While sewing on Tuesday evening I ran out of black thread.  Hey. It happens.  I took out a new spool and threaded my machine.  As I have done every time I end a spool of thread for the past year I tossed the empty spool into a bucket.  Then I paused.

Last January I started a thread bucket.  I wanted to see just how many spools of thread I use over the course of a year. This last empty spool was the first empty spool of 2015.  How many spools did I use up.

Twenty one.  Twenty one spools of thread from 200m to 5000m.  Black, white and every color in-between (although admittedly mostly white).

I started saving spools hoping that this would help me plan ahead and know how much thread to purchase the next time I am out.  Now I know..  I need a lot of thread.


Poncho for me (almost)

I finished up my crocheted poncho!  I have been wanting to make myself a poncho for a while, 4-5 years?  With all of the things going on around here plus, my 1 year hiatus from yarn work and the lack of a pattern well it just didn't happen.

I stumbled upon this Lion Brand Pattern for this Laced Edge Poncho (maybe in an email) and armed with my wicked new crocheting skills I got to work.  The pattern calls for multiple colors of Vanna's Choice . The yarn is a cotton blend I had in my stash.  I found at Tuesday Morning so long ago I don't remember what city I was in.

I crocheted along for weeks here and there and then this happened. Perhaps it is a scenario you are familiar with, or perhaps not,  but it goes a little like this....

You are happily knitting or crocheting an item and your child/pre-teen/teen, who normally takes no notice in your craft becomes interested.  Not just interested but Super-Duper excited.  She/he doesn't casually ask about it, doesn't quietly become interested but with sudden and intense enthusiasm Loves It.  They ask to try it on.  They cuddle it.  They even ask the dreaded, "Who is this for?"  and without waiting for an answer they ask, "Are you making it for me?"  And then you are lost.  Doubt may creep into your mind and you think, "No, this is MINE."  But then the final nail is driven into the casket.  "It is like a warm Hug from you when ever I wear it."  This project that was once destine for your closet now has a new owner.  You cannot in anyway, shape or form deny this child the happiness this project has brought to them.  After all you can always make your own.  

  TA-Da.  a new poncho for me or Emma. 
Maybe we will share.:)


New Quilts

Last week I received not one, not 2 but 5 new requests for custom quilts!  Thanks to all of my former clients who are happy to pass on my name.

The first of the 5 quilts is to be a quilt for a new baby.  This is a memory/baby quilt for a repeat client of mine. Over the years she saved various articles of clothing from her daughter and son.  Her son blessed her with her first grandchild in 2013. It was then that I made this quilt for her.

 Some of my long time readers may remember see this on my blog.  Now with the addition of her second grandchild, this time it's her daughter's turn.  The new grandbaby's quilt will be as different as her two children.  This newest quilt will be modern and sleek and full of surprises.  I am pleased and excited to be making this newest quilt for her and Honored to have her as a return client.

The next quilt is a client who recently lost her mother.  She is having me make 2 memory table runners and one lap quilt.  The lap quilt is for the daughter who wanted the quilt made from her grandmother's favorite red and black tops.  I pondered over this a while.  I really felt a traditional quilt block setting would not quite suit the daughters tastes. Yet, I wasn't exactly sure how to honor the style of the grandmother clothing.  Then once again the internet pulled through.  I was reading my blog roll on Bloglovin' and came across the perfect quilt design.

Quilt by Emmalinebags.blogspot.com

This beauty was the creation of Emmaline Bags.  This is the pattern that was I waiting for.  There is even a pattern on the Emmaline bags blog if you want one of your very own.  Click here for the instructions.

I sent off a picture to my client who thought it was the perfect answer.  As of now I have the HST made and laid out.  A few minor adjustments and we will be ready to sew!

The next 2 quilts I am working on are still in the planing and gathering faze.  Both will be long table runners.  One in the reds and blacks pictured above and another in teal and pink.  I have yet to decide on a fabric to complement the clothing.

The last quilt is another t-shirt graduation quilt.  Tis the season.

Duty calls! I am off to the fabric store!


Bee blocks

This year I decided to join a charity group to help make quilts for children.  This particular charity, My Very Own Blanket, donates blankets to kids in foster care. Through out the year the members of the group make blocks and send them to the quilter.  The quilter stitches the blocks together to for a quilt top and then completes the top.

 January and February bee blocks were a new block for me.  The quilter chose a scrappy cross roads block in blue and greens for January and orange and pink for February.  We followed and Instagram tutorial (again something new for me) done by Bee In my Bonnet blogger,  quilter and author, Lori Holt.

My blocks were all pieced from scraps, which I have to say is awesome.  I am always amazed when I dig through my scraps.  I find myself reminiscing over past quilts made, shopping trips and gifts from fellow quilters.  As a bonus it is always wonderful to be able to make something useful without spending a dime.


Memory Table Runners

If you have a Dinning room table chances are at one time or another you have had a table runner displayed.  I have several that I rotate throughout the year.  Some are old, very old, crocheted by my great grandmother. Some are quite new.  Regardless I think they add an element of sophistication to my Dinning table.

Several months ago I was contacted by a woman to make a memory quilt for her from her mother's clothing.  After that project was complete she asked me to make 3 table runners from several of her mothers clothes.  I have to say initially I was skeptical.  I wasn't sure how the clothes with interfacing fused to the back would lay and if it would look right as a table runner.  Well as soon as I had the first set of squares cut out I knew... it would be perfect.

I ended up making three total.  All bright and cheery.

I used 3.5 inch squares set on point, 66 total made from items of clothing that have special meaning for the owner.  The half triangles for each table runner is fabric picked to coordinate with the clothing.  For the quilting I quilted a simple stitch in the ditch to accentuate the diamond pattern.

The table runners turned out spectacular.  I am very pleased with the pattern and may have to make one of my own. Someday..



Over the Christmas Holiday the family and I went North to visit family and friends.  All and all we traveled 2300 miles round trip!  This translated into a ton of time spent in the car.  Knowing this I prepared a large bag of yarn and crochet hooks to keep me busy.

I crocheted these cute Sock Monkey hats for my niece and nephew. While visiting in Ohio a friend helped Me start these little cuties. She shared the pattern she used over at Repeat Crafter Me.  The hats were a simple project for my beginner crochet skills.

Speaking of beginner crochet.  While in Pittsburgh, Mom and I taught my younger sister to crochet.  Here is her first wash cloth.  TA-DA! She did great considering she is does not have any previous yarn working skills.  I think she was inspired to learn after a trip to the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh with her youngest.  The day she was there with him they were doing a project with yarn.  The instructor asked her son to add a piece of yarn to the project.  When the instructor started to explain yarn he said, "Yea, I know.  My whole family knits." He was so proud of us.  Aren't 7 year old great!

I also crocheted several wash cloths.  Here is a small sample. Many were left with the people we stayed with on our trip as a smallish.  Thank You for having us in over the holidays.  These are the few I remembered to take pictures. The two circle wash cloths Kitchen Lovelies are from Fiber Flux.

I also made two granny square wash cloths using a combination of several different patterns.

While staying with friends in Michigan I worked up this cute little hot cocoa ornament.  I found this pattern over at I'm Frayed Knot.  It is sooooo Cute! This was the home of the friend who started me on my knitting journey.  While there we learned that we were both picking up crochet.  How Crazy it that!  We hadn't even talked about it.  She made a hot cocoa ornament also which I brought home and promptly hung on my tree to enjoy.


Multi Item Long Arm Quilting

Have you ever tried to quilt multiple things at once? The idea intrigued me. Usually the idea pops into my head after I have already loaded one item onto my Long-arm machine.  One of those, 'I should have" moments.   This year when I decided to make 6 stockings it became the perfect situation to try it out.

I pieced together all 6 stocking fronts and used fat quarters for the backing.  I used a large sheet of muslin for the lining.

I loaded the muslin as I would the backing.  Then pinned each of the 6 stocking fronts to to the Long-arm machine leaders.  The biggest difference from quilting a larger quilt was the pinning.  I had to be very careful to pin down all the edges of each stocking carefully.  Each stocking front and back had to be basted down around all edges.  It was very easy to catch the foot of the machine on the raw edge of the pieced tops.

Once the stocking tops were loaded I moved on to the back.  I quilted a different pattern on each stocking front but on the backs I just quilted a simple meander pattern.

Once each pieced was quilted.  I simply cut the stockings out using my own pattern. I think this was a wonderful way to quickly machine quilt all the stockings at once.