Variations On A Theme

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Sometimes, when I find a fabric, I fall in love. And I want to use it – a lot! Recently, I fell in love with a collection of fabrics. I have had such fun creating with a collection of coordinating fabrics in colors and patterns I love!

I visited Amish country on Labor Day with my mom and sister. I knew there was a nice fabric shop there, so I made sure we went in. With some help from my mom and sister, I was able to find a collection of fat quarters (each about 18″ x 22″ – also defined as a quarter of a yard of fabric if a yard is rolled out and cut into four equal sections) in coordinating prints from Moda Fabrics. The collection is called “Saltbox Harvest” from Deb Strain.

saltbox

First up, I needed a camera case. My poor camera was usually thrown in my purse with no protection. The lens was fine, but everything else was dusty and getting scratched. I felt bad, especially since I LOVE my little point and shoot and it wasn’t exactly cheap! I had found a tutorial on Crafster.com to make a simple camera case and decided to follow it – sort of.  I simply made a long rectangle of fabric that would wrap all the way around the camera, including a flap, then seam it on both sides. I cut another rectangle of the lining fabric, sewed it up, then sewed them together. I included a ribbon closer (I could have done velcro, but liked the button) and sewed a button hole so the wrist strap of the camera could come through. It worked great! I used one of the fabrics from a set of fat quarters I had purchased and lined it with a coordinating piece of flannel for a bit more padding. Here it is!

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The closed case. (Sorry for the shadow!)

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Opened, with the camera in it.

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Without the camera so you can see the buttonhole.

I love how this turned out and it is nice and lightweight, so it doesn’t cause my purse to feel super bulky! If I make another, the only thing I would do differently is to round the corners of the flap a bit.

Next up was my iPhone case. I had an iPod Touch for a long time, until it met with an untimely accident in a glass of water. So, last week, we decided to upgrade to iPhones. I wanted a case for it, especially for rides in my purse. I looked at lots of cases online, trying to find just what I wanted. I finally saw the iPhone Carry Case from Heartofmary. She offers an eBook with directions to make the case. It is simple and easy to follow and I love the result! I love that I can clip this to my belt loop or my purse or use a lanyard to wear it around my neck and it also includes a pocket to hold your ear buds or any cords you may want to carry with you. It is also not very bulky, even though it is lined with fusible fleece. I even have a protective plastic outer case for my iPhone that snaps onto it and it still fits inside. And, I love the fabric!

006 With my iPhone peeking out (this was before I put the case on.)

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The pocket on the back.

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The inside of the case.

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The case with the iPhone inside, fastened up.

Now, honestly, each of these cases took minimal scraps of fabric to make. And this was not why I really bought this fabric! But I will save the real reason I bought the fabric for another post! Stay tuned!!!

Fiber Festival Fun!

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About 4 years ago, my husband and I visited our first fiber festival. I was hooked! I have been to several, but have a favorite – A Wool Gathering. A Wool Gathering is held in September at Young’s Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs, OH (about half an hour from Dayton or an hour from Columbus.)

For those unfamiliar with fiber festivals, I will try to explain A Wool Gathering. This year, there were three huge tents set up. Each tent was lined with vendors – some are yarn shops, some are dyers, some spinners, some selling yarn, some selling felting materials, some with fleece, and any other vendor associated with spinning, dying, knitting and crocheting. They even sell buttons, beads, stuffed animals and already made goods. There is also a row of vendors outside the tents with much of the same. Down the middle of the tents are often filled with spinning and weaving demos, along with spinning wheels you can try out or purchase. And, occasionally, there are animals! There were bunnies and alpaca inside the tents this year. There is another tent outside filled with different breeds of sheep and half of it is used to give sheeping shearing demos. And finally, in a fenced area, they have a gentleman that brings his dogs and ducks and the dogs do demonstrations by herding the ducks into a baby pool.

I could probably spend most of a day at the fiber festival! But, thanks to warm temperatures which are all the warmer inside the tents and a husband who isn’t very interested in fiber festivals, I can usually limit my time to about 2 hours. And we won’t even mention the financial aspect! But, I save up my money each year to go, so I am prepared!

So, what did I bring home? Lots of stuff to spin! While I love yarn, it can be difficult for me to figure out what kind of project I might use it for, leaving me with too little yarn when I get home to make it worth the price. So, I stick with roving. This year I bought several fabulous blends!

These two are from Valhalla Acres. The red/orange blend also has some blue and yellow mixed. I can’t wait to see what this one will look like once spun! This is 4 ozs of 100% wool from a Blue Faced Leicester/Border Leicester cross. The grey/white is 4 ozs of a super soft blend of 40% alpaca, 40% wool and 20% angora. They had some of this spun up in the booth and it is mostly dark with some white showing through, which is what I had hoped.

This lovely stuff is a lovely, soft white alpaca roving from Tryphon Farm Alpacas. I bought 4 ounces. It is SO SOFT! I have some alpaca, but I have not been altogether successful with spinning it because it is not in roving form. I am hoping to spin this up, then move to the other fiber once I get the feel for alpaca.

These three balls of fluff are each an ounce of beautiful BFL/angora blend – a 70/40 blend, I believe. Unfortunately, I was not given any identifying information as to the seller, so I can give them credit where it is due! I love petting this stuff, as do my kids!

This fiber is from one of my favorite booths at the festival. Bullen’s Wullens has some of the best fibers out there! The colors are gorgeous and the fibers spin almost effortlessly. I have purchased from them for the last three years now and always search them out. I didn’t get to see Pat, the owner, this weekend, but have met her in the past and she is wonderful! In fact, last year, she even gave me a spindle made of a CD to learn spindle spinning on and showed me how to do it! Both are 4 ozs. The blue is a 70/30 blend of BFL and Tussah silk (talk about YUMMY!!!) and the red is a 50/25/25 blend of Merino wool, tussah silk and bamboo. Their fibers are always a huge joy to spin up!

And finally, although I tend to prefer spinning fiber, I had to get some sock yarn! This is a gorgeous hand dyed fingering weight yarn in oranges, browns, reds, black and green sprinkled over the base color. This is 510 yds of superwash merino yarn (plenty for a pair of socks!) in Benin colorway. I think I purchased some spinning fiber from this same seller last year. Creatively Dyed Yarns is the name and all of her hand dyed yarns and fibers are gorgeous! I had a very hard time choosing just one!

The weather was gorgeous, I had my husband along to hold my bags and to chat with and the fiber was abundant! It was great day at the fiber festival! I highly recommend, if you are interested in the fiber arts at all (spinning, weaving, knitting, felting, crochet, etc.) that you try to visit a local fiber festival!