rag jewelry

Okay.  For all of those looking to make some rag jewelry, here you go.
First of all, I wanted to show you where this idea stemmed from.  This is a photo from TOAST.  A super cool catalog.  With super cool photography.  I, of course, fell in love with her bracelets.
And then, some girls at the pool where making them.  And one sweet girl gave me a whole bunch of bandannas and told us to cut what we want.
So, here is what I learned as we went along. 
First of all, bandannas probably work best.  Because the pattern is on both sides.  But I don't see any reason why a light weight fabric wouldn't work, also.
Cut your bandanna in a strip.  About 1 1/2 inches wide.  And put that rotary cutter down.  No perfect cuts here.  Just use scissors and make sure you cut it all "choppy". (It will fray better.)  Kids do a great job at this.  Just don't give them your sharp ginghers.
Then, get the strip wet.  I lied to my children and told them that they work best if you use a natural body of water.  A lake.  A river.  A creek.  An ocean.  A pool.  (Not natural? Really?)
Anything but the kitchen sink.  It just made it seem like a better summer project if you make it outside.  (I got this one wet in the kitchen sink.)
And then, twist.  It works really great if you put one end in your mouth.  And hold it with your teeth.  And then hold the other end, and start twisting.  Not too tight, or it will curl.  And not too loose, or it will lay too flat.
And then tie it on the body part of choice.  Wrist, ankle, or neck. I am sticking to my wrist, but Libby now has every spot covered.  DO NOT TIE TOO TIGHT.  They shrink a little when they dry.
Then, cut the excess fabric from the knot, and let the fraying begin!
I can't wait to see if this one will fray.  You know.  Since I used tap water.  :)
(For the top photo, Libby wrapped one strip twice.)

the kind

We are home. And our trip went too fast, but was just what we needed to recharge our batteries.  It was just the right kind of vacation.  The kind where spending time with old friends was about creating new memories.
The kind where eating a packed lunch out of  farmers market containers would have to serve as the only picnic type lunch we would have.  (It rained all the way there.)
The kind where you can't wait to wake just to see the sunrise.
The kind where a hike up Mt. Monadnock is both exhausting and exhilarating.  (The drop where the kids are sitting did not go straight down, I promise.)
The kind where lemonade never tasted so good.
The kind where hitting balls into the water is the goal.  And the game.
The kind where making rag jewelry is the craft.
And the jewelry of choice.
The kind where an old canoe is still making people happy.
The kind where the only purchase made will let you be able to taste this summer trip well into winter.
The kind where knitting takes place but was never photographed.  Which is super hard to believe considering I took over 700 photos.  

road trip

Headed this way and that way.  Or that way and this way.  Either way, we are headed out tomorrow.  To a lake in New Hampshire.  Be back next week.
Oh, and thank you so much for the quilt love.  It is packed in the car.  Just waiting for some fun. 
Have a good one!

the journey of my quilt top

It started as a quilt top.  Just a top.  My mother purchased it for us about ten years ago.  To make memories on.  And if you can believe this, the woman who made it, charged her ten dollars.  The woman said that she didn't do it for the money.  She just loved to do it.  
This quilt top was hand stitched.  Perfect little stitches.  928, 2x2 squares.  (Oh, come on, you knew that I would count.)  It measures 87"x 79".
(the five of us.  july 2002.  i think that i was making peanut butter and jelly sandwich # 3,192.  i can't even imagine how many pb&j's that i have made in their lifetime.)
Well, the quilt top was used.  Just the top.  We have used it on every road trip we have ever taken.  On every picnic we have ever had.
For years I have wanted to finish this quilt.  Well, the years keep coming.  And the quilt top is still, just a top.
The kids keep growing.  And still.  It is just a top.
Until last weekend.  When I decided it was time.  We have a little road trip coming up and I was not going to have my family sitting on a top.  Just a top. Again.  So, I got busy.  And I sandwiched.  Three times.  To try to get it right.  With heavy chairs holding my huge piece of fabric that I used for the back.  And the entire time I was pinning, I was thinking about the walking foot that Erin told me I needed.  And about how I still hadn't purchased it.  And about how there was no way that I was going to get to a store to purchase a walking foot.  And I was thinking about the woman who had hand stitched all of those pieces together.  And it was like that woman whispered to me, "Just hand stitch it, for goodness sakes!"  
So that is what I did.  And I sat with that quilt on my lap.  With all of those pins.  And I was miserable.  And I wondered why people don't use safety pins instead of straight pins to hold it together.  
When I told my mother, she just giggled and said, "Yes, people use safety pins, and there are actually curved safety pins made just for quilting. " Who knew?  Oh, besides all of you quilters. (Hmmm.  Telling that story may just rank right up there with my freezer paper story.)
Those things are seriously the best thing ever invented.  
I worked on it all week.  With a marathon stitching day yesterday.  And finally, I  have finished our picnic blanket.  And I love it so much.  With all of its uneven stitches. And puckers.  And memories.

notes from the weekend

While trying to photograph a quilt, one must always lie down and finish a book.  Note to self: read more.
Giving feels so good.  Note to self:  remember to tell of my plan to knit for others the month of July.
A trip to the strawberry patch resulted in zero strawberries, but a gorgeous view of fields of flowers.  Note to self:  strawberry picking is usually over before the second week of July.
Sandwiching a quilt together takes a lot of patience.  Not to self:  remember to tell about my hand stitched quilt top that I did not hand stitch.
Homemade cherry pies purchased from the Farmers Market and topped with ice cream are good to the very last drop.  Note to self:  make a pie.
Dinner's served outside are delightful.  Note to self:  Soak up every minute. 
Hope you took good notes from the weekend!

summertime saturdays.4

Banana's that look like this in our house, mean one thing.  
Banana bread.  I have my mothers recipe, that I have always made.  But this morning, I tried Heather's recipe.  And wow.  It is a keeper.
I doubled the recipe, except for the banana's.  (I only had three.)  And made one with nuts.  One without.  
We slathered it with cream cheese.  And ate almost both loaves.  
I then slathered the kids with sunscreen, so they could all go to the pool.  I think this is the first time I have been home alone since school was out.  What to do?  The possibilities are endless.
Enjoy your Saturday.....and the rest of the weekend.

summertime saturdays.3

There has been knitting happening over here, I promise.  Making progress on my seed-stitch throw.  Little by little.  Stitch by stitch.  Row by row.  A little boring, but totally mindless.  Perfect, actually.
I can't believe it is Saturday, again.  A run to the bagel store (by my husband) and we were all set.  So, no recipes to share.  Yet an ideal summer morning.
Hope everyone is having a super weekend.


I don't think that I have ever mentioned it here, but I also like to needlepoint. Always in the summer. Mostly because it is one of those things that is easy to transport.  And it just doesn't seem as hot as my yarn.
I recently purchased a project that I just had to share.
They are sold by AMH design, as kits (or not) and make it super easy because you have everything that you need put together for you.  Two needles, a threader, scissors, the fibers, and the journal.  
You can also buy just the journal, and choose your own colors, from your own stash.  I recommend buying one kit first.  Therefore you have a pattern to follow.
I bought one kit.  And one journal.  My sister came to town, and we chose colors, from my stash, for our non-kitted journal.  Yikes, some organization would help.
I purchased the canvas from a fabulous store, Pins and Needles.  (They sell needlepoint AND yarn.  How great is that?)
This is the one my sister made.  
The one I made for Libby.
And the one I made for myself.  
100 unlined blank pages.  I love unlined.  And I love blank.  
Just waiting to be filled with lists, ideas and thoughts.
It's July already.  Slow down, summer.