Thursday, September 20, 2007

Going on a Trip

I have to go to San Francisco on business next week. I have training for 2 days and then am staying for the rest of the weekend on my own. So, my question is (for the very few who might actually still be reading since I have been neglecting my blog), what are the places I can't miss... yarn stores or otherwise. I have never even been to California, so I don't know anything about the area. If anyone has ideas, leave me a comment.

Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts

I haven't posted in 2 months now. There are various reasons for that but I won't go into them now. I have had lots of things to post about in the last few months but every time I actually get a chance to, it seems like the last post idea was too long ago to bother.

Anyway, I went to 3 different B&N stores tonight looking for a book that I knew was out, because Purl got it in this week. I finally found it.

Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson is such a beautiful book. I knew it would be since both Last Minute Knitted Gifts (also by Hoverson) and Last Minute Fabric Gifts (by Treen & Philippi) were also very beautiful. I was so happy to find out that Hoverson was working on a new book because her first book is a staple in many knitter's libraries. I love visiting both Purl Soho and Purl Patchwork whenever I go into the city. While I am not a big sewer/quilter yet, I did start sewing a little last year, and am hoping to get a bigger house and then a better sewing machine in the near future.

Before I give any more detail, I should mention that since I just bought this book about an hour ago, I have not yet actually read the introduction or the details in the back. I have looked through all projects and read their descriptions. Some of the projects were actually shown on the Purl Bee blog before the book actually came out (and I linked those).

As with the other books, they are divided into chapters by the length of time the projects take to complete. So, they start small with Less than 2 Hour Gifts. The first project is On Pins + Needles. These are small felt needle books. I have actually made a needle book from felt before. What makes these so cute is that they use printable cotton that has been printed with a title and then sewn on the cover. They are sewn into tissue paper for gift giving.

Next are Quilted Coasters, Simple Pillowcases, Bird Ornaments, and a Made-By Patch (also using printable cotton- I'll have to try this stuff!). Next are Scrapbooks. I love this project. They begin with Moleskine Cahier notebooks and scrap fabrics are randomly sewn through the covers. Useful and beautiful!

Next are the 2-4 Hour Gifts, beginning with the Flannel Baby Blanket and Pierced Pillows. I love the Simple Bag, which really is simple. I have many bags that are similar to this from sales at Old Navy that I often use for knitting projects, but this project uses cute Amy Butler fabrics in contrasting colors. Next is the Super Quick + Easy Baby Quilt and Kelly's Pincushions. These pincushions are also very similar to the pincushion I made around the same time as the needle book. The difference here is that all different fabrics are used for the "pumpkin" pieces, instead of having only one fabric. They are done beautifully in vibrant primary colors.

The Colored Pencil Roll is one of my favorite projects in this book. I've always wanted one of these things when I have seen them in art stores, but I don't draw, so I could never justify buying one. The special thing about this one is the rainbow of fabrics on the inside and the interesting stitch pattern.

In the 4-8 Hour Gift section is the Puzzle Ball (it sounds like Joelle had some fun figuring out how to make this one!), the Happy Birthday Pillow (so bright and cheery!), the Patchwork Tablecloth + Napkins, the Pinwheel Duvet Cover, the Sweet Dreams Sailboat, and Peanut the Wee Elephant. Peanut is my favorite in this section. She is so sweet and was designed by Hillary Lang of Wee Wonderfuls.

The 8-12 Hour Gifts section includes Six of One Half-Dozen of the Other, Just Sweet Enough, and Cutting Corners. The next three quilts are great. First is Little Bits which uses chocolate brown fabric with a strip of randomized blue squares towards the bottom. It is so modern-looking and could be used in either an adult's or child's room. Next is Summer Breeze, which is just pretty and feminine. Stacked Coins is brown with simple diamond quilting and strips of brightly colors complementary fabric that is unevenly cut - another modern-looking quilt.

In the More Than 12 Hour Gift section are more of my favorites from the book. Follow-the-Lines Baby Quilt is floral fabric than has been hand-quilted to outline all the flowers! This looks very labor-intensive... but since I don't have a good sewing machine right now, this might be one of the more feasible projects for me right now.

Next is the Color-Wheel Quilt. Since I am a Color Scientist for a living, this quilt especially speaks to me. It reminds me of a wall hanging of a color wheel that Dorothy Nickerson (famous female color scientist) put together and which hangs in the Munsell Color Science Lab at RIT (where I went to school).

Someone to Watch Over You is just an interesting wall hanging. The (Sort Of) Crazy Quilt is beautiful with vibrant orange-dominant colors and intricate hand-stitching. Also in this section is the Washed Silk Quilt and the Log Cabin Quilt (which Joelle says a quilting book could not be without).

The beautiful, small depth-of-field images are vibrant, and amazingly lit. I can't wait to make some of these projects and even just reading the rest of the book is getting me excited. Even though I rarely sew and don't have a working sewing machine, I have a small fabric stash that I can't wait to work through so I can justify visiting Purl Patchwork sometime soon. The last major thing I made was the Simple Leather-Handled Shoulder Bag from Amy Butler's In Stitches. I loved making this and still use it.

Now if I could just get my sewing machine to work...