Saturday, February 5, 2011

I am home....

I'm home, and have nothing new or up coming on the horizon. This feels a little sad but also relieving. For several months, maybe longer, everything has seemed to consisted of days that were either in high fast forward or crawling slowly, so slowly they hardly seemed to move at all.

There was a little bit of crafting, a little planning, a lot of fretting (pretty useless but seemingly hard to avoid) making plans and tossing them out for new ones. There were the Holidays, a wedding that (for me) was a job, a computer that decided to just STOP, a wedding that was love combined with a long awaited vacation, time with people I love that I rarely see, and some more personal drama and triumph thrown in and mixed up for good measure. There are things that got pushed to the back burner that NEED to be finished and some new goals and interest I want to work on. I know 2011 is a quarter of the way into it's second month, but I feel like now that I am home it can start for me. I can transfer the pictures from my camera to my computer. Finish that lingering embroidery project (Sorry Kimmie) and start 2011. I'm not setting elaborate goals. I want to be a better photographer at the end of this year than I am now. I want to learn more about many things. I want to start walking again and eating things that make me feel good. I might add more concrete goals to these vague ideas later on but for now I'm content with progress.

Today I'm going to sit and drink my coffee, enjoy the dog at my feet and a computer that works, go through my pictures, maybe do a little editing or stitching and just in general take a deep breath and let it out slowly. I'll catch up with you again soon but for now I'll leave you with this one picture, my baby sister, beautiful bride, grown up married woman. I love you Robyn and I am so very very proud of you.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Storm At Sea....

washed up this pretty little mermaid.


This was for another swap :), of course. I’ve really been enjoying these fun little projects. My attention span is long enough for them. My partner loves mermaids and I had originally intended to make a pillow. After I got the top finished, though, I started worrying that she wouldn’t have a place to put it, and decided to go with a mini quilt instead.

Even though I do think my machine quilting needs some work, my partner loved it.... which quite frankly is always the best part.


The block pattern is a favorite of mine, “Storm at Sea”. I love all the different patterns your eyes can focus on. I paper pieced the top making a few minor changes (like the mermaid) using a pattern from an old issue of Miniature Quilts Magazine, which sadly appears to have gone out of business. (I should probably take better care of my old issues.)

I’m thinking (watch out), I would like to do a bed size quilt with a black background and make the colored pieces yellows and oranges and reds..... It’s funny when I lived in the desert (like my swap partner) I loved the cool blues and greens. However, since moving to Oregon, where there are so many different greens outside, I have discovered a new appreciation for yellow and orange, especially come February.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

12 Down only 2 to go Except......

Good News first:


One more completed puppy! Isn’t he adorable.... I wouldn’t fall for it though that face ALWAYS means they either did or are about to do something “fun”.

Bad News (in pairs):

I’m stuck. This little guy has been almost done for a couple of months, but I don’t know what to do about the box.... if I just outline it is it going to stand out for being so plain next to the clown?


(sorry about the wrinkles)

This one I could do a little bit more on but I’m not sure what to do about the wagon. That much fill makes me feel a little woozy but will it look finished just outline stitching it? Also what color should it be? It feels like wagons should always be red but there is no red on the rest of the quilt.


A third option ( which may just be laziness speaking) is, if I leave these out, twelve blocks makes a nice divisible number for a quilt layout. Fourteen does not. I still haven’t figured out how I’m going to put these together.


Monday, August 16, 2010

ATC Catchup

I’m behind on showing you my ATC’s. I don’t do a lot of them but they are a fun & fast (relatively speaking) project when a theme grabs me.

These two I were screaming my name. I just couldn’t help myself.... A Frog Prince and Sewing Theme ATC.... really how could I NOT sign up for these?



Then we had a Non-Paper ATC. Again I was compelled. Resistance is futile. ( My partner likes skulls and keys. The pattern is from Urban Threads.)


While cupcakes are wonderful any time they say CELEBRATE to me so when my partner for the Cupcake ATC swap listed her favorite holidays and celebrations I thought I would try for a theme. How did I do?



And last but not least the Woodland ATC’s. I know this probably isn’t what most people had in mind but the only thing I could think of when I saw the theme was “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening”


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Summer Produce

I am a hopeless gardener. I LOVE fresh off the plant produce but, aside from the odd tomato plant that I remember to put in a pot before it shrivels up and dies, I can't grow anything myself. (Oh, there is a lavender plant that seems to get bigger and stronger completely on it's own. That is probably because I stuck it someplace and left it to fend for itself though.) When I get a craving for good produce I stop someplace like this



and BUY stuff like this...



However, if you just want to look at it or stick pins into it I can help you.





These were for a Tomato Pincushion Swap. I got a little carried away. I used this tutorial. It took me longer to dig through my stash and choose fabric than it did to whip them up. I used carded wool to stuff them. I think it stuffs a little firmer than polyfill and with the little bit of lanolin still in it I'm guessing it is good for your pins and needles. Really though it's because I have more fleece than I can spin in my life time. (Well maybe not, if I started now and gave up all other crafts, but that's not going to happen. I thought I had better start getting creative with some of it.) On a side note: if you make the smaller size, I thought it was much easier to gather them with a hand sewn running stitch than it was on the machine.



I'm getting better at the needle books. I managed to get through this one with out ripping anything out and I definitely didn't have to make a (ehem) demo one first. I used this pattern by BigB for the strawberries. She has a lot of great embroidery patterns. I love the sparkle of the "seed" beads. (Go ahead and groan. I deserve it.) I still really need to get around to making one of these for myself, maybe I would stop losing my scissors.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fast and Fun

Well, Shelby let me know awhile ago she got this and even was sweet enough to come leave me a comment here. So I think it is probably safe to show you what I came up with for the bookmark I sent her. :)


I just foundation pieced the cotton scraps to the heaviest interfacing I had for the base. Then I stitched over the seams with a variegated thread using what ever stitch looked interesting out of The Embroidery Stitch Bible. All I had to carry around was the book (One of the reasons I love this particular one is it's tiny.), a couple of precut threads and the bookmark. With the interfacing on the back I didn't need a hoop and the little lines of stitching were so short I was picking out a new stitch in just a few minutes. To finish it, I machine sewed a back on it.... like making a pillow case, turned it right side out and top stitched down close to the edge. I really should make more of these. It was a fun little project.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Embroidery and pretty girls

One of the first swaps I signed up for was Pin-Up Hand Embroidery, but we had a month to complete it so it’s been awhile in the making.

But YAY! Katy, got my package so I FINALLY get to show off what I sent. I have to say, I was a little intimidated by my partner. I’ve bought several of her wonderful patterns so it really had to be good. I was torn about whether I should use one of hers, or try something else. In the end I went with this little dancing girl from Keen Olive.


I've had her finished for quite some time. I loved working on this little girl. She was one of those projects that every detail that filled in just seemed exactly right.


The stockings are my favorite part. :) I used a fine tulle and cut it big enough to go over her leg. If I was a more patient, meticulous person I would have basted it down or something first. But I'm not, so I just backed stitched it on the embroidery line. Then I took out the part I did at the beginning and smoothed it a little flatter and redid the first part over. And then I did it exactly the same way for the second leg. I don't believe in making things easier on myself apparently. I was afraid when I trimmed the edges it would pull out so I ran a very tiny running stitch right next to the embroidery using a silk thread designed for applique. If you look super close you can see it but it's not obvious and the stockings stayed attached. Even after a trip through the washer. I cannot believe how filthy white fabric can get even when I'm being extra careful.


After her stocking I think I love her hair. I was worried about how it was going to look so I put it off until the last bit. Procrastinating means it’s going to work, you know, and it did. I just crammed as many french knots into a small space as I could using three different shades of brown.

When I signed up for this I knew I would want to put an extra little thing in the box but I didn't quite know what it was. After reading Katy's profile I knew I wanted to make her a needle book. I mean how hard can it be, really.

Apparently I can make anything really hard if I want to.....( I have been sewing for as long as I can remember. I have made quilts, clothes, curtains, and stuffed animals. ) I made more silly mistakes on this one little book than I have one probably any 10 projects. My Home Ec teacher would have been ashamed. I didn't put the right sides together on the pocket..... rip it out...didn't put the right sides together on the cover..... rip it out... forgot to put the ribbons in.... rip it out.... cut too close when I trimmed the corners.... resew that corner.... finally pretty little needle book.....


Not so fast. Now the observant among you will have noticed something I did not notice until I went to address the package.

Yep... Katy not Katie...... Really no way to fix this. Which makes this one.... a prototype.... Ya that's it. It wasn't so much a bad thing. I knew I had wanted a pocket in the back for scissors and a pocket in the front for floss.... the size I had made it was the same size as one of the ATC's which was just a tiny bit small for scissors.

I increased the size just a little bit, added some sparkly bits and found some wool felt instead of the acrylic. Much better. Apparently the universe was trying to tell me I needed practice.


I’m really happy with how they both turned out and now I think I need a needle book.