Thursday, February 28, 2013

Projects in the Works, Part 2

I've been a bit behind in keeping up with my blogging this past week as I have been preparing for our daughter coming home from spring break. Unfortunately she just found out that she will not be able to come home as she has to stay and work on a research project in her lab. She is a junior, majoring in physics, so these things can't be helped. But we are very disappointed that she won't be able to make it. But, on a positive note, her room looks much better! We had moved from our home for about 5 years to pursue careers out of state, but moved back in September. Consolidating two households has been a bit of a challenge and I put it off over the holidays. Her coming home was the catalyst I needed to get moving again as her room had become the storage area.  It's my craft stuff.  Go figure...

I said last week that I would share some of my unfinished projects. I'm still trying to decide in what direction I want my blog to go, so it may be a bit disjointed for a while. Just like me!! I'm always off on a new project or technique and am finding that blogging is getting me a bit more organized. I'm also working on establishing a shop on Etsy and that has been time consuming. But I am enjoying every moment of it! 

So here is the next project in the works.

In my Blue and Beige post on February 11, I mentioned a stash of yarn that I had picked up at a second hand store. It contained lots of skeins of very 70's colors - avocado green, gold, and rust, along with a number of skeins of variegated yarn in the same color scheme. As I grew up in the 70's, it reminds me of home as my mom decorated in those colors at that time. So it has a very cozy feel for me. Here are some of the skeins that were in the stash. You can tell by the wrappers and the brands that these are old. I don't believe some of this yarn is even made any more.

Here is the real proof as to the age of this yarn. Check out this price! 50 cents a skein. Wouldn't that be lovely?

That picture is a bit light, but you can still see the price.

I love this project as I can roll a ball of yarn, stick the crochet hook in it (I am using a size H hook) and carry it with me wherever I go. I have found that sitting anywhere, doctor's office, auto repair garage, or music lessons, crocheting, and needlework in general are great conversation starters. I am always amazed by how many people don't know how to do these crafts. Naive on my part, I guess, as I grew up around crafty women. My mother always knit, my great aunt was a wonderful seamstress, and another aunt loved all things crafty. So I was always surrounded by it. I love to share and always offer to teach someone if they are interested. It's been a great way to connect with people. And to keep these crafts alive!

I hope this inspires you too!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Projects in the works

While I'm still getting used to blogging and figuring out what I want to post, I thought I'd share with you a couple of projects that I am working on.  Not to say that there aren't more....we all have those "UFO's"!

The first project/projects are quilts that I am making for my kids for next Christmas. (No, I'm not normally this organized!!) Every year for at least the past 10 years I have made my son and daughter pajama bottoms for Christmas. When they were very young I also stitched up matching pillowcases. We are now overrun with pillowcases so I only make pajama pants for them. I have accumulated quite a pile of scrap flannel and was tired of it just lying around. As you can see...

I am cutting 6-1/2 inch squares, nothing fancy, and will just stitch them together. I'm hoping to have enough for two twin size quilts. Rather than going the traditional route of adding batting and a backing, I'm going to use fleece for the backing and then just tie the layers together. It's simple, but it will hold nice memories for my son and daughter.

I'll keep you posted about my progress!!



While at the Joann Fabrics yesterday, I came across a basket of Valentine's Day items half off!

And they were only 50 cents each.  Not sure what I will do with these, but I'll keep you posted!


Friday, February 15, 2013

Backyard Escape

My Favorite Things.....

Several years ago, my husband and children bought me this outdoor fireplace.  My grand intention is to someday build a patio for it.  But, meanwhile, we enjoy it every chance we get.  Nothing grand or stylish.  Just lawn chairs circled around and cooking hot dogs and hamburgers over the coals.  A perfect weekend afternoon...


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

This is was in our driveway yesterday, underneath where my husband parks his truck.  We have no idea how it was formed and were speechless.  Even more baffling was that it was raining yesterday.  Miracle.....


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mary's Memory Quilt

I want to share a quilt that I completed about a year ago for a close friend.  His wife passed away from ovarian cancer in 2007.  Our families have been friends for over 20 years.  While he was going through her things, he offered me any of her clothes that I would like.  I took them with the intention of making a memory quilt from them to present to him.  It took me 4 1/2 years to complete the quilt, mainly because I didn't start it until 4 years after she had died.  It was just too difficult to go through her clothing and start cutting them up.  There were many pieces that I could remember her wearing and it seemed overly personal for me to be going through her clothes.  I also wanted a quilt pattern that fit her personality.  I finally settled on Grandma's Fan, not because she was a grandmother, but because it was a feminine, genteel pattern that I feel fits her and honors her memory.

I do not have pictures of the process I went through in constructing it; I just used a traditional Grandma's Fan pattern.  I did try to keep the "handle" of the fans all one color, namely red as this was her favorite color.  Many fabrics were backed with iron-on interfacing for weight and durability.  The edges of the fans were trimmed with lace, mainly because I liked the way it looked on the square. I stitched all of the fans to a white-on-white background piece and then finished them traditionally with corner squares also made from her clothing and sashing.  I did not quilt the quilt, so to speak, but tied  the layers together by stitching bows by machine through all three layers.  The quilt was finished using binding I had made from the sashing fabric.  

Although it was difficult to make, it was even more difficult to give to our friend.  I told him he couldn't open it until he got home.  The phone call that followed was very emotional.  I'm grateful for the friendship of both of them and hope that this quilt was a small way of saying so.  Just wanted to share.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Blue and Beige

During the summer of 2011, while still living in Virginia, my daughter decided it was time to go through her extensive yarn collection.  She had inherited a lot of leftover yarn from my mother as my mom is no longer able to knit due to arthritis in her thumbs.  Since Amanda's bedroom and closet at our house in VA were small she was overrun with stuff.  Out came the yarn and it got dumped into the middle of the living room floor.  (I really wish I had a picture of that!)  As we were sorting, I noticed that there were a number of skeins of different shades of beige and blue and it made me think of the beach.  She gladly gave them to me and with the addition of 2-3 coordinating shades of yarn I was able to make this....

I'm a novice crocheter so the afghan is made from simple granny squares. It was a great project to carry around. I worked on it waiting at music lessons, chess it was so portable. The squares are joined with single crochet stitches. I searched on line for a way to edge it, and am sorry to say that I cannot remember where I found the instructions for this.

First I crocheted around the entire afghan using a single crochet in blue. Then I chained 5 in blue and joined to the afghan edge with a single crochet. I believe I skipped 3 single crochet stitches in between each arc. Once I finished going around, I joined the beige yarn and repeated the procedure, only this time joined with a single crochet in the middle of the previous arcs formed. The final finish was the shell stitch in each of the final arcs - single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet, HDC, SC. I love the way it finished it off - almost lacy.

Since I had some of the beige left over (I had purchased this) I decided to make a pillow top as I didn't want to add back to the stash. The pillow top is just a big granny square (18 inches) and is finished basically in the same way I finished the afghan, only I didn't use the shell stitch in the outer arcs as I ran out of blue yarn.

I finished it off with the flower using a pattern from an old crochet book I had. I had actually made this before finishing the pillow as my original intent was to put a flower at the corner of the squares in the afghan. Decided that this was way too much work and it wouldn't make the afghan very usable. For the pillow itself, I made a pocket pillow and hand stitched the crocheted top to the outer edges. To finish I just had to insert the pillow form.

I am currently working on another one using yarn that I bought in a HUGE grab bag at a thrift store. Incredible retro colors - avocado green, gold, rust. Very 70's. I'll post a photo when it is complete!  


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Backyard Beauty



This is my favorite tree in our yard.  Although we have only a 1/2 acre, there are over 25 trees on the property, mainly live oaks.  But this one is my favorite.  It is located next to the driveway in the front yard.  I've been sitting under this tree since we bought the house over 15 years ago.  Hauling out play pens, drawing with sidewalk chalk, pushing the kids in wagons, napping, playing make believe in cardboard boxes....I really miss those days and cherish those memories.  And I still love to sit under this tree, especially on beautiful days.  On clear days when the sky is a beautiful clear blue and the sun is shining making the leaves vibrant and green, I call these days blue-green days.  My kids still refer to days like this as this.  When we moved to Virginia for the past 5 years, one of the reasons I didn't want to sell the house was because I didn't want someone to buy it and cut down my tree.  Silly, but true.  And now we are back and I can sit under my tree again, making new memories with my teenage kids!

Perfect place for a hammock and a nap!                 


Makes me anxious for summer...

I have spent the last 2 months fretting over this blog and realized that it was not going to go anywhere until I actually did something.  I have been intimidated by everything associated with blogging so I bought a Blogging for Dummies book.  I'm a paper person so having a book in my hand works for me.  Reading through it put my mind at ease.  So here I am.  I know it is going to take me a while to get up to speed, but making a decision is the first step.

I'm planning on posting 3 days a week to start - Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  M/W will be crafty days and Friday will be "My Favorite Things", whatever they may be. 

Please stay tuned.  And thank you!