Friday, August 21, 2009

Not an afghan! Would he like a Crocheted Quilt? What?!!!

Yes... it's a strange title and it was even more of a strange undertaking for me. It was DEFINITELY a challenge! And I love those but, I'd never made a crocheted quilt. Hadn't a clue how it should be done even if it had ever been done! But I had an idea, so I experimented and developed my own version of a crocheted quilt.

Let me digress for just a minute so I can explain to you just how this "challenge" came about...

A friend of mine at work (she also crochets) gave me SEVERAL big garbage bags full of all kinds of weights, colors and odd balls and skeins of acrylic yarn. I was over joyed to get it! You know... MORE STASH! Heh!

Sorting through it, I recognized some of it as discontinued, like Caron's Dazzle Aire, etc. Almost all of the scrap pieces of yarn was just in huge knotted messes which took me days and hours to untangle but I hate to waste this stuff. It's like gold – getting more expensive all the time! There was not enough balls, skeins and/or scraps of any one kind to make anything of a significant size. So, I knew whatever I decided to make, it was going to be "patch work" or small projects. Now you know where the pin cushion and fridgie material came from. Heh!

BTW, my friend got skads of this yarn from her boyfriend, whose grandmother had to be moved into a nursing home. This was my friend's boyfriend's grandmother's yarn. My friend still kept several huge plastic tubs of this yarn! Please don't think for an instant that she gave it all to me! Oh no!

This grandmother must've had a house like mine - just chock full of stash! But, MORE on MY stash at a later date. Back to the reason for the blog!

I was overwhelmed for a few days with ALL this ODD yarn. There was bags and bags and bags of scraps within bags of odd skeins and half skeins! I want you to understand that this was a bunch of yarn! What on earth was I going to make with all of it... or most of it... or part of it?!!!

Then I thought it would be nice to make something for my friend's boyfriend since this was HIS grandmother's yarn and maybe my friend could contribute to the process and make it that much more meaningful for him. I asked her about it... She thought a scrap afghan would be nice for her boyfriend... (I know I rolled my eyes at that moment. I had made so many afghans, so many scrap afghans... BORING and certainly not enough of a "Challenge!" Then I suggested a "Crocheted Quilt"... wondering why I opened my mouth and said that when I had no idea at that moment how I would do that!!! LOL! Open mouth and insert foot! But, then the good Lord often takes the ridiculous and hideous and turns it into something marvelous!

Starting with the smallest parts... I first made some tiny squares but I wanted a unique way of putting them together. I wanted some dimension! So experimenting... I ended up joining four tiny squares in just one corner, joining only two at a time and overlapping the pairs into the four, then connecting the four with joining trim. The four tiny squares complete one small square which is turned into nine small squares which make a block (whip stitched together). The finished piece ended up being nine blocks long by seven blocks wide. But I said "quilt"... right?! Each block of squares has a fully crocheted one-piece back which is a big solid granny square in either soft white or black. My friend helped make the backs of the blocks. There's a light side and a dark side to this quilt! Each block was attached to the rest, then finished off with a big fat crocheted yoyo in every corner (either black or soft white)!

This thing is sooo heavy, too and it's just yarn! But, it's heavy like one of MY grandmother's old-fashioned quilts made with cotton batting instead of synthetic polyfiberfil. I love her quilts! In the winter, when I was little and she'd put me to bed, I could barely move under them but, I was so warm. =) I still have and use all the quilts she gave me. =) Sorry! I digress again!

Whew! I thought I'd never get this piece finished once I started it but, I met the challenge! =) My friend said her boyfriend loved it and he took it to show his grandmother what had been done with her left over yarn. I thought that was kind of neat! I hope she was pleased!

My friend says her boyfriend keeps the quilt on his bed. That's a good place for it! LOL! Better than keeping it on a conference table where I spread it out to get pictures of it.

Projects like this one, I do NOT repeat. They end up being real one-of-a-kinds for me. ROFLOL! Can you blame me?!!!

More photos at this link.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Baby Shoe Winner & Runner-Ups

The prize was 10 pairs of baby shoes...

The challenge was to tell me in 100 words or less "why I love handmade..."

The winner (chosen by an objective 3rd party) is Heather of Dalkullan Jewelry... Here's why she was selected...

"I love handmade because it's something made with care and thought, by someone who enjoys what they're doing. A factory made article is just a cookie cutter assembly line thing, with no individuality or uniqueness.

Having worked in a factory, I know firsthand just how it feels to do the same repetitive task over and over again. You start to feel like a machine. But handcrafted things are an expression of individuality and creativity, both by the maker and the person who receives the article.

I'd like to win the 10 pairs of baby shoes for my dear son Sean and his lovely wife Laura, who are expecting their first child this August."

These are all of Heather's links. Please join her on Facebook as a fan, follow her on Twitter. Most of all, visit her Etsy shop for some gorgeous fantastic handmade jewelry you'll surely want to wear!

Facebook business fan page:

Etsy shop:



A little background on Heather...

"I've been interested in making things with my hands since I was a little girl. My dear Aunt Hildur, who ran the Dalkullan Swedish Import Store in Chicago, for which my little Dalkullan Jewelry is named, taught me to knit, crochet and do needlework when I was a little girl. After she passed away, I found the first piece of embroidery I ever did, a little blue bird sewn on card stock with sewing thread, in her jewelry box.

My dear Mother taught me to sew, and I made many of my own clothes in high school. Although I majored in physics, I also took classes in art at college, and worked in oils, acrylics, and watercolors. Later I took up woodworking, and then wood carving. Finally I discovered the thing I like best, making jewelry. So many things to learn, so many techniques, and of course, working with beautiful beads, gemstones, and shaping and soldering metals. Not to mention having fun with a torch and hammer. And in the end, you have a new piece of jewelry! How great is that?"
There are also three runner-ups for the baby shoes...

They are... with their comments to follow...

Joanna Brady-Head
"One reason i love crocheted baby items is the tactile pleasure of good yarn... so soft... like a hug. Another reason that i love crocheted baby items is because i love that "personal" touch! i know that crochet means "Handmade -- made by actual hands!" And to me, handmade means a lot of love goes into it... what more could you want surrounding a baby?"

Susan Logsdon
"My daughter is expecting my first grandchild this December -- these would be SO cute! she is one of 5 -- count them - FIVE - women I know who are expecting between Oct and Dec '09! Sure would save my fingers/wrists to win these! (they are all so cute but those little boots are TOO cute!)"

Christi Spangler
"Hi! I crochet too (I make reusable tote bags) and I love crocheted items and any handmade items. My son is having his first child in December and I would love to have my first granddaughter in a pair of soft pretty handmade baby shoes. Thanks for having the contest!
There were more comments that were great! Visit to read more. CONGRATULATIONS, LADIES! I look forward to getting to know you a little bit better.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cafe Handmade Feature

A first for me... kind of proud about it. It will only be up for a day, if you're interested.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Cora Paige Project

Okay... if you have a shop on Etsy, you may be familiar with this charity where you put up something in your shop for sale and send the proceeds to the Cora Paige Project. Where do we send the money? Does anyone know? I can't find anything in the forums on the where or how. I'm hoping we can make a payment through PayPal...

Here's the kicker... it's for a charity but, PayPal and Etsy still took out their fees. Personally, I don't think that's right!

Your thoughts?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

In need of "hearts" for your Etsy Shop?

The past few days on Twitter have proved to be good with Etsy Shop "heart" requests. I've even gained a few hearts for my own shop – which is a good thing, considering I started out with 25 this week. Still... can you believe it?! I see some folks with over 750 hearts and they've only had their Etsy shop about one year. How did they do it? Hmmmm?

Your thoughts? Any suggestions for the "heart" - less folks? Course, if you just don't like a shop or their craft/s in it... why would you "heart" them at all?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Crochet Embellishments for Sandie

Top stitching, flowers, embroidery, etc... How do you embelish your crocheted items? We'd like to hear!

Here's one item I embellished a little.

Also, there are so many links to so many FREE crocheted flower patterns out there. I got this one this morning. Of course, you'll have to sign up with Lionbrand's website to see the pattern.

Leisure Arts website has a nice free flower pattern, too.

Let us know how you like to embellish your crocheted items! This will be fun!!!

Unscrupulous Robbery of Another's Effort & Hard Work

On a very serious note... because I've witnessed it with my own eyes...

I am shocked, AND I MEAN SHOCKED, at the people out there that will take someone else's printed (electronic or hard copy) design and pattern – copyrighted, make it (crochet it in this case) and call it their own design and pattern! I actually saw a crocheted item in a web shop, created by a very well known designer, that the shop owner claimed was their own... Outrageous!!! You will NOT find that at Runway Crochet. I will give the credit to the designer, name of book and pattern title in my description! Wow! I guess these folks don't have a conscience or they have NO SENSE at all! This is NOT okay! This is NEVER okay! Why are people this unscrupulous?!!! This works just like redistribution of someone else's money!!! Ack!!!