Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Giants Blanket

As some of you know, MisterStitches and I go to a lot of San Francisco Giants baseball games.  San Francisco is not known for having warm summers, so many of our games get quite chilly, especially the night games.  As do many people at the games, we have a blanket to cover up with on cold nights. It says "SF Giants" on it, and we bought it quite a while ago at the ballpark.  But it was never just right.  It wasn't quite wide enough to go comfortably over both our laps, and it was too long--always dragging on the floor.

So I made us a new blanket.  I bought some fleece fabric, in a Giants design, of course!  And the two of us measured how big we thought the blanket should be.  This one would be wider than it was long! At about 2 yards wide and 40 inches long, it's the perfect size.




The Giants logo looks a little blurry here, but it is just the fuzzy fabric.




Both kitties were very interested in it.  They like to help me with my quilting A Lot.  Percy is on the left, and Cassie is on the right.  She thinks the blanket smells really good.




I also bought a piece of plain black fleece for the backing--I wanted the blanket to have two thicknesses.  A lot of the fleece blankets I see have the edges cut into "fringes" and then the two layers are tied together with these "fringes."  But I wanted to do it a different way.  




I first of all sewed the two layers together right sides together, leaving an opening to turn.   After turning it right side out, I sewed again around the edge about a half inch from the edge seam.  It makes a very nice finish on the blanket.




I think Percy approves of the new blanket.  I bet he thinks it is his.  He might be disappointed when he can't find it lying around the house!


Saturday, June 13, 2015

A Box For My Hexie Materials (some of them!)

In some of my hexie supplies I came across this little kit, which included fabric squares and the papers.  So I quickly put it together.  Isn't it cute!!


Back side of the flower.

And I realized when I was looking through these hexie supplies that I really needed a place to corral all of them.  Because EPP has definitely gone from a "I'll try this new technique ONCE" to "Yes, I'm going to be doing more than a little bit of this!"  And I have SisterStitches to thank for getting me into English Paper Piecing.




I had this storage box sitting around, not being used.  It seemed like a good size for this project.  As you can see by the ruler placed on top, it is about 5 1/2" wide.


I measured its height, too, and made this little blue fabric base wide enough and long enough to fit the front of the box, with some extra length to fold over the top of the box.

The pins show placement for the EPP flower.


The width of this flower will fit on the front very well.  On the photo above you can see where I've marked with pins just where to place the flower onto the background.





Here is the box with the EPP flower appliquéd onto the background.



I like this "label" for the box so I know what's inside.



And here is what's inside.  These are all the leftover parts and pieces, templates and papers, from 
this project, previously made from a class I took by mail from SisterStitches at The Bear Patch Quilt Company. 


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Bears for NieceStitches

I sewed some simple little bears for NieceStitches the other day.  (I have two nieces, and both of them are nurses!  So proud!)  This NieceStitches works in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) at Sanford Medical Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.


On one of my recent visits, I noticed that NieceStitches's mom is sewing these, and I thought I would contribute, too.


They are simple, two-dimensional bears made out of flannel.  Just stitched and edges left raw.


Parents who have a baby in the NICU wear one of these bears under their clothes.  Then the bear is put next to the baby, so the baby can get used to the parents' scent.  Isn't that a nice idea!?!


So look for a package in the mail soon, NieceStitches!


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Crocheted Afghans (Not Again!)

Yes, I've been crocheting.  Again.  Still.  And I have three more baby afghans to show you.  This first one is made all from one color, a nice kind of minty color.  I simply did rows of single crochet, and occasionally put in two rows of double crochet to add a little texture.



The next two afghans might qualify to be called "patchwork."  In each of these, I used some different colors of yarn.  I started work on the one below, with the blue yarn.  After crocheting quite a few rows, I realized I had made the beginning row too long.  I knew that I wouldn't have enough yarn to make it as tall as I would like it to be for my given width. 


I was with some friends, and one of them suggested that I fill in with some other colors of yarn, which would also use up some of my random leftover pieces of yarn.  So I did just that, and ended up with a fun, "non-scripted" middle section.  I really like how it turned out, and now I have a little less leftover yarn, too!



I did the multi-colored part in the middle, then finished up with the same blue that I started with.


This is one of my favorite stitches to do.  I double crochet, then occasionally I chain one, skip a stitch, and double crochet into the next stitch.  That makes the "holes" in the afghan.


This last afghan is also of the "patchwork" variety.  I started with the yellow, then chose a few other colors, finishing up with the same yellow.  And yes, that blue in the center is what was left over from the previous afghan!


Friday, May 22, 2015

A Large Handwork Project

One day while at a friend's house, several of us were sitting around the table doing some hand sewing.  One woman was looking through a "Fons and Porter" magazine (Sept/Oct 2014) and turned to the page with this quilt.


It immediately caught my eye because it is so colorful.  I really liked it.  My friend gave me the magazine--so nice of her!  And I proceeded to check out this pattern.



It is designed by Susan McDermott.  The magazine said that she made the quilt using hand appliqué, but they were giving the directions for how to make it by machine.  It just so happened that I was looking for a new hand-sewing project to carry around with me to quilting-friend get-togethers.  So I started in on it.

The pattern supplied templates, which I copied onto cardboard (for drawing on the fabric and cutting out the circles) and template plastic (for ironing the edges under).  There are actually four different sizes of squares in this quilt.  The circles are appliquéd on to the squares, then the blocks are cut into four pieces and re-pieced together.  I will do all of that work by machine, you can be sure!



Here is what my workload looks like.  I need 187 of the larger blocks and 33 of the smaller ones.  That's quite a few, but I've already gotten a fair number of them sewn up.  All of the small 4" square-circles are done, and quite a few of the larger ones are, too.


And the best part is that they are totally made from my scraps!  Not that it seems to have made much of a dent, but it's a start.



The block above shows a circle pinned to a square.  I iron the squares into quarters so I know where the center of each side is.  The circles have lines marked on them, too, so I know exactly where to place them.



After the circles are appliquéd on, I cut out the excess background fabric behind the circles in order to reduce the bulk.  The photo above shows this, although it's a little hard to see.



And here is the the same square seen from the front. 

I will be sure to keep you updated on the progress of this quilt. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

It's That Time of Year Again

It's that time of year again when I make a new "number t-shirt" for GranddaughterStitches.  The number this year is Seven!  How can she be this old already!?!  

I purchased the necessary t-shirt in the appropriate size, then searched through my computer fonts for a suitable number 7.  I decided to use the CurlzMT font, which gave me this number 7.  I like the 
curly-que at the bottom, and I think GranddaughterStitches will, too!



After I had printed out the 7, I took my pen and added a little more width to some of the narrow parts of the number.   And I ended up with this image.  



  I thought that would give me a little more fabric to attach to the t-shirt.


I then fused the number 7 to the center front of the t-shirt.


After that came the machine blanket stitch all the way around.


And here is the final result!




I opened up a few stitches on the side and added this little tag that says 
"PS I love you."




Happy Birthday, GranddaughterStitches!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Poppy Garden

I decided to start a California Poppy garden.   Aren't they pretty!



And I decided to put it right in the middle of our driveway! (tee hee) Maybe I should have made this an April 1st post!


But I totally love poppies. They look so bright and cheerful and are my favorite part of spring.