Caught a quilting bug…

Anna's Quilt - made by Erin M. Klitzke

Anna’s Quilt – made by Erin M. Klitzke

It’s official.

I’ve caught the quilting bug, and I’ve caught it pretty bad.

Now, making patchwork quilts has been a thing that I’ve really wanted to do since I was a kid and it’s something that I’ve dabbled in since I was pretty young.  I have tons of half-started projects laying around the house, tucked into bins or shoved in drawers.  I have a stash of fat quarters and yardage of quilter’s cottons and calicos that’s a shame to waste (we’re talking a few bins worth of fabric here–probably as much or more fabric than I have laying around for costuming projects).  That fabric and those projects have been sitting idle, quietly waiting for me to get around to making use of them.

Anna's quilt before I put the binding on.

Anna’s quilt before I put the binding on. The binding is in the same red fabric as the squares.

Before my niece was born, I started working on a strip quilt for her.  I’d finished the top by the time she was born, but the hand quilting and finishing took me until her first birthday–and made me vow to never hand quilt anything again!  Still, I managed to finish it, and for my first quilt brought to completion, I happen to think it’s wonderful (and my family and my sister-in-law’s family agreed!).

Immediately after finishing that quilt, I started digging around in my sewing area and found some nine-patch blocks for a quilt I’d started a long time ago for my younger sister, Kendall.  I realized that I was short a few nine-patch blocks, so I made some more over the course of the intervening days, watched a little too much of Fons and Porters’ Love of Quilting (yes, the series from PBS–I have some DVDs laying around because I am really that kind of geek), and spent a Saturday morning cutting background squares before bringing it up to the family room to test layouts.

Experimenting with layouts for Kendall's quilt

Experimenting with layouts for Kendall’s quilt last weekend–this is actually the layout I ended up going with.

As my mother and I stared at the first test layout, she suggested doing the blocks on point rather than as straight strips–and it was the on point layout that I ended up going with.  I was joking that my sister might not even want the quilt anymore, at which point I’d figure out something else to do with it–but one text message with a picture of the test layout later, and I knew that she still wanted the gift I started making her five years ago.

Over the course of that weekend and the following week, I finished sewing the blocks into strips–this weekend, I’m looking to possibly finish off the quilt top and maybe even finish the whole quilt–it depends on how ambitious I get.

The terrible part is that I’m already trying to figure out what the next quilt will be.

I’m hooked and I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing, either.

Detail of a strip from Kendall's quilt.

Detail of a strip from Kendall’s quilt.  She plays upright string bass.  The treble cleft and sheet music fabrics I chose for her and she chose the black and white cross-hatched.

Cloaks and capes, oh my!

Finally got new photos and posted my residual cloaks and capes on Etsy — took me long enough, right?

We got a fresh layer of snow on the ground this morning and I had the perfect storm of opportunity: cloudy day, my sister and her boyfriend at the house, and easy access to both my camera and the garb!  So I asked both of them if they’d be willing to model the cloaks outside for me on the patio against the snow and the evergreens along the back fence.  They were good sports overall and helped me out.

The pictures turned out fairly well, but it was pretty cold so I didn’t ask them for much (if I’d been really ambitious, I’d have had Kendall throw on her noble garb and model for me!).

I love this shot so much. It's very Assassin's Creed.

Danny's got broader shoulders than Kendall, so I had to get at least one shot of him in the gray.

Detail shot on the clasp.

This one's our favorite shot between my mom and I.

I don't know why I'm such a big fan of these Assassin's Creed style shots...

Clasp detail shot for the evergreen cloak - flash was on.

Kendall was worried about how the photos turned out. My mother and I agreed they turned out very well.

Both cloaks are up for sale at Etsy.

First Etsy Treasury by me and musings on a new jewelry line

Today, I hit another milestone with Etsy: I created my first treasury, Wired whimsy.  I took some of the shops from my favorites and found others as I simply browsed through Etsy, searching for items that fit into the treasury’s theme, which was wire work.

I made the treasury because I’m feeling too lazy to do real work right about now, which is to say cleaning up and starting on the new jewelry line I’ve been musing over for a few weeks.  I made the first couple pieces at the bust of a craft show I did on December 11.

The collection is inspired by the colors and patterns of Imperial Russia.  All are primarily freshwater pearl works.  It’ll be a very neat collection.  I’ll post pictures of the first few pieces soon.

New jewelry collection – Robin Wood Tarot collection

I’ve started to put together a brand new collection of jewelry that I’ve been thinking about for a while now: a collection of jewelry inspired by my Tarot deck of choice, the Robin Wood Tarot (which may or may not be available anymore).  I completed the first piece of this collection early this afternoon, the piece inspired by the Heriophant.

This piece is made of very powerful stones and the combination of them tingled when I handled it.  Hopefully whoever ends up buying it from my Etsy store or at any upcoming craft show will enjoy it immensely!

New collection for 2010!

This year has brought forth a new collection of more elegant, higher-end pieces.  I have made actually quite a few more than what will be featured here; more photos will be coming soon.  This collection augments my original collection of beadworked items with charms.

Wire-wrapped stone pendants

In addtion to the new high-end collection, I also have created new earring designs with names inspired by my favorite online gaming experience.  I also created the “A Lady’s Ransom” style of bracelet, which contains thirty-five Swarovski bicones seperated with pewter rondelles, fastened with a toggle clasp.

Also new in this year’s collection are a series of magnetic stone based bracelets made with crackle glass and other styles of glass beads.

Shows this year included the Grand Valley State University Renaissance Festival in Allendale, MI October 9-10 and the upcoming Athens Craft Show at Larson Middle School in Troy, MI on November 20, 2010.