31 January, 2015

Crocheting hangers

I've been wanting to make crocheted hangers for quite awhile now but we only have two of the really basic wood hangers in the house because, really, they're totally crap on their own! I had a look around Spotlight the other day for some but couldn't find any and gave up. Then the other day I was in there to get some more solids for the Moda quilt and the lady at the counter in front of me had about 10 packages of them and when I asked where she'd got them the assistant pointed to the shelf right behind me and voila! Adult and kid sized ones. I only got one pack of 6 each, goodness knows what the other lady was going to do with so many hangers!

Anyways, the first one I did was for Hazel from the tutorial at Karen Anderson. The colours and flower were chosen by Hazel (art direction), the crocheting by me (labour). It's pretty cute!

Crocheted coat hanger

 I got a bit cocky after that and decided I was going to do Dotti Angel's hanger in a lighter yarn and it would turn out ok. Well it did - in the end! I finished one side and then realised it was too big so pulled it all out and reduced the number of chains to start with and that was perfect. And it was still perfect when I realised that it was going to be too narrow to go around the hanger and I'd have to add an extra row of single crochet around it to make it bigger. But then it wasn't ok when I did the second row of sc to stitch the two sides together - suddenly it was two shells too long. I kidded myself that I could pad out the ends of the hanger and make do, but after getting half way around it I realised that was a no-go and pulled the whole thing apart and started with two shells less chain. Perfect (for real this time!). Of course, I could have made two and a half in the time I've been messing around with the one, but at least I can do the whole pattern off by heart now!

Crocheted hanger
For my next hanger (remember I have 10 more to cover), I'm going to do the spotty one in this pattern from Mollie Makes.

28 January, 2015

Crocheting stones

I never really got the whole crocheted stone thing when it was really big a few years ago, at least not until lovely Ellie over at Petalplum sent me a couple of little ones she'd done and I realised how neat they are, not the least because they are oddly very satisfying to hold and touch. I have no idea why, they just are! I've always meant to try for myself, but aside from a very brief and unsuccessful attempt to crochet over a piece of beach glass a couple years ago, I never got around to it. My interest was revived by my mum who was very taken with Ellie's and wanted to find a pattern to make some herself. I spent quite awhile searching for patterns online and got interested again! I need to take some better photos but in the meantime here is my first attempt along with a little clay bunny I made a couple of weeks ago. It's surprisingly hard to make something perfectly smooth and rounded, with ears that stay on but I do like my rather amateurish attempt to rip off a bunny I saw on Pinterest.

Little clay bunny and crocheted stone.

26 January, 2015

Crafting not blogging

I sometimes think I'm all talk and no action on the crafting front but I've been a busy bee for the last couple of weeks! Mostly I've been making Moda Modern Building Blocks blocks, but there's been some crocheting and other things too. I tend to put things up on Instagram these days and almost forget I have a blog, a trend I've noticed in others too! If you're on IG I'm Hazelnuts

After the solids I ordered online came I got stuck into the first of the 36" blocks. I knew it was big but hadn't realised exactly how big until I made my own. Amazingly it came out quite well considering all the seams on the bias and the fact I wasn't starching or anything.

It's not every day you have to stand on a chair to photograph one quilt block, but now I'm in the #modernbuildingblocks club! The pieces were too large for me to use the blues I wanted so it's not quite like I wanted but I can live with it. #modabuildingb

In fact the pieces were so huge I couldn't use the 1/2 meters I had of a couple blues as they were literally 1/4" too small! I was pretty annoyed, but I don't mind the compromise I came up with too much. I did blocks 5 & 6 next to finish off that section, it's funny how an 18" block seems positively small after 36"!

Block 5 and my little helper (who really really wanted his dinner). #modernbuildingblocks #quilt #patchwork #pug #pugsofinstagram #dog Block 6. After all those triangles this was insanely quick and easy to do. #modernbuildingblocks #modabuildingblocks #patchwork #quilt #yellow Section B - Blocks 1, 5 and 6 done

Block 2 sucked, I really didn't enjoy it at all and the bias seams didn't go as well for some reason. Amazingly though, it sits fairly flat considering how awful I thought it would be and I think it will be fine after quilting. I also managed to sew several of the navy and light blue triangles wrong sides together, then I sewed a few with the navy on the left instead of the right and then realised that they all should have been that way but it doesn't really matter as long as they're consistent!

Block 2. Loathed this one! Big pieces on the bias and sewing the wrong sides up several times just sucked the fun out of it. Amazingly, it sits fairly flat! It's also a mirror image of the pattern because I wasn't paying attention at the start. #modabuild

The rest of the Block 2 section is made up of 6 6" squares and I've done 4 of those so far. My favourite was 22, the orange and pink block, although it was definitely the fiddliest! I just love that colour combination.

Block 22. No need for a chair to photograph this one, it's a petite 6". #modernbuildingblocks #modabuildingblocks #patchwork #quilt

Block 25 Block 25. Another 6" but not very exciting. Still, another one finished! #modabuildingblocks #modernbuildingblocks #patchwork #quilt

10 January, 2015

Classic Baby Cardigan

The first cardigan I made for my impending niece was the Classic Baby Cardigan by Lisa van Klaveren in the 12-18 month size. It's been done for ages so I can't actually even say what pattern I used for the booties! The cardigan has a kind of odd shape, very long across the yoke to the sleeves but since I don't have a tester baby to try it on I can't really say how it looks on but it's cute in the pattern photos! It's possible I did one too many ribs in the yoke, I found it hard to know when I'd done the right number of rows for some reason!

Baby cardigan and booties with a dress to come.

The only reason I haven't blogged it was that I needed some ribbon for the booties and I wanted it to match the dress I was going to make except I couldn't find any fabric I liked. I had a real Posy Gets Cosy outfit image in my mind and nothing matched! I finally found this pale yellow Japanese lawn at Spotlight the other day and it was the closest so far so I grabbed it.

Baby cardigan and booties with a dress to come.

 I'm using this retro Simplicity pattern for the dress (View A), again I had a mental image and short of ordering gorgeous French Citronille patterns I thought this was pretty close and it has the little Peter Pan collar and puffed sleeves I was after.

It's all cut out and ready to go - the question is whether I hold the parcel for it or send it on later? I'm scared if I hold the parcel the baby will be born by the time it gets there, but also scared if I don't hold it then the dress will be too small when I finally get around to sending it on! Of course, I could just sew the dress this weekend and send the parcel on Monday...

04 January, 2015

Moda Modern Blocks

Along with several people in my quilt group I'm going to be working on the Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt, a few blocks at a time, over 2015. It's quite a challenge for me on a couple of levels: firstly, I'm not a big fan of quilts with a variety of different blocks, they don't appeal to me aesthetically - to my mind they look random and jarring. That's just me I know, other people who I like and respect love that sort of carry-on so there's obviously something in it and because this one doesn't immediately offend me I'm going to dip my toes into the deadly seas of chaos. Secondly, I don't like all the colours used in the pattern so I'm going to have to choose quite a few for myself and to be honest, for me that way madness lies. I'm going to be doing a hell of a lot of second-guessing myself and over-thinking but I figure as long as they're all colours I like then it should be ok in the end.

I went through my stash to find solids and discovered that I don't have a lot and that my warm colours don't play well with my cool or some of the blues in the pattern so I'm going to have to buy a bunch to bulk out the warms and all of the cools. I've been such a good girl on my fabric diet for the last couple years and now look, I'm going to be kicking off 2015 by falling off the wagon. Let's hope it's not the start of a slippery slope! I'm going to make do with fewer fabrics than the pattern does, I think that might provide a bit more cohesiveness as well as being cheaper.  Here's what I have so far

Solids for Modern Blocks quilt

01 January, 2015

Happy New Year

Hello 2015!

I'm so boring I didn't even do anything last night, my 18 year old self would be horrified and disgusted with me and would be struggling to turn into someone else with all her might :D

But I can do things she couldn't, including taking out-of-focus photos of the Christmas Tree and mantel to post on Instagram. Oh boy 18 year old me would have loved all this social media carry-on (judging by my slightly older nieces at Christmas, so many selfies!) but I'm kind of glad I didn't have to worry about it as well as zits and boys; some mistakes should remain but a distant and hazy memory, not on someone's phone lit by a flash.

Christmas light bokeh

18 year old me also wouldn't have appreciated black and white Christmas lights

Or captioned it "I can pretend it's a gritty nighttime shot of some large anonymous city, taken as I roamed the lonely streets in search of some meaning in my life. Yeah that, not sitting on the couch in suburbia." You get cynical when you get old.


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