Charley Harper Quilt Along

Ethne at Flaming Stitches is hosting a Charley Harper Quilt Along!  I absolutely adore Charley Harper’s work.  I love to have tea and snack with my Charley Harper tea cups and plates (made by Tag, I don’t think they are available anymore).  I covet The Golden Book of Biology illustrated by Mr. Harper (I think my husband would balk at me buying a $150 used children’s book though.)  My boys are getting this new puzzle for Easter!  (Okay, it’s really for me.)  So, of course when I heard about the Quilt Along, I couldn’t resist.

I went through my Charley Harper stuff for inspiration: a 2010 calendar, a 2011 calendar, the coloring book, Memory game…  Enlisting the help of 6yo J, he picked out the following piece from the Memory game as what he wanted me to make.

I enlarged it on my copier until it was approximately the size of the block that I wanted to make (about 10×10), and I was off to my LQS to buy some solids.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do about the spots on the owl.  I was considering cutting a bunch of circles using my Sizzix, but I’m not sure I want to bother.  We’ll see how things progress.  I’d love to do a series of three mini-quilts to hang in my kitchen.

I’m cutting out the individual pieces, backed with Heat-n-Bond Lite, and then fusing them down to the green background.  Once that is complete, I will hand-embroider some of the pieces, then make my quilt sandwich and free motion quilt the bigger areas.  I just love the angry expression on the owl’s face!  He does not appreciate that golf ball near his nest!

Cut out pieces for the owls

Start of fusing

My placement is a bit off on the block unfortunately.  Ah well!  It’ll work out.  You can check out everyone else’s progress on the Flickr group for the Quilt Along.  I’m sharing this post on Lily’s Quilts Fresh Sewing Day – her new monthly blog feature about something you’ve been working on in the past month that you are excited about.

Fresh Sewing Day @ Lily's Quilts

Baby quilt in action

I love to see my baby quilts in action!  I made this one in about a week last fall.  I just made up the pattern and it used a fat quarter bundle of Flights of Fancy.  The quilt is about 42″ x 50″ if I remember correctly.

My first knit hat!

Learning to knit has been on my “bucket list” for quite some time.  Years actually.  Well, I finally have started down the road — I say “started” since learning to knit is a continuing process.  A wonderful friend of mine taught me to cast on while we sat in swim lessons one day, and after teaching me a second time, I think I finally figured it out.  Here is my first completed project!  The Family Favorite Hat from a local yarn shop, Halcyon Yarn, where I also bought the Cascade Magnum yarn that I used.  The boys were with me, and they picked out the colors for our favorite team – Go Blue! (If you are ever in midcoast Maine, definitely check out Halcyon, it’s a gorgeous shop.)  Ravelry link to J’s hat.

Hat for J

I have already started on a second hat for K, in opposite colors (Ravelry link).  The two skeins of yarn that I bought should be enough to make three hats according to the lady at the yarn shop.  I felt confident enough that I even learned to cast on using a different method from some You Tube videos!  Thank goodness for You Tube videos!  (I used this one and this one.)  Here’s the start of hat number two.

K's Go Blue hat

I already have in my mind what I want to do for a third project.  A cowl using some Noro Silk Garden.

Peg Leprechauns

Okay, this is my last post about peg people!  K came home last week saying that they had found leprechauns in the playground at school.  They had even caught one!  A few days later, K came home saying that he had talked to one of them and convinced them to come to our house!  So, on Thursday when they came home from school, they found these guys at our house!  K says that the one the he found looks slightly different.  He needs a black brim on his hat, a buckle on his hat, and a mustache instead of a beard.

Leprechauns are exploring the yard


Hmm...where should we build our cave-house?

You can make your own leprechauns using the pattern over at Wee Folk Art!

Peg person Thomas Jefferson

I am on a little painting peg people kick right now.  K had to do a President Project last month, and his president was Thomas Jefferson.  So, after being inspired by this post on the Etsy blog, I made him a Thomas Jefferson guy.

Thomas Jefferson

Ninja Guys

The boys started karate in January.  They are having an awesome time with it.  I made them these little ninja guys a few weeks ago.  They are just the 2-3/8″ people pegs from Casey’s Wood that I painted with acrylics and then sealed with some Mod Podge.  I made the mistake of making their eyes with a Sharpie, and the marker bled.  Wouldn’t recommend it.  I bought a paint pen for the next people that I made and it turned out much better.

Nature Walk Pants

I made the Oliver+S Nature Walk pants back in November at a super-awesome workshop with Liesl Gibson and hosted by Alewives Fabrics.  It was great to meet Liesl and the class was so informative.  I came home with these Nature Walk pants for my 8yo (made the size 10) but I had cut the elastic a bit too large and they didn’t fit him.  So, in Tina fashion, instead of opening the seam and cutting the elastic, I procrastinated long enough that 4 months later, they miraculously fit!

He is holding a Bowser figure from Mario Chess in case you are wondering

We are going to use them as pajama pants since I don’t really see my 8yo wearing these to school.  They have a nice yoga style waistband though and seem super-comfy.  I haven’t made the pullover yet, but I’d like to give it a try once I make some headway into my Works-in-Progress from 2010.

So, in an attempt to make some of that headway, I started sewing the other three pairs of nature walk pants that I had cut and ready.  When I cut the first two pairs (one in 10 for K and one in 7 for J), I neglected to flip the pattern piece to cut the legs opposite (one right and one left…hello!?).  So, at the class, I had to cut the other leg, and I ended up with two pairs of each. Thankfully, I had bought extra fabric!  (Fabric is a cheap score from the infamous Mardens.)

As I was sewing the pants this morning however, using my serger that I have very little experience on, but I’m trying to learn, I made the mistake of pinning as I was sewing the crotch area.  And one of the pins got too close to the upper knife.  EEK!!!  Flying broken piece of knife!  I don’t recommend it.  So, now the knife is broken, a new one has been ordered, and serger is out of commission.  I can finish them with my regular sewing machine, so I think I might do that this afternoon.  Liesl did a great job in the class teaching us how to sew knits with a regular sewing machine.  No, you don’t need a serger!  But it does make it a lot easier…

Unless you have broken sharp metal pieces flying through the air…

Holiday Place Mats

Well, I started these sometime in early December, but got side-tracked by Christmas and was not able to finish them before the holidays.  I am trying to finish up my works-in-progress from last year before I get too engrossed in new things.  (Hard to do with my short crafting-attention span.)  One down!  37 to go!  No, just kidding, what I would like to finish before moving on to other things are my Amy Butler Daisy Chain quilt for our bedroom, the house appliqued tree skirt (from Fat Quarterly’s Holiday edition) which is sitting on my ironing board and ready to be quilted, the knit Nature Walk pants from the Liesl Gibson workshop last November (1 of 4 pairs completed), and the Doodle Stitch-Along stitching and quilt (2 of 4 blocks complete).

For these place mats, I just cut out the various shapes, stitched them together.  I didn’t bind them traditionally, instead just put down the batting rectangle, then the backing right side up, then the top right side down.  Stitch around, leaving about 4 inches to turn it.  Turn, poke out the corners with a chop stick.  Press well.  Stitched along the bottom rectangle, close to the seam on each side (2 rows of stitching).  Then the same along the seam between the two top rectangles.  Then, top-stitch all the way around the outside, closing up the open hole from turning it as you go.  Easy-peasy!  And now to put these away until next December when I will seeing my new place mats!

Up close picture of my basic quilting

In the meantime, of course since I can’t resist, I have started/completed a few other projects.  I made two Kidlet wall pockets from JCasa’s free pattern using some burlap with the Echino bicycle fabric.  For my friend who loves her bike!  The inside is lined with some Kona cotton in a teal color.  Super cute!


And made an absolutely lovely visit to Halcyon Yarn in Bath, Maine (AMAZING place!) and picked up some gorgeous yarn to make their Family Favorite hats for the boys.  My first knitting project!  We’ll see how it goes.  I’m on row 5 and doing alright so far.

And that’s not even everything!  I had better get my little crafting fingers working!