Accessories: July 2012 Archives
Summer knitting is not just about hiding away in the air
conditioning it is a great time to start your fall and holiday knitting projects
and gifts. You will never have that sweater ready for fall if you don't start
it now. I know, I know, you are looking at the temp and scoffing at sitting
with wool yarn in your lap. What better excuse to hide inside during the
hottest part of the day than because you are preparing for the holidays. I find
my fall sweaters are always brighter and more cheerful when I start them in
summer. Add to the above the fact that school is starting soon which means you
will have the time to start some summer knitting projects. All good news! Plus
I can throw another one at you: try working up all your knitting projects (or a
majority as a compromise) in chunky weight yarn. Your projects will fly off
your needles, leaving your with more time for you or to complete more
projects: including sweater, mittens,
scarves and (my favorite) shawls.
It is hard not to be attracted to Valori Wells Jewels for the Home Pillows with such an eye catching photo on the pattern envelope. I had to make someof Valori's pillows for myself because I am a pillow fanatic. I need more for my bedroom, living room, nursery and my 3 yr old's room. Any of these pillows would be perfect because there are 11 to choose from and I love mixing prints. With so many pillows to start off with you might think it would be hard for me to decide which would be the inaugural pillow. However, the bird appliqué pillow drew my eye and I had a plan. I wanted to make this pillow to go with some others I had planned from the Sew4Home Nursery collection. I thought a selection of animal pillows would work great for my new nursery but this pillow could easily work in an office, older kid's room or guest room. Since I would be parking my bird appliqué pillow in the nursery I used the same print as the glider I recovered and chose a complimentary knit for the bird.
I chose a cotton knit for the appliqué for several reasons:
1) This cotton knit is really soft and the different texture of the knit on woven would be interesting for the baby
2) I loved the colors together
3) I don't see appliqués in knit very often and when I do they look amazing.
4) I have a TON of knit scraps that need to find a purpose
Using a knit for your appliqué is not that different from using a woven. Make sure you have the right side facing out and don't stretch. I used Heat n Bond Lite. Trace the appliqué design on the paper side of the fusible and then iron on the fusible to the WS of the knit fabric. Then cut out the bird and before removing the paper, decide the perfect placement. Make sure you place your bird at least the a seam allowance's distance away from each edge then iron in place. Use a satin or zig zag stitch around the edge of the bird to secure it in place and for added detail try a contrasting but complimentary thread color (I used chartreuse).
The next modification I made was to add a zipper closure instead of the envelope back. I did this simply because the pillow would be used in a kid's room and I didn't want to redress my pillows all the time. To simply add a zipper, lay your zipper along the bottom edge of your pillow fabric centered and mark the zipper stops on your fabric. Then pin your front and back pillow pieces together, RS facing, along this bottom edge. Stitch using a regular stitch until you reach the first mark then switch to a basting stitch until you reach the second mark then switch back to your regular stitch. Make sure you backstitch at the beginning and end and right before you switch to basting and again when you switch back to regular stitches.
Press your seam open and line up your zipper with your marks and pin in place. Using a zipper foot stitch your zipper in place. Flip your pillow to the RS and open the basting stitches using your seam ripper. Stitch up the remaining sides of your pillow (RS facing) making sure you leave your zipper open for turning. Clip your corners and turn your pillow RS out. Press if needed.
I encourage you to try all Valori's pillow from this pattern. They just look like fun. She gives instructions on how to customize each to different pillow sizes. I can't wait to try some on floor pillows as well as Euro pillows for my bed and the guest room!
Find Valori's printed fabrics here
Visit my blog at www.gruenetree.com
I have had the idea for a pintuck pillow in my mind for some time and seeing it come to fruition is very exciting. It is even lovelier than I had pictured in my mind and I want to share the How-to with you. You can customize this style to fit any pillow size and any shape. My pillow is a 20'' square, knife edge pillow. Here's what you will need to get started:
1 zipper to fit pillow cover
Cut front pillow piece to 1'' longer than your finished pillow, i.e. if your finished pillow is 20'' cut the length at 21''. Cut the width to 4'' wider than your finished pillow (1'' for the seam allowance and 3'' for the 6 pintucks). Cut the back pillow piece to 1'' longer and wider than your finished pillow. Set back piece aside.
To mark pintucks, place a pin at the center of your front pillow piece and then mark at ½'' intervals 1'' apart according to the illustrations above. Pinch your ½'' marks together and stitch on the RS to create pintucks using 1/4'' seam allowance. You will make 6 pintucks in all. Press right hand 3 pintucks to right and 3 left hand pintucks to the left. Insert your zipper along the bottom of the pillow using Holly's instructions making sure the pintucks face the correct direction as pressed above when sewing in the zipper. Once your zipper is inserted, open it a little and then sew up the remaining 3 sides of the pillow using ½'' seam allowance. Trim corners and turn pillow cover right side out and insert pillow.
While I made my pintuck pillow out of home décor twill fabric but you can make yours out of lightweight quilting cotton as well. Just be sure to lightly interface to make your cover more durable. You can also opt to make your pintucks smaller using my twin needle instructions here. I don't recommend this method of adding pintucks for any fabric thicker than quilting cotton; the results will be bland and not as noticeable as the fabric gets thicker. You can try adding a contrast band for your pintucks.
Visit my Blog at www.gruenetree.com
I had never known the tradition of wearing a Poppy Flower for Remembrance of War Veterans until I went to a Veterans' day memorial ceremony last year. It was very touching and so beautiful that I still have the simple crepe flower on my trench to this day. One a day where everyone is decked out in the Red, White and Blue, what better way to accessorize than with a crocheted remembrance poppy. Your poppy can symbolize anything that you love about the USA, a beloved soldier or veteran or as a thank you to our founding fathers (I count all those revolutionary soldiers among them) and mothers that worked tirelessly 236 years ago. I adapted a super sweet poppy earring pattern I found on Ravelry by Janet McMahon for my brooch. All you need is some worsted weight yarn in black and red and a size J/10 hook.
Follow the poppy pattern using 1 strand of black and 2 strands of red yarn and only make one poppy, unless you want to make another for a friend. Once finished find a small piece of felt approx. the same color as the red of your poppy and using a spool as your pattern trace a circle and cut it out (or grab these ready made felt circles). Next, take a pin back (you can recycle one from another broken pin or use a safety pin) line it up on your felt circle and mark cut lines for the pin and end to fit through.
Fold your circle in half and cut small slits at these marks. Fit your pin back into the slits and then line your felt circle on the back of your poppy and glue in place with fabric glue. Pin your felt circle down until the glue is dry. Wear your poppy with pride and as a great accent to your patriotic wardrobe. Rock it out at the bar-b-que or watching fireworks. You can also increase the yarn gauge and hook size to make coasters or as a hat pin.
Visit my Blog at www.gruenetree.com
Summer is hitting full swing and you need a simple but chic book bag to keep up with you. My canvas embroidered book bag features a small gusset and one shoulder strap that makes it as easy to grab as it is to carry. The gussets allow for maximum carrying capacity while the clever one strap design means you can grab this bag with one hand and not have to worry about the one strap sliding off your shoulder while the other stays in place. The one strap also allows for you to easily reach in the bag while wearing for a quick snack attack, to return a book or snatch those car keys. The Simple Summer Book Bag can fit several books or you can use it for a trip to the pool, as a grocery tote or knitting bag (like we need another!). Here how to make your own:
1 yd of cotton canvas
Cut out two 18x18 in. squares and one 4x25 in. strap from canvas. Set strap and one square aside.
Apply embroidery pattern as instructed and embroider up your pattern in your favorite colors. I just adored my love birds. Press to regain shape of your square once embroidery is finished.
With RS facing, pin and stitch around 3 sides (bottom and 2 sides) using a ½ in. seam allowance. Pin corners so seams line up and draw a 2 in. line for stitching your gussets (see photo below).
Stitch over gusset line, back stitching at both ends. Double turn top of bag ½ in. and topstitch.
Fold strap in half lengthwise and press. Open and fold raw ends towards the center line and press. Fold in half again with raw ends inside and press a final time. Pin strap closed and topstitch open edge.
On the inside of the top hem, mark 2 &3 in. from the side seam on right front side. Flip bag over and repeat on the back. Line up strap between these 2 marks and pin in place. Stitch strap in place using 2 lines of stitching, 1/8 in. from top edge and ½ in. from top edge. Done!
Fill you book bag with your favorite books for a day at the park, bookstore or indulgent goodies at the farmer's market. Try to remember to bring a notebook so you can write down names and numbers of all your friends who will ask you to make a Simple Summer Book bag for them as well.