She seeks wool and flax, and works willingly with her hands. Proverbs 31:13

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Finally Some Creativity Time

     I have been working this week on a full-size quilt for my daughter, pics to come later. It's been a much needed release for me. Going for too long without working on something creative makes me feel like I am "starving", and I know that those of you with a creative bent understand this. Along with the quilt I'm making, I also managed to squeeze in a few small projects including the above pillowcases for my son. I only have a short break from school, so I am trying to squeeze in every last bit of creative time possible, it's good for my sanity ;) During the last semester I managed to get my creative fix by keeping watch on my cousin Dolly's blog and living vicariously through her. Thanks Dolly!!

     My son picked out the fabric, and who doesn't love Spongebob?! So I serged up the pillowcases for him in about 10 minutes. Simple, yet satisfying. And of course he loves them. I usually just sew pillowcases on my regular machine, but the orange fabric I used for the edging wanted to fray, so I used my serger. I like how they turned out and I think I'll do this all the time now.

     I have a few more small projects done that I'll post later this week, along with my progress on the quilt. Wishing you all the Happiest of New Years!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Found a Great Giveaway


Retro Mummy is giving away 20 fat quarters- yes you read that right, 20! For details go here.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Knit Tardis Dishcloth and My What Big Feet You Have

   It feels like forever since I have posted here. I haven't had time for anything creative since returning to school in September, but remembered that I was knitting this dishcloth from Dr. Who during our home repairs back in August and never posted it. I found the pattern here: Tardis dishcloth . My daughters and I really enjoyed the show when David Tennant was the Dr., but have kind of lost interest now that there's a new doctor.  Matt Smith is funny, but it's just not the same. I also have a dalek in progress, maybe someday I will finish it;)  I love British t.v. when I get the chance to watch, my favorite show being As Time Goes By with Dame Judy Dench. The BBC rocks!

   I have been desperate to get my hands into something creative, so I have been trying to sneak in a few rows here and there on these fiber trends felted slippers:

I now have one done, one to go. I made a pair of these a few years back and actually wore them out, they were so toasty and warm. It is amazing how much they shrink when you felt them. Right now it looks like one of Bozo's slippers;)
 And now it's back to homework, that's all the time I have today for fooling around.

Monday, August 2, 2010

It's In The Mail

I finally had a break to get out of the house and mail in the package containing the Quilts For Kids kit along with a quilt from my stash. Fortunately I had finished both quilts before my home disaster and they were in a room that was undamaged. So it was just a matter of finding a time when the post office was open and no work was being done on my home. 

It's funny that both quilts ended up with a cat theme. I picked out the fabrics for Wild Cats from my stash before I received the kit for Sun Cats.  I machine quilted this one with meandering also. I used a bright textured yellow for the backing fabric. It crinkled up nicely after washing.
 Here's a look-


And a closer view-

Even though my machine quilting is less than perfect, I know how much my son would have loved receiving one of these when he was going through cancer treatment, so I really hope they bring a little joy to someone.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Great Hat Pattern

I am so excited, I won the Red Velvet Hat Pattern designed by the talented Robyn over at the minimalist knitter.  Thanks Robyn, I love it!!! She has it for sale here and it comes with directions for both worsted and sport versions, appropriate for both men and women.

It is a really cute cabled hat and I long to get started on one for me and each of my teenage daughters! But as I mentioned on my other blog, we have had a home disaster involving major damage to all three floors of our home, so it will be a while before I can accomplish anything. It is no fun having your whole house torn up. But winning this awesome pattern was a real bright spot, so thanks Robyn!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

One Down, One To Go

I finished the Quilts for Kids kit that was sent to me, I used a low loft cotton/poly batting per their directions and I machine quilted it with just meandering. The backing fabric they had in the kit would have just looked hideous rolled to the front and used to bind the quilt. Luckily, I had some lime green left from the other quilt I am making to go along with this one, and it was a perfect match. So the binding problem was solved.

Here's the front of   "Sun Cats"-

And here's the back-

I really like the cat fabric they chose for the front, but I have to admit I'm not crazy about the back. I hope some little girl likes it.

The fabric for the other quilt is from my stash, and I like it better. It seems to me a little more boyish, so maybe my quilts will go to a girl and a boy? Anyway, here's the other one, pin basted and waiting to be machine quilted.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

WIP Updates

Here's what I've been working on today, not bad for a morning's progress. I was up at 3:45 this morning in order to take my hubby's aunt for her cataract surgery. So I started scarf number three for the special olympics while I sat in the hospital waiting room. All went smoothly and she is at home now.

 I like to keep a small project going to take with me whenever I know I'll have to wait. I get very cranky if I don't have something to work on while waiting. And I get nervous once I've finished something, if I don't have another project in queue.

 It has been too hot to do much outside, so I've had a chance to get some sewing done on the "quilts for kids" kit. The top is all pieced,  just waiting for me to baste the layers and then machine quilt it. I haven't decided yet how I am going to quilt it.  Pink is not my color, but I think the cat fabric is very cute and I'm sure some little girl will love it.

 Tommorrow, when I'm not so tired, I hope to browse around the 'net at some quilting ideas for this.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Quilts for Kids

When reading the blogs entered  in the Blogger's Quilt Festival back in May,  I came across a number of bloggers who had made quilts for Quilts For Kids.  This organization gives handmade quilts to kids in the hospital with life threatening illnesses such as cancer, and to children who have suffered abuse.
If you contact them, they will send you a free kit with all of the pieces precut, directions included. You need to supply the batting, construct the quilt per their directions and mail it back to them. They ask that you also donate a quilt of your own, so that more children can recieve one.

The photo above shows the kit I recieved this week. Here's another shot-

There are local chapters as well, so the quilts you make can go to your own community. I discovered that my local chapter donates quilts to the hospital where my son was treated for cancer when he was little, so this feels really right to me. After I finish the kit sent to me and mail it back to the national group, I will be making a few for our local chapter.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Loves Music, Loves to Knit

Last night the hubs and I had a rare special treat,  we went out to a concert. We had our 25th anniversary a few weeks ago, so this was to celebrate it. We went and saw Kansas, Styx, and Foreigner. It was a great show and I had forgotten how much I liked Foreigner.  As all of you who are parents know, the kids always come first. When you are raising a large family there's often no time and and even less money to do things like that. So we really enjoyed ourselves.

The concert venue was just over an hour away,  so I brought along my knitting to keep me occupied in the car. I made pretty good progress for just over an hour's work. This scarf will be going to the Michigan Special Olympics, which I posted about recently. I am knitting it in mistake rib, which couldn't be easier, it's great for those times you just want mindless knitting -  cast on  a multiple of 4, plus 3 extra stitches. Then k2, p2 across, and p the last stitch. Just keep repeating this row.  I am knitting it on big size 10 needles, so it goes fast and feels nice and squishy:) This will be scarf no. two, I don't know how many I'll get done this summer.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Apron Fun

After working for so long on the white/beige rag quilt, I desperately needed some color.  I've been wanting to make a new apron, so this was a good time to play. I couldn't find a pattern to suit me, and I rarely follow directions anyway, so I designed my own.

 I wanted the neck strap to button rather than tie, and since I am left-handed, it needed to button on the left side. As I mentioned previously, I love birds. So when I came across this bird fabric, I knew it was the one. I pulled out a green from my stash that matched the foliage, and finished it with canary yellow bias tape that matched the color of the goldfinches. For the waist ties, I cut a 3" horizontal strip, folded it right sides together and sewed it like a tube, then turned it right side out and pressed. Cut it in half and sewed one tie to each side. I did this for the neck strap also, making a buttonhole on the end of the left side of the strap, and sewed it to the top of the apron on the right side with a button on top.

 This used only half of a yard of the bird fabric ( I had a yard so that I could use it lengthwise-I cut it in half on the lengthwise fold), along with some of the contrasting green fabric, and was quick to make. I still have half a yard of the bird fabric left, so I may make another apron in a different style.

I cook a lot, as you will know if you read my vegetarian cooking blog and I tend to be clumsy and spill/drop things regularly, so I love aprons!! Here is a shot of it being worn-pay no attention to the model, it's not a good shot of me, it was 90 degrees when this was taken ;)


Monday, June 21, 2010

My Prize Arrived

I won the giveaway for a charm pack that  Eileen at Ladybug Lovelies was having. Thanks Eileen!! She is very talented, creative and fun, check out her blog! On Saturday, this arrived at my house and was so cutely packaged. Green is my favorite color, so I was thrilled to recieve this charm pack of  45 pre-cut 5"  blocks in greens. Here is the assortment-

I will have fun creating something with these! I spent a good deal of the weekend at the hospital, I had to take my dad in to the er on Saturday, and he was admitted. So recieving this charm pack was a real bright spot this weekend. Thanks so much Eileen!                       

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Rag Quilt Finished

I finally got this rag quilt finished yesterday. Last night I washed and dried it along with one of my dogs' tennis balls and the edges frayed nicely. It's nice and soft. I made this in order to use up the large amount of white, cream and beige fabrics I had. I do not care for white at all, so I am really not sure how I ended up with so much of it in my stash.

In my younger days, I went to Catholic school.  Every day for 12 years I wore a white blouse as part of my Catholic school uniform. Then I had to wear a white uniform in cosmetology school, and for the first few years I worked as a cosmetologist. Needless to say, I will never again own or wear a white blouse. In fact, I don't have any white clothes. And I don't care for white in my quilts either, I prefer lots of color. So I am glad to have this used up. On the bright side, it will not show the dog hair from Cosmo-

 Or Oscar-

It's not a good photo taking day for me, I'm having lighting issues, but here is a closer shot of the quilting. I machine quilted stars on all of the plain blocks and x's on all of the four-square blocks before joining them.

And this one is more true to the colors-

This was a fun project, and I would like to do another one in more fun colors.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Summer Knitting For A Good Cause

It's been unseasonably cold here, but I know it will soon be too hot to continue handquilting the queen size quilt I've been working on. So I've been thinking about my summer project.

There are so many bad things going on in the world today, including the devastation of the gulf and the poisoning of so much wildlife, that it is easy to let them get me down. Helping someone else even just a little always makes me feel better. So I decided that my summer knitting project will be for a good cause.
 I then found out that the Special Olympics group in my area is asking for scarf donations for their Winter 2011 games.  Each participant of the winter games will recieve a hand knit or crocheted scarf. Perfect! These special folks put their heart and soul into everything they do, and I feel honored to be able to contribute.  This is a great project for the warm months and is portable, so I can take it everywhere. Now I know what I'll be knitting all summer:)

The one I started in the photo above is knit using the fibonacci sequence. I will post my progress as I go.

They can use a lot of scarves, so if you'd like to help out, I've posted the info. I recieved from them below. 

Scarf Project for Special Olympics Michigan Winter Games

Scarf Project Deadline January 15, 2011

Yarn: Coats and Clark Red Heart Soft Yarn #9518 Teal

Yarn: Coat and Clark Red Heart Soft Yarn #9925 Really Red

These are the official colors of the Special Olympics Michigan.

The requirements for the scarves are that they are hand knit or crocheted using a combination of the above two colors. Sizes for the scarves are 6 inches wide and 50 to 60 inches in length. You may use any pattern.

A Sample Pattern

Main Color (MC) 1 skein, Contrasting Color (CC) 1 skein, Size 8 needles straight or

28” circular needle. With MC cast on 220 or 200 or 180 stitches, *With MC Knit 4 rows, with MC knit 4 rows, repeat from * 8 rows 4 more times. With MC Knit 3 rows, bind off all stitches. Finish narrow ends with 5 one pompoms on each end or a one inch fringe on each end.

Please send or deliver completed scarves to:

Special Olympics Michigan 
3800 Hamlin Road
Auburn Hills, MI 48326


Virginia Schultz
21 North Main Street
Clarkston, MI 48346

Any questions 11 am to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday 248-625-3122

We need 2500 Scarves-Start Knitting. Yarn Available thru Coats and Clark Website

Thank you for your help in helping our Special Olympians look fantastic! The games are February 2-4 at the Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City!!!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sew What I Did With My Giveaway Prize

 I recently found a great blog written by the creative and talented Suzanne, Love My Fiber. She was having a giveaway, and I was lucky enough to win it! Thanks Suzanne, you rock!!  This arrived in my mailbox on Saturday. It is a kit containing instructions and felt for an applique sweatshirt jacket.  The sheep kit is sooo cute, but the jacket really wasn't me. I thought it would be more fun to use the kit to make a bag for my knitting. I am not one to follow recipes or directions, so I changed some of the applique too.  In between working on the garden over the weekend, I worked on this.  The bag is fully lined, with a flat bottom, so it's sturdy and stands up well. However, I had trouble trying to photograph the sheep with it standing up, so I layed it on the floor for pics.  Here's the finished product.  The front-

And the back-


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Megan's Quilt

I've been slowly working my way through all of the blogs that entered the quilt festival, there is so much inspiring creativity! It is exciting to see that a number of quilters have gotten kids involved in the craft. I think it is so important to expose kids to all of the arts, I believe everyone needs a creative outlet of some kind.

Looking at some of the quilts that kids have helped make, or choose fabrics for, reminded me of a quilt my girls helped make. I wasn't sure if we still  had a photo of it, so I dug around and finally found this one. When my twin daughters were in elementary school, their best friend moved to Hawaii. They wanted to make something that she could take with her to remind her of all the fun times they'd shared. So they drew pictures on fabric of  the school they went to, their troop girl scout vest, their favorite cartoon of the day- Scooby-doo, a snowman they'd made together, their favorite foods, etc.  They chose all of the fabrics and how they wanted it layed out. I sewed it together, they began quilting it, then after a number of finger stabs, decided it wasn't fun to hand quilt ;-). So I finished that task.  This quilt is far from perfect, and yet everything a good quilt should be- truly made with love.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Quilt Festival Fun


I discovered this wonderful quilt festival while reading my very creative and talented cousin's blog,  Dolly's Home. So I decided to join in the fun!  My entry is Birdwatching, which I made several years ago. It was based on a pattern in the spring 2000 Quiltmaker's All-time Favorites. I changed the colors of course, and made a lot of the birds look like the ones that visit my yard, like the goldfinch, robin, bluejay, and junco.

 This is my favorite quilt since I used  to be an avid birdwatcher, and I love all things having to do with nature and animals. It was also one of the first that I machine quilted. I did  part of it using meandering, the sashing with an ivy leaf pattern, and outline quilting for the birds.

 I made this around the same time I saw my first bald eagle,  and was so excited to find bald eagle fabric that I used on the back.      

I hope you enjoyed my entry. I am so inspired by all of the talented quilters who entered the festival and intend to visit each and every one as time allows.       

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rainy Day Inspiration

It has been cold, windy and rainy here for the last few days, and I needed something to brighten the day. So here are a few reasons I love springtime, and it inspires me.
 My irises began blooming last week, and I took a few individual shots before the rain set in. Here's another-

  The rest of them decided to fully open during the storm. The strong wind gave the flowers a beating, so I have no photos of  the eyecatching group.  But I find the vivid colors and shapes of the irises inspiring, I have a few ideas in my head for an art quilt.    

When I looked out the upstairs window the other morning, this little cutie was resting on the shortest stub of a branch he could find-

 When my kids were little, I tamed a few squirrels and they would eat from my hand.  They lost all fear of people, which made them very vulnerable, and sadly not everyone thinks they are as cute as I do. So for their safety I stopped  feeding them. But I still enjoy watching them and having them around.                      

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

WIP Wednesday


I couldn't decide if I should call this post work in progress Wednesday, or ufo Wednesday. My unfinished objects are works in progress, it's just that sometimes they take me a really long time to finish them. But they are not forgotten. I just don't often have large chunks of time to put into them, so they get done little by little.

 On mother's day I had a large chunk of time, so I spent most of the day working on hand quilting my star quilt. This quilt has been moved around a lot. It was in my floor frame, which I decided was not comfortable to work on, so I moved it to a large lap frame. Still not comfy. So I moved it into the hoop and now it's very comfy to work on. Sadly I am out of practice, since I had this packed away for several years. But hopefully by the time I finish this my hand quilting will be presentable once again. Some of it looks as though it was quilted by a child, lol, but that's ok, this one is for me ( although both of my dogs curl up on it while I am working, they think it is for them).

I am also working on this cabled wool sweater. The back is pictured.  This is my portable project,  I take it with me when I know I am going some place where waiting is involved.  I am not a good waiter, I get crabby unless I have something to work on. 

And finally, the rag quilt I am working on. I started this at the same time as the one I am hand quilting, I guess I was going through a star phase that year ;)  I had a lot of tan, beige and off-white fabrics I was trying to use up.

Do you have multiple works in progress going?      

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Spring Craft Sale Finds

My oldest son has had cancer and is mentally impaired. He attends a special school that teaches daily living skills as well as some vocational training.  Today was the school's spring craft sale, where they sell crafts, foods, and plants made or grown by the students. Proceeds from the sale go back into the program. These young folks put their whole selves into everything they do, so I was happy to go and support them. Everything is so much harder for them, yet they never give up. They are so inspiring! And I got some great stuff! A lovely little sage plant which they grew in their greenhouse, a hand-painted garden marker, and some pretty tile coasters. I also got a delicious vegetarian quiche, which I posted about on my other blog.

Here's a better shot of the adorable coasters:

I have also picked out my summer project, it is going to be for a cause,  details to come soon.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Electric Quilt 7 Giveaway

I stumbled across this great giveaway while surfing today. For a chance to win EQ7 go here-

New Craft Room

Welcome! My name is Janet and I love to knit, quilt and craft. Hence the name of this blog.

Since this is a new blog, and since I recently redid my sewing/craft room, I'll start with a photo of it. I love my left-handed table! After years of working with a righty desk, this makes working so much easier. The color of the walls is a really pretty soft sage green that doesn't show up too well in this photo. The boxes on the shelves hold buttons, notions, beads and other crafty paraphernalia. The shelves, desk and organization boxes all came from Ikea.  The wine bottle holders on the top shelf hold knitting needles and crochet hooks. I still need to create a quilt to hang on this wall. A very simple shawl I knitted is on the back of my chair. When I'm not using it, it often falls onto the floor where one of my dogs likes to commandeer it.

 I am in the middle of working on two quilts. I'm hand-quilting the one in my header, and I am three-quarters through piecing the one which is the mess that's all over my table. The quilt on my table is one of those that's pieced and quilted a block at a time, then put together with raw edges exposed, so that they fray. I believe it's called a rag quilt. I started this one a few years back, but our guinea pigs took over my craft room, so it didn't get finished. Now that they are all gone and I have my room back, I am finally getting it done. I plan to use it for a picnic blanket. Since it will have frayed edges, no one will be afraid to use it outside. The large section of this quilt that is already put together is on a chair in this room, so no more pictures of this room till the quilt is finished ;-)

I blog about vegetarian whole foods at my other blog  Meatless Mama, where I share recipes and info. on healthy living. While I believe that some form of creative outlet is essential for good health, my crafty pursuits aren't really appropriate for that blog. So I decided to start this one. My posts here will be a little less frequent than on my main blog. I run a household of six, and there aren't always enough hours in the day.

 Crafty people are so much fun and share tips and info. so generously. So please feel free to comment, leave helpful hints, or ask questions.