Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Looking Back at 2008

It's been an interesting year. Even with breaking my wrist I was able to make over 800 items for charity. I will admit that some of the items were pretty small like granny's daughters and yo-yo's.but I also finished blankets, sweaters, hats, scarves and more.
I started off the year making lots of sweater sets for South Africa, more sweater sets and hats went to the Inuits in Canada. I sent more items to Pine Ridge Reservation and Cooper Hospital in Camden, NJ. I made squares for blankets and until I broke my wrist I was joining squares for my All_Crafts_4_Charity group.
As the year ended I was collecting hats and scarves to be sent to Kosovo. I have pictures of the children in their new winter wear here.
On a personal note, my older son graduated from college and starts his new job next month. My baby boy has another year to go. My grandsons are growing like weeds (I broke my wrist at the youngest ones eighth birthday party, those kids probably heard a few words they shouldn't have but I really can't remember, I was in a lot of pain). My daughter and son-in-law helped a lot during my convalescence as did my youngest. One of these days I'm going to get them all together for a family picture and I'll be sure to post it.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

My Mess

My craft room is a horrible mess, I've really got to do something about it. I have so many small balls of yarn and partial skeins it is unbelievable. This bin is only a small part of it. Part of the problem is that I buy most of my yarn at thrift shops. I also get donations from other crafters of their partial skeins. My favorite place to "shop" for yarn is a place called Leftovers which recycles other crafters leftovers i.e. partial skeins.
So my goal for 2009 is to use up as much as I can. Since I am setting my charity goal for 2009 at 1000 items and I can make small items like yo-yo's and granny's daughters a lot of these can be made with all these small balls. Maybe I should make a separate goal for the little things? Anyway I am going to break up the goal and say I am going to use up a binful every month! Not only that but I'm going to cheat and start on January now.
Someone asked about Leftovers, they do not currently sell online but they have an online catalog under developement. If you live anywhere near St Charles, MO be sure to check them out. They have a website you can check out.
Leftovers Etc.

Friday, December 26, 2008

My Where to Donate Blog

One of my readers just wrote and asked me if I knew of anything near Syracuse, New York such as a childrens hospital to donate to. I don't know about anything for sure so if anyone knows please email me at debsstuff1955 (at) yahoo (dot) com. If you know of any local charities you support I'd be more than happy to add them to the list!

Where to Donate

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

A very Merry Christmas to all my readers who celebrate the holiday! On this holiday while we open presents and spend time with our families, let us not forget those who are less fortunate than ourselves. There are so many worthwhile projects to craft for. No matter what your craft or what you like to make there is a need for your items somewhere. Maybe you can take this time between Christmas and New Years to decide what your goals are for crafting in 2009. Perhaps decide which charities you want to donate to or just decide what you'd like to make and find where the needs are as they come up.
I haven't yet acheived my goal for 2008 because a broken wrist put me out of commission for three months but my goal was 1000 items and I've made over 800 so that wasn't too bad. I'm setting my goal for 1000 items again and hoping that I'll be able to reach it. I did make an awful lot of small things, hair pretties, squares and granny's daughters to get it that high and probably will next year, too. So a thousand isn't quite that daunting!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pictures from Kosovo

Here's the first pictures from Kosovo that Dave sent. Many of the children have recieved a hat, scarf and/or mittens from the items we were able to stuff in Dave's duffle bag. See if you can see the things you donated! If you can't find your items they may be in the batch we're shipping.

I want to thank everyone again who has sent warm items for the kids. We are still collecting warm hats, scarves and mittens to send over so if you would like to contribute please email me at debsstuff55 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Sunday, December 21, 2008

New Contest!!

The winner has been chosen and posted here.

One of the online charity crafting groups I belong to, Crafting 4 A Cause, has a store that members contribute craft supplies, hand crafted items and more, to be put up for sale to earn money to buy propane for the families on the Pine Ridge Reservation. This contest is a very transparent ploy to bring attention to that store. The prize will be a $5 "gift certificate" to the Crafting for a Cause store. To enter all you have to do is browse through the store and tell me in a comment to this post what you liked the most or what caught your attention. On January 3rd I will choose one entry to win the "gift certificate".

Saturday, December 20, 2008


I know I don't talk about my life or my kids often but I also know I've metioned that I have two boys in college. Well, now it's only one, today was the big day and the end (almost) of all the hard work. Today my son Sean graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in Urban and Population Geography. Although I'm still not quite sure what that is, obviously his new employer does and finds it of value. I am so proud of him, he worked very hard to reach this point.
That's one down and one to go. My youngest, my baby (Ok so he's 21 and 6' tall, he's still my baby), graduates next year.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

On Their Way to Kosovo!!

Dave and all the donations are on their way to Kosovo! They had a short layover in Germany which is where they are right now and will soon be flying to Kosovo. Here's some pics of the last four donations: Chris in Utah sent these great crocheted scarves!!

K. P. in Michagan sent a couple knit hats and some school supplies.

These neat knit hats and awesome scarf are from Cindy in Florida!

And this great collection of hats, with a pair of mittens and a neck warmer come from Susan in CA.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

And More Donations!

Kathleen in MD sent these very warm looking hats, and yes Kathleen we will continue mailing things at least through January.
Joyce F. from Louisiana sent these great squares for me to join into a scarf as well as a very purple hat and scarf set!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Swing Set for the School

The next project for the soldiers in Kosovo, after building a woodshed and painting the school, is to build a swing set for the school house. The problem is they can't get the nuts and bolts they need in Kosovo. Dave and several others who will be going back to Kosovo carrying the nuts and bolts they need for this project. So Dave will be taking nuts, bolts, hats and scarves back with him. Everything he can't take back with him we will be mailing. The post office has a special rate for Priority Flat Rate boxes that are going to our military members overseas so we will be seeing just how many hats and scarves we can stuff into a box! We are hoping that we will have another POC after Dave has come home so we can continue to send things over for the school.

More Hats!!!

These hats were sent by Connie in MN! I can't find her email address so I hope she sees this so she knows I recieved them. They are really nice and comfy warm hats. Thank you so much Connie!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

More Donations for Kosovo Kids

Jennifer from Nebraska sent these two great hat and scarf sets. Thank you so much Jennifer, they're very warm and toasty.

Jane K. in Florida sent these awesome items. A beautiful blanket, sweater and four great hats. Thank you Jane.

Cherri in NY sent these beautiful items. A hat and mitten set, a scarf and more hats all really nice. Thanks Cherri!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dave is Home from Kosovo

His wife, who just happens to be my boss, is very, very happy. And as we all know, when the boss is happy, everyone is happy! He looked over what we have collected already and liked it all. He was telling me it was -2 degrees F when he left there. He also said that these kids really do walk to school in several feet of snow, just like our grandparents claim they did. These kids really do need the hats, scarfs and mittens that we are sending them and I would love to be able to send enough so every child in that school would have something! Dave will be going back next Sunday with as much as he can take but we will still be sending packages to him until his tour of duty is over, I will probably be mailing up to the end of January, so if you can find the time to make just one extra scarf, hat or pair of mittens for these kids it would be great!
Please email me at debsstuff55 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Another Great Donation for the Kids

These are only a part of the great items that were in the box from Christina P from IN. There were hats, scarfs, a vest and a couple of small purses for the little girls. Thank you so much Christina for thinking of the kids in Kosovo!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

OK I Had to Do It

I actually woke up this morning thinking about what a preemie hat made out of the yarn I just bought would look like, so I made one using my Bumpy Preemie Hat pattern. Wow, I love the way it came out. I'm going to have to get more of this yarn next time I'm in St Charles. Thats about 45 minutes from me but it's on the way to see College Kid #2 so I might be down there in a couple weeks. I want to try it on the knitting loom next, matching it with a starnd of white baby yarn.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Yarn Petting part 2

I went to another LYS again today and although this is all I bought, I had a great time checking out all the different yarns. I took College Kid #2 with me and he was even checking out and petting all the yarn. I just fell in love with the colors in this yarn and kept thinking how great it would look as preemie hats. I've been making them for St. Louis Children's Hospital. I kind of took a break from working on them to concentrate on my Kosovo kids, but I'll get back to it soon and this will be the first yarn I use! College Kid #2 (who will be Only College Kid in three weeks because his brother graduates) tried to talk me into buying some really awesome yarn they had there because I had said I would love a scarf made out of it but I just couldn't do it. It would have taken away from my time to work on my charity projects! Oh well, maybe someday, I just made myself a scarf last year and why would I need two?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thank You Eva!!

Eva from PA sent these wonderful hats for the kids in Kosovo! Thank you so much Eva!

Six Inch Squares Anyone?

I almost forgot I had these squares. They were sent to me last year when I was making blankets for Project Linus. I made several blankets but there just were some squares that refused to play nicely with others. Some one in my All Crafts 4 Charity group was using squares the group had sent her to make scarves for Pine Ridge Reservation. So I decided to steal her idea and use the squares I had to make scarves for the kids in Kosovo. Six or seven 6" squares is perfect for a kids scarf. The one above is made out of eight squares so will probably go to one of the older kids. So I am now asking for 6" squares as well as hats, scarves and mittens if you could spare a little time in this busy season.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

My daughter is having Thanksgiving at her house this year and I really feel at loose ends without a turkey in the oven. I did have to go over there to make the stuffing, it just wouldn't be right without "Mom"s stuffing". So I decided to celebrate my holiday by working on some of my projects. I am so thankful for my family and my life I need to show it by making items for others. I just finished this scarf for the kids in Kosovo. It matches some loom knit hats I made earlier so I wanted to make a set. Unfortunately, I only had enough yarn for one scarf.
I know this is a really bad time of year to ask, everyone is probably maxed out on charity and gift projects, but if you could make just one more hat or scarf or pair of mittens for the kids in Kosovo, I know that they would really be appreciated.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Novelty Yarn Scrunchies Free Crochet Pattern

These are so simple I can hardly call them a pattern, but I'll tell you how they are made any way. These are all made with different novelty yarns. The first two are fun fur, the second two are made from two different yarns I bought in a bag of yarn at a thrift store, not even sure what to call them. The bottom ones are made with a varigated boucle yarn.
The pattern is quite simple, you can experiment with hook sizes and the number of chains you use to get the effect you want.
Small amount of novelty yarn
Elastic hair band
Attach yarn to hair band, *sc, chain between 1 and 6, repeat from * until hair band is completely covered. I did all of mine with the same amount of chains through out but you can experiment with various combinations.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thumbs Up Scarf

Boy, the color on that came out bad, it's supposed to be redder but I tried several times and that's the best I could get. My son gave me his old digital camera and I have to figure it out some day instead of using my cell phone.
Anyway, I finally managed to finish a larger project!! I did it a couple rows at a time, picking it up, doing some until it became uncomfortable, and putting it down, several times a day.
Why do I call it a Thumbs Up Scarf? Because when I work on my projects I always picture the child who might receive it. It doesn't really matter that the child doesn't look anything like the one I pictured or even if I pictured a girl and a boy was the final recipient. The images in my mind help keep me motivated and that's what counts. Anyway, back to the scarf, for a change I actually have a picture of some of the children who might be getting this scarf and the other things I and some of my readers are making. While I was working on this scarf I kept picturing the little boy in the second picture below who is giving the thumbs up sign to someone off camera. I will be making a matching hat for it as soon as I finish the one I have on the loom for the little boy in the front with the yellow coat.
Please, if you have a little bit of extra yarn and time can you help me make hats, scarves and mittens for these children? Just email me at debsstuff55 (at) Yahoo (dot) com if you can help.

Monday, November 17, 2008

More on Kosovo School Kids

These are some of the children we will be crafting for, their school is located in Cerkez Sadovina, Kosovo. It has 3 classrooms and educates 125 kids, grades first through fifth. The school has no running water and is heated by very old wood burning stoves. These children have very little and as well as the hats, scarves and mittens (I forgot to mention mittens?? well mittens too!!) they need school supplies and other warm clothing.
The first picture is of Brad, Dave's friend, in front of the school with the children. The second one is my friend Dave, on the day they painted the school, with some of the children. Dave and Brad with other service members have been trying to help these children and the school and think it's great that we are trying to help.
If you would like to help email me at debsstuff1955 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Just Rambling 11/15/08

I just sent out three packages this morning, one with hair pretties, a bag of yo-yos to the lady who makes awesome afghans out of them and some slippers and loomed hats that are on their way to Pine Ridge. I sent out my Granny's Daughters earlier this week.
Doing all those small projects has really helped. I don't know if it really got easier or I just got used to it! My "purse project" right now is 7" wool squares for the joiners in the All_Crafts_4_Charity group. They are joining them together for blankets for Pine Ridge Reservation right now. The need for Pine Ridge is tremendous. They have already experienced a major blizzard this year and many were trapped with no heat and little food.
I'm getting a good response for my Kosovo project already. I'm hoping to have more information Monday for you all. I want to thank those who have already volunteered to help and hope more of you will be able to.
I received a hundred dollar check from the advertising on my blogs. Now to decide what to do with it. I promised that all money earned from the advertising here would go to the charity projects. I have been using a little bit of it for postage and will probably use more to send the hats and scarves to Kosovo. I really don't need fabric or yarn, my craft room is overflowing as it is.
I'm going to have the grandbabies later on today (OK they're 11 and 8 and I have to stop calling them babies) so I'm going to take a short nap before they get here. I'm putting them to work, they just don't know it yet.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I will know more information soon and will hopefully have a few pictures to share with you. A friend of mine is currently stationed in Kosovo and he and other service men there have been helping out a school in the area he's stationed. They bought the supplies for and built a woodshed for the school because people were stealing the school children's wood.

These children have very little and I thought it would be great if I could make and collect enough hats and scarfs to send over there for these children. This is not an established charity or a big project, just someone who wants to make a difference in this one small corner of the world. I hope to have some idea tomorrow how many children there are and have some pictures of them. I could really use some help and if you would like to participate please email me at debsstuff55 (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Baby Pompadour Scrunchie Free Crochet Pattern

In an effort to use up the last bits of the Bernat Sweet Stripes yarn I thought I'd make some hair pretties. I searched for a pattern but didn't find anything suitable I liked. I sort of had an idea of how I wanted them to come out so I started to experiment and this is what I came up with. It can be made with worsted weight but of course it wouldn't be as light and lacy which was the effect I was trying for.
Hair Scrunchies
1 ouchless elastic hair band
Small amount of Pompadour sport weight yarn
Round 1: Join yarn to hair band with a slip stitch,* sc, ch 3 repeat from* around the band, cover the band completely without forcing it, join to first sc with a sl st.The amount of ruffling there is depends on how many stitches you use. If you want more ruffles try to get more stitches on the band.
Round 2: sl st into 1st chain 3 space ch 5 (counts as first dc and ch 2) dc into same ch 3 space, *dc into next ch 3 space, ch 2, dc into same space, repeat from * until the end sl st to join

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Problem with Stash Busting

The idea of stash busting is to use up the whole skein of a particular yarn. I don't usually do that, especially making smaller things like hats. I'll make one or two and then make more in other colors. So anyway, I pulled out two skeins of Bernat Sweet Stripes in green and blue and decided to use them up. I'm still not done and this is what I have so far. It's a sport weight baby yarn and it's almost like a magic yarn that just keeps going and going and going. These aren't the only skeins I'm working on, I have to have some variety or I would go nuts, but I am really tired of looking at these colors. LOL

Yarn Petting

I don't have a local yarn shop near me, the closest one is thirty miles away. In fact, in this small town in Missouri my only option for buying new yarn is Wal-Mart. So when I do get a chance to go to a shop I really like to check out every thing. I got a chance yesterday and let me tell you there are some really awesome yarns out there. I got to pet wool, alpaca and bamboo, some really soft silk blends and much more. I would have loved to have bought so much of it. I want everything I make for "my kids" (that's any child that receives anything I made) something really special and some of these yarns would have been. Especially the ones that were selling for fifteen dollars or more for a 50 gram skein. Oh well, I can dream can't I?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Granny's Daughters

Granny's daughters, also called saltines are small granny squares, made with just the first two rows. I'm making these for a woman in one of my Yahoo groups who makes gorgeous shawls out of them. Making these is part of my "physical therapy' for my hand. I was getting so frustrated because I wasn't able to crochet long enough to make anything bigger. These little guys take less than five minutes to make and at first finishing one was hard enough. This morning I was able to make four before it got too uncomfortable!! So I am making progress!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Stash Busting!!

I'm supposed to be on a yarn diet and the pictures above are the reason why. This is only a small part of my craft room, the rest looks even worse. Shortly after I started stash busting I walked into a local thrift shop and found a lot of yarn for only 50¢ a skein which added 29 full size Red Heart Super Saver yarn, then I came across another "bargain" and added another 10 full and partial skeins of baby yarn.. It wouldn't have been so bad except I couldn't crochet for so long and thats how I use yarn up the fastest. I am keeping track at the Bev's Charity Challange Yahoo Group and have used six full and six partial skeins which doesn't even make up for the extra I bought.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Loom Knitting at the Zoo

My son is studying primatology in college. This is the study of primates (i.e. monkeys, apes and most importantly his favorite lemurs) . For one of his classes this semester he has to spend at least twenty hours watching his choice of primates (lemurs). Since he is twenty-one and still doesn't have a driver's license (long story involving an accident he was in where he went through a window) he needs a ride to the zoo. So what else can I do while he is watching the lemurs? He snapped this picture of me right outside the primate house at the St. Louis Zoo.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Practicing My Crocheting

I've been getting so frustrated trying to crochet, I decided to work on some really small things for awhile. In my Crafting For a Cause Yahoo group there are two ladies that do some really awesome things with small crocheted pieces. One collects yo-yo's (small crocheted circles) to make afghans. That's pretty easy, it's just 16 dc onto a loop. The other lady uses granny's daughter's (also called saltines) to make gorgeous shawls. All these are is the first two rows of a granny square.

I figure if I keep it small I can at least complete something in the five or ten minutes it takes before my hand starts bothering me too much. So I've set my goal for this week at finishing at least one of each every day. Wish me luck and maybe I can increase it next week!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My Newest Project

I am so glad I named this blog Deb's Crafts instead of something like Deb Crochets so I can talk about all the other crafts too. LOL The list mom in Caring For Cooper just posted a list of needs for Cooper Hospital. One of those needs was long pants for newborns, so using Simplicity pattern 3941 XS I made my first pair. It was so easy and went so fast, I'm planning to make a lot more. Now to dig through my fabric and find more that would be appropriate for baby's pants!

It's Been Awhile

I can't believe it's been almost a month since I wrote anything here. One of the reasons is because I haven't been doing any charity crafting. I saw the doctor two weeks ago and now I have to accept that my hand may never be the same. I've tried to crochet several times but it's just not happening. It's not that I can't make the proper motions, but I have little or no feeling in my thumb and first two fingers, I can't feel the yarn! Typing gets interesting too, but I can kind of do it as long as I don't use all the fingers on my left hand. The good news is, that as far as the strength and movement goes, that is slowly coming back.

So, instead of doing what I can do (loom knitting and sewing), I've been pouting because I can't do what I want to do. There, I admitted it, I've been pouting like a little girl. I have made a couple loom knit hats, I even joined a stash busting challenge at Bev's Charity Challenge, but I've done very little. I have a stack of fabric sitting on top of my (broken) washing machine, it's in piles waiting to be cut, so maybe that's what I'll do today. I owe a couple green grocery bags to people and I've even been putting that off.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Beautiful Preemie Blanket

Sue, another member of All Crafts for Charity designed this georgeous knit preemie blanket that she calls Snowflake Kisses Baby Blanket. I'm not much of a knitter (and couldn't right now even if I were) but I wanted all my readers to see this. Sue has posted her pattern on her blog Cosy's Corner. Check it out and make one or two for your local NICU.

Another Week Gone By

And I still haven't gotten too much done. I've been doing a little sewing but I have to finally admit that my hand is not going to get well enough to crochet in time to finish the blanket for A4A. I really thought some of the problems I was having would be gone by now. I can crochet a little but after five or ten minutes I'm hurting again. There was some nerve damage and I just have to face the fact that it may be awhile before I can crochet.

I feel like I asked for those squares under false pretenses, I never imagined it taking this long. So, I want to apologize to the ladies who sent the squares. Thank you so much, but I'm going to have to set them aside for now, hopefully I will be able to finish them for a future project.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Long Two Weeks

Well, it's been two weeks since I went back to work. I have been getting home feeling so frazzled from working in the office all I've seemed to be able to do when I got home is stare at TV or play card games on the computer. I still have to put the border on the denim and strings quilt and I started sewing blocks for a log cabin but in the last two weeks I've only got one strip sewn on maybe five or six blocks.
I'm giving away green grocery bags on my Deb's Going Green blog if you want to check it out. All you have to do is leave a comment with an idea (read the post) and then email me your address and I'll send you one.
I really need to organize my craft room, too. Every time I start though I get sidetracked into working on a project. You know what it's like, you find the perfect yarn or fabric and you just have to start working with it to see how it comes out.
I did go to Wally World and buy the yarn for the Special Olympics scarves even though I still have a lot of trouble crocheting. I can do it now but it really starts bothering my wrist after a few minutes. I have the yarn, though so I have to make them. Fortunately we have until January to make them.
The Afghans for Afghans blanket everyone sent squares for is coming very slowly. I do a little bit every few days until my wrist bothers me too much. This I do have an approaching deadline for and I'd really like to get it done.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Special Olympics Scarfs

I love this one and have to run out to WalMart for the yarn, of course I'm still not crocheting, it really bothers my hand too much. I can do it, it just hurts. These need to be done by the end of the year so I'm pretty sure I'll be able to get one or two done.
They are asking for scarfs in Red Heart Super Saver delft blue and white to give to the athletes of the Special Olympics Winter Games. They can be knit or crocheted as simple or as complex as you want to make them. I love the pictures of all the blue and white scarfs hanging in a row on the website.
For more details check out the website Special Olympic scarfs.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Owe, I Owe It's Back to Work I Go

Well, the doctor has allowed me to go back to work as long as it's office work. My boss is nicely allowing me to work in the office for awhile. It's so weird working 9 to 5 instead of staying with a client for days at a time. I had almost forgotten what it was like going home at night. I had to do something though, after being out of work for almost 6 weeks I was using up all my savings. The doctor says at least four weeks before I can really start using the hand to lift, pull, push etc. anything heavier than 2 pounds.
I am almost done the Denim and Strings quilt top. All that I have left is the border and I'm going to cut that tonight and maybe start sewing it. I'll get a picture after that's finished. My daughter thinks it's "weird" that I can sew something like that when there's still so many other things I can't do. I had called her over to open a can of tuna, I just can't handle the can opener. LOL

Saturday, August 9, 2008

String Quilt Block Tutorial

Several readers were asking how to make the string quilt blocks so I decided to make a quick tutorial. If your planning on hand quilting your quilt you need to make sure all your fabric is 100% cotton, otherwise it becomes just about impossible to get your needle through. I gave up on hand quilting after taking almost a year to quilt a queen size double wedding ring (it came out looking great but too much work) . You need to collect a good variety of fabric scraps, no knits and they need to be about the same weight. If you can easily see through the fabric it's too light.
I use old sheets, solid light colored fabric or muslin for the foundations, this fabric can be light-weight and see through.

Cut your foundations to about 1" larger than you want the finished square to be. Mine will be 6" in the finished square so I cut mine to 7".
I cut my fabric scraps into strips (or strings) that are between 1 1/2" -3" wide, I leave them however long they happen to be and cut them as I add them to the block. I vary the width of my strings but they can be made all one width, it depends on the effect you want. I also keep the smaller scraps and cut them into triangles for the corners. This keeps me from having tiny little pieces in the corner.
To start building the block, take two strings, place one on the foundation from corner to corner, then place the second one face down on top of it matching up the edges. Sew with a 1/4" seam onto the foundation. Iron flat and add strings, ironing after each one, until it's almost covered. Then add the triangles to the corners. it should look something like the block above.

Then your going to trim the block to your finished size. Since the blocks are going to be 6" in the quilt and I'm going to be using 1/4" seams, I'm trimming this block to 6 1/2". There are a lot of things that can be done with strings for quilts, this is one of the easier ways I've found to do it. The blocks can be set any number of ways to make a variety of quilts.

Here's some links to some of my (unfinished) string quilts.

Denim and Strings

Purple Strings

No Hearts and Flowers

OK, so I forgot to take a pic of that last one before I sent it off. LOL

Just Rambling 8/9/08

I have to ice my wrist for 15 minutes after doing my exercises, so I figured I'd type a few thoughts down. I'm hoping to go back to work next week. I talked to my boss and she said she might be able to find some work in the office for me to do. My wrist isn't strong enough to caregive, I still need too much help myself to be responsible for caring for another person.
I'm going to take a break from sewing today, I have new exercises and my wrist has really been hurting. I pledged some newborn and preemie loomed hats for the August project in the All_Crafts_for_Charity Yahoo Group. We're doing infant burial items this month. I didn't think I could do it. Just thinking about it made me cry, but it's getting easier and I know these are much needed items.
I really could use some help cutting things out, I've figured out a way to use the rotary cutter but it's really awkward and may be part of the reason my wrist hurts so much. I think I'm going to grab anyone who comes to the door and put them to work. I have a lot of fabric to cut up. I've been separating it into piles, a pile for green bags, another for hug pillows, quilt strings etc.
I'm still collecting 8" wool squares for Afghans 4 Afghans kids blankets. If you would like to donate a few the Details are here.
Well, the 15 minutes is up, I need to put my splint back on. Happy crafting and don't forget those less fortunate than you.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Next Step, Denim and Strings

I changed my mind on how I was going to set the quilt blocks. I cut up some denim jeans into 6 1/2" blocks and alternated them with the string blocks. These are just in strips right now, I haven't sewed the strips together.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sewing String Quilt Blocks

Since I discovered I could sew with this broken wrist I've been working on some string quilt blocks. String quilts are a great project for the beginning quilter and are pretty simple. You start with a foundation block, mine are 7" square cut out of some light weight cotton fabric that's too thin for regular quilting. Then you just sew strips (strings) of fabric across them until it's completely covered. Once this is done you trim them down, mine are trimmed to 6 1/2". On the right bottom corner of the picture you can see my drawer of strings. Whenever I have scraps I cut them into strings and add them to this drawer. It's in just the right spot so I can grab, place and sew. The shoe box you can see in the background holds smaller scraps for the corners. Right next to my sewing machine I keep my stack of foundations. I keep them there all the time because very often, even if I'm working on something else, I'll often add a few strings as I go. You can also see a finished block near the top that I draped over a bin to hide the mess (lol).


I'm hoping to finish at least one quilt top before I go back to work. I just sent two tops to an online charity crafting friend, the North Hills Quilter, to finish up. One was a string quilt and one was made from donated blocks that I set together. I can't wait to see a pic of the finished quilts.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Just Rambling 8/3/08

This post is a few days late. I started writing it, saved it, but when I went back to finish it Google had blocked my blog, they said it was a spam blog. Obviously, it was a glitch in the programming because quite a few blogs were blocked.
The hand is getting better but still has a long way to go. My son went home Thursday and I'm really missing him already. I can now sew a little bit as long as it's simple. I've been making hug pillows, which are small pillows for moms who have just had a C-section to hold against their stitches when they cough. These are going to Cooper Hospital in Camden, NJ. They have a great need there for infants clothing and blankets as well as these little pillows so if you would like to help you can join our Yahoo group Caring For Cooper.
I can use my sewing machine but I can't use my rotary cutter. I had my youngest, the one who was staying with me, cut out a bunch of pillows before he left. I"ve finished sewing all those up. My daughter and other son did a few more but not a lot. Neither of my boys live that close so they can't just pop over to help. My daughter's only down the street but with two kids she doesn't have a lot of time to come over and help and is also one of the least crafty person I know. Not quite sure how I got a daughter with no craft sense but I did. So I'm having a bit of trouble having enough to sew.
I've also been sewing some string quilt blocks but I can't trim them. It keeps me kind of busy though, and when I can use my rotary cutter again I'll have a lot of catching up to do.
Well, that's it for now, hope everyone has a great day crafting.

Donated Wool Squares for Kids Blankets

Thank you so much Joyce F. they're perfect!
These squares are the first I recieved for my Afghans 4 Afghans kids blankets. If you would like to donate some wool 8" squares for me to join together to make kids blankets, I would be happy to accept them. The directions and specifications can be found here.

Video You Have to See

This is absolutely wonderful and you have to see it:

What Kind Of World Do you Want

I'm going out with my son but later I'll be writing about big bad Google blocking my blog and what I've been up to the last few days. (Hint: I can sew again!)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Your Favorite Free Pattern and Where to Donate

I have tried this before and gotten very little response but I'll try again. On my Crafter's Favorite Patterns blog I list free online patterns that people have made and liked. Every time I ask, someone sends me a link to another list of patterns. This really defeats the purpose of the blog. It's supposed to be a list of tried and true patterns, any craft or pattern is acceptable but please keep it to patterns you have tried. Just post a comment here or on the Favorites blog under the appropriate section.
The Where to Donate blog lists places to donate handcrafted items by state, so let me know about your group or where you donate locally.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Milk Yarn?

Just when I was getting used to the idea of yarn made out of corn I come across this:

Milk Yarn

Has anyone ever tried it? At that price I think it unlikely that I will try it anytime soon but I'm really curious as to how it feels and works up.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Just Rambling 7/20/2008

It's been really nice having my son living with me again, even if it is only temporary. Despite the fact I'm recovering from surgery we've been having a good time. We've been watching movies and playing video games. Ryan actually found a two player RPG game that I can play with one hand, and now that I've figured out how to loom knit with just one hand I'm a happy camper. My daughter keeps bringing over food for us and in a real pinch there's always Domino's.
I am collecting 8 inch wool squares to join into kids blankets for the Afghans 4 Afghans youth campaign. I will be making green grocery bags for everyone who contributes squares as soon as my wrist heals up enough. Details for the squares can be found here.
I want to thank Joanie D. from Louisiana again for the donation of the baby yarn. Since I'm going to be making lots of baby hats on my knitting looms it was perfect timing.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

More Blatant Advertising

I just wanted to get a few things straight about the advertising on my blogs. All proceeds from the advertising goes to charity in one way or the other. Mostly it goes for supplies for me to make more items to donate but occasionally I may make a cash donation. With two kids in college I just don't have the money to go to my LYS and buy all the yummy yarn I want. I have managed to keep myself supplied through thrift shops, freecycle and donations (thank you so much Joanie in LA for the great baby yarns). Here's my advertisers and how they help.
Everyone recognises Google Adsense ads. They're everywhere on the Internet. I haven't received any money from them yet since the minimum for payment is $100, but I'm getting there. I would really like to save up to buy a serger or a knitting machine with it. I haven't decided which.
I've found that ProjectWonderful is truly wonderful for the small publisher. Their minimum payment is only ten dollars and I've been able to cash out four times already. They pay straight to Paypal so I've was able to purchase the yarn for this blanket, make a ten dollar donation to charity and I just ordered a knitting loom set to make mittens with. If you want to advertise on one of my blogs or set up some advertising on your blog just go to ProjectWonderful.
One of the reasons I chose Paradise Fibers is that they donate two percent of their proceeds to maintaining fiber arts traditions. So not only are you helping me earn more yarn when you order through my link, but you are helping others also. They have a great selection of yarn and roving so check them out.
The yarn at the Loopy Ewe has me drooling, if your into knitting socks they have an absolutely gorgeous yarns. I've picked out several beautiful yarns to make hats with for kids in Afghanistan. Any money I earn there will go towards purchasing it.

Loom Knitting One Handed

I knew if I tried hard enough I would eventually find something I could do one handed. It took some work and at first it was really slow and awkward but practice makes perfect. I just needed to figure out how to prop the loom between the bandages on my arm and my body to do it. My son's helping by getting it started and tying the knot at the end. I'll have to wait awhile until I can weave in the ends, I tried but I can't quite manage that.
I had the surgery Thursday. They put a steel plate and four screws in my wrist to put it all back together, it was a pretty nasty break.
Info on loom knitting and this pattern can be found at Bev's Country Cottage

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Just Rambling 7/13/2008

Yesterday was movies and pizza day. My twenty one year old son came to stay with me while his sister went on vacation. He brought The Lord of the Rings trilogy and we spent the whole day watching it. I ordered pizza from Domino's (17 minutes, wow) and we had a good time. Those are loooong movies, I think it took us over 12 hours to watch all three.

I'm hoping to get the surgery done on my wrist next week,I have an appointment at a clinic tomorrow. I've been trying to make arrangements all week. I had one doctor flat out refuse to see me because I didn't have insurance.

My older son (he's a whole twenty two) is coming to take me out to eat today. This is a first! I take my kids out all the time, this is how I get to spend time with them. My daughter takes me out for special occasions but my son never has. I guess I needed to break my wrist. Or it could just be that he has a really good summer job this year. Both the boys are in college but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The older one is done in December and the younger one graduates next year, the problem with the youngest, is the light at the end of his tunnel is flashing "graduate school".

I wish I had a lot of crafty stuff to talk about.I'm really hoping I'll have more mobility in my fingers after the surgery and be able to do something, this forced inactivity is driving me nuts. I truly believe that things happen for a reason and if I ever figure out the reason for this broken wrist, I'll let you all know.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Afghans 4 Afghans Youth Campaign

A4A has just announced the details of their next campaign, this one is for the youth, sizes 7 to 14.

Youth Campaign

They will be needing hats, mittens, sweaters and socks as well as blankets. as soon as my hand heals I will be working on joining 8" squares to make blankets. If you would like to send me a few squares to make them I would truly appreciate it. It will take 25 squares for each blanket. Details are here for the squares.

Using Scraps to Help Homeless Animals

I'm having a contest over on my Deb's Going Green blog for ideas on how to recycle something old into something new. Bev E. sent in this great idea:
"When sewing or have left over small bits of yarn, I throw them in a pillowcase. Fill half way, then sew up the hole. Instant pet bed. I make and donate to Humane Society, AND just made a bunch up for the Veternarians office, for animals to lie on softly after having surgery etc."

I really like the idea, if you don't have any old pillowecases, they're usually pretty cheap at your local thrift shop.

There's an organization called the Snuggles Project that works to bring comfort to homeless animals. You can find a shelter near you that accepts these kinds of donations on this list. Please check with your local shelter to see if this would be something they can use.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Another Blanket from Donated Squares

I wasn't quite finished this blanket when I broke my wrist. Fortunately, all it needs is the ends worked in and to be washed. It's made from squares donated by my All_Crafts_4_Charity Yahoo group. It will be going to a hospital in Wyoming. The project leader who I will be sending it to has agreed to finish it up for me.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Squares and Green Grocery Bags

I broke my wrist yesterday and although it will hopefully be healed in time to put a couple of blankets together there may be a delay for the bags. I'm supposed to see the bone doctor tomorrow so we will see what I can and can't do after it's set and put in a cast. It's only in a temporary splint now.

They have recently announced the next campaign for Afghans4Afghans. They will be collecting sweaters and blankets for children ages 7-14. I would love to be able to donate a couple blankets made from squares that my readers crocheted. I will give one of my green grocery bags to anyone who donates some squares.

Here are the specifications for the squares:
1. 8" X 8" crocheted from worsted weight yarn
2. Must be at least 75% natural animal fibers, 100% wool is preferred, machine washable is not necessary
3. No open patterns or traditional grannies, something like my square here is great
4. Bright colors!!
5. Do not cut ends close, leave at least 4" so I can weave them in

Contact me at debsstuff55 at yahoo dot com for my address. Because of my job I may not be able to answer right away but just keep working on squares until I'm able to.

There will of course be more contests to win the bags so if you don't crochet or don't wish to donate this time around you may still have a chance.

Just Rambling 7/5/08

I really have nothing for show and tell this time. I did finish another baby blanket from squares donated by All_Crafts_4_Charity Yahoo group for a hospital in Wyoming. All I need to do is work in the ends. I also need to work on more dishcloths for the CraftingForACause Yahoo groups challenge for this month.

I'm currently working on a rectangle shawl for the current project at Afghans 4 Afghans but it's taking me forever. The clients I've been taking care of lately give me little or no time for breaks. It is my own pattern and when I'm done I'll be posting it here.

We're having a family barbecue today. I had to work yesterday and since I'm the mom they had to wait. We'll actually be having it over at DD's house, she has a yard all I have is a 4' X 6' patio. My two college kid sons will be there too. It's not often I can get everyone together.

I've been having a blast making and giving away the green grocery bags. The latest contest to give them away will end tonight over on my Deb's Going Green blog.

I did start another blog, this one is about cooking. In my job of taking care of the elderly, one of my duties is to cook hot, nutritious meals for my clients. Often I'm faced with the problem of not having what I think I "need" for certain recipes. I've become very creative in cooking with what's on hand and this blog is about my experiences doing just that. So go take a peek at Deb Cooks and tell me what you think.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Baby Blankets from Donated Squares

All_Crafts_4_Charity, one of my Yahoo groups, is making baby blankets for a hospital in Wyoming this month. I volunteered to join squares for this project and these blankets are the first two done.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Ships Project

The Ships Project helps support our troops by sending hand crafted items and more. I made these slippers for them and will be making more throughout the month. They have a special page listing what they are currently sending and you need to use approved patterns
The pattern I used is called Vicki's Slipper boots.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

New Blog and New Contest

I started a new blog about Going Green, recycling and crafting, if you haven't seen it yet it's called Deb's Going Green. I'm having a contest to get things rolling by giving away three of these green grocery bags, I'm going to try to do this on a regular basis, depending on how this first contest goes. So hop on over and don't miss the article on making "yarn" out of old T-shirts.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Deb's Flower Dishcloth Free Crochet Pattern

Here's another dishcloth pattern for you. I only had the two colors of cotton yarn with me and so was unable to show the 'flower' off like I wanted to, but this pattern is based on my sunflower lapghan pattern so you can see how the flower can look if you want it to. My pink flower blanket is another color variation.
Although it is based on the square it is not quite the same so here is the pattern for the dishcloth.
I used a J hook and the pattern made a 10" dishcloth. I used Sugar & Cream cotton yarn, an ounce or two of each color depending on how you want to arrange the colors.
Rnd 1: With flower center color, Ch 4 and join, ch 3 (counts as 1st dc) 15 dc and join to top of ch 3, 16 dc
Rnd 2: With flower petal color, Join to any dc, ch 4 (counts as dc, ch 1) *dc, ch 1 in each dc around, 16 ch 1 spaces
Rnd 3: With flower leaf color, Join in any space, ch 3, in same space 2 dc, ch2, 3 dc, ch1, *sk next ch 1 sp, 3dc in next sp ch1, sk next st, 3dc, ch2, 3 dc, ch1 repeat from * twice, sk space, 3 dc ch 1 and join.
Rnd 4: With background color, Join in any corner, 4dc into corner space, 4 dc ineach ch1 space and 5 dc into each corner, Join to ch3
Rnd 5: ch 3, dc in each dc and 5 dc in center stitch of 5 dc in each corner
Rnd 6 an 7: Repeat Rnd 5
Rd 8: Change color to border color and repeat rnd 5
You can change the size of your dishcloth by changing the number of times you reapeat Rnd. 5
For another dishcloth pattern try Deb's V-stitch Granny Dishcloth

Stuff from My Trunk

Since I do in-home live-in care for the elderly, most of my crocheting is done away from home, I have this really bad habit of putting partially finished projects in the trunk of my car and going on to something else. This time while I was at work I forced myself to finish all of them. I didn't make it since I still have two baby blankets partially done still in there.
So far I have finished two blankets, one made from donated squares for a special project for All_Crafts_4_Charity, seven preemie hats and a baby sweater that just needed the ends worked in for Cooper Hospital, four dishcloths and three scrubbies for a battered women's shelter and two finger puppets that were made for the CraftingForACause April and May challenge that didn't get sent in with the others.