Hooked on Needles

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tranquility ~ My Next Project

We survived Irene with just a lot of wind and rain, and thankfully no damage close to home. Thanks for all your nice notes of concern!

During this stormy time, I have spent a good deal of time in my sewing room working on a new project. I've made some progress on it, but for now, I'll just show you the very beginning...

Tranquility ~ My Next ProjectIt's no secret that Sandy Gervais is one of my very favorite Moda fabric designers, and this project uses her line called Tranquility. I just love the warm colors and the variety of prints.

Tranquility ~ My Next ProjectI started out by opening the two charm packs of Tranquility that I already had on hand just to see what I had to work with. I laid them out just as they came off the stack, and took a few pictures. Then I started looking for charm patterns and found one on Moda Bake Shop that I really liked. It's called Road to Tennessee by Mary Lane Brown.

Tranquility ~ My Next ProjectMary provides a handy chart with all the details for making her pattern in many different sizes. I picked the couch size for this project, and since Tranquility has 48 charms in each pack, I only needed to use four instead of five. I went ahead and ordered three more anyway, just in case I messed up a square or two! Any excuse for a little extra Sandy Gervais fabric!

I will be backing this quilt with a cozy flannel that I found on Fabric.com so it will be soft and warm. This quilt will be a wonderful Christmas gift for a family that should be able to put it to good use...but I can't say who that family is just in case they read Hooked On Needles!

Another project I finished recently, and delivered today, is a commission project of eight Christmas stockings very similar to those pictured HERE. And an hour later, I got an email from the same person asking for two more! I'd show you a pictures of these new stockings, but I failed to snap even one shot before they left the house! The new owner did say he would send me a picture of them once they are hanging by their chimney with care!

Happy Stitching!

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Vacation Shopping at Keepsake Quilting

Irene is tapping on our front door right now with some heavy rain but we won't get the worst of it until tomorrow. My main concern is the possibility of losing power, which would mean I would not be able to sew! Other than that, we should have no long term side effects of this storm, unlike those nearer to the ocean or in low lying areas who could be terribly affected by flooding and storm surge. Keep safe!

So anyway, I was looking at my fabric pile recently and remembered that I had made a few good purchases during our summer vacation on my annual visit to Keepsake Quilting. Here are a few pictures of what I brought home with me...

Keepsake Quilting now has a clearance room where they put all their fabrics they are trying to get rid of. I found a shelf with lots of different Kona Solids for practically nothing, so I picked out a few colors and purchased a couple yards of each. These make great bag linings as well as fill-in type of fabric for other projects.

Besides the sale prices in their clearance room, they were also offering an extra 25% off any packaged kits so I picked up this cute little world map panel and also this pre-cut package of 40 6-inch squares of Halloween prints. Those will be fun to make into something interesting!

Then I purchased a few remnants that I found appealing, and a couple pieces of yardage that also caught my eye.

I love this fabric with it's woven tape measure print! This will be fun to use as a lining for a sewing bag or sewing machine cover, don't you think?

And this bright, colorful fabric has all the wonderful designs on it that I used to make with my Spirograph when I was a kid! Childhood memories printed on fabric...how could I resist?

The last item I purchased is this darling little kit for the sweetest apron you've ever seen! The kit came with this panel, of which you can only see half here, and the piece of fabric you can see peeking out there on the lower right with strawberries on it for the lining. I actually purchased two of these kits because they were priced so low and were so darn cute! I've already made one, and will probably save the second one to donate to my children's school for a theme basket raffle at Christmas time.

So that was my vacation shopping haul for this summer. As I sit here with the air conditioner on because of the extreme humidity and heavy rain outside, and the sky darkening all around me, it's hard to believe summer is just about winding up here. My two little ones start school on Tuesday, and my big one who's all married and gone now will also be starting back to her third year of college in a few weeks. I have lots of projects on my list of things-to-do in my sewing room, besides all the other Mom-type things ... you know what I mean... driving the kids here, there and everywhere, cub scouts, soccer (one on a travel team and one still in-town this year), helping out at school, hopefully finding the time to plan a few sewing workshops here at home for some friends, and preparing for this vendor fair where I will have a table at the end of next month. All the usual stuff of family life, and I just love it!

I sincerely hope that you are loving all the things that fill up your life these days too!

Happy Stitching!

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Latch Hook ~ Keeping Little Hands Busy

Latch hook is not something I have done for a really, really long time, so I was quite surprised when my 8 year old son Sean came to me and asked if I would buy him a latch hook kit so he could try it. I have no idea where he got the idea, but he was excited about trying it and I am all for keeping little hands and minds busy on constructive and useful activities that don't involve a screen or something that plugs in or uses batteries. So off we went to Michael's with a good coupon and purchased a little 8 by 8 inch latch hook kit.

Here he is the next day finishing up the last row of his soccer ball latch hook! He caught on after one demonstration and he worked on it until it was finished, keeping track of each row on the chart and not wanting to stop for anything! I guess he liked it because he asked when he could get his next kit! I had shown him what was available online, and the one he thought would be fun to do was a 2 foot by 4 foot Mona Lisa! Isn't that funny?

Now he wants me to make this soccer ball rug into a pillow for in his room, so that's on my list of things to finish.

Of course, my little almost-7-year-old Grace was not to be outdone, so she asked for her own latch hook kit to work on. She got the hang of it pretty quickly too, but has only finished a few rows. I think Sean might end up finishing this for her. But she did ask about learning to sew fabric squares together, so I showed her how to do it by hand and she hand stitched four squares together with perfect little stitches.

Isn't it great to share your own love of creativity with your kids and see them just go ahead and run with it? This sort of thing teaches so much more than How To Latch Hook, or How To Sew. It teaches kids that using their hands to create something gives them a feeling of accomplishment, something to show for their time, and a way to express their own creativity in a useful and worthwhile way. It's a good thing to do. Do you have young people in your life to pass on your creative knowledge and skills to?

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Summertime Giveaway Winner is....

...wait for it...wait for it...And the winner is...

Summertime Giveaway Winner

...Anne Marie! (That's Anne with an 'e'...there was also another entry with the same name only spelled with no 'e'!) Congratulations Anne Marie, and a big thank you to all of you who entered this giveaway and left such nice comments.

Anne Marie will get to choose from any one of the 4-pack bundles of crocheted cotton wash cloths that are currently listed in my Etsy shop, or she can choose her favorite colors and I will crochet four cotton cloths just for her. I'll be interested to find out what she picks!

I've been busy sewing on a commission project of 8 Christmas stockings, like those pictured HERE, and they are almost finished. Another project I have been working on is a throw quilt which will be a Christmas gift. The top and backing are complete so I am just waiting for my appointment with the long arm machine so I can get it finished and ready to go for Christmas. Another Christmas gift quilt is in the works as well, but still in the layout stage. No sewing has been started on this one. So lots going on here, but not a lot I can show yet!

One more week until my little ones go back to school. We have a few play dates this week and will also need to try on all their uniform clothes to make sure everything fits. I have a feeling my son has grown enough to render his uniform pants a bit on the short side, so a trip to the uniform store to exchange a few items might be in order as well!

Enjoy what's left of your summer, and start thinking about those fall projects! The cooler weather and colorful leaves will be here before we know it!

Happy Stitching!

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sunshine Crocheted Cotton Washcloths ~ Giveaway Reminder

It's a beautiful sunny summer day here and this latest set of crocheted cotton dish/wash cloths it right at home! If you haven't signed up for my Summertime Giveaway where you could win a 4-pack of these scrumptious cloths in your choice of colors, you might want to do that pretty soon...drawing will be held Sunday, August 21!

Sunshine Crocheted Cotton Washcloths

Sunshine Crocheted Cotton Washcloths

Sunshine Crocheted Cotton Washcloths

Sunshine Crocheted Cotton Washcloths

Sunshine Crocheted Cotton WashclothsEach cloth is 10 inches square and has wonderful texture and a pretty scalloped edge around it. You can find this bundle in my Etsy shop along with many other color combinations that are also available right now.

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Over the Rainbow Crocheted Cotton Wash Cloths

This stack of crocheted cotton wash cloths is my favorite! I think the colors are so bright and fun and would cheer up any kitchen or bathroom. You could choose this color combination for yourself if you win my Summertime Giveaway. Have you signed up for it yet? Click HERE and follow the easy rules to enter.

Check out the super cool plaid/argyle sort of design this variegated yarn made...

Over the Rainbow Crocheted Cotton Wash ClothsIsn't that so pretty? I just love the combination of the orange, bright pink, green and yellow against the white in this yarn. It's called Over the Rainbow, and it's a Lily Sugar 'n Cream yarn that I bought at my local Michael's store.

Over the Rainbow Crocheted Cotton Wash ClothsI've paired it up with a bright pink, yellow and orange solid for this bundle.

Over the Rainbow Crocheted Cotton Wash ClothsEach cloth is 10 inches square and has a pretty little scalloped edge around it.

Over the Rainbow Crocheted Cotton Wash ClothsOoooh, all that cottony goodness!

Over the Rainbow Crocheted Cotton Wash ClothsDelicious! I can think of a few sherbet flavors these colors remind me of, but I won't say it. It's not time for ice cream quite yet!

Hope you are having a lovely summer and make the most of what's left of it. My children return to school in two short weeks. This year we have one 3rd grader who loves to learn new stuff even though he won't admit it, and one 1st grader who just lost her two front teeth and is talking just a little funny these days! Very cute! It should be a fun year!

Happy Stitching!

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Friday, August 12, 2011

City Weekend Tote Bag

Here's another fun tote bag that would make a cheerful summer purse. It's made with delicious Moda fabric by Liesl Gibson for Oliver + S called City Weekend, and lined with a pretty pink and white fabric. So feminine! Take a look...

City Weekend Tote BagThis morning was bright and sunny out on the back deck...perfect for a summery photo session!

City Weekend Tote BagYum! I just love the shades of greens, pinks, blues and yellows in this fabric line!

City Weekend Tote BagEven though it's called City Weekend, this bag is equally comfortable hanging with the sunflowers out here in the country...

City Weekend Tote Bag...and waiting patiently by the front porch stairs to go on a shopping spree...

City Weekend Tote Bag...or just relaxing on the glider, enjoying the lovely breeze.

City Weekend Tote BagThe inside of this bag is lined with lots of pockets to keep all your stuff organized.

This City Weekend tote bag measures 11 x 6 inches on the boxed bottom, 17 inches from seam to seam at the top, 12 inches from top to bottom edge, and the handles extend 10 inches from the top of the bag to the top of the handles.

It will be making an appearance over in my Etsy shop soon, but if you're interested in owning this bag for yourself or as a gift for your favorite bag lover, just zip me an email and it's yours!

Happy Stitching!

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Blue/Purple/White Crocheted Cotton Dish/Wash Cloths

One more bundle of hand crocheted cotton dish/wash cloths is now complete! This one is a lovely combination of dark and light blues, purple and white. The solids are aqua blue, white and purple. Is this a color combination you might want to win in my Summertime Giveaway? Take a look...

Blue/Purple/White Crocheted Cotton Dish/Wash Cloths

Blue/Purple/White Crocheted Cotton Dish/Wash Cloths

Blue/Purple/White Crocheted Cotton Dish/Wash Cloths

Blue/Purple/White Crocheted Cotton Dish/Wash ClothsEach cloth is 10 inches square with a little scallop around the edges. The yarn is 100% cotton worsted weight so it will be very absorbent and feel so good on your skin in the shower, or do a great job scrubbing dishes or counter tops in your kitchen.

This bundle will be available in my Etsy shop soon, along with the Rainbow Quilt from yesterday's post.

Make sure you enter my Summertime Giveaway for your chance to win a 4-pack of hand crocheted cloths in your choice of colors! Good luck to everyone who enters!

Happy Stitching!

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rainbow Quilt ~ Finished!

I own lots of quilt patterns and books, but my favorite thing to do is come up with a design in my head and then work it out with the fabric that is in front of me. That's what I did with my charity quilt, my Riviera quilt, and these rainbow squares that I received from a recent swap, and I must say, I am quite pleased with the results. See what you think...

Rainbow Quilt ~ Finished!White Kona cotton was a great choice for surrounding all these lovely fabric squares.

Rainbow Quilt ~ Finished!Each square is a different fabric, so if you turn the quilt one way, it looks like this.

Rainbow Quilt ~ Finished!And if you turn it the other way, it looks like this!

Rainbow Quilt ~ Finished!I love the aqua fabrics...they remind me of cool water on a hot summer day!

Rainbow Quilt ~ Finished!The peachy colors remind me of sherbet...yummy and refreshing!

Rainbow Quilt ~ Finished!The pinks remind me of cotton candy...light and fluffy and so very sweet!

Rainbow Quilt ~ Finished!I've always loved greens. They just make me happy.

Rainbow Quilt ~ Finished!And here is the whole quilt, all 35 by 43 inches of it, laid out on the grass, just waiting for a little baby to curl up in the middle and take a nap!

Rainbow Quilt ~ Finished!I love the cuddly quiltiness that happens after a new quilt is washed. It just makes the quilt that much cozier!

Rainbow Quilt ~ Finished!Naptime anyone?

Rainbow Quilt ~ Finished!Love that pink swirl fabric!

Rainbow Quilt ~ Finished!The backing was pieced from a selection of fat quarters from my stash, making the quilt sort of reversible!

Rainbow Quilt ~ Finished!Rainbow quilt hanging out with the sunflowers and butterfly bushes.

Rainbow Quilt ~ Finished!Rainbow quilt lying around with the black eyed Susans and the cone flowers.

Rainbow Quilt ~ Finished!Rainbow quilt relaxing on the glider under the pink impatiens that seem to love that end of the porch.

The design I used for this quilt top was fresh out of my own head, but I'd be willing to pull it out again and do a tutorial on it if anyone is interested. (Editor's note: a picture tutorial for this quilt can be found HERE!) I enjoyed making the blocks not line up with each other, giving the quilt a little bit of a wonky look, like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. But if you look closely, you will see that there is a method to the placement of the blocks which is really quite simple.

This quilt will be making its way into my Etsy shop soon, so if you're interested in having it for yourself, just let me know!

And don't forget to sign up for my Summertime Giveaway by clicking HERE and following the rules for the giveaway. They are super easy and relaxed, just like summertime should be!

Happy Stitching!

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