Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WIP Wednesday: A Smattering

 This week I worked on quite a smattering of projects.  I didn't get as many crafty things done as in my last posts but you should see how clean my house is!  I'm caught up on the dishes (my nemesis) and the laundry too, which in a house of six is no easy feat.  I made a skirt, worked on my scrapbooks, and did a few rows on my afghan.  My friend from Alaska got her package of crochet hats and sent me pictures for my blog.  Check out how adorable her boys are in this post.

Completed: The maxi skirt.  See my post here for more details.

I love how long it is and how it flows!

Progress: Scrapbooks and Afghan

I had a miscarriage in November but I had all these ultrasounds and pictures that I'd taken in the pregnancy so far.  I didn't want to just throw them out so I decided to make a tiny book to put them in as well as my journal entries that talk about my experience.  It's been hard but cleansing and I'm glad that the memories of this little life that touched mine, even for such a short time, will be preserved.

I also did a little work on my family scrapbook.  I have a scrapbook for each of my four kids and one for the family too so I have a record when they take theirs.  It's a lot of work but I'm loving it.  I have from our marriage in 2004 to the beginning of 2010 done.  I rotate hobbies I do to keep it fresh and I'm feeling a scrapbook bug coming on.

I also did a few rows on the never-ending crochet afghan.  It's probably never ending because I keep starting new projects around it and only doing a row or two a week, HA!  Maybe I'll work on it more this week.
No progress:
• Cape Ann Quit
• A Walk in the Woods Quilt
• Skill Builder Sampler (seriously need to get on this one)

This week's stats:
Completed projects - 1
New projects - 0
Currently in progress - 5

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Maxi Skirt

We must begin this post with how I'm terrified of sewing clothes.  I can rock a quilt and can crochet most anything but 3-D sewn objects scare me. It all started with my upcoming vacation and my accompanying skirt crisis.  The skirt crisis began months ago but has just now been solved.

You see I fell in love with a pencil skirt at New York and Company clothing store.  It flattered me and was a great simple piece to update my wardrobe.  Last year I bought one and have subsequently purchased three more.  It was upon receipt of the last one that I noticed a problem.  There is a slit in the back that when the tacking stitches are cut and I bend over it shows all they way up to my bum.  OH NO!  I've owned a version of this skirt for about a year.  Who has seen my bum?

Now comes the vacation part of it.  I'm going to church with my sister while there and I wanted something new to wear that actually covered me.  I just bought this fun orange shirt in the picture below and I needed something to go with it.  Once upon a time I had a maxi skirt that I adored.  Over the years it has decomposed leaving a threadbare version of itself behind.  I figured what better idea than to make another one to match my new shirt?

I carefully searched patterns for one that would be simple enough that I wouldn't panic at the thought of making it.  I am not great at zippers and I simply cannot do a gathered stitch.  In the end I found something and I love how it turned out.

The biggest pain was cutting out the pattern.  My pins kept getting stuck in my carpet and I don't have a large enough hard floor surface to pin it on.  I found that the pattern had what's called a godet.  It's a triangle piece to add flow.  I was really nervous about this part, so much so that the cut skirt sat in my craft room for days before I got around to sewing it.  They weren't as difficult as I imagined and the whole thing went together fairly quickly.

*A note of caution when making your own clothes.  Be prepared for size shock!  I know I'm not as thin as I used to be (another post in and of itself) but I don't think I look that bad.  I'm typically between a 12 and 14.  Well for this skirt I'm a 22!?!  I nearly cried.

Here I am wearing the skirt.  You can see the bottom of my orange shirt at the top of the picture.  I think it goes nicely!  I just ADORE how long it is!  I am six feet tall and to have something that long on me is just shy of a miracle.  It's not the most form fitting thing but I love how comfy and flowy it is.

This is what it looks like on the hanger.

I went to my local quilt store in search of a fun match.  I love Kate Spain's Good Fortune line and I was so happy when I found this one to match my new shirt!  The ladies working there agreed that it would be fabulous.  I was a bit worried that such a large print would be overwhelming but once on it calms down a lot.

Here's the pattern I worked from.  It's Simplicity #2184.  You can even find these on the web and print them out on your computer, who knew?

Crochet Hats

 My friend from Alaska got her package with the hats!  She kindly sent me pictures of her boys wearing them and I don't think they could be any more cute!  Seriously LOVE!  For more about the hats and the patterns I made them from see this post.

Here's the Dad and the twin boys sporting their new viking hats.

Here's the baby in his adorable crab hat.  I love his expression in this picture!

The viking hats look so cute from the top as they boys play!  I just might have to make more of these!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Cheating?

 Is it cheating to go two weeks between WIP Wednesdays and then look like I'm so awesome getting so much done?  Probably, but we've all been horribly ill with the flu for the last week and it's been nasty.  I'm glad I got anything done but here are my finishes and works-in-progress...

I have a longtime friend who recently moved to rural Alaska and I wanted to send her a care package.  I thought it would be fun to try out some crochet patterns I've been itching to get my hands on and send her some hats.  I was just going to make her three little boys hats but then I got carried away.

This is my little girl (age 3) trying on the hat I made for her twin boys (age 3.5).  You can tell it's just HUGE and totally not going to work.  Thus, the Dad got a matching hat and I got to start over again with a smaller size for the boys.  The hat is still adorable though.  I got this Viking Hat Pattern here.

Attempt number two went much better on the Viking hat.  It has a little room to spare for growing but fits much better.

Here it is from a slightly different angle without my little girl's cute face to distract you.  I love the bottom edge and totally think it adds to the hat.

I laughed out loud when I saw this hat pattern.  It was so cute and funny that I had to make it for someone.  Alaskan friend seemed perfect!  Her little guy is eight months old and will be adorable in this hat.  I got the Crabby Hat pattern here but it was kind of frustrating.  It didn't tell me how long to make the hat it just said, "keep going until it's long enough."  Well, not having the baby here and without a similar aged kid around it was VERY difficult to figure this out.  After a bit of googling I found this post that said hat sizes for various ages and it gave me what I needed.  The pattern was cute but worth $4.50 when I had to figure the base out on my own?  I don't know about that.

This had is for my friend the Mom in the family.  The pattern is called Divine Hat found here and I just love it!  It worked up a bit bigger than I wanted it to but my hubby says it just makes it more comfortable.  I hope he's right.  I love the design either way and I will totally make this one again.

I finished up the blanket and matching burp cloths for my friend Stefanie's baby.  With all the illness in the house it took a lot longer than I expected but they look so cute!  I still HATE how that dark purple looks so blue in the picture, it really does match in real life, odd.

Stef wanted me to put Shelby's name on the edge of the blanket.  I was excited to do it but my machine was not.  I really think it needs to be serviced or something but it was horrible!  I had to unpick it several times and some of the letters look really wonky.  This is a sample of one that actually did turn out.  I had to manhandle the fabric like nobody's business and with some careful yanking at just the right moment the name came out perfectly.  I was planning on doing it on all four sides but I just didn't have the time/patience and I couldn't imagine it was good for my machine.  In the end it only got on one of the four sides.  The blanket measures 44" square so it's huge and the square makes swaddling SO much easier.  The burp cloths are about 12" by 22".

I saw a sample of this necklace at my Sticks and Strings retreat.  I knew I had to have it.  I couldn't believe it was actually crocheted!  Who knew!  I found the pattern here I used an L sized hook and worked it up in about 10 minutes while watching TV, so fast and easy!  The yarn was $8.00 and I could probably make four of these, not bad at all!  I've made two.

Here it is on me.  LOVE!  I have to finish getting over this flu so I can leave the house and show it off!

Here's a closeup of the necklace.  Who would have guessed crocheted?  I adore it!

Here's what the "yarn" if you'd even call it that, started out looking like.  It's called Beautiful by Dark Horse Yarns

My last project I fixed then finished my Christmas etchings quilt top.  I had an alignment issue on the top which you can see in my last WIP Wednesday post.  I ended up having to unpick the whole strip but it looks so much better now and I'm glad I did.  It would have bothered me forever if I didn't take the extra time now.  It probably won't be quilted until next month.  We're going on vacation and I need to save my money.  Since it is a Christmas quilt for me I'm sure I can wait.
No progress:
• Cape Ann Quit
• A Walk in the Woods Quilt
• Crocheted Afghan
• Skill Builder Sampler (seriously need to get on this one)
• Scrapbooks (my new goal project!)

This week's stats:
Completed projects - 8
New projects - 0
Currently in progress - 5

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WIP Wednesday: 4 Finishes!

 It's WIP Wednesday again!  I love how it keeps me on my toes and helps me celebrate my accomplishments.  This week I have four finishes!  Yup, you read that right, four!  Sure three of them are crochet things that were pretty fast but still.  I feel uber productive this week and even my sweet hubby has accomplished a lot on the home remodeling projects!  We have a ceiling in our dining room now where there once was just bare boards, than just insulation.  It looks a ton brighter and so much nicer.  Without further ado, here's my projects...

I made aviator hats for my boys.  See the full post here for pattern information and other fun details.  My oldest adores his and wears it every day to school where it was a battle to get him to wear a hat before.  Hurray for the crochet win!

I finished the cartwheel quilt and I just love it!  It's for snuggling on the couch and it's already gotten a lot of use.  See the full post here.

I made myself a scarf out of baby alpaca yarn.  It's so soft and yummy!  I used a woven pattern it's so thick!  It's a little shorter than some of my other scarfs but it gets the job done better than some of them combined.  I'm planning a tutorial for later this week on it.

I made a few rows of progress on my afghan but not much.  It's too big to be mistaken for a scarf now though and I like that.

I did another set of rows on my Christmas quilt this week.  I'm loving how it's turning out but sadly I wasn't being very careful with my seams and it's totally off!

Here you can see how the seams don't line up.  It's driving me crazy!  Now I have to unpick and try again.  I have no idea what happened because it lines up fine for the second half of the seam.  I must have been pulling on it or something and now I have to unpick, FAIL!

I bought some fabric to make my youngest girl a quilt for her bed.  She has a bunch of little blankets but we don't have one big enough to fit her twin size bed.  I know I could have just gone out and bought her one but this is more fun.  I love the Cape Ann fabric!  It took me a long time to decide what pattern to use.  I landed on Hexagon Park found at the Moda Bake Shop.  It's surprisingly easy looking for what you get and my little girl is in love.  Not that I've started yet.  It's still in the planning stages.

Not to be left out I got fabric to make my oldest girl a quilt as well.  She loved A Walk in the Woods as soon as she saw it and I couldn't resist these adorable fabrics either.  I'm going to do a Disappearing 9-Patch as found on Cluck Cluck Sew (seriously love her blog!).  I'm excited to get started but haven't done more than pick the pattern on this one either.

My friend of 17 years (I can't believe it's been that long Stef!) had a sweet baby girl.  I made her first baby girl a double-sided flannel blanket with matching burp cloths and she loves them.  I decided to make some for #2 and found this adorable butterfly fabric to match the purple butterfly theme they have going for her.  The backing fabric is purple even though it seems to skew blue on my camera it perfectly matches the dark purple butterflies on the other one.  I can't wait to get this one started either since it's going to be a quick finish but I have to do a lot of work around the house first.  Hopefully I'll have pictures to show of the finished product next week.
Head on over to Freshly Pieced and see other WIP Wednesday posts or link up your own!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Cartwheel Quilt for ME!

 I very rarely make things for myself.  I don't know why but out of the 34 quilts I've made so far only two have been for me.  The other one has been claimed by my oldest daughter.  For Christmas my husband gave me money to buy fabric and I snatched up a Jelly Roll of 30's playtime.  It took me a while to decide what to do with it but then I found the cartwheels pattern and knew it was the one for me.  I tried a new thing on the binding.  I usually hand sew it on but I decided to machine bind it and I used a zigzag stitch.  I don't know how I feel about it.  I don't think it adds anything to the quilt but I don't think it detracts either.  It was much faster doing by machine so maybe I'll have to keep playing around with different ways to bind until I find one I love.

For more on this quilt see past posts My First WIP Wednesday and WIP Wednesday: Savoring

2/3 - I finished the quilt for me!! I love it and am so glad it turned out well. This is the back. I have never tried a pieced backing before and I think it turned out great.

2/3 - Here's the front of the quilt over a chair. The fabric so fun and I love the randomness of it all.

Here it is all laid out so you can see the whole top.

2/3 - I love this angle! It's just so fun and you can see the piecing and the quilting that my friend Leila did.

2/3 - It's twin size which is big enough for four little Schloemers to snuggle under.  Maybe this one isn't for me either.

Aviator Hat

2/2 - At my recent retreat I got some free yarn. I knew right away I wanted to make hats for my boys. I bought this pattern about a month ago and have been waiting anxiously to try it out. I LOVE IT! I used the 1-4 year -old size for both of them but I crocheted Spencer's looser and it fits him perfectly. He wore it to school and all his friends thought it was so cool. Alex just loves his and kept patting his head while he had it on. I was thinking about making one for Aaron too, I have enough yarn, we'll see what happens.

2/2 - Here's the hats off the boys. I'm in love! You can find the pattern for this Aviator hat at this Etsy Shop.