Wednesday, 17 December 2014

A half-baked notion

The morning of my birthday, last month, I had the urge to crochet whilst waiting for Mr CA to get ready to take me to Jamie's Italian.  I was dressed and ready, just waiting for him which is always the way in our house.  I picked up 200 Crochet blocks by Jan Eaton and started working on a square.

This is no 197 - Fretwork.

As I was crocheting I came up with a half-baked notion of making a sampler blanket, using my stash of left-over oddments and this book.  A blanket made up of each square in the book, and maybe some more from other books or the internet.  

Later that week no 16 - Waterlily was born.  This is left overs from the wrist warmers I posted earlier in the week.

I'm not sure if my half-baked notion will come to fruition, but I might just keep crocheting a square as and when I feel like it and see what happens.  It will be a rainbow blanket, out of necessity, so I think if I keep the colours similar within squares (and add neutrals apparently), it should work out.  We will see.  Or not.

edited to add.  As I was adding the tag to this post, I saw there is already a tag for "granny sampler blanket".  It would appear this is not a new half-baked notion.  I have a vague memory of some other blocks from this book.... I'm off to investigate.

Monday, 15 December 2014

A couple of cards

It's hard to imagine now, but I used to be an avid card maker.  I spent all my free time making cards, but these days I hardly ever make any.  The silly thing is, that when I do make them, I enjoy it.  I think what stops me making more is having my craft room upstairs.  When I was at my card making peak, I lived in tiny little flats where I used the dining room table as my craft room.  With them being tiny little flats, the table was in the living room, pushed up against a wall with towers of storage on top.  I miss those days...

The quilled cherry blossom was made into a card in record time (for me).  I sent this off to Mr CA's nana (would that be Nana CA?) as a thank you for my birthday present.  I simply layered it up and added some brads in the corners.

This card was made from die cuts and a birthday cake candle and found its home with my dad for his birthday.  I needle-felted a card for my mum's birthday but neglected to take a photo.  I'll have to ask her to take on as I know she will have kept it.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Save the Stitches SAL

It's check in time for the Stitch ALong.  I'm stitching along with 9 other ladies, though we're all stitching on different projects, the SAL is to keep us motivated and moving along.  So am I and have I?

Here is where I was last week, this was block 13 on Elizabeth Almond of Blackwork Journey's Save The Stitches blackwork sampler.

And here is where I am now:

I have done half of block 14 and half of block 16 which is the row across the bottom.  When I've finished the pattern you can see I'm working on, I'll complete the metal thread stitching for these areas, then I need to move my QSnap to the right and carry on with blocks 14 and 16 and get block 15 done too.  I'll take a picture of where I'm at then too.  I seem to be averaging a block every 3 weeks so this is going to take me forever as I'm only half way through!

You can go and see what the other participants have been up to here:

Claire at Claire93's blog

Gun at Rutigt

Eleanor at Sun and Cake 

Alison at Minerva Handmade

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Wrist warmers

Guess what I made?  Yes, some wrist warmers!  When I get in my car in the winter, the steering wheel is always cold to the touch.  I could wear gloves but.... ladies and gentlemen, I know this always comes as a shock... I'm a smoker and you can't smoke in gloves.

Enter the wrist warmer...

The little holes are for my thumbs and I don't do all those buttons up every time I put them on, I just slip them on.  I used this free pattern by Sandra Paul of Cherry Heart and it worked out great.

I used the only buttons I could find a set of, which was these mismatched painted ones.  They don't match, but they do sort of go together.  I'm not sure I like them on these wrist warmers, but they're covered by my coat sleeve anyway.

I'd love to tell you what yarn I used to crochet these, but I honestly can't remember.  I do know it was superwash, so I can put them in the wash.  I make a point of never having a photo of me on my blog as I hate photos of myself, so this is all you will see of me.  Don't I have odd thumbs?

p.s. comments about how I should quit smoking are not welcome!  I am fully aware of the dangers and what it does to me, but right now, with my mental health the way it is, it's not the right time to put myself through quitting.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

orange peel qal

I'm still chugging along on the Orange Peel QAL.

Orange Peel Quilt-Along!

I managed to get all my peels appliquéd and I even avoided a hole in my finger by finally getting used to wearing a thimble.  I have to wear it on the ring finger of my left hand (I'm left handed) as I find myself pushing the needle through with the side of my nail.  Without a thimble, the needle eye sinks into the space between nail and flesh.  Gross and painful.

The next task was to trim the blocks down and sew them together.  We deliberately made the blocks oversized at 6" so they could be trimmed down.  I read the instructions, then took this project with me to the next meeting of the East Midlands Modern Quilt Group where I promptly forgot the instructions and cut them all down to 5.5" which I think is a shade too small. 

Some of them took some major trimming down and were often sewn on at a funny angle, so I'm glad we did it that way.  I thought sewing them together would be a nightmare, and it was.  I had to unpick and sew loads, though I was only aiming for workable and not perfection!

The finished quilt is pretty big, for a mini.  If the blocks are 5" finished, there are 6 rows and 6 columns so that means it must be 30" square?  Give that girl a prize for her maths there...  Next stage is to quilt it.  I might attempt some FMQ in the backgrounds, not sure what I'll do for the actual peels.  Any suggestions?

Related posts

first update
appliquéing peels

Sunday, 7 December 2014

How a mistake can be a design element

A while ago I made a little dragonfly pendent from Swarovski elements and crystals.  I needed a necklace to hang it on and decided to attempt the Russian Spiral  from Seed Bead Stitching by Beth Stone.

I messed it up.  The design uses size 8/0 and size 11/0 seed beads.  Size 8/0 is the larger bead.  I got them confused and so my spiral turned out larger, and less spirally...  I noticed about a third of the way in, so thought I'd have a go at doing it the right way round to make a kind of focal point.

I really like it!  I prefer the smaller spiral, both the way it looks and the colours (I know they're the same colours, but the white stands out more in this central part), but overall I like the change between the chunkier spiral and the more delicate one.

My only issue now is that I don't have any clothes that gold goes with!  Why did I choose that colour scheme?

Linking up to the Craft Book Sew along

Craft Book Sew Along at Live. Love. Create.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Christmas cards

Well check me out, I'm organised for Christmas already!  OK, so that's not strictly true as I've done nothing else to organise, just made my cards, but that's a good start.

I used my Sizzex Big Shot to cut out the Joy, tree and stocking motifs from funky foam.  I did a set of each in two different colours, then swapped parts of them over.  

Each motif is backed with a square of patterned paper and the tree has some tiny jewels added.

I used some of the cut out parts to make a square card using three complimentary colours of tree and a single joy.

Simple, quick, done!  Now I just have to remember to write in them and actually post them...