Friday, April 26, 2013

Sewing Binge

Sewing can help with jet lag! At least that's one explanation...

Being abroad kept me from finishing my March goal or setting an April goal, but I am making up for lost time anyway!

The Guild did a jelly roll race awhile back, and I'd always wanted to follow up with a quilt in greys. When I found out that Moda's "Puttin' On the Ritz" came in grey, I bought my roll and added in black and pink pieces to evoke Himalayan pink salt and cracked pepper crystals. The mindlessness of the piecing was wonderful for mentally processing my trip!

And although my daffodils were spent, my tulips were happy to be photographed along with the top!

I also whipped together a backing but didn't take photos. Then I moved on to finishing my March BOM

One of the people I met in England loves to sew, but she confirmed that quilt fabric is hard to come by over there. I pulled some pieces from my stash for her, but then I visited a local quilt shop as well! The name "Durham" popped out to me and plucked strings of my heart, immediately bringing me memories of cobblestone streets and St. Cuthbert's shrine in the cathedral. I didn't take any of it home with me, though.

I found fat quarters on sale, instead! Behold my first personal fabric purchase of 2013! Hopefully it will be my last. (Mmm... greys... and donkeys in wellington boots, who could resist?)

I also snagged a few for my new English friend!

These are now finding their long way across the pond to Northern England, hopefully with no hiccups along the way! Meanwhile I will sip a cup of tea and nibble a biscuit (not the kind with sorghum molasses and butter!) and link up with Whoop Whoop Fridays!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Proper English Stitching

Well. Three weeks went by quickly! Sixteen friends and I flew out on April 1 and spent our time in Northern England as part of the School of Supernatural Life. Because I want to keep this blog centered on my sewing, I will not go into details of the trip, but if you'd like, I can point you towards some other sources.

I checked with airline security and was able to bring crochet hooks and knitting needles on the plane! The very last squares for my Fusion Blanket came with me, and I actually finished crocheting them before I arrived home!

I could hardly wait to unpack them and add them to the rest of my blocks. Here they all are! I had to get up on a ladder to take the picture but still couldn't get them all straight-on!

I've been using Lion Brand fisherman's wool in Birch Tweed, and the centers are Urban Cowgirl and Curio, both by Moda.

This has been a laborious project, and I will not be making another! But SOSL and England memories are now stitched into it, so I will treasure it for sure.

I also did a bit of knitting! Don't ask me what this is.

I just like the mindlessness of a stockinette stitch sometimes. I tucked it under my cowl on cold (i.e. most) days. The triangular parts above and below kept my chin and chest toasty, especially where zippers didn't quite comfortably cover.

Though our trip was missions-esque, we did have a few days off. One of these was spent in York. I soon learned that they have a quilt museum there! Hallelujah! But they did not allow photos inside. I did, however, pick up a few pretties in the museum shop, some as gifts, some for me:

Apologies for the blurry photo. You get the idea.

York also has a yarn shop! I bought a few skeins of local wool. The shopkeeper told me that they have gone to meet the sheep that give the wool, which is more than most could boast. 

If you're ever in York, I recommend stopping in!

We spent time in Durham towards the beginning and end of our trip. On one of the last days, my friends and I stumbled upon a costume fabric shop! To find it, we had to go down some dark cobbled steps into a dingy basement room. Vintage bolts and cheap costume accessories met our eyes, but there were a few gems!

I picked up a couple of metres of mod cotton sateen for my best friend!

The proprietor and I talked fabric a bit. He mentioned a quilt shop just off the main square, but for the sake of my budget, I didn't venture to find it. I am already contemplating future visits, so I am sure I will find my way there one of these days!

Now to sew a bit... Three weeks away from my Kenmore has been challenging indeed!