So, as much as I'm sure my boss would love for me to be on my laptop working at all times (I'm an entertainment journalist so even when I'm watching TV I'm technically working), sometimes I need to accompany my viewing with something a bit less technological.
About 10 months ago I decided to do a doodle pillow using Urban Threads patterns as an exercise. My rules were simple: Whatever pattern I landed on was the next one I did, regardless of if I liked it or not. The goal was to play with colors and stitches and find a way to like it regardless.
I've been working on it off and on since then. The first couple weeks I was almost doing a design a day and it happened to be when a slew of Christmas patterns were posted, thus the wintery/Christmasy quadrant over to the bottom right.
There's still some little spaces that I can fit more into, but it's good enough to show off, so here it is. The whole shebang, followed by some of my favorite designs:
Sumo wrestler and Matryoshka:
At the start my husband was dubious and thought it was going to look silly and I would regret spending so much time on it in the end. But he now admits that it is indeed pretty awesome.
He's an art director/illustrator, so my next project is one of his drawings and doodles.
Last weekend I was thinking about how a friend's birthday is coming up in May. I figured two months was plenty of time to crochet a throw for her living room. I had just picked up the March/April issue of Crochet Today! and there was a fun-looking bobble star throw in it.
One week later and I'm done:
It was an extremely fast project. I was only working on it in the evenings and on the weekend (I started on Sunday night and finished the next). I highly recommend it for something that's quick, easy and looks -- and feels -- fantastic when you're done.
It's 48-inches square, so perfect for curling up on the couch or draping over a chair.
It took about 4.5 skeins of Caron Simply Soft, which happened to be on sale for two for $6. Not a bad gift for under $15.
Over the past few months I've been completely bitten by the quilting bug meaning that I can't get enough new fabric. And, it doesn't have to be huge pieces.
Of course those jelly rolls and charm square packs are enticing, but they can be quite costly.
Here's what I'm thinking:
1. Rather than having to create the standard pack size (40 strips or 40 squares) we'd cut it in half. So, you would either be swapping 20 strips of fabric (2 1/2-inches by width of fabric) or 20 squares (5 inches square)
2. You could sign up for up to 3 partners and have whatever mix you want. Three charm packs? OK. Two jelly rolls and a charm pack? Sure
3. There would be a rule that you could have no more than 2 strips/squares of the same fabric.
4. Prints only. No solid colors.
Unsure what a jelly roll/charm square pack is. You can find out more here:
I'm currently in Round 4 of the round-robin Embroidered Tea Towel swap and I know there's another Tea Towel swap going on as well, but I've been noodling around with organizing yet another embroidery swap -- so I figure I'll throw it out there.
I've been seeing more and more embroidered pieces put in frames on the boards recently and there's a wide variety -- some straight embroidery, some on felt, some on paper, some on patches attached to a printed fabric.
What are people's thoughts on an embroidery swap where you send someone a framed piece of embroidery? I'm thinking you could have between 1 and 3 partners (your choice: 1, 2 or 3), have a month of crafting time if you want to get fancy. There would probably be a minimum size limit (say, design must be at leas 5 by 7 inches) and you would send it finished off and ready for hanging.
I'm also thinking when you submit your questionnaire you could submit several themes you're interested in, including, of course, a surprise.
OK, while this is only the pieced top I'm putting it in completed projects because other than the binding, my part is done. I made it for friends who are getting in November and since I've never quilted before I'm sending it out for that part. (Note: I am planning on doing the quilting for my next project, but decided to start off with something smaller like a lap quilt, rather than a full-size one for my first go).
I am inordinately proud of it. Here it is:
Close Ups of Some of the Fabrics:
It's going to be backed in a solid tangerine orange.
The measurements are wrong in a couple of places on the pattern which I luckily caught during the cutting fabric stage, so if anyone's interested let me know and I'll tell you what the corrections are.
Indeed, yesterday I also made two pillows for my Vespa-riding husband using the same fabric. Behold:
They're each 16 inches square and I did an envelope back with this great loose weave fabric my husband found in a remnant bin at the fabric store:
It was my first time doing piping which I discovered was kind of a pain in the ass. However, my sewing machine's zipper/piping foot is my new favorite toy.
These were a "thank you" present for my husband for helping me choose fabrics for a wedding quilt I'm making for friends. I needed 28 contrasting patterns and prints. He possesses an amazing eye for color and was able to pull them all together in under 90 minutes. If it has been up to just me, I'd still be standing there ... probably in tears.
This is actually my husband's idea. He wants me to cut up some of his old t-shirts and use them in argyle design on either a blank t-shirt or a hoodie for him.
Since I didn't want to jump in and use his project for practice, I decided to use some fabric scraps and old tees of my own.
This one didn't go too well. 1) When I outlined the appliques a couple of the edges got away from me. Wouldn't be terribly bad except when I put the t-shirt on, the knit stretched the fabric away from the edge at a couple of tips. Since my husband doesn't have boobs, this wouldn't be a concern for him, but regardless it's sloppy. 2) While it photographed well, the stitching is actually too light so you have to be pretty close to see what we're going for.
This one turned out MUCH better. I played around with my sewing machine (and in the process ended up making a sampler of all the stitches it can do) and found a couple of thicker options. I also like how all the colors contrast on this one best.
Still, while I have it down in theory I still need a little more practice before I do my husband's. I'm going to see the baby of friends for the first time on Thursday, so I figure I can whip up a couple of onesies for her in this style before I go to work out the kinks even more.