Thursday, 23 March 2017

Hello baby!

Do you remember MP Bb’s, or my favourite little persons for whom I loooove to knit? They are expecting a little sister.  OK technically, their mum is expecting… This little one will make me a God-grand-mother or a Grand-god-mother for the third time (happy dance!).  Mum, dad and the kids are living on the other side of the globe, so while we are bracing ourselves for Summer, they are moving toward Fall… and what do you need when you are a tiny baby coming into fall, KNITTED stuff.

This first one is Billy Cardigan by designer Linda Whaley, from the Little Rowan Cherish book, knitted with Rowan Super fine Merino 4 ply.  This yarn is a dream, so soft and have you seen the definition of the stitches.  The cable work is worthwhile with such a yarn.  I’ve done cables before, but these ones were a first for me: they are worked on 6 stitches, over 6 rows, 2 stitches crossing over the next 2 stitches on the first knit row and the over the last 2 stitches on the following knit row (too technical?). 

I heavily modified this little cardigan.  First, I decided to knit in one piece: adding the number of stitches for both fronts, plus the back, removing 4 stitches to take into account that there were no more side seams.  I knitted the sleeves flat.  I had to play a bit with the number of stitches when working on the yoke as I did not like the way the raglan was forming (again not seam), instead I made sure that there was a 2-stitch cable in place of the seam and I love how it looks cleaner.  Honestly, I did a lot of negative knitting trying to figure this out and it took me far longer than necessary to finish.  But the result is worthwhile.

MP's BB

This second one was a super fast finish.  I followed Tikki Knits’ instruction for Gidday Baby (which is a particularly appropriate name considering the family connections with Australia), I’ve used leftovers of Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK.  I’ve made so many projects with this yarn, it’s perfect for baby, it is soft, from natural fibers and the colours are lovely.  Technically, the project worked from the top down with garter and stockinet stitches.  I think what makes this cardi so pretty is the contrasting yarns in the yoke.  See for yourself!

MP's BB1

I can’t wait to see the little model those cardigans.

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Thursday, 9 March 2017

Quiltcon 2017

It’s been more than a week since I got back from Quiltcon 2017, and I should probably share a bit before it get too old.

I had been told that the show was huge.  But my first impression is that it was not so big, I’ve been to Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival in Japan or the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham and those shows were huge.  Quiltcon Savannah was actually a  pretty nice size, not too overwhelming, big enough to feast your eyes, but contained enough so one had enough time to see all the quilts.  I planned my visit so I would look at no more than two rows of quilt at a time.  This way, I hoped I would remember each of them.

Best of show was won by Katherine Jones and you’ve probably seen it everywhere (just in case, here a link to it and to the other winners).  It was stunning, technically breath-taking.  You should also listen to Kat’s interview by Abby Glassenberg for While she naps, she sounds like a very grounded person.

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Two quilts touched me most: Kintsugi, I love the simplicity of the design and the meaning of the snippets of contrasting fabric.  It is interesting that it makes a link with a Japanese technic for repairing ceramic bowls, making what was ‘broken’ a feature in the quilt.

Quilts exhibition

Sunday best is about taking ‘me’ time every Sunday and letting the mood of the day influence to construction of the quilt.  I think the colours attracted me first, then the improv work.  I am fighting with myself over improv: a part of me would like to embrace the challenge of letting go, and still I am so in love with perfect matching points.  I guess the first quilt, Kintsugi, is how I would like to approach improv.

Quilts exhibition1

Should you want to see more, I have create a video of quilts that grabbed my attention.  You can find it here.

Otherwise, I took some classes.  All of them were fantastic in their own way.  Just a few days before Quiltcon, I realised that my focus was mainly on free motion quilting: I had a 6-hour class with Natalia Bonner then another 3-hour with Christina Cameli.  Both of them were great.

At the last minute, I had the chance to go to Elizabeth Harmann’s class: You do the Math, a whole day on calculation and drafting block and planning quilt.  I will come back to this one on a different post as I got far more out of it than expected.

My preferred class of all was with Jacqueline the wonder woman behind Soak on creating a business in the craft industry.  This lady delivered a very powerful, inspirational class.  I just wish I could be her friend and learn more from her.

I also attend to almost all of the Friday lectures -  I loved the panel discussion on Creativity and the almost philosophical talk from Thomas Knauer (check his blog, in addition to interesting quilts and take on life in general).

Finally, I learnt that Quiltcon is all about socialising.  From my Frenchie point of view, my American friends can sometimes be a bit over the top when showing their emotions.  But now I understand better: I had a couple of fan girl moment with people I love and still feel giddy about it.

Search results for Quiltcon

I could carry on an speak about the Quilt for Pulse booth, the shopping experience, the great meals with friends, the road trip to Savannah chatting and chatting, the ‘square’ feet after days of walking around… but then this post will never be finished… So I’m just saying “Quiltcon, I’ll be back”.

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