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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Possessed by a Crocheted Flower

I am possessed by the African Flower. I made a remark that they should call it the "Voodoo Flower" because it does put a spell on you........check out my progress....... 
   





Sorry, I can't stay, I have to go make a few more flowers, and then some more......I am possessed ♥

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fantastic Motif

Good morning my lovely friends. As promised I am showing you the new love I have found, the African Flower motif. There are so many places you can find this flower and when I Google searched it there were several places to look at finished afghans/blankets, purses, pillows, etc. that used this beautiful motif. There are also places to go to find the instructions and also to join the hexagons. I found it here http://www.flickr.com/groups/africanflowers/  (located below the comments on that page). It is remarkable how you can get so many different looks just switching colors and no matter how unseemly the color choices are, they still look great. My intent was to use up more scraps from my yarn stash, but I found myself once again in the store, in the yarn isle and picking out some bright colors to liven up my somewhat boring stash........here is a sampling of what I have made so far, there will be another color (border round) to be added to each flower, I think a pretty green, so it looks like leaves and makes the flowers pop out like in a flower garden........what do you think?





I have done a lot of blankets using granny squares, but never hexagons. You can even change colors to do the 4th round (chain base is first round) and it puts a completely new spin on what the flowers will look like. I saw this pattern several months ago and kept running into more and more postings where fellow crocheters were making it. I kid you not, I have not seen one motif that was not lovely, no matter what colors it was made of. Even the ones that were using the same color over and over were beautiful. You just can't seem to go wrong with this flower. If you crochet give it a try, you won't be wasting your time. I am really having fun with this pattern. I absolutely ♥ it!!!!!  

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lightening the UFO Pile

I spent a few hours last evening finishing up 4 more UFO's. If you can recall from a previous post, I had some baby stuff in the works and actually finished all the crocheting on these weeks ago. As usual, keeping true to my habits, I laid them aside. I do not know why I do this, never actually reaching the "finish line" until I push myself in that direction. It is not a big deal to actually finish an object, it is a THRILL, and does give one a sense of completion and satisfaction. It is then with a clear conscience one can move on to the next project and not be nagged by the UFO police.........soooooo, TA DA, here are some pics of what I did and again please forgive the poor picture quality. All pics except a couple were taken late last night, without benefit of sunlight. Artificial lighting puts a yellow cast on things. The baby yarn is actually snow white, and the buttons on the little sweater function as closures and they are the same baby blue as the ribbon trim.  

It takes 8 feet of ribbon, well over an hour of weaving.
Ribbons meet at the corners.
Ribbons tied into bows.
Ribbons criss-cross at the center of the shawl.
A tons of ruffle, over an hour to crochet one round.
All done, whewwwwww!
Shell blanket, ribbon around edges, tied in bows at corners.
Shell sweater, buttons are baby blue.
Shell sweater, goes with blanket and bonnet.
Matching shell cap, front view.
Matching shell cap, side view.
Matching shell cap, back view.......The End! ♥

Sunday, March 27, 2011

OH MY, I AM IN LOVE!!!

Just stopping by to let you all in on a bit of a secret.........I LOVE THIS NEW CROCHET PATTERN!!! No, it isn't really a brand spanking new pattern, some of you have known about it for ages, but it is new to me. If I could sit in a room for a week and do nothing but work on it I wouldn't mind one bit, I would be very happy! I will tote this one around with me and watch people's eyes pop right from their heads, lol.....just let me get a few more done and I will post pics.......be patient.........♥

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Flowerbed

I am so very happy to have joined a group of crocheters who make beautiful motifs and embellish them into all sorts of lovely things. Thank you Hazel at http://quietlystitching.blogspot.com/ for extending an invite to me. The group is called The Flowerbed and anyone interested can check it out on my page, the button is so pretty that I have placed it twice among all the other tidbits of interesting things. You can click on the button, it will take you there, but to post on the group page you will have to contact Hazel or one of the other members who send you an invitation. It is well worth your time to check out the blog site. For months now I have been eying all sorts of flower motifs and some very interesting color combos. I have chosen one and will post a photo of it when I return again later this week.
 
I have a lot of projects in the works right now. Yes, I know, I know, I am just about done cleaning and organizing the sewing room. That was my big promise to myself when the New Year rolled in. I promised to complete at least 1 UFO a month, but since I completed 2 this month I consider myself one project ahead. I feel extremely satisfied with myself on that one. None of you are strangers to everyday life and what demands it can put on your schedule, especially when you planned other things for your time. I am a person who feels guilty when I waste time, so I am never without my needlework. I take it just about everywhere I go. From what I read on other blogs, many of you do the same. My hands stay busy and it calms me. It helps me keep my sanity in an otherwise hectic and insane world. I never consider it as work unless someone puts a demand on me and wants me to make something for them...then the pressure is on and what I once considered fun now becomes "a job"........but I still love it.........like the saying goes, "if you could go to work everyday doing something you loved, then it wouldn't be work."......I leave you with that thought ♥

Friday, March 25, 2011

Butterfly Quilt

Years ago I saw this quilt and I was smitten. I hoped so very much that my mother-in-law would gift it to me.....     


The pattern she used was from a quilting book, but she had copied it onto a brown paper grocery bag.  


There were 2 different butterfly patterns, but both were hand-pieced together and then machine appliqued to the blocks using a zig-zag stitch. She embroidered the antennae and legs then used fabric paint for the flowers. She added an interesting border around each, hand quilted the quilt sandwich and then sewed the blocks all together.


What was there not to love about this quilt, it was colorful and when she gave it to me, it was mine! I loved it then and I still do.  










I do believe the hand quilting was done on each block before she joined all the blocks together. She had these special frames she had ordered that allowed her to do that.


 This quilt would be pretty for a little girl's room, done up with bright and cheerful colors.  




 I believe there was a smaller version that could be used as a baby quilt. What fun to do a nursery in butterflies and have a quilt to match. I can see a butterfly mobile hanging over the crib now.  


Bright yellows, oranges, pinks or lovely pastels, polka dots, maybe dotted Swiss or gingham and calico. 



Her hand quilting was flawless, each tiny stitch was so perfect.  



 My quilt is a bit faded now from many washings. It is still lovely on the bed or out on the clothesline. My mother-in-law told me once that sometimes quilts were stolen right off of the line. I discovered a few years back there is a site devoted to stolen quilts. If I remember right some quilts were actually stolen from county fairs. (I surely need to research all this again because I don't want to post anything which is false). The site had quilt descriptions and information. It just goes to show you that nothing is safe if someone wants to steal it. When you think of all the money, time, work and love that went into a quilt, you realize that it can often be priceless. So friends, just remember if you hang that lovely quilt of yours out on the clothes line, guard it, you wouldn't want to come out to find it gone. I hope you have enjoyed this posting as much as I have enjoyed sharing it with you. XOXOXOX

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Farewell to Elizabeth

I don't think I could let this day pass without saying how saddened I was to hear of the passing of the beautiful Elizabeth Taylor. Her funeral service was today. I don't think I have ever seen the color violet without thinking of her lovely eyes. They just don't make actresses like her anymore. She will not only be missed for her acting abilities, but for her charitable work for so many causes, including AIDS.   

Little Crocheted Purse Tutorial

LITTLE CROCHETED PURSE



Please read all instructions before starting. I enlarged the pics to give you a closer look and hopefully they will be of help and guidance. The supplies you need are listed at the bottom of this post. Please bear with me, this is a first time I have tried to do a pattern for anyone and since I don't have a resource to refer anyone to I will have to try and pick the pattern right off of the little purse my mother-in-law made almost 30 years ago. I have no clue where she got the pattern, maybe a woman's magazine, or maybe a friend gave it to her. I have all her patterns and do not recall seeing it anywhere. Maybe she made it up and it is her original pattern??? I will try and do my best to make it as accurate as possible. If you have any questions, please just send me a comment and I will try and answer ASAP. 


You will need 1 medium dish soap bottle (not the clear ones) and you need to measure 2 and 1/2 inches from the bottom up. A fine tipped marker can be used (pencil doesn't seem to show up very well). Using the scissors cut the top off evenly. Make sure the cut line is smooth. I am thinking an emery board would work like a fine sand paper to smooth the edges. You now have what resembles a little soup bowl. There are 41 evenly spaced holes punched around the top about 1/4 inch down from the top edge. You would have to use a punch smaller than a paper punch. The hole size is about 1/8 of an inch diameter.

The yarn used was a baby pompadour yarn and the rows are alternating yellow and white. This really wouldn't matter, you could make them all the same color or what ever you wish. Personally a solid color would be less hassle and you won't have to keep changing colors or weave in the tails. All rows are worked from the outside, DO NOT TURN.


Row 1:......Using a steel crochet hook (you might have to experiment a bit with hook size) pull yarn through the first hole and ch2 to make 1st dc, dc again in same hole, repeat around entire top putting 2dc in each hole, join to top of starting ch2 (42dc). This first row done to make the base of your crochet work (this first row of crochet covers the top edge of the plastic because when the stitching is done the yarn is held to the back and your stitches will be on the top edge. Does this make sense to you? You are actually sandwiching the plastic in the center of your stitches). You can switch now to a bit bigger hook to do the remainder of the crochet work.
Row 2:....  Ch2 (1st dc), now put 1dc in each dc from previous row, join as before (42 dc).
Row 3-7:...Skipping first 2 dc of previous row, sl st to space between 2nd and 3rd dc on row 2, ch2, dc, ch1, 2dc (shell stitch made), repeat shell stitch of 2dc, ch1, 2dc all around skipping 2 dc between each shell, join as before (there should be about 40 shells). The shells are what gives the top it's fullness. Repeat row 3 until you have a total of 7 rows of which the last 5 will be the shell stitch rows. If you alternate colors you will end with the same color that you started with. Fasten off and weave in the yarn ends.
Make a chain long enough to weave though row 5 so that it is doubled. Use your shells as your guide weaving in one and around the other. What you want is for it to be a "draw string" so that when you pull from both ends the purse will gather up snug at the top, making it have a ruffled effect. Join the ends of the chain together. You can make pom poms and attach them to both ends.


There you have it. I hope these instructions make sense. My mother-in-law made little oval cushion for the inside bottom of the purse. You could use the bottom of the purse to draw around on a piece of light poster board or sturdy paper and allow for a 1/4 inch seam allowance, sew, turn it right side out and stuff lightly with poly batting and sew seam shut. The little blanket is just a small rectangle of double crochet  starting with a foundation chain of 22sc and then turn, ch2 and 1dc in each ch across row to end (about 20dc) across and do a total of just 5 rows. She did a little colored border of sc all around it. The little romper for a 3 and 3/4 inch baby doll is just 3 rows of dc with a 4th row of sc at the top edge. She made a small hand stitch at the bottom in the crotch area to make leg holes and on the 3rd row she made little arm holes evenly spaced. It would probably be a good idea to find your doll and have it handy to try the romper on it while working on it. She sewed the romper on the doll by stitching up the back seam, it can not be removed. Of course you might be handy enough to come up with your own little clothes for the doll. (Supply list is below last photo) ♥


 SUPPLY LIST    
Ivory Dish Soap Bottle
Measuring tape or ruler
Sharp scissors
Fine tip marker
Small hole punch
1 Skein Pompadour Baby Yarn (for solid crocheted purse top)
Small bits of baby yarn for blanket and romper
Small piece of material for oval cushion and small bit of polyfill for stuffing cushion
Steel Crochet Hook (size appropriate for pulling yarn through holes, may use a bit bigger size for actual crochet stitches)
3-3/4 inch baby doll
Pom pom maker
Fine sand paper or emery board










Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Hand Quilting

Two years ago this month I bought a Tin Lizzy 18 longarm quilting machine. To this day it still remains here in my sewing room in the boxes, unopened. My plight is that I discovered the only place to assemble it would be in our basement. I do not want to put it down there. My reasoning is because I am afraid of water leaks and possible damage to the frame work. Also, there is no way I would chance having a huge roll of batting become water-logged. I am no stranger to hand quilting, I am not too lazy to hand quilt, I have done it in the past, but anyone who grabs up a needle, thimble and thread knows that hand quilting is a tedious and long process. It can take weeks and months to complete your work, hence, the quilting bee........below are some pics of my hand quilting, my own design. The woman who made the quilt top was a friend of my mother-in-laws. Her name was Verna, and she gave this to me as a gift. Unfortunately she has passed away many years ago, unfortunately it is another of my UFO's.





I really need to finish this quilt. It will be an antique for sure since it has been with me 30+ years. I fear if I wash it the thing will fall to shreds, but then maybe my hand quilting will keep that from happening. I need to get out my huge quilting hoop and sit it beside my chair in the living room. I need to put my crochet hook and yarn away for these warmer months and pick up my quilting needle and thread. There is so much to do, and so little time. Wishing and hoping doesn't get things done, so I need to hush now and get busy. Hope your day is filled with good thoughts and good things ♥

My Music Playlist

"Play it again Sam"
 I've been having a lot of fun these past few months peeking in on all these wonderful and interesting blogs. Everyone has their own style and charm, and that's great. So many lovely people out there and so many of you have been blogging for years. It amazes me because I am new at this and still learning. It also amazes me that I have had a pc for well over 10 years and just recently discovered blogging. Where have I been??? The old head in the sand, lol. Anyways, quite a few of those blogs have music......oh, like a kid I want some for my blog too, cause I have always loved music, basically all kinds, well, with the exception of heavy metal, and not always a fan of rap music, but there are a few exceptions. I remember American Bandstand, I remember Soul Train......I remember Lawrence Welk, Dolly Parton & Porter Waggner. My husband is from Kentucky and I became acquainted with country and bluegrass music. He and I both love the rock and roll music that we grew up with as teenagers, and we both adore the "oldies". I remember the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, Elvis and so many others to follow........my oldest daughter's love for the alto and soprano saxophone and taking her to a Kenny G concert....my youngest daughter's love of drums.

Yes, I remember these, still have some :)
 
My personal favorite music was and still is pop, but my music collection here at home is a big patchwork of song artists and styles. I play music to suit my mood. Some days it is happy and snappy, and some days quiet and mellow. People are surprised that I also like opera, especially when they know I also like rock and roll.  There was always music in our house, our children were both in the band and they both played piano. They remind me every now and then how we made them band geeks. I spent today figuring out how to get a player on my blog. The fun part began with adding songs and I was nilly willy all over that "search" window and when I got done (just for today, mind you) I was pretty amazed with myself because not only do I have some good music, I have such a mixed bag of all kinds of songs that most of you would wonder if I had belted back a few first before making my selections. But it is who I am, so turn your volume up or down or off, whatever pleases you, pleases me. I have a "patchwork", mixed, mashed selection and a few different versions of a few of the same song, surely there is something on the play list you will enjoy. If you don't like what is playing, I do believe you can scroll down to the player near the bottom center of my page and click on another tune. So if you are having a bit of a rough day, just remember "music soothes the savage beast" and all that jazz......yes, I love jazz too, lol ♥                   
♥ HAPPY LISTENING ♥
                                                                     

Monday, March 21, 2011

Little Crocheted Purses

My girls, Meghan and Rachael at the beach in Florida.

My mother-in-law was a quilter, but she also crocheted proficiently. She delighted in making all kinds of things. When my daughters were little they loved going to Grandma's house. They knew she was always full of surprises and she always had something for them. She always had time for them. After all, she left them bake cookies and it didn't matter if they made a bit of a mess. She would pull out her fabric paints and gave them real embroidery pillow cases to paint. She had coloring books and crayons, puzzles and all kinds of stuff to keep little hands busy. Her home was interesting, and there was always something new to discover.  


One day they came home from their visit and they both had one of these. Grandma had been busy indeed.  


They couldn't wait to show me their new gift and what was in it. Oh how they loved their Grandma!


And what do we have here, but a little baby doll, and Grandma had made her a blanket to keep her warm. 


And the pretty little drawstring purse became a bassinet with a little baby doll. And so busy little hands had to show me more.......


This bassinet had a little oval mattress for their baby to sleep on and Grandma had made her a little romper.


On further examination I discovered that the bottom of the purse was made from a plastic dish detergent bottle that looked to be the kind Ivory Dish Soap came in. I never got around to asking my mother-in-law where she found the pattern. She had many friends who quilted and crocheted and throughout the years they were always sharing patterns and ideas. In past years I recall some where I saw something similar done with an empty plastic Clorox Bleach bottle and it was made into a bag to hold hair curlers/rollers (now I am really showing my age). I am hoping to do a tutorial on this sweet little project, only I will have to examine it more closely to write up instructions.    

Rachael and Meghan.

I just know there is nothing more special than to see a child's face lit up in such wonder and happiness when they have discovered something interesting. There were so many moments like that when my daughters were young and impressionable. Little pleasures for little ones. Sometimes I wonder just who was the happier, them or me? ♥
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