Wednesday, January 28, 2009

almost there

We finally had our first snow "storm" of the winter, followed by some nasty ice. I was happy to have the snow, but I'm hoping I don't have to go out driving in it. People in the D.C. area are terrible drivers to begin with, but add any kind of inclement weather and forget about it.

Anyway, I spent most of my day today putting the final touches on my wristlet pattern. Thanks to some wonderful testers, it should be ready in the next few days. It's funny trying to write a pattern for something you make all the time and then trying to describe your process. I'm hoping that it'll be easy to understand and not sound like a bunch of bologna! I also wish I were a little better with the computer. Trying to get the pattern pieces and pictures right is a pain in my ass. Seriously.
This is the wristlet I made today, with some of my beloved Flea Market Fancy fabric. I'm proud of myself for actually using it! I plan on putting this one on etsy and a few others sometime later today, just in case you're interested.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Baby Kimono PJs

My sister gifted me a copy of Amy Butler's newest book, Little Stitches for Little Ones for Christmas. Sadly, most of the projects are for babies, and well, at almost 3, Isaiah is hardly a baby anymore. I don't really know anyone with babies either. Then I remember that a blog friend is due to have a baby boy soon, and that coincidentally, I've owed her something in the mail for a few months now. Shame on me.

This little kimono pj set was too cute not to make and I'm hoping that it makes up for the fact that I'm very late for sending her something. The top is made with Sandi Henderson's Ginger Blossom line and trimmed with some brown linen. The pants are made with the same linen, which I absolutely love. I think this style is very similar to the Oliver + S pattern, which I have, and I just might have to make a pair for Isaiah. It's so stinkin' cute!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration Day

We were up by 3am. On the metro by 4. And in a crowd of very excited, enthusiastic people by 5 am. We stood in the same spot, in the freezing cold for almost 6 hours.

We became friends with our neighbors and sang songs.

We watched history being made in front of our very eyes.

We could not get on the metro after because it was too full and luckily found a cab to take us home. Our bodies ached and we were exhausted by the end of the day. But it was so worth it. An amazing experience that I will never forgot and am so blessed to have been a part of.

Friday, January 16, 2009

pattern writing

I've really been wanting to write a pattern for my Ruffle Wristlet for a long time now. For the past couple of days, I've finally started the process. I figure that I could offer a PDF on etsy with detailed pictures. I have to give credit to those that write patterns. It is much more difficult that it seems. You have to make sure you give every measurement and detail that goes into making it, so that the "maker" can have a nice finished project. In general, writing is very difficult for me, so doing this is really a challenge. Hopefully I'll be able to finish up this weekend so I can have some pattern testers give me some good critiques!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I'm looking forward to a weekend without any trips to the hospital. Oh, I almost forgot to mention! John had a PET scan yesterday and the results were very good! His cancer is responding to the pre-transplant chemo/new stems cells and some of the lesions are now PET negative and the rest have shown great progress since the las scan. We are just so relieved, as you can imagine. Thanks to all that have been sending their thoughts and prayers. We really appreciate them! You can read more on John's blog, as he is always better at explaining all this.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I have been in love with Denyse Schmidt's Flea Market Fancy fabric since it first came out, though I had only bought a few pieces then. Recently I became obsessive in "collecting" some of this fabric, and in the past two weeks, have added these fabrics to my stash. They've just been sitting on my table, with me staring at them and occasionally petting them (what? you don't pet your fabric?). I can't bear to cut into them. I am missing a few fabrics from the collection that I'd really love to have, so if anyone has some to share, or a secret source I'd love to hear it. I might even send you something really nice in exchange ;)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Virtual Quilting Bee Sign-Ups

Sign-ups are now closed. If there is enough interest to form another group, I will pass that information along to anyone who wants to be a group leader for their own group. Thanks!

There seems to be enough interest to start another virtual quilting bee group and I'm excited to start one. Here's what it will entail. Each person will be given a month in which they will send out fabrics for their own quilt, and will receive the completed blocks from the group. If you sign up, you must commit to making a block(s) each month for one year. The quilting bee that I am a part of now, there are about 17 people, so a couple of months we make 2 blocks for 2 different people. We occasionally fall a little behind, but it's pretty easy to catch up. This may or may not be the case, depending on how many people sign-up. If you want to participate, please send the following information to katiebhandbags AT gmail DOT com :

Blog/flickr site
if you would prefer making only one block a month

I'm really excited to start this!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

BLQB and another quilting bee?

I am finally caught up on my blocks for the Busy Little Quilting Bee. November's block was for Sarah, who sent three fabrics (the orange dots, orange DS and the pear fabric) and requested log cabinish blocks or Denyse Schmidt improvisational blocks. The blue fabric just happened to be sitting on my cutting table and I just added it in. I think it was meant to be.

December's block was for Stephanie. She sent two fabrics, the solid white and solid red. She requested crosses with the white background and said we could add other red prints if we wanted. Her inspiration was the quilt from the Tokyo International Quilt Festival. I'm not even sure how this came together. I just started making some crosses and then sewed them together. I'd love to make a larger version of this for my own wall!

Today I hung out with my friend Stephanie. We got to talking about these blocks and made me think about starting another Virtual Quilting Bee. If there's enough interest (at least 12 people), I'll put a group together. It requires a commitment of making at least 1 block a month, depending on the number of people in the group. Each person "has" a month, in which they sent out fabric of their choice and a block is made for them by the others in the group. So, if you're interested, just leave a comment saying so. If there's enough people, I'll send out an e-mail and get a group started!

Friday, January 09, 2009

elisa nest tote

Thanks for all the comments about John coming home. We're all happy to have him here again, especially Isaiah, who has taken every moment to show John something new. John still has to be seen twice a week at the hospital, so it means a lot of sitting and waiting. One of the "benefits" is that I get to knit. I finally finished up the Elisa Nest Tote that I had intended to give to my sister-in-law for Christmas. It's a really easy knit and has a fun pattern, but I just couldn't squeeze in enough hours to finish it before Christmas came. Then again, I started it two days before Christmas. I like how it came out, although my finished edges didn't come out as neatly as the pattern's picture. The I-cord handle was the only tricky part for me and it quite uneven. I'm sure my sister-in-law won't care though (at least I hope). She lives by the beach, so I figured this would be great for toting toys and shells, or she can use it to go to the market. Anyway, all that is left to do is send it to her. Hopefully that doesn't take weeks!

The details:

pattern : Elisa Nest Tote via the purl bee
yarn: brown sheep cotton fleece in Caribbean
needles: size 9 circular and size 5 double pointed
difficulty: easy!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Happy New Year, a little late

My creation
Originally uploaded by katiejeanbags
Well, here I am a few days after the New Year. I am a little behind on blogging about the reflection of last year and the renewal that a new month brings. All for good reasons though. John should be coming home today! We have been preparing for this for the past week, hoping that he'd be coming home sooner, but today looks like the day. While I am excited for him to come home, this brings about new challenges. Although John's counts are great and he's feeling pretty good, we still don't know how the cancer has been responding to this transplant. Plus, John cannot drive for the next 80 or so days, which means I will be his chauffeur. I am worried and anxious about our finances and how John's health progresses, but at the same time I am extremely hopeful. It is after all, a new year.

I am not sad to see 2008 go. It has been hectic, busy, crazy, creative,and at times, fun. In January of last year, we were finding out that John was in remission. We enjoyed a beautiful spring in our garden, the most wonderful trip to Oregon in the summer, and I got a new sewing machine (squeal!!). The last half of the year we spent getting John through chemo and prepared for a bone marrow transplant. So, to you 2008, I say good riddance!!

Believe it or not, I am still trying to finish up some handmade Christmas presents. Luckily the recipients are all happy to receive a belated handmade gift. I've been working on a major one for John, but I ran out of white thread last night. Grr, I hate when that happens! Hopefully I'll have something to show sometime soon.

Anyway, if you made it to the end of all this rambling, I hope you had a great holiday and new year!