Catalog Inspiration

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I occasionally purchase a J. Crew [sale] piece to add an accent to my wardrobe, but lately, their catalogs appear to be more and more out of my price range. For example, this spread below on the left from the October '10 catalog: $110 for a lace tee shirt. It's surprisingly easy to do a similar look that fits within a grad student's budget, shown on the right.


On the left: Lace tee, Leelee pant, bling blossom bracelet, and love-me-knot satin platform heels from J. Crew.
On the right: Lace tee, beige t-shirt, and skinny cords from Old Navy; although, Forever XXI has a better assortment of lace tops, and J. Crew has some toothpick ankle cords on sale. Also shown, pearl necklace from Pearl Paradise.com, random shoes from DSW, and chiffon & tulle flower brooch from a BYOV tutorial.

I was considering making my own lace t-shirt from some stretch lace, but at $13-20, buying at the store is really a more efficient approach. Making things yourself is not always the wisest decision.
I applied this advice to APC's fall line with choice Lands' End pieces, as well.

Hexagons.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Ginger & George's Hexagon Notecard

J thought next I'd be in a cooking phase.

Mociun Hexagon Rings & Bracelet

Wrong.
hexies-progress5
Flickr/Aunt-Mary

So wrong.
Delft Tiles with an Islamic Twist
Flickr/maureencrosbie

It's a hexagon phase.
Danish Chair, Reupholstered (Front Close-up)
BYOV's Hexagon Quilt Chair

It really should be a paper-writing phase.

Ta-Da!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Danish Chair, Reupholstered (Front Close-up)

So here's what I did with hexagon quilt top from the previous post. I appliquéed the quilt to some osnaburg (unbleached cotton), and staple-gunned it to the top of my Danish chair. At the very least, it looks better than before...although perhaps a bit too cute-sy.
Danish Chair, Reupholstered (Back)

How To: Easy Hexagon Quilt Top Piecing

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tutorial: Hexagon Quilt Top Piecing

I have this tendency to start every other tutorial with a warning about how easy the skill is; and aside from the knitting/crochet patterns, the step to entry really is quite simple and anyone can do it. These hexagon quilt pieces are like the others- if you can sew by hand, you can do it!

How To: Hexagon Quilt Top Piecing

Now, what you do with them is another matter. I like this hexagon decorated fabric box, and there's potholders and a tote bag, of course. Or "hex jeans". Or go wild and make a whole quilt of hexagons. The method I'm introducing below was created by combining the most common sense of several hexagon tutorials into the easiest possible steps.

Step 0: Gather Materials

Step 0: Gather Materials

Materials: Assorted fabrics (I used calicos, osnaburg, and a linen mix), (Fabric+Paper) Scissors , (Contrasting+Matching) Thread, Needle, Pins, Pencil, Ruler, Scrap Printer Paper, and hexagon template on card stock (or plastic).

Step 1: Make Your 2-in Hexagon Template

Step 1: Make Your 2-in Hexagon Template

Make a hexagon template with an old plastic container, or some card stock (like I did). If you're just beginning, you should start with at least a 1.5 inch template, although I used a 2 inch hexagon for this tutorial.

Step 2: Mark a 1-in Fold Line on Paper

Step 2: Mark a 1-in Fold Line on Paper

Mark a 1-inch fold line on the longside of the printer paper. If you're using a different size template, use half the height: I have a 2-inch template, so I used a 1-inch fold line. A 3-inch hexagon template requires a 1.5-inch fold line.

Step 3: Fold Paper and Trace Half Hexagon

Step 3: Fold Paper and Trace Half Hexagon

Fold the paper and trace the bottom half of the hexagon template along the fold, as shown. Be sure the two side points line up with the fold.

Step 4: Cut Paper Hexagons

Step 4: Cut Paper Hexagons

Cut the paper hexagons along the lines that you drew, as shown.

Step 5: Cut Little Diamond Cut-outs

Step 5: Cut Little Diamond Cut-outs

Cut little diamonds out of the center of the paper hexagons. You'll need to place a pin through the holes, but don't make the diamonds too large.

Keep making more paper hexagons by following steps 2-5. You can always make more if you run out.

Step 6: Cut 3-in Squares of Fabric

Step 6: Cut 3-in Squares of Fabric

If you're using a 2-inch hexagon, you should cut ~3-inch squares of fabric. (If you're using a different size hexagon, just add an inch to the height, and cut that size of square fabric).

You could cut the fabric squares into hexagons at this point, but it's just easier to leave them as squares.

Step 7: Pin a Paper Hexagon to a Square of Fabric

Step 7: Pin a Paper Hexagon to a Square of Fabric

Using the diamond hole cut in the paper hexagon, pin it to the approximate center of the [wrongside of the] square of fabric. (Other methods use a glue stick here, but a pin is cleaner).

Step 8: Fold Fabric to One Edge of Hexagon

Step 8: Fold Fabric to One Edge of Hexagon

Fold the fabric along one edge of the paper hexagon. Be sure not to fold the paper.

Step 9: Fold Fabric to Meet at the Corner of the First Fold

Step 9: Fold Fabric to Meet at the Corner of the First Fold

Fold another side of the fabric along the next edge of the hexagon. This second fold should overlap with the first.

Step 10: Sew Through Overlap of Fabric

Step 10: Sew Through Overlap of Fabric

Using the contrasting thread and needle, sew through the overlap of the fabric. Do not sew through the paper. Do not sew through the "front" of the fabric.

By just sewing through the overlap at the corner, you won't have to worry about removing the contrasting thread later (a common problem with a lot of other methods).

Step 11: Fold Fabric Along the Next Edge of the Hexagon

Step 11: Fold Fabric Along the Next Edge of the Hexagon

Fold the fabric along the next edge of the hexagon, be careful not to bend the paper hexagon.

Step 12: Continue Folding and Sewing through Overlap

Step 12: Continue Folding and Sewing through Overlap

Continue repeating steps 9 & 10, until the hexagon is complete. You can remove the pin at this point, but not the paper!
Step 12: "Right side" of Completed Hexagon


Step 13: Repeat Steps 7-12 Making More Fabric Hexagons

Step 13: Repeat Steps 7-12 Making More Fabric Hexagons

Repeat steps 7-12, making as many hexagons as you need for your project. Remember to remove the pins, but not the paper!

Step 14: Place Rightside of Two Hexagons Together

Step 14: Place Rightside of Two Hexagons Together

Once you decide how you'd like to lay out your fabric hexagons, place the right side of two neighboring hexagons together, with their edges matching.

Step 15: Sew Two Edges Together Closely

Step 15: Sew Two Edges Together Closely

With the matching thread and needle, sew the edge of the two hexagons together. Be careful to only go through the fabric, and not the paper!

Step 15: Sew Two Edges Together Closely

Step 15: Sew Two Edges Together Closely

Two hexagons sewn together, right-sides.
(Sorry for the funky Photoshopping. I forgot to take a photo of just the two hexagons).

Step 16: Add Another Hexagon

Step 16: Add Another Hexagon

Add another hexagon by repeating steps 14 & 15.

Step 16: Reinforce Corner!

Step 16: Reinforce Corner!

Be sure to reinforce the corner where the 3 hexagons meet, by sewing a couple extra stitches through all three of the hexagons.

Step 17: Continue Adding Hexagons

Step 17: Continue Adding Hexagons

Continue adding hexagons by sewing an edge at a time. When you're done, make sure all the loose edges have been sewn/secured to another. When a hexagon is completely surrounded by 6 other hexagons, you may remove the paper from its center, and reuse it to make more!
Step 17: Continue Adding Hexagons


Step 18: Remove Papers and You're Done!

Step 18: Remove Paper and You're Done!

Keep attaching more hexagons, removing pins, etc. until your piece is large enough for your project. Remove the paper hexagons when everything's finished.

Now you know how to hand-piece a hexagon quilt top, but what will you make with them? They're great for appliquéing onto other projects, making pillows, quilts, etc.

(My plans will be revealed later...)

[Edit 8/18/2013: I used this tutorial to make a hexagon quilt! See posts on my progress below.]
  1. How To: Hexagon Quilt Top Piecing 9/11/2010
  2. Progress Report 12/15/2010
  3. Progress Report 4/4/2012
  4. Progress Report 4/18/2012
  5. Progress Report 5/16/2012
  6. Step One: Hexagon Quilt Top Done 5/29/2012
  7. Step Two & Three: Backing & Quilt Sandwich 6/19/2013
  8. Step Four: Hand Quilting 8/28/2013
  9. Step Five: Non-Traditional Hexagon Quilt Binding Tutorial 9/18/13
  10. A Review of the Hexagon Quilt 10/2/13

A Knitted Argyle Pillow Pattern

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Small-Multiple Argyle Pillow, Red Side

A sweet, bold double-sided argyle pillow. I love its graphic design and how I can switch (slightly) its look just by flipping it over. The techniques involved are probably best described as 'intermediate': you need to be able to handle some hectic colorwork (either stranding or intarsia, or both!).

Please do not redistribute this pattern without author permission.
Large-Double Argyle Pillow, Brown Side

[Knitting] Double-sided Argyle Pillow

(See this pattern on Ravelry, here.)
Difficulty: Intermediate
Yarn: Worsted/Medium (I used some red & blue Caron Simply Soft, brown Vanna's Choice, and leftover, doubled cream Dalegarn Baby Ull)
Yardage: 170yds of the brown, about ~200 yds of the blue & red, 45-90yds of the white.
Needle: 32" size 5 circular knitting needles (or, less preferably, regular knitting needles)
Gauge: I used an assortment of yarns with a needle that is smaller than the recommended size (to get a tighter knit). You may need to adjust the number of pattern repeats, or the size of the pillow border to get your panels to be the correct size.

Large-Double Argyle Panel

First we make the brown argyle side, then we make the red argyle panel, and we sew them together.

So, starting with the brown: it's easiest to do all the colorwork with intarsia. The argyle block is framed by 9 columns and 4 rows of brown stockinette stitch, to give the panel a more square-like shape. The panel should be 14x14 inches at the finish (if you want to make a larger pillow, either add more rows/columns to the brown frame, or add another argyle repeat, or crochet a border around the panel after completion).
Large-Double Argyle Overview Large-Double Argyle Organization

Large-Double Argyle Pattern:
CO 49 stitches.
R1, R3. P to end.
R2, R4. K to end.
R5. P9. Begin argyle pattern in St st with Row 1 from the color graph (below). P9.
R6-R36. Complete first argyle pattern in St st, remember to add 9 stockinette stitches to the beginning and ends of each row.
R37. P9. Begin repeat of argyle pattern in St st with ROW 2 from the color graph (below). P9.
R38-R68. Complete argyle repeat in St st, remember to add 9 stockinette stitches to the beginning and ends of each row.
R69, R71. P to end.
R70, R72. K to end.
Cast-off, loosely, in pattern (likely Purl-wise).
If the double argyle panel isn't the desired size:
  1. Add a crochet border until panel is the correct size
  2. Frog, and add the required number of brown/framing rows/columns
  3. Frog, and add another argyle repeat
Large-Double Argyle Block


Small-Multiple Argyle Panel

Now that we have one panel done, let's do the second one to make our pillow double-sided. We can sew them together at the end. So, the red, I used a combined method for the colorwork on this pattern: the brown lines are done with intarsia while all the other colorwork is stranded fair isle. This makes for a very thick knit (thus affecting your gauge)! Be sure to keep your stranded yarn loose, and twist the non-working yarn with the working yarn every 5 stitches or so. The colorwork is extremely hectic to keep organized on this one, you've been warned!!

This small-multiple argyle block is framed by 4 rows and columns of red stockinette stitch, to give the panel a more square-like shape. The panel should be 14x14 inches at the finish (if you want to make a larger pillow, either add more rows/columns to the red frame, or add another argyle repeat, or crochet a border around the panel after completion).
Small-Multple Argyle Layout Small-Multiple Argyle Overview

Large-Double Argyle Pattern:
CO 69 stitches.
R1, R3. P to end.
R2, R4. K to end.
R5. P4. Begin argyle pattern in St st with Row 1 from the color chart (below). Knit the first stitch from the pattern, *(K the remainder of the first row from the chart starting with stitch 2 on the first row), repeat from * twice more. P4.
R6-R26. Continue following the color chart (below) in St st, beginning with the SECOND stitch in the chart for the second and third repeat. Remember to add 4 stockinette stitches to the beginning and ends of each row.
R36-R74. Repeat rows 6-26 twice more. Notice that we're skipping row 5, so that you skip the first row of the color chart for these two repeats. Just make sure to stay in St st wherever the purls/knits are mentioned.
R75, R77. P to end.
R76, R78. K to end.
Cast-off, loosely, in pattern (likely Purl-wise).
If the multiple argyle panel isn't the desired size:
  1. Add a crochet border until panel is the correct size
  2. Frog, and add the required number of red/framing rows/columns
  3. Frog, and add additional argyle repeats
Small-Multiple Argyle Pattern


Assembly
  1. Secure and sew-in all yarn ends.
  2. If the two argyle pillow panels are not the same size, crochet a border as needed.
  3. Block panels to square shape
  4. With a scrap of yarn, place right-sides of the two panels together, and sew around the edge of three of the panels' sides.
  5. Pull the pillow case right-sides out through the fourth, unsewn edge.
  6. Place an appropriately-sized pillow form inside the pillow case
  7. With remainder of scrap of yarn, sew the fourth edge shut.
  8. ...and you're done!

Key: I use the common knitting abbreviations here.
CO: Cast-on
St st: Stockinette stitch
K: knit the given number
P: purl the given number

Enjoy!

Small-Multiple Argyle Panel - Front Small-Multiple Argyle Panel - Back
Double-sided Argyle Pillow Side View
Large-Double Argyle Panel - Front Large-Double Argyle Panel - Back

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