Saturday, March 30, 2013

Adventures in quilting

Years before I learned to knit, I learned to quilt. I was taught by my mom and sister, who are avid quilters. This spring, I learned to knit on a long-arm machine. It was a bit of a fluke that I even took the class. My sister signed up, but ended up being out of town. So, here I was, a replacement quilter... taking the class with my mom. Well, I am officially hooked. We have gone to rent the long-arm twice now, and today I finished quilting my first project on the machine. Oh my goodness! The possibilities!

A couple of years ago, we also took a class about quilting on smaller machines, by not engaging the foot. Well, this blows that class out of the water. Granted, the project I completed from the first class was a lot of fun, but my machine is just no equal to this beauty:

This machine is at a cute quilt shop in Tacoma called Calico Threads.

Taking the quilting class has definitely renewed my passion for quilting. I have just completed the quilt from oh... a class I took in 2011ish for quilting. It was a lot of fun to make, but really time-intensive. It was one of those projects where I just had to force myself to finish it.

This quilt is a fun technique where you just start sewing new pieces onto the main piece of fabric as over-sewing, so it can have really random edges and curves. It was a lot of fun to do, and somehow in the process of making it, a bird started appearing. After I realized the bird was there, the rest of the quilt started to take shape. I started where the lower of the birds is and added a second bird. It turned into a great wall hanging that will soon be hanging for all to see.
While my next quilt will be from a pattern, this quilt catered to my more abstract tendencies. Now all I have to do is finish the quilt from today... whee!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Vacation knits!

I love knitting on the plane, in cars on the way to destinations, while sitting beside a pool and relaxing, and pretty much any other opportunity that vacations allow. Vacation knitting started early for me. One of my first scarves was made on my way to visiting my friend Jessie in Japan, then later that year, my first pair of socks were knit while in Australia.

I do tend to knit socks on vacations more often than any other projects because of their portability. Also, it helps that the needles are so small that they are even less dangerous than a pencil. Oh, and no... I have never been asked to check my knitting needles. I know other countries have issues with people knitting on planes, but thank goodness the US isn't one of them. Also, if I did go somewhere with problems, I have in fact knit with the insides of a pen before. It is a bit odd, and I wouldn't recommend it for most projects, but hey, if you have a 40 minute bus ride and have left a needle at home, you might have done it too.

My most recent pair of socks, now almost 75% finished, were knit on the way to and in Florida. This trip was so much fun, for it was a girls' trip with friends from High School. We may not be the rowdiest bunch, but it was a lot of fun. It was also fun that of the 4 of us, 3 of us are now knitters. It's always fun to have a friend learn to knit, then we have that much more to chat about. I am hitting my 10 year anniversary of knitting this year, and now have a good number of friends addicted as well! Long live knitting, vacations, and definitely vacation knits!