Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Owen Luke - Quilt #3

In keeping with the other two quilts I made for Ellie and Caleb, I bring to you the completed version of Owen Luke's quilt!

This was quilted in the ditch, and I added a few extra quilting lines, such as a diamonds running down the blue border and the completed diamonds inside each red square (even if the blue diamond lines were missing).

Over all, I loved how this baby came out!

Pattern: Snowball Sampler from Pam and Nicky Lintott's "Jelly Roll Sampler Quilts," with an added 2' border for extra size.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Carolyn's Vest

A few weeks ago, a good friend of mine brought a knitted vest to our knitting group.

"I just need to be done with it!" she said, "I can't frog it yet another time."

She wanted someone to take it, someone who could appreciate the craft.

And honestly, it was beautifully made.

It was voted mine. So, today I present you a beautiful knitted vest from the needles of a good friend.

PS: It has cables, pockets, buttons, and a hood!

PPS: I need to convince my photographer to take these closer...

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Sunshine Dress

This was another beauty that I made back in the summer of 2013 in preparation for a professional life. You see, I was trying to work in layers, and to use only a certain palette of colors, so that everything would go with everything else. That's a huge bonus in Rochester!

Well, I also discovered that with my strange body shape, most "professional" silhouettes looked terrible on me! So, I began making my own, in the colors I wanted, and the styles I wanted.

In fact, if you look back, most of what I make fits this profile.

Anyway, on to my sunshine dress! Using another pattern, I was able to make this from broadcloth, a thick one, and I just love the way it hangs!

Oh! And it has pockets!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Cork Boards!

I mentioned the Upcycling Class that I taught at my last place of work. Well, I've had some extra corks and frames sitting in the closet for a while, and this past weekend, I finally did something about it!

As before, I'm still busy. I have plenty of gifts I could show, but things are falling apart a little on this end for other reasons (work, mostly), and so I'm stressing out t how behind I am. I'm planning to go back and show two projects I completed during my year hiatus (I forgot to show them before), and after that, I should be ready and able to show you all those Christmas gifts I've been holding off on!

There they are, ready for Christmas cards!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Miss Frizzle Skirt

As a kid, I always loved the show "Magic Schoolbus," and later, as an adult going in to teaching, I wanted to emulate her creativity and spunk.
Before I began student teaching, a few years back during my original dry spell, in 2013, I sewed a few garments for myself to wear in the upcoming school year. Since these fit the criteria of a post (completed after I started the blog, and something I made), I'll post them now. If I'm not mistaken, these are the last flash-back posts I'll do.

So, low and behold, I present to you my Miss Frizzle skirt!

I used a McCalls pattern, and it took be about two days to get it done. I love this skirt! It fits so wonderfully and is comfortable. The only downside is that there's no pockets!

The wind was acting up quite a bit during this photoshoot, so forgive the nature of the pictures!

In real life, the skirt is actually very seam-lined. There are pleats built into it and ironed out every time I wash it, which I suppose is optional, and it's made with basic cotton fabric.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Eliana's Baby Booties 2.0

Guess what I found in my desk drawer the other day?

Eliana's Baby Booties and Headband.

I doubted the booties would still fit the little munchkin, so I made her another pair! These ones have little bows instead of flowers, but they were too cute to pass up.

I opted not to make another headband, since I thought the old one would probably still fit her.

Below, you can see all three together, as they are currently in a package off to Texas!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Camera Bag 2 - Soft Shell Case

9x12 fabric
As previously seen, I've been working on some camera bags for the photography class at my school. This next post gives you the instructions for the soft camera bags.

24x5 fabric
You Will Need:

  • a piece of fabric (either 9x12 or 24x5, approximately. There is room for adjustments.)
  • quilt batting scraps
  • spray basting (optional)
  • velcro dots
  • Step 2
    Step 1
  • needle and thread

Directions: 9x12
  • Iron out your piece of fabric and lay your quilt batting on top. Spray baste if desired.
  • Fold your fabric in half and quilt across. Your new, quilted piece should measure 9x6.
  • Fold this piece in half again and sew down the open side and bottom with 1/2" seam allowance. Leave the top (pre-folded section) open. This will measure 4.5x6.
  • Tie off the ends and trim. Turn this case right-side out. You should have a case that measures 4x5.5.
  • Add a velcro dot to the opening and use as desired!

Directions: 24x5
  • Iron out your piece of fabric and lay your quilt batting on top. Spray baste if desired.
  • Fold your fabric in half and quilt across. Your new, quilted piece should measure 12x5.
  • Fold over the bottom of the open skinny end by about 1/2" and sew. Your new piece should measure 11.5x5.
  • Fold this piece in half again and sew down the long sides with 1/2" seam allowance. Leave the top (pre-folded section) open. This will measure 5.25x5.
  • Tie off the ends and trim. Turn this case right-side out. You should have a case that measures 5.25x4.
  • Add a velcro dot to the opening and use as desired!

     As you can see, there's plenty of room for adjustments. Play with it and see what works for you and your camera!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Camera Bag 1 - Hard Shell Case

As I mentioned last week, there was a need for some camera bags at the school I work at, and I volunteered to make a few. This is the pattern for the blue bag, with hard foam core as filling.

This pattern leaves a space approximately 4 inches by 2 inches by .5 inches for the camera to sit in, so adjust accordingly if you choose to make one for a larger camera.

You will need:
  • 1/2" foam core
    • (2) 3x5 pieces
    • (2) 3x1 pieces
    • (2) 4x1 pieces
  • Fabric scraps
  • Needle and Thread
  • Velcro dots
  • Cut two pieces of fabric 9" by 5.5" for the outer shell.
    • Then, cut two small squares out of the lower two corners, each approximately 1" by 1".  Your fabric will look approximately like this, a picture I got from a Fiskars Beach Bag Pattern.
  • Cut two pieces of fabric 7" by 4.5" for the liner.
    • Then, cut two small squares out of the lower two corners, each approximately .5" by .5". All four pieces will look alike, just of different sizes.
  • Place each set with the right sides together and sew down the sides and bottom of each set with a half-inch seam allowance, as seen in the picture above. Iron the seams open.
  • In each bottom corner, seam the edges together to finish the box, again with a half-inch seam allowance. I mention how to do this is my Carry-On Bag Liner Tutorial.
  • Take an extra piece of fabric, at least 5" wide, and longer, and fold it in half the long way, so that there's a 5" fold. Sew down each side. Turn it right-side out, press open, and sew the open end to one side of the bigger section, with a 1/4inch seam allowance, so that when it's folder over, the "lid" will pop out.
  • Iron the open tops of both sections over toward the inside. Only iron in about a quarter-inch over.
  • Turn the bigger set right-side out and fill it with the foam core. The biggest pieces go on the sides, and then line each end with a 3x1 piece. Put a 4x1 piece on the bottom of the set, leaving one 4x1 piece out.
  • Place the liner inside the foam core and pin the two seams along the side and one pin in the middle of each side. With a needle and thread, hand sew across the top of the pressed sides. In each corner, sew over more fabric of the outside section in order to make sure they line up. See picture to the right.
  • Atatch Velcro dots to lid and body, and place camera inside. You will need to place the last piece of foam across the top to keep it steady.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Kiddo Camera Bags

At the school I currently work at, the art-department recently added a photography class, and got a series of discount digital cameras for the kids to use. However, since the cameras travel from class to class in a cement school, the wonderful art teacher was looking for some camera bag donations. I volunteered to make a few with what scraps I had, and present two design options to her, both of which will have pattern write-ups in a few weeks.

In the mean time, here are the two results. One is made with a hard foam core, while the other has a double layer of quilt batting.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Upcycling Class

Last year, I did a class with my then-students on upcycling. Recently, I realized that I'd never posted on it, and I figured, why not?

There's a local store called the "Center for Creative Reuse," and most every Saturday during that six week class, I took a trip there or to Salvation Army to get some supplies.

We did a series of fantastic projects, and the kids really enjoyed it! I'll just show you a sampling of the results.

We made some t-shirt bowls and rugs...

And some candle holders and photo-holders from old CD cases and wrapping paper rolls...

I got about 30 frames from Salvation Army, and we made a series of real-cork-boards...

And as a finale, we made terrariums with old glasses, to throw some sustainability in the mix!

Here's a shout out to all those kiddos, who I miss dearly. I'm thinking of you!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Quilt Top #4 - Grayson

Well, I took a month off.

And it was wonderful.

I needed that.  I really needed that.  I remembered why I loved creating in the first place - the job of seeing something completed!  The texture between your hands!  I missed that.  Focusing so much on making things for Christmas and this blog really sucked a lot of the joy out of it these past few months, with everything else going on - knitting began to feel like a chore.

Alas, here I am, ready to return to the blog!  You must know that I still am mostly working on Christmas things, and so I'm still going to have trouble making my weekly post time because of that, but I feel much more ready to take on the challenge now.

The school year is underway and I'm back on my feet!

And so, without further ado, today I present you with my most recent quilt top, for one mister Grayson.  This is the final of the four quilts I'm planning to complete for the next generation, hopefully to present around Christmas, but since I know those little buggers won't see these posts, I'm gonna go ahead and show you!

I chose the "Jitterbug" pattern from another quilt book, also by Pam and Nicki Lintott, called "Layer Cake, Jelly Roll, and Charm Quilts."  This was my first non-scrappy style quilt, and though I like the way it came out, I still wish I had been able to find a good background color that wasn't white.

Well, hopefully I'll get to quilting these last two soon so they can be done in the next two months, but in the mean time, I'll be back to a mostly-regular Wednesday post! (This relaxation on the schedule is to keep my own peace of mind!)

PS: If I know you in real life, could you please comment on this post?  I'd like to know whose Christmas gifts I can post here and whose I can't!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Fall Hand Warmers!

Firstly, let me say that I'm sorry this is coming to you late.  Things have been a little crazy recently, what with it being the start of a new school year, working at a new school, and all that comes with the first year of teaching.

I've also been having a little problem coming up with things to post since the vast majority of the projects I'm completing are Christmas gifts - I'm running out of non-surprise completions!

So on that note, I'd like to ask - if I know you in real life, could you please comment below?  I'd like to know which sub-sets of gifts I can post!  My fingers aren't quite fast enough to make extra things right about now (though I do wish they were!).

With all of that said and done, I decided to give myself a grace week, so I will not be attempting to post a late entry from last week - I will just skip it and move on.  It feels good.

And on to the main event...

As some of you may know, particularly if you've seen me over the summer, I have been knitting away at a set of wrist warmers modeled after the changing colors of fall leaves.  These were a test knit project for my amazing friend Lea over at Leafcutter Designs, who recently published a book called Knit the Sky.  The book is filled with creative designs and patterns that show knitting in a whole new light, and once my Cold Sheep stash is mostly busted, I'm hoping to jump on several more of her delightful ideas!

In any event, these handwarmers were knit with her yarn choice, the same are you would receive in the kit if you were to purchase it from her, and they are perfect for their purpose!

As you can tell, I haven't blocked them yet, but right now they are touring the country with Lea and her book!  I encourage you to take a look at it, and I'm not getting paid to say that!  I really enjoyed reading it, and the perspective it gave me has really encouraged me to keep being passionate about my craft - it doesn't always have to be about getting through enough yards of yarn a day to make it to Christmastime!  And so, because of that new realization, and because everything has been so hectic at work for the past few months, I'm choosing to take a month off of this blog.  I want to focus on enjoying my knitting for a while.  See you in a month!

Ravelry Project

PS: Stay tuned; I also have another knit-kit from this book, but I'm not sure when exactly I'll get a chance to work on it!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Summer Sampler!

A few months ago, I discovered a local Needlepoint Store and dragged a few friends along.  In preparation, I asked around about nice wedding sampler patterns, and discovered one by Teresa Wentzler that I liked.  The colors were not quite as warm as I wanted.  That was okay, I figured, since I could just replace them with slightly different shades at the store.

As it turns out Theresa Wentzler has hundreds of shades in each project.  That replacement went poorly at best.  I decided to leave them alone and make one as is.  If it's really not my style, I'll make it for my cousin (I have to make one for her anyway, and she's always liked cooler colors), and then try to replace some of the colors now that I know how it works.

I didn't want to start on the Wedding Sampler, though, as my first foray into needlepoint in a matter of years, and have it end up warped; I purchased a set of Season Samplers to supplement.

Over the last few months, I have been working on and off on this Sampler, and I have finally finished it!  I am so ecstatic!

The longest part, by far, was the over-one plateau.  About halfway into the sampler, I figured I was almost done, because all I had left was the ribbons/bead (which I saved for last) and the over-one section.  Boy was I wrong!  That's when it hit me - the over-one won't take twice as long, it will take four times as long, since each stitch is one-fourth of the size of an over-two stitch.  Oft course I wasn't almost done!

As you can see there are small sparkly beads in the border, and the ribbon flowers repeat from the border as french knots in two separate places.

I am in love!