18 January 2018

Flow Green, 32" x 42".

The last few years DH and I have been busy with some lifecycle events - moving to a smaller house, the arrival of grandchildren, etc.  - so there has been little time for quilting. However, I did manage to finish the quilt in this post last year.  The quilt showcases fabrics I painted in a workshop I took with Mickey Lawler, a fabulous teacher, ten years ago. 

At the end of the workshop I had a small stack of 18" x 24" hand-painted samples, and no clue as to what to do with them,  so they joined other workshop products in my stash. Eventually, some sketching led to the idea of floating squares, picking up the green and blue tones.

In progress, with wider blue strips.

When I first designed the layout, I made the blue strips 1" wide finished dimension. However, when displayed on my design wall, the blue strips clearly overwhelmed the painted blocks.  So, I recut and restitched the blocks with 1/2" finished dimension blue strips. Much better.

Relationship between painted square and blue "shadow" strips not pleasing.

Stencil and marking pen.

The quilt is hand-quilted using a stencil titled Water Background, from The Stencil Company, and Gutermann quilting thread in color 9837, which perfectly matched the sashing fabric, Kona cotton #253 Sprout.  I marked the entire quilt top before basting the quilt/batting/backing sandwich, using a blue ink water soluble marker made by Clover. The marker came with warnings: test on fabric first, and a time window on solubility of two weeks. So, I had two weeks to quilt this small quilt, and planned accordingly.  I met the deadline, immersed the quilt in my bathtub and the markings did indeed wash out completely.

Tools of the trade.

Final design: squares are 3.5", blue strips are .5" and green sashing is 2" wide.

07 January 2018

Brooklyn General Store

I find this color combo intriguing.

For once, being a cat-lover paid off - not in contented purring, but with cat-sitting in a Brooklyn loft apartment over the holidays. The two cats LOVED us, but don't much care for each other.   But we didn't mind a bit of cat referee-ing in exchange for free lodging, and it gave us a nice excuse to visit Brooklyn.

While in Brooklyn we checked out the very interesting New York Transit Museum - very popular with families on a frigid December day - and made a trip to Brooklyn General Store, a fiber craft destination near the Carroll Gardens area.

Brooklyn General Store, 128 Union St., Brooklyn.

DH seems impressed by the wall of yarn.

This pleasantly jam-packed store has a great selection of luxury yarns, a limited but intriguing range of fabrics for apparel and quilting, lots of notions, fabric dyes, and offers classes too.   There is a comfortable couch near the entrance, a good perch for non-shoppers.  I don't know anything about the history of the building, but judging from the wood flooring and some interior detail, the space looks like it dates from 19th - early 20th century.

Class Schedule.

Buttons, thread and notions nestle next to yarn.

Yarn, yarn and more yarn; every fiber from alpaca to yak. Cones, skeins and hanks. Embroidery floss, wool felt squares, book, patterns, buttons, some serious scissors, fancy wool liquid wash, zippers, kits for embroidery animals, as well as needles for hand-sewing, machine sewing and knitting. 


Zippers and sewing notions.

Ribbons, in dreaming-of-spring colors.

If I have one quibble, it's that there were very few sample swatches displayed with the bins of yarn. Sample swatches are those small squares which many yarn shops knit up so the customer can get an idea of what a particular yarn will look like when knit.  But perhaps the store was still in recovery from a pre-Christmas rush.

This small infelicity didn't prevent me from purchasing some yarn, of course, which I'll share in the future.