Friday, May 18, 2012

Ravelry - A Must For Knitters And Crocheters!

What in the world did we do before Ravelry.  What is Ravelry, you ask?  If you are a knitter or crocheter like I am, you should take a peek at probably the biggest cache of patterns, yarn, inspiration, projects ever.  The best thing?  To join and look around it is free-and there are free patterns to download, too!  I periodically look there for new patterns, and today I found this one:  Charleston Tea by one of my very favorite designers for knitted cardigans, Thea Coleman.  I'm casting on for this one very soon.  I am currently working on Thea's design called Vodka Gimlet.  I'm just after the separation for the sleeves, and working on the body of the sweater.  Here's my progress:

I must warn you about Ravelry, it is addicting.  For me, I love to see other people's projects. 
What are you currently working on?  Leave a comment and let me know!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Snuggle Baby Blanket Tutorial

This blanket was so easy to make, I may just make a few more!  I used the Snuggle fabric in aqua by Moda for the front, and quilting cotton from the line "Prayer Flag" by April Cornell for Moda Fabrics.  The aquas matched perfectly to the Snuggle fabric.  Here's how you can make your own:

You will need the following materials:
  • 1 yard of Snuggle fabric (you will only need one half of the yard cut lengthwise, so you can make a stuffed animal, pillow, or another blanket with the other half to match!)
  • 1 1/2 yards of quilting cotton for the backing, binding, and heart (or whatever shape you like)
  • Matching embroidery thread for the stitch detail in the heart (to cover up the stitches used to secure the heart to the fabric - completely optional)
To start, cut your 1 yard piece of Snuggle fabric in half lengthwise.  Set that aside for now.

Cut your binding strips from your quilting cotton (I cut mine 2 1/2 inches wide and I used about 4 strips for my blanket.) 

Take a piece of cardboard or template material and draw and cut out your heart template (It can be any size you like.)  Trace and cut your heart from the quilting cotton you chose for your backing.

For your Snuggle fabric, to round out your corners, a neat trick I learned is to take a coffee mug and trace your rounded edge with a crayon.

Position your heart in a corner - give it a good bit of room from the edge of your fabric.  Sew in place on the inside of the edge with a little bit more than a 1/4 inch seam.

Take your embroidery thread - I used DMC floss, all six strands - and hand straight stitch on top of the machine stitches to finish.

Sandwich your backing with the Snuggle front, bind and whipstitch the binding to the back, and you're done!

This project took me approximately 4 hours to make, and you can make your blanket as big or as small as you like.  Mine came out to be 31" wide by 36" long.  Have fun!