What I’ve Been Up To

I know I’ve been gone a long time, but I’m back now. After a long and unproductive winter (during which I mostly hibernated), I’ve had a somewhat creative spring and summer so far. I thought I’d share some projects that I’ve finished over the past few months.

I made a Sew Together bag for my pen pal Jennifer’s birthday. It was easier to sew than I thought it would be. It just took a long time because there were a lot of steps. The Sew-A-Long by Quilt Barn was a huge help in putting the bag together. Every step was covered and had photos.

PinkArrows_0015APinkArrows_0021AFor my husband’s nephew’s high school graduation gift, I made an arrows quilt. He was really tough picking colors for because his mom said she wasn’t sure what colors he liked but he likes to wear blue a lot and sometimes orange and gray. So I went with those three colors and hoped for the best. I decided to go with solids because I couldn’t find any “boy” prints that I thought he’d like.

For the pattern, I chose one called Flyin’ South by Canoe Ridge Creations. It’s supposed to be a mini quilt but I thought it would look nice as a twin-size quilt. After making it though, I wouldn’t make it as a full-size quilt again. It took me 59 hours to make and took forever to cut out all the pieces and sew the blocks together. I thought I’d never get it finished. I love how it turned out, though.

JordanQuilt_0002AWJordanQuilt_0001AWMy sister Grace had a baby girl last month, so I made her a Fancy Fox quilt which I’ve been wanting to make for a long time. Great excuse, huh? I love how it turned out. Grace likes blues and grays and didn’t want too much pink, so I didn’t put pink in it at all. I though it would look good with solids with all those different colors. I quilted it with a wood grain pattern. I was really nervous about it because I didn’t want to ruin the quilt, but it ended up being easier than I thought. I really like how it looks. I think it’s my favorite quilting pattern right now.

FancyFox_0004AWFancyFox_0017WA couple years ago I was obsessed with quilting with words. One project I wanted to make was a pillow that said Me + You. I just never got around to it. I finally finished it this month. I’m really happy with the way it turned out. And it seems like perfect timing because I was able to quilt it with a wood grain pattern. If I hadn’t quilted the Fancy Fox quilt with the wood grain, I probably wouldn’t ever have attempted that pattern. That pattern fits perfectly with the whole carved initials and tree theme. In the photo the two strips of gray fabric between the ME and YOU look lighter than the rest of the gray fabric but it’s all from the same bolt. Weird, huh?

Me+you_0002AWAnd finally, I finished a ripple afghan that I started in 2010. It’s kind of a funny story because I bought a bunch of skeins of yarn back in 2010 in blue, gray, green and lavender, intending to do the whole afghan in those colors. I started the first 9 rows in those colors. Then I stopped for some reason. When I found the afghan this year, I discovered that the brand of yarn and colors I bought five years ago was discontinued. I didn’t want to start over and I didn’t want to unravel all nine rows that I already crocheted. So I just left them and tried to find colors that would go with the colors that I already bought before. I found a couple of colors that were similar to the ones I already had, so that helped. I think it turned out ok and I like how the colors look together.

RippleAfghan_0002W

Crochet-Covered Stones

Whenever Dave and I go on a road trip, I always have to take a crafty project with me to keep myself busy and to help pass the time. I can’t stand having nothing to work on. It makes time seem like it’s standing still and the trip seem so long. Plus, I always feel a sense of accomplishment after I’ve finished completing something.

When we planned our trip to Colorado, I knew I was going to need something creative to work on during the 10-hour drive each way. I hadn’t crocheted for a while and I’ve been wanting to make some crochet-covered stones for years after seeing the beautiful work of Margaret Oomen’s. So I thought this would be the perfect time to try out her famous free pattern and tutorial she did for Purl Bee.

Some lovely work by Margaret Oomen via Purl Bee.

The pattern was pretty easy to follow and I love how the stones turned out. I decided to make one for each of my three pen pals. So, Jennifer, Monica and Robin, tell me which one you want (in the top photo). Just leave a message for me in the comments. Whoever calls dibs first gets the one they want. If I don’t hear from you, I’ll choose one for you.

I want to start experimenting and make up my own patterns. I love how intricate some of Margaret’s designs are. I think I like the colored threads better than the neutral colors. Now I’m on the hunt for some brightly colored Valdani and pearl cotton threads. Anybody know of some good sources?

[Edited to add: I’ve discovered that Purlsoho.com has a wide range of embroidery threads. I’m going to have to buy some!]