winter knitting

It seems that for the last two months there's been more knitting than quilting here. If I was a fast knitter there would be heaps of new things to show you. As I'm not, I managed to finish one pair of socks for my husband:
(they even make a second finish from my FAL 2014 list)

and one pair of mitts for myself:

Both are from great (and free) ravelry patterns, so if you are a ravelry member, you can check them out here and here.

I also caved in and bought a book of knitting patterns:

Apart from Anne of Green Gables being one of my favourite childhood books, and apart from the lovely photos inside, the main reason I bought it is this sweater:
Do you think I'll be able to finish knitting my first cardigan by next winter?

In the meantime I'm knitting Gilbert's scarf (another lovely pattern from the book) for my brother-in-law:
Since this is my on-the-train knitting and since the winter is almost over, he might have to wait for it until next winter, too, although I do hope to finish it earlier than that.


QAYG envelope pouch - a tutorial

With Leanne's permisson I'm reposting the tutorial, which originally appeared at she can quilt blog as a part of 2013 Finish-A-Long:   

I've been meaning to write it for over two years, so a big thank you to Leanne for motivating me to finally do it.

Although the pouch is easy to make, as with all tutorials please read the instructions till the end before starting to make your own.

You will need:

  • a pile of scraps for the outside of the pouch
  • approximately 1 FQ of fabric for the lining and the pocket
  • a 6" x 4.5" piece of different fabric (only if you want one side of the pocket to be different than the lining)
  • a 5.5" x 4" piece of interfacing for the pocket
  • a piece of batting (about 1 FQ size will be more than enough)
  • a piece of velcro 1.5" long
  • your usual cutting and sewing supplies

It's quite easy to cut and mark the pieces using the measurements in the photo below:

but just in case you'd rather use a template, you will find the body and the flap templates here.


  • body: cut 2 from the lining fabric, mark 2 on the batting and cut adding at least 0.5" all around
  • flap: cut 1 from the lining fabric, mark 1 on the batting and cut adding at least 0.5" all around
  • pocket: cut 2 6" x 4.5" rectangles from the lining fabric (or one from the lining and one from your other fabric of choice)

Note: I used 3/8" seam allowance for assembling the pouch and 1/4" seam allowance for pocket and for
piecing/quilting the outer panels of the pouch.

Lets start with the quilted panels. There are many quilt-as-you-go tutorials, but just so we have everything in one place, let me show you briefly one of the methods here.

Take one of the batting pieces. Place a scrap of fabric somewhere in the middle, right side up. Find a piece similar in length, place it on the first piece right sides together, with 1/4" seam allowance stitch the
fabric to the batting.

Open the seam, quilt the just added scrap of fabric.

Take another scrap of fabric, place it right sides together with the pieces already stitched to the batting. Stitch to the fabric and batting. Open the seam and quilt.

Repeat till you fill the whole shape of the pouch marked on the batting. Don't worry if your scraps are too short, simply join a few together before stitching them to the batting.

Using the same technique, make the second body piece and the flap. Cut all three pieces to the right size.

If you don't use the templates, you can use the lining pieces as guides. Set the quilted panels aside for now.

Apply the interfacing to one pocket piece, using the manufacturer's instructions. Place the two pocket pieces right sides together and stitch along the edges using 1/4" seam allowance, leaving 2" -  3" opening
on one side.

Clip the corners, turn the pocket inside out, iron and topstitch along one
of the longer sides - this will be the top of the pocket. (It will also close the opening you used to turn the pocket).

Put one piece of body lining right side up, place the pocket in the middle of it, 1" below the top edge of the lining, also right side up. Stitch the pocket to the lining - I like using 1/8" seam allowance for this.

Place the lining pieces right sides together, sew on the sides, leaving open both the top edge and a 4" opening in the bottom edge.

Box the corners - the stitching line should measure 1.5".  In the picture below, you are looking at the bottom of the lining. Spread the fabric open along the bottom seam and bring the bottom seam to line up with the seam running down the side of the lining. Keeping the seams together, smooth the fabric to a triangle shape. Position your ruler perpendicular to the bottom seam line and move it until it measures 1.5" across. Mark that line with a pencil or a non-permanent marker. Stitch along that line and then trim off the excess fabric leaving a 1/4" seam.

 Set the lining aside.

Take the quilted panels, place them right sides together, stitch on the sides and the bottom, leaving the top open.

Box the corners, as you did with the lining. Turn inside out - the quilted panels should be on the outside.

Take the quilted flap piece and the flap lining, place them right sides together and stitch, leaving the longest side open. Clip the curves.

Turn the flap inside out, topstitch along the sewn edges. Take one piece of velcro. Place it vertically in the centre of the flap, 0.5" from the bottom edge. Stitch to the flap.

Take the quilted outside of the pouch, place the flap right sides together on the back of the pouch, baste along the top with 1/8" seam allowance.

Put the outer bag into the lining right sides together, making sure that the pocket in the lining is on the same side as the back of the pouch. Stitch along the top.

Turn the pouch inside out through the opening in the lining, iron, stitch the opening by hand or topstitch close to the edge.

Place the lining inside the pouch. I don't usually do it, but you could also topstitch along the top of the pouch at this point.

Check where you want to place the other piece of velcro for the best result - it should be approximately 1" from the top of the pouch. Stitch the velcro to the pouch.

Enjoy your creation!

Of course if you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them.


first one this year

The weather is not very photo friendly right now, so I'm trying Rita's trick to show you the first finished quilt of 2014.
Surprisingly, but according to the plan, it's also the first item from my FAL 2014 list.
If you remember I had a problem with finding the right pattern for the quilt, after I decided that my initial idea wouldn't work. Luckily, with a little (read: huge) help from my friends I discovered this beautiful quilt and tried to recreate it.

It looked perfect for the fabric I had, so I didn't alter anything apart from using a flange instead of the thin border and adding an appliqué leaf.

For the back, apart from the strip pieced out of the remaining scraps, I added some more leaves.

The leaves were fun to make. I started with gathering several leaves in autumn (my sister added a few lovely ones).

Then I scanned them, traced their contours in a graphics program, printed them and used the printout as template for raw edge appliqué.

The quilt still needs a label, but I think I finally know what I want it to look like.