Monday, October 25, 2010

Very Exciting Fabric Shopping

I've done no sewing for a month now - not sure how I'll fit it in between now and Christmas, but I'm determined to make a few gifts! I have been traveling a lot and knitting is just easier on the road, but I did find time for some very exciting fabric shopping earlier this month in Yaounde, Cameroon!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Combining Knitting and Quilting

This is a birthday present for a friend that I made back in July, and it should be arriving at its new owner's by the time she sees this. It was made out of two fat quarters and was inspired by the colored pencil roll I made back in 2007. If I make another, I think I'll do a tutorial!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Just a quick post to share a really quick, easy slipper pattern I knitted again this weekend. The slippers are on top of the back of a quilted project that is in the works - it's a gift, so it may be a while until I share the other side!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Colors of Fall

I've been absent here lately, but I have been doing some sewing and some knitting over the past few weeks! First, some socks:

Also a work in progress for Lappvärk - we all received the same package of materials to make a project. I hope to post some photos of the others' work here after we exhibit them next month, but in the meantime, here's a sneak peak at mine so far:

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Departing Helsinki for Tallinn:

I returned this week from a trip to Estonia - a little business, mostly pleasure. I thought I'd share a short fiber-related post!

I traveled with a friend to the island of Kihnu, where we met this cute little sheep and a few of his friends on the way from the ferry to a small restaurant. After a warm lunch, we explored the small, but artifact/information-packed museum about the island's history and its handicrafts. I loved the mitten wall!

I just wish we'd had more time to explore, especially the church and the lighthouse, but the ferry gave us just a few hours. There will have to be a next time!

Speaking of sheep, a few weeks ago an Estonian friend of mine gave me some gorgeous wool from the Estonian native sheep. My friend's cousin is involved in trying to get the breed officially recognized. Maybe the guy above is one? In any case, I think this wool wants to become mittens very soon! It smells lovely (clean and woolly at the same time)!

Departing Tallinn for Helsinki after a great week:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Flying Carpet

Here's the top, flapping in the wind out on the clothesline. I'm going to put a very thin border around it with the same fabric as the setting triangles/diamonds, then I'm on to the basting!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Coming Together

At times like these, after moving furniture out of the way, I consider creating some sort of design wall for myself...

Friday, August 06, 2010


I've been sewing a little each day this week, and a new quilt is slowly taking shape. I've noticed a lot of people posting about their process lately, so here is what's on my sewing table waiting to be sewn...

I love the colors - all the colors that showed up in a gorgeous complete rainbow one evening this week (photo taken out my living room window)!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Manon's Little Sister

Here is the quilt I finished yesterday! It's made almost entirely with scraps from the quilt I made with my mom this summer - the only addition was the backing fabric (bought for $1.99, so I don't feel too bad calling this a scrap quilt). The squares are 2.25". The yellow polka dot was the binding for the original quilt, and the pink binding here was the back on the original. Since I was using the scraps from the backing, I had to cut the binding straight, rather than on the bias like I usually do. I really missed that little bit of stretch as I was sewing it on and don't think it lies as flat, so I won't do that again (unless all I have are long scraps!).

Amazingly, there are still scraps left...

Sunday, August 01, 2010

From Finish to Start

I actually finished a quilt today (about 45"x50" with the scraps from this quilt)! It's too dark for a photo now, but I promise to share tomorrow! In the meantime, I started cutting strips (above) for another project... I bought these cool coral fabrics at Marden's at Christmas time and was thinking about doing a simple snowball to show them off, but since my mom and I just made a snowball together, I've decided to do something else with them. I cut a bunch of strips and have two different ideas in mind. I tried out one block to see what I thought, and I have to say, it's pretty lumpy in the middle. Maybe with a bit more practice, I'll improve?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sewing Swiftly

Just minutes after I posted on Wednesday the doorbell rang, and my safety pins arrived! I've been working on the Sea Marquee quilt, but am not yet satisfied with the results. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I've been working on a smaller quilt with the scraps from my mom's snowball quilt. It's a simple four-patch with the yellow polka dot that was her binding (thanks to Britt!) playing a central role. I hope to start quilting that tomorrow!

My cousin posted today about her love for antique shops, yard sales, and auctions. She's not alone in this addiction (but she's good company!). It's a rainy day here today, so a friend and I went off to explore the Red Cross shop and an antique shop. My greatest find was a slightly rickety, but fully functional, swift. I've already wound up a skein of Peace Fleece (in Baltic Blue) to test it out. (My friend found a second swift, as well!) I also found some dishes... Always my weakness, but the prices were too good to pass up! The green plates are Swedish - they'd look great with a little Asian-inspired side dish, wouldn't they? The 70s mustard plates are fondue themed, and the two blue Rörstrand Christmas plates match one I already have. The final purchases were some postcard-sized souvenir plastic trays from Bergen, Norway. They're always great to use for pins, buttons, etc. while working on projects! The cars and clothes in the photos on the trays make them look pretty retro!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Waiting for the Mail

I've been basting a UFO (Sea Marquee, started in the summer of 2006!), but am out of the safety pins I like to use. I mailed some to myself from the US last week, so hopefully they'll come today! This quilt is bigger than I remember, for sure, and twice I had to start again with the basting. Hopefully the third time's a charm!

On top of the quilt is the only knitting project I had going this summer in the US (basic socks made with Tico Tico yarn from Novita I received as a gift). Below, another pair of socks I've started - the color scheme has received mixed reviews, but the pattern is a feather and fan pattern from Patons.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Today I'm trying to make some order of my sewing room - and to make room for the yarn and fabric I brought back in my extra bag from the US!

I stopped over in Helsinki on my way home and found a little knitted graffiti in Kaivopuisto/Brunnsparken:

I also thought I'd post about the Maine yarns I bought on my travels:

The last remaining Shakers live at the Shaker community at Sabbathday Lake in New Gloucester, Maine. I hadn't visited for a few years and had never noticed the yarn before. I'm planning to make some lovikka-style mittens with this lovely pink.

I'm a big fan of Peace Fleece and of Halcyon Yarn in Bath, Maine. Here is some of my Peace Fleece haul in Galooboy Blue, Georgia Rose, and Chickie Masla (a few other colors purchased for gifts). Their story is worth a quick read.

I found this next yarn from Done Roving (in Charlotte, Maine) at my local quilt/yarn shop, Quilt Essentials in Auburn, Maine. I was eying some sock yarn my mom had used (cotton with a little elastic - Cascade Fixation, maybe?), and the ever-helpful proprietor, Betsy, suggested this yarn instead. She even wound it for me - mesmerizing - maybe I need a swift and winder myself?!?

This was my final purchase, at Purl Diva in Brunswick. I just couldn't resist the story of the Nash Island yarn. The yarn is so delicate - and so is the color, larch - I think it will become a shawl for me.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Manon's Summer Snowballs

My mom finished her quilt! Well, we finished our quilt! It really was a team effort: she chose the fabrics and the pattern inspiration; I did the cutting; she did most of the piecing; I did most of the quilting; we sewed the binding on together! It's washed, dried, labeled, and photographed, too!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Baggage Allowance

I've been making some more reusable shopping bags and wonder if it's worth making a quick tutorial here. Thoughts? They take approximately 2 half yards of fabric and are completely reversible (same five bags in the photos). I've been trying to use up a little of what I've bought at Marden's so that I can get all my luggage on the plane next week!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Visiting Maine?

If you find yourself in the Mid-coast region of Maine, here are two recommendations:

The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay Harbor are fantastic, especially the Children's Gardens, which just opened July 8th, including Pole Bean Olympics, refreshing spray from the blowholes of 'whale rocks,' a sculpture inspired by Robert McCloskey's Blueberry's for Sal, and lots more!

Just 15 miles to the northeast of the gardens is a quilt shop I hadn't visited before, Alewives (beautiful website, eh?) in Damariscotta Mills - lots of bright, fresh fabric from Kaffe Fassett, Anna Maria Horner, Amy Butler, Julie Paschkis, and more. I'll definitely have to visit again! (The fish ladder restoration project in Damariscotta Mills is also worth a look.)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Susan's Summer Quilt

I'm still in Maine, but getting ready to return to Finland soon. While it's been a great summer here, I'm ready to get back to my quilting room in Vaasa (among other things!). I've been doing some non-quilting sewing projects (more posts to come) and have been helping my mom with a quilt (the first bed-sized quilt she'll finish - thanks to my 'help'). The fabrics she chose are really pretty - many of them are Kaffe Fassett. So is the inspiration for the pattern (sans medallion) - it's from Country Garden Quilts. Hopefully there will be a photo shoot of the finish quilt before my Monday flight!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Along the Ausable

... is the name of my cousin's great blog - and is also where I am as I write this post!

It's been too long since I've posted, but here are a just a few quilty photos to tide my remaining one or two readers over until I can post something more substantial...

The quilt on my bed at my cousin's (made by her other grandmother, maybe?):

Two quilts I made for their cats a couple years ago for Christmas (filled with a little catnip to be sure they'd be a hit):

Some shopping bags (the small ones are for two soon-to-be three-year-olds):

Hope everyone's having a great summer!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"Live in the sunshine,
swim in the sea,
drink the wild air..."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

(Simple shopping bag made by me,
quilt in progress by my mom!)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Revised and Finished!

This quilt has been hanging on the wall of my sewing room since May 2007 - waiting for quilting inspiration. With the help of a friend, I decided that it needed some sashing, so I took the blocks apart and sewed them back together with the yellow in between while I was in Maine two weeks ago. I did the free-motion quilting on my mom's new Bernina! As soon as it gets a label and a wash, it will be on its way to Hong Kong for the little sister of the recipient of this quilt!

Friday, March 12, 2010