Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Smell the Roses

I love making small things! The challenge of larger projects tends to wear off quickly ... I have had a 'gum leaf' quilt for the couch on the go for several months. It is a WIP ... by this time next year it will be completed.

Table runners, place mats, and cushions are my idea of a small project. Even if one busy with household chores; washing, ironing, etc; it isn't difficult to begin a small project and complete it within a week.

On Monday, wash day [I even ironed the same day!] I completed a cushion for a friend who has undergone a double mastectomy and is recover from breast reconstruction, a major operation in anyone's book. I think she is incredibly brave and courageous and to honour that courage I felt the urge to make a 'small thing' to mark that bravery. Recently one of the Forum members recommended a site, that of course I had to have a peek at. A BOM captured my attention, and immediately I knew one of those blocks was simply the best for this cushion. The Contented Quilter's 'Take Time to ...' series includes one 'Smell the Roses'. As this friend lives in a male dominated household I decided to make a 'girlie' cushion.

We are heading south next month ... then I will make a personal delivery.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Table Runner

Strike while the iron is hot, or when the mood comes upon one.
The Christmas fabrics simply screamed to be made into something. The last publication of Handmade had some inspiring Christmas projects; it didn't take long for an idea to gel, though as I progressed I did some minor tweaking.

What better than to make a gift for the sender of the fabric. I chose the holly fabric ... lovely crisp white, green and red ... the colours of Christmas. I had a small selection of other festive fabrics that I purchased some months ago, just in case an idea sprung into mind. Sorting them out took moments. I cut and sewed. It was when I was at the almost final stage that I realised the pattern in the book just didn't look complete enough for what I had in mind. Another look through magazines ... prairie points! Aha, a border of prairie points on the short ends. More cutting and folding before pinning them in place.

I have to confess I am rather pleased with the result ... a table runner for Christmas.
Now ... I am wondering if perhaps I might have time to make more!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Surprise Parcel

Slowly but surely I am working my way through my self-imposed list of baby knitting ... a singlet is wending its way to the prospective new parents. Singlets are not my most favourite item of baby knitting. My Mother, who it must be said, did not exactly like knitting, did volunteer to knit singlets; an offer gratefully accepted. My last child was born after her death, so I had to tackle singlets then ... I remember making a lemon one! Back then we didn't have the knowledge, via scans, of the sex of the expected arrival ... white, lemon, or green were the only safe options.

Today I received the most wonderful surprise! A friend in the UK sent a parcel, which in itself was exciting. Upon opening this parcel I discovered a treasure trove of fabric. Four beautiful Christmas fabrics, exceptionally good in quality, and one, which I must admit is my favourite, had robins on. Now my mind is racing with a suitable project for at least some of them!

As well there was a Fairy fabric, a fabric decorated with Flower Fairies. Ooohhh, I am indeed fortunate! I am not even beginning to dwell upon what that may end up as ... next year is early enough for such a brain teaser.

Monday, October 11, 2010

To Bear or not to bear?

The construction of the little bear, or Large Ears, took much less time that Shakespeare did when writing his plays. To be or not to be ... how many remember learning that at school? There were many more lines ... they I have forgotten, or most of them.

One would think I had little to do when a few hours were spent creating a little bear. He was to be. After sewing the body, attaching arms, those large ears, eyes, and making a nose, this little bear seemed strangely unfinished. He needed clothes! Trousers and a scarf were considered suitable for Large Ears ... his ears, had they been sewn on his feet would have made wonderful skis.

Several days later it dawned that no bear would go skiing dressed in shorts and a scarf. The wind chill factor would have made any snow sport extreme [ly cold]. This morning, after hanging the washing on the line I sorted out some wool, large needles, and cast on. Twelve stitches looked enough! Not having a pattern, I knitted, increasing and decreasing as the mood dictated. After lunch I sewed the jacket up. Mmmm ... mmmm ... something didn't look right! It was dull.

An idea sprung to mind ... perhaps Shakespeare wrote in a similar way? Ideas springing into mind; ideas that he transposed onto paper until a play was born? Anyway, my idea was simpler. A crochet border on the jacket; maybe in a colour to highlight Large Ear's eyes? Contrasting, almost matching, buttons completed the outfit. Now Large Ears is ready for anything life may bring.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Another Apron plus knitting

A busy person finds time ... or so they say.

I have been busy, and regretfully, haven't found time to take photos of my latest efforts; until today. Once again the apron bug has bit, and while I only show one apron here, there are three others packed away in my 'gift box'. Somehow I think aprons may well be the Christmas gift for 2010, for the girls anyway.

Recently I tidied my box of fabrics, only a plastic container full, and as such I don't yet consider it a stash. To me a stash implies many [100's?] of lengths of fabrics in glorious mix and not match colours. I don't think I have reached 100 items yet, though who is counting? I may be surprised!

While going through the fabrics combinations of colours suitable for aprons not only sprung into mind; they coerced my fingers to place them together in a pile. My apron pattern is extremely useful in that variations are not only possible, but important. Never let any of the recipients of my aprons be heard to say, "Oh, Mary, or Jane, received one exactly the same." No two have an identical twin.

Not only have I been sewing, but I have also been knitting. Spring has arrived giving us days already in the 30's. Almost too hot to knit, but I have a reason ... I am to become a grandmother once again. I love knitting baby clothes! To date two jackets with matching bootees are completed; I have a small pile of patterns I hope to make before the welcome arrival of the latest addition to the family.