Hooked on Needles


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Scrap Quilt ~ Another Longtime WIP Finished!

Many, many years ago, I decided to cut up all my leftover fabric into 4 inch squares. I had boxes and boxes of fabric from about 5 years of sewing for my daughter who was my only child at the time, and also for her dolls and many more years of sewing for her very many cousins and a few friends as well. Then I decided to make a 9-patch quilt which I thought would use up most of the squares I had cut. (I was wrong about that! I made another 10 or 12 baby quilts as well and then sold the rest of the squares on ebay for practically nothing. There were easily another thousand or more. What was I thinking?)

So I started pairing the fabrics and making the blocks, never repeating the same pairing of fabrics. I made 81 blocks and sewed them together into a quilt top and started hand quilting this 95 inch square quilt. Then I had to put it away in preparation for moving. It was a long time before I pulled it out again, only to discover that I was no longer able to do the fine stitching that hand quilting required. Darn that carpal tunnel! I wanted to finish the quilt for my daughter's high school graduation gift. But it didn't happen. I finally found someone who was willing to long arm the quilt for me with the original hand quilting stitches still intact.

This past weekend, my daughter received this finished quilt which I labeled "Pieces of Your Past" as a bridal shower gift. When she opened it and realized what it was, she cried! Once she was able to compose herself, she started pointing out different fabrics and telling everyone what dress or outfit or doll clothes or blanket had been made out of them. I think it was a hit!

I've shown this quilt unfinished before, but here it is complete...








That striped fabric with the white background was an Easter dress for Elizabeth when she was about 3 years old. The upside down angel in the foreground was from fabric used to make a very pretty, poofy, sailor collared dress which Elizabeth wore to the father/daughter dance when she was in Kindergarten.


I see a Christmas dress, a cute little summer outfit, darling little overalls, some doll clothes, another wedding gift quilt, oh and another wedding gift quilt, a few blankets, fabric from the first maternity dress I made myself...lots of memories in this quilt!


The light blue fabric with the watermelon slices on it was a cute little summer sun dress. The balloon fabric is a denim weight fabric and I made a darling little jumper for Elizabeth's second birthday picture. She wore it with a cute little pink top and had her hair in curly pig tails! The green fabric paired with the purple and white flowers was the combination of fabrics I used to make her an Easter dress that had sort of an overlaid skirt and tulip sleeves. The pattern also came with a pattern for the same design for her American Girl doll so I made that too out of the same fabric combination. They were twins! Now my youngest, Grace, has that outfit for her own American Girl doll! Some things are worth keeping!

I also see some doll clothes fabric and some pillow quilt fabric in that picture. One year for Christmas I made all my nieces and nephews those quilts that fold up into pillows. I had to shop around and get fabric at bargain prices back then because each quilt required about 4 yards of fabric plus batting and we were on a shoe string budget. I think I made something like 13 or 15 of those quilts that year. I had to stop making gifts for all the nieces and nephews after a while because they were coming faster than I could catch up!



That busy fabric there at the bottom of the quilt paired with the pink gingham was used for a cute little dress I made Elizabeth to wear to a bridal shower for my brother's intended. The shower had a tea party theme and if you look closely you can see that the fabric also has a tea party theme! My brother has now been married about 15 years and has seven children!


Kathryn did a beautiful job quilting this project. She warned me that the finished quilt might have some puckers in the backing due to her not being able to feed the backing into the machine separately from the front because of the hand quilting. But there is not one pucker on the back. It is perfect!




That pretty plaid fabric was a summer sun dress and the flowered fabric on the right was a dress I made for myself...back in the day when I actually did some sewing for myself!


The Flintstones fabric was a little summer shorts and shirt set and so appropriate for Elizabeth because when she was a baby, she had so much hair that I had to fix it just like Pebbles, on top of her head, so some of our friends called her Pebbles! The floral fabric that is paired with the dark purple was a very fancy dress I made for Elizabeth to wear to a friend's wedding. The pattern had 29 pieces, and only two of those pieces were below the waist! There were lots of details on the bodice and sleeves of that dress, and it was gorgeous!



That blue paisley fabric that you can see up there paired with the wide stripes was what I used for the main fabric of a double Irish chain quilt I made for my brother and his wife for their wedding gift. I had so much left over when I finished the quilt that I used the same fabric to make Elizabeth's dress to wear to the wedding! I only have one brother, the 8th of 8 children, so yes, this is the wedding that the tea party dress mentioned before was made for the shower! Did you know paisley is a symbol of fertility?


Whew! That finish was a long time coming! This quilt will make a fabulous picnic blanket or cuddle-on-the-couch blanket, and a wonderful conversation piece! Now on to the next project!

Happy Stitching!

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Anna's Birthday Tote Bag

The bag lady strikes again! This very generously sized, quilted, expandable, zippered tote bag is for Anna who recently turned 16. She picked out some gorgeous fabric and I put it together for her. I do hope she likes this bag as much as I liked making it for her.


Anna's Birthday Tote BagI've made this pattern dozens of times, and each time the result is a little different. For Anna's bag, I made a large outside pocket for each side and lined it with the accent fabric. The flowers on this fabric were just begging to be fussy cut and used for the first pocket!


Anna's Birthday Tote BagI thought this bird would be a nice feature on the second pocket.


Anna's Birthday Tote BagThe zippered section of the bag shows off more of this beautiful Michael Miller fabric called Belle Rose from the French Journal line.


Anna's Birthday Tote BagHere's the inside of the bag with the zippered section inside the bag. The lining fabric is also a Michael Miller fabric called Dandelion in Raspberry.


Anna's Birthday Tote BagAnd in this picture, the inside of the bag looks so much bigger because the zippered section has been pulled up making the bag an extra five inches taller! Here you can also see the strap with the swivel clip hanging from it, and all the pockets around the inside of the bag.


Anna's Birthday Tote BagI included a D-ring at the top of the bag for Anna to clip things to. The base of the bag is brown corduroy for hiding dirt and also wearing well. It has been lined with Peltex 70 which is Pellon's extra super duper stiff interfacing which holds its shape and will keep those corners sharp and crisp for the life of the bag.


Anna's Birthday Tote BagThe outside pockets are quite large and will be great for sliding notebooks or flip-flops into...


Anna's Birthday Tote Bag...or supplies for Anna's current craft project.

This bag is not for sale, but if you are looking for a great tote bag similar to this one in design and quality, please check out my Etsy shop where you'll find lots of items handmade by me and ready to go!

Happy Stitching!

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Quiltstory Features ME today!

Fresh Poppy Design


Head over to Quiltstory where Heather and Megan have featured my recently finished log cabin quilt today! How exciting to have a spot on this fun website!


While you are there, be sure to check out all the other inspirational stuff they have shared.

Happy Stitching!

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Self Tying Neck Scarf ~ Video Tutorial on How to Knit the Loop

Today I'd like to revisit another old post, this time a knitting project that I wrote about way back in December of 2008 very shortly after that huge ice storm that shut New England down for weeks and did so much damage to the area. The project I'm talking about is my version of the self-tying neck scarf. You can read about it by clicking HERE and see that Martha Stewart and I seem to have figured out the same pattern!

Continue reading to see my very old picture...


My neck scarf pictureIf you read the old post about this, you will remember that this scarf was on loan to me from a local yarn shop that was going out of business some very many years earlier. I had snapped this photo of the sample scarf with my tape measure next to it for reference, and jotted down some notes on how I thought this scarf could be knitted. As it turned out, my notes were pretty accurate, and I went on to make many of these fun little accessories over the years using different weight yarns and making the appropriate adjustments for stitch count and rows and such.

The written pattern for this scarf, using baby yarn, can be found in that old post from 2008 which you can find HERE.

A while ago, I got a message from one of my Facebook friends asking for help on the section of this pattern where the stitches get divided to make the little loop that makes this such a unique design. So the following video shows that section of the pattern in the works using just a sample of knitting. If you are interested in following along, you might want to bring up the old post in a separate window so you can view the pattern at the same time you are watching the video. Or you could also just print it out and follow along.


This is what the sample looks like at the end of the video, obviously not the whole scarf or even the entire beginning section, but just enough to show how to divide the stitches and then bring them back together again.

Here's the video, for my Facebook friend Santina, and anyone else who is interested in making this fun self-tying knitted neck scarf.


video


If you make one, I'd sure love to see a picture of it and know whether this video was helpful to you.

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

School Charity Banner ~ Binding, Backing and Label

After posting pictures of the finished banner last week, which you can see HERE, it occurred to me that I had not shown off the backing fabric which I am totally in love with! So this post should actually have been done before the final reveal. I guess that's what happens when the excitement to show off the finished project is just too much to take! You all understand, don't you?


School Charity Banner ~ Binding, Backing and LabelSo after I finished the appliqué of the letters and the roof line and arch and pieced the top to the bottom, I quilted inside all the white squares and shapes and stitched very close to the edge all the way around. I've discovered this makes binding so much easier to do!


School Charity Banner ~ Binding, Backing and LabelFor the quilting, I used white thread and my presser foot as the guide and stitched just inside the blue frames on all the white fabric.


School Charity Banner ~ Binding, Backing and LabelThen I trimmed off the excess all around the edges to prepare the banner for binding.


School Charity Banner ~ Binding, Backing and LabelThis is the gorgeous Moda fabric I used for the backing. It's the perfect shade of blue and the forget-me-nots couldn't be any happier! Don't you love that fabric? I sure do!


School Charity Banner ~ Binding, Backing and LabelUsing my favorite method of making bias binding, which you can find HERE, and the same Kona blue fabric as the sashing and letters, I made enough binding for the outside of the banner.


School Charity Banner ~ Binding, Backing and LabelI also made my label and stitched the bottom edge of it into the binding to save myself having to hand stitch that edge. Every little bit helps!


School Charity Banner ~ Binding, Backing and LabelI also made a sleeve using the backing fabric and stitched the top edge of that into the binding along the top of the banner.


School Charity Banner ~ Binding, Backing and LabelFor the final stitching of the binding, I had to use blue thread on the blue and white thread on the white so my imperfect stitching wouldn't show too much.


School Charity Banner ~ Binding, Backing and LabelYou can see the white stitching on the back, but I was ok with that as long as the front looked good.


School Charity Banner ~ Binding, Backing and LabelAnd there's the finished back of the banner with the label stitched on and the sleeve at the top and all ready to turn it over to show the finished project...which I already did last week!

Happy Stitching!

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mitered Square Crocheted Baby Blanket ~ Video Tutorial

Back in July of 2008, I shared a little picture tutorial on the general idea for making the Mitered Squares Baby Blanket which is available on the Bernat website as a free download. You can click HERE to print your own copy. You may have to sign up to get into the patterns, but it's free and it's well worth the minute it takes to enter your information because they have some fabulous patterns on there with new ones added all the time.

So anyway, I made the blanket in a soft green cotton yarn and it is for sale over in my Etsy shop if you'd like to take a look at the finished product. Just click HERE to get THERE...but be sure to come back because I have more to show you!

Recently one of my readers, Dee, decided to make this blanket and we corresponded a few times about the pattern and getting her going on it. She got to the part of the pattern where the second row begins and just couldn't seem to get it. We've all been there, so I totally understood. Sometimes you just need to see it done to understand it. So I've made a little video showing Dee and anyone else who might be interested how to begin the second row of this pattern. If you want to start from the beginning, use the links above to print your own copy and then check out the picture tutorial also linked above.


Mitered Square Crocheted Baby BlanketThis is just a sample for the purpose of this video, but I'm thinking I might just continue making it to use up my scrap cotton. It's kinda nice!


Mitered Square Crocheted Baby BlanketHere's a close up of the beginning of the second row of blocks. Using different colors for each block makes it easier to pick out what's what. And below is the video demonstrating how to do it. Also below the video is the pattern with some red circles on it where I have made some edits. You might want to make the same changes to your printed copy of the pattern as well.


video



Edited version of Mitered Square Baby Blanket pattern
At the bottom of the first column, I have added a * before the instruction to turn your work. There are two places in the pattern where you will want to begin at that point instead of at the beginning of the 1st row instruction. One of those places is at the bottom of the second column in the instruction for the 8th square and the other is at the end of the instruction for the 9th square.

Towards the top of the second column in the instruction for next row, I crossed out the 'h' for the Yarn Over abbreviation. That is more for my own use since some people use YOH to mean Yarn Over Hook, but I find it confusing so I prefer just plain old Yarn Over.

And in the instruction for the 2nd square, there will actually be 36 stitches after working the two sets of 18 stitches, not 35. So I made that change as well.

You should be able to click on the picture of the pattern above and see it larger and maybe even print it out from there, but if not, you can just go ahead and make those changes on your own copy.

I'd sure love to see a picture of your blanket if you decide to make this fun pattern! I'll share a picture of Dee's finished blanket with you, if she'll allow me to!

Happy Stitching!

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Quilted Tote Bags with Zippered Extension ~ Two Ready and Waiting!

It's no secret to my regular readers that I love bags. Designing bags, making bags, using bags, owning bags...I am truly a bag lady! There's just something about a nice bag that is just right for holding whatever stuff you need to haul around with you. And if it's made out of nice fabric, all the better!

Here are two quilted tote bags that I just finished making. Each has an outside pocket, a divided inside pocket, a D-ring for clipping things to, a swivel clip on a strap inside to keep track of keys, and a zippered extension which allows the bag to become even bigger than it already is! Each bag is made from top quality quilting fabric with a base of sturdy corduroy, and fully lined.

Check them out...

Quilted Tote Bag with Zippered ExtensionThis bag is made with the fabric line Bliss by Bonnie & Camille for Moda. The medallions on the brown fabric are just gorgeous up close! The lining of this bag is the same fabric as the outside pocket.


Quilted Tote Bag with Zippered ExtensionThis bag is made using the fabric line Lilac Parade by The Buggy Barn for Henry Glass & Co. The lining fabric is the same as the outside pocket, gorgeous soft purple with purple and tan dots.

If you'd like to see more pictures of these two bags, head on over to my Etsy shop and click on one of the bags. There are also a few other tote bags over in my shop that are not quite as detailed, and made with upholstery fabric instead of quilting fabric. So if you're looking for a nice tote bag, you've found the right place!

Coming up next will be a look back at THIS crocheted mitered square baby blanket with a video tutorial for a particular part of the instruction that one of my readers is having trouble with.

Happy Stitching!

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

School Charity Banner ~ On Display!

Here it is! The School Charity Banner for St. Anna Catholic School was paraded down the aisle yesterday during the event for which it was made, along with banners from many other schools also taking part in the event. And now it is hanging in its new home inside the main entry of the school.


School Charity Banner ~ On Display!It was a dreary day today when I took this picture, but so much light comes into this area that I didn't even need to use a flash!

School Charity Banner ~ On Display!The wall where the banner is hanging is quite large as you can see, and not very colorful, so the banner adds a bit of interest and color to this area. It should remind all the school children of the good work they have done for others throughout this school year.

Happy Stitching!



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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Breast Cancer Walk Backpack Bags available

Over in my Etsy shop, I have just listed a few of these awesome backpack bags...


Come on over and check them out! Just click the picture!

Happy Stitching!

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