Sunday, March 25, 2012

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt: Blocks 7-10

I was able to get a few extra blocks done this weekend:

7: Birds in the Air
My Frankenblock that is lacking in both contrast and skill! ;) There are 40 component parts in this piece. Yep, it was a tricky one for me :)))

7:  Birds in the air

8: Bouquet
I really enjoyed working on this one, and adding some Anna Griffin 'Carmen Collection' (the basket portion) to the Sandi Henderson 'Secret Garden' range that I've been using in the other blocks

8: Bouquet

9: Box
Scrumples courtesy of Naomi who thinks these squares are the perfect size to squeeze into a ball! (Of course I could have taken an iron to it, but I like that she was partaking in her own special way :)

9:  Box

10: Bowtie
Aah if only they were all this simple. I am really happy with how this block turned out - the points line up, the keys look great in those corner boxes, and there is a good amount of contrast between the fabrics. I'm hoping that it wasn't just the simplicity of the block... and that I'm actually improving with practice. :)

10: Bowtie

And here's how the first 10 look all lined up together. Pretty!

Farmers Wife Collage 1-10

Hope you had a good crafty weekend too,

Friday, March 23, 2012

Farmers Wife Quilt Along: Blocks 1-6

Farmers wife 1-6, originally uploaded by samjoepics.
Blocks 1-6 done. 105 to go to complete each of the designs in the book.

Top row left to right:
1. Attic window
2. Autumn Tints
3. Basket (Currently missing its handle... will be soliciting local quilt shop help on that one when we meet for our monthly quilt along)
4. Basket Weave (my fave so far, thanks to Stacey for the pretty Denyse Schmidt polka dots)
5. Bat Wing
6. Big Dipper

That's right, I'm doing my blocks in the order that they appear in the book. Partly because that's how I roll (I once asked my husband if I was to be a new member of the Spice Girls what would I be. He replied 'Sensible Spice'. Ha ha too true!). I also like the idea of tackling each of the blocks as they are presented, otherwise it would be too easy to skip the harder ones. Speaking of which, I also completed block 7 (not pictured here yet). It comprises many little triangles and the end result is a little Frankenblock!

There is a great Farmer's Wife Flickr group out on t'Internet if you want to see some really pretty blocks. I love how the selection of fabric dramatically changes how a block can look. My absolute favourites are those that have fussy cut components to them... take a look for yourself :) Another invaluable resource is the Farmer's Wife Yahoo Group (that's where some kind soul had translated each of the blocks into the paper piecing patterns that I'm using). I am continuing to paper piece my blocks. It feels like a simpler approach for a beginner, like me. More blocks to come this weekend :)

Wishing you a Happy Friday and a lovely weekend ahead,

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Naomi's Zoo Book

Naomi received a very special gift for her birthday this year - a handmade Zoo book from her Auntie Margaret. I share it here because I think it is the coolest gift for a 2 year old. Naomi would wholeheartedly agree - she loves the animals, the different closures, the colors and textures... Check it out:

My Zoo Book

Page 1:  The Hippo

Look at that Hippo's tongue!

Page 2: The Pelican and his fish

Page 3: The Giraffe and his bow ties

Page 4: The Kangaroo

This is Naomi's favourite: The Kangaroo. She just loves that baby Roo.
(What you can't see in the picture is the buckle closure on this page).

...and her baby Roo

Page 5: The Tortoise

And this is my favourite... I love that 3D polka dot heart!

...and his heart!

Page 6: The Crocodile

Page 7: The Lion and his braided tail

Page 8:  The Elephant

The story goes that Aunt Margaret had made one of these books for her neice, when her neice was just a little girl. She had since gone to visit her neice to celebrate her neice's child's 2nd birthday. Lo and behold the kiddo was playing with the book that Margaret had made her neice, many moons ago. Seeing how much it was loved, she decided to make Naomi one. I'm thrilled she did. I welled up opening the gift - so much effort, and love, has gone into this. I too foresee a future where Naomi will be able to share this with loved ones many years from now.

PS - if anyone knows where to find a pattern for this, I'd love to learn about it. (Margaret had found the pattern on eBay... I'm checking but no luck as yet).

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cacti pin cushions

Cacti pin cushions, originally uploaded by samjoepics.
Aren't these cute! The pattern was from an English magazine called Mollie Makes. You simply cut out felt pieces using the template guidelines in the magazine, blanket stitch around the edges, stuff with soft toy filling and then 'plant' in a cute little pot. I used glass planter stones to add a little weight to the pot. The cactic flowers are simply attached with pretty coloured pins. That's it! But oooh they are cute. As you can see from the picture, Mummy's little helper thinks they are pretty cute too. Hmm, note to self - hide on a very high shelf!

Sunday, March 04, 2012


Balaclava collage, originally uploaded by samjoepics.
4th knitting project of 2012 completed: the balaclava that Joe had been asking for.

I'd started out knitting a beanie to go with his fingerless gloves. The yardage in this skein of cratively dyed sock yarn seems to go on, and on, and on, so I ripped the beanie back and made the balaclava that Joe had asked for.

The balaclava is based on the sockhead hat from Boho knits blog:
- I cast on the number of stitches called for in the sockhead pattern
- Knit in 2x2 rib until it was a good length for the neck
- Change to stocking stitch and knit until it covers the mouth
- Cast off 45 stitches for the face opening
- Knit back and forth until it is the depth that you would like for the eye opening
- Cast on 45 stitches and knit in the round for an inch
- Follow hat pattern for the crown of the beanie
- To finish, pick up stitches around the border of the face opening and knit in 1x1 rib for and inch, then cast off looesly

I like that it is versatile to wear as a balaclava on those really cold days, or roll up like a beanie to just take the chill off.

It cracks me up that Naomi wanted to model this after Daddy had modelled it (and that it covers her past her shoulders!)