Sunday, March 21, 2010

Road trip, Part II

My last stop for the day, well other than dinner, was Bloomington's newest yarn shop In a Yarn Basket. ( They are about 10-15 minutes south of downtown in a shopping center on the west side of Walnut. I didn't take a picture of their sign, but it has a really cute chicken on it.

They have a terrific selection of colors and styles of yarn and many fiber blends. They're really nicely arranged, too. All the wools are together; all the cottons are together. The colors are also laid out well too. Each section looks like a rainbow. These two photos are of the main room. There's also a room to the back that has more yarn and functions as a classroom.

I really liked the way they had their patterns displayed. They were in sheet protectors in pockets on the wall facing out. It was very easy to browse. Much nicer than putting them all in 3-ring binders. I'm not going to pick up a binder and page through it especially an overstuffed one, though I do understand that it's easier space-wise. The eye buys, and it worked here.

Here's what I picked up.

I found a couple of patterns that look easy enough for me. Yes, I'm pushing past just doing scarves and other flat items and trying something that requires fitting and gauge, and even (gasp) sleeves. I'm starting with the shell, so sleeves will come along later. The yarn is a very nice cotton that will be perfect for summer.

Now lest you think I'm just burying myself in yarn, I did finish two projects from the yarn I got two weeks ago. I've also started the third one. However I can't find any of my needlepoint needles to weave the ends in, and you don't get picture til they are completely finished. I know I have a half dozen or more of the things, so I refuse to buy any more. It means I need to sort through my knitting box and drawers and project bags which is on the list of things to do anyway.

That's the fun part of the trip. The less fun part was driving back yesterday. It was 70 and sunny when we left and 35 and snowing when we got home. Ick. I don't think it froze enough to zap any shoots or tree buds up here at least.

I hope it isn't snowing where you are and that you, too, got to fondle some fabric for National Quilting Day.


Road trip, Or What I Did for National Quilting Day. Part I

Mr. Belfry was travelling for work this weekend. I tagged along to play tourist. Our destination: Bloomington, Indiana. I had hoped spring would be further along there, but alas their winter has been much like our own. These are all of the daffodils I saw. All 6 of them or so. If I'd realized sooner that the Indiana quilt show was earlier in March, I would have pressed to go that weekend instead. However it was spring break while we were there. There is no better time to visit a college town than during breaks or summers.

The trees were just starting to bud and it was wonderfully warm and sunny.

The university does do some wonderful landscaping though, so I did get to see a little spring color.

Of course the color you're all really interested in seeing was indoors. :) My first stop was Yarns Unlimited in Fountain Square Mall on the south side of the square. (

They have a really nice selection of wools and wool blends. They had some great shop samples of felted bags. I always enjoy seeing their selection of specialty yarns, too. They've recently (like in the last few years) added fibers that are locally dyed. Go look at their website for better pictures and a class schedule. The people in the shop are very friendly and willing to help with any project you have questions on. And, of course, I just love a shop that understands that you need to touch every skein in the store before you make up your mind.

They've also rearranged extensively since I was there last. There seems to be a lot fewer weaving supplies and the rest of the yarn has expanded into that space. Everything is better organized and easier to browse. It seems more airy.

I came home with these two skeins:
The one on the left is a hand-dyed rayon blend. The one on the right is a hand-spun silk by Tilli Thomas. It's more dark pink than red. Both of these will become scarves or neck-wraps of some kind.

Stop number 2 for the day was Bloomington's newest quilt shop, Shiisa quilts. They're a little tricky to find if you aren't used to navigating in an area that's not laid out on a grid system. Check Google maps or mapquest before you go. It's well worth the time.

You can see the shopping center from the main highway down and on the west-side. Inside was a wonderful selection of fabrics. It was just a riot of color.

They had a nice selection of Moda and Westminster fabrics (among others), a good selection of notions and thread, and a nicely displayed selection of books. They had a lot of small kits made up and many display samples. They also had some non-traditional quilting fabrics, silks and kimono remnants and some ethnic fabrics. Everything was nicely arranged and not over-stuffed. There was an ok selection of pre-cut rolls, but they added some of their own pre-cuts to the menu, both charm size and rolls.

I purchased most of the fabrics I need for my K. Fassett class next month, plus a charm pack of Oz by Sanae. I also found a really neat pale orange fabric from an Australian designer I've never heard of that I think will go nicely with the Fassett fabrics.

That's all for part I. I found a new yarn shop that I'll tell you about in the next post.
Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A new recycling container!

Here's my new fun project I mentioned yesterday. I saw a cute container based on a berry basket on I thought I could do the same thing only based on a larger container. This is modeled after a small paper shopping bag, 10 1/2 x 8 x 4 ". Here's the top view:

I used an old pair of blue jeans. It took all of one leg and a bit of the other. I lined it with the leftovers from binding this quilt. I miscalculated on how much lining I would need to square up the bottom. I guess I could have cut it off, but I liked how it looked when I folded it over, and it added stability. The front, back and bottom have timtex in them. The sides have no interfacing. I made them as flaps, then folded them around and tacked them in place. I tried to do it on the machine, but I could not contort the thing around enough to get it under the needle.

Then the front needed something about this:

Mr. Belfry and I both thought it was too pretty for a recycling container, but that's what it will be for now.

The four patches from yesterday are mostly done. I've got the center ones for the blocks done, and all the pairs sewn for the corners. I'd like to get those done today. It might be sunny enough to go for a walk though. Have to take advantage of the decent weather.

Ta for now.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Danger Will Robinson!

Hi! /waves

Welcome to all the new visitors from Howdy!

so...yeah...I've kind of been absent for a week or so. I have been quilting. Honest! But it's the project I can't take picture of just yet. I got the snowball blocks done though. I'm working on the four patches today. It's such wonderful, mindless sewing for a dreary rainy day.

I also finally finished Carolina Fall Step 3. Yes I'm the slowest quilter on the planet. That's the picture above. It's 196 of the diamond units. It also resulted in almost 400 of these:

Yes, it took longer to sew everything, but I have a pattern in mind for these leftover bits.

The other reason I don't have much progress to show is that I dropped of my Linus quilts last weekend. My closest drop-off is at a yarn store. Let's just say I walked in with a bag and walked out with a different bag. I'll have pix when those items are done.

Stick around tomorrow. I've got a fun quickie project I finished up for the house!

Off to get the hairs trimmed.