Saturday, 25 June 2022

More blue

Midsummer holidays have kept me from my sewing machine, so only two new blue blocks have been finished since my last post.

The one hat on the left is a really light blue. I designed the block myself, and it took me several attempts to get the pompom look somewhat round, and the proportions of the hat and bottom fold right. Now I'm pleased with the result, and will make more hats in different colors.

I'm linking this to So Scrappy's Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Next time I hope to have all my recent knitting sorted and photos taken. The mountain of socks is getting bigger every week.


Saturday, 18 June 2022

Blue blocks

This month the Rainbow Scraps are blue. My 2½" squares' box had enough squares in these blue plaids:

I felt like starting something new, so I went through my other blue and light blue stash and found these floral prints and one dotty fabric most suitable for mugs. The one in the middle is for me, a left handed mug.

Rag doll making leaves me with odd shaped bits of white sheet fabric from the ends and sides, where the sheets are not worn thin. I often cut these bits in 2½" squares for the 9-patch blocks, or even smaller like 1½" and 1" and even 3/4" squares for cutting corners like these mugs. Bigger leftovers are stored in a box and can be cut for longer strips like the ones I'm going to need when I join the mugs to a row and add background on both sides of the row.

I hope to add to this new quilt project something blue next week too.


Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Unicef dolls - two new ones

My fingers have been itching with some new ideas for Unicef dolls. Several of those I have shown earlier have found new homes, and I felt there was a need for a basic cloth doll with a pretty frock. For some reason I find the fabrics from my own childhood best for the little dresses, like this one with delicate red roses and blue stripes. She feels almost like a princess in it. The ribbons in her hair are pure silk.

The next doll has more character. Her name is Eerika. She has been at the library after work and is on her way to a vernissage at an art gallery. For tomorrow night she has booked theater tickets with the other girls, and they may go out for a meal too. I think she would make a perfect 50th or 60th birthday gift for any lady of her type. You know, leggings and a tunic that is wide around the hips so the latest cake-eating doesn't show, and the long scarf to hide age spots and wrinkles on her cleavage. The comfortable tunics in plus sizes tend to have such wide necklines. What you don't see here is a strand of her otherwise raven black hair tinted purple like her glasses.

Here they are together. The doll pattern is internationally used for all Unicef dolls, but creativity is allowed and recommended for the rest. I have never counted the hours it takes to make a doll from start to finish, but the hair alone takes hours. The dolls are not tested for safety and therefore Unicef has made a label saying the doll is a decoration and not recommended for children under 14 years. I have sewn the label together with the Unicef logo label in the side seam of their left leg, and the same warning is printed on the identity card I fill in for each doll. Years ago, before these warnings, doll makers were told to avoid buttons and anything that might be dangerous for small children. I think it is up to the parents to decide whether their child can play with a hand made cloth doll, but I also welcome people over 14 years of age to find the fun of playing with dolls, or just owning a cloth doll that is special to them for some reason. I have had some wonderful moments with my own Swallows and Amazons dolls, taking photos of them in different environments.


Sunday, 15 May 2022

Sage and forest green

After some busy knitting I decided to take the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for this month. The colours are sage and forest green, most pleasing colours for men's plaid shirts. My special stash is full of men's shirts, washed, cut apart and ironed, sorted by colour and waiting for inspiring projects. My RSC block is a simple 9-patch with white. The idea of forest green is luckily a very wide range of green shades, from pine and fir and juniper to early Spring or Summer leaves of birch, aspen, willow and alder, moss greens and all kinds of forest flowers. This is my selection:

Normally I would have chosen only plaids, but the solid green at the center was too nice to be left out.

I have not yet decided how to set the blocks. If I'm going to make several new blocks each month I may have enough blocks to make two new quilts at the end of the year.

Saturday, 23 April 2022

Helping Bunnies for Red Cross

As many of you know, I love to knit socks. That means many balls of yarn, and finally many tiny leftover balls of those yarns. Luckily the Finnish Red Cross has published a knitting pattern, designed by Anu Pensola, a soft toy to bring comfort to children in need. This bunny is a cousin of the Trauma Teddy from the Australian Red Cross. Currently there is a campaign to get new bunnies knitted for every child coming from Ukraine to Finland.

I happened to have all these bits of yarn just waiting for a useful purpose, so I knitted five bunnies. They are knitted in the round so only minimal seams need sewing. The bunny is stuffed through the feet left open when starting, and through the final opening between the ears.

Even a few meters of  leftover yarn were enough to make some stripes in the sweaters. The scarf has been sewed tight in the neck so it will not get lost. The knitting café Lentävä Lapanen, the Flying Mitten, is one of the places where knitters can bring their bunnies. The campaign has been running from the end of March, and on Friday when I took my bunnies to them, they had two baskets full of bunnies waiting for delivery. The campaign will last until the end of May, so there is still time to knit a bunny or three.

Before getting the idea of knitting bunnies I used some leftover yarns like they are usually used, for striped socks.

These went to Villa Cooper and the selection sold to raise money for the Red Cross. Both pairs are knitted in a finer wool and that makes them perfect for Summer use in wellies or crocs at the holiday cabin.

I don't spend all my spare time knitting, I have a soft spot for quilting as well. This month's colour in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is pink, and I found two suitable plaids in my cupboards. I made these six 9-patch blocks:

I wonder what the colour for May will be. I decided to keep to this 9-patch block only in this challenge. 

Tuesday, 12 April 2022

Helping through the Red Cross

What has happened in Europe since the 24th of February is hard to understand. Never in my lifetime has a war touched so close, and the willingness to help Ukrainians in need seems to be great. Our club or group of handicraft people at Villa Cooper have donated some of their products to be sold to raise money to the Finnish Red Cross, and our customers have found this a good way to help and to be sure the funds go where they are meant to go. Many members have created new products just for this, using blue and yellow colours as they are the colours of the Ukrainian flag.

I made this quilt top in 2018 for the Red Cross, but didn't have the energy to layer and quilt it.

Now seemed the perfect time to finish the project and as I happened to have a backing fabric large enough for the quilt at home, I only needed to buy some batting and get to work. The batting price was a little shock for me, five times as much as the one I had bought before this.

The quilting is as simple as possible, and I finished it in three sessions. I have a bad habit of pulling my shoulders to my ears at the sewing machine, so I needed to have a break after an hour or so.

I quilted diagonal lines except for the bright red cross where I went around the outlines.

These blue and yellow chicks are also for the aid for Ukraine project. Half of my first lot was sold in the first few days so I made some more.

These tiny ones with more details I made earlier in March for the normal sale as hanging Easter ornaments. I made the fundraising chicks larger so they can sit on a table as a couple, and used only blue and yellow fabrics and felt.


Monday, 14 March 2022

Yellow plaid

The colours for March in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge are yellow and gold. As I'm only making 9-patch blocks in plaids for the challenge, my choices of fabric are very limited.

I had only two fabrics to work with, and I made these six blocks with them.

The heavy flannel shirt was from my DH, and the other fabric with more yellow was a blouse my mother had sewn for herself and worn a lot.

The yellow colour makes me think of the first wild Spring flowers like coltsfoot and and dandelion, or daffodils, but we have still deep snow and night temperatures down to 8 degrees below freezing point. Luckily the sun is yellow in the bright blue sky.