Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Swap, swapity, swap, swap, swap

So I decided to dust off the old blog today and wax on about swaps.

Hello! My name is Giedra and I think I may just be addicted to swaps. My first swap was the Schnitzel & Boo mini swap round 2 and man I LOVED it and was sad when I packed that mini up and sent it off. Sad to be done creating and IG stalking.

It's an extraordinary thing that all these people all over  the world, the whole world,  are creating for people they have never and may never meet. I poured my best efforts and heart into that little quilt. Was it perfect, Oh NO, far from it! In fact I have learned so much from taking part in all these swaps. That's the reason I even started signing up. I really wanted to push myself to learn but without a cause I was sort of aimless and kinda timid to sew for myself. Mini's seemed like just the right start!
My first mini!
 With my first swap I wanted to test out an idea I had for a larger quilt and with it I learned:

1. How to quilt, yup it was my first real machine quilted quilt
2. Bias binding and hand finishing. I used only cheater binding before (shh don't tell)
3. Glue Basting. I think its not totally for me but it's good for some things.
4. First ever lined zipper pouch (as an extra). I am now pouch obsessed.

I also learned that I still work my best when I have a deadline to meet. In collage I was never late handing in anything but I did pull a LOT of last minute night before all nighters. I'm better now but I still drag my feet on getting started and the finishing. With this in mind I signed up for not one, not two but FOUR swaps all due Dec.1st. That's right crazy lady right here.

Here is what I learned in the four swaps I just compleated:

1. I can totally bring a drawing to life!

IG mini swap

2. Hand Quilting

3. Free motion quilting

2. Flatter is awesome, mini irons not so much

3.Don't fight the machine let it work for you not you for it, seriously my quilting has grown by leaps and bounds when I figured this out.

4. Paper piecing! I love it, it's kinda like paint by numbers for fabric.

Little Quilt Swap. Cocktail Shakers pattern from the book Little Quilts by Sarah Fielke and Amy Lobsiger

5.  Sewing circles is super time consuming but not as much as tying off all the thread you get when sewing them.
Jolly Swap

It was super windy during the photo shoot
Lastly you get way better pictures on a sunny day. My only regret in not taking more photos of my IGmini swap quilt (the pink one) when it was sunny!

Now that I feel confidant to cut into some of my stash for my own quilt I swore that I was off swaps for a while but then, THEN, another Schnitzel and boo swap came up so what did I do ..yup signed up for a 6th swap without batting an eyelash. Why, Why, Why did I do that?  Well because I still have stuff to learn...and I was inspired to finally join our local Modern Quilt Guild so you know I need more project to show off there!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Felt Advent Calendar AKA I made something from pinterest.

Gasp...has it really been since May. I really had no idea but I made a choice to focus on the making of things and less the talking about the making of things so here we are in the middle of November with my first post in months.

Luckily I have been making things and really wish I had time to show them all off but for today I am picking something I made last year that I never got a chance to write and it's timely.

The reason I had no chance to write about my advent calendar is because I started one week before Dec 1st sooo I was a bit busy and I was literally one step ahead of each day adding the ornament and pocket.

I was clearly inspired by this one I found on Pinterest. I used brighter colors and only two shades of green in my tree. I hand drew everything and made little paper templates for all the tree pieces and ornaments. I loved working with felt and plan on doing more once my to do list gets smaller, heh. I still have some little details I want to add. I see it as a work in progress that I'll do a bit to every year.

This is one of my all time favorite ornaments and I kinda wanna make some for my real tree.

I think there is plenty of time for anyone who is inspired to get crackin !

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


I've been MIA because I made a choice to do rather than to blog. It worked. I made stuff and I liked it!

 From Left to Right: Treasure pocket pant (x2) Parsley pants (x2) my own pattern and two more Parsley Pants.

Monday, January 28, 2013

They're Multiplying!

I used the same curly snake pattern as Astas Big 'ol' Snake that he got for christmas. This time I just followed the pattern as written with the exception of using the magic loop and knitting both of these snakes at the same time. I was also lucky enough to have brought my little with me to pick out the buttons we used for the eyes. Just as I was about to give up he found these tiny itty yellow ones that were perfect!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Knitting

The dust of frenzied gift making has settled and I finally have time to share what I have been doing with my bits and pieces of free time. Part of my time managment problem is that I have a really bad habit of working on, Oh I don't know, 3-7 different project going on at the same time. Having so many projects on needles and in the "to sew" pile leaves little time to think about writing. I also find it incredible hard to put down the hand on creative stuff and blog, although I'm not sure why since I waste a very good portion of my time messing about on the Internet.

On to the the knitting...

My list of gifts  I wanted to make for people for Christmas was a long one, longest in history. Some got done and some didn't even get started *sigh* The first item I absolutely had to make was one of the only two things my little guy asked for: a grey snake. I looked high and low for such a thing out there in the world and apparently there is no such thing in the stuffed animal kingdom. Black, blue, green and even pink but no grey.

I set to knitting choosing the curly snake pattern out of Itty-Bitty Toys. I needed this snake to be a slight bit bigger and fast so I used Cascade Eco which is a bulky yarn. I followed the pattern as written and came up with this!

He loves it!

I couldn't be happier even if he thinks it came from Santa no matter how much I tell him otherwise. He finally came up with the compromise that I made it but Santa brought it.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Ridiculously Cute/Easy/Fast Baby Booties

These might seriously be the best thing I've made in a while. Why? Because it took me maybe 2 hours from start to finish, I love working with Koigu, I didn't have to buy more yarn to make them, they are seamless, have only two, TWO, ends to weave in and when all is said and done will produce the loudest awe's at any baby shower.

Convinced? Wanna make some too?

See, ridiculous!

If you knit and are on Ravelry you might even recognize these little cuties. The original pattern is Saartje's Booties a "hot right now" pattern that I have never wanted to make because of all the ends and a thanks. Too much work for such a small project.

Lit up with some fall sunshine!

Well turns out my sister is having a girl and she saw these on Pinterest so I though I'd give them a try. After reading the original pattern again I just knew that there had to be a better option. I put Ravelry to work for me and found Fleegle's Blog.  This wonderful knitter had done all the work I didn't want to do and converted the pattern for knitting in the round.

I made some minor changes like using Judy's Magic Cast On and I knit them two at a time magic loop style up until the straps then I had to put one on a holding needle. Easy Breeze!

 ACK! I just noticed that I sewed the buttons on backward! The baby won't notice, right?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dia De Los Muertos AKA My Glass is Half Full

Sooooo it's been a bit...

While I didn't outright fail on the kids clothing week (I did sew more than an hour each day, I swear!) I didn't meet my goal *sigh* things happen, dinners need to be made, sick kids have to go to the doctor, husbands have birthdays that need cake...the list goes on and on and on.

At least I'm done in time for a day where my pants fit right it.

These Treasure Pocket Pants are from the great book Sewing For Boys. I've had the idea "in my head" for ages and used the KCWC as the kick start I desperately needed to make them reality, unfortunately I didn't have any idea how much time these would take. It probably would have been more clear had I actually read the pattern before I cut my fabric (oops!)

One of the reasons the pants took me so long is the lovely seam construction and attention to detail. These pants are built kid tough. I think the knees will blow before anything else. My littles could not wait to put these on and find treasures to put in the clever pockets.

The other is that I made two pair using the same fabric but in different sizes. You can use your imagination to picture all the comedy show that was me putting a 4t panel with a 3t one High-larious!

Really he loves them...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Kids Clothes Week: Hats

Oooh I can barely contain my excitement about this whole challenge. I mean if this went on ALL the time, you know the having to be accountable and such, I would never have to buy anything at a store ever ( I kid, sort of.)

I work well with deadlines and other peoples expectations and this is why I did alright in college. Yes it's true that I almost always did everything (maybe even a 12 page paper) the night before it was due. Scrambling to put the finishing touches on projects at 2, 3 or ever 4AM and then managing to somehow function, look good and be running on time (this was back before I drank coffee too.)

So here I am with a literal mountain of fabric and project ideas, not to mention blog posts to write. As I was cooking dinner and occasionally checking on the littles I wondered "How am I supposed to do this and still manage to wash clothes, cook, clean and pay attention to my kids?"

The answer is still unclear but I am typing this in a clean living room having already washed my fabric, put away dinner and I even have a project to show off.  *I typed this last night as I was waiting for my fabric to dry

Ready set GO!!!

To be fair I did not just whip these up today. I finished them today. I'm taking this week to help me get back on track with my time spent here on the the blog, finishing old projects and starting projects that have, until now, lived only in my head.

Project Low Down

Pattern: my own made up simple hat. CO 133, knit a 1x1 rib  for about 7 or 8 rows until it looked how I wanted, added a couple random stripes  to give each hat a way for me to tell who's who's. Even decreases starting after the hat measured about 5 inches.

Needles: Size 2 for ribbing, 3 for hat

Yarn: Koigu that the boys picked out themselves.

Monday, October 8, 2012

I Heart Michigan

I can't think of a better way to kick of the Kids Clothes Week Challenge! Here We Go!

I have crush on my home state of the mitten. The lovely summer we had enjoying all it's water ways and sandy beaches only fueled the fire.

Wanting to share the love with my littles I searched out a simple shirt with a pic of the great lakes or just the outline of the state. Would you believe that this was hard to find? I didn't think it would be but for some reason all of the kids shirts had silly sayings or some wording like "Made in Michigan",  personally don't get the appeal.

While being lulled to sleep by the waves of Lake Michigan I had an idea, combine my many loves to make a great shirt! My kids, Michigan and Alabama Chanin style sewing.

I started with some plain shirts from Target, scraps from another project I'm working on, two pairs of tiny hands and lots of love. CHEESE!

Do you see that black spot??? Can you believe I sent him to school in this before taking any pictures? It was the only day he came home with not just paint but BLACK paint on his clothes. AHHHH! (don't worry it mostly came out)

Not sure if you have ever traced your littles' hands but, it is really hard. It's one thing to do it for a fun picture but it's a whole other ballgame when your trying to make a template for an applique. I needed their tiny fingers to be just so. Thankfully they were into the whole process and we managed to do it in about three tries.

Oh my gosh! I just just now realized that if youj are not a native Michigander or know someone who is you may have no idea that we here in the Great Lakes State often use our hand to show our location or what have you.

I ironed these, I swear!

After using a basic straight stitch for the applique I backed stitched on a little love for our town: Ann Arbor. Now don't go looking to compare the location to it's map counterpart, it's a heart in the general abstract vicinity of A2.

I kinda wanna make one for myself. Will. Have. To. Wait. Focus on the kids...