Category Archives: Crafts

Almost Christmas

Well Christmas is almost upon us and I really haven’t gotten much done to show for it. I found out that I have the beginning stages of Rheumatoid Arthritis so have been mired in the Internet for the last three weeks trying to figure out what happens with this disease. I did start some knitting today but I have to admit that as far as getting homemade gifts ready for Christmas this year was so-so.

I did make some more oven towels.
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The tutorial for these towels is over at the right-hand side of this blog.

I also spun up a little hank of the wool I had dyed (shown in previous posts).
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Shetland black, dyed shetland boysenberry and tangerine.

I also managed to do a low-water immersion shirt for my son.
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Jaquard Jet Black, ProChem Intense Blue. The grey/brown was the jet black separating in the water.

I also bought some stuff from KnitPicks.
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Enchanted Lake sock yarn.

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Close-up of the sock yarn because it’s so pretty.

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Jaquard acid dyes to experiment with my wool after Christmas.

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Some baby alpaca yarn on sale.

Not much else going on right now. I need to clean the dining room and put up the tree (I hate doing this but the grandkids will be here) so I can’t see blogging again before Christmas so I’m wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year :)

Karen

Bug Jar Quilt Finished.

Well here are a couple of pictures of the bug jar quilt finished. I was going to dye up some lime green to use as binding as I thought that would go well with the purple. When I went upstairs to the closet I noticed a lime green butterfly print. What could be more perfect – lime green with bugs!


Finished bug quilt front with lime green binding.


Finished quilt back with varigated purple/pink thread.

And of course Chase just had to check out his new blankie, heh, heh…


“Why Grandma, of course I like your blankie the best!”

Karen

Finished Christmas Tree Skirt.

It’s been busy the past couple of weeks and more so the last couple of days as we hosted the dinner for a progressive supper our “two-by-two” group from church put on. Lots of cleaning and putting up of Christmas themed decorations.

We put up the tree and I put the Christmas tree skirt I finished last week under it. So glad that this UFO was finally done. It took longer than I thought it would and the machine quilting took longer as well. By contrast the bug jar quilt that I’m finishing the binding on only took one day of machine quilting. Anyway here it is:


Christmas tree skirt from the “Thimbleberries Book of Quilts” by Lynette Jensen.

The only difference between my finished quilt and hers was different fabric choices and I added on a circular piece of fabric to make the skirt bigger. The original pattern went to the scalloped edge. The binding of course took forever to sew down.


Skirt under the tree waiting for presents.

Next on the list is finishing the binding on the bug jar quilt and I hope to have that finished tomorrow so I can post a couple of pictures of that as well. Then it’s on to other projects, time is flying by and running out even though I still have most of December left it feels like it’s too late to get stuff done. Happens every year this deadline kind of feeling.

Karen

Blue Baby Sweater

Well Jen finally sent me the pictures we took a couple of days ago featuring the blue baby sweater so I thought I’d post a couple of the photos. Really it’s all about the sweater…not…vbg.


Sweater knit in Bernat Soy Natural Blends. Pattern – Raglan Cardigan – from Baby Knits by Debbie Bliss.

It was very nice working with the Soy Natural Blends as it was very soft. I don’t know how it holds up in the wash but the finished sweater had a nice sheen to it. I found the pattern easy to work up although lots of loose yarn ends to tie in so a bit fussy that way. If you’re thinking of making this pattern be aware that the sweater works up to about the right size so if you’re wanting the baby to grow into it I’d choose the next size up from the baby’s actual size.


“Really grandma, the AC/DC concert was that good?”

And finally the best for last, two really cute guys :)


Grandpa never seems to get tired of holding Chase for some reason :)

That’s it for today, hopefully next time I blog it’ll be the Christmas tree skirt which I started ages ago. I’m not looking forward to the marathon session which will be sewing down the binding on this project.

Karen

This and That…

I’ve been working on a few projects lately and finished one over the weekend. We have a lady at church who is very talented and aside from being a great singer and musician she also does puppetry and one of the puppets she uses is called Miss Ewe.

I have a book that I recently aquired a few months ago called Tea Cozies and while flipping through it I found Miss Ewe and decided to make her to give to my friend.

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“Sheepish Look” tea cosy pattern by Caroline Lowbridge from the book “Tea Cozies”.

I’ve also been working on this project, which is supposed to be a surprise for my daughter so I’m only posting part of it and will post the finished product after the baby shower this Saturday. I don’t think she reads my blog so Jen if you’re reading this don’t.

Bug jar quilt
Project teaser.

And of course being proud grandma I get to post pictures of my new grandson and so I thought this one was very precious that his mom took.

Baby chase
Baby Chase.

I guess that’s all for today.
Karen

Swirl Quilt and Lace Yarn

Well I finally sewed together all the squares in my swirl quilt and all that needs doing aside from actually putting it together and quilting it is to put some kind of border around the squares. I’ve decided to piece together a border of plain blocks made up of the other swap technique fabrics in my stash. I’ll probably do that after I’ve put together some kind of quilt for my new grandson that is due to be born in the next week or so.

John with swirl quilt
John holding quilt over deck railing at back of house.

The swirls that make up this quilt were some that I had done myself but most of them were done by other ladies from my fabric dyeing forum in a swap exchange. For a block swap everyone does up the required number of squares and then sends them in to a hostess who exchanges all the blocks and mails them back out to the participants. This way you can dye up say 14 blocks in one colour pathway and then receive back 14 different coloured blocks.

I didn’t want a black quilt so had a hard time coming up with a good colour to match all the squares. Call it lack of imagination but I went with white to frame the squares (there were different sizes) to 15 inches and then a narrow band of light baby blue to tie them together. Black would have been stunning but the blue and white will match the guest bedroom and my bedroom for that matter better.

I also had my Knitpick’s order come in on Friday so thought I would post a picture of the colours that I bought during their recent lace sale.

Knitpick's peppermint cloud alpaca
Knitpick’s “Cloud Alpaca” in the colour Peppermint. I waited 9 months for this yarn to be restocked.

Knitpick's Shimmer Lace Hush
Knitpick’s “Shimmer” in the colour Hush. This is an alpaca silk blend.

Knitpick's kettle-dyed Shadow lace eggplant
Knitpick’s kettle-dyed “Shadow” in the colour Eggplant. Shadow is a 100% merino lace weight wool.

Knitpick's kettle-dyed Shadow lace Altitude
Knitpick’s kettle-dyed “Shadow” in the colour Altitude.

Knitpicks lace yarn
All the yarn together in a stack.

I already have some lace weight yarn waiting to be worked on but since I’d waited so long for the peppermint alpaca cloud to come in and it happened to be right when the other lace was on sale I decided to go ahead and buy some more since the shipping was the same regardless of how much I bought.

The lace yarn was quite reasonable ranging from $5.49 to $2.99 per 50 gram skein. Needless to say the peppermint alpaca was not on sale seeing as how there is such a great demand for that colour. Still, all in all if you figure you need anywhere from one to three skeins of yarn for a lace scarf or stole then you can make one of these projects for under ten dollars. Of course finding the time to do it is another thing but I’m thinking Christmas is a reasonable time frame. I guess another problem would be giving up the project once it’s made.

Karen

Finished Cottage Tote and More Snowdyes…

I finally got around to finishing up the “Cottage Tote” bag I started the end of January and I’m quite pleased with the way it turned out. The only big snag was self-inflicted at about 11:00 p.m. when I put the zipper in wrong side to right side, lol, I decided to make it a night at that point.

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“Cottage tote” from the book “Quilted Bags and Totes” by Denise Clason.

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Back of bag using hand-dyed fabric received from my secret sister swap. The blue, yellow and green on the front of the tote was also from this swap. The pink and light blue was from my own stash.

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Inside of the bag. The fabric is a snow-dyed piece I recently did.

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Zipper closure with a pale boysenberry snow-dye.

The bag is going to a lady I know at church. Her favorite colours are yellow and blue. She’s a musician, songwriter and author so every time I see her she’s got an armload of papers/music sheets so hopefully this will help. The bag is quite roomy.

We had warmer temperatures the last few days and rain so I dashed outside wanting to do a couple of pieces of snowdye before it melted. One of my forum friends had sent me some coral to experiment with and the idea was to try and make some clouds with a hint of coral. Well long story short I forgot to do the big blotch pattern on the first piece and I used the wrong blue. I used cerulean blue and probably should have gone with the mixing blue.

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Cerulean blue and Coral in a plaid configuration. The snow was from underneath and granular.

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Cerulean blue and Coral, bit of a purple cast to it.

So I thought that I’d try again only this time use less of a concentration of the coral and then do the pattern in bigger blobs. Lately I’ve been working with lavender mist so I thought that would do nicely as well. It was raining outside when I got the snow this time.

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Globs of cerulean blue and coral with lavender mist in between.

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Cerulean blue, coral and lavender mist.

The first piece had more of a purple cast to it which was surprising given that I used the lavender mist in the second piece but I figure it had more to do with the coral being stronger and the pattern layout. The blue and coral had a better chance of interacting. The blotches of colour were smaller in this piece.

Nice pieces, I used half the strength of coral dye in the second piece but it doesn’t really look like I did. No big fluffy clouds this time around, more like peonies in blue. Might be interesting to try again but have the flowers in a bed of green.

Karen

Another oven towel with dishcloth…

Since I’m on a roll today for blogging I’d thought I’d show off the dishcloth I just finished and the matching oven towel. I’ve been doing the dishcloth/washcloths and the oven towels separately but it finally occured to me to put them together for a matching set and voila!

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Matching dishcloth and oven towel.

This particular set is on it’s way to Norfolk Island via Australia. It’s part of a thank you gift for the magazine I received from my friend there. I don’t think she reads my blog so I’m okay to post it.

Karen

The “Oh Well” duvet cover.

I have been working on several projects but haven’t taken the time to blog them as most are as yet unfinished but I thought I would post some pictures of a quilted duvet cover that I helped my friend make for her daughter. Her daughter is returning to Australia to finish up her schooling so we were under a time constrant to do this so as two heads and four hands are better than one person I invited my friend over and we used the new MegaQuilter to piece the top together.

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“J” working on assembling the pieces.

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Moi sewing squares together.

The problem with this quilt top was that J’s daughter had bought two single bed pre-cut kits but the duvet itself was for a double-sized bed so we had to adjust all the measurements to fit 86″ square. Shouldn’t have been a problem but J’s mom had pre-cut the material with her grandaughter but seeing as she was elderly her hands didn’t have the strength to cut straight and many of the blocks were off in size. J’s mom has since passed away so the material was precious because it was the last project she had worked on and J’s daughter had been with her at the time.

J’s daughter had bought extra material to go along with what was in the quilt kits – the kits didn’t include border material. Some of this extra border material had been cut for the four patch squares we were sewing together. Well long and short of it was there wasn’t enough material to make all the squares needed for a double sized top and there wasn’t enough material for borders because some of it had been cut for squares.

Somehow they managed to cut the material in such as way that there was no extra. It’s the one thing I hate about pre-cut kits, there isn’t any extra material if you should happen to make a mistake and the kits were bought long enough ago that we couldn’t go and buy extra fabric. J’s daughter said that she bought two identical kits but the fabric just didn’t work out. Either the quilt shop shorted them fabric or there was different material inside each kit. It didn’t matter what each kit had as somehow we had to make it fit.

The mantra for the quilt top soon became “Oh well”. The seams didn’t match – “Oh well”. The blocks were cut different sizes – “Oh well”. There wasn’t enough of one colour – “Oh well”; you get the drift. In the end we reduced the number of blocks and just added more borders. The top was officially dubbed “The Oh Well” quilt/duvet.

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Trying to figure out a workable block placement with the squares we had.

J took the top home to figure out borders and added the purple.

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Top with first border of purple.

There wasn’t enough material left to add more borders so I dyed up 4 yards of boysenberry to add to the front. After I dyed the boysenberry it occured to me that fuchsia would be a better match to the daisies and it did match but the boysenberry made it pop and it matched the purple in the fabric and border better anyhow.

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Boysenberry with flower block.

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Flower block against some fuchsia fabric, we didn’t use this.

J brought over what she’d done of the back of the duvet. Floral and purple borders make up the back with a floral heart yet to be added to the inner purple square. There will be floral hearts added to the corners as well so basically J’s daughter will have a double-sided duvet cover and can choose which side depending on her mood.

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Fabric kind of squished as there wasn’t enough room to spread it out.

We had a good time working on the top together but it was frustrating at times with lots of head scratching at points but a job well done I think.

Karen

Winter

There’s nothing much new happening around here. I’m still working on my Granny afghan in my spare time between bouts of reading and computer. I thought I’d post a couple of pictures of the snow we’ve been getting here in Whitby, Ontario, Canada.

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Looking out the front window.

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Looking out the back window.

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The deck with bird feeder.

I have a friend coming over today and we’re going to be working on a quilt/duvet/doona cover for her daughter who is going back to Australia next week. I have my new MegaQuilter sewing macine so I thought that two people are faster than one so hopefully it will get done quicker with one person sewing while the other is ironing and assembling the pieces.

Meanwhile since I hadn’t tested out the machine I thought that maybe I should and worked on this little project yesterday.

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Cottage tote from the book “Quilted Bags and Totes” by Denise Clason.

This is just the front panel of the bag. I used print fabrics for the block and hand-dyes for the strips that I received in my secret sister swap. I’ll post more pictures when I get the bag done.

Karen