I love these trivets! This is at least the third set of Happy Hexagon trivets I’ve made. The pattern is from Patchwork Please. It’s so fun and easy, and they always turn out great. The fabric is Emily Herrick‘s Sodalicious, which I’ve admired since seeing it at Quilt Market last spring. I’ve got another set of Sodalicious trivets in the works, and I’m working on fabric pulls for a couple other sets, too.
Members of the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild are working on the Good Neighbors Challenge this month. I just finished mine (6 days ahead of the deadline!) and I am so thrilled with it!
I made a small table runner (13″ x 30″) mixing Amanda Jean’s Good Neighbors fabric with bits from my stash. I wanted to make something scrappy, using a bunch of fabric lines, which is usually a stretch for me. But this fabric line is filled with great basic blenders, so it was easy to mix and match it with other fabrics. I used the Raspberry Kiss block tutorial by Wooden Spoon Quilts. The block is soooo cute, goes together quickly, and I have seen so many amazing scrappy projects made with that block lately!
I’m linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday. This is the third project I’ve finished this month – I’m on a roll!
The small boss requested an R2D2 hat for himself. And then another one for “his baby”. I think he did this mid-December, and requested them for Christmas. Then he demanded them before Christmas, because waiting is hard when you’re five years old. I got the big hat done before Christmas, but the little hat wasn’t finished until January. The hats were fussy to knit, but so worth it. I love my two R2D2s!
I used this free pattern on Ravelry. The pattern was written for intarsia, but I hate seaming knits and I hate weaving in ends even more. The finished product probably would’ve looked a little better, but there was no way I could finish weaving in 50+ ends (per hat!) in a month. So I modified the pattern to be fair isle, which was a different challenge – with such long blocks of color (sometimes 10 stitches) I had to worry about catching the floats on the wrong side. I can see where the floats are caught, and some uneven tension where colors switch in the finished hats. The construction was difficult, and the final product isn’t as neat as I’d like, but the kiddos love them. These took surprisingly little yarn – I have enough left for at least one more medium size hat.
I used blue and white Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash, and random scraps of black and red worsted wool. The big hat was knit on US6 and US7 needles, and the small hat was on US4 and US5 needles. I plan to make a medium with US5 and US6 for Ethan next winter.
I didn’t realize how many projects I’d finished last year until I looked through my Instagram and Flickr feeds this week. My 2015 stats are:
- 2 new patterns – Pantry Staples and Two Carat
- 3 new tutorials – Clockwise Pinwheel block, Envelope Needlebook, and knitted Marshmallows
- 10 quilts – 3 baby/toddler quilts, 1 nearly-twin size quilt, 1 throw quilt, 2 doll quilts, and 3 wall hangings
- participated in 1 Kid’s Clothes Week
- 1 stuffed animal
- 2 pot holders
- 1 mitten advent calendar garland
- 1 scarf
- 1 skirt for myself
- 1 Halloween costume
- 1 quilting bee
- 1 embroidery swap
That’s so much stuff! And I know that’s missing a bunch of projects I forgot to photograph before I gifted them away. I’ve got big plans for this year, too. My 2016 goals are to finish:
- organizing my sewing space
- 2 Sizzix projects
- 2 Spoonflower projects
- 2 embroidery projects
- 2 new quilt patterns
- 2 challenges
- 2 knitting projects
- 2 garments for myself
I’ve already started tackling the organizing project, and I’ve got a couple quilts in the queue. I’m making an effort to take more photographs, so expect more blog and Instagram posts, too
2016 is off to a promising start! I’ve already finished not one but two pillow covers. I used a 1950s palette of grey, coral and turquoise. The pieces were all die-cut using a Sizzix machine at my friend Lisa’s studio. It only took an hour to cut the pieces – I’m confident that’s quicker than rotary cutting by hand. Using a die-cutter also saved me the hassle of trimming half-square triangles, which I hate.
I made essentially a 20″ mini quilt for each pillow top, then trimmed the top down to 19″. The piping is made of 1.5″ strips of bias-cut fabric, 6/32″ cotton cording, and glue-basting. Glue-basting was the secret ingredient – it worked out soooo much better than machine-basting the piping with my zipper foot. I glue-basted the piping to the pillow top and machine-basted the whole thing with a zipper foot. I sewed the pillow front and back together using Clover WonderClips to hold everything in place, and a 1/2″ seam allowance. I was dreading the assembly with a quilted and zippered back, but using the right tools (instead of a million pins) made all the difference.
The backs are Essex yarn dyed linen. I’m pretty proud of the way the zipper flap covers the zipper – this is my first zippered pillow back! The pillow covers fit 20″ IKEA feather pillows beautifully. These were a breeze to make, especially the tumbler pillow. Piecing is so easy when all your pieces are the exact same size. Funny how that works. I’m already planning my next Sizzix project!
It’s Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day again!
I’m giving away one of my quilt patterns to a lucky reader. The winner can choose from the Macro Plaid Quilt Pattern:
Or the Two Carat Quilt Pattern:
Or the Pantry Staples Pattern:
Leave a comment by Sunday December 13th to be entered to win. I’ll notify the winner via email by Wednesday December 16th. If you need a prompt, let me know what you’re sewing this holiday season. For a bonus entry, follow me on Instagram and leave a comment with your Instagram username.
I wanted to share my envelope needlebook tutorial and templates. These are based on the needlebook that my sister made for me years ago, and I use it all the time. It seems like a free tutorial existed for these once upon a time, but neither my sister nor I can find it. I think this style needlebook is so clever, so I’ve made a template and tutorial to share.
- Freezer paper (optional)
- Outer fabric – 8″ square
- Lining fabric – 8″ square
- Fusible interfacing – 8″ square
- Fusible web, like Pellon Wonder-Under – 1″ square
- Fabric for “stamp” – 1″ square
- Sew-in snap
- Print and cut the template. I recommend ironing 2-3 layers of freezer paper to the back of the template before cutting it out. This makes it more durable and (I think) easier to trace.
- Prepare the “postage stamp”
- Iron the fusible web to the back of the “postage stamp” fabric
- Cut the stamp down to size, using pinking sheers if you have them
- Cut the pattern pieces from outer fabric, lining fabric, interfacing, and felt. Everything is ready for assembly now.
- Fuse the interfacing to the outer fabric. If you are using a delicate fabric, like voile, for the lining I recommend ironing a 2″x3″ piece of interfacing to the middle of the lining. This will reinforce the area where you’ll attach the felt pages.
- Fuse the stamp to the outer fabric, following placement guide on template. Stitch in place.
- Stitch the “address” on the outer fabric, following placement guide on template. I used a straight machine stitch, but a decorative stitch or hand embroidery would be lovely.
- Center the felt pages on the lining fabric. Stitch down the middle of the felt pages.
- Put the outer fabric and lining fabric right sides together. Pin. Stitch around the edges with a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving at least a 1.5″ opening to turn right side out. I leave the whole bottom flap un-stitched.
- Trim the seam allowance and clip the corners.
- Turn right side out. Use a crochet hook or knitting needle to turn out the sharp corners.
- Put the needlebook page-side up. Roll the seam slightly towards the lining, so just the tiniest bit of the outer fabric is visible. Finger press the seam. This minimizes the amout of lining visible when the needlebook is folded up.
- Press the inside and outside with an iron. If you’re using a polyester (or poly-blend) felt, do not touch the felt with the iron!
- Edge-stitch all the way around the envelope. I like to use a blind-hem foot for this.
- Hand-stitch the snap in place. I attach the snap to the top flap first, then fold up the needlebook and press down on the top flap. This makes a little indentation in the bottom flap where the other snap should be sewn.
- Fill your needlebook with your favorite hand-sewing notions. Happy sewing!
This week I finished another envelope needlebook. My sister made me an envelope needlebook years ago, and I use it all the time. I’ve used hers as a template a couple times since she and I have searched the interwebs and failed to find the original tutorial. I just finished this needlebook and I hope to have it posted to a friend soon!
I fussy-cut the stamp from a scrap of Japanese linen blend. The outer fabric is silk from India that a friend passed on to me.
The front of the envelope. The silk proved hard to photograph – my camera phone cannot deal with the sheen.
The lining is a scrap of Carolyn Friedlander Architextures. I love using text prints for the inside of these needlebooks. The lines on this print remind me of a security envelope. I think this needlebook is so clever and cute, I see a lot of them in my future. I’m working on a template and tutorial for these – I’ll be sharing that next week!
I’m linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts finish-it-up-Friday post. It’s always a nice motivation to finish things!
Joel and I have been working on a super-secret birthday surprise for Isaac: an A-frame tent.
Joel built the tent frame using this tutorial as a guide. He added a brace in the back and the silver caps to both ends of the top pole, so the tent can’t be easily knocked over or accidentally collapsed. I made the fabric cover from an IKEA fitted sheet and some navy quilting cotton I had in my stash. I used a bias tape maker to make the ties that attach it to the tent frame. The green matches the PLUFSIG gym mat nicely.
I also made a pretend marshmallow roasting set, which makes for a super cute picture but I’m sure it will be dismantled in seconds. The fake logs were cut from a (surprisingly sturdy) wrapping paper tube. I doodled a faux bois pattern on them with a Sharpie. The campfire is a string of battery-operated LED lights inside a half-pint canning jar, surrounded by tissue paper fluffs. I knit a pair of marshmallows out of single-ply yarn and stuck them on twigs I found in the yard. I fully expect the twigs to be used as weapons within the first 2 minutes. After that they’ll be returned to the yard.
If you want to knit your own marshmallows, see my pattern post here.
I whipped up these little knitted marshmallows for a pretend marshmallow roasting set. Isaac has been asking for more “pretend food” lately, and this goes nicely with the A-frame tent we’re making for his birthday.
They’re the same size as real marshmallows, but 100% less sticky. I pushed them onto skinny sticks so they’re ready for pretend roasting.
Knitted Marshmallow Pattern (ravelry link)
Yarn: any worsted weight yarn. I used a single-ply yarn because I think it will hold up better to being poked with sticks.
Cast on 3 stitches
Round 1: Kfb all stitches
Round 2: K all stitches
Repeat rounds 1 and 2 twice more – total of 24 stitches
Round 7: P all stitches
Round 8-19: K all stitches
Round 20: P all stitches
Round 21: K all stitches
Round 22: K2tog all stitches
Stuff your marshmallow before continuing on.
Repeat rounds 21 and 22 twice more – total of 3 stitches.
Break yarn leaving an 8-inch tail. Draw yarn through 3 remaining stitches. The ends of my marshmallows stuck out too much for my liking – making more of an egg-shape than a cylinder. If you want a more cylindrical marshmallow, stitch through the marshmallow, from the cast-off stitches to the cast-on stitches, a few times. Pull yarn just taut enough to make the marshmallow top and bottom flat. Knot your yarn and bury the end inside the marshmallow.