Sunday, September 30, 2012

See you September!

Tote bag

Fleece artist sock yarn

Drops Alpaca fingerless mitts

Viv's mitts

I am lucky to have many wonderful pals born in late August through September. It means early fall is a happy time but also a little like pre-season Christmas with a whole lot of making going on. 

I haven't been very good at logging the birthday bonanza but here's a snapshot of some of what's been on the needles and in the sewing machine. Up top a tote bag made using this tutorial from Skip to my Lou, and down below some fingerless gloves in Fleece Artist and Drops Alpaca. 

So now I'm ready for the real deal. Time for some actual prime time Christmas making. Look out October, you may think you're all about Halloween and falling leaves but guess what? I have other big plans for you -- (October is cowering in the corner right now weeping little sobs ... Cram it, October, you'll like it in the end, I promise.)

Happy birthdays to my sweet friends who have celebrated this month (and last!) - happy days ahead in 2013!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hemmed and ready

Tea towels

Tea towels

Tea towels

tea towels

I zigzagged, cut, hemmed and washed and now am finally, finally, finished!

I do love looking at this stack. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A wee slice of yum!

Tea cake

I know this picture doesn't look like vavavavooom but this tea cake is truly very good. (It looks a bit burned on top but it isn't, rather, it's just a patch where I got a little overzealous with the cinnamon sprinkling.)

The recipe is from Whip Up and it's a lovely simple and fast treat to make to enjoy with tea. Also, the story that accompanies the recipe at Whip Up reminds me of my own after-school rituals, when my siblings and I would cram around the table and talk and eat what I used to call hors d'ouevres -- it was actually usually just cheese and crackers. It used to make everyone laugh when I said this, which tended to make seven-year-old me a bit ridiculously huffy (who are these animals that can't appreciate a good plate of hors d'ouvres?).

But back to the tea cake. My friend Deb has made this many times and shared her wisdom that it is best baked at 350F. 

I baked it in a round cake pan. When you pour the batter in, it doesn't really go very far but it does expand nicely and fill the pan when baking.

Happy Thursday evening friends :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

I heart ... Sweet september

Tokyo ferris wheel
Tokyo ferris wheel

Hello September! So glad you're here! Here are some things I am very excited about:

:: I've signed up for Coursera - a free, online program where you can take short courses offered through different universities. I hope I can keep up, it's been a while since I've been a student but I am very keen to learn new things.

:: This holiday bag tutorial has me thinking about Christmas making.

:: I'm really eager to get the digital download for a new magazine called The Simple Things, from the same team who produce the delightful Mollie Makes. There are some gorgeous pics of a crocheted tea cozy in the preview that I think might be nice for gifts.

:: My crafty friend forever JW made me some napkins. Oh the tidiness of the mitred corners makes me want to be a better person. (or at least a better sewer).

:: This shawl is very beautiful.

:: I don't ride a bike. But I cannot. stop. coveting. this. bag! Also, this bag, wowowow.

Happy week ahead friends!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Happy birthday KW!

Voila voile

Breeze navy V&A fabric

Voila voile

I do love these Voila! Voile scarf kits from Greenwood Quiltery. They are so pleasing and quick to sew.

The topic of satisfying sewing projects recently came up in discussion - you know the ones that are easy to cut, easy to hem, and not too much of a time commitment. In other words, they don't betray you with wonky seams or pieces that don't match up. You don't leave the machine feeling defeated and in bad need of a stress nap. These circular scarves are always fun to make. The voile glides through the machine like a dream and it's only a matter of working through three hems. Couldn't be more simple.

This swirling turquoise and magenta fabric is from the V&A Bromley voile collection. Hubba hubba -- the colours are SO lovely. 

Happy birthday dear KW, this is for you.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Patchwork flour sack tea towels + walks in the park

Stack o' tea towels

Patchwork tea towels

Flour sack tea towels

 I made these tea towels for some dear friends using floursack tea towels and some leftover bits of fabric.

I was inspired by a few tutorials like this one and this one and thought, oh yes! me + patchwork tea towels = total walk in the park. 

And well, it was pretty much an enjoyable jaunt but it was also definitely at times sweaty and puzzling. (I know it's not ladylike to talk about how much I sweat when I sew -- I get that totally. And yet I just can't stop myself from describing it every time).

I sewed my little squares together. But then the issue of folding over the long sides and getting a straight crease had me stumped (enter the sweating part). 

This amazing tutorial steered me right, by suggesting that if you iron a strip of freezer paper down the centre as a guide, iron the edges over the paper, and then pull out the strip, you get a good clean crease. And it worked. I was seriously running through park, giving rounds of high fives, busting out the cardboard and doing a little breakdance (well not really, but it felt like that kind of walk in the park). Freezer paper is I'm sure old news for lots of sewers but it was a new adventure for me. Yahoo :)

Happy birthdays to my friends C and J. A girl couldn't ask for better pals!