Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hawaiian dreams

While I was in Hawaii, I picked up yards and yards of lovely Hawaiian fabric. Because the patterns and colours are a bit wild, I figured it would be best to use it in small doses. The plan - pillow cases and napkins. Then you can have a flavour of the unique fabric without it being too in-your-face.

I've finished three sets of pillow cases for friends, with one more part way done for myself. Now we can all have sweet Hawaiian dreams.

I wrapped them up in bundles with leftover fabric strips.

Now onto the napkins. I may regret the idea a few mitered corners in.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Shovel and stitch

I learned an important lesson - don't try to top stitch right after shovelling heavy snow for an hour. It makes sewing straight lines darn near impossible. But my seam ripper and I forged ahead.

I wanted to make my dad handkerchiefs as a little gift for his 75th birthday. After much rummaging through my fabric stash - the pinks, florals and cute critters - I found a couple masculine-ish fat quarters. A little ironing and semi-straight seams later, I had two handkerchiefs.

I love that my dad still uses handkerchiefs. So old school. It's too bad such gentlemanly habits slipped away. Now you've got guys walking around with their pants hanging below their butts. That is if they're not wearing pyjama bottoms.

Wiksten #1

Finally! I joined the Wiksten club. My CFF Tara and I signed up for class at Greenwood and in a few hours I was well on my way to finishing my own tank top in a muted ikat fabric picked up at the shop.

Knowing it was highly unlikely I'd remember just how to finish the cuffs if I put it off for another day, I pulled out the sewing machine when I got home to finish the job. I woke up several times in the night picturing how the bias strip goes into the arm hole.

With Wiksten #1 under my belt, I picked up fabric for #2. And so it begins.

Hawaiian escape

I was lucky enough this January to leave the winter behind me for a family trip to Hawaii. After a day in flip flops and skirts, I forgot all about snow and ice.

Although I was away from my sewing machine, it was not forgotten. I searched out fabric shops and found a few great ones, including Kimura's on the Big Island. Stepping through the doors was like a trip back in time. I don't think it has changed since opening more than a half century ago. When the elderly store owner cut my fabric, she laid it out on a box of standing rolls and measured with a wooden yard stick.

I picked up a whole bunch of great Hawaiian prints. Some is destined for pillow cases (already started) and others for napkins. I figure just a splash of the kinda kitschy fabric is enough. No Hawaiian shirts for me.

The selection in a shop near where we were staying in Kauai was overwhelming. Needless to say, my suitcase was a tad heavy leaving Hawaii, weighing in at just over 50 pounds (and about 10 heavier than when I left home).

On a search for a spot to stop in lunch, we happened upon a yarn and ukelele shop. Yup - yarn and ukeleles. There was a great selection of hand-dyed yarns and I picked up one for myself and two for presents.

I wrapped up one of the skeins with a hibiscus stitch marker. The colours, especially the orangey one, remind me of the island and a wonderful winter escape.

Before I could ease into a Hawaiian state of mind, I had to answer that most difficult question facing every crafter packing for a trip - what craft do I bring? I settled on a cross stitch Bill Murray. Freaking awesome.