Saturday, February 26, 2011

Piddling About

While I haven't been terribly busy I've not been idle either.  I decided to take the plunge and join the Happy Quilting Quilt Along.  I fell in love with Melissa's design when I first saw it.  My daughter has been asking for a quilt made from Sunkissed and I've been keeping an eye out for the "perfect" quilt pattern and this looks like it.  I was planning on making the 68x85 size , I figure she'll be able to cuddle up nicely in it.
 I know I'm really late starting but I've held back to see how the pattern would go because I still am still not terribly confident in  my skills.  While I wouldn't feel terribly bad if a project using one charm pack didn't work out, I certainly don't want to ruin a layer cake and two charm packs.  Happily it's looking to be within my capabilities though so I found some cute fabric for the sashing, took a deep breath, cut up my layer cake and started sewing.  I've got ten 16 patch blocks done which is what I need, but...
Turns out I got a little carried away in my block making so there are single squares, doubles, four patches, eight patches and sixteen patches all laying about at the moment.  I may have enough for the next size up.  Tomorrow I'll take stock and go from there.


In other news I finally got around to making another block from the Block-a-palooza sew along and I've another in the works.  I'm slowly getting there. 
  This is block 7 by House a la Mode Orange You Glad I Chose A Nine Patch .  I am glad she chose a 9 patch. I really like how it looks. 

That's about it for now.  I do have some new fabrics for show and tell but that will wait for another post. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Beading Project

A while back I decided to round out my jewelry/beading repertoire by learning the brick stitch.  I gathered together my size 11 seed beads and other supplies, picked a pattern and got started. 
I'm just a little over half way done.
3600 beads will be used to finish it and since each bead takes two stitches to complete, 7200 stitches.  Beginner project...HA, what was I thinking???

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tea Cozy Tutorial

Oh my word, I feel so much better!  Have you ever noticed how being sick really makes you appriciate feeling well?  I can't tell you how much tea I have had in the last two weeks, yesterdays was a heady brew of fresh ground ginger and honey.  Very warming and yummy.  Why am I telling your this?  Well I'm leading into my subject for the day. 

A while back I made a knitted tea cozy that has been used non-stop between washings.  I used acrylic yarn which is great for not holding onto tea stains but I wanted to make a back up and use a different method/medium.  So I did some cozy investigation and came up with just a very basic one that I'm going to share today.  I hope you don't mind. 

First, sketch up a pattern, it's super easy, it will be the shape of the wide end of an egg,  the width (tip of the spout to end of the handle) of your tea pot plus three or so extra inches, and the height of your teapot plus those same extra inches. Use this to cut out two layers of batting, two linings and two main pieces. 

Matching up the straight edges, layer the batting on the bottom, the main fabric face up and the lining fabric face down and sew together.

After that I like to trim the batting close to the stitch line so it takes away some of the bulk.

Then I press the seam allowance toward the main fabric and flip the lining to sandwich the batting between the fabric.  It will look like this...
Repeat this for the other pieces to create the other half of your cozy.  At this point you can quilt the pieces as desired.  Sandwich the two halves together, right sides facing, lining up the straight edges again, and sew around the curved portion.  You can use a serger for this if you have one or zig zag the raw edges.  
Flip it inside out and you're done.  Go make a pot of tea and use your new cozy to keep it nice and hot! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I'm just now starting to feel human again after battling my very fierce head and chest cold for over a week now.  I still don't have a lot of energy so I'm taking things slowly.  I am convinced there is a major design flaw when it comes to sinuses.
I've been letting my wonderful boyfriend take care of Lucy and Ethel so today was the first time I've gone out to feed/water them in over a week and look what I found!!!

We'd actually had to buy eggs a couple of times while the girls took a break due to the cold.  Let me tell you, I am tickled all sorts of pink to be back in with fresh eggs.  You can tell which one Ethel laid, she gives the speckled ones.  Is it bad that I want to add an Ameraucana or two to the mix?  They lay the colored "Easter eggs" that I just adore and they're so cute!  Don't tell my boyfriend though, he thinks two chickens is plenty... and he's probably right, we sometimes end up giving away eggs because they lay them faster then we use them in the warmer months, but still...
Living with a big field in my back yard means there is frequently something of interest going on.  Yesterday as I was making Chocolate Toffee Apple Scones I looked out back to see a parachute billowing in the wind. I ran for my camera, but this was the best I got
I'm pretty sure that they were just testing it and he wasn't actually a jumper, it seemed much to windy for that, but with no lines and no trees it's a good spot if you need a place to land.

I haven't made it back to my sewing room, but I've been keeping my hands busy with my drop spindle and this lovely Blue Faced Leicester wool that I've had for a while.  It reminds me of spring and sunshine.  Don't ask me what I plan to do with it once it's done, I've really no idea.
They're just the singles here but once I get the full 8oz. spun I'll ply them together.  I hope that I'll be back on track soon, I'm tired of feeling ill and I want to get back into my sewing room.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Love is Bliss Wall Hanging

I've not been very productive.  I've contracted my daughters head and chest cold and been more of a mind to stay in bed watching BBC shows on Netflix than doing any sewing.  If you enjoy a bit of British TV I recommend Doc Martin.  The best way to describe it is All Creatures Great and Small meets House.

I did manage to finish my wall hanging top which I'm calling Love is Bliss since I used a Bliss charm pack for this.  I think it turned out quite well and my kitty loves it.  I put it on the bed to show it to my boyfriend and not even half a minute later I got this.
All together now...Aaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

I'm sure you want to see the full thing. 
And a close up.  I used the larger prints in the charm pack for the whole blocks and the smaller prints for the HST's.  
Once I'm feeling better I'll figure out backing, quilting and binding.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Rainbow Challenge - Red

Oh my, we're only into the second month of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and I am already challenged!  I do not have any red scraps.  I had two 2" strips of a burgandy fabric with stars but other than that I was coming up completely dry.  So I went digging through my stash and found a beautiful red batik.  Then I came across this (does the happy dance)!  Add those and the rest of my Bliss charm pack and we have a plan!
Forgive my bedroom door, we've got a shortage of blank wall space at our house. 

It's coming together sew (as Madame Samm would say) beautifully, I'm super excited!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Bits & Pieces

I've been feeling a wee bit crafty, wanna see? 

I thought that we needed a touch of lovey colors about so I set myself to making some hearts to hang from the light fixture in our entry way.   I used this tutorial from Carol at A Path of Paper.  Hers are much nicer than mine, but they were fun to make. Then I added some cut out hearts to the mix
It's a craptastic picture but you get the idea. 


Last night I decided to make another block from the Block-a-palooza Quilt Along.  I'm just doing the ones that apeal to me rather than all of them.  Call me picky but I like having a certain amount of continuity I may design a couple of my own blocks to replace those that I don't follow along on or just make duplicates of my favorites. 
This one is called Shoofly Geese by Sasikirana Handmade. 
Again, all fabric from my stash.  I'm going to keep the white of the geese as a constant.


I decided to try my hand at collars for the animals, I used my embroidery function on my machine for the first time.  They turned out quite well but I forgot to take pictures of the cat collars.  I should because it's rather funny, I made the collars black with the letters in colored thread but I've no black elastic so they all looks quite priestly with their black collar with white front.  Especially Midnight since he's all black. 
Here is Baby with her collar so you can get an idea how they looked.I've blacked out my phone number since you don't need it. :)  Her name and my phone # repeat around the full diameter of the collar. The gems are just glued on so she'll probably scratch them off at some point but I think it turned out quite cute. 
Isn't my my BooberBear cute!!


Earlier I brought out my big cutting mat so I could trim selvages.  I left for a moment and when I came back I found this...
Whatcha gonna do? *sigh*  I think I have a few other things I can work on for a while... 

Friday, February 4, 2011

What Do You Do When...

One of these show up at your door???

♥♥♥♥♥Let him in of course!!!♥♥♥♥♥

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Creative Space

It may seem silly, but my most creative space is my bed.  I've done many a paper craft and jewelry project on my bed and nearly all my knitting and crochet is done here.  Here is my current project, just a K1P1 scarf from some Lion Brand Homespun that a friend sent me.  Love the colorway!

My other creative space is my ironing board.  Lots of laying out goes on here.  See my new book?  I won my first give away and Julie over at Sew Jewelry sent me a lovely prize that I'm having a wonderful time playing with. 
For more Creative Spaces visit kootoyou

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Something Wonderful...

Arrived in my mail box.  
No Toulouse, "wonderful" not comfortable!  

Something Beautiful...
Yes, Berlioz, you are a beautiful, handsome kitty but I'm talking about something else.

Something Colorful...
Look at that center piece, can't you just see that on a bag!

Something Creative!
Can you guess which is mine? 
A huge thank you to Julie over at Sew Jewelry I won her Made it to 100 give away and she sent me this lovely book (which I used the moment it arrived) and yummy fabric!  (the tissue cover was made from my stash, the lovely fabric Julie sent is from the Soul Blossoms collection by Amy Butler.  Yummy big prints that are perfect for making...Bags!)