Generations of craft projects

So besides my diss, crafty things have also been keeping away from my blog lately. See?

I made this super-cute necklet for my grandmother from a pattern that she copied from someone in the 1940s, back when she worked in Washington, DC, before she got married. She had made one for herself back then but doesn't know where it is now, and a friend tried to make her another one a few years ago that never quite fit her right. So armed with some soft green yarn (Moda Dea Dream) that she picked out, I set about making her another one. I had lost the pattern behind my dresser for a couple of years, though, so once I found it, this neglected project jumped up to the top of my craft to-do list. When I started it the first time about two months ago, I got halfway through before I realized I was doing it wrong, so I frogged it, started over, and got halfway through again before I realized I had messed it up in a different way. Repeat frogging and starting over. [And then it burned down, fell over, THEN sank into the swamp... just kidding.] The third time was the charm, and I was so happy to finish it. It's soft, warm, and stays put because of the little hole on one end that you feed the other end through, so I felt the need to wear it for a little while so that I could decide whether to make one for myself. I think I shall, but it's nowhere near the top of the list right now (see below). She just got it in the mail this week, and I think she's itching for some cool weather in NC so that she can wear it!

The major project of this past weekend, which has spilled over a few days, was piecing the border on the scrapaholic quilt that my grandmother has been working on. She pieced all the blocks and got a friend to help her put it together, but she can't really see to quilt anymore, so she's asked me to quilt it for her. I've never done anything as massive as a queen-sized quilt before. I'm thinking of it as my second dissertation.

Piecing the border was great fun. It's mostly light yellow, and I made a long inlaid piece of different fabrics from the quilt in kind of a colorwash progression. It looks great on the quilt, which I think is a testimony to the awesomeness of a lifetime's worth of fabric scraps. I laid it out on the living room floor on top of the batting and the muslin for the back, and I've basted about half of it together (those are the loose stitches that hold all the pieces in place until the quilting is finished). My back gave out after about an hour of crawling around on the floor to baste it, so I rolled it up and will finish that part soon. Of course, then I have to mark it up and actually quilt it, and alas, I do not know how many years it will take me to do that part. Courage.

While I had my sewing machine out (okay, who am I kidding? It's been on the dining room table for about 5 months now), I decided to work on another project, farther down on my craft to-do list. My sewing machine just would NOT shut up about Christmas season being right around the corner, so I had to indulge it. I had bought half a yard of this adorable penguin Christmas flannel for about $1 this summer on clearance, and once the cool weather hit, I could stay away from it no longer.

I was inspired to make baby pants by The Creative Family (Amanda suggests making them out of an adult shirt), but since I couldn't find my copy of the book when I wanted to make the pants, I just had to look at a pair of Kent's pants to measure everything and figure out how to put them together. I'm glad it worked, because I didn't have any extra! The crotch came out kind of funny — if I were on Project Runway, Michael Kors would have fussed at me — but they fit him well otherwise and will be wonderfully warm for holiday playtime and snuggling time. They're a pretty good template for future tiny pants, once I figure out how to make the crotch come out un-bunchy. It took me about two hours because I had to think hard about what I was doing, pause to iron the hems, etc., so I think the next ones will go quicker. I told Jack that I want to make about 700 pairs of baby pants now.

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Aaahhhhh! I love penguins! Coincidentally, I am wearing a pair of flannel penguin print pants right now, and didn't even notice until I sat down to comment on your blog, ha ha.
That's so cool. There is something very rewarding about making your own clothes. I've only made a couple of things- nothing since increasing past 2 kids. The last project I was working on I never finished. It was a one piece, flannel, zip up footie pajama for Ben. The pattern was The Incredibles. It still sits in my drawer. Much too small now.
baby pants are so addicting!!

a little tip. if you do the pants hem FIRST, it's soooo much easier than after the pant leg is all sewedup

that penguin fabric is very cute, too. :)
WOW! The quilt is gorgeous! I'm very impressed. I love hearing about all of your crafts!
Hmmmmmmm, Christmas in September/October. Jack sat on my lap as we made Christmas ornaments in July and we would sing O Christmas Tree. Anticipation... Love the penguin britches. Granny Vi's necktie is gorgeous and looks so soft, it will be a nice color on her. We need a quilter in the family...take heart.
I love to see you crafting! Such lovely things, and it gives me hope that you can with a little person running around...
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