Monday, January 26, 2015

Pretty Little Things from Posie Gets Cozy

I am in love with these ornaments.  They are currently hanging in a row under the mantle - they fill the blank space left from putting away our Christmas stockings beautifully.

I went on a bender after the holiday and ordered four kits from Alicia Paulson.  So far I have worked my way though 6 ornaments (6 more to go).  Each one is impeccably designed and detailed.  I have really been able to hone my embroidery skills as I put together each one.  The accompanying writing for each kit adds to the whimsy I feel whenever I pull out materials to work on one.

What I love about these is that while I have stayed really close to the original design I do feel that I can take a bit of liberty with each one depending on my skill level and available tools.  For example, I didn't have the right shears for the detail work on the apron for the gingerbread woman so just adapted with what I had on hand.  I think it still turned out beautifully.

I have completed the ornaments that my daughters coveted the most (hot cocoa! a cute chubby mouse!) and am now working on the others as time permits.  Next up to finish is the ice skate and then the dreaming child.

These ornaments will certainly be a special part of our winter season from this year forward.  I'll draft a follow-up post when the other six are complete!  (Husband hint: Alicia does have two other kits as well -- maybe they will make their way into my stocking next Christmas?!)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Taggie Blanket v2.0

This holiday season I got to work on a really feel-good project -and fun taggie blanket for the sweet daughter of a friend in NYC.  I met my friend many years ago when I was living in NYC and when her daughter was born I her a taggie blanket that had been made by my sister-in-law.

From having my own kids I knew that most kids l-o-v-e taggie blankets.  This little girl was no exception and possibly loved her first one more than most.  Her Mom contacted me and shared that it was on its last legs - I jumped at the opportunity to make another for her daughter.

I was able to pull it together very quickly thanks to my Mom who had a ready supply of pre-cut ribbon.  (Unknown to me she has been making a few of these with her friends for grandbabies!)  I picked up the minky from a local fabric shop and the yellow front fabric as well.  The design on the front is a small repeat of yellow rubber duckies.  Too cute.

My friend emailed to share that her daughter immediately took to the new blanket and has lovingly paired it with her old blanket and is happily using both.  What a great thing.  The photos are of the new taggie blanket in it's new home with it's new owner (I was so excited to ship it off I forgot to take any, smile).

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Handmade Holidays

I took a break from knitting again - I had started on a pair of socks that I thought might be a gift for the holidays but my wrist really started to act up and I was having trouble doing yoga and pilates so I thought I would pull back from knitting for awhile.

Instead I turned to some mittens from up cycled sweaters, a new quilt block pattern and some lingering cross stitch patterns to help craft up the holidays.

The mittens went to some special people that have been helping me out with a volunteer project over the past year.  I even used some felted handknit sock legs for the cuffs - they were dropped off by a sad neighbor that had felted her own socks and didn't want to look at them anymore.  I told her I had been there myself and gladly took them from her.  I am really happy that I was able to put them to good use in two new pair of mittens!  Each pair of mittens is lined with cashmere - a lovely addition that I discovered really makes the mittens enjoyable to wear.  I mean fleece liners are nice, but cashmere?  Wow.  I also got around to making cashmere liners for my tree mittens and have been wearing them most days this winter.  They are perfect.

I made these three coordinating tree wall quilts for myself, my Mom and my Mother-in-law for Christmas.  I was inspired by the patchwork forest tree tutorial by Diary of a Quilter and once I started making the blocks I couldn't stop!  I wound up with over 100 blocks after one weekend of sewing and from there it was just a matter of organizing the blocks into sets that were well coordinated.  I kept the one of the far right (next photo).

Each has a nice hanging pocket on the back and all were quilted with straight lines.

I also have never framed any of my small cross stitch patterns from over the years.  This Santa had been sitting in a box for a couple years and it was time to take it out and get it up on the wall.  I went to a big box store to get some custom mats cut that would fit off-the-shelf frames.  I then mounted the linen fabric on all natural cotton quilt batting (a recommendation from a local framing shop) and placed it in the frame for the wall.  Success!

I did the same with the Winterwoods ABC's from Alicia Paulson which finally got it's proper place in our hallway.

Next up for framing are the Peace on Earth cross stitch, our family pixel portrait and a recent color pencil drawing by my 7yo which she made during a recent trip to our local art museum.

And next up?  After gazing at my Winterwoods ABC's I logged back onto Alicia's blog/website to see what else she might have available...and the ornament kits are amazing.  Can I say that again?  They are a-maz-ing.  I just ordered Snow Day and can't wait to dive into making them after the craziness of the holidays subsides.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

FO: In Threes for my 9yo

A simple little cardigan for my increasingly fashion-enthusiastic daughter.  She picked out the color and buttons with me at the store and I knit away until I had something long enough to fit her.

She loves it - but is also becoming more and more interested in sewing and design - it is really fun to see how she interprets her world and what is 'cool' and what is 'unique'.  So far she has worked almost exclusively in animal (cheetah) prints in bright colors.  Hmmm...