Wednesday, August 11, 2010

tomato cage lanterns.

My lovely friend Kelly...

...sent me this link and the following note: "Please oh please make these for your farm!! I vote for making them upside down and leaving the prongs on so you can stick them in the ground and they won't blow away."

Your wish is my command, Kel...

They are just the thing for our barn parties! Don't you love them?!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

knitter's roll (a tutorial).

I've been wanting to make a holder for knitting needles for a long time. And Sara, my little knitting apprentice, was just the inspiration that I needed. Isn't she the cutest?

She just finished her first big knitting project, a baby blanket for her boyfriend's new niece. I'm so proud of her and wanted to make her a little something. And now that I've made her one, I totally want to make one for myself as well. Isn't this just the handiest thing??

Supplies needed:

* approximately 1/2 yard of fabric
* 2 scraps of coordinating fabric pieces
* Roughly 2 yards of ribbon
* 1/2 yard of thin batting

The finished product will measure 18 inches wide and 15 inches high. We'll be using 1/2-inch seam allowances throughout.

So here we go...and bear with me, as this is my first real tutorial!

1. Dig through your fabric stash for some fun fabric scraps.

2. Raid your ribbon jars and boxes for some coordinating ribbon.

3. Choose which pieces you want to go where, and then we're ready to begin cutting!

4. Cut 2 pieces of the main (background) fabric that are 19 inches by 16 inches. Cut 1 piece of coordinating fabric that is 19 inches by 11 inches. Cut 1 piece of coordinating fabric that is 19 inches by 8 inches. Cut 2 pieces of ribbon that are 19 inches long and 1 piece of ribbon that is approximately 1 yard long.

5. Take your two smaller pieces of fabric, fold one of the long sides under 1/2 inch, and iron flat.

6. This is the part where you'll want to add the 19-inch pieces of ribbon, sewing them along the top edge of the ironed folds.

You don't want to forget this step, or you'll have to go back and rip out the seams later on (*ahem*).

7. Now lay out one of your large fabric pieces and layer the other two pieces on top, largest to smallest, as they will appear on the front (top) of the knitter's roll. Just pretend that there is ribbon on the pieces shown here (sheepish grin).

8. Next lay the second piece of large fabric on top, wrong side up.

9. Pin and sew around outer edges, leaving a gap at the bottom that is large enough to stuff the batting into

10. Clip corners.

11. Turn right side out and iron flat.

12. This is where you'll add the remainder of your ribbon. My piece was about 3 feet long, but it's okay if you don't have quite that much. Fold the ribbon in half to find the middle, and mark it with a straight pin. Then pin to the right side seam, in line with the bottom ribbon on the fabric, and sew, going back and forth a couple times to make sure it's secure.

13. At this point, if you're like me, you may be getting hungry. Go to the fridge and take out the leftover cheeseburger from dinner the night before, reheat, and load with toppings.

14. Be sure and add lots of pickles.

15. After eating, go over and snuggle your baby for a few minutes, because he is just too irresistible.

16. Okay, back to work! The next step is to cut a piece of batting that is 17 1/2 by 14 1/2 inches. I like the "Warm and Natural" blanket batting, and I keep a stash of it in my sewing lockers.

17. Stuff the batting through the opening, making sure that it lays nice and flat inside.

18. Pin the gap closed and sew all the way around the outside of the piece, staying close to the edge (about 1/8 to 1/4 inch).

When sewing along the bottom edge where the gap is, make sure that you're catching the back layer of fabric as you go.

19. Almost done! Now we're ready to make the lines for the knitting needle pockets. A fabric pen would be ideal for this step, but if you don't have one on hand, you can use pins to mark the lines. I wanted one wider pocket and three thinner pockets, so I measured and marked the bottom of the piece with pins at 6 inches, 10 inches, and 14 inches.

20. Then do the same at the top of the piece and place pins in between, making a straight line to follow while sewing.

21. Lastly, sew along all three lines.

Congratulations! You're finished!

Fill with all your knitting needles...

...and roll up and tie for easy storing and mobility!