Sunday, April 12, 2015

Little Bit of This, a Little Bit of That

My attention hasn't seem to be focused on any one thing these days - my mind is flitting from one thing to the next.  That has been reflective in how I've been spending my free time.  This past week, I've stitched on three different projects and did some frogging on a 4th.  Not typical for me!

Zippered Pouches:
I've had another attempt - two actually - at getting my zipper corners more squared on pouches.  This is most most recent attempt.  Much improved!  But guess what?  I forgot to do the topstitching!  Oh well, I'll either still use this one (knitting notions) or pass it along to my sister who is a teacher to put in her "treasure chest".  I also went back to the drawing board on my pieced zippered pouch, but I can't find it to take pictures of it.  It must be some place "safe".   It came out better too but not tremendously.  Need to figure out what to do with the bulk since that project had batting in it instead of fusible interfacing.
I finally weaved in the ends of this project.  This is an inexpensive wrap for the couch for those days it's too cold on my shoulders in the living room.  Obviously, since it's already hot, hot, hot here, it's going to be a while before I can use it.   When I bought the yarn, I was on vacation and hadn't been knitting for a while.  So I bought cheap yarn.  I've learned my lesson because I really do wish this was  less rustic.  I didn't think I'd like the ruffles but turns out I love them! 
Marble Chunky Yarn Color MC15
Size 9 Needles
Do you use 1.5" and 2" inch scraps - mostly traditional fabrics?  If so, leave your name and they are yours!  If more than 1 of you would like them, I'll draw a name.  They're too small for me and have been sitting on my cutting table for far too long!
A Favor:
If you're a stitcher and on Facebook, can you "Like" our EGA guilds page?  We are trying to get to 100 likes!  There is a ton of pictures of beautiful stitching to look at too!  Thank you!

I hope you all have had a great weekend!  I've been busy today with things that need to be done about the house so no needle time so far today. Hopefully tonight.  I hope all your stitches are happy ones!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Tomorrow is Another Day!

I know it's been a while!  I'm still out there reading your blogs and being inspired.  I'm just getting a slow start to the year.  Thank you for hanging in there with me!

One of my goals for the year is to have more handmade ornaments for our Christmas tree this year.  It's a sad state of affairs here as there are presently only two in our "collection".   There are times at work where I do get to take a full lunch hour.  It doesn't take an hour to eat so I've put together a little kit so I'll have something to stitch on when I do have that extra bit of time.  

Here's my kit - this is actually what I'm working on presently.  Fabric, pattern, thread, QSnaps, and a cute little handcrafted needle holder that Annette made for me at the holidays (I love it so much, perfect for a couple of spare needles).  
It fits nicely in this zippered bag.  It looks huge here but in reality it is just a bit bigger than a paperback book and fits nicely in my lunch tote. 
It's amazing how much progress can be made on a ornament with little bits of time here and there.  I've actually finished stitching two ornaments and the one in the kit above is more than 1/2 done.  The one below is the first one I finished this year and the kit was gifted to me by a good friend Teresa.  It definitely started off my year on the right foot!  Thank you T!
Erica Michaels
Quiet Night
JCS Christmas Edition 2007
It's no secret that my sewing mojo has been on a field trip.  I haven't even been going into my sewing room.  A few weeks ago I did get in there and re-organized my scraps.  Today I went in there and told myself to  "just sew anything".  So I pulled out some scraps and ended up making a little zippered pouch.  As you all know, I'm pretty new to zippers.  My first experience wasn't that bad though.  It feels like it's been downhill from there.  I'm not happy at all with today's pouch.  It didn't help that my machine was being cranky as all get out and I felt like I had to fight it to get through this and it shows in the end result.  But that is OK, because I'm going to try again and do better.  And in order to do that, I need to get in there and sew on a more regular basis - improve my skills instead of getting rusty!  

I do love those rounded bottom corners though!  
Even though today was a bit  frustrating, I am grateful that I don't do everything well on the first (or even the 5th try) as I do find joy in learning!  Wouldn't it be boring to master every new skill on the first try?  I think so!  

I'm off to watch some YouTube videos or at least I will be after I finish watching Real Housewives of Atlanta.  Ha! 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Follow Your Arrow

I'm participating in Ysolda Teague's Follow Your Arrow Mystery KAL again this year.  It runs for 6 weeks and we've had two clues.  The pattern calls for 550 yards and I thought it would be a good project to make the best use of the yardage of a skein of Wollmeise.  No such luck.  Here is clue #1 knit in that selection.  As you can tell, far too dark for the pattern.  
So I went back to the drawing board and ordered yarn from Eat. Sleep. Knit - specifically MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light in the Oceana colorway and here is how my project stands at the end of Clue #2.  With blocking, the texture will look more like sideways arrows.  I had to work hard at not pulling the floats too tight.  I'm trying to loosen up my tension in general.  It's more important with something like this.  I've learned a lot with this project already!  Even though it seems I've knit most of it twice.  Ugh.  Looking at this picture, the pattern isn't very prominent.  Trust me it is in real life, this is just a bad i-Phone pic.
I also ordered some yarn to make my husband a hat.  This knit up super fast. Like two days.
MadelineTosh Tosh Chunky
Mandala Colorway

I also made a knitting project bag.  Aren't these knitting sheep cute?  It doesn't match my project but I wanted to use the knitting themed fabric.    I used the Noodlehead tutorial but ended up veering from the pattern a bit.  Sewing is not intuitive for me and I needed more photos.
It's lined in a co-ordinating knitting fabric.
That's it for me for now.  Have a great week and I hope all your stitches are happy ones!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Out of Deep Hibernation

I do have one goal for 2015.  I want to finish Anniversaries of the Heart!  I'm quite sure I didn't pull this one out for more than a minute in 2014.  I've already made serious progress in 2015 and stitched the November block.  Three more to go and ALL of the personalization (which isn't planned out yet). I can do it!  
I have been on an organizational frenzy lately.  It's not like we're unorganized but it was time to go through and look at everything in closets, drawers and cabinets with a critical eye and neaten and donate.  It feels good.  That said, I really haven't moved that thought into the sewing room BUT I did manage to find this BBD stocking that has been on a "field trip" for some time!  
I've also been stitching ornaments for the Christmas tree.  I want next years tree to have more than 2  stitched ornaments on it. Should I change the date on that?

I've started a new knitting project - a mystery knit along called Follow Your Arrow 2.  I enjoyed that last year and will share more about this on another post.  

For me, 2015 has started out feeling like a time of refreshment and renewal.   How does it feel to you?  I hope it has been good to you so far and that all your stitches have been happy ones!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Final Finish!

I mentioned in my last post that I thought I'd have a quilting finish before the end of the year.  You may have noticed, but I've not been sewing a lot this year.  When I have, I have been working on this quilt.  I decided to give it to my sister for Christmas.  Long story, the gift was very unexpected by her for many reasons.  No one knew I was doing it except my husband.  When my sister opened it, she started crying.  It was a very touching moment.
The photos, taken at night and inside, don't really show the richness of the reds.   I don't prewash my fabrics and didn't have any problems with bleeding at all.  I washed the quilt with Retayne which is a color fixative.  I also washed my Christmas Harvest Quilt with it.  These two quilts are made with fabrics from two different manufacturers.   
I also tried a new to me technique - machine binding.  I machine bound placemats before and was not pleased with the result.  This is a HUGE quilt and I just didn't have the time to hand sew the binding down.  Also, I thought a machine binding would be more durable.  My quilter recommended Susies's Magic Binding.   I used the stitch in the ditch foot for my walking foot and it worked so very well.  Definitely a technique I'll use again.  
This quilt was a BOM from Michael Miller from 2012.  

Looking back over 2014, I wanted to thank you for sticking with me.  I've not posted as much this year and probably will never reach posting a couple of times a week again.  I do plan on posting once a month and think I can reasonably meet/beat that schedule.  Your visits, comments and YOUR blogs inspire me so much.  I need that inspiration!  

At 2015 is just around the corner, I am feeling very hopeful and inspired. I hope you are too!  I'm not going to post a 2014 retrospective or goals for 2015.  But I will send you all a wish for a happy, healthy and safe new year - a year that is hopefully full of happy stitches!  Much love to you all!

Those of you who are stitchers may want to check out the blog for my EGA Chapter.  Lots of great finishes showcased!