Saturday, September 30, 2006

Silent auction - a big success!

We had a great time at work on Friday afternoon with our department's silent auction to benefit United Way. Folks strolled through all day long, checking out the tables of great stuff we had on display and writing down bids. Handmade original jewelry was particularly popular. I had no idea so many of my co-workers were so adept at beading and jewelry-making -- it was a fun chance to appreciate one another's talents as well as raise some money for a good community cause.

I was happy that my quilted bags seemed to be a hit. Here's a shot of one of our two display tables, ready for eager bidders.

Here's a table runner I finished about 11 p.m. the night before. It actually came together quickly after I discovered three scrappy star blocks in warm reds and greens that I'd made for reasons unknown some time ago...

And here's the yoga bag that went along with Kelli's mat and personalized yoga lessons:

In all, we brought in nearly $1,700 to benefit United Way. Not the biggest fundraising event they'll have during the current campaign, but well worth doing - and a lot of fun for all of us.

Oh, and that purse I crocheted out of long strips of fabric? It didn't make it to the auction tables at all. In the end, I just didn't feel good enough about it to include it, especially when we had no lack of really nice items up for auction. I'll snip the red handles out of it and maybe sew the opening closed to make a potholder.

By the way, astute readers (who probably include my brother and two sisters) will notice I have changed the name of this blog to match the URL I chose when I set it up. I have no idea why I didn't have them match up from the very beginning, but anyway, it's done now!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Knitting with the stars

Sixteen inches complete on the silent auction scarf tonight... and lots of fun watching you-know-what-show!!!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A bagalicious weekend

My sewing machine was smokin' this weekend, and it felt great. Well, it felt great for me. I can't speak for my hard-working Janome.

I made this bag for the silent auction. The design is from Cindy Taylor Oates' "Purses, Bags and Totes" -- which, by the way, I highly recommend. Great instructions, giving precise dimensions of fabric pieces to cut, and a few full-sized patterns included - none of this "enlarge 245%" business like in most books, which I can't help but find awfully annoying when I spot a design I'd like to start right away. This book is also the source of the yoga bag I made last week (there are a couple of minor errors in the printed directions, but it's easy enough to figure out the "oops" when you're in the process of construction.)

Then, inspired by some of the clever designs I spotted on the Bagaholics blog, I started this little bag in some luscious autumn prints I had on hand. I foundation-pieced the wedges right onto the cotton batting, then put some decorative feather stitching in gold thread along the seams to quilt the thing. I haven't decided what handles to put on it yet...sophisticated black or woodsy bamboo?

On the knitting front, I completed this set of mittens that I had intended for my daughter's classroom supply. They turned out adult-sized, not first-grader sized -- but the wool/acrylic/mohair mix made them nice and soft and surprisingly great-looking. So I decided I'd add them to the silent auction, too, especially if I can get a scarf finished to go with them. I will probably start the scarf Tuesday night during "Dancing With the Stars" -- which, by the way, is absolutely the most entertaining television show to ever have been on the air, EH-VER.

I just have to hope that I won't get so excited watching Emmitt Smith dance that I drop a stitch... but that's a chance I'll just have to take.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Bags, hats and such

Haven't had much time to blog lately -- have been consumed by an energy-zapping project at work, so I've just been sewing in little bits and pieces here and there. I did manage to finish a yoga bag for the silent auction, but unfortunately forgot to snap a photo of it before I gave it to the yoga-instructing co-worker who's giving yoga lessons (and a mat) for her silent auction contribution. It did turn out great, so maybe I'll remember to photograph it at the auction later this month. I have about three other bags in various stages of completion at home -- with the best of intentions of finishing them tomorrow...we'll see!

I've been doing just a bit of knitting, too, and discovered a terrific pattern for a child's hat. Check it out...the Dulann Hat on Norma's blog. The key is the bulk -- double strands and double thickness trap a lot of air, the key to keeping the noggin warm, so even acrylic yarn will work nicely. With my daughter teaching first grade in Brooklyn now, I knew I had to churn some out for her to keep in her classroom stash. Here's a shot I took of one of the hats, in situ at P.S. 58 before the start of school last month.

I've been thinking about making something similiar in adult sizes, using a more sedate yarn. My only question was whether the bulk would just look dumb. But I think nothing could look as dumb as this $325 Marc Jacobs mushroom hat I spotted in the window of Barney's in Manhattan!