Little Hand Made Treats

I love Fall… Leaves, Pumpkins, Orange everywhere. Fall is the best season!

Now, Halloween sometimes gives me mixed emotions.  I’m not into the scary stuff, my preference is for the light-hearted, child-like fun that come with Halloween. I love candy and parties, and even dressing up in fun costumes. I love making treats to eat and to decorate with.

Here are some of my favorite this season.

 

TCS 2014-10-23 A#1 Knit little pumpkin!

Why not create your own holiday decorations that will last for years!  These versatile little pumpkins are easy to make, and are a free Ravelry download.  Make a dozen and share with friends!

Pumpkin quilt#2 Sew a little pumpkin

Wool Applique makes this little guy go fast.  Leave off the bat and Jack-o-lantern face and have a pumpkin fit for the whole season.

#3 Make Pumpkin Muffins

You can make homemade pumpkin muffins the easy way!

  • One 15 Oz. can Libby Pumpkin
  • 1 box spice cake mix

Mix and pour into muffin tins then bake at 350˚for 20 to 30 minutes and you get perfect, easy muffins

caramel-445976_640#4 Caramel Apples

There is nothing like the treat of a crisp, tart apple covered by a sweet caramelly coating.  It makes me hungry just thinking about it!  Apple picking is another favorite!

TCS 2014-10-23 C#5 Pick a Pumpkin

Picking out your pumpkin is a high point of the season.

TCS 2014-10-23 B#6  Make a funny Hat

A funny hat becomes a costume of its own and adds fun to each fall day!

 

What about you?

What fun Fall crafts are you working on? Do you have anything special your are making for Halloween? Jump over to the Facebook page and leave us some pictures!!

*** Whitney is visiting the Fall International Quilt Market in Houston this weekend so come by and pick up some of your current favorites for only $8 a yard! All bolts are $8 a yard until October 25th! ***

Finished Object Round-Up

In this installment of the round up we have some exemplary knitwear to share.

First check out Becky and Linda’s finished  Kismet MKAL. (Kismet Mystery Knit Along)

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Next is Lisa’s Acorn Trail.  This is a beautiful Custom Fit Sweater.

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Custom.   Fit.   Sweater.

 

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Did ya catch that?

Custom.   Fit.   Sweater.

Remember those words – we will be doing a Custom Fit demonstration and offering Free Measuring Workshops at the shop VERY SOON!

This last beauty is Graiselle Sweater, made by Lisa in lace weight yarn.

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Knitters Tool Kit

The beginning of September always makes me think of going back to school.  I grew up in an area where we never went back before Labor Day. (Mainly, I think, because high school students were needed to labor at the local tourist traps!)

No matter when we went back to school, for many kids like me school supplies are the best part of going back to school.   There is nothing like having an organized pencil box full of cool stuff to use. Organizing all the new sharpeners, crayons, pencils and rulers always made me feel smarter and more prepared.

I feel the same way about having a well stocked knitter’s tool kit. I may not be in school any longer but I do still enjoy learning and not a day goes by that I don’t learn something new about knitting or quilting. Having the correct tools makes every job more enjoyable and easier to complete. (Who doesn’t hate having 1,000 ends to weave in!)

Here are some of the things I think are essential to a knitter’s tool kit:

2014-09-11 01A Knitting Bag

Lets Start with a bag:  I like a box bag or zipper top bag.  I really love the KSC Designs bags that we stock at The Crooked Stitch. They are well contructed and so hold up well for a very long time. All of the bags I currently use have been around for several years.  I really only add to them when there is a fabric pattern I can’t live without. They are a great investment and make your tool kit look very stylish.

A Medical Kit

Inside the bag I like to keep a travel “medical” kit stocked with lots of little knitting items. These are available at your local big box store, or a dollar store – usually for less than a buck.  There are any number of things to keep in this kit, here is my list:

  1. 2014-09-11 02Stitch Markers –  I like to keep at least two different kinds of stitch markers in my kit because some projects require loopy beaded stitch markers and others require just the round ring markers. It is really a personal preference, but I like to be prepared for my mood.
  2. Knitters Safety Pins – Knitters safety pins are really just coil-less safety pins.   They are great for marking the right side of a project or for making a dropped stitch. They won’t pick the yarn and are very handy.  I also use them when adding a tag to a knitted gift.
  3. 2014-09-11 03Snips – My favorite snips don’t fit in my med box, so i just leave them loose in the bag.
  4. Darning Needles – I recommend three sizes so that you can thread any yarn into the eye and weave those loose ends into place ASAP. (It is best not to let them linger as they are never too much fun to deal with – and really – sweaters being worn with loose ends just look silly.)

Measuring Tools

I generally carry three different types of measuring tools in my knitters kit.

  1. 2014-09-11 04A needle gauge so that I can make sure I am using the correct needle for my projects or I can identify the needles that have wiggled free of my needle case.
  2. A clover clicking row counter is very handy on charted projects or if you are trying to keep track of decreasing and increasing.
  3. A Hiya Hiya retractable measuring tape. Some times I think the tape lies to me – especially when I have knit eons of stockinette stitch… But scientifically I know it is really right.  Frustrating but handy.

Dental Floss

2014-09-11 05Last but not least I carry dental floss.  I use this for safety lines in lace projects and to park stitches for sleeves and the like.  Extra yarn works well for this too, especially cotton which is not too sticky.  I just like the dental floss because it is waxed, so it won’t stick and it’s in a neat case so it doesn’t go everywhere in my bag!

What about you?

What special tools do you carry?  Share your ideas with us, you never know what others are ready to learn!

The Parade of Fabrics

Out with the old and in with the New!

Aisfor

“A is for” from Windham fabrics has a 30’s vibe but very fresh.

Over the last few weeks you may have stopped by (Thank you!) and noticed that our fabric inventory is changing.

Homebody

Homebody by Kim Knight and Moonlight by Rasida Coleman Hale for Cotton and Steel

We pay attention to what our customers tell us, and you have told us that you wanted new fabrics!  So we are moving out some of the commission fabric we had from the (now closed) Smith Mountain Lake Quilting in order to make room for fresh stock.

We will be focusing on the traditional prints you know and love, the more exciting and modern fabrics, as well as continuing to stock the novelty fabrics that you crave.

In fact, we recently received some wonderful pieces from Windham fabrics, Cotton and Steel/ RJR and just this week Quilting Treasures!

Sarah Watts

It feels like I just came back from the Spring Quilt Market, but here we are only about 6 weeks away from the Fall Market which means all the latest and greatest will soon be available.


What are you favorites? Is there anything you would like to see more of at The Crooked Stitch?  Share here, or join the conversation on Facebook.

Finished Object Round Up

We just love to show off our customers’ finished work!

Here are just a few of the recent finished projects that have turned up at The Crooked Stitch.

2014-08-21-01Linda did a great job finishing up this beautiful crib quilt for a friend.  She made it with Helen’s Garden Fabric from Michael Miller using a great pattern from Simply Fat Quarters. That baby is going to really love it!

 

2014-08-21-02Then, at a recent meeting of the Roanoke Modern Quilt Guild we saw our friend Dani showed off her Orion Quilt made from vintage sheets.  Such pretty colors!

 

What about you?

Have you created anything recently that you want to show off? Take some pictures of those fabulous finished objects and share them with us!  We want to put them here and let you SHINE!  Yippee!!

My Quilting: Evolution

I Love Quilts!

I am sure this is no big suprise for many of you. My love of quilts began when I was rather young in connection with my love of history and everything old.  As a child I felt that being near and admiring a quilt made me closer to history: it made my little mind explode with happiness.

As time wore on, my love of quilting changed.  Now, quilts are no longer just about history and remembering days gone by.  For me quilting has become the ultimate expression of love and care for others.  I feel like everyone I love should be wrapped in a quilt. Slowly I have made everyone in my family a quilt and, with lots of help from fellow members of my quilt guilds, a few to give away to worthy causes.

First Family Quilt

My first ”family” quilt was made for someone who was not yet a member of my  family!  While watching  Alex Anderson’s show over Christmas break I felt compelled to make a quilt just like the one she was making.  The quilt was an amazing jumble of squares and rectangles.  I loved it!  But I must not have paid very close attention to her directions, and I wasn’t quite sure where to start.

I don’t recall the pattern she was showing, but it was something like “turning twenty” and I tried to replicate it – without a pattern. I got it done, although the machine quilter may or may not have criticized me for how square the quilt was, or how accurate my seam allowance was. Luckily, she was kind enough to referred me to my local quilt shop (LQS) for lessons on how to do things the right way (ie – learn to follow a pattern.)

Local Quilt Shop

My encounter with the LQS was like diving into the deep end of the fabric pool.  There was no going back! I was officially sunk in the fabric world.  Up till then I had only made quilt blocks from learn-to-quilt books and had only actually completed two quilts.  This quilt for my husband to be (I did not know then that we would end up married!) was my first really “good” quilt. I gained some tools and knowledge from my LQS  and was well on my way to creating many more quilts.

My Quilting: A Series

Over the next few months I will be sharing more about my quilts, the processes and thought that evolved with them and how I feel those quilts will stand the test of time.  But I also want to hear from you! What are your thoughts about quilting? How have those thoughts evolved over time? What is it that makes quilting special to you?

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My Current Favorite: Scrappy Trip Around the World with Denyse Schmidt

Mixing Fabrics

Playing with paint from someone else’s palette can be fun and exciting!

Do you ever think of fabric like paint? Fabric and paint share variety, richness and the ability to be blended together.  The blending of the paint colors is easy, but fabric colors blend a bit differently. It is the eyes’ job and the brains’ job to make the fabric colors blend to tell the whole story. I think that makes blending color by playing with fabrics more complicated, but also more fun!

Technology

The internet has changed the way quilters play with color and choose fabrics. We can follow our favorite designers on Instagram and Facebook. We have the opportunity to see a vast arrange of inspiration, rather more than just what is in our own backyard. We now have access to whole lines of fabric that are sold together in tidy little bundles or color or texture. You are promised almost perfect results when using those little bundles of color together in one project, too.

Let me illustrate how the process has changed and what the results are ( Warning – This thought process is highly generalized and will fail to shock you) :

A Quilters Story

Mixing FabricsLong ago, in a land not so far away, Ma decided to use up the huge pile of scraps she had accumulated from dress scraps, flower sacks, and old shirts to make a beautiful new bed quilt. Every piece she used was special, thick with memories, and had a perfect place in the lovely new quilt. The quilt became a beloved family heirloom and it looked something like this.

Not so long ago, Sis decided she would make a quilt. But Sis worked in a very different way.  She purchased an adorable little bundle of fabric from her Local Quilt Shop. Each piece she used was special because of work the artist who had designed it had put into it.  Mixing FabricsWith each step she celebrated her love for the designers style and how that style augmented her own style, and the style of her family.

She went to town cutting and sewing.  Her fabric looked like this:

Mixing FabricsHer finished quilt was equally beautiful.  It was made of fabrics that spoke to her of her love of beauty, and it matched her lifestyle and her personal aesthetic.

What do you think?

The two quilts are beautiful, but different.  What is your preference? Do you like Scrappy Quilts? Do you mix lines of fabric?


P.S.  This post was inspired by a beautiful stack of fabric curated by an adorable customer. I found it really inspiring and a fresh combination of colors.

Mixing Fabrics

 

Happy Memorial Day – and Happy Yarn Crawl week!

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It’s Here!  This is the kick off to summer and the week of the best yarn crawl in Southwest Virginia!  

Begining on May 30 and running through June 1 you can have a fabulous time visiting six  local yarn shops in Southwest Virginia.  The Crooked Stitch, Yarn Explosion, Orchardside Yarn Shop,The New River Fiber Co, Mosaic and the Woolly Jumper Yarns all join forces to bring you a weekend of knitting fun. We will each be featuring hand-dyed yarns from local Virginia dyers, lovely door prizes and treats galore.  Be sure to visit all 6 to not miss a single exclusive thing! Oh and you certainly don’t want to forget to get your postcard stamped at each shop so that you can be entered to win our Grand Prize Basket. The basket is chalk full of books, patterns, a variety of yarns for beautiful projects and even some notions.   I hear there will even be some  new patterns released, some great deals and kickoffs of more fun events to come throughout the summer. So gather up your patterns, dig out that Christmas Gift List and come join us for some fantastic shopping all right in your back yard.

Quilt Shop Hop kicks off May 1, 2014

Tomorrow (May 1)  is the Kick Off of the Quilted Together Spring Beachy Shop Hop. We will have summer inspired projects that you won’t want to leave at home during this summer’s beach vacation. We will also have tasty refreshments and beach music. Drop by all three shops to be entered to win one of 5 great prizes ( this time we are sharing the love) or some of our hourly door prizes. There will also be some gift certificates up for grabs! We can’t wait to see you. Here are a few more details for you to mull over. I sure hope you will join us.

May 1, 2 and 3, 2014 9:30 – 6:00 Thursday/Friday 9:30 – 4:00 Saturday

Visit all three quilt shops, get your passport stamped and
enter to win a Beach Bucket filled with Quilty Fun!
(Value $100 – 5 available) or a chance to win a $50.00 gift certificate
from a participating shop! More prizes, more chances to WIN!!

Hourly door prize drawings, demos, specials and refreshments
The General Store*
The Crooked Stitch*
Creative Quilting Connection*.

The General Store at SML The Crooked Stitch
213 Scruggs Road 390 Franklin Street
Moneta, VA 24121 Rocky Mount, VA 24151
540-721-3009 540-420-7129
http://www.generalstoresml.com http://www.thecrookedstitchandknits.com

Creative Quilting Connection
4903 Starkey Road
Roanoke, VA 24018
540-774-1540
http://www.quiltingconnect.com

Quilting News at The Crooked Stitch

Wow!  Spring is really Springing now and that means that the Quilted Together Spring Shop hop is just around the corner.  And by Just Around the Corner I mean it is in 2 weeks!

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(JEH enjoying Edisto Beach  – wearing the Made- By -Rae Geranium dress – AKA- Mini Washi Dress)

Come check out all the beach inspired, summer -loving sewing and quilting projects that Lisa and I have been cooking up. There will be door prizes, Refreshments, Free patterns, lots of inspiration and bolts upon bolts of fresh fabric! We will kick off all the festivities on Thursday May 1st and the Shop hop will run though May 3rd.  Visit from 9:30 to 5 and don’t miss all the fun by visiting the other participating shops, The General Store at Smith Mountain Lake and The Creative Quilting Connection.  Both will have beautiful samples, wonderful patterns and lots of summer fun.  We will be holding a drawing for our Grand Prize Basket that will be chalk full of great fabrics, patterns and notions as well as having a new “extra” giveaways from each shop.

In other news:

Just in this week we have the Summer 2014 issue Primitive Quilting and Projects.

Primative Quilting Summer

We will be making up kits this week for some of the fabulous projects in this great magazine – if Lisa and I can manage to not stitch up everything inside and redecorate our homes first.  I am telling you, It is completely full of adorable, manageable projects full of seasonal charm. I look forward to seeing you in the shop and if you can make it, the Shop Hop too!