Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Stuck at Home Weekend

I was stuck inside the house all weekend. It is nice for about a day but after that, cabin fever sets in. I stayed busy by trying to catch up on laundry and dishes and doing some serious meal planning.

I haven't yet found a meal system that really works for us. Usually about lunchtime at work I start wondering what I'll be making for dinner, which results in a grocery store trip several times a week. I hate running errands every day after work, so today I sat down and spent some time (way too much time, really) trying to set up meals for a week.

That little menu and the coordinating shopping list took me an hour and a half.

Each day's recipes went into a page protector in a binder with a little tab that designates which day of the week I'll be cooking that particular meal.

Ideally, after using this system for a few weeks, I will have a binder full of meals and all I have to do every Sunday is change where the sticky tabs are and update my shopping list.

You'll notice that I didn't get Friday and Saturday in there, and that would be because sometimes we eat out on Friday and sometimes we get to Bible study on Wednesdays, which means Wednesday's meal would get shifted down the week a day or two. Also, Saturday's are always fluid, with Dagorhir practice and the occasional post-practice social event.

It hasn't been all work, I also found some time to work on a quilt, start a new cross stitch project, and continue stitching Innocence.

Kona Slate Rock is now about 1/3 quilted and still needs a better name.

Innocence gained a couple hundred stitches today.

Jack finally picked a LotR chart and he surprised me by choosing the Ranger. I was betting on either Gandalf or Unexpected Journey.

That is approximately 300 stitches done in five shades of brown.

So that's it for now - I have a bunch of yard work to get done in the next week and I have a new plan for planting the strawberries. I want to make a strawberry tower and maybe something similar for herbs or tomatoes, so I've got to get Jack to pick up some PVC and drill holes in it for me. Something like this:

Picture Credit:
 Have a great week everyone!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Embroidered AotH Blocks

It was one of those nagging ideas that I couldn't shake until I played with it a little bit. Last Sunday afternoon found me deeply immersed in Embird, fiddling with digitizing the AotH blocks for embroidery.

Embroidery is 4" x 4"

It took me most of the afternoon to get this one block put together, but now I know how to do it and I have a system and the next two went much quicker. Here are the digital mock-ups, as I have yet to actually embroider them.

There are several inefficient things about how they will be embroidered, which is one of the reasons that I haven't embroidered them yet. I need to learn how to order things better and minimize jumps and sort by color, etc.

I ended up opting for full embroidery due to the size, although I did play with the applique option. I feel like the applique version requires significantly more software skills than I have right now, so I'm going to master the embroidery part and move on to the other features later on.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

My Last Stitch from Stash

This will be my last stitch from stash report. I have made the decision that I am not willing to comply with the rule modifications that were instituted last month. It is best if I make a graceful exit so as to avoid doing a disservice to those who are still participating 100%.

I want to thank Mel@EpicStitching and her co-conspirators for hosting Stitch from Stash again this year, as I didn't find it in time to participate last year and was eager to sign up this year. My decision should in NO WAY reflect poorly on the SFS moderators, who have been nothing but sweet and kind to me. I still plan to keep up with the budgeting of stash monies and cheering on those who are still in the SFSGroup, I just won't be reporting in every month.

I ended up pretty much draining my SFS Budget. I picked up replacement fabric for the three HAEDs that I wanted to restart, a very small dimensions kit to bring to work, and a Tilton Crafts LoTR Chart. I guess I'm just a total sucker for LoTR charts.  Now since I technically have no LoTR charts active, Jack needs to pick which one he wants stitched first. Upon asking, I was informed that he wants "all of them" stitched. ;)

Unexpected Journey by Kordek, Tilton Crafts
The good news is, I'm still in the green with $13 and some change left.

This month I've been stitching on Butterfly Profusion and Affairs of the Heart, with a few side projects thrown in here and there. I will post photos as soon as I get good ones, I have taken a week or so break from the surcoats but I should probably get back to it *sigh* only a few more left to do.

Ragnarok is coming up fast, so there are lots of things that need to be done for that. Never enough time in the day, right?

Happy Stitch from Stash to everyone, I hope it goes well for you.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

I need another project like I need a hole in the head

But, while browsing other sites for Affairs of the Heart quilt blocks, I stumbled across this little beauty.

Photo Credit: Why Machine Embroidery
The quilter digitized the AotH pattern and was using fill stitches to stitch some of the tinier pieces. I really do love the combination of machine embroidery and applique and now have day dreams of miniaturizing this for my little 4" x 4" hoop and creating a tiny itty bitty baby Affairs of the Heart quilt. I already have tons of miscellaneous fabric and thread, so the only thing I might have to pick up for the miniature version would be a yard or two of background fabric.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find any contact info for the blogger and he/she stopped posting about halfway through 2013, so I have no idea if the quilt was ever finished. Sadness. This block and one other are the only ones I could find on the blog.

I'm going to tackle some of my current WIPs before starting this, but I want to keep it in mind. It would be so amazing in miniature.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

WIP... Thursday?

I was a little indecisive in my project selection this week and ended up working on *four* quilts so far.

The mini twister quilt now has five rows  stitched together.

Next up was the Kona Sunset quilt. I managed to finish stitching all the rows together. It still needs borders and it is a little bit of an awkward size, so I am considering adding a color strip on the top and bottom to lengthen the quilt.

My drunkard's path batik quilt got *one* more curved block pieced. I have a little trouble working on those curved blocks steadily because they just don't come easy to me. I am sincerely hoping that by the end of this quilt, I will be a seasoned pro at curved piecing.

Lastly, I started quilting Kona Slate Rock tonight. Some of you may have figured out by now I'm a total sucker for variegated threads and this quilt is no exception. I found an Isacord in blues, whites, and grays for this quilt.

I checked Leah Day's repository of FMQ patterns and picked Shadow Waves. I really debated doing pebbling, but opted for a less dense quilting pattern. I also opted for alternating directions for each block.

This week, I learned that if you don't take the cutting mat off your sewing table, your machine will stitch right through it. (Oops). At least I know my machine is tough. 

Luckily, the damage is minimal.

So, that was my week so far. How did yours go?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

AoTH Update

In the last couple weeks I finished two more Affairs of the Heart Blocks, giving me a grand total of five out of thirty six or 13.9% complete.

These were completed during the last few hockey games of the 2014-2015 regular season. Lucky me, we made the playoffs, so I may get some more done during post season. How much depends on if we make it further than Round 1. Go Red Wings!

I only have *one* more surcoat to do for now, but three up and coming before Ragnarok. I may get the last one done before the weekend and then give it a nice long break before I tackle the remaining few. My other projects are feeling neglected.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

April Turtle Trot 2015

The Turtle Trot is a year long linky party hosted by Claudette@BAP Attack.
To participate, you pick ten projects for the year and stitch on them, posting updates on the tenth of each month. Since I work on at least that many per year, I thought it would be fun to participate and see what everyone else has going on.  The goal is to work slow and steady, enjoy the process, and not feel pressured for a finish. I'm also going to add my own personal twist to this story by including my long-term quilt projects for 2015.

I removed the two projects that I am restarting, because I'm not sure when I will get around to restarting them. I am still waiting on the fabric I ordered to arrive. Butterfly profusion is really my focus piece right now. I keep finding myself coming back to that one, probably because it is my closest to a finish.


1. World Travel Bookshelf by Aimee Stewart (HAED) - New Start - 20 stitches in.

2. Penguin Family - Finished on 01/31/2015

3. The Castle by Teresa Wentzler A little bit further along! 

On 3/10/2015
4. Affairs of the Heart Quilt by Aie Rossman (New Start) - Completed five blocks.

5. Jack's Medieval Medallion Quilt by Me! (New Start) - Not yet started

6. Butterfly Profusion by Dimensions - Lots of Progress! 

On 01/01/2015
On 04/12/2015
8. The Mighty Samurai by DimensionsNo Progress to date


9. Fall Fairy by DimensionsGood Progress
On 01/01/2015
On 03/10/2015

10. Magnificent Wizard by Dimensions - Good Progress

On 01/01/2015
On 03/10/2015

11. Library Kittens - "Curiosity" by Janlynn - Replacing Penguin Family, New Start. The orange kitten is starting to make an appearance :)

On 4/12/15

Friday, April 10, 2015

Plants. Sigh.

I was quite devastated last night to discover that not while I am having issues keeping my plants alive, it seems that mold has absolutely no problems growing on the outside of the pot.

I know, the picture is really gross, but I thought I'd share because according to the ninety seconds of internet research I did this morning, mold is a big problem with peat pots. Now, some people just planted the seedlings anyway and had no issues, some cleaned the pots with vinegar, and some people have had similar issues with egg cartons.

Unfortunately, considering that Jack is allergic to mold and we recently had a couple family members suffer through mold poisoning, I decided to trash the seedlings and start over.

I moped around the house for a while, mourning the loss of my seedlings, but then decided to start a new quilt to comfort myself. Quilts don't wither and die on you if you look at them funny, unlike plants.

Meet my Itty Bitty Twister quilt.

280 beautiful 2.5" squares, soon to be stitched together and cut into 1.5" twists. This quilt will finish at 15" x 21" without borders and will contain 315 blocks.  I always wanted to make a miniature quilt!

I did manage to get the first three rows stitched together last night.

I am supposed to be posting for Turtle Trot today but I need to get updated photos of all my projects. I will get to that sometime this weekend.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Finished Garb Photos

A while ago I mentioned that I finished Jack's black t-tunic and recently, that I finished his Akron surcoat. I did however fail to post pictures, and I've had a tough time remember to get photos at practice, so I finally just hung them up and took photos to add to my finishes gallery.

One of these days I'll get photos at practice, so you can get a better idea of how they actually look. Realistically, it will probably be at Ragnarok. 

I've got some advice for you all - when you get sick, don't overdo it. I've had a cold since last Thursday and it was relatively mild until I did too much (cleaned the whole house, went to a baby shower, had friends over) all in the space of 24 hours and boy am I regretting it. Seriously, give yourself time to rest before the cold gets bad and hopefully it will never get bad.

I took it easy yesterday and plan to camp out in front of the TV or computer tonight, so I'm taking my own advice even if its a day or so too late. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

April YOTA

Time for the April YOTA post, hosted by Pull the Other Thread.  This is a UFO Stitch Along and we are encouraged to post anything that we are working on.

First up, no quiltyness going on in my house for probably a couple of weeks. I've been spending all my sewing room time working on Akron surcoats. Last night, Kaylee (my embroidery machine) ate Rune's surcoat, so now I have to take the surcoat apart and replace the front panel. Three emergency surgeries (yes, I dismantled my embroidery machine three times) and one temper tantrum later and she its stitching properly again. For now. In the meantime, I have renamed her "Your Worshipfulness" because she is moody and high maintenance. I think I will probably have to clean her in between every dragon stitched. I did find a tangle of thread where thread should never have gotten, so maybe now that is resolved, things will run smoother.

On the cross stitch side of things, a week ago I allowed myself a new start and it has taught me that I really like working on DMC Magic Guide and really don't like working on 25 count linen. Which means, I will be restarting both Gandalf and Hope Returns at some point on magic guide.

Hope Returns

A Light in the Dark
The good news is that I'm less than a half percent done with each, so if I'm going to restart, now is the time. I will be working on these for a long time and I think switching fabrics will speed things up.

Currently on my frame is Mini Innocence.

Mini Inncocence by Nene Thomas, Retired
 My lunch break stitchy project is Curiosity by Janlynn.

At last update
I've been working on this since mid Feb and I'm getting the feeling that its about to be swapped out for a different project, just not sure which one yet. It has the advantage of being smaller than most everything else I am working on, making it the most portable.

Happy Easter all!