Monday, November 28, 2016

Yuletide Mini Quilt + Your Free December 2016 Calendar

I love this time of the year. The shops are brimming with decorations and gifts, Santa is making appearances in shopping centres and Christmas Carols are playing over the loud speakers. You can almost feel that frantic rush of Christmas building and I love seeing the look of awe on children's faces as this season steamrolls into our lives. Its also time for my new Monthly Mini and this months quilt is sweet, simple, scrappy and sentimental. Introducing Yuletide:
Every year I want to buy one of those big, full, perfectly decorated with matching ornaments, Christmas trees that you see in the shops but our little old tree has a story and has been part of our festivities for 32 years. Our tree is indicative of the average family tree: an eclectic mix of handmade/store brought/ gifted decorations collected over time or made with love.
My inlaws didn't do the Christmas Tree thing when I first met them, and me being me just couldn't have that :) so Les and I brought a tree for our very first Christmas together and put it in his parents lounge room. It spent four Christmas's there and then came to our house where it has been part of every family Christmas since.
Its branches have hidden special secret presents, notes to Santa and the reindeer, snacks my kids didn't want to eat and decided to hide and the occasional cat looking for a good hiding place. Every year it seems lose a little fullness and I'm amazed it still holds the weight of all the decorations that we have collected but for the month of December, its the centrepiece of our living room and our festivities.
Yuletide is a paper pieced mini quilt and its a simple representation of the humble Christmas tree. Its a great use of scraps from your stash which I think adds to the charm of this mini quilt. I chose a lovely aqua and pink palette for my tree but it would look stunning in bold Christmas colours. It finishes at around 14" square so its also perfect for a cushion or table topper. I quilted my mini with a loopy stipple to give it that lovely texture and I finished it off a beautiful gold binding which really frames the tree.
The Yuletide PDF pattern comes complete with full step by step instructions and diagrams,  paper piecing templates and a colouring sheet to help you plan your colours/fabrics prior to starting your mini quilt. There are also optional instructions to add a hanging sleeve or corner hangers.
If you would like to make your own Yuletide mini quilt, from today until the end of December, PDF patterns are available at the introductory price of $4.95 (AU) in my Big Cartel shop, HERE.
Or if you prefer an instant download, PDF patterns are also available in my Etsy shop, HERE.
I also have your free December 2016 Calendar, featuring the gorgeous Yuletide
You can download and print your free calendar HERE.
When our tree goes up on Thursday, I wont be thinking of those decorator style trees I'm tempted to buy, I will be remembering Christmas's past and all the wonderful years we have spent making irreplaceable memories around our sweet, simple, scrappy and sentimental tree.
Happy sewing :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Crochet Questions

Thanks for all the love for my Charlotte's Dream squares from the previous post. Its going to make a beautiful blanket and I've just finished my third square while binge watching "The Crown" on Netflix (awesome series: I cant wait for Season 2)
I had a few emails and questions regarding this project, so I thought I would address them here and the answers may help others. A little note to Guida: you are a no reply commentor, so I can not reply directly to your questions but you can always email me and I'm happy to let you pick my brain :)
Please remember, this is not my pattern and I can only comment on what I am doing and using for my blanket, and I'm no expert :).
I am using the Bendigo Woollen Mills cotton yarn and it is 8ply and it is sold in 200g balls. It is finer than the average 8ply acrylic and nicer to work with. I've used it lots and my squares always finish a little smaller than patterns suggest but as long as they are a consistent size, they all fit together. I'm also using a 3.75mm hook this time which gives it a tighter finish.
I over estimate quantities when buying yarn for a project, I'd rather have leftovers than be hunting down dye lots so I did buy more yarn than the pattern specified and I kept a little record of what I used in this last square, to help and to be sure I had estimated enough yarn.
For one square I used 85g of the main colour yarn, so I know I have enough to yield two squares from one 200g ball.
I used 40g of the white yarn for each square and just over 34g of the light grey (but remember you need extra for borders).
My squares finish at 20", so my blanket should finish at a little over 80" square, including borders.
There are yarn packs available, using the same wool and colours as Deidri, if that's what you prefer and you can find all the information on her blog HERE.
I hope all this information helps and I'm sorry its taken me so long to reply to everyone; its been one of those weeks. It is a beautiful pattern and a lot easier than it looks, so give it a try, I've enjoyed working each and every stitch :)
Happy hooking :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Charlotte's Dream: The Beginning

I'm back in the studio, madly sewing magazine projects at the moment. I can't share these until 2017 but I can share a new crochet project I started last week. I saw the Charlotte's Dream blanket on Instagram and instantly fell in love. This blanket is another gorgeous creation from Deidri Uys and her patterns are so much fun and so easy to follow.
The first step was to select my wool:
I'm a huge fan on Bendigo Woollen Mills Cotton yarn so I decided to choose eight main colours from their range and two contrasting colours (the light grey and white). This cotton crochets up beautifully and it makes a soft and snugly blanket. I decided to use a hook one size smaller than I usually use, to give the squares a better finish.
The pattern requires twelve Charlotte squares but I've decided to make my blanket larger and use a 4 x 4 grid of sixteen squares (two squares of each main colours). It's going to be a large blanket but thats exactly what I want. So here's my first two completed Charlotte squares:
Aren't they beautiful? Its another clever design from Dedri and I love the on point setting of the main flower squares. The border is sweet and delicate and frames the square perfectly and just look at all that gorgeous texture:
This is meant to be a long term project for me, but I love the thrill of a new project and at the start I tend to work on things quickly. I'm sure I will slow down soon and enjoy the process over the coming months :)
You can find the free pattern for Charlotte's Dream HERE, complete with beautifully written instructions and step by step photos to help complete your own blanket.
I'm off to work on my third square, before I have to cook dinner, so happy hooking :)
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