Thursday, June 30, 2011

SEWING PURSES

Today Abbie and I worked on sewing skills again.  She really wanted to sew a purse.  So I came across this really cute purse pattern found here .  It was free, although if I wanted the instructions for assembling it I have to pay $4!!!  So of course I decided that I could figure it out all on my own.  If I had worked on it by myself it may have turned out more like the photo.....but hey....Abbie and I wanted to finish our purses today and we are pretty stoked about the finished project.  Check out our pics below.






Thursday, June 9, 2011

QUILTING FRAME!!!

So I've been working on this quilt for over 19 years now.  I started making it in 1992 when I left active duty Air Force to become a stay at home mom.  I began by cutting up all of the old unserviceable uniforms laying around the house.  Between me and my husband....we had a LOT!!!  And I hate to throw anything out and I just knew I could make something useful out of them.  I pieced the quilt top fairly quickly. 

Fast forward 4 years and I have finally found the fabric backing and stacked and bound it....I know, I know...I shouldn't have bound it first, but I pinned it really really good!!  Then I found some friends to come over and help me hand quilt it...only....it didn't go so well because I didn't have a frame....and because my friends really didn't know how to quilt!!  LOL  We did have a good time though!

Fast Forward to June of 2011....I am in Hobby Lobby...shopping for some sewing notions when I look down and there is one lonely quilting frame on the shelf.  AND I've got a 40% off coupon in my pocket!!  So I did a bit of impulse shopping and bought myself a Quilters Floor Frame!


I was sooo excited!!! It was early Wednesday evening, so I had to put it to the side until I got home from church.  As soon as I got home I opened the box and started pulling pieces out.  When I got to the last small joint pieces I turned the box over and let them slide out to the floor...only there were these two metal pieces that fell out....pieces that were obviously broken.  see pic below



It is one of the adjustment spring clip doo-hickies....so one of the legs will not adjust.  :(   But I did NOT let that stop me!!!  I finished putting the frame together.  It took me all of 18 minutes to put it together and get my quilt snapped in place.  see pics below




BTW.....after I finished assembling all of this I did email the company requesting a replacement part.  I might have taken it back to Hobby Lobby....but as I said, it was the last one on the shelf.  I sure hope it doesn't take them too long to respond.  But in the meantime...I'll be getting my quilting on!!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

A SIMPLE SCARF PATTERN for KAREN



So I got this email from my sister earlier today telling me that a co-worker of hers has been reading this blog and was wondering when I would post a simple scarf pattern.  So Karen, this ones for you!!!  Glad you're reading and enjoying my blog!  But I have to be honest, I can't take complete credit for this scarf pattern.  When my younger son was in the 5th grade he was playing around with crochet, trying to decide what he could make to enter in the county fair and he made a scarf using this very same stitch pattern.  He won a FIRST PLACE ribbon on it!!  I was so proud of him.  Well, I like this stitch pattern so much that have used it many times for scarves, dish cloths and even a hat and headband. 

NOTE:  I put tassles on this particular scarf because I have made so many scarves and they all have either a regular fringe or nothing at all and I decided I wanted something different.  This pattern looks beautiful any way you finish off the ends....but I'm super happy with the different look that I got with the tassles!!!

MATERIALS:  Worsted Weight yarn (approx 3.5 oz), size I crochet hook, small amount of contrasting yarn for tassles.

SIMPLE SCARF PATTERN

Ch 18.  (you can actually start with ANY even number of chains, depending on how wide you would like your scarf to be)
Row 1: Sc in 2nd chain from hook and in each ch across (17 sc)
Row 2: Ch 1, turn.  Sc in first stitch, *ch 1, skip next st, sc in next st.  Repeat from * across.
Row 3: Ch 1, turn.  Sc in first stitch and in first ch 1 space, *ch 1, skip next st, sc in next ch 1 sp.  Repeat from * across.   Sc in last st.

Row 4: Ch 1, turn.  Sc in first stitch.  *Ch 1, skip next st, sc in next ch 1 sp.  Repeat from * across.  Sc in last st.
Repeat rows 3 & 4 until scarf reaches desired length.  (I like mine to be at least as long as I am tall.  So approx 5 ½ to 6 feet long.)

TASSLE instructions below with pictures. 




up close detail


use a length of yarn (leave your tail long and you can use this)


Thread yarn matching your tassle through the inside of the gathered end.


wrap yarn around an object approx. 20 times depending on how fluffy you want it.  I used my crochet hook case because it was handy and just about the right size.  You could also use a paperback book or cd case.



After you remove the yarn loops, tie them to the end of the scarf with asecure knot.  Do not cut ends, position them with the flow of the other strands.


Smooth the yarns out and gather them securely in your hand.


Taking another long length of yarn, make a loop, holding it against the tassle body with your fingers.


using one of the tails, wrap it securely from bottom to top about 1 1/2" from the top of the tassle.  Take the wrapping end and thread it through the loop at the top.


Pull the remaining tail at the bottom until the tail at the top is lodged securely into the wrapped band.  What you will have left is this small tail show in the pic above.  Carefully clip this off. 

Repeat with second tassle and trim evenly (or as evenly as possible!!)


Thursday, June 2, 2011

RECTANGLE GRANNY w/ HEART EDGING

I LOVE making granny squares....and the rectangle granny is a lovely variation of this classic square!  This particular blankie is yet another attempt to decrease my stash.  I had many visions for the edging for this blanket...and one was almost done when I decided it just "wasn't working" and ripped it all out and started the edging again.  What I came up with is a small heart edging, but not so girly that it couldn't be used for a boys blanket.  I've posted the rectangle pattern at the bottom of the post....but am still working out the edging part of the pattern.   Keep checking back....I may have it written up in the near future.





 My original intention was for this to be an OKLAHOMA SOONERS blanket...complete with filet edging declaring so!  But alas, it was not to be   :(   


RECTANGLE GRANNY      

Rnd 1:  Chain 22.  (2 dc, ch 3, 3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in 4th chain from hook.  [Skip next 2 chains, 3 dc in next chain] 5 times.  Skip next 2 chains.  (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in end chain.  Working on opposite side of starting chain, skip next 2 chains. [3 dc in next ch, skip next 2 chains] 5 times.  Join with sls st in top of beg ch.  
Rnd 2: Ch 3, turn.  2 dc in same space as turn chain.  Work 3 dc in each space.  On corners work 3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc. 
Repeat Rnd 2 until desired size is reached.

MORE SEWING!!!

So the girls and I spent another afternoon at the sewing machines.  They are really coming along in their stitching skills! 

Marissa got started on a body pillow but didn't have the stuffing to finish.  So she set that aside and got started on a flannel baby bib I had cut out previously. 

Abbie got to dig through my scraps and come up with the perfect color combination for making a doll quilt. 

Then Marissa finished her bib and made a heart shaped pillow. 

They were so INTENT on getting their work done that they didn't even finish their bowls of home made banana nut ice cream!!!!  Abbie asked if she could come back later and eat some more since she didn't get to finish hers before it melted!  

Check out the pics of their work below.  Pardon the last two pics of the final projects.  My camera battery died and I ended up using my phone to take the pics...they turned out a bit fuzzy  :(

Marissa turning her bib.

Abbie contemplating the next step of her quilt.

Pressing.....NOT child labor!! 

And yet another child at the ironing board!!  this time pressing seams flat.

Adding snaps to her bib.

Putting on the border pieces.
Marissa and a pillow for her teacher and the bib for her baby brother!  Great Job!!!

Abbie and her finished 4-patch doll quilt!!  Stunning!!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Passing on a Legacy!!

Legacy:  Something handed down from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past.

Sometimes I am saddened by the fact that I don't have a daughter to pass on my love and knowledge of stitching to.....and then I am reminded of all the "daughters" that God has placed into my life to share with and teach the skills that God has given to me. 

Just the other day I had the opportunity to have some young ladies over to work on their own skills.  What a blessing they are to my life and how they help me to come back to simpler times of my own youth. 


Isabelle is learning to crochet a chain for the very first time!

Look how far she got!!  So proud!!!

Abbie and Marissa stuffing the pillows they stitched on my sewing machines.

Marissa made her pillow for her baby brother Alex  :D


Abbie has sewed with me before, so she moved on to a bib after "warming up" on a small pillow...probably for her doll house or her dog Pixie

And Steph (I taught her too!!) and Ava (in about 5-6 years it will be her turn!!)  And sweet baby Alex!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Learning to Knit.....a LONG time ago!!


I started this baby blanket about 8-9 years ago when I was first learning to knit.  I got frustrated with it and put it back in the bag and forgot about it.  Well.....a few posts back I mentioned a New Years resolution.  I promised my husband I would not buy any more yarn until I worked down my stash...which includes finishing "unfinished" projects!  I had only completed up through the second band of blue and was ready to start the third band of white.  It ONLY took me FOUR times stitching and frogging that band of white to figure out what I had done!  Instead of asking someone how to YO way back when I was learning....I just made up my own way of doing it!!!  Part of me wanted to just scrap the whole blanket....another part of me just wanted to finish it with whatever stitch it was "supposed" to be done with.  But I couldn't.  I couldn't just put it away.  And I couldn't just finish it badly.  So....short story already too long!!  I finshed it!  Saturday while I was watching the Preakness pre-race show (actually got busy and missed the actual race).  It was worked on size 15 double point needles and is made with Red Heart Baby Clouds yarn.  The pattern was one of those freebies that hang near the yarn.  But with the wonder of the internet you can find it here.  Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

CROCHET CHICKEN

When I was in the 5th grade my teacher, Mrs. Finley, would allow some of us girls to stay inside during recess and she would teach us new crochet and finger weaving projects.  A crochet chicken was one of those projects she taught us.  A few years ago when I was teaching crochet to grade school children I looked for such a pattern.  The chicken with the red comb is the pattern I found.....not completely thrilled with the look of it so I revamped it and came up with the chicken with the purple comb.  It is a perfect addition to your childs Easter basket...or maybe just a shelf sitter in your country kitchen decor. 

CROCHET CHICKEN
Give it a <3 or add it to  your Ravelry queue here.

Materials needed:  Small amounts of white, yellow and red worsted weight yarn, plastic refillable Easter egg, size G crochet hook and tapestry/yarn needle.

HEAD
Chain 4, join with slip stitch in 4th chain from hook to form ring.
Rnd 1:  Work 12 single crochet into ring.
Rnd 2:  *single crochet in next 3 stitches, 2 single crochet in next stitch.  Repeat from * 2 MORE times.  Do not finish off.
BODY
Rnd 1:  Chain 1, turn.  Single crochet in next 5 stitches on head.  Chain 8, work 3 single crochet in second chain from hook.  Single crochet in next 6 chains.  Working in FRONT LOOP ONLY of next 5 stitches (loop clostest to you) single crochet in next 5 stitches, 2 single crochet in loop made by turning chain.  Turn, single crochet in remaining loops of stitches and bottom of chain.  Do not join end of round.
Rnd 2:  Single crochet in each stitch around. 
Repeat rnd 2 until body of chicken fits over top ¾ of the plastic Easter egg.  End of row should be at the end opposite of the head.  Do not finish off.
Last rnd:  *Skip next stitch, single crochet in next 2 stitches.  Repeat from * around.  Finish off row at end opposite of head.
BEAK
With yellow, attach yarn in second single crochet on front of head.  Chain 3, slip stitch in 2nd and 3rd chains from hook.  Then slip stitch in same stitch as joining.  Finish off.
COMB
With red, attach yarn in 2nd stitch from beak.  Chain 1, single crochet in same stitch.  *Chain 2, single crochet in next stitch.  Repeat from * 2 MORE times.  Finish off.

Weave in all loose ends.

Friday, February 25, 2011

RECYCLED GROCERY BAG.....BAG


How many grocery bags do you come home with each time you go to the grocery store???  And how many of those bags do you reuse for household projects...and how many do you just throw away???  This is the project to help you reduce your stash of used grocery bags and keep them out of the landfills at the same time!!  I designed this particular bag to be used as a ministry project with our church group "Crochet One, Knit Too".  We will construct these bags and then hand them out at the farmers market this summer that is located in the parking lot behind our church.  You may think it will be too hard to make or too time consuming...maybe you will even think they will feel cheap!!  I had told some ladies at church about wanting to make these and they seemed skeptical.  I took a sample to show them this past Sunday and they were AMAZED at how soft, flexible and durable it was.  I even weight tested it by hanging it for four hours with two full bottles of 32 load laundry soap in them.  It did stretch...but not in an unsightly manner and was comfortable to carry with such a load in it!!  Please if you have any questions or need clarification do not hesitate to ask!!!  Thanks for checking out my design!!



RECYCLED GROCERY BAG…BAG  ©
Original Design by Amy Brewer


Materials:  30 plastic grocery bags (1” stripped and looped, instrucitons below), size N crochet hook

BAG
Chain 21
Rnd 1: hdc in 3rd ch from hook and in next 17 ch.  5 hdc in last ch.  Working in free loops of other side of ch, hdc across, 3 hdc in last loop.  Join in top of beg ch. 

Rnd 2: ch 1, hdc in same st.  Hdc in each st around.  Sl st in top of first hdc to join.

Rnds 3-19: Repeat Rnd 2.  Do NOT finish off.

HANDLES
Rnd 1: ch 1, sc in first 3 sts, ch 30, skip 10 sts, sc in next 12 sts, ch 30, sk 10 sts, sc in next 9 sts, sl st in first sc to join.

Rnd 2:  Ch 1, sc around.  Sl st in first sc to join.

Rnd 3: Ch 1, sc in first st, * sk 1, sc, sk 1, sc 28, sk 1, sc, sk 1, sc 7.  Repeat from * once.  Sl st in first sc to join.

Rnd 4: sl st in each st around.  Finish off. 

HOW TO STRIP AND LOOP YOUR PLASTIC BAGS

MATERIALS NEEDED:  Self healing rotary cutting mat, rotary cutter, shape cut ruler 12", scissors, and 30 grocery bags per bag.

Lay grocery bags flat on self healing rotary mat.  I layer up to 10 bags at a time.

Place Shape Cut Ruler on top of grocery bags with cut lines running horizontally and the first cut line approx 1" from the bottom of bags.

Using a Rotary Cutter, cut the bag horizontally at 1" intervals.


After your bags are cut and the top and bottoms are removed it will look similar to this.


Hold two loops, one in each hand.


Insert 2nd loop (horizontal in pic)  inside of 1st loop (vertical in pic).  Place hand through one end of 2nd loop, grab opposite end of 2nd loop.


Pull through......


and slowly tighten down, making sure the loop is even.  Repeat.

As I loop the strips together I like to let them fall to the floor beside me and then wind them after I loop about 10 bags together.  It will be tempting to just put these looped strips into a bag and work from that....but be warned that they tangle VERY easily. 

Roll into a ball and secure end until ready to use.