patchwork tote

I made a BIG tote, about 18"x24" with a gusset. 

 Here's what I did:
I arranged 35 6" squares.  Twelve for the front and 12 for the back and 11 for the gusset.
Using a 3/8" seam allowance I sewed the squares into strips and ironed seams open.
I try for perfect points each time.
The key to perfect points is accurate cutting, ironing and lots of pinning.
Iron front and back and gusset strip.
Cut lining for purse using your pieced pieces as a pattern, one liner piece for each front, back and gusset.  I used upholstery weight fabric that I have had forever in my stash.  Yay to stash busting.
 Don't forget to make two inner pockets, I remembered just in time! Mine are large, 10"x8", but simple.  I made a large 2" hem at the top, then zig-zagged raw edges, finger mitered the corners, ironed it all down and using zipper foot, top-stitched 1/8" to attach pocket to lining about 2" from bag opening.
Large pocket big enough for any knitting accessories. 
Next, sew front and back tote pieces to gusset.  Repeat with tote liner.
Snip corners
Now give the corners a good poke and iron both tote and liner as best you can.
Make two handles.  Cut two 28"x4.5" strips.  Lengthways, iron 1.5" in on each side.
Fold handle lengthways down center and using zipper foot, top stitch both sides 1/8" from edge.

Iron down a 3/8" seam allowance all around top opening of tote and tote liner.  Sew handles to wrong side of lining, 5" apart and 1.5" down so you can criss-cross some top-stitching to secure handle firmly.
I didn't take pics of the next step, but with wrong sides together, pin tote and liner together at top opening and top stitch these two pieces together. You are done.
There is no knitting project too large for this big guy.
Next time I might add a stabilizer for the bottom gusset, perhaps a piece of lightweight plastic cut to fit.

You might have guessed I am not cooking for a crowd tomorrow!  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and we have been invited out.  Still, I am making a small turkey, only so we can have sandwiches and turkey soup this weekend! 

I have a lot to be thankful for and hope my American readers have a blessed Thanksgiving day.

Tancredi & Morgan

I'm very lucky to live close enough to Carmel-By-The-Sea to take a drive there fairly regularly for  shopping and lunch.  It's quite an elegant little beach town with loads to offer, but have to admit that my day trip would not be complete without a visit to Tancredi & Morgan

The owner designs these bags.
If you find yourself in magical Carmel, I urge you to stop by this wonderful little shop.  They are just a few minutes out of town up Carmel Valley Road.

The owners hand pick vintage goodies from around the world.

They also have a pop-up Christmas shop just across the street.

Little paper mache yule logs.

All the Christmas treasures are handmade by the owner using vintage finds.
I ended up taking this sweet guy home.

We stopped for lunch and I loved my pretty locally grown artichoke.

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Water's Edge by the water's edge.

This photo was taken on the big Monterey Cypress at the entrance to City Beach.
I love Water's Edge!  In fact, I love it so much that when it was finished I immediately cast on for another in sapphire blue.  The pattern is so fun and easy, top-down and cute with the ruffley pleated peplum.  I am a sucker for peplums and loved the little pleat, a technique I haven't used or seen before.    I've worn this almost every day since I finished it.  Looks great with jeans or with a dressy skirt.
The pattern came from Coastal Knits and is designed by Hannah Fettig.  The book has sweet stories next to the photos of their pretty sweaters photographed at favorite beachy spots in Maine and the California central coast.  So in that spirit, I felt a coastal shot was necessary for the photo shoot of my sweater.   My girlfriend and I went to Carmel-By-The-Sea for a day of shopping and lunch.  She kindly took pictures of me on the water's edge for my Water's Edge Cardigan.
I made some obvious and easy changes to the pattern and noted them on my Ravelry page.
The yarn is Kidsilk Aura which has been discontinued, makes me so sad.  If you haven't used it yet, you should try to find some before it's all gone.  It's the bigger sister to Kidsilk Haze so knits up faster and fluffier and is the same luscious combination of kid mohair and silk.  But just like KSH it's the devil to frog.  You have to pull at it and you feel like the yarn is screaming at you, but it's strong and somehow you do manage it and then will actually re-knit up beautifully after all that.  I love this yarn and will miss it.  I bought mine at Jannette's Rare Yarns.  If you get on her email list your stash may grow quite out of control, just warning you in advance.

I'll be using Coastal Knits patterns a few more times, I love so many of the sweaters.  The book is crazy popular right now but I think I am the first to finish Water's Edge, or at least the first to post it on Ravelry.  I'm honored.

Hannah also designed the famous Effortless Cardigan which went viral on Ravelry.

Thanks for coming to the coast with me, it was a beautiful day.  Please stop by tomorrow, I'm going to post some pictures of my favorite shop in Carmel, you'll love seeing it.

Teddy Bear Quilt

Today I'd like to share a little embroidered quilt from the early 80's.  Originally made for a little one yet born, and finished when he was, erm, well about 10 years old.   Now it's waiting for the right special little person, and it will be considered vintage.
 The size is 38"x48", a good size for a crib quilt.
This was hand embroidered, pieced and hand quilted by me circa 1982.
Each little square shows a part of the little bears busy day.  
They start out with breakfast and have countless adventures throughout the day. 
Mother bear must be exhausted!

 The quilt motif is a heart shaped feather wreath.
 I still love to embroider.
I used 3 strands of DMC 6 strand embroidery floss.

 Finger painting!
 I love that they know how to make chocolate chip cookies!
 I found the booklet in my file of quilting patterns. 
It's dated 1981 and still has the iron-on transfer files.
 The back of the booklet shows another colorway.
The bottom left, grandpa is reading a bedtime story.  Next to it is a bubble bath!
Good night dear little bears....sleep tight...don't let the bed bugs bite!