Thursday, December 30, 2010

new baby quilt top

After finishing Myya's baby blanket, I was still feeling inspired by all the pink and green fabrics, so I started to make a quilt top.Since I had a piece of eleven strips of fabric sewn together leftover, I decided to try some strip-piece quilting. (It was kind of like this only shorter, only 12" high.) I deconstructed this into six pieces of two fabric strips sewn together (I had to add one more strip.) Each piece was about 8" wide (my original fabric strips were 4" wide) and 12" long.I chopped each piece into 3 so they were 4" wide. That left me with 12 sets of 3 rectangles of paired fabrics.I matched them up in 4-patch squares and sewed them into blocks. Then I cut 6 strips of white sashing, 8" long by 3.5" wide, to go in between the blocks in columns. After sewing my 3 columns of blocks, I cut 4 strips of sashing 3.5" wide by 28" long, and then 2 strips for the ends, 3.5" wide by 34" long.

A funny thing, as I sewed the pieces into columns and then the columns into the square quilt top, some of the blocks migrated--they got turned upside down and even moved out of their original place. So in the finished product, the very bright pink squares are not distributed throughout the quilt as much as I would like. It looks very lopsided to me. Ah well.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

paper doll magnets

These were a (belated) Christmas present for my niece. She's a bit young for paper dolls, but she loves magnets, so when I saw a tutorial for these on One Pearl Button, I couldn't resist making them.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

fo: Myya's baby blanket

I was inspired by artsy-crafty babe to make this little baby blanket, since there's no time for a quilt (the baby arrived in November, and I'm only home with access to my machine for a week!) But I'm not sure I like my finished results as much as I liked hers.I picked eleven colorful fabrics and cut a 4" strip of each, the entire 42" width of the fabric. Then I sewed the strips together, making a piece about 38" long and 42" high. I trimmed about 12" off the top so the height of the piece was 30".
I backed it with a soft pink polka dot flannel and topstitched around the whole thing, and voilĂ , finished!This blanket is so bright and busy that it hurts my eyes to look at it. Good thing babies like bright colors...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Signing off for now

I don't think I'm going to be crafting much for the next several months. I will continue to post about anything I do accomplish in that regard up here. But if you're curious about what I'm up to, you can check out my new blog about my adventures in Paris, at this address:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

fo: gypsy rose scarf

Pattern: Gypsy Rose Scarf by Barbara Venishnik
Yarn: Knitpicks
Needles: US 3
My mom's birthday scarf is finished, about 3 weeks behind schedule. This was a tedious knit--the single row lace repeat got boring after a while! The finished product is very simple but nice, soft and drapey.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

fo: sweater tote

I had been wanting to make this felted sweater tote from AlterKnits for years. I kept this old sweater hanging around for that express purpose. I felted it earlier this year, and on Sunday, in the middle of my weekend-long cleaning out session, I decided to just make it and be done with it already. It went directly from the sewing machine to the donate-to-goodwill pile. It was too floppy and cumbersome, and besides, it was so itchy that it was uncomfortable to hold the handles, even. Well, I'm glad to have the sweater out of the back of my closet.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

fo: patchworky baby quilt

So I finally finished up this quilt! I made the quilt top back in June and it's been languishing for months. Honestly, I did not feel up to quilting it at all...but I finally got it done--no real choice about it, as I was planning to see the intended recipients on my last trip to Boston. I actually showed up to their home with it incomplete--had to finish hand-sewing the binding while we visited. But they didn't mind.

Pattern: None, just cut a bunch of 5" squares to go with some scraps of that size that I already had in my scrap basked. 24 colored, 25 white. The backing is a single piece of the print that is a lime green background with blue and white pinwheels on them (the square on the far right of the 3rd row up from the bottom.)
Finished size: approximately 33" square

Saturday, August 14, 2010

fo: circular needle roll

I've been needing a storage system for my circular needles for years. I finally decided to make myself a needle roll. I couldn't find a pattern I liked online, but I generally based it on a needle roll I already have for shorter straight needles (I use it for my double points.) I used a vintage pillowcase I bought for 49 cents for the inside fabric, folding over one edge to make the pocket type flap and stitching elastic to it to hold the needles. Then I backed it with the cherry fabric, which was in my stash. After I finished it, I tweaked it by adding another flap of fabric (which velcros down) to keep the 16 inch circular needle more stable. It even sort of goes with my other existing needle roll (which was a gift from Jenny)!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

summertime totes

I made these totebags from Weekend Sewing on Monday. I love the construction of the bag, and they are so nice and roomy. I used one this week to haul all my sewing stuff along on a trip to my parents'. They're not lined and made from vintage sheets, but they are surprisingly sturdy.Here's the inside--I wish I had made both bags with a contrasting lining, but oh well. I did make one alteration to the pattern on the second bag. I had so much trouble trying to gather the tops of the bags at my basting stitch, so I ended up just making a few pleats instead.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

fo: another buttercup

This was yesterday's triumph. I love how it came out. The picture really doesn't capture its cuteness. I had just barely enough of this fabric (which I got from sew mama sew) for the outer. The lining is another fabric I got online--I was not too happy about initially when I saw it, but it coordinates perfectly with the outer so all is well.This is what was driving me crazy last night and this morning. I tried knitting with my handspun yarn and realized it had way too much twist. So I wound it back onto bobbins and spun it backwards to take out some of the twist. Would have been easier to fix right when I finished spinning it in the fall, but oh well. Now I've started knitting with it--I tried several patterns after searching for hours on ravelry and finally settled on this Luscious Lace Scarf:Yesterday I also got on the bandwagon and bought some vintage sheets at goodwill to make bags. They're kind of funky, so we'll see how they come out:

Saturday, August 7, 2010

fo: summer shawlette

I finished my shawlette, thanks to a bout of insomnia last night that kept me stitching til 3 am. Terrible pictures, but I couldn't wait to post them. (Reason 982 why it sucks to be single: you must rely on awful self-portraits to display your knittted objects.) I didn't even weave in my ends before taking these pictures. I adore this yarn--Malabrigo sock yarn--and can't wait to knit with it again. I think the skein cost me $18, and while I think that's a lot of money for a pair of socks, it's perfectly reasonable for a lovely shawl.Here's a very blurry side view. The lace panel looks a little bumpy now, but I'm sure it will smooth out and open up nicely after blocking.Now that the weather is not so horrendously hot and humid, I can get back to sewing, so there'll be some more purses coming up next.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

shawl in progress

My summer shawlette is coming along tres slowly. I can only stand to knit a couple of rows a day. I think I need a new project. I sure don't feel like working on my other (Ishbel 2) shawl.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

fo: table runner

I'm not quite sure this project is wedding-present worthy, after all. It seems awful humble now as I look at it in my kitchen.I used Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece for both the warp and the weft. I used my 8 dent heddle and my warp was 100 ends with a warp length of 2 yards (or just over.) The finished product came out to be about 10" wide and 43" long (after washing). I have to say, I'm kind of over the stripes and plaids. I think I'm going to use a wildly variegated yarn for my next weaving project so I don't die of boredom.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


These are the coasters that have languished on my loom for well over a year, untouched. I finally finished them up and started a new project--a table runner that will be a wedding present. It took me about 3 hours to warp it and I've spent probably 4 or 5 hours weaving so far. I've got about 20 inches, I would say, so I'm about half done. My goal is to quickly finish this and do at least one more project (perhaps a shawl for myself) before I have to pack my loom away while I head to Europe.

I had to make myself another shuttle, since I only have two. I constructed this from a triscuits box and packing tape. Elegant, it's not....but it does the trick.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

making charts

I started a new summer shawl just before I left on my trip to CO two weeks ago. Despite being a fairly simple project, the lack of a chart was driving me nuts. So I decided to chart the lace pattern. I wrote it up on graph paper as I was knitting along, and today I transferred it to my computer. It was kind of a huge project! I need to figure out how to save it as a pdf, and when I do, I'll post it here.
The shawl is coming along rather slowly. I had a pretty major false start. My yarn (malabrigo sock yarn) is finer than the yarn called for, so I knitted a swatch on 9's instead of 10's and liked how it looked--in stockinette, that is. It was slightly under gauge, but I figure I could just knit more rows and increases. But as the lace pattern progressed, it looked TOO open to me. So I ripped out (about 25 rows in, which was sort of a lot) and switched to no 7's. Now I'm happy with how it looks, but it's coming kind of slowly. Here she is:
Inspired by my friend Jenny, I've decided to finish up the old project on my loom (coasters) and start something new. I spent about an hour weaving tonight and finished 2 coasters. Hopefully just one or two more and then I'm done! Pictures of that (perhaps!) next time.

Monday, July 12, 2010

back to sewing!

After not sewing or knitting a stitch for more than a week, I had a very productive day yesterday. I made a couple more purses.And I made an ipod case for myself, without a pattern. This was challenging. I wrote down what I did and have many things I'd do differently on the next one. This one looks really sloppy. Still, it's something.
I also pieced some batting together for my baby quilt. Love being thrifty!

Friday, July 9, 2010

matching dresses

Since my mendocino sundress is practically the same pattern as the one from Weekend Sewing (also by Heather Ross) that I made for Eloise, I thought we should take some pictures together. So here they are. My dress looks country, as usual. Why does everything I sew look like it should be worn by Laura Ingalls Wilder? I thought using a batik print fabric could not possibly result in this, but it did. I might shorten it to just above the knee. But I've seen lots of versions online of this longer hemline where it looked perfectly normal. Oh well. i guess I'm a country girl and I should just accept it.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

fruit tart

This is the only thing I've made in the last week or so. (It looked better than it tasted, I think. The crust was too shortbready and crisp for my taste.) But I did get some new fabric to start the mendocino sundress for myself. It's a blue-ish/purple batik...I'm hoping it will not be too bold in a dress.

Monday, June 28, 2010

new quilt

Apparently I only make blue and green and white quilts. This is a new one for a (relatively) new baby. The quilt top measures about 31" square. I planned, cut and pieced it all today in about 4 hours. I haven't figured out what I'll do for a back.Here are some more purses and wristlets: