Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I've been nominated!

WOW!  This is amazing.  I'm so honored!  I've been nominated as having one of the best online quilt shops in SewGalCal's Golden Quilt Awards.  If you are so inclined, go to the link and check out the entries.  The other shops nominated are all amazing and I don't expect to win.  But I feel like a winner for being included in this list.  I have no idea who nominated me, but THANK YOU!

More fun....

More about my weekend....

In my last post, I told you how much fun I had on Friday morning in a class with Helene Knott and her wonderful Garden Patch Cats.  But the fun didn't stop there... oh, no!  On Friday afternoon,  after a yummy lunch with my friend, Sandy, I took a class with Karla Alexander, who took us through the steps to make a table runner from her new book, Color Shuffle.  I don't have the book on my website yet, but I will soon.  I do have a few copies- they just aren't loaded on the site yet.  And I have plenty more coming.  As with all books on my website, Color Shuffle will be 25% off all the time.  Shoot me an email if you want to pre-order a copy.

Here's the quilt that was photographed for the book cover.  It's even more wonderful in person!

And a closeup....

Here's Karla holding another quilt from the book....

And a close-up...

And another...

And a close-up....

Look closely at the above photo.... it's a 4 patch.  SOOOOO simple!  She stacks fabrics, slashes them on a slant, then rearranges them.  Great effect!

Now we get to MY project.....  First the pile of pieces (will it ever look as great as Karla's????)

She promises it will...... so I slashed and sewed and slashed and sewed....


VOILA!!  It was fun, fun, FUN!  Here I am (on the left) with Karla (on the right) holding my first 2 blocks.  I look happy.... she looks tired.  LOL. Karla is an exceptionally good teacher.  She really watches her students- not hovering, but being available when there are questions.  And the last picture is how the blocks look together.  The finished table runner will have 12 blocks.  It's going to look great on my dining room table.  Now how did she know these are "my colors"?   :-)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Class with Helene Knott

What a great day!  The distributor where I buy a lot of my product for the website has a buyers market, quilt show, and classes twice a year for business owners in the retail fabric industry.  Today was my day to take a few classes.  What fun!  Life has been pretty stressful lately and it was a pure joy to sew with a few talented pattern designers and a room full of friendly and totally enjoyable fellow shop owners.

This morning, I took a class from Helene Knott, who is a prolific pattern designer and talented quilter.  Her "specialty" is color theory.  Currently, she is designing the Garden Patch Cats series.  Pattern number 12 was just released and will be on my website very soon.  It's Mushcat-- a mushroom cat.  (First photo above).  The photo directly above is Gourdo Gato.

This was her first Garden Patch Cat pattern, and one of my favorites--- Avacato.

Here's a different Gourdo Gato.

Caulipus is one of my best sellers.  Isn't the fabric Helene used for Caulipus great?  It looks like Cauliflower (albeit blue cauliflower).

Kitt'ney Bean.



And here's my creation.  I made this in class today.  He's "Yammy Cat".  Yammy isn't quite finished.  He needs another eye.  The missing eye gets embroidered- it's closed and he's winking.  It needs pressing.  Those aren't puckers at the bottom.  Helene gave us lots of great ideas for how to quilt the cats.  She's so creative and she's an amazing quilter.  I'm going to do a blanket stitch around the cat.  I'm not sure what kind of quilting design I'll do in the background.  I'll probably do some kind of cross hatching because the plaid fabric sort of sets it up for that look.  Yammy is made of really plush Woolies flannels.  I'm thinking of turning this into a throw pillow instead of a wall hanging.

Thanks, Helene- I had a great time this morning!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Socks and Meditation

I finished another pair of socks.  I'm officially a "sockaholic".  I can't stop!  I had these started when my DH had his little run-in with the table saw.  I had them in my purse and ended up spending hours at the hospital by his bedside knitting.  Knitting, hand applique, and other hand work projects are meditative to me.  While I can knit or hand-sew while talking or watching TV, I've learned that doing work that requires concentration can take my focus off of my worries and onto my needlework.  I can do simple knit-purl on autopilot.... and I can still have a conversation or worry or focus on fear or anger or any other emotions (including good ones).  But complicated or new patterns require my attention, and that means that my attention is not on life around me.  It's as good as a nap.  I have to count and concentrate, and before I know it, my blood pressure is lower and tension is relieved.

It really doesn't matter what I do.  Knitting was just easy for me to carry around and I just happened to have a pair of socks started.  But anything that requires concentration works.

These socks are the "Simple Sock" from "Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles by Cat Bordhi.  I lost the wrapper somewhere in the hospital so I can't tell you what the yarn is, but it's a wool blend sock yarn with long color runs.  I used size 2 circs.

 I made these... 2 at a time... on two circular needles.  I don't think I'll be doing that again any time soon.  I kept getting tangled up.  My niece told me to just be sure I turn every other row in the opposite direction.  Yea-- well--- I tried, but I still ended up spending too much time untangling things.  I think one-sock-at-a-time is for me.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mystery Sock Knit-Along

Knitter's Brewing Company Social Butterfly Sock KAL.  This is a mystery sock.  What we know is that it uses beads.  You can use your stash yarn or purchase a kit from Knitters Brewing Company (see colors above).  Wendy (sock designer) is a super nice lady and she will be giving clues throughout the month on her Ravelry page.  No charge unless you want the kit.  The pattern clues are free.  There are prizes if you use her yummy hand dyed yarn and post pictures, though.
The first clue comes out tomorrow and I'm ready!

February Giveaway Winner

The winner of the February giveaway is DEBORA from Rhode Island.  Her blog is Wool n Sails.  Congrats, Deborah!  I love the things you create- your blog is a nice read.

I'll email you, Debora.

I'll catch up on my blogging and post a March giveaway this week.  Thanks to all who entered!