Thread Thoughts

The Nut Graf knits, sews and attempts other crafts

I’m back! August 15, 2008

Filed under: Knitting,Quilting,Sewing — chengat @ 9:03 pm

I have finally found the time to take photos, upload them and update you on my goings on. Since coming back from Stitches in late February, I had been working nearly full time (8 hrs a day, 4 days a week) at my former job, filling in while they looked for a permanent replacement. Initially it was only going to be 2-3 months, but it ended up lasting through mid-July. Then I got caught up with some summer programs with my son. Anyway, enough of the excuses. Through it all I was still knitting, just not blogging. Check out my Flickr files and Ravelry account (user ID: thenutgraf) to see photos and more details of my knitting/sewing stuff.

The two knitted items I have been happiest with were the Manos Four Seasons blanket bought from a kit from the Yarndogs booth at Stitches and the Glee top. I thought it would take a long time to make the blanket because I have a hard time completing rectangular objects (i.e. stoles, scarves, and other things that require long sections of repetitive knitting). But the switching of the various colors and stitches kept it interesting and I was able to complete it in just a few weeks. Even the seaming wasn’t bad.

Here’s the Glee top using Sheep Shop 3 yarn from my stash. The only changes I made were a little shaping around the waistline and shortening the slit of the neckline (joining the piece to work in the round shortly after the sleeves.)

Recently, though, I have been focusing on sewing. My mom was in a town for a few weeks and I decided to enlist her expert sewing skills to help me complete a few projects. Plus, I had been inspired by all the fabrics and projects I saw at this year’s Southern California Quilter’s Run, which I missed last year because I was moving. Here are some of the small projects, some pillow cases and a table runner:

The table runner was my mom’s selection of fabric and her first attempt at free-motion quilting. Great job I think. It’s nice to grow up with someone with such talent. I have fond memories of helping her with her sewing projects as a child, and now the tables have turned!

And she found this great peacock fabric (made by Hoffman California Fabrics purchased from Cozy Quilt Shop in El Cajon) and we just had to make something from it. So to show off the fabric, we chose a pattern from the book, 9-Patch Pizazz. We were debating over whether to have a teal blue inner border or beige-gold inner border. We decided on one, but I will reveal it later. Here are both versions as seen on my design mat:

I am busy with more sewing, trying to get some of my quilt tops done. Here’s one that’s been lying around for a while, the Aloha Carlsbad quilt:

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Last-Minute Gifts: Stuffed horse December 20, 2007

Filed under: Sewing — chengat @ 7:40 am
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Here’s an easy stash-buster project that took me less than a half hour to make:
horse1.jpg

I made a bunch of these last year and gave them away to the little kids in our family. The above photo is the prototype I made for my son. It was inspired by Poncho, a very gentle Shetland Pony that my son used to ride at REINS, a therapeutic horseback riding program for kids with special needs. (If you click on the horses link at the REINS web site, you can see a photo of Poncho — he’s the horse of choice for the toddler crowd.)

Materials: I used fabric remnants found in the clearance bin of my local Joann store and novelty yarn I had in my stash for the mane and tail. You can also cut thin fabric strips instead of yarn.

I drew an outline of a horse on a piece of paper (the simpler the better), cut it out and pinned it to the fabric (folded right sides together). Cut the fabric around the template, making sure to leave about a quarter inch or so for seams. Lay your yarn pieces as pictured in the photo below:
horse2.jpg

Carefully sew around beginning at the saddle area, leaving open about an inch and a half at the saddle area for stuffing. Make sure you leave some shape definition around the head. I also recommend double stitching over the mane and tail area to secure the yarn. Snip fabric where there are sharp curves, making sure not to clip into the seams. Turn inside out, stuff, whipstitch shut. Use pinking shears to cut a rectangular saddle with contrast fabric. Cover the whipstitched area with the saddle and use a decorative stitch, e.g. running stitch or blanket stitch to attach. Further embellish with sequins, bead, or ribbons if so desired.

This is my final installment of last-minute gift ideas. Merry Christmas!