simple wall quilt

I am the kind of person who wants my bedroom to be as cosy as possible, especially during the winter. My favorite pieces of ‘decor’ are my down comforter, crochet afghan, and wool blankets. 🙂

So I decided to expand my love for cosy blankets, and use them to decorate my walls as well, which are currently depressingly blank. I think making little wall quilts will not only fill my room with cosiness and color, and help my practice my subpar quilting skills. 😉

I just used scraps for the stars, with a solid gray background. You can see there is some unevenness (I really need to get, and use, rulers). I really like how it turned out though! One of my favorite parts of quilting is picking out the colors and arranging them, and I think that turned out very well. I hand-sewed the top and hand-quilted it, more because I’m still afraid of my sewing machine than anything.

Anyone have recommendations for other beginning quilt patterns that would look good in mini form? Because I am excited to make more!

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another pencil case :)

For Christmas I made my younger cousin a pencil case, to match my sister’s. She loooooves my sister (imagine shrieking little kid joy) and has just started school, so I thought she’d really enjoy a cute pencil case to take with her.

I used my sewing machine for it!! The stitching definitely isn’t perfect, but I was pretty happy with the overall look. I loved the Anne of Green Gables fabric I found for it—my cousin’s mom is a huge fan, so I knew she’d approve. I also thought the picture of Anne reading was just perfect for a pencil case. 🙂

I used a Spoonful of Sugar’s pattern again, it really is too cute!

it’s been a while, but I have a new friend!

My new friend is my first dog. 🙂 He’s a year and a half old terrier mix, I’m guessing part poodle (he has very long spindly legs!). It’s been a great fall and winter learning to keep him occupied, and getting to know all the things he likes (currently: opening bags, stealing, chasing squirrels, and adventure walks).

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Anyway, I’ll be posting shortly with some updates on my latest projects and life choices. Including a real challenge—eating local in a midwestern winter! It is possible, however, that all posts might have some cute puppy in them from now on. 😉

6 year old b-day gifts!

One of the things I love about having younger cousins now is that I get to make them fun little kid gifts. It can be hard, however, to pick things out they would like—and that their parents would approve. One of my cousins, F., is turning 6 this summer and recently became infatuated with make-up and fashion, but I know her mom would be horrified if I got her lipstick!

Luckily F. also loves knitting, and in fact recently started learning to knit herself! So I thought it might be fun to make her some things that encourage that interest by inspiring her a bit, while still being very fashionable of course. 😉 Scarves seemed like the perfect solution—no need to know sizing, and they can look quite fancy. With some kids, of course, scarves can present a choking hazard, but F. is a very responsible girl, and already has some she wears safely.

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Because her birthday is in summer, I wanted to include something she could wear right away, so I made two scarves for different seasons. 🙂 For winter, she gets a bright teal scarf knit in an easy but fancy-looking lace pattern, made of an alpaca/acrylic blend. The alpaca adds drape and softness, but the acrylic makes it a bit easier to clean.

For summer, I sewed a simple cotton scarf out of Kaufman fabric’s floral lawn. I thought this pattern looked very cheerful, so perfect for a little girl. 🙂

To tie the two scarves together, I added an embroidered label on the cotton fabric to the back of the knit scarf, and a teal pom-pom trim to the ends of the cotton scarf.

I’m excited to give them to her, and hope she likes them! She has one more present coming, but that’s more of a back to school gift. 😉 I’ll share that one later.

first canning attempt!

Okay, so first let me admit something—I am terrified of canning. While it fits perfectly with all of my favorite things—good food, gardening, cheapness, self-reliance—I made the mistake of reading John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, in which the villain famously murders someone with a deliberately unsafe batch of canned beans. Add this to my general fear of the glass jars exploding, and I decided canning might be one diy-step too far for me.

But this summer, as my pepper plants produced more and more and more peppers, I began to do some actual research on canning practices. I quickly learned that yes, it can be dangerous, but mostly for low-acid food items that have to be pressure canned. While I’m sure you can poison yourself with pickles and jam, it turns out that if you follow approved recipes, the East of Eden murder weapon (ie, botulism ) is unlikely.

So last night I enlisted my dad, and we canned pickled peppers! This is a mix of jalapeños, banana peppers, serranos, and cayenne peppers. Good thing my family likes spicy foods?

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I got 5 pints from 4 pepper plants, so I figure that’s pretty good. Next year I think I will grow a lot more banana peppers and jalapeños—my dad said he used to eat the banana peppers fresh, so it would be nice to have some to eat and pickle as well.

I do still have my habañeros, which I plan on making in the jam in the next few weeks. I’m just waiting for them to turn a nice bright red, so the jam is prettier. 😉

oilcloth lunch bag

I made a project with my sewing machine! It turns out the thought of sewing through two layers of oilcloth is enough to finally inspire me to tune up my vintage singer and learn (kinda) how to use it. Okay, well goad my dad into tuning it up for me.

I saw this tutorial and really liked the look of the bags, so I ordered some pretty oilcloth prints a few weeks ago. My sister and I have a longstanding campaign to encourage my mom to use more reusable containers, so this seemed like the perfect solution to her daily brown paper lunch bag.

 

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Who doesn’t love kittens with roses and yarn?

My top-stitching is…not the greatest. I actually didn’t even use the motor on my machine, just the handwheel, because I kept messing it up. But isn’t the kitten print cute? Maybe that makes up for it. 😉

I used a bit of velcro to keep the bag closed and make it easy to use. It’s just a bit roomier than a brown paper bag, although not so much bigger that it’d be difficult to put into a tote or backpack. If you’re looking for a way to cut down on throwing things away, I think this is a great alternative!

finished HP embroidery!

My friend’s birthday was yesterday, which meant she came over to get her present—and she remembered to bring her Harry Potter scarf too, so she got her present from last year as well! 😉

I have had this embroidery finished for a while, but since we only see each other sporadically it’s been hard to find a time to iron it onto the actual scarf (which my friend handknit years ago).

But now it is completely finished!!!

I’m so happy with how it turned out. I always get a little nervous using fusible things, in case it doesn’t adhere to the materials well. But luckily it worked beautifully! I also hadn’t seen the scarf in a while, and forgot how well the colors matched. I guess the hour we spent matching thread and yarn was worth it!

Anyway, my friend and I both loved the final project. It’s so nice when things go well.