Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Here Comes the Sun...

do do do do....it's supposed to be sunny and 54 degrees today! I never thought this Southern CA girl would every feel that way about 54 degrees.

Thank you for all of the lovely comments about my quilt for the Four Seasons Quilt Swap. To no one's surprise, I'm sure, I went back to the fabric store and bought 8th yard cuts of all of the same fabrics to recreate the quilt for myself. I'm really not good at the trading thing.

The quilt and the theme of the FSQS really inspired me and got me thinking. I'm going to recreate the red quilt as a quilt block, then do a blue block (fabric purchased the same day:) with some sort of waves, and continue on doing a block a month, each block monochromatic with various seasons/nature themes. At the end of the year, I should have an amazing quilt - I hope!

In the mean time, I've been poking around on Ravelry a little. I've been on for a while, but seem to have been a slow starter. There are a plethora (did you get the Three Amigos reference ;) of knitting patterns that I love, but alas, I crochet. I did find this amazing pattern for a baby sweater that I had to try.

This was the first attempt. I used some thin baby yarn and a G hook and it came out very "newborn" size. Because of the yarn that I used, it was a bit too sparkly for my taste.Then I tried an H hook, which is the next larger hook and some Vanna's Choice yarn (not ready to commit to $15 a skein for a trial run). This one turned out just as I had imagined it. Since the photo shoot, I've added a little flower button at the neckline. Oh, and on this one I left off the optional ruffle on the sleeves. And I just found out a friend is expecting...and it's a girl. Perfect timing.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's Done!

Last week I finished the quilt that I have been working on for the Four Seasons Quilt Swap. Each swapper chose two colors, a season and either a doll quilt or a table runner. Once we received the info for our partners, it was up to us to make a monochromatic quilt, using either black or white as an accent color.

My partner chose red and gold and her season was fall. I haven't sent off the quilt, but I don't think I'm giving away anything. Those are pretty general colors for fall. Once I had the info in front of me, I poured over different ideas and really had a hard time with the whole color thing. I wasn't quite sure if we were supposed use both colors or one of the colors, but it is "mono"chromatic so I went with the red and used gold as an accent color rather than black or white. Was that OK? Some of the fabric had gold in it anyway so I just went with it. Plus, I don't think the quilt swap police are coming after me any time soon :)

So, I drug my husband to the fabric stores to help me pick out the right colors. Did I mention how much I agonized over this part. He was picking out fabric for the color and I kept sayint that I didn't like the design of this fabric or that. In the end, I walked out of the store with a bunch of 1/8 yard of fabric that I mostly didn't like.
Now that I had the fabric, where do I start? Deciding on a log cabin, I cut all of 1/8 yards into 1 1/4" strips. After three blocks, I was tired of it. So I finished up a fourth block and thought, now what? Ah a border, that will take up some space. Wait, all of my strips are only 1 1/4". Flying geese, they are fallish right? Don't they fly south for the winter? I paper pieced 1"x 2" flying geese for the top and bottom to add a little height and create more of a rectangular quilt. That is where the gold came in. Little golden geese. Then I added the tiny stop border. Still left with all of my 1 1/4" strips, I sewed them all together, then cut them into 3 1/2" strips and made them into a piano key border.

Whew, done right? No, now comes the actual quilting. Trying to avoid the obvious choice of leaves, I really wanted something a little different and that had a little bit of my style in it. So I went with an unruley fall tree. All branches and no leaves. I love the way it came out. The colors on the fabric give the tree the feeling of having leaves and yet not at the same time. Anyway, I've blubbered on enough about it. It's done and it's going to get a lable by the end of this week. Then it's off to my partner, whom I hope loves it as much as I do.This may be the last swap for me - It's really getting hard to part with these little quilts. Maybe next time I'll just play along with a swap, and be my own partner. Are there any quilt challenges rather than swaps out there? One that challenges everyone, then posts all of the results on flickr?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Last Minute Valentine's Gift for Teenage Boys

Just popping in for a quick hello, and to share an idea for a last minute gift for those teenage boys in your lives :)

Duct Tape Wallets! Genius! I found the instructions here.
These seriously took me about 10 minutes a piece. They would also make great stocking stuffers for Christmas. Enjoy!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Sunnier Skies

There's just something about a lemon cake on a rainy day. It makes me smile. So here is SuJu's Lemmon Cake recipe. She's a dear friend, even dearer once she handed over the recipe. The only thing that I love more than having her recipe is sitting on her couch enjoying a piece with her. So here is to sunnier skies and far away friends...

Cake :
1 Box Lemon Cake Mix
1 Box 3 ounce size of Lemon Jello
4 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup water

2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. hot water
3 Tbsp. lemon juice

Mix for cake ingredients for 2 minutes at high speed. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. While the cake is baking, make up the glaze. When the cake is done, Prick holes with a fork while the cake is still hot. Pour Glaze over hot cake. Let cool. Enjoy :)

And remember, don't fall in love with every Hug-Gubler that comes along!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Busy Day and a Little Crochet

Whew, what a busy day! I have been going non-stop since about 12:30 this afternoon. We're trying to get the details pinned down for our local quilt show, our New Beginnings for the young women at church is this Sunday, plus all of the regular drop-offs and pick-ups of a typical Wednesday. Oh, and bowling with the YW. I had to make dinner between 2:30 and 3:30 because it was the only time I had available, and so that whoever was here at any given point could grab a bite - I think we even fed a couple of stray kids. So I thought I would pop in and say hello, between the phone ringing, the laundry running and people asking me what I'm up to.

I made this pair of booties for a friend. Her baby girl had a blessing this Sunday and I was honored to have these cover her little toes.
I also used some of the yarn to make this hat. Originally for me, we tried it on everyone in the family, including the boys and it looked the best on Sara.

She wore it for 4 days straight, including to church on Sunday. The pattern started off from one on Ravelry, but I ended up improvising on the last few rows. I hate checking my gauge, which can be a problem when you want a hat that actually fits. I had to pull it in a little at the end so it would stay on.

Side Note: As I was posting the link to the pattern, I noticed the last line of instructions was to add a row of hdc when it was long enough. Hmm...maybe my guage was OK after all and I just needed to read the pattern all of the way through. :)