Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Zebra Blanket

Hello all, for the first time in a while I have got the computer to myself and although I should be doing household chores while baby naps I just can't face it and am mooching around bloglovin' et al. We really need to get updated on the technology front in this house but it's always so expensive when you desire Apple products, so the Mac will have to wait until probably forever and I will carry on fighting with the kids for time on this donkey laptop.

Last month was my eldest daughter's birthday and I made her a granny-stripe blanket and slouch beanie. Well to keep things fair for my middle daughter's birthday which was last week I have made a ripple in colours that go with her 'zebra' bedroom.

I used stylecraft special yarn in black, grey, silver and white with Attic 24's ripple pattern (always a winner)  for a modest size single bed throw. I started this as I finished the granny stripe in mid August so finishing it within a month must make it the fastest blanket I've made!!

The border consists of a few rows of half trebles in the silver, a row of double-crochet in grey and then some more in white with a lacy edging to finish.

I also threaded some narrow black ribbon through the stitches to complete the glamorous look I was aiming for.

as you can see it goes well with her zebra wallpaper and matching bedding. Teddy has even made a cameo appearance in this photo (he's a teenager now too!)

I also made her a crochet collar:

I've yet to see her wear it so I'm not sure if she really likes it. Saying that I think it's one of those things that need to be matched with a specific top or otherwise would look weird :o)

I made her some of her favourite chocolate-chip muffins with some extra butter-cream on top and found some zebra print cake cases (and candles) in Tescos to fit in with the theme. We enjoyed a lovely family meal out and my daughter gave me a gorgeous hug and thanked me for making her day special. She's a good girl. She's special.

When I started this blanket I wasn't sure it would work as the colours seemed so boring - but I was very wrong! The contrast between the shades makes it quite striking and varying the widths of the stripes by working different amounts of rows makes for a really interesting pattern.
All in all a success :o)

I hope you have a lovely week, take care
'till next time...

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Trip-a-long Quilt

I have, before being educated by the wondrous internet, wondered what jelly-rolls are good for. Often gorgeous fabrics cut up into narrow strips, what can one make out of that?

Well of course many, many types of patchworks can be started from a jelly roll and because they are sometimes selected from a range of fabrics from the same designer, you have coordinating strips for a happy patchwork pattern.

Because I want to explore the world of jelly roll patchwork and have a few ideas to try out I started with this relatively cheap cotton poplin roll from Ebay with the intention of trying out a scrappy trip-a-long quilt that I admired from the makers of such beauties I've seen around blog land.
And in the process I have learnt a nifty method that speeds up the process and increases accuracy. Rather than cutting up tiny squares and sewing them all together it can be done by strip piecing and joining in a loop, unpicking a small section to have a flat strip but moving on to the next seam on the next piece so the pattern works.

Here is the original tutorial I followed as it's a bit complicated and my words and pictures only explain it to a degree.

After I'd made all the blocks I could get out of the jelly roll I played around a bit to arrange the blocks in a pleasing manner. You can rotate them around 360 degrees so it may mean a bit of re-pressing seams to get them to lie in the direction you need for joining.

I was amazed I managed to get this size out of that one jelly roll.

I then needed to decide on the backing and I'd found some matching poplin at my local quilting shop. 

As the quilting part of any patchwork is not my strength I kept to a simple straight line a foot's width from the seams on every third seam.

And used some binding I'd already got cut from my stash in a lilac gingham.

With it's pretty girlie colours I thought it would make a super gift for the new little niece who came into our family last month and although far too big for a Moses basket it can be used later for her cot bed or as a play quilt to roll about on.

My first attempt at the trip-a-long quilt and I'm happy with my effort. Now I've made this one I can see how placing different fabrics in different ways can give quite different effects. Recently, I read this post by Kristen who has finished her beautiful quilt and she has arranged her blocks in a less random way and has achieved a fabulous diamond pattern which I love!! (gorgeous crochet included here  as well- take a look)

'till next time...

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Crochet Gifts

I have been enjoying making gifts for friends. This first is a blanket ordered by a cat (well the cat's Mum who I work with). I was inspired by the blankets designed by the super talented Maaike who sells pattern and kits in her Etsy shop called creJJtion.. The one that caught my eye was crocheted squares joined in a pattern to look like gingham fabric. As the cat's favourite colour is red I dug out some red gingham fabric from my stash to copy the pattern and match yarn colours.

The way gingham fabric is weaved makes the squares come in 3 shades of colour and then a neutral square, I've used white in this case. I feel it is important to get your shades right here as otherwise it may just look like a colourful patchwork. I used Stylecraft Special DK (again) in shades white, lipstick, pomegranate and pale rose - and I think it worked quite well!

I found the join-as-you-go method works really well with these type of granny squares and the border was made with a quick check of Sandra's fabulous granny patches border tutorial

I understand cat did like the blanket, but my friend's granddaughter seemed to think it would be better to use for her dollies in their pram :o)

For another friend at works birthday present I decided to have a go at a vintage style potholder, I've seen so many in blogland and on Instagram but of course you may remember I won one from the lovely memerose (sadly no longer blogging) on a giveaway she was holding. This is my post about it here.

I can't link to any pattern as such as I kind of made this up a bit. Not entirely though as the rose is from Jan Eatons waterlilly square (with teeny adaptation) and then I just made the rest up. Sorry this is not helpful if you'd like to make one yourself, but here is the original pattern which is similar.

An interesting back view - lol.

I love the scarlet and lime colours here, they stand out so well from the white. Patons smoothie DK is the yarn I used (white, red and lime). Looking back at these photos makes me want to make one for myself, maybe in my peachy yarn??

'till next time...