Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Asian Fabric Loot!

Last week I took advantage of Crafty's Uber Sale and picked up some asian fabrics I have been wanting to get for a while.

Here's the story - a few months ago, I came across this excellent kimono quilt block.

This particular block & photo are by Naomi Art-Design-Photography.

I really like this kimono pattern, but I think that a quilt of all kimonos looks a little odd. So I thought that I would design a series of asian inspired quilt blocks and I got as far as a Chinese Lantern.

But when I went to test my pattern, I discovered that I didn't have any fabrics that would fit the theme of the quilt. And so, the project was shelved until such a fabric was found. Mostly, I had given up on finding something affordable and high quality but what would you know that several months later Craftsy would have this on sale:

Please meet the Robert Kaufman Asian Inspired Fabrics Fat Quarter Bundle.

There are four or five duplicates, but I'm very happy with my purchase nonetheless. These are really very gorgeous fabrics, most with some sort of gold metallic accents. Here are a few of my favorites:

After I wash and iron these, they'll be going into a shoebox for a future project. I'm determined not to start any new projects until I've eliminated a few of my UFO's, one of which should be complete tomorrow. Yes, I did finish the quilting on the baby quilt. It just needs a binding, if only I could decide on a color. I may go with plain white, because not of the other colors I've tried out seem to work. Now that the quilting is done, I can switch my sewing machine back to its garb sewing set up and maybe knock out a quick t-tunic for Project 144 in July.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Happy Friday!

We've had another busy week here. I'm looking forward to Christmas vacation (yes I know its not even August yet.) This year I should be able to get the week between Christmas and New Years off of work, cross-your-fingers, and I'm planning on Not Making Any Plans for that week. I'm actually also going on strike during the weekend between my anniversary and my birthday. There will be no social obligations fulfilled that weekend and I may not even answer my phone. 

I've spent a decent amount of time cleaning up paperwork that was piled in the office. I've reduced two and a half boxes of papers to shredded fluff and the other half of a box will be filed eventually. This eliminates the last remaining stack of credit card apps and junk mail, as well as a few pieces of mail that go back *sinister theme music here* five years ago from just after I got married. Its moved with us twice now and I'm very happy to have finally sorted and eliminated the majority of it.

This picture from demonstrates how much paper I've shredded. At least it feels that way.
My Project 144, a water bottle carrier, is on hold this month due to JoAnn fabric not selling the hardware I need. I've ordered the hardware from Amazon but it won't be here for a couple weeks. I have a couple of other Dagorhir related projects around so maybe I will try to finish one of those up quickly before the month is out.

Mr. Samurai is making great progress. This is him three weeks ago:

And this is him today:

He is actually starting to look like a real Samurai. A few details about this kit: it is stitched on 18-count aida and will be 12" wide by 18" high when complete. It is part of the Dimensions Gold Collection (The Mighty Samurai # 3881).

And Ms. Maggie the Messmaker is also coming along nicely.

Two Weeks Ago
Tomorrow, the plan is to attempt to finish quilting the baby quilt for Cousin Abby before Dagorhir practice. Binding and labeling would be an unexpected bonus.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Baby Blanket in Progress

Yes I'm still here!

Last week I had a coworker on vacation, so I worked some overtime. On the evenings I didn't work overtime we cleaned out the garage. Oh happiness! There was a lot of stuff out there from Jack's college days - old text books and school notebooks. Half of it went into the trash and several boxes have been set aside to donate.

So although I've mostly been too tired to do much when I get home, I finally buckled down last night. Cousin Abby is having a baby girl in a couple of months and her baby shower is in two weeks.

The baby's room is a soft green so I decided to dig out this crib size quilt top to finish.

I decided to stitch it using my walking foot, because I don't have time to try anything fancy. I started working on it last night. The shower is on August 2. I'm hoping if I get a couple blocks done every night, I'll have time to bind it and wrap it up.

Linking up to WOW and Let's Bee Social.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Scroll Frame Cover Update

At the suggestions of Kathy and Ravenna, I updated one of my new scroll frame covers. It now boasts a new pocket. This cross stitch project is small enough that the pocket can hold all the floss, the pattern, and a small pair of scissors.

I was also unhappy with the way the front of the cover looked and updated that as well.



And I'm sure some people are wondering what project this is. It is my Penguin Family. A long term cross stitch project that has spent many many months years in a drawer waiting to be completed. I would say that it is about half done right now. There is a little baby penguin that will go at the bottom of the picture.

My at-work project (Maggie the Messmaker) is also coming along nicely.

One month ago when I took the project to work with me:

As of yesterday:

I have plans to make medieval-looking insulated water bottle carriers for Jack and I to carry on the field of battle. I looked up a couple of tutorials yesterday and the process seems relatively straight-forward. I think that those are going to be my project for Project 144. I picked up half a yard of Insulbright yesteday and I've never worked with it before.

Yesterday we spent some time cleaning up the basement. We were supposed to work in the garage but it was 8 pm by the time we were ready and neither of use felt like going outside. This is all part of my Great and Powerful Dejunking Scheme, in an effort to make things more livable and better organized so that I can actually spend LESS time cleaning up. With two people in this house who spend the majority of their free time crafting, you can imagine that it gets a little messy around here. Maggie the Messmaker has nothing on me!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Scroll Frame Covers

I've been doing a lot of research and reading on the various ways to do cross-stitch projects, mostly because I was slightly intimidated by the HAED design I choose. I've learned a new system of cross-stitching (called gridding and parking) and oh boy do I like it a lot.

During my research, I stumbled across this at

Its a quilted scroll frame envelope that protects your embroidery or cross stitch project. And so I said to Myself, "Self, I bet you can make one of those!" And Self agreed.

I started with some stash fabric.

Cut it down, made it double sided, stitched on the velcro (check out my velcro smiley face)

And voila, only thirty or so minutes later and my penguin cross-stitch project is well protected. I am pretty happy about this, as I was wondering how to get my larger projects covered during storage. I was going to store them in trash bags. Doable but not very nice looking and definitely not travel worthy.

I'm slowly converting all my projects to scroll frames. I like it because it keeps creases out of the fabric and protects the stitching better.

I currently have four scroll frames, all loaded with projects. Two more covers to go! And all for the low low price of $0 thanks to an overabundance of stash fabric.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

We're back!

We survived the End of the World again! And now we are safely at home, back to Mundania. How boring.

I managed to finish Jack's Heralding surcoat immediately before leaving. Check out this awesome photo by Padaemonium Pictures, posted with permission.

You can also see Jack is borrowing my favorite Ragnarok accessory - no, not the duct-taped pool noodle. I mean my water bottle keeper. It was given to me by Manda a few years ago and has traveled with me to Ragnarok ever since. I made Jack a hand stitched one while we were at Ragnarok but it needs to be redone for durability and to make it a little more convenient to use. It is just a touch too small for a bottle of water (although you can get one squeezed in) and I didn't have any hardware to make the straps adjustable.

My project at Ragnarok was yet another cross stitch pattern. I took "Fall Fairy" by Dimensions Gold with me.

I've had this kit for a few months and took it along because of the bright colors and light colored Aida cloth. That combination made it very easy to work on while camping. I have made a decent amount of progress! The photos don't really do it justice, the colors are much brighter and richer than they appear to be.

Another friend also brought a cross-stitch project to work on. What was interesting to me is how we do them so differently. She likes to completely stitch one color and then move to the next. I always want to finish a section before I start the next.

Mr. Samurai is living on my desk in my sewing room and making progress in the evenings.

I've decided to turn my frog project into a tote bag. It shouldn't take too long, so stay tuned. If I can get some of the camping stuff put away, I may get a chance to quilt a little bit this weekend.