Saturday, September 8, 2012

Back to School... and a new trick!

Ah, September...the time of year when parents feel a rush of relief and teachers kids feel a gnawing anxiety that their life is over.  I love September, and as a kid I loved going back to school.  I was the complete opposite of the kids in this commercial.  I know you all remember it.

I used to spend my allowance in Staples.  There is nothing I love more than a fresh notebook and a brand new pen (or freshly sharpened yellow #2 Dixon Ticonderoga pencil!) this day.  I know, I'm strange.  Of course, now that I am a teacher, I don't quite like back to school time as much.  I do love getting new supplies and decorations for my classroom, and I like the teaching part, of course!  It's the waking up early and time spent away from my knitting needles and sewing machine that I dislike so much!

I suppose its all relative, though. This past Sunday, I was with my mom in Princeton.  As we walked around, I looked at all the college kids and thought to myself, "Boy am I glad I'm not going through that again!"  I loved college, but it's nice to get a paycheck.  On Tuesday, as I was getting ready for my first day back at work, I thought to myself, "Man, I wish I was still in college, driving to class, music blasting, singing at the top of my lungs, instead of going to work."  I guess there are two sides to everything.  But, I digress.

 I love all that September means...cooler weather (hopefully soon), leaves changing colors, apple really is a great time of year!  Fall is my favorite. Do you agree?

With that said, work starting back up means less time to craft, and as you know I have to get my charity quilts back in about three weeks.  The weekend before school started, I was in a crafting frenzy.  I sewed all day Monday.  Good news: the first one is finished!

Quilts for Kids obviously does a better job at choosing materials than I do!

 (and I made a bag for work- please ignore my doorway and pile of ironing.)

Spice Market Tote (small version) by Amy Butler
sewn in
Classica by Annette Tatum for Westminster Fabrics

Bad news: I'm still not crazy about my sport one...even the second attempt.   I haven't started sewing it together yet but this is my basic idea.  I'm sure a teenage boy will think it's cool enough.  As a former teenage girl, I can't help but think that it's ugly!

ugly boy fabric

I also had my needles flying on the perfect shawl-cowl-poncho whatever you want to call it for apple/pumpkin picking.  The pattern is Shaw Hill by Alicia Plummer and I am knitting it up in gorgeous, soft, squishy Malabrigo Chunky in the rich pumpkin-y Cinnabar colorway.  I am in love.  It can be worn as a cowl or around your shoulders.  Here's what I have so far.  There will be some adventures in steam blocking to share when I 'm through.  The picture doesn't do the colorway justice.

Pumpkin Picking Accessory!

Now, the moment you have all been waiting for.  A new trick!
Drumroll please....

You can bind a quilt with the backing!   

 I bet most of you will say "Oh, I knew that already."

Well, pin a rose on your nose!  (Name that character!)

But hey, there may be someone, somewhere reading this who didn't know!  I was going to do my own tutorial on it, but there is such a good one by Jera over at Quilting in the Rain , that I figured I'd just share it.  While I definitely wouldn't do this for all of my quilts, I think it's a great option for the Quilts for Kids.  These quilts are in hospitals and are washed daily.  They need to be able to stand up to the stress of constant hot soapy water and agitation.  Since the binding is quite literally attached to the backing in one solid piece and then machine sewn on, it makes me feel really secure that it's not going to fall apart.  It is a really neat trick, and much faster than traditional binding.  Let me know if you try it!

Well, I must get back to grading summer assignments now...I hope you all have some great fall projects lined up so that I can live vicariously through you!  Keep on stitchin'!