Made: Sew Together Bag #10(?)

Yeah, so I think this is #10 for me. Yikes.

Most of this one was cut and put together when I made the seven others back in March/April for my friends. The real motivation to finish this one for me was to move all my makeup from the random bags under my sink into one bag. Nothing really new to say about it, so here are the photos!

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Processed with VSCOcam with lv03 preset

Made: Divided Basket and WIP: Strokkur

I’ve been on a crafting kick – guess I’ve gotten my motivation to make things back.

We were in Telluride, CO this past weekend for little get away. JJ, Miles and I needed the time away from work, Denver and life in general. It was awesome. The drive to Telluride from Denver is over 6 hours, so I brought along two knitting projects. The one you see below is my Strokkur that I started back in January. I was having trouble keeping the entire project in my project bag, so when I came back I knew I wanted to make something bigger to hold it.

Divided Basket

The pattern is the Divided Basket by Noodlehead (Anna Graham). I’ve sewn plenty of her tutorial/patterns and they are really well done. Modifications I made to the written pattern were to use Pellon 72 – Peltex and batting to reinforce the exterior pieces. The Peltex and batting really give the basket structure. The sides of the bag do not fold in AT ALL – unlike my other project bags. Stitching all the layers was a bit tricky so I made sure I went slowly and didn’t force the fabric through the machine.

Divided Basket-3

One side of the basket has two pockets where I keep little knitting notions – stitch markers, scrap yarn, scissors.

Divided Basket-2

I dug through my fabric box and resurrected some pieces that I’ve had for an embarrassingly long time (i’m talking years here). The exterior is an Echino print that I’m pretty sure is out of production. The dotted fabric used in the lining is so old, I can’t remember where I bought it, let alone who makes it. The divider and trim on the handles are leftover shot cotton from another project.

Divided Basket-4

Here you can see the colorwork detail of the sweater yoke. Colorwork is fun – both the process and this particular pattern. The yarn is a traditional Icelandic wool – the yarn sticks to each other, so there is a lot of me stopping to untangle the yarn while knitting. The sweater sat in hibernation over most of the summer. This wool is quite warm, and just not particularly fun to knit when it is hot outside. But the cool mountain mornings in Telluride were perfect for hotel room deck knitting. And I’m just about finished with the sweater. I’m really excited to see the final result. More details can be found on my Ravelry project page: Strokkur.

Made: Baby Girl Quilt #3

I’m finally getting around to posting the photos of my latest quilt! I made this for a special little one – the daughter of one of my West Point roommates. They live about an hour away in Colorado Springs, and I was able to visit with them and hand it off in person. Baby Joanna is beautiful and I’m so happy she’s here!

This is my third baby girl quilt of 2015, and my fourth (I think??) quilt finish of the year. Wow. I think that’s a record for me.

Baby Girl Quilt #2-2

I bought two jelly rolls – Clementine by Heather Baily and Kona Blushing Bouquet – back in June during Pink Door Fabric‘s Open House. Honestly, I didn’t have any sewing motivation (or patience) for anything super complex so I settled on simple chevrons. I loosely followed this tutorial posted on Kitchen Table Quilting. The top came together super super quick.

Baby Girl Quilt #2

Pin basting is always more fun with beer. The Liliko’i Kepolo is from one of our favorite Boulder breweries, Avery. We’d had it in their tasting room, but didn’t think they sold it for take home. JJ spotted it at our neighborhood corner store/pharmacy and brought some home.

Baby Girl Quilt #2-3

I opted for some simple loopy quilting to keep it all together. The binding are just some strips from the Kona jelly roll. I machine-stitched it all the way around. It turned out better than my last few attempts! My quilt labels are the same, just change the names and dates.

My Kid is a Goofball

Goofball

(and I love it)

I carved some time, ok, truthfully I willed myself to do it – but I sat down at my computer, fired up Lightroom and got to work on sorting, editing and posting photos. I found this series of shots of Miles from January.

He’s at that age where he is pretty  much sick of ‘smiling’ for the camera – and it doesn’t matter which camera big Nikon or iPhone, he is just not interested. But he has no problem hamming it up.

He did it wearing snow boots in January.

He did it a week ago in Manhattan (Central Park).

He did it at a family wedding, even when I wanted him to NOT do it.

I know that I am biased, but seriously. I have a good looking kid.

He’s just been into being funny. And laughing this huge laugh. Other things he’s into, right now:

  • swim lessons every Thursday
  • going to Carol’s on Wednesdays
  • sleeping with a pillow on his head each night
  • begging me to sleep with him ‘this much’ and not ‘this much’ as he measures ‘much’ by spreading his hands apart
  • eggs, pancakes and spaghetti with butter (or Tobasco)
  • riding the bus and pretending to be a bus driver – he can name the streets in order from Colorado Blvd to the Capitol
  • elevators
  • maps – my car has a navigation screen that he likes to look at while we’re driving. In JJ’s car, he’ll want to look at the map on a phone. “Where the blue dot?”

 

Made: Seven (!) Sew Together Bags

Nashville
I met up with 7 ‘college’ friends a few weeks ago. (If you know me outside my crafty, then you’d know that ‘college’ for me was a miliary academy.) We flew in from Denver/Colorado Springs, Washington DC, Tampa and Atlanta for a short weekend in Nashville. We ate tons of good food – seriously, every meal there was amazeballs – bought cowboy boots, watched Diane Sawyer and Bruce Jenner talk about some things on TV, and talked and talked and talked. Oh, and well, 3 of us ran the Country Music 1/2 Marathon on Saturday too – fun fun race. Side note, this was my 2nd half marathon this year and my quickest post-baby (2:02:09).

FOSTB

I wanted to make something for each of the girls, and the Sew Together Bag was the pattern I chose. It is just a great bag! Every time I make a Sew Together Bag, I’m amazed at the clever-ness of the construction. I just finished up seven of these bags last month, so I had a lot of opportunity to marvel at this pattern!

STB WIP

The exterior fabric comes from a fat quarter bundle of Mochi by Rashida Coleman-Hale, the lining and pocket lining fabric is actual Army fabric – the same stuff that the uniforms are made of; Fabric.com sells yardage and that is where I purchased mine. Zippers come from Zip It on Etsy.

STB WIP 2

Getting these sewn up was easier and faster than I anticipated. I did it assembly-style, which wasn’t exactly interesting. One day I cut all the pockets and lining. Another day, I cut all the interfacing. Then it was the exterior. Another day I ironed the interfacing. Then it was putting together the interior. And so on.

The final few steps were a bit fiddly, and I broke 3 needles sewing the long zipper tabs down. But when I got them all complete and lined up, a big huge smile came across my face.

Catch Up Post – Sewing Edition

I have a knitting update as well, but I won’t bombard you with the craftiness all at once.

I’ve been making a bunch of fun little things now that I’m on baby-quilt-making hiatus!

First Up: FRMQG Mini Quilt Swap

The theme of this one is Critters, Creatures and Mythical Beasts! Which sounded super fun when I signed up, but as I got closer to execution, just confused me. My partner indicated that she wanted a critter. And critters just creep me out. But bees? Bees are great. I like bees. They don’t scare me or creep me out. I didn’t like any of the paper-peiced bee patterns I came across, but I did like this cute little cross stitch pattern from the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.

Now, I haven’t cross stitched in years. Probably decades really. Most of my couch crafting time is spent knitting, however, I shifted focus to the bees for a week. And a week was all it took for me to finish this!

Look how cute:

xstitch

 

FRMQG Mini Swap

To make the mini quilt, I chose to frame the bees with cathedral windows. Like the flying geese quilt, making a cathedral window quilt has been on my to-do list for a few years. I love the look of this block put together. The construction is fiddly, time-consuming and layered. All that work is totally worth it though. The double layer of fabric means no batting or quilting or binding required! I love the gentle curves that frame the pops of color.

I opted to include a reversible box tote – same pattern as the project bag I made a few months ago. The mini quilt only measures about 12″ square, which is a bit smaller than the swap requirements. I made bias tape out of a super colorful floral print that I got in another swap. I sketched out some curves on the front exterior bag pieces and stitched the bias tape on the pieces before constructing the bag.

Next up are some selfish sewing projects. Appropriately titled project bags. Mostly for knitting. Can’t have too many project bags, right? I usually don’t have multiple knitting projects going at once, but I’m wanting to get away from that. Lately, I’ve been feeling like I want to knit something, but not necessarily the sweater I’ve currently got on the needles. Then other times, I’m all about the sweater.

project bags

I wanted a smaller drawstring bag for smaller knitting projects. I used some leftovers from the baby boy quilt I made last month.

And I really like these reversible box totes! My first one still holds my sweater project, but I wanted another one made out of Charley Harper fabric to hold a shawl project. I bought the canvas/heavy-weight version of this fabric panel and attached the interfacing to the lining fabric to add more structure to the bag. And this time I included pockets on both the inside and the outside.

Whew! That’s a lot of typing for one post. Here’s a link to the tutorials/patterns I used for these projects:

*Beekeeper Cross Stitch
*Cathedral Windows Tutorial, Handy cutting chart for differnt block sizes
*Reversible Box Tote – free pattern
*Lined Drawsting Bag Tutorial

yarn yarn yarn yarn yarn-y yarn

(cue Bad Cop from the LEGO movie)

Hand Dyed Yarn-3

 

LOOK AT ALL THESE CUTE MINI SKEINS!
Can you tell I’m excited about them? It is because I dyed them myself, using only 5 colors of acid dye.

I took a class a few weeks ago that was all about yarn dyeing. What they are, what you need, how to do hand-paint and how to immersion dye – and how to do this all safely. I left the class with a hand painted skein of dk weight, an immersion/kettle-dyed skein of sock weight yarn, stained fingers and bunch of excitement about dyeing my own yarns.

Hand Dyed Yarn

This is all sock weight yarn I separated into 5 gram mini skeins, winding them up on this contraption called a niddy-noddy* – fun name, right? I set out to experiment with mixing primary colors, playing around with the strength of the dye stock and adding gray or black to mix. I took notes on my color ratios for reference.

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Now, I don’t knit socks. At least not yet, anyway. And these skeins look so pretty all stack up, but I am going to use them. I started making hexipuffs for a Bee Keeper’s Quilt. As my friend Heather commented on Instagram – its when quilting and knitting collide! These little knitted hexi’s are really fun and quick to make. I’m not sure how long it will be before I have enough to stitch together for a lap sized blanket, but that’s what I’m working towards.

Hand Dyed Yarn-4

*I made the niddy-noddy using this helpful tutorial – link.

Made: Another Baby Girl Quilt

Girl Quilt

Girl Quilt-2

Here it is friends! My last baby quilt for awhile. The baby shower was this weekend, and I can’t wait to meet this special little girl!

I love this one – truthfully, there are not many projects that I don’t love. Because if I’m not loving it, I don’t finish it. Why waste my time?

I have always liked the look of flying geese quilts – especially the ones where all the geese are going in one direction. And I knew I wanted this last baby quilt to incorporate that. I started by pulling a few prints and then cutting the squares, then subcutting the triangles – for both the ‘geese’ part and the ‘sky’ part of the rectangle.

Once I had a decent amount of flying geese finished, I auditioned a few layouts. Deciding on keeping like prints together in a row, I sewed them together. Some strips of coordinating solids completed the quilt top.

For the back, I choose a different print and made slightly larger flying geese, framing it with the same three solids.

I added a label too!

The quilting is simple stitch-in-the-ditch to just hold it all together. And the binding isn’t separate; it is part of the quilt back folded over. I had never done that before, and I actually really like how it looks.

I used the same fabrics as in the other baby girl quilt, but the two projects look so completely different. I love that about sewing – the same basic material can be turned into so many unique things!

Whew! My second quilt in 2015 – I’m laughing about it though, because I have a feeling that it will be MONTHS before I finish another quilt this year…..

Work(s) In Progress

Hello! What a weekend! It started off fairly uneventful – gym, crafting, cooking and football playoff watching. I woke up on Sunday morning, walked upstairs into the kitchen and realized that the heat wasn’t on. We have heated floors in the kitchen (pleasant surprise 6+ months into living in this house!), and the floors were COLD.

Went to check, and yup, what I suspected. The boiler was inop*. A few calls around town (not too many since it was Sunday. At 8am.) and scheduled a service call for Monday morning.

*sigh* so. Off to my sister’s to hang out! We packed up some snacks; I packed up my sewing and knitting; Carol vacuumed the shit out of her couch/blankets/rugs while I took every allergy pill I have. And that worked, by the way, her cat didn’t really bother me. And we were there for 6+ hours… crafting and watching more football playoffs. Sucks about the Broncos, but Peyton really does not do well in the post-season.

Ok, enough about all that.

WIP-2

I put together the flying geese I stitched up on our New Year’s craft date with Heather. And then cut into the solids Chelsea from Pink Door Fabrics pulled for me to finish them off. I am determined to not overthink this quilt. It is colorful and bright, perfect for the baby girl it is going to. Which, by the way, is the last baby quilt I need to make for a few months.

WIP

And I have a sleeve! It is almost finished. This is for the Strokkur I mentioned in my previous post. I actually ripped this out because my knitting gauge was way way off. My stitches were really really big – too big to follow the pattern. I think I just was not used to knitting with this particular yarn. This second attempt is coming along much better!

Why the sleeve first? Well, one of my Ravelry friends commented that she makes the sleeve first to check gauge, and if she’s spot on, then she’s partway done with the sweater. So I thought I’d try it out.

What is gauge? You non-knitters might be asking yourselves – or more realistically, probably NOT but I’m gonna tell you anyway. Gauge is simply stitches per inch. Each pattern calls for a particular gauge specific for that pattern. Tension variations in knitter or yarn yields different gauge, which can lead to ill-fitting garments if my knitting gauge differs from the pattern gauge. Changing needle sizes usually fixes gauge.

But hey, my gauge is off from the pattern! Even with 2 different needle sizes. I did find this handy online calculator that shows how to modify the pattern to match your gauge. The good thing is that while my row gauge is short by a few compared to the pattern, my stitch gauge (left-right) is spot on. That is a bit trickier to modify than the row gauge. Row gauge is pretty easy to fix – so the website tells me!

I’m almost done with one sleeve, and I’m liking how this is knitting up so far.

Made: Baby Girl Quilt

Warning: Photo Heavy Post!!!

Baby Girl Quilt

I finished this one up awhile ago, but I wanted to wait until the little one received it before blogging about it.

What a special little girl this is, and I’m so so happy that she’s here.

This quilt came together quickly, as I had the blocks finished already. These blocks are part of Amy Gibson’s 2014 Sugar Block of the Month club. I love the fabric and the colors are perfect for a sweet little girl.

Baby Girl Quilt-4

I kept it simple with 1″ sashing between the blocks and for the border. For the back, I ordered some yardage of one of the fabrics from the collection. And the binding fabric came from my stash.

Baby Girl Quilt-3

Baby Girl Quilt-2

Baby Girl Quilt-6

I’m most proud of the quilting. I did all the quilting myself on my Juki AND I’ve finally figured out how to machine quilt with Aurifil thread (hint: thread on a cone makes a difference vs thread on a spool).

Baby Girl Quilt-5

I made the label using Adobe Illustrator and printed it on iron-on transfer paper on my inkjet printer. I’m not sure why I’ve never done that before.

The fabric is Kate Spain Daydream – warm colorways. The pattern is the 2014 Sugar Block Club blocks.

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