Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Halloween Giveaway!

Sara and I wanted to do a little giveaway to celebrate our first collaboration and Halloween kit sales.

Halloween Giveaway

If you want a chance (or many chances) to win this darling Halloween project bag (made by Sara) and mini skeins (hand-dyed by me!), please visit Sara's website for details.

Halloween giveaway

Also, I wanted to take a minute to thank everyone who bought a kit from us over the past few days. I'm just so, so grateful that there are people out there who think our work is special and wanted to support our new endeavor. That is truly a great honor and I'm so thankful!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Stashbusting - Bags

I love handmade bags! I don't really like making them but I love using them. They're so pretty and sturdy and reusable and they make great gifts when I can stand to part with them. Well, actually, I guess I just assume that people like getting bags as gifts. I could be totally wrong here!

Knitting, grocery, gift, zipper, drawstring...they're just the best. And they're a really great way to do some stashbusting. Usually I make bags out of fabrics I just never seem to use in quilts...large prints or colors that don't seem to "go" with anything. Or how about those home dec fabrics you ordered by accident because you thought they were quilting fabrics? I've done that a lot...

The bag I make most often is the Jane Market Bag by Alicia Paulson. I've made at least a dozen throughout the years. Sometimes I make the pocket, sometimes I skip it. Depends on how lazy I'm feeling. I even made a quilted patchwork version for Ian for his birthday this year.


I love this bag because it's the size of a paper grocery bag and can hold SO much! Like, so much that your hands hurt after carrying them into the house. Like, half gallons of grapefruit juice, orange juice, a couple of boxes of rice milk and a cantaloupe on top in one bag heavy (Ian carries that one!). Alicia recommends using some stiff cardboard in the bottom of the bags and I agree. It really helps stabilize your items. I buy bookboard from my local art store...it will never bend, no matter what you put in there!


The other bag I make most often is my reversible drawstring Ballet Bag. I've started using these bags instead of gift wrapping. The size in the tutorial is good for a lot of things but it's easy to make smaller or larger bags as necessary. It's my goal this year at the holidays to only use fabric bags for gifts, no paper at all.


I know there are tons of other bag tutorials out there but since I dislike making bags so much, I've never tried them so I can't recommend any. If you have a favorite bag tutorial, feel free to link to it below.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

knottygnome crafts / Sonnet of the Moon Limited Edition Halloween Kits

You all know how much I love knottygnome's project bags, right? I feel like I talk about them all the time because they are my absolute favorite bags for my knitting projects. And of course, Sara herself is wonderful and it's because of her that I started dyeing yarn, my newest obsession.

And so, I'm sure you can imagine how thrilled I was when Sara asked me to collaborate with her on a project. I'm so very proud and excited to show off what we've come up with: limited edition Halloween kits! Each kit comes with a knottygnome project bag, a skein of my hand-dyed sparkle yarn and a stitch marker/progress keeper set.

knottygnome crafts / Sonnet of the Moon Limited Edition Halloween Kit

Sara and I came up with this really great colorway called "Witches' Brew". It's a combination of murky greens on a white sparkle base with black and orange speckles. There are only 8 skeins of this colorway and I won't be dyeing it again...it's special, just for this kit.

knottygnome crafts / Sonnet of the Moon Limited Edition Halloween Kit

knottygnome crafts / Sonnet of the Moon Limited Edition Halloween Kit

Sara also made these adorable stitch/progress markers to include in our kits. You guys, I LOVE these! Aren't they perfect for Halloween knitting?

knottygnome crafts / Sonnet of the Moon Limited Edition Halloween Kit

We're selling these kits in Sara's shop starting Friday, September 16 at 10:00 AM Eastern time. The listing preview is up now if you want to check it out. http://knottygnome.storenvy.com.

I just have to say, this is a very big deal for me. My yarn (if all goes well) will soon be out there in the world! It's quite an exciting idea and time for me! I just wanted to give a quick thanks to all of you reading out there. I would not have had the courage to try this new project without your support and encouragement. Thank you!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Court Dance

Court dance is a fun little quilt, cut from fabric leftover from my Golden Vanity quilt. While I had the fabrics out last year, I cut a bunch of 8" squares and stashed them away for a future quilt top.


I also kept all of the 8" strips leftover from cutting the squares. I'd planned to put them back together in rainbow order for a quilt top someday.


When I found the squares and strips again, it made sense to put them together into one quilt, a quilt with two fronts, both sides fun and different.


This quilt is named after the court dance at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. This used to be the highlight of my days out at fest. There was this dance they always did, a large circle of couples twirling around, changing directions, smiling, flirting. The dance ended with the gentlemen twirling the ladies to their next partners, their skirts flashing in the sun, sparkling, a swirling rainbow of silk and velvet. That couple would start the dance anew, over and over, the lady would twirl to the next partner, skirts like bright jewels glittering in the autumn sun.


I made this quilt for my friend Sara. I really wanted to make her a quilt because Sara is a quilter. We quilters are always busy making things for other people and rarely do we receive quilts as gifts. My friend Jen made a quilt for me a few years ago so I know firsthand how special it feels to receive a quilt as a quilter.


Anyway, this is my 11th quilt finish for 2016. I'm still planning to finish 5 (possibly 7) gift quilts before the end of the year. 3.5 months...I need to get my butt in gear!