Tuesday, 29 November 2022

Meet the newest Unicef doll

This week I was inspired to make another doll for Unicef. I had a red striped skirt in mind, but ended up with this velvety jersey in dark blue. With a zipper in the back and a big ribbon bow in silver grey sateen, and a tiny flower brooch the dress is perfect for thee school's Christmas fete.

Here Elsa is again, between my old cacti in full blossom. They are a bit early for Christmas, but will probably have flowers again for Easter. As you can see, we have snow and the days feel so much lighter with it.

The funds raised through adoption fees of the dolls are used for vaccinations against lethal diseases and for programs that promote the health, education and safety of children. In this way the dolls will help save real children of the world.

My hands have not been idle in the evenings. Here are the newest socks from my needles. Two grey shades and some white.

Dark red and pale pink, I was trying to use up both of those rests but there is still a little left for some stripes of a new pair.

The green, red and light blue socks are gifts, each with a different slouchy leg part. The smaller socks are knitted with the leftover yarn from the green socks.


Monday, 31 October 2022

9-patch quilt finished

This is a quilt that has been coming for a long time. I usually cut the small leftover bits from any quilt project into 2½" squares and store them in a box. At the beginning of this year I started sewing them into 9-patches when I had suitable colors for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. This month I decided on a setting and put the quilt top together.

This time the machine quilting was no problem, and I quilted diagonal lines from edge to edge.

The sashing fabric was chosen to match this chest of drawers.

My evening activity is - as always - knitting combined to TV. These two pairs of socks were a custom order in very light pink and beige stripes, and the same pink with white and green bubbles.


Wednesday, 5 October 2022

Autumn's Joys

Finally the Autumn quilt is quilted, bound, washed, re-washed and delivered! Autumn's Joys is the name I gave it. In my previous post I told the story behind the rows of blocks.

Washed, you may wonder. Yes, I wanted to be sure the colours would not bleed, and washed the finished quilt (stupidly enough) in cold water to save energy. What I had feared, happened: the red apples from the top end bled, and I didn't even notice it before the quilt had been drying over night. I did what I thought was right, and washed the quilt again, but in hot water and with a colour catcher, and to my big relief all the white was bright again and all stains were gone.

I had some problems with the machine quilting, the needle thread formed loops on the reverse when I crossed multiple layers. I unpicked the worst, but decided to leave the small loops of  some few stitches.

This quilt was delivered today to Villa Cooper and is for sale for the Finnish Red Cross' Disaster Relief Fund to help in Ukraine.

Like always, I have been busy knitting in the evenings. Five pairs of wool sock and two pairs of mittens are waiting for the cold days of Autumn and Winter. With the energy costs going rapidly up, it is necessary to drop room temperatures, and wool socks will be our way to stay comfortable.


Sunday, 18 September 2022

Baby blue blocks and a finished quilt top

This month's color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is baby blue, and my geese are flying on a pale blue sky.

They made the top row for my Autumn themed quilt. Then I hurried to join my rows and

even frame them with white and a brownish orangeish floral print.

Autumn is here, apples are ripening, leaves are turning yellow, orange, red and brown, fruit and berries are conserved in jars, hot tea warms us up after a walk in the forest having picked mushrooms in a basket while wearing warm knitted socks in out wellies. Oh, and flannel shirts too, they are the tiny 4-patches.

With the rapidly rising electricity costs we will be wearing wool socks in the house as well when the Winter comes. Luckily I love knitting and trying new patterns too. 

I'm linking this post to ScrapHappy Saturday.

Sunday, 21 August 2022

Orange jars and leaves

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge's colour for August is orange. After a search in my yellow stash I found a scrap of bright orange, suitable for a couple of jars of cloud berries.

With some imagination we could count these maple leaves for orange as well, don't you think?

It has been unusually hot for this time of the year, so I have spent more time indoors with books or my sewing machine. Our three old apple trees have been full of little green apple babies, but with the strong winds lately we have had apples raining from the trees. Mr K. has picked them for a friend who takes them out to the forest to feed deer, so they are not wasted. I only need a little to make baked apples with custard, and some apple pies in September, when the apples are ready for eating. 

Monday, 8 August 2022

New girls ready for school

My newest Unicef dolls are both little school girls. This first one is dressed almost like the very ugly fabric doll I made at school when I was about 9 years old. A simple green and white dress decorated with rows of cross stitches, but back then it was all hand sewn, we didn't use sewing machines until the next year.

In this photo made for the birth certificate she doesn't have her final look yet. I added a dark green bow to keep her hair to the side.

This young lady was ready for the world today. Yesterday she had an unfortunate accident with my blue permanent ink felt tip pen, and we were both nearly in tears. Stain removing didn't help, the colour was diluted but spread wider and wider, and the damage that started at her heel was creeping up to her knee.

Embroidering the face and sewing the hair are the most time consuming parts of my doll making, and essential for creating the personality of each doll. I just could not waste all that energy, so I had to perform emergency surgery. As a happy owner of an artificial knee joint I knew a transplant would work here too. Quickly I prepared a spare leg, stuffed it, sedated the poor little doll, cut off the damaged leg and replaced it with the new one at the hip joint. Good as new, and it takes an expert to notice the seam where on the healthy side the doll has just a hand stitched line to allow the legs to bend for sitting.

Today I took her to Villa Cooper where seven Unicef dolls have already found a new home this year alone.


Sunday, 24 July 2022

Blocks, socks and flowers

Still going purple with my quilt blocks, Rainbow Scrap Challenge's colour for July. I found a plaid with purple in my stash so I made two 9-patch blocks for future use.

My knitting has been with purple as well, using up last bits of baby merino wool I bought for chemo patient hats some years ago. I thought there would be enough light blue yarn to finish a pair of bed socks for my own use, but I was mistaken. I'm forced to go yarn shopping in a real yarn shop as this yarn is not grocery store quality. Poor me! I might have to buy some other yarn there as well, if I'm tempted, which I probably will be.

I have mentioned sock knitting in most of my posts, and here is finally a photo of my efforts towards using up my yarn stash. The all grey pair needed just a little more than I had, so I bought more, and then knitted several pairs of small grey socks with stripes that used up tiny rests. Now all I have left really is some black and some white, and I have started a pair of mittens for a change.

Villa Cooper's campaign to raise money for the Finnish Red Cross to help Ukraine is still going. I'm happy my Red Crosses quilt has been sold. I have made these mug rugs with flowers and with birds in raw applique. 

The sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine. Each set of two mug rugs has one sunflower and one other flower.

Here are some of the little birds: