Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Snowman Update

There is no snow on the ground here in my part of Ontario. We've had a very mild winter, which has been kind of nice since I don't have to shovel mild weather.

The only snowmen around here are the ones on my design wall. I need to add two borders to this (that's what came in the kit), then get it basted and quilted. I'm still not sure how much I love it, but I am enjoying sewing it.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Slippers Galore

I see several alternative health practitioners. At all of them, in the winter, visitors are asked to remove outside footwear and slippers are provided. I don't mind taking off my boots or dirty shoes, and I really appreciate that slippers are available.

It turns out that at one of the places I go, people started taking the slippers - which were hand knit and warm. This is very bad karma. When I found out about it, I said I could knit some new slippers for the place and the owner and I struck a deal. She wanted slippers for kids, aged 3-10, since those were the sizes that were disappearing.

I found a pattern on ravelry.com for knit slippers for kids. It was simple enough and easy to follow and had a heel flap, which I think makes for a better fit. I figured out what sizes I needed to make and headed to Michael's for some yarn (and there was a sale on).

I bought yarn called Impeccable by Loops & Threads; it's 100% acrylic with a nice texture. I choose this yarn because (honestly) it was on sale as buy 1, get 1 (total cost for materials: $7.49 and I have lots left over), they had colours I liked, it was soft and not scratchy, there was more yardage per skein than a comparable brand, and it would wear well and be easy to wash and dry (because it's acrylic).

In total, I made 8 pair. Here are the smallest 4 - I forgot to get a photo of the other 4.

The red ones are about 4" long, and the turquoise 7-8" long. I think they were a hit because the receptionist, who has small feet, kept a pair aside for her to wear while at work.

The slippers stretch a lot, so if I was making them again, I'd go down a size maybe for a snugger fit.
Anybody who saw them said their grandma/aunt/mom made the same kind - if they've been around that long, the pattern is sound.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

I Got To Selfish Sewing

On the weekend I finished sewing on the binding of a quilt for my niece - I'll take some photos when the sun comes out again.

Then I dug into some sewing for myself. This is a quilt I started quite a while ago. I've had the kit for ages and am getting to it now.

I started with this this afternoon

The snowmen are appliqued on - I did it by hand and I'm happy with it. I've been worried about the blocks beneath - that they would be too dark for my liking.

This was a kit and there were some fabrics I didn't like at all, like this one
and luckily I had enough squares to remove these and replace them. The fabric is all flannel - I haven't sewn an all flannel quilt ever and there are a few challenges - namely getting that thick fabric under my foot with a 1/4" seam.

By supper time I had a few rows together and I'm liking it (I think)

I won't know if this is a keeper until the top is finished. I collect snowmen, so that part is awesome (and why I bought the kit in the first place), but the other colours aren't quite to my taste. I tried to sell the kit at Monday sewing but didn't get any takers. If I don't keep it, I have other fabric on hand that I would love to cut up into this pattern. I think it is a great pattern for a winter quilt.

I've decided to try doing more handwork this year. In the evenings I like to park myself on the couch and watch tv - and my machine isn't there. So I'm thinking of doing handwork in the evenings and machine work at other times. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Selfish Sewing Update

It seems to still be in the planning stages, as evidenced by this newborn toque and booties...

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

A Quick Finish

When my sister saw my sew together bag, she asked for one as a makeup brush case. Then she decided she wanted something smaller and more streamlined. When she was home before Christmas we decided on what she wanted regarding size and storage amount. I know next to nothing about makeup brushes - but I can sew.

I modified a knitting needle case I made myself and in a jiffy I'd whipped up this makeup brush case as a birthday present for my sister. The fabric is William Morris reproductions - my sister has this taste - not really me.

There is room for 8 brushes total, with 6 at 1.5" wide and 2 at 2.5" wide - this fits the brushes she has. I gave it to her yesterday and she seemed delighted. Mission accomplished.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Tying Up Some Loose Ends

These are two knit projects that I finally got finished - I just needed to add the pompoms.

This little set is for the grandchild of the head secretary at school, due to arrive in Feb. The little gaffer wouldn't reveal it's sex for the ultrasound so I used orange and cream.

These slippers are for my nieces. I wanted to try knitting some as a tester pattern and found an easy pattern on line. The littlest niece was all game for some and the bigger one came along too. They said they looked like Tinkerbell shoes, so I guess they are a success.

Friday, 1 January 2016

For Others, For Me

This is a two part post...

Part 1 - For Others

I was on sabbatical from my job from Feb - Sept of 2015. I did a lot of things during my time off, including a lot of sewing and making. Here's a summary, in no particular order:

baby quilt - gifted

2 of  8 cushion covers - gifted

scarf - for me

slippers - for me

table runner - for me

for baby - gifted

knitting needle cases - for me

whole cloth Welsh style quilt - gifted

mini quilt - donated to guild for raffle

pencil case - for me

wedding quilt - gifted

pillow cases - gifted

baby stuff - gifted
bench cushion - for me
swoon quilt - gifted
queen size quilt - gifted

baby stuff - gifted

I think it's a pretty impressive year of finishes. There are some other things I made, but those I was hired to make, so I didn't include them.

There is a blog I read written by the Yarn Harlot. She is fantastic - a knitter - and just before Christmas she said:
 "Knitting is, I have often said, a container for love. We work hard to make something for someone, pouring our time and energy and love into a tangible thing. When we hand knitting to someone, we’re hoping they’ll hear what we’re really saying, which is “I love you. I think you’re wonderful. I value your happiness, so much so that I’ve spent this time on you. My love is in this.”" (read the whole post here). 

I feel the same about anything handmade. We make things for the people we love, because we love them.

Part 2 - For Me

There is a sewing group I went to while I was on sabbatical - a great group of women who all had quilting/sewing in common. They are a supportive and friendly group and I really enjoyed sewing with them. Each week we would admire the work of everyone else. One of the first questions almost always asked is "who is that for?". It's like we assume it's not for ourselves - the thing is, a lot of the things these ladies make are not for themselves. They are for people they love - a tangible thing to show their love.

I've been thinking lately that I make a lot of things for other people, and not all that much for myself. Would you believe I don't have a quilt in my house that I made? It's true, and it's time to rectify that.

I like to set a word as a focus for a year - this year it's selfish. Not the negative kind of selfish, but the positive kind, where you look after yourself and make sure your own needs are met. Like the airlines tell you to put your own oxygen mask on first, so that you are able to help others. I need more of that in my life - I need some tangible things that remind me that I matter to me.

I'll still make things for other people, but I'm going to focus on making some quilts especially for me this year. I have a few in mind and will keep you posted.

Happy New Year!