Hooked on Needles

Friday, March 30, 2012

Cast a Vote for Spring!

Have you heard the saying "No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow"? It's so true, and spring is trying so hard to get here and stay, even though I heard a weekend weather forecast with that four letter S word in it!

But over at Quilting Gallery, spring has arrived and it's time to vote on a lovely selection of springtime renewal quilts. I have entered my Springtime Table Runner into the contest and would very much appreciate your vote! Click HERE and then scroll down the list almost to the bottom to see my entry, then keep on scrolling and cast your vote! This is what you're looking for:

Petite Point Flowers Spring Tablerunner
It's my own original design and I have written a pattern for it which can be purchased in my Etsy shop. But I'm also going to give one copy away at the end of this contest. All you have to do is cast your vote over at Quilting Gallery and leave a comment here saying you did so. Of course I would love for your vote to be for my Springtime Table Runner, but if you find others you like better, I certainly understand! They are all just fabulous!

Now head on over to the Springtime Renewal Quilts contest and VOTE! Happy Spring!

Happy Stitching!

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Geocaching GPS Lanyard ~ Quick, Easy and a MUST-have!

Have you ever heard of geocaching? Do you geocache? When my kids and I spent a few days in Pennsylvania at my sister's last summer, she introduced us to geocaching which is just a hip word for a good old fashioned treasure hunt, only you use a gps device to locate the treasure! Our first experience was a hot, sweaty hike through a beautiful state park near my sister's home. The cache, or treasure, we were looking for was hiding in the foundation of some old, long-forgotten, barn or building of some sort out in the woods. It was really cool!

This past Christmas, my husband gave me my own geocaching gps device, a Magellan eXplorist GC, so that we could do a little treasure hunting here at home or while we're on vacation, or anywhere we want! We've already found three more caches right here near our home and we're having fun deciding which ones we will be looking for next.

So what does all this have to do with needles, you may be asking yourself. Well, this device is great to have, necessary really, but holding onto it is sometimes not practical when hiking through woods and such. Pockets are not always the best solution either. So I thought about making a lanyard for mine. Nothing fancy. Plain and simple. Quick and easy. And after about 20 seconds of cutting two fabric strips, 1 minute of ironing and maybe 2 minutes of sewing on the sewing machine, here's my geocaching gps lanyard...

Geocaching GPS Lanyard ~ Quick, Easy and a MUST-have!Yep, it's just a long strip of fabric, edges folded into the center, folded in half again, short ends stitched together and then stitched along both long edges. You might recognize this fabric as the binding I used on my Tranquility quilt that I made for my sister last Christmas.

Geocaching GPS Lanyard ~ Quick, Easy and a MUST-have!Couldn't get any simpler than that!

Geocaching GPS Lanyard ~ Quick, Easy and a MUST-have!And there's my handy dandy Magellan waiting for our next adventure...

Geocaching GPS Lanyard ~ Quick, Easy and a MUST-have!...while hanging around my neck!

I showed this to my husband and he thought it was quite ingenious. But he wondered why I made it so long. I am not a very tall person and this lanyard makes the unit land a bit below my waist. He thought I should have made it shorter. But then I had to remind him that, being as I'm well over 40 now and in fact just months from that next big number, my eyesight requires that anything I look at be at least as far away from my eyes as my arm length or I cannot see it well! So that's why I had to make it so long!

That's my quick and easy project for today! Now I think I'll go look up one or two more adventures I can have with my kids and my Magellan over at geocaching.com. What fun!

Happy Stitching!

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Friday, March 23, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Blog Hop Giveaway Winners are...

Comment #35 wins a Cathedral Window pin cushion
I personally don't do any thing but the kids like to run around and pinch every one not in green.

http:// my1pictureaday.blogspot.com/

By Blogger Richard Healey, At March 17, 2012 4:44 PM

Comment #82 wins a Cathedral Window pin cushion
I wore green but nothing else to celebrate. Thank you for the chance to win.

By Blogger Mary C, At March 18, 2012 6:04 PM

Comment #62 wins a PDF copy of my spring table runner
Thanks for such a great giveaway! For St. Patty's Day we always have Corned Beef & Cabbage! Yumm! :) Have a Happy Day! :)

By Blogger Cherise, At March 18, 2012 2:54 AM

Comment #140 also wins a PDF copy of my spring table runner
We usually celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but this year we had two tournaments so the day was spent at various arenas. :) Thanks for the giveaway!

By Blogger M-R, At March 22, 2012 10:28 PM

Thank you to every one of you who entered this fun blog hop giveaway! I have tried to respond to each comment but was not able to get to all of them. Even if you did not hear back from me, please know that I enjoyed each and every comment and I appreciate that you stopped in to see what I had to offer.

I'll be in touch with each of these four winners over the weekend so I can get their prizes on their way.

Happy Stitching!

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

2012 Scrap Afghan ~ HUGE and Getting Bigger!

After crocheting and knitting so many projects, the leftover yarn pile becomes so overwhelming that something needs to be done with it. Last year, I took a selection of partial skeins of yarn and crocheted them into a scrap afghan which you can see HERE. Then I started another one with more leftover yarn, using the same woven stitch and using up each partial skein and then just adding the next one to continue. It's a great way to make something useful out of odd amounts of leftover yarn.

Here is my current crocheted scrap afghan project looking quite large, but it is still not finished! Keep reading and see what you think...

2012 Scrap Afghan ~ HUGE and Getting Bigger!This afghan is hanging over our deck railing on this beautiful March day. The sun is shining and the breeze is cool, but it is already 66 degrees! Summer has arrived much too early for my liking, especially since I was hoping to have this afghan finished before the warm weather arrived! At least it's good for outdoor pictures!

2012 Scrap Afghan ~ HUGE and Getting Bigger!The woven stitch is my favorite for scrap afghans and even for planned afghans like those that I made for my two youngest children for their beds a few years ago. You can see pictures of those afghans and others HERE.

2012 Scrap Afghan ~ HUGE and Getting Bigger!This afghan is gigantic already and it's not even finished. It measures 56 inches across the top of the railing. The railing is 36 inches from the top of the deck to the top of the railing and you can see that the afghan is folded over the railing and the afghan touches the deck on both sides, making the afghan somewhere around 76 or so inches long if you figure in the thickness of the railing itself. This afghan will be big enough to cover the top of a queen size bed when it is finally finished!

2012 Scrap Afghan ~ HUGE and Getting Bigger!Last night I finished off the royal blue section shown on the left side of this picture. When I pick it up again tonight, I will add in a light blue section, then a magenta section which is almost a whole skein of yarn, and then I will end with a navy blue section which is an entire 7 ounce skein of Red Heart worsted weight yarn! So about another 20 inches will be added to this afghan before I use up my last skein of leftover yarn! Any guesses as to how much this afghan will weigh when complete? Maybe we should have a guessing game and a little prize when it's all finished. That would be fun!

If the weather does what I want it to, and what it should be doing this time of year anyway, and cools down for a few more weeks, I should be able to finish this project and weave in the loose ends, weigh and measure it, and list it in my Etsy shop. So keep an eye out for a fun guessing game as soon as I have all the vital statistics on this project!

Happy Stitching!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mini Quilt Swap ~ Received

Yesterday George the mailman was nice to me once again, bringing a package from Karen in Iowa. It contained the mini quilt that she made just for me as part of the New Beginnings Mini Quilt Swap! She knew that I love Kate Spain's fabrics and that Fandango is one of my favorites, so she designed this mini quilt around those lovely fabrics.

Look at how bright and cheerful this mini quilt is...

Mini Quilt Swap ~ ReceivedNotice how her quilting mimics the fans in the background fabric...

Mini Quilt Swap ~ Received...and the solids work perfectly with the prints that she chose to use, which happen to be some of my favorites from that line! Thanks again Karen for such a lovely little mini! It's so perfect for this spring weather we are having right now!

I sent off my mini Tranquility quilt quite a while ago but have not heard yet if it was received. I'm hoping the Genevieve is just busy with family life, and not that it got lost in the mail...the worst fear after mailing off a piece that took so much time and effort to put together special for one particular person! I do know from reading her blog that her daughter was in need of some surgery, so I hope that receiving my package gave her a little lift at a worrisome time.

Be sure to sign up for my St. Patrick's Day giveaway by clicking HERE and following the simple rule. I've increased the prizes since I have had so many entries, so now I'm giving away two of the cathedral window pin cushions and two copies of my spring table runner pattern! So now you have four chances to win! But don't wait too long! The giveaway closes Saturday!

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Butterfly Garden Quilt ~ Complete!

The Butterfly Garden Quilt is finally finished! I enjoyed this project from beginning to end. The fabrics, Butterfly Garden by Kansas Troubles for Moda, were just fabulous to work with. The colors are so warm and rich. The quilt design, Easy as Cake by Konda from Moose on the Porch Quilts, was so fun and my first layer cake quilt! The angel wings quilt design that I chose because of its very close resemblance to butterflies was a real kick to quilt. And the binding, navy blue with multi colored circles, was the perfect finishing touch.

Of course what makes this particular quilt so special for me is that it was made for a wonderful friend of mine whose daughter is getting married soon, and this will be a gift for her at the bridal shower next weekend. Could it get more special than that? I think not!

So here it is hanging off of my back deck with the help of my two favorite little hiding helpers on a windy day...

Butterfly Garden Quilt ~ Complete!

Butterfly Garden Quilt ~ Complete!There's Grace playing peek-a-boo when the wind blew!

Butterfly Garden Quilt ~ Complete!

Butterfly Garden Quilt ~ Complete!

Butterfly Garden Quilt ~ Complete!The quilt had already been washed and dried when I took these pictures so it is all bunchy and quilty, just the way a quilt should be! I used my favorite binding trick on this quilt, the same one I showed HERE on my Tranquility Quilt.

Butterfly Garden Quilt ~ Complete!That's the label stitched into the binding, reminding the newlyweds to always be kinder than necessary and that Mom and Dad love them to pieces!

Butterfly Garden Quilt ~ Complete!

Butterfly Garden Quilt ~ Complete!

Butterfly Garden Quilt ~ Complete!So here's to a long, happy and fruitful marriage for Mary and Drew, with lots of coziness, warmth and love. That is, after all, what quilts are all about!

Don't forget to enter my St. Patrick's Day giveaway, by clicking HERE and following the very simple rule. You can also find a link to a very long list of other fun giveaways going on this week in that post too! May the luck of the Irish be with you!

Happy Stitching!

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cathedral Window Pin Cushion ~ Quick and Easy!

Do you ever see something that you are just compelled to make as soon as possible? That's what happened with my new purse that I shared with you the other day. And then today, as I was cruising through the many blogs that I follow, I saw a tutorial for this lovely little thing...

Cathedral Window Pin Cushion ~ Quick and Easy!...and I just had to make it! It only took some small scraps and a 10 1/2 inch square of Kona bone solid, and some stuffing of course. It was finished in about 2 hours. I added the yo-yo and button in the center of the top and just a button on the back.

If you want to make one, go check out this great tutorial from Kim and you'll see just how easy it is.

I used scraps of Celebrating Spring fabric by Sandy Gervais leftover from my spring table runner which you can see HERE. But this cathedral window pin cushion can be made using any odd scraps that you have. If a design like this intimidates you, as it has me for quite some time, this is the perfect project to get you over the fear of cathedral windows. I was so surprised to find out just how easy this was to make. Gather some scraps and give it a try! Every sewing room could use another pin cushion!

If you don't want to make one of these cathedral window pin cushions yourself, you can always enter my giveaway by clicking HERE and perhaps you will win this very pin cushion! Lots of other giveaways are going on right now too, so be sure to check out the link provided in my giveaway post.

Happy Stitching!

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day ~ Blog Hop and Giveaways

This giveaway is now closed!
Thanks to all who entered.
Winners will be announced shortly.

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

It's Party Time!

I'm jumping on the Blog Hop/Giveaway bandwagon with lots of other quilting bloggers to celebrate St. Patrick's Day! Hop on over to Quilter's Fun after midnight on March 17th for a list of all the participating blogs, then visit each one before March 23rd if you want to enter all the giveaways. There are sure to be some fabulous prizes being given away!

Would you like to know what I am giving away? Keep on reading...

Two lucky winners will receive a prize from Hooked On Needles.

Cathedral Window Pin Cushion ~ Quick and Easy!The first prize will be this Cathedral Window pin cushion, made with fabric called Celebrate Spring by Sandy Gervais.

Spring Table RunnerThe second prize will be your own copy of my very own original pattern for this spring table runner. This prize will be in the form of a PDF file which will be emailed to the winner. If you don't win this time around but would like to make your own spring table runner, the pattern can be purchased over in my Etsy shop at any time!

To enter my giveaway, just leave a comment on this post before I close the giveaway sometime on March 23, and tell me what you do, if anything, to celebrate St. Patrick's Day where you live. Your email must be readily available for me to contact you. International readers are welcome to enter! Be sure to check out the list of other giveaways too! Maybe you'll have the luck of the Irish and win a few nice things!

Happy Stitching!

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Crocheted Slipper Pattern Help ~ Video Tutorial

Every now and then, a reader will ask for a little help in the form of a video on a crochet or knit project which is causing them some trouble. Recently Ginger wrote to me and asked if I could take a look at a crocheted slipper pattern that she had purchased from a designer on Etsy. She sent me the link to the pattern and I purchased it for myself so that I could test it and see if I thought I could help. Ginger was having trouble getting the top part of the slipper to look like the pictures. I am not quite sure where she was going wrong, so I made a video explaining how to do the entire top of the slipper from beginning to end! I am hoping that by watching it, she will notice what she is doing differently, make some changes, and be able to achieve the result she wants.

Here is the slipper I made as a test...

Crocheted Slipper Pattern Help ~ Video TutorialI used some Red Heart worsted weight yarn that I had on hand, but if I were to make these slippers to wear, I would probably use worsted weight cotton or something else more comfortable.

Crocheted Slipper Pattern Help ~ Video TutorialIf these slippers look like fun to you, hop on over to Genevive's Etsy shop and check out this pattern (Mary Janes PDF 11) and all the other great designs she has for slippers, baby shoes, socks and other crocheted items

The following video will not show you how to make the entire slipper, nor will it give all the details needed to complete the slipper. You must purchase your own copy of Genevive's pattern and work the pattern for either the single or double sole of the slipper first. Then you will be able to follow along with the video and the pattern to complete the slipper.

Here's the video, which I should warn you is quite long, about 42 minutes! But you can pause it and restart it at the same points where you will notice that I break away to complete a round or part of a round. I didn't think you would really want to see me do every single stitch in this project!

I noticed after finishing the slipper in the video that I ended up with two slippers exactly the same, meaning that the strap on both slippers was made for the right foot. In order to get the strap to go in the other direction for the left foot, I think the simplest solution would be, when working the second slipper, to begin the last section on the left side of the slipper with the inside of the slipper facing you. Then the strap would be made on the right side of the slipper and it would be going the correct way for the left foot. Wow, that was confusing!

So I hope that this video helps Ginger, and anyone else who might want to give this pattern a try. If you need refreshers on any of the basic crochet stitches, you can check out my other crochet videos by clicking HERE and choosing from the list. I'd love to see what you make!

Happy Stitching!

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Quilted Frolic Purse

For months I've been telling myself that it is time for a new purse. My cinch sack that I've been using for almost two years was looking very tired. It had served me very well and I loved using it, but it was time to do the honorable thing and let it go. Remember the one I am talking about? THIS one that I made for when my daughter and I went to New York City back in May of 2010. It was so perfect for a trip like that and for all the many months between then and now.

I thought about designing one for myself. I've designed many bags and purses for other people, but I just wasn't getting inspired. Until last week when I took a trip to my favorite quilt shop, Cobblestone Quilts in Townsend, MA, and flipped through the latest issue of Quilts and More magazine. I was going to buy it anyway because I fell in love with Kate Spain's quilt that was on the cover, but as I was flipping through it, I found a pattern for what would become my new purse.

Wanna see it?

Quilted Frolic PurseSo springy, don't you think? I made it using leftover yardage from THIS baby quilt and some leftover scraps from one of the aprons I just showed the other day HERE. All the fabric is from the same line, Frolic by Sandy Gervais and I just love the colors.

Quilted Frolic PurseI follow Kate Spain's blog, The Drawing Board, and she talked about this magazine and her quilt on the cover of it a few weeks ago. I had been on the hunt for the magazine ever since! Little did I know that I would find the perfect pattern for my new purse in there too!

Quilted Frolic PurseI also love to use up scraps of fabric to make something useful, so this Scrap Lab feature in the magazine was perfect for me.

Quilted Frolic PurseI hardly ever follow a pattern exactly, even my own patterns! This one was no different. I added pockets on the inside and a strap with swivel hook for my keys, both very important features for keeping all my stuff organized.

Quilted Frolic PurseAnd I added an adjustable handle so that I could use it short and just sling it over my arm or shoulder, or I could use it long and put it over my head and have it cross over to the opposite side.

Quilted Frolic PurseI even added little gathered cuffs that slide over the handles to hide where the adjustable straps come together.

The only other change I made to the pattern was to make it a bit shorter from top to bottom than what was called for. I am quite short myself and I didn't really want my purse to be quite as tall, so I trimmed down the top of the bag, the flap and the lining by about 2 inches before putting them together and finishing the purse.

Now I'm ready for spring!

Happy Stitching!

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fun Fabric Aprons ~ Reversible too!

Recently I mentioned some aprons I had made and asked about your use of aprons in the kitchen. Some use them, some don't, some would like to but don't, some don't but know they should. I guess there's no right or wrong about wearing an apron when cooking or baking in the kitchen. I usually wear one, but sometimes I don't if I'm making something quick and easy that is not too messy.

I own three. One is solid red, single layer, hemmed edges with a pocket that I never use. I bought this one at Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston about 29 years ago when an old friend of mine came out from California to visit and we spent a day in Boston together. One is multi colored stripes and was a free gift for subscribing to Everyday Food magazine a few years ago. It's a nice enough apron, but has no sentimental value. Plus it's a bit stiff so it feels a little awkward to wear. But it does its job. The third apron I have was a swap gift from a kitchen swap I was in a few years ago with Adrienne from Some Of A Kind. It is made with quilter quality fabric, reversible, pockets on both sides, and has good coverage in both length and width. I like it a lot! The design on the fabric is a very modern pear design in browns and greens on one side and a coordinating bubble fabric on the other. She even made a matching hot pad to go with it! This is my favorite apron and the one I choose every time if it is available.

Here are the three I made recently...

Fun Fabric Aprons ~ Reversible too!As you can see, this one is reversible and has a pocket on each side. I love how colorful this fabric is!

Fun Fabric Aprons ~ Reversible too!And here it is from the other side.

Fun Fabric Aprons ~ Reversible too!All three aprons hanging together.

Fun Fabric Aprons ~ Reversible too!This one is so happy and cheerful, a good one to wear for early morning breakfast duty!

Fun Fabric Aprons ~ Reversible too!This one is made using two prints from the fabric line called Frolic by Sandy Gervais, one of my very favorite fabric designers for Moda. You'll see some of this fabric in another project I recently finished which I will be showing shortly!

Fun Fabric Aprons ~ Reversible too!And here's a close-up of that first apron with this wonderfully colorful print and the coordinating fabric to go with it.

Aprons are fun to wear and can be a real fashion statement! Each one of these would fit someone's personality and taste just perfectly. They will be heading over to my Etsy shop soon.

My sewing machine has been working overtime lately and I have a few more fun things to share, but if Blogger is behaving well tomorrow, I should have a new crochet video to help one of my readers who is stumped on a pattern she purchased. Be sure to come back and check it out!

Happy Stitching!

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Very Colorful Zippered Bags

These two colorful zipper bags have used up the last of my zippers! I think I am finished making these little bags for a while and I'm moving on to aprons! I'll show the three I made soon, but today have a look at these fun bags...

Did I mention they are quite colorful?

The zipper color matches the inside lining color on each bag. This one is a gorgeous peacock blue.

And this one is a cheerful yellow.

They will be heading over to my Etsy shop soon so you can visit them there!

Happy Stitching!

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