Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Stitchin' in 2012!, originally uploaded by Lucy & Norman.

I've felt like I didn't get quite as much accomplished craft-wise this year as I had hoped for, but when you put it this way, I suppose it was a fair amount considering I also made this one, my favorite FO of 2011:

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and crafty 2012!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Holiday Crunch

I'm alive! Really, I am! I know it's been ages since I've posted and I miss it. I mean to sit down and write a blog post every day, really I do, and then, well, I just don't.

It's nearing the end of the year and I'm sort of falling into my normal introspective, reflective mode. This has been a very busy and exciting year for me, full of so many life changes, and crafting has really had to take a backseat. I most definitely underestimated how much more time another little one would take away from my creative pursuits (well worth it, of course). I've gone through periods of frustration when I can't dive into my sewing room as much as I'd like, but I think now I've come to peace with it and I'm just trying to enjoy my little girls as much as I can. Just popping in to work on a project for 15 minutes or pet some fabric helps. Of course the big move also took every minute of spare time for the last few months to pack, deal with the house closing and then unpack, but we're really getting all settled in now, loving our new house and I'm looking forward to a nice, calm period after the holidays.

And can you believe Christmas is almost here? I need more time! I have managed to finish a few holiday gift knits. This one is my favorite - the Avery Cowl for my mom. I knit this from quite possibly the world's perfect yarn, 100% Aran cashmere from the Plucky Knitter. Luckily it's a fun and easy pattern because I have at least two more of these to knit, one for my mother in law (she will be getting a beautiful green half-knit cowl wrapped up with an IOU note!) and I won't be able to resist one for myself too of course :)

I also knit this hat for my little brother. I think it's a perfect 'guy hat'. The pattern is Windschief by Stephen West, and the yarn is madelinetosh Vintage in Mare. 

I've got another hat almost finished up for my dad, a quilt to bind for another brother and some place mats and napkins to finish up for Mark and I think I'm done with gift crafting. As much as I enjoy giving hand made, I think next year I'm swearing it off! Too much pressure and I'm just too slow. I always like to pretend I can knit five times faster than I can. If only.

I did make this pretty cowl for myself last month-

This pattern is called Millwater - a great pattern if you're new to cables, and very wearable. I hardly take it off. The yarn is another favorite base, Plucky Knitter Primo Worsted in the color Vogue.

I wish I had a cute holiday photo of the girls to share with you, but it was all I could do to even get them dressed up to see Santa the other day. A trip that, by the way, was a complete disaster. No Santa photos for us this year! 

I'm so happy I was able to pop in and say hello. I'll be off now to try to cram about a month's worth of holiday preparations into these next three days and try to relax while doing it. I hope you are all well and eating lots of baked goodies - that's the top of my agenda today!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The October Post

I realize it's been a really looooong time since I've posted, but I have a lot to share, so I apologize in advance for the lengthy post.

It's one of those pretty perfect autumn days. Sure, it's pouring down rain, but that just gives me even more of an excuse to stay inside and bake, knit and sew.  October has always been one of my favorite months here in the Northwest, the days starting long and warm and then turning dark but cozy at the end of the month. This October has gone by more quickly than I could believe, but a lot has been going on around here! We finally bought a house! It's set to close next month, and while it's been extremely stressful dealing with all the red tape (which I'm sure you know all about if you've ever bought a home) it's so exciting! And yes, there will even be a sewing room for me:)  

So in between all the boxes and packing I've even managed to finish a quilt top. It feels good to work on something so simple and satisfying. It's just a tumbler pattern, but made with lots of my favorite prints from the cream-beige-brown-black-blue-red color palette I'm currently obsessed with.

I'm hoping to mop the floor of this house one final time tomorrow before we move so I can baste the top, and hopefully have a finished quilt to show off soon.

I did actually finish a new sweater for me this week too! My brother took a few goofy shots of me outside yesterday before the torrential rains set in.

The cardigan is called Golden Wheat by the fabulous Veera Valimaki. It was an absolute pleasure to knit in this madelinetosh merino/cashmere/nylon blend and I see it becoming a real wardrobe staple. I'm really pleased with how this came out, which is not always the case with everything I knit. The color is called Cousteau, in case you were wondering.

And it's not really fall to me until I've baked some Harvest Squash Bread. These loaves turned out perfectly today, and one of them will be off to our winery for the crush crew tomorrow.

Mark has been crazy busy with wine harvest right now. Making wine is a ton of dirty grunt work so it's awesome to see him getting such great recognition, like in the latest issue of Wine & Spirits magazine. Mark Ryan Winery was named one of the Top 100 Wines in the World in 2011!

And of course I have to show off the little people. It's amazing I'm getting anything done with these two around. Between potty training and chasing one very busy two year old, and nursing this baby the crafting hours are few and far between (and if anyone has tips for getting a baby to take a bottle please bring it on!). My saving grace is that Olivia still likes to nap quite a bit, so if I can time the two naps together some sewing gets done - housework can wait, right?

Olivia is almost 18 weeks old and I can hardly believe how fast the time has gone by.

So that's what's going on around here. I promise I'll have more quilty/crafty stuff to show you again someday, but thanks for hanging in there with me in the meantime:)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Goodbye September!

Lack of sleep has left me feeling a bit unintelligent lately, so instead of a wordy post, I'll leave you with a  few pictures of some things that have been occupying my time.

My Maple Leaf Rag - halfway there!

Vanadium Cardigan - actually finished back in July, but I've forgotten to show it off here. So soft!

My Wispy Cardigan. This little sweater took FOREVER!

My Coastal Hoodie in progress - my first stripes!

And this sweet little girl. I can hardly believe she's already 13 weeks old!

Happy First of October everyone!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Blog Break

I just wanted to pop in and let you know all is well! I realize it's been a long time since I've been around, but sewing has come to a screeching halt (don't worry, I'm not pregnant again!) so I haven't really had a lot to show and tell.
Instead, I've been goofing around with these guys (please excuse our disheveled, 'I-don't-care-I'm-on-vacation' appearance). We took a much-needed, first family of four vacation to a beachfront rental house near Cannon Beach, Oregon last week. Despite some serious fog we enjoyed perfect end of summer 70 degree weather and spent lots of time trying to keep Lucia from running head-long into the ocean. Other than that we ate ourselves silly - I think I ate fish and chips on four different occasions and consumed half a pound of salt water taffy! - and I actually went to bed before nine o'clock a few of the nights. I did get some good knitting time in, especially on the road. I finished a fingering weight cardigan I'll be able to show you as soon as I get some photos taken.

Harvest time for wine grapes is right around the corner, so it was great for Mark to get to spend a little time with the girls before his schedule gets crazy for a few weeks. If you want to check out a bit about our winery, we finally just got our new Mark Ryan Winery website up and running, which is very exciting considering the one we had up before was such an embarrassment. Now we're looking sort of pro! And we also just got named one of the Top 100 Wineries for 2011 by Wine & Spirits magazine!! That's one of the top 100 in the whole world!

So between all of this and trying to manage a quickly growing infant (she's getting so cute and starting to do all that sweet cooing! Pictures soon!) and this girl who is smack in the middle of the terrible twos (but so much fun to watch learn about her world at lightning speed!) I have had very little time in my sewing room. I'm hoping to carve out a few hours this week, though. I can feel the lure of my Maple Leaf Rag scrap quilt calling. 

I hope you all have a lovely, relaxing weekend with a little crafty time carved out for yourself, too.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I've just listed everything I'm letting go of in my effort to make some space and sanity in my sewing studio! There are some great gems in these bundles, perfect for stash enhancement. Don't forget, 10% off with code CRAFTFRIEND at check out.

This way to the goodies -

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Farmer's Lady Friend and a Destash!

Wow, I've been a lazy blogger! Well, I have had my hands a bit full with little people, but I started these blocks even before Olivia was born and never even photographed them. I wanted to join the Farmer's Wife Quilt-along from the beginning when my friends Amanda and Angela announced they were starting the group. But they are already in week 14 and I haven't exactly progressed much with my mere six blocks. So that's why I'm the Farmer's Lady Friend for now. No strings, just fun, and we'll see if I feel like making a bigger commitment in the future.

The blocks are a ball to make - at least the simple ones I've started with have been. I pulled all these fabrics from my stash to work with, all in shades of red, blue, brown, tan, cream and black. I'm loving this palette and I'm thinking of using Quilter's linen in charcoal as my sashing.

And here's a heads up that I'll be listing a big de-stash this week if time allows. I've been feeling the weight of my ginormous stash lately, especially with my limited available sewing hours and our tight household quarters, so I'm having to say a bittersweet goodbye to some loved fabrics who need a home where they will be used. These will be mostly all bundles, a few really big assorted ones full of treasures and maybe a few more designer bundles (my Freshcut stash is already listed here).

I'll post here, on Twitter and Flickr as soon as they're ready to be listed. You can all use the code CRAFTFRIEND for an additional 10% off:) 

Friday, August 5, 2011

WIP Wednesday *ahem* Friday

ETA- Please excuse me for not knowing what day of the week it is! It's been a little crazy around here. Olivia is growing like a cute little weed but experiencing a bit of tummy problems, resulting in hours of trying to soothe her. Lucy, being two, is behaving as such - and maybe finally exhibiting a bit of jealousy toward her new sister. Top that off with all kinds of potty training fun and you have one tired mama. Mark has been a big help but I think it's taking a little toll on both of us - so much so that we both forgot our wedding anniversary until the evening before! Oh, well, I guess this is all to be expected and at least we are managing to have some fun in between temper tantrums, colicky bouts and diaper changes.

Crafting is the main thing keeping me sane right now, even if it's just a half an hour squeezed in here or there. Here's a progress shot of my latest quilting obsession - my Maple Leaf Rag WIP. I just absolutely adore working on this in the little snippets of time my girls are allowing me, and it's incredibly satisfying to use up so many scraps from all my left over projects. Sorry for the crappy dark photo, but the lighting in my studio is really harsh. But at the rate this is going I'll have a quilt top to show you within a month or two. The pattern is one from the lovely Sarah Fielke in the book Material Obsession 2, and if you are like me and drowning in scraps I highly recommend it. It even uses all those odd-shaped teeny tiny ones. I think it's seriously the most fun I've ever had piecing a quilt top, and I'm quite sure it's going to end up being my most favorite quilt I've made yet.

I'm getting in as much knitting time as I possibly can also and the sweater kick is still going strong. I'm going to need a bigger closet to hold all the sweaters I have planned! My latest is a pattern called
Vanadium, which is a pleasure to knit and I think will get tons of wear. I'm using a delicious madelinetosh alpaca merino sport weight yarn in a color way called Black Velvet. I took this photo last week and I should finish it up hopefully by tomorrow.

I hope you all have a good weekend with lots of crafting and sunshine. Please wish me happy babies and long naps:)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A New Start

I am happy to say that after all this time, my sewing mojo has returned. It had been sad for me the last few months before Olivia's arrival that I had no physical stamina to get down to it in the sewing room and left me feeling a bit guilty every time I would go in to visit and pet my beloved yet neglected fabric stash. And so I am quite pleased with my rapid recovery and newly found inspiration!

After wading through countless UFOs that need my attention, I found I was overwhelmed with the sheer magnitude of some of my projects (what was I smoking when I started THREE king sized quilts?) or just not turned on by others (picking up my single girl seemed too fussy; the quilt-as-you-go-blocks were just not speaking to me). So I decided to shelve it all for now, let go of the UFO guilt and do what I really wanted to do - start a shiny new quilt.

Since I hadn't been able to sew for such a long while I spent a lot of time pouring over my quilting books, and each time I'd come back to the glorious Maple Leaf Rag scrap quilt from Material Obsession 2 (if you haven't checked this book out yet - do it). Not only is it just the thing I need creatively at the moment, it will vacuum up beautifully the metric ton of scraps I've been hoarding. These crazy fabric diamonds or 'kites' are the first step in piecing the Maple Leaf Rag. I'm having a ball diving into my scrap dumpster and sewing all these bits together - I need 128 kites total and I'm already over halfway there.

Hooray for new projects! I'm off to go work on it now while Lucy and Olivia show me the sweet courtesy of napping simultaneously.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Lovely Gifts from Lovely Friends

Look who is asleep on the job again! My little model isn't being very cooperative, but she is still very happy about her new gifts. This baby, by the way, is making up for all the uncomfortableness of my pregnancy by being just the sweetest angel imaginable. When she isn't sleeping, she's eating or just cuddling. Lucky me. (ETA: I wrote this a few days ago. We have since encountered the dreaded middle of the night cluster feedings. Oh well, at least she gave me a break for the first two weeks!)

One of the biggest rewards I get from blogging, Twitter, Flickr and Ravelry are the friendships I've formed with kindred spirits who share common interests. Chawne has continually wowed and inspired me with all of her diverse creative pursuits from knitting to crocheting to spinning to quilting. Not to mention we have a seemingly shared appetite for the finer foods in life (okay, and maybe even some of the not-so-fine ones - Reese's eggs and tater tots anyone?) So when I received this package in the mail last week, I knew it would be good but I almost fell over from the loveliness of this quilt she made for Olivia. Perfectly pink improv patchwork in all shades with her signature lettering of Olivia's name. She even sent along some hand-dyed yarn and fabric for me to play with! Thank you again, C, we adore this quilt. (Chawne has a post on her blog about it here if you'd like to see more).

I've already had the pleasure of sharing with you this adorable little sweater hand-knit for Olivia by the generous, sweet and talented Kaye of Miss Print. She sent it a few months ago and I could hardly wait to try it on our new girl! The weather has been dreary and cool here since she was born so we've already gotten in quite a few wears before she outgrows it. Isn't it the cutest on her? I just love the bright yellow shade Kaye chose. Thank you again, Kaye, she has gotten many compliments on her tiny sweater!

I hope you all have a great week. I'll be back soon, my sewing mojo has finally returned so I'll have something quilty to share with you soon!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Olivia Report

I guess it's high time I introduced you to the newest member of our family! Olivia Grace came to meet us  at 6:41 PM on June 27th at a big, strong 8.13 pounds and 20 inches long. She is one week old now and settling in beautifully. So far she is such an easy baby! Lots of sleeping, great at nursing and quite a snuggly little thing too.
Lucy is just madly in love. All my anxiety surrounding this transition was unwarranted. Lucy is sweet and gentle toward her baby sister and not a bit jealous. And it looks like Mark is doing just fine surrounded by girls and all their accoutrements as well. 

So I'm getting lots of rest and cuddle time and did I tell you yet how happy I am NOT to be pregnant anymore??? Little Olivia was all worth the uncomfortable pregnancy and less than fun labor & delivery, but I like her much more on the outside where I can kiss this sweet little face.

Friday, June 24, 2011

We're Ready!

Well, we're as ready as we're ever going to be! Olivia Grace will be here by Monday the 27th of June for certain unless she decides to make an appearance on her own. In the meantime, I will be mentally preparing, knitting, carb loading for labor energy (read: excuse to have Mark make me pasta) and getting one last trigger point massage to hopefully get things going.
I don't know if you can ever be ready for labor, but I feel oddly relaxed about it. Maybe I'm just to the point where I've had it up to my eyeballs with pregnancy. Carrying around a nine pound baby is difficult and not just mildly uncomfortable, to say the least! And of course, I'm ready to meet our new sweet little girl and excited to watch our family grow and change.

I've only managed to make a few hand-made items for Livie, including a minkee-backed Little Folks blanket (love the idea of minkee, sewing with it not so much), another voile receiving blanket, some terry cloth burpies and bibs. The teeny tiny sweater I knit for her may still be a bit too big for her to wear home from the hospital. It's a really simple, quick knit called the Small Things Sweater - great for last minute baby gifts. I used only one skein of madelinetosh dk in the color Gossamer I had left over from another project. It still needs buttons so I had better get moving on that.

I will truly have a new baby to show off to you when I see you here again! Hope you all can handle lots of baby pictures because I have a feeling that's what you'll be getting:)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Wow! I finished a quilt!

I've finally finished baby Olivia's play mat quilt! I got the piecing done rather quickly, and soon afterwards almost completely lost my sewing mojo. But it's all finished now, and I think it will look even better with a sweet little baby girl resting in the middle, don't you?

The pattern is called the Sixth Times a Charm from Anna Maria Horner's book Handmade Beginnings. I loved pulling all sorts of girly prints from my stash in hues of pink and yellow to slice into strips. But I must say, I was in complete shock of the amount of waste leftover and after cutting my first set of triangle components, I looked for another way to pull it off. Rachel has a great post here about her method of reducing scrappage. Even after making alterations, I couldn't even bare the thought of trimming this hexagon into a traditional rectangle quilt and leaving so many precious prints behind with no purpose. So in the end I decided to leave it in this shape, and actually I think it will get a lot of use this summer outdoors under a shady tree.

The quilting is minimal, and honestly I would've liked to have done more but my time at the sewing machine is extremely limited these days and this one just needed to be finished.  I'm trying now to work on bibs and burp cloths for the baby, which is proving to be a difficult task these days. Sitting at the sewing machine is do-able, but standing up cutting fabric and ironing leaves me feeling woozy and ill. But hopefully it won't be long now. I'm 37 weeks along, already dialated and the doctor thinks this girl is already tipping the scales at 7 1/2 pounds. Time to come out baby girl! So needless to say, I'm hoping my next blog post is one to show off our new addition to the family:)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

36 Weeks in Ecuador

Hi everyone! I've missed you. I really haven't meant to stay away this long, but truly there has been nothing to report. And in a lot of ways, it's been nice to take a blog break. It's getting me ready for the inevitable one to come once baby Olivia gets here.
So here I am at 36 weeks - in one of the few photos I've allowed of myself this end of the pregnancy. As you've heard me complain before, I've been feeling a bit less than sexy so photo shoots are not something I find enjoyable. But I thought I owe you a belly shot and I needed to show off the project that's been occupying me this month.
This is a test knit I just completed for the talented designer Joji, and also my entry for the Madtosh May Sweater Knit-along. The pattern is called Ecuador and has just gone on sale, available on Ravelry. It's a circular design sweater with lots of drape using a loose fabric knit from a light fingering weight yarn. I used madelinetosh merino light for mine, in the Calligraphy color way. I'm not the fastest knitter in the world, and this one took many, many hours for me to complete so I'm very happy that I'm quite pleased with the way it came out. Right now it makes me look like a bit of an orbiting planet but I think I'll love it once I lose the tummy. I also took some photos of my cousin modeling it, if you'd like to see what it looks like on a non-gigantically-pregnant woman. My Ravelry project page is here.

Now is the part where I sit and wait in between big bursts of nesting energy. The first one hit last weekend and my house is nice and clean and organized but it completely wiped me out. I'm hoping for a few more before baby arrives so I can finish all her bedding, swaddling blankets, bibs and burp cloths. I'm just now hand-sewing the binding on her quilt so I'll have that to share with you this week, too.

It looks like she could come anytime after this week. I'm measuring almost two weeks ahead, and because Lucy was such a big girl (nine pounds two ounces and not exactly an easy birth experience!) my doctor is not intending on letting this baby get that big. And trust me when I tell you that every one around me would like her to make an appearance sooner rather than later. I'm afraid they are all a little sick of my bitchy mood and constant whining. But you know, when you can't even make it through a trip to the grocery store, you have constant body parts jabbing into your lungs making it painful to breathe and have a whole other list of unmentionable symptoms, who can blame a girl for wanting it to be over? I know a lot of you have been right there with me!

Much love to you all, and please keep posting all the lovely sewing eye candy for me to drool over while my own machine sits in nearly complete hibernation.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Spring Baby Quilt and some thoughts

This has got to be the fastest little quilt project I have ever completed. My very dear friend gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl last week and because she chose not to find out the sex of the baby beforehand I didn't have any handmade gifts for her. So after visiting the tiny little babe and exhausted mama in the hospital I went home, found a rare burst of energy and busted out this simple patchwork.

I am proud of myself for using only stash items, including pieced batting scraps and a Dream On print I had just lying around. I chose springy, girly hues of yellow, pink, green and blue from my stash, cut into five inch squares, free-motion quilted and hand bound with a sweet little Minny Muu print. I have to say,  I miss my basting spray more than ever these days, as is evident in the little pucker in the corner there. But that's luckily nothing a quick spin in the washer and dryer won't cure.

Now it's really time to get sewing something for my own baby girl on the way!

I never got a chance to share with you the finished Tiny Tea Leaves sweater I knitted for Lucy. This was such a fun, quick knit and I think it will get lots of wear. I'm almost finished with the grown-up sized one I'm knitting for my mom's Mother's Day gift, and already I'm plotting one for myself. Good thing my mom is much smaller than me or I'd have a hard time giving it up!

So, I really wasn't sure if I was going to address this subject here, and even though I don't have much more to add to than is beautifully stated by my lovely friends Katy, Amanda, Kaye and Monica, I feel as though I should make a statement of my own. I know some of you are saying "huh? what is she talking about?" and I don't really want to re-hash or go back and refer to the original sources. What I will say is that there has been way too much negativity and inane bickering floating around in this quilt-y blog land lately. There are real people out there with real feelings being very hurt by bloggers and commenters. I feel very strongly that this has absolutely no place in this creative crafting community, and it has me gnashing my teeth and my defensive claws coming out. My personal stance is from the "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all". This does not include solicited constructive criticism. Rachel wrote a great follow-up post here which I plan to incorporate into my own commenting etiquette. I feel like I'm preaching to the choir here, however, as I have never received anything but support, love and encouragement from all of you here.

Along the same lines was brought to my attention that many folks have strong feelings and are fed up with what they perceive as snobby bloggers who only want to present their perfect lives, bloggers who are driven only by sponsors and running up their numbers, bloggers who just post gluttonous pictures of fabric purchases and bloggers who can't even take the time to answer a comment. I was shocked and saddened by this sentiment. In my experience, every blogger just wants to share and present their work in the most inspiring way possible, and some are just trying to make a living. Maybe they don't show you every glitch in the process along the way because they sell their quilts! And I don't know about you, but I always enjoy seeing a beautiful new stack of fabric and seeing what new line one of my friends has fallen for. Perhaps a blogger doesn't ever tell you the mundane or painful or messy parts of their lives because their blog is the place where they get away from all of that. I know I edit out the piles of laundry and dirty dishes out of all my photos, not because I'm trying to paint a perfect picture of my life - which is far from perfect! - but because frankly I don't find that particularly inspiring! I really do try to answer as many comments as I can, but please know that if I don't always get to it, I still read every thoughtful response and truly treasure them all. You guys are what keeps me blogging!

I know it was mostly unnecessary to say this aloud to most of you, and that it's all coming out like the unintelligible ramblings of an exhausted pregnant lady. Let's just remember that we all love to create and share. I know I wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for all the beautiful creations by others I see every day.There is too much sadness in this world, why don't we keep our little corner of the universe a happy, supportive, positive place we can go to get away from it all.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Slow and not so steady

It actually looks like a bit of spring here today! I apologize for the wrinkly, untrimmed photo of my new quilt top, but around here you have to run outside quickly at the first glimpse of sun if you want to get any outdoor photos. The rain is scheduled to come back in just a few hours.

I've been experiencing a bit of guilt over the lack of handmade items I have made for the new baby - it seems like Lucy had a million little things by this time in my pregnancy with her. But, in all fairness not only was there the absence of a toddler to chase around back then, but I also enjoyed a fairly easy pregnancy the first go 'round. Not so this time. I know I should just buck up and focus on the fact that I have a healthy little girl growing right along, which of course makes me overjoyed, but I am finding that  having to spend a lot more time off my feet and away from my sewing machine is extremely frustrating.

But enough complaining. I did manage to finish this quilt top for the new baby before I became plagued with another round of pregnancy symptoms that benched me again. It's based on The Sixth Times a Charm quilt from Anna Maria Horner's Handmade Beginnings book. I'll give you my thoughts and ideas about the design as soon as I get it all quilted and ready to show you the whole thing.

I've still been knitting away like crazy - the Snowbird sweater I'm knitting for myself is taking awhile, but it's getting there. I also just cast on another Tea Leaves Cardigan, this time one for my mom for Mother's Day. She loves blue and looks great in it, so I had to pounce on this absolutely gorgeous madelinetosh merino/cashmere worsted yarn in the Laurent color way. It's sheer delicious pleasure to knit with. No stalling on this project, it must be done by May 8th!

I have to share this beautiful gift I received in the mail yesterday for our little lady on the way. It was knit by none other than the talented, generous, sweet Kaye Prince of Miss Print. Can you even believe it? Thank you, thank you again Kaye, I just can't wait to button her up in this wee little sweater!

I caught a look at my shadow this morning - wow, that bump is getting big! I'm thirty weeks today!

Before I go, I wanted to let you know there is still a fun giveaway coming - I'm working on a little project to share with it so it's been delayed due to my lack of machine time! Also, I wanted to thank you all for the interest in the Knitting Needle Clutch recipe/tutorial. That is coming too, hopefully sooner than later. 

I hope you all have a great Easter weekend - I'll be quietly turning the big 3-5 while dyeing Easter eggs and filling Lucy's Easter basket! The doc has me off candy and sweets for now (boo! hiss!) so please don't tell anyone when if you see me stuffing my face with Reese's Peanut butter eggs and cupcakes:)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Patchwork Needle Clutch

Hooray! I sewed something! It's small and may have taken me a lot longer than usual, but I feel quite accomplished to have finished a project on my machine, considering the circumstances. For the last two years, my poor knitting needles have been a jumbled mess residing in a plastic bag. I've had to hunt for the correct size and type of needles every time I start a new project. No more! Now I have this cute little clutch to stow them all away in neatly and even take on the go.

I used many of my favorite prints, including lots of scraps, along with my new favorite solid, Robert Kaufman Quilter's Linen in charcoal. Little half square triangles make up a zig-zag pattern for the outside of the case, folded in thirds, (I still need to add a button)

and the inside has twelve pockets made for holding all my circular and double pointed needles. I just love it! There are a few changes I would make to the design next time, making it just a bit taller and adding a top flap which would double as a zip pouch for holding other knitting supplies. I may consider writing up a little "recipe" if anyone is interested in making one for themselves.

Quite a few good things have come in the mail lately. I must admit I have long been suffering from solid fabric phobia.  It is a point that is severely lacking in my stash and also, I believe, in my finished quilt designs. I have attempted to cure this by joining the Pink Chalk Solid of the Month Club. My first shipment did not disappoint! The month of April theme is jewel tones, mostly in the form of Free Spirit solids. The color saturation and hand on these is wonderful, and I'm sure they will soon become my go-to solid choice. I also had to pick up a copy of Modern Log Cabin Quilting by Susan Beal. The beautiful quilt on the cover was enough to sell me, but the inside is chock-full of gorgeous, inspiring projects too.

And I'll leave you with a little Tuesday morning rainbow. Even if yarn isn't your thing, you have to admit these beauties from Wollmeise are quite the eye candy, don't you?

I'll be back soon, hopefully with an actual quilt to show you! I'm feeling a bit better the last week, limiting my sewing time to an hour and a half in the evenings, so progress is slow but steady. And also stick around for a very exciting giveaway coming for you!!!