Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 - The Year in Review

2007 has been quite a year!

I went to many craft/fibery events like Maryland Sheep and Wool, Stitches East, a festival at the Textile Museum, a spinning event at the Mannings, I saw the YarnHarlot herself speak, and I went to Crafty Bastards in DC.

I got a spinning wheel, Sarah taught me to sew, made three quilts, knit my first sweater, knit my first lace shawl and learned to dye yarn from the master herself. I traveled to many places like Cancun, Key West, Jamaica, Cozumel, Cayman Islands, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Cape Cod, camping and Wisconsin (for a family reunion). John and I learned how to live with cancer, we made some new friends, lost some loved ones and saw the births of many new babies. Most recently - my dear friend Jolene's new son Joe!

Happy birthday Joe!

Birthday Boy Joe

What a great way to end the year. :)

I also had a birthday (yesterday) and now I'm 32! Time flies!

As a sort of tribute to this year - I put together a mosaic of most of my knitting that was completed in 2007.

2007 knitting

And most of my sewing projects that were completed in 2007. I even got one mentioned in Craft Magazine (woohoo!)

2007 Sewing

It's been a great ride - I can't wait to see what 2008 brings!

Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Baby Doll Quilts!

Just a quick one today...

I scratched the itch to quilt something today by making two little baby doll quilts:

Baby Doll Quilts

These are for Jolene's little girls, S and E. Their mom told me they used to use washclothes as blankets for their baby dolls, so I decided they needed real quilts.

They are very similar - but with different middle squares - and of course both have girly pinks and purples.

Baby Doll Quilt

Baby Doll Quilt

I machine quilted them - and it made a cool little spiral pattern that you can see on the back.

Back of Doll Quilt

Have a great weekend!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Scrap Journals and cake!

So last time - it was scrap scarves. Now it's scrap journals.

I just couldn't bear to throw away my leftover fabric scraps. I didn't use them all up with my scarves.

So, while "last minute shopping" at Borders today I saw some Moleskin notebooks. I vaguely remember seeing something about being able to sew on these. I grabbed a three pack, came home and picked through my scrap pile.

I came up with these:

Scrap Journals

Scrap Journals!!

After finding the fabric pieces I wanted to use and arranging them just so, I sewed the pieces on. I was able to sew right through the fabric and the notebook covers with no problems.

Scrap Journals

I'm quite please with how they came out. I even played around a little with running the stitches right off the edges of the notebooks.

I definitely see myself making more of these - they took less than 10 minutes to sew and I think they came out great!

I even sewed bookmarks to the back cover to match.

Some other last minute handmade holiday gifts were these little beauties:

Red Velvet jar cakes! (Well sort of...)

Red Velvet cake

I didn't have any mason jars. I even braved Walmart on a weekend to look for some, but came up empty. Instead I found these small Pyrex containers.

"Red Velvet cake"


I used this recipe (thanks Super Eggplant for the idea!) for the cake and canned cream cheese frosting (instead of making my own).

Then I wrapped each one in a red kitchen towel, added a bow and a bell, and voila!...

Red Velvet cakes

Instant presents! I handed these out to my neighbors today. I hope they liked them. Of course I had to save one for me, it was delicous!

Merry Christmas!!

I hope Santa is good to you and brings you lots of yarn!

Our Charlie Brown Christmas tree!

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Scrap Scarf - a tutorial

Still need some last minute Christmas gifts for the special people on your list? I have just the solution! As much as I would love to be able to knit everyone on my list a handmade item, there just isn't enough time in my day. Sewing a scarf on the other hand,... that is definitely do-able!!

I have lots of scraps left over from my recent holiday crafting adventures and I hate to throw things away - especially fabric! So I decided to use some of it for a new project. I call it the Scrap Scarf.

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It's a great way to use up leftover fabrics AND make a quick handmade gift. I enjoyed making these so much, I decided to write up a tutorial to share with you.

So here it is...

The Scrap Scarf

by Jody Scofield

Materials Needed:

- 1 yard of faux suede or fleece
- Scraps (3-4 different cotton fabrics)
- Cutting mat, ruler and rotary tool
- Sissors
- Seam Ripper
- Thread to match your main fabric
- Iron
- Sewing machine

1. Start by selecting your fabric

I used scraps for my first two, but then decided to dig into my stash for my latest one.

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You will need a yard of a faux suede or light fleece for the body of the scarf, and some scraps or small amounts of cotton for the patchwork accents on the ends.

2. Cut your fabrics

You are only going to cut one piece of the body fabric at this time. (We will cut the second piece later.) Fold the main body fabric selvage to selvage, and using your rotary cutter, cut one long piece 6 inches wide (the size of most quilting rulers) by 36 inches long (one yard). I found that by folding the fabric in half, it is easier to manage the length.

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Next cut your accent fabrics. Make sure each piece is 6 inches wide. The height is up to you. You can let the pattern on your fabric be your guide as I did here with this piece of Amy Butler fabric. I also cut some strips of the body fabric to use in the patchwork section to help blend it all together. You can cut the body fabric directly from the end of your 36 inch strip (because you won't need it all).

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3. Plan your layout

Arrange the pieces you want to use for the ends. They don't have to be symmetrical - you can change your layouts slightly on each side for added interest.

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4. Now it's time to sew!

Sew the pieces together (right sides are always together) using a quarter inch seam. Most sewing machines have a presser foot that is about a quarter inch that you can use as a giude.

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5. Press

Once all the pieces are sewn together - go to the ironing board and press your seams. Pressing makes all the difference - it really makes the end result much more professional looking.

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Try to get all the seams to lay flat - I usually press them all in the same direction.

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6. Cut the last pieces of body fabric

Now that you know how long your patchwork ends are going to be, you can cut the second strip of body fabric. Cut two more 6 inch by 36 inch strips. Lay out your first piece of body fabric with your finished patchwork ends. Measure how long the combined piece is (patchwork and body fabric) and if needed, cut the first piece of body fabric so the entire piece (patchwork ends + body fabric) will measure 36 inches.

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7. Sew the body and patchwork edges.

Sew the two 36 inch strips of body fabric together (right sides facing) to create one long piece (6 inches by 72 inches).

Next, sew the patchwork ends to the remaining strip of body fabric.

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8. Join front and back

Now you will sew the two body pieces together using a quarter inch seam - right sides facing. Make sure to leave a gap at one end to turn the scarf right side out again.

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9. Trim

After you have sewn all the way around, trim the corners and any excess fabric from around the edges. This will help reduce lumps when you turn the scarf right side out.

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10. Turn your piece right side out

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11. Press

Iron your scarf again after turning it right side out. It will make top stitching so much easier!

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12. Top stitch

After it's pressed, fold the edges in where you turned the scarf rightside out and pin them in place.

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Top stitch all the way around your scarf using an eight of an inch to a quarter inch seam being careful to close your gap as you sew.

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One technique that helps you achieve neat corners is to stop sewing about a quarter inch from an end, keep the needle in the fabric and raise your presser foot. Rotate the fabric 90 degrees while the needle in still in the fabric. Put the presser foot back down and you have now turned a perfect right angle.

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After top stitching around your scarf, iron again if desired and you're done!
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I hope you liked my little tutorial.

Please let me know if you try to make one - I'd love to see what you come up with!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Birthday Quilt

Thursday was Coleen's birthday! I'm a little late posting about it - but I made her a quilt for her big 4-0!

She doesn't looks a day over 21 though :)

Coleen's Birthday quilt

I gave it to her on Friday at her birthday bash thrown by her lovely sister and one of her oldest friends.

Coleen's Birthday quilt

I am so happy with how the quilt came out.

Coleen's Birthday quilt


Pattern: The "Stacked Coins" Quilt from Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson.
Fabric: Variety of Amy Butler and solid quilting cotton

Coleen's Birthday quilt

Coleen's Birthday quilt

OK - so who says you can't model a quilt?

Coleen's Birthday quilt

Not me!

Coleen's Birthday quilt

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Handmade Weekend

Saturday was one of the best days I've had in a very long time. I spent the entire day creating art, laughing with friends and exchanging gifts.

First of all - it was extra special because Sarah was in town!!! I missed my Sarah :)

The day started with a little baby shower/onesie making party for Jolene. Her girls came along too and we all got creative! We sewed and painted up a storm! Here is just a small sample of our creations:

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These are mainly the painted ones that needed extra drying time.

Most were fabric creations. We cut out fabric, ironed on fusible interfacing and then hand or machine sewed them onto the onsies.

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I will have to take some more pictures of the sewn ones - they were amazing!

Can you tell there were knitters in attendence - we had to do a sheepy one!

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After the mini shower, we headed out for our Handmade Holiday Tea. Erin arranged for us to get together at Teavolve - a very zen little place on Eastern ave in Baltimore - for a holiday gift exchange. Basically, Erin assigned each of us a secret partner and we had to make a handmade gift for them. It was so much fun!

Here are the girls:
Erin and Jen
Erin and Jen

Gin and Jen
Gin and Jen

Jolene, Sarah, Amie and me
Jolene, Sarah, Amie and Jody

Chris and Erin again.
Chris and Erin

Cheryl was there too - but she hates getting her photo taken :)
We missed you Coleen!

We had tea of course. I had Earl Grey Imperial. It was delicious!

Each one came in a groovy green tea pot with a candle warmer bottom. I wanted to take one home!

"Green" tea

And what's a tea party without tea sandwiches!

Tea Sandwiches

It turned out that Jolene had me and I had her! I made her some fingerless mitts and a Frenchy bag. I didn't get a chance to take a pic of the bag, but here's Jolene wearing her new mitts.

Jolene wearing her new Mitts

I designed the pattern for these - and I'll be posting it soon as a freebie. They are really great for that last minute Christmas knitting project! Check back soon for the pattern!

New Design

Jolene made me this amazing lace scarf! I love it!

Lace Scarf

Not only did she make me the scarf...

Lace Scarf

She included all these goodies too!

Lace Scarf and goodies

The cutest little Scottie dog ornament (pattern by All Sorts) (Which looks just like my boys!)

Scotty stuffy

A gorgeous copy of one of my favorite books - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland...

and some handmade soap...

Thanks for an awesome day ladies!

(I haven't stopped wearing my scarf yet!)

Lace Scarf