expensive spindles by fine wood makers

These are my storage containers for my fine expensive spindles--
saves many a broken spindle

And here is what is inside--

This is my most expensive spindle--Golding--the weight is just perfect for spinning silk!
Oh, yes, you can never have too many spindles!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Knitting For Cooler Weather--HAT!

I'm hoping, just hoping, by writing this blog about cooler weather--it will arrive---soon!  So, I'm preparing my fall (cool weather) wardrobe by knitting some cooler weather items.  First up, A HAT!

But, WAIT! Which HAT should I knit?

Picacho Peak

Oh, so cute!  and I have the right yarn too! Picacho Peak is a lightweight, all-over lace hat. It is great for those cool mornings or evenings when you want just a little something to break the chill.
Or should I knit Sea Folk by Jennifer Lysen

The Sea Folk hat is a modern take on the fisherman style. Featuring an asymmetrical twisted rib brim and a three needle bind off on top, this slouchy cap is suitable for both men and women and will keep you warm on blustery, salty days. It requires just one skein of Worsted yarn and knits up quickly 

Okay, I'll knit both of them!  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Pumpkins! Pumpkins! Pumpkins!

Yipee!  A free pattern from Debby Kratovil!  Pumpkins!
and a quick make too!  This is one of her most popular patterns featuring pumpkins and you have enough time before October 31 to make it. And it doesn't have to be for Halloween. Pumpkins are perfect for Thanksgiving or anything Fall related.
It's all laid out there for you in a great tutorial!.
Here are my setting for the above pumpkins.  I still haven't decided on the border.

Our friend, Judy, had this super duper pumpkin candle mat on her table.
This is from Bits And Pieces By Joan.  Well, needless to say, I couldn't find the
pattern on her website--so, I'll just look for something similar.
I found this on Fave Quilts!  
Holy Smokes!  More patterns from Quiltin Inspiration

Thursday, September 22, 2016


What better way to begin October?
Carolina Fiber Girls podcast is hosting this knit along for interesting socks! check it out!
This sock features a little bit of colorwork, a lot of texture and the wonderful double gusset heel by turtlegirl76 on Ravelry .  Lilliput Yarn is offering kits in her etsy shop that are available now. There are five color options!
The sock is written for one size, but if you have very small feet, you can switch to US 1 (2.25mm) after the colorwork section to snug it up.
Scrappie by  Adrienne Fong
Mystery pattern for SOCKtober for the Carefree KAL group on Ravelry. Uses left-over sock yarn. Pattern will be released in its entirety on October 1, 2016. Pattern includes both written instructions and charts.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Do YOu Double Knit?

Do you double knit?  I don't!  In fact, I think I have a Craftsy class on double knitting
that I haven't watched.  Well, here is another video on double knitting.  And just might
learn how to do this technique!

Here is the pattern you can practice with--a beginner's pattern, it is called! 
TPHPE - The Prettiest Hot Pad Ever! by Heather Zoppetti-
You'll find this pattern on Ravelry!
This hot pad uses the double knitting technique. Just like magic, it makes a positive image of the pattern on one side and a negative image on the other – there is no ‘wrong’ side. The fabric it makes is double thickness, so it’s perfect for a hot pad.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Texas Hill Country Yarn Crawl!

Howdy, y'all!  It's time to put this event on your calendar--
saddle up and get your passport and join in this roundup of exciting
yarn shops--It's the Hill Country Yarn Crawl!

Join us for ten fun-filled days crawling your way through 19 yarn shops around and about central Texas! Bring family, meet up with friends, make new ones, and see all the great things each shop has to offer. To add to the fun, you will have lots of chances to win PRIZES! Along the way, we hope you discover new ways to fuel your fiber passion and meet local fiber artists up close and delight in their wares. Best of all, rekindle your love for all the yarn and fibers the Hill Country has to offer.
Pay an entry fee of $15, which entitles you to: 1) Yarn Crawl Passport and Passport Stamp Page,and a commemorative stitch marker. 2) two exclusive, specially-designed patterns at each shop you visit, 3) a 25% discount on 2 yarns highlighted for the patterns at each of those shops, and 4) a super cool commemorative yarn crawl bag to the first 1000 participants.
How to Win?
Each yarn shop will be giving prizes away daily! The more shops you visit, the better your chances of winning cool prizes. Turn in your passport card at the last shop you visit because this year we are having three grand prizes!  This provides more opportunities to win.  In addition to the daily prizes, will be having grand prizes for those who make it to at least 8, 13 and all 19 shops.
Rules of Engagement: We’re easy! Each participant must:
  • have their own passport card
  • fill out the contact information on the passport card (having pre-printed labels with this information will help speed you through this process)
  • be present at each yarn shop to get your passport card stamped (i.e., no proxy crawling)
  • be at least 10 years of age
All passport cards must be turned in by end of business on Sunday, October 16th. Remember to print clearly on your passport card – we need this information to contact you!
Winners will be posted here and will be contacted by the shop they have chosen to hold their prize*.
Grand Prize winners will be drawn on Oct. 28th, 2016.

Monday, September 19, 2016

September--To & Fro

I love Fall!  There are so many wonderful things about Fall weather--and so many wonderful quilt patterns to sew up!

Here we have fall presented in a different way--This pattern comes from

Here is how it looks in a quilt

Love! Love! These Maple Leaves, "Maple Sky" by A Quilting Life
There are so many Fall-Autumn Quilt patterns just fit for the working!
Happy Fall!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Let's Build A House! Or Several!

Here is a great quilting adventure--especially if you enjoy building houses as much as I do--
this is an easy way to build houses!
Bear Creek Quilting Company is hosting a "Be My Neighbor" Block of The Week event.
Every Friday a new free block will be released.  Sign up for their newsletter
so you can keep up with the neighborhood!

This is the block for week of September 9th
Here is my block from that week
Oh, dear--some remodeling needs to be done!  
The chimneys are following off the roof--
that's a job for Mr. Ripper!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Myth of Sugar Wrappers

Have you heard that early American settlers used the blue paper from sugar cones to dye their fabric?
I have!  And why not?  It was there from the sugar cone wrappers.  Why just throw it away?

I found such a blue wrapped paper sugar cone on my visit to the Farm House at Washington on the Brazos Historical Site.  The following article debunks the logic that Early American Settlers used this for dye--Read on!
A sweet story, but experts in historic crafts say that no actual instances of this practice are known in America’s colonial era. Apart from lack of evidence, it is illogical. Refined sugar was an expensive, imported luxury—think caviar—that only the wealthiest could afford. Not the sort who are scrimping and recycling their wrapping paper or dying their own fabric. (If the family budget couldn’t stretch to include sugar, what did folks back then use for sweeteners? Maple sugar, honey, molasses, or muscovado sugar. Or nothing.)
But lo and behold, several household management books published in the mid-nineteenth century do mention this practice. In one of them, The American Frugal Housewife (1835), author Lydia Childs tells how to make various cheap dyes, including “a fine purple slate color” by boiling sugar wrapping paper in vinegar with alum and boiling it in an iron kettle. In another, Eliza Leslie’sLady’s Frugal House-Book; a Manual of Domestic Economy(1850), the chapter on domestic dyes tells how to make a slate color by boiling vinegar and alum in an iron kettle with some pieces of “the thick purple paper that comes round sugar-loaves.”
Why then and not earlier? Probably because that’s when sugar became cheap. The expansion of Caribbean sugar plantations flooded the market with sugar and prices dropped, bringing sugar loaves, wrapped in traditional purplish-blue paper, within reach of most housewives. And the average housewife is just the sort who might be interested in learning to dye her own fabric on the cheap. So this myth is false when heard at early American sites and true for later, nineteenth-century sites.
Where did the purplish-blue paper custom, as opposed to white or brown or another color, originate? Probably in the Middle East or North Africa, where sugarcane cultivation originatedIn certain North African countries, sugar is still sold that way in grocery stores, as large cones wrapped in blue paper. I saw them in a Moroccan grocery store a few years ago, and also in a market in Jordan.

Friday, September 16, 2016

An Afternoon Spent at Washington on The Brazos

Recently, the blond headed daughter (bhd) said, "let's take a picnic and go on a road trip!"
Well, not a long road trip--please--no, let's just drive about 1.5 hours from the house to one of the 
most historic places in Texas History--Washington On The Brazos.  It is said to be the
birth place of Texas Independence.  Oh, okay, let's go, but let's not take a picnic--it's just too darn hot!
We'll find that airport diner in Brenham for lunch--all agreed and we're off!

I'm glad we took the ranch walking tour--where I found some textile treasures.
like this overshot woven upholstered chair.

sad though, as it has faced the sun way too long and has faded--
this would definitely happen without window dressings in 1800's

The bed covering was a fancy applique

and in the other bedroom, this lovely pieced plaid quilt adorned the bed

In the dining area, we found a floor cloth-- used in the place of carpets or rugs

We ventured to the museum, which was across the road from the farm house and
upstairs I found more wonderful textiles--like this Grandmother's flower garden quilt

A super great applique quilt--with star borders

Look--a lazy kate!  I never could find the reasonings behind calling it lazy kate!  

The Lone Star Quilt!  One of my favorite patterns and very difficult to piece in the 1800's

and a remarkable piece of overshot pattern with weaving shuttle and quills (bobbins)

a variation on the Lone Star Quilt

Hand quilting in circles

At the foot of the bed--wouldn't you like to cover yourself with this delight?

hand quilting!

another example of overshot coverlet

Here you can see how the strips were seamed to make a full size coverlet.
Okay, even though it was a hot day, it was an enjoyable day visiting Texas History again.