Saturday, 11 April 2020

Summer will come

Following on from yesterday's post, I am back to tell you about another pattern!

Several years ago I made a lovely beach bag/tote. With its colourful pieced beach huts and appliqué sun, bucket and spade, it makes me long for summer days outside!

Unfortunately, the coast is way more than the allowed 2 km from our home, but I am dreaming of the days to come when we can take trips again...

Even without a beach close by I do use the bag often, mostly to go to quilt guild meetings. If you want to make your own beach hut tote, the pattern can now be found on the blog! And if anyone really has no use for a beach/tote bag, the pattern can also make a lovely summery wall hanging or use it on a cushion...

Find the pattern below or on my Patterns page:

Beach Hut Tote pattern

As the current advice goes: Stay home... and sew!


Friday, 10 April 2020

Baltimore style blocks

We are living in strange times! We are almost in lockdown with all of our little family working and studying from home, only allowed out to do the grocery shopping and for an odd short walk within our 2 km limits. But we are safe, and doing our very best to stay healthy, and sane...
And we're lucky: We have a garden and it is in a better state than most years with all the time we can spend on it. The weather is helping, too!

With table space at a premium (five desk spaces required) my work "desk" is quite improvised.
And in my free time I don't get to take the sewing machine out at all any more. So to relax I try to make time to do some hand sewing or hand quilting. My knitting comes out regularly, too, as well as a sketchbook or a colouring page... I even found a book I haven't read yet!

The whole situation has spurred me on to do something I have been thinking about for a long while: I am putting some of my patterns up on the blog! So today I am starting with some Baltimore style appliqué patterns I created many years ago. Some are based on traditional Baltimore blocks, others are my own variations. The pattern set is quite basic in the sense that it only consists of a couple of pages of instructions and full size drawings of the twelve blocks.

The method our quilt group used originally was to prepare the appliqué shapes by tacking the fabric onto paper templates, but you can use the patterns for any method of appliqué you are happy with. And while they were created as traditional hand appliqué patterns with the edges turned under as in needle turn, you can also use them for raw edge (bonded) appliqué, by hand or machine (any free motion stitchers out there?).

For now I have decided to make these patterns freely available to anyone. At the moment I just don't have the patience to work out how or how much to charge for them...
I would love to see how you use the patterns, whether you're making a block or a couple, or all 12. So if you are using Instagram please add the hashtag #sewofcoursepatterns to any pictures!

The patterns are now available as a digital download, here (or from my Patterns page):

Baltimore style block patterns

Stay home and sew...!


Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Warm ears

I finished a hat! And not only that, I finished knitting a hat. From real wool yarn... that I dyed myself, too!

The wool for the hat came in a kit meant for dyeing and then knitting into a small pouch. But I figured that I would have more use for a hat.

This was the start, the wool has just been dyed:

Which looked so much better once dried and wound into a skein. I was so proud of this! You can read a bit more about this dyeing journey in a post from last year...

Aren't those colours  scrumptious?!

Then I found a hat pattern. It is called the Antler Toque by Tin Can Knits and is available for (free!) as a download from their blog or on Ravelry (search for Antler Toque or Tincanknits).

I knitted the larger size, apparently I have a large head. I am not at all an experienced knitter, but with a bit of care I managed fine. It just took quite some time, but being a (very) slow knitter I kind of expected that. The pattern is clearly written, and once I "got" the cables I could do the repeats without checking the pattern all the time. Slowly, mind you.

I used a circular needle, and switched to double pointed ones for the last bit. I found out later that I could have continued with the circular needle and use the magic loop method. That will be for next time then...

I have a little yarn left, and I keep changing my mind whether I should use it to make a pompom. What do you think?

Anyway, when I have to go out in this cold weather (do you see the snow behind me?), I will have warm ears. And in the mean time I have started another knitting project!