This and That 2.0

This week has been productive, I got a few things started and finished. Got the “comfort and joy” piece made into a little pillow, the pompoms were a bit of a pain. I finished stitching the Cecropia moth, I am looking for just the right frame. I am leaning towards a golden one, but may just go with black. Hoping to find a ready made one that will fit, which necessitates a trip to the frame shop (ie Michaels). In hindsight, I wish that I had used a square piece of linen, as it would have been easier to frame. Sometimes frugality can be a hindrance to crafting/finishes.

I started stitching the Vintage Pansy piece, I am using Aida cloth and one strand of DMC. I had a little problem, there are colors on the chart that call for two different strands to be used together, as a blender. Since I am only using one strand, I compromised by using one thread for the left slant of the the cross and the other for the right slant.

I sewed up 16 blocks for the Reunion BOM, four from December(top) and twelve for January(lower). I made a slight error cutting the directional fabric, two blocks aren’t complete. I know where I can get more of this fabric, so its not a real problem, plus this fabric is used else where in the quilt, so I may be able to switch the already cut triangles with a larger piece in the coming months. Sort of a robbing Peter to pay Paul scenario.

This weekend I would like to start the “A Ribbon Runs though it” BOM. I got the fabric and pattern pack in the mail a few days ago. I opened it and looked at all the colors and prints, got overwhelmed and put it aside. This is a quilt that I will be happy to do in small bites.

Reading blogs this morning, and saw one with a bunch of photos from the Road to California Quilt Show. I wish I could have gone, its been a long time since I attended, maybe 2016? I am signed up to attend Empty Spools at the end of March. I’m still a bit apprehensive about being around that many people indoors. They are requiring all attendee’s to have three vaccines on board, and all the usual precautions. I’m taking a class with Susan Carlson called “Fabric Collage Menagerie”, I am still trying to decide on my subject/animal. Interestingly, Sarah Maxwell is going to be there for that session, teaching the Reunion Quilt (same as above), as it is her pattern. I few other teachers that will be there are Gloria Loughman, Sue Brenner, Pricilla Bianchi, Velda Newman, and Krista Moser. The last day of the seminar, attendees are allowed to tour the other classrooms. It is so inspirational to me to see all the work each class has done, and to meet these quilt designers/makers.

Be Kind.

Solo quilt a long

Last month I decided to join a quilt a long with Christa Watson using her pattern Blooming Wallflowers. I bought the PDF and looked through my stash for a large enough piece of background fabric. I came across the scraps and remaining fabrics from the El Camino BOM I did in 2014. There was enough of the blue for the background and lots of scraps for the “flowers”. This past week Christa posted a video about cutting and the Quilt-a-Long started. I got my pieces cut in two sessions and then sewed the triangles in a square together in two more sessions. I got excited about finishing the top and did so yesterday. I like how it turned out, and coincidentally, my colors match the ones that Christa has in her sample version. This quilt pattern is unique in that the size of the blocks, not the number of them, determine the size of the quilt. All three sizes given in the pattern use the same number of blocks. The quilt a long is a weekly one, going on through February, so still plenty of time to join and share.

I have been stitching X’s a lot too, I am almost finished with the moth piece. I am going to start the Pansy bouquet next. Funny thing, I ordered the flosses from 123 Stitch a few weeks ago and when they came in I decided to put them away in a bag, so I wouldn’t misplace them. As I was putting them into the box that has all my cross stitch in it, a bag of floss fell out. Wouldn’t you know it was the bag of floss I had already picked for this project? I think I am going to start a journal of cross stitch projects, no more double orders. I got this cute little book a while ago, although its not sewing themed, I think it’ll work.

My Longarm is still at the repair shop, I may just call on Monday, and check on its status. I keep finding all these great looking pantographs to do, and beautiful ones to keep in mind for future quilts. I am even thinking of putting the Misses Miller quilt on the frame first up. That BOM sampler quilt has been finished for a while, I think I am going to do some hand guided and some computerized quilting on it. Looking back, I finished the top on January 20, 2020, ha, where does the time go?

I’m toying with the idea of a paper pieced quilt, similar to this one “Catena” by Timna Tarr. She made this one in 2011, and the pattern appears in Quilters Newsletter Dec/Jan 2013 issue. I may do batiks, with a white (ish) background, or thirties prints, or green and red like the original. I saw this quilt recently on Gladi Porsche Quilts she is using Asian prints for her version. I have a drawer full of indigo prints that might work, but they might be too similar with not enough contrast. It is a “simmering” quilt idea. I think I am going to pull out the Simple Days quilt and see what needs to be done with it. Then I have two months of the Reunion quilt to do, and the first block of “A Ribbon Runs Through It” BOM should be arriving next week. Lots of fun in store!

Be Kind.

Acquisition-ing

I had some errands to do yesterday, and there were construction workers blocking my driveway. I decided that I would go out and stay out, as my first appointment was at 10:15 and my last at 3:00pm. I needed to go pick up the new Serger foot I had ordered and I was going to look for a little fabric. I got to the store and found a cute print, I think its “Gastlies”, its got fish of all kinds and a cat (catfish?) on a neutral background. I got some thread for the Cotton Couture quilts too. It was sort of a lack luster shopping trip and I kinda knew it would be. The owner of the shop has been downsizing since before the pandemic, and talking about retirement. He has also been focusing on machine sales and repair more than fabric and notions. The shop used to take up two stories with classrooms upstairs and four large areas for fabric/notions – the rest of the floor space was machines. The store is in a former bank building, so there is lots of open space. Yesterdays visit was to a shop that had further reduced fabric bolt shelves, lots of machines, and a pared down selection of notions. I have been shopping at this store for about 25 years, followed it through a move, a change in ownership (one co-owner left) and now this downsizing. Believe me, I know the competition is fierce from Michaels, Joanns et al, and on-line shopping, its really tough to have an independent shop. It makes me sad to remember the lively community that used to gather and how there was always someone to talk quilting to, or just hang out with and pet the fabrics. I think that’s what I miss the most, and I wanted to find that feeling yesterday. I was sitting in the parking lot with two and a half hours till my next appointment, when I thought of a different shop, and wondered if it was open. Google maps, yes! open and only seven miles away. I used to shop at The Granary about 15 years ago, it was close to the place I took my daughter for school tutoring. I would drop her off and go shop while she did her session. There were a few people in the shop, and I was greeted when I came in, so nice and welcoming. Fresh fabrics, bright lighting, patterns and samples and that community feeling. I ended up with a few half yards, a pattern and a quilt kit, plus I signed up for their email list and rewards card. The quilt kit I got is for a Julie Paschkis Quilt, called “Snowy”. I couldn’t resist, funny how I finally used up most of my Paschkis fabrics and now I have more. I think it is really pretty and I hadn’t seen it before. Wintery scenes with saturated colors, Polar bears, penguins and white foxes. There is a matching pillow, as seen on bottom right.

Snowy 81″ X 81″

I sewed together the blocks for the second Cotton Couture quilt top yesterday. I want to figure out some kind of borders, the pattern has them on top and bottom only with finished size being 60″ X 70″. I need to think on it a bit.

It’s another rainy day here, so I think I’ll stay in and sew.

Be Kind.

No Rules

I caved yesterday, no spelunking here, caved in on not buying more cross stitch supplies/projects. I had this PDF chart, Vintage Pansies by 2X2 Stitch Art that I bought in November last year. I want to start a new project after I finish the Moth. I don’t want to do anther sampler right now, so the pansies won out. I didn’t have all the flosses, there are 44 different colors in this one. A trip to 123 Stitch solved that, and I saw another chart and floss which jumped into my cart. They make it easy to order flosses, just enter all the numbers in the box, separated by commas, and press enter. They all magically pop into your cart where you can double check them. The other chart I got is Live and Let Live by Long Dog Samplers, I like this one for its composition and colors. I probably should have checked the DMC flosses I had before ordering the kit, but there are only 12, so how many could/do I have?

The Moth stitchery is coming along, I am almost finished with the lower left wing. I keep making mistakes and ripping though. My new tablet, (Christmas gift 🙂 is helping me keep track, I am trying out Pattern Keeper. I really like that I can take a photo of the chart and import it into the app and use it. I can also use pattern PDFs, and it will separate colors and count stitches too. The photo import part will only allow marking or highlighting stitches done, but it’s really helpful. I especially like that I can enlarge the pattern with a touch and with the nifty pen my tablet has, mark individual stitches. Its funny, I never thought I would like a tablet, my laptop is so light and does all the “things” I need it to do. This tablet has changed my view, and the way I stitch for the better.

I worked a bit on the Cotton Couture quilts, I am getting the four corners put together. I like the way my stash fabrics look together with the ones from the Cotton Couture collection. Maybe these tops will be together for the return of the Longarm.

This being the first Monday of 2022, I am itching to start doing something, the holidays are done, and it’s time to start anew. I want to make an Optometrist appointment (yay! new glasses) and an appointment to get my rugs picked up for cleaning. It would be nice if the tile guys showed up today to finish tiling my bathroom too. That project has been going on for too long, I am ready to be done, its like having an UFO that you can’t finish, but you see it every day.

Time’s a-wastin’ !

Be Kind.

First steps

I took a long trip yesterday, to Sacramento. There was a break in the weather, two days with no rain, and I thought the traffic would be lighter due to the holiday week. I also scheduled a lunch with a friend who is in the capital area visiting relatives this week. In the back of my car was my Q24 longarm machine, it was time to take it to the Bernina certified repair man. He came out to my car to bring it in, as he did, he talked to me to find out what was going on with it. It was nice to see that he was interested in the machine and seeing what was wrong with it. Right off he found three things that needed fixing, and that were most likely related to the issues I was going through. Oddly he said that the check spring was missing out of the upper thread assembly. Where did it go? I think I would have noticed it laying about on my quilt top. My machine has about 17 million stitches on it, the recommended amount is 22 million for the first service. It will get that service a bit early, which is okay with me. Now to wait out the two to three weeks for the fixing. I miss it already, it’s kinda sad to walk by the frame and not see it there.

This past week I got a bit of sewing done on the Cotton Couture quilt top. I fixed the error and got all the sections together. When I bought this quilt kit, I also bought some extra fabric from the same line (on sale) thinking I would make two. I started cutting the second one Wednesday, and got a few units sewn together. I found a few fabrics from my stash that go well with the panels and left over scraps from the kit.

I want to wrap up my year of sewing with a list or two and maybe a list of UFO’s that have been on the shelf for a while.

Number of Quilts finished this year : 39

Number of Quilt tops finished this year: 9 (not quilted yet)

Cross stitch pieces FFO: 10 – Floral Circle, Cat head, Pet all the dogs, Strawberry fields, Changed World, Newcastle Bouquet, Irish Saying, Set her Sails, Comfort and Joy, and Red Birds

Knitting: 3 hats, 2 Cowls, 1 Shawl

2022 BOM’s joined: A Ribbon Runs Through It and Reunion

List of UFO’s to finish in the next 365 days:

  • Simple things 1930’s embroidery/appliqué
  • Teal, black and white maze quilt
  • Love Entwined Quilt – appliqué
  • 365 Batik block quilt 270 blocks to go
  • Dragon quilt finish quilting embellishing etc (oldest circa late 1900’s)
  • Holiday Snow Village 2021 BOM
  • Needing quilting/binding Berties year, Growing up odd, Misses Miller, Christmas Figs, Halloween Figs, Botanica Park, Washboard, Red and white quilt, Paper pieced ice quilt, Autumn leaves, Quick curve quilt.

See you next year!

Be Kind.

Another Week

Another week has passed, along with it, our sunny December weather. We have rain in the forecast for at least the next eight days. All very conducive to staying in and sewing, baking and puzzling. My sons are coming back home for the holidays, with my new daughter in-law, and an SO. A full house so to speak. Today will be a day of tidying up, shopping (food) a bit, and staying warm and dry.

I have been sewing the blocks for the quilt kit I got a few months ago, its called Cotton Couture. Once I got all the individual blocks sewn, I put together nine parts. I may get those together today, and then its just a few borders. Looking at the picture, I am noticing a turned section, I’ll fix it before going on.

Cross stitch corner has a resident moth, a Cecropia moth, I am working on the wing. This is on a scrap of 40 count linen I had. I think it looks better on the rust colored linen, like the photo, but this off-white is okay. Shopping for colored linen on-line makes me think twice about buying it. There is so much variation in color from dye lot to dye lot, and the names confuse me too. Some of them sound like a Starbucks drink order, vintage mocha light brown. Others look like a color catcher sheet, or a drop cloth from under the dye pot. The splotchy look isn’t my favorite, I figure in about 25 years all the pieces will looked aged and splotchy on their own why start out that way? Then there is the fact that one has no real control over the splotches, I wanna know where my design is going to be on the cloth. I start thinking “what if I get a splotch under an element of the design, like a flower?” then I think about not liking said splotch, and ripping out stitching.

The frame kit came for the Irish saying piece, and I got it all done in time for gift-ing. I like this saying, and I hope the recipients do too. Still have to finish “Comfort and Joy”, I got these cute pompoms for the edging too. I just can’t decide if I want to make a pillow or a plaque, or ???

Last hat gift is knitted too. I was knitting a striped one for this person, but when I finished it, I didn’t like it. The horizontal stranding makes it too tight, and it seems like one of those hats that tries to pop off your head at inopportune times. Yesterday I whipped up this solid one, YAY! for bulky yarn.

I’m contemplating joining a KAL for January-March 2022, the Self Care Sweater KAL from Bare Naked Woods. They have a pattern called Birches, a double breasted cardigan, with texture and drape.

I know I have some yarn around here that would be suitable, lol. Then I do have a few sweater projects kitted up, that need to be done as well. It seems like most bloggers and floss tube people are looking to use more stash for 2022. I’m thinking that I should have some kind of goal too, I can’t see myself doing a No-Buy year. I was thinking maybe I could work on a reward system, make something from stash, or complete a UFO and then get to buy something.

Be Kind.

When 1 is 4

I was excited to start the second month block kit for the Reunion BOM. Especially because my sewing table was clean and clear. When I opened the bag up, I discovered it was actually 4 blocks, 2 of each orientation. These blocks are large too, 18 inches square, it took me two sessions of sewing to complete them. The pieces are based on 2 ½ squares and HSTs, so it wasn’t too difficult to cut and piece. Some of the fabric is directional, which I discovered about half way through. The blue and gold print was a little wonky, I tried to cut it on the straight of the print, but then realized that I was wasting too much fabric. I also made a whoops cut, and ended up with just enough for the 16 squares.

This BOM is a large quilt (107″x107″), and I had originally liked it because of the colors and variety of blocks. I signed up a while ago, maybe in the spring, when I saw the picture of it at The Homespun Hearth. I should have looked a bit more closely at the fabric line featured. It is decidedly 1800’s reproduction themed, which is pretty, just not my first choice in prints. It is clearly stated in the description that it is a reproduction fabric line inspired by the artistry of Judie Rothermel. Coincidentally, the other BOM I signed up for, “A Ribbon Runs Through it” is also 1800 reproduction prints it is called ‘A Return to Elegance collection’ by Judie Rothermel for Marcus Fabrics. Hmm, looking back through my finished quilts I have made quite a few that are Repro themed. Time to own up to the fact that I do indeed like the theme, its the blues, they catch my eye.

I was just clicking around looking for Reunion quilt pictures, when I came across these versions, a rainbow theme with soft black or white backgrounds.

In cross stitch land, I framed the Newcastle Bouquet, and I am making progress on the small “Comfort and Joy”. Trying to decide what to start next, something big or something medium? I have a moth, a coffee word sampler, a pansy bouquet, kitted up. Then there’s the large Pilgrims Progress Longdog sampler and the Heaven and Nature Sing sampler, also kitted up. Which will be the New Year’s start? Decisions, decisions…

Be Kind.

12 more days

Yesterday I finished up the Christmas sewing gifts, the rest of the bowl cozies, but mostly embroidering a few stockings, a few ornaments and a fun bookmark. The bookmark was done on card-stock, or watercolor paper as that is what I had. It took a while to stitch, but it’s pretty and functional. My MIL reads a lot of “real” books, so I think she’ll appreciate it. I still have one more knitted hat to finish before 12-25, but I’m half way through, and closing in on the decreases at the crown. I also cleared off my sewing table while the embroidery machine was working, and was able to wrap all my gifts on the clean wide open surface. I have an adjustable height desk top under my cutting mat, which makes wrapping a breeze. So much better than kneeling on the floor to wrap (as I did last week) – ugh, even my husband commented on how he couldn’t imagine doing that.

My long arm is in need of repair. Last week it was acting up, and I updated all its software, which made it communicate with the robotics again, but now it seems to have a mechanical issue. The upper thread tension assembly seems to stick in the closed position. Definitely not conducive to sewing more than 10 stitches at a time. As is the way of things, I had about 10 more inches of the Spider and The Fly quilt to finish. I’m going to call my dealer tomorrow, they are closed today, and see if he can come out and fix it. It is really hard for me to take it off the frame, put it in the car and bring it to his shop.

I am sewing today, I have a block from the Reunion BOM quilt to do, and I think I want to start something new. I bought these small panels earlier this year, and thought they would look pretty as lap quilts with the coordinating fabrics (left overs from a different quilt). The panels are 18″ x 22″, FQ size, which makes adding blocks easier. I will have to fire up the EQ7 and try to remember how to use it effectively.

The Newcastle Bouquet is finished, and the frame I ordered for it arrived. It would be nice to finish putting it together today. The other cross stitch piece that is for a gift, has been finished for a few weeks, and the frame I ordered for it isn’t here yet. Strange because I ordered it before the frame for the NB piece. Hope it gets here before New Years, as that is when the recipients will be leaving.

Needs a bit more ironing.

It’s pouring down rain today, I have to go to the post office, and maybe buy some food for this upcoming week. First sewing!

Be Kind.

So much Stuff

The other day my DH walked into my sewing room and said “You have so much stuff.” I replied that I thought he had more stuff that pertains to his hobby, like the thousands of CD’s he has. I couldn’t persuade him, and in the end I conceded, yeah, I do have a lot of stuff. I ended the conversation with my reasoning being that it is three hobbies worth of stuff. Anyway, this lead to some contemplation, typical of the end of year thinking patterns, and goal setting for the new year. My hoard, my piles, my stash, my stock, my supplies, my-oh-my its mine and I own up to it. I don’t think my buying habits are out of control, although, I regularly buy fabric, sometimes weekly, but mostly monthly. Promises of “No-Buy” years are no good, its not feasible, if I need to complete something, or run short or its too good of a deal, that promise doesn’t last long. See what happens, I’m already adding stipulations to the rule, in the end I know myself. This coming year I would like to clear out some stash and organize it a bit more. There, a somewhat vague goal, it is a start. This past year I have gotten much done with the small bite at a time. I used up most of my Julie Paschkis fabric collection, I made four quilts out of it and sold two. I used up most of the scraps from last years Christmas Figs BOM, and made a dent in the scraps from the Halloween figs BOM too. I completed a kit, Reflected Harmony, and made a string quilt out of 20 year old scraps. I made over 25 quilts using mostly stash, and completed my BOM for 2021. Barely a dent in the hoard, but it makes me feel good to write these accomplishments down, and that I want to do more in 2022.

Some of the Stash

I am almost finished with the Newcastle Bouquet cross stitch project. I ordered a frame/backing and glass for it too, by the time that gets here I will be done. I thought about staying up late last night and finishing the last three motifs, but I kept nodding off. Best to quit before I start making mistakes I will only have to rip out the next day.

On the longarm front, I am almost done quilting the Spider and the Fly quilt, one more row. I had a bit of trouble with the computer/machine this past weekend. Some miscommunication between the two. I had updated the Q-matic program, and not the Windows Pro on the computer, yesterday, six updates were dutifully downloaded and executed. What it had been doing was stopping mid-sewing with the needle down, and the robotics would keep moving the machine head. I was there for the three times in a row that it happened, so I was able to stop it before any damage to the quilt was done. Yesterday it worked as it should, I was afraid to leave the vicinity of the machine, as you can imagine, Phew.

Off to bake cookies with a friend today, so not much sewing will be accomplished.

Be Kind.

Binding(s)

Since moving my longarm, I have had more opportunities to use it. At least it feels like it, sort of like not having to commute to work any more. This month I have five finishes, The Reflected Harmony quilt, Two Table runners, the Nutcracker quilt and Chasing rainbows. All which need bindings, oh, wait I did do the Reflected Harmony one and one table runner. The Nutcracker needed a green binding, and I didn’t have enough scraps of Christmas Figs to do so. I had to order another ½ yard, and it was delivered today. The Rainbow quilt, I am not sure about what I want to bind it with, maybe the light blue that’s in those tiny little setting squares. The table runner, might be wanting green, or gold, have to see what I have in the solids bin.

On to cross stitch news, I am nearing the finish of the Newcastle Bouquet. I am restraining myself from starting anything new until I finish it. The border is taking forever, last night while stitching, I counted the stitches in each motif. The five branched flower-like things around the piece, each one has almost 280 stitches in it, no wonder it is taking sooo long. I breezed through the Irish saying piece in about ten days, 32 count linen verses 40 count is the major difference. I am waiting on a frame for that, to make it a FFO. I am thinking of starting the Pilgrims Progress piece from LongDog stitchery as my next big piece. It is all one color, and I have gridded Aida cloth for it. Been having a few reservations about using the gridded cloth, as it has to be washed in order to remove the gray lines of the grid, once the piece is stitched. I was thinking of using Aurifil wool for the stitches, and I am wondering about the durability of it, and if it will hold up to a vigorous scrubbing. I may have to do a test piece.

Just noticed the missing stem for the red flower, will add it later.

Tomorrow is baking day, I am making a cheesecake (instant pot) an apple pie and pumpkin pie. If I am really ambitious, I’ll make persimmon bread too. Maybe I’ll get the bindings done in the morning, or this blog post :).

Be Kind.