Inside was this:
Friday, 29 February 2008
Happy homecoming and lovely mail
Inside was this:
Tuesday, 26 February 2008
Pinwheel Baby Quilt
The blocks turned out to be too small (the extra seam allowances because I made triangles), and so I added sashings and frames.
These detail pictures I took when the sun wasn't shining, so the colours are too blue. But I did manage to get the corners almost perfect.
Sunday, 24 February 2008
At my time, we had a really long summer vacation from school, but it included some duties. We had to collect our own herbarium, 120 wild flowers and plants when I was at that age, in three years' time.
Then we had to identify them, write (in ink) the plant's name, its Latin name, the Latin family name and description of the place where we found it, as well as the date. As you can see, I was a very stylish little girl, because I had green ink in my Mont Blanc fountain pen.
In autumn we then had to bring our herbariums to school to be inspected (some naughty pupils used old plants their elder sisters or brothers had collected), and then there was the examination, to show we actually knew our collection and all the names. I still remember lots of them. When I collected mine, we didn't take the plants with their roots, and so our herbariums were smaller than those of my elder sisters and brothers.
I liked learning the names, and when we got married my husband and I started our new herbarium. We got about 80 plants but also three children and less time. But as long as one of us can bend and pick the flowers, we can continue this hobby if we like. When the children were little, I used to teach them the Finnish names of any wild flowers we saw on the roadside on our way to the library or village center. I don't think they minded this, because at least Kaija has continued on this path with her Botanical brooches and journals. For some reason none of my links in the text seem to work, but if you go to paperiaarre through the (working) link on the right, you find the way to her etsy shop and the Botanical series.
Friday, 22 February 2008
Learning to know my limits
The plaid pattern nearly disappears when the bottom layers become visible too. The dark areas especially noticeable on the little rug on the right (once across and the other a curved line from the bottom right corner up to the left corner) show where the pieces of a red cardigan don't meet. When the thick red layer is missing, the dark brown and plum coloured layers are more visible. These two I stitched with a chevron pattern, on the left the points are up and on the right they are down. I just wanted to see if they look the same with different pile directions. I enjoy making chenille pieces, because I never can tell what it will look like after I have finished with the cutting and washing.
Wednesday, 20 February 2008
I think this looks about the way it should. My technique may be elementary, but I am in fact left-handed, I just use tools with my right hand. My crocheting looks funniest of all, since I just hold the hook in my right hand and push and pull, and the left hand does all the wriggling with the yarn.
Anyway, the rush was easily taken care of with some hand cream. Monday morning was a surprise. My wrists (both) were swollen, and so were the knuckles. The were hurting and aching, and I could hardly bend my wrists. I had obviously overdone it in my enthusiasm. Now I think the break has been long enough, as all swelling is gone and the movements are painless. Today I will enjoy a little bit of quilting, maybe two times half an hour. If all goes well, tomorrow a little more.
I had to change my original plan of quilting across and in the length four hexagons apart, because there are 63 hexagons across and the length is also divisible by three but not four. Now I'm making it three apart. I'm making it for a long time. But now that I finally got it started, I know it will be ready one day. Nobody can tell when, but I'll keep you posted!
Monday, 18 February 2008
Melka Twins series
The shirts still had a scent of my father left, the very fragile touch of him. After a while I started thinking about the text on some shirt pockets: Twin. There were some Melka Twin shirts. I have a sister and brother who are twins, and they had their 60th birthday last summer. I wanted to make them both a quilt with such a piece included.
I had been looking through my quilting books and one of Kaffe Fasset's quilts inspired by strips of wallpaper inspired me. I cut all the shirts in long strips about 11 cm wide, taking care to include the Twin pocket. Then I sorted the strips in "boy's colours" (blues) and "girl's colours" (yellows and reds), and neutrals (white, grey and beige). First I made the one for my brother, he is born 20 minutes earlier. I cut the strips in random lengths and made long rows, which I then put together.
Saturday, 16 February 2008
Not exactly a world literature classic
Yesterday when my husband came home, I told him I finally finished the book. He asked me how it was. I was a little puzzled, but then I told him the truth: there was hardly a plot, but there was a certain depth in the main character. Easy to read.
I explained it was this book I had been making all over our dining table and living room and downstairs in our "Hobby Hall" where my sewing machine and his fly-tying bench are. He looked rather pleased, because he obviously thought it ment clearing the table at least.
But he didn't know I just only started the other book with more pages ;)
Wednesday, 13 February 2008
And in the afternoon I had finished attaching the pictures to the pages.
Tuesday, 12 February 2008
New project in progress
They are the result of my Sunday's thinking and now on their way to be a little book or two. The bigger pieces will be the pages and the little rests will make the pictures. I keep my fingers crossed that my sewing machine will perform the satin stitches nicely ( in Finnish we actually say we keep the thumbs up, either way is very unconvenient when you have to hold the fabric at the same time) ;) . The machine is normally as obedient as anyone can wish for, but when I have a deadline, it often gets nervous and starts making jump stitches.
One example of the not very good cooperation of my Pfaff and me is this little quilt I intended for Nuppupeitto, a charity project for premature babies. They get a mini sized quilt or blanket from the hospital to keep as a memento of the time they spent at the hospital just growing and getting some strength before going home. Since both my sons were born prematurely, this project touched me more closely than many others I have participated. Anyway, this quilt ended up being my first attempt of free machine quilting:
It is far too stiff for a tiny little baby, and so I never took it to the hospital with the other ones I quilted more lightly. And then I have another one still waiting to be taken to the babies:
This one was at the exhibition of my sewing group when I donated the others. I always wanted to try this pattern, and the baby quilt was a suitably small project to be sewn by hand (by this time Kaija's quilt was taking a rest). The quilt is bound at the corners of the blocks only, and it is my favourite of all Nuppupeitto quilts I have made so far.
Sunday, 10 February 2008
Cloudy days are best used for planning
Friday, 8 February 2008
Awards and aprons
The award rules:
1. Write a post with links to 5 blogs (or 10 according to some) that make your day
2. Acknowledge the post of the award giver.
3. Tell the award winners that they've won by commenting on their blogs.
After careful consideration I give this award forward to the following blogs I have found enjoyable:
Karen - contemporary embroidery for encouraging me to start my blog and helping me with my problems
Meet me at Mikes for the Hearts for Mirabel idea
Nikki Shell for the delightful Brown Owls
Fia Lotta Jansson for the joy of feeling so familiar and finding out she is from Finland
Bianca of Hollabee for giving a face to the fabrics I bought
I combine the two awards because I really don't read so many blogs yet. The one that really makes my day is the blog of Kaija, but since she just had two of these awards and has had it earlier too, I give her this instead:
This is the apron I finished a little while ago and it was meant for her coming birthday, but now I will make another one for that day, something prettier I hope.
Thursday, 7 February 2008
My almost eternal project in Grandmother's Garden
Wednesday, 6 February 2008
My old vacuum cleaner stopped working and I needed a new one. For a while I borrowed the one I use at my father-in-law's home, but naturally I needed one of my own. I think this is the hottest new invention in the cleaning department. The Dyson doesn't use a bag for the dust, it shows the reward for my efforts in the see-through dust container. It also looks so funny I almost keep smiling when vacuuming. I think a man has invented this cleaner and has designed it to be interesting for men as well, very technical. It came with seven (7) different brushes and tools ;).
I just wanted to tell this before I go clean the living room.
Tuesday, 5 February 2008
Hearts, and memories of snow
The first heart was really easily made. It is of vintage mattress cover, a piece of string and some polyester wadding. The second one took me some more time. It is of red linen. The one side is cut open, the opening covered with golden fabric and sewn back together with big stitches of green, the colour of hope. This one is, in a way, a heart of gold.
On the other side I embroidered with romantic pink the text broken hearts can be mended. It takes time, but with hope it is possible.
The pictures are once again of a cloudy day quality, and I have already sent the hearts away so I coudn't wait for better weather conditions. This time of the year I begin to notice how the days are getting longer. The snow we have been getting regularly for several days now has made even the cloudy days lighter, and when the sun peeks out it really looks like diamonds on the snow. I live on the countryside and it is very clean here, the snow remains white. It reminds me of the childhood winters when, naturally, the snow covered the country from December to March, skiing was fun, and when the temperatures were -15 to -37 degrees which was really cold and I could take the bus to school instead of walking 2 km. If it was warmer, it was so close to zero that we could make snowballs and snowmen and snowcastles. The snow formed little lumps in our mittens (knitted by Grandmother), and we used to tear them off with our teeth and eat them (the lumps of snow, not the mittens). They were all hairy from the wool, but being outdoors we could of course spit the extras on the ground. I could also take some snow just for eating it. We never got sick from eating snow, and nobody knew anything about pollution. Of course we didn't eat any yellow snow from the roadside, but freshly fallen, soft, flaky, wonderful snow. It was also fun to try to catch big snowflakes directly from the sky on my tongue. And the woollen mittens: they gradually shaped to the from of our hands, the palm side all felted tight and only the top remained stretchy. It sure was a sight to see our boiler room after a day of winter holiday when we all were kids: six times four pairs of mittens, two pairs of socks, overalls or anoraks and thick trousers, felt boots, skiing shoes, skates, scarfs and caps drying on the lines and floors and the rest on radiators in the entrance. When it was "skiing holiday", a week's break from school in February, it really meant skiing, skating and playing outdoors for a week. We had a crate of oranges (10 kg I think) from the shop for the week, and Mother used to make us hot cocoa for afternoon coffee. I hated the film that formed on top if I allowed the cocoa to cool a little, so I usually drank it too hot and burned my tongue. The snowflakes cooled this off.
Friday, 1 February 2008
I have had two favourite aprons my mother has made for me of dark, thick cotton fabrics. Both have been worn until there were holes in the pockets and the strings were just a collection of threads. After having dutifully served they ended up in this:
I called this quilt Töiden jälkeen, or After Work, because it is made of men's old flannel shirts and other heavy, dark shirts they have worn to work, and of my old working clothes, the aprons. There are some bits of children's clothes as well, including our old skirt I have shown with my very first Unicef rag doll shown here. The yellow frame is the same fabric I used for Chu-Hua, the Chinese Unicef doll. The backing is new plaid flannel in beige and red. I used to sleep in a recling chair under this quilt many, many nights when my shoulder was newly operated and I couldn't find a painless position in my bed. This is my comfort quilt, and it gave me the idea of a series of other quilts I made in 2006.