Whip-Up

Spring!

by KateG on 06/09/2013

in Whip-Up

blossoms

In my patch of the world spring has arrived!  We have four very distinct seasons where I am, and these are the blossoms that greet me every time I arrive home, or walk out to the mail box.  Bees and tiny birds are all over my tree, it makes me so happy.  I feel like I’m coming out of winter hibernation, and feel energised to make, to read, to cook, and to spend more time outside.

I’m racing to finish knitting a cardigan so that I can wear it on cool mornings and evenings before it’s time to tuck my winter woollens away for their summer sleep.  Soon enough I’ll be avoiding large knitted projects and sticking to smaller and cooler knits like socks and little shawls, and if last year and the year before that are any indication, I will get enthused to start summer knits just in time for the cooler weather to come back.  There’s always next summer to wear them, right?

I am not and will never be a monogamous crafter, with too many projects on the go at all times, so I’m never not knitting or spinning or crocheting or sewing something. I seem to knit more during winter, when it’s snuggly warm and no hardship to have a cardigan or blanket on the needles and on my lap on the same time.  Summer is my time for spinning, where I don’t have much fluff in contact with my skin, and the wheel creates a gentle breeze that keeps me cool.  It feels a bit like stockpiling yarn and ideas during summer, so that in winter I can really bed down and make something from my baskets and baskets of yarn.

How does your crafting change through the seasons? What’s the climate like where you are now, and what are you up to?

submit an idea to whipup :: vagusvenus [at] gmail [dot] com

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yarnbombedtractor02

Have you ever seen a tractor so glorious?

yarnbombedtractor01

I saw these pictures of a Yarnbombed Tractor named Alice, part of Kingaroy’s Tractor Tattoo, on Sparkling Adventures.

I’d love to share some more yarn bombing.  If you have yarn bombed, or know of any yarn bombing, let me know all about it in the comments, or send me some info and pics to vagusvenus (at) gmail (dot) com

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Reviewed by Julie: a slightly unhinged fabric junkie! She is stitching and crafting obsessed as well as being addicted to tea and cake. She is a work at home Mumma to three energetic little girls and blogs at procrasticraft.

fired-up-cover

The Mr of our house recently stated that “we eat too much meat”. I took this a challenge to prepare and eat only vegetarian meals for a whole week (not long really, I know! BUT, I have a house full of meat lovers) and thankfully the very next day, Ross Dobson’s Fired Up Vegetarian arrived in the post for review! I love how serendipitous life can be on occasion.

This is one cracker of a vegetarian cookbook. The recipes really do work as complete meals even for my carnivorous family. The most amazing transformation for us was that it has even inspired the non-cooking Mr of the house to commit to cooking one vego meal each week! The flavours throughout are diverse including Asian, Middle Eastern, European and South American dishes and the book includes useful tips and advice for maximising your barbecue potential.

With Fathers Day coming here in Australia next Sunday, as a gift for Dad the author has kindly provided a recipe for us to share with Whipup readers and the good folks at Murdoch Books have provided us with a copy to giveaway to one lucky reader. Just comment below with your favourite vegetarian meal idea (I love a good recipe tip!).

**Conditions:  Comments must be received by 8am Tuesday 27 August.  The winner will be selected by random number generator and announced on Whipup.net on Tuesday 27 August.  We apologise to our international readers but this giveaway is open to Australian residents only **

Thanks to those who shared their recipes with me, Number 2 was chosen by the random number generator. Congratulations Catherine.

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Reviewed by Megan: Megan is a wife and a mother to four children who spends some of her days in a hospital looking after sick people and some of her days at home hanging out with her gorgeous family. When she finds some spare moments she heads to her work table in a corner of the house to knit, embroider or sew. Megan can also be found in the kitchen cooking far too many cakes and biscuits. She will always choose reading a craft book over sweeping the floors!

Today Megan reviews Doodle Stitching: Embroidery & Beyond: Crewel, Cross Stitch, Sashiko & More by Aimee Ray

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Embroidery has come a long way in the last few years. Traditional embroidery techniques have been reinvented and given new life. As a long term embroiderer I have sat on the sidelines and watched in wonder as stitching designs have become brighter, bolder and just a lot more fun. Aimee Ray has been in the forefront of this embroidery revival and her series of Doodle Stitching books is a treasure trove of fun and funky embroidery designs and ideas. Aimee’s blog, Little Dear Tracks, is a great adjunct to her books with inspirational images and tutorials.

Doodle Stitching: Embroidery & Beyond is the latest book to come from Aimee and her approach is a little different this time round.  The book chapters are divided into descriptions of different embroidery techniques including crewel, redwork, sashiko, cutwork and stumpwork. Each chapter has very clear instructions on how to construct the stitches and there are several projects outlined in each chapter for the reader to complete or to simply use as a springboard for their own design. Some projects are quick and straight forward, for example, the Snow White, Rose Red Fleece Scarf. A cute and cosy idea that I think would look quite stylish around my neck as the cold wind blows. Other projects like the stumpwork Mushroom Pincushion are a little more involved but still provide a great way to practice a relatively little known embroidery method.

At the beginning of the book Aimee outlines the way to achieve basic stitches but the emphasis in this book is just to get in and give it a go. Aimee sees ‘Embroidery and Beyond’ as the next step on for the beginner embroiderer and at all times her ideas are accessible yet inspiring. I decided to give cutwork a try and completed my own version of Aimee’s cutwork book mark. It was ‘quick fix’ craft project that has become quite useful for my daughter to ‘mark her place’ as she reads.

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I loved Aimee Ray’s new book and I would highly recommend it for fledgling and experienced embroiderers alike. It’s a book that inspires any crafter to take up the needle and thread and create something beautiful.

[Thanks to publishers and distributors for sending books to review, we don't get paid to post reviews but do get to keep a copy]

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DO get in touch if you are interested in writing a guest post for whipup this year! Send Kate a short email with your idea to vagusvenus[at]gmail.com

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This month at Whipup we will be hearing from artists and crafters and finding out a bit more about how they keep records of their ideas and where those ideas come from. Today it is my great pleasure to introduce Heather Jones of Olive and Ollie who I had the great pleasure of meeting while at QuiltCon earlier this year. 

Heather is a designer, seamstress, and modern quilter who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband and two children. She is the founder and former president of the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild and has designed a line of modern quilting patterns. She is incredibly creative, talented and inspiring and I’m so pleased she was able to join us here today. 

silo quilt sketch

Many of my quilt designs are inspired by things that I see in my everyday life, such as this sketch for my Silo quilt. And I never quite know when that inspiration may strike, so I always try to keep a sketchbook on hand, along with a pencil to draw with. I also take a lot of photos with my camera phone and use them as I develop my sketches further, once I get back to my studio.

improv color block sketch

I use graph paper sketchbooks to draw my designs in, and I especially love these spiral bound books because I can lay them flat as I’m working.

quilt math detail

I use the grid pattern of the graph paper to calculate the sizes of all of the components of my design, as well as the fabric yardage needed to complete the pattern.

markers

I start all of my sketches in pencil and once I have the layout of the pattern complete, I bring in color with some india ink markers. I really love these markers because they provide a nice sheer layer of color, so I can see still the grid of the graph paper behind them. They also don’t bleed through the pages, which allows me to use both the front and back of every page in the book.

you + me. sketchJPG

I really love to work this way. It’s probably more time consuming to draw out my designs with pencil and paper than it would be to design on the computer, but I love this type of slowed creativity. It’s also fun to see my drawings come to life as I’m working on my quilts, and I love going through my sketchbooks and revisiting the finished drawings of my designs.

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