Monday, January 26, 2015

3 month catch up

Hello friends!  Anyone still out there?  Has it really been 3 months since I was here?!?!

To state the obvious- life is busy.  Blame it on the kids.  When I started blogging they used to take naps and go to bed at 7:30.  Fast forward 4 or 5 years and they are up late doing homework after a full evening of hockey, ringette, dance, playdates and so on.  Not a lot of time for Mom!  But it's all good. They are fun and quirky little humans and I am just going with the flow and trying to enjoy and keep my head above water.

But today I have a day off- it's my birthday :)  Woohoo!  So far that has meant crossfit, getting cranky and tired kids to school, several loads of laundry and painting cabinets.  Do I know how to party or what? But while the paint dries, I am taking a break, having a cup of tea and some chocolate almonds and am going to chat a bit about my projects over the past 3 months...and you are going to have to cope with mostly crappy iPhone pictures, usually taken late at night in my bathroom.  Nice!

So, there has been knitting.  Knitting is my go-to these days as it is portable and can travel with me on the chauffeur circuit.  Made this cozy fall sweater:




And this one:




Started this one:



And just finished this one, which I am wearing today for the first time, yay!


Also knit myself this hat:



And made a good friend at work this shawl for her retirement. I think I need one, too!




I haven't done as much sewing as I'd like.  I had a 2 month no-sew hiatus but managed to get these in before and after that time.




The HOPE quilt.  This is a special one to me, made for a little girl in our community, Mackenzie, who was diagnosed a few years ago with Batten's disease, a terrible hereditary illness where a once completely normal child begins to suffer increasing seizures, motor loss, mental impairment and loss of sight until they are eventually lost to the disease.  There is no cure.  Mackenzie's family has been working hard to raise awareness for Batten's at their blog Mackenzie's Hope.  They are such an amazing and positive family. I wanted to give them a little "hope" back!  So I put together this happy rainbow quilt for her, quilted with hearts.  It was a pleasure to make and to give.




After my unintended quilting break, I felt the need for a quick instant gratification project.  I had received this gorgeous pack of Liberty hexies from my bestie Sam so I had my first go at putting those together.  I arranged them into a larger hexie shape, appliqu├ęd it to some Kona Snow and did some grid quilting to add some texture. I now have a lovely mini quilt to go on my soon-to-be sewing room wall!




We have also been busy with crafts of a different variety: renovations.  We are fixing a few final things in our home, including converting the front living room to a sewing/craft space for me!  Yippee!  I think I will sew so much more if I don't have to make a production of hauling everything out and cleaning up each time.  Hoping to get that done in the next couple months.  The bigger renovations are happening at our cottage, which had water damage due to a hose that broke in our fridge and ruined most of the flooring and then some.  We have decided since the place is getting ripped apart that we might as well also do some other updates we had wanted.  So we have been busy scouting out lighting, painting cabinets, making curtains, choosing new counters and vanities and faucets and all sorts of fun stuff.  Really excited to see the finished product!


More to share, but that's enough catch up for now.  Hope you all are well!

Kristie


Thursday, October 30, 2014

I might be on the naughty list....

....but naughty is more fun.

My latest obsession: swearing cross stitches. I crack myself up!  The frillier the funnier.




Fucking awesome patterns by Subversive Cross Stitch.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

perfect fall sweater

I made this.  In just 10 days!!  Fastest sweater I ever knit.  I felt propelled by the oncoming chill of autumn.


And, it's awesome. Wear it every day.



Best fall ever.


All the details on my Ravelry page, here.
(And one day I will start taking decent pictures with something other than my iPhone again, I promise!)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

craft south recap

I am embarrassed that it took me a MONTH to gather a few sentences about my amazing, incredible, indescribable weekend in Nashville attending Craft South, with none other than Anna Maria Horner and Heather Ross (insert squeals here).

I attended with my bestie Samantha from Toronto.  We used our 40th birthdays as an excuse to the husbands to do this.  Yes, I have milked this birthday for all it is worth and then some.  I have no shame.  We then got my good friends Kelly (Kelby Sews), Angela (Cut to Pieces) and Michelle (I like Orange, too) to join in the fun.  Kelly lives in Franklin, TN, so we all came a day early and had a girlie pow wow at her house the night before!  So much fun.  Including the incredible quilt swap I talked about in my last post.

( I want everything in Kelly's sewing room. All the things!!)

Friday night, the weekend began with cocktails and appetizers at a local restaurant.  I sat next to Heather (that's what I call her now. Heather.  My buddy.).  You know, no biggie.


And then here is Anna Maria checking out (and COMPIMENTING!) my handmade clutch. Gah! 



Then it was off to the temporary studio to settle in for the weekend.




Okay, I am at a loss for words (weird, eh?). I have stopped and started a commentary about 10 times.   How to describe this weekend?  Essentially, this weekend was 25 amazing ladies, hanging out in a studio full of hand stitched inspiration, in close quarters with my two Quilting Rockstars.  I told my husband that it was like if Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora had invited him to their place for the weekend to jam in the garage and hang out.  Yah.  That cool.

(God, I hate this picture of me.  WHY DIDN'T I TAKE A DECENT PICTURE?!?!) 

We went for dinner at Anna's HOUSE.  I mean, she said to us as we entered, "go ahead and throw your stuff on our bed!"  Talk about down to earth and folksy!  We hung out with her family, who were amazingly welcoming and who actually performed a concert for us- songs written by her eldest son and his friend, along with other favourites, performed by the "boys", Anna's husband and daughter.  Talented and creative just like their mother.



Then Anna Maria and Heather took the time to draw us each a picture of whatever we requested, to embroider later.  How amazing is that???


Speaking of original art, back in January (my, ahem, ACTUAL birthday), my husband had ordered me a Heather Ross custom family portrait for my gift.  I had been in contact with her about it and it was so incredibly great to be able to have her give it to me in person.  I love it so much, and how it captures my family and our life right now, scampering around in the minivan.  I have it framed and on my wall at home.

(I know it looks like Heather is trying to cop a feel in this picture, but I assure you, 
she is far too classy to attempt such a thing)


So we stitched.  We learned. We were inspired.  We laughed.  And time passed FAR too fast.  I gained a love of needleworks that I didn't know I had.  I look forward to incorporating more of it into my crafting in the future.

So, in short, if you ever have the opportunity to attend Craft South at some point, I have one word for you-  GO!!!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

finished quilt and the best gift ever

So Michelle (ilikeorangetoo) and I decided ages ago to do a swap, and planned to do it in person while together at Sew South. It was meant to be something small- a pouch, oven mitts, whatever, but a bunch of stuff happened this year for both of us personally, so it looks like, unbeknownst to the other, we both upped the ante!

I decided to make her a quilt, using my scraps from her favourite fabric line ever, Good Folks by Anna Maria Horner.  I didn't have much, so improvised a design based on my Liberty iPad mini cover I made, and both inspired by this mini quilt I saw on Pinterest.



I used a variety of low volume fabrics for the background, quilted it in swirly loops reminiscent of flight.  I named it "Migration", and even made a groovy label ;)  The back is a silky soft AMH voile, of course!



In return, I too received a quilt.  But not just ANY quilt.  A freaking epic all voile masterpiece that was entirely HAND QUILTED.  Are you kidding me???



I died.  I certainly cried.  I was so overwhelmed by her work and her generosity.  This is the first quilt I have ever had made for me, and it is so, so precious.



It was even touched and admired by The Great One herself!



And it has been getting plenty of use at my home.  Thank you again, Michelle, for this incredible gift.     You must really like me.  ;) xoxox


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

peace and love and Liberty (of London)

I bought a bunch of Liberty cuts while at Purl Soho in NYC, and got right down to using them.  As opposed to hoarding them.  Which, on occasion, I have been known to do ;)

First I made a couple really cool wraps, based on the Lululemon Vinyasa scarf.  Basically it is like a big rectangle with snaps than can be used to make it a wrap, scarf, cowl, shawl...there is a video of the 10 ways to use it!  I decided to make a couple with Liberty and chambray. It has been a great fall accessory!  Don't mind the post full of crappy iPhone pictures...it seems I am too lazy to pull out my fancy camera anymore!



I also decided to make a liberty pouch.  I actually planned to make enough for all my friends I was meeting at Craft South,  but only got one done, so Kelly (kelbysews) was the recipient.  The outer is patchwork of Liberty and chambray, the inner is a robin's egg blue shot cotton.  I made it large and square to accommodate and embroidery hoop and also put a piece of felt inside, suitable for storing needles.  I plan to make another for me (eventually).



I STILL have a Liberty quilt planned, which one day I will get to actually piecing- it is cut up and ready to go.  It is such a lovely fabric to work with, so soft...but pretty pricey.  Used sparingly!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

holy cowls!

I must have an instinct, much like the geese, to tell me that winter is on its way, because I have been knitting up a storm lately.  Mostly big, chunky, squishy cowls...so cozy!  

This one for me:



This one (and matching hat) will be a Christmas gift- made with the wool from Purl Soho.




This one was made for my fabulous friend Michelle (IG: ilikeorangetoo), which I gifted to her while in Nashville.



Originally the cream cowl was a gift for Angela (Cut to Pieces), but little did I know that she is allergic to wool, and it instantly made her itchy!  So I kept it (big hardship) and knit her up a new one quickly during our Sew South weekend out of a super soft alpaca yarn that she had bought herself.  Doesn't she look adorable in it?




All of the above cowls were made with the same simple pattern, bulky yarns held single and worsted yarns held double, doing a simple k3 p3, in a multiple of 6 stitches plus or minus one stitch to allow the pattern to spiral.  For most of these I cast on about 79 stitches to wrap double around the neck comfortably, and they each took 2 skeins.

I also made another very cool cowl/sling type thing, finished also while at Sew South for my bestie Samantha (IG: samsews).  It was a pattern (Panem cowl on Ravelry) based off this super cool knit worn by "Katniss" in the latest Hunger Games movie.


I love how this turned out, and it is totally the funky style that suits Sam, don't you think??  I have more yarn to make one for me, someday.



More finishes on the way!