Saturday, March 18, 2023

National Quilting Day 2023

Happy National Quilting Day!

As in the past few years, I hung a quilt outside today for National Quilting Day as prescribed by the Quilt Alliance organization. This is a vintage feed sack quilt that definitely employs a "make do" attitude.

Vintage feed sack quilt hanging outside for National Quilting Day, 2023.

A few other favorite quilts hanging inside are:

"What to Put in the Soup" that won Best of Show at A Mountain Quiltfest in 2004. If you know my husband, you'll recognize the subject of this quilt.

"What to put in the soup?" 2003

"Guitar Strings Improv" was featured in "The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters" by Sherri Lynn Wood.

"Guitar Strings Improv" 2014

Exhibits at the National Quilt Museum, Paducah, KY

From the Kaffe: 85 and Fabulous exhibit.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of visiting the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY. 

The current exhibits include Kaffe: 85 and Fabulous with selected quilts from Kaffe Fasset's longtime career in textiles;. 

To Fill a Field, an exhibit of contemporary quilts by Canadian artist Justin Ming Yong;

A stunning exhibit of the large-scale floral quilts of Velda Newman called Larger than Life

And an international collaborative exhibit of quilts from Chili Quilting and textile artists from southeast Ohio (TSAO) called Flora, Fauna and Landscape/Paisaje.

Woodlawn and Pope-Leighey House presentation focuses on community care

Today, I attended an online presentation, Craft as an Embodied Care Practice that was sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation at the Woodlawn and Pope-Leighey House. The presentation was a panel discussion about the intersection of craft, care and community, and about community art projects that show how crafting can nurture well-being and healing for individuals and communities. The talk was in conjunction with the Woodlawn Needlework Show, Craft as Comfort: Joy in Needlework

Craft as an Embodied Care Practice presentation.

It's been a weekend of textiles, needle arts and crafts.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Remaking the Bristol Top—third Make Nine finish for 2023

I love a good re-make! One of my Make Nine 2023 prompts is "Make it Again" and I've used the Bristol Top pattern [from The Sewing Workshop] to make my fifth version of this knit top.

The Bristol Top: Make Nine 2023 Make it Again prompt.

For Bristol #5, I used two knits from Art Gallery Fabrics—a solid and a print. The Bristol has several options for mixing and matching fabric prints and/or solids—yoke, cuffs, bottom bands, collar band. This version has a contrasting yoke.

Imparting happiness with hand stitching

The Bristol pattern instructions call for top stitching at the seam where the yoke meets the bodice. Influenced by a recent presentation on Bojagi by Youngmin Lee, I decided to hand stitch this with a variegated cotton sashiko thread in a similar color palette. The hand stitching of bojagi is not only a design element, says Youngmin, but a way to impart wishes for happiness into the piece and to the recipient or wearer. With that in mind, my plan is to topstitch wishes of happiness into this new Bristol top. 

Bristol Top with a cotton sashiko thread for hand stitching.

The many benefits of Re-makes

The last time I made the Bristol, I made two at once! One has long sleeves (as the pattern indicates) and the other is a pattern hack for a short sleeve version.

Long sleeve and short sleeve versions of the Bristol Top.

Shortly after these two, I was thinking about zero waste so I made another long sleeve Bristol with leftover knit fabrics from other garments. 

Bristol Top made with leftover fabrics from other knit garments.

The first Bristol was a Make Nine project in 2020

My first Bristol Top, 2020.

Reasons I like re-makes?

  • The more you make, the quicker and easier they go!
  • The pattern is already fitted and modified to your body and style. It's one less BIG step in the garment-making process.
  • You have your notes about the pattern to resolve the quirky/confusing parts, clarify any instructions, and the tips and shortcuts you've discovered along the way. (Yes, write these things right on the pattern pieces or the instruction sheets!)
  • Different fabrics/colors/prints make every version different. (Besides, you don't wear all of them at the same time anyway, right?)
  • Reusing a pattern is a wise investment in money, resources and time.
  • If it feels good, do it again!

Completed Bristol top #5.

This is my third Make Nine finish for 2023. Full steam ahead!

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Day 12 of the 100 Day Project: Textile Collage

For those participating in The 100 Day Project, we're 12 days into it. I'm doing two Projects: 100 Days of Textile Collage and 100 Days of Hand Lettering

Second page composition. 100 Days of Textile Collage, 2023.

100 Days of Textile Collage project parameters

My 2023 plan for The 100 Days Project: Textile Collages is to 

  • use fabric scraps and various threads to create small textile collages
  • I prepared 20 fabric squares, 9" x 9" each, from yarn-dyed cotton quilting fabrics [by Diamond Textiles]. 
  • Each composition will be worked for 5 days, adding layers, details and stitch. 
  • The small collages will ultimately be made into a textile book/journal using a slot and tab bookbinding technique.

Modifying the process

I've completed two pages of stitched textile collages and am working on the third. After the first collage declared its completion after Day 4, I abandoned the 5-day time allotment. 

Lesson learned: Making art takes as long as it takes. 

If a textile collage is finished in 4 days... or 3 days... or in a day... I move on to the next. If I must cut more fabric squares, I can do that.

Textile collage, Days 1 - 4. 100 Days of Textile Collage, 2023.

The materials needed for this 100 Day Project are minimal and portable. I like this.

Textile collage tools and materials.

Last year's stitching project was a self-contained daily exercise. Working on a composition over several days allows for more detail, more thinking, and more time for fine tuning and details, if needed. 

Intuitive stitching

This is the third collage, currently in progress. Sometimes the fabric inspires the stitching. Sometimes the stitching defines a design or shape.

Using paper templates to define contours with stitches.

No predetermined plan. Just intuitive stitching.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

The Inclinations Shawl—a Make Nine finish

 My Inclinations Shawl, a stash buster yarn project for Make Nine 2023, is finished (and not without a few froggings)!

Make Nine 2023 finish: yarn stash buster project, the Inclinations Shawl.

This is my second Make Nine 2023 finish, and fulfills the stash buster prompt. You can't go wrong with a stash buster project that also has stripes. It's always an exciting knit!

Inclinations Shawl, a stash buster project. 68" x 42.5"

2-row stripes with variegated yarns

At first, I thought I'd use a monochromatic blue yarn [Classic Shades from Universal Yarn] and interject brighter, more colorful stripes using Poems [Universal Yarn]. However, the more the variegated colors of Poems interacted, I became fond of the colorplay effects achieved within the single skeins.

Starting the Inclinations Shawl.

So, after the Classic Shades skein was used up, I busted through various skeins of Poems and let the colors in this variegated yarn play on its own terms across the rows. This is how the center glow was achieved with the lighter colored skeins of Poems.

Inclinations Shawl showing the lighter colors in the center.

I busted through 10 skeins of yarn from the stash. A nice dent, I'd say.

Over 10 skeins of yarn used.

When the remainder of the 10th skein of Poems was all brown and all the same value, I stopped knitting. By this time, I had 174 stitches on the needle and the shawl was well over 75" on the diagonal side. The last color change was a stripe of bright magenta... and ending on a bright note was my signal to wrap it up.

Striped, I-cord bind-off.

In the pattern, there were several options for a bind-off.  I chose the 2-yarn, striped I-cord version. The bind-off took quie a long time, but well worth the investment. 

Project Stats

Here are the specs for my Inclinations Shawl:

  • Over 10 skeins of worsted weight yarn: 9+ skeins of Poems [100% wool, 109 yd, 50g]; and 1 skein of Classic Shades [30% wool, 70% dralon, 197 yd, 100 g]
  • finished size: 68" x 42.5" with a hypotenuse of 78" (unblocked)
  • size 5 needle
  • 174 stitches at the bind-off
  • 262 rows.

Frogging did occur!

I had a difficult time figuring out how to fix errors with the half Fisherman's rib stitch. The floats that are created when you knit the stitch below made it confusing for me. I tried a couple of times if I caught an error in one row beneath, but going down several rows was chaos.

Trying to fix mistakes several rows below was not successful.

Frogging did occur. Twice. With about 3 - 4 inches of knitting each time—at the wider side of the shawl. Not fun, but a cleaner result once it was re-knit. Luckily, the "stickiness" of the wool yarn helped preserve the live stitches so it was easier to get them back on the needle after ripping out the rows.


Make Nine 2023 progress: 2 of 9

This is my second Make Nine project for this year. It was finished 3 days prior to the start of The 100 Day Project in which I am participating. 

Make Nine 2023 worksheet: stash buster prompt fulfilled.

My Inclinations Shawl.

I've used this shawl several times already. It's warm yet light weight, squishy and snuggly. I love the color changes and I'm happy to have created something new with stash and leftover yarns.

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