Sunday, January 31, 2016

Some Crocheting For Myself

I don't normally crochet what I would label as "clothes" because I haven't found many crocheted items that I have liked enough to wear.

But then I saw this crocheted scarf cowl pattern in a friend's magazine, so I decided to give it a try.

And I quite like it.  It is very cozy around the neck, keeps me warm on these chilly days.  (My midwest relatives probably think I'm silly when I say we have chilly days here in northern California, but we really do!  It's all relative.)

The pattern is so simple, too.  Just eight rows of double crochet, using four strands of yarn at once.  The first one was so easy, I decided to make another!

This one is a much brighter color, and I found some awesome large buttons for it.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

What Happens To All Those Baby Afghans?

Here are a few more baby afghans that I've made recently.  

Now I'll tell you what I did with them.  I gave quite a few of them to Project Santa here in Gualala, California.  Project Santa helps a lot of poor families at Christmas time.  Food, toys, presents, clothes, and yes, afghans.  I took 10 afghans to them, then I took over 6 more the next week.  I'm glad there are people who will be pleased to receive my little baby afghans.  And don't worry about me.  I still have a lot of them left.  I store them in little nooks and crannies all around my house!

Friday, January 8, 2016

HST Quilt

I've been having some trouble with tendonitis in my right wrist since a little before Christmas.  I was doing way too much hand embroidery and crocheting.  One evening as I sat watching tv and embroidering yet another Christmas ornament, my wrist was feeling pretty sore.  But I didn't stop, because I like embroidering!  I really should have stopped, because it didn't feel better the next morning like I thought it would.  What a bummer!

So this has really put a crimp in my hand sewing and crocheting.  Plus a lot of other day-to-day activities.  I've been discouraged and bored.  I've been reading many, many books while I sit and ice my wrist.  (I've resorted to using my left hand for my computer mouse!)  One day I just needed to
do something

This is the little basket that I was using to store my sewn HST units, now empty.

 I looked at my little plastic basket filled to bursting with HST units.  These have been made in the past six months or so from my Bear Patch Bits samples that I receive every month.  You see, I've been receiving my Bear Patch Bits for several years now, and needless to say, I have about a gazillion 5" squares.  I had decided that I really needed to do something with them, as my plastic shoebox was getting too full.    So I paired up many, many light/dark squares and sewed them into half square triangles.  I really love making and using HSTs.  

This is how I store my Bear Patch Bits, which is not bursting at the seams anymore!

So the day when I was bored and couldn't do any sewing, I decided to put these HSTs up on my design wall, arrange them, and play with them.  I did all of this with my left hand, too!  This is what I created.  I apologize that it's not a better picture, but there's a table in front of it, so I had to take the photo from the side.

This exercise made me really, really happy!  I just love walking into my studio and seeing this up on the wall.  It's so bright and colorful.  Just to be clear, these are not sewn together yet, just placed on the design wall.  And I covered most of the design wall.  When I had gotten this done, I counted up the number of HST units that are in this "quilt."  Because I didn't fill in the upper right hand corner, there is an odd number:  255 HST units.

Now to let you in on a little secret.  There are still 349 HST units sitting on the table ready to be put together into something too!  Maybe I went a little overboard on this project!

The "leftovers."

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Harmony Art Sheets

I made a trip to visit MomStitches and the rest of my family in November.  While I was there, we had a very generous dose of snow, and "brisk" temperatures.  When I woke up in the morning it was only 8 degrees!!  This shows the thermometer when it had warmed up enough for me to go outside.

And my rental car. . .

So, what do you do when you are outside and see a broad expanse of pure, untouched snow?  Make a snow angel, or course!  It's been a few years since I've done this, but I still remembered how.

I brought along a sewing project, and MomStitches helped me with it.  I was making a sheet set for my friend Harmony's mother-in-law, who is recuperating from an accident.  Harmony supplied her own organic fabric for the sheets:  whispering grass in orchid, and orchid solid.  Such beautiful fabric is a joy to work with.  Here we have the fabric laid out all across the living room.  It was really nice to have MomStitches for a second opinion, and a second person to help "measure twice, cut once."

The fitted sheet was not too hard.  We cut a square out of each corner, then sewed up that seam. 

I used French seams, so there were no raw edges to fray.  Sheets go through many, many washings!

We used the solid orchid fabric for the top trim on the top sheet.  Then we combined the print and solid for a set of "opposite" pillowcases.  One used the solid with print trim, and the other the print with the solid trim.  I used directions from the One Million Pillowcases website to add the trim to them without any seams exposed.  Then I used French seams again to sew the sides and end of the pillowcases.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Electric Snowmen!?!?

I made a few of these cute little guys yesterday.  Aren't they funny!  I found the idea on Pinterest, that vast wealth of space that sucks up way too much of everyone's time!

Obviously, the snowman's face is a battery-powered tea light.  A short piece of decorative "pipe cleaner," two little pompom balls and a small bow are all attached with a hot glue gun.  Then I drew dots for his "coal" eyes and mouth with a permanent marker.  (That's about as far as my drawing ability goes!)

Then he gets hung on the tree and doesn't he look happy!

When he's lit up he really glows!  I love this little snowman!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

More Crocheting

You might recognize the yarn colors in this afghan from this post not too long ago.

Yes, I'm using up the leftover yarn from that great big afghan that I made for the play.  This is one of my favorite "non-pattern patterns."  I simply crochet along the rows and insert "holes" in random places.  For some reason, this amuses me!

The next afghan is, yes, that same pink color.  I really didn't want to run out of yarn so I bought more than I needed.  I knew I would use it all eventually.

This one was simply groups of rows of single crochet, then double crochet, then treble crochet.

KittyStitches is checking out this afghan.  Probably wondering if it would make a suitable place for a nap!

This last is an afghan made of variegated yarn, which I love working with.  It was a thicker yarn than usual, but I sometimes like to use that.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Work on my President's Quilt

I have been working in earnest on my president's quilt lately.  I'm very close to being done with the quilting.  I decided to do a fan-like free motion design in the blocks themselves, with a leafy vine in the green sashing strips.

I had a bit of trouble with my machine, so I haven't been working on it steadily, but I've kept at it.  It is so enjoyable to work on it.  Each square has the name of the person who sewed it, so as I quilt each square I think about that person fondly.  I appreciate the particular fabric they used to go with my blue print.  Very fun.