Monday, March 31, 2008

Some much happier purses

So after the disaster of a purse from my last post. I got serious. And went looking for a good purse pattern. Then I realized I actually HAD a good purse pattern already, but I kept forgetting about it.

I year or so ago a good friend of mine who doesn't quilt, won a quilt kit. In the kit was a pattern for a really cute purse as well as the supplies to make it. Since she didn't' quilt or sew and I did, she gave it to me.

Here is my practice purse from the pattern:


MUCH better! But the fabric is so not my style. So I dug up the leftovers from my denim tote bag, and made another:


I really like it, it makes my very happy.
Only one problem (if you can call it that) the back pocket is its only pocket. So I have no place to put my change.



Change purse to the rescue!

It's my own super spiffy pattern. And once I get all the photos edited and write everything up all pretty, I'll post it for you.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

an unhappy purse

I was feeling out of sorts today, so to cheer myself up I decided to make myself a new summer purse.

I should have know better, but it don't come out how I wanted.

since I'm unhappy with it, I will never use it. and my husband won't let me throw it away. so you guys get a chance at a free purse.


it measures roughly 8.5 x 5, has an extra long strap, and two internal pockets.
the sewing isn't the best but it's free, so if you want it let me know.

just leave me a comment here with your e-mail address. if I get more than one request I'll go ask a random number generator.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

What I did today:

Finished knitting the heels on the striped socks:


Picked up the feather and fan shawl again, it's getting close to the end, I hope to get there soon, this has been sitting in my knitting bag for too long.


And made mocha brownies using my new mini bunt pan



Yesterday I sat down to cut the yellow fabric for the sashings on my quilt, and promptly messed it up. I was cutting the last strips, and somehow lost my mind and measured wrong. When I realized I was upset, but I thought I could still salvage, and I had measured too big, and could easily trim the pieces. And I could have too, if I had measured correctly the second time. But I didn't. I had originally purchased the fabric thinking I was just going to use it on the borders, so I didn't have much wiggle room when I decided to do sashing too. Next time I'm in town I'm going to need to buy more, and until then I can't go any further with the quilt, since the pieces I messed up were the ones that go in the middle of the quilt.

Ah well. Luckily I left myself plenty of time to get this finished before mother's day.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Coasting and smocking.


After I took the pictures of the blocks last night, I decided to wait until this weekend to cut the slashing. But I was in the sewing groove, so I took some of the scraps left over from the blocks and threw together these coasters. They are very spring-y, and make me very happy. We already have plenty of coasters around here, so I think I will give them to bill's parents for Easter.

Also, the other day I worked on this:


It's my first attempt at Smocking.

I found this really wonderful sitethat gives instructions on smocking, and then while we were in town on Wednesday I picked up a few books from the library.

There are a lot of really nifty applications for smocking; it's not just for baby's clothing (although I do find it appealing... I just need somebody near me to have babies so I can make stuff for them) smocked fabric usually has a lot of elasticity and stretch to it, and one book I got shows it being used a lot on blouse cuffs, and the waistbands of skirts. It looks really nice as an embellishment.

There was even a pattern for smocked Christmas tree ornaments in one of the books I got from the library. Now THAT is spiffy.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


In honor of the first day of spring today I started putting together the spring quilt for my mother.


As you can see I got the main blocks done this afternoon. While I was laying them out for the above photo, I decided to lay out the yellow I was planning to use as a border:


And it was lacking in something, so I spaced out the blocks a little...


So in the next few days I need to cut the sashing and border and finish up the top. I'm so excited!

Oh yeah. Yes, I did hand embroider those blocks. I posted one here before. But here they all are together: (click to see bigger size)


Thursday, March 13, 2008

A new use for cheap place mats

can you guess what these are?

Need a hint?

Yep! I just made myself a set of sock blockers, perfect for my feet, and only $1

Here's the original placemat:
(spongebob was all I could find at the local dollar store that wasn't a dead guy hanging on a cross, seriously... wtf? Who wants a placemat with the crucifixion scene on it, and it was gruesome too, just what every person wants to look at while eating dinner...)

The instructions are here at Little Sesame Knits
It's super simple and super cheap!

I think I need to go back and pick up another placemat so I can make another set... and perhaps some contact paper. While spongebob is cute, I don't think he really works on sock blockers.

The coolest part about the new sock blockers? I can now model my new socks:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

in the bag

so besides reading my pile of new books, what have I been doing?


we like reusable grocery bags around here, and we needed a new one. I saw the denim on sale and thought it would be perfect. It came out better than I expected, but not perfect, my corners are horrible. I think next time I do something like this I'll choose a less fiddly pattern.

I also sewed up some more tea towels.

After I was done sewing I went back to embroidery, and embroidered a Hibiscus on the tote:


the pattern is from a huge batch of transfers I got from the thrift store while we were in Watertown on Wednesday. I'm slowly scanning them all in so that I can reuse and resize them as needed. And since I was scanning them in anyways, I'm putting them up on the Hoop Love flickr pool

after I finished embroidering the bag, I finished off a shirt I was working on for myself:

yes indeed, I does match Bill's Shirt, were weird like that.

oh yeah, and I embroidered this towel for my grandmother last week:

I'm going to give it to her for mother's day.
I'm getting better at my satin stitch, this pleases me.

the bag got washed today, and the fabric came out about 100 time better than before, and the flower just popped beautifully. the bag holds it shape nicely (but not perfectly, I think I want to add a piece of cardboard or something to give the bottom more structure.) and I wanted to take a full picture to really show how cool it looks, I'm very proud of how it turned out.


Saturday, March 08, 2008

Saturday Sky

Thursday and Friday were really nice, There was hope of spring in the air.
then it snowed last night.

at least the view out our front window is pretty.


Saturday Sky, taken Saturday march 8, 2008 10:40am, front window of the Platypus nest.

and a bonus:

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Book haul

Every semester we put aside a small percentage of Bill's tuition payments for books.
We are really good, and don't buy any books all semester until the money comes in.

This semester his payment was larger than we were expecting.
I got a lot of books.


From top to bottom, left to right:

The Restaurant Manager's Handbook
The Encyclopedia of Restaurant Forms
Kitty Knits
New Pathways for Sock Knitters
Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop
Doodle Stitching
And The Paisley Designs Coloring Book

I don't think I'll be getting much of anything done for a while...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

New socks in progress, a shirt and some tea towels

Now that I've finally finished Tasha's socks I can do some sock knitting for myself!


The yarn is Online Supersocke in the tropic colourway.
I liked the effect I got with the reverse striping on my regia socks, so I decided to knit from both ends of the ball with these.

Then I stitched up some tea towels:


I'm going to give the cornucopia to one of my Grandmothers for mother's day, the other one is for me. We like to bake around here, and I was tickled by the idea of having a special towel just for rising bread. I don't know where those little dogs are going with my pie, but I want it back!

Both patterns were found at hoop love

and last night I finished another shirt for Bill:


We are vegetarians, and when he saw this design he thought it was too funny NOT to put on a shirt. The whole set is like this, with a giant turkey, duck and pig too. It reminds me of the Shel Silverstein poem (which I can't for the life of me remember the name of, and all my books are at my parent's)

Once again, I traced the design onto the stabilizer and ironed that onto the front of the shirt to follow. And again I had trouble seeing exactly where my stitches were going, so it isn't a neat as I would like. I really need to find a better way to get designs onto dark fabric.

I'm not sure where I found this design now, I know it's an old McCalls pattern, and I have the file on my computer with the full set, but I can't for the life of me remember where I found it.

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