Harry Potter Knit Swap

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Happy Wednesday! Today I am sharing another handful of finished knits! Back in 2011, Amanda and I did a Harry Potter craft swap to celebrate the release of the final Deathly Hallows movie. (Read more about that swap here.) We had so much fun making and collecting things for the swap, we decided to do it again! So, in the Summer of 2014, Amanda, Jacey and I decided to do a Harry Potter swap based on the first book. We each agreed to knit something related in some way to the first book. I was supposed to knit something for Amanda, and I'd receive from Jacey.

At the time, I had really just started to become more adventurous in my knitting, and was nervous about trying to make something for an accomplished knitter! I knew Amanda loved to wear hats, but didn't keep many of the ones she's knitted for herself. Since I knew I was attempting a bit of a simpler knit, I also wanted to knit a pair of arm warmers to go with it.

I knew I needed to choose a yarn color that would tie in directly with the book, since my pattern choices weren't. I was thinking about how all the students wear scarves or sweaters that match their house colors. I think Amanda would be a Gryffindor, so I wanted to knit her something with a nod to that. There are tons of versions of the Gryffindor scarf online (the classic red and yellow stripe), but wanted to knit something a bit more sophisticated. I chose this beautiful deep red Madelinetosh color (Tart), that has undertones of black, which seemed perfect.

For the hat, I chose the Greyhaven Hat pattern by Robin Ulrich, and knit it in Tosh Vintage. I knit this hat for myself in gray, and this time I around I used markers to separate each lace repeat. This really helped keep me on track and allowed me to knit it with less concentration. I blocked it on a balloon to get the lace nice and even. (See more on my Ravelry.)

For the arm warmers, I chose the Women's Hand/Wrist Warmers pattern by Joelle Hoverson, and knit them in Tosh Chunky. They knit up quickly, and I was able to use my 9" circulars to knit them, so no magic loop! I did knit an extra pattern repeat before the thumb hole to make them a bit longer. (See more on my Ravelry.)

Jacey knit me a pair of amazing colorwork mittens from the The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits, Special Issue 2013. The pattern is O.W.L. Mittens by Celeste Young. On one side of the mittens there are owls on tree branches and a moon. On the other side, are spells from the books. She knit them in my favorite color, purple! I mentioned back when the issue came out that I would love to knit them, and she remembered and knit them for me. They are an absolute treasure, I am still in disbelief that she knit them for me! (See more on Jacey's Ravelry.)

Happy Knitting!

Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter from George Bunny, Jeni and Michael! Here is George's official Easter 2016 photo! And of course there were a few outtakes too... :)

Sort of sleepy!

Hmm, what's going on?

Are their treats on Peep island?


Seriously, where are the treats?

You're facing the wrong way, George!

Those Peeps won't bite!

I'll sit right here.

Wait, I smell treats!

False alarm.

Okay, I guess these Peeps are nice!

Are we done yet?

George was well compensated for his cooperation with a fresh baby carrot.

Happy Easter! 

Glamp Stitchalot Mystery Medallion Quilt

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Happy Tuesday! Today I am happy to be sharing a finished quilt with you! This is one of the bigger quilts I've made in a while. In November of last year, I taught at the inaugural Glamp Stitchalot retreat! There were five other teachers (Violet Craft, Sarah Fielke, Katy Jones, Alison Glass and Tula Pink) and we all worked together to design a mystery medallion quilt, which students worked on throughout the weekend! I've finally finished up my sample of the mystery quilt!

Unfortunately, the pattern was exclusive to the event.

A look back at my initial fabric pull for this quilt, all from my stash! I ended up adding quite a bit to this pile, especially the black and white fabrics! I love these warm colors, especially with the addition of eggplant purple.

Ta da! The full finished quilt! I am so so pleased with how this ended up turning out. To be honest, I started this quilt not too long before teaching at the retreat, and it took quite a few very long sewing days to get it done in time. I'm glad that I did, but even happier that it's finished and I can now enjoy it!

Each teacher was responsible for designing a center block and a border. I used my own center block and then did a border from each teacher, with my own border to finish it off! Surprise, surprise, mine uses half-square triangles! :)

I took a bit of liberty with a couple of the borders. On Sarah's applique border, I used elements from her center block for my cornerstones in that border. I also shrunk the leaves a bit for the vines so that I could fit a few more.

For Katy's border, I was starting to really run short on time, so I simplified it by using some giant hexagons. I even got lazy and used my iron to press the fabric around the paper template, to avoid having to baste them! I did end up needing to cut a hexagon out of white solid to insert inside the hexagon shape so that the background fabric wouldn't show through. I didn't think ahead enough, it would have been a better choice to have the white be the background in that border!

I knew I wanted to finish it off with a strong binding. In the quilt top, I used black and white fabrics that were predominately white. For the binding, I used a print with a black background and white accents from my Geometric Bliss collection.

A quilt that I put this much work into deserved an extra special quilting treatment. I sent it off to my friend Christina Lane for her to work her magic on! She really knocked it out of the park, she knows just what I like :)

She even drew up some George bunnies and quilted them into the final border!! I totally freaked out when I saw them, it's such a super sweet touch. The quilting absolutely makes this quilt, I love it!

For more information on Christina's longarm quilting services, visit her website here. Don't forget to check out her pattern shop as well!

One more shot of those adorable smooching bunnies!

And one last shot of the full quilt! This quilt was too big and heavy for my typical duct tape/brick wall setup. They're storing two sets of short bleachers on a basketball court near our apartment, it was the perfect place to take these photos!

Happy Quilting!

Birthday Giveaway!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Hello! This Spring marks seven years since I first started this blog! March is also my birthday month, so I thought it was a good excuse to hold a giveaway!

One lucky reader will win a signed copy of my book, Patchwork Essentials: The Half-Square Triangle, a fat quarter bundle of Curiosities, and a small boxes of each of my Aurifil thread collections, Tidbits and Favorite Things.

To enter, please leave a comment telling me your favorite way to celebrate! One entry per person, international entries welcome. Giveaway will close Monday, March 21st at noon CST. Winner will be chosen at random. I'll update this post with the winner shortly thereafter.

Giveaway is now closed. The winner is comment #560, Michelle!

Thank you for your readership over the years!

Sandra Saddle Bag + Double Zip Wallet

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Happy Tuesday! Today I want to share a pair of projects that I made before our trip to Disney World this Fall. I was trying not to stress myself out too much before our wedding, but I wanted to make something new to take on our trip.

I was in the mood to try a pattern I hadn't made before. I knew that I wanted something that I could wear cross body, and that was small but roomy. I decided that a saddle style bag would be the best option. I searched Pinterest and ended up discovering Swoon Patterns, and their Sandra Saddle Bag Pattern. Functionally, it seemed like the perfect choice, plus it had a vintage look to it. Total bonus!

It was a great excuse to use this Japanese print from my stash. I paired it with some gray chambray. The pattern has a lot of great details and the instructions were easy to follow. I purchased a kit for the hardware, there is a list of shops carrying the kits here.

The surprise is in the little zippered pocket, some George fabric! I wanted to be able to take George with us in a small way. The purse ended up being a great size for the trip, just big enough to tote things around, but not too bulky.

My regular wallet is a bit too big for when I travel, so I decided I would also make a wallet to go with the bag. I quickly settled on the Double Zip Wallet from Handmade Style by Anna Graham.

Since the purse I made was pretty neutral and low-key, I decided to use a pop of color for the wallet. I chose the green ripple canvas print from Anna's Rainwalk fabric collection. I paired the print with some plain cotton linen and a striped denim.

I love the sophistication that the hardware adds. I used antiqued brass snaps and metal zippers for my wallet. It's a great size, and has worked great for a number of trips! I like that I can keep change in the zippered parts, many wallet patterns don't have a place to put change. I recently used one side to hold receipts!

Zippers from Zipit, snaps from Snapsource.

These types of projects are some of my favorites. Being able to make something to fill a specific need never gets old!

Happy Sewing!

I Want Her Stash Club

Friday, March 11, 2016

Happy Friday! I'm popping in quickly today to share about the I Want Her Stash Club from Westwood Acres Fabric! I am excited to be a part of this club this year!

Each month in 2016, a different maker curates a bundle of 14 fat quarters and designs an exclusive 18" quilt block pattern! They've put together a great line-up for this year:

Dec: (No Featured Designer - Get Caught Up On Projects!)
You can join anytime, it's a minimum 3-month commitment! For more information and to join, go here.

Have a great weekend!

APQ Quilt Along: Part 2

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Happy Wednesday! Today I'd like to share the rest of my progress for the APQ Quilt Along. For more on the quilt along, and the early progress of my quilt, see my previous post. Quick recap: I made a quilt top for the APQ QuiltCon booth using Brenda Ratliff's Easy Addition Pattern in the Spring issue of Quilts and More.

After I made all the blocks for my quilt, I took a photo of each one individually and put them together into a little slideshow. I think I did a pretty good job mixing up the prints, with only one or two repeat combos.

This is a huge quilt! Those final row seams took a while!

Like I said, big! So much so that even with a step-ladder, I couldn't get the whole quilt top off the ground!

I really enjoyed working with all the navy, it's not a color that I use often.

Finally, here is a shot of the finished quilt in the APQ booth! I love the quilting they chose for it.

Interested in participating in the quilt along? Find more information here! You can also see photos of all the blocks individually on my Flickr.

Happy Quilting!