Friday, January 28, 2011

Link Love


Happy Friday! The hubby has the day off and took Ben to the Seattle Aquarium for the morning, followed by fish n chips for lunch on the waterfront (don't you love the irony?). Anyway, here I am, alone with baby Henry... I think I'm going to hurry up and post these links, then head on out for a walk with the little dude in the wrap. What to do, what to do? Maybe the library or bookstore, a coffee shop and the neighborhood fabric shop? Sounds pretty good to me! Hope you have a great Friday and weekend!!

Here are my links for the week...

- I thought this quilt was so sweet, lovingly addressing a sad situation: made with hand-drawn squares by the classmates of a first-grader whose family lost everything in a house fire, by Artsy Crafty Babe

- Beautiful cowl by Snorka Knits, via Whip Up, who also posted a whole list of cowls in a Cowl Fever post. Who knew those were back in? I remember the navy blue one I wore obsessively in the late 80's!

- Beautiful mini-quilts over on Fashioned by Meg

- Speaking of quilts... Oh Fransson! has been posting a fascinating series on making improv quilt squares, with the gorgeous collection by Echino. I love this insight into talented Elizabeth's creative process.

- Go get your free PDF pattern for a reversible bucket bag on Sew Mama Sew (pic borrowed from Sew Mama Sew below)

- Cluck Cluck Sew just wrote about how to build a fabric stash. Great, straightforward advice. By the way, have you seen her collection of finished quilts? Insanely impressive!

- Here's a tutorial for a Child’s D-Ring Belt, by The Crafty Cupboard. I need to make a couple of those for Ben.

And that's about it! I have clearly been spending a lot of time browsing the blogs while nursing lately! Hope you enjoyed these links.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Burlap Bulletin Board


Well, hello there! If you can believe it, I'm here with a project post! Yes, I was able to complete a 20-minute project over the span of the last 3 weeks! It was accomplished in 2-minute increments here and there between nursing sessions, Lego-building quality time with Ben and poopy diaper changes. Such a glamorous life we live...

Jenny: Burlap Bulletin Board

This project is something I've been meaning to do forever: making a large burlap-covered bulletin board for our built-in hutch / mail station / craft supply cupboard / space where all the clutter in the house goes to die.

Here's the Before picture (on a GOOD day, AFTER I had cleared off most of the clutter)...

Jenny: Burlap Bulletin Board

And here's the After picture (before any clutter made its way back)...

Jenny: Burlap Bulletin Board

Shortly after we moved in, back in 2009, I taped 4 squares of cork board as a temporary bulletin board area. I figured I would soon make a proper bulletin board and bought the foam core sheets for it. Fast-forward almost a year and a half and it still wasn't done. I decided this was the perfect 2-minute increment project to tackle right now.

Angel, I know you've made a fabric-covered bulletin board before, and the tutorials for them are all over the web. It's pretty straightforward, here are a few pics and words on my process.

I measured the space and cut the foam core to size (minus about 1/2 inch both direction, which would be filled in by the batting and burlap layers). I then wrapped it with a layer of batting secured with a few staples.

Jenny: Burlap Bulletin Board
Jenny: Burlap Bulletin Board

I picked a couple of burlap coffee bags with a clean, untorn back, and cut that out. I ironed those plain of pieces of burlap briefly with a steam iron to get them nice and flat.

Jenny: Burlap Bulletin Board
Jenny: Burlap Bulletin Board
Jenny: Burlap Bulletin Board

I wrapped my foam core pieces in the burlap, once again securing that layer with some staples and going around the edge with masking tape so it wouldn't budge.

Jenny: Burlap Bulletin Board
Jenny: Burlap Bulletin Board

And I was done! (Did I mention I made two boards? To fill out that long horizontal space.)

Jenny: Burlap Bulletin Board
Jenny: Burlap Bulletin Board

Since I was revamping and reorganizing that space, I decided to change the fabric covering the hutch windows (that hide my newly purged fabric stash). Out with the cherry blossom fabric and in with some crisp blue linen. Ta-da!

Jenny: Burlap Bulletin Board

Psssst! If you're a knitter -- or know a knitter -- go enter our giveaway, "From Our Stash to Yours".

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

From Our Stash to Yours: Giveaway!


Welcome to the first post in a new series we'll feature from time to time on Stumbles and Stitches: From Our Stash To Yours. This is a chance for our readers to enter into a giveaway where we feature well loved (new or gently used) things from our respective craft-item stashes. A small way for us to say "thank you" to everyone that reads and supports Stumbles and Stitches!

For this round, I have raided my knitting stash and have TWO knitting packages to give away. Here's more info:

Giveaway Number One:

- A knitting journal with enough space to record 28 knitting projects, plus a spot to write your needle inventory in the back, plus a ruler and conversion chart! I bought this book when I first started knitting, and never got around to using it. It is well constructed and would make a lovely memento for anyone that knits. And, it is out of print!


Each page has a place for a photo, a yarn sample and specific details about your project.


A skein of cotton yarn, in pink and a pair of wooden knitting needles, size 3. Not sure of the yardage on the yarn, but it is quite a bit! Tied in the original skein, no label (it is from Turkey, I received a huge bag of about a dozen skeins as a gift from my parents!)


Three back issues of Interweave Knitting Magazine (Summer, Fall and Winter 2004, no longer available through Interweave!):


Giveaway Number Two:

A copy of The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns. This book has patterns for hats, socks, sweaters and other knitted items with sizes from baby to adult, lots of variations included! I bought this book when I first started knitting, and have referenced the patterns inside for a few projects. I'd love to pass it on to someone else!




A skein of cotton yarn in orange, with a set of size 13 wooden needles. Same as above for the pink, there's no label and there's quite a bit of yarn!


A copy of "Slave to the Needles" from 2003, this is an awesome knitting 'zine with comics, patterns and more.


To enter to win, simply leave a comment here, and let us know if you have a preference for package 1 or 2. Don't forget to provide a blog link or email address so we can contact you. For additional entries, "like" us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter , don't forget to add a comment for each of these additional entries. Comments will close Sunday 1/30 at midnight PST and we will announce the winner on Monday morning.

Good luck and happy knitting!

The random number generator gave me number 1 and number 4! Congratulations to Yana and Lora Clare, look for an email in your inbox today!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011



Check out what I just got in the mail!

Jenny: New Fabric!

There is definitely a color scheme here and no, I didn't go on a gratuitous fabric shopping spree. I've been "commissioned" by a dear friend of ours to make something... And these fabrics are part of what I needed to make it happen. I'll keep it a secret until I have my act a bit more together. But for now, I will let you admire these additions to my fabric stash!

Jenny: New Fabric!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Stash Reorganization


I am proud to share that I have already made good on one my New Year's crafty resolutions! In whatever free minutes I gathered over a very rainy/slushy weekend a couple of weeks ago, I purged my fabric cabinet! I weeded out everything that I clearly will never use. I then refolded and reorganized the remaining stash.

Jenny: Stash Reorganization

Here are a few pics of the process:

Making some space in the formerly over-crowded fabric cabinet...

Jenny: Stash Reorganization

Outside my dining room...

Jenny: Stash Reorganization

Inside my dining room...

Jenny: Stash Reorganization
Jenny: Stash Reorganization
Jenny: Stash Reorganization
Jenny: Stash Reorganization

And here's the new and improved stash. I folded the fabric "narrowly" so that I could see all my quilting-weight prints at a glance. I made a separate pile for solids, and one for vintage pillowcases. There's a large pile for linens, another one for home dec weight fabrics, and one for interfacing type materials. The top shelf holds terry cloth, burlap, batting, flannels and various apparel fabrics like silks, corduroys and knits that I'd like to use for clothing projects. And that's about it!

Jenny: Stash Reorganization

I filled a huge bag with all the fabrics I decided I didn't need. Since I got most of these fabrics from my mom's stash or from the thrift store, I was going to give it away to Goodwill or free on Craigslist, but my friend Monica came over in the nick of time! She is a beginning sewer (and a loyal follower of this little blog!) and I hope she finds some treasures in there for her next sewing projects!!

I am so happy to have streamlined my fabric stash. I feel like I can breathe when I look at it now! This clear-headed feeling is helping my creativity. And to top it all off, I see now where there are gaps in my stash and what I might need to look for on my next visits to the fabric and thrift stores... Yay! Next on the re-organization list are the yarn stash and the general craft supply stash... Let's see if I can get it all done before January is up...

Jenny: Stash Reorganization

Angel-mini-buttonWAY TO GO! Yes, I can definitely see how that would help your creative process ENORMOUSLY. I am redoing my craft area AGAIN and realized after reading this that I have my fabric out, but all my burlap/batting/flannel/vintage sheets are in a bin, hidden in my bedroom closet. I think it's time to get them all out, on one shelf. Thanks for the inspiration!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Link Love


Happy Friday! How are you holding up in Nashville after a full week of snow days?! I hope you're hanging in there! We got a ton of snow on Tuesday evening, but it had turned to slush by morning and was pretty much all melted by afternoon due to rain rain rain...

But enough about the weather! There is so much going on in blog-land right now! I think everyone is getting busy with the beginning of the new year and posting about their newest, latest projects. I have a bunch of links to share with you!

- Very interesting read: "Why you should care that the cotton crop failed in China this year" by Deborah at Whipstitch

- Amanda aka Soulemama posted about the solstice sweaters she made for her two oldest sons -- I love them both! They're inspiring me to knit something for Ben for next winter!

- Check out these adorable "forest friends" slippers by felt queen Betz White. The PDF pattern is available for sale here.

- How's this for awesome: The Top 100 Tutorials of 2010 on The Long Thread

- Visit Red Pepper Quilts for some quilt inspiration, and make sure to enter the giveaway of Amy Butler's Soul Blossom fat quarters!

- I'm seeing fun projects with glass jars left and right. Here are some cute bird jars on Gennine's Art Blog

- Melanie of Modern Organic Fabrics has started a new blog called A Sewing Journal (check it out and bookmark it, it's great!). She recently posted about Laura Gunn's new collection for spring. Love!!

- Here's a neat tutorial to make a modern log cabin patchwork pillow, on Design Sponge.

- I love this Kaleidoscope quilt by Cluck Cluck Sew.

I had to restrain myself from posting about 20 more links. I have bookmarked and put stars next to SO many posts this week! Tons of inspiration for the new year! What cool stuff have you found online lately?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Stem Hat for Baby


Hello! I hope you're enjoying the snow in Tennessee!! We are envious here in Washington. Seattle got a dusting overnight and we're expecting more tomorrow, but the forecast predicts a ton of rain immediately afterward, so we're not getting our hopes up for snowmen, snowball fights, sledding and all that fun stuff...

Jenny: Stem Hat for Baby

I wanted to show you a quick little knitting project I completed just AFTER Henry's birth. Yes, I was able to knit with a newborn asleep on my chest in those first couple of weeks! He wiggles too much now to replicate that experience. Sigh. It's a little hat inspired by the Simple Hat in Baby Knits for Beginners by Debbie Bliss. LOVE her baby patterns so much, and this cute hat especially! I used the last skein of that KnitPicks organic cotton I'd used for Silas's cardigan (ginger colorway).


The gauge was all wrong for the weight of my yarn, so I followed my own baby hat pattern and added the stem. For the stem, I kept the last 7 or 8 stitches on my double-pointed needles and kept on knitting for a dozen or so rows (until the stem looked long enough), then used a tapestry needle to thread the "tail" of the yarn through all the stitches. With hindsight, I would modify by keeping only the last 5-6 stitches on the needles and making the stem a bit longer.

Jenny: Stem Hat for Baby
Jenny: Stem Hat for Baby

Super easy and the result is pretty adorable. However, even after washing and shrinking it, it is still way too big for Henry, as you can see! I'm sure he'll grow into it before I can blink though! As an aside, I love how this cotton yarn looks after being washed and dried -- it's got a slightly rugged appearance but feels so soft.

Knitting -- and writing about -- this no-frills baby hat was a good reminder that some projects provide pretty instant gratification. I am so exhausted and short on "free" time right now that every project seems too time-consuming and too involved to even begin. Not true! I could probably knit another one of those hats in less than a week, in 5 minute increments here and there. Hmmm...

Here are a few gratuitous baby photos of Henry at 6 weeks, and a smile just for you!

Jenny: Stem Hat for Baby
Jenny: Stem Hat for Baby
Jenny: Stem Hat for Baby
Jenny: Stem Hat for Baby

Angel-mini-button Have I mentioned how strange it is to only see baby Henry from a distance? After watching Ben grow up from that size until y'all left for Seattle, it is surreal to know you have a second baby I have never met! He looks so much like Ben, and so much like himself all at once, that smile is so sweet.   I love the hat, and the yarn is wonderful for sure. The sweater you made Silas has held up beautifully. I'll add a gratuitous photo of Silas wearing it! Ignore the water spots on the sweater lapel, he'd just spilled some water.



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