Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tote bag. Zakka style

 Did you ever notice when you're in the middle of a gazillion projects, yarn and fabric snippets clinging to your pants and socks, that you suddenly get the urge to Make Something Else? What's up with that?

I was flipping through my copy of Zakka Style a few days ago, and this tote bag just reached out from the pages and lit a fire under me. Here I go again.
I used about 1 yard of linen and some scraps from my stash.  The front has just enough echo quilting to keep me from being bored.  There is both interfacing in the lining and batting behind the linen, so it's a sturdy little bag.  Here is a peek at the inside lining and pocket.  It closes up neatly with a magnetic snap.

It was pretty fun to make, and the only fussy bit was making the zig zag patchwork.  I lost a few of my points trying to put this part together, and I eventually got tired of messing with it.  This was more to do with me trying to be accurate, and not the pattern.  Overall I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, and I really do like the book.  There is a quilt and a sewing kit I would like to make next.

Zakka.  I'll be backka. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tag! You're it!

Apparently there is something called "tagging" going on around quilting blogs.  Yesterday I was tagged by Debbie at A Quilters Table.  Hi Debbie!  Go check out her blog.  Her quilts are amazing and I am always inspired to drop what I'm doing and go make what she's making.  Good recipes too!
So tagging works like this:
Tag a blogger with a list of questions (the better to get to know you my dear!)
The blogger answers the questions, then tags other bloggers with a new list of questions.
And on and on it goes.  Sound like fun?  Okay here we go.

Here are the questions I got from Debbie:

1. What is your favorite color to use in quilting?  Shades of red, from pink to raspberry

2. Where would you like to visit in the U.S. that you've never been before?  New Orleans

3. How old is the car you drive most?  2005 Honda Pilot.  Total soccer mom car, minus the kids.

4. What's the last movie you saw and would you recommend it?  Terminator: Salvation.  My son was watching it when I walked in the room.  I've never seen the last Terminator movie, so I was totally sucked in.  Yes I would recommend it.

5. What makes a day great?  Ha ha, that's easy.  I wake up!

6. What is your favorite snack?  Cheese.  Any kind.  Cheese all day long.

7. Besides quilting, do you have other hobbies?  Crocheting, embroidery, baking and cooking.

8. What is your least favorite household chore?  Cleaning out the fridge.  Sometimes I pay my kids to do it, even though they are grown and live on their own.

9. Where would you live if you could?  California coast, right smack on the beach.

10. What is your favorite quilt you've made?  A scrappy Liberated log cabin

11. What's your "wake up" beverage of choice?  French Roast coffee with half n half or real cream, followed by a cholesterol pill ; )
So there you go.  Now it's my turn to pass along the tagging love.

Kristen, Cozy Things
Here are your questions ladies.  You can answer if you want (on your blog post), or pass on to others, or not.  It's up to you. 
1. If you could change something about yourself, what would it be?
2. Name a person you admire.
3. Are the shoes in your closet mostly heels or flats?
4. Milk chocolate or Dark chocolate?
5. Vegetarian or Meat eater?
6. What part of the quilting process do you enjoy the most ?
7. Do you Twitter, Facebook or cruise Pinterest?
8. What was your favorite game when you were a kid?
9. Who taught you to quilt?
10. Do you have any pets?
11. Is there another craft you would like to learn?
Thank you for visiting my blog!  Hope you all have a great week full of crafty goodness!

Pillow Talk

I want to make a quilt out of my vintage sheets, but I need to finish a few things first.   I couldn't resist cutting into them though.  Something small.  And comfy.
I wish I had a hammock.  I would throw these down, grab a book and an iced tea, and swing myself into a nice nap outside in the sunshine.
I used polka dots for the backing, adding a strip of the old fabric for the envelope style closure.
This should satisfy me for a while.  Except now I need a hammock.

Hope you enjoyed your weekend!  Next up is a post about Tagging.  Check back to see if you're It!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What's New?

Here's what's new this week.
I started a new quilt using my Hope Valley stash.

I went shopping and bought some new old stuff from the thrift store.  Like this pretty tablecloth.

Also some embroidered towels.  The hand soap is by Tokyo Milk (love them), which I got at a Antique/gift shop.  These are going to look cute in the bathroom for Easter.

I hit the mother lode at the Goodwill thrift store and grabbed all the old linens they had (pillowcases).

 A little platter for the kitchen

And a new Wiksten tank, this time made as a dress.  I know it would fit most of you as a top.  Yes I'm that short.  All I need is some sunshine and a tan on my blinding white legs and I can wear it.

What's new with you?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Books and cotton towels

About 2 weeks ago, I received a copy of Homespun Style by Selina Lake.  Wow.  I'll say it again, only louder.  WOW!  I don't usually like to buy "decorating" books, because it's like putting money out for an expensive magazine, but I urge you to check this out.  After reading it, I wanted to run through my house and rearrange, redecorate, and Make More Things.  When I calmed down, I grabbed my crochet hook and went to work.
I made a cotton dishtowel based on one in the book that was hanging on an oven door handle.  I had similar colored cotton yarn in my stash, oh happy day!  I used the vintage vertical stripe blanket pattern (which I  tried last year and ripped out, because I made my starting chain too long and it was taking FOREVER!).
It's kind of crazy to get excited about a little dishtowel, but it really adds a lot of color to the kitchen.  You could use any blanket or dishcloth pattern, and cotton yarn. 
I'm making another one for my bathroom.
To see more kitchen towel cuteness, pop on over and say hi to Kristen at Cozy Things.  Apparently we were both crocheting along on our towels at the same time, inspired by the same picture, without knowing it!  I'm telling ya this book is magical! 

Okay here comes another book recommendation.........

I've lost about 5 hours of sleep from reading this book.  Do not start reading it at night before you go to bed, because you will not go to bed.  The first night I was up until midnight, and last night it was 1:00 a.m.  Thank goodness it's finished because I need a nap.  It's a very quick read, and one of those books that leaves you thinking about it for days after.  The way it starts and unfolds is gripping,(but sweet at the same time.  You'll get it if you read it) and you don't want to stop until you see the characters are safe.  This is the kind of book you pass on to your friends or pick for a book club.  It's that good.

 Have a great weekend everybody!  Comments and new followers are welcome anytime : )

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wiksten Tank

Are you all ready to get your spring clothes out from the back of the closet and put away the woolens?  Me too!  Last week during all the sunny, spring like weather, I felt like sewing something to wear for the warmer days ahead, so I ordered a new pattern.
This tank top/dress pattern is getting great reviews on a lot of sewing blogs.  It is designed by Jenny Gordy of the popular  Wiksten Tova shirt pattern.  Just the kind of quick and easy pattern I was looking for!  So I rooted around in my cupboard and pulled out a navy and white cotton lawn I was saving from last year and made the tank top.  I love it!
It has a cute little pocket on the front (can't see in these photos) and the back hem is made to hang longer than the front (love that part).  You can also make this as a dress, but since I am vertically challenged petite, I think it might look too overwhelming on me.  We'll see.  Next time I won't cut the neckline as deep either, since this is a bit lower than I'm comfortable with.  I"ll probably need to wear a tank top under this tank top : )
I have a nice grey and yellow floral lined up for the next one, and may use a contrasting fabric for the bias binding.  Since it's folded to the inside and sewn down, it would be cute I think, to see a different fabric peeking out.  I ordered my pattern through Superbuzzy or you can go here.  To see some cute spring pics of the Tova shirt, check out  Film in the Fridge.  Now wouldn't you know it, there is rain scheduled here for a whole week, so I won't be wearing this anytime soon.   Guess I better not put those sweaters away yet!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Big Zig

My zigzag quilt is done.  I had to wait for the wind to stop blowing so I could take it outside for a decent picture.  It was still pretty breezy as you can see.

It was snapping in the wind like a ship's sail, and at one point it flew right over my head.  So I stood underneath it and took a picture.
Kind of like a pretty patchwork tent!

It measures 78x78 and was made with Denyse Schmidt fabric from Joann's, along with Kona Snow and Strawberry.   I'm not quite sure how I'm going to quilt this.  I'd like to try free motion quilting, with maybe some kind of meandering loop or squiggle, but I'm not very good at it and I'm thinking all that white fabric is just going to scream "Look at her crappy quilt job!"  I know, once you throw it in the washer and dryer it comes out nice and crinkly and hides a multitude of sins, but I've not done anything this size on my machine without my walking foot.
I guess it's time to pull up my big girl socks and just get to it!  Does anyone have some patience I can borrow?  I'm going to need it.
You can find a tutorial for this quilt at Moda Bakeshop.  It was made by Jeni from In Color Order, a very cute and inspirational blog (and her little bunny George is adorable).  Check it out!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Blabbing with pictures.

I have nothing big finished for show and tell so I'm just going to blab about some random stuff and show some pictures.  First off, my husband reads my blog.  Does yours?  He told me and I was surprised.  Of course, he's not looking to make a granny square or bind a quilt. (I'm sure he sees enough of my unfinished piles lying around the living room).  Nope, he said he likes the pictures I have been taking around our house.  Well, I'll be darned.  Since I started blogging, I have been putting up some of my pics onto our screen saver on the computer and he has been enjoying them.  So here you go Tim, I took a few more while you were in L.A. this week.
It was windy here today. I mean, really windy.  The kind of north wind that tosses the garbage cans around and whistles through the crack in the front door.  Well, you know that pear tree full of blossoms at the end of the pool?
This is what it looked like this morning when I went out with the dogs.  So I got busy with the net and scooped them up.  By noon you couldn't tell I had done a thing.  I give up until the wind stops.  Here is the offending (but beautiful) tree.
The pink ones in the background are some kind of plum tree.  The kind that doesn't bear any fruit apparently, because we never get any.
The almond trees are blooming too.
And so is the rosemary.

 Whoops, how did that get in there?  Okay Tim you're excused.  These were a handful of test squares I had stuffed in a bag, not sure what I was going to do with them.  So I chained them together to make a garland.  Then I stuck them to the wall with washi tape.  Cute!  They already fell down, so I have to hang them back up properly.  I also finished my quilt top, and as soon as hurricane Katrina stops blowing in my backyard, I will take it outside for a picture.  Leave a comment today!  My husband is out of town, and I'm tired of talking to myself.
Bye xx

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Spring Scarf

I made this scarf last spring but never wore it.  It just kind of sat there looking boring.  I was learning how to crochet at the time and it was a free easy pattern, so I tried it.  Boring.   I even used the yarn/color recommendation.  Pretty pastel greens and pinks in organic cotton.  Better, but not exciting, so into the closet it went. Until yesterday.  I was looking for a gift and I pulled it out and added some fringe along the length of the scarf, on each side.

This is what it needed!  Before it just hung there kind of sad and floppy.  I know, scarves are supposed to just hang there, but now it hangs with a purpose.  You know, with some personality!  Now I don't want to gift it, I want to keep it.
 Suddenly this scarf is cute and I want to make another one.  Not for the closet.  For me!
I used 2 balls of Nature's Choice organic cotton in "petits fours" colorway.  It's about 69 inches long, and I had just enough yarn left over (thank goodness I saved it), to add 9" happy stringy bits all the way around.  Bye bye boring.