Bentley’s Minky Blanket

Last weekend I got to spend time with my best friends and their children (which of course, automatically makes them my favorite kids).  I always blog the projects I make for them.  Well this time it was Bentley’s turn for a handmade gift.  I decided to make him a blanket made out of the softest material I think you can buy – Minky!  I had never worked with it before and wanted to see if it was as soft as everyone says it is.  The answer – yes, it really is incredibly soft.  It was also incredibly stretchy on the sewing machine.  I bought this kit at Fabric.com.  But while you are working with it for a sewing project, it sheds like you wouldn’t believe.  I watched a Youtube video about how to work with Minky and I was warned.  I still wasn’t prepared for the fluff that would cover my craft room.  Once you sew the blanket together though, the fluff and shedding disappears.  Well worth the reaction from the family!  I guess Bentley’s older sister has already claimed it as her own since she is 3 years old and Bentley is only 9 months.  Hooray for a popular blanket!

 

Now I better get to work on his Christmas stocking!

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Baby Doll Toys

This August marks two of my favorite little girls’ birthdays, both daughters of my best friends.  The one is only a year old and still easy to please with a knitted hat.  But the oldest just turned four and is starting to get to the point where she will remember my gifts.  Remember my gifts?  Remember that I am the crazy woman who loves to craft for her?  Oh boy, the stakes are high!  I had to make a good impression!  That’s where suggestions from her mom are always helpful.  Now that she has a little brother, Miss Ella is all about being a mom herself.  She likes to pretend she is taking care of her baby dolls just like a real baby.  So I made some felt diapers and wipes based on this pattern.  Just something simple.  While I was buying the iron on velcro, I spotted some Minnie Mouse fabric in the clearance bin and decided to make a baby doll blanket.  I hear that was a big hit!  Success with crafting for a four year old!

 

 

 

Now it is time to plan for my fall projects!  Happy back to school time!

Birthday Fabric Banner

Fabric pennants and banners are everywhere right now!  So for a surprise birthday party, I decided to create a name banner.  I used leftover fabric from a quilt I made for the same person.  After looking at several tutorials, I decided to create a simple rectangle banner.  I used my pinking shears to cut the rectangles and sewed a simple seam to sandwich them.  The letters were created using my own drawing and Wonder Under.  How have I never used this double sided fusible interfacing before?  It was really cool.  Black bias tape strung all of the rectangles together, and voila!

 

 

The photo was a little grainy and dark, so I lightened it and there appears to be a halo around the rectangles, but there really is not.  Just black, white, and pink fabric.  I will definitely be making more of these in 2013.

2013 Goals – The Year of Acceptance

The past few weeks have led to a lot of reflection about 2012 and ideas for 2013.  Ali Edwards always recommends “one little word” for the year, and this year I am choosing “acceptance.”  For me, it means accepting who I am as a crafter.  With all these years of crafting experience, I think I know some of the things I like to do and some of the things I do not.  For example, I love scrapbooking, but I am just never going to be one of those “one photo super ephemera page” type of scrapbookers.  I know, never say never, but some things I can be pretty confident about.  I do not enjoy quilling or crocheting tiny toys.  I have no desire to knit a complicated cable sweater for myself.  These are things I know about myself.  But in 2013, I want to find other crafting realizations of acceptance.  Maybe I will always have a stash of yarn and I just have to accept that.  Maybe it is acceptable to have hundreds of buttons for scrapbooking.  I want to accept who I am and not feel guilty about who I am not as a crafter.  A lot of knitting podcasters have been talking about the “no guilt” year and “acceptance” is my version of that this year.

 

So all of that being said, here are my goals for 2013.  After seeing what happened in 2012, I am sure there are several projects I will come up with that do not relate to this list.  But I am excited to make these projects happen in 2013.

  • Keep track of three stashes – fabric, yarn, and fiber.

For the past two years I have kept track of fabric, so that should be easy.  I am not a prolific fabric user.  Last year I kept track of my yarn intake/outtake, which was quite the eyeopener.  It really helps me think about new purchases.  One of the ways I was able to help balance my yarn purchases last year was through buying fiber.  Well 2013 is the year for keeping track of fiber too.  The main goal for all of these stashes is always to use more than I buy.

  • Finish spinning the fiber for a handspun sweater and knit it.

This was something I started working on last spring when I became more serious about spinning and won a new wheel.  I m halfway done with spinning the 32 ounces of fiber and want to finish that.  I hope to three ply the fiber.  Then I want to knit myself a sweater out of it.  It is taking sweater knitting to a whole new level!

  • Do not participate in Campy Loopy this year.

This sounds like a funny goal, especially because I try to keep my goals positive.  But for the past two years I have participated in Camp Loopy, a three month long knitalong where you buy yarn for each project during the summer.  It is a great program because you receive free yarn and discounts.  But it also consumes my summer knitting.  Sure, knitting a sweater in a month is great, but it requires buying yarn and picking a new pattern.  I have plenty of yarn!  I want to knit what I want to knit this summer – no rules.

  • Knit six projects for myself out of the six “brown bags” I created.

Two years ago I knit 12 socks in 12 months, partially due to the incentive of the “brown bags” I put the yarn in.  It was surprise each month what I would get to knit with.  It also required a lot of my knitting time, as you can imagine.  So this year I am reenacting that goal by cutting it in half – six bags throughout the year.  I have already bagged up the yarn.  They are all skeins that I decided “I must knit with this in 2013.”  So that should be fun.

  • Make a t-shirt quilt out of my box of t-shirts.

This goal has been on my mind for several years, but I definitely want to make it happen in 2013.  I am confident enough in my quilting abilities to make it a success.  And it will be a great way to see some of my favorite t-shirts.

  • Create a master list of scrapbook pages that need to be completed and do them.

I am again behind on my scrapbooking pages.  I did not scrapbook as much in 2012 and need to get back to it.  Usually I go on a long retreat weekend to make it happen, we will have to see when I time for that in 2013.

  • Organize my stamp filing cabinet this year.

Almost everything I have is organized into a space.  In fact, some days I have time for crafting, I just use it to organize.  But somehow my stamps have gotten a little out of control in their filing cabinet.  So I would like to organize that in 2013 and be able to see all of my stamps easily.  One of the things I know about myself (part of acceptance) is that I need to be able to see it if I am going to use it on my cards.

 

Seven crafting goals for 2013, I think I can make that happen!  It is going to be another busy year, but I am looking forward to it.  Hope you are too!

Subversive Cross Stitch

For years I have been following Julie at Subversive Cross Stitch.  Her patterns are not for the easily offended!  But this year I stitched two of her designs.  One for my house that says, “Stop Freaking Out.”  It hangs in my hallway and sometimes I nod to it when walking by because yes, I generally need to stop freaking out.  And then the second one was a Christmas gift this year for a friend who has been talking about learning how to twerk.  If you do not know what twerking is, I will say it is a type of dance move.  But if you Google it, be prepared for some craziness.  I warned you.  And if you looked at the Subversive Cross Stitch website, you know that I stitched the mild ones!  Just another fun crafty project.

 

 

Pear Portfolio Pad

Another gift I gave recently was this “Pear Portfolio Pad.”  It was a kit over at Connecting Threads and I thought it would be a good birthday present for my mom.  Even with all of the pieces and padding, it only took an afternoon to sew together.  I was pretty pleased with myself because usually I have a hard time sewing projects with multiple linings.  I hope I am getting better at it!

 

 

It is a good time to check in about my fabric stash progress too:

Used over the past few weeks: 10 yards
Used year to Date: 15 yards
Added Recently: 13 yards
Added Year to Date: 15 yards
Destashed Year to Date:  5 yards
Net Out of Stash for 2012: 5 yards

 

Still ahead of the fabric stash, but I did end up buying most of the fabric for recent sewing projects.  Hopefully the rest of the year I can just use the stash!

Stash Report 2012 – Week 17

Well the fabric and yarn fast has ended!  I made it 16 weeks without buying any fabric or yarn.  And then I went on a trip and stopped in a yarn store.  And realized I wanted to make an “I Spy” quilt in time for visiting my favorite toddler in June.  But the good news is I finished a large knitting project!  So here I am with a stash report for Week 17.

Fabric Stash Update – Week 17:

Used this Week: 0 yards
Used year to Date: 3 yards
Added this Week: 1 yard
Added Year to Date: 1 yard
Destashed Year to Date:  5 yards
Net Used for 2012: 7 yards

 

Here is my Piper’s Journey.  I finished this on my latest trip (how appropriate for the pattern name, right?).  And I am super excited because I will get to show it off next week to the designer herself – Paula from the Knitting Pipeline podcast!  We are both attending Camp KIP.  So hopefully next week I will have lots of photos from camp to share with you.

 

Yarn and Fiber Stash Report – Week 17:

Knit Year to Date:  3185 yards

Traded/Sold Year to Date:  1036 yards

Added Year to Date: 750 yards

Net Destashed for 2012:  3,471 yards

Spun Year to Date:  1,105 yards