Thursday, September 10, 2009

Blue is not the only color

Sometimes I get carried away by my passion for blue, and I forget there are other, equally luscious and willing colors out there. After finishing "Leafy Wells", I wondered if I could make the same design using oranges and olivey greens. Sure enough, my stash yielded a lovely array of various fabrics which seemed to work well together, so I got busy and sewed myself into a fabric frenzy. The resulting top is finished, but needs to be layered, quilted,bound, etc. I'm pleased, and wonder what my next color combination should be. Purple and yellow? Orange and blue? The possibilities are limited only by my available stash. ANd time, of course..."Leafy Nights" is still tapping its fingers wanting to be done...

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Leafy Wells

The versitility of quilting makes it the ideal medium for exploring color, shape, size, line, pattern, all without getting your hands wet!
But sometimes things just get to be overwhelming and too large to handle. Thus it goes with "Leafy Nights" which is now around 90 inches square. It is really big, compared with my usual size quilt, which is why that one is hibernating for a while while I decide if I want to quilt it myself or let someone else ( with a longarm machine) have that pleasure.

So, as a form of procrastination , and also due to the myriad leftover half-square triangles, bits of strips of fabric, and the gorgeousness of all of these colors, which I can't bear to put away yet, I made another quilt. This one is considerably smaller ( 37 1/2 inches by 62 1/2 inches ), and is meant as a wall hanging. I used the "Hidden Wells" pattern by Mary Ellen Hopkins, which I have loved since the first piece I made with this design in 1994, for the center strip.
I wanted something quick, interesting and not too fussy, to showcase the fabrics, and this pattern fit the bill. Adding leftover triangles, strips and such to the sides made it have an Art Deco feel, and gave me the shape I wanted. The quilting was a challenge, and I used Contact paper templates to quilt around. The side strips I quilted freehand in leafy designs. On the whole I love this quilt, although it is really uncomplicated and peaceful.

And in the end, Leafy Wells is the best revenge. Now I guess I'll have to quit procrastinating. Maybe later....

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Crop Sleeve Raglan

I don't usually knit a pattern exactly as written, but this sweater called to me. "Crop Sleeve Raglan" by Gayle Bunn, from Knit 'N Style, August 2005. Yarn: ggh Bali, a cotton/acrylic blend. Usually I avoid acrylics, but this was on sale and also it didn't feel squeaky or icky. It had the added advantage of being sproingy and lighter than 100% cotton would be, so a good mix.
This was a fun sweater to knit. Of course, I knit it in the round and seamlessly, despite it being written in pieces, as I love the possibility of trying it on as I go along.
After establishing the pattern, it was very easy to keep track of and turned into my favorite summer drag-along project. The yarn I used was very stretchy, so it was a challenge to get gauge. I tried it on every inch on the way up the body to make sure it would fit! I modified the pattern to be knit seamlessly in the round, and used seed stitch instead of moss stitch on sleeves and ribs, adding a bit of width in the bust area, and 2 inches in length to the sleeves for a bit more coverage. .

A very comfortable summer project!