Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ghastlies quilt top

I had never even heard of The Ghastlies until I was let loose on a bunch of genuine quilt shops in Salt Lake City during Sewing Summit last year.  I am not much of a Halloween person, but when I saw this fabric I couldn't resist picking up a bit, just in case.  I managed to put together a couple blocks last fall and decided to pull it out again to see if I could make some progress this year before Halloween came and went again.  My intention was to make a wall hanging for our front door, but I was having too much fun and soon amassed more than enough blocks for a full quit!


I did the individual blocks with no rules or measurements in mind, just added fabric until I felt they were fun.  I added some purples, pinks and marigold oranges from my stash for pops of color along with the greys and blacks, and I love the combination.  I spliced the blocks all together very free form with some Alexander Henry Heath (I am sure there is an easier way to do this than what I did) and then decided to frame the collection with a wonky border in the coordinating fabrics.

Some of my favorite characters! Of course the knitting sisters are featured in there :)

Even spliced a few extra ghastly folks in along the borders.

I had fun every minute making this quilt top.  Now to decide on some fun quilting...I am thinking spider webs??

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Quilt Story

My princess quilt is being featured on Quilt Story today :)  Thanks, Megan and Heather!  Be sure to pop by, and take some time to peruse some of the other awesome quilts they have featured, and the stories that make them special.

Quilt Story

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012

Weekender jewelry pouch (on a Monday)

When Kaelin asked me to test her latest pattern, the Weekender Jewelry Pouch,  I jumped at the chance.  As usual, it is perfectly written and did not require a single modification, anyhow!  A great alternative to the millions of other pouches out there, this is a super cute girly way to carry your favorite accessories on holiday!

Not only stylish, it is very practical, with little compartments along the side to separate your pieces and keep them from getting tangled or scratched, and room for bigger things like my favorite chunky bracelets in the middle.

I made this for a very "cosmopolitan" friend who spends a lot of time travelling, using some Denyse Schmidt fabrics from JoAnn's.  The plaid has a very Burberry-esque vibe, and I love the final product.

Kaelin's pattern is due to be released in her shop today, so be sure to pick one up!  I think this would be a perfect Christmas gift, maybe with a cute pair of earrings tucked inside?  The entire project took me only 1-1/2 hours to make, and less than a yard of fabric!

Sharing at Sew Modern Monday.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

fabric pig

I have been soooo good. Really I have. I haven't bought any fabric since I got my Flea Market Fancy in the spring.  Okay, a small amount of Heather Ross' Crafty Chloe, but under $30 doesn't count ;)

But then it was like a dam broke.

Boy have I had fun! As IF I could have the restraint to pass up on Nersery Versery, the new Heather Ross Prints book (and a load of her corresponding Spoonflower fabric).

OR Anna Maria Horner's Field Study! And, um...I may have placed a second order after this one. Maybe. :)

And a Little Folks voile sale for $7 per yard? Really, it couldn't be helped.

And as you know, sometimes a few wee extras find their way into the cart.....

Plus I bought YARDAGE. Normally I piss around with half yard cuts for quilting, but this time I have a hankering for some clothes sewing. Will see what comes of it all. Hoping to make some pretty (and wearable) things for my girls and me.

And while we are talking fabric, I have really been feeling the navy and kelly green combo lately. Not my usual colors, but they are really appealing to me. So I built this monster pile of fabrics, throwing in some grey, aqua and a punch of red, and plan to splice it up to work on my favorite quilt pattern of the moment, Linky Love by my friend, the talented Tracey of Traceyjay quilts. Such a cute pattern! By the way, Tracey is also hosting the Treasure Boxes Charity Quilt Along at the moment, so I also plan to make a baby quilt with that to donate to my local Children's Hospital NICU this Christmas.

Off to work I go!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Vintage finds

Had a lovely day with The Middle Child and and old friend last weekend. A perfect, sunny fall day, and we took in a farmer's market and a local quilt show. What could be better than that?

I scored some pretty cool vintage finds at the market, and had to share. First up, this wooden doll cradle, a steal for just $5!

I offered to give it a coat of paint but The Middle Child was thrilled with it just as it was, and immediately had it in her bedroom for her favorite doll and her doll quilt, of course.

Next up, how neat are these? A set of paper plate holders, shaped like fish, in a sunny bright yellow. How fun for at the lake! Again, only $5 (a good day!).

Lastly, this one is a freebie from my wonderful MIL. I had admired her old Pyrex bowls last time I was at her house, so she surprised me by gifting them to me. She received them as a wedding gift 40 years ago, and they remain in wonderful condition. I was so touched that she shared them with me! Thanks, Mom :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

baby knit eyelet hat pattern

When I made this cute baby shrug, I had just enough yarn left over for a sweet wee hat. I decided to make up a pattern that matched. As promised, I am sharing it with you!

Size: 3 months (6-12 month, 1T-2T)
To fit head size: 14-17" (16-19", 18-20")

Materials: Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label yarn in natural, 50 (100, 150 yards)
needle: circular US size 8/ 5mm (I used a 40" circular and used the magic loop method)
Stitch marker
tapestry needle

Gauge: 4.5 st/inch

Abbreviations used:
st: stitch
K or k: knit
k2tog: knit two stitches together as one (decrease)
P or p: purl
YO: yarn over (increase)
BO: bind off


Cast on 60 (66, 72) st.
Place marker and join in the round, being careful not to twist stitches.
Row 1-6: *K1 P1, repeat from * to end of each row (1x1 ribbing).
Row 7 (Eyelet row): *K1, YO, k2tog, repeat from * to end of row.

Knit in stockinette (knit every stitch) until hat measures 4.5 (5, 6.5) inches from cast on edge.

Begin Decreases to shape top of hat:
Row 1: *K4, k2tog, repeat from * to end of row. 50(55, 60) st.
Row 2: knit all stitches
Row 3: *K3, k2tog, repeat from * to end of row. 40(44, 48) st.
Row 4: knit all stitches.
Row 5: *K2, k2tog, repeat from * to end of row. 30(33, 36) st.
Row 6: knit all stitches
Row 7: *K1, k2tog, repeat from * to end of row. 20(22, 24) st.
Row 8: knit all stitches.
Row 9. k2tog to end of row. 10(11,12) st
Row 10: knit all stitches.
Row 11: k2tog to end of row. There will be one extra stitch for the 6-12 month size hat; knit it. 5(6, 6) st.

Thread tail of yarn through remaining stitches and pull tight.
Weave in ends and block.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Nevermore shrug

A sweet friend gifted me three skeins of some beautiful Knitpicks yarn in a shade called Nevermore (now discontinued). I loved the combination of blues and purples and greens, and decided I need to make something just for me.

After finishing Esther Mae's baby shrug, I thought a shrug was just the thing for me. I adapted the Evening Shrug pattern from Purl Soho into just what I wanted, a nice casual shrug that looks great thown on over a tank top with a pair of jeans.

I made the sleeves more simple, and I added ribbing around the edges to prevent curling.

I didn't love the way this was constructed...don't think I would make this pattern again, but it still is cute enough for what it is. I think it will get a fair amount of wear as we enter into fall!

More details on my Ravelry page.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Once in a blue moon, the stars align....and I just lounge.

A Monday afternoon.
Kids in school.
Me and my little sis both with a day off work.

Hanging out with some homemade soup, chips and dip, a quilt, and The Vampire Diaries. Ohhhh...the joy of guilty pleasures!

Wishing you a day just like that!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Heather Ross summer blouse

When I started sewing, prior to my blogging days, it was to sew cute outfits for my daughters. But I have never, ever sewn something for myself. Mostly this is because I have big boobs. Hard to find patterns that cater to the sistas! But I have been a wee bit obsessed with sewing myself a fall wardrobe lately, given all the amazing fabrics out there, and I decided to take the plunge and start with the summer blouse pattern from Heather Ross's Weekend Sewing book, which has been sitting up on the shelf for ages. Incidentally, that book has now been joined by her latest, Heather Ross Prints, which is absolutely freaking awesome and I assume you are all smart enough to buy! ;)

I definitely had some blips along the way making this shirt. I originally planned to make this in my long-hoarded Amy Butler lotus flower and moon dots, as the pattern called for 1 - 5/8 yards and I had 2 yards of each. BUT, wrong-o. The layout of the pattern pieces showed that the sleeve piece should fit alongside the front and back pieces, but it didn't, so I ended up needing about 2.5 yards to lay the pieces all out. Of course I didn't clue into this until I had ALREADY started chopping up the fabric (grr). Lesson learned, check and double check! So, to avoid further spoilage of dear and hard to find out of print fabrics, I started again with this cute print I picked up for a good price at Fabricland ages ago. I love the style of it for this shirt.

Overall, for a first attempt at sewing, this shirt is wearable. I love the laid back style of it, and certainly plan to make it again. When I do, in addition to the fabric quantity modification, I will definitely lengthen the shirt. It falls a bit too high for my liking, and while it looks good layered with a longer tank top, I think it is too short to wear on its own. Conversely, the sleeves were way too long. Also, I would probably shorten the neck slightly in the front. And while we are splitting hairs, I may choose a fabric with a bit more drape.

What I love about this shirt (and where I think I kicked some clothes-sewing ass), was the hand stitched orange detail and button along the neck. Just adds so much to the look! I love it.

Also, I made the shirt using French seams, which leaves no raw edges, and this makes the finish look so much more polished. Will definitely do this for all clothing I make in the future, and judging by the ridiculous amount of online fabric shopping I have done lately, there should be plenty of clothing to follow!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

the most wonderful time of the year....

I couldn't resist posting some pictures of the kids on their first day of school today. We have had a great summer full of fun, but let me tell was time to return to routine! Little monkeys were bouncing off the walls this last week or so. AND, it will be nice to find a quiet hour here or there in my own house to do some crafting!

This year was extra monumental in that Last But Not Least started Kindergarten. She is more than ready to follow her siblings to the "big kid school," and it certainly simplifies things for me to have them all in one place, but of course this moment did pull at my heart strings a bit.

I took the day off work and, to celebrate her first day, she and I shared a special "Mommy and Me" afternoon which included her favourite lunch and a trip to do some pottery painting. We made a plate with her handprint to commemorate the big day!

And the "big" kids just keep getting bigger. The Middle Child is now in Second Grade...

...and it is Grade 3 for Big G!

Onward and upward!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

that stinks.

At my house this morning......

Last But Not Least bounds into my bed for morning cuddles (as she often does), and wakes me with a big hug.

LBNL: I love you, Mom. You should buy some Tic Tacs.
Me: Oh?
LBNL: Yes. They are the one calorie breath mint.
Me: Are you saying I have bad breath?
LBNL, smiling sweetly: Very. You should buy the mint kind, not the orange. The orange are just for taste, the mint is for breath, you need the mint kind.
Me: Got it...
LBNL: And you should eat them in the nighttime, so it won't be so smelly when I come to snuggle.
Me: Noted!

And at breakfast.....

Kids: Can we have some friends over for playdates today?
Me: Not today, I want to relax and don't feel like watching a houseful of kids.
LBNL: You don't have to watch us! You can just look at your iPad and we'll get you if somebody bleeds!

Just another day in Paradise!