Saturday, March 28, 2015

Yarn Giveaway Winner!

After running the numbered comments through a random number generator, we have a winner in the yarn giveaway, Lori Molowitz!  I've sent you a message via hangouts - if that didn't get through, you can contact me at the email given on my profile page.

Thank you so much, everyone who commented and shared your stories!  I enjoyed reading them very  much.  We are a well traveled bunch .... readers wrote of trips to Rome, Switzerland, Alaska, Japan,  Santa Fe, Prince Edward Island, the Pacific Coast Highway, Disneyworld, the Black Hills (we went there for our honeymoon), North Carolina, Estonia (I'm also fascinated with Estonian folk knitting), and Finland, of traveling through Europe, of seeing the ocean for the first time and snow for the first time.

Several of you wrote of how you are just learning to knit and/or crochet or are teaching children and grandchildren. Welcome to a pastime that will be rewarding, relaxing, and thoroughly consuming!  And congratulations to one reader who is knitting for two grandchildren and one great-grandchild who are all on their way!

I was touched to see how many knit or crochet and contribute their pieces to others and have a blog post coming up on donation work.  And thank you for sharing how you knitted/crocheted for loved ones with terminal illnesses and while on military deployment - there are times I have relied so much on knowing that pretty soon I can sit down and lose myself in my work.

I was glad to see how many of you also love pineapple crochet!  And thank you Dianne for the link to this beautiful shawl.

And thank you everyone for your wonderful stories of when you also "time travel!"  I loved reading of how hearing certain music brought back the ocean salt smells from an Oregon trip, of how finding old boxes brought back memories of first learning to knit and crochet, of how knitting and crocheting brought back memories of the great aunt who taught one reader.  I also flash to what I was last watching on TV when I sit down and pick up my work again - and will remember I was working on when I re-watch an old movie!  I too work while I'm riding in the car and always think about what trip I was on when I use one of several afghans.  And I too use brightly colored yarn that reminds me of summer to transport me out of the winter doldrums!

Finally, I have to wish DebMarche and her husband a happy 35th anniversary!  We will be celebrating our 40th this year ... how time flies!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Inspiration - The Art of Stephanie Carswell

If you've ever tried your hand at needle felting, you have to take a look at UK artist Stephanie Carswell's work!  For one thing, it takes me most of the day to create a small piece I can hold in my hand - Stephanie's work is much larger, so I can only imagine the time she spends.  Influenced by taxidermy, she creates pieces that while not straight copies of the original animal have that spark of life.

Be sure to stop by her website to see much more!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Working on the Pinwheel Quilt

After a few afternoons of sewing pinwheel squares, I finally finished and began putting the quilt top together.  Right away I had to decide what color of plain squares to put between the pinwheels.  Hmmm ... it seemed that white or black would be the best bet, so I arranged the pieces using both.

As you can see, each gave the quilt a very different feel!  The black looks more modern and trendy to me, while the white looks a bit more old style.  Since old style was the look I was working towards, I went with white.

Now I'm busily quilting!  

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Inspiration - Spring Fiber Art

Welcome to the first day of Spring!  To help shake off the winter doldrums, here are some pieces of fiber art that are currently inspiring me.

Wendy Sheppard's Spring Song has great spring colors, a quilting pattern that reminds me of spring breezes, and a great bluebird tending its nestlings!  She blogs about the quilt here .... and if you have or can come up with the April/May 2011 issue of The Quilter Magazine, you'll find instructions on making your own.

I've had Akiko Kuwata's Spring in Japan on my inspiration page for quite some time and still have not been able to find out much about her.  A Google search will bring up many of her other quilts, all using color and shape in amazing ways.  I love the motion in this piece!  I can almost see the movement of the cherry blossoms swaying in a gentle spring breeze.  This image is from Jessica Levitt's blog post on the 2009 Long Beach International Quilt Show.

And on the theme of cherry blossoms, this piece from LaurelSusan Studio is an amazing use of French knots!  When I first began learning embroidery (in middle school), I hated French knots with a passion.  Somewhere along the way, I learned to appreciate them and now actually like the almost meditative character of sitting and making large numbers of French knots.  This piece is from their Etsy shop here.

Spring means the return of birds!  This free pattern could be customized to any spring bird.  Marlo Cairn's pattern is on Ravelry here and the photo below shows birds made by Miss Annie.

Get ready for Easter with these darling, fuzzy chicks!  Find the free pattern on the Knitting Cuteness blog here.

One of my first memories related to spring is of pussy willows!  I must've been quite young and my grandmother cut some to put in a vase.  I remember being absolutely fascinated with those sticks dotted with fuzzy bumps!  Madebyjoey has an amazing looking tutorial on making pussy willows from sticks and wool - I'm going to definitely have to try these.

Happy Creating!  Deborah