Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Isn't this exciting?

I have been nominated by Mardel for the Kreativ Blogger award. Now, like Carolyn who graciously nominated every blog that she has ever commented on (Thanks Carolyn!), every time these awards go around and they skip me I say "Oh well, being singled out is not the reason I write". I would have survived omission once more, but how nice to be honored! I remembered Mardel, and her beautiful knitting/sewing creations, from the days when I used to keep up with Stitcher's Guild. These days is all I can do to keep up with all the blogs out there. Thanks Mardel! I'm glad you came out from "lurking".

Most every blog I keep up has been nominated, so forgive me if I don't have 7. Here are the rules.

1. Copy the award to your site.
2. Link to the person from you received the award.
3. Nominate 7 other bloggers.
4. Link to those on your blog.
5. Leave a message on the blogs you have nominated.

Java Jem : I had the pleasure of meeting Jody a while back after I had been reading her blog for a while. She not only knits beautifully, is doing some sewing but she sketches. Take a look at her blog you won't be disappointed, photography is also one of her hobbies and it shows.

Storm Moon Knits: Lindsay dies yarn and how! Her colors are out of this world and the names of her colorways just as creative. She is taking a break now, and we all wait for her return.

Cat Fur Studio: When I first started looking for sewing info on the net it was Barbara's website which inspired me. She creates wonderful stylish garments that continue to inspire me.

El baul de las costureras: Maria Elena's blog like Paco's is full of wonderful tutorials as well as her creations.

Stitches and Seams: Debbie clearly details every step she takes while creating her wardrobe. She is always willing to lend a helping hand and she has many tutorials available.

Coming up a new Burda WOF top.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Knitty's Half Clapotis

I know I'm behind everyone else, but I discovered this pattern after everyone else had blogged and made it. The yarn which I purchased at Stitches East in Baltimore is Storm Moon Knits Peace and Love a colorway (worsted weight wool)dedicated to a friend's daughter. I enjoyed making this once I got used to the pattern, but I did frog this project several times before this. To clearly see the dropped stitch pattern I blocked my scarf and the yarn behaved very nicely.

Storm Moon Knits offers all hand dyed yarns in wonderful color combinations and great names to go with them. She is taking a break so her yarns are only available till the end of the month. Take a look!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

Today I had an interpreting job in the morning and errands to run (tomorrow is my oldest birthday and I needed to get his present). By the time I parked in front of the bookstore on the radio the speech came on. I sat in my car and listened. Although I will later watch with my family the inauguration on tv which I recorded, I am so glad that I was able to just listen. His words seemed to have more meaning and power without the visual distractions. I am proud of my adopted nation, a nation that voted for Obama.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My brother's Quilt

I love Kaffe Fassett quilts. I love the way he uses color and prints fearlessly. I love that his quilts are not perfect, he is not aiming for perfection.

I started this quilt a long time ago, I bought all the fabrics with the Melon Balls by Lucy Prior Lucy design in mind. It's a pattern from Rowan Patchwork and Quilting Book Number 4. I have most of the books in this collection, in fact most of my quilting books consist of this collection. Even though this quilt is not by Fassett it follows his aesthetics. The colorway I chose is very different from the original quilt, I wanted dark rich colors to give the quilt a middle-eastern sort of feel which I hoped the gold in the fabric would add. I'm very happy with the way it turned out, it is always nerve wrecking waiting to see if what one envisions comes true.

Image from book

Well my brother and his wife got to see the finished quilt top at Christmas and now they will be receiving the finished product. I hope they like it!

The color of the backing is truer in the photo below, the quilting was done by machine.

I attach the binding on my quilts initially by machine and then fold it to the back and finish it by hand, I just like the way it looks done this way. I also don't do binding on the bias unless I have to deal with curves.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My sewing history

Tia Milo and my mom

Lindsay posted about her sewing history and ask that we share ours.

The ladies in the picture were my sewing inspiration. I did not start sewing at a young age like many of you, it wasn't until I was married that I started sewing, I needed curtains for my new home and I have always loved fabric so it wasn't hard to jump in. I did however grew up while in Cuba exposed to garment sewing. My mom not only sewed for my dolls but she made almost everything I wore. She grew up having her clothes made by tia Milo (Aunt Milo), who sewed for all the women in the family.

Tia Milo was one of 15 siblings (one of them my grandmother). She was the oldest of the women and it was her responsibility to help in taking care of all the children that came after her. She was not formally schooled but she had a talent in sewing. My mom tells me that she would describe to her a dress she had liked and tia Milo would pick up her scissors and newspaper and create the pattern for her. She never married so she always lived with one of her sisters and to earn her keep she sewed and clothed the family. When I was ten or eleven I started spending afternoons with her sitting by her old Singer (she had it motorized when that was possible) making clothes for my dolls and listening to her stories. In confidence she told me "Unlike your mom, you have the patience for sewing". Mom and I now laugh when we remember that, my mom did persevere out of necessity and love of clothes, but she knows tia Milo was right. I never forgot that tia Milo believed I could.

Once in the US my mom, as soon as she was financially able, bought herself a Singer in the late 70's which she still has and uses. The dresses she made for me! I never went to a dance during my teens without a new dress. I enjoyed picking pattern and fabric (either at a great local store or in the fashion district) but mom did all the sewing;sometimes I did hems or finishes but nothing more.

I went to college and my mom still made me party dresses but I never picked up sewing. I got married and after moving to a new house with my newborn I needed to make curtains and I did. Later on as I started sewing costumes for the kids I got interested in quilting and bought my Bernina. I had been using a Singer from the 50s my mother-in-law had given me but it finally could not be repaired any more. I can't remember exactly when I became fascinated by making garments but once I did I couldn't get enough. I got my mom to help me and I read every book and watched every show on the subject.

As you all know my desire for sewing is still going strong, I only do home dec now by necessity. Quilting I still like and enjoy but garment sewing is what I want to do most.

What is your sewing history?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Beading class

I have been wanting to take a beading/jewelry class for a long time but could not find one. Finally my local Joann's found a teacher and I was able to sign up. After looking at the teacher's samples I was very excited everything was beautiful and to my style.

Because the class was so large 10 ladies in all she added another session in a couple of weeks to learn wire wrapping among a few more things that she didn't get to.

As you can see I made my first bracelet. I had a lot of fun in the class; the teacher was very patient and checked everyone's work after every step to make sure we had done it correctly.

I can see how this new hobby can become very addictive, I'm now looking to make a necklace...I'll keep you posted

ETA: Many thanks to all who commented on my jacket. I am glad it is now hanging in the ready-to-wear side of the closet!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Simplicity 4500 Pattern Review Jacket

This was not a complicated jacket. It has princess seams for great shaping and an (what I thought) interesting collar. I did not take a picture of the jacket all buttoned up because my teenage photographer was growing inpatient, but this is a jacket with very little ease, to wear with only thin knits and no sleeve woven tops.

I used the excellent tailoring techniques explained by Paco using fusibles. I am happy with the way the collar turned out and with the body of the jacket which is completely fused. The fabric raveled easily and needed some weight added. I did not add shoulder pads; as it is the sleeves are a bit shorter than what I like and adding a shoulder pad shortened them more. I did add sleeve heads which give the caps a nice shape.

I was inspired by Tany's beautiful creations and sewed the pleat in the lining with an embroidery stitch from my machine. Thanks Tany for the inspiration!

I actually made the skirt from this pattern about a year ago. I will probably wear them together when I interpret during parent/teacher conferences at the schools. Most of the time they will be worn separately for a more casual look.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Happy Anniversary

After reading Carolyn's post about her blog anniversary I decided to check when I started my blog. What do you know? on December 18 it was my 2 year anniversary! Well I'm happy that I decided to start this log, I have made "internet friends", have reconnected with old friends and I have enjoyed interchanging information with the sewing, knitting and crocheting community that it's out there.


I have been quilting and knitting but nothing is finished yet. I hope today to finish the handwork on my jacket to share with you.