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.