Mabel the Raccoon is in Inspiration’s All Stitched Up newsletter! I am so honored!!! If you aren’t subscribed, you are missing out on some wonderfully talented embroiderers. Check out Inspirations and all the amazing work they promote! (Disclaimer: They didn’t ask me to say anything; this is all heart felt:)
Ahhh, February is here! February gets no love from me so I am glad we’ve finally made it so that it can hurry up and go away. You feel me?
I live near Chicago and so experienced the Polar Vortex. Indeed, it brought the coldest weather of my LIFE and that is not an overstatement. Ice formed on all our windows (including the new super thermal ones), and we found ice growing in odd and random places (along door frames, sure, but in the corners of rooms? on our gas line?). I am happy to not have to listen to the sound of dripping water anymore, I tell you what! (If you have no idea how that is related, lucky you and your warm weather – we have to do that when it gets really cold so our water pipes do not freeze, which can then burst and cause all sorts of horrible issues!)
Well, anyway, I enrolled in Shawkl’s BCQC 2 course, which is much less structured than her BCQC 1 class, to give us the freedom to learn how to design our own blocks. I proceed with trepidation and seam ripper in hand. This feels like a disaster, but in the end, I hope it becomes a beautiful one like my BCQC 1 block:)
I had been gifted all sorts of fabrics from my guild friend and was dying to try them. I also have all kinds of trims I wanted to use. So, maybe this block has way too much going on, but it is only meant to be a learning experience anyway. Honestly, my first block was filled to the brim with things, too, and I ended up loving it regardless!
Also, I am enrolled in Kathy’s ICQC 103 course and I hope to create a small hexagonal quilt – more than a single block. I will be able to proceed with less angst to fit everything into a tiny space (I hope) and learn how to balance at a larger scale. However, at this moment, my Bernina is cranky so I haven’t been able to start piecing the blocks together. I had hoped to drop it off for repair this last week, but the inclement weather pretty much shut the region down. Oi.
Boy and I attended Interwoven Expressions over the fall and he got really excited about all the weavings – I am stoked that his admiration for crafts is gaining ground! Anyway, among the things we brought home, he bought me a pin weaving kit and board from Shirley Adams. Because I had TAST and some other projects to finish up, this one kept eyeing me from my desk, whispering how neat it would be to just start one more project, but I fought the urge to get everything else under control first.
Shirley’s kit was perfect (and you can buy them here). Her instructions are quite clear and she includes the necessary fibers, fusible interfacing, and needle (we bought the board separately but the instructions to create your own are inside the pin weaving kit itself and I used my own pins). In fact, there is an article about her pin weaving with fantastic photos that really explain the process! Shirley’s choices of fibers were superbly color-coordinated (Boy chose this set for the teal) and the neatest part is just the different types of fiber. I’ve seen yarn before, obviously, but I never really look at it at the shops because I am not a knitter or crocheter so some of these types were newly delightful. Maybe I am a weaver?
Pin weaving is so amazingly simple! And I will certainly keep it in the back of my mind to replace embroidery when I get older if I end up with arthritis or some other ailment as such – it really didn’t take much effort at all.
I also found pin weaving to be neat because you can work it as I did here, in some colorful abstract way – or, you can kind of create landscapes or other impressions. Shirley has turned much of her work into purse flaps and the like – click here to see what I mean – but also just as art, or even as a pair of shoes! I can see this also working as a bracelet cuff, or as a camera strap, or a fancy table rug…
Well, I’m not yet sure what this piece will end up becoming, but now I will start looking at yarns when I shop! Thanks Shirley! :D