Gifts

I was lucky enough to recieve some gifts from friends this summer too. A friend who I chat with many times a week but usually by email, found a pincushion pattern that she wanted to try out so I was the lucky winner on that one and one friend I had made a pincushion caddy for and in turn she created me a beautiful pair of hand knit socks.

It’s always such a treat to receive handmade gifts from friends. (Actually it’s a treat to receive any kind of gift. It always makes me feel special.) I love creating gifts for people and in turn I love to receive theStarfish Alleym as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This beautiful wool pincushion was created with love and care by my friend Gretchen.

I feel honored and blessed to be on the receiving end.
For my friend Terri, I made this pincushion caddy similar to one she had see on a website.

Starfish Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a thank you she gifted me with these hand knit socks. What a lucky gal I am!

Starfish Alley

 

 

Rag blanket finish

A rag blanket finish happened this week.  It actually was fun to do and I’m pleased with the finished product.  When I first bought this die I thought this would be a great way to use the flannel remnants.  As it turns out, because you use two pieces of fabric in each block the remnants don’t go very far. I knew that I was making this blanket for a little boy and have since learned that the mom is already in the hospital waiting for this little one to appear.  It’s a bit early for his arrival however so they hope he will take his time! In the end, I was able to mostly use fabrics from my stash.  I did end up buying a small piece of yellow.  Hubby was a bit reserved about the project but was also impressed after it had been washed and dried.  Like he said, it almost makes a chenille type fabric after it’s been in the wash and I’m sure it will get softer with each wash.  I think I’m off to make another.

rag blocks

rag quilt before

Pin cushions

As any seamstress knows a pincushion is your friend.  I own many types of pin cushions and have made pin cushions but recently when I was cleaning out a drawer I found a pin cushion that a friend  brought me many years ago.  She had traveled to Switzerland to visit with relatives that were temporarily living there and brought me back this wonderful pin cushion.  As I’ve mentioned before I struggle to use special things and for many years have put them aside for safe keeping.  One of my recent decisions however is to live life with intention.  One of my intentions  is to cherish these special items but also to use them so I can get pleasure out of them every day.  This pin cushion sits on my sewing table and holds threaded hand sewing needles. Although I don’t do a lot of hand sewing there are always finishing touches that require a needle and thread.  So Sarah, every time I use this pin cushion I think of you and am thankful for  your years of friendship.  What a gift!

A successful swap

A while back I made a comment on a friends blog that I liked the yarn she was spinning.   She offered to let it come and live at my house and now it’s arrived! We made a swap and I’m excited.  This is beautiful yarn and I’m still stroking and admiring all of its loveliness.  I have a couple of projects in mind but not entirely certain what the final project will be. I really have zero skills in the yarn fiber department.  Yes, I have done my share of crocheted granny squares and ponchos and have several failed knitting attempts, like the sweater with the monkey arms.. and two different size monkey arms at that!  While I’m thinking long and hard, I just keep moving this skein around and dreaming about all the things it could become.

 

Vintage rag dolls

A friend was cleaning out a closet and came across a package of old fabric.  One of the pieces was orange silk and the other was a panel of fabric that had been fashioned after vintage rag dolls and was printed for “Her Majesty’s Stationery Office” and came from the Bethnal Green Museum in London. ” London’s Bethnal Green houses the Victoria and Albert Museum’s collection of childhood-related objects and artefacts, spanning the 1600s to the present day.”  I have been looking at their website and it looks like a very interesting place to visit.  I’ve also checked out the gift shop link and there are many interesting things here as well.  I wish it was closer because I would love to visit.

These dolls however will be fun for my friends granddaughters to play with.  I applaud her for the decision to make them up and let the kids play.  So often I find myself bringing this kind of stuff home and then feeling I should save it for a special occasion or day and then the kids grew up or lose interest and here I had this very fun whatever and never got used.

Here are pictures of the panels.  After they have been stuffed, I’ll ask Sally to take a picture and send me so I can add it to this log of projects.

Smaller oilcloth bag

I’m making a smaller oilcloth bag for a friend.  I’m trying out a couple of different sizes of bags because I keep having requests for a smaller size.  This first one I reduced the height by 5 inches and the width by 2.5 inches.  I like the width and think that will be fine but I think I’m going to make another bag and shorten the height a bit more.  This one is actually a good size and would be handy at the drugstore or at the bookstore where you want a bag but don’t want or need such a big one.  I’m looking forward to making a few more of these and then ask what size my friend would like what her opinion is.

Orange you glad you did?

When my kids were little they really loved knock knock jokes.  This was the punchline of one of them..  In this care,orange you glad you told me how to adjust the sock measurements because these will probably fit a bit better.  I talked to my victim friend with the cold feet and decided what adjustments we would like to make to the socks.  I ended up making them a bit narrower at the front as he has narrow feet.  I also lengthen the hight of the sock a bit so he could wear them inside boots without them rubbing.  This is more vintage fleece.  It seems like it might have been from an old Halloween costume although I can’t remember for sure.  It really is a bit more cantaloupe colored than the picture shows.  I found a remnant of some black swimsuit fabric when I was at Joann’s last week and it made perfect ribbing.  It has a higher lycra content than ribbing so the stretch recovery and is better and it should not overstretch as easily.  It also has a high cotton content so it should feel good on the legs.  I normally wouldn’t use black thread either but it was on the machine and it’s close to Halloween so I decided you could wear them as part of a costume if you wanted to be a pumpkin.  Also, I wanted to try the pattern adjustments and decided that once they’re inside shoes or worn around the house it didn’t really matter what the color looked like.  The contrast is fine with me also and adds a bit of interest to plain old socks.

A new shawl

My dear friend Gretchen knit me a pair of slippers last fall.  She knew that my office floor can be cold in the winter and the cozy felted slippers would keep my feet warm.

Now this wonderful friend has knit me a lovely warm sea-foam colored shawl.  It’s very lacy and warm.  I’ve never had a shawl before so I’m looking forward to using it.  It’s soft and lightweight and very pretty.  I’m sure that I’ll get a lot of use from it.  I did show my bridge friends the other night and they were impressed.  Thanks Gretchen, I’m pleased!

Fleece Socks

Many moons ago…or at least fifteen years I think, I was in a fleece sock making mode.  I made big socks, little socks, lightweight socks, heavy socks, patterned sock and plain socks.  Yes I had a great time.  They were fast and easy with my new serger.  When my family was no longer interested in fleece socks, I mean how many pair of fleece socks can a person wear, I gave socks to friends and finally had to give up the fleece sock adventure and move to something else.  Now I’ve had one of those friends ask for new fleece socks.  It’s getting to be fall and the feet are getting cold and the old socks have finally worn out.

This was such a fun project.  I went into the storage room where all the “vintage” fabrics and patterns are located and shopped.  I located fleece and my favorite sock pattern. This is a Rain Shed pattern.  The Rain Shed company is located in Corvallis Oregon so they really understand the local climate and needs.  This pattern is very high quality, it fits well and is fast to sew.  It also produces a professional end product which makes it very satisfying to sew.

The first pair is done.  Now the victim or I mean friend can come and test the fit and I’ll be inclined to sew a few more pair.

fleece socks

Birthdays and more birthdays

It seems like I have lots of friend with birthdays in the next few weeks.  I’m having fun sewing up some new things and each friend will receive something different.  It’s a great way for me to try new things and fun to think of something each friend might use.  I really hate the idea of giving a gift that is not useful in some way.  Then it’s just clutter and something to pass along as a white elephant gift.  Well, I guess the holidays are coming if they want to get rid of these things…  Today I’ve created a dishtowel with some decoration at the bottom.  I had some Huck towelling yardage and that works great for towels.  It’s soft and absorbent and you can bleach it when it becomes dingy.  I also made a rice bag that can either be frozen or heated.  This friend is having a knee replacement the day before her birthday so I was trying to think of something she might find useful in the next few weeks.  This surgery event also made it difficult to choose a birthday card.  Was kind of hard to pick on that said to have a great day or some such thought.  It will soon be a good day but I suspect that may not be her happiest birthday in recent years.  She will be happy with the end result however and that is good.