A Very Crafty Summer


Aside from writing like a lunatic this summer, my two months of freedom also turned out to be an adventure in crafting.  It all started when I got the bright idea to clean out my craft closet, which had become ridiculously stuffed and unorganized.  As I started pulling things out and sorting through supplies, my muse went nuts.  It’s like walking through a craft store and getting bombarded with a million ideas in every aisle, (some would say I have an entire craft store in my closet).  Old, unfinished projects looked fun again and I realized I had the time to revisit hobbies that wandered to the bottom shelf or under the bed.

With my crafty summer coming to an end, (the day job has started again), I can’t help but reflect on all the things I made between June and July:

1) Cross-stitch. In addition to cleaning out my closet, a friend’s request for a cross-stitch to celebrate the arrival of her new baby is also responsible for the start of my crafting extravaganza. Seeing as there are virtually no cute cross-stitch kits in stores these days, I ended up creating my own pattern.  It had been a couple of years since I’ve even touched aida cloth and embroidery thread, but the addiction immediately came back!  After completing the baby cross-stitch, I jumped right into stitching another project based on a pattern I’ve always wanted to make.  I’d post pictures of both, but they are gifts that have not been given just yet.  I don’t want to spoil the surprise!

2) Penny rugs.  For my birthday, I received a penny rug kit from my aunt.  She knows I love this traditional art form, so I was truly excited to whip those concentric circles into shape, (see Penny Rugs: Boot Scrapers to Placements for a picture of this particular rug).

After completing one penny rug, I was anxious to make another.  So, using all the scraps of wool I had lying around, I made a very traditional penny rug for my coffee table.  All in all, I cut out and sewed more than 160 circles!  The best part about this project is that I didn’t need or use a pattern.  I cut out circles until I had enough and let the colors land where they may.

Penny Rug Table Runner – Created by c.b.w.

While the table runner turned out great, penny rug mania still had a firm grip on my creativity. I decided my end table needed a penny rug that matched the one I made for the coffee table, (I still had a ton of wool scraps!).  However, I didn’t want to make it an exact match.  I borrowed a simple penny rug mat from my Grandma and used it as the inspiration to make one for my end table. Again, no pattern necessary – all I needed was a pretty good guess on how to construct all the elements.

Penny Rug Mat – Created by c.b.w.

3) Quilting.  When I was 16 years old, I started hand-sewing blocks to make a huge quilt. Each block has 40 pieces and it took me two years to make enough for a full-size quilt.  Unfortunately, college and life in general caused my creation to end up stuffed in a closet for twelve years.  Once I moved into my first house, I took the blocks over to my grandma’s house and we pieced together the top layer, marked quilt lines, and pinned the backing.  Then, the poor thing got shoved into another closet for six more years.  Seeing as this quilt is now a legal adult, I figured I’d finally finish it.  To my surprise, it unfolded exactly as I’d left it and nothing had shifted.  Within a week, I had it quilted, yarn tied, and bound.  It’s now on a bed and gorgeous!

Eight-Point Star Quilt – Created by c.b.w.

4) Knitting. For the longest time I’ve wanted to learn how to knit. I have a rudimentary understanding of how it works, I own knitting needles, and I made a scarf once, (actually, it was more like a poncho and my mom had to cast on for me), but I’ve never been able to get the hang of it. Being left-handed might have something to do with this, because everyone around me who knows how to knit is right-handed and every how-to book and video is for right-handers as well.  The knitting board turned out to be my savior and now I can’t get enough of this ambidextrous wonder.  At the tail end of my summer, I learned everything about knitting boards and began knitting socks, (which I actually wear!).  And I am still knitting socks!  In the coming weeks I’ll be posting about my various sock projects, so I’ll hold off on pictures except for one of my first pair.

My first pair of knitted socks!

The funny thing is my craft closet is still a little messy!

– – –

c.b.w. 2012

50 thoughts on “A Very Crafty Summer

  1. Those socks look really warm – a little too warm for the moment, but I imagine they’ll be wonderful once the dead of winter arrives! The penny rugs are a very colorful way to spice up a coffee- or end-table and your quilt is fabulous. My sister-in-law makes quilts, so I know how much work goes into one. 🙂


  2. I love this! Awesome work!

    Also, I have an unorganized craft closet myself! About once a year I organize it and try to make everything accessible, but inevitably things start getting thrown back in and now it is a hopeless mess.


  3. You go girl! I wish I had the energy to tackle my craft boxes and get back to the projects… Did you try looking for left handed knitting on youtube? I was having a hard time with learning knitting from my mom, so I watched a bunch of youtube videos.


  4. Goodness, you were productive!! And everything you made is so beautiful! I love the quilt… and the socks… and the rug! 😀 Congrats on a well-used summer. I hope you feel refreshed and ready for a great school year!


    • You are an incredibly talented individual – never doubt that! 🙂

      I am so excited to be able to walk down the yarn aisle at a craft store because now I actually know what to do with the stuff! Lol!


    • settleandchase

      Its also lovely how the quilt has carried along with you through the years, how lovely to have stitches in there from all different times in your life..


  5. What a wonderful summer 🙂 I love the socks!!! SOOOOO cool that you’re into that and that they turned out so well!! Even though I believe that teaching is an art (and we talked before about how intuitive it is-much like other creative endeavors) I wonder if you’ll miss spending so much time on socks and quilting and penny rugs and writing, or if you’ll be satisfied with teaching.


    • I’m hoping all that creativity will spill into my teaching. Every year, I try to create new things for my classes, so hopefully the inspiration will continue. 🙂

      Still, I miss knitting and writing every day already!


  6. Heart To Harp

    I am very impressed with your craft accomplishments! Your quilt is beautiful beyond words. When you do your post about socks, please explain what a knitting board is. I would love to knit socks like yours, being a lover of funky socks, but never was able to control two needles, even though I am right-handed. Perhaps I am not forever consigned to one-needle crocheting?


    • I’ll bet you would do amazing things with two months!!

      I used a blanket stitch on the penny rugs and it happens to be my favorite stitch to do! I love how it adds a little texture to any design. 🙂


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