Monday, January 19, 2015

Computer Case

Many months ago we got a much needed new computer, and Mr. T asked if I would make a case for it. As much as it warmed my heart to hear him request a handmade item, I didn't have time to get around to for a few months. Finally, in October I had some time off work, so I made finishing this case a priority.

I used the same style I had used for his iPad case previously, but I changed the dimensions to fit the computer as well as the additional padding I added. All pieces are lined with fusible fleece, and I also added a layer of duck canvas to the two exterior pieces.  I quilted everything with a 2" cross hatch to make sure all the layers stayed in place and to add a bit of extra weight.

The exterior fabric is Yard Dyed Essex in black and the interior is something that I received in a swap during the DCMCQ Retreat a few years ago and that couldn't have fit Mr. T better.  When he saw the case, he even said I should have put the records on the outside!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Alpine Headband

Two weeks ago, one of my friends turned THIRTY! To celebrate, we went skiing (my first time ever, but that's a different story), so I made her this aptly named Alpine Headband.

It was just a happy coincidence that the pattern I liked was also named after her chosen birthday activity, but I take it as a good sign that she'll like this (naturally I only started working on it the night before the ski trip, so I didn't quite finish on time and haven't given it to her yet).

I used Tosh DK in Smokestack and Malabrigo Lace in Glazed Carrot that I had originally purchased to make an Argon Tee, but then didn't like a) how the lace and DK worked together for that tee and b) could tell just by the first few inches that the sizing was going to be way off.

The pattern was super easy to follow, but given my gauge I was afraid the finished headband would be too narrow, so I added another two rows (which equals 4 additional stitches) to the repeat to make it a bit wider, and then ended up doing 6 or so fewer repeats than recommended to reach the desired circumference.

I also used the new camera I just received as a belated Hanukkah gift to take photos. SO AMAZING! So far I've only used the automatic function, but I'm excited to take some time and learn how to operate it manually.

Monday, January 5, 2015


I first mentioned these socks on July 11, 2012 when I purchased the yarn.

Then I mentioned them again in January when they were almost complete, but I frogged them because the fit was awful.

Now, two years later, it is my pleasure to introduce my first pair of adult socks!!!

You can scour the archives of this blog and find many references to the ridiculous number of times I took out rows, or frogged these completely, but now they're done and I love them!

They're plain vanilla socks with a 2x2 rib cuff and the fish lips kiss heel. I was originally working the gusset heel from Wendy Johnson's Socks From the Toe Up, but there was no way it was ever going to fit. So after a lot of research, I gave the fish lips kiss heel a try and it's great! It was super easy to knit, and it fits really well. I think the feet of the socks are a tad too big, but I can easily fix that next time. I must have some oddly narrow feet and/or extremely tight knitting style because even the smallest sizes in all of the patterns I looked at were way too big based on my gauge (these were 56 stitches on size 0 needles... Or maybe size 1. I'll have to check).

Now I just need to get some sock blockers! If you have suggestions for cute ones, leave a comment.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

do. Good Stitches - December 2014

To finish out the year, Amy challenged us and asked for paper pieced blocks using a pattern she wrote for a double edged arrow.

She asked members to make two blocks with black arrows and white/gray/low volume background. She's going to contribute red arrows for a very cool and contrasted quilt.

To top arrow is solid black with a mix of solid white and dotted background, and the bottom arrow is a Kona Stone background with a Sketch arrow (it looks solid in the photo, but it's not).

And after a few months of being pretty behind with my bee blocks, I'm happy to have completed these on schedule!

Monday, December 29, 2014

DCMQG Mug Rug Swap

In October, the DCMQG held a fall mug rug swap. I requested a larger mug rug with no white or red and good for everyday use (no seasonal or holiday theme). I'm super excited with what I received! The mug has become one of my favorites and is in regular rotation on weekends and days I work from home.

And I took the rug in to work to decorate my desk and serve as a good storage spot for my personal items (mainly food and beverages, plus bamboo!).

My assigned partner was Heather, former guild Treasurer.  Heather asked for a smaller mug rug and provided a Pinterest board with color and theme ideas. Working off of that, this is what I created:

Her inspiration board had a lot of blues, greens, and purples, as well as some photos of fall foliage. The background is Essex yarn dyed linen. This was also the perfect sized project to practice my FMQ (finished it was about 6x8 inches). It was quite frustrating at first - I was getting eyelashes on the back no matter what I did -  and I took out countless stitches before I was finally satisfied with the appearance of the stitches. 

For the back I used this cute ladybug print leftover from Rayna's quilt. And for the binding I tried the zig zag stitch method for the first time. I wasn't sure at first, but I kind of like how it creates a double frame on the front.

We weren't technically supposed to include extras, but I threw in some tea and hot chocolate I had at home, as well as some rugelach Mom made. They're one of my absolute favorite treats!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Fabric Photo Album

When my brother and sister-in-law told me they were expecting their first child, I immediately started making a mental list of all the things I needed to make - as any self-respecting crafter would do. One thing at the top of the list was a fabric photo album, inspired by this one I saw on you&mie.

The hardest part was finding good photos of everyone. I scoured my SIL's facebook album, and badgered family for photos when I couldn't find them online or in my archives.

After I had the photos, I printed them on sew-in printer fabric. I think this paper worked pretty well. I used a laser printer and let them sit at least ten minutes to dry before I touched them. Then before I sewed with them I set them with a dry iron, protecting the photo with a layer of paper towel. There were a few smudges, and Mom got a bit wrinkly, but otherwise all the photographs printed well and look good.

I wanted a nice, colorful book, so I selected a variety of fabrics from my stash, paired them, and then matched the photos with fabrics, trying not to wash anyone out too badly.

Proud aunt and uncle!
To add some plushness, I sandwiched a single layer of batting between each set of pages, and quilted around the photos and the outside of the pages to keep it in place.

Finally, I included ties to keep the book shut, and a simple embroidered cover.  Plus my label on the back.

Now as my little niece grows, she'll be able to get to know the faces of all her family members, those who live near, those who live far, and those who have unfortunately passed away.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Matilda Marie

In March, my brother and sister-in-law's good friends had a baby girl, Matilda. I've met them a few times, and they helped throw the baby shower for my niece over the summer, so I decided to make them a simple whole cloth quilt.

I used this awesome print from Backyard Garden, Cloud 9's second collection for JoAnn, for the front. I think the sleeping cats are my favorite part (it's kind of blurry, but they're the little gray blobs in between the pink and blue flower beds).

And a soft gray flannel for the back (to match the cats, of course).

After binging on a few episodes of Elizabeth Dackson's Craftsy class (highly recommended), I took advantage of the busy print and practiced my free motion quilting with a large stipple. It's definitely getting better!

A hand-embroidered binding with the baby's name and birth date for an extra personal touch.

And finished it off with a pink binding with a hint of blue to pull it all together.

I haven't seen the recipients since sending this off a few months ago, but I did receive a very nice thank you care, so I trust that Matilda is enjoying her quilt!