Friday, April 18, 2014

Learning to Crochet

Learning some Crochet Basics

I have been a basic knitter for many years now.  I don't knit all of the time.  And I don't know many complicated stitches.   I may let my needles sit for a year, but then I  find a project that I love (and think I can handle) and I find myself knitting again for awhile. I have enjoyed knitting  many blankets and scarves.  

 Erin, at Why Not Sew?  blog , has so  many adorable projects with beautiful  crochet touches. Whenever she makes a new , adorable project with some crocheting in it, I say to myself..." At least learn how to crochet a little something!!"  So  I finally  started  collecting the tutorials that I ran across, in hopes  that when I do  learn how to crochet ,  I will have some cute projects to work on.  
And you know how awesome it is to find a friend, who lives close by, who will help you  figure out things with knitting and crocheting?  I found  my Judy in my choir , and she patiently has  showed me many of the basics of crocheting .  Judy is in the Prayer Shawl group at our church,and she is always knitting or crocheting blankets and shawls to give away, through this touching ministry.  

By the way, Judy was carrying her scissors around in a zip-lock baggie.  When I found this  out, I knew what I wanted to make her as a little thank you gift ...

Easy Snap Clutch    Pattern by  Sweet Pea Patterns                      Susie's Sunroom

They are bigger than they seem....  my large scissors fit inside of it! 

Large enough for scissors and more

So , after a few months of practicing the basics of crochet,  I ventured out into making a few yarn baskets.   (I'll show you them soon.)  

But this cute Easter Basket pattern caught my eye, and  so I decided to try to make it.
I knew it wouldn't be perfect, but I could learn  by trying to make  it.


Lion Brand  Patterns website -     Amigurumi Bunny Basket  Pattern #:  80092AD
Yarn:   Vanna's Choice   white and pink
Level:  Easy level 2



I was thrilled to get the ears to look like ears!  This is the first time I made something other than a circle for a basket.   (The ears were a bit floppy, so I put some white pipe cleaners in them to give them some stiffness.)

I made a little pompom for his tail.  (I now  know I can add LOTS more yarn on the next one that I make.)

I looked up the word Amigurumi.....    The word is derived from a combination of the Japanese words ami, meaning crocheted or knitted, and  nuigurumi, meaning stuffed doll,   typical in Japanese culture.  (Amigurumi really became popular worldwide  in 2003.)

So I hope this is the start of a fun journey into the crocheting world.... in hopes of learning  how to embellish lots of cute projects.

I'm off to my sewing room!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Patchique' blocks 27 and 114

Patchique' blocks #27 and #114

Today , Amanda and I have passed the halfway mark in  making the blocks in her "Patchique'  Quilt Project" Journey.   
Listen... Is that my dear hubby calling out to me, " I say, dear,  this calls for a celebration....  time to place a huge fabric order  in honor of this momentous occasion!  "
{Oh wait...  I was just daydreaming for a minute there...} 

Sewing applique and patchwork blocks with Amanda, The Patchsmith
  This week's patchwork block:  #27    Hira yotsu me  (translated Four flat squares)

Four Flat squares    from the Japanese Taupe Quilts book

This block as 27 pieces, and since I have my scant quarter inch foot and machine settings "nailed", it came together so smoothly!

Block #27  Four Flat Squares     Susie's Sunroom
 The applique' block:   #114  Kikuhs  (Chrysanthemum circle)

Chrysanthemum circle   from the Japanese Taupe Quilts book

I had fun making this large flower into a block!  I got to  pick out 8 different fabrics, and a center feature fabric , to fussy cut.  I used my Moda Martinique fabric for the center.
(Hey, I just noticed "Martinique" has the "-ique" ending like applique!  A perfect fabric for this quilt!)  (You can see that I am easily amused!)

#114  Chrysanthemum circle    Susie's Sunroom

And here are the two blocks, side by side.  Two fun to make blocks!  I just know I'll be making these blocks again in the future.

Chrysanthemum circle and Four flat squares

My completed Patchique' blocks so far!
You can see the blocks that Amanda, The Patchsmith, is making here.  Her fabrics are so pretty and her quilt is going to be gorgeous,... and so Patchsmith!!
I'm off to my sewing room!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Looking Back a Year

May the Best Block Win....

One of my goals as I journey through the sewing world  ....   Learn by experiences and  from others... how to make things  with more accuracy and precision.

An observation:

Last May, I jumped  in to sew with  the Modern Blocks Sew Along  ( at  And Sew We Craft) , making one block per month,  from this book-

Compiled by Susanne Woods
I was really nervous, because the first block , called " Follow The Leader" (by Sherri McConnell), was really hard for me!  It has 16 flying geese sections in it.  My geese were not uniform in size and the finished block size was a little too small.

I thought, "  if this is the FIRST block,  I may not be able to make the last blocks when we get to them ! My blocks are going to be really bad..."

But to my surprise, the blocks varied in difficulty,  and were fun to make! 

So , after I finished  April's block  (here),  I put all 12 blocks out together, and had an idea.

Remake the first block.... and see if this remade block is better than the original.
And put the best block in the quilt!  LOL

(Uh-oh.... this could be a cool thing .... or turn out to be depressing if the newest block shows no improvement!)

So I got busy and  remade the block.  I realized that really do look at this block differently than I did the first time last year.   I used the 3D Flying Geese method, explained in an excellent tutorial by Amanda, The Patchsmith,  to make the flying geese units.  I am going to use this method whenever I can.  I am also  going to use my seam ripper when I am not happy with a section, too.  Gonna correct it early in the process!

The Follow The Leader Block..... made one year apart

 I gathered my courage (vowing not to get upset if he liked last year's block better ) and asked my husband if one block looked better than the other.  He picked block A, saying that the triangles looked more uniform in size. Yay! { Happy Wife... happy Life for the hubby! }  I hope you were able to look above and pick block A , too.   It isn't perfect, but I am happy with the small changes.

So I am content to have improved, a bit, in my block construction during this sew along journey.
 Maybe I'll make this block every year.... and see if I can get all of those darn seams lined up perfectly someday!!

I'm off to my sewing room!