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  • Fashion Doll Wedding

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  • Victoria Layette

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  • Sewing??

    I haven’t wanted to sew on a sewing machine since I graduated from my year of home economics in high school. I have probably had nightmares over the years over my experience in home economics. The first semester was cooking and the second semester was sewing. Cooking wasn't a problem. I had been cooking with my mother and both of my grandmothers since I was probably four or five. My mother picked my first sewing project and bought all the material for it. This could be part of my problem because it wasn't something that I would ever have chosen for myself. She chose a jumper like the ones that you see kids wear to private school for me to sew and the material was tan khaki cotton. I should know - I wore one myself when I started to school. I was in a private Christian School; my jumper was red, white, and blue plaid. In fourth grade I switched to public school. Cutting the pattern wasn't the problem, it was sewing all the pieces together. I had so many holes from ripping out stitches. I dreaded the day that we had to wear our finished projects to school. I packed an extra set of clothes to change into right after class. I never wore that jumper again. I now have a fear of sewing machines.

    I am more comfortable making and sewing things by hand. The last couple of years I have contemplated overcoming my fear of the dreaded sewing machine. Both of my grandmothers sewed quite beautifully; even my mother can sew. I was going through the Leisure Arts' website looking at books on everything but sewing when I stumbled across Pat Sloan’s book I Can’t Believe I’m Sewing. I thought to myself that it was time to overcome my fear of the sewing machine. It was easy not fretting over sewing on a sewing machine if you do not own one. I asked my friends on Facebook if they sewed and if they did, what is the best machine to learn on. One of my friends said that they had a new sewing machine still in the box and asked if I would like to use it. Yes!! Please!! So I have her new machine - don’t laugh, it’s a Hello Kitty sewing machine. But hey it works.

    With the book and my friend who lives next door neighbor came over and gave me a quick review. I was surprised about what all I remembered from my home economics class. The only problem that I had with the machine is my bobbin kept shooting out at me. Seriously!! It was shooting out at me like it was possessed or something. I finally tilted it back a little so I could try inserting the bobbin one last time and the problem was I wasn't getting it into a little notch. But once in I had no more shooting bobbins. My first project on the sewing machine was small. I chose A Coaster Set from Pat Sloan’s book. I used tracing paper to trace the pattern and cut it out so I would cut all my material the same size. They aren't the most perfectly sewn coasters. My lines maybe a little wonky but hey I did it. I am ready for my next sewing project. I have some extra material; I will practice on some more coasters. I might even make some for gifts.

    FullSizeRender (15) Coasters



  • Quick Knit Textural Afghan


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  • Thoughtful Markers

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  • Granny Square Pillow

    I have wanted some pillows for my sofa with bright fun colors. The pillows were either too cheap-looking or too pricey, so I decided to make my own. Granny Squares are fun, easy and quick; it only took a couple of days to do the front and put them together. The hardest part was choosing which color goes next. I used Encore yarn made by Plymouth Yarns. It is an acrylic wool blend yarn from my yarn stash; it's perfect for pillows. I didn't use a book to do my granny squares. If you don’t know how to do granny squares, here are two books to get you started Beginner’s Guide to Crochet Motifs and Granny Square Pillows Crochet E-Pattern.

    Granny Square Granny Square


  • Knook


    This week I learned how to use a Knook. I used the Knook for Kids kit by Leisure Arts and followed the instructions. I have to admit that I turned my nose up at learning how to Knook. I have knitted for almost 20 years and crocheted for about 5 years. Why do I need to learn how to Knook? I asked myself. Because you like to learn new things and challenge yourself is what I thought. So I gave it a go and I found that I liked using a Knook. I found the instructions to be very easy to follow. I even watched a video from the website that the book has - to make sure I had a full understanding.

    To practice my new Knooking skills, I Knooked three swatches: a garter stitch swatch which is just a knit stitch; a stockinette stitch swatch which is knit a row, purl a row; and, a rib stitch swatch which is knit two, purl two. The three swatches will make perfect coasters. I always need something to set my drinks on; my poor coffee table has several rings on it. They also make great little gifts that don’t take very long to knit up. Challenge yourself and learn something new this week.

    left garter stitch, middle stockinette stitch, and right rib stitch left garter stitch, middle stockinette stitch, and right rib stitch
  • Refresh Facecloth

    I’m so into washcloths right now. They are small, quick, and easy projects to do. I decided to pick a pattern with a stitch that I have never done before. I picked a pattern with a yarn over in it. I have been knitting for years and in all the patterns I have yet to do one with a yarn over. I chose the facecloth from Spa and Bath Sets to Knit by Rhonda White. The pattern is called Refresh. I used yellow Lily’s Sugar n Cream. I can now do a yarn over I have had lots of practice. Just pull your yarn forward as if to purl and knit into the next stitch. Doing this makes a stitch. Remember for every yarn over you usually have decrease stitch.

    First project with a yarn over First project with a yarn over

    If you are going to do this then use a row counter to keep up with your rows. I also used two place makers one on both ends so I could keep up with my knit stitches on the wrong side and a place marker clip by clover for the right side. It ready does help with what row you have to work the correct pattern row. Also, you can use a post it notes to keep up with your rows. You never have to lose your place again!

  • Paper Piecing: Basting Your Hexies

    The weather has turned cool again and I'm wishing I'd already finished my wrap but I can't stop paper piecing! Last week I talked about putting together a paper piecing kit and I'm back today to talk about my preferred method of basting those little guys.


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  • SILKEN EGGS: Hard Boiled Dye


    Colorful Easter eggs are traditional for Easter egg hunts, Easter baskets, and Easter table decorations. Away with the old tablet-dyed vinegar-water solution and in with the new silk tie-dyed eggs. Part science, and part mystery. Here are my hints gathered after reading and watching other articles and videos, and then making my own dyed Easter eggs for my seasonal decorations. Continue reading

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