Monday, 2 March 2015

A finish and a half, and new plans

Usually weeks go by between my blog posts because I haven't done anything new to show you. This time I have been too busy doing things to even write or take photos! First, I have finished the Bear Paw quilt. Men's shirts once again finding a new life as a quilt.

Second, I have crocheted nearly all squares for my cardigan. I needed to buy more green and purple yarn to finish the 3D flower squares, and the Flying Mitten had to place an order for the green. While I'm waiting, I have thousands (almost) of yarn ends to hide and I can start sewing squares together.

Dear Mr. K saw me kneeling on the floor sandwiching the Bear Paw quilt, and heard my funny noises, and noticed my swollen knees after the job, and he borrowed me his knee pads for the next project.

It was this string quilt from last year. The knee pads were good, kneeling on the safety pins occasionally didn't hurt a bit. For some reason the quilt had remained waiting as a top, but today I'm hand sewing the binding on it, finally. A deadline can work wonders! In just a little over a month my old and new quilts will be displayed at the Villa Cooper,

When the weather gets sunny again, I can get a photo of the finished quilt. And guess what? When I was looking for binding fabric, I found another UFO, from years ago, a red and white quilt with 12 finished blocks and all fabrics for the rest of that lap size quilt. I'm already itching to start cutting the pieces!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Old fashioned knitting and other projects

 Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!

This is a block for a quilt I'm working on at the moment, and I thought it suits for a hello today.

I have knitted myself a pair of mittens, a very special pair after a pattern The Flying Mitten launched some weeks ago. It is called Aino'S, as the original mittens were knitted and worn by Aino Sibelius (1871-1969), the wife of our famous composer Jean Sibelius (1865-1957). This year is the 150th anniversary of both Sibelius and his friend the painter Pekka Halonen. They both lived here in the Tuusulanjärvi area, so we have a year of cultural events  ahead of us.

I think the cuff is very pretty and yet not tricky to make.

The yarn in 100 % Finnsheep wool. The kit with pattern and yarn will be available in English as well, and for sale at the National Art Museum Ateneum, and at Ainola, the home museum of Sibelius, and naturally at the knitting café.

Young Mister has now this pair of booties. I had to wait for more white yarn just eight little rows before finish!

I found use for some tiny zippers I have bought just because of their bargain price.

This keeps the pencils and colours of a special little girl safe.

And this one is for her little sister

and for her crochet hooks and knitting needles

and the bag with her monogram is for the crochet projects. We made one like this at school ages ago, but mine was green and white.

I think that was all I have been doing for a while.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Happy news

We have had a very special week. About a week ago DS1 and his wife had their first baby and we became grandparents. Big smile! I washed and ironed this mini garment I had saved from the young father's wardrobe so the junior can wear it during his first weeks.

He also got the soft burb cloths I knitted

and this mini washcloth from the rest of the yarn. He is ever so sweet and I'm happy to be a Mummo.

One week later DD Kaija had her first book published and her own exhibition opened. If you want to see more, visit her blog here.

She will show more photos there, especially a lovely book chandelier. My daytime photos of it look just dark. If you go back in her blog to December you will see many of the mixed media projects in process. It feels so good to see one's offspring happy and to admire their achievements.

The other weekend we had the Big Garden Birdwatch day and counted 10 species within one hour. The waxwings arrived a few days later, they come from the North and eat all rowan berries before continuing their flight to other gardens and woods. They are beautiful birds but just rare visitors.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Blue light

On cloudy days the light here is blue. Even when I take the photos outdoors there is often not enough light. This quilt top is mostly blue, with light blue backgrounds and dark green sashings.

This picture was yesterday. Today I have spent a lot of time on my knees, and the quilt layers are now sandwiched with safety pins, just waiting to be quilted. My machine can manage a quilt of this size but not any bigger. I can quilt about an hour a day without cramps in my shoulders. I wonder why I can't keep them relaxed when I'm quilting; my shoulders just seem to seek my ears within minutes when I quilt on the machine.

Last Saturday we had a planning meeting at the Villa Cooper. The Christmas Shop was taken down, so I can only show you a view to the garden where our yarn bombing from last Summer still looks great. The renewed veranda will get a dark colour in the Spring.

We usually have small exhibitions in the closet under the stairs, sometimes collective work and sometimes from just one member. The exciting news is that my quilts have their turn in April, not just in the closet but also on the walls around it. I'm planning to borrow some quilts back from their owners, and make some new, small items to go on the shelves of the closet. Here is a picture of our Old Toys exhibitions over a year ago. As you see, quite a lot of space to fill with table runners and potholders!

Friday, 16 January 2015

New quilt, same old shirts

Here is a new project I have started this year. I looked at my endless stash of men's shirts, chose 12 of them from the blue and grey box, just blue ones, and from another box the last bits of the light blue suit shirts from my father. Sorry for the poor quality of my photos, but we still have only six and a half hours of daylight and many cloudy days.

I made HSTs and ironed and cut and ironed and sewed and ironed ... and now I have 8 blocks at this stage:

and the remaining 4 blocks at different stages of sewing and ironing. At least the blue shirt bundles in the box look flatter than the red, brown and green ones. I'm already making plans for a next quilt to use those colours. This must be at least the 5th quilt I have used the same shirts in.

In the evenings I have been knitting burb cloths for a baby, these two using Sugar and Cream cotton from Stephanie, thank you, 

and three will be in this 100 % bamboo yarn from The Flying Mitten:

Friday, 9 January 2015

First Finish of the Year 2015

Happy New Year everyone!
Naturally this doll has its beginning in the old year, babies take their time. He is my 65th Unicef doll, once again for my sister in Germany. She has by now taken care of the vaccinations of the babies of almost a whole village, as each doll is adopted for a fee that buys all the vaccinations for one real child.

As this doll is not for little ones to play with, I could make his shirt with tiny buttons, and the hair is a machine sewn fringe hand sewn on the head, not recommended for children under 3 years either, but looks a lot better than  individual strands of wool yarn sewn directly on the head, like a ryijy rug.

The knitting pattern is one our grandmother used for our mittens, with a new look from the self striping yarn. I used the same yarn for his socks.

We have started a new bird spotting list at the beginning of the year, and already one rare friend is on the list: the Eurasian treecreeper. We have put special special birdhouses for them in the forest but they have not been used yet. Almost every year we notice this little bird climbing up the oak we see through the kitchen window, or in the silver birches in the garden. They don't come to the bird feeder.

My last Christmas flowers. I hope you like the scent of hyacinths!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Happy Christmas!

This is the final post of my Advent Calendar this year. It is time to concentrate on the family, traditional foods and celebrations. Drive safely if you need to go somewhere, remember your loved ones, feed the birds, have a rest, read a good book. Thank you all for coming by, thank you for your comments, thank you for being there and writing your lovely blogs. I wish you all a happy Christmas time and best of luck and craftiness to the New Year!