29 February 2008

shown actual size

a little zippered bag

from a superbuzzy kit

27 February 2008

PSA: eclipse

Jeannie took wonderful photos of the eclipse.

25 February 2008

spirits & sprites

a roving and felt angel

This came together in no time from an 8" length of roving, a small piece of felt and a bit of perle cotton. My only tools were an embroidery needle, a felting needle and scissors to cut the wings out. I folded the roving in half wrapping the fold over my thumb twice to form the head and teasing out a small strand to wrap around the neck. I made sure the face was smooth and tamed the stray bits at the back of the head with a few jabs of the felting needle. I pulled at the bottom of the angel to remove excess wool and to make the gown flow out. I cut the wings from one piece of wool felt and attached it to the back of the neck with perle cotton using a few small stitches. I drew the perle cotton through the top of the head and then down again to form the hanging loop, then I ran the thread around the neck and through the back under the wings and fastened it off. I tied a small knot in the hanging loop just above the head.

a wire, bead, flower petal, wool roving fairy

My friend and fellow third grade mom Denise Straiges Warkov recently hosted an evening of crafts and appetizers and demonstrated how to make these little creatures. Mine ended up more Moulin Rouge than Cicely Mary Barker.

24 February 2008

spun honey

a pillow for my sister Amy's house

Mrs. Lear's post on the plight of the bumblebees had me whipping through the stash for some honey-colored Berroco Pronto. I cast 120 stitches onto a 10.5 32" circular needle and went round and round adding a honeycomb stitch panel (from the 365 Stitches Calendar page for December 20th) and (what I think are) bees from Lesley Stanfield's New Knitting Stitch Library (four on the front and three on the back). I added a flap in seed stitch and seven shell buttons. I closed the bottom edge of the pillow with a running stitch.

I made up a newborn hat with some of the leftover yarn. This is 56 stitches cast on to a size 6 12" circular needle. I knit five rounds of k2, p2 rib followed by nine rounds of stockinette followed by seven k2tog decreases worked every other round until there were seven stitches remaining. I threaded the end of the yarn through the last seven stitches to close it and added a pompom. My tip for a dense pompom: make it a lot bigger than the size you want and then trim it down.

22 February 2008

stars & roses

paper crafts

One layer of a rose window resting on the blind drawn down over a folded star. Directions for making tissue rose windows come from...Rose Windows and How to Make Them. There are a few sources for directions on how to make paper stars from glassine: Magical Window Stars and Crafts through the Year are two great ones. The second book is a fantastic resource for crafting with and for children. Here's the rose window Bruno made yesterday when a handful of his third grade classmates came over to spend an afternoon during their mid-Winter break.

19 February 2008


the koigu purl beret

18 February 2008


two original embroidered designs by my sister Margie
My brother's not the only family member commissioning work for the home. My sister Amy just sent these photos of the pieces our sister Margie made for her. My contribution will be a pillow in plant-dyed yarns possibly à la Vibeke Lind whose book Practical Modern Crochet I spotted in The Runcible Bin a few weeks ago.

Here's a link to a recent article about the architect who designed my brother's house. I'm looking forward to a field trip to the Whitney. Meet me there, Mrs. Lear?

Just because, Kay, this is for you.

13 February 2008


Denyse Schmidt Quilts slippers

12 February 2008

a.d. 2008

a datebook cozy

This year I bought a Moleskine pocket weekly diary rather than a Paper-Source checkbook-style calendar like the ones I covered last year and the year before that. First I pieced a small log cabin block. With the base fabric (coarse linen) folded and the right edge of the book's cover placed on the fold I traced a line very close to the top and bottom edges; I cut out the shape adding 1/4" seam allowance beyond the traced lines and the same to the edges opposite the folded edge; I opened the piece and folded it so the traced lines were now turned to the inside; I pressed and stitched down the seam allowance of the opening edges; then I machine-stitched the small log-cabin block to the front, folded the piece right sides facing, stitched along the traced lines, turned the piece right side out, pressed it and shimmied it onto the book while the fabric was still a bit damp with steam. Now I want to find a fabric ink stamp pad to put MMVIII on the front.

queen's lace

tribal baby quilt patch

I adapted Katherine Shaughnessy's large design from The New Crewel for my smaller working space. I used perle cotton and woven linen (both available from big crafts supplies stores) and attached the linen to the muslin patch with machine stitches.

11 February 2008


Sunday pursuits
another Simple Tote

another trug

(This is the trug's inner pocket.)

Easy as pie.

10 February 2008


a tote bag

This is the "Simple Tote" from Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts. I added a little freeneedling machine embroidery to the top and handles.

08 February 2008

a trug supreme

another great knitting bag
I made this up studying a commercially produced bag I received as a gift, but any flat tote pattern could be adapted to make a trug. (When you're done, turn the bag inside out, flatten and then sew across both corners to give the bag a bottom. Trim the corners and cover the seam with binding.) The dimensions of the finished bag are: 17"w, 6"h, 5"d. It has a magnetic closure and a little inner pocket sewn down when the handles (17" long including the 3/4 inch at each end sewn into the top) were added. Et voilá!

06 February 2008

pine fresh

another tribal baby quilt patch

The background stitching in two shades of green is a freeneedling interpretation of the sashiko pattern called Matsukawa-Bishi (Pine-Shaped Diamond). For the applique flower I took inspiration from the work of Ayako Miyawaki.

04 February 2008


a perfect Phila Sunday (and perfect indifference to punctuation):

this recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day;

a happy stop at lovely loop where I bravely resisted mission creep and bought only the yarn I need for these (but enjoyed the vicarious pleasure of helping a friend pick out colors of this to make a Log Cabin Moderne blanket) and where I learned a loop fabric shop will open right next door in the spring (!!!);

another fabulous Lyric Fest concert at the beautiful First Presbyterian Church at 21st and Walnut (my first was their Shakespeare show which will rank as one of my all-time favorite performance experiences--engaging, witty, lively and literary) followed by a reception at The Academy of Vocal Arts;

a walk in the Wissahickon is also nice

03 February 2008

in situ

the pillows I made in their new habitat

That's a felted bowl (on the little sofa pedestal next to the corrugated cardboard model of the house in the orange room) that I made a few years ago for my brother. The Felted Bowl: Where is it Now?

02 February 2008


hand-pieced and embroidered quilt patches
These Dear Jane quilt blocks ended up too small and too big, respectively. I thought they would make sweet name patches for the new tribal baby quilts for the newest babies born in our family.

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