Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy 2008 and Holiday Gifts

Hello from Finland! Long time, no post. I think I spent half of my time in Maine last month shoveling my mother's driveway, but the snow was beautiful and it was very nice to be there for Christmas for the first time since 2004.

I tried very hard to resist the knitting bug while I was with my mom (who's newly hooked), but a few supplies and ideas did find their way into my three very heavy suitcases that Lufthansa reluctantly transported over the Atlantic for me. Here are the beautiful knitted gifts I received for Christmas: a potholder made from gorgeous silky cotton and from the Domino Knitting book (see December 11 post) and a scarf and mittens made from wonderful Noro wool. I'm so amazed at how quickly my mom taught herself how to do these seamed two-needle mittens. She's on to to four-needles and socks next!


I was able to finish the Bear Paws while I was in Maine, too, although on Christmas morning my brother opened an almost finished quilt. I finished it during the week after Christmas thanks to being able to use a lovely Pfaff at my friendly local quilt (and knitting) shop.



Sorry the pictures aren't so great - I used an antique digital camera (no optical zoom, as large as a brick) since I left my battery charger in Finland and my brother was out of town for New Year's Eve with his fancy new camera by the time I actually sewed the label on. The second photo shows the borders, the backing, and a little of the quilting close up. This is the largest project I've quilted myself (it's a wide twin) and although I thought I'd never finish, I did and now I'm feeling brave enough to tackle a few more large projects myself, too! I brought back one queen-sized cotton/bamboo batting to try out with a red and white top that's been languishing in a box since 2003. Has anyone tried bamboo batting? Any feedback?

And finally, here are a few pictures of a project I started back in October as a Christmas gift - a little Trip Around the World wall-hanging for a traveling friend (who is also a fan of olives) who visited me here in Finland with her sister last summer.



Hope everyone had a safe and peaceful holiday season. If I'm going to be more crafty for next Christmas, I'd better start sewing now!

22 comments:

Debra Spincic said...

The bear paw turned out great! Just right for a brother. I hope he appreciated the effort involved in making it for him.

Chookyblue said...

Happy New Year.........nice quilty presents.......

ROZ said...

Happy New Year. Lovely yarn that knitting--and the bear paw came out super.

Andrea said...

Happy New Year Jen ! I am sooo jealous of your brother - lol ! I love that quilt ! It turned out beautifully.

Jenni @ Fairybread said...

Good to see you back Jen. The Bears Paw turned out beautifully! It's hard to resist the knitting bug - I got it last winter. We are having a lot of rain at the moment, and it was actually a little cool tonight, and I thought about doing some knitting, but I resisted because by next week it will be hot again.

Sølvi said...

The bear paw-quilt went out soooo beautiful. Congratulatins with that one.

wendysquilting said...

Welcome back, I really enjoy reading your blog.

jmbmommy said...

I have been wanting a bear claw quilt (or at least to make one). Yours looks so great...I am totally in love with your olive fabric. Glad you're back!

jeanette said...

Welcome back to Finland :)

dordognequilter said...

Welcome back and Happy New Year. The Bear's Paw is beautifully done. Well done you!

I love that olive fabric.

Helen in the UK said...

The Bear's Paw is wonderful :)

Ruth said...

You're knitting! Yah, another quilter joins the darkside (insert evil laugh here).

Bear Paws looks great, and the quilting lovely.

I've never tried bamboo batting, but I use bamboo diapers on the child and they are lovely...

amandajean said...

the quilts are lovely!

Linda_J said...

Looks like your mom is on a roll---I'm enjoying some knitting time too but I have been at that far longer than quilting even. Nice break.

Welcome back, Jen. Glad you enjoyed your time with family and friends. Bear Paw looks fantastic as do your other gifts.

mereth said...

It's 108F here in South Australia at the moment, can I visit you for a while?
The bearpaw was a huge project to do on a domestic machine, good on you for sticking with it.I bet your arms got a workout shoving it around. It turned out lovely though, so it was worth it.
The knitting can be addictive, be very careful or you'll get sucked in!

Supermom said...

You certainly picked a very cold time to come home!! THis is the coldest December I have ever seen, in the last 12 years, not to mention the TON of snow we kept getting. Hope your visit was nice. Would be interested knowing where you shop for sewing stuff when you are home (my mom lives near Auburn).
Margaret

Mary said...

The Bear Paw quilt looks wonderful!

I'm envious of your trip to Maine. My father-in-law grew up in Portland and we took a couple trips back with him before he died. I loved it.

I was showing my DIL how to knit when she was here and I'm kind of itching to do some more but I've been busy with my quilting so I haven't started anything. I only knit fairly simple things and I haven't done any for a year. Too many quilts waiting to be made.

Jessica said...

Beautiful gifts~
and I love the olive fabric..

Allison said...

i love your projects-- they are all gorgeous!! how did you quilt the bear paw one? by free-motion machine? i am finishing up a denyse schmidt quilt, and want to do a similar design.. help would be appreciated!! :)

Nettie said...

Impressive how well your mom is already knitting already. The Bear Paw turned out lovely. I have one on my list.

Good to see you back!

Jeanne said...

I just love your labels with the hedgehog! Your quilts are always wonderful, too. VBG

Samantha said...

The bear paw is fabulous- and your mom made gorgeous mittens! She must be a natural!