Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Fabric Rep Trek: Dizzy Divas Fabric Shop

Off the I-640 loop on the northeast side of Knoxville is the Dizzy Divas Fabric Shop. "Busy" they are... with several WIPs (works-in-progress) on the classroom design wall. "Dizzy?" maybe or maybe not... but they do have like to have fun in the shop with their quilting, sewing, fabrics and classes.
Colorful lap quilts hang from a clothesline inside the Dizzy Divas Fabric Shop.
Wanda McCarter, the shop's owner, opened Dizzy Divas Fabric Shop about 3 years ago in December to serve quilting and sewing enthusiasts in the area. 
Dizzy Divas Fabric Shop, Knoxville, Tennessee.
Every room in the shop (a house with a split-level floor plan) is filled with fabrics, patterns, notions and books. Samples of quilts, tote bags, and other sewing projects hang on the walls and from the ceiling.
Walls and shelves of fabrics at Dizzy Divas.
 Bright, bold prints, florals and blenders fill the shelves in the store...
Here are a few of Blank Quilting's lines: Splash and Magnolia
along with a wonderful selection of 20s and 30s prints, an assortment of black and whites...
Shelves with 20s and 30s prints.
an abundance of patterns for quilts, bags, children's clothes, and accessories...
Patterns for a variety of projects.
dots, stripes and novelties...
Fruit novelties, stripes and blenders.
like these dog prints and coordinates found in this cute wall quilt.
Wall hanging made of dog-themed novelty prints.

These 2- and 3-fabric projects showcase Positively Poppies, Magnolia and Counting Sheep fabric collections from Blank Quilting.
Fast and fun quilted projects include lap quilts and table runners.
Up a few stairs is the classroom. A snowball quilt using fabric strips, and another large print quilt were in progress on the design walls.
WIPs (works in progress) in the Dizzy Divas classroom.
This quilted jacket—made for an upcoming class—was also in the classroom.
A quilted jacket class sample.
The shop's mascot is Princess, who showed me around and accompanied me into the classroom. I'd say she is the "doggie diva" of the store.
Princess is the shop mascot at Dizzy Divas.
Pillowcases hang above shelves of Fat Quarters.

Dizzy Divas Fabric Shop is easy to get to from I-640. The shop is located across the street from a shopping plaza and next to the Dairy Queen.

So to all you quilting and sewing divas and princesses (aren't we all??), the next time you are in the Knoxville area, pay a visit to Dizzy Divas for a much-deserved fabric fix. Then treat yourself to an ice cream at the Dairy Queen.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Knitting and Quilting Show and Tell

With my current position as a fabric rep for Blank Quilting [see My Fabric Rep Trek postings], I have limited time in my schedule for teaching knitting and quilting classes. When I do get the opportunity to get back into the classroom, however, I am always appreciative of completed projects that students bring in for a quick, pre-class Show and Tell. Here are some examples of the fabulous handiwork of my talented students.

Irene completed her Shades of Blue shawl from my design-your-own Mitered Diamond workshop. Irene was in my beginning knitting class just last fall and has been fearless in tackling and accomplishing advanced knitting techniques.
Irene and her Shades of Blue mitered diamond wrap.
Lois and Ofie finished their Cool Cotton Vests made with Universal Yarn Cotton Supreme. One of the bonus techniques in this knitting workshop was the inclusion of a lined pocket. This vest also had the option of a top button closure. As you can see, some chose to put on a button... some did not.
Lois (left) and Ofie (far right) in their summer cotton vests.
Jenny was in one of my Beginning Quilting by Machine classes. Here is one of her recent quilt tops—a stunning black and white star quilt. It's queen size and very striking. (I love black and white quilts, don't you?)
Jenny's black and white queen size quilt top.
Another very prolific quilter from my Beginning Quilting class is Sue. She made this Lone Star quilt for a grandson. He chose the colors and fabrics for the star. The lime green against the hot red orange and purples make it sparkle! Go bold with color and you get spectacular results.
Sue's Lone Star quilt for a grandson.
Sue has an embroidery sewing machine, so she used the in-the-hoop quilting motifs to quilt this full size quilt. She scaled the digitized motifs to fit the various size pieces in the patchwork (setting triangles, background, borders, etc.).
In-the-hoop quilting motifs.
Below is a view of the back of the quilt. She used a lime green solid fabric to complement the front.
Detail of the quilting on the quilt back.
The center star and the half stars were quilted in the ditch. A contrast in value between the color of the the thread and the background fabric enables you to really appreciate the sampler of quilting motifs.
The contrasting thread adds to the texture and print of the background fabric.
Sue also embroidered the label for the quilt to document her gift of love for a special grandson.
An embroidered quilt label.
Always remember to include a label on your quilt! It can be handwritten with a fabric marker, embroidered by hand or machine, printed from your computer, or made by a variety of methods. The label documents your work and celebrates you, your talent, your creativity and your place in history.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fast and Fabulous with Short Rows

We had the first session of my "Fast and Fabulous with Short Rows" knitting workshop this week. My knitting students are learning the magic of short rows while creating fabulous, 1-ball projects that are perfect for this colder weather.
"Fast and Fabulous with Short Rows" knitting workshop.
I'm introducing class participants to a beautiful, multi-shaded chunky wool yarn with long artistic color changes, called Poems Chunky from Universal Yarn. It's warm, wooly and supple and the anticipation of seeing what color flows next from the skein provides additional enjoyment to the knitting experience.

In addition to learning about short rows, students will learn or get practice with the following techniques:
  • I-cord edge
  • Provisional cast-on
  • Grafting with Kitchener stitch
  • Knitting in different directions
  • Knitting in the round to make mittens
  • and more...
The projects—a short row scarf, a neck-warmer (collar), a hat and a pair of mittens (not shown in photo)—will knit up quickly in an evening or two with fabulous results.

If you're a knitter and would like to join me for one of the remaining projects, contact me soon at Next week we'll be working on the I-cord neck warmer.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Knitting the sky—October skies

Sky Scarf through October 2012.
Only 2 months left to my Sky Scarf project. At a whopping 88 inches at the end of October, the scarf grows as the year wanes.

In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, the skies here for the past 3 days have been a beautiful cloudless deep blue. You can see how the skein of blue sock yarn blends into the background sky in this photo. I hope those affected by this monstrous event will be comforted and that sunshine and peaceful blue skies are in their future.
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