Hooked on Needles

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Quilted Candle Mat - Take 2!

After seeking your advice on my first candle mat's worthiness as a swap gift, I decided to make a new one and keep my Adoring mat for myself. I also double checked my swap partner's color preferences and blue was not among them, so it's probably a good thing I decided to try again anyway!

Here's what I came up with for my second round of quilted candle mat...

Quilted Candle Mat - Take 2!This one is made using Makin' New Friends by Deb Strain for Moda. I had recently picked up a few charm packs from Blueberry Buckle on Etsy and this was one of them. I love all the prints in it and the colors are perfectly Christmas!

Quilted Candle Mat - Take 2!This is just the top which I pieced together last night after I put the little ones to bed and while my husband watched the Celtics. Such a romantic evening together! I was extra careful to cut each piece exactly to the measurements, and to stitch each seam exactly at 1/4 inch.

I think I will use fusible fleece for the batting since I seem to have much better machine quilting results with the fusible over the regular batting. I am going to back it using ecology cloth which is a nice quality muslin that I use for lots of my projects, and I will bind it with that as well.

I considered embellishing the corner squares on this mat, but after looking at it for a while, I have decided that it is already busy enough. So a simple binding of muslin and no extra ornamentation ~ that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

My daughter has already asked if she can have my first mat, so I guess she liked it well enough! I told her she could have it when she moves out, which I'm pretty sure won't be for another many years, but in the meantime we will use it right here on our dining room table at Christmas time!

Happy Stitching!

Click here to return to HookedOnNeedles.com

Labels: ,

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Candle Mat Swap - HELP!

So I joined this Candle Mat swap hosted by Quilting Gallery using a design by the wonderfully talented, super creative, ever so kind and generous Sandi Anderson of A Legacy of Stitches. As it turned out, Sandi and I both used the same charm pack to make our mats. It's Adoring by Sandy Gervais who, as I may have mentioned once or a hundred times before, is my very favorite fabric designer of all time.

I made my mat for the swap and decided to finish the edge with something a bit more fancy than regular binding and then I machine quilted it with gold thread. Now I'd like to show you some pictures of the mat and then ask you some questions about it. I want your honest opinion and any constructive criticism you can share with me. Ready? Ok, pictures first, then questions...

Candle Mat completeFinished top, before layering and quilting

Candle Mat completeOne corner detail, hand embroidered with gold thread for ornament
top and green blanket stitch around ornament

Candle Mat completedetail of another corner

Candle Mat completefinished mat, trimmed with green cording around the edge and
machine quilted with gold thread

Candle Mat completeclose-up of one corner

Candle Mat completeanother corner

Candle Mat completeanother corner

Candle Mat completeback of mat

Candle Mat completeclose-up of back

Ok, so now that you've seen it from all sides and angles, here's what I want to know:

Is it good enough to send as a swap gift?

The swap rules state "Your finished piece must be quilted, bound securely and labeled on the back." I will label it, but my concern is the "bound securely" part. Does this edge finishing method count as being "bound securely"?

There is some bunchiness in the fabric as a result of machine quilting after finishing the edges. Would you consider that poor workmanship and be dissatisfied with receiving this mat in a swap because of it? Any advice on how this could be avoided would be appreciated.

Do you think the cording on the edge makes it look too much like a deflated pillow?

Give it to me straight! Would you want to receive this as a swap gift? If not, please tell me why. I can take it!

I'm seriously considering making a different one to send, but I need to know if I'm being overly critical, or if my concerns are valid. Thank you for any insight you can provide!

Happy Stitching!

Click here to return to HookedOnNeedles.com

Labels: ,

Friday, October 22, 2010

Crochet Along is Coming Along

I've been spending my evenings crocheting. It's the perfect time of year for it, don't you think? Clue #4 of the Bernat Mystery Afghan Crochet Along is now complete and I have started working on Clue #5 which was posted this week.

Here are my completed blocks so far...

These are the four blocks of Clue #4, the first multi-colored block. This block required the use of single, half double, double and triple crochet so that, along with the color changes, kept it interesting.

You can see here that my blocks are not exactly square, but they are not too far off from being square so I'm pretty confident that they will work out fine once they are put together with the other blocks in the afghan.

So here is one of each block so far. I think my favorite one of these is the green v-stitch block. I think this stitch would make a lovely shawl! I'll keep it in mind next time I want to make one!

How are you spending your cozy fall evenings?

Happy Stitching!

Click here to return to HookedOnNeedles.com

Labels: ,

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My First Quilt Along! I'm very excited!

Remember over the summer when I spent most of my creative time working on projects to use up what I already had in my sewing room? The cozy crocheted tweed afghan, the purple and pink crocheted afghan, the granny square afghan, the I Spy quilts, my own design super cool Urban Chiks tote bag, and other items as well have brought me hours of stitching pleasure, useful items and much needed space reclaimed in my sewing room.

Here's another project that should help me do more of the same...

Layer Cake Quilt Along
This fun quilt along hosted by Moose on the Porch (love the name and logo!) calls for a layer cake and some yardage, or 12 fat quarters and some yardage. I don't have any layer cakes in my stash, but I sure have lots of fat quarters and I just know I can come up with enough yardage to cover those requirements too!

The fun begins in two weeks, so I'm going to dig through my stash and see what else I can use up for this project. I'll show off my selections just as soon as I have them put together!

In the meantime, I'm still working on a new Christmas pattern that I hope to have available shortly, and I have gifts for three different swaps to complete. Did I need another project hanging over my head? I think so!

Happy Stitching!

Click here to return to HookedOnNeedles.com


Friday, October 15, 2010

So who won? Let's find out...

It's the day so many people have been waiting for ~ the end of the Fall into Fall Giveaway! I closed my giveaway post to comments earlier today and got busy verifying all the entries. Out of 146 comments, 109 of them were valid entries, meaning that there was an email address provided or available on the profile, and at least one of the rules was followed. So for you folks out there who enter lots of giveaways but never seem to win, you might want to make a habit of including your email address with your comments and making sure you read and follow the rules set by the host.

To refresh your memory, here are my two prizes...

Awesome Fall Table Runner giveaway first prizeFirst prize: My original design Awesome Fall Table Runner made with Awesome fabrics by Sandy Gervais for Moda. Pumpkins not included.

Awesome Fall Table Runner giveaway second prizeSecond prize: Printed pattern for my original design Awesome Fall Table Runner and a hot pad made with the same Awesome fabric by Sandy Gervais for Moda.

So who won my giveaway? Let's find out...

Fall Giveaway DrawingAs each entry was verified, I wrote down the name and number of the entry on the back of my little Snoopy calendar pages that I save for just such occasions. I need to cool it on the giveaways for a while because I'm running out of calendar pages!

Fall Giveaway DrawingThen I made the arduous expedition into the kids' playroom to find Grace's Food basket which is the perfect container for drawings like this. I relocated all the play food into the shopping cart and made my way back to my workspace.

Then I did other stuff for a few hours because my little helpers were still in school.

Fall Giveaway DrawingWhen the time was right, I had Grace mix up all the entries and pull out the first winner...

Fall Giveaway Drawing...hooray for Kathy - Mom of Many ! She's the winner of my Awesome Fall Table Runner!

Fall Giveaway DrawingThen I drafted my other little helper as soon as he finished his big second grader homework to draw a second name out of the basket.

Fall Giveaway DrawingSean pulled Marsha out of the bunch so she will win a printed copy of my Awesome Fall Table Runner pattern along with a hot pad made with the same Awesome fabric.

I've already contacted both winners and will be mailing out their prizes next week.

If you like my Awesome Fall Table Runner and want one for yourself, there is one available in my Etsy shop all ready to put on your fall table. If you would rather make one yourself, the pattern is also available for purchase in my Etsy shop in the form of a PDF file which I will email to you once payment has been received. This is a great way to buy patterns because they are usually less expensive, and you don't have to wait for the mailman to deliver them!

Congratulations to Kathy and Marsha, and good luck to all the rest of you in the other giveaways! Thanks to Debi for hosting this fun event once again. I hope everyone had as much fun as I did!

Happy Stitching!

Click here to return to HookedOnNeedles.com

Labels: , ,

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Crochet Crazy!

The Bernat Mystery Afghan Crochet-Along has been lots of fun so far, and not too overwhelming! The hardest part is waiting for Wednesday for the next clue! Patience is not my greatest virtue!

So here's my pile of blocks from Clue #3...

These were crocheted using the Fern color which I just love! It's so cozy and soft, just a lovely shade of green. The stitch used is a V stitch and very easy to do...basically two double crochets in one stitch with a chain in between.

Doesn't it make a pretty block?

Clue #4 was posted yesterday and it is the first multi-colored block. From the colors I chose, I'll be using Forest, Natural, Pumpkin and Topaz in this block. I will be making 4 of them this week, and then waiting on pins and needles for Clue #5 to be posted next Wednesday!

I'll stay busy though! Don't you worry about that! This new pattern I'm developing is coming out pretty nicely and I can't wait to share it with you. It's not for the fall season like my Awesome Fall Table Runner pattern. This one is for another season, and I'll just give you one hint. I'm using the fabric called Adoring by Sandy Gervais for Moda. It's gorgeous!

You have only until tomorrow to enter my Fall giveaway. Click HERE and follow the rules for your chance to win one of two great fall prizes!

Happy Stitching!

Click here to return to HookedOnNeedles.com

Labels: ,

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bonus Prize for Fall Giveaway

The Fall into Fall Giveaway is almost over! Friday will be the day that I close comments on my giveaway post and do the drawing for my Awesome Fall Table Runner. I probably won't do it until after lunch so you'll have until then to get your entries in. Please make sure you leave your entry comments on the giveaway post, not on this post! And if you comment anonymously, you must also include your email address or your entry will not count. And remember to read the rules and follow them! Any comments that do not follow one of the rules will also not be counted!

Besides the Awesome Fall Table Runner which is the main prize for my giveaway, I've decided to add a second surprise prize as well. So I'll be drawing two names on Friday! How fun! Would you like to see what the second prize is?

I have made the pattern for my Awesome Fall Table Runner available on my Etsy shop for a very reasonable price, so for my second prize, I will be giving away a printed copy of my pattern along with a hot pad made with the same Awesome fabric as the table runner. The pattern for this bonus hot pad is also included in the written pattern.

If you want to add a touch of fall to your table during this very cozy and colorful season, and if you don't win one of the giveaway prizes, make this Fall Table Runner and bonus hot pad for yourself using my clearly written and illustrated instructions, available HERE.

I've been working on a few other projects lately too. One is a quilted item using Sandy Gervais pre-cuts and for which I will also be publishing the pattern. Stay tuned for some sneak peeks of that pattern.

And the other is the Bernat Mystery Afghan Crochet-Along which has been so fun, but too suspenseful! I can hardly wait for Wednesdays to come along so I can print out the next clue! Clue #4 was posted this morning, so I have my yarn and printed pattern all ready and waiting for me when I sit down to relax this evening! I can't wait! This one is multi-colored. I'll show some pictures of my progress and the yarn combination for Clue #4 next time around. See you then!

Happy Stitching!

Click here to return to HookedOnNeedles.com

Labels: , , ,

Friday, October 8, 2010

Awesome Fall Table Runner ~ Available to purchase

Don't confuse this post with the Fall into Fall Giveaway that's been going on for a few days now. You can find that by clicking HERE, and enter to win an Awesome Fall Table Runner just like this one!

But this one - the one in the pictures below - is sitting fat and happy over in my Etsy shop just waiting for the right person to notice how fabulous it would look on their own Thanksgiving table!

Awesome Fall Table RunnerI made this table runner from my own original design, which will also be available for purchase soon, and I used the Sandy Gervais fabric line called Awesome. She designs fabric for Moda, so you know it's high quality stuff!

Awesome Fall Table RunnerThis runner measures a generous 16 by 39 inches so it will fill up the middle of your fall table quite nicely.

Awesome Fall Table RunnerThe center of the runner would be just perfect for a pumpkin or a fall wreath with a candle in the middle.

Awesome Fall Table RunnerOr you could add to the leaves and acorns already on the runner, but collecting your own from outside and arranging them around your favorite pumpkin spice pillar candle. How festive!

Awesome Fall Table RunnerDo you join others for Thanksgiving dinner at someone else's house? This would be a very thoughtful gift for your hostess that she could use year after year to dress up her table.

End of sales pitch! So this is what I've been working on down in my sewing room lately. I have made three of these runners, one for the giveaway, one to put in my shop and one to put on my own table come Thanksgiving. I just love working with Sandy's fabrics and colors and creating pretty things with them. I'll be writing up the pattern for this runner and making it available in PDF format over at my shop very soon, and I might even have one to give away as a second prize in the Fall giveaway. You just never know!

As I type this, I am enjoying the wonderful smell of applesauce cake baking in the oven. We went apple picking over the weekend and I made a big batch of applesauce from the apples that were leftover after making apple crisp. I used some of it in the applesauce cake, and I divided the rest into one cup portions and put them in the freezer so I will be able to make applesauce cake in the winter using homemade applesauce! I hope you are enjoying all the delicious smells that this fall season has to offer!

Happy Stitching!

Click here to return to HookedOnNeedles.com

Labels: , ,

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pink and Purple Crocheted Afghan ~ Complete!

Fall is here so it's time to pull out the cozy afghans and light a fire in the fireplace. The Fall into Fall Giveaway is in full swing with lots of great prizes being offered by well over 100 different sites. You can find mine by clicking HERE. Make sure you follow the rules and include an email address or your entry won't count!

I've been working on a very cozy afghan for a few weeks now, and a few days ago I finished it. I've been waiting for a sunny day to take pictures of it outside, but I finally gave up and settled for this morning when it wasn't pouring rain for a few minutes! That will have to do for now! I think the outdoor pictures came out pretty well and I know for a fact that this afghan will keep the chill off of anyone on a cold fall day!

Pink and Purple Crocheted Afghan ~ Complete!This is the afghan I was working on HERE during our last election. It's made with Patons Melody Quick and Cozy yarn using the Autumn Afternoon Afghan pattern from the Lion Brand free pattern collection.

Pink and Purple Crocheted Afghan ~ Complete!Don't you just love the bright colors? Well, ok, but don't you think some little girly girl will just love these bright colors?

Pink and Purple Crocheted Afghan ~ Complete!You can see in the detail here that the stitches are all very close together and the yarn is very thick and cozy.

Pink and Purple Crocheted Afghan ~ Complete!This would make a wonderful blanket for any little girl who likes to be cozy while playing with her dolls or reading a good book.

Pink and Purple Crocheted Afghan ~ Complete!Measuring 35 by 53 inches, this afghan would also be great for using on a toddler or twin size bed to keep those little toes warm at night.

This pattern was very easy to make and I would recommend it for any beginner crocheter who would like to make a multi-colored afghan using blocks. The block pattern is all single crochet and because it is worked in individual blocks, this would also make a great take-along project.

I'll be putting this afghan into my Etsy shop later today, along with a fall table runner exactly like the one I am giving away in the Fall into Fall Giveaway.

Coming up soon, I'll be showing you my progress on the Bernat Mystery Afghan Crochet-Along. Clue #3 was posted yesterday and requires 8 blocks in the light green Fern color. I made one last night and just love how it looks.

Happy Stitching!

Click here to return to HookedOnNeedles.com

Labels: , ,

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Happy Birthday to me!

Fall into Fall Giveaway can be found by clicking HERE!

The older I get, the less appealing things and stuff are to me. Do you find that to be true as well? This can make gift giving occasions particularly difficult on my husband. So I had to get creative when it came time to let him know what I wanted for my birthday which was yesterday. I don't need one more thing to dust or one more gadget to find a place for, but I had all these quilt tops that needed to be quilted. So for my birthday gift, I got to spend three hours learning how to use a long arm quilting machine so I will be able to do my own quilting instead of paying someone else to do it for me.

I've been wanting to play with one of these machines ever since I first heard about them a few years ago. I know I'll never own one myself, but as long as I have one available to rent time on whenever I need to, that is really all I need. So here is some of what I did during my three hours of training...

Learning to use a long arm quilting machineOn the practice fabric already set up on the machine, I was able to get right to work doing some simple meandering, then I went back over it to create a ribbon meander. That was fun.

Learning to use a long arm quilting machineThen I moved on to some loop meanders which I like a lot more and seemed to do better at as well. I liked the swooping and swirling movements better than just the wavy movements of the simple meander.

Learning to use a long arm quilting machineThen I tried my hand at some heart shapes which caused me to get the giggles for some reason. I didn't do too well at these as you can see and I'm sure the fact that I was laughing at how awful they were turning out didn't help much. But it was fun anyway!

Learning to use a long arm quilting machineNext it was time to try working within a marked space with this border design which reminded me of the Palmer handwriting method we used to learn in school. I didn't do too badly on the marked lines...

Learning to use a long arm quilting machine...and surprisingly enough, I did even better with no markings to guide me. I guess freehand is more my thing.

Learning to use a long arm quilting machineThen I went back to the loop meander and practiced making bigger loops and trying to keep my negative space even.

Learning to use a long arm quilting machineAfter once more pass at large-loop loop meandering across the practice fabric, I felt that I was ready to stitch on a real quilt top.

Learning to use a long arm quilting machineDo you recognize this piece? It's one of my I Spy quilt tops that I put together this summer. I brought them along so my teacher could help me decide how I might want to quilt them during another session at another time. But we moved along so quickly that she felt I was ready to go for it. So I got a lesson on loading a quilt and was able to get right to work on it.

Learning to use a long arm quilting machineLoop and swish and loop and swish...

Learning to use a long arm quilting machine...three passes from left to right...

Learning to use a long arm quilting machine...looping and swishing...

Learning to use a long arm quilting machine...and there's the back with all those lovely large loop meander lines! It took about a half hour to do this little quilt once it was loaded on the machine, and it was such a blast!

So that was my birthday gift! Isn't that so cool? Happy birthday to me! I was so excited to get home and show my husband how much fun I had. He didn't get it, but he was glad that I enjoyed myself. Then he asked me if I wanted one of these machines! Oh my, he doesn't know what he's asking! Like I said, I don't want another thing that I have to find a place for, and something like this would definitely need its own space! I'm perfectly content being able to schedule a few hours on someone else's machine when I have a quilt to stitch. In fact, I've already scheduled my next session to quilt the other three I Spy tops! What a birthday gift!

Don't forget to sign up for my Fall into Fall Giveaway for up to 5 chances to win an Awesome fall table runner made by me using my own original design! Someone's gotta win it...why not you?

Happy Stitching!

Click here to return to HookedOnNeedles.com

Labels: , , ,



Newer Posts Home Older Posts
Copyright ©2010 HookedOnNeedles.com. All rights reserved.