Sunday, February 27, 2011

GreenStitch Episode 26 - A winter pick-me-up

This week, we do a little vintage-style embroidery to help chase away the winter doldrums. Listen to the full episode here.

The dancing coffee pot didn't show up brilliantly on the striped tea towel (and dim winter afternoon light makes for dreary photos anyway), but the design on the striped linen was still worth doing. The designs on solid colors, of course, always turn out great. I'll definitely spice up more of my towels with fun designs like these. Here are some good sources beyond your local craft store:

  • The Pattern Bee (lots of free stuff, too)
  • Floresita's blog isn't active right now, but you can still find lots of good patterns and ideas - plus, her commentary is fantastic.
  • A quick search on eBay will turn up tons of vintage embroidery patterns, too, as well as embroidery supply. They can often be overpriced, though, so watch carefully.

And need to brush up on your basic embroidery stitches? Mary Corbet has some super instructional videos here.

I keep dreaming of the day when Dan and I have our morning coffee and our evening glass of wine at our cafe table overlooking the garden. For now, this is what it looks like... :-(

Many thanks to listener Sharyn for her super idea of putting even the tiniest of fiber scraps to use by creating stuffing for a dog bed. I made the exterior pouch out of leftover fleece, then lined it with an old pillowcase. Felt and fleece appliques were a simple touch (and great idea from listener Laurel, the Simple Romantic.)

I sewed all day yesterday and tossed all the scraps and trimmings into this pouch, getting a good start on filling the bed for a shelter dog. Thanks again for the super idea - this is one I'll be using for a long, long time!

Finally - the giveaway winners! Congrats to Laurel, Judy, and Carrie. I'll be contacting you very soon.

And thanks so much to everyone who left comments. I love knowing that you listen to podcast even while flossing teeth, feeding chickens, and blocking out annoying colleagues in the next office! See you soon...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Episode 25 - Wow, it's Episode 25!

Thanks for celebrating podcast 25 with me! Listen in here.

Here's a partial result of our Scrap-a-palooza event at guild. At top, you can see the ever-vigilant Inspector Betty - who did not go to guild, but was happy to see the project that came home.

Here's more information on how to make these blocks. You don't have to use a foundation muslin, but it does make the project a tad easier.

And next - the giveaways!!! Just leave a comment (by noon ET on Sunday, Feb. 27) telling me where you typically listen to the podcast - I'll draw three names, e-mail you if you're one of them, and you can win one of these three prizes:

Here are 25 (it had to be!) 7-inch felted wool squares, cut from spanking-clean-washed-in-hot-water sweaters. You can add these to your own squares and have a great, cozy throw - they're also super for potholders. Have fun with them!

And here's the quilted jewelry roll! Surely you'll want this for some of your bedazzling finery when you travel to Prince William's wedding this spring.... ;-)

If one Morsbag is good, two will be better! OK, so I haven't made the second one yet, but I'll have it done by the time I draw winners on Feb. 27. Keep one, give one to a friend! Genuine vintage tablecloth at work here...a friend gave it to me after cleaning out copious amounts of table linens from her grandmother's home.

UPDATE: Forgot to add these felted hat and mittens photos last night. So thick, so warm, so cozy!

Hope you can see how these pattern pieces work - one thumbless piece for the back of the hand, two thumbed pieces for the palm. Then just add a cuff from the ribbed sweater bottom. Make the ribbed cuff just a tiny bit smaller than the bottom of your mitten, and ease it in. Instant warmth and great fit.

And as we indulge in a little toast to Episode 25, here are two lovely ladies enjoying Finger Lakes Wine Country wares with clever hand-knit wineglass holders - made out of scrap yarn, and just the ticket for a chilly night!

And here's their warm-weather cotton version -- just made out of a scrap of fabric with an elastic casing at the bottom to secure the wine glass. Suzanne even put some cute button embellishments on the top edge - so cute for a warm summer's evening. People were coming into the store all evening saying, "we just saw these women with the greatest wine glass holders...!"

Thanks so much, and don't forget to enter the giveaway drawing!! The question: Where do you listen to GreenStitch?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

GreenStitch Episode 24 - We get by with a little help from our friends

It's Episode 24 - two dozen! Haven't heard it yet? Click here to download.

Above is the schematic Sue provided for me, and the final product - Maggie's going-down-the-stairs harness. Denim, fleece, plaid binding, webbing for the straps, plenty of Velcro, and a few D-rings -- all stuff I had on hand.

Above, a rail fence block. See how easy it is? Here's the link to the pattern, which uses 2 1/2-inch strips. Just watch carefully how you have the segments oriented before you stitch together.

Learn more about the Quilts for Carisbrook project here (Wilma's blog). U.S. volunteers can check out this list for mailing information - remember, all blocks must be 12 1/2 inches (unfinished) and they're due by Feb. 28.

Here's the "Comforts of Home" block. Pattern is here. I use the option with the Flying Geese turned the other way around, which forms a star.

Various rail fences.
I used up some more of the nine-patches to form 12 1/2-inch cobblestone blocks.

Obviously, I hadn't yet woven in the ends of this sweater before I took the photo. I also hadn't blocked it yet - one arm looks bigger than the other here, but it turned out just fine after blocking. Learn more about Afghans for Afghans here.

Me ----> "Betty!! Get off that wool sweater this instant! But first, let me take your photo because you're so darn cute!"

Great and very helpful podcasters!

Want a glimpse of what it's like to be 23 and looking for a job? Check out Nick's podcast.

Give us a "like" over on Facebook and get some behind-the-scenes news....

Finally, here's the link to the terrific Morsbags movement - I love it!

Latest poll results: 31 of you answered the question: "Do you craft more in the winter months?"

23 (74%)
Not really
6 (19%)
I don't keep track
2 (6%)