Saturday, June 20, 2009

Super Simple Clothes Pin Bag

I don't know about you but we have had some pretty wet weather here. Yesterday we got over 4" of rain. This morning the sun was shining and the breeze was blowing. It's the perfect day to hang out the laundry. I got busy sorting and washing. I brought the clothes outdoors and was surprised to find all of my pins on the wet ground. The bag is totally destroyed. All of the rain and wind split it apart.

I have wanted to make my own bag for years. I never got around to it. Hmm, I need to whip up some kind of bag quick and don't want to go out to the store to get any supplies. I searched through my summer clothes box and dove into the very bottom. That's the archive section. I have things in that box that haven't seen the light of day for years. Yup, many years.

I present you with a sleeveless shirt from the early 90's. Notice how long it is? I don't know what I was thinking when I purchased it at Farm and Fleet. Long shirt on a short person? It never looked good on me. It's better suited as a clothes pin bag.

First thing you have to do is button up the front of the shirt. Turn it inside out and measure down about 5" from the lower edge of the armhole. Draw a straight line across the shirt. I used my favorite blue wash away marker. Whack off the extra fabric of the shirt if you need to. I had to cut off 10". Darn dumb shirt! lol! The next step is to sew on the line. I used a simple straight stitch. Make sure as you are sewing that you won't come up and hit any buttons. That could mess up your machine. I know these things from experience. Trust me.

Next I stitched up the button lapel of the shirt. That's to keep in your pins. Again, be careful of the buttons. I left the top button opened for looks. :)

Now you are ready to sew up the armholes. If I was using a shirt that had sleeves I would sew up the edges of the sleeves. Pretty easy so far. Now we are ready to turn it right side out.

Final step is to put it on a hanger. I used a cheap 10 for $1.00 plastic hanger. It fits snugly. Now put it to work! This took me about 30 minutes from start to finish. Yes, that includes fishing through the "vintage" clothing!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Warm Woolies

One of the groups I belong to on Ravelry is Malabrigo Junkie's. For the month of June we are participating in a charity KAL. One of the charities is Warm Woolies. This vest is my first item that I am donating to Warm Woolies. It's also my very first vest I have knitted. You can find the vest pattern here. Warm Woolies knit warm wool items for deserving children living in orphanages in Russia, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan. The organization also donates to Native American Reservations in the United States.

Do you remember a quite a few years back when Diane Sawyer reported on the state-run orphanages in Russia? It's a story that has stuck with me since it first aired in 1989. I know that many children were rescued from the horrible conditions and continue to be adopted to loving homes. The winter conditions in these nations are brutal. They don't have the luxury of well heated buildings. About 8 years ago a very dear friend and I made several baby quilts for hospitals in Romania. I quilted the fabric together and Ann Marie sat at the serger sewing the edges together. I'm not sure how many we made but it was a lot. Any little way I can try and help some little child that needs to be kept warm is well worth the effort.

Part of the requirements for the knitted items are they must be made with animal fiber. Also you must knit in bulky weight. I used worsted Patons doubled for the vest. It's knit on large needles size 10 1/2. I used 2.25 skeins for this size 6-8 project. The great thing about knitting with bulky yarn is instant gratification. It knits up super fast too. I'm going to knit a hat to match next. I wanted to start today but I got caught up in mulching the flower beds.

A very good friend of mine gave me a whole case of vintage natural wool. I am planning on making more 100% wool items for Warm Woolies. I plan on dyeing the vintage wool in bright colors. I have experimented with Kool Aid and will share that with you later in the week. If you would like to join me in a charity KAL for Warm Woolies please check out the link at the top of this post.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Is It June?

The weather man just commented that June 2009 is one of the 14Th coolest on record. It feels like April. Lots of cold and rain. It's great weather for handwork. I recently finished machine quilting this beautiful log cabin quilt top for one of my very good friends. There is something so special about this simple quilt block. Come in for a closer look.

When I quilt a design for someone it usually takes a lot of planning and playing. I get to know what my customer likes. I try and get a feel for her personality. I ponder on as many combinations as I can think of. I always pray over each top I quilt. My friend is passionate about her garden and is an expert gardener. I tweaked this floral design and quilted it all over the quilt especially with her in mind.

I quilted large and small flowers. I wanted it to look like flowers were scattered all over her quilt. I also used a green and blue variegated YLI thread. It was a dream to work with. The machine quilted flowers glowed with color. Her response? She cried when I unfolded her treasure. I love those kind of reactions! I am so blessed!

{7:17} I will give thanks to the Lord according to His righteousness
And will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.