Friday, October 28, 2011

Quilting Class

I have been a sewer since I was thirteen years old. My mother taught me all those years ago and I can still remember the sky blue fabric that had colorful brush stroke splatters on it that we made into a one piece jumper. Even had a coordinating short sleeve pink top to wear underneath it. When I was seventeen my parents gave me my first sewing machine for Christmas and from then on I sewed up a storm.

For many years, making clothing was my main focus with the occasional home dec item sneaking into my projects. When my body decided to turn into a "real" woman size I gave up on the clothing because I honestly couldn't be bothered having to alter the patterns to fit my size. My focus then turned to items like pillows, placemats, Christmas trees skirts and even a wall hanging quilt that I gave to my sister many moons ago.

Everything I know for sewing has been self taught. Kind of like I have been with my knitting once I learned the basics. After my sister and I visit the local favorite quilt shop here in NYC last year, I knew I wanted to take their seven week Intro to Quilting class. While working nights, I could never manage to get into the Saturday class and the one during the week conflicted with my working hours. So when I received the schedule for the Fall classes I immediately signed up for the Thursday night class.

I must say that I absolutely love the instructor! She has such a passion for quilting and is so eager to share her knowledge with everyone. I've been asked if I felt like I was going to get my money's worth out of this class since I kind of already knew what was involved with quilting. My immediate response is, "Yes!". We have covered four of the seven weeks now and I have learned so much. My confidence has been boosted too.

The instructor has left it up to each student as to what they will produce in the class using the block patterns she has provided us. Her model project was a four block quilt, with sashing and borders, to be completed into a lap quilt. She said that she has had students that have made that project or even turned it into a table runner or maybe a larger quilt. I knew right then that I wanted to make a quilt big enough to snuggle under while watching tv or reading a good book.

Each week we come into the class and put our completed blocks up on the wall for everyone to see. I am definitely the over achiever in the class, as I am the only one that has eleven blocks finished. I still have four more to go to get to the fifteen block count that I want for my quilt. Last night we picked out our sashing and border fabrics. I am so excited to see this project through to completion.

So here are the blocks that I have done so far. I have uploaded them in the order I completed them. It's been fun going from the simple to the more complex blocks. I am hoping to get the remaining blocks done this weekend so I can move forward with the sashing.

Happy crafting everyone!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Rhinebeck Roundup

Another Rhinebeck has come and gone. It goes by so quickly, especially when you are enjoying yourself with a great group of ladies. This year the most awesome Kim organized a rental house for myself and 11 other ladies (which I just have to say are all fabulous and I can't wait to see again) to stay at for the whole weekend. I must say that this was so much better than staying at the local Super8. The house was huge and I wanted to move in so badly. Unfortunately the only picture I took of the house didn't take and I didn't realize it until I got home on Sunday afternoon. We are all hoping that we can get the same house for next year.

The weather at the festival on Saturday was a bit windy and slightly rainy, but we didn't let that dampen our spirits. I didn't bring my real camera this year so I only took a few photos of the whole weekend. The majority of them being the sheepies on Sunday. So here's what I have to share:

Miss Shameka and I wondered around the festival together on Saturday and she so graciously stood in the Sanguine Gryphon pay line with me, which ended up being an hour and fifty minute wait. I had a picture of the the line that went out the barn door, up the hill and to the back parking lot fence, but my camera ate it. However, I do have a picture of Miss S modeling her fabulous Mod Podge sweater!

After we all exhausted ourselves at the festival, it was time to relax back at the house and recap our day with everyone else. Two of our ladies even got a personal spindle lesson from Ms. Through the Loops herself, Kirsten. I managed to capture three craptastic photos of Shameka getting her lesson.

Watching them made me wish I had remembered to pack my spindle. Oh well, next year.

On Sunday I hung out with Ms. Boring Knitter herself, Michelle. It was wonderful to finally be able to hang out instead of just having a few minutes conversation together as what has happened during the past years. I think we enabled each other just a bit in doing some final festival shopping. She even helped me purchase some BFL for my spindle. She and I ended our morning together hanging out with some sheepies.

Finally, I did come home with a little haul. I call it little because this is less than what I have bought in the past. I brought home enough yarn for two sweaters from Brooks Farm and Miss Babs. Three sock yarns hopped in my bag from Sanguine Gryphon. I also bought some really cool sock yarn called Night at the Blue Moon Fiber Arts booth, however it's not one of their yarns. The color goes from pink all the way to a dark gray. The mock up was really cool so I decided it had to come home with me. There is enough yarn to make two matching socks. I bought a shawl book after talking with the designer and falling in love with the one she was wearing. Two skeins of Fiber Optic lace yarn were purchased to make said shawl. I bought another Sheep Incognito picture to be a mate to the one I already have at home. There is some fiber from Into the Whirl at the edge of the table and finally I bought a shawl pattern that I fell in love with at the Fiber Optic Booth.

While I didn't get to finish my Rhinebeck sweater or fingerless mitts in time for the weekend, I do think my knitting mojo has come back to me just a bit. I couldn't wait to "crack open" some of the Sanguine Gryphon yarn the other night. I had the perfect pattern in mind too. So as of today, I have a more than halfway finished sock number one.
The pattern is called Honey Badger by Irish Girlie Knits (Ravelry link). The yarn is Skinny Bugga called Red-White Leaf Beetle. And I must say that these two together are just fabulous! The pattern is easy and the yarn knits up so nicely. I may actually have a pair of finished socks by the end of next week. Who knows!

Thanks to all the fabulous ladies who made up the Rhinebeck Twelve this year! I loved being able to hang out with friends, old and new.