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.


Ho. Ho. Ho.

Yep, it is that time again.  If you have been out of the house in the last two weeks, I am sure you have seen more than one worker unloading boxes of Christmas decorations.  It seems to me that Christmas comes earlier and earlier every year. Even my daughter has been listening to Christmas carols!  Over the past few weeks I have been slowly (and I emphasize s-l-o-w-l-y) working on Christmas gifts.  I always think I have plenty of time, and then WHAM!  It's Christmas.

When I saw this Shorter StyleTriple-Flounce apron pattern on Sew4home I knew instantly who I needed to have this under their tree.   I have made several patterns from the Sew4home site and always find them easy to read and complete.

This apron, as the name implies is a shorter style apron just perfect for a sassy and sweet teen or college student in your life.  Using mostly Christmas fabrics I stitched up my version in just one afternoon.  I had my daughter model it for pictures. When she saw how cute it was she immediately wanted one for herself and for a couple of her friends. (always a good sign that it is teen appropriate.) While I may get around to making one for her, I doubt it will be for Christmas.  My list to-make items is growing ever longer. There are just too many cute patterns out there.


Memory Quilt

A couple of months ago I was contacted by a woman who had recently lost her mother.  She had heard about some of the t-shirt quilts I had made and wondered if I would be able to make a quilt our of her mothers clothing.  After seeing that she had more than enough clothes I set to work on this beauty.

She had chosen a lattice quilt pattern to set off the prints and patterns in her mother's clothes.

It took me just over 21 hours to complete this 78"X105" quilt.

I quilted an all over meandering heart pattern which complements this quilt perfectly.

 Off it goes to it's forever home.


The demise of a sweater vest

Look how much I was able to knit on George's Vest over the weekend!!  I really was able to get a lot done and I was so excited...until.

Yes. The dreaded until.  Until I laid it out just like in the photo above.  I thought to myself.."self.  That looks a little small for a 2T-3T."  And I answered, "yes, I do believe you are correct."  Just to be sure I measured it.  Yup.  I had made the 24 month size not the 2t-3t size.  UGH.  I guess that is what you get for casting on when you are watching a movie.

So, it was today with a heavy heart that watched the demise of a almost finished project.

I took it off the needles and started to rip-it.

And rip-it.


At least I was able to capture our last few moments together.  sigh.

Now, I think I'll find a nice one size fits all pattern. Perhaps a scarf.


Knitting again

Last weekend we spent driving back and forth to Charleston.  The kids had a Band Competition and a soccer game, one on Saturday and one on Sunday.  It was our intention to hang out in Charleston for the weekend but Homecoming Dance on Saturday night we had to swing back.  It's not a long drive only about 2 hours but driving four times was a little much.  This did ensure that I had time enough to knit not only while sitting in the car but while watching all of the events take place over the weekend.  I finished up this cute little tunic. As I mentioned before it is pattern from Elena Nodel which you can find here.  I plan to make the larger tunic in a scarlet and grey color way for a niece in Ohio..  go Bucks!

I had time this week to run (limp.) out and pick up some cute leggings and a long sleeve top to wear with it.  It turned out so cute.  I only hope it fits, if only for a little while. :)
George's Vest by Chrystal Erb Junkins
(How Cute is He?)

After spraining my ankle, I started on a matching sweater vest for her brother using the grey yarn.  (Amazing how much knitting you can get accomplished when you are forced to sit and elevate your leg multiple times a day.) George's Vest by Chrystal Erb Junkins is the pattern I am using.  You can find it here on Ravelry. I plan on making the vest grey and (possibly) crocheting a matching bow tie with the variegated yarn.  There are so many cute crochet bow tie patterns!

Today I am off to watch the final Band performance of the year... State Finals! Of course I will have my knitting to keep me company.
Knit on!


Quilty goodness

Okay, I hinted at quilting projects in process, now here is a visual sneak peak...

This is a custom quilt job of mine.  Believe it or not all of these squares used to be clothes!?! Still sashing this beauty more picts to come soon.

I also have been piecing hexes.  Inspiration struck about a month or two ago and now I have a pattern for all of these pieced flowers.  We shall see if they ever become an actual quilt. 

Last but certainly not least I'm working on several new Christmas stockings.  My inspiration pieces came from the book Modern Holiday by Amanda Murphy.  

Modern Holiday Stocking by Amanda Murphy

While I am not following her patterns to the letter. Her Hexi stocking pattern is sure to show up hanging on my mantle. Amanda Murphy had a blog tour last year if you're interested in checking out more projects from her book check out  Amanda Murphy Design for all the links.



I'm back from my longer than expected hiatus from blogging.  I mentioned, or I think I mentioned in a previous post that this year we are hosting a foreign exchange student.  When considering this, I knew that there would be more work involved.  Going from 3 teens to 4 obviously more work involved.  I knew there would be more laundry, more after school activities, more cooking (a lot more cooking), and more trips to the doctor.  Poor Martin had to get up close and personal with American Dentistry, just a month after arriving.
Welcome to America!  How about a root canal? Sounds like fun right?

I failed to comprehend how much more time all of this would take, and frankly how much more tired I would be.  Thankfully I we are adjusting nicely.

Sadly, my crafting is suffering.  I have less and less time to devote to quilting, sewing, knitting and the like.  But I do have a few things to share that have successfully made it into various Dr.'s appts.

My dear friend sent me this Awesome tote that she made and embroidered to help me keep crafting. 
Made from recycled denim in 3 various shades it had been a wonderful addition to my project bag rotation.  Not only did she send me this bag, she also sent me the directions to make my own.  (as well as a very* Large HINT* that I should develop a pattern to share with you all.  Never one to shy away from a *hint* I have it in the works.

Since I have this totally wonderful new bag I had to have a new project to tote around in my tote:)

I have been working on this cute tunic for my niece.  It's a pattern from Elena Nodel.  I came upon it on Ravelry you can find the small version here and the larger child version here.

I have been doing a little quilting.  I have 2 projects currently in the works.  For now I must sneak in a shower before I head off to the grocery. (again)


Old hobbies

Well, I did it.  I only took just a little over 8 years.  But this beauty if Finished. Done. Complete!  Woo and a Hoo!

I put the finishing touches on this weekend as we traveled upstate for yet another Soccer game.

I had forgotten how peaceful, rhythmic and fulfilling cross-stitch can be, especially on long car rides. I enjoyed it so much that I have decided to start another.  

Quilty Stitches by LMS

I ran across this Quilty Stitches over on Little Miss Shabby's blog.  She has a complete list the supplies needed including all of the floss colors she used, but you certainly could use any combination that suits you.  Each block has it's own post with a wonderful PDF that you can print out.  What a great way to play with color combinations. 

 Quilty Stitches is a beautiful combination of crossed quilt blocks.  I think it will make a wonderful wall hanging, or pillow or center for a quilt.  How fun would it be to complete a quilt using the Quilty Stitches in a quilt surrounded with quilt blocks using the same pattern!?!

I certainly be contemplating the possible design settings while I am cross stitching this beauty.  I'll let you know what I decide when I finally finish.  Maybe I'll finish this one up in less than 8-10 Year.  Or maybe not...


Quilted Cotton

Here it is my quilt for the AMB Farm to Fabric challenge.

I am sad to report it was not chosen as one of the finalist to be showcased at the Houston Quilt Show. Although I was disappointed that I was not chosen, I had a gut feeling it wouldn't be.  I was really enjoying the quilt as I was sewing the quilt top, and then I wasn't.  It was weird.  I turned a corner one day and WHAM! I hated it.  After quilting this quilt I never really Loved it!  I was happy with it but I didn't feel it was my best work.

Then I tried to photograph it.  Oh my.  I just purchased a new camera and I had quite a lot to learn, not only about the camera but also about taking pictures of quilts.  It is much harder than it looks.  I really had a difficult time just getting the picture straight! LOL.  Perhaps next time I submit a quilt for a quilt show I will have it professionally photographed.



Last weekend the family took off for Atlanta, GA to watch our oldest participate in the Publix Atlanta  Soccer Cup.  It  is always fun to watch the team come together and as a bonus we get to enjoy the city of Atlanta!  We were in the car quite a bit, sitting for watching games and waiting for meals.  How did I ever manage to fill up all of this free time?

Free time, is a bit of an oxymoron.  Don't you think?  As mom our time is rarely free.  And when it is we seem to 'pay' for it one way or another. OK. Rant over.  Moving on.

This weekend as we traveled here and there I took with me a bit of hand work.  This handwork was in the form of a cross stitch that I have been working on for the last 8 years.  Sad, really.  or Really sad. Take your pick.

Now it is back in the rotation.  Hopefully this time I can get finished before tucking it away for another 8 years. HA! Since my sewing machine is once again being uncooperative,  looks like this time it has a better chance.

Emma and I also got creative on the sidelines.  Watching your brother play soccer can be boring.  Watching your brother play 4 games of soccer can be insanely boring when you are 13.  Thankfully she did a awesome job of entertaining herself, until she didn't.  The last game we decided to paint her nails.  Since she has been running Cross Country with the High School team this year, we drew up a little Wildcat inspired paint job.



I know that I have been busy.  I know that I have not been the most up to the minute blogger lately.  I know these things because they are foremost in my mind and it is DRIVING me CRAZY!  I have been going through serious craft, quilting, and sewing withdraw.  There seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel, even if it is very faint at the moment.

This week I finished off my embroidered shoes.  I showed you these little cuties last week.  I drew this free hand flower pattern on the shoe with pencil. (yup, just plain old #2)  I stitched up these shoes with  DMC embroidery floss.  I have heard that DMC does not hold up as well as peril cotton, I'll keep you posted on that.

I added a little leaf and a tiny vine off to the side of the flower.  I have toyed with the idea of adding the vine around the sides and heal of the shoe but so far haven't decided.

For now I am just enjoying the sweet, sweet joy that comes from finishing a project.


Back to School

WoW!   Am I exhausted.  This back to school year has been filled with one activity or another.  Honestly I have been running from one place to the other non-stop.  Not only have we been busy with our own 3, we have welcomed into our family an exchange student from Germany.  Martin will be with us until June of 2015.  I am sure it will be one busy and exciting year.

I have had little time to quilt, sew or craft of any kind lately.  I am still finishing up my entry for the AMB Farm to Fabric challenge.  It was officially loaded on my long-arm machine yesterday!  Yahoo!  I hope to actually get to quilt it on Sunday.  Sorry but I cannot show you any pictures yet:)

With all of the running and back to school shopping I was able to pick up a little something for me.

New Shoes!

I purchased these with the intention of doing a little sprucing up. I plan on embroidering them.  I have wanted to play with embroidering shoes ever since I saw this post on The Handmade Dress. I wasn't about to head out and purchase a pare of Sanuks and sew on them.  I picked up this pair at Payless on clearance.  

I knew I wanted to create some type of flower pattern.  And this is what I sketched out.

I am sure I will have to do a little more detail work as the design emerges from the shoes.  But for now it's a handy travel projects for my continued back to school pace.


t-shirt remake (#sewwhatselfie)

A few weeks ago, maybe a month?  I read on Gen X quilters about The Fat Quarter Shop's #sewwhatselfie and I decided I would have to enter. For the chance to win $100 in Fabric? Plus they are drawing 2 winners each month!  Woohoo!   I clicked on over to their website and picked up a t-shirt.  I ordered myself an XL with the plan of doing a little fashion remake.

After much practice, I took this selfie. By the way it is way harder to take a selfie than one might imagine.  Perhaps it is easier if you are under 20 it is easier?

Now I love t-shirts, but being short in stature, they are not flattering in the least.  I end up looking more like a box with legs.
Here is the t-shirt on me pre-makeover.

See I told you Not AT All Flattering. Next I went to work modifying it.  I took the sides in, cut the sleeves out, reduced the sleeve length, modified the neckline and the lower edge.  And with a few magic words.  Bibity-boppity-boo we have a new look.

Feel like entering for a chance to win $100 gift card?  Hop on over to The Fat Quarter Shop's Blog and check out!