Seventh Grade Patchwork Pillow

Last week I wrote about the fuzzy lips sewing kit that I did in seventh grade.  I found another project, a pillow, that I designed myself out of the scraps of cloth my grandmother had in her sewing room.  I used her sewing machine, too.  I’m surprised at my thirteen-year-old self’s ingenuity and creativity.  It seems like when we are younger, we have less fear in taking risks with our creativity.  I believe as we age, we are more afraid of what good creative things we can produce.  Anyway, I’m going off on a tangent.  Still, it’s food for thought.

I did try to quilt the pillow here, but was unsuccessful or just gave up on it, I don’t know.  I think someone suggested it, but I chickened out half way through.  Oh, well.  The funny thing about each of the patches, I  had clothing made from most of these pieces as a child, courtesy of my grandmother.  I had this awesome jumper from the white, green and frog fabric.  The yellow and blue on in the upper left corner of the pillow was cut from the same fabric as a favorite play clothing set of mine.  I can recall my grandmother having clothing herself from the yellow, yellow flowered, and blue and white striped fabric.  Out of the blue plaid one, Grandma had other clothing made from it, but I also designed myself a bag that I wish I could find and show you here.

I love this pillow, and I think I’m going to rip out the “quilting,” rip open the seam to stuff it better, and perhaps make it a bit more.  Something that my younger and current self have collaborated on.  Perhaps that creativity is still in there that I had as a kid.

Look, Ma, I’m tatting!

Back in March, my friend Amanda lent me a tatting shuttle and some crochet thread after she had shown me tatting.  Amanda did a demonstration on how to do it, and I thought it looked pretty.

A few nights after that, I tried to teach myself.  And I tried.  I just couldn’t do it.  I could not get that darn stitch to flip.  I gave up on it.  Until a few nights ago.

Oh, what is tatting?  Tatting is a way to make lace, usually with a shuttle.  Legend has it that tatting was the poor women’s way of getting lace for fancy clothing.  It evolved into an art that was fading and nearly forgotten, but is now making a comeback.

Three basic parts of tatting are the double stitch, the flip, and the picot.  The double stitch is the knot you make.  The flip is manipulating the knot to slide up and down the shuttle thread.  The picot is a little loop between double stitches.  Not the greatest explanation, but you get the point.

I was ordering a few things off Amazon for a friend’s birthday, and decided to grab a few things off my own and my DH’s to even it out for free shipping.  I had a few tatting books on my list, so I decided to get the cheapest one, Easy Tatting.  It had decent reviews and I thought it would be good.

The well-illustrated diagrams helped me A LOT.  I can do the double stitch! The stitches do the flip! I can make sloppy picots!  They slide up and down the thread like they are supposed to! Huzzah!

 I have been practicing making rings with the double stitch and picots.  See my poor little ring?  I’m proud of that ring. It’s not spiffy like Amanda’s, but I’ll get there.  I’ve only been tatting a few days!

This seems to be a repeating theme in my crafting life.  If I don’t succeed, put it down, and pick it up a long time later, and, BINGO, I’ve got the right idea! 

So, Amanda, THANK YOU!  I will get my own shuttle and return yours to you.  I think I’m going to like this craft.

Fall Fair Season Revisted

I’m getting ready for fall and am ready for fall.  That means pumpkins, my birthday, and crisp, cool weather.  Though I will sadly miss summer, fall is great time to celebrate the fruits of the previous season, be they actually fruit or the proverbial kind.
I have given some thought to my previous ambitions to enter in the local town fair next week, and I have decided against entering my knitting for the following reasons:
  1. I am sick and tired of knitting those shells.  I felt obligated to do them, and there seemed to be no end in sight.  Maybe I will pick them back up again one day, but I’m shelled-out.
  2. I’ll be WAY out of my league.  People enter things like intricate lace and outrageous Fair Isle.  I haven’t even hit those realms yet. 
  3. I have a photography job on the day people are supposed to pick their item up.
I think those are three good reasons, I suppose.  Maybe it’s my own lack of self-confidence, I don’t know.  My DH suggested we go and check out what people have entered this year so I can get a better idea as to what people actually enter.  I think that is wise.  I’ll get the scope of things and then plan accordingly for next year. 

Housekeeping and Haan Crafts

You’ve probably noticed I’ve done a few housekeeping things around here, like took the busy logo header off, and played with the columns.  I’ve got to come up with a good logo soon.  That’s something that I will play with down the road.  Right now, a big Impact font header will just have to do.

Now, on to the fun stuff!  Yesterday, I was going through some older things and came across some crafting endeavors as a middle schooler.  I had such aspirations as a tween to sew.  I even joined the sewing club in at school.  We would order these sewing kits out of a catalog and sew them up.  You could get all sorts of easy garments, bags, and stuffed animals, such as my pink furry lips here.  Yup, these are from seventh grade!

They were great kits.  The instructions were printed right on the wrong side of the fabric.  The places where you should make your stitches were even marked, too.  I was happy to see that Haan Crafts, the company that makes those great kits, is still in business and catering to schools.

What I was shocked to see was that they STILL sell the kit for those pink furry lips!  And they have a few other patterns still that I remember doing.  I feel….old.

If you have a child who wants to learn to sew, Haan Crafts is a great place to start.  The kits are easy to understand and give a great sense of accomplishment when finished.  I tried so hard as a kid to sew this stuff, but I was never any good at it.  I would get so frustrated, but, I loved that finished project.

The Red Scarf Project

Foster Care to Success is a great organization that I support.  FC2S takes care of foster kids in college.  Every year for Valentine’s Day, they send care packages to foster kids in college, and included is a red scarf.  These scarves are donated by knitter and crocheters all over the country, and even world.  Have some red yarn and want to give comfort to someone who may be going at life alone?  This is a charity for you.

I have knit red scarves before for The Red Scarf Project, and plan on doing more this year.  I do a lot of charity knitting, and this is one project that I wholeheartedly endorse.  Those of us who have families and/or an excellent support system do not know how lucky we are.  There are college kids out there who have spent their entire lives in the foster care system.  They don’t have anybody to depend on.  A hand-knit red scarf may be the symbol and comfort they need that someone out there cares.  Check out FC2S’s web site for more information and other ways you can help. 

Now, YOU win something!

Ludicraft is coming up on it’s 150th post!  To celebrate, I thought I’d have a quick contest/giveaway.  Interested?  If you are, leave me a comment below.  Here’s the awesome stuff you could win!

  1. A skein/ball/hank of NICE new yarn.
  2. A small knit item by yours truly.
  3. Some coffee or tea (specify which in your comment)
  4. A signed 4×6 print of the sunflower photo, without the watermark, of course. 

Sound good?  Great!  Leave me a comment below with your e-mail or Ravelry account name, and tell me if you like coffee or tea.  Follow me via the Google button on the right or on Facebook for another entry each!  Just be sure to leave a  separate comment to tell me you did so.  That’s three chances to enter!  Please, only one comment, “Like,” and Follow per person.  The winner will be decided through a random number generator.   The contest ends on Sunday, September 16th at 11:59 PM EST.