Sunday, August 3, 2014

Busy Month

Well, it's obvious that I need to get a bit better at blogging.  I had things to post, I just kept putting them off.  The more I put off, the more I have to do, and the more daunting the task seems to be, so I put it off again.  Vicious circle.

Oh well.  Better late than never.

I finished all of the squares for the Stitch-cation afghan I'm making along with my mother, and two friends.  Working on bordering them in dark brown now.  Once that's done, I just need to sew them all together and add a border around the entire afghan.  Hopefully will have this finished within the next week.

Also finished two baby blankets.  The Robo-blanky I was making for a friend, and a super cute flower blanket made for my new great niece.

Quite a few other items in the works, but I think I'll leave those for another day :-)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Peeking Around The Corner ...

... to see if anyone is still around to read this.  I hope so!

I need to get back into the habit of blogging, but I'm not going to stress myself out about the daily thing like I did earlier in the year.  I put so many rules on myself and I just got completely disenchanted with everything.  I wasn't blogging, I wasn't crafting, I wasn't doing much of anything except playing a game on my phone.  Now it's a good game, and I don't plan to quit playing it ... especially since I now find myself the leader of an alliance *yikes*, but I have been slowly getting back into getting some crafting done.  No rules, no deadlines (unless it's a gift).  Just crafting on what I feel like crafting on, and trying very hard to use up what I already have before buying new.

I'm not going to force myself to blog daily, just whenever I have some kind of progress to show, or some story to tell.  After all, this is supposed to be fun right?  Okay, now on to the bombardment of photos of things I've done over the past several months.

I made myself some applique chicken kitchen towels.  Don't remember if I mentioned them before and quite frankly, this morning I'm too lazy to go see if I did lol.  Hmm only have a photo of one so I probably already talked about these.  Nevertheless, here's the one on a red towel :-)

I got a wild hair one day and decided to actually do one of the projects in the painting magazines I always buy.  This was super easy and only took an afternoon. Quick gift idea ... painted on a candle set.

 I used up quite a bit of fabric scraps making these bowls.  I absolutely love them!  They are sitting on a buffet in my craft area to catch those little odds and ends that I never seem to put away when I should.  At least I won't lose them now!  These are made by wrapping strips of fabric around cotton clothesline and sewing by machine with a zig zag stitch.

I found the cutest crochet flower dishcloth pattern and went a bit crazy making them as gifts.  Friends received them, mothers received them, swap partners received them, I have some for myself.

I had so much fun making those dishcloths and bowls that I made a set for one of the friends I made playing that game on my phone.  She sent me back a picture of her 4yo son, who immediately grabbed the bowl, yelled hat, and put it on his head.  Adorable!

Now on to more recent items.  I am making an afghan along with my mom and friend, Amanda.  We're going to try to get together once a week on Skype to work on it and gab.  Our first week was fun, but there was a minor Skype issue.  My mom was able to use the audio and see our video, but when she tried to send her video it locked up on her.  Hopefully she is able to get the problem fixed to she can send video this week.  Here are the squares I've completed so far.

And the final photo is of a quilt that I finished yesterday ...... after 14 years!  This was supposed to be a birthday gift for my husband in September 2000.  Yeah right!  I was working full time and didn't even start the thing until summer.  There were a lot of tiny bits of fabric that needed to be sewn together on this and I didn't have a sewing room, or even an area where my sewing machine was set up all the time.  I had to dig it out of a closet and set it up, then dig out the quilt pieces and supplies each time I wanted to work on it.  It got boxed up for 3 moves and I finally pulled it out and got the top finished just before we moved to Wisconsin.  I tried to hand quilt it.  Too many seam lines that needed to be sewn through.  There are some bulky areas in this.  So I finally broke down and bought a walking foot and just did some simple straight line quilting by machine to get it done.  I spent my 4th sitting in my recliner and sewing down the binding.  It's now on the bed and even though I'm critical of my own work and there are many things I would do better if I ever made this again (yeah right!), I am quite pleased with it.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

I'm Still Alive

Okay, I got a phone call today from a friend.  She was worried because I hadn't posted in my blog for awhile.  LOL, I'm still here, just got "puffed" out .... then started playing a game again.  Diablo II .... well, a mod for Diablo II ..... actually a mod to a mod for Diablo II.  Hubby and I have been playing the Median XL mods to this game for quite a few years and I found that someone had continued on Brother Laz's work and a new mod was released last month sooooooo ..... we installed and started killing stuff.  Pretty good mod, but of course, if you're killing stuff in a computer game, then it's a bit difficult to knit a mitten :-)

Anyway, I have photos.  They aren't all the most recent photos, but I'm going to post them nonetheless so I'm caught up and can start blogging fresh tomorrow.

Here we have some puffs.  These are the last puffs I did in March.  Yep, I skipped the last 3 days of March and quite frankly, I don't think I'm going to worry about it and try to knit those last 9 puffs.  March was bad.  3 puffs per day pretty much sucked all the crafty goodness out of my days.

You know that sewing box I finished last week?  Well, I ordered the pincushion box and it has arrived.  It is beautiful!  I need to get Paul to help me get the stitching mounted on it.  Then I'll be ready to finish up the needlebook and the scissor fob.

Here we have an old photo of the second Chrysanthemum mitten.  The body of it is complete now, but I didn't get a photo of it.  Tonight I will be working on the thumbs and hopefully will have them done, so photo tomorrow of a completed pair?

I did manage to finish the Save the Stitches blocks for March on time.  Need to go check to see if the next blocks have been released and get them printed out.  It would be nice to have them finished earlier in the month in April, so I have time to work on something else if I want.


First puff for April!  I completely forgot that I was supposed to be doing duplicate stitch ones, but I'll get that started today.

Yesterday I finished the first chicken applique kitchen towel.  2 more to go.  Will probably wait until this weekend to work on those, as today's afternoon craft time is pretty much over and tomorrow I have plans already.

Second puff for April done.

And, I sewed 5 puffs together for each day.  I think I'm going to like the duplicate stitch puffs scattered among the Koigu ones.  Nice squishy blankie.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Back on Track

Back on track with the puffs.  I still think 3 is too many per day.  At least if I want to get anything else done.  Other than those dishcloths and dish towel the other day, I don't think I finished anything in March!  No wonder I've been feeling like a bit of a craft slog lately.

I was so excited yesterday when I finished working on the Save the Stitches piece.  Until I broke out the camera and took this picture and noticed the one little area of cross stitch I neglected to get done.  Oh well, it won't affect the parts that I'm supposed to be working on in March, so it can wait until April to get done.  I will be working on this instead of the Siren and the Shipwreck project tomorrow so I'm ready for April's blocks.

It feels like it's taking forever and a day to get these Chrysanthemum mittens done.  I figure I need to do at least 16 rounds on this each evening in order to get them done before March ends.  Even then, I might be pushing it to get those thumbs added.

Not much crafting will get accomplished today as it is a day of appointments.  First was the hair appointment for cut/color for me this morning (yay!  I'm red again), then this afternoon we had an appointment at the bank.  Just got home and ate a bit of dinner and now moving on to watching some TV and working on puffs.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Renewed Motivation and April Sneek Peak

It's amazing the effect finishing something, or making noticeable progress on a project can have on your motivation.  It took mere minutes to finish this applique dishtowel using my sewing machine, but those few minutes were enough to renew my craft energy.  It was like downing a Red Bull lol.

The best part about doing this on the machine instead of by hand is that the back side looks nice too.  Not that the back side looks bad when doing it by hand, but you don't get this nice outline like the machine gives.  Working on this reminded me that I had purchased some towels to be used for applique for myself when I spied them on clearance several months ago.  I did a quick Google search for clip art for chickens and printed a few off that were the right style and size.  My applique fabric stash is already out, so now I just need to dig around to find those towels.  I will gather all the supplies up in a bag and have it ready for a sewing/quilting project for April.  Since they won't take but an afternoon to complete, they should kick start my month off right!

3 puffs completed for yesterday.  Doing 3 puffs each day is a bit much, so I am going to alter my game plan for this in April.  I'm thinking of making a duplicate stitch puff each day, and sewing 5 puffs together each day.

It was nice to work on the Chrysanthemum mitten again.  I'm ready to start the flower so might yet get this done in March.  I've got another mitten pattern in my queue that meets the criteria for April (for the Stash Down A to Z group), Daylily mittens.  If I get those done, I'll work on "dolls".  I have one started that needs finishing, there's a knit along going on that I'll be starting late (if I start at all), and I wanted to make some cute crochet bunnies for C's girls that I never got around to in March.  Okay, so the pattern names for those don't qualify for Stash Down, but that's fine with me since I'll be making those mittens first.

I pulled out the Save the Stitches piece again yesterday.  I should get the border cross stitches done today, then I just have 4 motifs to finish to get caught up.  Of course, the next 2 blocks will probably be released tomorrow, if they aren't available already.  I will wait until April to start working on them though.  I plan to continue my weekend work on the Siren and the Shipwreck piece in April.  Also in April (provided I get the blocks for Save the Stitches done) I plan to finish up a small project I ran across when digging around in my craft area.  It's a pattern by The Sweetheart Tree, one of the Teenie Tweenies called Spring Fantasy.  Again, something small that should get finished quickly and help keep me motivated.

I visited my local quilt shop yesterday to get some felted wool to use for the Shaker Sewing Set needle book.  Now, I've yet to go in there and buy only what I went there for, so of course I came home with several extra goodies.

First up is this fabulous book!  I've been wanting to try wool applique for quite some time, and have been drooling over all the projects in the Primitive Quilts magazines.  Instead of starting with one of those, I decided to get this book because I can work on this like a block of the month kit.  I will be starting this in April after the applique towels and one other project are finished.  Each month I will make one of the ten squares.  I can get the felted wool each month from the local quilt shop, but I think I might order the cotton fabric from Keepsake Quilting.  They have some great Civil War reproduction fabrics that I think will look great for this quilt.

Also picked up a kit to make the cutest little bag.  Making this is next in line after the quilt block.  I think I have hardware and zippers enough to make a couple more of these.  Each one uses just 2 fat quarters, a bit of batting, some interfacing, a zipper, and a D ring and lobster claw clasp.  Oh, and a few buttons for embellishment.  I think these would make great gifts and nice swap additions.

That one other project I mentioned earlier is the April wall quilt.  I've had the pattern for these monthly quilts for about 2 years now, and in December I discovered that the quilt shop here sells fabric packs for them.  So much easier than digging around in my stash for the right fabrics.  I bought the January pack back in December, but never made it.  I even have a spot picked out to hang these, but I need to get them done.  I've decided that I am going to make at least one of these each month.  I will do them as machine applique like the pattern suggests to make them go quicker, and I will use these to practice my machine quilting.  Scary!!

Okay, so now that I've made my list of a bazillion things to work on in April, I'd better get busy and finish up my March projects :-)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Day of Triples

Okay, so I've gotten back into the groove of getting my puffs done daily, and hopefully this will get me back into the groove of blogging daily.

3 puffs for yesterday :-)

It appears as though I was on a 3 kick yesterday.  I made 3 flower dishcloths, that will be sent off as a gift for a friend.  Got most of these done while Skyping with a friend yesterday afternoon.  I've never done that before, but it was a lot of fun.  It felt almost like we were sitting at a Starbucks, or Barnes & Noble, like we used to before I moved to Wisconsin.  We'll definitely be doing that again!

I had another ball of Peaches & Creme, so worked up 3 more dishcloths while watching TV last night.  Whittled down a bit more of my cotton stash, and now I'm all set for more gift giving or swaps.

Paul has been telling me since Friday that he got me something for my birthday, but it was still in transit.  Well, the box arrived yesterday and I saw where it was from and couldn't wait for him to get home to open it.  He got me the Cherry Shaker Sewing Basket from Sudberry House!!  I've been trying to save up for this for some time now, but I always see something else that I need (want) and spend my craft allowance on that.  Yes, I put myself on a craft allowance, because if I didn't, I'd be happily crafting away in a house filled to bursting with craft supplies, and none of the bills would be paid.  Hey, at least I know what my issues are lol.

I pulled out the Shaker sewing set sampler that I completed earlier this year and Paul helped me get it mounted in the box lid.  I love this!  I've already loaded the box up with supplies I need for my crafting and have a little spot for it to sit on a side table in the living room.  Now it's useful and decorative!  I checked my sewing set savings balance and discovered that I had enough saved up for the pincushion box, so got that ordered yesterday.  Soon I will have the whole set completed!  Now I just need to get my butt in gear and put the scissor fob together, and visit the quilt shop to get some felted wool so I can finish the needle book.

Also yesterday, I started an applique dish towel for a friend.  Applique ironed on, now I just need to do some stitching around the edges.  I think I'm going to do this by machine instead of by hand.  I'd like to get this done so it can be shipped off.  I know it wouldn't take long to do by hand, but I can get it done faster by machine, and I really need to be working on other things right now.

I mentioned yesterday that I had spread myself a bit too thin craftwise and wasn't getting anything done.  Oh, I am making progress.  Lots of progress.  On lots of projects.  Which translates into all of my projects strewn about the dining room waiting for their turn to be worked on.  So basically, a cluttered house and no finished projects lol!  I am going back to what I intended at the beginning of the year.  It got a bit out of whack as is par for the course with me since I tend to take on too much always.  For the rest of this month, my projects will be .....

Stitching - applique dish towel
If that gets done (and it should be this afternoon), then I will work on the Save the Stitches piece.

Knit/Crochet - Chrysantemum Mittens
If they get done (a bit iffy, but still doable), then I will work on the Cat Cocoon.

I've moved all other projects to storage to await their turn to be worked on.  I need to get past this crazy need to have all my projects completed NOW.  There is plenty of time to work on each one of them.