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!

Doodle Stitch-Along, Week 2

Here is my completed block for Week 2 of the Doodle Stitch-Along (yes, I know that we are already into Week 4, but I’m happy to be as far along as Week 2!).  I really love how this one turned out.

The pattern was for the boy and girl.  I added the butterflies from the Week 3 motif, and then I just freehanded the grass and brown toadstool, as I thought they looked better standing on something instead of floating in the air.

I used a long-and-short stitch for the red hood and the boy’s shorts, the hair is a stem stitch on the inside, and just two rows of back stitch on the outline, and the rest is pretty much just back stitch with some french knots here and there.  The leaf and mushroom stem were satin stitch.

You can download the Week 3 motifs (mushrooms and a tree trunk house) and the Week 4 motif (mushroom house) on the Lark blog.  I made up my quilt blocks for Block 3 and 4 this morning so I’m ready to get started on the tree trunk house tonight!

Doodle Stitch-Along, Week 2, In Progress

Week 2 is still in progress, but what great progress it is!  I love it!  (That hood took me quite awhile.)

Doodle Stitch-Along, Week 1

Helloooo!  Happy New Year!  Yes, I realize that it’s January 19th.  Sorry for the long hiatus.  I got a new camera for Christmas and I haven’t had time to figure out how to download the pictures.  So, finally took the time to figure it out and here I am!  Lots of stuff to share from Christmas, but in the meantime, I joined along in the Lark Books Doodle Stitch-Along with Aimee Ray.  She is putting out one free design from her Motifs book each week and you can stitch it up.  There is a Flickr group to play along.

I decided to make mine into a mini-quilt, so before starting my stitching, I created my quilt block with some rainbow blocks and white Kona (in Snow) in the middle.  The rainbow blocks are made from sewing some 2.5″ strips from the Kona brights jelly roll together.

Here is my first week’s design of the gnome and mushroom!  (You can download it here.)  Isn’t he a cutie?

Gnome and mushroom embroidery

Close-up of embroidery

I used the following stitches and colors:

* Mushroom  – Red 666 in a modified long-and-short stitch
* Mushroom stem – Taupe 3782
* Mushroom spots – Ecru in a satin stitch
* Little Swirls and dots – Aqua 3846 in a split stitch and french knots
* Hat – Green 906
* Belt – Orange 722
* Pants – Electric blue 995 (LOVE this color!) in that modified long-and-short stitch again
* Beard – Gray 415

I love the rainbow block outline.  I can’t wait to see how it will look with all four blocks completed!  Next up: Woodland Children!

Swap birthday crown

Just had to share the birthday crown that I made for a handmade toy swap. I think it turned out great. It’s wool felt, and my inspiration for the sun embroidery was from the season ornaments in Doodle Stitching.

Embroidery WIP

Just wanted to share my first embroidery project in its “in progress” stage. I’m excited to finish up and create the pillow. Unfortunately, no crafting this weekend went on. We were busy with school open houses, playdates, grocery shopping, laundry, and other such things. We did have several bird sightings at our new bird feeder, which everyone was excited about. Spring is coming…..eventually. We had a whole flock of robins in our driveway when we came home from school on Thursday. That was exciting too!

Black-capped chickadees and American goldfinches at our bird feeder on our back deck.

Transferring an embroidery design

So, Kim asked how Doodle Stitching recommended transferring a design onto your material. They suggested several ways, usually involving various types of pens, light sources, etc. So, I’ll tell you how I did it for my first project, which is all I can do since I’m highly in-expert! It worked really well though, so I was happy.

I bought an iron-on transfer pencil. It was maybe $2 at Jo-Ann Fabrics. I copied the pattern from the book, enlarging it to the correct percentage stated in the book using my flatbed Canon home copier. The pattern was color, so I darkened in some of the lighter lines with a regular pen. Then I turned the piece of paper (just normal copy paper) over and traced every line on the back side of the paper using the transfer pencil. (I held it up to a glass window with light shining through to transfer easily – would work better with a light box of course, but I don’t have one.) I then laid the transfer pencil side of the design onto my fabric and ironed it, per the pencil’s directions. I set the iron down for 10 seconds, moved the iron, 10 more seconds, etc. until it was all transferred. It worked great! At first, I was worried about ironing directly on paper, so I used a press cloth, but that wasn’t working to transfer the design. So, I ironed directly on the paper, and it was fine.

I’m still working on my project, but it is coming along nicely. I’d say I’m half done. I’m excited to see what it is going to look like all sewn up! Here’s how it looked before I started the embroidery.

My next project

So, here is my next project! The Sweet Dreams Baby Pillow from Doodle Stitching. I can’t wait to start! Hopefully this weekend, but I have a few other things that I’m working on that I should try to finish up first. But, the idea of starting the new project is so tempting!!