Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my blog readers!

From Diane, Jason and of course Hershey!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Baby Gagnon's Storybook Quilt

Here is a super easy Storybook baby quilt:

I made it using Moda's Snips and Snails line, it was a charm pack with white on white borders!  I found the pattern on Pinterest for this storybook quilt.  Since the pattern was simple, I broke out my stencils and traced designs in the colored rows and then I stitched in the ditch around both sides of the white borders.  I am very happy with how this came out!
I made it for one of hubby's snowmobiling friends who are expecting their first baby in February!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Big Brown Monster

Here is my big brown monster!

I have been working on this quilt for about 18 months.  It is so large that I would work on it and not see much progress so I would put it aside.  Finally, I decided to finish it up!  It is a king size quilt, 111" by 111", hence it's nickname!
I did not even attempt to machine quilt this one myself due to its enormous size.  Instead, I paid to have it quilted by Lucie at Lakeside Quilting in Holland, MA.  Lucie teaches several classes at Meeting House Fabrics in Wales, MA and does wonderful work.

Here is a detailed picture of the machine quilting:

I also made the two shams along with two king size and two queen size pillowcases with the leftover fabric.  I always buy too much fabric because I am afraid of running out so I put it to good use!
My hubby said that this is the most beautiful quilt that I have made so far.  I'd have to agree!!! :)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Hershey's Quilt

Since hubby and I both have new quilts this year, Hershey needed one too.  Here it is:

This one is about 28" by 32", perfect for him to curl up on it.  Here's proof:

I made this one using Missouri Star Quilt's 5" Charm Pack Tumbler Template.  It was so easy to assemble and all the points line up perfectly by themselves!  I want to make another one of these quilts soon!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Jay's Snowmobile Quilt

After making myself a new quilt earlier this year (see my blog post My Jitterbug Quilt), my hubby wanted one too.  So while we were on vacation in Lancaster, PA in May, I stopped in my favorite Amish quilt store, Zook's Fabrics, and I found some snowmobile fabric.  I bought 6 yards of it with no quilt pattern in mind.
Here's what I made him:

He absolutely loved it!  It is 60" by 72", perfect to cuddle under on the couch after a long and cold day of snowmobiling!
The four squares in the corners are embroidered.  They say: "Eat my flakes", "Snowmobile junkie", "I'd rather be riding" and "If There's no snow in heaven, I ain't going!"  The block I made is called King's Crown.  I wanted a block that had a big center (6-1/2") so you could clearly see the details of the snowmobile fabric.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Quilt As You Go Placemats

Last month, I took a class at my local quilt shop, Meeting House Fabrics in Wales, MA for quilt as you go placemats.  Here are my finished projects:

And here is the other one:

For this project (I made 2 from these requirements), I needed about 1/3 yard of focal fabric (snowmen), 15"x19" fabric for backing, 15"x19" batting and 3 to 4 coordinating fat quarters.
I made these slightly off center just to be different.  The process is very easy and I love that once you have covered all your batting that you just trim it and bind it!  I am going to be making more of these soon, probably for Christmas!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Dolly Kwoosh Shawlette

Here is my second shawl, first one using fingering weight yarn:

Since it was using fingering weight yarn, it did take longer to make it.  It was a very easy pattern though!  I really like the way the colors works out on this one!

Pattern: Kwoosh Shawlette
Yarn: Stroll Hand-Painted by Knit Picks  #24769 - Dolly
Needles: US 4 (3.5 mm) on 30" Cables

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Lazy Angle Ruler

I have been on a quilting kick lately, it must be the change in temperature because I have not touched my sewing machine since June.  I have been reading lots blog posts and looking for new patterns.  In my searching, I came across and really cool ruler called Lazy Angle Ruler.

I bought it as a kit, pattern book and ruler, from Soft Expressions which included a book entitled, Lazy and Lovin' It by Lazy Girls Design's Joan Hawley for $39.99.  If you know me, I LOVE new quilting rulers!  It's almost like an obsession!
I had some free time this weekend to try it out.  Here are my samples:
Lazy Star

Paddle Star

Hollow Star

I was playing around with some 5" scraps and I made these blocks.  They are very easy to make and assemble.  This is a fun ruler with lots of potential!  The pattern book has 250 blocks you can make using this ruler.  The possibilities are endless!  I'm so happy I bought it!
In case you are wondering what I am going to do with these blocks, they are going into Hershey's quilt.  Whenever I make a block trying out a tool or ruler, I put it aside for him.  When I am caught up on my projects, I will put them all together and he will have his own quilt made especially for him!

Monday, September 9, 2013

My New Croc Socks

Here is my first attempt at crocheting socks for myself.

Allow me to introduce my Croc Socks!

I had a pair of lined Crocs that were worn out.  So instead of buying new ones, I made some Croc socks to replace the current liners.  I love how they came out and how they feel on my feet!  I am going to make another pair for myself and one for my hubby.  When I showed my hubby them, he loved them and requested a pair for himself immediately.  He thought they were so cool and I agree!

Pattern: Croc™ Socks by Carol Ballard
Yarn: Loops & Threads Impeccable Solids #01630 - Pumpkin
Hook: US I (5.5 mm)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Chocolate Sanibel Cowl

Here's another Sanibel Cowl:

I love this cowl because it is so pretty while being a brainless knit especially while on vacation in the White Mountains in New Hampshire.  I love the dark brown color of this one!

Pattern: Sanibel Cowl by Beth Anne Paustian
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Solids #9750 - Chocolate
Needles: US 7 on 24" Cables

Thursday, September 5, 2013

My Magenta Saroyan

Here is my first shawl:

This was a fun shawl to knit even though I was constantly reading the pattern.  This shawl is made with worsted weight yarn so it worked up quicker.  I am very happy with the results.

Pattern: Saroyan by Liz Abinante
Yarn: Cascade Yarn Cascade 220 #7803 - Magenta
Needles: US 10 on 24" Cables

Monday, July 22, 2013

My Crown Jewels Bucket Bag

I am on a bag kick lately.  Here is a bucket bag:

This was an easy bag whose base is worked in the round increasing for several rounds and then 25 rows of single crochets.  It used almost 400 yards of yarn.  I have several large skeins of cotton yarn that I am finally putting to good use!  This will make a great project bag!

Pattern: Crochet Bucket Bag by Lion Brand Yarn
Yarn: Lily's Sugar N' Creme Ombres #W273925 - Crown Jewels Ombre
Hook: US F (3.75 mm)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Bone Sanibel Cowl

Here is another Sanibel Cowl for the East Coast Knitters Group KAL on Ravelry:

I made this over the july 4th holiday while I was camping with friends.  I wanted to bring a project that I did not have to constantly keep refering to the pattern.  It was a perfect choice!

Pattern: Sanibel Cowl by Beth Anne Paustian
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft #9703 - Bone
Needles: US 8 on 24" Cables

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Peace Maker - Michele Chynoweth

Summary: Chessa's husband, Darren Richards, is a behind-the-scenes narcissistic abusive alcoholic. None of that changes when he becomes the leading candidate for President of the United States. Chessa's worries about her husband reach a fevered pitch as he closes in on winning the nation's highest office. How can she support his candidacy, even if it will mean becoming First Lady? Meanwhile, Darren's opponent, Leif Mitchell, is selected from his humble life as a stable hand and country rock singer to run for political office. His charm and leadership pave the way for him to become a national hero and a real threat as the leading Republican presidential candidate. A powerful Darren will stop at nothing to bring Leif down, causing Leif to reconsider his "high road" approach to politics. When Chessa finds out Leif is preparing to seek revenge on Darren in an attack that will not only destroy her husband's candidacy, but will probably cost other innocent lives as well, she is suddenly faced with a decision: Should she preserve peace at all costs, protecting those who would become collateral damage as a result of the ensuing battle - and in default, her husband--in turn sacrificing her freedom and risking her own life? Should she try to stop Leif, which may ruin his chances but save his soul? The Peace Maker is based on the story of David and Abigail in the Bible's First Book of Samuel - a story of hardship, struggle, courage and faith that God will lead his people if they but let Him.

Chessa Richards is the wife of  a New York senator who is running for President of the United States.  Her marriage is anything but perfect but with it being so much in the public eye, she does her best to cope with it.  Leif Mitchell is a young governor of Kentucky who is running against Senator Richards for the candidacy.  When the race starts getting close, the candidates will do anything to guarantee the win.  Will they make the right choices?  At what stakes will they stop? 
This was a quick paced and hard to put down book with a couple of good twists.  I really enjoyed the characters of Chessa and Leif and watching them develop before, during and after the campaign for presidency.  There was a little bit of politics in the story but if you've watched any shows or movies about it, it is easy to follow.  I am looking forwardto finding more books like this one to read in the future.

Friday, July 12, 2013

To Win Her Heart - Karen Witemeyer

SummaryHaving completed his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade he learned at his father's knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past. But small towns leave little room for secrets...

Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she steels herself against the attraction he provokes. His halting speech and hesitant manner leave her doubting his intelligence. Yet as the mysteries of the town's new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart.

Levi's renewed commitment to his faith leads Eden to believe she's finally found a man of honor and integrity, a man worthy of her love. But when the truth about his prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back the librarian's affections?
Levi Grant comes to Spencer, Texas to start his life over while forgetting his past.  He rents a building to work as the town's blacksmith and builds himself a positive reputation.  Eden Spencer is the daughter of the town's founder and one of the most elite families in the community.  Levi and Eden are from two different worlds but their love of books brings them together.
Will the friendship between Eden and Levi develop into something more?  Will Levi tell Eden about his past?  If so, how will she react?
This was a great story about friendship and forgiveness.  These characters had such depth that you could not help but fall in love with both of them.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book!  I read it as my selection for my neighborhood book club.  The group enjoyed it as well.
As a surprise for the club, I had arranged to Skype with the author, Karen Witemeyer, last night to talk about it.  I met Karen through the online reading community called GoodReads.  I messaged her to ask if she would be available on this day and she graciously accepted.  Karen was a wonderful part of our discussion.  We learned where she gets her ideas for books, some of her favorite classic and contemporary books and her thoughts behind most of the characters, including Onery, the dog!  We talked to her for about 45 minutes and everyone enjoyed themselves.  After we ended the call, the group thanked me for putting in the effort to make this the best book club meeting yet.  Thank you Karen for making this month's meeting a memorable one!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Purple Muriel the Butterfly

Here is another commissioned order for a co-worker:

She requested a butterfly for her niece in girly-girl colors!  I like how she came out!  She was quick and easy to make as well!

Pattern: Muriel the Butterfly by Stacey Trock
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Encore Colorspun Worsted #7139 - Purple and Red Heart Super Saver in Baby Pink and White
Hook: US G

Friday, July 5, 2013

My Easy Peasy Project Bag

Here's a new project bag that I made for myself:

This is the same bag that I made in this post.  This time I made a larger base, made it taller (since I had plenty of yarn and made a built in handle.  Here are the details of my changes:
I began by chaining 31 for 20 rows. Then I did 45 rounds for the sides of the bag before making the handle. For the handle, I did 19 sc, then ch 12, then skip 12 sts and do 19 sc to finish off one side. Repeat for other side. I did 3 more rows of sc before finishing it off with a row of white sc.
I love the size of this bag.  It is holding 9 cakes of yarn and a bag with hooks and some patterns.  I love it!

Pattern: Easy Peasy Crochet Bag by Sharon Maher
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton #W275979 - Poppy
Hook: US G

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

My Grey Emilia the Elephant

Here is my first pattern from Adriana Aguirre:

I made her as a commissioned order for a co-worker who requested her for a baby shower gift!  I love how she came out!

Pattern: Emilia the Elephant by Adriana Aguirre
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft #9509 - Grey Heather and #9701 - White
Hook: US G

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Rouge Sanibel Cowl

A friend from Ravelry, Amy (a/k/a AmyBamy), invited me to join the East Coast Knitters group.  They are having a knit along for the month of June for this item:

It is called the Sanibel Cowl.  I made this for myself!  It was such a fun and brainless knitting pattern.  I love how it came out!  I bought more yarn from Joann's last week to make it two more colors before winter.

Pattern: Sanibel Cowl by Beth Anne Paustian
Yarn: Loops & Threads Immpeccable #01531 - Rouge
Needles: US 8 on 24" Cables

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Miami Dolphin

Here is a commissioned order from work:

A co-worker asked for a dolphin in Miami dolphin colors for his sister.  He was very happy with and my want one for himself!

Pattern: Dolphin by Jennifer Down Under
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Peace and Love #W260936 - Boogie Blue and #W260961 - Orange Chill
Hook: US G

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Light Blue Owen

Here is another monkey for a commissioned order from work:

I must admit, I am rather tired of making Owen the Monkey since this is the fourth one I have made in two months.  But, on a positive note, I think that assembling him is now easier.  He came out perfect!

I also wanted to add that Stacey from Freshstitches contacted me to ask if I would share my photo of Owen on her pattern page on Ravelry!  Of course I said YES!  I am honored!  Click on the pattern below and see for yourself!!!

Pattern: Amigurumi Owen the Monkey by Stacey Trock
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver Light Blue and Buff
Hook: US G

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Howie the Penguin

Here is my first penguin that was a commissioned order from work:

He ended up being bigger that I thought he would be.  He is so cute and cuddly!  Jen was really happy with it!

Pattern: Amigurumi Howie the Holiday Penguin by Stacey Trock
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver Black, White, Light Blue and Lemon
Hook: US G

Friday, June 7, 2013

My Easy Peasy Crocheted Bag

I sent my buddy bee, Michaela, a skein of Cascade Soft Spun yarn and she was looking for a pattern to use it that was something just for her.  So we both starting looking and we found the Easy Peasy Crochet Bag.  So we both decided to make one.
I started crocheting the bag on Friday night and I got this much done:

So I finished it and added the trim, handles and fabric lining on Sunday when I had some quiet crafting time alone!  Here is the finished product:

Here are the details behind this bag:
  • I used Cascade Soft Soun Yarn.
  • I used a size I hook.
  • I chained 8 to start.
  • I worked the base for 30 rows.
  • I worked 30 rounds for the body of the bag using up all the yarn.
  • I added the trim and handle made from Knit Picks Telemark Sport weight yarn.
  • I used a size F hook for the edging.
  • I braided the handles using 18 pieces of yarn for each handle.
  • For the liner, I used a fat quarter (18" x 22") of fabric following the pattern instructions.
  • I hand stitched the liner to the bag at each single crochet.
I am very happy with how this came out.  I may make some more of theses soon!  My hubby was impressed and thinks they would sell well at work or on Etsy.

Pattern: Easy Peasy Crochet Bag by Sharon Maher
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Soft Spun #2837 - Pink and Knit Picks Telemark #23937 - Columbine
Hooks: Size I & F

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

My Buddy Bee Package

Here is my buddy bee package that I received from Alayna (ATobey on Ravelry):

I loved it!  Here is a close up of Archer the dog:

She made him to match my chocolate labradoodle, Hershey!  I think he is too cute!
She also made me a kindle cover that fits perfectly:

She was afraid that it might not fit but it did.  She also included a soap saver crocheted holder for when I go camping and a thread cutter.
Thanks so much Alayna!!!


Monday, June 3, 2013

Vacation Potholders

Here are some potholders that I also made on vacation and over Memorial Day weekend.
Emerald Isle


Summer Splash



Damask Ombre

This is a great, no-brainer, pattern!  After you make your chain, there is no counting at all!  You just keep single crocheting until the sides meet up in the middle.  It is a super simple and useful pattern!

Pattern: Crochet Folded Potholder by Michelle Gibbs
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton #W260943 - Hippi, #W260865 - Psychedelic, #W260989 - Aquarius, #W272599 - Summer Splash and Lily's Sugar and Cream #19241 - Emerald Isle and #19535 - Damask Ombre
Hook: US G

Friday, May 31, 2013

Vacation Starburst Hotpads

Here are some hotpads that I made while I was on vacation and over Memorial Day weekend:
Blue and White

White and Blue

Summer Splash (All one color)

Hot Green and Hot Pink

Hot Pink and Hot Green

I have a few more colors what I have put together that I will be making into these hotpads soon.  They are not as difficult to make as it looks!  After they were assembled, I used my iron on the highest steam setting to make the whole hotpad lay flat.

Pattern: Starburst Hotpad Pattern by Kiley Jones & Loretta Schepp
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton #W272599 - Summer Splash and Lily's Sugar and Cream #00001 - White, #50215 - Robin's Egg, #01740 - Hot Pink and #18172 - Hot Green
Hook: US G

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Buddy Bee Swap

I participated in another swap put on by the Freshstitches group over on Ravelry.  Here is what I made for my partner, Michaela (ToastyOat on Ravelry):

She had this amigurumi listed as a favorite so I had to make it for her in her favorite color orange.  I found the instructions to covert the gnome into a wizard from this blog posting from a fellow Raveler.
I also made her a pillowcase:

When I saw this fabric in my stash, it screamed her name so I made it for her.  I also added a placemat for her dalmation Zelda, 2 appliqued hand towels and a skein of Cascade Soft Spun yarn in orange.  She totally loved everything!  It was a pleasure being your buddy bee Michaela!
Yarn: Plymouth Encore Solid Worsted in #1382 - Yellow, #0208 - White, #0217 - Black, #1383 - Orange and #1202 -  Beige
Hook: US G

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Pink Owens

I was commissioned from a co-worker to make two monkeys in pink for her twin cousins.  Here they are:

Shocking Pink Owen

Baby Pink Owen

She loved them!  I wonder if they will make it to their final home since she loves pink as well!

Pattern: Amigurumi Owen the Monkeyby Stacey Trock
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver Baby Pink, Shocking Pink and Buff
Hook: US G

Friday, May 17, 2013

T-Fal Iron Review

This iron, T-fal Ultraglide Easycord Ceramic Soleplate Steam Iron, is the second iron that I have owned in 5 months (but that is another story).  When I went to get the replacement for my first one, I read lots of reviews on the irons available at Kmart (that's where the first one was purchased and they were accepting it as a return).  Here it is:

I love how it sits on the cord.  I am a quilter so I was looking for an iron that produces a lot of steam to help take out the wrinkles from my fabric.  Another feature that I wanted was a smooth bottom.  This was the fabric did not get caught up in the recessed holes.

It is also a smooth ceramic plated bottom.  It glides over the fabric with ease!

The cord does not swivel but moves up and down so it is not in your way when you are ironing.  It also has a large opening for filling with water.
Overall, this is a great iron for only $39.99.  It has not leaked (yet) and is working like a charm.  If you are in the market for a new iron, for quilting or every day use, I would recommend this one!