Friday, March 14, 2014

Quilted Goodness

I love quilts. I love looking at them and I love the idea of them and the different methods and the different patterns. I've never properly made a quilt. I've started one! I have lovely strips of fabric all sewed together and ready to be made into a quilt but it as been sitting in a box for 2 years. One day..

I saw the blog post from Young House Love about the baby quilt she made for their baby boy on the way and I thought what an easy way to make a lovely blanket!

So the gist of it is that you are embroidering a quilted fabric, not so much making a 'quilt'. I loved the inspiration behind the baby quilt and I loved the method. Easy peasy, nothing too crazy, something I could easily do in spare half hour slots.

I bought my quilted fabric from Jo-Ann's over the weekend and husband and I picked out different colors of embroidery thread. Just going by the sheets we recently bought for our bed (one greenish dark aqua color and a navy blue set) we decided on a blue and green theme. Made sense.

I decided to insure myself a little and keep the labels from my thread so that I can easily get more if needed.

Onto the fun part! Since I'm making this for me and the husband I actually bought 5 yards of the quilted fabric and just cut it right down the middle and then sewed it together.

When I started my stripes I took into account that I plan to make my quilt a little differently and put a backing piece in a solid blue/green color so I left a little room on the edges for that to happen.

I just went to town on it! The top pic is an easy way to get a few stitches at a time. If you're a stickler for perfection and you want each stitch to be exactly the same, that might not work for you. My goal is a very easy, handmade quit and I don't care a lick about stitch placement or size. I like the varied look of them.

The bottom photo is the progress so far. A celery line and a deep blue line. I think this will take me a while (probably weeks) since I'm going to work on it in spare moments and mostly the rare kid-free times. It's a huge honking thing of heavy fabric and it's white so bringing it out is a hassle, putting it away is a hassle, and trying to keep it clean gives me a heart attack, haha. I'll definitely share progress as I go and the finished product. It's exciting to be working on 2 things so different from crochet right now. My knitting and my quilted goodness.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Blankets Blankets and Some Knitting

I haven't talked about the mood blanket for a while! Still chugging along. It's easy for me to put it off and end up like 5 days behind but I'm all caught up now and trying to stay that way.

It's going to be soooo huge! I love it. I love the colors and the width and the square pattern.

I just love granny squares.
I also picked up another blanket project. My son asked for a blanket and how could I say no? Well to be honest, I didn't want to. I love making blankets.
It's going to be patchwork and brightly colored and fabulous and unplanned and perfectly crazy.

So many colors! Eeeee. He loves it so far. He's very impatient to have it done.
As much as I love crochet I have always been interested in knitting but my past attempt (last June sometime) was so stressful and blah and I hated it. A friend tried to teach me one night and then I attempted it on my own again and I couldn't get a rhythm going.
I decided to try again because I came down with a crazy desire to knit socks. I just had to learn to knit. I even ordered gorgeous fancy fingering weight yarn to someday use on the socks I will undoubtedly knit because I am THAT determined.
But the second attempt wasn't going much better. I started a few nights ago. Video after video. I just couldn't get it. It was frustrating, there were curse words, there were threats made to inanimate objects like knitting needles. But then a video where a woman explained how she knits left handed because she crochets made my world change. The heavens opened, light bulbs went off, angels sang.
Just by changing the hand I used the yarn in I suddenly got it. It started to flow. My speed picked up. My tension got 10 times better!
After practicing a bit I've now started on my first little dish cloth, which I'm so excited for. It's so pretty and yellow and I looove bamboo needles. So much easier than the slippery metal ones I used on my first try! I'm looking forward to taking my little knitting projects with me.
I'm nearly half way finished with this now.
I adore it! Sunshiney colored, bumpy. I love the knit stitch. It's so new and different after crocheting! Exciting new possibilities!
And so that's my blanket updates (although I have 2 more I'm about to start on! One for my daughter and a quilt for me and the husband) and my knitting adventure this week. It has been a good crafty week already. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Simple Little Magnets

I recently bought clothes pins for a little photo project and had a ton left over and wanted to use them for other fun stuff. I've seen some cute clothes pin magnets and thought what the heck! Lets give it a try.

So here is my short little version on how to make your own super cute, easy peasy, sturdy, make your fridge look chic clothes pin magnets.

Firstly, I took my pins and some pretty paper I had on hand and then mod podged the paper to my pins. Easy, right? I also brushed some mod podge over the paper once it was applied just to give it some heft.

I bought some adhesive magnetic sheets for about 2 bucks and traced my pins about half way down on them and cut out my little strips.

Then I attached them, which was really easy with the adhesive backing. For extra reassurance I painted a little mod podge on the pins as well. If there's some overhang on the sides you can just trim it up!

Nice and neat now!

Ta da! On the fridge, holding up things like a boss.

Really easy quick project (the mod podge dries in no time) and don't they look so much cuter than the freebie magnets you get from places? Which is pretty much what my fridge has been covered in! I could see other idea for these. Maybe some dollar tree fun to be had? Fake flowers, plastic bugs and butterflies, crocheted goodness? I plan on making more of some type of magnet because I have a bunch of magnetic sheet left!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Berry Muffins

Before the weather dropped back down into the 30's again I had a rare moment of not asked for baking and decided to go Spring with it to celebrate the warm weather we had.

It's rare lately that I get to bake for fun and not because someone asked for something. Baking is usually taken up by birthdays, class parties, requested cookies, etc. I had the urge to bake for the sheer joy of it and I ran with the idea of a fresh, barely sweet, crumbly berry muffin.

Alice is usually my baking helper. She loves to crack the eggs which is just about the most hilarious thing ever to me. It usually involves her smashing the egg to messy gelatinous pieces on the counter or barely tapping it and then with her monstrous toddler strength crushing the egg into the mix. Tip for parents baking with their kids- have a separate bowl for them to crack the eggs into. That way if when they get egg shell everywhere it is more easily fished out.

There are so many basic muffin recipes out there. I just went with one that I thought looked nice and not terribly sweet.

We had a lot of fun making a big mess and mixing all of our wet ingredients together before pouring them on top of the dry.

Then I just added 1 cup each of frozen blueberries and raspberries. I am the queen of indifference and could NOT make up my mind at the store which kind I wanted so I thought what the hell, why not go with both. (In general I don't buy mixed berries because I really really dislike frozen strawberries and the mush they get after thawing which is why I went with individual berries.)

I love the berry swirls. Mmm.

I used my 1/4 cup measure to equally pour the batter into my muffin tin.

I added some dark chocolate almond granola to the top of mine for a fun crunch and some added flavor!

After a brief cooling off period (and sticking 2 of them into the freezer so that they'd be extra cool and safe for the kiddos) we dug in. So good. Muffins right out of the oven, still warm. Juicy berries and the fun purple swirls. The chocolate crunch of the granola. Oh man.

Safe to say the kids enjoyed them! I think next time I might try grating some zucchini or carrots in there for an added secret veggie kick!

I am hoping to get more baking in. I have some plans for yummy blueberry biscuits that will hopefully happen this evening!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Weekend Lazies

Sunday is coming to its close which always leaves me feeling a little blue. I love the weekend. I love that lately our weekends have been slow and calm. No plans. No goals other than to spend time together and possibly tidy things up a bit. Baking, catching up on favorite tv shows (The Big Bang Theory is our current one, last weekend was all about Doctor Who), crocheting, going for walks.

Today was beautiful. Weather in the 70's, gorgeous sunshine, big wide open blue sky. Not too hot. The kids of course wanted to spend as much time as possible outside so I set up my chair while they played in the dirt of our not nearly grassy enough yard. I brought out my book (Ender's Game) and a snack and a yummy cold cup of lemonade. Plastic cup of course because I am notorious for shattering glasses pretty much as soon as they come out of the cupboard.

The kids and I are on a fruit binge. The fruit of the day was kiwi, followed closely by apple slices.

I don't think these babes are every happier than when they are getting absolutely filthy and digging in the dirt. Today they pretended to dig for dinosaur bones.

I've spent a lot of time on a custom crochet order this weekend, which I'll share later. I'm really happy with it! I have also been playing catch up with blankets. I have my mood blanket happening and I was nearly 2 weeks behind! I really have to set a daily reminder for myself to get squares done.

My couch looks like this pretty much 24/7.

Just a huge jumble of yarn and works in progress and my little blue box full of crochet hooks and scissors.

This weekend shall also be known as the weekend of laundry. We finally bought a portable washing machine and I'm willing to say that I'm in love with it. It may only wash a little at a time but it's quick and efficient and works well and I've been playing catch up with our laundry which is pretty much just mountain after mountain at this point and I am so happy to say that I'm DONE with the laundry in the house, which is saying a lot and also saying very little all at once since I still have a very large amount of laundry to do that is sitting out on our porch. I am not a fan of Laundromats and it's hard to force myself to go. Having my beautiful tiny 1 cubic foot washing machine here is going to work wonders on my life.

That's a beautiful sight for this lady. I love hanging clothes on the line. Since I was a little girl. Something about the smell of them when they are all dry and cozy after soaking up the sun for a day or 2, it's one of those smells that instantly gives me a mood boost.

I think we'll have one more day of nice weather before the temp drops about 30 degrees. We'll enjoy this gorgeousness while it lasts.