I've been quiet, but not really.

Sometimes things are quiet here because I'm not up to much and have little to say. 
This is not one of those times.  When Spring hits with full force I feel compelled to complete every old winter craft project, start my summer house projects and maintain the gardens and slow the weeds---all at once.  Working at home with myself as a boss is killer!  Maybe that is why I don't post as often.  I don't want anyone to know just how nutty I can get. 

So, instead of divulging all of my secrets, I'll leave you with this picture.  A baby in a bike helmet is irresistible. 

Sandbox


sandbox, originally uploaded by quirky granola girl.

We went to the park last weekend to try out his sand toys from the Easter Bunny. For the first 20 minutes, he just sat there with his hands up trying not to touch the sand. He did not like the texture at all. The other kids came over to play with his toys, and Henry just watched me dig and play with them. Then I buried his feet and legs in the sand and patted the sand down firmly, and then he decided that he knew how to do that. Pretty soon he was grabbing the sand in his fingers, kicking his feet around and scooting over to the sand castles that the other kids built so he could grab a handful of that sand. All in all, we spent an hour and a half or more there and he cried when we left and then refused his afternoon nap.

swap towels from all over Australia

When I learned geography in school, I think I liked coloring in the maps better than knowing the actual regions. But the combination of this tea towel swap and a little Google Maps magic and now geography is fun again.

First, I unveil the lovely work that was sent to me by my nine international swap partners. There is a good variety of stenciling, applique, screen printing, sewing and fabric transfer work. Now I can have an gallery show in my kitchen.







And now I can show you how I geeked out with the geography of Australia. If you click on a push pin, you'll see the towel from that area. Melbourne has 5 push pins, so you'll want to zoom in before checking that one out.


View Tea Towels in a larger map

Sewing for Knitting--and a rough tutorial

My double pointed knitting needles required a new and tidy home.  I have a needle case with pockets but the pockets were too big for the little needles, too slippery to hold them in and I'd have to get out the needle guage and test four sets before I found the right size. 

I just loved these batik fabrics together. The fabric behind the needles is recycled from a pair of my corduroy pants.


If you want to make one of your own, you will need:

11 x 17" each of fabric for behind the needles (now called backing fabric) and the outside fabric
one 6 x 17" piece for the pocket fabric
17" of twill tape and a narrow piece of fusible webbing
two 6 x 16.5" pieces of fabric for the flap

Steps:
1.  fold 3/8" of the top edge of the pocket fabric under and fold it one more time.  press and then sew the edge.  then fuse the twill tape to the top edge of the pocket fabric with an iron

2.  mark the pocket widths with chalk and a ruler first, then embroider the numbers for the pockets with an embroidery hoop and floss.
Pocket widths:
start measuring 1/2" in from the edge to allow room for stitching the layers together
size 0--2cm
size 1--2.25
size 2--2.25
size 3--2.5
size 4--3cm
size 5--3cm
size 6--3.25
size 7--3.25
size 8--3.5
size 9--3.5
extra pocket #1--3cm
extra pocket #2--3cm
extra pocket #3--2.5
there should be at least another 1/2" on this edge for stitching the layers together (I have a very tiny pocket left on mine but it will hold a small crochet hook perfectly)

3.  pin the pocket fabric to the backing fabric and sew lines to divide the pockets, backstitching carefully at the top edge of the pockets

4.  take the flap pieces and stack them right sides together, pin and sew around 3 sides (2 short sides and one long side, turn inside out and press

5.  now stack the backing and pocket piece right side up, place the flap on that with it aligned where you want it on the finished piece, lastly place the outside fabric on top with the right side down and pin around the perimeter.  sew around the edges with a 3/8" seam allowance and leaving a 3" gap to turn project right side out.  be sure not catch the short sides of the flap in your seam or it will not open.

6.  turn project right side out and press.  press the edges of the gap to align them with what has already been sewn.  *  topstitch around the entire perimeter 1/4" from the edge.  fill with needles and enjoy!


*  if you want your needle case to have a label, an elastic and button closure, or ties, here is where you would tuck the label/ties/elastic hairband into the seam gap before doing the topstitching.

Be aware that this is my first attempt at a tutorial.  If you have any questions , or if it doesn't make sense, please ask.

Late Easter picture post


eggs all done, originally uploaded by quirky granola girl.

We colored eggs this year with fingerpaints. Henry enjoyed coloring his thighs and cracking the eggshells the most.

Cute Knits

Just a few pictures of cute knitting to cheer up a friend.  Do you think these guys will do the trick?