Friday, July 31, 2009

Absence is supposed to make the heart fonder, right?

So, do you love me?

I keep thinking "Oh I should do a post about this" or "that" or "that other thing" or "this one time..." and then don't and then forget what this, that or the other were about and then weeks go by and a weird mossy growth forms on my blog and I have to clean it off each and every time I come here to post something and each time I grumble and think "why didn't I just do this sooner" and then I forget again what I came to post about, much like today.

What did I want to post about?

A list of possibilities:
-The Sahara that I almost finished and will now need to frog
-The overwhelming amount of items sent in to Craft Hope and how reading about it caused me to cry at work
-How I really want to try embroidery and whether that is just one more nail in the "what are you, 80?" coffin
-How this weekend will be a long weekend for no reason other than that Alberta wanted one and what Alberta wants, Alberta gets. It is called "Civic Holiday" on the calendar (sometimes called "Heritage Day" but I think "Civic Holiday" has a nice holiday vibe)(ha)
-about last weekend's trip to a "lake" where I was surprised to realize that "lake" doesn't always indicate "beach" and sometimes "beach" doesn't indicate "beach for more than 2 people at a time"

uh... maybe that was it.

I'll be back (honest) with actual posts and pictures and everything. honest.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Practical Sewing (?)

You know how you see something or need something and you think "Oh, I can make that" and you do and then your friends and loved ones look at you like you're crazy because, "you know you can just buy that, don't you?" And you look at them like they're crazy because: why would you buy it when you have all the stuff to make it yourself? (alternately, just "why would you buy it when you could make it?")

I'm pretty sure I'll hear that about my weekend sewing:

Friday evening my bedroom door kept slamming shut due to all the windows being open in hopes of a cross breeze. It was driving me crazy. So... I thought "I remember seeing a cute sewn/quilted doorstop on Sew Mama Sew a while ago. I should make that." It did occur to me at one point that I could just set something, anything in front of the door but... why?


Pattern: Nine Patch Doorstop by Elizabeth Green of Oh, Fransson! (pdf found on her post here)
Fabric: stash scraps in my favorite colors.
I filled it with some rice that was in my cupboard for a long time (like 2+ years long). It's good and heavy and it holds my door and if when I walk straight into it or kick it toe first it will be nice and soft on my foot which should mitigate some of the damage.*

Saturday, I finally got so annoyed and, frankly, disgusted by the ugly, worn out pot holders I had (and had been meaning to replace for a year or more) that I decided to do something about it. I pulled out a bunch of scraps, cut them to 2 inch wide strips and started stitching them end to end. Once they were all joined in a big long strip, I joined the 2 ends and stitched up one long side. I found this idea at Happythings. I love how it looks as it's all sewed up (sewn up?).


I layered the top then a layer of cotton flannel, a layer of cotton batting, then another layer of flannel and the plain cotton back. I machine quilted in straight lines, cut two 9" squares and bound them like a quilt. I forgot to allow for a loop so the loops were added later.


I'm not sure if you can figure out what my favorite color(s) may be... haha

Other practical sewing of late that I haven't blogged:

Recycling tote bag:
I have a bad habit of letting my cardboard recycling pile up. I live in an apartment building so I don't get a cool blue bin for city pickup and have to take my recycling to the drop off points (sympathetic "aww" can be inserted here)(I know! my life is HARD!) I always seem to end up struggling to find plastic bags or boxes to cart the fairly large amount of cardboard every 6 months or so (i know, if I didn't let it pile up this wouldn't be a problem, but like THAT's gonna happen).

So, once again, necessity won out and I sewed a solution:

recycling bag

Fabric is from Ikea. I made a simple tote bag about 22" deep and 30 inches wide. I made the straps wide enough to be comfortable and long enough that I can sling the bag over my shoulder when I eventually do remember to take my recycling to the drop off.

recycling bag2

I think that's everything. I'm sure there will be more to come!

*You know how people say they are clumsy and then other people protest that, no, they are more clumsy? Well, at the risk of being a one-upper, I'm clumsier than those people all combined. I have broken, nearly broken, jammed out of shape almost every toe more than once. It's gotten so common for me to walk into stuff I sometimes don't even notice. I had a swollen, sore toe last week and couldn't figure out what I had done this time to hurt it. I hit my fingers on things because I don't know how long my arms are; I hit my knees on desks; crank my head on the door frame of my car... You get the picture.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Craft Hope Baby Quilt

I love how this quilt turned out.

Baby quilt

I used fusible cotton batting and I love it! I always have trouble with basting (pins or thread) and the fusible batting took away the need for basting. The quilting is less than perfect but I think it looks pretty good considering. I know that i need to start saving up for a better sewing machine. The opening on mine isn't very wide so quilting any size quilt is a challenge.

Baby quilt detail

I backed it with some cotton I got on sale at Walmart a few years ago and bound with cotton from stash. I'm really happy with how it washed and dried. It's got that great slightly crinkly look. I'll get it in the mail tomorrow.

I'm also sending a blanket I wove a while ago for a friend's baby but ended up not sending. I like it and hope it's acceptable for the project.

Woven blanket

Woven blanket detail

This project made me think of all the really amazing ways that crafters online join together to do good in this world. We hear of a need or a hurt and we reach for our yarn, needles, fabric stash and thread, searching for ways to provide a small measure of comfort with our craft. We inspire one another and challenge and teach and raise one another up to do more good.

It's pretty amazing and I'm really glad to be a small part of this community.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What Summer Tastes Like

Rhubarb Cobbler with fresh homemade vanilla ice cream.

I was inspired (made to drool, really) by this post) at Balkan Style. I had some slightly freezer-burnt rhubarb from my Mom's freezer. Coincidentally the recipe specifically mentioned freezer-burnt rhubarb as a good choice for the fruit in the cobbler. And let me tell you, it was.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Yes I have a problem.

Today I decided to sort through (some) of my projects on needles and decide what will be finished and what will be frogged. (some of) the items in the "to finish" queue, in no particular order:

Sock #2 of the pair. The first has been completed since March/April. I don't know why this second one has sat for so long. I knit the heel flap today (WOO). Also, the color in this photo is not accurate but my camera decided it was a fiery red rather than a deep red.

Scarf knit with some yarn I don't remember buying but I love the look and feel. I've started and frogged too many projects with this yarn and it WILL be knit and it will be something I love and use. It will. No pattern, just starting from a center point and knitting up in a shallow triangle with an openwork pattern I found somewhere. (these notes are super informative, huh?)

Again with the camera not seeing these tones properly. This is some handspun I finished last week. It had taken forever (measured in months) to spin because the roving was slightly matted from when I dyed it and I was frustrated by it. The color is actually more purpley. (Shut up spell check, that is so a word). Pattern is Lavalette from Through the Loops.

Sahara in Patons Bamboo Silk (or Silk Bamboo?). LOVE this yarn but growing bored with it. I seem to recall the same problem with my first Sahara... Must finish before end of summer as this will be sleeveless or with small cap sleeves.

Apres-Surf Hoodie in handspun. I'm knitting it in the round and will likely omit the hood. And when I say "I'm knitting it" I mean "I was knitting it although I haven't touched it other than for this photoshoot in over 3 months". ehem

So, of course there are other knitting projects that I haven't unearthed yet which should be finished, but my goal was to complete these projects before starting any new knitting projects. I say "was" because (and here is where the title comes into play) 2 hours after setting myself this goal I cast on a new project:

Although in my defense, it is a baby blanket for Craft Hope and it was because the blanket I wove turned out so horribly wonky as to be unusable and...

yes, I know, I have a problem.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Baby quilt top

Have you heard of Craft Hope? It's a project designed to share crafted gifts with those less fortunate around the world. I heard about it through Eren's blog This Vintage Chica. I didn't get it together in time to get a doll made for Project #2, but the stories of what has been made is so great.

Project #3 is blankies, beanies and booties for orphanages in India. I immediately began planning at least one woven blanket and one quilted blanket.

I'm always pretty bad at in progress photos, but I want to show off the quilt top I finished last night.

Baby quilt top

I found the herringbone directions somewhere on line (can't remember where or find the link) and used up a bunch of scraps from various niece sewing projects. It's 31" x 32" and turned out just how I was hoping. I'm not sure if I should use batting or maybe just a layer of cotton flannel to quilt it. I'll decide soon and try quilting it on my machine. I figure it's small enough that I can manage it in my small sewing space.

Anyone else taking part? What are you making if you are? If you're not, I encourage you to take a look and consider keeping it in mind. The deadline for this project is July 25th so there's not much time left.