Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Sad Weekend

Sadly, we received some terrible news on Saturday evening. A young lady we knew from church passed away suddenly, leaving behind a husband and two small boys, one two years old and one just three weeks old. 

It was quite a shock and it is impossible for me to adequately explain how filled with sorrow we are. My heart breaks for her family and it is dredging up sad memories of a Thanksgiving a few years ago in which a close friend of mine died suddenly. So I would like to say something that I wish someone had said to me then. 

Wear your grief like armor, as a tribute to how amazing the person you lost was. Let it protect you as you start to heal, and never be ashamed or embarrassed by it. Don't pretend that everything is okay, because it isn't. Surround yourself with people who feel the same way and find comfort in their company. And never once think that you "should be over it by now" because you'll never get over it - you just learn to live with it.

A fundraiser has been started to support Molly's family, to help pay medical bills and funeral costs and care for her boys. It can be found here: Gifts of Love in Molly's Memory.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Hunkering Down for the Weekend

We're supposed to get our first round of winter storms this weekend, landing us with any where from 3" - 7" of snow depending on who you ask. I've been thoroughly enjoying our mild November so far, a drastic change from last year, but I knew it couldn't last.

So during lunch today I ran over to pick up that half yard of fabric I needed for binding the dragon quilt. I couldn't find the same rainbow batik, but I think I came up with a decent substitute. A quick run through the washer and dryer and it will be good to go.

After work I hit the grocery store to pick up enough food to last us a few days. I'd rather not go out tomorrow while its snowing. It's usually best to give the snow plows time to clear the roads after several inches of snow. We'll be chowing down on cheesy potatoes, BLT's, and mulled cider. Yummy!

This weekend I hope to finish a Christmas present, complete the binding and label on the dragon quilt, and make good progress on Fall Fairy. Oh, and help my GW2 guild capture a Guild Hall.

My weekend project starting point

I'm getting kind of excited for next week - I've worked my last full week for the rest of the year, spreading out my remaining vacation time to make December a nice easy month. I would really love to finish my Confessor's dress costume and I think I'll be able to buckle down after Thanksgiving and give it a solid try.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

WIP Wednesday

One project is almost done and off my list. The dragon donation quilt is put together and ready for the finishing touch of binding. 

The embroidery was done using the Creature Feature design pack from Urban Threads, the fabrics were pulled from my stash.

For quilting, I just did a quick overall stipple with navy blue thread. 

I was planning on putting the binding on tonight but it turns out that I'm out of the rainbow batik and the navy blue and do not have enough of anything that matches, so I'll be making a trip to the store to buy a half yard of fabric for binding and probably have this done by the weekend.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced and Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Midway Madness

I finally made it out to a NaNoWriMoTown event! I've only been participating in  Nano for five years and never once made a write in before.

But yesterday, our coordinators put on Midway Madness, a six hour write in event (I only lasted four, but I had a great time!) about fifteen minutes away from me. I ran into a classmate from my college that I haven't seen since I graduated.

I managed to write 5000 words while I was there, we had a delicious potluck, and I made new friends. This was my most productive day yet, putting me at 13,849 words. Oh happiness!

I've added this widget to my sidebar which will automatically update my NaNo status.

My novel has already taken a couple unexpected turns, the most important being that the annoying secondary character that I was planning on killing just became the primary bad guy. It is going to take a decent amount of rewriting and editing to correct but not this month (you WriMos out there will know what I'm talking about.)

I think the next week and a half or so are going to be all about getting some projects out of my way and cleaning up the house so that I can relax and enjoy myself during Thanksgiving. I've started going through our kitchen cabinets, tossing out old spices and putting surplus kitchenware aside to donate. My sewing room is also getting cleaned up, partly because I cannot find a box of flat headed thumbtacks that I need to align my embroidery stitching.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Learning Something New

I've been thinking about the Dark Confessor's dress that I am working on and I really have fantastical visions about couture finishing and deep red intricate embroidery around the sleeves and bottom of the skirt.

The problem is that I need to learn to split and align larger designs to really make my vision into reality, something that I've been avoiding because of all the problems my embroidery machine has given me previously.

A little research and tutorial reading has made it obvious that this can be pretty complicated, depending on the pattern that you want to stitch, so I decided to simplify it a little.

Rather than attempt something complicated, I choose an embroidery pattern that would already fit into my hoop in one dimension so that I could split it in two.

I also picked this one because it had unique separate motifs, meaning I didn't have to worry about lining up a fill section. I used the freehand selection to split it into two along the vine line. The red section will stitch first, and then I'll have to rehoop and stitch the blue section.

I think the hardest part of this will be lining up the stitching in the hoop, but I'm hoping that will improve with practice.

Here is the finished first attempt. I think the bottom half is rotated or shifted slightly to the right. You can see where the bottom vine is just touching the top vine and leaf but all in all it didn't come out too bad. For this type of design, it probably doesn't matter too much.

Tomorrow, I'd like to add alignment stitches and see if I can't get it to line up just a little bit better. After that I might do a couple throw away projects from my Craftsy class to get some more practice with alignments.