Saturday, March 15, 2014

Felted Sweater Quilt pt2

OK....so it's taken me longer than I expected to get this second part of the quilt project posted...sorry!! We've been really enjoying the blanket!

It's been so great this winter!! I LOVE to cuddle under it in the camper (which does NOT stay super warm, especially with all the wind we've had this year)

Making it was super simple.....I know you can do it!

Here is the more dense fabric after you've washed and shrunk (felted) the sweaters


The sweater felted and the pocket stayed.....I want to keep this in the blanket to hold my goodies....you know, a little snack, the remote or some tissues. 


Now for the work. Time to start cutting the sweaters into usable pieces. First step is to cut out the seams....they just get too bulky to sew through all those extra seams


 I was going to do things in a very random patchwork, but when I started sewing I went right back to the cutting table and started whacking things into squares and rectangles. 


I used my ruler and rotary cutter to cut down the sleeves, and necklines



In the end you get rectangle, but this isn't a perfect project! There were several pieces that had ripples like this one that need to be taken care of.....of course I didn't get pics of the fix.....basically you just want to cut it smaller and re-square it. For the piece above I cut the bottom of the piece off and left just the rippley part. I took that strip and cut it in half and suddenly the one rectangle with ripples became two funky shapes that laid flat....it was like a magic trick!! You just have to use the ruler and rotary cutter to straighten the pieces back up so you can sew them. 



I tried to keep as much of the fabric of each sweater as possible. Using a rotary cutter is a great way to make this happen (you could do it with scissors, but I'm a rotary addict anyway) 



This might look like a sleeve, but it's actually a body piece from one of the sweaters. I left it this shape and put it with a sleeve to make a block. That's the beauty of this project....you can do whatever you want!! It's an easy breezy project to cozy up your cold days! 

I seriously can't lay under this blanket and not fall asleep! It's the perfect kind of warmth........Really warm and cozy, but you aren't sweating, just toasty!!

If you make your own felted sweater quilt, share your pictures with me! 
I'd love to see how yours comes out! 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Felted Sweater Quilt

You know I'm not a professional blogger....you're probable going to REALLY know that soon. If I was a pro I don't think I would post a project this size without it being done....but then, I'm not a pro! In fact, I hesitate to call myself an amateur. At best I'm blogging greenhorn! But if this project works out in real life like I see it in my head, it will all be worth it!! This is going to be the best, coziest blanket EVER!!!

Have you ever felted? Do you know what felting is? I'm guessing we've all done it at one point in our lives, even if it wasn't intentional. Basically it's shrinking wool....You know what I mean...you take that perfect wool sweater or pair of socks and accidently throw them in the washer and they come out toddler sized....yep, you just felted them!!

The great thing about felting is that when the fibers shrink they get really thick and dense.  Now this is the magic of it all.....you can cut apart that sweater and it won't unravel! Promise! Well....I promise it won't after it's felted -- don't cut before you felt or you'll be left with a big messy pile of crinkly yarn....bad news!

The first step of this project is to find your wool to felt. I turned to the Goodwill - you have to look at every tag to make sure that it's really wool, and that it warns against machine washing.



You'll see on the green one that it's only 80% wool....I decided it was worth the gamble. (hey, it was half off everything at Goodwill that day, it wasn't much of a gamble) 

After you have a bunch of sweaters, go through and cut out all the tags, buttons and yes, shoulder pads! 



Make sure to check for extra buttons and tags on the inside seams


  

 Oh yeah....and drycleaning tags! They're usually pinned in and those pins can rust when you wash them....not the end of the world, but not the effect we're going for either.


By the time you're done you'll have a nice pile of trash, and some new buttons to use on another project. 


The next step is to dump all the sweaters in the washer. I put just a drop of detergent in
(maybe a 1/4 of the normal amount) 
Then set it to a full load as hot and long as you can set it.
Don't worry if you don't have a full load, still set your machine on large load (these babies need some room to move)

Also, if you have a front load machine, or a top-load without an agitator, you may have to run a few cycles, or put something in with the sweaters to rough 'em up a bit. 

When they are done washing, pull them out and admire your handiwork....if they didn't shrink enough, put them back through. You'll know when it's enough when you can't really see the stitches anymore and the sweater feels thicker is hard to stretch.  When they are sufficiently felted, pop them in the dryer. 

Go find your sweaters, get them washed and dried and check back soon for part 2 (I can't post it yet, because I haven't tried it yet....see.... I told you, unprofessional)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Time to catch up....from this weekend anyway

I don't even know where to start! I have SO much to say! Just this week alone I have had about 452 things happen that I could share.....Here are a few (crummy) pictures of the high-(or low-, depending on your perspective) lights of the week.

 It's Christmas time so I had to make a few gifts like this one....it's going to someone special. I hope they like it. I'll try to get a better picture when I make the next one.....and there will be more, it was so simple and came out really cute!!

 If you are what you eat then my cat is probably at least half dog...or dog food anyway....she ended up all the way in the bag! I guess she was hungry!



 We had this guy show up on our porch Saturday....I talked to a neighbor, who told me he had been hanging around a different neighbor's house and that neighbor was "trying to shoot him because he (the dog) went after him" I was a little nervous so I called in the cavalry....Jamie to the rescue! She has a Rotty of her own and so I figured she would know more what was normal behavior and what I should be worried about.

I spent some time with him, I cannot imagine him "going after" anyone unless he was provoked! We named him just a couple minutes after I snapped this quick picture.  I was going through, trying to decide how to keep him fed and cared for when we travel (most campgrounds and trailer parks don't allow Rottweilers) when we decided he should meet our other 2 dogs....that didn't go well....AT ALL!!!! He couldn't stay :( it broke my heart! I'm actually not a fan of animals I don't know, but this guy looked up at me with his one good eye and instantly wormed his way into my heart. It took all of about 5 minutes to realize I was his and he was mine. When someone new would stop by he would look at them and come sit on, yes ON, my feet.  He went to live with a friend of mine who is giving him a great home, and yes, I cried when they left with him. Is it stupid to miss a dog that I had for 3 days?? Oh well, I miss him anyway!


 After getting Bear (the Rottweiler) settled in the barn, Jamie and I went out to wrap up some Christmas shopping. Typical me, I came home with more craft ideas than actual gifts....I mean really, how am I going to pay for a rectangular pillow with strips of fabric sewn to it....I'm pretty sure I can whip this up in about 20 minutes!
 This is another one....It's a pot protector for when they are stored in the cabinet...I'm thinking I need a set for the camper, but seriously! It's a piece of felt cut into a flowery shape!! I can do that! And I have a stack of felt at home.....I'm NOT paying $12 for them!!

Sunday, Jamie, Josh and their girls came to the house to hangout with Bear and I again. Their middle daughter decorated my Christmas tree for me....she was quite concerned there was only 1 ornament on it. I was glad to let her do it....I just hadn't had the mood strike me yet to get the ornaments out. She did a fabulous job!! It looked wonderful!

Then I fell asleep on the couch and was awakened at 3am by a HUGE crash......the tree fell over!
There was busted glass and glitter EVERYWHERE!!! I even found pieces of glass up on the couch. Crazy!
I decided that we just aren't going to have a tree this year....we'll be ok.....right???


Yeah....we all know better! I NEED a tree! I didn't want to replace the crappy broken stand with another crappy stand, so I'm in the process of building a "tree" out of a glass jar, tomato cage and garland. I'll show you as soon as it's done. It's small, a little lopsided, but it's going to be enough this year!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Influenster

Have you heard of Influenster.com? It's this neat little site with HUGE rewards! They just went through a site makeover and, honestly, I'm still adjusting. OK....here's the deal. You sign up, earn badges, review products. I thought it was crazy when I first joined....but it's for real. I have received a VoxBox, I reviewed products, I love the whole idea of this site.

If you know me, you know I'm not always big on change. I like to find a system that works for me and when people disrupt that, I do NOT love it! For example, the Facebook timelines really messed me up for a few weeks. The new influenster site has been an adjustment to say the least.....it's totally different from the old site. Same premise, different layout! I think the changes are great, everything is pretty easy to navigate...I just have to readjust the way I do things, but I'm getting there.

Check out www.influenster.com. Let me know what you think!

Christmas is Coming!!

Christmas is coming! In just 3 weeks! I haven't crafted a single gift yet! I haven't finished shopping for a single person on my list!
I really miss blogging! I don't know why this occurred to me in the middle of the Christmas rush....but it did!

Did you notice that everything I say ends with a ! That is because that's the way life is going for us right now! It seems to just be a series of exclamation points all strung together! I'll try to get some pictures up from this year and get you all caught up on this year's happenings!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pin It!

Are you hooked on Pinterest? I know you didn't just say "what's Pinterest?" Pinterest is just the greatest online creation since Google.....if you don't believe me you HAVE to try it! The site is invitation only, so if you need an invite let me know and I'll send you one.

What Pinterest is is an online pin board. When you are looking at a website or blog and see something you really like and want to remember for later....Pin It! You choose a picture from the site, write a description about it and then it's saved to your pin board so you can easily get to it later.

You can also see what your friends are pinning....and repin their amazing finds.

It's easy to get carried away, lose track of time, and pin thousands of things. Here are some of the amazing things I've pinned lately





Oh there are so many more wonderful things out there....you really need to check it out. I hope to have some posts soon to show you the projects I've found on Pinterest that I have actually made.
Come join us....happy Pinning!

Monday, October 3, 2011

The end of a season

Summer's official over! There was even a forcast for frost the other night. That meant it was time to pull in anything that the frost might damage.....for us it was basil and some other herbs.  Our basil grew like a weed this summer!! We brought the herbs in, tied them in bunches and hung them from the wooden valance in front of the kitchen windows
How pretty is that?!?!? All the big bundles are basil, the little ones are lemon balm, parsley, and summer savory. I'm looking forward to having all these to cook with this winter. I know it won't be as good as fresh, but I think it's going to be better than storebought


Here is my first foray into fall baking.....frosted pumpkin cookies. They were SOOO good. I took some to a friend and sent the rest to work with Brad, otherwise I would probably have been able to eat most of the batch myself.

I used a little different frosting. It's more caramely

6 Tbsp Butter
8 Tbsp Milk
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
2 Cups Powdered Sugar

Put butter, milk and brown sugar in a pan and heat until all sugar is dissolved. Let the mixture cool in the pan. Add in vanilla and powdered sugar.

I dipped the warm cookies into the frosting and then let them cool on a cookie sheet. They are such a wonderful pumpkiny sweet cinnamony bite of cakey goodness.

If you decide to make these....the cookies don't spread much....seriously! They puffed up a bit, but that was the only change in shape. If you like perfectly shaped cookies, make sure they look that way going into the oven.

Happy Fall Ya'll!!