December 27, 2009

WIP for Me

This past week I've been trying to actually work on some things that won't be for sale. It's a rare occasion that I make something for myself so it's been pretty fun.

I got a quilt top made out of a Jelly Roll and some Charm Packs I bought from the Rouenneries collection by French General. It's going to hang in our hallway right off the entry (and hopefully warm the space up a bit). I'm using some of these fabrics to make curtains for the dining room and living room too. I can't wait to get those done!

And here's my latest knitting project. I held off starting something new until I finished my Santa.

Nick and I made a mad dash to the local book shop (have I mentioned we can walk to a great book shop? LOVE THAT!) on Christmas Eve for this book. I wanted it anyway, really, it was gonna happen at some point. ;)

I picked up this colorful sock yarn at a shop down in Des Moines, WA on an outing last week (since this hasn't arrived yet). I like my socks a little crazy, can you tell? I think this method of knitting both socks at once is brilliant. I doubt I'd ever end up with a pair otherwise.

The pattern I chose is called Twilight and is pretty easy. It'll be even easier when the mail man brings me some longer circular needles! haha, Anyway, it's kinda pretty, no?

What have you been working on lately?

December 25, 2009

Happy Christmas

Just popping in to wish you a Happy Christmas! Hope you have a wonderful day filled with family and friends.

(Yes, I finished knitting Santa, just in time too.)

See ya real soon.

December 14, 2009

Sock Success!

I finished a sock!!!

I haven't started the second one yet, but I'm so excited I got this one done. If you think it looks a little wonky, it is. It fits, it works, but it's a little loose at the top. It's my first sock, so what? haha

To reward myself, I started another project. Remember the Santa I told you about? Well, I took the whole evening off from monkeys (and owls) last night and got started on my little Santa.

I had to restart a couple times, but finally got going and made some good progress. The white stripe will be Santa's belt.

This is Santa's bum. I guess I'll have to stitch up that hole at the bottom, hehe. I hope I can get him finished before Christmas!

December 11, 2009

How I Made My Jelly Roll Place Mats

I finally got around to making some Christmas place mats for Nick & I and I thought I'd share the process with you. They were super easy!

I started with a Jelly Roll. I chose a collection called Figgy Pudding by Basic Grey. A Jelly Roll, by Moda,  is a roll of 2 1/2" strips of each fabric in an entire collection. This one came with 40 strips, enough to make at least 12 place mats. You'll also need backing fabric and some fusible fleece or batting of some sort (fusible is optional). The finished place mats are about 17"w x 12 1/2"t.

Each place mat will be made from 9 strips of fabric. To make 6 place mats, pick out 18 strips and cut each one into (3) 13 1/2" pieces. This configuration leaves very little waste at the end of the strips, yeah!

Lay out all of the cut fabric pieces and choose 9 for each place mat. Put them in piles then stitch each piece together using 1/4" seams. Press the seams in one direction.

I added some ribbon to my place mats for a little extra decoration. Why not, it's Christmas? Cut backing fabric the same size as your pieced top. Cut fleece/batting 1/2" smaller (in each direction) than the backing and top pieces.

Place the fleece on the wrong side of the place mat top leaving 1/4" around each side. Press if using fusible. Now pin the backing to the top with wrong sides together. Stitch all four sides in 1/4" seam, leaving about a 6" opening for turning.

Clip the corners and turn each place mat right side out, being careful to push out the corners.

Fold seam allowances at opening to inside and pin in place. Topstitch close to edge on all four sides.

Now it's time to do some quilting. I went with a freehand loopy sort of stitching in silver thread. The metallic thread was a major pain to work with (be sure to use a metallic needle), but it looks great!

Here are my finished Jelly Roll place mats. I only made two for now because that's all I need.  What do you think?

December 05, 2009

Delicious Diversion

This week I finally got to make something that's been on my To Do List for a while, pumpkin whoopie pies with maple marshmallow filling. There are lots of recipes for these online, I used this one from Bon App├ętit.

I believe the Whoopie Pie is traditionally chocolate, but I can't pass up a good pumpkin recipe. I have a weakness, okay? According to Wikipedia, Amish women baked whoopie pies for farmers' lunches & upon finding the sweet cakey goodness in their lunch the men would exclaim, "whoopie!". Makes perfect sense to me. These things are sinfully delicious, and equally fattening.

I suppose all the baking lately is due to the new oven calling my name from the kitchen. I think Nick's coworkers are complaining of weight gain at this point, but not in a bad way.

Just thought I'd share. Hope you're having a lovely weekend.

December 02, 2009

For the Love of Cath Kidston

One of my favorite things in the UK is anything Cath Kidston! I really miss being able to go to one of her shops whenever I feel like it.

Luckily, she sends out this free magazine/catalog every couple of months (just to tease me). You can sign up for it here.

It's filled with pretty things you'd find in her shops, or on her website (they ship internationally, just in case you're wondering). I love these mugs!

There are recipes too, and little stories about this & that.

Her fabric designs are heaven! I want them all.

She's got a few books out too. Last year my wonderful husband got me one, and also this bag. Isn't the print great?

And check out this adorable pin cushion! I miss England sometimes, especially when I get this catalog!

I know this sounds like a Cath Kidston advertisement, but I promise you, it's just me showing some love.