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!

Rylie

Meet Rylie~

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Isn’t she lovely?  50% Alpaca, 25% Linen,25% Mulberry Silk! Such a fabulous blend of fibers and the feature yarn in Michelle Hunter’s next KAL.  Cast on with Michelle during her popular mystery knitting series beginning  in April or pick up a few skeins and cast on now for a wonderful spring accessory.

*photo taken by Michelle Hunter – via Ravelry

Valentine’s Day Finished Object Friday

Have you ever been to Casablanca?  Have you ever seen the movie?  

I have done neither but I have had the recent opportunity to knit with the FABULOUS Casablanca yarn from Cascade. Casablanca is a Wool, Silk and Mohair blend single ply yarn. It features long color changes that stripe. The color changes make it interesting yet simple to work with. It is worsted weight yet not heavy. It is milled in a similar fashion as other popular long color striping yarns but has the benefit of being a consistent thickness and free of debris. It’s more reasonable price point and generous yardage make it even better.

A few weeks back Lisa, Jolaine and I made it our goal to feature Casablanca yarn in three very different ways.  On this Finished Object Friday here are our finishes. Please forgive our less than shapely model adn the massive pile of snow she was photographed in front of… we just lived through Snowmagadon 2014.

Do tell us which one you Love most.  It is Valentines Day, after all.

First up we have the Side to Side Shrug knit by Lisa. In color number 02 – Denim it could be a wardrobe stable with its neutral blue color.  This shrug is knit side to side in long neckline cast on making the color repeats create long slim lines that run vertically on the front.  This is just one of the fun ways you can manipulate the construction and affect the way the color falls.  Thanks to the construction of this garment it is flattering on all body types and sizes. Its slimming as it draws the eye up and down, and the short sleeve make it a nice accessory regardless of season.

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Next Up is the Hannah Cowl.  Jolaine Knit this generous cowl with two skeins of Casablanca- Colors 11 and 16 to be exact. The large size of this cowl makes it perfect to wear all day long in a loose drape, or feature your favorite shawl pin and draw it up around the neck under the collar of a coat. The rainbow effect is just beautiful and the colors could not have lined up any better.  Jolaine did mention that she cast on with one Skein for the seed stitch edge and then finished the bottom edge with the second color.  It worked out great!

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Finally we have the Quaker Yarn Stretcher.  This is one skein wonder to beat all!! It was knit with… you guessed it… one Skein in color number13 – sea glass. Knit at a loose gauge you get a lot of growth from this when blocked. This sample was only steam blocked and it still has a wonderful drape and length.( If wet blocked it could be stretched to even greater lengths!)

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Livvy’s Boot Toppers

Remember the fantastic Navy Boot Toppers from Finished Object Friday a few weeks back? No?  Here they are again.

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You love them, don’t you?

I do!  And I am happy to share that Lisa has made them available on Ravelry as a free download! Run on over and get a copy for yourself. And if you need some yarn – We have all the best colors of Berrocco Vintage and Vintage Chunky at The Crooked Stitch to help you out!

Ansonia

Denyse Schmidt has done it again. Ansonia is a celebration of old beauty and New trends.  Specificly on her website, Denyse mentions Tango heating up the ball rooms of wonderfully old hotels. The swoopy dance steps and patterns traced by dancers occur in the bold floral Psyco Swirl print. And Corner Plaid is a fun new variation on the plaids that have made an appearance in previous lines by Denyse, Shelburne Falls and Chicopee. I just love Denyses’ take on vintage prints. They are so versatile. They work great in modern scrappy mashups like the Scrappy Trip around the World or in traditional blocks like sawtooth stars.

Ansonia prints feature bold hues of Pink, Mushroom and Chocolate brown along with Blues and Greens.  My all time favorite color is the Acid Green in this line referred to as Mossy.  It is reminiscent of the awesome acid green color that occurred in the Chicopee line.  It always take a quilt layout up a notch.

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Whatcha think?  Leave a comment and share what it inspires you to make.

Block Club tutorial – January edition

Hi There Quilt Clubers!! Here is your tutorial about assembling you blocks… if you need it.  For the rest of our readers, here is a tutorial on how to assemble a St. Louis Sixteen Patch block.  You may be looking around wondering where the numbers are… Well, They are in the hands of the quilt club members. But with a little bit of math and a little bit of stash diving you two can make a block.  

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Step One:

Cut four strips – All the same size width, at least 4 times longer than they are wide.

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Step two:

Sew the four strips together, using 1/4″ seam allowance and alternating colors.  Press all seams to one side/ toward the darker fabric.

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Step Three: Now cut your strip set again in strips as wide as your originals from step one… They will then look like the strips in…

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Step 4: Arrange your freshly cut strips so they make a clever checkerboard pattern!  Sew together being sure to pin all the seam intersections to be sure you have happy and sharp corners.  Enjoy and see you on February 22 for Mystery block #2!!!

 

Helen’s Garden Just In at The Crooked Stitch

As the cold temperatures have be holding us indoors and crafting it has been very refreshing to see the new spring lines of fabric come in the door of The Crooked Stitch.

Here is my favorite line to come in : Helen’s Garden from Michael Miller Fabrics!

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It is tops for quality and color saturation. The scale of the prints make it perfect for everything from clothing to quilts. The purples and corals are such trendy tones for this season.  I just love it.

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This muted dragonfly is my favorite print in the line up. The detail of the leaves in the dragonfly wings is simply beautiful.  I also love the interspersed dots.  It almost seems lacy!

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And check out the berries on this print!  A fussy cutting dream come true. These mixed motifs would make the cutest square in a square blocks. ( Sorry about the color on this one – I use my iPhone 5 for pictures – sometimes its great, other times not so great)

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28 piece Fat Quarter bundles are cut and ready to go home to be sewn up into many wonderful things. They are also available on our Etsy shop with free shipping  this week! Check it out!

Finished Object Friday

I absolutely love seeing the Yarns and Fabrics come back into The Crooked Stitch  after they have been transformed into wonderful finished objects.  My friend and weaving mentor Patricia brought in a whole stack of new scarves this week.  This one is woven with Mountain Colors 4/8 wool. 

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The buttoned up Cowl under the scarf is knit from the same yarn in the same color way!  It always amazes me the difference that can be made with not only stitch choices and pattern but with weave structure as well. 

On the Quilting Front, I have been working on a set of 9 patch blocks.  I think they are going to become the centers of #economyblockalong  ( also known as a Square inside a Square) 12″ blocks.  I want a fresh and cheery look.  What do you think of the choices below for the next set of colors? They will frame the blocks if they make the cut… Even though lots of people in the online quilting world have already finished this project, I will count it as a success if it is done by the end of the month!

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Now back to actually finished projects:

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Here is the previously mentioned stack so scarves. These were woven with Silky Wool XL as the Warp and Araucania Panguipulli as the weft.  They are woven in twill patterns and look simply beautiful. They are soft, thick and look so warm.

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Here is my finished Agnes Sweater.  It was a fast knit, in a bulky yarn. I would recommend this pattern to anyone who wanted a quick and simple first sweater.  It has some hip pockets which you can not see in this picture, but I think that pockets make the sweater even better.  I look forward to posting better pictures over on Ravelry. Won’t you keep an eye out for them? You can find them under the profile whitknit4jane.

Also –  the sweaters have been finished for a while  and talked about here just a little bit have had their patterns published.  I was finally able to post the patterns for sale for both the Kismet Cocktail Shrug 

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and the Merrigolds in Savannah Sweater. I would love to see your finished versions of them so cast on and when you are done, email me pictures to share here!  In the mean time, what did you work on this week?