Ahead of the Sunny CAL this week I have made myself a yarn card. A yarn card is like a reference tool that you can use to keep track of the names of the yarns your using. To be honest I generally don’t keep yarn labels. The items I make lot numbers aren’t an issue so I don’t need to keep them for future references. The names of various colours can be difficult to remember and that’s when a yarn card comes in handy.
To make my yarn card I used a section of an old cardboard drink can box. For the Sunny blanket I’ll be using 18 different colours so I with a hole punch I punched in 18 holes around the card, wrote the various colours next to each hole with a texta and then threaded a snippet of each yarn onto the card. Now at a quick glance I can see the names of each colour.
I made one of these last year when I was made the Cosy Stripe Blanket. For that blanket I had my row colours repeating in the same order each time so when I made my card I put the yarn on the card in the order I wanted and drew an arrow to remind me which direction I was following. It made life so much easier, as when I finished a row and returned the yarn back to the bag I was keeping them in I could see which colour I needed to pick next due to the card. As I wasn’t reliant on the colour names and didn’t need to write them out I only used a business card.
Do you know when you see an item/idea/concept and you can’t stop thinking about it. You don’t become obsessed but you just keep pondering it in your head. That’s how I’ve been this week.
Last weekend at the Stitch craft show I saw Anne from Genesis Creations demonstrate her Liquid Radiance fabric dyes. They are a non toxic dye that you can use on any fabric. They appear to be less messy to use than regular dyes as you only use a small amount as they are very concentrated. I really enjoyed the workshop Anne did. I haven’t done much fabric dying as to be honest it never has really interested me except for the calico I did in pink, blue and purple. I purchased a couple of bottles of Liquid Radiance with the aim trying them out. I picked up an information pack that had a brochure in it for some workshops Anne will be doing in Sydney in April. Anne use a lot of every day items you have in your house to dye the fabrics with, because the dyes are non toxic you can continue to use the items as per normal and don’t need special equipment. During the workshops she will be teaching all the techniques. There are 2 workshops a basic and an advanced(you need to do the basic workshop before you do the advanced) After thinking about them a lot and loving the idea of creating my own fabric designs using every day items around my house I’ve gone ahead and registered for the 2 days. I’m really looking forward to these workshops. They look fun and are very hands on. The small list of requirements for them indicate they will be interesting. I’m hoping to learn and lot and use what I learn in my future gift making. They will be held mid April so I have a short time to wait. If I get the time and the confidence I may have a small go and trying the dyes I’ve purchased.
I can’t believe it is almost March and time to start the Sunny CAL.
If you have missed my previous post I’m going to make the Sunny Log Cabin blanket by Lucy from Attic 24. I have never done anything like this blanket before so it will be an interesting challenge. I have never made Granny Squares with a centre circle. Normally before starting a blanket like this I have would have a practice but this year life has been a little busy and I have spent so much time working on my Pamuke blanket that I haven’t had a chance to play around. That’s ok that just adds to the fun of this blanket. Lucy made her blanket over a couple of months. I’m hoping to do that too but my blanket may take longer as I’m making it between working full time plus my keeping on track with my gifts for 2016.
Anyone who would like to join me on this blanket journey is welcome too. Please share your progress in the comments. If you are on Instagram please tag me in your photos @stitchnsew or use the #sunnycal2016. If you’re not on Instagram but would like to share a photo leave a comment and I will email you. To be honest people this is the first time I have ever done a crochet along and I don’t know how many of you will join me but even if it is no one does I don’t mind as I’ll still be doing this blanket anyway and sharing my progress along the way 🙂
Edited later in the afternoon to explain things a bit more…
So basically last year Lucy ran a CAL to make this blanket on her blog. Each week she did a blog post on her progress and suggested colours to use for each row of the blocks which form the blanket. I’m starting this blanket on Tuesday 1st March and will do a blog post about my plans for the week and links back to useful information on Lucy’s blog. Every Sunday I will blog about my progress and provide links back to the relevant posts on Lucy’s blog. As I get to the different stages I’ll post the links from Lucy’s blog to joining the squares and finally the border. Depending on how much I get done some weeks I may get behind but I’m hoping I can roughly follow the time schedule Lucy had to complete it.
I stumbled across this toy on Pinterest and knew I had to make it, a soft toy steering wheel how could you not love this (I love it and I don’t even drive!)
The pattern is called Little Driver Wheel by Swoodson Says. If you have sewn softies before you’ll have no trouble making it. Even a beginner could if they took their time. I used cotton drill instead minky or fleece for the wheel. I wanted a sturdy fabric as there are a few curves you need to stitch and at times me and plush fabrics don’t mix. Also I couldn’t get hold of black minky or fleece. I did have to buy the fabric for this but I got it in a 50% off fabric sale. The badge section is wool felt I had in my stash. This is the first toy I have ever made that has a squeaker in it. I tried to post a video of it but couldn’t get it but if you head over to Instagram I posted a video there. I got my squeaker from Tommi Designs. I used a 79mm which was probably in hindsight a little big. You could use a smaller one and get the same effect. The pattern shows how to insert the squeaker but because my squeaker was so large I placed it inside the horn and reinforced it with a second piece of fabric behind it. I also did a bit more hand stitching around the inside curve than instructed. The pattern is really simple to follow and a great way to try out new techniques such as working with noise makers. This toy can be adapted per child. I made the badge on this as the initial of the child’s name but you could easily do the badge of a car company or family name. Not just for boys how about pink wheels for girls or do it black with Barbie’s head as the badge. How cool would these look as pillows for a lounge in a “man cave” You could leave the squeaker out but as many adults are just big kids leave it in.
This is such a simple idea but I love it. Sometimes simple toys are the best
Stitch Castle Hill held by Craft Alive returned for its second year. Last year’s show was a lot of fun, this year I think it was bigger than last year which was good to see.
This year I pre-purchased my ticket online saving $5 and printed it off before I went. I highly recommend you do that as you don’t need to specify which date you are going (it goes for 3 days) I would however suggest that you double check or even triple check that you have the actual ticket. I picked up the wrong piece of paper and instead had the email which contained details about my “Aussie Swag Bag Swap” partner, thanks to the magic of mobile phones I was able to access my email and show them when I got there my receipt number. Once again this year there were lots of stalls mostly selling quilting fabrics but there were some needlework and even a yarn store. The café was back again this year. This year I even saw a display by Koala Sewing which is the company I got my chair from (I’m still loving my chair) It seemed to almost be a mini Sewing Guild meet up as I bumped into 4 other ladies from my sewing group throughout the day.
This year the workshops were set out better than last year. I attended one where Anne from Genesis Creations demonstrated dying fabric liquid radiance which is a non toxic dye that you can use on any fabric. She made patterns on the fabric just by using items found in your house and pantry. It was a fantastic workshop to watch and see. As you do at these things I did a bit of shopping. I got a yarn spindle which I have wanted for a long time, some hardware to finish the clock toy that’s still a work in progress. I accidentally brought a blue lace zipper only for the fact it was a Blue lace zipper, will have to look for idea to use that. I also brought a zipper pouch pattern that wasn’t on my shopping list but will come in handy for gift making. I wanted to get some of the liquid radiance dye but couldn’t justify buying the packs they had on offer. I’ve dyed my own fabric in the past and enjoyed it so decided to purchase a couple of small bottles in colours I will use a lot (pink and purple) and a dvd explaining all the techniques. I will experiment around with these to see how I go.
I hope Stitch returns again in 2017. Judging by its popularity this year I believe it will.
QuiltCon is the largest modern quilt show around and is held in America each year. You can do workshops which last for hours not just 60 minutes, attend lectures from various quilt designers and of course shop. People attending often post wonderful photos on Instagram and the rest of us drool and wish we were there. For the second year running the lovely Janine organised a craft swap on Instagram for us Aussies who couldn’t go to QuiltCon. It was a really simple no sewing swap, all you had to do was gather a bunch of sewing/quilting supplies and send it off to your mystery swap partner. They get a lovely surprise in the mail of a bundle of goodies.
My parcel was the first to arrive this week and I was spoilt by the lovely Fran. Before I even open this I squealed as I love the wrapping paper. I do have a thing for cathedral windows and here are blue ones! The fabric she has sent is really nice. I love the colours. I don’t have many spots in my fabric stash. The trim is a cotton which is great cause I can add it onto to items I make and it is washable. I love that she has seen that I’m a blue person and sent me embroidery thread in blue tones. The clips will come to go use as I tend to use clips all the time and not just on sewing things. The needles are universal so they will be used for sure. The little purse is a flexible claim shell. It is quirky and I love it. I am going to make it hopefully sooner rather than later. She also sent me a lovely card.
I love my Aussie Swag Bag. I hope the person I sent my parcel to loves her parcel just as much as I do. A big THANK YOU to the lovely Janine for organising this swap again.
I don’t use my Sizzix Big Shot (or now known sometimes as Fabi) as much as I should. It is a great little die cutting machine that you can cut fabric, paper, foil or balsa wood on. One way which I have used it many times is to cut hexie papers which are used in English Paper Piecing (EPP) This machine is perfect for cutting the papers on. I wanted to cut a batch recently for a craft swap. By folding the computer paper into quarters and placing it over the cutting die I was able to cut 16 hexies at once. I then experimented and discovered I could do 2 sheets of paper at once cutting 32 at a time. I was able to cut a total of 200 papers in a matter of minutes. It was brilliant! These hexies are 2″ but you can get a variety of sizes. Cutting your own papers saves so much money and time. I could never cut the papers as neatly as this machine does.