Sunday, January 25, 2015

ADD = What's next?

Clicked on a Facebook link...

Saturday, January 10, 2015

2014 in Pictures

Ahhh, January.  The month of my birth.  The month of looking ahead and looking behind.

What did I finish in 2014?  Seemed like a bustling year--there was a wedding in there somewhere!

Large Sewing


T-shirt quilt; blue baby quilt
(Ok, a baby quilt is not technically large, but lots of involved piecing; and quilted by me, so that adds to the level-of-difficulty, in my world)

Small Sewing

Oakie bowtie, cummerbund & tuxedo pants; yoga mat cover; baby's book of computers; table runner; rainbow bathrobe; teapot cozy
(Anybody besides me feel like there was a rainbow theme going last year?) 


Bridal bouquet; Russian wedding band cowl; bobble cowl; wedding programs


Columbia jacket velcro; pants hemming (too, too many pair to even estimate); hemmed curtains

Thanks for helping me celebrate.  Finishes feel good!

(If you get married over 4th of July, see what an amazing photography team can do?  Nothing but awesome results from New Morning Photography)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

15 for 2015

Everyone is doing it this time of year: scanning the past, looking to the future, and setting some goals.  I was inspired by the format of Cynthia's blog post at Quilting is More Fun than Housework; she pointed me to Yvonne's link-up over at Quilting Jetgirl.  I almost feel like I have stolen some other peoples' lists--maybe us creative-types have just tapped into the Universe's stream of consciousness here:

1.  Use up, donate or dispose of 100 yards of fabric. 
I mentioned this idea last January, with the horrified realization that this means about 2 yards of fabric a week.  Production sewing in quantity is definitely not me, but I know all the fabric I haul around (some of it easily 25+ years old) keeps me bound to the past in an unhealthy way.  Time to "bless the world" with my excess! 

2.  Get my UFO pile down to single digits. 
This item was suggested by Sweetie, and it sounds reasonable, so I am including it here.  This means finishing up some long-dormant projects that are really deeply buried in the sewing storage vault.  But it also probably means sending some partially-completed lovelies out on the winds of Fate, to be finished by others.

Vintage: UFO from 2011

3.  Track my progress.  Items 1 and 2 on my list require some record-keeping; being public about these major sewing-related goals is one way to keep myself on track.

4.  Be a friend.  I have a tendency to neglect my friendships, as I retire to my own cave.  This goal is about reaching out more often--attend open sew nights regularly, join a guild or sewing group, reply to comments on my blog, comment on the inspiring blog posts of others, and meet up with my crafty friends in person.

5.  Get back to journaling.  Looking inward is a companion goal to reaching out: helps to keep me centered and more emotionally healthy.  I have heard some people rave about The Artist's Way method of writing daily pages, so maybe I'll give that practice a look-see.

6.  Learn a new technique.  Easy-peasy!  I'm always on the lookout for sewing projects that challenge me to try new things.  Let's see how this plays out in 2015.

7.  Enter something in the county fair.  I missed last year's fair (ok, I missed it because of my honeymoon; a valid excuse if ever there was one), so I have a backlog of completed-but-not-exhibited projects.  But I tend to use the county fair deadline to spur me on in finishing something challenging, too.  So my hope is to enter something previously completed AND something yet-to-be-finished.

8.  Enter a sew-along or online contest.  A companion to real-life showing off of my work is to share and show off in the virtual world.  I have entered blog hops hosted by Sew We Quilt in the past; I also visit the garment sew-along round-up every month or so and dream of stitching up some new duds; where will my inspiration come from in 2015?

9. Host a sew-along.  Ok, this is WAY out of my comfort zone, but something I've always wanted to try.  I may not have the blog followers to pull this off, but I'm hoping I can convince some others to join me.  Someone gave me the idea to pull out one of those hoarded Amy Bradley patterns and get-to-gettin'... 

10.  Practice anti-procrastination.  I admit it.  Putting things off is an art form in my world.  Well, my fave online organizing guru FlyLady marks every Wednesday as Anti-Procrastination day.  Why not?

11. Be gentle with myself.  I am such a perfectionist, and a very harsh critic of myself.  I set
impossibly high standards and clear my own path toward disappointment.  There, I said it.  But I don't always have to live it.

12.  Let go.  Every now and then, just go with the flow. 

Coffee cup pattern?
13. Work the routines. 
Both FlyLady and the ADD-related book I have been reading make the point that Routines Are Your Friends

14. Write a pattern. 
I have one in mind.  Just need to write up instructions and have someone test it out.

15. Celebrate! 
Every time the sun comes up, there's a whole new day ahead.  I love the possibility of a fresh start.

2015, here I come!

Let me know where to find your list, and I'll come over and look.  I promise to leave comments! (see goal #4, above)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Franken-patterning

It's one week (and one day) until Christmas, and I'm still wanting to start holiday sewing projects.  Ah, I know I'm just dreaming, but these dreams are so realistic... almost like they could happen!

Yep, in my mind, this is totally DOable.

I'm calling this a Franken-pattern: taking two ideas I have seen online and putting them together into a single project.  The project-to-be is an advent calendar--something Sweetie has sighed wistfully about every time we take out the holiday decorations.

First part: the backdrop


A pieced tree, seen here in a picture from Barbara's blog Cat Patches.  The pattern, "Oh Christmas Tree", comes from the book Creative Scraps: Quilting with Bits & Pieces, by Jeanne Stauffer and Diane Schmidt.

Part two: decorating the tree

A modern tree, as seen in kit form on the Fabric Depot website.  I just keep returning to the website for this kit, pausing with my hand over the "add to cart" button--should I?  should I not?  I swear, they are gonna be out of stock before I finally make up my mind.

What last-minute crazy idea has you biting your nails?  Or are you just finishing up the handmade gifts?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Cute Border Variation

Seen recently at Something to Crow About: a very cute border for their Buck-a-Block BOTM for 2014.

Kennette, the shop owner, said she saw it in a book somewhere and thought it would be a darling way to finish off the black/white/color-of-your-choice theme for this year's block of the month.  I am not participating this year, having stalled out bigtime last year.  Even though the black & white colors really appeal to me.  (Practicing restraint--not something I am known for.)

Don'cha love it?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday Knit Football

In an effort to be a supportive partner, I have been knitting on Monday nights in the same room where Sweetie is watching Monday Night Football.  This has worked out well as a companion activity.  My friend Tamarra often joins in--I am teaching her beginning knitting (which is about all I'm qualified to teach).

Here is two weeks' worth of my latest project--an earwarmer/headband.  Two weeks, you say?  Isn't that a very small amount to accomplish in two weeks?  (Especially if we're talking the length of time it takes to watch a football game--even fast-forwarding through many of the commercials.)

Two things:
(1) I'm slow.  This has been previously established on numerous occasions.  I blame ADD.
(2) This is knit in a ribbing pattern, with increases*** every other row, in the center of the row.

The pattern, available for free on T. Matthews Fine Art blog (and in a bulky-yarn version available here), uses four different increase patterns--M1B, M1F, KFB, and PFB.

***I don't know how to do these stitches.  So, each time I come to the increase, I have to re-watch the YouTube video that explains the stitch.  And maybe watch it two times, just to be sure.  And practice on my sampler (see how much of a perfectionist I am?)

Pattern: "Morning Walk Headband Earwarmer" found on Ravelry (links provided above)
Yarn: Rozetti Yarns Tempest
Needles: size 6

This will eventually be my project to link up with Barbara at Cat Patches for her NewFO linky party.  It is my new project for November--clearly won't be finished by the end of the month--no worries, winter is not even here yet.

Thanks to my sister for being my knitting cheerleader, and for teaching me about Ravelry.  Thanks to Tamarra for being a willing learner, and for not making fun of me when I have to go back to YouTube every other row to re-learn a stitch I just did 20 minutes earlier.  (And thanks to Monday Night Football for providing a convenient meeting place once a week.) 

Here's to learning new things!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Stash Bundle

Bought my first-ever fat quarter bundle, and it arrived in the mail this week.  So exciting!

I just love how it came all wrapped up like a present, with a bow and a tag and personalized twill tape.  Sigh--Moda.

Ten Little Things by Jenn Ski for Moda
Gracious, I don't think I really contemplated how much fabric is actually in a fat quarter bundle--31 fat quarters is almost 8 yards!  What have I done?

I am not generally an online fabric shopper, as my area has several LQS to choose from, as well as the well-stocked-but-not-quality-fabricked JoAnn's.  Plus, the mecca that is Fabric Depot is just up the interstate a bit.  However, I had bought a counting panel of Moda's Numbers with the idea of making it into a cloth book.  (Panel bought quite awhile ago.)  The cloth book idea featured a jelly roll of the coordinating Ten Little Things prints, also by Moda--which I just randomly went looking for about a month ago. 

several of the fabrics, gathered around a photo of the panel

I came to the realization that this fabric came out in 2012, and that fabrics just don't stay around in stores forever.  Internet to the rescue!  Didn't find a whole lot of this precut available online (in fact, when I started looking, I didn't find any jelly rolls), but a couple places had it.

And so I pounced...
Add to Cart

It has arrived: a delicious collection of dots, numbers, owls, trucks and asterisks.  In updated crayon colors.  I am smitten.

Molli Sparkles

Linking up with the fabulous Molli Sparkles for Sunday stash.  Yummy, y'all!