Sunday 13 March 2011

Grateful Sunday

Like many of you, I have been gripped by images coming out of Japan. Perhaps gripped is the wrong word, but these events really leave me at a loss for words. Natural disasters are devastating, but nuclear disasters are a whole new level of concern.

What can anyone say?

Over at Elizabeth Cat’s blog, she vividly remembers being drenched in Chernobyl rain as a young girl in a checked dress….and it’s these images, these insights, that remind me of how precious and fragile life is.
I feel so grateful today.

Friday 11 March 2011

Dream Fountain & Red Delicious Juried In

UPDATE: Thanks for all your kind comments!
It feels really great to be included in such a prestigious show !
I am very happy to announce that Dream Foundation and Red Delicious have been juried in to Paducah.

As with each year, just being present amongst so many creative quilters and ideas is the highlight for me. 

Tuesday 8 March 2011

Oh my goodness, I’ve got a lovely cushion

Ok Ok, obviously that’s just a bit of fun, but I do encourage you to launch into the upcoming block with abandon and see what happens. The worst case scenario is that you end up with a lovely cushion (Block 1)!
Now I know the upcoming block looks intense, but I assure you that it’s not intense and is completely do-able.

My sample quilter (only 2 years quilting part time around a job) gasped when she faced this block…but dove in and did brilliantly and quickly too – well before the month was up. She surprised herself and really it’s not that hard. Not at all.

In 5 month’s time we’ll be telling everyone, oh my goodness I’ve got a lovely quilt.

Monday 7 March 2011

Sneaky Peek

With just a week until the next block is launched,
 I thought it was time for a sneaky peak.

It is a mystery after all, so not too much info!

How is yours coming along? I know a mystery can be daunting...but that's half the fun, isn't it?
I have been really surprised at the diversity in Block 1s up on the Yahoo Group so far. I think it's great that so many different quilter's are making this BOM. It's going to be an interesting journey...

What's coming up?
Last month was just getting your hands warmed up.
It was an easy introduction.
Now it's time to take it up a notch ...but the results will be more than worth'll see.

The next Block is released on the 15th March.
The 1st block will be removed on the 15th and no longer available for free. Download it now!

How is your Hearts Desire coming along?

Limitations unlimited

Thank you to everyone who passed on info regarding creating a button code to distribute amongst BOM followers.

It's no secret that my computer prowess is lacking. Frankly, it's non existent.

After many hours, and after reading many tutorials and browsing google and suffering much computer limitation related stress, I have decided to pick my battles...and leave the computing stuff alone.

For those of you who would like to put a Hearts Desire button up on your blogs, feel free to save this image below and use it in a gadget "add a picture" application.
Select "shrink to fit" and then add the link code below.

The code you will need to "link" to is:

Thursday 3 March 2011

How to unravel

I was really surprised to be asked recently, how do I roll my yarn?

I was asked this because I was seen to be pulling the yarn from it’s middle, without snags, and the quilter asking me had never seen this. No it isn’t a special type of yarn manufacturing process; it’s how I unravel my yarn. It’s my preferred method. Why? Because it’s so easy. I assume that everyone does it this way when they want to save time…but for the benefit of those who don’t, this post is for you.

Yes, I know, ideally I would unravel and roll my yarn into balls…but I’m rather impatient I must admit. I used to enlist my DD to roll my yarn for me and now that I have to do it myself, I have gone the road of least resistance (and time).

Here’s how:

Pick a side and attempt to pull out it's middle. If it resists, try to other side, you will find one side more willing than the other - pull from the easier side.

Pull out this middle

 It may appear tangled but is not

 Pull out the middle of the middle using the same method, just lightly pull out the centre clump...

Repeat. Depending on the yarn manufacturer you will end up here: this ball had 4 middles.
With the last and smallest middle, dig in for the 'beginning of the line' and start working.
It will unravel from this point snag free.

Now, I easily go through this amount (below) of yarn in a single sitting, but if you dont. leave your yarn on a flat surface until you work up to the main body of yarn. It looks more than it actually is.
If you can't bare that, wind it up loosely and work from this 'ball' until you reach the body of the yarn.

And here it is: you will reach the yarn body and keep puling the yarn line and it is free and easy to use without having to 'jump' the ball. This is great if you carry your yarn around for social knitting, crocheting etc. The first ball is untouched. The second ball has been unwound in this way, and as you can see it's 'deflating'

That's it...

Tuesday 1 March 2011

Another Crochet Garden

Nice... but dull
I took my eye off my yarn stash and it’s been growing again. I am now on a yarn stash busting diet.
I am committed to using up the yarns I already have before purchasing any more.

It doesn't zing!

There are lots of lovely new colours being released so this is going to be difficult. Another problem with stash busting is that last season’s hues are now no longer for sale, so it won’t be possible to buy extra and make up any shortage.

This is problematic as I had my eye on a pink granny afghan for my DD, but don’t have enough and the new pinks are completely different to what I already have.

Because my hands still remember the motif, and because I love it, I have decided to work another Primose Patch crochet afghan.

I really wish I could share it with you but it’s not mine and is copyrighted.

Honestly I don’t think you can have too many of these afghans around. I still intend to work it in a single colour at some point in the future, so I’m going to have at least three in my home.

If you would like to make it yourself, you will need to buy “A Crocheter’s Garden of Afghans”

With crochet, I usually just follow my hands and don’t work from patterns, so getting a handle on this pattern was tricky (there are no diagrams) and

I think I unintentionally made some changes…(mine looks different to the book)...but now it’s ‘remembered’ and making it this time around is a pleasure. I’m also going to join as I go this time, last time I left it all to the end…and that was very boring!

That just leaves the problem of colour. Problem? Looking at my yarn stash, my hues are all over the place. And I love them all…separately…so, how to stash bust this afghan?
I mostly crochet at night, or on gloomy days (like today) so colours can look quite different in the morning. This morning I was not impressed with last night’s efforts. I followed my gut feeling with the yarn last night and this morning it looked ‘muddy’. I like it, but I don’t love it.

And if you're going to spend 90 hours doing something - well, you should love it!

I have consulted a colour wheel today and working from my existing stash only, have grouped the colours into complimentary, triadic and analogous.

Interestingly, I am missing red and navy blue – which is much needed to link into lots of harmonies.

How did I manage to buy so much non matching yarn?? Anyway, things look a little clearer now.

I have decided on a violet complimentary and violet double contrast with green throughout as the motif back.

Thank goodness I’m better at quilting than crocheting!

Ok, my nightly yarning looks much more promising....
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