Friday, February 24, 2017

Mug cozy's

I've made quilted and crocheted mug rugs before and thought I would give crocheted mug cozy's a try.  Super simple to make and cute.  However, being familiar with the art of crocheting is very helpful.  These took about 20 - 30 minutes each to make...only because I had to search for some buttons.  I used yarn balls leftover from other projects, so other than acrylic fiber, I have no idea what brand or weight I used here, sorry.   I made changes to a pattern created by Karine Larose and found on facebook (click on the link).  

The pig cozy is a little larger to fit on a thermal travel mug.  
These are both worked as a rectangle using HDC for 5-7 rows depending on your yarn type, in the final row work the ears by measuring about mid-point, stop turn back, ch.2, HDC 3, turn, ch.2, HDC 2 decrease by one, turn, ch. 2, HDC 1 decrease by one, turn, slst down the edge of ear to rectangle, HDC 4 sts. make second ear same way then HDC to the end of row and tie off.
For the loop, at about mid-point attach yarn and work 10 chains, skip 3-4 sts, then tie off.  Find some buttons for eyes and one button for the loop.  For the pigs nose, ch.4, slst, in the center work 8 HDC, slst and tie off leaving a tail.  Pull through to back side and tie a knot to hold in place. Sew on eyes and secure nose from the back.  Sew on button to the opposite side for the loop closure.  For the fox, work the same rectangle only the first 2 rows are worked in light color yarn, change color for final 4-5 rows, work the ears in the same way as for pig.  For the snout, tie on same color as face between ears (oops, my snout and eyes are not lined up properly, but that's OK, still cute) on the color line, ch.2, work HDC for 3 st, ch2, turn, decrease 1 st, ch. 2, turn, work 1 HDC, tie off leaving a tail.  Pull tail to back side and tie off.  Thread black upholstery thread and satin stitch nose pulling to back side to secure.  Add buttons for eyes and loop closure, same as for the pig.  All sewing is done using the black upholstery thread and a large eye wool applique needle.  

I am sure you could easily make other animals with this basic instruction, maybe a cow, or a monkey?  See what you can create with just a little bit of leftover yarn.  

Monday, February 20, 2017

Finish Line - A UFO

Back in 2009/10 I purchased a bunch of fabrics from the Cath Kidston store with a bed size quilt on my mind.  Shortly after purchasing, I cut some of the pieces out for pinwheels and didn't have a plan further than that.  So it sat in my UFO basket for years...and years.  Not that I hadn't thought about it and pulled it out in those years, I have, but it just didn't go anywhere.

 January 2017 rolls around and I am flipping through the basket and finally decide to give this one last chance to become something.  Making the commitment to work on this at least 1 hour everyday, I start to work.  Finishing the pinwheels and placing them on my design board.  Ok, now what?  Forget about the colors as I posted previously, that thought is a stall.  I pulled out several books from Kaffe Fassett and think with all the flowery prints going on here, just keep it simple.  So, I start the borders.  One thin pink polka dot, then a paisley print, a 4 patch, another pink polka dot and a final wide paisley print.   There was no pattern, plan, or precise measuring.  I only had in mind that I wanted it to fit on our full size bed with a drop.  The final measurements are 76" X 82" and I am not only happy it's out of my UFO basket, but it's completed AND I actually like it.  It will be a good weight (cotton batting) for a summer time bed covering.   It's a relief to be finished with the top, but also rewarding and exhausting at the same time.  Time to clean up my studio so I can move on to something else.   There's always something else.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Singin' the Blues

Years ago, actually 30+...I told myself, "I will never ever, ever make another pink and blue color quilt.  Period."  Well, here I am.  Making a pink and blue QUEEN size summer weight quilt for my bed.  That was the original idea anyway, in a pseudo Kaffe Fassett style.  Why, I ask myself?   It's been lurking in my UFO basket for 8+ years.  I dug it out about a week ago and thought I had a clear vision for it.  But, now I'm staring at it and wondering....

Yeah, I know, it looks like a baby quilt.  I bought these fabrics from the Cath Kidston stores because I just love them, but together they look perfect for baby quilts.  What was I thinking? 
QUEEN?  Really? 
 I am not at a point of no return, I could give up here and complete it as is without further border work, so it could well be a baby size quilt.  Some one some where would love it, I'm sure.  

This is where UFO's go to die.  It seems there is always one lurking around gathering dust in my basket, as if smirking at me saying "you don't have the guts to finish me off, do you?"  Those old pepperami commercials come to mind here.  

My DH came in the room and suggested adding more blues.  He's right.....I am adding more blues to this whole thing than I need to.  I love blues.  It's my favorite color.  And music.  "No body gets outta this place without singin' the blues".  I suppose that's true with a lot of my quilts.  Not that I'm complaining about my process, it's more of a rite of passage, like the blues.  It's time to cut and run, I suppose.  If I keep pondering the issue, it will never become an FO, and how many more years would it linger on as a UFO?