Wednesday, November 26, 2008

getting ready for Thanksgiving ~

It was a hard decision to make, but I decided to rip out the machine quilting I had sewn on the large brown portion of my quilt. The machine quilting I did a few weeks ago didn’t turn out to my liking, the backside was all jargled up and so today I took my seam ripper and worked and worked until it was quilted no more.

seam ripping

I spent most of what I could today hand quilting what I had ripped out. In these photos I tried to reveal the softness hand quilting has given this quilt. I gave the thread a little tug every once in a while to make the soft puckers. I am so super thrilled with it so far. It was all worth the pain-staking decision and time it took to rip out the machine stitches.

hand quilting

hand quilting

I soon found that hand quilting was going to give it just the look and feel I was after, though it will take much more time to complete it, I know I’ll be happier in the end. {I already have one little girl making claims to it!!} The shadows and bumps reveal how incredible soft this quilt will be once its finished. I can’t stop running my hands over it. I have only quilted one row of width, lots more to go.

We’re leaving tomorrow for our Thanksgiving road trip. I have three road projects that I’m bringing along, this quilt, yarn for knitting a pair of child size legwarmers, and this project yet to be completed from the end of summer.

mock Christmas card photo session

We went to the park this morning to burn off some energy and when we came back home I thought it would be a great time for a mock Christmas card photo session outside of our house. Judging by this photo, it isn’t going to be as easy as I thought, I see now what I'm up against - getting three little people to be happy, look at the camera, and smile at the same time!!!

I do wish everyone a safe, thoughtful, thankful, Thanksgiving Day tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

a moment or two knitting

Today has been a high energy day for me. Its been go, go, go all day . . . and the bazaar thing is I'm not even tired as I stand here at my computer at 4pm writing this. I had plenty of spare moments to knit. I was able to finish a hat {this is the third hat that I've knitted Lena} and thankfully this one will fit.

finishing up a hat

The first two didn't fit and will be given to Elise {who is almost three}. So now with two small projects out of the way {the wallet and this hat} . . . now maybe I'll start to focus more on the hand quilting due on my autumn quilt. But wait, didn't I hear Jonmichael say this morning that he wanted momma to knit him some gloves {not mittens} . . . oh well maybe just one more small project I can squeeze in between some hand quilting.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

recycled magazine wallet

Amidst long sewing projects, sometimes I need a distraction to get the juices flowing again. Seeing Meg’s tutorial was just the trick I needed for something different, eye catching, quick, and fun!

recycled magazine wallet

recycled magazine wallet

I tend to collect certain magazines and catalogs: Martha Stewart Living {which I wouldn’t dare cut up}, Pottery Barn Kids, Land of Nod, Magic Cabin ~ these I haven’t gotten rid of. This project was just the excuse I needed to cut some of these up. The key I found was color. Finding different spreads through the catalog that mimicked the same color palette gave a cohesive look to my wallet.

recycled magazine wallet

recycled magazine wallet

I may have spent 30 minutes on the whole project to whip up one of these cuties. I think I will add a small bit of Velcro to keep the coin tab in place. The kids will adore these!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

autumn crafting ~

leaf rubbing

hand quilting

hand quilting

My weekend included some of my favorite autumn crafting . . . leaf rubbings and the beginnings of hand quilting on my autumn quilt. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by the amount of hand work that is required on this quilt. I'm resolved that it will be okay if it's not finished by autumn's end. At least it was inspired by the colors of this season and will be much loved {and used} any time of the year.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

in my home ~

in my home

This is one of my favorite pieces in my home. It's my Grandmother's sewing machine. It's a little beat up, the veneer is peeling a bit here and there, but it has always been precious to me. I have fond memories of us sewing doll pillows using this machine, and it still works. A few weeks ago, I happened to lay this gratitude wrap down on the side of it as I was tidying up the house. I came to notice day after day as it laid there that I had really come to love this little piece that I had made and was happy to have found it a home where others could enjoy it as well.

gratitude wrap

I made this gratitude wrap late in the summer after Amanda Soule so graciously introduced them on her blog, sold some in her shop, and then gifted her readers with the pdf file of her pattern. I had this canvas cotton fabric in my stash that I had bought from Superbuzzy in one of my “gathering” seasons back in the summer and this has been the prettiest accessory in my family room. Each time I walk by, I just smile, I love it. The birds are so cheerful and I love how the green compliments the dark wood on my Grandmother’s antique sewing machine.

gratitude wrap

{I also used Japanese organic cotton bias tape in ivory from Superbuzzy}

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

new knitting corner ~

work in progess

This was my life yesterday . . . dining room full of all my knitting and quilting supplies. A total mess right?? I’ve been inspired by Peter Walsch’s book {which I highly recommend to any of you out there who struggles with constant clutter in your home} and have been working hard on creating “spaces” for all my things, spaces that are clean, neat, and livable. I have for some time now been wanting to clean out my dining room {and keep it clean} so when friends and family come by, we have a clean and neat space to commune.

knitting corner

So I created this space. I love it. It’s neat, it’s clean, it’s natural, and awe inspiring to me. I love the lighting this room gets throughout the day. It’s a quiet little retreat for me upstairs to sit and knit, think, dream . . .

knitting corner

knitting corner

Sunday, November 9, 2008

sizing issues ~

Have you ever tried things on your kids while they were sleeping? Well I have, twice this week actually. First it was slippers ordered from this company. I had to see if what I ordered fit them . . . which they turned out to be fine . . . and next I had to try this hat on Lena while she was asleep to see if it was big enough {since it will be a surprise for the first day of winter, a new family tradition this year}. The outcome . . . well . . . the hat is a little small for her. Then I tried it on Elise, I fit . . .

rolled brim hat

Then I cast on this hat for Lena on Saturday, a larger pattern I found recently, completed different style. {I'll give more details when the hat is finished}

hat for Lena

fall quilt

Here is my autumn quilt, still at the quilting stage. I'm having trouble deciding whether to hand-quilt it or use my machine to quilt it. My preference would be to use a free-motion quilting technique, but I can't get the bobbin tight enough on the back side. Hopefully this week I can get all these issues resolved and come out with several projects completed!

Friday, November 7, 2008

rolled brim hat ~

rolled brim hat

This morning I went to a women's tea and made some headway on Lena's winter hat. Who can resist pulling out the needles and yarn amongst fellow crafters and tea, although I found it hard to keep track of my counting!! I've started the decrease rows, which to me is the exciting part! The hat is coming together nicely. {This pattern is from the book Knitting for Peace.} Hopefully it will be complete by Monday because I have another couple projects in mind . . .

Happy weekend to you ~ !

Thursday, November 6, 2008

projects in the making ~

projects in the making

This I found in my camera and I felt it was fitting for my day. It's gloomy outside, actually it has been for several days now, which spells no good lighting for any project picture taking the last couple of days . . . so while the sun is staying away, I needed to see something bright and cheerful to share with you all. Today's picture symbolizes projects in the making, projects that aren't quite picture worthy. This afternoon a lap quilt lies on my floor waiting for the backing to be sized and cut and machine quilting to be started. There is also a winter hat on my needles that needs tending to. So when the sun is bright again, I can share more of these goodies with you. As for now, I'll just share with you my little painter's palette . . .

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

a season of gathering ~


With this new season well underway, I have found myself collecting fabric and yarn which has sat on my table for several weeks now. Then I realized that I'm in a season of gathering. These finished projects will come together in their own time. Yet instead of stressing myself to get them finished, I have chosen to enjoy this process and allow each to come when the time is right: a sweater, winter hats, a fall lap quilt, a skirt. On the other hand, admitting that these projects still remain unfinished may be just what I need to get started again. . .