Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Love My Cricut!

 My birthday was this week and my super amazing husband bought me a Cricut!  I'm so excited to play with it.  He did his research and picked out the Expression 2.  It has a fancy touch screen and two preloaded cartridges.  I have a few projects that I really need to get done right now but I keep finding myself going back to it and making quick fun little things.

I was so excited to get it open!  I suspected this was going to be my present but it was more fancy than the one I asked for so it was still a fun surprise.

My baby wanted to help me with the first Cricut cut. He was so excited when it was moving itself and I was loving seeing what it could do.

Here are my first Cricut creations. I love them. It was so fun and easy with no scissors involved! I'm so slow at cutting and even with the drama of learning a new machine and trying to figure out something I've never done before it was so much faster than I could have done on my own.

Owl Peter/Paul Quilt

 I finished the owl quilt that I'd been planning for months the night of the 10th but it was too dark to get a decent picture and the flash was totally distorting everything so I had to take them the next morning before I shipped it off to my sister.  It's a rob Peter to pay Paul design cut very very quickly with my Accuquilt. The curves took a little getting used to but by about the 12th square of 48 I was doing really well.  The owl fabric is directional and I painstakingly made sure every piece was facing the proper direction.  It was worth the effort looking at it now and seeing how beautiful it is.

Here's the full view shot of the owl quilt. I love it! I was worried that the pink would be too overpowering but I think it works.

Here's a close up of the fabric and the pattern that I used for the quilt.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bricks and Mortar Quilt

This is a little something I've been working on lately.  I've been obsessed with Moda fabrics and I really want to make something that would show them off but still be a fun quilt.  I plotted and planned and drew all over several pieces of paper and this is the end result.  A brick and mortar like quilt with a wide boarder.  Picture this in fun Moda fabric on a twin bed.  Convinced yet?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Self-folding Hot Pad with Pattern

 When I was at my friend's house last week she showed me her favorite crochet hot pad.  It was a self-folding one that had been made years ago.  I studied it for a few minutes and I decided to go home and give it a try.  It was so super easy!

I took a ton of pictures to help guide you step by step making this. With this pattern size you can get one hot pad out of a Peaches and Cream cotton 120 yard skein.

Note: The solid colors have 120 yds per skein but the variegated only have 95 yds.  For the solid chain 35 but for the variegated only chain 33 (and it's tight if you tend toward loose crochet better stick to 32).

1 ball of Cotton yarn - 2 or 2.5 ounces
H size crochet hook
Yarn needle


Chain 33 (or 35 for solids)

Turn skip one chain space.

Make 3 single crochet (sc) in the second from the hook.

Make a single crochet in each chain across stopping one from the end.

Make three SC in the last chain. This will help you start to work the other side of the chain.

This is what it looks like when you've done the three single crochets in the last chain. You are now oriented to work on the wrong side of the chain or the braided looking side.

Simply put one single crochet in each chain space across.

You'll notice a bump at the end. You work right up until you get to the bump with your single crochet.

Once you get to the bump you've reached the three single crochets you did at the start of the last row. Do not join or turn your work.

Put a single crochet in the first of the group of three and then continue around putting one single crochet in each stitch. You will do this until it is hot pad sized.

More pictures just adding a single crochet to each stitch.

At this point my kids said it looked like bacon.

As you keep going the ends will start to curl over. This is normal and should happen to help your hot pad be self-folding.

As you keep working the side folds will get larger.

At this point I have made enough rounds of single crochet. The centers naturally come together and I'm ready to whip stitch in place. Cut a tail 24" long and fasten off.

Now get your yarn needle and sew the ends together. Just whip stitch them by putting the needle down through a stitch on one side and then back up another stitch on the other side.

Here's a close up of what it looks like sewing the ends together.

Tie a knot in the end and weave in the remaining yarn.

Here are some samples in a few other colors...
In payment for making washcloths for my friend I got this fabulous yarn! I was so excited to have Christmas hot pads on my table this year. It's funny because they are both the same yarn but I made one slightly smaller than the other and the variegation worked out in such a way to produce blobs of color. It was so weird!  The larger one I chained 35 and used the leftover yarn from this small one which I chained 30 on the first step.
These are two more I made in a different color way.  The purple, blue, and green worked really well together.

Fierce Little Dragon

 After crocheting the seal and elephant I was hooked on amigurumi.  I have my brother's family in our Christmas rotation and I wanted something cool for his boys.  I wanted them to be mostly the same with a little variation so they could tell whose was whose.  I landed on this fierce little dragon (pattern here) and I knew this was the one I wanted to do.  I decided to make a practice one first just in case I messed up.  I really want them to all be the same.  This is what came out of my practice run.  I messed up a little on the wings and I couldn't figure out how to sew on the claws on the feet.  Also I had a little struggle finding safety eyes so I had to make due with buttons.  Now I know that if you want safety eyes they cannot be found at Walmart, Michael's, Joann's, Hobby Lobby (in anything but huge black), and Hancock.  Ebay is totally the place to go.  They have so many colors and sizes to choose from it's crazy!

Top View

Side View

Front View
My little girl just loves him.  I think I'll have to make another one for us!

Spoil Me Spa Cloth

I found the pattern for this washcloth here.  It looked simple enough so I gave it a go.  The center which totally looked complex was the easy part.  In the end I was supposed to go around single crochet and when I finished that I was supposed to do a reverse single crochet in each of those.  I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to do a reverse single crochet.  I saw many pictures and watched a few videos and tried and tried again but I couldn't manage it.  Thus it just has one row of boarder not too.  Oh well, it still looks pretty nice.  I don't like that I found something I can't do though so I may just have to practice, practice, practice.  Now I know how my friend feels that can't figure out how to crochet at all.

I like the yellow and white colorway.  In the pattern they suggested using a solid color in the middle but I like the variegated.

This colorway is so beautiful!  It's called Ivy League and it is made by Peaches and Cream.  You can find it at Walmart in a large cone for less than $8.  The green edge was a fun touch and makes it look more finished than I think the yellow turned out.

Log Cabin Crochet Dishcloths

I just love this dishcloth pattern found here.  It's so fast, so easy, and it looks fabulous.  Not only that but it also skews quilt which is one of my favorite hobbies.  Once again I used some cotton variegated yarn from Walmart.

I love the fun colors with this one too, it just looks like a happy little dishcloth.
Here's another colorway of the same washcloth.  I love how it totally changes the look even though it's the same pattern.

Here's yet another colorway of the same dishcloth.  I made this one extra-large so it matched the other two in a set of three I made for my mother.  It was easy to figure out how to add more rows once I was working on the pattern.  I think it would make a fun baby blanket either just get growing the pattern or stitch a bunch of little ones together.

Woven Hot Pad

I was looking around for hot pad patterns because I hate the store bought ones that I own and I came across this fabulous pattern.  It looked so easy yet so complex at the same time and I loved it.  My husbands sister in very into all things Celtic and I thought this would be perfect for her for Christmas.  Here's the link to the Ravelry download.  Unfortunately the author named it "Weaved Hotpad" which drives me crazy because the word is woven and hot pad is two words.

Crochet Dishcloth

 When I was trying to show my friend how to make a washcloth I figured the simpler the better since she was new at it.  I found this pattern in the back of my book called "I Can't Believe I"m Crocheting!"  It's an awesome book with really detailed picture that I often refer to even though I've been crocheting for nearly seven years now.

Here's the dishcloth with blue variegated cotton yarn.  It took the whole skein but they're tiny and cheap.  You can get them at Walmart for $1.77, I think.

This is the cover of the book I have.  I think they may have updated the cover because when I googled it I had a hard time finding this one.  I can totally see how they'd do that since this one was printed in '95.

Sylvan Star Washcloth

I found this pattern on the Lion Brand yarn website.  They have a lot of free patterns for everything.  I have a friend that wanted me to help her learn how to crochet so she could make washcloths.  I'd never made a washcloth before so I thought I'd give it a try before we got together.  I loved to crochet them and now I'm totally hooked (pun intended).  I used variegated cotton yarn that I bought on a huge spool from Wal-mart.  It says Peaches and Cream on the label and I just love the feel of cotton.

Round Stripe Crochet Afghans

 I wanted to make some new crochet blankets for each of my kids.  I took them to the store and let each of them pick out two colors of yarn to make the blanket.  Each kid picked perfect colors to fit their personalities and I love how they turned out.  I did a basic increase while crocheting in the round.  More about that at the bottom.

Here's a great link with pictures showing how to crochet in the round.  I used a half double crochet stitch and switched colors every five rows.  In the end each of these are about four feet across the perfect size for my kids ages 18 months to 6 years to snuggle with and have room to grow.

SBS Bonus Block - Green Mountain Star

This block is one of the reasons I like doing the sampler.  I probably would have never found this pattern or even tried it but I love it!  I would love to see this block in an entire quilt.  Maybe with a lot of different colors or maybe even a checkerboard style of two colorways.  Here's the link to the bonus block.

SBS Block #12 - Improv House

Here's block #12 in the Skill Builder Sampler set.  The improv house was kind of fun.  We were told not to measure or anything just cut and sew and have fun.  I didn't do a tree with my house but I did add some fun grass and a starry sky.  Here's the link to the block.

SBS Block #11 - Beacon Light

Here's another block in the Skill Builder Sampler series.  It's a crazy patch block and I had a really hard time with it.  Not that it was particularly difficult it just went against everything I know sewing pieces of fabric together in crazy chunks and weird angles.  Here's the link to the block.

SBS Block #10 - Ohio Star

My friend Leila has a blog where she is running a Skill Builder Sampler series.  I found and joined in late but I'm excited to be a part of it.  I joined in on block number ten and here is the link for it.  This is so fabulous for someone new to quilting because she really brakes it down for you into easy step by step instructions or she's give you a link to someone else who does it too.

Spunky Tent

I found a mini tent pattern on Pinterest and it led HERE!  It's a blog called Sew, Mama, Sew!  It had a step by step tutorial and everything.  The tent was so much fun to make.  My daughter bought all the materials herself with her birthday money and we worked on it together.  Her little dog Spunky loves it to pieces.

Marshmallow Catapult

We found this link for a Marshmallow Catapult and we were so excited to try it out.  It worked really well and the kids loved it!  Aaron shot some marshmallows at the kids and we shot some at each other.  We also had a shooting for distance contest.  It was great fun for our Labor Day weekend.