Monday, March 31, 2008


So, here's what I bought this weekend:

Tikka means woodpecker in Finnish - what a great name for a sewing machine! Thanks to my favorite neighbor's internet research (in Finnish), I know these were the first domestic Finnish sewing machines and were produced between 1946 and 1964. (And yes, Tikkakoski is better known for making weapons!) The treadle still works using a leather belt, but several parts are missing, including the bobbin case, so I won't be sewing on this anytime soon. Maybe it will be a summer project to hunt down one in worse shape with all the parts! Sunday afternoon, the same friend's keen eyes found this Tikka manual (på svenska) at an antique fair. What luck!! I'd like to find one in Finnish, too. Lots of new vocabulary to learn that I'll need in my hunt for parts!

Here are some of my other thrifted textile finds from the weekend and a simple bag I made using one of the pillow cases last night. Much more fun than what I should have been doing...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I was very naughty yesterday

My quilt group here is having a challenge to do with the earth/environmentalism, so with that as a pretence, I went to some thrift stores yesterday with a friend. My family is also trying to have a homemade/recycled/thrifted Christmas, so I picked up a couple more beer glasses for my brother's collection, as well as some striped cotton pillow cases to use for bindings. The naughty part comes with the big purchase I made. I'll post photos once I have it here in my apartment, but here's a preview...

Other than the shopping, not much time for sewing since the bags and the monster. Still working on knitting my little squares when I have a free moment, and halfway done with my Four Seasons Swap quilt.

I saw some more great theater here in Vaasa this week - went back to the final performance of Hamlet, since it was so great the first time, and saw Peer Gynt, as well. I loved how they used a huge piece of fabric to conjure up the varied settings - including Norwegian mountains, the sea, and sand dunes of North Africa.

Friday, March 28, 2008

More Wonderful Post!

After digging out my mailbox from under the snow today, I found this wonderful little package from Dawn who had a give-away to celebrate her 500th blog post. 500. Wow! She sent an adorable little quilt, a sewing kit, and some Dove chocolate. Thanks, Dawn, you made my day!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Post Post and the First Bag

My mom started knitting in November (well, she started again after a couple projects more than 30 years ago) and these are her first attempt at socks. I'm so impressed! They are the softest, most comfortable cotton - and the color is a perfect match with my couch (don't you try to color coordinate your outfits with your couch?!). She threw in some nasty (I mean that in the nicest way) Peeps, a quilting magazine, and four fabrics (three of which are for the quilt she wants me to make her this summer based on Kaffe Fassett's Leafy Rosy pattern).

And here are some more photos of the bag I made for Celine in England for the swap organized by Barbara now that it's arrived. I made it by adapting Kristin La Flamme's Süße Sac pattern. I also included some Finnish goodies, including Fazer chocolate, Nordqvist tea, and some Marimekko napkins (to match the Marimekko fabric). It may still be cold here in Vaasa, but it's been super sunny!

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Third Bag

Here's the third bag I've been working on. It's a 10th birthday gift for my favorite neighbor (ok, her mom is actually my favorite neighbor, but she's my second favorite!). The lining is some repro 30s dog fabric - she's getting a puppy for her birthday! The thing hanging off the handles is a reflector - most people here have them on their coats or bags - very important for the long dark winter. (Winter is still going strong - lots of people out on the ice today - but at least it's no longer so dark!)

And here's another peek at my Spring Four Seasons Swap quilt.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Loving the Long Weekend!

Here's a photo from yesterday. I feel like I should be wishing people a Merry Christmas instead of Happy Easter (except that it's light out)!

It's a perfect weekend for craftiness, however, as my disaster of a sewing room attests to! Here's a little creature to stick in my little 6-year-old friend's birthday backpack. His mom says he's in a monster phase. I have to say, I'm not really talented in the 3D sewing department, but I was inspired by this and these in creating this little monster pillow. He's made out of corduroy pants and jeans, with knitted hair, and a rickrack pocket mouth.

I also got started on my Spring Four Seasons Swap quilt. At least I can have a little spring indoors!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

More than a Peek

Since I'm quite sure that my soon-to-be 6-year-old friend doesn't read my blog, I can post more than a sneak peek of this birthday gift. Lots of detail photos here to make up for all my teasing recently! I had a free drawstring backpack from a breast cancer organization in Florida that I used as a template for this bag and I ended up using the ropes from that bag in this one since I didn't find anything suitable in town this week. I used Tonya's letters and there's also another inset zipper pocket using this great tutorial on the outside of the bag. The outer layer is quilted with a layer of cotton batting, the inside is a single layer of cotton fabrics. I'm hoping to find time tomorrow to make a little something to hide inside the bag.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Another Glimpse of Spring

I don't mean to be such a tease these days, but here's a little peek of another one of the bags I've been working on. I promise full photos once they're received! (The greens above are brighter in real life than in my photo.) I used this excellent tutorial to inset the zipper/pocket. I will definitely being doing more zippers this way in the future!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cupcaked Out

Yesterday everything was yellow. Today it's green. I'm not a big St. Patrick's Day person, but nonetheless I was sweet-talked into baking 50 cupcakes for the English Department's party tomorrow. More on the birthday gifts after the birthday boy and girl celebrate on Easter!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Desperate for Sunshine!

Just a sneak peek of what I'm up to this weekend... Some bags - one for a swap, two as gifts. The swap is being organized by Barbara.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Apron from Florida!

Just a quick post to share the apron that I received today from Giabella Designs! (I hope she doesn't mind that I lifted her photo to post here.) I love the fabrics - they are so bright and colorful and Floridian! The ruffles are great, too, especially on the big side pocket. Thanks again to Lucy for organizing the swap. You can see photos of the other great aprons here. I'm looking forward to next season's swap!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Coaster Swap

My coasters have arrived in New York, so I can finally show a picture of them here! (Check out Rashida's cool coaster holder here - I definitely need to file this idea away for my next set of coasters!) Thanks to Ibby Bee for organizing this swap! You can see many of the coasters in this Flickr pool and the ones I received from Ellen here.

Great theater in Vaasa this past week - Hamlet på svenska and The Tempest på finska!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Mini Apron? She Knits.

Over the holidays, my mom's new found interest in knitting inspired me to bring a few supplies back to Finland to give it a try myself. I've had a few disastrous attempts with knitting in the past and I'm pretty sure the only thing I've ever finished with yarn are some god's eyes at summer camp and a crocheted scarf for my cousin one year for Christmas.

Here's my new little felt Hedgehog (he still needs a name) all the way from Kazakhstan (Thanks Karen!) holding my first actual knitted thing. Maybe it's a hedgehog apron?

I can now cast on, bind off, knit, and purl (not so hot at this yet). I got a lot of help from my favorite neighbor/colleague/friend/knitting teacher - even ran over there last night in my short sleeves (and down vest) in the snow last night to ask for help! I'll need 15 more of these little wool squares in order to finish my very first knitted project. I'm hoping to have time to knit on the train to/from Helsinki this week.

Saturday, March 08, 2008


Here is the apron I sent for the Sassy Apron Swap organized by Lucy. Check out all the incredible aprons here. The theme was spring and the flowered fabric came from curtain from a local thrift shop. I'm determined to start using more thrifted textiles in my projects. This is a slightly fancier verison of the square apron I made in January, with improvements inspired by Tiffany's recent post. I'm curious what kind of apron I will receive!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Winter Swap Quilt

Here's the long-delayed Four Seasons Winter Quilt Swap quilt that arrived at Kate's in England while I was in Germany last week. I chose the red and white for Christmas, Valentine's Day, and the Romanian tradition of Martisor. It's simple, but I hope she likes it! I like the movement in it when I look at it here on the screen. I realize my quilts rarely have focus points - maybe this reflects me?!

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Kurze Grüße aus München! Ich bin hier zum Besuch während wir 'Sportlov' oder 'Skiferien' in Finland haben. Schön in einer Großstadt zu sein: Kino, Ausstellungen, usw. Bis bald (und wieder auf Englisch)!