Monday, September 20, 2010
A Bit of the Blues
I have a daily walking partner here in Tenneessee that would literally give me the shirt off her back. All I have to do is mention that the new bag she just whipped up over the weekend would go perfectly with the new little bag I am making, and it is given to me without hesitation. Constant jars of jelly and fresh veggies are being sent home with me. And she made sure that for the first time in years, that I had a freshly baked chocolate cake on my birthday, along with a gardening apron she made just for me.
So I knew I had to do something for her birthday. Something that did not involve my sewing machine. Since I guess I took my machine in for service to the most popular place ever, and the waiting list was made longer by some surgery that the service guy apparently needed to recover from, taking off a few days in the interim. And me being the only person I know, with just 1 machine.
So I knitted this lovely little pincushion. You basically knit this wool sphere, stuff it when it is almost totally done, finish off the knitting and then felt it in your washing machine. After 3 to 4 cycles thru it is this lovely shrunken ball that needs to have the fuzzies removed with a shaver. Then you use crochet cotton to sew thru the middle and make the divisons around the pin cushion which further helps the shaping. The last thing is to sew a pretty button in the middle. The one here is a pearlized glass, not antique, but pretty.
The other item that made sense to me was a needle book. She does sew a fair bit, and embroiders some too. She had admired my crazy quilt needle book, before Holly chewed it up some, and so I knew she would like it. I did not have the time to do something quite as ornate as mine but this one seemed to be a pretty compromise. The outside is green dupioni and the inside, which I forgot to take a picture of, is a green striped silk from a blouse I bought years ago at a Goodwill. When I picked out these 2 fabrics, I was not thinking at all about the wool I would need for the pages. I knew I had a few peices put away to do needlebooks but had no idea about what colors they might be. Lo and behold, when I pulled out my stash, the only 3 colors I had were a subtle but matching green, blue and a totally unstuitable orange. So the inside pages are blue and green.
I wanted to dress up the front so I thought doing her initial would be a good fast idea. Trouble is, I can't freehand anything and I only had 2 old books with any monogram ideas. The one I chose was a bit smaller than I would have liked but it still turned out OK. The beads are vintage lucite from my much smaller stash than I remembered having. Must remedy that on ebay!! The bug is a button bought years ago at a quilt show. We both garden and this little green beetle reminds me of the hideous cucumber beetles we both battle all summer long.
So when I got ready to take them down to her I thought to myself, Good job Ann. I rarely say that when I make something for anyone. Which is why I rarely do give handmade gifts. But I just knew she was going to like these. And she did. Told me they looked so professional and expensive. And that she would treasure them forever. This morning she let me know she was already obsessing over what she was going to do for my next birthday!! Let it go, girl. I was at the top of my game with these 2 things. It's all downhill from here out!!