Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Month's Worth of Stitching in One Post

Yes, its been a bit quiet here on the blog front, mostly because I haven't really had the time to update things. However, I find myself with 30 minutes before bedtime and a handful of projects that are coming along. 

First up, another block on the Life is Beautiful Quilt, finished sometime in March.

Then I went back to my tiger for a week or so.

Then I pulled out Fall Fairy, which I discovered I hadn't worked on in at least a year. Might be closer to two years actually. Holy Moly.

And this weekend, in between helping out at our Dagorhir event, I was able to squeeze in a fair amount of work on Waiting by Tilton Crafts (retired). I have more than half a page done now!

Lastly, I've spent several fruitless hours attempting to figure out how to use the auto-split feature on my embroidery software to split and embroider large patterns. The result was less than exciting. The problem is alignment. You can see a gap in the center left, where the basting stitching is.

I finally gave up hoping to find tutorials for my specific software and started watching Craftsy class on splitting and aligning designs. I'm happy to say that its been most useful so far. I was able to align a circle after the first lesson and now I'm working on lessons 2 and 3 to properly split and save a design. My software is different than the teacher's so its probably going to take some extra finagling. Overall though, I'm pleased with how things are going.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The RAK's are Flying

Over the Easter weekend, the staff at Heaven and Earth Designs offered a sale on patterns and kits. I watched my Facebook feed fill up with a surprising number of RAK posts as the weekend went on.

Even more surprising was the emails I received notifying me that I had been RAK'd!

Heroes and Heroines by Aimee Stewart

Mini Bravery by Cheri Gerhardt

Mini Wisdom by Cheri Gerhardt
I decided to get in on the fun and used a random number generator to choose a couple people off the RAK list and sent them charts from their wishlist. It's quite enjoyable to see people so excited over a surprise and it really improved the beginning of my week.

On the crafty side of things, I've been working on a few long term projects and also attempting to come to grips with splitting patterns for the embroidery machine, a tedious and frustrating process that has yet to yield a successful stitch. I suppose like anything else, it takes practice. Urban threads has a few already split designs and I may try stitching out one of those to see how the alignment process works. I do have a quilt finish and an embroidered block finish to share as soon as I get a chance to take photos.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

It's Time for a New Challenge

Welcome to Slow Sunday Stitching, a linky party hosted by Kathy @ Kathy's Quilts. Today is the day that you slow down, get some rest, and focus on a handwork project.

I started by decluttering my project pile a bit. These are three abandoned projects that I have had no desire to get back to. The square one was a test patch for a baby blanket and I decided that the white washed out the beautiful blues and greens too much. The crocodile stitch scarf was one of my first attempts and it suffered from multiple hook sizes and a variety of other complication. It has laid abandoned for a couple of years at least. Finally, I neglected the project on the bottom because I couldn't get the scales to lay flat. They currently languish in a corner of my living room and I will give my niece the chance to adopt them before discarding - she used to like having little things like this for her stuffed animals, although I'll hazard a guess that she might be growing out of that.

Having eliminated a few WIPS that I was dreading (whew, what a relief) and freed up a few skeins of yarn, I started a new project, the Sophie's Universe Mandala.

Rounds 1-12 of Sophie's Universe
Please please please, if you take this project on, count your stitches every round. I've saved myself a ton of work by doing so, because I've been able to correct mistakes immediately. I really like that every round is different from the previous, making it less rote work and more brain power.

The other slow stitching project this weekend has been Tiger Chilling out by Dimensions. I've had this one back out for just over a week.

As of 3/26/17
I hope that you are having a nice, easygoing, peaceful, relaxing, and restful Sunday.  What slow stitching projects are you working on this weekend?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Completed Baby Blanket

The power was still out at work yesterday, but my supervisor told us to show up anyway, so I dragged myself out of bed and drove through the snow to get there. Upon arriving, I was instructed by the building manager that no one was supposed to be there. He sent everyone straight back home. I wasn't complaining. I went home, went back to bed, and then managed to finish off this little beauty.

I wrapped it up and passed it off to my cousin, who will see that it gets to her new niece, Baby Anna. It's approximately 40" across and took four skeins of Red Heart Unforgettable in Peacock. There is a little left over. I didn't think it was enough for one final round and I decided not to play yarn chicken.

In other news, I've been reading up extensively on Trim Healthy Mama. Its a way of eating where you're supposed to be able to eat just about anything using natural sugar alcohols like stevia instead of cane sugar and low glycemic impact carbs instead of white bread/pasta. The vast majority of what they say makes good scientific sense and they stress being guilt free which is totally helpful. One of the reasons I didn't go with the Whole30 (another plan I was looking at) is that they insist you can't slip up even once or its wasted effort. Ugh, who needs that? My bad day resulted in a chocolate bar and suddenly my whole diet is reset. No thank you.

We're so used to the sugars and carbs around here that its going to take some getting used to. I think I'll have to give it a solid month or two before I can figure out if it works for us. My first goal is to get breakfasts prepared and frozen, for easy on-the-go at work foods. After that it will be working out lunches and then eventually dinners. Baby steps, ya know? Wish me luck!