Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cash's Quilt

A little more than a year ago, I started making quilts for the grandkids' birthdays. This quilt was made from a kit from Keepsake Quilting, with additional fabric for the backing. 

The red border fabric came with the kit, and was meant to be the backing, but my friend Matthew snagged me the end of a bolt of the road fabric to use on the back. With that, and leftover red fabric, I was able to piece together a backing that Cash can drive his Matchbox cars on. 

The vehicles came as die-cuts with the kit. I glue-basted them on, then zigzagged around each shape in black. There were enough vehicles to applique to the upper border of the back as well. 

I purchased black double-fold quilt binding at JoAnn to bind the quilt. Batting is Warm & Natural. 

I hand-quilted around each wide stripe on the front, also in black. 

This is the only quilt in that birthday series that was actually finished by the relevant child's birthday.
It's long enough that he'll be able to use it on a twin bed, when he moves up to one. 

More pix below. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Two months?!

I've been busy, just not posting here. Oops.

In those two months, I have finished two quilts, worked on two other quilts, knitted three dresses for my granddaughter, one or two tops for myself, some random socks, done some commission knitting for clients, and read some books.

I also shifted half the stuff out of my studio to make a bedroom for my sister, who will stay with us for the next few months, until she finds a place of her own in the area. It's really nice to have her here. We hadn't lived in the same town for over thirty years.

Our son is also living here, along with our grandson (about half-time, in his case), while he attends school. Classes start tomorrow, and he is really excited.

I took the month of August off from work at the shop, and have really enjoyed the time. Just another ten days of vacation remain. Sigh.

I'll try to get caught up on reporting my finished projects.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Scarf with Holes in It

Don't worry, they're intentional.

Here are some photos of a crocheted scarf I designed this week for Needleworks, the yarn shop I work at.

It takes just one ball of Noro Silk Garden Sock, and measures approximately 54"X6" after blocking.

You could use Noro Kureyon Sock to make a longer scarf, or a second ball of the Silk Garden Sock.

Yes, those photos are both the same scarf. The lower picture, shot without flash, shows the texture nicely. The upper picture, shot with flash, shows the holes being blocked open and is a more accurate representation of the colors in the yarn (though it's somewhat less orange than it appears).

The pattern should be available soon on the Needleworks website, in our Pattern Library.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Koi Pond Update

I found some solid backing fabric in the darker shade of the wave print border fabric and finished the Koi Pond Runner. 

Here are a couple of photos. I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. 

It's just the right size for the coffee table, and will also work well on the dining room table. The real challenge will be keeping a table cleaned off so I can use it.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Koi Pond Table Runner

More sashiko today -- two stamped panels by Olympus, which I ordered from Studio Aika. This particular design is SC-0039. Both the fabric and the stitched swirls/ripples are a bit darker than they appear in this photo -- at least on my monitor.

I embroidered these at our Spring Knitting Retreat at Threads & Beds in Danville, IL. Everyone was amazed at how quick and easy the running stitch is to do. I think I set off a minor frenzy of sashiko lemmings, too. ^_^

At first, I thought I'd make a couple of pillows, but decided a runner was more practical.

These are my first mitered border strips ever. I'm pretty pleased with them. I ordered the printed border fabric from Fat Quarter Shop, because it reminded me of the traditional sashiko waves pattern. I'm not sure where I picked up the red batik -- most likely from Threads of Time.

I'll put a narrow binding in the red batik around the perimeter of the runner. 

I still have to find some fabric for the backing. Maybe I'll do that next week. I'm debating whether to continue the fishy theme on the backing fabric, or use a solid in one of the blue shades of the border fabric. Simpler would probably be better. 

I have a binful of Olympus sampler blocks in traditional sashiko designs, about half white fabric and half navy/indigo fabric, some purchased at Threads of Time, and some from Studio Aika. In most cases, I have the same design in both colors. My plan for those is to work the stitching in navy on white and white on navy, and make a bed quilt -- probably queen-size, though our bed is full-size. Apparently, I hog the covers when I'm asleep (but therefore not responsible!! so there!!), so extra-wide wouldn't be a bad idea.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sophie's Ball Gown

I have a little friend/surrogate granddaughter, Sophie, who is three years old.

When my daughter made the Twirly Dress by Sew Baby for her daughter, I knew I had to make one for Sophie, too.

I found a tshirt with sparkly "gems" on the yoke at Kohl's, and two coordinating prints at JoAnn Fabric. Once the shirt and fabric were washed, it took only a few hours to cut the panels for the skirt and sew the dress.

Sophie loves it! I have lots of fabric left, plus the bottom half of the tshirt (which was cut off to make the bodice) -- so I think I will make her a fancy purse to go with her ball gown.

I'm told she wore it for 3 days in a row, which is really gratifying. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lexxi's Quilt

Ah, the Power of Stash:
  • Wildflower appliqué blocks with embroidery and blanket stitch -- made several years ago, and set aside, because I had inadvertently appliquéd them onto the wrong foundation fabric, which didn't match the foundation fabric I had used for the first batch of blocks. Oops. Oh well. 

  • Setting blocks and binding from fabric purchased to make a dress for one of my daughters -- which I never got around to making, but saved for years anyway (even though I didn't live through the Great Depression).

  • Backing and borders from fabric my mom passed to me probably 12-15 years ago; my Auntie Lizzie* (her oldest sister) had given it to her (who knows when?). There were probably 8-10 yards of it.

*(Auntie Lizzie lived in a big old house, with rooms FULL of fabric, thread, yarn, etc. So yeah, given that my father's father had a BARN full of stuff when he died, and my father had a garage full, I'm probably doomed from both sides.)

But see? It's good to have stuff on hand!!

I did have to buy the batting for this quilt. I also purchased stencils for the quilting in the borders and setting blocks.

The photo above and the one below were taken after washing the finished quilt; the quilting is more obvious after washing. I think the slight shrinkage of the batting makes the whole quilt looks cozier, somehow. The block below is the same one in the photo at the top of this post. 

And I do label these things: 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Striped Tunic/Dress

We got a new yarn at the shop a couple of weeks ago: a wonderful dk-weight organic cotton in the Freedom line of yarns - it's called Sincere.

I bought 4 balls of it and made this little sundress/tunic/ top for Eilynna. She's almost 18 months old, and it's a little big just now as a dress, but it should fit her through all of the stages listed above.

The yarn was a real pleasure to knit with, and the (free!) pattern will be available on the Needleworks Inc. website soon.

Two of the shop's "regulars" are already knitting their own little dresses from the pattern to test it!! The pattern is written for one size, with a 23" finished chest measurement, which should fit a 2-3 year-old -- depending on the 2-3 year-old. It took one ball each of the four colors, with just a smidge left of the purple; there were larger amounts remaining of the other three colors. I cast on Sunday morning and had a finished dress by Monday evening.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Christopher's Pajama Quilt

Once upon a time, there was a grandma who sewed flannel pajamas every winter for her little grandchildren. She always saved scraps of fabric, because she grew up poor and was a young wife and mother during the depression.

When her grandson was a teen, she made a large comforter for him from the flannel scraps left from his pajamas. He loved his pajama quilt.

Sadly, the pajama quilt was badly damaged by fire. But his mother saved it, even though she hadn't grown up during the depression.

Not surprisingly, his grandma still had scraps left over from making the comforter. She gave them to his mother, who repaired the pajama quilt several years after it was damaged. The pajama quilt was loved and used for many more years.

Then the grandson had a little son of his own. His grandma had died several years earlier, at a good ripe age. But his mother still had some scraps of flannel from his pajamas, so she sewed a little pajama quilt for her grandson. There weren't quite enough scraps for the project, so she added plaid flannel left over from bathrobes she'd sewn for her twin sons when they were small. (His mother always saved scraps of fabric, too -- even though, as noted above, she didn't grow up during the depression.)

This is Christopher's Pajama Quilt. It's not quite crib size, but just the right size to snuggle under for a nap. He likes it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Elin's Deathflake Set

I hope she has picked up her package by now, so this doesn't spoil the surprise. It should be nice for next winter, at least.

A hat and tiny purse with the Deathflake motif. Tiny purse also has beaded dangles with Czech skull beads. I was thinking it might be handy to wear at work, for her little necessaries. I lined it with a totally girly pink & white calico floral print.

The scarf is two-color brioche rib - following instructions in the current (at time of writing) issue of Cast On magazine, I learned the technique well enough to fix some (though not all) of my mistakes.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Little Something

There was just a bit of yarn left from Eilynna's balaclava and Christopher's stocking cap, so I knitted a Tiny Owl.

It was inspired by these.

Eilynna wasn't that interested until I embroidered on the beak. Then she knew it was an owl, and she WANTED IT.

Tiny Owl stands about 5" tall. I love the feet!

Monday, February 21, 2011


This is the top for Lexxi's quilt. 



Now I can start quilting. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

More Catching Up

Knitted in January:

Cash's stocking, "Christmas Sampler" from
Gwen Steege's Knit Christmas Stockings.

Christopher's stocking, "Snowman at Midnight" from
Elaine Lipson's Christmas Stockings: 18 Holiday Treasures to Knit.

Beth's stocking, based on a felted Christmas mitten in Bobbie Matela's
Knit Noel.

Tumbling Blocks crib blanket, in Ella Rae Amity,
for the crib at Grandma & Grandpa's house. I had to try to correct the color in the photo, and it's still not right. The blanket is a deep heathered forest green, just gorgeous.

I also made a sweater for Lucy. Being a puggle, Miss Lu has some (shall we say?) "fitting issues", and sweaters "off the rack" don't really come in her size -- er, shape. My sister and I took the relevant measurements and I just started knitting, with occasional fittings to confirm my reasoning. I was right every time. I used Wool-Ease from the stash.

Red is definitely Miss Lu's color.

A hat for my oldest son, using the Deathflake chart available here. Yes, he's pushing 40, and I'm still trying to get him to put on a hat when it's cold. He did wear it during our recent frigid spell, so I was gratified. The yarn is Cascade 220 Sport. 

There's a bit more January knitting to show, but it will have to wait for another update. 

In other news, I have Lexxi's quilt pin-basted and ready to quilt. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Christopher's Quilt

Kit purchased at The Quilting Cupboard in Rochester, MN; fabrics from the Lollipop Collection by Sandy Gervais for Moda. Backing from the same collection, ordered from Fat Quarter Shop in Manchaca, TX.

Though the kit provided enough blocks and binding strips for a twin-size quilt (48"x80" -- 8 blocks x 10 blocks), I made the quilt crib-sized (6 blocks x 8 blocks, approximately 36"x48").

I cut stencils for the quilting from designs in Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection by Aimee Ray.

I hand-quilted the blocks with brown, except for the brown blocks, where I used red or yellow; and the one blue block where I quilted an octopus in green. I also quilted "in the ditch" with brown.

I hand-embroidered the label for the back of the quilt with DMC floss.

I had a little trouble mitering the corners of the binding, but I will get better with practice.

And here is Christopher, bundled up in his new Fishy Quilt: 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

December Wrap-Up

In addition to the stockings, I knitted a commission sweater resembling the Illini varsity sweater worn by Col. Henry Blake (McLean Stevenson) in the CBS series M*A*S*H. Here's a fairly tiny photo, the best I could come by online, and what I worked from. Yes, I am that good.

Here is the sweater I knitted:

I used Plymouth Dreambaby DK and size 6 needles (4s for the ribbing). I got some crucial measurements from the client, and used Sweater Wizard to generate the pattern. Smooth sailing. 

I knitted a pair of mittens for another client, in Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light, from a vintage pattern. Unfortunately, I neglected to take a picture before she picked them up. They were a lovely natural brown with a stranded pattern on the back of the hand in a lighter shade. The yarn was absolutely wonderful to knit with. 

My sons' friend was home on leave, and asked me to knit a hat for his Army buddy, so I did, according to his specifications. I found two free patterns on Ravelry, one for the hat/beard, and another for the wings. 

I didn't have a lot of the gray yarn, so the hat is a bit skimpy, but I hope he'll enjoy the intention. 


I'm still plugging away on Christmas stockings for the family; the grandkids' are done, and I just have my son's and daughter-in-law's left to do. I'd like to get them finished in the next week or two, so I can put that tub away in the attic with the other Christmas stuff. 

In the meantime, I'm working intermittently on a crib blanket for the front bedroom, an entrelac throw for the living room, and a couple of quilts. My "quilt for your birthday" plan is way behind schedule, since the two November babies' quilts are (1) pinned but not sewn and (2) embroidered but not cut. And there's another birthday coming up in February. I do have a stack of appliquéd blocks that I might piece together with solid blocks for that one, so we'll see. I have until August for the final quilt in that program. 

Now to clean off my sewing table and desk, before the cat knocks any more avalanches off onto the floor. :p

Friday, January 14, 2011

Stockings #6, 7 and 8

        #6                                      #7

These were consigned by a client I've knitted for previously. Stockings #6 and 7 are from the same Knit O Graf pattern as #5. It was neat to have the actual pattern to work from -- and to see that I'd reverse-engineered #5 almost exactly right!

Stocking #8 is from a Bernat kit originally sold as "Jumbo Santa Claus Stocking". There is no design or pattern number given. I'd knitted this stocking for the client before. 

Bernat's description aside, the Knit O Graf stocking is even more jumbo-er, as you can see in this photo: 

Sorry about the goofy formatting - I just don't have time to dink with it right now. 

Here ends the first update.