Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Can't Think of a Title *Shrug*

Ah, shrugs. They come and go in fashion for adults but are timeless and classic on wee ones. I cast several other knitting projects aside to whip up this Baby Shrug from the Debbie Bliss Simply Baby book. I've mentioned this book many, many times - it's my all-time favorite.

Using Amy Butler's Belle Organic aran-weight yarn from Rowan, I knit the whole sweater using US Size 8 needles. Even while the pattern said to decrease to Size 7 for the ribbing on the cuffs and edges, I chose to keep it nice and loose so there was no chance of the sweater pulling in as has happened to me many times before!

Knitting monogamously, this sweater took about 2 weeks from start to finish. Obviously someone with a little more free time and dedication could complete it much, much quicker.

I made the smallest size available in the pattern. While it's been a while since I've head a newborn, this sweater will be a tad big at first if memory serves. This is just fine with me as it will be far more useful in September and October as the weather begins to cool.

Since I don't have a baby to model the sweater (yet), I thought I'd show you an action shot from the book. I'm looking forward to seeing my own little one wearing this soft, cozy shrug!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mini Projects

While finishing a couple semi-large projects, I've played with mini ones for variety. Using Scandinavian Stitches by Kajsa Wikman, I am making a piece of art for my baby's nursery and getting a head start on Christmas decor.

I am slightly obsessed in this book and want to make at least one of everything in it. I made this pin cushion a few weeks ago, and decided the next project to tackle should be the Summerhouse wall art. This sweet scene is complete with an embroidered clothes line and chimney smoke. I plan to tackle the applique and stitch details this weekend.

Next, I'm going to make a couple of these darling Christmas ornaments. Pulling out my holiday fabric scraps, I played with a couple of combinations. Here's one in all reds and greens...

And another in pinks and reds with a little vintage crochet trim I picked up in Waynesville, OH last summer...

Will be sure to share my progress on these projects and others made from this fabulous publication!

On a personal note, we dyed Easter eggs tonight and had a grand time mixing colors. Princess Olivia showed up to the event in her Sleeping Beauty dress-up gown with pink plastic clompy heels and polka dot apron. Oh, to be three!

Hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cute Enough for Spit Up

Explaining to my 3-year-old why mommy needs to make burp cloths was an interesting exercise.

Me: Well, sweetie, babies spit up a lot so we wear these on our shoulders so our clothes don't get messy.
Olivia: What is spit up?
Me: It's kind of like throw up.
Olivia: Ewwww!

This is only the tip of the ice burg of conversations birthing and babies will spur!

So, anyway, I made some burp cloths. And they are spit up worthy for sure. I used Cloud 9's Contoured Burp Cloth tutorial, which was very easy and fast. The two burp cloths came together in about 45 minutes.

The Michael Miller Flannel I found at Sew-a-Lot is super cute and soft. A half-yard of each fabric made 2 burp clothes with fabric left to spare (need to figure out what to make with the rest of it!?).

This tutorial would work well with 100% quilter's cotton too - and might actually be more absorbent in that material. If you're expecting, have a little one, or need a give for a special baby in your life, this is an easy, useful gift to whip up.

Moving on, I want to share a couple of new patterns with you I'm so excited to carry in my shop! First, is an adorable flower pin cushion and scrap bag called The Abbey Bag from Abbey Lane Quilts. I might have accidentally ordered an extra pattern for personal use and will review it in an upcoming blog post. :-)

Next is a perfect summer bag from Fig Tree & Co called the About Town Bag. Only needing a total of 1-1/2 yards of fabric plus some fusible interfacing, this is an affordable project great for gift-giving or a special treat for yourself!

Finally, I could not resist this pattern also from Fig Tree & Co called Strawberry Shortcake. These precious little fruit bites can have a utilitarian purpose as a pin cushion, or you can make mountains of them and place in a pretty bowl as a table center piece. There are a lot of options to use different fabric textures, and since the project is so small, it's a low-risk way to try sewing with new materials.

Anyway, I hope you're all having a great week. It's storming here in SW Ohio, making for a dreary start to Tuesday. Looks like a ponytail kind of day! Talk to you soon.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

episode 28: quilt show recap

Life Update:
Cape Cod vacation! Do you know of any quilt or knitting shops on or near the Cape? If so, please let me know.
Loving listening to Tanesha on Crafty Garden Mom. Check out her podcast!

What I'm Working On:
Hexagon Table Runner using Half Hexi Ruler

Bad Stitches Happen to Good People: Why it's important to pick up the right number of stitches!

Topics: Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild meeting and International Quilt Festival in Cincinnati recap
Download Episodes of Stash Resolution for free on iTunes. Thanks for listening!

Friday, April 15, 2011


I can check one off my Short List - the Bullseye Quilt is finished! This quilt is for Olivia. With so much excitement about the baby, I wanted to make sure she feels special and that "mommy" still makes nice things for her too.

I had a lot of fun with this pattern. The play of pattern and solid borders adds some dimension to an otherwise quite simple block.

I used Tanya Whelan's Delilah and Bella Solid in Bleached White. This fabric line is so beautiful. The vintage roses and polka dots appeal to me lately.

I tried Oh, Fransson's Loopy Flowers quilting tutorial and am pleased with the results. Of course, you can look at the quilt and spot which were the first flowers (a little rough and uneven) and the last (only slightly more even but smoother stitches).

I took Elizabeth's advice in the tutorial and off set the flowers from the blocks. It does give it a more organic look, I must say.

The binding is a sweet green and pink plaid. I machine attached it to the front of the quilt and hand-tacked to the back - a task I look forward to, snuggled under the quilt.

Lastly, I had to share with you my favorite Easter decoration - this vintage glass egg holder. My mom found this for me on Etsy, and I look forward to bringing it out each year. The bird at one point was re-attached to the main piece - the fracture line is still visible. But I love it's charm and the happiness it brings to my kitchen table during this season.

Wishing you a happy weekend. Talk with you soon!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tutorial Roundup: Easter Goodies

Easter is almost here, so it's time to hop to it (he, he. couldn't resist) and make a couple festive decorations for you and your family to enjoy. From fabric eggs to baskets, there are so many possibilities! With most of these projects being fairly small, you can whip these up in no time at all.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cincinnati International Quilt Festival

Well, I snapped a lot on pictures at the Cincinnati International Quilt Festival this weekend, but apparently my camera decided to not record. Any. Of. Them. Ugh!

So, all I have are the memories and pics I took tonight to show you is the "damage" - a.k.a. my purchases.

First up is a new rotary cutter. Since I do cut so frequently with the shop, I figured investing in a serious ergonomic rotary cutter would eventually be well worth the money. The Grace Company offered a chance to test out the rotary cutter at the show, and I was impressed with the minimal pressure needed and how straight my wrist stayed.

Next up, I bought some cute pink pom-pons. Not sure what project they will be used for, but with all the girls in our house I'm sure I'll think of something. :-)

These little templates just found me, and I knew they needed a good home - my stash! How cute is that Mini Dresden Plate? And I've really wanted to try making diamond stars for quite some time. Paper piecing might be a good way to achieve that look rather than piecing.

Finally, the day's big purchase - Heather Ross Far Far Away II. The prints were irresistible - so sweet and perfect for, oh, I don't know what yet but will eventually figure it out.

While I searched high and low, flannel and oil cloth offerings were thin. I never did see oil cloth, and the flannel wasn't my cup of tea. Despite not finding those things, I am really happy with what I bought and am looking forward to podcasting and blogging about the projects made with them. I'll recap my impression of the show in the next podcast episode.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Half Hexi Table Runner

This week, I got started practicing with my new Half Hexagon ruler purchased here before making a larger project with it. Using left over Jelly Roll strips from the Maritnique line (by 3 Sisters for Moda), I had plenty of fabric to cut for small table runner.

The cutting went very quickly with 3-4 strips stacked. It felt good knowing I was using up every last bit of this pre-cut with very little waste.

Laying out the pieces took a little time and thought. Like a puzzle, it suddenly came together.

Now I'm in the process of sewing the rows together, having to pin each one to the next before hitting the machine to keep them in the correct order. The actual sewing and ironing takes no time at all. It's just the up-front prep work to stay organized that is a little consuming.

I envision adding a couple of borders around the hexagons to finish it off. Will update you when I get to that stage!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Quilting Favor and Giveaway Winner

This week, I returned a completed quilt to my mother who had pieced the top and bottom - beautifully, I might add. This was a trade - she makes so many lovely clothes for my daughter, I was happy to return a stitchy favor quilting this project for her.

The quilt is for a new baby boy in our family. She did an excellent job selecting boy-ish prints and mixing them with great geos. Taking her first dive into quilting patterns, she found a layout she liked and boldly modified it to meet her measurement and fabric requirements. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss in quilting. If you don't know the rules, you don't worry about playing by them. What freedom!

I did an all-over meandering quilting. Boring, yes. But that crinkled up look just can't be beat.

Look at these adorable applique patches she put on the back of the quilt!

I enjoyed the process of quilting someone else's top - getting the joy of finishing without the drudgery that sometimes comes with piecing and quilting one's own. Now this quilt is off to its rightful owner, and I can move on to some other projects. :-)

In other business... the winner of the 6 Fat Quarter Kumari Garden giveaway, via Random Number Generator, is Denise from PA! who said:

Denise in PA said...

It's all so beautiful, but I have to Marala in Pink in my favorite. What a great line - thanks so much for the giveaway! Love the pillow too - I'm becoming quite fond of Hexagons myself!

Denise, I'll get in touch to arrange mailing your prize. Congratulations!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

episode 27: sugar, spice, and everything nice

Upcoming Events
International Quilt Festival in Cincinnati - April 7-10
Miamisburg Quilt Show - April 29 & 30

What I'm Working On
Quilted Flower Tutorial by Oh, Fransson!
Grandma's Flower Garden Pillow
Cream and Sugar Cowl by Never Not Knitting
Susan B. Anderson's Itty Bitty Nursery

Latest Quilty Aquisition
Missouri Star Quilt Company's Half Hexi Ruler and Tumbler Ruler. Check out their great YouTube channel.

Top 10 Baby Items to Make
1. Layette
2. Booties
3. Shrug Cardi
4. Burp Clothes
5. Receiving Blankets
6. Ruffle bloomers & coordinating applique onesies
7. Set of hooded towels and washcloths
8. Bibs
9. Name bunting or fabric covered letters for nursery wall
10. Quilt - Hexagon using Half Hexi ruler

Download episodes of Stash Resolution for free on iTunes. Thanks for listening! :-)