Beautiful Blogger Blanket

Last week I got a lovely note from Jill over at Stocki asking if I’d like to join in her Beautiful Blogger Blanket. I feel so honored! It’s a wonderful project – she’s collecting squares from crocheters all over the world to create a blanket, which will then go to one of the crocheters who helped make it. Isn’t that fun? I can’t wait to see what it looks like!

I’d saved a few patterns since I started crocheting last year, so this was the perfect opportunity to try them out! I immediately sifted through my yarn stash looking for cotton (the requested material), and suddenly realized that I mostly have acrylic…GASP! Is that bad? [I always want to try the organic cotton, but they’re so expensive I tend to shy away for my own use.] Anyway, I got to go yarn shopping ^_^ I picked up white and purple (go figure!), and combined it with some green and blue I already had to create…

It’s so much fun to try new patterns! I started with the standard granny square in blue. Then I tried a lacy one with my green yarn (pattern here) – completely different from any I’d done before. I then did the largest in purple and white (pattern here). I had a little trouble following this one in the middle, but was able to figure it out. I’m really glad, too, because it’s so pretty! I finished with the three coordinating Flower Granny Squares (pattern here), which are just adorable. My husband loved my granny squares so much, he said I should crochet a blanket for us out of the flower ones! I guess I’ll tack that on to my rapidly growing list 😉

I am very excited to send these off tomorrow! Please post links in the comments of any granny squares you’ve made! They are such a variable form – I love seeing all the creative ways crocheters make them. Who knows – maybe I’ll make up my own patterns soon 😀

3 Things Friday

It has been a lovely Friday so far! I started it off by planting lavender and putting together my new terrarium (also from my Etsy wish list!), courtesy of my friend Dan. Then I did some Pilates, played with my dog, and now I’m sipping tea on the balcony. I feel so Zen.

Terrarium gift!

It’s been a really great week. I’ve gotten to do so many fun things, and am getting excited about things to come! There were birthdays, a hockey game, knitting, breakfast for dinner, flowers, sewing…I’m having trouble narrowing it down. But I shall try!

Friends at the Texas Stars game!Lego birthday cardJean Luc or Captain Kirk?Bluebonnets mean springtime

The good: I visited A Knitted Wonderland with my husband. It made me happy that he wanted to go see my work, and it was wonderful seeing the entire installation in the daylight! It was absolutely beautiful, and I’m glad we took the time to meander through it.

AJ walking through A Knitted WonderlandAJ & Alex at A Knitted WonderlandA view of A Knitted WonderlandMy hubby and our tree ♡A Knitted Wonderland at the Blanton Museum of Art

The bad: Work has been really stressful. We lost a member of our team, and I’m basically taking on most of her work while still learning how to do it! But once things calm down again, I’ll be able to get back to redesigning the website :)

The best: I’ve been learning my new sewing machine (awesome b-day gift from the hubs and my mom-in-law). I still love my Green Machine, but this one is much easier to use on an on-going basis. It has a million functions and sews like a dream! I already sewed a cover for our game case and two skirts! And I’m looking forward to many more projects on it :)

First sewing project with baby lockNew sewing machine!DIY Skirts in Amy Butler Fabric

What were your three things this week? I hope you have a great start to your weekend!

Knitted Wonderland

Friday was the official installation day for A Knitted Wonderland at the Blanton Museum of Art! It was amazing to see so many volunteers in the Faulkner Plaza sewing beautifully knit creations to 99 trees. It got a lot of attention from passers-by on the University of Texas campus, and it was wonderful to see so many people smiling because of our work (play)!

I’m so glad I got to team up with Velma and Sarah to work on a tree together. We also got to help with several other Etsy Austin members and friends – Bridget, Tara, and Marci were all there :)

Tara of Fifty AcornsMarci and BridgetVelma Sarah and AJKnitting up our tree!

Several of my other friends and family have gone by to check it out, too. It’s so pretty seeing all the trees together! The exhibit will be open until March 18, so go check it out if you’re in Austin 😉

Treehugger

(I’m such a treehugger! ;))

My NEW LINE!

I set a goal last month to list 10 new items in my shop in the first week of March. I’ve thought a lot about how I want to proceed with my shop, and decided several things. 1: I love art, craft, and design – and want to use all of them. 2: I love several styles and methods for each and I want to use all of them, too. 3: I love interior design!

In conclusion: I’ve started a home dec line 😀

I’ve had so much fun brainstorming, planning, and creating my new line! It allows me to use my background in architecture, art, and design in a new and exciting way. This way I can combine new and old styles, methods, materials, and more into a brand all my own. I’ll be listing all weekend, and I hope you love my new products!

Home Sweet Homei <3 u cross stitch

3 Things Friday

The good: I got a new cookbook (Veganomicon) and I’m so looking forward to trying recipes from it!

The bad: I haven’t gotten around to using my new Amy Butler fabric (from her latest line Soul Blossoms). I plan to make a simple A-line skirt from it, and I can’t wait to wear it!

The best: I finished my “Home Sweet Home” cross-stitch project, and I LOVE it. Best compliment ever: my husband asked if we could keep it!!! (I said I’ll make him one in our colors :D) I’m so excited for my new line of productssss 😀

Home Sweet Home Cross-Stitch

PS: I’m leaving today for New Orleans! Tomorrow’s post will be a fun tutorial roundup 😀 See you Monday!

3 Things Friday

Snow from the balcony 1Frozen Water from GutterChase with a snow-stacheFrozen fountain

Another week has flown by, and what a week it’s been! Our gym finally opened, I made soup for the first time, and we tried a new local restaurant. It’s been 80° and 17°. We had Groundhog Day [I’m all for pointless holidays, but they should at least involve candy!] and Chinese New Year – did you celebrate? But I’m most excited for today: SNOW DAY! What a great way to end the week! 😀 And when it boils down to my three things…

The good: I learned a new knitting stitch, and I absolutely love it! I’ve started on my first blanket with a soft, lustrous yarn in….Herringbone Stitch!Herringbone Stitch

The not-as-good: I wasn’t as productive as I could have been. I spent much of last night playing Sudoku (I’m addicted) instead of working on anything.

The best: I get to spend today completing projects! I already finished a painting, which was super fun, and next I’ll be sewing! Then maybe some crochet and cross-stitch…It’s going to be good :)

Granny Square Painting

What were your 3 things this week?

Sewing a body pillow

The other “Home Improvements” project I finished last week was a body pillow for our bedroom. I created it to fit into our plan for a cohesive style. I decided to use two fabrics to give it a little extra, and I’m very happy with the result. Though I made a few (fixable) mistakes as I went, it’s one of the few finished products I’ve been able to call perfect.

Body Pillow

Special considerations:

  • Color: I chose silver and grey to fit into our overall palette while contrasting each other enough to express the difference between materials
  • Material: Silk and velvet fit the feel of the room, but they are slightly more difficult to work with. I used a smaller sewing needle and lots of pins.
  • Zipper: Since I want the pillow to last, I included a zipper in the design – this way I can change out the stuffing if it starts to lump, and remove it for cleaning.

Cutting FabricSewing Silk

1. Measure and cut fabric. I used the full width of my velvet, then added enough silk on each end to make it the width of our bed (adding seam allowances).

2. Pin and sew end pieces to middle. I made each silk end piece exactly the same size, then pinned them to the ends of the velvet (right sides facing) and sewed together.

Layout fabricAlign fabric

3. Line up all pieces and trim. I first made this as one large rectangle, then cut it in half (to make the 2 sides) and trimmed each to match up.

4. Pin together. Make sure all your seams are aligned!

Pin ZipperTurn

5. Add the zipper (optional). Design Sponge has a great tutorial here. Put it in a place it won’t be noticed – mine is along the bottom (but not the whole length). Don’t forget to unzip it when you’re done, or turning will be a pain!

6. Pin and sew around. Remember to back-tack! (If you don’t add a zipper, you’d better leave an opening to turn.) Go ahead and trim any bulky seams and clip corners, too.

7. Turn right side out, stuff, zip. (No zipper people: sew the gap closed.) You’re done!

Quick & Easy Cushion Tutorial

Chase on his new dog bed

I made mine to be a dog bed for Chase, but this could also be a floor pillow, a bench cushion, or a million other things – the possibilities are endless!

Supplies:

  • Large pillow case (or fabric, folded) [Mine was $2 on clearance at Ikea!]
  • Fabric scraps and/or stuffing
  • Sewing machine, pins, thread, scissors

Now for the instructions!

Cut seams2 squares and 2 stripsSew strips togetherPin sides to square

  1. Cut your pillow case in half to form a square from the closed end (or cut 2 squares from your fabric). Turn inside out; remove side seams and cut fold so you have 2 squares.
  2. From remaining pillow case (or fabric), cut 2 strips along the cut edge – the width will be the depth of your cushion.
  3. Cut one side seam off each piece, so that they are strips instead of circles (each should now be the length of 2 sides of your square – the seam in the middle will be a corner).
  4. Pin the 2 strips right sides together. Sew each end. You now have the 4 sides of your cushion, forming a square.
  5. Pin the sides to one square of fabric, right sides together. Sew around.
  6. Now pin the second square to the open sides. Sew, leaving a 4in. gap.
  7. Turn and stuff! [I used fabric scraps I’ve been saving forever!] Sew gap closed.
  8. Place in a cozy place and add sleepy dog (Optional ;))

Sew, right sides togetherLeave 4" gap for turningStuff with fabric scrapsscrap-eating monster! nom nom

I tried to make this really simple, so I hope it makes sense for everyone. Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you have any questions! Now go make and enjoy your quick & easy cushions 😀

Sleepy dog on his new dog bed