Kanteen Carriers

On top of Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park

In honor of the boys’ first trip to Acadia National Park (only two hours away — how have we not made time for this before?!?), I made the boys and their friends carriers for their water bottles using the tutorial for an upcycled water bottle sling that Betz White created for the last issue of Petite Purls (Spring 2010).  I thankfully had quite a few outgrown pairs of cargo pants laying around here, even though I’ve given away quite a few already!  They were destined for Goodwill or a summer garage sale, but are now these super-cool drink carriers!

We have Kleen Kanteen water bottles, so I modified the pattern slightly by making it a little bit taller and cut out 10″x13″ rectangles.  The kids loved them!  My one other suggestion would be to add some sort of fleece sleeve on the strap as my younger son complained that it was digging into his neck a little bit on our longer hike on one of Acadia’s carriage trails.  I’ll probably take the time to add that before our next hike.

Hiking on carriage trails near Jordan Pond

Since you only needed a small rectangle for the lining, I was able to just use scraps that I had laying around.  I did buy the twill for the straps for a whopping $7!  And for those who are wondering, it probably only took me about 2.5 hours to make four of these, and that counts sewing on the decorative gold button that J picked out since he wanted his to be “different.”  We watched the weather, and went on the one day of April vacation that had the best weather.  We really lucked out.  Hardly anyone was there, the Park Loop Road was fully open, and the weather was gorgeous.  If you haven’t made time to visit the first national park east of the Mississippi, then you really need to find time for a Maine vacation.  Definitely a treasure!

Little Hunters Beach

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A new quilt

Why are dogs so not smart sometimes??  Especially my golden retrievers.  I was hoping to do a little sewing tonight, but instead my house smells like a skunk and my 10yo golden, who should know better since he’s had prior experience, also smells.  The Skunk-Off is currently drying, and then I need to bathe him.  Fun.  At least the 1.5yo really-fluffy golden retriever was spared.  That would have been much worse.  It only got him a little, but I’m out there shouting at them, and they just ignore me and continue to bark at the skunk.  YOU WILL NOT WIN.  How hard is that to understand??

Well, what I wanted to work on was this little beauty.  I’m making a Turning Twenty queen sized quilt with twenty fat quarters from Amy Butler’s Daisy Chain that I bought at Alewives Fabrics.  It’s so gorgeous!  And I’m feeling motivated from the quilt class that I took last month and I’m going to try hand-quilting it!  Yes.  I can’t wait to try it out.  It’s for our bed.  I’m excited to be making something for myself!

Quilt layout

The pattern makes claims that you can get this done in three hours!  Or some such thing.  Hmmm….yeah, maybe if you are super-human quilter.  I was able to get all the fabric cut and laid out in a pleasing pattern in one evening.  Then, another evening plus 10 minutes here and there to sew all the squares, and sew the rows together.  I think I’ve invested about 7 hours so far, and I have all the rows sewn together, and just need to sew the rows together, and put on the 6.5″ border.  Then, make the quilt sandwich, and start quilting.  I’m thinking, depending on the hand quilting thing, to be able to finish in about 20 hours.  Which is pretty excellent for a queen-sized quilt.  We’ll see how it comes along.

Now off to bathe a dog who knows he is in big trouble.

Pussy Willows in Wool

Betz White posted the cutest wool “pussy willows” a few weeks ago on her blog.  Well, I didn’t really read it clearly, and I thought she had actually used real pussy willows.  She actually just used bare branches to which she attached the felt balls to make them appear to be pussy willows.  Ah-ha!  Well, as I said, I didn’t read that clearly, and when I saw some pussy willow branches in the store, I snapped them up.  (To be told later, of course, by my friend that she has a ton in her yard!  Note for future reference.)  Well, after buying the pussy willows, I read the directions again, and realizing my mistake, decided to go for it.  And put the pussy willows out on our hall table, and added two branches of “wool” pussy willows to add in some color.  I love it!  And the high arrangement looks really good in front of the stairs.  I’ll have to remember that for future arranging.  In retrospect, I’m glad I only did two branches because I was making the felt balls by hand and my hands were getting tired rolling wet, soapy wool balls.