Thursday, January 26, 2017

Throwback to Thanksgiving

Last October, I began working on a table topper for the Thanksgiving table.  I decided on a palette of rust/brown and gold, and this pattern that I had squirreled away:

It's called Afternoon Delight, by Tiger Lily Press.  I liked the fact that the middle section was just a pretty piece of fabric so if you wanted to put a centerpiece in the middle of your table, like a candle or a bowl of fruit, you wouldn't be covering up your hard earned piecework.  For my center fabric, I used up the last scrap of Castlewood fabric that was leftover from making  this quilt.

The first step in the pattern is to cut an octagon for the center, and surround it with stripped  pieces:

After sewing the strips to the center, you trim them back with your rotary cutter.  The final step, the border strips, are sewn around all 8 sides and then trimmed as in the first step.

I went with a light colored border, but I felt it still needed something, so I added an additional border of a floral fabric that combined all the colors in the stripped pieces.

After trimming, I added a lightweight batting and some simple quilting and it was ready for my Thanksgiving table.

Here's how it looked on the table at Thanksgiving.  I like how the pilgrim and turkey nutcrackers give a hint of the Christmas holidays right around the corner.   The white milk glass candle holders on either side of the nutcrackers were a wedding gift to my parents from my great, great aunt, and have graced many a Thanksgiving table.

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Monday, January 23, 2017

My first attempt at knitting with beads.

 I recently tried my hand at making this necklace which combines knitting with beads.

The pattern came from this book that I found in my local library.

The name of the book is 101 Designer One-skein Wonders by Judith Durant.  The necklace was designed by Carol Metzger and is called the Scallop-Edge Beaded Necklace.  There are only 8 rows to the pattern, and I had almost everything I needed already on hand, except for the beads.

The yarn was something leftover from my days of crocheting doilies, and the size #3 knitting needles were passed down to me from my mother-in-law.  (I'm guessing they were likely used to make baby items for my husband.)

The first step in the project, before starting to knit, is to string the beads onto the yarn.  This presented a problem since the yarn did not seem to  fit through the eye of the needle.
I've broken enough needle threaders in my time to know that no amount of pulling or tugging was going to be enough to drag that yarn through the hole.   I decided to try unravelling a bit of the yarn into 2 sections and thread them separately.

The first 2 plys made it through.  Then I threaded the second two.

Now that my needle was threaded, it was time to string all the beads.

For a knitted project using beads, you have to string all the beads for the whole project onto your yarn before you start any knitting.

You slide the beads up the yarn in between the knit stitches.

Just 8 rows later, I had a finished necklace!

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Leaves of green and blue

Our "Quilt for Kids" project coordinator has boxes of precut squares of donated fabrics.   For this quilt, I started by gathering squares with aqua and/or lime colors from the five inch box, and added some yardage from my stash.

I decided to make a variety of  9 patches.  There was a lime/aqua leaf print  that I really liked  so I made sure I included one piece of it in each nine patch.

Before long, I had made nine ( make that eight)  units.

No problem!  A little quick sewing and then there were nine units.

I like the way they looked on the design wall with the white fabric showing in between the blocks, so I chose a narrow white sashing.  The donation fabrics included a 1/2 yard of aqua batik that was just perfect for the borders.

Here is the quilt top all done.

I have a friend who has graciously offered to quilt up some of the Quilts for Kids on her new longarm machine, so yesterday, I sent the quilt top off to her.

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