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Monday, October 31, 2011

Spooky Day



Happy Halloween!
It is an overcast and rainy day here. You can say that about our weather throughout the fall season.
The bathrooms are clean but so far no Joe the contractor. This is getting old. I would have loved to sleep in this morning. I will appreciate that extra hour we get next Sunday.
I have a confession to make. I messed up the counting - again. I tried to be so careful centering my name. In the end it is off by a couple of threads. But it is off because I inadvertently added two stitches to the date motif at the bottom. Then I proceeded to do the corners and borders. So the whole darn back cover is two stitches or four threads too big. It is too much to rip out. Really. Ripping out all that over one stitching?! That is a nightmare. So I have justified it in my mind. The outside needs to be bigger than the inside so it will fold more easily. But deep inside me is a little voice that says "but I want it to be perfect!!".
I got the little boat scene on A Spot in the Mountains done. Today I want to do the train. This is close to being all stitched. If I concentrated on it, I bet I could get it done today.
I am taking two of my pop-up books when I see Dylan today. They are both Halloween related and I think he will like them. One is Halloween bugs and the other is Have you seen my Mommy? (who it a Mummy). They are cute.
A

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Where Did October Go?



I went to Target after church. I got bad stuff. Yum. I got just a bit more candy in case I run out tomorrow. One has to be prepared. And if I have leftovers, I can eat them since it is candy that I like. Which begs the question, is there a candy that you don't like?
I am ready to stitch my name, first and last, on Button Lover's Brag Book. I looked at my options and decided on my first and last name. But now I have to get it centered. I usually mess up a little on this part so I thought I would do it right this time. I am going to graph it properly instead of just say to myself "start four squares over from where it is now and add a square there and delete a square here". When I get my name stitched then the whole back outside cover will be done and I can move on to the spine.
I got the tree and deer done. I want to get to the boat and water scene on the front inside cover of A Spot in the Mountains. I may have to stitch a tree or two to get there.
I wonder if there is ice skating on today. That's what I'd like to watch as I'm stitching.
I wonder if Joe will come tomorrow.
I wonder if I'll get my Stitching Bits and Bobs order tomorrow.
I wonder how October went by so quickly. Was I really busy and missed it?
I tried watching "Grimm" last night but it was a little too grim for me. I don't like scary. I prefer the milder (less gory) "Once".
A

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saturday



I went out to the Farmer's Market for the last time. But I was too late! It has already closed for the year. Phooey. I had no excuse not to show up for Pilates so I went. I didn't go to step class yesterday just in case Joe the contractor showed up but no such luck.
I worked all day on A Spot in the Mountains. I got the back all done and started on the inside front. I want to do the deer and a tree today.
I worked for an hour on Button Lover's Brag Book. I only got a teeny bit done but I am going to concentrate on it today. I have to decide how I want to do my name. I'm going to graph out my whole name, my initials, and then just my first and last name and see which one I like best and which fits. The pattern shows just initials but that's so unexciting. I have that little itch to start something new. I know I shouldn't. Maybe I'll see about getting some parts together. I ordered the threads for Gay Ann Rogers' Winter Cottage. I have some congress cloth somewhere, I'll have to go digging.
I want to go to Target and get some bad stuff to eat like candy corn and cheetos. Saturday is the worst day to go. Maybe tomorrow.
A

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Bear of a Triangle



I made such good progress yesterday. I got two curly-que corners done on Button Lover's Brag Book cover. It is going way faster than I expected. It is very pretty and looks even better than the picture on the pattern.
I am down to the last two and a half triangles on A Spot in the Mountains. There is a bear in the last corner triangle. That will be fun to stitch. I know the last section of motifs will go fast and be fun too.
So far, no Joe the contractor. I'm hoping he got the starter fixed on his truck and will show up today. DH is off to the grocery store. I checked my order status on Stitching Bits and Bobs and nothing comes up. I hope that means my order is on it's way to my door. I ordered Jeannette Douglas's Storybook designs and accessory packs.
I am anxious to see the design up close and personal.
I got the quilt sent off yesterday. Shipping has become so expensive.
I got a See's Candies catalog in the mail yesterday. I was just drooling over all that candy. I don't drool like that over cauliflower although I should.
Goals for today:
Finish the back of A Spot in the Mountains
Mostly finish the back outside cover of Button Lover's Brag Book which includes two corners and the writing.
Lace one more button card.
Don't waste so much time checking my email.
A

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Getting Started





Things never turn out like you expect. We were all excited. All the junk has been taken off the counter top. Joe was supposed to be here at 8:30 to put in the backsplash tile. But the starter on his truck went out. So I was able to go to exercise class today. If he gets the starter fixed he may yet show up. Whatever.
I got lots done yesterday. I finished several triangles and if I worked on it all day, I could finish up the back of A Spot in the Mountains.
I tried lacing one of the fabric cards together for Button Lover's Brag Book. There are several ways to put it on the stiff interfacing. You can glue, lace or sew it to the interfacing. Since the designer laced hers, I decided to try that first. She said you didn't need to miter the corners but my corners don't lay as flat as I would like. Maybe I will gently iron them down flat. The next one I do, I think I'll try mitering the corners and see if I like that better. I started the outside cover! How fun.
I got good mail yesterday. A package! I am waiting for an order from Stitching Bits and Bobs. Orders from them always take a month and it has been a month today. But it wasn't from them. I also ordered these rods to roll my stitching on as I stitch in hand. But the order that came yesterday was the Winter Cottage from Gay Ann Rogers. I am trying to figure out how to do this on linen instead of congress cloth. I do have a piece of congress cloth I can use. I'm thinking if I use 32 count and go over two it will turn out just a bit bigger than the congress cloth. Still thinking....
A

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Progress



Joe the contractor called and he is coming to put in the kitchen backsplash tile tomorrow! Yeah! This makes me think of the next step - the kitchen floor! Decisions need to be made about whether to do the mud room floor at the same time. Tile needs to be ordered. Progress!
I need to get off my lazy bum and mail the quilt. My goal today is to get it all wrapped up in tissue and gift wrap then find a box to send it in. I guess I should get a card to go with it too.
I am so very close to having the inside cover of Button Lover's Brag Book done. I am just doing teeny little dots around the frame. I chose to do them in the cream color floss. I think you could use petite beads too. I like how it looks. Maybe I can start on the outside cover today. I love the little curly-ques at the corners.
I made good (but slow) progress on the back of A Spot in the Mountains. I'm just filling in all the triangles (bearclaws). I am enjoying both of these projects very much.
Confession: I opened the Halloween candy yesterday. I really wasn't going to touch it. But then I wanted something crunchy. Little packages of chocolate covered pretzels were calling my name. I only ate one. But Pandora's box has been opened. Can I resist eating more?
A

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Serendipity



Thank you for all your kind wishes on my birthday. I had a great day.
I met my new mentee yesterday. It is a boy. When I first saw him, I thought that he looked familiar. Come to find out, I know his brother who has been in the mentoring program for a few years. My little boy, Dylan, is the sweetest little boy ever. He was excited and nervous to meet me. He was polite, thoughtful and cooperative. A third grader is these things??? Wow. He has a speech impediment but he works very hard to be understood. R's are especially hard for him to say. We need to work on reading, as I think he is a little behind. I instantly love this kid. This will be a good year. Lunch was a choice between chicken nuggets and a hot dog. Dylan didn't care for the (canned) pork and beans or wheat roll and only ate a bite or two of the (canned) fruit cocktail. He bought an extra chocolate milk. I asked him all about what he likes and his family. Alice In Wonderland is being put on by the Youth Theater and I would like to arrange to take him to see it. I'll have to contact his mom.
I didn't get much stitching done yesterday. I got the second frame for the Button Lover's Brag Book right inside cover. (Say that three times fast) A little bit of two borders to do and that page is done. I want to make the fabric "cards" that go in the frames. They are made of printed fabric and mounted on sturdy interfacing. Then you put your buttons on them.
I am still working on the dark brown framework for the bargello on A Spot in the Mountains.
We went to a restaurant that offers 40% off on Mondays. It was too busy and had a wait time of 45 minutes. DH hates to wait. So then we went to a different place that was not busy at all. It was a nice quiet dinner and they accomodated my request for the root beer float. It was great. I have a recipe (from Spinster Stitcher) for a root beer bundt cake. I have all the stuff to try it. But I don't have a bundt pan. Would it do well as cupcakes? Can I put it in a 9 by 13 inch pan? It might be fun to try in my mini donut pan. We'll see.
A

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mentoring



I was asked if it made a difference whether I mentor a boy or a girl. It really does. I have mentored 2 boys and 1 girl. The first boy broke my heart when I first met him. He couldn't hide his disappointment when he met me, a chubby middle aged woman. He was hoping for a man. Many of the kids at this school have absentee dads, dads that are jerks or in jail. I don't play basketball. The drill is: I show up at school, sign in at the office. Then I drop off my junk at the mentoring room and go the child's classroom. We go down to the cafeteria and get lunch. Lunch drives me crazy as it is so bad. One step above dog food. We take lunch on a tray down to the mentoring room. The rest of the class has their lunch and goes outside for recess. Then the child eats his lunch. It usually doesn't take long, 10 or 15 minutes. Because I am a retired teacher, I always have the child read to me. Sometimes I read to them while they eat lunch. Almost always the child has a hard time reading. I know how to teach reading and I have many practice readers to help them. Then we do something fun. I love crafts. There is hardly a craft that I haven't tried. Boys don't like crafts as much as girls do. Boys want to go outside and play. Only once in four years did Halona say she would rather go outside and play. I used to teach children aged 3 to 6 so I really like to work with younger children. On the other hand, I have two boys of my own who are all grown up. So I do know about boys. We only have an hour together and it goes like the blink of an eye.
I said the right hand inside cover of Button Lover's Brag Book would be a breeze. I was wrong. You have to be very careful and follow the pattern exactly. The pattern changes at the corners and center top and bottom. Plus it is easy to get off. So after some frogging, I got the first frame done.
It doesn't look like I got much done on A Spot in the Mountains. But I worked on it for at least an hour. I guess my aim for today is to get all the framework in dark brown done. The filling in is pretty easy.
We are going out to eat tonight. It is United Nations Day and my birthday. I have lots of Barnes & Noble gift cards to spend. I intend to have a root beer float for dessert. Fun.
A

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ann is Done




Well, I know what I like. It is a good thing to know what you like. I like Raggedy Ann's red dress. That means she is done. The blue dress is relegated to a bag in the closet.
I made good progress on the bargello on the back of A Spot in the Mountains. I'm close to half done. I confess, I don't really like bargello. But with the combination of colors and the feel of the silk, I am enjoying it.
I got the left hand side of the inside cover of Button Lover's Brag book done. That sounds complicated. The spine and the right hand side will be a breeze. I think I want to work on the Outside cover next.
Since I have finished the quilt and Raggedy Ann, I'm thinking of what I should tackle next. I really should finish that Shepherd's Bush afghan for heaven's sake. It is in a pile on my sewing room floor and I need to get it done. It is so close. Although I can't put a name on it until the name is revealed in January.
I keep seeing the Lucet holder pieces and I must finish that also. I tried the other day making some more flat braid cord. I tried tightly, I tried looser. There has to be a happy medium. What I really want is evenness. The cord is what is preventing me from finishing. I thought maybe I could make some twisted cord instead. But that doesn't seem right. Then I thought maybe some regular lucet cording. That's what I will try next.
There are piles of leaves along the street waiting for leaf pick-up tomorrow.
I just found out the name of my new mentee. But I'm not sure if it is a girl or a boy. I'll find out tomorrow.
A

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Skipping





I am thinking of skipping the things I usually do on a Saturday which are the farmer's market and pilates. I just get ornery sometimes.
I got Raggedy Ann's hair all done. The template method worked great. I can't imagine making each loop individually (although I have done it before, but it has been a very long time ago). I decided to make the red dress for her and then decide if I like it better than the navy one. So it is cut out and ready to be sewn. DH thinks I should just give the quilt as the baby shower gift and save Raggedy for Christmas. So there's no hurry to get her finished.
I got one triangle of the bargello done on A Spot in the Mountains. It is relaxing to do. The feel of solid stitching of silk is so soft.
I finished my little mermaid. I thought that I would fatten her up but when I looked at her as I stitched, she looked fine. Once I do the curly-ques above and below her, the inside front cover will be done. I love this design.
I got two very nice things yesterday. DH surprized me with a lovely arrangement of flowers. Then the FedEx man left me a box of chocolate covered strawberries. And it isn't even United Nations Day yet.
A

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bald





I was once so digusted with my wimpy fine hair that I was tempted to shave it all off and be done with the hassle. DH likes long hair so that complicates things. I have discovered that having the right hair products makes all the difference. I am especially fond of Kiehl's (amino acid shampoo, rice and wheat conditioner) which is not even available around here. All this brings me to today's goal: Raggedy Ann's hair. I have three candidates of yarn. Small (regular red), medium (bamboo reddish orange) and large (fat orange maroon). Since this is a small size Raggedy, I'm thinking small yarn. It is not my most favorite color but it will do. I went to make Raggedy's dress yesterday and saw on the pattern that the dress is navy blue with flowers. The fabric I picked for her dress was red. So off I went to the fabric store looking for a navy blue background fabric with small flowers. Good luck with that one. I only found 2 fat quarters that fit the bill. I didn't even know if the dress pattern would fit on a fat quarter but I risked it. Luckily the pattern fit. But my sewing machine was threaded with white thread. So my lazy self decided to stitch the bloomers and apron first so I wouldn't have to change threads. The bloomers and apron turned out great. The dress I'm not sure about as I like my original red fabric way better. Right now Raggedy needs a hem, two snaps and hair.
I started the grid for the bargello on the back of A Spot in the Mountains. Once the sections are all defined, it will be easy to fill it in.
I only got a few stitches in the mermaid. Just figuring out exactly where to place her (23 threads in, even with the top of the bottom of the ship, etc) is the hard part. So I hope to get a lot more done today.
I can hardly believe it is Friday again. At least this weekend I'm not driving half way across the state. I'm just going to sit in my cozy sewing room listening to my ipod and eating candy and stitching. Hog Heaven.
A

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dressing Up




I hate to dress up. If I were a size two. it would probably be more fun. Since I don't have to dress up, I dress for exercise class and for comfort. I consider myself very lucky. I just hope people don't think I'm a homeless woman. Poor Raggedy is all put together now but she is naked. I embroidered her heart. She needs some clothes. I discovered the pattern I had out for her is for a 36 inch size doll. So I went digging again and found the pattern with her size in it. She is about 15 inches tall. My goal today is to make her dress. It is a very simple pattern and the the dress is just one piece. I should make it my goal to get all of her clothes done but I know I will be tempted to stitch instead. I looked up instructions on how to do her hair. That is going to be a bit tedious. Making a template and wrapping yarn around it and stitching down the middle sounds like the easiest way. Sewing each loop by hand - no way.
I stitched a ship on the pearls page of Button Lover's Brag Book. I love it! I hope to get to the mermaid today. Her waist is too thin, I'm going to put some weight on her.
I also finished off the cover of A Spot in the Mountains. It is so cute. Now to start the bargello on the back. That will be fun too.
It is another rainy, rainy day. Still waiting to hear from Joe the contractor.
A

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Woman's Perrogative




Okay, I have changed my mind. I went digging for the fabric that can be printed on. I didn't find it. So I just printed a sweet watercolor bird on paper and cut it out and laid it on the quilt to see what I thought. Ugh. It didn't go with it at all. So nevermind about that idea. I went digging some more and found Raggedy Ann. She was in five pieces. So I set about putting her together. Now she is in three pieces. I am ready to sew her legs on. I don't know when or why I started her some years ago. The last time I made a Raggedy Ann was for my niece who is 6. I made my niece a Raggedy Ann dress to match. I think I'll wrap up the quilt and the Raggedy Ann together as a shower gift.
It is amazing to me what projects are fun and what are tedious. I am so loving A Spot in the Mountains. Each motif is fun to stitch. I don't mind the over one at all. In fact, I prefer it! I think I will finish the front today. I started working on the inside cover of the Button Lover's Brag Book. It is fun too. I'm working on the page for pearl buttons.
I am going to order some rods that hold the extra fabric while I am stitching. I saw one this weekend at class and I think it would be very helpful.
It is a rainy day here. We are expecting 2 to 3 inches of rain. I am hoping to hear from Joe, our contractor, about putting in the tile. I may have to call him but I don't want to bug him. I have propped up the decorative tile around the sink just so I can enjoy looking at it.
A

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Digging



The baby quilt is all washed and ready to go. I still have the idea of appliqueing two birds on it. One in the top right hand corner and one in the bottom left hand corner. Something to make it unique. So I am going dig out the ink jet printable fabric and just try it. It is also time to dig out the half finished Raggedy Ann doll and finish her up.
I found out that my new mentee is a third grader. I still don't know if it is a boy or a girl. We are supposed to start next week. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed. Being a retired preschool teacher, I was hoping for a younger child and I loved working with Halona so I am still hoping for a girl. I should have asked for what I wanted.
I got the cabin and tree done on A Spot in the Mountains. I have some flowers and the mountains to do then the front is all done. I realized yesterday that I had used the wrong color for some of the background. It looks okay though. I'm just going to leave it. It is a little lighter than it should be but, hey, the dog shows up better.
I would like to start working on my new project: the Button Brag Book. I really want to do the mermaid.
The sewing room is looking particularly messy. I may have to clean a path in there. There are leftover fabrics and stuff from stitching the quilt and I am sorting out charts I am done with. I keep telling myself that I just need a little organization, I'm not really that much of a slob!
A

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lost in Detroit


I had a great time at class yesterday. But getting there was not easy! The best time to drive to Detroit is very early in the morning. There wasn't much traffic and it was kind of fun to see it slowly get light. But being the ninny that I am, I took the wrong exit off the highway. Technically I was lost in Novi as opposed to Detroit. Thanks goodness for the street names. Knowing I had to get to 9 Mile helped me figure out where I was. After a wrong turn (or two), I finally got to class a mere 5 minutes before it was supposed to start. Whew!
I love being presented with a lovely complete kit. The project will be so much fun to stitch. It doesn't look that hard to put together. I was surprized that several people didn't put in a stitch. One didn't want to work on folded fabric. What? I can understand that some people don't like to stitch in a group setting, they want quiet so they can concentrate and not make mistakes. There was a nice lunch that I was very grateful for. I met some nice people and saw some very neat projects. I learned a lot about buttons too.
The drive home wasn't too bad but boy, was I tired. The gas light came on just as I was pulling into the garage. I would have been in a panic if it had come on while I was on the highway. I'll be glad not to have to drive over there until next month.
I finished the baby quilt. I'm glad I got it done but it isn't outstanding. It's just regular. I still need to make lucet cord. I guess I'm avoiding it as I am afraid it won't turn out as nice as I want it to. I should just try, right?
I got my little dog done. He is so cute. I guess I want to do the cabin next.
The bathrooms are clean. I have to get gas and go to Target before I am ready to sit and stitch.
A

Saturday, October 15, 2011

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

I sewed the border to my quilt. It was wrong. I looked up some youtube videos on "How to miter quilt borders". I followed how they did it but it was for a slightly different edge. After I had it all sewn on, I folded the border to the back ready to hand stitch the edge down and be done. But it didn't fold well, the corners were curved. I figured out that I needed to fold it on the far out edge. So I knew what was coming: I had to take out what I had just done. I took 3 sides out, hoping that I could keep that one long side and start from there. So that is where I am, trying to put the border back on correctly this time.
I worked on the people in the canoe on A Spot in the Mountains. It takes a lot of time. It doesn't look like I did much but I had to change floss often and I had a bit of frogging to do. It really is amazing what just a few stitches can convey in a design. I have to backstitch around the lady's hat and then I can move on to the cute dog.
I'll be at my Button Brag Book class tomorrow so I won't be able to post. I am very excited as I knew I wanted to stitch this when I first saw it. I don't even collect buttons. I guess I will have to look out for some to put in my book. I want to know how this project is put together, how to make a cross stitch book. This looks like a large project that will take some time to finish. I'm crossing my fingers that is doesn't rain while I'm driving over there.
I've seen the first two pop-up windows on Gay Ann Rogers site. I thinking #4 will be the Victorian Lady. I hope, I hope.
A

Friday, October 14, 2011

I like Artsy



So yesterday I picked up the backsplash tile. I wanted something out of the ordinary and on the artsy side. The listello I picked was the only one I really liked and was unusual. It was interesting to see a whole 12 inch tile. I didn't realize it was a long/short/long/short pattern. I love the shiny/nonshiny design. It will be so interesting to see it actually put in the kitchen. It goes with the colors in the counter very well.
I finished the quilting! I cut the bias strips. I just decided to cut five inch strips and see what size border looked good to me. I think I like the larger border which will be somewhere around two inches. The alternative is a one inch border. Too small.
I had such fun stitching A Spot in the Mountains. I made it up to the canoe. I want to stitch the people in the canoe today as well as that cute dog.
I ironed the pockets for the lucet holder. I am lacing them together. I made the mistake of ironing on the lucet cord. Actually, I wanted to see what would happen if I ironed on it. Well it made the cord very flat. Which means, Jenny, that it won't show much on the underside if you iron it. Just don't iron the right side. I think if you need to, you can cut it off on the back side and rethread the loops to close it if it is way too long. I am going to try one more time to make some nice even lucet flat braid for the front and back of the lucet holder. The unevenness drives me crazy.
A

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Just One More

I finished the needles cover for A Spot in the Mountains. It's great. So I let myself start the main pocket. Fun! I loved doing some new stitches. There is a great combination of colors of floss and I am starting a flower. This is just fun to stitch.
I was on a roll yesterday. I quilted what I thought were four more squares but then counted and I only had three more to go. I quilted two more. That leaves one - only one more to go and the baby quilt is nearly done. I have to figure out how to do the edge. I think I want to cut some bias strips to fold in half and sew around the edge. But how wide? I'm thinking somewhere in the range of two inches. I have since found out that this quilt will not match what DIL has chosen as a color scheme (pink & gray). I just hope this will be a special gift made just for her by her grandmother.
I got the call that the tile was in. So after exercise class I went out and picked it up. We think Joe can put it in next week. I love the listello tiles that I chose. The tiles go with the countertop very well. I think we will be motivated to get the floor done quickly as it is looking so nice.
My goals for today are to work on the lucet holder pockets (Jenny has hers all done, but I'm not competitive or anything). Of course I have to finish that one last quilt square. And I look forward to putting in more motifs on A Spot in the Mountains. What a fun day!
A

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Fall Day

I just discovered that Sherri Jones has her website up and running. It is patrickwoods.com. It is great to see her past, present and future projects. There are only a few projects that I haven't done yet. I like being able to see her teaching schedule. Just finding out who is teaching what and where is very difficult. There is a free design too. Cool. Nice website!
I was anxiously waiting for E Week on Gay Ann Rogers's website. I emailed her last February asking about one of her needlecases. She said to watch for E Week. So I have been waiting all year hoping to get the pattern for Victorian Lady. And today is the day the sale started. But no Victorian Lady! There is another needlecase that I will order. I'm kind of disappointed. There is still a chance it will be offered on Saturday or Sunday. I'm hoping it pops up on Saturday as I will be in class on Sunday.
I quilted until my behind was numb yesterday. I got four squares done. Now I have eight to go. I want to do another four today.
I started the needles cover for A Spot in the Mountains. It is going very well and it is fun to stitch. I'm sure I can finish it today. There is a bear on it that I have yet to stitch. When I get that done, I will let myself start on the main pocket. I can't wait!
Today is a lovely fall day. It is supposed to rain tomorrow. DH put the plastic up on the back porch. That is a sign of winter coming. I'm not ready. I need some Halloween candy to console me.
A

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Small Steps

It doesn't seem like I got very much done yesterday. I finished the scissors keep from A Spot in the Mountains. It was fun to stitch. I use my scalloped scissors more than I ever thought I would. They come in handy.
I messed around with the lucet cording trying to decide if it was good enough to use. Finally I just sewed it on to see how it looks. I can redo it if I don't like it. One side doesn't look very straight now that I see the photo. I'm still thinking on this one.
I finished just half a square on the quilt so now I am down to 12 square left to quilt. So the plan today is to quilt four squares - and since I say that, I have to do it, right?
A friend is coming over to look at my school stuff as she is homeschooling. I told her she has to not look at the mess in my sewing room.
A

Monday, October 10, 2011

To There and Back



I drove over 5 hours yesterday so needless to say, I didn't get a lot of stitching done. It was great to be around other stitchers and see what they are working on. There was a "show and tell" of projects. One lady made a gorgeous Halloween quilt. It was embroidered. I should have taken a picture. The machine quilting was of pumpkins with a curly vine. Perfect. I worked on lucet cording while the meeting was going on. But I think I need total silence and a zen attitude to get it to be even. I started over about three times. I have two cords that are more than 8 inches long. But I am unsure whether they are good enough. I'm thinking that stretching them out will make them look better. I brought my Barbara Jackson basket and strawberry to the meeting and I think people appreciated seeing the project in person before signing up for it. There were snacks at the meeting: chips and dips, cheese and crackers, mini cupcakes (yum, I had two) and candy corn. Nice lunch for me.
I started on the other side of the scissors keep and the needle page for "A Spot in the the Mountains". I am anxious to start the actual front of the pocket but knew I should only start it when I am bright-eyed and bushy tailed. Maybe today??
I got 1 1/2 squares quilted on the baby quilt. 12 1/2 to go. Little by little it is getting done.
The bathrooms are clean so I am good to go. I am anxious to see Gay Ann Rogers E-Week sale as I really want a couple of her needlecase patterns. It starts on Wednesday. I am getting excited about next Sunday's class "Button Brag Book". I really want to see how it is put together.
A

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fast Boat

I just finished the little canoe pin cushion. It doesn't really stand up very well but it is so cute, I don't care. I am taking off for the Kindred Spirits Sampler Guild meeting this afternoon. It seems crazy that the drive lasts longer than the meeting. But I am stretching myself. Usually I am scared to drive very far. This is a feeling that is reinforced by DH. But I'm going to break out of my shell and go. It is fun to see what everybody is stitching and to sit and stitch for a while. It is too easy to stay in a little cocoon at home and not interact with the rest of the world. I am taking my Barbara Jackson Tea Time Basket and Succulent Strawberry as the guild is thinking of offering these classes. Actually I hope they opt for a different class from Barbara Jackson since I've already done the ones they are considering. I want to do that strawberry needlebook she is doing at Williamsburg.
I quilted three more squares on the quilt and so far I have six done. Fourteen to go. I'm getting better as I go along.
I timed myself to see how long it would take to make the flat braid cord on the lucet. After about 40 minutes, I decided to start over. Some of the cord was way too loose. I am still learning how to get the tension even. I let the finished part of the cord dangle too much. So then I started over and made sure to have my finger on the cord as I was "luceting". That turned out better and took about an hour to do. It still isn't perfect but it is much better. I have several more sections to do. Finishing this is going to take a while.
It is a wonderful fall day here. Nice day for a drive.
A

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Proof


I am just back from the fabric store. I have proof that I have a tendency for overkill. I was just going to get a water soluble marker for putting the circle of hearts quilting design on my quilt. My old marker is at least a decade old and has hardly any juice left. I am so proud of myself as I exceeded my goal of one more square quilted - I quilted two (17 to go). And I learned something along the way. I tried just my regular open toed sewing foot and it worked out better. I can see if you are free motion quilting you need the darning foot. Now using the regular foot I have way more control of where I am stitching. I was almost on a roll, but the marker was giving out. So I came back from the fabric store with a water soluble marker, a red chalk pencil, a silver chalk pencil (it had a lovely sharp point on it) and some bicycle clips. I need the bicycle clips since the hardest thing about quilting is moving the quilt around to the direction you have to stitch. Now I have no excuse for not getting this quilt done in just a few days. Thank you to L-bug for her quilting advice and a shout out on her blog: http://theinspiredstitcher.blogspot.com She has some great pictures on her blog of our class last Saturday. (Has it been a week ago already!?!)
Thank you Jenny for pointing out that I didn't need to chain stitch around all four of the Lucet holder pieces - just the pockets. Duh. You saved me some time and I feel silly for not reading the directions as closely as I should.
I had such fun yesterday. Just looking at "A Spot in the Mountains" made me want to start stitching it. I thought I'd just get started on the scissors keep. I finished one whole side. I'm going to do two sides for the scissors keep as that worked out best with the Hare Pyns scissors keep. Then I just love that canoe pin cushion so I started that too. I finished the top half of it and dang! it was time to go to bed.
This morning the bakery had pumpkin pie. You could just buy a piece. Yes, that is exactly what I wanted. I'm a lucky girl.
A

Friday, October 7, 2011

An Autumn Friday

It is a beautiful day here. Warm and sunny. You can't often say that. I finished the stitching part of the Lucet holder. I have to do a chain stitch around the outside of all four pieces, then I can start putting it together. But of course I have to make the Lucet braid. It will be interesting to see how long it takes me and if I can get into the groove and whip it out. The flat braid is harder than the regular.
I am anxious to start on "A Spot in the Mountains". It looks like it will be so fun to do. And next weekend I am going to The Button Brag Book class. How did I get so lucky?
Jenny, who I met at class last weekend, finished her Hare Pyns and it looks so beautiful. Her blog is Onestitchcloser.blogspot.com. Check it out.
My goals for today: Finish all the chain stitching around the Lucet holder, quilt one square, look at the Spot in the Mountains kit and figure out where to start. My goals should be: wash the kitchen floor, vacuum and do something with those apples I bought two weeks ago.
The tile for the kitchen is supposed to be in today. I'm waiting for the call to go pick it up.
A

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lucet Holder




I have been working on the lucet holder. I got the pattern at a class last weekend. I have the front and the back of the holder done but there is lucet cording to add in the finishing where those dashed lines are. I just have the little inside pockets to stitch. I hope to get one done today and to start on the second one. I love the flower design. The over one doesn't even phase me. I like it!
I ironed the quilt sandwich this morning and laid it out on the living room floor. Then I used the whole package of safety pins to pin it together. I traced a circle of hearts in one corner just to try the quilting. I quilted it on my machine. But you can't even see it! I dare you to try and find six hearts in that quilt picture. I guess I don't have to worry about it being a little sloppy stitching-wise, since it is really hard to see. I could try and make it more visible by using a contrasting color of thread. It is hard to maneuver the quilt around while stitching. I guess I just wanted it quilted and not messy looking. I have 19 more squares to go. The shower is about 5 weeks away so I can't put it off too long.
I accidentally washed my bird pin. It survived without a lot of damage. I just had to iron it back into a flat shape.
I got a jelly roll of Kaffe Fassett fabric when I went to San Jose. I would never buy any of those fabrics on its own. They are ugly but colorful. But I have seen some of his quilts and they are gorgeous and so brightly colored. So this is my first try at putting garish patterns together in hopes of making something beautiful. I have to figure out a pattern to cut this into for a lap quilt.
I'm making chili today.
A

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Done

My Hare Pyns is done and I love it. I think I need to press the ribbon edging so it likes to lay just a little flatter. The inside pockets are very handy. I had so much fun stitching this. I have included a picture of the offending corner. I guess it isn't so bad. I have a pattern for another one! It is called A Spot in the Mountains. It is a pocket design just like this one. I can't wait to get started on it. I am working on the Lucet holder right now. I have the front stitched, three more parts to go (back and inside pockets). I'll show a picture of my progress tomorrow. I got some cotton batting for the baby quilt. I have to iron all the parts of the "sandwich" - the top, the batting and the backing. Then I bought a bunch of safety pins to hold it together while I quilt. I still need some bicycle clips for rolling it up and holding it. I'm not sure where to find those, JoAnn's?
I picked out the grout color for the backsplash tile that is to go in the kitchen. The tile should be in this week. Once we have all the parts, I'll have to see when Joe can put it in. Remodeling is a very slow process.
I'm in the mood for some pumpkin pie. Yum.
A

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hare Pyns




My second class this weekend was Hare Pyns. There was pre-stitching and this class was for finishing the project. I very much enjoyed stitching this. I used stitches I had never used before. This was so well designed that my work looks exactly like the model. I did a bit of the sewing before the class. My goal was to get to putting on the ribbon by the time the class was over. It was great to see the model and know exactly how the gussets fold, the size of the stitch to sew on the ribbon, etc. Class started at 9 in the morning. There were only 13 or so people in the class. My BFF was there and the lady we sat across from in Lucet class as well as Typhoid Mary. Many had all the stitching done and were ready to finish. Some still had stitching to do. Sherri went through the directions with us for finishing the pockets and everybody got started. One of the ladies I met at the Lucet class and another lady brought sewing machines and irons/ironing boards. So we had all we needed to get busy. I used one lady's Viking and boy, can it sew nicely. But it is hard to get used to a different sewing machine. I machine sewed the ribbon to the pocket divider but it didn't look very nice so I took it out and sewed it by hand. It wasn't as even but I liked it better. I finished the pocket parts and was ready for the gusset. I didn't want to cut up the pattern so I traced the gusset pattern sometime in August and sewed it together. When I tried sewing it in it was way too big. Luckily Sherri had a plastic pattern piece of the gusset and compared it to what I had and it was so way off. Once I trimmed up the gusset, it fit perfectly. I'll think twice next time about tracing as opposed to cutting up the paper pattern. I did get to putting on the ribbon but I did something stupid. Never start in a corner! Never start in a front corner! The ribbon is mitered on all four corners. I did the best I could - without taking the ribbon entirely off and starting over. I'm too lazy for that. So I know that one front corner is messier that it should be. I could hide it with a piece of decorative green ribbon but I don't think I'll do that. Anyway, we ordered Panera box lunches for lunch. That worked out great. Although I have been in some classes where food and drinks are not allowed on the tables where we are working on our projects to avoid disasters. The area where the class was held had some awesome stores and it would have been fun to go shopping. (Nordstroms, Ikea, Crate & Barrell and a needlework store). But we had no opportunity. Sherri's and my aim was to leave immediately after class was over for our long drive home. My BFF had to leave an hour early to get to her next destination, and that started the exodus. We actually were able to leave a few minutes early. When we came out of class, we couldn't believe how gorgeous the weather was. We had been in a basement room with no windows for 6 hours. It wasn't overcast and rainy like it had been all weekend. It was sunny and warm. Great for the drive home. We drove all the way home only stopping for gas and a bathroom break. We didn't even stop for supper. I think we were both anxious to get home. We made good time but it was a really tiring day. I had an awesome weekend. It was so much fun to see other stitchers and the stuff they had and were working on. It was wonderful to see my BFF and get to talk. The trip down and back was made so much easier with talking. I got some more kits to play with. We stayed at good hotels. I feel like I have recovered now. I was kind of punchy tired when I got home. Poor Sherri still had another hour to go.
I didn't have good pictures yesterday of the Lucet so I have included some today. We spent all day making these woven samples. We started with the bigger thread and worked our way down to the silk perlee.
My Hare Pyns is entirely done now and I love it. It turned out great. I'll show pictures of it tomorrow.
Would you believe I'm taking another class in two weeks? I am so lucky.
A

Monday, October 3, 2011

Whirlwind


We had a whirlwind weekend. It went so fast. I can hardly believe it is over and I am home again. Sherri picked me up on Friday morning and we made the hours and hours trip to Dayton. It was overcast and looked like it could rain but luckily it didn't. It seemed like just an hour's ride because we talked the whole time. Sherri found out what a sad and pathetic map reader I am. She also found out I can not operate an iphone. I'm sure I could learn but I would need a very patient teacher - and a lot of practice. It was almost comical. Almost. We finally arrived at our host's house. It was so much fun looking at our host's stitched samplers and smalls. She has some very impressive pieces. We went out to dinner and had a nice chance to talk. Wow, we were in a very nice hotel. The light turned on as you walked into the bathroom. There was no tub just a big shower (I loved it). The shower head was tall enough for anybody. I think the hotel was only a year old. My BFF was already there. We had a great time talking and catching up. She talked me into signing up for the Spring Fling. So I did it right then and there over the phone. (It is way too easy to spend money.) I was exhausted.
Next morning we took off for the venue. It was a nice clubhouse with good lighting and plenty of space. It is so much more fun to have a friend to sit with and talk to. We (my BFF and I) were sitting across from the nicest two ladies. We had a great time talking. One was an expert in quilting so I was picking her brain on how to finish my quilt top and what filler to use. They both have blogs so that will be fun to check them out. What fun to learn how to use a lucet! At first it was frustrating because I wanted it to be perfect. But Sherri gave my a few pointers that made it work much better. I had tried to teach myself with YouTube videos. But there were subtleties that I missed. Then we tried adding beads and inlays. My BFF and I went to lunch at Sonic. I had a guilty pleasure - a hot dog. I found out later that there was a place across the street from where we were that was called Dreaming Wiener. Their specialty is various hot dogs. If I'd known... But I was very happy with the Sonic hot dog. Yum. After lunch when we were all refreshed we learned how to make flat braid on the lucet. It was hard to work out just how to do it. But once you catch on, it isn't hard at all. Regular lucet and flat braid are both used in the lucet holder. I can't wait to start it. I recognized one person in class that had been at another retreat I went to. Then there was Typhoid Mary. Enough said. I only took three pictures as my camera battery needed recharging. After class was over I ended up going out to eat with our host and Sherri and the two ladies that sat across from us. We had a great time and laughed a lot. It was interesting learning how each of us got into stitching. As my sister says, everybody has a story. Ice cream for dessert - yum. Then we had to drive to Cincinnati. We did pretty well and found our new hotel. I played with the lucet a while, I was really too tired to stitch without making mistakes.
I'll tell you about Hare Pyns class tomorrow.
A