Archive for November, 2010

Gifts for Hungary

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

by Ann

Now that it is time to be getting Serious about Christmas, I have been working at finishing the counted cross stitch ornaments that I made for my two Hungarian grandchildren, Blanka and Kristof,  last winter. I started on them shortly after Christmas when I am usually inspired to do things Christmasy, and finished the stitching sometime in March or thereabouts. Then they got put aside in favor of more fun stuff, like the beginning of the nativity set I am making for James. I remembered to bring them here to the CLH for finishing and just got them done. Each one is backed with a piece of stiff cardboard and finished with a piece of small-print Christmas fabric. I forgot to take a photo of the backs, and I am too lazy to get the camera out again, so you will just have to imagine what they look like. The backs are cute but boring.

Now I just have to shop for some gifts for the grown-ups. Not nearly as much fun.

Third Time’s the Charm

Friday, November 26th, 2010


by Nancy
I realized recently that I was committing a major fashion faux pas by wearing my off-white gloves with my black and blue-purple winter jacket, so the obvious solution to the problem was to crochet myself some black mittens! I looked around for a little while at some possible patterns and then decided to give one a try. The first pattern I tried is from the Coats and Clark website and uses standard worsted weight yarn. This mitten is the first from the left. I like how the ribbing turned out, but for some reason the transition from the ribbing to the main mitten is very tight. Also, the top of the mitten looks a little odd where it finished off. I didn’t even bother to do the thumb because I wasn’t happy with the mitten. So, I tried pattern number two, from the Bernat website. This is the middle mitten in the picture. It uses a chunky weight yarn. I like the shape of the mitten and the thickness of the bulky yarn, but the hand part of the mitten turned out too short, and the ribbing is too loose and too short. So, it was time for mitten number three, the last one in the picture. I mainly used the same Bernat pattern as for mitten number two, but went pack to regular worsted weight yarn and used the ribbing instructions for mitten #1. Once I got to the end of the ribbing, I used two strands of worsted weight yarn to try to recreate the thickness of the bulky yarn. And I made it longer in the fingers than the directions call for. I’m quite pleased with how it turned out! It feels like it will be very warm. Now all I have to do is remember what changes I made to the pattern so I can make a second mitten to match the first!

More November Harvest

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

By Ann

Beet Greens!!! Harvested in “midwest Indiana” on Nov. 21 or thereabouts. Also to be included in our Thanksgiving feasting.

Cool!!…but now what?

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

By Ann

These are two “Arrowhead” blocks that I pieced during our last visit to the Cute Little House following directions in the Nov-Dec. Quiltmaker. The piecing technique starts with two 8″ squares of fabric that are stitched together around the edges, leaving two strategically placed gaps in the seam. The blocks are then cut so as to yield 4 triangles, two halves of a 4-patch, and 4 “arrowheads” that are then stitched together to make the completed 9″ block. The fabrics are from my friend Lorene, who has been de-stashing her sewing room, much to my amazement and puzzlement. [Note: this was a minor de-stashing that took place about a year ago, probably as a warm-up to the much more recent de-stashing that yielded 4 boxes of fabric and notions that we Crackpots will explore and disperse over Thanksgiving weekend.]

But now that I have these very cool blocks, what shall I do with them?? I have enough fabric to make 2 more blocks. I’m thinking of an apron with 1 block as the bib and two or three more (probably two on point) at the bottom of the skirt. I am in desperate need of new aprons since my 8-10 year old ones are showing some signs of wear. So, maybe after Christmas and the 2010 Crackpot summer quilt, and the wall quilt for the CLH…..

Crochet Cardigan in Progress

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

by Nancy

Here’s a look at my largest crochet project to date – a cardigan for myself! The pattern is pretty simple -it’s half double crochet throughout. It’s made with a bulky yarn, so it works up quite quickly. The top picture is the completed back of the sweater. The bottom picture is a close-up so you can see the yarn more closely.
P.S. This post was made from my phone!

November Tomato Harvest

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

by Nancy

Believe it or not, these are grape tomatoes that I harvested yesterday!  And what’s more unbelievable it that they are from the volunteer grape tomato plant that sprung up all on its own in the middle of a flower bed this summer.  This volunteer plant produced more than twice the number of tomatoes of any of the plants which we intentionally planted.  Those tomato plants have long since died off.  Apparently, no one told this plant it was supposed to quit producing in early fall, so it’s just kept going.  Yum!

Baby Boy Quilt

Friday, November 19th, 2010

by Nancy

Friends of ours recently had their first baby, a little boy, so of course a baby quilt was in order.  I saw this flannel train print a while ago at JoAnns and knew I had to buy it because eventually there would be an opportunity to use it for a special baby.  Right now I’m machine quilting it, as you can see by the basting safety pins in it.  Here’s a close-up of the fabric:

What I decided to do with Blue

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

by Nancy

This is a wall hanging I made this summer in response to a challenge given to all of the members of my quilting group.  The challenge was called “What will you do with Blue?”  One of the women in the group gave each of us a fat quarter of the blue fabric and told us to go for it.   There were few rules, except that our piece had to use at least a little of the blue fabric somewhere and had to be at least 10″ square but not more than 16″ square.  Here’s what I came up with.  The flag is paper pieced.  Here’s what the backing looked like:

I had some leftover states fabric from making a pillowcase for Andrew, so it seemed like just the right thing for the backing.  It was quick and fun to do.

P.S. These pictures were taken with my cell phone, rather than our regular digital camera.  🙂

Revised Photo

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

By Ann

Here’s a better photo of the possible Alternative Crackpot Quilt. In the interest of NaBloPoMo, I am doing a separate post rather than revising my previous post. 🙂

Alternative Crackpot Project

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

By Ann

Some Crackpots are aware that I have been floating a proposal for a possible alternative Crackpot project for Summer 2011, namely the assembly of 12 sampler blocks that I made a long time ago (the signature block is dated 2001) along with sashing and border fabric acquired a long time ago (there is a note with the fabrics in Nancy’s handwriting from her pre-motherhood days showing the calculations for the sashing and border yardage needed) into a quilt top for Grandpa Jim. Calculations made at the time, which will have to be verified (possibly with the assistance of talented first and third graders), show that everything will be just right for a twin bed sized quilt. To facilitate the discussion, here is what we have to work with (only 6 of 13 available blocks are shown):

I will be bringing the actual stuff to the Thanksgiving Gathering next week, and we can discuss it further then, between food, football, and PLAYING.