Friday, October 31, 2014

Embroidery Sew Along - Part ???

For the past 2 months I've been following along with other bloggers stitching and sewing from the book - Patchwork Loves Embroidery by Gail Pan. Martina at Sunshine Quilting hosted this sew-along and it was lots of fun. Not only are the patterns and ideas in this book beautiful and easy to follow along with (really, the instructions are really well thought out), the group of ladies in this sew-along were very inspirational with their talent and super encouraging as well. Thank you, Martina, so much for putting this together for us!!!

With that said, umm, I just couldn't keep up!! I did the stitching pretty well, but the sewing tripped me up every time. I guess it could have something to do with my LOVE of hand stitching and my not-quite hate of sewing:) I'm getting better at it and these projects really did help me learn some new sewing skills:)

So this is what I FINALLY got done....

Secrets and Dreams journal cover

I got a *bit* better at sewing on the binding on this one, but I still have wonky ends. The last end I sewed in was the best, so it looks like I still need to practice this part:)

The other problem I was having was drawing the wavy lines that was quilted on the front of this. I just couldn't get nice, even waves. So I went to the quilting store, to Hobby Lobby and to Walmart looking for a stencil to use, but I couldn't find one. I did find some blank stencil sheets though, and after printing some wavy line templates from the internet, I made my own:)

Here are the three projects that I completed...

And here is the stitching for the next project I want to do...

This sew-along is done, but Martina is planning on doing another sew-along including any pattern by Gail Pan in 2015, and I think I will join along with that as well. I have a couple more patterns in this book that I want still make:) Until then, I plan to keep going with the one above at a much slower pace. The stitching above is a panel for a bag and I'm hoping to have it done mid Nov. I'm planning on using the bag (that will have no zippers, buttons or Velcro) as my knitting bag. I'm super excited about getting it done:)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mega Mini - Post 4

These days and weeks are just rushing by here lately!!! I was doing so well with this challenge that first week or two, but WOW, just so much running around has really cut into my stitching time - well that and my new found knitting addiction!! Maybe you can't really call it an addiction if you haven't even finished your first project yet? My book pile from the library speaks more of dreaming of knitting and less actual knitting:)
This is the last week of the Mega Mini Monthly Madness challenge put on by 'Pull the Other Thread'. And like I said, the first week or so went so well, but has slowed to almost a stand still. Here is the progress I've had this past week...

'A Christmas Stocking' from Plum Street Samplers and
'Snowbirds' from Country Cottage Designs
Both found in JCS Christmas Ornie Issue 2013
I have one other project/challenge to finish up by tomorrow and then ALL my attention will be on these two (even if it means hiding the knitting project!!). I will be back on Halloween to show these off, hopefully all finished.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mega Mini - Post 3

Well, I just about fell off the face of the (on-line) world this past week!! I missed several postings that I had planned to do, but I needed the break and it was worth it:) Now I'm back and have a little catching up to do. I'll start with the Mega Mini Month Madness hosted by 'Pull the Other Thread'.

Last time I posted I had finished the bunny from Brittercup Designs and had a bit of progress on Snowbirds from Country Cottage Needleworks, but I was still waiting to get some supplies for 'A Christmas Stocking' from Plum Street Samplers. I haven't gotten much more done since then, but I did get the supplies I needed, and got them from my (not so) local needlework shop!! I like shopping in the actual store when I can, but I don't get there very often, so this was a treat for me:) And I did get a start on the Plum Street design as well...

I just love stitching on 36 ct fabric!! Loving how this is turning out so far:)

Hoping to have another up-date later this week!!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Mega Mini - Week 2

The Mega Mini Month Madness is hosted by Pull the Other Thread.

It looks like I just might make all my goals for this challenge!! This is what I've gotten done so far...

I finished the BritterCup Bunny. I showed it to my dd and she said it should have been brown like one of her rabbits!! ACK!! I told her she'd live;) And then I got a start on Snowbirds from County Cottage Needleworks.

I still haven't gotten the supplies I need for the third project, but am hoping to make it into 'TOWN' (ie not the small town I live closest too, but the bigger town an hour away that has a needlework shop:) tomorrow and be able to pick stuff up. Otherwise I will need to order it soon so I can get that one done too. At this rate I may have time for a fourth project!! *Fingers Crossed*  :0)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

WIPocalypse - October 2014
Hosted by Measi at Measi's Musings

Just a quick update on what I'm spending most of my free time on right now (of course I have lots of little things I'm doing too:).

I'm working away at my LOVEQUILTS project. Remember this is what it will be...

I only show this to you because it looks nothing like this right now:)
And this is where I was before...

 And where I am now...

Yeah, it's going to take a while!! It's coming along, but super slow and there are SO MANY color changes!! Thankfully there is very little in the way of half stitches or back stitching so that will help quite a bit:)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Learning Something New

I tend to be one that is never satisfied with the projects I already have started. I always want to know more, do more and keep learning new things. This can be a great thing, but I do tend to want to move on to the next thing before ever really mastering what I have going on at the moment. Take crochet for example. I'm completely self-taught, and I taught myself just enough to be able to make blankets and scarves and the very popular wash cloth (popular because they are quick and easy!!). I can do a couple different patterns and have learned how to read the very basics of the crochet 'language'. But that is as far as I've gotten. Quilting is the same way. 

And I plan to continue to do more crochet and quilting, hoping that in time I will be able to build my skill in both. I love to cross stitch and have picked up other types of embroidery as well. But there is one more handiwork that has escaped my ability that I have long wanted to learn. And that is to knit:) 

I have tried a time or two. I have made a square or two, but they all turned out wonky and the process felt very awkward. About a month ago I decided to give it another try. As I watched yet another You-Tube video, I noticed that the 'instructor' held the yarn with her left hand instead of her right. She had been a crochet-er before learning to knit just like myself and found it more natural to hold the yarn like when you crochet. Well this worked wonders for me!! I will say that my knitting technique doesn't look pretty, more like someone trying to stab their yarn to death, it is at least making it to where I'm slowly learning to enjoy knitting:)

Here's what I've accomplished so far...

What will (eventually) be a scarf along with some knitting based reading:)

And of course I couldn't leave it at just one knitting project!! This blue yarn will also be a scarf, but using the pattern pictured below. 

Hopefully I'll get at least one of these done before it gets cold out!! 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Mega Mini SAL - Week 1

The Mega Mini Month Madness is hosted by 'Pull the Other Thread'.  I'm so excited to get started on this SAL!! Hoping that this can help get me ahead a little on Christmas gifts, which is always nice:)

So here are the projects I have picked out so far...

The first is 'Bunnies Galore' from Brittercup Designs. For this one I am just doing the small Ornie project. I switched fabric to just a 32ct plain white linen and sub'd with some threads I already had. (and sorry, but I faced the project upside down for this pic!!) I was able to make a small start on this one this morning. This project will be a gift for my dd who has a couple Holland Lop rabbits.

This one is 'Snowbirds' by Country Cottage Designs found in the 2013 JCS Ornie mag. I will be using the fabric shown just below the picture. It's much darker than in model used, but it's what I have and I think it will turn out very nice. This Ornie will be for my mil who loves birds:)

And this one will be for me!! This is from Plum Street Samplers and is called 'A Christmas Stocking'. It can also be found in the 2013 JCS Ornie issue. I don't have any of the supplies for this one yet, so I will be making an order soon:)

If I can get all of these done I will choose other projects, but I'm just hopeful I can get these done!! :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

NewFo - Sept 2014

2014 NewFO Challenge
Hosted by Barbara at Cat Patches
Okay, yes I know it's October now:) This is being posted a day late because I really thought I couldget more done on it today. Didn't happen, but it was a nice thought:)

I started out on Monday morning scrambling around the house looking for a project to start. Let's not discuss that I waited until the day before the end of the month to even start looking for a project. It needed to be something I already had the material for since I can't make a quick trip into town (town is around 25 min away) and then get back and wash material, iron it, etc, etc, etc.

So after a mad dash around the house I came up with this pile of fabrics...

I had originally bought some of these fabrics to make a summer-time beach bag with. I knew these weren't the colors I would normally choose for myself, but I did like how bright and happy they are. But I never did end up making a bag with them. So I decided that these bright, happy fabrics would make a great cuddle blanket for a toddler:) My friend that does foster care has three little ones right now and I am thinking about trying to make each of them a little blanket for Christmas gifts.

This project started out so good too!! I got all the blocks (4 1/2 inches) cut up in one sitting and then a little later on Monday evening I started sewing them into rows. My plan was to do a simple patchwork style that is truly random in placement. I got all the blocks sewn up into rows in almost another setting.

I want to stop here and say that I must be getting more patient with sewing with a machine. A few months ago I don't think I could sit at the machine long enough to have gotten that much done (even though it really didn't take that long). That is pretty exciting to me!! The whole reason I started this NewFo challenge was to build my sewing skills - which are pretty basic - and to build my patience with machine sewing. :)

Okay, so now just to sew together the rows and I would have had the top all done - in ONE DAY!!! That would have been a major accomplishment for me!! But here is where things started to become a challenge. In trying to make the pattern random, I didn't pay any attention to what order I was sewing the blocks together, other than to make sure that the same fabric didn't touch. When I went to putting the rows in some kind of order so that the same fabrics didn't end up right on top of each other, I found that I had inadvertently put the brown fabric in the center of about half the blocks. Then I saw that I had the white fabric be either the 3rd from the beginning or the 3rd from the end on about half the blocks. The pink was on either one end or the other of over half the blocks. So I couldn't put the rows together to save my life!!!

In the end, I deconstructed a few of the rows and found a way to make it work, but it was almost midnight by then. So I decided that I would just work on it for a bit today and still have a whole top to show off. Well.... :) This morning was dd's day to volunteer at the zoo. She got out around noon and then wanted to look at Halloween costumes, so we did that and I had a little grocery shopping to do as well. We got home around 1:30 and I took a short nap while she worked on some school work. When I got up dd told me that the costume had a little problem, a couple of the ribbons hadn't gotten sewn in very well and came all the way out. So I fixed that and then had some house work to get done (before hubby came home:). Then it was dinner time, and well, I was just done for the day, so.. No finished top, but I do hope to have that to show off soon:)

I even know what this month's project is going to be, and it's only the FIRST DAY of the month!! :) I will be working on another cuddle blanket, this time in more muted colors for the baby of the family of kids my friend has.