Friday, January 6, 2017

Patriotic Heart

I wanted to try one more basket pattern before I went back to making my favorite ones to sell.  This one is heart shaped.  I found the pattern in It's A Wrap II, by Susan Breier. 


The hardest part of this basket is keeping the heart shape and then sewing in the tight corners.  I won't bore you with the techniques to make it more triangular, as they are in the book, but it took a lot more time than my favorite baskets and this would make selling it a bit more problematic as the price would have to be higher. I may take the different baskets with me when I go to a craft fair, but I don't have any idea of how to price them.


I still have a few bags of fabric all ready to use on my baskets, so what did I do?  You guessed it.  I went to a quilt shop!


I like Jo Ann's and Michaels for things I need for my hobby/retirement fund.  (Just kidding.  I am not making big money.)  But I really love some of the fabulous fabric you can get in quilt stores but  The Old Trinity Schoolhouse quilt shop closed and I hadn't been to another in Roanoke.  We were bored and so we went on an excursion.


I got some beautiful fabrics.  Some of these will be the only fabric in the basket and some will be used together to make a basket.  Then I needed to get some thread.  They had thread at the quilt shop, but I had a coupon for 50% off at JoAnn's, so that's where we went.  I like the larger sizes of thread I can get at JoAnn's.  It is awful to run out of thread in the middle of a project and have to go out to the store.  It is an hour and a half round trip in the car for a $5.00 purchase.  So I hope I have enough.

One of these days I will buy one of those boards with slanted pegs for holding thread and mount it on the wall in front of my sewing machine.  Oh, wait.  Cats.  Hmmm.  I may rethink that.


Look at the fabric and then look at the thread.  The thread cost almost as much as the fabric, before I used the coupon.  Does this make sense?  Fabric is made from thread.  A LOT of thread.  How can this be?

I am getting excited to see how these baskets turn out!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Yarn baskets

My cousin Saja lives in Tennessee and gave me a commission before Christmas.  She wanted a couple of baskets that she could use for her knitting.  They had to be bigger than my usual baskets and have a loop to pull the yarn through.  The loop was to prevent the yarn from tangling.  I have done other loops before, as a decorative swoosh, and I liked the idea of doing some for a specific purpose.

Even though Saja had specific design elements, she left the colors and other details up to me.


I started by cutting some fabric that I thought went together well in strips.  I stirred a pile of strips with my fingers until I could see that I would like the final outcome. 


Then I started assembling the first basket.  I chose blues and greens that reminded me of the ocean on a sunny day.  We both grew up in California and spent many happy days running along sandy beaches and playing in the surf.


To finish off the first basket and provide a loop for yarn, I made an "S" with the tail of the basket. I just happened to have a silver "J" and included that in the center of the final swirl to represent her name.  Saja is named after my grandmother and SHE was named after her aunts. Two of her aunts were Sarah and Jane.  The first two letters of their names became Saja.


The second basket is in shades of pink.  This is in honor of Saja and my sister (her cousin) Rosalind and their battle with breast cancer.  Happily, Saja beat her cancer and sadly, Roz did not.  I left a bigger loop in case she uses some fat, nubby yarn.  Then I added some BLING , cause Saja likes her some shiny!


I sent her a picture of the finished products of her commissions  She says she likes them and wondered if I would mail them or hold them hostage for her to come and get them.  I like that idea.

Come for a visit, Saja and get these baskets!  We'll visit a local yarn shop and an acquaintance that is raising llamas for wool.  Sounds like spring break is covered!