Friday, July 24, 2009

Trunk Show Finale

Hi Knitters,
Did you notice anything different? Does the blog look well-rested, refreshed, updated? Just thought I'd ask:) I've had a little work done. That's one of my watercolors that I did for Itty-Bitty Hats but they didn't get in the book. The painting in the header is of the Ribbons hat. I haven't made that sweater yet but it sure would be cute. Maybe soon...

I finally found some time to pop into the fabulous, acclaimed quilt and knit shop, Stitcher's Crossing yesterday. I love this shop for many reasons. One, it is big and beautiful and stuffed with fun textiles of all sorts. Two, the staff is incredibly friendly and helpful when you need it and they let you browse, touch, look and enjoy on your own when that is what you need. Three, it is right by my house, convenience rocks! Four, they are always switching up their displays and decor which is fun and inspiring to see. And five, Stitcher's has a monthly newsletter and class offerings that can't be beat. There may be a few more reasons to go to this shop but I'll stop there for now.

Well, I was thrilled when Sharon, the owner, asked me when I was in the shop one day if they could host the final leg of the Itty-Bitty Nursery trunk show. What a great way to end a trunk show that's been on the road for over a year now right by my home. The shop has the trunk show through the end of July so if you haven't stopped in you still have a week to do so.

The shop is located at 6122 Mineral Point Road, 53705, which is on the west side of Madison. There are maybe 20 or more original pieces that I knitted and designed for Itty-Bitty Nursery. The displays are fun and they are sprinkled though out the shop. The theme of the shop this month is the cupcake so this trunk show fit right in, starting at the front door with the knitted cupcake tea set from the book.
Love this cupcake quilted piece. Is it a table runner or a wall hanging? Either way it's cute.
It feels strangely good to be reunited with the projects in this book. I loved seeing the finger puppets, Three Pigs and a Wolf, and their houses and the black cooking pot. Remember the wolf can be dropped through the brick house's chimney right into the pot.
The pacifier clips are still just as fun as ever. Unfortunately, the frog pacifier clip disappeared at one of the shops along the way. That makes me sad. The elephant and the flower still remain and they are as cute as ever. I always get asked where I bought the clips and the answer is Target.

Remember that the Flower Pacifier Clip is a free pattern on the sidebar of my blog and I have a tutorial on how to knit the petals on the sidebar as well. The petals use a double-knitting technique that is pretty slick.
The Collector was as happy as I was to revisit the projects I had knitted so long ago. She remembered everything. She is especially taken with the tea set and the Garden Mice Mobile (the mobile is knit in Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton which is the best and just check out the colors, yum). I love those little knitted mice. They would be the best for stand alone knitted toys. I told The Collector we could remove the mice when the mobile came home so she could play with them or put them in her room. She did not like that idea at all and told me she is saving the mobile for when she has babies. That was a warm moment for me to say the least. I love that.

Note to self: Don't bring The Collector along when going to Stitcher's Crossing if you don't want to buy a bunch more stuff than you intended. She picked out four fabrics for a skirt, plus I had to buy the pattern, and then she spotted a baby doll bassinet pattern. I had to get that pattern, too. I can't resist her pure enthusiasm. I washed and ironed the fabrics for her skirt when we got home and she stood right by my side, literally, watching and waiting. I could feel her breath on my arm. She trimmed all of the fly away strings after the washing and folded the pieces after I pressed them. Too much.
One of my favorite sets in the book is the Circles and Stripes Stroller Blanket and Jacket and the Chubby Bunny. I am really sad to say that the Chubby Bunny has also disappeared along the way never to be seen again. I clearly remember the feeling I had when I finished that bunny and it was elation. It is one of the first times when I truly realized how much I loved designing and making knitted toys. It was a revelation. It kills me that the original Chubby Bunny is gone. I can't believe that things get stolen like that but I know it happens. Sad about that.

This set is done in the Blue Sky Alpacas organic cotton which will forever be my favorite cotton to work with. If you haven't tried the dyed or organic cotton you simply must.
The hoodie Stroller Jacket and mittens set holds the sweetest memories for me. My sweet mom, who was the most wonderful seamstress ever, lined the inside with Sherpa fleece (bought at Joann's) and stitched in the tiny zipper (bought here) for me. I love and cherish that she was part of this book project.
Once again, the Blue Sky Melange was the biggest treat to work with ever. The colors are beyond any designer's dreams. They are deep and rich. I can't wait to get this pillow home. This will be used non-stop. There is a pocket on the back of the pillow to store your current book. My girls both want this pillow in the worst way.
The felted mommy-bag is in terrific shape. I can't believe how well this has held up. It makes me happy to see that I still love these projects just as much today as when I made them a few years ago. The good thing about this genre of knitting is that these projects never go out of style. That is a good kind of knitting. Forever knitting.

The bag is made with Cascade 220 and boy is this a fun and fast knit. There is a pocket on the side just the right size for a bottle and there are pockets on the inside to fit diapers or whatnot.
The Collector also has her eye on these pillows. She can't wait to toss them on her bed. These are made out of Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille and holding two strands together throughout. These are fast and squishy fun.
The Itty-Bitty Nursery Trunk Show will be at Stitcher's Crossing for only one more week. The shop is adorable, charming, welcoming and is chock full of inspiration for knitting and quilting and embroidery and punch needle work and cross stitch and fabrics and on and on.... Be sure to stop by and have a look around if you are in the area. I know this shop is a must see for quilters when they do shop tours in the area and it has been recognized on a national level for being an all-around excellent place of business. I agree!

On another related note, I brought in the quilt top I finished last week to pick out a backing and get the batting. I am excited about the backing fabric. I washed and ironed and pinned the two fabric pieces I am using together. Now I just have to run a seam to join them. I am going to bring in my quilt to Stitcher's to pin the sandwich together on their big quilting tables in the classroom area of the shop. They have clips to hold the fabric in place on the tables, too. Then I will bring it home to quilt it and head back to get help with the binding. Can't wait. The ladies at the shop seemed hesitant about me doing free motion quilting for my first project. I am still going to practice on some scraps to see if I can do it. If not, I am just going to run straight lines throughout which I will love just as much.

The last thing I did yesterday while I was there is I signed up for a basic quilting class for the fall. It meets three times and I figure that I could use some basic instruction and it will really help my sewing skills along in general for all kinds of projects. I am not interested in doing intricate quilting but more like the kind of quilt I just made where I make up my own pattern as I go along. It will be good for me to get some tips and tricks in the class. My sister might sign up for the class as well which would be really fun. I am hoping she joins me. I am excited about taking a class, what a treat for me. I never do stuff like this.

For now.
best, susie