Portland Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival

Last week there was a Quilt festival up here in Portland. I had no idea it was happening until a coworker messaged me to see if I wanted to go.

Um? Heck YES I wanted to go.

I took the Max down to the Expo Center and got in. I didn’t think to print out the coupon so I ended up paying the full $10 to get in – which, honestly, probably wasn’t worth it.

I know! I know! That seems harsh.

But it was a pretty small show and it felt like $10 was a lot. It would have covered the full 3 days but I only went for that one afternoon. And considering I only give myself $40 spending money every two weeks, I was bummed about using a quarter of it to just get in.

Or maybe I’m just disappointed because there was some cool stuff there that I couldn’t buy because I didn’t have the money. WHO KNOWS?

I’m not usually a Mickey/Minnie person but this quilt was super cute!

Anyway, I wandered around for a few hours and my coworker ended up not being able to make it. I did bring my fancy camera and took some photos which was fun! (I’d like to apologize to the event organizers as I didn’t see the program until I was leaving and didn’t realize I wasn’t supposed to take pictures…oops).

“But Mallory” you may be saying “surely you were able to have a good time!?”

I did have a good time, it was nice to get out of the house and see some quilts live and in person. I ate an over-priced hot dog. Got to fiddle around with my camera. I also lusted over some long-arms and saw some really nice fabric. I just wish it had been bigger…and that I had more discretionary funds!

I did buy a bit of fabric and a pair of scissors but I didn’t get pictures of them because that would make sense. Though you can sort of see the fabric in the picture above! Hang on – let me just..

Perfect.

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Woosh

You know what makes a project go SUPER fast?

When you finish up a big chunk of it a year ago and then decide to finish it!

I’ve been working pretty diligently for the past week or so and I’m really enjoying it. I love the fabric (Rainy Day by My Sister and Me for Moda). In order to enjoy the jelly roll I sewed it up as a jelly roll race top. I used some white fabric I had for a border.

I’m learning a lot from this quilt. I tend to struggle a lot with wanting things to be perfect. So much so that I often don’t even get started because I worry the end result won’t be what I want…so I’m trying to get over that.

Yes, fabric is expensive. Yes, mistakes suck. But I learned something the other day when I pulled out my first quilt.

I distinctly remember being annoyed with all the mistakes and thing it was terrible. So much so, I shoved it in a drawer and never used it.

Imagine my surprise when I pulled it out and couldn’t even find the things that I didn’t like originally. Like, I think it looks pretty good.

So. Yeah. I’m going to try and remember that as I go – the border on my Rainy Day Quilt may annoy me now but I bet in a few weeks I won’t even notice. And even if I do still notice, no one else will.

Finished is definitely better than perfect.

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Finished Object: Mario Quilt

I DID IT! I finished the secret quilt!

Not gonna lie, this was a challenge. Cutting all the squares, trying to line up the seams (poorly) AND keeping it a secret from the intended receipent… who lives with me in a 600 sq ft one bedroom apartment.

Not. Easy.

Thank God I decided to bail on doing the whole ginormous thing. This part took a year and a half as is. (Granted, I took a looooong break here and there).

But it’s done! And my husband loves it. I love it! I only have the one picture but I’m hoping to update with more once I get some photos off my camera. I really want to show you guys the backing fabric.

Pattern is by Cora’s Quilts (though I believe it is a pay pattern now). Fabric is from Connecting Threads. Quilting done by me on my Juki – simple stitch in the ditch.

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Focus Up

I’ve been thinking about this blog a lot lately. And the “Stitching Geek” brand as a whole and I came to the realization that I am slightly delusional. When it comes to having a successful online presence at least (and when it comes to achieving success in general).

I could go into a whole thing about how my brain works and how being told I was “gifted” at a young age really fucked my perspective up but that’s boring and frankly an excuse. Basically it all boils down to this idea that I didn’t have to try. Deep down I honestly believed that people would just find me. That just thinking about doing stuff was the same as doing it.

Basically I’m an idiot.

This was made abundantly clear when I got some advice on how to increase my Instagram followers and the advice worked. I gained, like, 70 followers in a few days because I made an effort. Which then got me thinking what if I tried harder with the blog?

So, I did some real soul searching and really thought about why I have this blog and more importantly what I hope to accomplish here. Is it just to document what I’m working on or is my ultimate goal more than that?

I’m here to declare that Inwant the vlog to be more than that. Don’t get me wrong, I will definitely be showing my projects but I also want to try to add something to the crafting landscape.

So what can I add? I’m not nearly comfortable enough yet to do tutorials (though I want to soon). I’m not a designer (another goal). What makes my voice different?

Then I realized it’s in my blog name. Stitching Geek. My geekiness brings something different to the quilting and knitting party. I love reading crafting blogs and instagrams. I get inspiration and tips from them but I don’t really see myself reflected there.

I may be married but I kept my own name. We have no interest in having kids. I’m agnostic at best. I love video games. I struggle with depression. My apartment is always a mess. I love knitting but don’t knit sweaters.

And I’m also very adamant that crafting hobbies are really good for people. Working with fabrics and yarn calm my brain and I thinking more people tried them, they’d love it too.

I want to bring more people to the hobbies. I think things only improve by adding more voices. My goal is to get people have these old-fashioned ideas about the hobbies I love, that they can really be anything.

You know the old-fashioned ideas that I’m talking about. That only grandmas knit and quilt. That men don’t partake in the hobbies or if they do it makes them some sort of pariah or saint. If a youngish woman is knitting she must be pregnant. And if you are a grandma, a new mom, a social pariah, that’s awesome and I’m happy you’re here.

But if you’re like me and want to make something but you don’t think you fit the mold of a “quilter” or “knitter” or whatever craft you want to try, I say fuck those stereotypes and be you. If you don’t see a pattern that interests you, make your own. Let’s show everyone that crafting is just as diverse as anything else.

Basically I want to focus more on what makes my blog different instead of trying to conform to what I think people want. That means a lot more cursing. A lot more geeky influences. And I want to try to get more readers.

Welcome to the improved StitchingGeek.com. I hope you like it here.

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Spinning Practice

The interesting thing about dabbling in the fiber arts is when you say things like, “Oh, I love spinning!” non-fiber people think you mean on a bike.

Ha!

What I love about my crafty hobbies is that working on them makes my brain feel waaaaay better. Having tangible proof of doing something hits me with a jolt of endorphins. Since I work weird hours, I can’t really sew when I get home from work lest I potentially disturb the downstairs neighbors. It’s starting to get hot now so I’m not quite so eager to knit.

And then I remembered spinning! I busted out the spinning wheel and got back to work on my practice fiber. I started plying last night and it’s going swimmingly. Well, except for one hiccup but that’s for my next post.

Maybe soon I’ll be able to get to some of this:

I have noticed my wheel is a bit squeaky – I have a Schacht Ladybug and if anyone knows of a good resource telling me where to oil it I’d be grateful!

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April Showers

Does the saying of April showers bring May flowers include metaphorical showers? Because April so far has been real, real tough.

A few weeks ago, we unexpectedly had to say goodbye to our cat. I have been devastated ever since. I’ve barely been able to muster the energy to get to work, let alone knit but last night I was finally in the mood to start something new.

If you remember, during the Rose City Yarn Crawl, I picked up a skein of Alexandra’s Crafts Agate Beach in Black Gems Purple.

Brand: Alexandra’s Crafts
Yarn: Agate Beach
Color: Black Gems Purple

I’ve been itching to try making a shawl again and I knew this yarn would be PERFECT. So I poked around on Ravelry for a while and found the pattern Eyeblink by Heidi Alander that totally pushes all my buttons and will work for the yardage I have!

I briefly considered doing a gauge swatch but it’s a shawl…so, whatever.

I’m sure this won’t come back to bite me in the ass.

In the meantime, I cast on and have made some progress!

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Finally Finished

 

I finally finished The V-Scarf! It only took 400 years. And I still haven’t blocked it. But the knitting’s done!

It was knit in Malabrigo Rios in Fresco y Seco. I love Malabrigo for pretty much everything but especially if the item is next to skin.

The only real issue I had was with the grafting. Trying to pull out the provisional cast on was, well, a disaster. I made it work but it definitely could have been better.

Originally I made this for a friend of mine. A nice warm scarf finished just in in time for spring. *sigh*

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Socks in Progress

I’ve been working on a sock that I started…uh…a while ago?

I just went through old posts and it looks like the last time I talked about it was back in February of 2015. So, it’s been languishing for years…seesh.

Pattern is Monkey Socks by Cookie A

Yarn is from Nomadic Yarns in Trusty Sock in the colorway “Erotic Friend Fiction”.

It has been fun working on it – I tend to work on it in the morning and at night since I can’t really take the pattern with me on the train.

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