Saturday, November 22, 2014

More Knit Owls on a String

I knit a few of these owls on a string last year. They are fast to knit and cute and you can use up odds and ends of yarn, so it's a great project. The pattern is free on Craftsy and Ravelry and called Owl Puffs. Stringing them is my idea. The first owls I knit last year, I had my hubby drill holes into branches so that they looked like they were sitting on a branch and I glued fake leaves on the branches. These owls that I just finished making are a gift for a friend of my daughter and I wanted something quick to make, so I didn't add the branches and I only knit 3 owls.
I used some wool felt for the eyes and beak. The pattern calls for using those plastic doll eyes. I also added 5 small jingle bells to the bottom of the owls.
Even though I used the same weigh yarn and the same size knitting needles to make these owls, this one came out a bit smaller than the other 2. I don't mind that as it gives each owl a different look.


There is a long bead on top and bottom of the middle owl to separate them. I wrapped a metal washer in some ladder yarn  (also called railroad track) and also wrapped that yarn around the hanging string.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Coiled Bowl Experiment

I decided to experiment by making a coiled bowl with just clothesline and no fabric. I took photos of the natural color bowl and I really like how it looks. I also wanted to play around and see how it would look if I painted the bowl, so I first colored the inside of the bowl with Neocolor II crayon pastels and then painted it with water and textile medium. I wasn't sure I liked it, so then on the outside I used Shiva Paintstiks and a stencil brush to add several more colors. Not too wild about how that turned out either. I then decided to use Pebeo Setacolor paint and paint over this bowl on the outside with a turquoise color, but left the inside light paint. I took photos of each so that I could see how it looked natural, painted with different paints and then decide if I ever want to paint a bowl again in the future. I think I will make more natural bowls because I do like the look of it. What do you think? Do you like the natural or the painted bowl? It actually took more time to paint than to wrap with fabric. Harder to paint because I really needed to scrub the paint into the coiled areas and that's what took the most time.
Natural bowl made with clothesline.
Looking inside the bowl.

Upside down bowl.
Inside painted with Neocolor II artist's pastels.

I added a touch of Shiva Paintstiks over the pastels to brighten it up a bit.
Upside bowl showing the Shiva Paintstiks.
Even though I really scrubbed the paint onto the bowl with the paint and stencil brush, it still looks pastel.
Outside of bowl painted with Pebeo Setacolor paint.


You can see the shadows of the other paints I used underneath this paint. I don't mind that as it gives it more texture.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Drawstring Bags

I wanted to use up some novelty fabrics that I had, so I decided to make a dozen lined drawstring bags. These bags are a nice size, easy to sew, and make great gift bags to put a gift inside the bag. They can be used by children and adults alike. The drawstring bags are easier for a child to open and close than a zippered bag too. You can sew your own fabric drawstrings or use ribbon. I chose to use ribbon because I needed to use up some ribbon that I already had. There is a wonderful tutorial for making these bags from Jeni of In Color Order. I used up several fabrics in my stash and some ribbon too making these bags.
The accent fabric at the top is a royal purple, but photographed more blue.
A pink fabric accent color on this bag.
I made 2 like this with the pirate fabrics.

I made 4 bags using this fabric, but each has a different accent fabric.

4 bags in the same fabric, 3 different accent fabrics.
4 bags in the same fabric, with 4 different accent fabrics.
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Sunday, November 16, 2014

My Birthday Gifts

My birthday was last week and I received some wonderful birthday gifts from 3 dear friends of mine. I wanted to show you all what I received and also what I gave to my friend Tara, who has a November birthday too. Tara and I celebrate our birthdays together each year since her birthday is 6 days after my birthday. This year we had a sewing day together, which was really nice.
First from gifts from Susan~
This pattern was from my good friend Susan who lives in Oregon. She knows how I love to make bags and sent me this pattern. I hadn't seen this one before and it sure looks intriguing the way it zips together and looks like a puzzle.
Susan wrapped the bag pattern in this gorgeous sunflowers fabric! I love sunflowers and coneflowers and oh my this is the prettiest sunflower fabric I have ever seen. I  took the photo so that you could see the selvage and the name of the fabric in case anyone wanted to know who designed this and the company it came from. Susan said there were 3 colorways too. I  haven'teen the other colorways, but I love this one! I will have to use this fabric on a bag that will really show it off. Thanks Susan!!!
My friend Bobbie made the cute little polka pot bag and stuffed it full of most of these goodies. The pens and pads of paper didn't fit in the bag, but all the great notions did. Everything is so useful and I really love that darling bag. I haven't made one like that before! Thanks Bobbie!
Tara likes to make paper crafts like cards and books. This is an interesting book that folds up accordion-style. She used giant buttons as the ends of the book and pictures of quilts glued to a ribbon. This is one side of the button book and...
...when you flip it over this is the other side. Sorry but you have to scroll down a few more photos to see the book closed.
Tara also gave me all of this.
Straps from Guatemala.
A fat quarter of this fabric (that must have gotten all fuzzy from the yarn that was touching it, lol)
And this thick chunky yarn that Tara said was called bump yarn. I hadn't seen this kind of yarn before. She also included a large crochet hook, but I don't know if I will knit or crochet with this yarn or what I will make with it yet. She said it would make a nice bowl, so that is a possibility. It's so soft too.
This is the button book from above closed. Thanks Tara for all the nice gifts!!!

Now I will show you what I gave to Tara for her birthday~
I made this little bag in an Asian fabric and sewed it to a metal frame and then I braided the handle too. This is one side of the bag and...
...this is the other side of the bag.
Inside the bag is another Asian fabric for the lining. The following things I placed inside the bag.
Tara is a knitter like me, so I decorated a couple of mint tins with fabric, ribbon and made a label for each. Inside one I put some point protectors for knitting needles. These point protectors are also great for protecting the points of small scissors or seam rippers too. The other tin had stitch markers; ring markers and the safety pin style markers too.
The outside of the tins look like this.
I saw a cute needle book in the shape of a teapot online so I made a similar one for Tara because she loves tea.
The needle book closed looks like a teapot. 
Inside the needle book.
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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Steam That Seam Iron Blocks

I made 4 blocks for the Quilter's Garden BOM/Swap this month. These are called Steam That Seam and of course are an iron pressing a nine-patch quilt block. There were 2 different iron designs to choose from. I chose to make just this style for now. You could make your iron pointing to the right or to the left or both. I made two pointing left and two pointing to the right. I also used rickrack for the iron cords instead of a bias binding because I thought it made the irons look more old-fashioned. Since the blocks each month are a mystery, and I do not know how I will set this quilt or how large I want it, I am making 3-5 blocks each month (swapping one each month) and then when the BOM is all over I can decide if I want to make some more blocks and play around with the setting. It was intended to be a row quilt, but not everyone will make it into a row quilt and I won't know myself until I have them finished and can play and experiment. This month's iron block was just so darn cute!


I made 2 of the blocks above. Since they are identical, I only photographed one. I am swapping one of these blocks.
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