Monday, November 23, 2020

Holiday Trolls

2020 has been one heck of a year. Normally, I'd be making little tchotchkes to wrap up for my loved ones, but it's probably going to be a big year for online gifting for me. Which some of my family and friends may be a bit relieved by, to be honest. 

But the kids are stuck with a handmade gift, whether they want one or not. 

I had an assortment of leftover Encore yarn, the remains of presents from holidays past. While meandering through Ravelry, I came upon a pretty darn cute free hat pattern called Troll. It uses worsted weight yarn, which Encore is. And trolls happen to be something that the grandkids will associate with me. 

One of my pandemic projects was to build a little fairy house in the yard. I didn't have any spare fairies to populate the house, but I did find a 10-pack of trolls on Amazon for $9.99. 

So there they are! The kids have seen them several times via FaceTime, and once in person, on the funnest weekend ever.

The layout even includes a troll gold mine, with a little ore cart and some gold nuggets. My neighbor is a very creative person. She got sucked into the project with me, so a lot of the cuter elements are thanks to her. Thanks, Mary!

The first hat is baby-sized, for my new great niece Jeanne. Jeanne is a girl who can really rock the gray.

The next three hats are toddler-sized. The red and black number is for my great nephew Zeke. 

The blue and gray is for my grandson, Miles. He's three.

And the sparkly blue is for my two-year-old granddaughter, Margot. 

It's anybody's guess if these hats will fit an actual kid. They're too small for me, which is probably a good sign.

The pattern was clearly written and very quick to work up. I'm trying to think of more toddlers who need a troll hat so I can make another. These four kids live in southern California, so they'll probably wear the hats once a year, when the temps drop into the low 60s.

If you need a quick gift for a kid, I recommend this pattern. My Ravelry notes are here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Dog Quilt is Done

 When I finished my anvil quilt, I thought I might have one more silhouette quilt in me. Also, there's one bed in the house that does not yet have a foot-of-the-bed quilt, and it's the room that my grandchildren stay in when they come to visit. I am a dog fan, so I thought I'd try a dog silhouette quilt for the kids to snuggle under while they're here. Luckily for me, my friend Jessica had just made a dog silhouette quilt so she had already tracked down all the dog shapes on the internet and printed them out. All I needed was dog fabric and my sewing machine.

I used the down-and-dirty appliqué technique from the Craftsy class, Cute Quilt As You Go Monsters. It's a fun process, and pretty easy too. Kind of like coloring with bits of fabric. 

Back of quilt shot

The only part of the project that's kind of fiddly is stitching around the outside of the appliqué pieces. My tip, if you should try this (and I think you should because it's lots of fun) is to pick subjects that have smooth outlines. Line anvils. Things that are shaggy or spiky are kind of a pain to stitch around. The Scottie was a bit of a trial, and I just gave up on the Maltese.

Well, for fun, here are a few of my favorite dogs:

The Tea Cup Chihuahua, a tribute to Jessica's dog, Peabody. He weighs 3 pounds but his spirit is mighty.

The Giant Schnauzer. Not too bad to stitch around, except for his chin whiskers.

The Scottie. Enough said about his shagginess.

The Great Pyrenees. What a wonderful breed. We have had two; Zoe, the dog of my heart, and now Maeve, who is also a dear. Great Pyrenees are huge and hairy but they're super calm and they love everyone. Well, except for squirrels that are trying to get over the fence into the back yard.

The Dalmatian. It was finding this fabric that made me pull the trigger to make this quilt in the first place.

The Corgi. Because, the Queen Mum. Also because my friend Aaron has always wanted a Corgi. 

The Golden Retriever, for all the outstanding Golden's that I've known, including my beloved Brandy, who was the puppy who grew up with my son and nephews.

And, last but not least, the Black Labrador, for my friend Carole's ball-loving River. 

Actually, every dog I've ever met is a good dog. 

My pattern review is on here.