the gifts of 2016

it seems all i heard myself say during the month of december was “i’m not ready”, and by the end of the month i found that i had mental lists constantly running through my head…all negative.  the lists of what I didn’t accomplish, didn’t bake, didn’t decorate, didn’t make time to visit with.  they were heavy lists, and i’ve decided to let them go.  i’m trading them in for lists of how many strangers i wished a happy holiday, how delicious the pizzelles were with my morning and evening coffee, how much i enjoyed each stitch in each gift i was able to make.  and of course the biggest list of all (and the one i usually ignore until november!)…the list for next year!!

to start the new year i want to share a few of the handmade gifts i managed to eek out in 2016.  the last of the gifts were just now opened due to scheduling conflicts, so i’m finally able to share them all.

first up….the turtles!  i had these planned for quite some time and actually had them completed quite early.  one for each great niece.  a big old floor pillow with personality.   hannah is a pink and purple sort of girly-girl who loves to dance, so for her…a pink and purple turtle with a bit of glittery fabric thrown in for fun.dscn7031

brooklynn is more of a whirlwind of action…karate kicks, ninja moves…that’s more her style.  so she got a blue and green turtle (there’s a bit of glitter…i couldn’t resist), with a surprise underneath.  the bottom of the turtle is girl super-hero fabric…super girl, wonder woman and batgirl.  no, the red doesn’t really “go” with the blue/green top, but does that really matter?  i hope it said to her “i get you…I know who you are”dscn7033you may not be able to tell from the pics, but these guys are BIG!  they stand about 10-12″ tall and from head to tail measure about 48-50″….perfect for propping you up for movie time.

my sister (turtle girl grandmother) has eyed my messenger bag for quite some time…offering to take it off my hands, so i made her one of her own.  it’s amy butler’s first messenger bag pattern…a very simple bag with a pocket flap.  i use mine all the time and it’s just right.  once i made it i decided she needed a heigh-ho laptop sleeve to match, so she got a set.dscn7046picking out the buttons was, of course, my favorite part of the project.  at one point i think i had every button in the studio spread out across the rug…and that’s a whole lotta buttons!

dscn7043sister also got a kerchief shawl.  i can’t sit and watch a movie without picking up a knitting project.  i made one for myself first to test the pattern and then made hers…after blocking i’ve decided that if i make this pattern again i’ll add an extra repeat since it feels a bit short when i wrap it around my neck.

 

last year elizabeth made recipe towels using a spoonflower tutorial here on the blog.  i knew then that i wanted to make some too.  instead of using a single recipe, i stole borrowed some the favorite family recipes…ones that even the grandsons would know…mostly handwritten (i think each side had one printed recipe) and had fabric printed at spoonflower.  i made towels for everyone, 18 in all!  every generation got a towel…even the great granddaughters and i have a few left that just need hemming in case there is ever a towel emergency.

 

dscn7041i saved my favorite project…or shall i say my latest sewing addiction…for last.  the rope bowl craze has been happening for a while now but i seem to show up a bit late at these sorts of things.  i’ve had the clothesline in my studio closet forever (planned on making a bag with it), but it wasn’t until days before christmas that i pulled it out and began my first bowl.  jeff walked in to find me forming the bottom and asked what i was making…actually it was more “what are you making NOW?” and i replied “a bowl”…he didn’t even comment, just walked out.  but nothing would dampen my enthusiasm for this project.  i’ve seen them made with fabric strips covering the rope, with ribbon accents, but i had yarn…plenty of yarn, so that’s what i used.  iI didn’t try to make the accents symmetrical, i just added them whenever i felt the urge to add color.  i also started out with the standard loop handle, but tried what i call “the casserole handle” on one and loved it!  some are lightweight rope, some are a bit stiffer…i’m still trying to find just the perfect clothesline because i’m hoping to make a LARGE basket for myself and need it to stand up to a bit of weight.  have you tried these?  OMG…you must!  the process is so easy and the possibilities are endless (unlike the clothesline…i ran out a couple of times and had to make emergency trips to the hardware!)

so that was 2016…i can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store.  what’s on your list for the year?

 

 

 

in the nick of time

last spring elizabeth and i sat down to plan our schedule for the year.  which designs we would be completing, which new ones to focus on, and when we thought they would be completed and ready to release.  we foolishly optimistically thought we could finish four designs and have them all released by early summer.  does “indian summer” count??  as weeks and months flew by the release date hopped around on the calendar, but i was determined to have them done before quilt market (which means our distributor will be able to share them with buyers!!).  mission accomplished!!  and just in the nick of time!

our two newest patterns….the cider house jacket

Web_2015_CiderHouseJacketPattern 1the cider house jacket is unlined, BUT…we finished off the seams with a hong kong seam finish, which makes the inside of this jacket absolutely as beautiful as the outside!

0X1B3245that’s by far my favorite detail on this jacket!!  it isn’t necessary, but it’s easy, doesn’t take much time and what a difference it makes to the final garment!  my second favorite detail is the back shaping, which extends down into the peplum.  very soon i’ll be sharing the version i made last week and a nifty little detail that really shows off that back seamline.

0X1B3236

and the heigh-ho laptop sleeve.

Web_2015_Heigh-hoLaptopSleevePattern-1i’m not a fan of most commercial laptop sleeves…the neoprene leaves me cold.  and that’s how the heigh-ho came to be. it’s padded to protect, has a cool document pocket (doc pock??) on the back that will hold file folders, writing tablets, or magazines and on the front is an expandable pocket to hold flash drives, business cards, whatever you need to get the work done.  a place for your pen and it’s like you have a portable office!!

0X1B3375instructions are included for sizing the sleeve to fit different laptops…AND…we’ve included instructions for a matching wrap to wrangle those power cords.

you’ll see lots more of these two in the coming weeks as there are lots of pictures to share.  they are both now available in our etsy shop!!

kim