Category Archives: Quilting

When I grow up, I want to be Granny Weatherwax

The Discworld Square

The Discworld Square

I’ve slowed a little with the geekalong blanket, but I did design and knit up a few new squares. One for the Discworld, because any blanket that doesn’t pay homage to Granny Weatherwax simply isn’t fit for a bed! I actually knitted this one up as a charm – Papa had to have heart surgery, so I was knitting away while waiting for the phone to ring. All went well! Better than hoped for, in fact, so that worked!

Psych Square 1

Psych Square 1

Psych square 2

Psych Square 2

I also became a huge fan of Psych recently – any show that features Westley as a jewel thief is my kind of show – so there inevitably had to be a pineapple. Only, now I can’t decide which side of the pineapple square I like best. Any ideas?

I’ve started uploading the charts I made to Ravelry, but they’re on my project pages, so just look up gidgetknits’s projects and you’ll find them. And don’t forget to check out the official Geekalong 2014 squares and their excellent cause, Child’s Play. The original, official blanket is amazing!!! Especially if, unlike me, you know about gaming. I don’t, so I’ve just ad-libbed some of my blanket!

I’ve had long days and nights in front of the computer for work, so this morning I took a little time away from the screen to play with quilting. I’m so terrible at getting my points right! But I’d seen Elizabeth Hartman’s fox quilt about and I fell in love with it. I’m not convinced I’d have patience for the full sized quilt, but she has a fantastic lap quilt with large foxes and it looked like the kind of project that would be good for a novice quilter. This morning I practiced the gigantic square with some scraps I had about.

Be Bold, Be Bold, But Not Too Bold

Be Bold, Be Bold, But Not Too Bold

I’ve been reading Helen Oyeyemi’s Mr Fox (it’s fantastic – recommend it!) and I’m a big fan of the fairy tale, so I do have foxes on the mind! Just ignore that one ear is slightly smaller than the other – and the tartan does look a bit wonky… but…

The Silver Fox Lord

The Silver Fox Lord

Tartan… silver fox… galaxies reflected in his eyes… you know where this was going!

I’m planning to make the lap quilt out of florals – now that I know I can cope with the design – so I’m just deciding what to do now with my gigantic silver fox!

And just a little plug at the end, here. I published a short story.

"The Death Of Glinda" in Aurealis #77

“The Death Of Glinda” in Aurealis #77

If you’re a fan of Oz and its amazing citizens or if you ever thought Aunt Em got a raw deal, you might like it!

And as a farewell for today, look at this incredible vegetable stack I made using only vegetables from the garden! Better than a burger any day (still pescatarian since New Year!).

Better than MacDonalds!

Better than MacDonalds!

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Bye bye 2013

Bit of a scramble work-wise to meet the end of 2013, but here we are! And I can share another sock design! It came out recently as the last installment of Knitsch Yarns’ ‘Better than Toast’ yarn club. My first yarn club design!! I couldn’t believe Tash trusted me to design something wonderful for her. I did, however, already have an idea to play with, so off to work I went and managed to pretty much turn around the design in a month.

I’ve held off sharing the design – spoilers! But I’m pretty sure everyone has their pattern now and Tash gave the nod… and just yesterday, for the very first time, our pink lilies popped up, so that seemed serendipitous.

The pink lily

The pink lily

Caterpillars did eat the lilies… but here are the socks they inspired.

The Deco Lilies

The Deco Lilies

This is a quick shot of the socks – in bad lighting, oops – before they went to New Zealand for proper photography! The design is “Deco Lillies“. Tash dyed the prettiest pinky-yellow yarn especially for it. It is amazingly exciting to have someone dye yarn just for your design! Kind of thrilling, actually!

I did do a ‘prototype’ design in Knitsch Yarns and a dark jewel tone also works well, I think.

The dark side of the lilies

The dark side of the lilies

The prototype still had the messy middle row of purls  and unfinished leaves on the toe, but I love the way the leaf business there works!

Leafy toes!

Leafy toes!

I am working on my next design and it’s looking quite promising! But I did my wrist in the other day, so I’m off knitting today.

Christmas was a joy. The Scot received his presents – mostly balls…

It's a new ball!

It’s a new ball!

But he also got a new lead – isn’t it adorable?

The Scot: "I *know* these aren't real sausages, you know."

The Scot: “I *know* these aren’t real sausages, you know.”

We made an alternative to traditional Christmas pudding – a Nesselrode. The dried cherries all went to the bottom of the mould and then melted a bit… but it was so creamy and delicious and filled with chestnuts! (And not being able to have gluten, dairy or chocolate now, I’m a bit of a challenge when it comes to dessert!)

Victorian pudding/jelly

Victorian pudding/jelly

And I gave Mum and Papa their little quilt. I think they were pleased. The fabrics represent their interests and although it’s pretty simple in terms of patchwork, that does suit the fabric designs. The whole is quilted in musical notes (Papa is a musician).

Fashion and Music Quilt

Fashion and Music Quilt

Phew. I think I’m all tired out now and looking forward to 2014! (Especially Peter Capaldi’s Doctor! Oh August, why are you so far away?)

 

 

Don’t let the space bugs bite!

*With quotes from Wash

Oh my God! It's grotesque! Oh, and there's something in a jar.

Oh my God! It’s grotesque! Oh, and there’s something in a jar.

I know, I know. I have lots of deadlines and a pile of presents to sew, some of which are already late, and what do I do? I finish the binding on my Firefly quilt!

I just couldn’t wait to see what my first quilt would look like all finished and prettified and all.

You're a very "up" person.

You’re a very “up” person.

Pretty, isn’t it?

Ha ha ha, mine is an evil laugh, now die!

Ha ha ha, mine is an evil laugh, now die!

I became a very good customer of Spoonflower, which has a nice selection of Firefly-themed fabrics, but added some other fabrics on the theme: apples, strawberries, dinosaurs, horses, saloons, parasols etc. I wanted the fabrics to reflect the nature of the world in Firefly.

Yeah, we should start dealing in those black market beagles.

Yeah, we should start dealing in those black market beagles.

I thought some cheery polka-dots on the back would do the trick and added the binding made from the apple fabric. I was a bit worried the red and green would get too ‘Christmasy,’ so the apples break that up a bit.

We will rule over all this land and we will call it... This Land.

We will rule over all this land and we will call it… This Land.

And I had it quilted with a dinosaur pattern. It’s very swirly, but if you look, you’ll see the dinosaurs! It seemed appropriate.

I’m so happy with it! It’s far from perfect, but there’s something ever so pleasing about making a quilt. It’s… homey and comforting.

Bring me knitting

The 8th Doctor tells you to bring him knitting, you don’t refuse.

Hello Sexy

Hello Sexy

Seriously, did you see the mini-episode? I might just have been over the moon!!!

I may also have had a thought. I’m buried in deadlines, but remember these socks? My eye happened to fall on some Socktopus in “Gingy’s Christmas Cottage” that I had lying about and ’tis the season! Aren’t the colours sort of perfect? So, I started knitting in between all the deadlines and I think I might be able to get the pattern sorted in time for the 50th anniversary! Fingers crossed!

I may also have to start investing in 8th Doctor audio adventures. Last night I was doing some Christmas present quilting and the only problem with quilting – you can’t really watch TV while you work. You can listen, however.  Last night I had a ball listening to The Thrilling Adventure Hour with Nathan Fillion. So I think a little 8th Doctor might help the process along further!

Adventures in Quilting (and not always getting it right)

This morning I was reading a couple of blog posts that intrigued me. I love this post by Tash on being an imperfect crafter. I also enjoyed this rather bittersweet reflection on failure by Shelley.

I wonder why we do have such a hard time with getting things wrong sometimes? Mind, as I get older… and older… and older… I realise I care less about getting things wrong.* Who knew? I loved it when Craig Ferguson made a comment about being 50 and no longer caring what others think and how that is real punk (I’m paraphrasing like mad – it was a while ago and I can’t find it quoted anywhere). I think, too, that as I get older, I get less worried about making my own mark on the world and more interested in what I can try to achieve while I’m around and what I can leave for others to build upon – even what I can shake up and subvert for future generations! I stopped putting myself at the centre of it all, though. I don’t have to be the definitive anything. I can do what I enjoy, I can try things out, I can put things out in the world in the hope that others will find them helpful or inspiring or… that they’ll just make someone smile (even if it’s only me). And if I get things wrong sometimes? I can own it and be okay with that. Because I’m not worrying about being judged or that I’m being the most amazing at whatever I’m doing, I’m actually doing more and enjoying myself. Okay, sometimes I get a little overwhelmed. I felt that way yesterday. I’m still human.

But essentially, it’s nice to take yourself out of the central position. It’s not about me. It’s rather freeing.

Here’s an example. I’m sewing together lots of little triangles for my first quilt. I’ve been sharing photos, because it just looks so colourful and I like it! How could I not? (Spoonflower just keeps taking my money!)

Halfway through

Halfway through

So last night I was sewing triangles and I’m about half way through the triangles now. It looks pretty good, doesn’t it?

But look closer.

Where the points meet

Where the points meet

That’s not even the worst example! When I started thinking about quilting, a friend mentioned that I’d have to watch that my points stayed, well, pointy. Ummmm… well, there are pointy points. There are also quite a few places where the triangles don’t really line up.

But remember the ‘big picture’? It still looks like triangles and its colourful and while I have been unpicking, when I can’t get the triangles to all match, I fudge the best I can. Basically because, while I could tear out my hair and unpick and recut and trim and grump, I really just want to snuggle under my quilt. So, it’s worth a few blunt points and unmatched seams to get there in a state of sanity. No one is going mind. Plus, this is my first quilt. As I’m figuring it out, I’m learning how to make the points pointier and the seams match. I’m learning that maybe cutting out triangles at midnight isn’t always smart. Everything I’m learning will go into the next quilt.

I’ve never really learned in classrooms or from books. I’ve learned from making mistakes. It’s my system. I’m okay with it. And I’m going to love my quilt and not stress about the blunt points.

And who knows how the next quilt will turn out? I’ve already snapped up a charm pack of some discontinued Tula Pink fabric (I love Tula Pink). Don’t you love the idea of sewing charms?

Charms

Charms

So I’ll see how I go on this next project. And the Star Trek quilt I also have in mind. And the Doctor Who quilt…

So many plans. I really don’t have time for perfection!

 

* I will note that sometimes you get things wrong and you hurt someone else. That’s not great. However, you can do your best to fix it or at least not make it worse. We all hurt each other sometimes. It happens.

Why is everything I do so geeky?

I knitted a hat! In fact, I designed a hat.

Mr Spock Hat

Mr Spock Hat

I borrowed my Star Trek Insignia-inspired pattern from the Janeway Socks and with a little Renaissance Dyeing sock yarn in “Queen’s Blue,” I made a Mr Spock Hat. Because those pointy ears would need to be kept warm, correct? It’s only logical. It was kind of fun knitting something science-fiction inspired with a yarn dyed the old-fashioned way with indigo.

Insignia detail

Insignia detail

I’m really more inspired by old-school Star Trek, although have you seen this doggy video with Zachary Quinto? So the blue is closer to the reboot.

One of the reasons I love Firefly, too, is that it brings together a homemade feeling with space adventure. Remember the stenciled vines, the wooden table, the tin lamps in the galley? And Kaylee’s cabin door with the handpainted name plate and fairy lights? Or even how fresh food became something special again – a basket of apples or strawberries is amazing? So that informs my quilt-in-progress, which is doing very nicely, although we won’t mention how badly my points meet. Shhhh… it’s my first quilt. Perfection is overrated.

The Scot 'helping'

The Scot ‘helping’

The Scot likes to sneak into the lounge where I’ve got the blocks laid out.  He’s figured out how to nose open the sliding doors and he’s usually quite considerate about padding around the blocks to sit at my feet while I’m sewing. I made the mistake on the first night, though, of trying to sneak up on him to scoot him out into the hallway – he took off like a rocket and the blocks flew. Oops.

Meanwhile, Cosette is laying eggs again, so I’m thinking of making Eggs In Purgatory tonight. Trust me, one of my favourite recipes!