Our little shishi.

The first maker I ever knew was my mom. When I was a little girl, she made me dresses, sewed up costumes and curtains, made quilts, and cross stitched samplers that I can still picture in my head. Fast forward more years than either of us care to tell and she is still a maker. Today, she makes journals and art and generally beautifies her surroundings. She also knits the cutest little woodland creatures:

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Darwin

Her woodland creatures inspired me to knit one for her for her birthday, his name is Seamus.

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He’s awfully chubby and cute, which meant he needed a basket, obviously:

Another maker was inspired this year, the very person who made her a shishi. Joshua has gotten into cross stitch so he stitched up a little owl for her:

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I glued the work to a teeny canvas and attached fabric to the back, but the stitching is all Joshua. His stitches are probably better than mine. The owl is 1.5″ x 2″ and the whole canvas and stand comes to about 5″ tall. It’s precious. All together, I’m proud of our birdy present.

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We weren’t able to be there for her birthday, so we wanted to make this extra special little package up for her. Today we got to see her and celebrate both of our birthdays and several other family milestones.

My mom is one of the most creative people I’ve ever known. She taught me the basics of sewing, quilting, and cross-stitching as a little girl. As I’ve grown up, she’s been a big part of the inspiration to become the kind of maker that I am today.

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Happy birthday to my mom, the maker and the shishi.


YoM day 220: Sock knitting!


Happy making!

Giant Family Road Trip, phase 1: Tennessee

We’re on a bit of a tour to see friends and family back home. Phase 1 included two destinations in Tennessee. Road trip day 1 was the longest car ride planned of the trip so we switched off driving duties. I knit during my time off:

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Birthday socks, pair 2: Sprinkle by Peepaloo Fields

Our, first stop was to see Kevin’s best friends. They are the other 3/5 of our Dungeons and Dragons group, which we usually play online via Skype. Friday night, we got to stay with them and were up late playing in person! It was a great time and we woke up Saturday morning to play some more. If you’re curious, we defeated the necromancer.

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The next stop has been to see Kevin’s parents. We had a gorgeous sunny day yesterday, and Kevin’s mom suggested a hike up to some falls in the area.

She even took a picture of all four of us together, something that almost never happens.

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Of course, things deteriorated pretty quickly with these jokers:

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Other than that we’ve mostly been spending time together, talking and eating their good cooking. It’s been a great visit, I feel lucky that spending time with Kevin’s family feels like home to me too.

Of course, I’ve been knitting when I’m sitting. I finished the first sock and cast on the second:

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I adore this color. It is so soft and sweet, just like sprinkles! I’ve also been using a newish project bag that I made, which went a teensy bit wrong.

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Nice and wrinkly from travel.

It looks a little funky because I boxed the bottom way too aggressively. Must remember to think more carefully about that the next time. The other issue with it is that it’s a wee bit too small. I wanted a little, single skein, sock sack. This one is a little snug on a wound up ball of yarn, though. It’s been tough to pull the yarn from the outside (which I do) until about now, when the second sock is done.

It’s super cute and still 100% usable, so I’m using it. Next time we’ll go up in width and box the bottom a bit more sensibly. Making is always a learning process.


YoM day 219: you guessed it, socks!


Happy making!

Pineapple!

My friend Holly loves pineapples. Like, she really loves pineapples. So when her birthday was rolling around, I knew exactly what to do. I pulled and cut out some scraps…

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I arranged them in that ever so cute shape…

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And then I sewed it up!

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At this point, I was in love with it. And then I got to looking closer. Thinking, something seems off. After a bit of thought and comparison with the progress pics, I realized I sewed the second row upside down. I was so upset! Once my blood pressure calmed down, I broke out the seam ripper and pulled off the borders and the top two rows and fixed them. Much better.

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I quilted up the little cutie and bound it in no time. The pattern is from Sassafras Lane Designs. The mini finished at about 8.5″ x 11″ and is pretty darned cute, if I do say so.

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The hardest part of this quilt was waiting to gift it to Holly. I got to gift it to her today and I’m pretty sure she liked it a lot. This is one of my secret projects I’ve been working on, so it’s fun to finally get to share it, too!


YoM day 212-213: Birthday sock knitting – spoiler, I haven’t finished them


Happy making!

 

Bubblegum Kisses and Sprinkles on Top.

After the sock frenzy to finish up the green socks, I didn’t know how much sock knitting I’d be up to. Turns out, quite a bit. I cast on my first pair of birthday socks early in the week, getting a bit of a head start.

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I knit on them most of the week and finished the first sock on Thursday night. I cast on the second and have now gotten through the ribbing:

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Sprinkles on Top, Wee Chickadee Woolery

I haven’t worked much on them this weekend–since, among the secrets I’m working on, I became a bit driven with the thought of finishing this:

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I got up yesterday morning and finished sewing together the quilt top. I have to say this pattern with these fabrics–Bee Basics by Lori Holt–is just so adorable. I spray basted the quilt this morning and got set to quilt it.

I spent some time thinking about how to quilt it, and decided on cross-hatching. I did the diagonal lines at a 45 degree angle to the top of the quilt and put the lines at about one and an eighth inches apart. I didn’t want them to echo the lines of the x’s, so I tried to have them a bit offset.

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Once I finished the first set of diagonal lines, I rather liked the way it looked. This was in no way influenced by not wanting to do another set of diagonal lines. Ok, maybe it was a bit. But I really do like the way the diagonal lines echo the direction the x’s are crossed. It probably wouldn’t look too busy with the lines the other way, but I’m satisfied with it.

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I sewed the binding on and hand sewed it to the back. I love it! I’m so happy with it. It’s so cute and sweet and fun. The pattern is Bubblegum Kisses by Lori Holt.

 

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Please ignore the cat hair. 😦

All the fabrics for the top and the binding came in the June Sew Sampler Box. This was far and away my favorite Sew Sampler ever. I love fabric and the pattern, and it was a lot of fun to make. I have a fair bit of the binding and background fabric left, plus a bunch of scraps leftover from the charm pack. I picked the cross stitch themed fabric for the back because, well, you know.

All in all, I’ll call it a good week. I’m still trying to finish the socks before my birthday so I can start a whole new pair of birthday socks. I’ve got a few more secrets to work on and then I’ll even start sharing a few of them! I can’t wait to share them with their recipients and you.


YoM day 204-210: Birthday sock knitting

YoM day 211-212: Quilting


Happy making!

All over the place.

Lately, I’ve finished a couple of things and worked on bunches of others. Today,  I thought I’d share a bit of the making mish-mash. There is a fairly large chunk of my time missing from this post, where all of the secret making would go. But it is there, and I am really and truly loving it.

I’ve actually been doing a lot of sewing over the last week and a half. I finally made a pillow out of the practice block I made:

Joshua picked out the fabrics for the block, so I sewed up a little Orioles back and made him a pillow. I also made myself a precious Petit Four basket:

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This little cutie was so fun and quick and easy, and is so useful! It’s sitting at my sewing machine, making things neater and prettier as we speak.

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I think I might make a whole bunch for all around the house. As for this one, I loved the color scheme so much that I started myself a project bag out of it. It’s all cut out and ready to sew up, except that I don’t have a coordinating zipper on hand. Definitely going to need to bite the bullet and stock up on some zippers. The other big sewing project I’ve been working on is the Bubblegum Kisses Quilt. It’s a mini quilt pattern that came with the amazing Sew Sampler Box for June.

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I loved this box. Everything in it is adorable and the fabric and pattern are just exactly my speed. I cut up the fabric in relatively short order:

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On the fourth of July I sewed up all the first step blocks:

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I love how they are a cute little rainbow!

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Fabric is from Lori Holt’s Bee Basics line

The other night, I finished sewing up the final blocks and laid them out:

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They are not sewn up yet, but I’m going to have this bad boy finished before my next box comes. We’re headed out of town for the weekend, but I think I’ll finish the top and quilt it on Sunday and Monday night.

I have, of course, been knitting, but not all that much to tell the truth. I started the next shawl in the Shawl Society, the Vila Wrap, it’s stripy with a bit of lace. I picked out my yarn for it, but I am not sold on adding the pink. I think it would be incredibly versatile in the two grays:

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Barenwolle Everyday Merino

And last but certainly not least, I finished another section of my Marled Magic. I’m on to section 6, now, but not sure about the hot pink mohair for this one yet.

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In all of this madness, I also taught Joshua to cross stitch. His stitches are pretty darned nice and he does a good job at crossing the same direction all the time.

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Whew! That’s a lot going on. And to think, there are two projects not even there. I feel a bit all over the place lately. I have a drive to start tons of new things which is a bit unlike me. My birthday is on the horizon though, and I’m giving myself free reign for the month of August. I plan to cast-on with abandon and start sewing projects at will.


YoM day 191: Quilting

YoM day 192-194: Sock and shawl knitting and secrets


Happy making!

Half way.

Yesterday was the half way point in my year of making. It’s crazy to think I’ve been doing this for a solid six months! I am still really enjoying this project. I have found it easier and easier to be sure to set aside making time each day.

Let’s have a bit of a check in!

Year of Making 2017

182 days, 12 pairs of socks, 3 shawls, 2 pincushions, 3 bags, 2 hats, 2 quilt tops, a quilt,  a mini, a cat quilt, sauerkraut, and cherry preserves. I’ve cast on a sweater and have another shawl and socks in progress.

More important that the quantity of what I’ve done, the feeling these projects give me is so lovely. I’ve learned soooo much. What I love in shapes and color families, I feel that I am coming into my own. And I’m actually knitting something purely for the process of it! Kevin asked me the other day how often I’ll wear one of the items I’m knitting, and I was surprised to hear myself say that I don’t care. I’m loving the knit and that’s what’s important.

As for the halfway day itself? Well, I knit. I knit a lot. I put a whole section on my Marled Magic Mystery Shawl:

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The new minty section is a mini from Tempting Ewe Yarns held together with the pale pink Rowan Kidsilk Haze. 

I finished the gusset of my second sock:

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Evidently, I couldn’t go to bed without finishing the toe. And so, I finished my 9th pair of socks for my Box O’ Sox. I just love the subtle colors with the pops of neon green and purple. The yarn is Purr by Peepaloo Fields on her simple sock base.

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I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t an ulterior motive for finishing those socks… I think Purr is the perfect color for the next section of my shawl. At this point, I’m pretty much constantly thinking about what yarn should go into my shawl next. That and, “What could I put mohair in?”

Here’s to the second half of the year!


YoM day 181: Sock knitting

YoM day 182: Shawl and sock knitting


Happy making!

It all happened so fast.

Last Sunday afternoon, I decided to go ahead and cut up some strip sets I had sewed together ages ago. They have been ready to cut for… 2.5 months? Yep, time to cut them. Once I got started though, I couldn’t stop myself. In what felt like no time, I had sewn up all the blocks!

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This is another of The Fat Quarter Shop‘s amazing shortcut quilts. So, no surprise, as advertised the blocks came together lickety-split. I spent an inordinate amount of time arranging these on the sunroom floor, trying to get a nice distribution.

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I like the final arrangement. I went to the sewing machine to sew it up, thinking I would finish it that evening. I sewed the first couple of blocks together and was horrified to find that my seams didn’t match! And they didn’t match by a lot. I ripped out the seams, measured the blocks, and was baffled. The blocks are the right size, all pretty darned even, especially for a newbie piecer like me. I went back to the video and watched it again. It turns out that the seams aren’t supposed to match. Silly me.

The only seams you really need to match up in the whole quilt are when you sew up the rows, the seams between blocks need to match up. Which I was very careful to pin a million times and do my best with. There’s something so pleasing about seams that interesect. This week, I’ve put in teensy bits of time, sewing a row up and adding it on here and there. This evening, I decided to add the last few rows and get it done. And then this:

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My sewing machine has an offset needle position by default, but my quarter inch foot only has a teeny hole for the needle in the center. Normally I’m really good about turning on my machine and automatically moving the needle position, but not today! So, the end of the quilt got a nice, fresh needle and I was off and running. I finished it up!

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My second quilt top of the year is all done. This is the Jelly Roll Twist, available for free at The Fat Quarter Shop. I used a jelly roll from the Eden collection by Tula Pink and a Bella Solids charm pack in white. That’s all the top needed! It finished at about 51.5″ x 60″.

I have to say, I love these shortcut quilts. It’s very satisfying to finish a top, and the projects are very manageable. I feel like the two I’ve made have really been great ways to practice my piecing skills without biting off more than I can chew. I’m on a definite sewing kick at the moment!


YoM day 162-165: Quilting/sewing, sock knitting, sweater knitting

YoM day 166: Quilting/sewing


Happy making!