Friday, July 31, 2009

The Perks

One of the perks of designing patterns other than the excitement of being published and, of course, the paycheck, is the thrill of seeing how others interpret your ideas. In the past couple of weeks I've been lucky enough to run into several interpretations of two different designs.
I was anticipating the first because Blair over at wisecraft commented here a while back that she was working on her own version of my Tuesday Pillow design from the Spring issue of Stitch . Take a gander at these beautiful pillows. I love the fabrics she chose and having read the accompanying post I know that, having misplaced the instructions, she just felt her way through the process. That's the best way to craft a project like this. It really opens the door for you to put your own methods and aesthetic into the finished product.
The second design I ran into on flickr. Rita from Red Pepper Quilts is a contact of mine and she posted this bit of lovliness. Not too long after, I saw the same design, crafted by a different maker and just as fabulous.
Seeing both of the latter quilts reminded me that I'd never taken any of my own pictures of this quilt or, for that matter, even mentioned that it existed. Maybe because I designed the quilt for the British magazine, Sew Hip, and it's not available here in the states I forgot about it. Or maybe because the magazine came out in April and that just seems so long ago. Whatever my excuse, the other day I decided to rectify the oversight.

The design is called Strips and Bricks and it's ever so simple, but perfect for using up different shades of whites and graphic prints from your stash.

This one is about baby quilt/lap quilt size, but it's very easy to enlarge this pattern. Just make more strips of the bricks.
If you have access to back issues of Sew Hip and happen to make a version of this quilt or any of my other published designs, please email me an image. I would get such a huge kick out of seeing it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Postcards and Placemats

My vacation is over and though I did pretty well in posting my pictures to my flickr page, I didn't quite keep up with things here. If you're interested in seeing some more of the images I shot in Israel both of the Maccabiah Swim Competition and of places we visited they're up here .
I hate to repeat a tired old cliche, but as fun as it is to go away, there's no place like home. This is especially true because, though I brought a knitting project with me and I find taking photographs a creative process, I couldn't sew a stitch while I was gone. Sometimes you don't even realize how important a given activity is to your well being until it's not there. Maybe I need some kind of twelve step program to tackle this "addiction"? Or maybe I just need a new project? I like the sound of that second one.
This project isn't exactly new as I'd started it before I left on vacation. But, it's practically finished and has helped ease me back into my favorite spot opposite my sewing machine.

I've made several other items for this customer all out out her seemingly bottomless collection of Oilily fabrics. These are a set of eight placemats made like my mini patches quilts and featuring rounded corners.

Currently there are only six, but the remaining two are almost done and the whole order will be able to go out this week.

It's not unusual for me to leave parts of a project undone from one day to the next. I actually find that it's easier to get into the rhythm of working if I can pick up something familiar, something I don't have to figure out from the very beginning. So, this project has been a good way to transition back to my everyday life. It's been a nice way to remind myself how much I like doing what I do.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Postcards #1

Views from the beach in Netanya:

I love the pattern of the windows and balconies of this hotel.
This is actually the hotel that the US swim team and several other national teams are staying in. The athletes whose competition venues are in Netanya are scattered throughout various beachside hotels.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Week of Finishing :: Three Ginkgo Pillows

No location shot today.
I'm winding up my week of finishing and hope to be back tomorrow with one last completed project. I'm pushing hard to wrap things up because I'll be leaving town on Sunday for about 10 days. I'm going to a swim Israel. A mom's gotta watch her baby swim.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Week of Finishing :: Big Nate Quilt

I finished this quilt on Monday, binding it while sitting in my car waiting for my daughter at swim team. There's really nothing like having a warm quilt on your lap in your car in the summer heat. I didn't go inside the swim center as there's no air conditioning in there anyway, so not sweating wasn't really an option. Despite the perspiration, I am very happy with the finished product and decided to celebrate by taking pictures of it at a favorite park.

The quilt measures about 60"x 80" and is a combination of concentric squares and circles of varying sizes. Most of the squares and all the circles have been made using the shibori technique I used to make this quilt. Like that quilt I rented time on a long arm quilting machine to do the quilting. It's amazing how quickly a top of this size can be quilted on one of those babies. If I had an extra $10,000 laying around, I'd definitely consider investing in one.
Oh well...more tomorrow.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Week of Finishing :: Leaf Tee

Sometimes you can spend weeks working and feel like you have nothing to show for it and then other times you come into a veritable smorgasbord of finished objects. Well, I'm happy to say that it looks like I'm at the buffet table this week. I'm hopefully coming to the end of several projects and I'm planning on sharing them here this week.
My first completed item is not a sewn item, but a knitted one. If you all knew how hot it has been here the past few weeks, you would laugh at why I felt compelled to work on my knitting. In my own defense I will say that this item was made out of an amazing bamboo/cotton blend, so it is cool,with cool being a relative term when human beings are forced to endure 100+ degree temperatures day after day.
But I bet you all don't want to hear me go on and on and on about how freaking hot it is here and how, despite the fact that I have a pretty high tolerance for heat, I can't take this particular inferno,right?
I thought so.
Here's my finished object instead:

Try to ignore that string that is in every single one of the shots I took and instead focus on this really cute and easy to knit top. It's the Leaf T-Shirt, a free pattern on Ravelry. It's knitted from the top down. Oh, how I love knitting from the top down. It's so civilized.

Here's a detail shot of the tee. Or maybe it's a shot of me passed out from the unbearable heat. Either way, you can see the pretty lace pattern. It's just a 6 row repeat with plain knitting in between, but I like the interest it added to the top.

I've got a second Leaf T-Shirt in my future as well as more cotton/bamboo yarn. I picked this batch up today at a lovely local(air conditioned) store .
I'll be back tomorrow with another finished item.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July Comes in with a Bang

...and I'm not just talking about the fireworks that will shoot off across the country this Saturday night. Everyplace, except here,probably. Because we're in the midst of a drought, and there's a burn ban, and we've had a string of 100+ degree days, and that's not just 100 or 1o1, but 1o6 and 1o8 degrees. It is too dang hot here for fireworks!
But, I digress. Must be heat stress. The bang I'm referring to has to do with exciting goings on for both my family and my blog.
My family news has to do with my eldest daughter, Sarah. I've mentioned before that we are a swimming people and that certainly holds true for her. Well, she is off tomorrow to Israel to swim for the US team at the 18th Maccabiah Games. She is one of 12 females and 12 males to be selected for this team. She is so excited and, well, so am I. The US team is particularly strong this year because this guy is swimming on the team. Remember him from Beijing?
Me being me, this momentous occasion prompted a wee bit of crafting. Sarah's not big on photography, but even she had to admit that she should get a camera and take a few shots. Naturally, I felt that her camera was a bit naked without the appropriate pouch.

I used a cute Japanese print and some beads I bought at Quilt Festival a few years ago to sew up this case. She seems to like it.
The sweet fabric, purchased through an independent retailer is a good segway to my July's bang for my blog. I have a new sponsor, Runner Girl Fabric and she carries some amazing fabric in her online store. For instance, check this print out. And this one . Runner Girl Fabric also carries Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks line as well as loads of great Amy Butler prints and Heather Ross's designs for Kokka. My suggestion is that you dash(cute pun, huh?) on over to Runner Girl Fabric and take a look for yourself. You won't even have to break a sweat. Isn't the internet grand?