Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Beautiful Preemie Blanket

Sue, another member of All Crafts for Charity designed this georgeous knit preemie blanket that she calls Snowflake Kisses Baby Blanket. I'm not much of a knitter (and couldn't right now even if I were) but I wanted all my readers to see this. Sue has posted her pattern on her blog Cosy's Corner. Check it out and make one or two for your local NICU.

Another Week Gone By

And I still haven't gotten too much done. I've been doing a little sewing but I have to finally admit that my hand is not going to get well enough to crochet in time to finish the blanket for A4A. I really thought some of the problems I was having would be gone by now. I can crochet a little but after five or ten minutes I'm hurting again. There was some nerve damage and I just have to face the fact that it may be awhile before I can crochet.

I feel like I asked for those squares under false pretenses, I never imagined it taking this long. So, I want to apologize to the ladies who sent the squares. Thank you so much, but I'm going to have to set them aside for now, hopefully I will be able to finish them for a future project.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Long Two Weeks

Well, it's been two weeks since I went back to work. I have been getting home feeling so frazzled from working in the office all I've seemed to be able to do when I got home is stare at TV or play card games on the computer. I still have to put the border on the denim and strings quilt and I started sewing blocks for a log cabin but in the last two weeks I've only got one strip sewn on maybe five or six blocks.
I'm giving away green grocery bags on my Deb's Going Green blog if you want to check it out. All you have to do is leave a comment with an idea (read the post) and then email me your address and I'll send you one.
I really need to organize my craft room, too. Every time I start though I get sidetracked into working on a project. You know what it's like, you find the perfect yarn or fabric and you just have to start working with it to see how it comes out.
I did go to Wally World and buy the yarn for the Special Olympics scarves even though I still have a lot of trouble crocheting. I can do it now but it really starts bothering my wrist after a few minutes. I have the yarn, though so I have to make them. Fortunately we have until January to make them.
The Afghans for Afghans blanket everyone sent squares for is coming very slowly. I do a little bit every few days until my wrist bothers me too much. This I do have an approaching deadline for and I'd really like to get it done.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Special Olympics Scarfs

I love this one and have to run out to WalMart for the yarn, of course I'm still not crocheting, it really bothers my hand too much. I can do it, it just hurts. These need to be done by the end of the year so I'm pretty sure I'll be able to get one or two done.
They are asking for scarfs in Red Heart Super Saver delft blue and white to give to the athletes of the Special Olympics Winter Games. They can be knit or crocheted as simple or as complex as you want to make them. I love the pictures of all the blue and white scarfs hanging in a row on the website.
For more details check out the website Special Olympic scarfs.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Owe, I Owe It's Back to Work I Go

Well, the doctor has allowed me to go back to work as long as it's office work. My boss is nicely allowing me to work in the office for awhile. It's so weird working 9 to 5 instead of staying with a client for days at a time. I had almost forgotten what it was like going home at night. I had to do something though, after being out of work for almost 6 weeks I was using up all my savings. The doctor says at least four weeks before I can really start using the hand to lift, pull, push etc. anything heavier than 2 pounds.
I am almost done the Denim and Strings quilt top. All that I have left is the border and I'm going to cut that tonight and maybe start sewing it. I'll get a picture after that's finished. My daughter thinks it's "weird" that I can sew something like that when there's still so many other things I can't do. I had called her over to open a can of tuna, I just can't handle the can opener. LOL

Saturday, August 9, 2008

String Quilt Block Tutorial

Several readers were asking how to make the string quilt blocks so I decided to make a quick tutorial. If your planning on hand quilting your quilt you need to make sure all your fabric is 100% cotton, otherwise it becomes just about impossible to get your needle through. I gave up on hand quilting after taking almost a year to quilt a queen size double wedding ring (it came out looking great but too much work) . You need to collect a good variety of fabric scraps, no knits and they need to be about the same weight. If you can easily see through the fabric it's too light.
I use old sheets, solid light colored fabric or muslin for the foundations, this fabric can be light-weight and see through.

Cut your foundations to about 1" larger than you want the finished square to be. Mine will be 6" in the finished square so I cut mine to 7".
I cut my fabric scraps into strips (or strings) that are between 1 1/2" -3" wide, I leave them however long they happen to be and cut them as I add them to the block. I vary the width of my strings but they can be made all one width, it depends on the effect you want. I also keep the smaller scraps and cut them into triangles for the corners. This keeps me from having tiny little pieces in the corner.
To start building the block, take two strings, place one on the foundation from corner to corner, then place the second one face down on top of it matching up the edges. Sew with a 1/4" seam onto the foundation. Iron flat and add strings, ironing after each one, until it's almost covered. Then add the triangles to the corners. it should look something like the block above.

Then your going to trim the block to your finished size. Since the blocks are going to be 6" in the quilt and I'm going to be using 1/4" seams, I'm trimming this block to 6 1/2". There are a lot of things that can be done with strings for quilts, this is one of the easier ways I've found to do it. The blocks can be set any number of ways to make a variety of quilts.

Here's some links to some of my (unfinished) string quilts.

Denim and Strings

Purple Strings

No Hearts and Flowers

OK, so I forgot to take a pic of that last one before I sent it off. LOL

Just Rambling 8/9/08

I have to ice my wrist for 15 minutes after doing my exercises, so I figured I'd type a few thoughts down. I'm hoping to go back to work next week. I talked to my boss and she said she might be able to find some work in the office for me to do. My wrist isn't strong enough to caregive, I still need too much help myself to be responsible for caring for another person.
I'm going to take a break from sewing today, I have new exercises and my wrist has really been hurting. I pledged some newborn and preemie loomed hats for the August project in the All_Crafts_for_Charity Yahoo Group. We're doing infant burial items this month. I didn't think I could do it. Just thinking about it made me cry, but it's getting easier and I know these are much needed items.
I really could use some help cutting things out, I've figured out a way to use the rotary cutter but it's really awkward and may be part of the reason my wrist hurts so much. I think I'm going to grab anyone who comes to the door and put them to work. I have a lot of fabric to cut up. I've been separating it into piles, a pile for green bags, another for hug pillows, quilt strings etc.
I'm still collecting 8" wool squares for Afghans 4 Afghans kids blankets. If you would like to donate a few the Details are here.
Well, the 15 minutes is up, I need to put my splint back on. Happy crafting and don't forget those less fortunate than you.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Next Step, Denim and Strings

I changed my mind on how I was going to set the quilt blocks. I cut up some denim jeans into 6 1/2" blocks and alternated them with the string blocks. These are just in strips right now, I haven't sewed the strips together.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sewing String Quilt Blocks

Since I discovered I could sew with this broken wrist I've been working on some string quilt blocks. String quilts are a great project for the beginning quilter and are pretty simple. You start with a foundation block, mine are 7" square cut out of some light weight cotton fabric that's too thin for regular quilting. Then you just sew strips (strings) of fabric across them until it's completely covered. Once this is done you trim them down, mine are trimmed to 6 1/2". On the right bottom corner of the picture you can see my drawer of strings. Whenever I have scraps I cut them into strings and add them to this drawer. It's in just the right spot so I can grab, place and sew. The shoe box you can see in the background holds smaller scraps for the corners. Right next to my sewing machine I keep my stack of foundations. I keep them there all the time because very often, even if I'm working on something else, I'll often add a few strings as I go. You can also see a finished block near the top that I draped over a bin to hide the mess (lol).


I'm hoping to finish at least one quilt top before I go back to work. I just sent two tops to an online charity crafting friend, the North Hills Quilter, to finish up. One was a string quilt and one was made from donated blocks that I set together. I can't wait to see a pic of the finished quilts.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Just Rambling 8/3/08

This post is a few days late. I started writing it, saved it, but when I went back to finish it Google had blocked my blog, they said it was a spam blog. Obviously, it was a glitch in the programming because quite a few blogs were blocked.
The hand is getting better but still has a long way to go. My son went home Thursday and I'm really missing him already. I can now sew a little bit as long as it's simple. I've been making hug pillows, which are small pillows for moms who have just had a C-section to hold against their stitches when they cough. These are going to Cooper Hospital in Camden, NJ. They have a great need there for infants clothing and blankets as well as these little pillows so if you would like to help you can join our Yahoo group Caring For Cooper.
I can use my sewing machine but I can't use my rotary cutter. I had my youngest, the one who was staying with me, cut out a bunch of pillows before he left. I"ve finished sewing all those up. My daughter and other son did a few more but not a lot. Neither of my boys live that close so they can't just pop over to help. My daughter's only down the street but with two kids she doesn't have a lot of time to come over and help and is also one of the least crafty person I know. Not quite sure how I got a daughter with no craft sense but I did. So I'm having a bit of trouble having enough to sew.
I've also been sewing some string quilt blocks but I can't trim them. It keeps me kind of busy though, and when I can use my rotary cutter again I'll have a lot of catching up to do.
Well, that's it for now, hope everyone has a great day crafting.

Donated Wool Squares for Kids Blankets

Thank you so much Joyce F. they're perfect!
These squares are the first I recieved for my Afghans 4 Afghans kids blankets. If you would like to donate some wool 8" squares for me to join together to make kids blankets, I would be happy to accept them. The directions and specifications can be found here.

Video You Have to See

This is absolutely wonderful and you have to see it:

What Kind Of World Do you Want

I'm going out with my son but later I'll be writing about big bad Google blocking my blog and what I've been up to the last few days. (Hint: I can sew again!)