winter:1, me: 0

Thursday, January 31, 2008

I am seriously over this whole winter thing. It is bringing me to a slow death! I'm sick of the cold, the ice, the snow, the wind, the salt on my car, and did I mention the cold? I was having such a great attitude about winter all month long and then yesterday it finally got the best of me. My only saving grace is that in a little over one week Jon and I will be heading south to Nicaragua to visit Kate! Her post yesterday was killing me...91 degrees!


This vacation could not have come at a better time.

camper tea towel

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I was quite fond of this Camp Out set ever since it debuted on Sublime Stitching last year. I finally caved and bought the pattern (and a few others) last week and here is the result. I used a tea towel from the Stitch It kit that I bought a while back and used some cotton fabric from my stash on the back of the towel so that the sloppy backside of my embroidery doesn't show (got the idea from Danielle). I'm definitely going to need to stock up on white cotton fabric so that we can fill our kitchen with more cute, embroidered tea towels!

baby gifts

Monday, January 28, 2008

Catherine and I were busy last week making some cute little baby things for our friend, Linda's shower on Saturday.

Catherine made these little bibs with a pattern from Chickpea Sewing Studio:

She also made these burp rags with cotton fabric and chenille (11" x 17")

And I made this chenille blanket that was an enlarged version of the pot holders that I posted last week (36" x 24")

It was so exciting to see Linda open up all of her gifts! She is always such a gracious gift receiver. The look on her face when she opened up the bibs was so adorable. I can't wait to see how much joy her little bun brings her when he or she arrives in a few months!

chenille hot pads

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Catherine and I made a few of these chenille hot pads last week. They're based on a similar (yet better constructed) hot pad that her mom received for Christmas from a sewing friend.

To make similar hot pads you'll need 5 - 1/4 yard pieces of flannel and one 1/4 yard piece of Insulbrite or a Teflon batting, plus one additional 1/4 yard piece of fabric for the binding. You'll be able to make four hot pads with this material (starting with 7" x 7" cut squares). To layer your fabric before sewing you'll need to place one square face down, one square of Insulbrite on top and then 4 layers of flannel face up. Quilt the fabric diagonally at 1/2" intervals. Then cut the top three layers between the sewn lines. Attach the binding and then wash the hot pad so that the unfinished edges fray. Here's a great site that shows directions for making a chenille blanket that are much more clear than these instructions.

These were not as easy to make as we first thought. I though we could whip these out in an hour, but after 3-4+ hours of agony they are finished (note that I'm not showing the back as the binding definitely did not turn out pretty)

Now that I'm crafting for the kitchen I want to try making some of the mitten hot pad patterns from Denyse Schmidt Quilts and Simple Sewing by Lotta Jansdotter.

cheery tote bag

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Here's a little tote bag that I made last weekend while my sister was over having a girls only craft night with me (we banished Jon to the basement for the evening). In some ways I still think of my little sister as being 10 years old and frozen in time at the age when I moved away for college. Even though the number of years that separate us have stayed the same, it's fun seeing how we have become closer as we get older and more mature (ha!) : )

Anyways...I scoured my fabric stash and used these fabrics that have been some of my favorites and too special to use (the turquoise is one of my all time favorite fabrics). It's lined with the green Denyse Schmidt fabric, with a pocket inside made out of the pink fabric (Anna Maria Horner's Bohemian line). Currently this bag is holding my new sweater project and following me around everywhere (this first sweater project is kind of intimidating me so I like to just look at it rather than actually knit it)...more about that later this week.

overheard on g-chat today

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Jonathan: I'm checking the live macworld keynote updates really thin notebook just announced

me: cool

I would like that for my birthday and I don't mind if that's all I get :P

Jonathan: funny funny

Stitchette Quilt

Sunday, January 13, 2008

My stitchette undertaking is finally complete! I'm a little bummed that there are no more stitchettes to sew up, but this has been a fun project and I'm glad that I finally one place to feature all the embroidery I've done.

I based the pattern for the quilt off of the cover of Kaffe Fassett book, Quilts in the Sun. Each of the squares has an 8" x 8" center featuring the stitchette. Then the squares are bordered with 4 inches of printed fabric. I used 8 different prints, twice each. For the quilting I sewed 1" parallel lines in the printed fabric portion of the quilt both vertically and horizontally. For the binding I used scrap strips of the patchwork fabric used in the quilt (a great way to use up the leftover fabric).


Saturday, January 12, 2008

After Jon saw this washcloth on Oiyi's blog, he requested that I make one for him. Here it first time following a design in a knit piece.

Transformers Cloth pattern from Knitting Memories

There is a mistake on Row 25. It should be: MB4, K3, P5, K5, P1, K2, P3, K2, P1, K5, P5, K3, MB4.

Size US 7 needles

Sugar N Cream yarn in Hot Blue

This was an enjoyable little project and I'm going to make a few more washcloths/dishcloths. I especially want to try out this ballband dishcloth pattern from Mason-Dixon Knitting.

two things

Monday, January 7, 2008

1. Why is it that the heated mattress pad that we ordered after many nights of getting into an incredibly chilly bed arrives on the warmest day of the winter? Seriously, we have been stalking the UPS tracking page for this thing for over a week and it finally decides to show up when it's 52 degrees outside.

2. I have officially given up on this pink brioche stitch scarf. I don't think I have it in me to knit another 40" of this. I don't like the Cascade 220 yarn that I'm knitting with because it keeps splitting and it's frustrating me to no end.

I was browsing around on Ravelry today and have decided to cast on for the Fuzzy Feet with this yarn. If all goes well I should be able to make two slippers out of one ball of yarn and once I felt it, you won't be able to see all the splitting that's going on.

And, this is perfect for me because I've always wanted to try out sock knitting, but I've never wanted to put the time into it, especially because my skin is sensitive to wool. Wool slippers shouldn't be a problem with socks on underneath, right?

Brioche Stitch Scarf

Saturday, January 5, 2008

I found this pattern for the Berlin Scarf on the Purl Bee early last year and started making it with some Cascade Quattro yarn immediately. Since then, the Cascade scarf has been put on hold and I've been directing my attention to this scarf instead.

I used Berroco Jasper yarn that's merino wool and self-striping and green. Jon and I are still discussing who this will belong to...I keep telling him that he can have it, but I'm not quite sure that I'm ready to give it up so soon.

This yarn is lovely and soft and squishy and doesn't irritate my skin, so I'm quite fond of it. And everyone that sees the yarn for this scarf is completely amazed that it's self-striping (myself included).

Well, I finished up the scarf a few days ago and after a scary incident in which I didn't leave enough yarn for the cast off, had to frog a few rows and re-cast off. And, I wasn't quite sure of the instructions for the cast off, so it ended up being a lot tighter than the cast on, but I suppose if I just tuck it behind my coat, it won't be so noticeable.

Here are the project details:

Yarn: Berroco Jasper

Colorway: Verde Lavras

Needles: Size 9

6 hanks (98 yards each)

Finished size: 8" wide by 60" long

Pattern variation: I cast on 42 stitches instead of 30 to make the scarf wider

big zig quilt

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Here's the final Christmas gift that I made...a quilt for Jon. The extra special thing about this was that he had no idea that I had this project in the works. I rushed home from work every day for a few weeks to put in a quilting hours before Jon arrived home from work. Jon was totally surprised and didn't even remember that he had picked this pattern out earlier last year and had requested that I make one to match his office's green/grey scheme.

I used the Big Zig quilt pattern from Denyse Schmidt Quilts and solid Kona cotton fabric for the quilt. I did a little bit of tweaking to the size of the quilt. When I bought the fabric back in September, I had written out detailed notes and adjustments for the final size which included shrinking down the triangles to be more proportionate to the overall size (we're talking trig here) and turning the full sized quilt into a twin sized quilt. Because I threw out my notes months ago (did I mention I'm more of a purger than a packrat?), I just had to wing it for the final size and ended up using the original triangle sizes in the book and chopping off half of a triangle on the right side (oh, well). The final size of this quilt is 62" x 78" and works great as a lap quilt.

This was my first time quilting with triangles and it took a few passes and a lot of seam ripping before I figured out how to line up the pieces for sewing. I wasn't staggering the pieces enough to make sure that the points weren't cut off at first, but I was able to figure it out after a few tries.

For the quilting, I used a fabric marker to mark the zig zag lines and then traced along on my sewing machine with white thread. I love the parallel zig zags on this and think it's a perfect way to accent the two main zig zags. Denyse Schmidt is a genius!

I used the machine sew the front/hand sew the back of the binding method that I used on my last quilt and I think I'm officially preferring this method over the bias tape method. The only snafu that I ran into was that I used Polyester thread (hey, it was on sale) instead of cotton thread to attach the back of the binding, so it didn't shrink at the same rate as the rest of the cotton components. Now the stitches on the back are a bit more defined. But this is definitely something that only I would notice.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

We had a few friends over last night for sushi and games and Jon got to try out his new sushi apron that I made him for Christmas while he was preparing miso soup and tamago.

This is just a simple chef apron made with a yard of fabric and about 5 yards of double fold bias tape. I got the fabric from etsy, but I'm not sure if the seller has any more for sale right now.

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