Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hot tip

One of the items on my wish list from Santa was a new iron.  Now I normally don't request presents that plug in, but I have 2 reasons for wanting a new iron.  Here is reason number one. 
Trashed cover from drips and steam. Ewwwww.
You can bet that if my steam iron is doing this to my ironing board cover, my fabric and clothes are getting the same treatment.  I currently use a Black and Decker Classic steam/dry iron, and I love the cute vintage-y look of it.   It's small, not too heavy, and gets good and hot. McSteamy!  Reminds me of the one my Grandma used.  There it is on the left.

 It actually drips way less than my expensive Rowenta ( which has been sentenced to the back of the closet without parole, for bad behavior), and it also costs under $30.  So if this one works so good why ask for another?
Reason number two.  Holes.
The holes on steam irons always get caught on the edges of my fabric, especially when I'm piecing or doing applique.  Then I have to re- press to get the crunched fabric to lay flat.  Not fun when you're working with little 2.5 inch squares.
So I looked around on the Internet and found a Continental dry iron with a flat sole plate.  Problem solved.  Now I keep a spray bottle handy if I need to add some dampness.  The price is still under $30.  However it does not have an automatic shut-off like most irons (personally I find this feature annoying).  So if you are the type that leaves the house for a two hour trip to Ikea, then says to the hubby  "Did I turn off the iron?", it may not work for you.  Over the years I've gotten into the habit of turning off lights, sewing machine and iron when I leave the room, so I'm not too worried about it.

Now about that ironing board cover.  There are lots of tutorials out there on how to re -cover your ironing board, so I won't bore you with the details.  Let's just say it's about time.
Fresh and clean for the New Year!
 Thank you Santa : )

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Brown-eyed girl scarf

 Remember that Van Morrison song Brown Eyed Girl?   It always gets me singing and tapping my toes.  It's a happy song, and this is my happy scarf, made over the happy holiday season.
In the wake of mall shootings, school shootings, and then two days before Christmas some friends lost their nephew in a car accident (texting, no seat belt!!!!!), I needed a big dose of Happy.  This little scarf was good therapy.
I used the new Paton's DK super wash and a G hook.  I just made up a square to look like something flower-ish.  There are 15 squares total, 3 of each color, and it measures about 71 inches long without the fringe.  Here are the colors I used:
Center circle:

Flower petals:
Apple Green

3rd round:

Last round:

Here is what I did.
With Mocha yarn, chain 6, then join with a slip stitch to form a ring.
Round 1- Chain 3 (1st dc), then 15 more dc into the ring.  16 total dc. Cut yarn and leave a tail to weave in.

Round 2- With colored yarn, work in the spaces between the dc's.  Insert hook between any two dc's and chain 2(1st hdc made), then hdc again in the same space. 2 hdc in next space, chain 1. 2 hdc in next space, 2hdc in next space, ch1. Continue around. You are basically inserting 2 hdc in each space, with a ch1 after every 4th hdc. When complete, join with a sl st to the beginning ch 2.  The round should have 32 hdc, and 8 chain 1 spaces.  Cut yarn and leave a tail to weave in.

Round 3- With Latte yarn, insert hook into any chain 1 sp, ch3, 2dc, chain2, 3dc.  First corner made.
Ch1, 3dc, ch1, in next chain sp. Then 3dc, ch2, 3dc, in next ch sp. Second corner made.  Continue around as in a regular granny square, slip stitch to beginning ch 3 when done.  Cut yarn and leave a tail to weave in.

Round 4 - Switch to Aran yarn and join in any sp and continue basic granny square pattern as in round 3. Join with sl st to beginning ch 3 and cut yarn.
I joined my blocks right sides together with sc, so the joining ridge is on the back of the scarf.  Then I did sc all around the scarf with 2 sc in each corner.  Added some fringe for more happiness.

Hope you are all enjoying the Holiday season!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Happy Holidays!

I made some more pears.  This time out of (a very old) velveteen skirt which I think belonged to my husbands' great Aunt Alice.  It was a really small skirt, and didn't fit anyone, so I thought I would get some use out of the fabric.  These pears are ornament sized, about 2 1/2 inches high, and I sprinkled on some glitter and added a thread for hanging.  I made one white one from my wool stash.
The cross stitch bird was something I had laying around unfinished for years.  I sewed a piece of velveteen to the back and stuffed it, so now the Partridge can join the pears on a tree!
 I also put together two Christmas Tree Hot Pads from a free pattern available at Pink Chalk Fabrics.  They just need some quilting, then I can start using them.  The crochet bits are part of a scarf that I will show you after Christmas.  Right now I need to turn my sewing room into a gift wrapping room,  so I will be checking out until after the holidays.
 Have a wonderful, peaceful Christmas!
Lynne xxx

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sew Fresh pincushions

Are you all having fun getting ready for Christmas?  Me too.  Our Internet was down briefly this morning, which left me feeling slightly panicky about my online ordering.  As you can see though, peace and joy have been restored.
This time of year, I don't get too much done in the way of sewing, and usually lean toward small portable projects.  These pincushions were on the cover of SEW fresh magazine (Better Homes and Gardens), and I thought they were pretty cute.
I was able to use up a some of my wool scraps, and the hand sewing was fun and relaxing.  That little mouse is pretty tiny, and I have to keep it away from my kitten.  I might just make her one of her own for Christmas.  Both are stuffed with fiberfill, and the bottoms are filled with some kind of ground up shells I bought years ago for crafting.  It gives some weight, so they stand up.
I'm off to block a scarf and make some cookies!  Enjoy your week!!!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Quilt re-do times two.

For some reason I wasn't happy with this as a quilt.  It needed more of something.  I also needed a new tree skirt.
 So I cut an opening (it felt weird to purposefully cut into a finished quilt) and then traced a circle at the top of the slit using a bowl as a guide.  Then I bound it with red and white binding and threw it in the washer and dryer.  When it came out I was still disappointed.  My binding was horrible.  I did not cut it on the bias (to go around that circle) and I knew it wouldn't look good but I went ahead anyway, thinking I could fudge it and it's just a tree skirt not a wedding dress, and who is going to see it when it's covered with presents anyway, and I'm in a hurry! Gaah!
So I went back to the sewing table, where I cut off the white outer border and the red crappy binding, and added white on-the-bias binding, red ric-rac, and wide red grosgrain ribbon, (saved from a present last year).  I think I like it now.
I would really like to add some pom pom fringe around the outside, but that would take another trip to Joann's, and if I step foot in there one more time this week they are going to add me to the payroll and put me to work!
Now that I'm done obsessing about this tree skirt, I can finally focus on the holidays.  We have been hovering in a barren decorating wasteland between Thanksgiving and Christmas, with nothing on the mantle, shelves or tabletops, besides a fine layer of dust.  Time to get my Christmas on!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Where are you Christmas?

I don't have one Christmas decoration up.  Not a bell, bauble or bow. So why do I feel like I 'm behind?  After all it's only Dec. 3rd.  Nothing like a little self imposed pressure to start the week.

 We spent the entire weekend listening to the wind howl, and watching the roof leak in my kitchen, while we got pounded from a series of storms.  My son and husband each sat at a computer, finalizing my son's college applications and fine tuning his essay, praying the power wouldn't go out before he hit the SEND button.  This is my back porch after it was over.  I thought for a while we were going to need sandbags.
Anyway, I almost finished a quilt. Since it's mostly red and green, I guess that qualifies it as a Christmas decoration of sorts.  I'm not that excited about it, it actually looked better in my head.

So I cut it.  Eeeeek! Yes I did.  I cut up my quilt. Hopefully by the end of this week I will show you what I did with it.  Stay tuned.
I started another quilt using some fabric that I bought during the Black Friday sale last week. Now this fabric I don't want to cut.  Look......

Liberty Lifestyle quilting cottons, the Bloomsbury collection in Natural browns.  The minute I opened the package I knew what I wanted to make with it.  It will be big and simple and I can savor each square like a piece of chocolate.
Okay enough procrastination.  I need to go drag the boxes of decorations down from the attic.  Put on some Christmas music to help get things started.  Grab a cookie and some spiced Chai tea.
 C'mon Christmas spirit!!!!

After I do one or two more squares of this.

 Have you started or finished decorating yet?