Archive for August, 2007

The Tweed Chicken

A handspun approach to the tweed chicken concept.

She joins a small but illustrious line of previous tweed chickens of both the woven and button variety and she is my entry to this month’s WhipLash contest.
whipup

This month’s theme is Zakka, a concept I had not heard of before and I’m still not sure I understand but Ill make my own interpretation anyway. Just to be redundant, this is how WhipUp.net describes Zakka:
a cultural phenomena/fad that is all about a certain style, but it is part of a broader feeling that comes from within their history and religion and philosophy

Seeing as how the tweed chicken is part of my personal history and philosophy and a fantastic fad among friends (well, ok, maybe its just me…) I think this particular tweed chicken, with it’s extra handmadeness is a perfect fit.

She is made from one diagonally woven (twill or tweed?) weave-it square made with handspun yarn. Only a few yards of yarn are needed to make a weave-it square which is perfect for scraps of handspun yarn (which I seem to have a lot of–I am still learning). The comb, beak and feet are crocheted from sock yarn.



Apollo likes to get in on the action too.

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machine quilting away


This is what it looks like with me trying to wrestle a queen sized quilt under my machine at midnight. Surprisingly, its coming out pretty well! Ive never machine quilted anything larger than a pot holder before so keeping the beast under control is my biggest challenge. I thought I would be able to get away with not marking all of the lines on the quilt, but so far that seems very unlikely. The thing is so big and heavy that it steers itself all over the place and I loose track very quickly of where my straight line should go. The chalk clicker and the tailors chalk are definitely my friends…

a good showing

We made a good showing this week with quilt progress but alas, the wedding was last night and the quilt is still sitting rolled up on my kitchen table with only basting stitches. Seeing as how we didnt make the date anyway Im going to go where Ive never been before– Im going to machine quilt the thing together. Im planning to do vertical lines with uneven spacing between them rather than echoing the pattern. I had that pattern in mind and then I saw this quilt on flickr and it reinforced my decision.

quilt top


quilt back


basting it together

and a matching card

I find it somewhat surprising that n wanted to embark on this project in the first place and even more surprising that he seemed to enjoy the process. Im hoping that he will want to work with me on a quilt for his brother’s wedding because it sure does go faster with two people! Look at me, Im not even finished with this one yet and Im already planning the next one… To be honest Ive had that plan in my head since they got engaged but now it seems more do-able. Im thinking something like this:

What do you think? Any suggestions of other great modern-ish style quilts?

Oh the Insanity

N’s friends are getting married this weekend. While marriage and weddings in general may be standard fare for folks of my age in the population at large (at least in this country) it was not what I expected from these particular friends. Even less expected were the formal wedding invitations and the location of the event at a fancy B&B in Marin. Granted, we just got the invitation last friday (8 days of official notice!) but it was a fancy printed formal invitation none the less. I see parents at work. Anyway, the point of this is that we had to come up with a wedding gift idea. I know you dont have to show up with present in hand, but the event is fresh on our minds and the motivation is here now. We determined that this couple more than most needed a gift that was either vintage or handmade. N’s idea? Sew them a quilt. In one week (this was Saturday). At least he promised to do half the work.

I sat him down with the Denyse Schmidt Quilts book and made him pick a design (but out ruled the truly complicated ones) and then colors. We picked “what a bunch of squares” and the colors below.

We went to the fabric store, which Im fairly sure is a form of punishment to him, and I made him pick fabrics. I ran to the laundromat to wash them and set him the task of ironing everything. Sunday morning we set to work cutting and sewing and cutting and sewing…

Block centers finally started to come together.

Assembly has continued late into the night several times already.

And now we have the blocks all sewn (but not trimmed yet) yet there is still so much to do. We still need to make a back and buy batting and decide how to tie it together… I dont think we will finish in time. But I have had the priceless experience of seeing n in full sewing and ironing swing.

Domestic scene, with scenery

I had grand ambitions for crafting this weekend: welding! silkscreen printing! and while the heat overcame us and I forgot various necessary components at home we did still manage to eek out a crafty domestic scene in the wine country.

There are three spinning wheels in that photo! You can see my suzy peaking out in the foreground.

And the best entertainment of all were the kittens. Five of them! Unfortunately none of them appear to be named gravy.

The view is pretty neat too.


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