Archive for February, 2010

Baby Girl Quilt Planning

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

by Nancy

My college roommate is expecting her second child in late April or early May, and she found out not too long ago that it will be a girl. So, I have started to think about what I’d like to make for her quilt. I decided to use these fabrics that Marty gave me for Christmas:

I found a quilt in Debbie Mumm’s Cuddle Quilts for Little Girls and Boys that was done in horizontal rows. The top and bottom rows were a stripe print, and in the middle were some rows of coordinating prints and applique. That got me thinking of doing this quilt in rows, also using the striped print as the top and bottom rows, with the butterfly print in the middle, and with two rows of paper pieced butterflies. There’s lots of the paisley print, so I could use that for the backing. And hopefully there will be enough left over to make a pillowcase and/or a doll quilt for the baby’s big sister. I looked through my sash and found fabrics for the paper pieced butterflies, so I don’t need to buy any fabric for this quilt! I haven’t done any paper piecing for a while, but I made my first butterfly yesterday, and it looks good. Updates and pictures will be coming as I make more progress…

Musical Instrument Bag

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

by Nancy

Not too long after Christmas I made this bag to hold the pieces of Andrew’s “saxoflute.” For those who haven’t seen a saxoflute, it’s a bunch of pieces that you can put together in different ways to make your own instrument – quite cool! I think this was my first (or possibly second) attempt at a double drawstring bag, and it turned out quite well!

I’ve been continuing to work on my formula for cutting sizes needed to get a bag of a certain size. Here’s the “formula in progress” for a two panel (front and back are sewn together on both sides, rather than being one piece of fabric folded along one of the sides) bag:
finished height = panel height – .5D -.75″ where D is the depth of the bottom of the bag
The additional .75″ loss is from the .5″ seam allowance at the bottom and the .25″ seam allowance at the top.

finished width = panel width – .5D – 1″ where D is the depth of the bottom of the bag
The additional 1″ width loss is from .5″ seams on each side.

Any topologists want to comment on my formula?

Upcoming Handmade Market

Monday, February 15th, 2010

by Nancy

I got an email about a week ago, notifying me that my town is having another Handmade Market on April 3, similar to the one I attended before Christmas. It is juried, which I think is a good thing – better quality of items, hopefully. I sent in my application this morning and should hear back on March 5. Here are the examples of my work that I submitted:

And here it is… the eggplant!

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

by Nancy

Crochet Cupcake

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

by Nancy

I’m happy to report that my Secret Crackpot Crochet Project is finished! 🙂 And I’m very pleased with how it turned out. I think the recipient will like it too.

Once I finished that, I started on a crochet eggplant, which is now done. I’ve take a picture but haven’t downloaded it yet. I have to say it is one of my favorite crochet veggies so far. Who doesn’t love a crochet eggplant?

Prior to starting the Secret Project, I made this cupcake, simply because it was cute. It was my first foray into beading, though of course only very basic beading. I decided to give it to my friend Lee, whose birthday is today.

Adventures of the Magic Sewing Table

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Well, see, it was like this. We were at the CLH for New Years, and I decided that it was high time that I started quilting the Crackpot Summer 2008 Star Quilt. I didn’t have my quilting gun or a very good place to spread out the quilt for basting, but I was very – um – determined, so I pushed ahead, laying the quilt out on the dining table and basting by hand. But the table wasn’t really big enough so I didn’t tape the quilt to the table before basting it and it was a bit puckery but I figured that wouldn’t matter all that much but then the basting stitches kept getting caught in the presser foot but I quilted two blocks anyway, being very determined, but then it became obvious that it was getting more and more puckered up and it was fast becoming a disaster and I gave up and took out all the quilting, which was a pain because I had used monofilament thread that really is almost invisible and I also took out all the basting and decided to start all over again when I was home and had better equipment.

Which I did a couple of days ago using the new and amazing Magic Sewing Table, which, after I pushed the sewing machine down to the storage position and put the solid piece in place to cover the hole,  turned out to be exactly the right size for spreading out the quilt to baste. And since the Magic Sewing Table is on casters, I could easily move it away from the wall so I could walk all the way around it, which is much better than crawling around on the kitchen floor, especially since it eliminates the first step of washing the kitchen floor. So I got it all perfectly basted and then turned and basted the edges while watching “Emma” on PBS. Then last night I finally started on the quilting, and the Magic Sewing Table again showed it’s stuff. There is lots of room to spread out the quilt and wrestle it under the machine. Since I am now sitting up much higher with respect to the bed of the machine, it is much easier to see what I am doing and steer the fabric under the needle. And for some reason, I even have much better control of the foot pedal. So I quilted 3 of the 9 blocks on the quilt last night in less than an hour, and it looks fantastic, if I do say so myself. But of course, most of the credit goes to the Magic Sewing Table. (-:  [And, Nancy, how do you get those cute little smileys into your posts??]

Ann Does Bibs

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Nancy is not the only Crackpot who can do bibs, although she is probably the one with the largest potential market for them. But there is a new baby boy across the street from us (in Dottie Fischer’s house, for those who know the neighborhood), and bibs seem the ideal handmade gift – quick and easy. Here are my offerings, front and back.

Crochet Snail

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

by Nancy

While I’m working on my Currently Classified Crochet Project (which is nearly done! 🙂 ), I thought I’d post a picture of my little crochet snail, which I made a little while ago from a pattern in Super Cute Crochet by Nicki Trench, which Ann gave me for Christmas.

The First of Twelve

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

Shortly before Christmas, Cathy told me that she wanted to start a Nativity set for James. After a bit of negotiating, [Ann: “What do you think of a counted cross stitch nativity?” Cathy: “That would be a lot of work!” Ann: “No, it would be a lot of fun!”], I purchased a fabulous kit for making 12 figures from Janlynn ( It was designed by Nancy Rossi for Kooler Design Studio.

I started just after the first of the year with the Baby Jesus. Here is the finished piece:

I am very impressed with the quality of the kit. The amount of detail is fabulous. (Note the belly button!) There are approximately 35 different shades of floss in this one piece. I meant to put a ruler in the photo for scale but obviously forgot. The finished size is about 3″ wide and 3″ high at the  top of the halo.

Mary will be next. I can’t wait!

I’ve been making A LOT of bibs!

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

by Nancy

I had some fabric leftover from the center of Gabe’s quilt, so I decided to make him a large bib with a pocket. I still had leftover fabric after that, so I made several more like this for eventual sale (I hope!).

After a while I got tired of making large pocket bibs, so I made this medium bib and used some of my 2.5″ scraps for the back.

For those who are wondering, I am still crocheting. In fact, I am working on my Largest Attempted Project To Date, but it cannot be revealed to all Crackpots at this time, so you’ll have to wait a bit to see it.