FO Friday: side swipe and basketweave

I finished writing two more hat patterns this week, the first of which is the Side Swipe Hat.

Side Swipe Hat
This one is a fun eyelet pattern. I also love the tones in this colorway.

Basketweave Baby Hat
I’m particularly happy with how this Baby Basketweave Hat came out. It’s a baby hat made in a basketweave cable pattern.

Basketweave Baby Hat
I just love how the crown looks! I’m so pleased that it turned out the way I hoped it would. Now I just need to find a baby in need of a hat to whom I can gift this – anyone know of one?

Both of these patterns are of course available in my Ravelry shop and on Etsy.

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WIP Wednesday: trees

I started in on the trees on my current art quilt WIP this week.

WIP #modernvenus #quilting #artquilt #wip
I picked out a grey fabric with a texture that reminded me a little bit of tree bark. These trees are inspired by Michigan’s White Pine trees, the bark of which often appears more grey than brown. I free-handed a paper pattern roughly the right shape and size and cut out a few trunks.

WIP #modernvenus #quilting #artquilt #wip
I also cut out a few freehand so that not every one was the same. I played with the placement a bit until I had a satisfactory spread of trees. As I will be adding some branches and foliage I didn’t want them too close together – but I do want to give the look of an overlapping forest, so I didn’t want too much space between, either. I chose to use seven trees as that number is commonly thought of as lucky and because an odd number pleases the eye.

WIP #modernvenus #quilting #artquilt #wip
I pinned all the tree pieces and then sewed each trunk down individually. I left a bit of room for the edges to fray a little and included the already frayed edge of the fabric at the base of each tree. I’m happy with how it looks so far – looking forward to adding the rest of the trees soon!

Earth Stories: SAQA art quilt exhibit

I recently drove down to Lansing to see an art exhibit called Earth Stories, which features art created by members of the Studio Art Quilt Association. Artists were asked to pick a project that was important to them and then create an art quilt that would embody the goals of the project. The pieces in this show were then selected by Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, an artist, writer, and curator known for her work with African American quilts.

SAQA art quilt exhibit :earth stories
One of my favorites was this piece, Alternative vs Fossil Fuels, by Cynthia St. Charles.

SAQA art quilt exhibit :earth stories
There is a fairly large installation of wind turbines in the county south of where we live and they are something to behold. This quilt effectively conveys the enormity of these machines, and the quilting pattern she used very much feels like wind. This piece is also very detailed and there is a lot to notice the longer you look at it.

SAQA art quilt exhibit :earth stories
One of the coolest (for me) features of this exhibit is that each artist provided a notebook detailing the creative process that went into making their piece. Both as a quilter and a person interested in art, it is fascinating to look into someone else’s process and see how they came to create the work on display.

There are a bunch of other quilts from this show that drew my eye and you can check out more photos on my flickr. I made it to see this exhibit just before it left to go to its next location. I had just a couple of hours to spend here but I could have spent weeks! If you have a chance to see it, I recommend it!

FO Friday: cables, pools, eyelets, and swirls and another FREE pattern!

My productive knitting streak continues!

Cable Braid Hat
Cable Braid Hat
I have a love/hate relationship with cables. Sometimes I’m in the mood for them and love working them, and other times I find them endlessly tiresome and I don’t even want to think about them. This hat is a result of the former (obvs) and features a (to my eyes anyway) cool more-than-basic cable pattern.

I love the way this one looks on the crown, too:
Cable Braid Hat
Pretty neat, eh? I love it when something I’ve pictured in my head comes out looking just as cool in real life.

Appleseed Hat
Appleseed Hat
This one has a repeated eyelet pattern that reminded me of apple seeds the way they look when you cut an apple in half.

Happy Pools Hat
Happy Pools Hat
This hat is knit with Knit Picks Stroll Hand-Painted yarn, which is designed for making socks but I love for making hats. It pools in such neat ways and I never know quite what it will look like until it’s done. It’s also lightweight but still warm, and really stretchy so this hat can fit a wide variety of sizes.

Spiral Hat
Swirl Hat
And this is the freebie! It’s made of purl stitch swirls that go all the way around the hat, through the crown. I need to make this one again in a solid color yarn – the swirl shows up well on the body of the hat but disappears a little bit on the crown in this tweed yarn. Help yourself to a free download!

FO Friday: cables and a shawl

‘Tis (almost) the season for moar knitting!

One Skein Dolly Stole
This One Skein Stole is a fairly basis drop-stitch pattern but it works really well with this yarn (Knit Picks Stroll Hand-Painted – it’s mostly wool and a little bit nylon, so it drapes really nicely). I really like open-work scarves like this. If they’re long enough (which this one is), they’ll wrap around the neck a few times, which offers a nice look as well as warmth.

Cozy Cables Child Hat
I’m on the usual kick of trying to use up leftover bits of yarn from my stash in addition to my new obsession of making and writing up knitting patterns. This one is a child size (or adult extra-small) hat with cables. I made this one up on the fly and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out!

WIP Wednesday: land, ho!

My ever-so-slow-but-steady progress on my current art quilt WIP continues.

WIP
There is land on the right side of the piece, where white pine trees will be growing. I selected some brown fabrics from my stash and decided on how wide the land section should be. Then I cut diagonals so I had lengthy triangular sections which I then alternated and pieced together to make a large-ish rectangular piece.

WIP
I cut the edge that juts out into the water and then pinned it down on the main background. Since the moon worked well without fusible interfacing, I did that again this time and it was just fine. I stitched all along the edge of the land piece and then went around it again another time for that sketch-ish look I also used on the moon.

WIP
I also stitched along some of the seam lines within the land piece so that the piece is attached to the background throughout. These seam line accents also add to the look of the land. I am currently debating doing some additional (non-seam-line) stitching in the land, but I haven’t decided what I want to do yet. Next come the trees!

FO Friday: a few newly designed hats

I’ve been on a kick of coming up with new hat designs lately. As it gets closer to holiday gift-giving time, I find that hats are one of my favorite things to make for gifts, and I especially enjoy when I can make up the pattern myself.

I picked up some fun print yarn on super mega sale not too long ago and made a few hats with it.

Eyelet Hat

The Eyelet Hat is a relatively delicate knit with visible eyelets throughout. It’s still plenty warm, though, and I think it’ll make a really nice winter cap.

Ladder Rib Hat

The Ladder Rib Hat is another design with eyelets, just slightly different from the one above. I love the way this colorway works with this pattern on the crown of the hat: a neat spiral.

Diagonal Band Hat

This Diagonal Band Hat is a bit sturdier and definitely ready for cold, cold winter weather. This one also has a neat crown spiral effect – a little unexpected, I think, in a really pleasing way.

WIP Wednesday: getting to the art of this art quilt

I’m finally finished with the background of this project! Technically I do still have some earth to do on the right side, but the sea and sky are complete, which feels like a milestone.

WIP

I had completed the piecing of the moon awhile ago, and now I was finally able to put it together with the background.

WIP

On my last project, I used fusible interfacing to attach most of the pieces to the background before stitching them on. This time I decided to try it without interfacing to see how it works. I’m pleased that it worked just fine.

WIP

I pinned it and then stitched around, removing the pins as I went, and I didn’t have any problems with the moon piece shifting.

WIP

I wanted it to come out with a sketch-ish look, so I stitched around a few times, purposely overlapping and varying where the line of stitching fell.

WIP

Next I started cutting out pieces for the main figure at the center of the landscape.

WIP

I started out with my computer sketch, which I made from a photograph I took of one of my dolls. Of course, though, the doll doesn’t have the physique I’d like to portray, so I used it as a basis for making a pencil outline that I then used as a pattern piece to cut out the figure. I also cut separate pieces for the figure’s arms so that they will show as a distinct layer above the body. Much of the body will end up covered anyway, but I still like to have the physical shape represented there.

sisters by choice music and quilts in Mid-Michigan

Last night I went to my first meeting of the Mid-Michigan Quilters Guild. I was pretty excited when I learned about this group, and the meeting was not disappointing. There were dozens of quilters there and I only wish I’d gotten there earlier so I could have met and chatted with more folks.

Sisters by Choice at the Mid-Michigan Quilters Guild #annrowland #delphinemiller

The featured program for the evening was music by Ann Rowland and quilts shown by Delphine Miller. Miller owns a quilt shop in Gaylord and many of the quilts she showed were hers, though others were made by friends or were vintage or antique quilts she’s collected. Rowland writes, sings, and plays guitar, and the quilts Miller selected for each song fit the song’s theme or fit in with the song’s content in some way. They were also joined by Rowland’s sister Diane, who was training to fill in for Miller at some upcoming shows.

Rowland’s music is not atypical singer-songwriter folk and she’s a strong singer and guitarist. There was of course one song that involved audience participation (you can’t have a folk concert without audience participation!) and Rowland encouraged everyone to join in, saying, “if everyone sings, no one feels silly!” which was one of my mantras when I used to do storytime, so it was fun to hear it in another context. The songs were fun and the quilts really did fit in with the theme. Miller had anywhere from half a dozen to a dozen quilts (guessing on this – I didn’t actually count) per song, and I only wished I could have looked at some of them for longer. Some of the songs were funny, some were tender, and they were all pretty short and sweet, just how they should be. One of them described seeing a quilt being used as a packing blanket in the back of a pickup truck and the narrator’s quest to free it from such abuse – fun.

I also had the chance to see one of my former coworkers from years ago, who I had totally forgotten was a quilter. I remembered that as soon as I saw her, though, and we had a chance to catch up after the concert and before the business part of the meeting. She’s retired and doing very well, which was nice to hear.

I learned that the MMQG offers classes and activities on a very regular basis – I only wish that I had more time (and money) to participate! As it is, though, I feel like I’m barely making time for just quilting on my own, which I don’t want to give up. I’m very pleased to have found a community of quilters, though, and I’m looking forward to more meetings and the potential to take some classes in the future.