Sunday, January 31, 2016

Springlike Sunday

It was 41 degrees when I went walking this morning.  Wow, it felt like spring.  It is supposed to get much colder this week.  I want to remember how nice it is today.  The most dangerous part of my walk was our driveway.  It is very icy.  But by the end of today, the ice may be gone.  Yeah!

I enjoyed watching the SAG awards last night.  There usually isn't much on TV on Saturday nights.  Often I just turn the TV off.  I stitched on the Quaker Bag.  I ironed some starch into the linen and it is handling much better.  It sure is hard when charts are split up on different pages.  I got two more smaller motifs done and a good start on a third one.

I picked up the birth announcement and put in the edges of some areas.  It will be easy to fill in the coat and the boat.  His face is done.

When I look at stitching store sites, I always am reminded of things that are in my stash that I wish I could start.  Then I saw that Rebecca finished her hedgehog bag from a retreat we went to last year.  Hey, I want to work on that too.  Then I succumb to temptation and sign up for an online class, like Berries Sew Sweet.  Yes, I signed up for that one.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Back to the Bag

I worked on the Quaker Bag and got that darn flap done.  It has a lot of stitching on it so this is a major accomplishment.

Now I have to print out some more pages of the chart.  I think I'll work on the rectangular middle since I have a good start with the blue motif done.

I walked outside this morning.  We are having an unusually warm weekend.  I will get to walk outside tomorrow too but it may be raining.  I always see lots of runners on Saturdays.

I need to get onto the next step on my casket.  I stretched the three queens. I sprayed water on the back of it and let it dry.

 It is waiting for paper to be glued on the back.  But I also have to prepare the side of the casket that it goes on.  I have to put glue on the wood and when that dries, I put glue on the paper and attach it to the casket.  That part makes me nervous.  The last step is to glue paper to paper.  Scary.

I put just a few stitches in Janet's SAL.  This is relaxing and a no pressure stitch.  I tried working without the hoop.  The fabric really isn't large enough to do that. I haven't decided if I like one ply or two ply of floss. I've tried it both ways.   I'm stitching on the small size that I printed out.  I like that Janet is showing her stitching so I have ideas on colors and stitches and how they look.  Wouldn't this be a really cool book cover when it is done?

Happy Saturday!

Friday, January 29, 2016

My Friend Janet

I love that phrase from Monty Python, "and now for something entirely different".  That's what I did yesterday, something entirely different.  My friend Janet is offering a SAL on her blog ( of one of her drawings.  What fun!  Janet is the most creative person I know.  You should see her workroom, it is a dream come true.  I would love to spend the day with her and just make stuff.  This is the next best thing.  I downloaded the design then got out my handy-dandy freezer paper and some muslin.  I ironed the freezer paper onto the muslin and cut it to 8 1/2 inches by 11inches to fit in my printer.  Then I printed it out.  Wow, it turned out beautifully.

Then I tried it in a smaller size.


I put it in a hoop.  On her blog Janet started with the biggest bird.  So I grab some floss that was close by and decided to give it a try.  I'm much better at cross stitch than embroidery.  But this has a folk art feel to it and whatever I do is just fine.

I thought I would try stitching a stem or two, in stem stitch of course.  Then I got brave and started a heart.  It didn't turn out quite like I imagined but it is okay.

 Then I wanted to try satin stitch.  I thought I would try it the wrong way and see what happened.  Yep, it looked sloppy.  So then I thought I would try it the right way with split stitch around the edge first and satin stitch with one thread over that.  Much better.  Then I went back and couched some thread on the first one and it looked a lot better.  I'm kind of goofing around.

I still didn't finish the flap on the Quaker Bag but I had fun.  Check out Janet's blog and give it a try.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Third Panel

I have been surprized at the progress on this third panel of the Quaker Bag.  It is going well even though it feels like I stitch and rip on a regular basis.
I bet I could finish this flap today.  I may try to put some starch on this linen.  I want to try out my new iron and this linen is feeling pretty floppy.
Since Monica's apron is done, I should go back and work on other WIP's.  I'll have to see which one strikes my fancy.  I have the birth announcement and the Mermaid Tapestry that are languishing nearby.  Of course I'd love to start something new but I'd better not.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Figuring Things Out

I wanted to do a little work on my casket.  I thought I would stitch up the little pin cushion that fits in this wooden base that has a secret drawer in the bottom:
I have some nice heavy duty velvet for the pin cushion.  I sewed it up and stuffed it but I didn't like how it looked on the base.
It doesn't sit down in it very well.  Then I thought maybe a mattress style pin cushion would be better.  I have an old one I made a few years ago.  I tried it to see how I liked it.
I liked it much better.  Of course it needs to be a bit longer.  I have to figure out what I want to stitch on it.
I cut off a piece of marbled paper to see about covering the secret drawer:
The piece I cut is too small.  I need it a little larger to fold over the edge.  Then another piece will fit flat in the bottom totally covering the wood.  But I needed to check to see if the box will fit after it is covered with the paper.
Yes!  It fits perfectly.  All in all I didn't accomplish anything but I know more about what I want to do.  I also need to think about how to pull the drawer out.  Ribbon loop?  Tuft of thread?
I am almost done with Monica's apron.

Yeah!  Now I need to find some linen for her skirt.  I'm not sure I have any 35 count.  I'll have to go digging.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


The wind made it cold walking outside.  But I should appreciate the fact that I was able to walk outside in January -  two days in a row!
Now I am cozy inside and ready to start stitching.  I finished a motif on the Quaker Bag and started another.

 It is great to have some progress.  I want to finish the dark pink motif and get a letter done today.
  I'd love to finish Monica's apron today.  That is my goal.
I was making a top.

 I love this material and was determined to make it into something.  I tried it on yesterday and found out that it is too small.  I'm going to have to scrap it.  I think the pattern was meant to be made with a stretchy material.  Rats.  You win some, you lose some.

Monday, January 25, 2016


When we were talking to Claire yesterday on FaceTime we told her about Olaf who lives up the street.  She wanted to see him.  But you can't see him from our front door.  So I promised to take a picture for her.  Her dad tells her we live at the North Pole so we tell her that Elsa and Anna (from the Frozen movie) live up the street from us.
I was able to walk outside this morning.  The park trail is clear enough now and the temperature was high enough.  So here is Olaf:
I got a very small start on the last large panel for the Quaker Bag.  I'm embarrassed to say how long this took me.  But in my defense, I was off one thread (again!) and had to frog some.
I made some good progress on Monica's apron while watching Downton Abbey.
I went to Bed Bath and Beyond to get a new iron.  My old one won't hold water anymore and therefore, no steam.
The bathrooms are clean, the walking is done.  Time for lunch.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

I Can See

The other day I was driving home from the Y and DH was driving to the store.  We passed each other on the road.  Later he told me that it looked like no one was driving my car.  I'm short.  So I went looking for a seat to sit on and raise me up a bit while I am driving.  My car is so old it doesn't have an adjustment for the height of the seat.  Yesterday the seat arrived in the mail.  (Thank you Amazon)  It is a revelation!  I am surrounded by glass, I can see!  What an improvement!  I think this will help me be a better driver.  Really.

I put on several pockets on the second panel to the Quaker Bag.  Cool.  It is great to see some progress.

So far:

Next is another large panel.

It has some cute motifs on it that will help me stay motivated.  I like the bird and the leaf.  The letters scattered about are easy to do too.  Maybe I can finish this.

I had a bit of "reverse stitching" to do on Monica's apron.

 I didn't realize there were some compensating stitches in the center of the apron.  Luckily it wasn't too time consuming to fix.  I didn't get the bottom border done.  Maybe today.

I want to put some more marbled paper on the inside parts of my casket.  This is a secret drawer.

  I'm going to cover the whole thing with marbled paper and hope it still fits in its hiding place.
Happy Sunday!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Second Panel Done

I finished up the second panel to the Quaker Bag.  Yeah!!!  Don't they look better after ironing?

Next this panel needs interfacing and the three pockets put together and attached.
There is one more large panel to go.  I will start the backstitch around the next panel today.

I got a teeny bit more on Monica's apron done.  I rounded the lower left corner.  I'd love to get the lower border done today but that is asking a lot.

I worked a bit on the casket bottom.  I cut a clear plexiglass dust cover for the music box.  Then I cut and painted four little wooden pieces to be in the corners and hold up the plexiglass.

I found a small handle and used double stick tape to put it on the plexiglass.

There probably is a better way to do this.  I could ask DH to drill holes for it as I have little bitty screws to attach it.  We'll see.  I have to think about this.  I put lace around the edge, again using double stick tape.  So here is what it looks like.

All these things can be changed if I want.  It seems just a bit gerryrigged together.  There is a lever that can be attached to the box to start the music box.  I haven't quite figured out where and how to attach it.  It requires drilling a hole in the front of the box.

I can hardly believe that we are missing the huge snow storm.  But I'm very glad it isn't happening to us.  The sun is shining, that always puts me in a good mood.

Friday, January 22, 2016


That's what I feel like today, that I have nothing to show you.  I actually have some small progress on the Quaker Bag scissors pocket.

I want to finish this off today.  I have to work up the gumption to start the other large panel.  Or I could start the book cover.  We'll see. . .

Then I tried to finish off one side of Monica's apron.

 Giulia has a new half doll design coming out at the Nashville market.  Why do I love half dolls?  I don't know, but I do.  I really like the new one.

We are lucky not to be the ones getting slammed with snow this weekend.  It's great that the roads are clear here and I am not scared to drive.

My FitBit is starting to fall apart.  The band is coming apart.  So I ordered a new one.
I had a question about the tacks that I ordered which happened to come in the mail yesterday.

I got them from Dharma Trading Company.  I first used these kind of tacks when I was doing some silk painting.  The prongs aren't very long so they have a tendency to pop off if the linen is thick.
DH says it seems like it is Friday every 15 minutes.  Yep, I agree.  That's what happens when you get old.

Thursday, January 21, 2016


I worked on the scissors pocket.

I worked a little on Monica's apron.

I installed the music movement in my casket.  Yeah!  Finally!

I know, it doesn't look any different from when it was just sitting in there. DH drilled the holes for me and I screwed it in.  So what is the next step?  I cut a piece of plexiglass to go over and protect the music movement.  But the plexiglass was non-glare and it made the print in the bottom look blurry.  So I went to Hobby Lobby and got some clear plexiglass.  I have to cut it and edge it and put a small little handle on it so it is easy to lift up.  Then I bought a bit of wood to paint and stick in the corners to support the plexiglass.  When I get all that done, I'll show you.  At least it is some progress.
It is warmer today.  I think we are going out to eat tonight, fun.  Oh yeah. I found the few tacks I had.  So I mounted the Berry Bandit on stretcher bars.

 I still don't feel comfortable with the Evertite bars.  I think I need to tighten them a little more.  Barbara included information on how to use them which was very helpful.  We'll see how this all works out.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Good Intentions

Yesterday I meant to clean up a bit in my sewing room.  But I did cleaning out of a file cabinet instead.  Well, actually I only did one drawer.  There are a couple more to go.  I am a pack rat.  It was really good that I read that book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  I want to let go of the past and move on to the future.

Cleaning out the drawer took most of the day so not a lot of stitching got done.  I was able to finish two of the pockets for the Quaker Bag.

Now I have to print out four more pages of the chart to do the scissors pocket.  Then maybe I can clean up something in my sewing room.  I decided that I needed another flower frog to put scissors in.  But I need to count up the number of scissors laying around so I know how many holes I need.

 There are a lot of flower frogs on Ebay, I'm sure I can get what I need there. (This gives you an idea of how messy I am!)
Another goal for today is to rethread  my sewing machine.  If I have the right color of thread in it, then I can get started on a top that I cut out.  Theoretically.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


I finished up the large panel of the Quaker Bag.

 Then I started two of the pockets.

 But I got bored.  So I picked up something new.  I've had the Monica half doll pincushion pattern for a while.

Then last December I bought the Monica porcelain half doll.

I scrounged around a bit and found the threads.

 I scrounged around some more and found some fabric that will do for the apron.  It isn't the called for color but I like this one instead.

  I just wanted to see how it would look.  But I miscalculated.  I thought there were 10 threads in a square.  But there are twelve.  So this is not at all centered,  in fact, I was afraid I would not be able to get the whole border on the fabric.  I have just a small seam allowance.  But it is doable.  I love strawberries so this is fun.  And it is over two on 28 count.  How easy is that?
There is a wind chill of minus eight here today.  UGH.  At least it isn't snowing.  I walked at the Y.  My messiness is bugging me today.  I have to clean something off in my sewing room.  Creating always makes a mess.  That's my excuse.