Pieced Prototype Placemats: Progress on Quilting

Colors, Fabrics & Materials

I’m slowly chipping away at the small piecing / quilting prototypes that I started in February.

Piecing1 WiP Half Quilted Top View

My goal is to find a good-looking, neat, satisfying and fast way to machine quilt this kind of a pieced surface. I’ve figured it out halfway: I’ll sew diagonally across the small squares to create diamonds at 45-degree angle to the edge.

Half the battle is done! 🙂

Pieced Prototype Placemats

Colors, Fabrics & Materials

I’ve had a hankering to do some piecing and quilting lately, so prototypes it is! At this stage, I’ve been working on placemats made from two different sizes of squares.

Piecing Purple Blues Greens

The placemat colors are based on a rainbow, with each color moving diagonally across instead of the more static horizontal or vertical layout.

Piecing Purple Blues Greens Yellows Reds

After piecing the top on the first one (the photo above), I re-did some color selections for the second one.

Piecing2 Ready Purple Blues Greens Yellows Reds

Better! There are still improvements I could make, but it seems my stash is getting too low on the shades I’d need.

Even though I haven’t yet fully finished the placemats, I can tell that the math seems to work – the dimensions are suitable. That’s the most important part; colors I can always tweak ad infinitum. 🙂

Possible Presidential Wool Socks?

Arts & Crafts, Fabrics & Materials, Thumbs Up

My native Finland is voting for a president this coming Sunday. One of the most quirky newspaper articles leading to the election focused on the candidates’ favorite wool socks.

That’s right – their wool socks.

Helsingin Sanomat (HS), the largest national daily, asked all of the eight candidates to bring in their favorite pair of wool socks to be photographed (note: article in Finnish only). The socks were then arranged into a quiz for readers to try and match each candidate with their socks. And here they are:

Presidentinvaalien lempivillasukat 2018

Outi Pyhäranta / Helsingin Sanomat.

It’s telling that no-one refused to share their favorite socks. Like sauna or certain traditional foods, wool socks are a core part of the Finnish identity. Journalist Marko Junkkari writes that wool socks are a symbol of ordinary, everyday life, which is the image the candidates aspire to portray. If one candidate were to refuse sharing their favourite socks, they might come across too cocky and pompous.

On one hand, I was left wondering how serious the article was, but on the other I do appreciate that Junkkari thought to ask and the candidates all responded. It’s not that I really need to know what kind of socks each candidate is wearing. Rather, knowing that our presidential candidates do wear wool socks and took the request seriously is a nice reminder of our unifying humanity, especially in a small country that’s partially in the Arctic.

Another reason I loved the article is that I do love wool socks! Sock knitting is still very much a living tradition in Finland. In fact, one of the candidates told HS that her mother knitted her socks, and two more said their socks were made by supporters. Another of the three female candidates said she’s favoring a loaner pair.

Oh, Finland – never change! 🙂

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Multicolor Coordinating Bag Tassel

Arts & Crafts, DIY, Fabrics & Materials

Do you ever make tassels? Back when I was playing with book bag prototypes, just on a whim I made a tassel for one of them:

Fuchsia Book Bag w Tassel Closeup

It’s attached to the top of the side seam, so it’s not really a bag charm.

Fuchsia Book Bag w Tassel

 

I made it with yarns that match the fabric colors, with fuchsia on the outside and pale yellow and two different greens on the inside.

I still like how the other shades peek through the hot pink. I’m just not sure how practical it is. Thoughts?

Discoveries: FUJITAMIHO Lace Accessories

Design & Designers, Fabrics & Materials, Stunt Double

Miho Fujita creates delicate jewelry and accessories out of crocheted lace under the label fujitamiho. If that sounds hopelessly old-fashioned, you’re in for a treat: the end result is about as far as you can get.

Fujitamiho Instagram Blues

Fujitamiho on Instragram.

The accessories are made to look like leaves, berries, clusters of mushrooms and other natural elements.

Fujitamiho Instagram Fern Earrings

Fujitamiho on Instragram.

Fujitamiho Instagram Young Bracken

Fujitamiho on Instragram.

The crochet is incredibly tiny and delicate, and the shapes are as marvellous as only a close attention to detail can produce. Some of the jewelry looks almost modern and minimalistic. The pale, natural colors certainly speak to my Nordic sensibilities. 🙂

Found via Colossal. If you read Japanese, you can browse her online shop.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

A Magnificent Minecraft Quilt

Arts & Crafts, Fabrics & Materials, Stunt Double

Quilter by the nickname Knittette made this fabulous Minecraft blanket:

Knittette Quilting Board Minecraft Quilt

Knittette at Quilting Board.

Wow. Really impressive piecing, especially since not all the basic squares are the same size. The math to make the finished blocks match must’ve been intense. I also love how closely the blocks resemble Minecraft icons. Very well done indeed – thanks for sharing!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

When Even the Waste Looks Good

Behind the Scenes, Colors, Fabrics & Materials

Recently I’ve worked on several small projects with colorful fabrics. One of the delights of working with bright colors is that even the littlest scraps look cheerful!

Colorful Clippings

It’s especially nice on grey days. This weekend’s forecast looks rainy; I’d better bring out my scraps bin again for more projects. 🙂

Discoveries: Embroidered Forest Animals on Hand Dyed Fabric

Arts & Crafts, Design & Designers, Fabrics & Materials

Illustrator Chloe Giordano sells cards and prints of embroidered bunnies and other animals on Etsy. And they’re amazing! Below are just of my favorites: a winter mountain hare and a sleeping fawn:

Chloe Giordano Winter Mountain Hare Print

Winter Mountain Hare Print. Chloe Giordano.

Chloe Giordano Sleeping Fawn Greetings Card

Sleeping Fawn Greetings Card. Chloe Giordano.

Clearly a lot of work went into the embroideries. I also love the hand dyed fabrics she uses as the background – the colors are gorgeous. It looks like Giordano uses regular sewing thread to create her intricate designs. Not the most obvious choice, but it makes a lot of sense now that I think about it. The thread is sure to be durable for one thing.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Prolonging the Life of a Torn Bag

Arts & Crafts, Fabrics & Materials, My Spaces

I love my blue Marimekko unikko (poppy) bag to bits – literally, I’m sorry to say. Something had to be done.

Poppy Bag Damaged

Ta-dah! Reinforcing the torn edge with buttonhole stitch should give it a few more years.

Poppy Bag Fixed

I used regular cotton embroidery floss, since that was the best color match I had. I know it’s not the most durable of threads; I’ll have to see how well it does under the rigors of everyday life.