Chicago Modern Quilting Guild

Oh my cow. I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday. I swear I blinked on Sunday and here I am! Speaking of the weekend I finally hit 1000 followers on Instagram! Weee. To celebrate I made this cute little celebration cake cozy.

yay! 1000 followers!

On Sunday, I was so kindly invited to attend the Chicago Modern Quilting Guild and let me just say WOW. I didn’t really know what to expect. In crafting, I find that fellow crafters are either really friendly and welcoming or the other extreme of incredibly protective and clique-like. I was very pleased to find that CMQG was the former – full of enthusiastic and warm women. I seriously was jaw dropped at the kind of creativity and happenings in this local quilt guild. It was a ‘demo-day,’ which meant we had four different short, but informative demos. I learned a great deal focusing on ‘squaring up your quilt’, labeling your quilt, creating a sleeve to hang your quilt (yay! no more ruined door panels!), and finishing borders. Then during the show and tell portion. HOLY QUILT BATMAN. Let me just say I have always been impressed by traditional quilting, but modern quilting and concepts for inspiration BLEW ME AWAY. I seriously can’t believe how amazingly creative and talented this guild is.

Robbi Joy Eklow. QUILTING GENIUS & Epically wonderful lady.
by Emily at mommysnaptime – LOVE.
By Laura Hartrich – tiny scissor hands.

I was just so impressed and inspired. I think I’ll go ahead and work on some cute little beginner patterns for quilting some coasters or maybe a door panel. I was so jazzed up I came home and knocked out a cute little embroidered semi-reversible baby bib.

I have 31 days until my GMAT. Then, on June 1…. Quilting….. the final frontier.

XXX
GFK

Craft Attack MuthaF*****

Happy Wednesday! I’m quite excited today, because later tonight is my monthly craft night with my favorite ladies in StitchCraft! I found these lovely ladies on MeetUp.com which is a great social planner for people new to a city or just looking for new social events to attend. For a solo-crafter like myself I have so enjoyed meeting so many crafters, whether they are knitters, crocheters, wool spinners/dyers, seamstresses, quilters, paper artisans… the list literally could go on, because there are so many wonderful people doing AMAZING things out there now. I wanted to share briefly the things I have come across lately/am in LOVE with in the world of crafting.

1. American-Made / Organic Fabrics

Let me just go ahead and inform you that cotton is one of the most heavily pesticide filled crops that we come into contact with on a daily basis. Seriously, now think about your sheets, your clothes, your lady products, your toilet paper, paper towels….. AHHHHH. I am SO ELATED to see Joann’s jump on board with an Organic Fabric line and boy is it pretty. The patterns are just so unique and visually marvelous. They are $10.99-14.99/yard though, so definitely wait for a 50% off coupon to purchase. I have only seen these in a few Joann’s stores though, I can’t seem to locate them on the website.




I’m seriously getting that panicky feeling only other crafters know right now looking at those bolts. The ‘oh man, maybe I need to leave work right now and go buy them all because what if it sells out and what if I can’t add it to the already ENORMOUS pile of WIP fabrics I have at home… ANGST.” Joann’s is also offering an “American-made” fabric line that is stunning as well. With 27 different designs and patterns it is great to see such a large chain offer something that is important to the spirit of ‘locally-made’ and responsible crafting.

Daisy On Vine Blue

I know not everyone supports shopping at a large chain like Joann’s so please check out your local fabric and sewing stores, often the smaller local shops have the best quality and respond to consumer desires faster than a giant store. My local sewing spot is The Needle Shop on Addison and Lincoln in Chicago. They offer so many different styles of rotating apparel and upholstery fabrics. Every time I go in there I think I touch and look at each bolt for 5 minutes.

2. Yarn/Crochet/Fiber Arts

I mean, I can’t even begin to share all the wonders I see daily regarding fiber arts. I’m continually inspired and awed at how crafters are able to dye/spin/manipulate and then create a gorgeous fiber item. A few of my favorite people/shops/stuff/events are:

knitxmidwest 2 – they are having a second one this year! you betchyer ass i already reserved 5 spots!

heyjenrenee – equal parts rad mom and epical knitter (plus rowan ambassador, GAPTASTIC Cowl Designer, knitxmidwest founder, the list goes on)

YarnBox – a monthly yarn delivery service that lets you sample and knit with 1/2 skeins of indie and small batch yarn producers. I seriously have LOVED being a YarnBox member. There is a wait list now, but it is worth it. Last month I got gorgeous yarn from Switzerland for christ’s sake!

Susan Crawford – the retro knit goddess.

Plus, because fiber arts are booming – so many people are creating top-notch patterns and even giving them away. Check out Ravelry before you ever buy a pattern chances are it is on there. But, if you into supporting indie pattern designers, there is no bad karma in donating or purchasing patterns from their websites/etsy.com stores/ravelry. Pay it forward my crafters!

What kind of things are inspiring you with the season change? Do you find that you change your craft entirely or just augment what you work on? Further, if anyone would like to share their thoughts and opinion about organic fabrics and/or large chain consumption I would love to hear you thoughts.

xxx
GFK

CABLE-MANIA Heliopath Week 4

heliopath kal progress

Well, I am a few day behind on this post – PLEASE FORGIVE ME! But I was using my time to actually knit the Heliopath Vest versus talking about it here. It’s hard to believe in a few short weeks we will have a new garment to wear! I’m right on track with 10 inches of the cable pattern knitted up – about 5-6 inches to go for me though. I have to admit it is taking much longer than I had imagined it would. I find it takes me anywhere from 2-3 hours to knit the 16 rows of pattern now that I no longer need the pattern reference. Overall, it is exciting to see it get bigger and bigger, but I don’t think I have ever done as many cables as I have on this – like ever. Honestly, I was thinking about it and of all my cables combined – the Heliopath blows them all out of the water. But the pattern is gorgeous and I’m really hoping once this part is finished, the arm shaping will really give it that amazing wow factor! Also I have been soooo impressed with all our KAL crew and their progress/projects. All the colors and beautiful work is so inspiring. I just am so happy so many great knitters have decided to join in!

heliopathkal | Search Instagram | Pinsta.me – Explore All Instagram Online.

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Heliopath KAL Week Uno

HERE WE GOOOOO.

Hello KAL knitter buds! Well, yesterday the Heliopath Vest knit along began! I’m so excited, this is the first KAL I’ve helped with and I have to say I owe a GIANT GIANT HUGE BIG thank you to socalmeaghan at The Unapologetic Knitter. Not only is she a total knitting wizard; with major skills, but she organized the huge amount of give aways that this KAL has! There are 3 YARN prizes to enter to win from Black Market Wool, Eweewe Yarns, Justrunknit, and a beautiful cowl pattern from Eweewe yarns ALSO.

WIN THIS EWEEWE YARN!
WIN THIS FROM BLACK MARKET WOOL!
WIN THIS FROM JUSTRUNKNIT

Okay to start, Meaghan really had a wonderful point on her blog about the swatching of this KAL vest. Obviously, using more expensive yarn requires the prep time to ensure your garment comes out as beautifully as it can THE FIRST TIME. I wish I could summarize and do her justice for her hard work, but you should really just pop over to her lovely page and read the post yourself. It is worth it and I think the best place to start for this KAL. Again HERE.

So, I have casted on and begun my ribbing on my vest! I had a weird busy week prepping for this and I can’t wait to start working on the patterned piece!! I will have some more information as the week and my knitting progresses and PLEASE pop over to SocalMeaghan’s website The Unapologetic Knitter to check out her awesome knitting.

LET’S GET READY TO RUUUUUUUMBLE.

EMBROIDER-HOLIC

I’ve really taken a shine to embroidery. It’s fun, it’s relaxing, I’ve gotten pretty quick at the small designs and I think it’s way way pretty. I’m just getting into more expensive floss (thread), but overall if the design is cute and the work is neat, the embroidered piece is just darling. These are the embroidered towels I have done in the past two weeks.

'bang bang my baby shot me down'
‘bang bang my baby shot me down’
close up on cowboy puppy
close up on cowboy puppy
bumper car crash
bumper car crash
carnival set of towels
carnival set of towels
vegas showgirl
vegas showgirl

Together

Well it’s Valentine’s Day. It’s always a day full of such great expectations. If you have a typical Valentine good for you. I’m flying solo, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have awesome family, friends, and the tribe to send me love all year long. Plus…. Motley Crue.

Happy V Day. Whatever it means to you.

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Love yourself the most.

xxxx
GFK

February Health Challenge

I’ve decided to do something a wee bit different in terms of challenges this month because obviously I NEED to get back into the flow with writing daily blogs – I was doing so so well before the holidays. Life just gets so busy! I’ve done several things this past month that I have been proud of. I started running again which I love. It’s nice to run for mental well-being and fitness/stamina than just ‘to lose weight.’ I’m making HUGE progress on my vintage patterned sweater. I taught myself how to fair isle. Also I learned to crochet and have been having a blast learning the ins-and-outs of that art.

crochet mummy
crochet mummy

Oh and Lois visited over the weekend and we had a blast!

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Anyways this challenge. It’s just a daily reminder about health. This picture I found on Google Images for “February Blog Challenge” is old and I’m not guessing the correct blog for this is even working, but I hyperlinked the photo to the address on there despite it seeming like that domain has changed owners. I thought it would be a great way to get back in touch with some mental/physical well being.

Old Feb Challenge I'm Hi-jacking.
Old Feb Challenge I’m Hi-jacking.

So I’ll just jump right in at #4: Relaxation. This one is always tough for me, because I operate at high energy and anxiety levels 24/7. However, I do relax by knitting and embroidering. Most projects I work on become pretty therapeutic. Especially embroidery, the ‘risk’ of messing up or ‘ruining’ the project with a simple mistake does not exist.

embroidered tea-towel for my Grandma's birthday.
embroidered tea-towel for my Grandma’s birthday.

I think that’s why I’ve enjoyed learning to crochet as well – the ‘ripping out’ is so simple and not as scary/severe as when a small mistake is made in knitting. Sometimes, like last night I just crocheted a little ‘doo-dad’ and watched TV all evening. It was so relaxing and just what I needed after a jam packed weekend with Lois.

just a shriner fez for the tribe.
just a shriner fez for the tribe.

I can’t believe it’s already February. Time flies!

xxx
GFK

Burda-spiration

Well after my Amy Butler Gumdrop Pillow , I’ve been inspired to sew some things. I did a small pair of shorts, I’m going to make some jersey tees for the cats (since one of them *ahem* VLADIMIR *ahem* always takes his knit sweaters off). Anyways, if you aren’t familiar with Burdastyle, it’s a wonderful sewing website with patterns, inspiration, seminars, classes, and forums. I have recently found some amazing patterns that I think would be perfect for me to gain more confidence in garment sewing. Shall we take a look? *clicking on the photos takes you directly to the Burdastyle pattern page*

Cape 01/2010 – always a classic.
Empire Waist Dress
Knotted Dress – VA VA VOOM.
Elasticated Dress
Double Layer Dress
Keyhole Dress
U Neck Dress

Foot down, pedal to the metal.

xxx
GFK

Fair Isle Goat Pillow DONE

Well, it’s done. It only took total 10-11 hours which is not that bad considering it was my first real Fair Isle project. I’m really pleased that I did NOT try this as the glove. I think it would have turned into a AMF knitting project (angry mofo), if I had tried DPNs with my first time Fair Isle. Anyways, there’s a few mistakes – it happens. I really dig this as a pillow and will be doing more pillow/tapestry designs in the future. I will however go a step further and knit in the round next time. All my mistakes were on the purl side (WS) so being able to see the knit side the entire time would aid in banishing those little flubs.

Finished pillow front being 'blocked' it's acrylic so it's not like that did anything.
Finished pillow front being ‘blocked’ it’s acrylic so it’s not like that did anything.
added some 'french knots' to cover up a missed black perrie. oops.
added some ‘french knots’ to cover up a missed black perrie. oops.
i really like the split in the goat.
i really like the split in the goat.
finished pillow. pug mildly impressed.
finished pillow. pug mildly impressed.
shhh mom, just shut your mouth.
shhh mom, just shut your mouth.
new sweater blaster - embroidered 'B" for the baby boris.
new sweater blaster – embroidered ‘B” for the baby boris.
one half of hall and oates. this is what i do on saturday nights people.
one half of hall and oates. this is what i do on saturday nights people.

Adventures in Fair Isle

Before the holidays, we had a secret santa at my work. Well, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a Mastering Colored Knitting book for my gift. I still in fact have no idea who gave this book to me! They won’t fess up, but when I finish my more intricate pattern I’ll send an email thanking/inquiring again. Anyways, I’ve been just practicing a few little projects and I love it. Just like most knitting techniques, I’m mad I didn’t learn this sooner. SO FUN.

Just a simple one peeries for practice.
Just a simple one peeries for practice.
First heart project on modified sweater (no cable obviously) for Boris.
First heart project on modified sweater (no cable obviously) for Boris.
Baby B likes his sweater.
Baby B likes his sweater.
Gloves have inspired a pillow 'flat/larger' project.
Gloves have inspired a pillow ‘flat/larger’ project.
Slowed down by headache/cat kisses.
Slowed down by headache/cat kisses.
Almost done. Still have 15 rows to go - adding inverted cross to top right design panel. Red to left crisscross pattern as french knots too.
Almost done. Still have 15 rows to go – adding inverted cross to top right design panel. Red to left crisscross pattern as french knots too. I’m hoping some of the gathering goes away with blocking/pressing. Damn you tension.
Valentines Cards? Can I Fair Isle this?
Valentines Cards? Can I Fair Isle this?
This is for a child. I'm thinking it would look awesome as vest. (no one wants to knit sleeves - especially for my ape like arms)
This is for a child. I’m thinking it would look awesome as vest. (no one wants to knit sleeves – especially for my ape like arms)