Sock Dog

We’re just back from a long weekend in the Deep North at my brother’s house–skiing, ice skating, and, in my case, suffering from a stomach bug. What is more pleasant than a puking houseguest? you might ask. I’m pretty sure Ben Franklin coined a pithy adage about it.

Not only was my beautiful sister-in-law, Toni, gracious about my digestive turmoil, but she also let me photograph her latest sewing projects.  

She made this polka dot pooch from a couple of old socks. Such a cute pup! The pattern comes from Martha Stewart Crafts (step-by-step instructions here). You can also find it in Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts.

Toni also made this pretty drawstring  bag from a pattern in Heather Ross’s Weekend Sewing.

    

And this canvas bag (perfect size for an IPad or say, those paper things formerly known as books) from Simple Sewing by Lotta Jansdotter.

Thank you ever so much, T. I promise not to return for a while. Love, m.

Embroidered Hearts

Before we kick into full valentine production at my house, cutting and decorating paper hearts for my kid’s multidinous classmates (maybe this is the best argument for keeping class sizes small), I thought I’d sneak in a little stitching.

It all started with this freebie download for bear and bunny dolls  from wee wonderfuls. I stitched bunny, but not bear because . . .

 . . . I was taken by the urge to create these lumpy little stuffed embroidered hearts! 

I had hoped they’d be reminiscent of these embroidered birds,  but alas, not quite. I learned that it’s really hard to turn small shapes right side out after sewing. Also that I haven’t mastered sewing perfect curves on my machine. And the elusive invisible stitch? I keep trying . . .  

But I did my messy best and enjoyed the embroidery. I used muslin for the front and for the back, scraps of printed cotton and denim and (pink!) cordoroy from recycled pants. The heart paper is from Paper Source in Cambridge. Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!

Quilted table mat

My dining room table is weirdly sensitive to water. One droplet and the surface blanches like it’s seen a ghost. So for Thanksgiving, I needed something to keep my table happy. A quilted table mat was the perfect opportunity to try out a cross pattern, a simple nine-square. Easy, peasy–at least in theory. The fabrics are an irregular stripe from Leisl Gibson’s lovely City Weekend collection, and a tiny dot. I really love how these patterns work together.

Less happily, the stumpy crosses on the end were not intentional. I used my presser foot as a guide to sew my 3/8″ seams, which, it turns out, left them all a smidge too narrow. That smidge, compounded over several seams, left  my center panel longer than the top and bottom sashes. Rather than ripping out the seams and adjusting (which actually wouldn’t have been that hard), I lopped off the long ends.  Hence, it’s just a little wonky. On the bright side, I learned where to place the fabric for a perfect 3/8″ seam in the future, just peeking out from the presser foot on my machine.

And, I have something cheerful for my table. I made these place mats and napkins this summer, during a red and blue period. Not a very autumnal palette for my Thanksgiving table, but patriotic! And, in the spirit of being nontraditional, I am serving chocolate cake for dessert–yum!