Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Wild Purple Camo Animal Print Comfy Tee

I finally spent some time down in the sewing room and finished up the tee I was making.  Not too bad for not having sewn knit fabric, or clothing for that matter, in many, many years.  It's a tad bit bigger than I would like, so I'll make the next one a size smaller with some adjustments so it still fits in the middle.

I jumped into the deep end on with one, and didn't take time to check all my measurements against the pattern.  I only paid attention to bust and hip measurements.  The shoulder to bust drop on this pattern is deeper than my body, so I'll have to figure out a way to shorten that on the next one.  I might make the sleeves a bit longer/flutterier (is that a word?) on the next version too.

Although I like the comfort of this loose fit top, and the way it doesn't cling to my tummy bulge, I think the style actually draws attention to the fact I'm trying to hide the mid-section.  It's a tad too long for my liking too, so maybe I'll use elastic on the side seams to add ruching.

All in all, I do like the top.  Not so sure I like hubby's angle on the photo though.  I cropped out the bottom portion, trying to make it look better.  He's the one who plays with photography, so why on earth would he take a picture of me at an angle that made my legs look like a stick figure and my top look bigger than it already is?

I think he was too interested in taking selfies of himself!  I discovered this while downloading my photos.  Not full of himself at all, is he?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

We Have Pumpkins!

 I have this little bit of wall tucked into a corner behind the fireplace in the living room.  It's been begging for something ever since we moved in, but I could never find the right thing.  Every time I had an idea, I would decide that whatever it was I was thinking about would look better elsewhere.  So, of course all the other walls are looking nice, but this one remained a glaring blank spot screaming at me.

When I finally got started on the monthly applique wall hangings earlier this year, I decided they would be perfect for this little bit of wall that looked so lonely.  I finished up the October quilt and Paul hung it for me the other night.  Perfect fit!  Now I just need to get my butt in gear and finish the rest of these.  2 down, 10 to go.

Like the other one I finished, I chose to machine quilt this one with a simple wavy line.  This is working out well, so I think I'll continue this on the other quilts.

I also finished the Paisley Pumpkin table topper.  I love it!  Now if I can just keep Digit from claiming this as a bed I'll be doing good.

I think the table might need a tablecloth.  Not sure I like those spaces where the "wings" are attached.  Maybe black to match the chair backs, and season.

I originally thought I would only quilt the border on this, but the center needed something since it was bigger than I thought it would be (that's what happens when you assume you know what count fabric you're stitching on and don't take time to actually check), and I used a cotton batting that needs quilting at least every 2 inches.  I used a white thread on the top and although I was afraid it would ruin the look of the cross stitch, it blended into the background fabric perfectly and looks fine.  Again, machine quilted this one, and went a bit too fast in my excitement to finish this, so there are some quirky spots.  Gives it character though I think.

I've been plugging away on Sarah's afghan too.  It's now big enough to cover my lap when I'm knitting.  Unless it's a cold evening, I only do about one repeat before I'm too warm to work on it anymore.  I should have this finished up about this time next month as long as I keep to the one repeat per evening pace.

I mentioned in my last post, I believe, that I had started another huge cross stitch project.  Below is a photo of what I completed the other night.  I'm only pulling this out every now and again to work on because there's no big rush to complete it.  Just like all the other huge cross stitch projects I've started with Heaven and Earth Designs patterns.  I enjoy the process of watching these come to life.  This one is worked on 25 count Lugana fabric in a gorgeous shade of purple.  I've completed about 150 stitches.  Only 236,300 more stitches to go!  When done, this will be 16 x 24, and I plan to hang it in my spare bedroom, where I do most of my cross stitch and embroidery work.

Below is a photo of the artwork this pattern was created from.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Change of Season, Change of Projects

I took a bit of time off this past week from working on quilting projects to work on some of the many other varied projects I currently have in the works.  I did do a bit of quilting however.  The October applique wall hanging and paisley pumpkin table topper are both finished and in the wash as I type this.  Photos of them displayed in their proper places hopefully tomorrow.

I've also pulled out some fabric that I've had sitting around for quite awhile and started a couple of tops for myself.  I haven't sewn clothes in many years, and should have chosen a fabric that would play a bit nicer than the one I did choose.  Oh well, even if my first effort doesn't come out looking the best, I'll still get some use out of it.  I'm making some pullover blouses with short flutter sleeves.  They will be nice to wear this time of year, when the weather can't decide if it's going to be cool or warm.  I also have a pattern for a simple cardigan.  I plan to make a few in different colors so I have something to throw over the short sleeve tops when it's needed.  The first blouse should be finished tomorrow, and if it passes as actual clothing, I should have a photo on Wednesday.

For some reason, when the weather starts to turn cool, I get in the mood to work on embroidery and cross stitch projects.  Not sure why, but it's been that way for the past several years.  The blog will be filled with cross stitchy goodness for awhile I do believe.

I finished the first of the little monthly cross stitch designs I'm working on.  I wish I had used a blue instead of purple for the words, but I like it all the same.  Next time I'm at Hobby Lobby, I'll look for frames for these.  I'm thinking distressed wood frames.  I really want the whole set of these, so I can display them on my sideboard and just change them out each month.

Once December was finished, I started on the January design.  It's not much to look at yet, but should work up pretty quickly.  I think these designs will be my Tuesday Skype project for the foreseeable future.

I pulled out some knitting projects too.  Worked on my bright red cardigan a bit this weekend.  I am in love with this pattern!  It works up fast, is easy to memorize, and really looks striking.  I'm really looking forward to having the finished cardigan.  Hope I don't get tired of this project and wind up shoving it to the back of the project closet!

I also pulled out a quick knit poncho I started awhile back.  Three more red stripes and two white to go.  Should have this done within a week.

I also broke down and started another huge cross stitch design I've been itching to get going.  The colors are beautiful in this piece.  No photo today, but tomorrow or day after I should be ready to blog about it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming ...

I'm not sure how long I've been gone, but it was long enough that it took an extraordinarily long time to sort through my pictures and get them ready to post.  I can't tell you how many progress shots I had of the Paisley Pumpkin table topper.  So, what have I been doing instead of blogging?  Well, crafting of course, and taking all kinds of progress photos of that crafting.

And, I've been playing quite a bit of Guild Wars 2 lately too.  This character is currently one of my favorites to play.  Lelia Salome is a human guardian.  I didn't think I would like melee combat characters, but she is so much fun!  Right now, she's only level 24, but I'm hoping to have her maxed out at 80 shortly.  As you can see in the photo below, wildlife is drawn to her.  The bunnies in particular like to scamper around her feet.

This one is going to sound like a really random and lame excuse for not blogging, but here goes.  I bought the Naked Smoky eye palette.  No, I haven't been doing my eye makeup over and over and over again, but I have gotten sucked into the ever expanding world of YouTube.  It started as just a quick search to see what looks had been created with this palette, and has sadly ended with me adding 7 subscriptions.  Sigh.  One of them I adore. Macshadowcombos has a great series called Frugal Fridays where she shows looks created with, and reviews of drug store items.  I never considered how many affordable products were dupes for high end items.  Another one, who will remain unnamed and has since been deleted from my subscriptions, I don't care for.  I admit I spent almost an hour watching a few of her videos because they were reviews of foundations and lipsticks for over 50's, and I was really excited to see someone of my age instead of a 20 something with perfect complexion giving a review.  When I had finished watching, I was like, what the heck was that?  She said she wanted her comparison to be fair so she started with a blank slate ... no primer or concealer/color corrector with the foundations, and no primer or balm with the lipsticks.  Then she proceeded to hate on all of them.  My over 50 lips are dry as all get out and have tons of fine lines.  No lipstick is going to look good on me for more than 60 seconds if I don't first exfoliate, then add balm, and after that's set, use a primer and clear lip pencil.  My over 50 face has super dry spots in some areas, enlarged pores in others, and has redness.  No foundation is going to last and look good on me without using a good moisturizer at least 10 minutes before applying, using a bit of concealer/color corrector on my cheeks and around my nose, and using a primer to help minimize pores and fine lines.  I knew nothing more after watching those videos than I knew before .... over 50 skin needs some help before makeup application.

Okay, enough of my excuses for not blogging, and on to the actual crafting content ...

I am 3 rows, long though they may be, from finishing a gift that I haven't posted on the blog.  I'm not positive, but I think the recipient peeks in here from time to time and would know it was for her if she saw it.  After it's been gifted I'll post a finished photo of it.

I haven't been working on the afghan for my niece lately, but once that other gift is done, I'll pull it back out and work on it.

I finished up the applique work on the Row by Row block.  I haven't started another yet, but in the next week or so I most likely will.  This is the 5th of 8 completed.  I haven't been in any rush to get these done simply because I have so many other quilts that need to be done first, and I know once these blocks are complete, I'm going to want to finish the top and quilt it.

Three more Civil War Sampler blocks are done.  I think I might be a block or two behind on this.  Really need to get back to doing one per week.

The Paisley Pumpkin is done!!  I really love it.  I'll be using this fall leaf fabric to add borders and backing.  I'm not positive yet how I'll quilt it.  I don't want to stitch over any of the embroidery, so maybe just shadow quilt around it?

I also finished up the October monthly applique wall hanging.  Yes, I know October is nearly half over, but I should have this quilted and ready to hang up for at least a week or so.  I need to get started on the November one so it can hang all month.

A couple of weeks ago I started on a series of small monthly cross stitch designs.  These will finish to about 3 1/2 x 3 1/2.  I plan to frame them and display them on my sideboard using a small plate stand.  These are nice to work on in the evenings, when I'm not feeling the knit/crochet bug, because they are worked on 14 count Aida so I don't need my Ott lamp and magnifier to see what I'm doing.

Well, that's all for today.  Hopefully, I don't get lost in YouTube again.  Wish me luck!!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Getting A Handle on Some Projects

Yesterday afternoon, I spent some time working on another Row by Row kit.  The finishing details and machine stitching on the applique are all that's left on this one.  Hopefully I'll have some time to spend in the sewing room this weekend to get it completed.  

There's also a Civil War Sampler block down there about half finished.  I haven't been spending as much time down there lately.  It's not that I'm disenchanted with quilting, it's that when I work on these I wind up spending money.  Lots of money on new projects to start.  And, I neglect all the other projects that are in the works.

I spent quite a bit of time yesterday working on the paisley pumpkin, and it's just shy of the half-way point in completion.  I plan to work on this almost exclusively this weekend.

Another project getting some attention now is the afghan I'm making for my niece.  I have several projects on my WIP list that are gifts, and I'd like to get them done soon.  This one will move to the top of the priority list once the paisley pumpkin is finished.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

When I'm Gone, When I'm Gone

You're gonna miss me when I'm gone ......


I tried switching my schedule around, and now everything is messed up.  Yep, I'm a creature of habit, and when my habits get interrupted, everything goes amiss.  I was doing so well blogging in the mornings, so not sure why I decided to switch it up, but I did.  Well, yes, truthfully I do know why I switched it up.  I've been doing this online Bible study.  The book is "Taming The To-Do List".  

It made me feel guilty for not putting more emphasis on my spiritual growth, so I decided to do my Bible studies first thing in the morning.  

It made me feel guilty for not putting more effort into getting my housework done, so I decided to do the cleaning right after Bible studies.

By then, I'm ready to tackle some crafting, and blogging just went by the wayside.  I've tried blogging at other times during the day before, but if I don't do it in the morning, I wind up putting it off and never get it done.

I actually set time aside today to get this post written, but tomorrow, I'm going to start blogging in the morning again.

So anyway, last time I blogged, I showed a photo of several Bento Box quilt squares I had made for some charity blankets.  After I bought the fabric, I started having second thoughts about how bold it seemed.  It just didn't seem appropriate for this charity.  My husband told me it was fine, and since he usually has such good taste, I went ahead and made all those blocks.  Those doubts just keep niggling me though, and once I had the first quilt top done, I couldn't ignore them any more.  The fabric just wasn't right for this cause.  I put all those blocks away, to be used in a quilt for me some day, and bought other fabric to re-make the quilts.  I'm much happier with my efforts now.

Here is the finished stack of blankets.  They went with my husband to his workplace to be donated this afternoon.

I used fat quarters of baby flannel for this small blankets, and added a crocheted edging to them.  After making four of these, my hands are cramping up.  I'd forgotten how rough it is on the fingers to force a steel crochet hook through the flannel to get that first round of edging on there.

 The next set of blankets I made are simple granny square blankets, worked up in white, with pink and blue ribbons attached at the edges.  I made two of each color.

And last, the simplified version of the baby quilts, in less loud fabric.  I'm much happier with these, and wish I had just listened to that little voice in my head to begin with.

I practiced my free motion quilting on the pink quilts, using a rose stipple pattern.

And, did some simple cross hatch quilting on the blue quilts using my walking foot.

 Also this past week, I finished up another of those old quilt tops that have been taking up room on my craft shelves.  This one was quilted a month or so ago, but I finally got around to binding and washing it.

I also pulled out one of the Row by Row kits.  This one was done except for doing the satin stitch around the applique.  I decided to do all the stitching in black.  It gives it a coloring book feel I think.  Four more rows to do, then I can start setting the top.

Some time has been set aside to work on the cross stitch paisley pumpkin too.  This project needs to move to the top of the priority list or I won't be able to use it as a table topper this fall.  After the stitching is done, I plan to add borders in fall themed fabric and quilt it.

Monday, September 14, 2015

I'm Back In The Saddle Again

Wow!  It doesn't feel like I took over a week off from blogging, but that's exactly what I did.  Had a lovely time with my daughter and her boyfriend, even though everyone except me wound up getting sick with a nasty head cold.  One right after the other ... first the daughter, then her boyfriend, then my husband.  How I've managed not to come down with it will probably remain one of the mysteries of life, but I'm sure glad of it.

After the kids left, I got to work on another of those old quilt tops.  This one another interlocking rings, only a different setting.  The quilting is done, a simple spiral from the center using my walking foot, and all that's left to do is bury the ends and sew down the binding.  There's another quilt that's at these finishing stages too.  I thought I had gotten a photo of it, but I guess not.  I'll try for tomorrow. A bit of Netflix tonight while Paul watches football and I should be able to complete the first one get some work completed on the second.

I had plans to concentrate on the cross stitch paisley pumpkin for my October table topper, but Paul sent me an email he received at work about donating handmade items to a charity.  I checked out Mikaya's Grace, and was moved to participate.

Yesterday, while he watched football, I made enough Bento Box squares to complete 2 boy, and 2 girl quilts.  This afternoon I will work on adding sashing and borders.  Tomorrow should see the quilting started on these.

I am also crocheting blankets, and have some flannel that I will add a crochet border to.  I might get some fabric and sew some gowns too, as those should work up quickly.

Even with the extra charity crafting I'm doing, I did manage to get my Civil War Sampler blocks completed.  I really like the blue and green one.

And, I also managed to finish the last of the BOM from hell blocks.  Again, the background fabric for this block measured less than the 12 1/2" the package says the block will finish to.  Sigh.  These will be set aside for awhile, but I'm hoping to decide how I want to border them and have the top finished before the end of the year.

I also got some work done on an afghan I am knitting for my niece, who has just started her first year of college.  I love the way this pattern is working up!  It looks much more complicated than it is.  Only 4 rows to memorize, worked 3 times, then shifted ... rinse, repeat.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

I'm Walking On Sunshine

 Yesterday I finished up two more of the BOM blocks.  Both went together without issue.  Only one more to go, and I've gotten a good start on it.

Sunshine and shadows was probably the most tedious of all the blocks so far.  Even the ones that had size issues weren't as tedious as sewing together this many 1 1/2" squares.  I love how it turned out though!  A quilt made using just these blocks would be beautiful in the right fabrics.

The flying geese block was not one of my favorites.  I doubt I'll ever be making a whole quilt with these.

The block I'm working on now is being hand stitched.  It will probably take a few days to complete.  I'll work on it in the evenings when I'm watching the boob tube.  It should be done when I blog next, which probably won't be until after the holiday.  My daughter and her boyfriend are visiting over the long weekend, and I won't be wasting time on the computer during the visit.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

You Got To Know When To Hold Em

Last night I worked a bit more on the BOM from hell block kits.  Lo and behold, the card tricks block went together without a hitch.  No pieces too big, or too small.  It was refreshing to be able to just sew it together and not have to worry.

Since I had no problems with that one, I pulled out another and put it together too.  The fan block had no problems with the sewing, but again, the base piece for the applique was too small.  I'm going to have to add a border to all of these blocks before adding sashing so I can get them all to the same size.  Only three more of these blocks to go.

I also had time to square up all the Framed quilt blocks.  Here they all are lying on the bed.  I'll adjust placement a bit on some of them, but then it's ready to be sewn together.  I'm debating whether to add white borders so this can be used on the bed, or leave it as a large throw.  I think I'm leaning towards using the fabric I bought for the back to add additional length and width, and getting more of the turquoise to use as the back.

I was able to get a bit better photo of the paisley pumpkin this morning.  This is working up pretty quickly, so I think I'll have plenty of time to create a table topper to be used in October.  It seemed bigger than I thought it would be, so I double checked my fabric.  What I thought was 25 count is actually 22 count, so yep, it's going to be bigger than the one in the magazine.  Still small enough to use in a quilted topper though, so no major worries.  What is it with size and my projects lately?