Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lizzie Dish Table Runner

Lizzie Dish - I just have to say that this is THE collection to make any kitchen accessory. Snatch it up before it's out of print! So far I've made an apron, oven mitts, a trivet and now finally my table runner is finished!

I finished the quilting on it ages ago but since I'm SO slow at hand stitching the binding I opted to wait for my mum to visit and do it for me. Thanks again mom!

I got the idea back last fall from this blog post from Spool Sewing to make a disappearing nine patch for a runner. Paired with the leftover Lizzie Dish prints to make my oven mitts and it was perfect!

Here's a fun little step by step pictoral of how to make a disappearing nine patch square. So easy yet deceptively complicated looking!

First make a basic nine patch square. You can use 9 prints or less like the 5 I used.

Next cut down the center horizontally and vertically:

Next rotate each square clockwise one time (upper left corner will be upper right now). There are other ways to do this step, but I like the results here.

Then just sew it back together! It gets even more fun seeing the squares next to each other and pattern continuing on.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fun with Fabric

I have way more sewing plans than I have actual time to sew. This means that my to do list is always a million projects long and regularly things get bumped off the reality list and into the wistful "maybe someday" list. I had all these dreams of summer clothes to make for myself and they are all on hold. I did make some cute skirts this spring but the dresses and tunics will wait for now. There is always next summer and at least fabric doesn't go bad. :)

This is actually what my sewing table looks like behind my sewing machine. Stacks of fabric, but I do really enjoy seeing all the time. You can just see some of my Garden Party prints -- still figuring out what to do with those...

I LOVE the planning stage of sewing and particularly quilting. I love pairing fabrics, figuring out layouts and doing the math of cutting and piecing. Again, I plan out more projects than I get to, but it's fun for me. Yes I'm a nerd.
So here are a few things I'm planning out now.

Remember this quilt?

It's in our living room and I recently realized we have very ugly and boring pillows on our couch. So I'm going to make some scrappy log cabin pillow covers! I pulled out all these scraps to make them. Anything brown/orange/rust/mustard/olive/forest green went into the pile. Now I'm considering making one pillow brown & orange and the other yellow & green instead of mixing them all up...

For my next quilt I'm making a large throw size out of Moda Soiree. Such a pretty collection! It will go in the baby's room for when we're snuggling in the recliner. I bought a layer cake (10" squares) plus some extra for a border and binding. Still need to figure out the backing but I think it will be scrappy a la Film in the Fridge. Why have a boring backing?

This next group is Heather Bailey's Pop Garden and Bijoux prints. They will become 2 pillowcases plus 2 quilted shams. I would love to see them all together as a big quilt too but I think they will get more use as a bed makeover.

I also just received a small order from Connecting Threads. I couldn't figure out why I was getting their catalog in the mail but they are a sister company of KnitPicks, where I bought my knitting needles from months ago. They make their own prints, sold in collections, individual yardage (even FQs), charms, jelly rolls, etc., or kits. Their prices are really good too ($6/yard, cheap shipping). I order a strip set plus a bit extra to make a fall colored table runner. I'm going to do the Strip Twist pattern shown here, just two columns wide. I'm not buying the pattern, but I think I've got it all figured out. ;)

Friday, July 17, 2009

I love to drink, er... knit!

Really, why not add a few more projects to the pile? :)

Back in December I heard about a new knitting group starting up in my neighborhood, a Stitch-n-bitch. They were meeting at a local bar and anyone was welcome to join in. At the time I had a 3 month old and was potty-training a 2 and 3/4-year old so yes I needed a drink. Weekly at least. Plus some non-diaper-related conversation. Only I didn't know how to knit. I think most people would have moved on but you see, it is a really good bar they meet at.

So on a holiday visit I had my mom show me how to cast on, knit and purl. She gave me some huge needles and ugly yarn and I was on my way! I started knitting this simple scarf:

It's quite a lot longer now but I fully intend to never pick it up again ever. Already I'm a yarn snob and I'm all done with acrylic!

For my next project I bought some nice needles (Knitpicks Harmony wood interchangeables) and some gorgeous yarn. I started this free hat pattern and it was coming along rather well until the temperatures went above 70 degrees. I just can't work on a wool hat in the summer.

So off I went to find a nice simple pattern for a beginner and ended up choosing the Feather & Fan shawl. I'm not sure if this would be called a beginner pattern but it's been pretty easy. This picture was taken a while back and it's already a lot bigger. Still a long ways to go! As mentioned, the point of my knitting is to drink so most of it does occur at the bar and it makes for slow progress.

I think I'm in love with lace. I keep drooling over lace patterns. Check out this stunner on Grumperina's blog. Someday perhaps!

Oh and back to the drinking. Best. Beer. Ever.

Come join us Tuesday nights at St. Stephen's Green!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Modern Diaper Bag as Beach Tote

So I made this diaper bag that I love. It's the Modern Diaper Bag pattern from Amy Butler's "Little Stitches" book. The shape is so unique and it is what drew me to the pattern in the first place. Another bonus? Nothing ever gets lost at the bottom since the sides angle outwards. It's roomy and big enough to carry everything I need. As big as it is though, I actually scaled the pattern down 25% to make it. The original is even bigger.

But for a beach trip? I feel like we have to haul half our house when we go. I need a BIG bag. So I decided to make the full size Modern Diaper Bag. I skipped all the pockets and just added a single simple pocket. Really all I need is a pocket for a phone and keys so that they don't get lost in the bottom.

The result? BIG!! In the picture above it makes my original diaper bag look tiny and it is anything but. Below I have the "Little Stitches" book inside for size reference. Tons of room of towels, sunscreen and toys I think!

When I made my diaper bag I tried to line up the pattern on the closure flap but messed it up in the end. I put the magnetic snap in the wrong side of the flap! This time I was more careful and I think I did a darn good job!