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.  

Saturday, May 2, 2015


Here are more afghans I've made recently.  This blue and white one was really fun.  It was a variegated yarn, which is fun to work with.

Not sure if you can tell from the photos, but it is a "fuzzy" yarn.  I did simple double crochet with an open weave stitch put in at two points in the afghan.

I like to see what kind of color pattern emerges with variegated yarn.

Another variegated yarn--this one was really fun.  Look at how often the colors change!

It was a fine yarn, and I simply used double crochet back and forth.  It wasn't boring because of the fun yarn! 

A nice bright pink yarn went into this afghan.

I added some open weave stitching randomly as I went along.  Just whenever I felt like it!

This light blue afghan used a fat and fluffy yarn.  I keep telling myself I will not buy any more fat or textured yarn, yet it keeps calling to me!  I don't particularly like using it because it is harder to work with on my crochet hook.  But the end result is very nice.

Here is a shot of the afghan that shows how I alternated double crochet with skipped stitches to create a random pattern.

Lastly, here is a nice medium blue afghan, using just regular yarn!

I used a "skip one stitch, single crochet and double crochet in the next stitch" for this one.  I really like the textured pattern it makes.