Monday, May 31, 2010

So what is this Crafting ADD.........

Well I made a promise to complete some WIP's before starting anything new and I did manage to check a few things off my list and was thrilled with the accomplishment.    My first quilt........rather my first quilt constructed AFTER taking a quilting class.  I made my children each quilts when they were young and now after this class, realize it is all in cutting....talk about the need for precision.  For this quilt, I used the batting that when washed it *crinkles* to give the appearance of an old quilt.  I am not seeing as much crinkle as I expected but maybe because I line dried and didn't use the dryer.   I am happy with my results and am ready (fabric purchased) to start a queen sized for my bedroom .....but first to finish some things before a new start....famous last words.

I also have my son in law's graduation announcement 99% completed....I need to add the beads and it isn't something you want to do in the lunch room at work so I am totally justifying that! 

We all know my framing issue with the Between the Sheets sampler.......update - stopped by on Saturday morning to see if just by chance it was done.   It was not but the owner was very happy to give me the news it was fixed.   Such an attitude change from when I dropped it off and he was giving me the 'management' statement of blah blah blah linen stretching fabric blah blah.  

I rewarded my efforts with one new start - or so I said - and am pleased with my progress on the Blue Ribbon Design - A Little Quakeresque.   Not bad for three weeks.

but then I started to knit this shawl......you start with 3 stitches and add one stitch to each row until you have 150 on your needle.  I have 55 stitches on my needles and pledging to knit a minimum of two rows each time I pick it up.  Once you bind off, you add fringe.   The photo does not do it justice and until the fringe is added things are kind of a lump.   A friend, Carol, has made several and shared the yarn - Lion's Brand Trellis - which of course they no longer make .... no fear I have my bids in on eBay.  Carol's completed shawls are gorgeous and this black and champagne will perfectly completion my black and champagne dress for my son's wedding in August. 

So to the wedding, I want to make a wedding sampler but with all the drama of on again/off again wedding last year (not their doing but mother of the bride issues) I just couldn't get my mojo into stitching one for them.   I first wanted to stitch a design that was ellaborate and all victorian and lacey looking.   The bride and groom are more streamlined and their taste gravitates towards Ikea and straight lines.   A friend had this booklet and I am happy with the simplicity.  Sorry, the brochure doesn't photo well.     I stitched an hour last night and almost have "become one" complete.   I think it will be a fast stitch.

So there you have it....another couple of starts each with deadlines.   I must like working under pressure.  

Lastly wishing a great Memorial Day to everyone .....a safe and happy holiday.   Last night as I locked doors and turned on step lights, I caught this view out the front door.   I thought to myself, this is what it is all about.   I am free to enjoy this type of beauty as I look from my front porch because of the sacrifice of others.   I am appreciative of the freedom and priviledges of being an American.  The sunset was beautiful and the camera does not do it justice.  
There's the first star!  Make a wish.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

What's missing in this picture?

Me!  These are my new chairs and my new favorite summertime stitching spot.   Mr. Wonderful - the man of sooooooo many words - even commented and suggested I get a couple more.   Well, I can only get two at a time......it was hard enough fitting two in the back of a Prius.   Two guys in the parking lot suggested  getting  a saw from Home Depot to cut off the legs so I could get them in the back of the car which only made me more determined to get them in the car.   Between them is my new fern, Ike.   As I was driving home from Home Depot, I thought I need to name my fern!  I thought about Poindexter but then remembered one of my son's doctors called him Spikey Ikey for his spiked hair.....so Ike it is!  My daughter has a fern about 4 times this size and his name is Bob!  He spends the winter in her dining room.......so I guess Ike will move inside in the fall.   Mr. Wonderful didn't quite understand the whole name the plant thing.   I explained that I don't plan to talk to Ike but if Ike follows in Bob's footsteps, he will take on a life of his own.......maybe it was too much sun for me yesterday.  And on the table..........another project I started!  What is up with that???  Do I have Crafters ADD or what?

Call it what you will

Call it Just Because, call it down-sizing, call it purging, call it a RAK, call it a GIVE-A-WAY or call it what it is....BEING REALISTIC!     I finally looked through the pile of patterns I put aside when I was sorting a few weeks back and took a really hard look at the patterns I  have.   As with all of us, you buy  a pattern or a kit that you just HAVE to have.  Over the years, these "have to haves" and "got to dos"  have slid down my list of my priority list on my project to do list.   I have kept them for years *believing* that I would get to them "one" day.   I got thinking that the whole joy of a new pattern is the excitement and anticipation of doing it and while these patterns and projects sit in my cupboard, I was robbing someone of the chance at joy!!!!    Yeah, OK, sappy, I know and enough already.......

This is a Just Nan that I love!  but the truth is I will never do it and I am finally admitting to myself.  I love it but it doesn't match my style.   I am a more quaker look/sampler look and this is too frilly for me.   So I am offering up as a give-a-way.   It should go to someone who will work on it and enjoy as I thought I would.  It is a complete kit with the linen, the floss, beads and finishing kit.

As for the others, I was lucky enough to spend the day with dear old friend who I haven't seen in a year.   We lost touch for no other reason than being busy....days turn into weeks, weeks into months and so it goes.    She is a stitcher and I was able to pass on to her all the patterns that I have accummulated but will never do.  It was like Christmas for her and she was anxious to get home and sort through the stack.   She has had a rough year with a lot of stress and  I know I made her day.  Even if all she ever does in flip through the patterns and pages and *thinks* about what one she will start with.  Kind of like window shopping.

So if you are interested, please reply to this post only and I will do the whole random generator thing on June 15th to choose a winner.   You don't need to be a follower and please feel free to post this on your blog.   Be sure to let me know if you do for an extra chance to win. 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I think you will all agree

half the battle of working on a project is having the space/place to do it.   You don't want to spread your sewing machine and fabric across the dining room table only to have to pick it up because the kids decide to come over to dinner.    To that end I have been working on my craft room.   This is the room I painted the first of the year and I am woeful to admit, I have not finished painting the trim yet.   I think the reason is because there is so much junk in there that it just seems like an ordeal to have to get to the trim.   So off I went today to tidy up a bit.  This had me going back and forth between the two empty (rather, unoccupied!) bedrooms upstairs trying to put like things together, move a shelf or too, yada, yada, yada.  Here is one little corner - almost complete.   I love my little dress form.   It is actual sold as a lawn ornament for the garden and for vines to grow on.   Mr. Wonderful thought it was something I was really going to use for fitting and wanted to know who I was sewing for that was that small!  Guys! Mr. W.  moved some shelves from the other room and  I threw some stuff on them in a hurry and in an effort to get them out of the way.   Oops!  Can't show anymore of the room because I am not done yet.    I need to get a couple of wrought iron towel bars to hang on the wall and throw tissue paper over one and hang my rulers and scissors off the other.......hmmm,  I see Ikea in my future. 


So here's another trick I have to share.   Can you imagine what these two erasers have to do with your sewing machine?    It may be hard to see the difference between the first shot of my sewing machine and the second, but trust me the little lift to the front makes all the difference when you are sewing.   I learned this little trick in my quilt class.  It gives you such a better visual on your presser foot and needle. 



And last, (a triple wa-hoo to no longer doing work from home) I am becoming a crafting slug.  I hate to admit, I am not even dressed yet today.   I have been putzing in my craft room, sorting fabrics, patterns, kitting up projects, playing with my stuff and a came across this eBay find.   This postcard is of one of the mills in Lowell Massachusetts where my daughter lives and works.   Her office is in one of the refurbushed mills, not this one but a similar one.  I took one of the lucite frames I brought home from work when they were giving them away last year.   When I took them I didn't quite know what I was going to do with them.......I wrapped the cardboard insert with fabric, centered the postcard and will put the lucite back on.   Viola!   I actually needed to take a few stitches in each corner so the fabric would stay in place and won't get all pushed out of place when I slide the lucite lid back on.  It will go in the mail to my daughter's office tomorrow.   She can put it on her desk or on her bookcase.....hmm, maybe I should have filled it will ground walnuts or something to make a paperweight.   

 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Too Good to be true

So far, everything I have done has fallen right into place today which is scaring me.   Hopefully the luck will continue and my powerball numbers will be selected tonight.  Can you imagine?  I would never run out of things to sew, or stitch, or quilt, or bake or the time to do it all..... I think on my wish list to do would be to create the ultimate studio!......what a dreamer I am......

First and foremost, I went to the framers with my piece.  The guy was giving me the run a round a bit telling me that fabric has a mind of it's own, the stitch tension might be off, and making it straight in some areas might make it worse it others causing it to bunch.  He was cordial and more than agreeable (even though I interupted his texting)  and more than willing to see what he could do but he was making no promsies.  Well, I debated about leaving it for fear it would end of worse than it was.   I think his speal was the 'management answer' to defend the workmanship.   Whatever.   End result, at no charge, he is going to remount it and makes no promises.   And really that is all I can ask.  It will be done by Friday so depending what holiday weekend traffic is like going to the beach.....I may venture to get it. 

Next to Home Depot and while I was looking for a receipt, I found two $50 gift cards and one gift card with $13.97 on it......so I shopped for free!  I was able to get the two types of filter media I need for my pond filters.   They are so old that I do not believe they have any filtration ability left to them.   The pumps and cases are fine and I hate the throw away society that wants me to trash it all and buy complete new units as is all I can seem to find on the internet.   Luckily, HD had just the parts I needed and in a two pack to boot!   Next stop the sewing store for the walking foot I needed for my machine.....I was prepared.  I have heard the shop owner is a high pressure sales woman and suggests the higher ticketed items.  I reseached the internet for types and costs.  One of ladies in my quilt class reported paying $70 for her walking foot and I was not going to do that when I could get it for $29.95 on the internet!  My luck continued and it was $29.95. 


Sew, it was overcasted and spitting with rain by the time I got home so I set myself straight to the sewing machine to do the machine quilting.   That was more good luck.   Had it been nice I would have cut the grass and not sewn.  Some of the stitching in the ditch looks great and then there are other parts..........

It was beautiful and sunny by the time I was done (except for the moment I snapped the photo!) and I got the brilliant idea to hang it from the clothesline while I removed the pins and trimmed threads. Anything to be outside.   All and all I am pleased.  Tonight I will hand stitch the binding and can't wait to wash it.   The batting I used it the kind that is supposed to make it all rippling like your grandmom's quilt when it is washed. 

Hopefully I can post the completed quilt tomorrow as well as my progress on my Blue Ribbon design.   I am ahead of my goal for one motif a day......85 days to completion.   It is more like 2 motifs a day and a 45 days completion......there may be a day I don't stitch but I can't imagine what day that would be.  lol

Friday, May 21, 2010

Questions and Answers

Meari wanted to know what the pattern was that I picked up at Salty Yarns last weekend that was pink and green on the cover.     Well here is it. Photos are clickable for a larger view.   (Sorry, I am photo challenged! Sometimes they automatically turn to the correct orientation and other times, like now, they don't!) It is a Sue Hillis booklet on stitching the lining and smalls for the Whitman Sampler Tin.  Even though these are sideways, you can still see the detailed instructions and this is only some of them.  I was really impressed with Sue's detail and color photos of the finishing.  That is what sold me on the book.  Finishing is where I need some lessons. 

Next, for Julie M. my framing issue.   I don't know if that shows how untrue the edges are.   I have taken my items to the locals Farmer's Market for years paying 1/3 to 1/2 what they charge at the chain stores even with a coupon.  Here are some more photos with the help of my Omnigrid lucite ruler.     Each horizontal line with the hash marks is one inch apart.   You can see over the space of 2 inches it 'moves' about an 1/16 of an inch.   No big deal some may say.......it gets worse.....'moving' over a 1/4 inch over 4 inches.    I expected to get home tonight and have a voicemail from the framer but nothing.   I need to put on my 'don't mess with me' face and pop on in to the store tomorrow.    Part of me is just easy-going and kind of like  ...it adds character......but another part is  screaming you didn't get what you paid for.   We shall see what the morning brings.....for now relaxation with needle and thread and my Blue Ribbon Design piece!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I know I need to answer some of your questions

but I promised myself I would not suck the time out of my life another night being tied to the internet.   So a quick, thanks for the comments and a quick thanks for the questions.  The answers will come in due time.   I need to take some pix to go along with the answers.

PS  Great day at Weight Watchers - down another 1.8 lbs!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Retreat!

and not the kind where you back up!   What a fabulous weekend I have had and restful to the body and soul.   My Guild - those great group of talented stitchers - goes on retreat once in the spring and again in the fall to Ocean City Maryland for a weekend retreat.   Only rule is you have to be a Guild member to attend ......

What's this spilling out of my bag? Stash Enhancement??   Before I get gushing over all my purchases I never even took my camera out while I was there so I can't even share a photo of the beautiful weather we had.    But I will share the Cat's Meow of the Lankford Hotel where we stay.   I always buy a Cat's Meow of favorite places I visit.  It is a perfect replica except it is missing the porch rockers!
So here's the deal, one of our members, Staci, has a condo in OCMD and over the course of years of going to OCMD she has become good friends with the hysterical Sally of Salty Yarns.   If you ever met Sally, you know just what I mean.   She can hold the attention of the room with her recanting of events and we laugh til we have tears in our eyes.   What a way with words......for a dose, check out her shop and newsletter page.   What a hoot!  Not only does Sally own a fabulous cross stitch store, she owns the hotel that is connected to the store.  And to make this even more perfect there are big porch rockers on the porch that opens to the boardwalk.   Like I said......could it be more perfect?  I think not.   If you are anywhere near, you need to make a detour and head to her shop.   It is so very worth it. 

I was prepared ahead of time with copies of the back pages of patterns that I needed fabric for and I stocked up.   Don't you just hate being in the mood to start something and not having the fabric?   If try to substitute with what may be in my stash and then get aggravated by the wasted time.    I also got just a couple patterns.   A great book with patterns and finishing instructions for the Whitman Sampler but alas, the tin is not available.....at least not right now and hopefully it will be in the future.   I will be scouring eBay.  The diagrams and directions from Sue Hillis are worth the purchase.    The  Spool Tree  pattern I am starting next is the first of her designs I will be stitching and I think I will like her instructions after a quick perusal of the Whitman Sampler book.  

I also picked up the Lizze Kate ABC's on Aging.   I don't know if this is the exact one I had wanted.  I didn't know there were so many different versions.  I have enjoyed seeing others progress on this and just kind of took a liking to it.  And look at this little cute birdie on the left below!  It is Just Nan's Needle Tweets.   All finished, it is about the size of a half dollar!  It is too too cute.  

And then of course, a pattern with a squirrel, The Sheltering Tree.   I don't know if I could have found a more perfect floss!     So which one will I start on?    None yet!  Still working on that pledge ~ finish two/start one!  It's one way to clean up those WIP's overflowing out of project basket. 
But that's not everything......I went to the Bikini Shop - the store name not necessarily the items I bought!  The Bikini Shop is run by Sally's daughter Sarah and is located 'under the boardwalk'.  If you want some awesome french terry clothes in beautiful colors and coordinates, it is a definite must stop as well.   Well I have done what I can for the economy this weekend!

Framing Issue!

For the first time and probably the last time, Mr. Wonderful volunteered to pick up my framed project from the framer...... Here it is.....my Nan Tyson Euler class piece, Between the Sheets.  At first glance it looks OK.  Taking a closer look......since this is a sampler there are distinct horizontal lines making the poor mounting and waviness so very obvious.  
Placing my lucite  6 x 12 ruler on it really shows the poor quality.   Even without clicking/enlarging the pics you can see the waviness.   I immediately called the store and left a voicemail.   I don't know what my options are or what their policies may be since it was picked up does that mean the work was accepted?   

 I have taken my pieces to them for years and have recommended them to my friends for years and told them as much in my voice message!  They are only open to the public on Friday/Saturday/Sunday so I may not hear from them until the end of the week...... So I guess I can see why Mr. Wonderful will never be picking up a piece for me again.

If they won't remount the piece, guess what, all the business I have sent their way will go the way of the new framer I find!  And if I have too, I will take this somewhere else to be remounted because now it bugs the crap out of me.   This piece has been the piece from HEdoubleHockeySticks!  I was so happy to have conquered the wonky instructions and the too few supplied threads and now this!  drat!  Oh it won't get me down.....I'll just start something else.

The lines on my ruler are a quarter in apart and you can clearly see a quarter inch deviation in the stretch of 3 inches.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

New Start!

I have been pretty faithful to my pledge to myself to get some WIP's finished and to not start anything new until my retreat.......so I rewarded myself for my hardwork and recent finishes with a new start.   This is a Blue Ribbon Design, A Little Quakeresque.

As always.......I have my little brain calculating.....if there are 26 letters and a motif around each and then four corners........for a total of 85 little sections.....and if I average one a day!  WhaHoo!  3 months and I will be done!   And just think, there may be days that I add more than one motif in a day.

I have been working in hand for so long but I am not sure I am thrilled about how much wrinkling I cause the fabric.    To Q-snap or not to Q-snap?

Guild Anniversary!

My guild celebrated its 10th anniversary last week......while I was at my daughter's, so I missed it.   Look at the lovelies I received this week! 

...a beautiful stitch roll - 66 were made!    Inside, crushed walnut shells for stuffing my next biscournu, a stamped cookie and the cutest little mechanical pencil!  Look at the details in the stamped cookie.......even though I love my cookies and sweets, I just want to save this and look at it.  

My guild ladies are sew talented.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Whew!

EDITED - It has been a busy busy week that ended with a drive to the Boston area on Friday.  I am spending a long weekend with my youngest daughter.   My trip starting by picking up my eldest daughter in Philly first to go with me. 

Yesterday we went to the New England Sheep and Wool Event in Contoocook NH.  It was a miserable day weather-wise.  I sure am glad we all got the brightly colored rubber pull on boots at Target before we went.  Otherwise is that a great day, just me and my girls.   I got this really nice merino-alpaca blend and pattern for a fisherwoman's shawl.  Since we were chilled to the bone, we headed off to Concord to find a place to eat.  

Once we had our lunch, we went off on an explore!  We found ourselves at Center Harbor on Lake Winnepausaki  (sp??)  in New Hampshire.  Of course, we settled into a fabric/quilters heaven.  I picked up some William Morris prints, fat quarters for $1 each and a pattern for a quilt for me called the Hokey Pokey!  Here they are resting in the nesting baskets my daughter gave me for Mother's Day.  There was a cross stitch store and a yarn store...like we hadn't seen enough yarn already.  Then a drive on back roads and a stop in Lake Squam for coffee before we hit the interstate back to Massachusetts.   I think I am in love and could move to this area in a heartbeat.    Thank you Anna for the spelling of Lake  Winnipesaukee.  Anna is originally from NH and commented about the beauty as well.


So scenic, so picturesque, just so gorgeous and peaceful.  It was a pretty as the picture.


Back to my daughter's and snacking on chocolate covered strawberries!  and playing with our purchases.  




I managed to do my quilt class homework and get all my layers arranged and pinned so I will be ready for Tuesday's class.    The other part of our homework this week was to make a label for our quilts.   I declined the piece of the iron on fabric that we were given to write our names on to later iron on.   Silly ladies.....I cross stitched my label!
Today we went to the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, Mass.   The featured exhibition was Amish Crib Quilts and it was not a disappointment.  Afterwards, all three of us were ready for naps.    Bought some bobbins for a ridiculous $2.95.   Must be because Lowell was the home to dozens of mills and back in the day probably had a couple hundred thousand bobbins!

There has been a little stitching, a little shopping, a lot of giggles and fun.  The ride home tomorrow and back to work.