Friday, March 16, 2018

More Afghans Crocheted

Even when I'm not quilting, or writing on my blog, my fingers are usually active.  Here are some of the baby afghans I've made recently.  In December I took quite a few of them to the Project Santa people here in my town, to be distributed to people who need them.

This one was made to use up all my little leftover pieces of yarn.  I think I like how it turned out!

For this one, I just happened to have a variegated yarn with light blues and greens in it, and it just happened to go with some leftover blue and green yarns I had.

And then the fun of crocheting with variegated yarn.  I added a little interest by leaving some "holes" in a few of the rows.

This bright pink afghan is made using double crochet.  I left blank stitches ("holes") very randomly throughout the afghan.

Another fun variegated yarn.

I varied big and little stitches for this one.

And more. . .

and more. . . 

. . . and more.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Aprons For Two Fish Bakery

Last week I spent a lot of my time sewing aprons.  I've mentioned before that I make aprons for Margaret at TwoFish Bakery.  I really enjoy making these aprons.  Choosing two fabrics for each apron is a big part of the fun.

This one looks like jelly beans!  I don't usually choose a solid fabric for an apron, but this blue went so well with the colorful jelly beans.

This lovely lemon fabric was left over after I made the "food baby quilt" for little GranddaughterStitches when she was first born.  

This last one is bread fabric!  I found it at my local quilt shop, The Loft.  Most appropriate for a bakery, I think.

And here is Margaret with the aprons.  She was so happy that she put on all three!

These aprons really are fun to make, especially when I get into the groove and make several.  My paper pattern is beginning to show wear though, with lots and lots of pin holes.  So I traced the pattern onto some pattern-tracing pellon.  This will make it last much longer.

* * * * *

Then on Friday I went to a quilting work day with some members of my Quilt Guild.  We were working on things to sell at our fund raisers.  And I had some Christmas fabric, so I made--guess what--more aprons!

I think they came out quite nice.  The red fabric has a very small white dot pattern on it.  The only difference in these aprons is that they have no pockets.  Margaret insists on having pockets on her aprons.  (Personally, I don't!)  But I had misplaced the pattern piece for the pockets.  I know I could have just made a square pocket, instead of the curved one in the pattern, but without pockets these aprons went together lickety-split fast!

They are all ready to be sold!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Retreat 2018

Wow, it has been a long break I've taken here from blogging!  I was kept pretty busy during January rehearsing for a mystery play, written by MisterStitches himself!  It was done locally, at Gualala Arts Center, as a dinner theater.  One scene was performed, then people were given appetizer, then another scene, followed by a salad, yadda, yadda, yadda.

That was a very busy time, with rehearsals every day and sometimes on weekends.  We had lots of visitors for the play, too.  DaughterStitches and family (3), SonStitches and family (3), MomStitches (1), and some friendStitches (2).  (Did that last thing work?!?)

Immediately after the play--the very next day--MomStitches and I left for my guild's annual retreat, held in beautiful downtown Healdsburg, at a very nice hotel.  It was fun having MomStitches with me this year.  So along with the play, I had a lot of work to do getting the retreat ready, too.  I would set my timer for 30 minutes and practice my lines.  Then I'd set it for 30 minutes and work on retreat stuff.  Repeat, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I took some preparatory pictures, mostly of the car as MisterStitches had packed it for us, so we would be able to get everything back into the car for the trip home.  

As you can see, just about every square inch of space was used.  And I'm very glad I took these photos, as they definitely helped us pack the car for the trip home!

Here is a photo of the 24 of us together, just before dinner on the last night.  (I'm actually missing one person, in case you counted, as she had to leave early.  Next year, note to self to take group photo on a night when everyone is there!)

This is one of the projects I worked on at retreat.  Quilting this comfort quilt.  I had found these blocks already sewn, in our guild's fanny basket.  So I put them together, added a couple borders and did the quilting at retreat.

Of course, I forgot to take photos of most of the little personal touches I provided at the retreat, like the pretty ribbon bookmark/paper clips, and the signs labelling each table as "Jan's Creative Space."  They liked those.  And I also had some print-outs placed in various places around the room, and I do have photos some of them.

I usually have some optional projects for people to work on at retreat, if they feel like it.  The first one was this apron made out of a man's shirt.  Some of the people made these.

And this is a quick quilt-as-you-go table runner. 

More Later!!!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

A Little of This, A Little of That

What have I been up to?  Well, quite a bit actually, leaving little time to blog.  Here are some samples of what I've been doing.

I sewed several dog beds to take to the local animal shelter.  People give me their fabric scraps and I sew them into "pillows" for dogs and/or cats.  Sometimes I'm able to find some good scrap fabric to use for the casing.  Here you can see that I used some Giants "rally towels" (actually four of them) to make one of the beds.  The blue bed is a sweatshirt turned inside out, the bottom band and arms/neck cut off, then sewn into a rectangle and stuffed.

I took three beds a couple weeks ago, and I have three more to take now.

Something that is taking a lot of my time, but I don't have a picture to show you, is rehearsals for a mystery dinner theater in which I'm playing a part.  This is the third year in a row that MisterStitches has written a play, drawing on our local area for ideas.  This one is called Diving For Abalone.  Rehearsals and learning/practicing lines takes a lot of time.  It will be performed the first weekend in February.  

And the day after the play closes, I will head to Healdsburg for my guild's annual quilt retreat.  This is a lot of fun to plan and think about, and of course, a lot of fun to implement!  I made up this easy, quilt-as-you-go table runner as a sample, in case anyone wants to make this at retreat.  Even the binding was sewn entirely by machine to make it super quick!

I found instructions (thank you, Pinterest!) on how to make an apron from a man's shirt, so I made one for a sample.  I like how it turned out.  This one was made from a dress shirt, but I also made one from a nice knit shirt with a collar.

And then I leave some things to be a surprise at the retreat, for which the following picture is a clue!

Coming up in March will be a class I'm going to teach about English Paper Piecing.  I'm very fond of EPP, and love the designs made with it.  As I had these other things to keep me busy, I thought, "Well, I can leave planning the class till after the retreat, because it's not until March."  I thought wrong!  I received an email from the programs chairman with a request for pictures, my bio, what the class will cover, class fee (if any), supply list, etc.  Oh, and it needs to be done right NOW!  They can't sign people up for the class until this is done.  So I basically had to plan the class so I'd be able to tell people what to bring for it.  I worked on that for a day or two and have it pretty much under control.  Obviously, I'll have a lot of work yet to do, preparing handouts, planning what I'll teach and in what order, etc, but that stuff really can wait till after retreat!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Christmas Decoration For A Lamp

A few years ago I saw a Christmas decoration at the home of my dear Sister-In-LawStitches.  It was a simple strand of Christmas lights which she had wound around a floor lamp.  There were fabric bows in between the lights, and it was really cute.  And of course, I thought, "I can make that!"

It's a little hard to see it while it's wrapped around the lamp post, but it looks quite nice.

I simply cut strips about 1 1/2" wide by about 7" to 9" long.  It might have been nice to cut them with a pinking shears, or with my wavy line rotary cutter.  

Hand here it is with the lights turned on.  

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Happy First Birthday to BabyStitches!

As I did for my first GranddaughterStitches, I'm making "number" t-shirts for the new BabyStitches in our family.  I usually buy a t-shirt in the appropriate size for this project, but I'm kind out of the shopping area right now, so I turned to Amazon, as usual.  I could not find a single onesie!  But I found multi-packs, so I bought four of them.  

I used some very pretty fabric that I found here.  And I used a different font for each onesie.

This close-up shows that I used a blanket stitch to secure the fused numbers.

For the pink one, I added a little ruffled lace around the neckline.

I liked the "random" prints that were included in this set-of-four.

For the final onesie, I decided to do something different.  So I added a skirt to the top, which I think makes a cute little outfit.  Thank you to Create and Babble, found on Pinterest, for the idea and the instructions.

And Happy First Birthday to you, BabyStitches!
Love, Nana