Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sampler Quilt Progress

It's been so very nice this week just to slow down and piddle around the house with not much to do, aside from full time work. After the craziness of Christmas I always really look forward to that week after, time seems to slow and I don't feel so rushed. This week I managed to eek out two blocks for the quilt I started in November. I've been working on these Summer Sampler Series blocks whenever I have a few free moments to myself. I can't recommend this series of tutorials enough. I've learned so, so much about piecing. Anyone looking to get started with more complex quilting should definitely try these! It sounds so funny but the sense of accomplishment when you finish a block is just so gratifying. I've said it before but I absolutely LOVE fiddly / precise sewing. I have no idea why but maybe because it require so much more concentration, I actually feel like I'm "getting away" when I sew. There's no room to daydream about other things. This has fit that niche perfectly and I think it's shaping up to be one of my most favorite things I've ever done. I'm using this gorgeous fat quarter bundle from Fat Quarter Shop and a few additional colors I picked up locally. I'm planning on sashing it with white with a few colored squares thrown in and backing it with a matching vintage sheet I have. I really want to hand quilt it but I have no idea yet how I want to quilt it. Since I'm only half way through the series I've got some time to come up with a plan. Although, I really can't wait for this to be done so I can snuggle under it!

I hope everyone had a really lovely holiday and is enjoying some quiet time this week.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

December Socks

I know, FINALLY a post! I've had such a hard time lately remember to document my projects. I've been in such a rush to finish things for the holidays that I've already finished and wrapped up the FO before I remember to take a picture. I've also been really dis-satisfied with any pictures I take lately. My "good" camera isn't working well anymore so I haven't felt like anything I've taken has been "blog worthy" but I'm trying to not be so picky!  This time of the year is always nuts and I need to remember to take time to slow down a bit every day. I did manage to eek out a pair of socks this month (started last month) so I'm only two months behind on my monthly sock goal, haha! (Which reminds me, I need to give you an update on my 30 Before Thirty list!) These are the Log Cabin Socks, knit in Dream in Color Classy for my dad. I love this pattern, it's fun and super fast because it's knit with worsted weight yarn. I don't love knitting with this yarn but I know from experience that it's very hard wearing and I think he'll get a lot of good use out of them.

I still have two more knitted gifts to finish before Christmas but I'm actually not stressed about it anymore. It'll get done, it always does! What are you all working on??

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bad, bad blogger!

Hey all! Just a note to say yes, I'm still here. I've been a very, very bad blogger. Work is insanely busy this time of the year. (Such bad timing) I'm getting ready for a craft show this weekend, making lots of Christmas gifts and somewhere in there was Thanksgiving and our trip to Florida. Phew, it's been a crazy few weeks. I'll try to pop in later this week and share some of the gifties I'm working on for Christmas. I hope everyone is well and getting into the holiday spirit! Even though it's always hectic, I absolutely adore this time of the year!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A New Jacket

My littlest one needed a new fall coat and I've been searching the thrifts / consigments for a a few weeks with no luck. I normally don't like to sew things like this as it seems like you spend way more to sew a jacket than to actually buy one. But I had this adorable flannel from Cloud 9 Fabrics already so I thought I would give it a go! I picked up some coordinating wool flannel for the outside and I used this pattern, from Etsy. It's inexpensive and SO simple! I love the clean silhouette and the style is perfect for super active toddlers. The only modification I made was to add a layer of batting between the lining and the outside to make it extra cozy. It only took me a few hours to whip this baby up and I'm super happy with the result, not to mention that I was able to make it for less than $20! I made a size larger than the munchkin is wearing so hopefully it'll last a few seasons.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A few of my favorite things...

I've been dying for ages to come up with some embroidery patterns for the shop and here's the first of them! It's a few of my favorite holiday things for you to stitch up! I'm definitely not the best of stitchers so I really debated not showing this close up photo, haha! But it shows that even the most meager of stitching skills can make a cute sampler for the holidays. I'm sure you all will come up with some really great ways to use this sampler! The PDF pattern is now available here.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

In the Shop!

There will be a very limited number of plushies available for the holiday season, the first small batch of Folky Guitars and Long Dogs are in the shop now. Get them while you can!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New in the Shop! Cut 'n Sew Kits

Make Your Own Long Dogs are finally back in the shop! But this time he's joined by two more friends. You can now make your own mini Mabel doll and mini Happy Turtle! These are awesome for beginning sewers and would make wonderful stocking stuffers. All three are now in the shop here.

Monday, October 31, 2011

And the Winner Is...

Congratulations to the winner of my 2012 Calendar giveaway! Thank you so very much to everyone who left such very kind comments on the giveaway! I truly appreciate each and every one of you. I hope everyone has a safe and super fun Halloween!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

New in the Shop

I'd planned on no adding things to the shop until next week but I've been a little ahead of schedule, *gasp* on making so I was anxious to add some stuff. Here's what's new in the shop this week. There will be much more next week! Also, don't forget to enter the calendar giveaway.  You've got until Monday!

Yarn Love prints in three colors!

And hand screen printed Cut 'N Sew ornament kits for the holidays! Shop the new goodies here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

2012 Calendar Giveaway

*The winner has been picked here

Next week I'll be adding lots of new goodies to the shop but I thought in the meantime I'd do a little giveaway to kick off what's sure to be an exciting holiday season! I'll be giving away one of my new 2012 Mini Print Calendars to one of you. The calendars are printed on lovely recycled paper and feature a perforation so you can tear off the calendar bit when you're done and are left with an art print to reuse!

There's a few ways to enter : 1: Go here and "favorite" the calendar on Etsy, 2: Tweet about it! and 3: Leave a comment below. For each thing you do I'll enter your name in the drawing. So if you do all three you'll triple your chances of winning the calendar! I'll draw a name on Monday, October 31st to celebrate Halloween!

Friday, October 21, 2011


I've had a weird week. Lots of puttering around, not really being able to focus or get my head in a good place. So, instead of trying to write a focused post, here's some random things that are making me happy.

On my desk. New washi tape, yay! I can't wait to play with it. 
And my new 2012 calendar. It's in the shop here. 

Hand painted yarns drying, almost ready to be reskeined and put in the yarn shop. 

Something about rumpled beds make me happy. It just says, "crawl in and get comfy".

Friday, October 14, 2011

KCWC Jump Rope Dress

I was too busy this week to participate fully in Kid's Clothes Week but I at least wanted to finished something. This Jump Rope Dress has been lingering in the "to finish" pile since the summer. It just needed sleeves and a hem and it was done! Easy peasy and it feels great to have finished something. And even better than I managed to finish it while it still fits my little redhead. The only things I changed were to use the short sleeves from ViewA and I used snaps instead of buttons. (1. Because I'm lazy and snaps are easy and 2. Because snaps are great for a toddler who wants to dress herself) I just have teeny bit of this beautiful Heather Ross print left and I'll be so sad when it's gone. I love everything about it, the design, colors and the weight of the fabric are just perfect. I may have to track down some more! (It's so funny how the lighting makes the fabric look like it's faded at the top, I assure you, it's not)

Check out the Elsie Marley flickr group for some really great kid's clothes inspiration. I've got a bunch more patterns traced that I can't wait to start on soon.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I wish I could capture how much this yarn absolutely glows. I picked up this Madeline Tosh Merino Light when I went to Stitches Midwest in August. "Snatched" it up would be more appropriate. There's some serious magic going on here, I have no idea how a simple 1 ply, wool yarn can be so beautiful. It's got amazing drape and is just buttery soft. Drool. The pattern is Pogona by Stephen West. It's deceptively simple and perfect for showcasing a beautiful yarn. I've got a million more of his patterns bookmarked for future knitting. Here's the link to my Ravelry project page.

In other news Kid's Clothes Week is going strong over on the Elsie Marley blog.  There's too much shop sewing going on right now for me to participate all week but I'm hoping to at least finish a little dress that I started forever ago. I still have a few more days to get at least one project done! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Shop Update!

There I go not posting in forever again! I promise I'll be back with more later this week. I've been taking photos of finished knitting projects and I'll try to post other in progress projects as well. Today though I wanted to pop in and let you all know I'll be updating the shop the week of October 31st! All that week I'll be adding plushies galore, new prints, embroidery kits and more! The Make Your Own Long Dog kits will be back in stock as well and he'll have some new friends. I'll try to post a few sneak peeks as I get things together. It's going to be a crazy few weeks trying to get ready for the update. I'll also be selling at Craft Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa on November 5th. More info on that soon!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

September Socks

I knew I was far behind with everything but I didn't realize just HOW far behind until I saw that I would be posting my September socks immediately after my August socks. That's just crazy. Where in the heck did those weeks go!? Part of the problem is that I want to throw my camera across the room every time I try to use it. It's really not conducive to blogging when you don't want to use your camera. Those issues aside I need to try to post here more regularly.

Anyway, my September socks got finished on the very last day of September. I have to admit to have cheated just a little. This particular pair of socks was begun "eons" ago. Really, it's been so long ago I have no idea how long they've been lying around half finished. So technically I only knitted one sock in September but it's still a finished pair no matter how you slice it!

My family is exchanging Christmas gifts at Thanksgiving this year, so I'm thinking the October socks will end up being a  gift. Right now my "to do" list is threatening to drown me. I've gotten to the point where it's so very very long that I just don't even know where to begin. Which makes things even worse. I need to take it in chunks and maybe even let go of some things that just aren't going to get done.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

August Socks

(Don't look too close or you'll see the dog hair on the bottom of my feet, eeep. Time to sweep!)

The August socks are finally done! (Shhhh, don't tell them it's September)  Truth be told, I finished them over the weekend but have been dragging on taking their picture. Speaking of pictures... I've been really irritated with my camera lately. It used to take such nice, crisp photos and lately they're all coming out grainy, even in the best of lighting conditions. I even tried restoring it to factory settings thinking maybe one of the kids played with the settings but no luck. It's still taking crap photos. Why is that!? Is it possible for a camera to just get old and take junky photos? 

Back on the subject of socks... These are the Monkey sock pattern by Cookie A. I've made these a few times before and they're fast. I knew I needed something fast if I was going to finish the August socks before the end of September, haha! Since I didn't even start them until the last two weeks of August I feel pretty good about getting them done. The yarn is Tosh Sock by Madeline Tosh and it's delectably squishy. I really, really loved the color in the skein but knitted up, not so much. I'm not too keen on how they pooled and striped but they're comfy and will keep my feet warm. 

My goal is to knit a pair of socks a month, part of my 30 Before Thirty list. Now, I just have to get cracking on my September socks. I haven't even picked a pattern yet, yikes! Thankfully I'll have lost of knitting time this weekend! 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Weekender Bag

 This is quite possibly the best thing I've ever made. No joke, I LOVE this bag. It's the Amy Butler Weekender Travel Bag pattern. I made it using a vintage tablecloth and a velvet upholstery remnant I found at Joanne's. I could see how this bag could get super expensive to make if using new designer upholstery fabric. I spent at least $35 in materials alone even using really inexpensive fabrics. Most of that cost was in the various interfacings. It's completely deceiving when you open up the pattern and there are only 3 pattern pieces because cutting the pieces out is probably what took the longest. The construction itself isn't difficult just tedious at times. They aren't kidding when they say "Just go slow and be patient"! At times you're sewing through 6+ layers of heavy fabric and that's tricky. That being said it was completely worth every poked finger, all the arm aches and the swearing. I LOVE this bag. Have I mentioned that? It's huge and absolutely my dream bag. And I finished it just in time to take it on a little "weekender" of my own. 

My wonderful husband is letting me leave him with the kids while I spend a long weekend with my mom, two aunts and brother's girlfriend in Siesta Key, Florida. There will be lots of fruity drinks with umbrellas, sitting on the beach knitting and general laziness. I'm trying not to feel guilty about leaving the kids and hubby but I'm really, really excited about having a few days to myself to relax. I've realized that being a mom you can't be "on" all of the time. It's necessary to take some time for yourself or you'll be no use to anyone. So, I'm thinking that this little time out will rejuvinate me for quite awhile! (Although I'm completely terrified about the flight. Trying not to think about it but still terrified.)

And with this bag I can cross of #7 on my 30 Before Thirty list! "Finish sewing something for ME". DONE! I'm seriously tempted to buy Amy's new book after making this bag. I'm always needed various bags for the kids and for shopping and knitting, etc. It looks like there's some really cute patterns in there! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wonky Star

Sunday I had a wonderfully quiet 3 hours all to myself and I spent it sewing to my hearts content. I made my first ever true patchwork block. There was something so soothing about all of the careful cutting and piecing and something equally satisfying about seeing that perfect little square block in the end. I used some beautiful, beautiful bits of Skinny LaMinx scraps that I recently purchased and some equally beautiful linen I already had. This tutorial made it so simple. 

After the block was finished I turned it into this little zippy pouch.

 It was perfect for "wrapping" one of my mum's birthday gifts and she loved it. I think there will definitely be more of these in my future.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Antique Flower Triangle Scarf

I needed a break from the computer for a bit today, my  darn allergies are making my eyes itch and burn like nobody's business. I love having the windows open so much, so I'm suffering through the itching and sneezing just to enjoy the beautiful breeze. It's worth it. But, as I was saying I needed a break, so I whipped up this beauty in about 30 min. 

The fabric is from Cloud9's Miscellany collection by Julia Rothman, in the Antique Flower print. It's gorgeously soft organic cotton which feels so very lovely around the neck. The pom pom trim I found thrifting awhile ago. I think I paid something like 50 cents for about two yards. I've been wanting to make something like this for ages and that beautiful rust color is just so perfect for early fall. This is super easy, and could be customized in so many ways. I've included a short tutorial so you can make one too!

You'll need about 1/2 yard of fabric and 2 yards of pom pom trim.
Cut a square of fabric that measures 32 inches x 32 inches.
Cut the square in half along the diagonal creating two large triangles.

Lay the fabric right sides together. Pin with the trim even with the raw edges in between the two layers, the pom poms pointing in towards the center.  This is a little tricky with the pom poms but as long as you use lots of pins it'll work out. I put trim on only two edges but you could trim the entire scarf or even just one edge would be interesting. 

Sew around the triangle leaving a spot along one side for turning. Clip the corners and turn right side out. Iron and edge stitch to close the opening and finish the scarf. Wear with gusto!