Friday, January 29, 2010

If I Were Buying Fabric...

I would totally buy: Nicey Jane by Heather Baily in Pink/Olive.


Fabric Worm has a 1/2 yard bundle (8 coordinating fabrics) for $34. You get:

Welcome Road Olive 
Hop Dot Cherry 
Swing Toss Pink 
Hop Dot Olive 
Welcome Road Pink 
Hello Roses Oive 
Slim Dandy Pink 
Picnic Bouquet Moss

The scale and pattern mix in this bundle is pleasing to the eye. The large-print florals alongside the unique stripes and then the toned-down geometric print would make a really lovely quilt.

Tonight, I'm having my friends over for our Stitch In. We do this every other Friday after work and well into the evening. We each bring our own project and talk, laugh, and eat. It's a great time. I plan to work on my Portabello Pixie top for my daughter out of Erin McMorris Park Slope. Hope to have pics to show Monday.

Have a great weekend!



Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cathedral Pillow Cover

As promised, here are pics of the Cathedral Quilt pillow cover I'm making to go with my mod sampler quilt (which is being bound this week - pics to come soon!). 

I'm thoroughly enjoying the process of putting this together. 

Ironing is the longest step in the entire process. The sewing is surprisingly simple and quick. With each one, my corners are getting crisper and my seams more aligned. 
I sewed the non-window triangles down, but I think that a better look would be to pick those out and add additional windows. This will make the windows alternate rather than go in rows - if that makes any sense.
My thought is to frame and back it in left-over yardage from the same quilt the scraps are from for a coordinated look. Would love to finish both the quilt binding and pillow this weekend so I can move on to other fabrics and projects!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Finished Socks


I blocked my Artichoke Socks this morning. (Pattern is a free Internet download.) Started in 2009 & finished in 2010, these socks took a significant amount of knitting time. They used up 63g of yarn used toward my stash resolution! 

Done on size 0 needles, I used Knitabulous Ultimate Sock Yarn out of Australia. I just checked her store, and she has some really beautiful color-ways posted. Pricing is reasonable; $12 USD for the skein but $7.50 S/H. If you're going to order, do several at a time because any additional skein is just $2 additional dollars for shipping.


Anyway, I'm pleased with the results and have my winter sock knitting out of my system. I wonder how the people who are constantly knitting socks do it... they take so long for me. Maybe if I used larger needles - 3s? And just did a plain stitch I could whip out more. There is NOTHING like wearing a pair of hand-knit socks. Unless you've actually had a pair on, you just don't know the joy.

In other news... today is my birthday... 28. Just stared at that number for a few second. Okay. Now I'm over it. Everyone wants to be 28 & 29 forever, right? I should enjoy it while I actually am those ages.

Have a great day! Talk to you tomorrow (when I will show you images of a cathedral pillow top (tutorial from this blog) I started working on!).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pics of Valentine's Day Block Swap



So, a while back, I talked about how I was participating in a Valentine's Day block swap but couldn't show pics until my partners confirmed they had received them (had to remain a surprise). Now I can let the cat out of the bag and show you what I made!

I used Michael Miller fabric for two and some scraps my mom gave me from some clothes she made.

Each person also got some fun Valentine's goodies - pink rick-rack, pink thread, and heart buttons.

Then, all was packaged up nice and neat. I used scrap-booking paper to make envelopes for the goodies and tags for the packages. Thoughtful packaging makes all the difference, right?

Anyway, the swap group is here on Flickr. I'm sure the group would welcome more members. Join us! The February sign-ups end soon!

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Pillow Talk {Swap}

I was thrilled to find out I was accepted to join The Pillow Talk {Swap} Group on Flickr. The group is starting their second round of toss-pillow cover blind swaps in early February. I'm not sure if I made the cut-off to actually participate in the swap, but the inspiration I'm getting from just looking at what others in the group are making is totally worth being involved in the group.

Part of being in the swap is giving your partner, who you don't know, an idea for your aesthetic. Most people are doing that by creating a Flickr mosaic. Mine is below. 



This exercise was quite revealing to me as I have been trying to cultivate a "style" - whatever that means - for a while. When selecting these images, I told myself to not think about what others might think of my selections. Instead, to choose whatever made my heart sing. This collection says that I tend to like whimsical, feminine designs. In any case, it was fun to put together. And I'll keep you posted on my status in the swap. 

Have a lovely week! Talk to you tomorrow!


Friday, January 22, 2010

If I Were Buying Fabric...


I would totally buy this: My Folklore by Lecein 

It sells for $8.50/yard on Hawthorne Threads website.

I like the whimsy and sweetness of the designs. Broad reaching, it could appeal to adults or children.

The main fabric below is my favorite with mushrooms and squirrels. 

I did a quick search on Flickr and found the cutest smock top ever made from this fabric. I was surprised to see how small the scale of the print is. This goes to show that a little more research before buying fabric online can pay off... not that I'm buying fabric online. :-)


Have a great weekend, lovelies!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ravelympics



Image from Craftyone77

What is Ravelympics, you might ask? Glad you asked. It's the knitting word's answer to the hype around the upcoming Olympic games in Vancouver. The "events" are coordinated through Ravelry, the online knitting community. 
What happens is knitters (or crocheter) join a team. It can be a team from a podcast they listen to or a group they participate in on Ravelry. I'm joining two teams - Team Knitmore and Team Manic Purl. These are both podcasts I am a long-time listener of.
After you join a team, you need to pick a project to enter into an event - or category. Here they are as posted on the Ravelypics page on Ravelry:
  • Aerial Unwind eventaerial (Frog those poor unloved projects to reclaim that yarn. (This event only: requires a WIP pic and frog pile pic)
  • Bag Jump eventbagjump (Bags, totes, pouches)
  • Beading Biathlon eventbead (All things beaded and embellished)
  • Bobsled eventbobsled (All things pets)
  • Cable Cross-Country eventcable (All things cables)
  • Charity Curling eventcharity (Projects for charity)
  • Designer Biathlon eventdesignerbiathlon (From a swatch to published pattern in 17 dayssample completed and pattern released on ravelry - swatching allowed before torch lit)
  • Designer Original Dance eventdesignerdance (Create your own design sample from scratch in 17 days swatching allowed before torch lit); pattern need not be written)
  • Designer Pattern Skeleton eventdesignerpattern (Create a publishable pattern (sample can be already knit); do what you feel is necessary to produce a publishable pattern testing, editing, etc)
  • Downhill Dyeing eventdyeing (Both dyeing and using hand-dyed yarns)
  • Felting Freestyle eventfelting (All things felting and fulled)
  • Fleece to FO Long-Track eventfleece (Start with fleece or roving and create a finished object)
  • Flying Camel Spin eventflyingcamel (Just spinning…lots and lots of spinning)
  • Free Dance eventfreedance (Don’t fit into any other event? This is for you)
  • Giant Slalom-ghan eventgiantslalomghan (Afghan, blankets, throws)
  • Hat Halfpipe eventhathalfpipe (All things hats and heads)
  • Holiday Jump-Start Skiing eventholiday (Projects to be gifted/given in Dec 2010 and holiday-themed items)
  • Junior Olympics eventjunior (Kids, baby garments, accessories toys have their own event)
  • Labyrinth Weaving eventweaving (All things woven)
  • Lace Luge eventlaceluge (Lace patterns and laceweight yarns)
  • Mittens Moguls eventmittenmoguls (Mittens, gloves, anything that covers hands/wrists/arms)
  • Nordic Colorwork Combined eventnordiccolorwork (Colorwork, intarsia, fair isle)
  • Platter Lift eventplatter (Home and d├ęcor projects)
  • Samalog Machine Skate eventsamalog (Machine knitting)
  • Scarf Super-G eventsuperg (Scarves, cowls, neckwarmers, smokerings, scarflettes…all things neck)
  • Short Track Shawls eventshorttrackshawls (Shawls, stoles, wraps, shawlettes)
  • Single Skein Speed Skate eventspeedskate (Projects of just one skein/hank)
  • Skelegurumi eventskelegurumi (Toys and amigurumis)
  • SnowCross eventsnowcross (Projects that combine knitting, crochet, needle-felting, embroidery, sewing …; minimum of 2 crafts combined together)
  • Sock Hockey eventsockhockey (All things socks and slippers)
  • Stash Compulsory Dance eventstashdance (Use of long-neglected stash purchased at least 1 year ago)
  • Sweaterboard Cross eventsweaterboard (All forms of sweaters, vests, cardis, pullovers, boleros)
  • WIPs-Dancing eventwipsdancing (WIPs/UFOs and only these; Projects not touched since Jan 12th)
I am choosing to enter the last one - WIPs - Dancing. The project is Olivia's Roo sweater that I mentioned in a post earlier this week and have pictured my progress here. I have not touched this sweater since October and would like to finish it so she can enjoy it this spring. 
When the winter Olympics start in late February, participants may cast on at the start of the opening ceremony. Their project has to be uploaded, tagged, and finished by the end of the closing ceremonies. 

Ravelry did this in 2008 and people I heard blogging and podcasting about it said it was a lot of fun. I figure it will be good incentive to finish a large-scale project. I will keep you posted as the games begin!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

One Down, Three to Go


I completed one of my Amy Butler scrappy pillow covers and am pleased with the results.
Out of the 2" squares cut, I should be able to get one more pillow like this one and then two additional that will look a little more mod. I have a vision of what they could look like. We'll see if I can make it happen and will keep you posed with pics.


I'm starting to think about what my next quilt will be and can't decide. In the spirit of using up scraps, it needs to be a pattern that does not need to be matchy-matchy. Maybe a 9-patch? Or a Tossed 9 Patch? Send your ideas my way, please!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Yarn Grande Total



I finally spent some time Sunday night weighing my yarn stash. Maybe I listen to too many knitting podcasts where the hosts talk about the bins and closets full of yarn they have, but I really don't think my stash of yarn is anything to be upset over. In fact, it's kind of pitiful. 


The biggest problem are my works in progress - several of which need to be ripped ("frogged" back and the yarn re-skeined.
Anyway, here is the run-down of what's in my fiber stash:
568g scraps (left overs from finished projects)
96g cream summer sweater project that needs frogged
186g Manos knit into a purse that needs frogged
364g Ella Rae Amnity for February Lady Sweater (need to finish sleeves)
346g Wool of the Andes for Olivia's Roo Sweater (need to finish sleeves - see a theme?)
167g Lion Brand's Fisherman's Wool for hat 
336g Malabrigo knit into a sweater that didn't fit and needs frogged (heartbreaker)
205g various yarn I want to sell
1kg 699g yarn with no dedicated project
TOTAL: 4kg 103g of yarn

Disclaimer: There are a few projects on the needles I did not count in the total. Those include:
-Artechoke Socks (finishing the second toe)
-Ishbel (half way there - active project)
-Irish Cable Scarf (guilting myself to not call it stash but finish it)

So, like with the fabric, my goal is to use half of the weight of the total before purchasing new yarn. In addition to that, I'm going to challenge myself to finish the three projects above as well. 

This should not be so bad. If I sell what I have set aside (205g), finish my February Lady Sweater (364g), and finish Olivia's Roo sweater (346g), I will be about 1/3 of the way there.
Same rules apply as with fabric. Must use 50% before acquiring more. Gifts and notions are exceptions. 

So, I'm pretty optimistic. If fact, I'm kind of relieved I've posed this challenge. There are several projects weighing heavily on my mind that just need to be finished. This will be a good incentive to get motivated to get them off the needles. 

How are you doing with your stash challenge?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Craft for Hope


Did you watch 60 Minutes last night? If you didn't, grab a box of tissues and watch this. (Warning: The images are very disturbing. I do not recommend watching it around young children.)

If we all do a little bit, we can help these poor, poor people. Craft Hope on Etsy is a store dedicated to raising money for Doctors without Borders. Crafters from all over the country are donating their goods to this store, which is managed out of Austin. 100% of proceeds go to the charity to assist with the relief effort in Haiti. 

The categories of items available range from jewelry to children's clothing to art. The selection is literally changing by the minute. Last night while I was shopping the site, I noticed 3 or 4 items loaded in the 15 minutes I was on it. The interest level in this site is staggering; last night I noted that I was the 286th sale. This morning, there are 363 sales. 

Please donate or purchase. Do what you can. 

We can do no great things, only small things with great love. ~Mother Teresa

Friday, January 15, 2010

If I Were Buying Fabric...

I would totally buy this... Kokka fabric's Echino imported from Japan. Japanese fabric seem to be everywhere - as do the craft books. I'd like to try working with a little of this fabric. The price is spendy at $17/yard. But a series of fat quarters could make a pretty little wall hanging or table topper. 

The fabric can be found on Etsy at The Needle Shop.





Happy weekend! Talk to you Monday. 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Valentine's Day Flickr Round Up





Valentine's Day is fast approaching. This is an extra-special day for me because it also happens to be my wedding anniversary. (All together now: Awww)

Flickr has a lot of Valentine's Day sewing inspiration to get all of us into the spirit of love. In fact, I joined a mini quilt swap group that did a Valentine's Day theme block swap this month. I can't show pictures yet of what I set (it has to remain a surprise until they receive it and post a pic themselves), but here is what one of my three swap partners sent me. Isn't it cute? (BTW: I need ideas for what to do with the block. Quilt it and make it a mini wall hanging?)

Here are a few other inspirations from Flickr. These would all be a clever ways to use up scraps - the point of this blog, right? - and make your home a little festive. 


image by Pleasant Home

image by KnitOneQuiltToo

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

La Petit Embroidery Kit

Embroidery is a needle art skill I've had limited exposure and experience with. My grandmother did beautiful embroidery, but I did not learn from her unfortunately. Lately, I have seen chic, modern embroidery patterns that would make adorable embellishments to quilts, home decor projects, and little-girl clothes. 

One such pattern is from Sublime Stitching, which claims to be "not your gramma's embroidery" and offers several kits including La Petit pictured here. The kit comes with a hoop, needles, four colors of floss, scissors, a lesson book, and the choice of 1 of 58 patterns - for $22.50. 
Sublime embroidery patterns I'm interested in:






For the price, I think it is worth checking out. I could learn a new skill that might make using some of my plainer stash fabric more fun!? 

Have you ever embroidered?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

All Coming Together

Quick post this morning. I have an early breakfast meeting with a colleague so I'm a bit more rushed than usual. Typically, I'm up sewing at 4 a.m. - since I have a toddler this is the only time I can have just to myself to do the crafts I want to do. It's also my time to get set for the day - brew coffee, unload dishwasher, start load of laundry, etc., etc. 

By the way, Oh Fransson, who did the lovely tutorial I'm following for the Mod Sampler, is doing another quilt along starting this week. Check out her blog

Anyway, I leave you today with a few pics of my Mod Sampler top starting to come together with sashing. 




Monday, January 11, 2010

Blah to Beautiful





So, the "before" pic did not turn out, but trust me when I tell you that my bedroom wall was very plain and boring. With a little help from Ikea decals and 15 minutes of time, the space above my bed is now pretty and posh!
I've read online that white quilts with vibrant sheeting is all the rage in interior design. The Decor8 blog did a fantastic tutorial on how to mix bedding for the chic, now look. The idea is to mix and match solids and different scale prints for a balanced look. The blog gives several bullets to guide people on how to do this. I think I may try it... Would be very cool with vintage sheets. 
{image from Decor8}

Anyway, back to the real world after a busy weekend (which included ice skating with my 2 year old!). Have a happy Monday!


Friday, January 8, 2010

If I Were Buying Fabric...


I would totally buy this.



 



The balance of floral and geometric would make a beautiful quilt. I can even see this on clothing. How cute would a little girl's dress be in this? In fact, I think my little girl could use a new dress... If I count her clothing budget toward buying fabric, does it count against my stash? Hmmm... Making up the rules as I go along here.

Oops! Fabric Worm is out of stock on this line. Good thing because I was ready to break my resolution. Yikes!

Other Paula Prass fabrics on Fabric Worm (who prices by 1/2 yard - genius! feels like it could be a deal.) 

Have a great weekend, every one!