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.  


quilted stockings for all...

There is no doubt that Christmas is a busy season here, as it is everywhere.  Why then do I make it busier by taking on extra projects?  Every year it's the same story.  I decide to make extra teacher gifts or gifts for family or friends all right before Christmas in the midst of all the Christmas chaos.  This year was not an exception.

I stared this project all the way back in October.  In October I had plenty of time, Christmas was after all 2 months away.  Then it was November and the pressure started but not so much as to be unbearable. Then before I knew it, Thanksgiving was upon me. I finished up this project with just minutes before St. Nicolas was due to arrive.  Now here it is January already and I am just now posting this!  Crazy Busy.

My inspiration came from Amanda Murphy's Book Modern Holiday.  I loosely followed her pattern for most 5 of the 6 stockings.  My stockings were not as large, did not have a lining and I left out the trim between the cuff and the body of the stocking.  I have to admit my assembly veered far from Amanda's method, mostly due to time constraints.  I had every intention of binding the raw edges within the stocking body, but again time was not on my side.

I made the stockings for John and me from Amanda's hexagon pattern found in her book.  I also used the her pattern for the half triangle pattern for Mark's stocking.  I took the triangles cut from Amanda's templet and arranged them into a pinwheel design for Martin's stocking.  Jack's stocking was made using a triangle die from  my AccuQuilt Go! Baby

Emma's Stocking pattern was was my favorite.  Again the templet was from the Modern Holiday but the construction was all me. Each stocking was made using fabric from Moda, Folk Art Holiday. Each stocking was backed with a different print. I don't know what it was that attracted me to this pattern but I suspect it was the Chickens. LOL.



Over the long Thanksgiving weekend I was able to finish up the George's Vest for my Nephew.  You may remember this post where I shared the vest, and the demise of the vest. Well once I cast on the correct number of stitches I was able to whip up this cute vest in only a couple of appointments.  (Anyone else measure the difficulty of their projects based on the number of appointments it takes them to get through?  Or is it just me? )

Like I was saying, I finished the vest except for one thing, the crocheted edging around the neck.  I have crocheted once or twice in my life without much success.  I can't seem to figure out what to do with the working yarn, and hold the piece I am working on. When I knit I hold the yarn with my right hand.  When I crochet I hold the yarn with my Left.  This simple change is so complicated!  My left hand just does not want to cooperate.

My mother has crocheted for years.  She has taught me multiple time to crochet with relatively little success.  Over Thanksgiving weekend she came down and we worked on crocheting once again.  This time I think I am Hooked.  To date I have crochet this cute little bow-tie and 3 washcloths.

With luck this time it will stick.


Fabric Envelope

What do you do with all of the receipts, coupons and lists that accumulate in your purse.  I often take one day a week to run multiple errands.  By the end of the day I have a huge mess in my purse. Paper, paper and more paper.  I try to use email receipts where possible. But if I have to head to a store like CVS where their receipts are taller than I am....forget-about-it, paper everywhere!  It drives me crazy. CRAZY.

Over the years I have tried various things to help organize or at the very least contain the mess. I have used coupon organizers, folders, notepads, and even tucking them (not so neatly into my checkbook cover).  My recent attempt was a business envelope.  That worked for a few weeks, with me taping the envelope and re-taping the envelope periodically, but eventually it died a horrible death.


I don't know why I didn't think of if sooner but I decided to make a fabric envelope. I cannot believe I haven't been making these. They are such a quick and simple project. A quick search on pinterist.com revealed lots and lots of tutorials for fabric envelopes.

Envelope it by Bolt Neighborhood

Envelope-IT tutorial by Bolt Neighborhood has an elastic strap to keep the envelope strapped to a notepad or journal.

If you are a follower of Dave Ramsey these Pretty Little envelopes from Just Imagine Heaven will put you in Organization Heaven!
Prettiest Little Envelopes by Just Imagine Heaven

 I am already planning something using this tutorial for Love Note Valentine Bunting from Lil Luna.  Too CUTE!
Love Note Valentine's Day Bunting by Lil' Luna

Ultimately I decided on this Fabric Envelope tutorial from In Color Order.  Simple. Easy. Practical.  Perfect.  Seriously this took me 15 minutes tops.  The results awesome.

Holds everything nice and neat.  Best of all no shredded paper in the bottom of my purse.


-A sock cowl?

Does it annoy you? Or is it just me?  You knit up a pair of socks, which you love and adore.  But then you have this smallish amount of leftover sock yarn.  It is never enough to make a third sock.  It just sits there in my yarn bin.  Occasionally I think about tossing it, giving it away or finding something to use it for but mostly it just takes up space.  Annoying.

Gusto pattern by Laura Nelkin
I was searching for knitting patterns, for what?? I have NO idea. Suddenly I found myself on Knitty.com. with this beautiful cowl pattern staring at me.  Gusto is a pattern by Laura Nelkin.  While I have never made one of her patterns before I have seen her on Craftsy.com.  This pattern was just what I didn't know I was looking for.  In the pattern she uses the Magic knot to make one continuous ball of yarn from all of the partial sock yarn balls you have left.  Brilliant!  From that yarn ball you knit up a beautiful and useful cowl!  

The pattern is full of fun stitches that keep the pattern rolling without getting boring.  Which I have to tell you will keep you on your toes if you happen to be someone who likes knitting in front of the TV.   Yet, it is easy enough to knit in on a hallway bench, (with a finger you may or may not have sewn through,) while you wait for your son to finish saxophone lessons. There are two versions of the pattern.  One that uses beads on the cast-on and bind-off round for extra sparkle, and one that does not.  I chose the one that does not use beads.  Mostly because I did not have beads on hand and I was to impatient to start knitting.  Next time I'm trying the beads!

I was going to save this as a possible Christmas gift but now that the polar vortex has brought colder air our way I am in desperate need of a cozy cowl.  If you happen to have a few extra yards of miscellaneous sock yarn laying around you should check out Laura's Gusto pattern it's the perfect fit.

I was sad that I did not have a large selection of sock yarn leftovers to choose from.  I haven't knit socks in over 6 years!  Fortunately I did have some.  While it is all one color way it is variegated and does give contrast to the beautiful stitching.