Friday, March 5, 2010

Not Quite New

I really would like to make more gifts at Christmastime. Last year, I made three. This year I only made two. But one was an entire quilt, so think that should count as four.

When I was trying to think of something to make for my godmother, I realized that I have kind of a limited repertoire. I made her a scarf last year and had to come up with something different and ended up stuck. I have a jillion books and magazines about making stuff, so it was a little ridiculous that I had trouble thinking past scarf. Part of the problem was that I had limited time and needed to make things fairly quickly. But it is mostly that when I make gifts, they are usually big blankets, baby blankets, and scarves which are just short skinny blankets. I’ve made baby hats, but only because I had yarn left over from the blankets. So when it was time to make something other than a blanket or blanket like object, I was stumped.

In the end I did manage to come up with these bowls. They are crocheted and felted. I also added some random embroidery. It was my first time felting and I really liked this project, which is scary because I need another craft like I need a hole in my head. But this combines crochet and needlework so I think it should only count as half a new thing.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Hopelessly Crafty

I was in Michaels with my son when he saw a book with knit snake on the cover. “Make me a snake Mommy.” He’s three years old and has taken to randomly asking me to make things for him. He knows that I can make stuff. He’s seen me make quilts and blankets and socks. He even helped with the placement of the circles on my Mom’s quilt.

So he saw the book and asked me to buy it and make him the snake. Here’s what makes me hopelessly crafty. I already HAD a book with a pattern for a toy snake. A crochet snake to be exact. Not only that, I already had enough yarn AND stuffing to make it without having to buy anything else. I’m like one of those people who can just whip up a rack of lamb and a cheese soufflé on a whim from the stuff in their kitchen, except mine would be amigurumi. Frankly, I don’t even remember why I was at Michaels in the first place.

He wanted a “big, big” snake which is good since he has a mother who never checks gauge and that is exactly what he ended up with. The pattern was for a big snake, but I don’t think it was supposed to be quite this big. But who cares when you get to watch this.

By the way, the pattern is from Baby Crochet by Lois Dakin.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Circle Group

My mother had been dropping not so subtle hints that she wanted a quilt. “So what are you going to do with all of these quilts?” and “Are you ever going to give these quilts away?” That sort of thing.

So I decided to make her a quilt this past Christmas. Up until now, I’ve been hesitant to let them leave the house because of the little imperfections they have. They don’t really bother me because I understand that they are part of the process of learning the techniques. Most non-quilters probably wouldn’t even notice them, and I do have them on display in my house. But I think if you are going to give someone a gift, it should be good quality. I finally feel that my work is in a place where there aren’t going to be big holes or loose stitches or cut off blocks.

I used the Eclipse pattern by Joyce Robinson. I decided sometime around September or October to make the quilt, so I needed to start right away and didn’t have time to come up with an original pattern. I also needed something that was going to use fabric I already had in my stash and that I could assemble fairly quickly. This pattern fit the bill and had the added bonus of feeding my growing obsession with circles.

I have to say that this is probably the best quilt I’ve ever made. Not in terms of how it looks, but technically. The seams all lined up, it was perfectly flat, it is as square as I’ve ever gotten anything. It made me ridiculously happy when all of the blocks fit together the way they were supposed to. I ended up liking the quilt so much, I was actually a little sad to see it go.

It is a throw sized quilt. The circles are needle turn appliqué. It is machine and hand quilted and beaded. In the original pattern, the circles are attached by quilting them down. But raw edge appliqué makes me edgy and I didn’t want to do the amount of machine quilting that would have required to attach them securely. Also, I just really like doing needle turn appliqué. My mother once had a consulting business called the Circle Group and that’s where the name comes from.

So here are the three things I learned. First, when you machine assemble blocks, you can press the seams open. The blocks will line up better and the quilt will lie flatter. I think you only have to press the seams to one side when you hand piece. Second, circles are awesome, especially when you have an EZ Cut Circle ruler. And third, trust your vision and just keep going. It will turn out better than you hoped.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Times Are Hard. Make Stuff.

So I’ve been busy making little things.

I wanted something to keep USB sticks in that would attach to my work badge. That way, I wouldn’t leave my thumb drive at home or at work. But all of the cases I found were ugly and I just couldn’t bear to buy one. After all, this thing is going to hang around my neck everyday, five days a week.

In the end, I decided to make some myself. They were really easy to make. I used scraps from my Olympic quilt and scraps of batting. It was fun and cheap and I was able to use stuff I already had on hand. What more could you ask for? And I get a bit of pretty in my workday.

Speaking of the Olympic quilt, I have actually started quilting it. I’ve been stuck on what to do and I think working on the USB pouches got me unstuck. It helps that I also cleaned my studio, which was on the verge of being condemned.

So I guess making little things can lead to making big things and when all else fails, clean up.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bad Blogger!

It has been a long time since I posted. But I have a good excuse.

I literally fell off the face of the earth. Seriously.

I was walking down the street, I tripped, and off I went.

Maybe not. But I got a new job and it felt that way. The new job is great but it has changed everything about how my family lives our lives from day to day. It has been a huge switch to go from working at home for 4 years to working in an office every day. For example, things like having enough socks becomes an issue. And I forgot how cold offices are. Check out what I'm working on keep warm.

So the blog along with my craft studio got dusty. And now I'm playing catch up with projects that have been languishing.

But its good to be back.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Working Day and Night

I got the scraps on my design wall fused down. Here's a taste. I'm not ready to show the whole thing yet.

I've also been crocheting scarves like crazy. I can't show them here since they are gifts. But if you want to peek at a few of them check me out on Ravelry. I'm citygirlq.

Safe and happy holidays everyone!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Give Love

Give water.