Sunday, February 26, 2012

The fine art of Persuasion

The following conversation took place in my house recently,
 between myself and my very observant son.

Son:   I noticed you've been knitting lately.

Me:   (surpressing mild shock)  Oh?

Son:   I was wondering if you'd knit me a sweater.

Me:    (aghast)  What?  Really?

Son:   Yeah.  I've always wanted a hand knit sweater.

Me:   (squirming)   But, I already knit you a sweater.

Son:   Um yeah, but I was still in the womb at the time.  I've grown a little bit since then.

Me:   (adamant)  Still counts.

Son:   Come on, Mom.  You're a really good knitter.

Me:   (on guard now)   Sweaters are really hard, and take a loooong time.

Son:   But you knit a whole afghan in just a couple of months..  How hard could a sweater be compared to that?

Me:   (trying to dodge a bullet here)  But, a sweater is more than just a big rectangle.  A sweater has to FIT.

Son:  I'm sure it will come out just as nice as the afghan did.

Me:  Did you take a close look at that afghan?  Besides, afghans stay at home.  Sweaters are worn in PUBLIC.

Son:  I promise I'll wear it, no matter how it turns out.

Me:   (trying another tactic)  I don't really know why you want a hand knit sweater anyway.  You have plenty of sweatshirts, turtlenecks and polar fleece tops to keep you warm.

Son:   Because having someone knit you a sweater makes you feel really special, and wearing it is like wearing a hug.

Me:   What color would you like?

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What to do with a charm pack

I am always, always drawn to charm packs.  I love the idea of owning one little piece of all the coordinating prints in a fabric line.  But what to do with them?

This past summer I came across this book:  Charmed and Dangerous by Heather Mulder Peterson:

The cute wordplay in the title alone was enough to make me pick it up and flip through it.  I decided to try the Crossroads table runner using a charm pack of Dogwood Trail by Moda.

What I really liked about this pattern is that it allowed me to use the light/white charms in the sashings as well as the medium/darks in the squares.

In fact, I liked it so much I cut into my collection of Christmas fabrics and made 5"charms just so I could make another runner for Christmas:

The construction of this table runner does not require cutting triangles.  The triangles are created by trimming the runner after it is all sewn together.

I like how the center of the pattern forms a nice square for surrounding whatever you might choose to put on top of the runner, in this case a candle.

I like the whole idea of seasonal table runners.  They're quick to make and add a nice touch to the room.  Too bad I missed out on making one for Valentine's Day, but there is always next year....
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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A bright spot in the middle of winter

On Superbowl Sunday, my local quilt shop had a sale on fat quarters for just $1.00 each.  I didn't have any project in mind, but being a curious quilter, I went to the sale to see what spoke to me.  I came home with this:

The bag looked like winter, but on the inside, it looked a lot like Spring!

How could I resist these luscious colors?

Take a closer look at the fabric on the bottom there.  So cute!

I have absolutely no idea where I would use a fabric with a jump roping girl on it, but I just had to have a fat quarter in my stash.

I started thinking ahead for Mother's Day and bought some yardage to make a table runner for my Mom. 

I'm going to use a free pattern found here. 

How nice to ward off a winter chill by playing with fabrics that remind me of Spring.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Silly on a Sunday

Am I the only one who walks through the Men's department and envisions quilts?

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Project for a Sunday afternoon

When my parents downsized a few years back, one of the things my Mom gave to me was this cute little bulletin board that had been hanging in their kitchen since about 1985.
At the top of the bulletin board was a slightly padded cotton print of a stenciled basket of fruit. 
Back in the 1980's there was a very popular Pfaltzgraff dinnerware pattern with a similiar look.  But I don't happen to own any of that pattern, so I decided to update it.

I measured the cotton square to be 5 1/2 inches, and used Electric Quilt software to create a paper pieced pattern that would fit.    Then I picked a few scraps out of my scrap bag and made up this Pineapple block:

With a little patience and some Elmer's glue I carefully covered over the original print with my new paper-pieced block:

A cute little bulletin board was given a new life, and a fresh start in the year 2012!  A great little project for a Sunday afternoon.

Toby wants to show you what he prefers to do on a Sunday afternoon:

Anyone for a game of  Sunday afternoon football?

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ruffling my feathers

I was looking for a quick take-along project to work on while visiting my Dad in rehab and I thought a scarf might be just the thing.  I came across this pattern modelled by the lovely and talented Vanna White:

The pattern is actually pretty neat in that it is created with just 5 long rows from side to side rather than from top to bottom.

A quick look at the yarn selection offered at my local craft store and I found this pretty jewel tone variagated yarn:

I started the project on a Monday

and found myself crocheting madly at every opportunity.

Before I knew it,  I had completed the scarf and couldn't wait to see how it looked with my purple coat.

When I put the scarf around my neck, I felt more like this:

I guess if you're a queen, or a celebrated game show hostess you can rock the ruffled scarf.  But for me, I'm just not feeling it.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

February 14th already?

I can't believe it's Valentine's Day already!  It seems like New Year's was just last week. 

A quick recap of what I've been up to since my last post:

We had some work done on the house in the time leading up to the holidays, and I had to pack up my sewing room for a bit.

Christmas came and went with all the flurry of celebration and preparation.  We played host for our family gathering this year, and had a grand time.

In January, my father took a fall and fractured a rib and 4 vertebrae, so much of my time lately has been spent in hospital rooms and then at the rehab hospital.  Fortunately, Dad is on the mend and will be back home soon.

One crafty project that I finished is a crocheted doily that I had been working on for a while.

The pattern was a freebie called "pinwheel doily" that I found here.   Although it called for white crochet cotton, but the pinwheel center reminded me of a poinsettia so I decided to make it in red and use it for Christmas.  Of course, being red, it doubles as a Valentine's decoration too.

I don't actually decorate too much for Valentine's day because I like to keep around some of the Christmas decor even after Christmas. For example, this pitcher and flowers and the little snowman are still on my mantle:

  This looks like "winter" to me, not just "Christmas" and I like to think the red can cover for Valentine's Day too.

Happy Valentine's Day!

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