Thursday, July 29, 2010

Knitted Potato Chip Scarf & Cap

Finished! I have been toying with the idea of giving away this set as a gift, but as I knitted it I kinda fell in love with it and can see it this autumn paired with a jean jacket. So, I'm going to keep it. This was a fun project - enjoyable. No frustrating aspects to it at all. The directions for the scarf are on an earlier post and the instructions for the cap are on the label for Lion Brand "Amazing" yarn. My Sweet Babboo has requested a cashmere scarf & cap. You know, I think I'll get started on that right away.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Versatile Log Cabin Block

I wonder if there is a quilt block pattern more versatile than the log cabin? With just a simple quarter or half turn of the block, the whole design changes. You can design with color as well as shape using this block. Strips can be one size on one half of the block and larger on the other half for even another design element. Main design elements can be set off-center. Over and over again it happens that I'll see a quilt that is just so striking and upon closer inspection realize, "wow! that's just a simple log cabin block."

I made the quilt in this photo for my Sweet Babboo about 3 or 4 years ago. Just a simple log cabin block with a bit of sashing around 3 sides. Lilly Lucier (machine quilter, Vanceboro, NC) quilted it using a rolling heart design.

Little Projects

I love little projects - I love my big projects, too, but sometimes the little projects are a welcome break. Here is a simple clutch style purse - time to make, about 2 hours. Here is a pin cushion or sachet bird from Joe Dewberry's book "Sewn Spaces" - time to make, about an hour and a half. And finally, a fabric covered switch plate - time to make, about 5 minutes hands-on and several hours for drying. Another fun things about these projects is that they use remnants, which means that I got to go digging through my fabric stash to look for the perfect scraps.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times

Update: am also linking to

I'm linking to for Design Wall Monday. Since finishing Southern Rhapsody the quilt on my design wall has gone from a 96-piece/block quilt to an 8-piece/block quilt! I also have the cathedral window quilt I'm making for my son on my design wall in the event the mood strikes me to work on it - it's been months and months since the mood has hit me. Also on my design wall is a scarf I just finished knitting.

I also took a short break from quilting to sew together a couple of quickie projects from Joel Dewberry's book Sewn Spaces. The bird sachet (or pin cushion is what I'm going to use it for) was fun to put together and went together nicely. The Teddy Bear, though ... I'm hesitant to blame the instructions and think instead that the project just didn't click with me. The final product is okay but there is certainly lots of room for improvement. The belly pocket on the bear can hold small sewing supplies so it will sit on my sewing table, along with the bird pin cushion and be kind of a sewing assistant for me.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Southern Rhapsody Is Finished

It always feels so good to finish a quilt ... to sew on that label and know that the project is complete. This quilt is called Southern Rhapsody. It is a foundation paper pieced project and the star pattern is "California" from Carol Doak's book on the 50 stars of the 50 states. My cousin, Patricia Layson, and I made this together. She sewed together 18 blocks for the quilt top and I did 17 blocks for the quilt top and a smaller (in size) version of the block for the label. Patricia also added the binding. It was machine quilted by Lilly Lucier of Vanceboro, NC. I did the binding. All of the fabric came from Cotton Fields (

These photos simply do not do it justice. You cannot see from the photo that are 96 little bitty pieces in each block. I love the secondary designs that are created with the yellow blocks, the green/white dot blocks, and the peach color star. The overall quilting pattern is a rolling heart.

Tonight I'm linking to; she is hosting completed projects. There are some really spectacular ones!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Crafting Friendships

My friends Lori & Laura came to my house tonight. We have decided to try to meet weekly on Wednesday evening to craft and sew and laugh. Laura has declared it to be "Needle Night." Last week Lori and I met at her quilt shop - she sewed together some adorable pin cushions that she'll take with her to sell at the next quilt show. I worked on a knitted washcloth.

Tonight I worked on whip stitching down the binding on the quilt Southern Rhapsody. Laura worked on two knitted washcloths. Lori worked on some adorable origami fabric brooches. There is something magical about the way crafting, sewing, and quilting brings people together.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Knitted Cookie Washcloth

This fun little washcloth knits up in about 2 hours and is about 8" square. It's made using Sugar & Cream cotton yarn. When knitting this I had just made a batch of delicious oatmeal cookies. So when you read the instructions for it you'll see why it's called the Knitted Cookie Washcloth.

With size 5 needles cast on 36 stitches. Knit first 6 rows. Row 7: **K3, P3, repeat from ** to end of row. Row 8: **K3, P3, repeat from ** to end of row. Row 9: **K3, P3, repeat from ** to end of row. Eat a cookie. Row 10: **P3, K3, repeat from ** to end of row. Row 11: **P3, K3, repeat from ** to end of row. Row 12: **P3, K3, repeat from ** to end of row. Eat a cookie. Repeat Rows 7-12 including eating the cookie at the end of rows 9 and 12 until the washcloth is the desired length. Knit 6 rows. Bind off.

I figure I ate 18 cookies. I have to say, I was glad to see the cookies disappear and will NOT be making them again for a long time.

Linking to:

The Back Side of Your Work

My grandmother always said that the back side of your sewing/crafting work should look as good/neat as the front.

Hmm ... I'm afraid I have some pieces that I wouldn't DARE let her see the back of.

But look at the back of this block that Lori did for the Brush Up on Quilting Basics class I attended last Saturday. It is soooooo neat and tidy. Very precise. No strings or fraying. Very square. I'm in awe. During the class I also tried to discreetly watch Lori's technique. She's very methodical and precise in her movements and in the way she approaches quilting and sewing and ironing. I'm more of a bull-in-a-china-shop type of person. I've taken away so much from that class!

Next month she's offering a class in triangles - de-mystifying triangles in quilting. I'm there! And later she's toying with the idea of offering a class that deals with curves in quilting. I'm there, too! My imagination is reeling with all the possibilities that are open to me once I have a better grip on triangle and curves - right now I avoid them like the plague.

Potato Chip Scarf & The Giveaway Winner

First, my son, who is my "random number generator" chose comment number 8 (Ellie said: Like you, my favorite "dining room" memory also comes from my grandmother's house. She lived very nearby me when I was growing up, so I spent a lot of time with her. Her dining room table didn't have traditional legs, but was attached to a sort of chest or large drawer. There was a cubby space between the chest and the table surface, and I can remember how much I loved hiding there. No one could see me underneath the table cloth. Of course, I was small, and they were probably just pretending that they couldn't find me!) - Ellie, please email me at and we'll sort out the details for getting your $30 CSN Stores gift certificate to you.

Potato Chip Scarf. I don't know the origins of this pattern because it was shared with me by my friend Lori. The directions say to use any yard you like - you'll need about 300 yards, less for bulkier yarns and more for finer yarns. I'm using Lion Brand "Amazing" in the color Wildflowers. Needle size should be 2 sizes larger than what is recommended on the yarn label - the yarn I'm using recommended needle size 9, so I'm using 11's. Super simple!!!! Cast on 20 stitches. Row 1: Knit across. *Row 2: Knit 8, turn. Row 3: Knit back, turn. Row 4: Knit 6, turn. Row 5: Knit back, turn. Row 6: Knit 4, turn. Row 7: Knit Back, turn. Row 8: Knit 20. Repeat from * until scarf is desired length. One skein of my selected yarn got me halfway through this scarf. Obviously, I'm not quite finished yet, but it's been a very enjoyable piece to knit up - nothing to remember, big needles, instant gratification.

This will be a gift for someone, don't know who yet - either a Christmas gift or a birthday gift. May make a hat to go with it.
Am linking to:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Support Your Local Quilt Shops!

Today I attended a quilting class entitled "Brush Up On Basics" at the local quilt shop. About 5 years ago I took a beginning quilting class at this same quilt shop, right down the road from my house. Since then I've made about 70-80 bed size quilts, lap quilts and wall hangings. Whatever I didn't learn in that beginning class I've tried to learn from reading, common sense, and by picking the brain of Lori, the owner of Cotton Fields Quilt Shop in Washington, NC. Whew. Thank goodness she had this class because I learned several tips and tricks that will make quilting life easier for me down the road.

Cotton Fields is an adorable but serious quilt shop. Her website is Here are some photos of the inside of her shop. She carries an excellent assortment of batik fabrics that make me drool! She also carries a fabulous selection of Asian fabrics.

I'm an avid believer in supporting the small, locally owned businesses - the locally owned quilt shops, beading shops, seafood markets, farmers markets.

True quilt shops, like Cotton Fields, carry superior quality fabrics. And what else would you want to quilt with when you're going to invest many, many hours of your time in a quilted project?

Please enjoy these photos taken today at Cotton Fields. Besides the photos of the interior of Cotton Fields, there are also photos of the class and moi with my finished quilt top, which is destined to be a quilt for my neighbor's baby girl due in August.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Upcycled 6-Pack Can Caddy Tote Thing

This idea is one recently published by Martha Stewart. It really grabbed my attention because I love to "upcycle" and have been saving cans and jars, etc. So far I've just been using the empty cans and jars for storage in my workshop, so I was excited to find something else to use them for. The caddies are great. They can be used as planters, or to carry tools/gardening supplies/crafting supplies. They can also be used on a table to hold silverware for a party.

Well, I guess since my initials are on all of these that means I'll be keeping them! I used empty bean cans, empty tomato cans, and empty plastic peanut butter jars. The wood came from my boss's scrap pile.

Thanks for this idea, Martha! I love it. I really need a better name for these ...

I'm linking to: Tomorrow she will be posting a lot of giveaway links!

CSN Stores Giveaway, Dining Rooms, and Waxing Nostalgic

This is my very first giveaway!! Yippee! It's through CSN Stores and is for a $30 gift certificate (open to US/Canadian residents only). I have had a great time looking through their website - they have a lot to offer and at good prices. All you have to do to enter this giveaway is leave a comment on this posting about your favorite dining room memory sometime between now and midnight Sunday night (July 18, 2010). I don't have a random number generator thing so Monday morning I'm going to ask my son to pick a number between 1 and however many comments I have received on this blog post and that number comment will be the winner - so commenters will need to check back sometime Monday or Tuesday because I'll announce the winner on my blog. While I would love for you to follow my blog, I'm not going to make that a requirement. I would truly appreciate it if you would let others knows about this giveaway.

Now, to wax nostalgic ... This is my grandmother. She was an exceptional woman and though I have always admired and respected her, that admiration and respect only grows as I get older. After losing her husband fairly young in life (in her 40's), she went back to school and got her teaching degree. It was very unusual for a "mature" woman in the 1940s to return to school to get a degree. She then taught school until she retired. My most vivid memories of her are connected with her dining room which was the central room in her small house. It was always a joy to gather around the table in her dining room to just be together and enjoy each other's company. And the delicious smells that came from her kitchen ... oh my gosh ... So many of her meals centered around seafood since she lived on the coast. My grandmother believed in 3 meals a day, with the main meal being served at noon - I can almost hear the noon whistle in Beaufort in my memories as I write this. She usually had breakfast in her kitchen, but the main meal at noon, and supper were always served in her dining room. No paper plates. No dishwasher. Real plates and real silverware that were all washed, dried, and put away right after the meal. The dining room table was always "set" for the meal.

Her dining room furniture is now sitting the home of a cousin and I will someday be the recipient of that dining room set because my cousin wants to get a new dining room set. I can't wait to get it in my house; I plan to sit at the space that was always "mine" and recall the laughter, the love, and the smells. I don't know that I'll ever feel worthy of sitting at the head of the table because that seat certainly belonged to my grandmother.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

What To Do? What To Do?

I'm linking this post to:

Yesterday morning my sisters and I went to a "new" junk shop". Actually, it's a house that has a sign out front that reads "Trash 2 Treasures" and they are NEVER open when I drive by. But yesterday morning they were. So I asked (begged) my sisters to go ...

What a delight. It was a true junk/antique shop. And I bought these old drawers. They look like they probably at one time were part of a sewing table.

I have not a clue what I'm going to do with them and am open to suggestions ... anyone got any ideas?

They are excellent candidates for painting. I know some wood-working buddies that would cut a top for me if I asked nicely. I've thought about using them in my sewing/craft room. I've also thought about leaving them in my shop for tools.
For right now they will just live on my work bench in my shop until I decide what they will be in their new life.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

I so enjoy making these little knitted wash cloths. It's a very portable take-along project. It's cheap (the Sugar & Cream yarn is around $2.50/skein but periodically goes on sale at Michaels for $1/skein). Free patterns can be found on Google, or you can do a simple stripe (to use up yarn scraps) or block design that requires very little thought.

I give a wash cloth with a bar of homemade soap (I buy the soap) as a gift and it's always appreciated - in fact, it's not unusual for the recipient to ask me later if they could buy another wash cloth (no, I just give them one). I can pick up my needles and yarn and knock out a washcloth in about about 2 hours.

Linking to:

Friday, July 2, 2010

Frugal Friday at Shabby Nest

Today's feature is things in jars - - you'll want to start saving all your jars after you see these cute ideas!