Fancy Fox Quilt

I’m obsessed with the Fancy Fox Quilt. When my friend Laura over at Waffle Kisses Studio decided to teach an intermediate quilting class using the Fancy Fox pattern, I was excited to sign up and try making my second quilt ever. Laura offered the option of making a baby, lap, or twin-sized quilt for her class. My decision: go big or go home.

This quilt will be for the baby. She just turned one year old (and celebrated with her very first birthday party over the weekend!) so it’s going to be a bit late, but I don’t think she minds.

Deciding on colours was easy. I knew I wanted a rainbow of fancy foxes! I also don’t have a mad stash of scraps as other long-time quilters do. (Yarn, on the other hand…) I love this Tula Pink: True Colours stack of fat quarters. The prints are playful, bright, and cheerful. They’re perfect for a child’s quilt!

For the first class, Laura wanted us to make a few foxes so we could see how it all came together. Here’s my first one in deconstructed form on her design board.

  Here it is, all sewn together! I’m in love.

And then there were two. And then there were eight. And then there were twenty-four, and then forty-four. But I only have a photo of the two.
I have to make eighty altogether for the twin-size quilt. Challenge: accepted! I’m over halfway there and I can’t wait to see how they look all put together. The sewing part is fun thanks to the bright prints, but I am looking forward to finishing them all so that I can start arranging and assembling!

Silk factory in Chiang Mai

I spent a month in Thailand over the summer so that my parents, who live in Chiang Mai, could spend some time with the baby. (They also wanted to see me and my husband, of course, but as usual, the baby dominated.) On a day when my mother and I felt like doing some shopping, she took me to visit a silk farm/factory/store.

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These photos are from the workshop area beside the actual silk store. There were several huge floor looms (see part of one below) and a small area for other fibre art displays like spinning and dyeing, but the actual silk farm part would have been located in a different location. The majority of the finished silk is likely produced off-site too, so the looms were mostly for show even though they did have some beautiful samples set up.

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I was in awe of the weaving samples displayed on the looms “in action.” I’d never seen anyone weave with such thin threads of silk before, with that many threads across the loom too.

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I’d knit that.

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They showed the different kinds of worms used to produce different varieties of silk, as well as some of the organic sources of dye. The finished products were gorgeous and I mostly tried not to look at the worms.

I was tempted to bring back a lot of silk for selfish sewing purposes, but instead just bought a lovely bright magenta silk wrap. When I think of silk in Canada, I have this idea of a thin,  smooth, slippery fabric, or brushed silk which is a bit rougher. The varieties of silk produced at this factory were amazing and ended up producing both thin and thick cloth. My silk wrap will actually keep me quite warm in fall weather and it’s rough to the touch but so soft.

Finished! Pennae Shawl

Oh look, a finished project! I started this shawl at the beginning of summer and finished it with days to spare before the back-to-school frenzy.

Pattern: Pennae Shawl by Hilary Smith Callis.
Yarn Used: Hedgehog Fibres Sock in Graphite and Pollen (1 skein each)

I bought this yarn two years ago in Dublin, during my honeymoon. I actually bought a deep pink as well, but the three didn’t match as well as I thought once I started knitting the Colour Affection shawl. The whole thing was frogged and the yarn has been patiently waiting ever since.

The design for the Pennae Shawl really is beautiful. I love the single lines of colour on the one side and the picot bind-off adds a delicate touch. I’m happy that the yellow and dark grey stripes do not at all resemble a bumblebee, which is a real concern anytime you’re working with yellow and black textiles.

Hilary Smith Callis has some lovely patterns on Ravelry. In particular, her Citron shawl is very popular – and free on Knitty!