Sunday, January 30, 2011

Continued i-Challenge Progress

Round 2 - LHN  Heart of America
Round 2 - Pine Mt. - October pillow
I am really enjoying a different project every day. I try not to peek ahead and haven't committed to memory what project is next so each day brings a surprise.   I am quickly developing favorites though. 

The LHN above it quite a lot more stitching that I originally thought.   Pine Mt. October is a nice no-brainer break.  The ABC's of Aging is a fast stitch.  Eat Drink and Be Scary is also working up quickly.  And so is Blessed Beyond Measure.   Some of these are on my favorites to work on list. 
Round 2- Lizzie Kate's - ABC's of Aging

Round 2- Waxing Moon - Eat, Drink and Be Scary

Round 2 - Blue Ribbon Designs - Blessed Beyond Measure

All Assembled

IKEA -  ahhhhhh!    Except I forgot that shopping with Mr. W. is  ~~ straight to what you want ~~ straight to the check out ~~ straight home and no dauddling.   But alas, all is good.   I didn't get the kitchen island I had in mind because I think Mr. W. was having sticker shock.  I settled on a smaller one that is absolutely perfect.   It is kind of like that Christmas tree that expands exponetionally the second you bring it through the door.   Had I gotten the intended island, there would be no room to work around it.   And since I am always about multipurposing and thinking of how to re-use each peice I buy if I ever move, the smaller island AND the Expedit were the perfect choice.

I still need to sort and stack and pack some things in the nifty boxes from IKEA.   Please don't mind the paint cans......seems I got distracted when I painted last year and never finished the trim.   A must do on the 'to-do' list in the near future. 

These open shelves are directly behind my chair when I am at the sewing machine and I have stacked my current (machine) sewing projects along with my mending.   Funny thing about the mending - some of the things have been in the pile so long they no longer are in style nor do they fit.   Cut that task in half with a quick sort. 

I worked at my new island workstation last night finishing up the first half of my hokey-pokey quilt top.  I sorted the sections of the fat quarter left from the first half and rearranged for the start of the second half which is cut and sewn at mirror image angles to the first half.   It was a joy to work at the counter height and not be bending over a rickety table. 

So much into the room finally coming to the vision of my mind's eye, I sewed the swag curtains that have been on the drawing board for a couple of years.   Tthe best part, they didn't cost me a cent.   The fabric is something I got when clearing out my mom's house after she passed away (in 1993!!!)  My mother had a sense of style and class about her and I saved the fabric knowing I wanted to do something with it.  The photo doesn't show you the real quality of the fabric.  It's a Waverly screen print.    I made and lined the swags but in typical Robin Fashion - I quickly hung them up without the proper rod or rod height.   When the weather warms, I plan to take down the rod, spray it with some flat black spray paint and remount is an inch or so lower and an inch or two outside the window frame.   Personally, I could live without curtains on my windows.   I love letting the outside in.   This window over my sewing machine is a north window so I don't get the blistering sun in it and since I live in a small town, I really don't care of people riding down the main street see me upstrairs sewing the night away!   I have enough fabric left to make a couple of chair cushions and some pillows that will help pull everything together.

Friday, January 28, 2011

How lucky can a girl get!

Yeah, the weekend and NOTHING scheduled!  I can't believe it.   No where to go, nothing that has to be done.   No schedule.   This could be classified as heavenly.......and then it got better.   Mr. W. was chatting about what our plans were for tomorrow and I just kind of snuck in there....."we could always take a ride to IKEA"......Mr. W. immediately said......"I've been thinking about going there."    He even wants to go early enough to shop and eat there.   Now this can only mean it was be 75 degrees out (the opposite of seeing snow in summer).   First, Mr. W. doesn't go out to eat; second Mr. W. doesn't voluntarily drive into the big city.    Now somehow I have to convince him we need to take his truck because I have have my eye on an Expedit and a kitchen island that I just have to have in my craft room!     Hopefully there will be some film at 11 tomorrow night showing the assemblage of items from a day trip to IKEA.   Love that store!  Those Swedish are so clever.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Those Mesh Bags

Kimmie left a comment on an earlier post when I raved about the mesh project bags.   I am sure most of you have seen them.  I love them and have them in all sizes.  

Yes, even the quilt fabric one is a mesh bag.

If you have them, you know that are really not mesh but instead a good grade of vinyl.  They just have that mesh design on them.   I like them so much better than a zip-lock style bag.   The zipper is so much easier and the vinyl is a thicker grade.   No holes in the corners of these bags!

A variety of sizes even for the larger patterns

And look, some crazy over achiever covered the mesh bag with fabric. 
This covered bag was part of a give-a-way at Celebrations in Nashua NH a few years back.

BOM Club

Pieced but not sewn.

Or better known as Block of the Month Club!  Quilting is new to me but I joined a BOM at the local quilt shop anyway.   It is not like I don't have too many projects already but that is whole other story.   So, the first month, a simple pinwheel.    I finally managed some cutting and sewing machine time last night while Mr. W was still outside in his little (heated) mancave.  Silly man.  Why do men insist upon hanging out in their garages instead of the warmth and comfort of being inside?  One of the mysteries of the universal I guess. 
My sister project
As I said, not that I don't have too many started/in progress project already, what's one more?   I decided to sew an additional quilt top using the BOM pattern and fat quarters from my stash each month.   I am using Civil War prints for the 'sister' quilt.   I also am making smaller squares that I plan to use as the boder.  

I had an idea for a fundraiser for my local community group and that was to auction a quilt.   No one seemed to be interested in pursuing a sewing friend to assist and while they thought it was a good idea, there were a lot of alligators in the room.   Meaning all of a sudden everyone had short arms that couldn't be raised.   Most often alligator arms are witnessed in a bar when the tab comes and they can't reach into their pockets to chip in or to pay!   Anywho!......I am thinking that the red and green may be the one I complete to auction off.   In the end, the top will have only cost me $5 - the price of the first block.   If we show up the first Wednesday of each month with the previous month completed, we get the next month free.   So $5 and my time, which we know is priceless, and I will be learning some skills along the way.   Stay tuned for the progress. 

a change to my-challenge

 I was not having fun with yesterday's piece in my rotation. First, it is on black linen which is never a pleasant experience. After my first hour, I knew it was time to throw in the towel. If stitching ever could possibly be an aerobic exercise, my maneuvers to stitch on black surely came close.   Adjust the light, adjust the magnification, adjust the fabric, put it in a hoop, flip the extra faric out of the way, try the light underneath, temporarily blind myself, white towel on lap, stitch twelve stitches, repeat, put fabric in a larger hoop to help keep the edges from folding over underneath and from blocking the light from below.......sneeze, and do it all again!!!!! This is after I decided to frog what I had stitched the first time around. I thought I would mix it up a bit and add some krenik to the white but didn't like the effect. I tried it a couple of more times using various floss combinations but......this time the phone rang and I was forced to "reset" yet again.

Yuck!  These stitches look like poo!  And trust me, only the camera zoom made the fabric look so easy to stitch on.

Oops.  Sideways but you get the idea.

Enter, the Sheltering Tree from All Through The Night. This has been in my stash and was a contender for the I-challenge but was lost in the editing room. I see it on a couple of other challengers list, like Jodie's, and pulled it out. Isn't the squirrel a cutie? 
Jodie and I will have to compare our progress.

Loving the feel and the color changes of this floss
I am using the most awesome floss, BelleSoie Miss Green Jeans, which I remember being expensive. Now I know why.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

i-Challenge Progress

I am still having fun with this challenge.  Actually this part is more fun that the first 15 days......there is no pressure to have to stitch.....the fun part in digging into my bag and being surprised with what I am going to be working on.    

I made a *new page* off to the right where I am logging my progress and current pix.   I kept wondering and marveling at others who had special pages and imagining them to be computer geniuses on their day jobs.....only to finally realize the little button on the posting page that says ~New Page~.   I'm a regular Einstein! 

More stitches to get in tonight on my Pears.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

i-Challenge and how I'm doing

I am getting mixed reviews here.   People either love this challenge or think those of us who are doing it are crazy!  I am self-diagnosed as having crafters ADD so it works for me.  I am enjoying looking forward to 'having permission' to work on something different everyday.  All my projects are in the all too familiar mesh bags we all use.  Love them!  If you don't have them, get them.   Just really nice to have.......but again, I am off on a tangent - that ADD thing kicking in. 

So here's my progress - some days you will see there wasn't much time for stitching, but I made the attempt and vowed to put in at least 12 stitches.

i-Challenge X - Really poor showing for LHN Heart of America

i-Challenge Day XI - Eat Drink and Be Scary Waxing Moon Designs

i-Challenge XII - Blessed Beyond Measure - Blue Ribbon Designs

i-Challenge Day XIII - Totally lame start of Just Nan Needle Tweets but vounting the eensy weeny half stitches I did do 12 stitches.

i-Challenge XIV - LNH Chocolate Box - Now this is some progress

i-Challenge XV - Jeannette Douglas - My Stitching Treasures - a favorite I saved til last!
 And so it goes, we get back to the very beginning.  For me, I plan to continue my starting order as my working order.  

I'd be further but I think my WDW Kudzu is on the floor of the Hyatt Regency Princeton

Honey, I'mmmmmmmm home!

So good to go away but we all know, so good to get home.   This weekend I participated in my first Camp Wannasew!  Wow!   What a nice weekend.  Sewing and friends and more sewing and new friends and progress to show to boot.  And the price was right since there was no Vendors involved.   We all know how dangerous that can be to the ole wallet. 

Where to start.....first Carol out did herself with our room accommodations.  We had an awesome SUITE!  It was really nice to have a large living room and dining table that seated 8.  When not in the common stitching room with the other stitchers, we had plenty of space to spread out and do our thing in our pj's in our own room.  We were kind of bummed out - those of us who are Internet/email/blogging nuts, that Internet was extra.  And not a one time extra for the room, an extra of $10 for each device from the room to access the Internet.   Boo hiss!  Even Motel 6 gives you free wireless.   Next year I think we are adding a day to weekend; I promised to hit the fitness room at least once; and may consider my bathing suit for the indoor pool.   Hitting the pool will depend on how many times I hit the fitness room at my Y between now and next year. 

Second, one of the Secret Squirrel Stitchers/my Thursday night stitching group, Diane moved to Tennessee after only my first two meetings with the stitching group.  Everyone talks about  Diane this and Diane that and I really never got the chance to know her.  Well that was corrected after this weekend.  She drove up from Tennessee to join us for Camp Wannasew and it was so nice to get to spend some time with her.   And you should see her work!  Totally exceptional.  Drive home safety Diane! 

I really recommend highly a stitching getaway weekend for aynone that can pull it off.  I already marked my calendar for next year. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

i-Challenge Day 12

Whew!  I can't believe I am still on track - starting a new project everyday.   I know to some this is just a crazy thought but so far I am finding it enjoyable.   I am looking forward to what is coming on my list and each day I am excited to start something new, to have a fresh piece of fabric and to be tantilized with new flosses.   To me, the 15 in 11 i-Challenge, allows me to rationalize it as ^permission^ to have so many WIP's!!!!  Seriously, I see me being able to complete them all and I can't wait to complete the first one.....which will it be???? No pix today but I have made stitchie progress each day only about a dozen stitches but it technically classifies as a New Start!  Hopefully I can post pix later this evening.

I was able to put my final report on my grant to bed last night with the director's review and approval and then the quick email to the Cultural and Heritage Commission.   ~~BIG sigh~~ of relief.   I have felt like I have had a second job for the last 10 days and I am glad it is behind me.....until the next Grant application process starts in August.  I'll worry about that in August.

So back to stitching - my daughter is sitting in an airport right now - hopefully with no flight delays.   How does this relate to stitching?  She is traveling from Massachusetts which is under 2 + feet of snow to Disney World in Orlando with 6 or 8 stitching friends.   How cool!  I bet they are all sitting in Manchester Airport right now knitting and stitching away while waiting to board their plane.   And heaven forbid, if there is a delay, they will all be able to pass the time happily stitching away.   As I look out at sunrise it is casting blue shadows on the snow......sitting around a pool stitching with friends sounds pretty darn good!  Have a great time Miss Amy.

For myself, not so exoctic destination but I will have a stitching weekend at a Campwanna Sew that I will be attending for the first time.  I am really looking forward to the rest and relaxation and fellowship with other stitchers.   Even though November and December are crazy busy it is a different crazy busy and I find that between Christmas and New Years things really kind of mellow out and slow down to a stress free time.  Then, WHAM! back to work and deadlines and evening may only be the third weekend of the new year but I am ready for a break this weekend. 

Thanks for stopping by and happy stitching all!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

i-Challenge Day VII

Caught up with a friend last night on the phone and got to stitching til later than I wanted but it was worth the trade off......Day VIII Challenge is a Pine Mountain Kit - October Spooks.   Love that everything is complete in the package but not real fond of the fun of sorting the strands of packaged similar colored flosses.   This is another one that I bet won't be in my rotation long.   It should be a relatively quick stitch.  

I did a bit of re-arranging my project order when not only could I not find the fabric but I also don't have the symbol key in my Little House Needlework - Heart of America.   Well, if you look closely at the top right of my project progress on October Spooks, you can see the Heart of America fabric mounted on my stretcher bars, waiting in my project basket  right where it has been for the last 3 weeks.  Typical.....if it was a snake it would have bit me!

Already off to a good start on Day IX.  Today's piece is Lizze Kate's The ABC's of Aging.   Love it!   I think I must have been a scribe in a former life because I like alphabets.   I even doodle my ABC's down the side of my steno pad in a meeting lull.  I have discovered through the first 9 days journey that I believe my favorite fabric to stitch on is cashel.  I like the weight of it, the uniformity of it, the feel of it.   I think before the day is done, I will have more progress to show.

I hope to finish up the storing of decorations early on today and have a quick trip to the market for the week and then back to stitching this evening.  Before this garlands lands in the yard sale box (it is over 30 years old and owes me nothing!!!)  I needed a last look at the garland on the front porch.   I love the red and green against the white snow. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

i-Challenge Days VI, VII, and VIII

I am still hanging in there with a couple of hitches in my giddy-up!   For Day 6 - I started Bent Creek's Leaf.   I enjoy doing Bent Creek and Lizze Kate's every now and again.   Not to disminish them in any way but they are no brainers to me.   I don't need to concentrate and figure and stress of accomplishing a specialty stitch. 

Better yet, I got to start this on Thursday night while at My Secret Squirrel Stitching Group - now the real name, in fact, there is no real name.  It is just a group of gals that get together and stitch.  Mr. Wonderful dubbed them the Secret Squirrel stitchers because when I was approached to join the group, I was told it was private/invitation only group and my name would have to go back to the entire group for approval.  No, there is no Secret Decoder Ring we are issued but we Stitchers do know we speak a different language than the rest of  human race.    We had not met for stitching since November and I missed it.

Back track to Day V, I picked up my first square in my Block of the Month Club.   It's an easy one and since I am a relative newcomber, that's a good thing.  I hope to knock that out as well this weekend.  Using my trusty handy dandy block tool, I am ready to go.

For Day 7 - I started a little Halloween stitch that I got at my Retreat at Salty Yarns last fall.   It is so cute and when finished, it is mounted in a shadow box with little ghostie and goulie trinkets.   I am not too keen on working on the black though.  It is WDW but somehow it doens't feel too much my linen I would like to stitch on.   I also thought I would do a neato thing and add some krenik to my floss to stitch the right side of every section.....kind of like to put a glow on one side...maybe from the full moon???

Really an embarrassing too few stitches to make a judgement on.

I am not too sure I am liking this and really need to get a bunch more stitches in before I frog.

Day 8 - Here's the biggest hitch - I pulled out my Little House Needleworks pattern over coffee this morning and started giving the instructions the necessary cursory review and WHAT! NO LINEN!    Oh no!  I must have pulled it out for something else.......but I really don't remember doing that.   I have the floos and buttons though.    I could have sworn it was there when I set up my basket back in December when I was prepping for the challenge.......So not a stitch yet today.   Day 8 is hanging in the balance until I can get into my craft room and do a bit of searching....

....enter the Christmas Decorations......the task of putting away the holiday decorations - oh and this year I have pledged to put them away you are like me, your craft room become wrapping central......oh the domino effect of all the mess!    Thank goodness for a snow stay in, stay cozy and kind of plow through it all......I am looking forward to some stitching this evening once I sit down for the evening with a big cup of fancy tea or speciality coffee.......and what Day 8 may end up being...........well only the Shadow Knows!

One last thing before I have to stop the holiday de-arornment ritual.......I had posted about going to a Hearth Cooking Class for the last couple of years.....well it is that time again.   Check out my earlier posts that are labeled "Hearth Cooking"  and the George Read website as well.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

i-Challenge Day V - I did it, I did it!

It must be that Type A cursed personality or the internal perfectionist in me but I did it!  I managed to eek out a bid of Day IV work to keep on track.    Although not a stitch was taken, I did work with fabric.   Since this is a different media than linen and floss and a different technique I count it as work completed on Day IV.    Yeah me!   I managed to cut out my pears and their stems and leaves.   I am not sure that this will be the final placement but when this project rolls around in my rotation, it will be a WIP!

Day V is a little quaker pinkeep that I picked up on a vaca with a girlfriend when we visted Williamsburg a couple years back. Again it is something I have been wanting to start because I know when I see it, it will remind me of our time their together.

Happy Stitching all!