Thursday, January 31, 2013

Double Nine Patch For Tom

Last November my brother-in-law fell 12 feet from the barn roof where he was patching a leak. Even though he broke 11 of 12 ribs on one side, punctured his lung, broke his left arm clean through and his pelvis in two places, he's going to be okay. After a week in ICU and several surgeries, he was eventually moved to a rehab hospital. He's been there since Christmas. This weekend he comes home! 

During our second visit with him in the hospital, I watched him try to get comfortable in the bed. It was a cold, foggy day. He had the usual cotton, open-in-the-back hospital gown on and the woven cotton blanket they give you. I instantly thought - "This man needs a quilt."

I gave it to him a few weeks ago. He was sitting up in a wheelchair and he held it on his lap. He silently touched the fabric and looked at the colors. "Thank you. It's beautiful." He got real quiet after that. You're never too old to be comforted by a quilt.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Miniature Sweater Ornaments

Here's another knitted gift idea I worked on last fall. When I saw these little sweaters I just fell in love with them! I thought they'd make great gifts and it would be a terrific way to practice colorwork.

I used fingering weight yarn remnants, it takes very little to knit one. They're knitted flat then folded in half and stitched. The first one turned out so cute I had to make another!

A few days after I put it on my Ravelry account I got this message from Berroco:

Hi Leslie,
I do social media for Berroco and I’m looking to feature some of our patterns recently completed by Ravelers on our blog. First, is it okay to share your picture(s) on our social media pages? Second, if you’re interested, please answer the following questions...

You can imagine how tickled I was! You can view the Berroco blog post here.

Heart Trivets

I got this idea from a woman in my mini group. What a perfect way to upcycle old wool shirts and worn out blue jeans.

Make a paper pattern that's at least 11" across the widest part, then cut one heart from 100% cotton denim.

Cut two hearts from 100% wool. In the picture above I pieced the wool by butting raw edged together and zig zagging over the join. You don't want spandex in the denim or a wool blend.

Then I strip pieced 1-1/4" and 1-1/2" cotton strips to the two layers of wool. Once it's pieced, I turned the heart wrong side up and trimmed the strips to the heart shape.

Next I added machine embroidery stitches along each seam in contrast colored thread. It was great fun to actually use some of those stitches on my machine! Then put denim right sides together with the pieced heart and sew 1/4" seam all the way around, leaving an opening to turn. Clip the curve and grade the seam allowance. Turn right side out, press and top stitch an 1/8" from the edge.

They were so fun I just kept making 'em!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Garden Path

My long-time friend, Leslie, recently retired after many years as programmer at the local college. She is looking forward to some winter days sipping tea and reading. What a perfect chance to gift her a quilt!

Once I finished piecing the top I had some strips and blocks left over. I decided to use one of the blocks for the label.

It was so exciting to see this quilt come together. I rarely, if ever, piece pastels, so it was fun to work in a different color palette.

She was completely wow'ed. Giving quilts is so heart-warming. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ghost Sewing

I was sitting at my Janome MC 6600 the other day and it started sewing on its own! My feet were flat on the floor, no where near the foot control. What the?? My machine is nearly seven years old, was this the beginning of serious electrical problems?

So I Googled "Janome sews on its own" and found a forum that talks about this. Not everyone has experienced it and many service tech can't reproduce the problem in order to fix it, so it's something of a mystery.

It turns out the electrical connection is extra sensitive to dust and lint. The debris closes the circuit and the machine sews on its own! When I first read about it I used canned air to blow out the space around the base of the control, there was a surprising amount of dust! It helped for a few days but then the problem came back. I was standing at the ironing board with my back to the machine when it started sewing! The only way to make it stop is to turn it off. Hubby and I took the foot control apart and cleaned it. Man was it ever linty! There were long human hairs, dust and thread. We wiped the contact with a cotton swab moistened with rubbing alcohol, wiped away the dust and thread and put it back together. Works like a charm.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Glacier Bay Scarf

Here's my current pick up project when I want to knit but the brain's too tired to count stitches.

The Lion Brand Amazing yarn makes it fun; the more you knit, the more the color sequence emerges. This colorway is called Glacier Bay.

I can see why. :)

ETA: Cheryl asked for information to make a similar scarf...

Two skeins of Lion Brand Amazing yarn
Size 7 needles

Finished size: 4 1/2" by 60"

Cast on 27 stitches or a multiple of 4 plus 1

Mistake rib pattern:
Row 1: *K2, P2, repeat from *, end with K1
Row 2: *P2, K2, repeat from *, end with P1 
Repeat rows 1 & 2 for pattern.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

With Love

December 25th

I think it was a hit. :D

Mystique - Part Three

The last border still needed to be quilted... I don't usually add quilting after it's been bound, but it was straight line quilting so I didn't think it would distort.

December 18th


Once that was done I hand washed it in lukewarm water in the machine, spun it dry and blocked it square on the living room floor.
December 21st

Are the lines straight?

Chief Quilt Inspector on the job...  

What..? I didn't do anything.

Mystique - Part Two

December 2nd

Trimming the batting and backing

Attaching the binding

11 yards of binding, how was I ever going to get all that sewn down without repetitive motion injury? I asked the women in my quilt mini group if they'd be willing to have a binding bee. Yes!
December 2nd

It took five of us an hour and a half. Thank you ladies!