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by Lori Ann

“How to Sew: Basics” is free on Amazon right now! Don’t have an ebook reader? Read this post for free alternatives, like using the free Kindle program on your laptop or phone.

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by Lori Ann

grin

I haven’t had much time on the computer lately but have a read a few articles I’ve bookmarked to come back to:

Redwork quilt

photo by medea_material

I loved the redwork embroidery on a pillow in one of my favorite craft books, Handmade Home by Amanda Soule. I wanted to find a similar pattern with a “motherly” theme so I headed over to the site she got hers from, PatternBee. I searched the web as well (and snagged 10 swagbucks while I was at it!) and found some great resources I thought I’d share for anyone else interested.

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by LoriAnn

hopes-christmas-presentI was so distraught to pick up Tigger’s Christmas present (which I began while pregnant) and have not a clue as to proceed! I’d forgotten which cast-on I’d settled on, how to wind the multiple colors required, and everything else required for intarsia (a style of multi-color) knitting!

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by LoriAnn

I’ve never thought of myself as much of a “loves-to-shop” kind of girl; I especially dislike clothes shopping. I DO, however, really enjoy shopping consignment and thrift stores, used book stores, and yard sales. Something about getting a really good deal, and interacting with small business owners, makes shopping suddenly okay.

Sadly, I have yet to find a consignment, thrift, or used book store, and have only been to one yard sale, in China. The good news is that my town is FULL of small shops, run by individuals and families, which is a lot of fun. Snack, craft, and stationary shopping are my favorites. But when I have extra spending (i.e. birthday!) money and CAN’T buy something here, I turn to the internet.

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…one of many answers to “what have you been doing!?”

Just a quick note that I’ve updated the Baby’s Projects page with lots of details, pattern links, and best of all, fun photos!!

My friend here is designing bags/purses from burlap, hemp, and local embroidery (some machine, some hand). The main fabric is recycled burlap sacks, so the bags are very environmentally friendly! She wants to know what foreigners think about her work so please comment with your thoughts.

Bag #1: Black Teddy Tote
Bag #2: Local Embroidery & Buttons
Bag #3: Rainbow Teddybear Tote
Bag #4: Local Embroidery Messenger Bag
Bag #5: Hand Embroidery & Hand-woven Hemp

You can see more photos here.

I’m having a great time working on projects that our baby will one day soon enjoy. Finding the right materials can be a challenge, but I’m learning lots of crafting terms in Chinese and locating the best stores to buy the various supplies I need!

I began my first project for baby in July, and am finally done! I found the pattern “Nightingale Lap Quilt” in Aimee Ray’s Doodle Stitching book and, though I liked the overall idea, I didn’t like the specific style: it’s all creamy pinks, and I wasn’t a huge fan of the pink nightingale.

So, I sketched it out in my craftbook with the colors in fabrics I found at a local shop, used the “Two Trees” embroidery pattern from a different part of the book (a pattern for a scrapbook cover), and combined them all into the blanket you see above. I’m so glad it’s done, and cuddling with it gives me one more reminder of the little one we’ll have in our home next year!

You can see more photos of the process and finished quilt on flickr.

I’m not sure if it qualifies as nesting, but pregnancy sure has peaked (if that was possible) my interest in making things. I ordered a baby knitting book in the same shipment as my pregnancy book, and dog-eared all the baby projects in my other craft books (embroidery, patchwork quilting, general knitting). I only have to complete 7 blankets, 7 toys, 4 stuffed animals, 6 diaper covers, 3 sweaters, 2 sets of leggings, 2 sets of sleepwear, 1 baby hat, and about a kazillion washcloths! Good thing the baby’s not coming for more than 5 months. Even better thing: I’ve prioritized the baby projects and don’t expect to actually complete more than 9 of the projects listed above. One for each month, right?

I’ve added a page where you (and I!) can keep track of Baby’s Projects. Comment with encouraging words of motivation!!! Or, to share even more projects for me to add to my list!

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