Friday, February 11, 2022

learning from a master

There are Kaffe Fassett fans (fanatics?) in the quilting world and then there are people like me who have had one or two KF fabrics in their stash...may own a book or two for inspiration...but have never gone in for the OneDesignerAllTheWay kind of quilt design. For me much of the fun of quilting has been adapting existing or traditional designs to my own sensibility, or playing with colours and fabrics to challenge myself.


I have a friend who has been making the most magnificent quilt tops from KF fabrics (her stash of them is formidable!). And I caught the bug. I just wanted a rich and wild KF project, dipping into the reds and hot pinks and oranges that Kaffe Fassett does so well.


I bought a kit. GASP!

The colourway is "Scarlet." 

I have never ever done a kit, until now...or even followed the recommended fabrics or even the general colours in a quilt pattern. As I organized all the beautiful and wild prints that came in this kit, I had to wrap my head around the fact that choosing fabric was not part of this particular adventure. I could take no credit at all for the design choices if I followed this kit to the letter.

But I decided to follow obediently, nevertheless. I approached this as a mini-course in a master designer's approach to quilt design. And it has been fascinating!

The combinations are weird and wonderful and I think the final quilt will be kind of amazing -- all credit to Fassett, I am just the labourer ;p

Today I am just sharing lots of pics...more notes and reflections to come soon (and more projects, since I do have some others underway).

The pile grew (30 blocks in all).

And I added the seemingly BIZARRE choice for sashing and cornerstones (but of course they actually work, because Fassett is nothing if not a colour genius).

And now, VOILA! A quilt top! I learned a lot (but am so eager to get back to making my own choices, with this new experience under my belt). Quilting to come..

Friday, January 21, 2022


It has been a while, old blog. And non-monetized blogs are no longer a "thing," are they? Nevertheless, here I am, in need of a place to document what I make. 

If anyone stumbles across my posts, please feel free to comment! But I suspect that these posts will be primarily for me and a few of my closest friends.

So here we go (again)!

MITTENS ('tis the season)

My absolute favourite book of mitten patterns has remained one that is relatively hard to get ahold of (so I'd better not lose it, ever): Solveig Larsson's Knitted Mittens. Here it is, side-by-side with my sweet pup Heidi (a longhaired miniature dachshund, best doggie pal EVER, almost a year old now. Extra pic of Heidi, for good measure).

Isn't she the BEST? Well, yes. She is!


Among other small knitting projects I have been doing in recent months (including lots of sweaters for Heidi and her cousin, who lives around the corner and a hat for myself), I just finished a pair of Larsson's "Eva's Mittens" from stash yarn (mostly Jamieson & Smith) and gifted them yesterday.

CRAFTING (re-jigged)

My sewing life came to an abrupt halt a few months into the global pandemic, when my cat Lulu chewed through the cord to my Juki's foot pedal -- and then proceeded to locate and swallow 5 hairbands which required life-saving emergency surgery. 

Phew. That was a stressful sentence to type, because it was a stressful period of time to live through. 

We live in a small house and I have to craft in shared, common spaces. I thought that perhaps my free-wheeling, multiple projects-at-at-time crafting life had come to an end. But as the months wore on, I felt terrible without these forms of creative expression that are potentially dangerous to two cats with compulsive pica (yes, Coffee Cat has it too -- but his compulsions are for tape and plastic).

I restarted my knitting life with small projects like mittens and hats (easy to stash works-in-progress in zippered bags, no more open baskets for me). 

And I recently managed to reboot my sewing life with -- TA DAHHHHHH! -- my new and very beloved Elna Lotus 2.

Excuse the mess -- but sewing on our kitchen island, on a machine that can be closed safely and fully in a few seconds, has been a LIFE SAVER! This machine was made for me and my obsessive-compulsive chewer cats. I am back, baby! I am now piecing on the Lotus and reserving the Juki 2010Q for the actual quilting.

CLEARING THE DECKS: finishing gift quilts

I have a thousand ideas about what I would like to sew...but first I am clearing the decks, wrapping up projects I had started for friends and family but abandoned when the pandemic and cat neuroses and puppy-raising made sewing impossible for a time.

I am DELIGHTED to report that I finished a quilt for my SIL and BIL, both of whom are now happily retired (as of December). They chose the fabrics when visiting (they live 1000 miles away)...ummmm....8 years ago. Oops. 

Anyway, here are some progress shots -- pieced on the Lotus and quilted on the Juki 2010Q -- and (drum roll) the finished quilt, mailed off yesterday.

You'll see that Coffee Cat kept an eye on me the whole time. Heidi often napped at my feet. It was delightful and no animals were harmed in the making of this quilt. Phew.

Block pattern by Kim Brackett.

After mailing this off, I managed to finish piecing another gift -- this one for neighbourhood friends who chose the pattern and colours. It is queen-sized, so basting on the kitchen island (my VERY NEW approach, developed for cat safety) may be a challenge. We will see.

More soon :)