Sunday, 1 March 2015

30 Minute Cowl with a twist

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I know, I know!  Often times when a recipe or pattern says 30 minutes, it never actually takes 30 minutes.  I can assure you though, that this really is a 30 minute project and so simple that you'll soon be making a whole heap of these little fashion accessories for not only yourself, but friends and family too.

What you'll need

Low pile faux fur or fleece fabric
Matching cotton
Measuring tape
Tailors chalk
Scissors
Pins
Sewing Machine


Instructions

1. Measure and cut a length of fabric 70cm long by 44cm wide (that's approx 27.5 inches x 16 inches).  these measurements don't have to be exact so feel free to go shorter/longer, wider/skinnier if you wish.

2.  Fold fabric in half lengthwise with right sides facing and pin outer edges together.

3. Sew outer edges together, remove pins

4. You will now have a tube of fabric that's inside out, turn right side out and if using faux fur do not use an iron to flatten the seam, just use your fingers to smooth the seam flat.






5  To create the twist in the cowl, have the tube of fabric in front of you as shown, hold up end closest to you and rotate (twist) the fabric 180 degrees clockwise.












6. Once twisted,  place the narrow ends of the tube together (there are now four layers of fabric together along the top width of the cowl that are unsewn) and with right sides facing, pin the centre two layers of fabric together and sew in place, being careful not to get the other layers of fabric caught when sewing the seam.



7. The last seam can be hand sewn, but that will take you over the 30 minute time frame for this project, so to keep within the allocated time simply fold inwards a small seam  on each raw edge and with wrong sides facing pin together(enclosing the folded in seam) and sew close to the edge of the seam.







8.  Remove pins, flatten seam with fingers if necessary and wear your snood.















Happy Sewing

Deb










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Sunday, 22 February 2015

Minted Marguerite Cowl

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It seems like an absolute age since I had yarn in my hands.  I have been sewing up a storm with my quilts and as they are quite labour intensive (ie .. hours and hours and hours), I've barely had time to feed my fibre hobbies.

However, enough was enough and I went into my craft room to find some yarn and put it to good use.

I've had some pastel mint green 'Debbie Bliss' for a while and decided that today was going to be it's lucky day.  I sat down, knitting needles in hand to start a cowl.









The pattern that jumped out at me though, was not a knitting pattern.  It was the 'Star Stitch' (also called Marguerite stitch) crochet pattern.  Knitting is my first love.  I am comfortable with attempting new techniques & new stitches but crochet is a bit wobbly.  I decided to give it a go and I'm really happy I did.  It's a lovely stitch and comes together easily.



Materials

2 balls of 'Debbie Bliss DK cotton'
Size 4 crochet hook

Instructions

I found the best way to learn this stitch was to watch it being done, rather than trying to read the instructions.  This you-tube video from Moogly Blog is great - very easy to follow.

Chain an even number - in my case 116.

Following the Marguerite/Star stitch instructions, continue until you have completed 9 rows - front and back.

It becomes very therapeutic after a while (I guess like all fibre arts).

To Finish

Chain 4 and then single crochet into the chain stitch row between the stars.  Continue making the loops all the way down the side.
The ribbon is laced through these loops - a bit like a corset.

Rather than cut the yarn and rejoin for the other side, I slip stitched all along the bottom of the cowl to the other side and Chained 4 to make the other set of loops.

For a bit of detail, I used a fancy bead rather than just tie the ribbon.

So there you have it - a new stitch and a new cowl.





Happy crochet,
Louise


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Sunday, 15 February 2015

Crochet Floral Garland

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I'm not one to be too precious about my yarn stash, which is a good thing really as these days it seems as though the minute I leave the house a certain teen has squirrelled away a few bits and pieces for her latest project.  Thankfully so far it's the bits and pieces I've yet to find a use for, but I imagine one day it won't be and the wail of despair will probably be heard Australia wide!



Andie's most recent yarn stash raid has resulted in  a very sweet crochet floral garland made from 8ply yarn and a 3.5mm crochet hook.  The pattern she devised is:


To form flowers:

Chain 3, Slip Stitch into first chain to form circle.

Round one:   Chain 2 (to form first Double Crochet) and then Double Crochet into centre of circle 10 times and slip stitch into top of first chain 2 to finish the round.

Round two:    Chain 3, Double Crochet into top of next stitch in circle, Chain 1, Single Crochet into next stitch in circle then slip stitch into same stitch.  Continue until 5 petals are formed,  Slip stitch to finish, cut yarn and weave in ends.

Make 30 flowers in total.


To make up garland

Using green yarn, chain 30.  To add flower, slip stitch into end of one flower petal, slip stitch again into next stitch, chain 10 and then slip stitch again to add next flower.  Keep adding flowers, with a chain of 10 between each one until all flowers are used.  Chain 30 to finish.






The whole garland was made and hanging up in no time at all (less than a day in actual fact).

I'm wondering if I should hide some white yarn in the stash so that next year she might make a snowflake garland for Christmas!

Happy crocheting

Deb and Andie

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Sunday, 1 February 2015

Granny Square Slippers

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Summer seems to have all but disappeared in Melbourne at the moment.  We've just had the coldest end to January in fifteen years and it's got me thinking about toasty warm toes and keeping the cold at bay once Autumn and Winter finally do arrive.  What better project in the circumstances than a pair of slippers!


I've always loved the projects from The Purl Bee and thought a pair of their lightweight Granny Square Slippers would provide a great stash busting/slipper making afternoon or two.



I've used Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 8 ply in shades of Lipstick Rose, Maize and Aster,  To be honest I'm a person who prefers more subtle colours, but these little slippers just seem to cry out for bold and vibrant colour combinations.








I chose Lipstick Rose as the colour for the sole of the foot, adding Aster (lavender) for the side panels and then including a little splash of Maise for the toe and heel sections.  It only takes 12 granny squares to make a pair of slippers and I found the trickiest bit was sewing everything into the correct position.  Luckily the instructions are very clear or I can see I would have been unpicking and resewing over and over again to get it right.



Here are my slippers in action.  They are lovely slip on after a long day at work and feel light as a feather.  Simple perfect slippers for Spring.



Happy crocheting

Deb
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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Quilted Cushion Tutorial

Pin It I am currently making a 'Summer in the Park' quilt using  a 'Lexington' Jelly Roll.  It is all coming together nicely (and a blog for another time) but I had one block left over.  It didn't fit into the layout but I put it aside thinking I could make a cushion - and here it is.




The cushion size I used was 19" x 19"


Materials:


  • Scraps to make a cushion top 
  • 2 x (17" x 20") pieces of backing fabric
  • 20" x 20" piece of batting (I used cotton as it is very light)













My leftover block - ready to be put to good use.






















Join the block together and add a series of 2" borders until you have the correct size for your cushion.  In this case, I needed to add 2.

















Borders added.  Now it's time to baste it to some wadding.  I used some very thin, 100% cotton batting.
















I quilted it using a very simple shadowing pattern with my walking foot.















Top finished - now to add the back.















I cut 2 squares of fabric 17" x 20" (To allow for the expansion of the cushion).


Sew one hem along the 20" side of each fabric, leaving the other end as is.  This hem forms the centre pillow fold for the cushion.








Placing the fabric so the hems overlap.



With right sides together, lay the backing fabric over the cushion top.  Pin the raw edges together and make sure that the hems you have just created overlap in the middle of the cushion.  I have created a very large overlap to ensure that the cushion stays in place.
The finished, hemmed overlap







Cushion finished showing the overlap.









Turn the cushion inside out and press for a final, neat finish.










Happy Quilting,
Louise


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