I hosted a “Pinterest Party” a little while ago, and had a number of projects which we tried out, so much fun- I’ll post about that later. But one of the projects I had planned for us to make was this super cute Bird’s Nest Pendant- Tute Here -and we just never got to it. So I decided to give it a go for myself the other day and it turned out adorable! I highly recommend this super easy project, it literally took maybe 5 minutes to make.
Hello Blog! I’ve been away enjoying my summer, traveling and hanging out with my kids. It’s been great- but I didn’t get a whole lot of time for crafting. I did manage to get two knitting projects completed though!
Earlier this summer, I started the Ginkgo Shoulderette to challenge myself with a larger piece- with a chart instead of just a pattern. Normally I don’t wear chartreuse but when I found this yarn it seemed perfect for a “Gingko” shawl. It took ALL SUMMER. Fingering weight yarn is TINY, meaning thousands more knit stitches than with a thicker yarn.
Lucky for me I was sent to Biloxi Mississippi for a month-long training course. I got a lot of work done on the plane, and in my hotel when I wasn’t in New Orleans or Pensacola. It is also my first project which required a significant blocking (blocking is basically shaping a knitted object, get it wet and spread it out like you would a sweater you just washed) and it was tricky to keep all the edges straight and even. Technically I still have to weave in my ends but it is otherwise done:
My next, much quicker project came together in just a matter of days. Recently we traveled to Philadelphia and completely unintentionally ran into a beautiful Yarn/Fiber Arts Shop called Nangellini. The owners were amazing, introducing us to all the hand-dyed and hand-spun lovelies, taking time to credit the local artisans and even give a very quick demo of a drop spindle for me and my husband. My daughter purchased some awesome single ply super thick yarn for her finger knitting, and they showed her how to use the ball winder.
I got myself some amazing hand dyed yarns- it was very difficult to choose. My very favorite though was a super squishy bumpy thick to thin skein dyed an amazing rich magenta and spun with a black cord dotted with silver sequins. It’s maker named it “My Heart Beats Double For You”, and while it may be the most expensive yarn I’ve ever purchased, it’s character makes it worth it. This made for a very quick knit as a Drop Stitch Cowl.
Completing these projects felt really good, as I have a TON of knitting projects half done and there always seems to be a new pattern I want to get started on or a beautiful yarn that calls to me. My husband cleaned out our spare bedroom so I can use it as a crafts/sewing room- just in time for crafting season (otherwise known as Winter).
Since moving to Delaware, I have really missed my girlfriends and our knitting nights. My husband met a knitter where he works and immediately texted me- “I found you a knitting buddy!”. We got together this week and she showed me these adorable “project bags” she purchases from Etsy and her amazing collection of Knit-Picks needles. New needles aren’t exactly in the budget right now, but I just knew I could make some project bags myself.
After perusing the internet for quite some time, I found this tute: Suesse Sac. I skipped the patchwork and frilly embellishments (for now) and opted to add interior pockets to hold a few extras.
First- made my pattern with a paper bag, cut out my fabric, and got going!
Handles were first, notice the little triangles cut out along the curved seams, do this to reduce the bulk and get a nice smooth curve. Also press, press, press EVERY seam! It’s a pain sometimes, but this step “sets” the seam, and keeps things smooth.
I added a pocket to the interior, but did not catch it when sewing up the sides of the bag. Haven’t had to get the seam ripper out in a while but it is an awfully handy tool.
Tie up the handle, fill with a WIP! This bag is the perfect size for a small project like socks, washcloths, hats, etc. The pattern could be blown up to whatever size you want.
I must admit it was my husband who encouraged my 7 year old to pursue her love of feather earrings by making them herself. She tried to tape some feathers to her ears at summer school, and it wasn’t working- so daddy took her down to the craft store and purchased everything she needed. Some ear wires, headpins, crimpers, beads, feathers- and her let her at it. Within minutes her first pair was made and she’s been cranking them out!
We are super proud of our little jeweler! And I am super excited that my daughter got some crafty genes!! It’s always more fun to craft with others, especially your little girl!
Here is my first Pinterest-inspired and completed project! I came across “yo-yo” quilting and was intrigued. All those tiny hand-sewn little circles sewn together one by one, the perfect project to work on while watching t.v. and relaxing!
I picked up 1/4 yard of a few coordinating colors and found a nifty yo-yo “maker”.This little gadget saves time, as you don’t have to trace a ton of circles and then cut them out- you can just pop your fabric in between the discs, then cut around the edge leaving a small seam allowance. Sew through the disc’s sewing guide openings all around then pop out your nearly finished yo-yo.
I made about 30 of these when I decided this would never be a quilt. So on a subsequent trip to the fabric store I picked up a pillow form and some brown fabric, made a pillow cover, and appliqued a block of 6×6 yo-yo’s to my new throw pillow.
I’ve seen tons of projects made with yo-yo’s; pillows, table runners, coverlets, etc. People have even shaped them into butterflies and hearts, in all sizes, with or without the yo-yo maker. Even though I gave up on making a whole yo-yo quilt for now, this was an incredibly satisfying hand-sewing project.
I just finished hand sewing the binding onto my quilt, and my fingers are only slightly worse for the wear. I now get why people use thimbles! Here is the completed zig-zag quilt:
This was a huge undertaking, but I’m glad I did it. I’m also glad it is going to one of my best friends who is also a fellow crafter. I don’t know that I could make something like this for anyone who doesn’t realize how many hours of work go into it.
I didn’t buy enough of the grey fabric for the backing, and had bought the last of it at my local JoAnns, so I went with a solid navy and inserted a mini “crazy quilt” on the backing. I think it adds a little extra something to the quilt:
And it gave me a nice little spot for some embroidery to personalize it:
So that’s it!! Now to wrap it up and hopefully it will last in her family for years to come!