Monday, October 13, 2014

Monkeying Around

Ta-da! Mr. F. Is finished and waiting for his clothes.

I have one sleeve of his jammies (Union suit?) almost finished, but I've been hand-quilting, as you will see below.

However, while we're on knitting, I thought you would enjoy seeing Joanie's seal mum and pup:

They are from the book Knit Your Own Zoo by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborn. Now Joanie's working on the fruit bat, what she was really after. Her birthday is in October, and her last name is Howell (howl?) so Halloween  is a big deal for her.

Speaking of Halloween, we met at Barbara's For Vintage Stitchers. Here's her Halloween quilt:

I'm  trying to finish as many UFOs this year as I can. I'm working on the hand quilting of this hand-pieced and hand-appliquéd quilt (my first appliqué quilt be started, anyway). I call it "Spring Flowers." It hardly fits on my design wall, especially with the batting and everything. The part I've quilted so far is to the right, including the upper-right appliqué block.

After seeing the quilt design on an episode of Simply Quilts about 2000, I bought the fabric and started the quilt by doing the appliqué blocks (not in the original design). I copied the appliqué design from an old one I found in a book, American Quilt Classics from the Collection of Patricia Cox by Patricia Cox. It was from a quilt kit made about 1930. The fabrics were from "The Language of Flowers," designed by Susan Branch and manufactured by Springs Industries in their "Quilters Only" line. (I have been unable to learn the episode number of "Simply Quilts." If I find it, I'll add it at the bottom of this post.)

I've done several appliqué quilts since then, and taken several classes, including the one with Mary Sorensen, which really convinced me how much I love needleturn. Looking at these appliqué blocks now, I can see how much I've improved. My points in these blocks are really blunt, for example. Still, it has a nice effect, I think, and the "workmanship" makes it look very '30s. Here's a closeup of the appliqué block already quilted.

I ended up hand-piecing the quilt because I found I couldn't sew the LeMoyne Star blocks to my satisfaction. (It's funny how tolerant I was with the appliqué yet so picky with the piecing.) It has been sitting as a UFO for several years. Now I really want to finish it so I can hand-quilt my Delectable Pathways, which Julie basted for me on her long-arm.

In the meantime, it's starting to get cold here, and that reminds us that winter is coming. We just had our Jøtul stove in my fiber studio serviced. It was the first servicing in 10 years. It didn't seem to be working properly, so we called some experts to come and fix it. Some of the gas vents needed cleaning, and the installers had put too many ember pieces in. It works, but it doesn't seem to come on according to the thermostat. We may have to have the repairmen back. At least we can turn it on when we want it, though.

It sure makes my fiber studio cozy!

What's on my needles: Now that Mr. F. is done, I'm working on this clothes. I still have the Johan socks to work on.
What's in my quilting hoop: My quilting needle is working on the hand-quilting of my "Spring Flowers" quilt.
What's on my Featherweight: Still the backing for the Crystal Stars quilt.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished listening to Julie Klassen's The Dancing Master and now listening to A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie, another good author and series brought to my attention through Audible's Daily Deal. Still reading Joseph Lallo's The Book of Deacon from Book Bub.
What's my app of the week: Craftsy again. I have been enjoying watching the lessons in the "Knit to Flatter" class. I just picked up "Save Our Stitches," on sale over the weekend.
What's in my wine glass: Crane Lake Malbec 2013, a new wine to compliment the very old UFOs.
What's my tip of the week: Masking tape is handy for hand-quilting. You can stick it onto your quilt as a guide for straight lines or cross-hatching. I use 3/4" or 1". Thinner than that doesn't stick very well. If the weather is cold, and your thimble keeps dropping off, you can put a little masking tape around your thimble finger to make it bigger. I find the tan masking tape is better than the blue painter's tape, which loses its stickiness too quickly for my taste.

Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.

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