Wednesday, August 31, 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

New goodies
Anna Maria Horner's Perle Cottons in Geranium

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Winners and some DS projects

Well, winners have been picked via rng! Our winning numbers were #8, #1 (really? that's pretty rare!) and #25. So, the winners are: Susan, Chawne and James-Linda (Who is actually, Linda)! I've already got addresses from all three, and will be sending out the shawls this week.

Thank you so much to all that entered. It was fun hearing about your current craft obsessions! It feels good to get a few of these FOs out of the closet (and it also allows me the freedom to cast on for a new shawl soon! It's a sickness, I know.)

I wanted to share a couple of projects with you, which have DS Quilts in common.

I, personally, do not love the entire DS Quilts first line that came out, but I do love the print I used in both of these items very much.

On the fence

First up, I made this skirt from Butterick pattern 5613.
The reason you're not viewing a modeled shot is because it looks frumpy as all get out on me. I think you have to be a size two to be able to pull this off, due to the gathered waist.
I thought it would be a good "masking" choice, but no, it adds more than I actually have around the waistline.
Not good.
I'm debating whether I should try to salvage it. I do love the style, and maybe I could pull it off if I reduced the amount of gathering at the hips. It has pockets, which are pretty awesome!

Until I make up my mind, this sits unhemmed.

My other DS project is a win, though!

I bought Anna's Gathered Clutch pattern awhile back, and finally tried it this weekend.

Seed Catalogue Clutch

I used Kona Daffodil, Annie's Farm Stand Seed Catalogue, and the DS Quilts print, as well as a vintage zipper from the stash. This was a great pattern, and I will definitely make more of these in the future.

First Gathered Clutch

P.S. Thanks to my sweet boyfriend, I have AC in the car again! It was a little cheaper than expected, and I didn't have to suffer in the August Houston humid heat.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Flashback Friday and some links

My sister has been going through old photos and scanning some favorites.

A memory

She came across this one of my dad and I. Look at that little belly. Oh, goodness. Things are difficult with him, so this picture makes me a feel a mixture of things.
Cute, though.

As I was driving into work this morning, I realized that my air conditioner has gone out. Not cool, literally. So, I guess part of my Saturday will involve getting that checked out. My little Civic is ten years old, so I really can't complain too much.

I can't end this post on such a unhappy note, so here are some links!

Tilt-shift Machu Picchu

I love this incredible hand-crafted bird!

Look! Knitting Narwhals!

I just bought this lovely pattern by The Sometimes Crafter.

I love this foxy hoop made for the Solids Swap. So cute!

Oh, and have you heard about Celebrate Color? I'm interested to see what Rachel has in store!

Have a great Friday, peeps!

P.S. If you're looking for the giveaway, it's here until Sunday night.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Giveaway: handknits

Shawls are so much fun to knit. I love that you can get out your yarn, needles, and pattern; five minutes later, you're off to the races with a new project. No need to check for gauge, no need to do any preparations whatsoever. Just knit. It's freeing, and it's often my go-to project when I can't think about the details.
I'm sure you know how that goes. Sometimes, you just need to start crafting.

Why am I telling you this?
Well, the problem is, I don't really wear shawls. I've given several away to family members, but I still have quite the collection. And so, friends, I'd like to share with you.

My creation

I have picked out three shawls to share with my readers. I love each one, but knowing that they are being enjoyed and worn would make me a happy girl.

First up, my Starry Night Shawl, from Kate's Multnomah pattern. I knit most of this shawl while I was in Boston with my sister, two years ago.

Second, my aptly named Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine. This is the Traveling Woman pattern, another favorite. I knit this in February of last year, and named it after one of my favorite Spoon songs. I used Shibui Sock yarn, which I love (and have more of in the stash!)

Finally, Apple Ishbel is available. This was my third time to knit Ysolda's Ishbel pattern, which shows how much I love it. This pale green yarn is a very soft blend of alpaca, silk and cashmere.

I just realized this, but I'm sharing one shawl completed from 2009, 2010 and 2011. Neat!

So, to win, leave me a comment (one per person, please!) telling me about your favorite crafty project of the moment (either yours or someone else's). Also, please tell me which of these shawls is your favorite!

You can enter until Sunday night.
Good luck!
Three winners will be chosen early next week. International entries are welcome!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

do.Good Stitches update

I forgot to share my do.Good Stitches blocks for August. This month, we made Greek Cross blocks, using the Summer Sampler tutorial.

do Good Stitches - August

I would love to make a quilt of this block. Angela is only waiting on one set of blocks, and I love the way the group looks so far!

Rachel has done such an amazing job with the DGS group, and there are new circles all the time! I've really enjoyed making monthly blocks for the group.

Also, if you follow that link to her blog, she featured my mom's flying geese mini quilt! Thank you, Rachel!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Progress & Project Spectrum

Better late than never
Please click through to view the sources/original photos

Now that it's August 22nd, here's my August Project Spectrum inspiration mosaic. I've been thinking of pinks and purples all month, but just got around to making the monthly mosaic.

Progress: Figgy Toast

Earlier this month, I cast on for a pair of Toast Armwarmers with some stashed GLBLF handspun, in full PS spirit. Sam's handspun is incredible, and this skein is no exception. Even though we've had at least three weeks of triple-digit heat, I'm dreaming of cool[er] temperatures as I knit these.

I started another new knitting project as well. My friend Rue is releasing a free pattern soon for an adorable baby sweater (although it's not quite as adorable as the baby in it!), and I'm test knitting it! I've never test knit before, and I'm pretty excited about it!

Progress: Baby Sweater

I cast on for one of the sleeves about a week ago, and here's my progress so far. This uses fingering weight yarn and size 1 needles, so it's going to be a while! I am enjoying the process, though, and the yarn I'm using? Sundara FSM, a Christmas gift from Elliott, is amazing to knit with. It's so soft.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

FO: Mom's Mini Geese

Well, it's finished.

FO: Mom's Mini Geese Quilt

I finished hand sewing the binding Monday evening. This has not been washed yet, but I'll be doing that before handing it over to my mom. I'm really happy with how this turned out, although I do see some imperfections.

If I were to make this again, I would probably add a border to the perimeter, as some of my geese got shortened. I just looked at the original again, and it did not have this problem, so user error strikes. I might have used a wider binding than it called for, or maybe my border idea would solve it for me.

I also am not 100% satisfied with my quilting. I think I had some unevenness in my seams, which made the quilting used in the original difficult to do.


On the other hand, I think it makes for a simple backing.

I am very happy with my fabric choices. When I originally posted my progress shot on flickr, there were calls for an aqua, lime green or yellow binding. These were all fun and smart color choices, but in the end, I think my mom will appreciate the lime green.

Detail: BindingOlias helps with hand sewing

Olias and I actually enjoyed the slow process, and watched several TV episodes while doing so (Season 2 of Lost [my first time through], The Forsyte Saga [Kara shoutout! I love it!] and one movie: Roman Holiday).

I guess the bottom line is, while this is not perfect, I learned a lot and I do love the look of it. And I know my mom will see past the imperfections and marvel at the time I put into this for her.

She has gotten back into sewing lately, and wishes she had more time to devote to it. I hope hanging this in her sewing room will inspire her to sit down at the machine soon!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

And it begins...

I blogged Friday about my new obsession with Swoon. I indulged this weekend by making my first block.

A new obsession

Instead of using a white background, I chose Kona Medium Gray, my favorite neutral. The two patterned fabrics in this block are Monaluna Mingle Dots in Steel Gray and Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow Flower Fields in Lake.

I had a lot of fun picking my fabrics for this quilt, and I can't wait to see the next block come together. I think I've decided that this will be my new bed quilt!

I can see a big difference in my confidence level when tackling the HSTs and geese in this block. I'm sure a good deal of that confidence comes from my work on mom's mini quilt. Speaking of her mini, I am finishing up the binding. I've sewn the first side on (by machine), and I'm hand sewing the second side. I hope to be done later this week.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Cauchy got me re-obsessed with The Perfect Scoop. I had big plans to try a lot of flavors this summer, but you know how it goes. Summer gets busy. Before you know it, it's August and you've only made one batch of ice cream.

My sister gave me the perfect opportunity to make up for it, though. She invited Elliott and me over for dinner last night. We grilled a delicious dinner, and I brought dessert.

Peanut butter ice cream

This deliciousness only consists of six ingredients. I was so proud of myself for being patient and letting this firm up. The last time I made ice cream, it was good, too, but a little soupy.

My ever-adorable sister

I heart my sister. Lots. And I heart peanut butter ice cream!

The only thing it might have been missing was a little bit of crumbly peanut butter cup...


Het there! How was your weekend? Mine was pretty fun, and I have a few things to share, but for now, we have a winner, people!
It's... #6, Elizabeth! Her comment cracked me up:

I would love to win this- I've been thinking about trying some embroidery for awhile now, but can't justify to my husband why I need to spend money on yet ANOTHER craft... but if I won it he couldn't argue with that.... :)
Thanks for the opportunity!

So yes, Elizabeth, your husband has no room to complain!

Elizabeth, I have emailed you!
Thanks to everyone for entering.

I'll be back later tonight with some craftin' progress!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fabric Friday and some linkies

Recent stash enhancement involving some elephants:

Stash Enhancement
From L to R: Violet Craft Peacock Lane Menagerie Yellow and Falling Flowers Gray, Melody Miller Ruby Star Spring Bloom Tomato Vine, Daiwabo Elephant Walk in Orange and Melody Miller Ruby Star Spring Bloom Nightlite

And a scrappy purchase from Starlit Nest:

Scraps galore

Lots of lovelies here!

I've got Swoon on the brain. Hardcore. I already bought the pattern and I've picked out my fabrics. I blame Nicke. I also blame this and this and this.

This kitty cracks me up.

I heart this Pouty cloud.

I hope you all have lots of fun this weekend!
And you've got until Sunday to enter the giveaway, if you haven't already!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Solids Swap Progress

Well, my partner has been a little quiet in the Solids Swap, but I'm moving forward, with hopes that she'll like my project.

Solids Option #2

I'm more or less working with this stack of lovelies. I've added a few more pieces, and I removed the Kona Ash, and am instead using a white (I think it's Kona Snow). I worked on this for a few hours yesterday, and I posted this sneak peek last night:

Progress: FTLOS

I still have a month before it's due, and I'll need it. I've bitten off a mouthful with this, but hopefully, it's worth it!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Giveaway: Embroidery Package

Another giveaway

Up for grabs today is a copy of Aimee Ray's Doodle Stitching. I bought this for myself a few months back, but I found that it just wasn't what I was looking for. Don't get me wrong! I love Aimee Ray's work, but I was in search of something with more designs, something like her other book, which I may end up getting at some point. So, I decided to share this book with one of you. If you're just starting to dabble in embroidery, or would like some specific project ideas using it, then maybe you'd like to enter! I'm also including several new thread colors and a new pack of embroidery needles for you to get started.

To enter, leave a comment (one per person, please!). International entries are welcome. I'll accept entries until Sunday evening, 6:00 PM CST.

Thanks for helping me destash a lovely book!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Hey, brother.

Sara asked for wonky log cabin blocks this month in the Wonky Bee. The quilt is meant to match an Arrested Development-inspired pillow she made, which I absolutely love!

August Wonky Bee Blocks

After making the two required blocks, using both scraps that Sara sent as well as some stash goodies, I felt the need to do a little embroidery for her.

Hey, brother.

And so, I did.
If you haven't seen Arrested Development, stop what you are doing and fix that via hulu or netflix instant.

I think Sara's quilt will be very fun!

Coming up shortly, another August giveaway.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A winner (and also, my mom loves purple)

Before I get to the FOs, we have a little business to attend to! The winner of the Malabrigo Sock yarn and a ravelry sock or shawl pattern is... lucky # thirteen! Congratulations, Huei Sei! This yarn will be on it's way to Malaysia very soon!

I'm sorry I couldn't share with all of you that entered, but take heart;
I'll be sharing more goodies throughout the month. Promise!

Speaking of purple, if my mom could be completely surrounded by the color, I think she would. Her husband might not like it, but that would be her choice!

My mom recently celebrated a birthday, and I came up with three projects I thought she would enjoy, each in purple fabrics.

iPad pouch for mom

I made her an iPad pouch for her new toy, using Joel Dewberry's Aviary 2. [Side note: I'm such a huge JD fan. I can't recall a line of his I haven't loved, and I can't wait to get my hands on some Heirloom!]

I didn't use a pattern for the pouch, and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.

FO: Jane Market Bag for mom

I also made her a Jane Market Bag. I've now made at least four of these, and I thoroughly recommend the pattern.
I'm not sure what the exterior fabric is. It's from my grandmother's stash, but it's a really soft cotton. It kind of looks like a Kaffe Fassett print, but I'm pretty sure it's several years old. The pocket fabric is by Kitty Yoshida.

Finally, I've been working on the amazing July mini quilt from the purl bee. I should be finished with it in a week or so, but now that I've shown my mom her last present, I can share it with you.

What I've been working on

Geese! This is my first experience with flying geese, and I. am. hooked. Seriously! Geese are so much fun. The cutting is a little intense, but the result is just. Well, it's satisfying. I've since finished the top and pinned it (I'm using a very PLAIN backing). I hope to finish the quilting this weekend.

Happy birthday again, momma! I love you!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Progress: Rain or Shine

I guess I forgot to blog about this quilt. I started these blocks back in May, but didn't get much farther than cutting all of the squares. I spent a little time on it this past week, and I'm really excited to see a quilt starting to take shape.

Progress: Rain or Shine

Using fun fabrics like these makes me happy, especially after long work days like I've been experiencing this summer. I have many more blocks to make, but I'm happy to make a little bit of progress on it.

The pattern for this quilt is by Elizabeth Hartman, from her awesome book. Oh, and if you haven't already seen this, Kaelin's version of Rain or Shine is incredible!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Much better than last month

Considering my June knitting progress, it's amazing that I was able to knit an entire sock in July. Not a pair, but one sock.

A sock in a month

It's a very fun sock, and I hope to make it a match very soon.

In other sock news, I got this incredible skein of handspun sock yarn in the mail.

A surprise skein of handspun

It was completely unexpected, and guess who spun and sent it? Sara! She said the colors reminded her of my recently finished Wonky Bee quilt. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it, Sara! It's beautiful. Thanks so much for thinking of me. I will definitely have to pick a fun pattern for these, although maybe plain stockinette is best for the handspun. Hmm. I'll let that marinate a while while I decide!

And even though it's not handspun, you've still got a little time to enter the giveaway for some sock yarn and a pattern!

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