Saturday, April 26, 2008

(First of...) 3 great bags

Here is the first of three great bags from the pattern 3 Great Bags by Ellie Grisham. The pattern and fabric were an impulse purchase last weekend when I was feeling ansy and cooped up. I was able to get out for a mere 50 mintues - and managed to add another project to my list. However, this one has benefits - namely Mother's Day gift potential! (Mom, if you're reading this, the cat's out of the...well, you know.)

I fell in love with the green batik; reminicent of the budding trees of spring. It is tempered by the flame orange. A color we usually see in fall but is also a great contrast to the green.

This bag was also a great way to test out the sewing machine some more. Dan purchased it for me when we moved into our new home last August and I have been learning about it ever since. I have noticed a frustruating tendency for the machine to skip, or rather, bunch up stiches on the underside of what I am sewing. It doesn't seem to matter what fabric I'm using, the tension of the stitches or anything. I am clueless as to why it happens with such frequency. Maybe something about how the bobbin is wound? This is something that I will have to look into before I venture on to quilting the two quilt tops that I have stashed in the corner. Incidentially, I didn't have any problems with this issue when I was sewing the girls' fishing game.

More fisherman yarn

The lace scarf is coming along well. I plowed through a skien of yarn and had to put the project on hold until the same yarn came on sale at JoAnn Fabrics. It did last weekend and for a brief 20 minutes this last week I was able to join the new skein and continue my work. Maybe it will be done in time for my brother-in-law's law school graduation in mid-May? Maybe that's pushing it...

Fabric art

Here is a photo of a piece of art that I completed to finish off a blank wall in our living room. I am very pleased with the result. I basically took scraps of favorite fabrics, grouped them, cut them into strips and viola! Instant art. Well...the process was more cumbersome than that, but it truly wasn't as difficult as I had expected. The most difficult part was committing to a final design and gluing the things together.

My inspriration came from another piece of art that I noticed while surfing I give full credit for my inspiration to collagecreations, with her piece, Woven Series 4. Unfortunately I am unable to justify purchasing her art at this time, so I crafted my own.

Dan really likes this too - which is rare as he doesn't like fabric as much as I do. (For that matter, I don't care for wood in the same way that he does!) He has even encouraged me to do a piece for a silent auction that is coming up for the girls' daycare. I do have some ideas for another, more intricate piece, so we'll see what I am able to come up with.

Loving Frank Lloyd Wright

Here is a close-up photo of the unfinished cross stitch that I am working on. The pattern, and kit, are from Heartland House Designs. I found it while surfing a long time ago and became an instant fan. I completed the Heath House Window 3.5 years ago and gave it to my sister-in-law as a thank you gift for her contributions to our wedding. She grew, cut and arranged all of the flowers for the entire event. She is a very talented grower. You can learn more about her and Sandhill Organics Farm here. The current piece, Tree of Life Window, is either for our family or my parents. I have another one in the works - Waterlilies- but at this point I am unsure which one will look best in our house. Whichever one that is, is the one that will stay. The other will go to my parents for their home.

Incidentially, Dan and I were married at a place called Hilltop. It is an old all-girls horseback riding camp located in Spring Green, WI - just across the street from Taliesin. It was designed by a man with the family name Fritz and is very much in the priaire tradition. From what I have learned, Herb Fritz was an apprentice to FLW.

On a realted note, I am currently finishing "Loving Frank." A great story, by Nancy Horan (an Oak Park, IL native) based on the life of FLW, his family, his lover and her family. It is a quick read and I highly recommend it to anyone that is interested in learning more about his work. It is also a love story - about a woman who loves FLW and a woman who is trying to find herself. I was enamored with Mamah from the first page.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Let's go fishing

Here are some pictures of the fishing game that I sewed for the older girls over the weekend. This, coupled with digging out my Frank Lloyd Wright inspired cross stitch (that I have been working on for 3+ years) got me out of my funk. I am looking forward to picking up the knitting needles again soon, but in the meantime I am enjoying a chance to be creative in many mediums!

Friday, April 11, 2008


Sorry not to post lately, but in truth there has been no knitting to post about. I could blame it on the school-related travel, the flu, the kids, the law class (the homework), the home maintenance, the daily grind or lack of sleep. But in truth, I have knit through all of these obstacles before. Not sure what is different this time. I am just having a hard time getting motivated. Maybe a break from this lace will do me some good.

I am cooking up some sewing plans for an abstract fishing game for the twins...I'll post pictures when it's ready. Maybe then it will be time to actually get into that craft room and do some organizing - and purchase a nice lamp and comfy chair. Making some "me" space might do wonders for me.