Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Yay to Little Projects!

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This table runner was so easy and fast to make. I love love love this Anna Maria Horner fabric, it is magical. When the day turns to evening and the light changes so does the fabric with all the lime popping up. And I love poppies and so does the rest of the family, so we are all enjoying my little home improvement project. 

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The project was fast, but even better I learned something new! I used a tutorial from Silly BooDilly how to face a quilt which basically means how to have no-binding-binding. My dislike for bindings is not just about the fact that they are hard to make perfect. I often don't like how they look. I don't want to frame my work. So this was just perfect. Since I used a very strong color for  for the back of the quilt it still peeks out a bit, but I like it. Little ray of sunshine coming through.

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 I free motion quilted it and it was so much fun! Have to have more of that. 

What a perfect little project. Makes me happy! 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Purge

To decide what not to do. There are so many things I would love to do and be able to do and last year I feel I was jumping to do this and that resulting not getting that much done. So it is time to let go of something and for me it is garment sewing.

My secret plan last year was to make a me made wardrobe and take part in me made may. I spent hours and hours sewing a fancy dress for a wedding starting with a muslin version first and doing everything the best I knew how. And it did not fit! I pulled it out of the closet just to get a picture for you, but did not bother to iron.


It is not possilbe to talk about garment sewing without mentioning your breast size, is it? Well my issue is that I'm kind of busty and not very long. L is too long and too wide on the shoulders, M is tight on the bust. Buying fancy dresses is a challenge so it would have been so cool to be able to make my own. Turns out that being busty means that patterns will not fit you either and adjustments are a big hassle. I'm not enjoying the process. I just want the damn dress.

I also tried a skirt. Hours and hours of hand sewing...and I don't like the fit. It was from the Alabama Chanin book and I blogged about the making of it here in 2012. After three pregnancies I'm over sensitive about looking pregnant, but still I think the cut accentuate the tummy area in a unflattering way. Of course I noticed that only when I was already done. Also I lost some weight and in the end it was too big. Frustrating. (not the loosing last off baby fat, but spending hours on sewing something that does not fit). Here a small blurry photo of it taken by phone by my then 4 year old. I know, the tummy looks OK here, but there are some other pictures...
Even though I'm throwing in the towel I do enjoy looking at other people's creations and process. I found it fascinating how little changes alter the whole look and how something fits. I love the whole process of creating your own look. But for now I will admire from distance and  put my own creative energies elsewhere. 

After I had wrote the first draft of this post I read Jennifer Louden's blog post about finding your creative medium. Interesting read for sure!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Letter I

I is for Inspiration

I think I was talking about trying to make some smaller projects to feel more accomplished? So now I'm dreaming of big quilts with big shapes....Women can change her mind, right?

I'm dreaming making lot of big triangles and then just play with them. This would however demand a lot of fabric so why not think big and then make a small version of it? Inspriration from here and here and some other places that I can't remember anymore. I think this would be easier with an ruler, but maybe I can just make a template? I still have some template plastic from my first quilt course that I took in 2010. Still haven't finished that quilt.

I'm also thinking about to make something very minimalistic and then add a very dense and busy free motion quilting. Inspiration came from here.

Sugar Block Club 2014 January
Sugar Block Club January - Intention

I is for Intention

To make this happen, or even to make some of it happen I really need to be more intentional with my time -which was the team of first Sugar Block Club block. I'm so glad that I participated. I made my blog at the beginning of the month and it does give me an accomplished feeling to know that at least I did that.

My plan for the Sugar Blocks is to use a lot of yellow with some orange and green accents. I have wanted to make a yellowish quilt with traditional blocks for the longes time and it is finally happening, yay!

I'm starting to think that key to planning is not only to decide what you do but also what you don't do. I really look forward to working with my "old fabric quilt" (I need a catchier name for that) but have been very strict with myself - that project is for february. This keeps me from feeling too busy and using less time wondering "what shall I do" when I actually have time to do something. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Good Things in Life that Begin with Letter S

S is for Socks. 
Woolen socks that is. I don't have any strong feelings about other kind of socks. I asked from Santa sock yarn and look what I got! Will keep my hands busy for a while. I finally decoded the heel and have put together my own sock pattern that I like. I'm testing it now with the purple one and will post it here when I know for sure that it works. It is nothign special, just a easy to remember formula so that I don't have to look for a pattern every time I want to make socks.

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We got finally Netflix here in the Netherlands in September and that is now how I spent my evenings when I should be folding laundry  - watch Netflix and knit. Makes for guilt-free TV watching because I'm actually doing something at the same time. 


S is for the Signature of All Things
Love love love loved it! There is so many things in this book that resonated with me. I don't know even where to start. I won't put any spoilers here but I must say that I was happy not to have read anything about the book before I read it myself. So this is not a book review and maybe not about the book at all. It is more a list of thoughts that the book evoke in me and you probably learn more about me than the book.

I loved the book because it reminded me how I loved nature programs on TV, visiting botanical gardens and dreamed of traveling to remote places, to live on an remote island and study whales, explore the world and of course being dissapointed that there where no white spots on the map anymore in 1980s. 

It also reminded me why I stopped dreaming about those things. I got older and realised the horrors of the white mans explorations, stopped believing in the importans of science and felt that nature does not need us to study it and that I certanly did not have the need to do it. I was just looking for an excuse to sit on a boat and watch whales all day. 

And then it reminded me why I don't really want to be on that remote island, how I in the end dreamed "..to live withing humanity's most recent moment, at the cusp of invention and progress". 

And finally I loved the Dutch connection and the fact that in less that an hour I can visit some of the places she talks about in the book.

In Elizabeth's own words the mega success of Eat Pray and Love paid for this book. If you ever get your hands on big amounts of money I could not think of a better way to spend it! 


Linking wiht yarn along





Saturday, January 4, 2014

2014

I'm back from the Christmas holiday that was very relaxing even though some of it was wasted on a nasty cold. I was very exited to get back home and make plans for the coming year. I have also chosen a word for the year, and this time it is:

CONNECTION

At first I thought of making some kind of recap of the previous words, but then this one just came to my mind and felt perfect. I will however incorporate the previous words to this one. Connection guided by trust, joy and confidence. 

To more concrete plans for this year I signed up for Follow your arrow mystery kal and that will be my knitting challenge for this year. Otherwise I will continue making socks. I finally tackled the heel ;) More about that on another post. 

What it comes to quilting my first goal is to continue with a quilt that I started in September made of all kind of old fabrics from my childhood home. Can't wait! Secondly I got very inspired by all the hand made gifts during December and I'm hoping to make some small projects like table runners and quilted tote bags. I'm finally able to free motion quilt thanks to my husband who build my machine an extension table and with little projects I can start to play rigth away and don't have to wait for a whole quilt top to be finished. 

I would also like to feel a bit more accomplished this year which makes little projects perfect. Accomplished rather than productive even though I'm always envious to really productive people. What I do not want is to feel busy, so it is a fine balance. Will see how it goes. 

Maybe a bit belated, but Happy New Year! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Time for an Update

I'm sure that you are all wondering what ever happen to the socks? And what about the garden? Anything going on there?

But first I want to share my reading. I read....War and Peace! All the 1440 pages, although my e-version did of course not have any pages and without it I could have never done it because I physically could not have carried it around with me like I do my e-reader. That said it was an easy read, it really was. Again Goodreads has a great review of the book, although unlike the reviewer I did like the first epilogue, but would also skip the second one (although I did read it just to be able to say that I read all of it).

I did enjoy the book although not nearly as much as Anna Karenina. I did realise reading the book, that when I was younger and reading books like crazy, the stories where about people older than me and what the characters where experiencing was something that might happen to me in the future. Now my life is at that point where the characters will end up at the end of the book. When did that happen?

I just started Elizabeth Gilbert's the Signature of All Things and my first thought only after one page was "she has had some much fun writing this!" and then I got a link somewhere to this interview and about the first thing she says is how much she enjoyed writing it! And then I stopped watching and will watch the rest after I have read the book. 

So that is all on the book department. Moving on to the socks. 

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I did manage to finish them with dozen little errors. I already started a second pair with the different set of instructions, but the heel remains a mystery for me. I do not get it how I'm suppose to pick the amount of stitches from the sides the pattern calls for, so, again, I must do something wrong. I'm thinking of unraveling these and start again with yet another instruction. I want to be able to make socks with little effort watching TV at the same time (in fact that is what I'm doing now as well which might be part of the problem). I love woolen sock and wear them all the time and everybody I know likes them too, so it would be great to be able to do these and give as gifts.
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The garden has been a disaster this year, nothing wants to grow except the jerusalem artichoke, which is a pretty plant I must say with is yellow flowers. We harvested it this Sunday. With child labor so readily available it was a piece of cake. 
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Now I have to cook, puree and freeze them. But I want to grow other things as well. I thing I need to replace the soil entirely to get there. Better luck next year and I'm truly greatful that my family is in no way depending on my gardening skills for food.
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Linking with Yarn along


And Keep Calm Craft on

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Baby Quilts and Strawberry Pirates

The cake dilemma - do you go for a taste or the looks? My oldest son turned 5 and has been for the past six months tormented with the question: pirate cake or strawberry cake? Luckily I could find fresh strawberries and a giant marsipain strawberry and this is how I solved the dilemma:

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This one was so tastey that I did not have time to take more pictures before it was eaten. I made a standard cake with this recipe: 6 eggs, weihgt them, add 0.7 x the weight of the eggs sugar, beat until very firm, gently add the same amount of flour as you added sugar. Let bake in 175 degrees for 40-50 minutes.

For the filling I let frozen strawberries and raspberries to soften in the roomtemperature just so that I could puree them and mixed with 200ml suger. I filled the cake with the berry puree and whipped cream and let it stay in the fridge for a night. Whipped cream and strawberries to decorate and done! So simple and so tasty!

In September I did a last minute decision to make a baby quilt for my friends baby. Last minute because I started on the day the baby was born. I was inspired by Rachel's Pixie Churns quilt but after making five Churn Dash blocks I had no desire or time to make more of those. So the rest of the blocks are improve blocks made around scraps that I had from the Anna Maria Horner sleep sack. The are voile and I think it might be quite nice for the little baby fingers to feel the difference of textur.

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Attempt to free motion quilt. It was fun but I do need some kind of quilting table from my machine. 

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