Sunday, May 31, 2015

Today is Not Yesterday

After the perpetual disaster that was yesterday, coupled with today's migraine, I tossed aside everything that *has* to be done and went into my sewing room to play.

I started with a pile of leftover drunkard's path pieces from my Quilter's Mixology Quilt and a stack of 12.5" sqaures.

And started to arrange the pieces on the background squares.

 I pinned them in place, then used rainbow variegated thread to raw edge applique. Because I love variegated threads and rainbow colors. It makes me happy.

Presto-chango, half an hour later I had a raw edge applique block in beautiful colors.

These probably could have benefited from some stabilizer but What. Ever. This was fun to do and I didn't worry about getting everything lined up or exactly centered. *Smashes my OCD into silence*

Ideally, I'd like to get twelve blocks and make a 3x4 quilt but I have to finish cutting out the Quilter's Mixology quilt to see what I have available in leftovers.

Linking up to Design Wall Monday

It Was One of Those Days

Friday night I didn't get much sleep and on Saturday morning I headed over to my cousin's workplace to help her move some equipment to its new home. It took about half a day, but I had a good time chatting with everyone who came to help.

When I got home, I was exhausted but after a nap I attempted to work on another piece of garb, a surcoat for Jack's knight trial. Theoretically, this should have been a one day job.

But thread kept tangling on the satin stitch. No fear though, I kept chugging away.

While I was working on that, I figured that I would let my embroidery machine work on some minature blackwork blocks that I've had it in my mind to use in a wall hanging. I found a beautiful fat quarter and let her stitch away.

The first one came out perfect.

The second one tangled when the thread spool came off the holder. To get it out of the machine, I had to cut a hole in the fabric. >:( Meanwhile, the satin stitching caught the back of the surcoat and had to be ripped out and restarted.

Now I was using a fat quarter, which means I had EXACTLY enough to do EXACTLY nine of these.

I dug into my stash and found another fat quarter that I liked, cut it into 9 equal pieces and stitched another one, which I promptly cut a slice out of while removing the cut-away-stabilizer. >:( >:(

By now I'm starting to think that I'm just going to have to cave and buy half a yard of a batik in order to have all the backgrounds match on these blocks, because I'm down two fat quarters and I have no blocks to show. And the tangles on the satin stitching continue... and then the bobbin runs out.

While my embroidery machine was stitching the fourth block of the night, the thread snapped, the sensor did not detect the breakage, and the thread wrapped around the inside of the machine. I seriously don't even know how this happens. Seriously.

That leaves me with no embroidery machine, as I couldn't get the tangled threads free. >:( >:( >:( >:( Also, no quilt blocks and no extra fabric to try again.

If I can't get it untangled tomorrow, it will have to go to the shop at Haberman's for repairs. Ugh. Triple Ugh.

Back to the surcoat, hoping I can at least salvage some work for the evening. I attempted to wind a bobbin, and the bobbin thread wrapped around the bobbin holder instead of the bobbin and had to be cut away.

This is pretty much where I completely gave up and cleaned a bunch of stuff around the house (I do that when I'm angry.) After I calmed down I planted myself in front of the Tiger's Game for some slow stitching.

At last update
As of tonight
As you can see, I was finally successful at something. I am rapidly approaching 25% done on this project. Most of the background is half stitches and it stitches up quickly.

I also cooked dinner but warned Jack that if he got food poisoning that it wasn't my fault. I'm just cursed today. He was brave enough to eat dinner anyway, so I guess we will see how he feels tomorrow.

I'm off to bed now, hoping that I wake up tomorrow in a better mood and can untangle my embroidery machine.

Linking up to Slow Stitching Sunday@Kathy's Quilts

Friday, May 29, 2015

T-Tunic Finished

One more Ragnarok garb item down.

I had a little trouble getting the embroidery aligned. On the black shirt I embroidered after it was finished. On this one, I embroidered after the pieces were cut out but before the shirt was finished.

I think it works better if I do the embroidery at the end. It looks bad here, but its barely noticeable when Jack is wearing it. It took me several extra days to get this posted because I finished the shirt on Monday night and he ran off with it for Tuesday practice. It had to be washed before I could take photos. I guess he likes it :)

This makes four completed items for Ragnarok this year (black shirt, green shirt, surcoat, and hood.) I have about two weeks to get this stuff done, as I strongly suspect the last week before Rag will be packing.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Beginnings of a Ranger Dress

The base of my ranger dress is cut out and basted together. I don't want to have lacing or zippers in the back, so I tested it with a closed back. It is a little tight to get on and off but I think I can loosen it up by reducing the seam allowance. 

I am planning on adding little cap sleevelets, embroidery at the collar, and lacing at the seams on both sides. The skirt is a little longer than knee length and the front has split seams to a little above my knees. I haven't quite decided how high to split them (workout shorts may be required if they are too high) but I am hoping for a Confessor effect.

The split falls right at her fingertips, so it is attractive and easy to move in without being inappropriate.

Of course, I had to check the look with my completed hood.

I think they are going to look fabulous together.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Slow Sunday Stitching @ Kathy's Quilts

Linking up to Slow Sunday Stitching @ Kathy's Quilt - an encouragement to slow down, take it easy, and enjoy some handwork.

This week for my slow stitching, I've been working on Fall Fairy by Dimensions. It has been a while since she made it onto my frame, but here she was when I started.

And here she is today.

As of 5/24/2015
I'm trying to do some of the backstitching as I go, because I don't want to have to do all of it at the end. 

In an effort to get more organized, I picked up some drawer storage. I found these six drawer units at Joanns and I love them because the interior dimensions are 12" x 12" or big enough to hold full size quilt blocks. 

After picking one up and trying it out, I determined that they would also work well for cross stitch kits & WIPs, so I grabbed a couple more. This allowed me to clean out my stitchy corner in the living room and free up some couch space. Previous to this, all my WIPs were piled in the living room, on the couch and in a old magazine holder. It was generally a big dust collecting disaster and it had to be cleaned every time we had company.

There was enough space to hold my unstarted kits and extra magic guide fabric, and I still have six drawers for my quilt projects. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Ranger Garb

It is long past time to settle in and get some Ragnarok prep done. Jack needs a couple short sleeved shirts and I would love a couple more linen dresses for the week. Tonight, I started working on one of those shirts for Jack. Ranger green, of course.

We had an issue in camp with heat exhaustion this previous year and one unlucky Akronian ended up in the ER when our efforts to drink enough and keep cool failed. This year, I'm trying to make everything out of linen to help prevent more hospital trips. I have spent the last several months hoarding coupons and stalking online sales and am happy to say that I think I have enough linen on hand to make us each a few new garb items. 

Last week I also managed to finish my Ranger hood. All the embroidery and cutting out was done, so I arranged them on the hood, pinned them in place, and use my darning foot to stitch down the edges. 

There are approximately sixty individual leaves on the border of this hood. The hood is made of leftover micro-suede (from Elsa's Coronation Dress last fall) and lined with fleece to keep me warm on chilly camping nights or at fall practices. The leaves were embroidered on leftover scraps from various projects, making this venture an excellent scrap buster and a reminder as to why I bother to keep those scraps around. Some of the fabric used here is leftover from my wedding dress and some from Jack's original ranger coat which currently needs to be replaced.

While the shirt was getting embroidered, I finished my "Belisama" quilt. It is doing the rounds in the washer and dryer and I will try to get pictures to share tomorrow. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...

About a week ago, my laptop decided that the internet wasn't important and refused to talk to it. At all. After many hours of research and attempting several different "fixes," none of which fixed anything,  I finally bit the bullet and re-installed windows. In between getting it back up and running the way I want and a particularly exhausting week at work, it has been a rather slow going week.

Mini Innocence was at the top of my to do list as I watched TV this week. (Go Commander McGarrett!) By the way, by far my favorite episode of Hawaii Five-O is Season 3, Episode 23.

This evening was the first time I felt up to anything other than TV and cross stitch, so I attempted to embroider my very first embroidered quilt label. It came out semi-decent, but I'm still having tension issues that I'm not quite sure how to combat.

The border was part of a purchased pattern that I duplicated and rotated to make a complete square. I attempted to use variegated thread for the lettering but I think a solid would have worked better. This label is for my Kona Slate Rock quilt, which has been renamed "Belisama." The quilting is finally completed, so only the binding still needs to be made.

While that was stitching out, I spent some time playing with the pattern I'm developing for water bottle carriers. It is slow going, but once I have a system I think it will be a quick stitch. This is a piece of test embroidery that I am experimenting with to make the bottle carrier.

I've made some important lifestyle decisions lately, and am hoping that once I detox from certain things I've eliminated that I'll have more energy and feel generally better. At lot of it is learning to listen to myself and not push too hard, working with the natural rhythms of ups and downs rather than fighting against them.  One of the things I am starting to work towards is establishing Sunday as a determined Day of Rest for both Jack and I, which means nothing that we view as work. I'm going to have to step up my game a bit during the week to avoid things like laundry and dishes on Sundays and another monumental task will be changing my attitude towards church and family lunch from things I feel obligated to do into things I can relax and enjoy. Its going to be a long road but a happier one I hope.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

May Turtle Trot

Welcome to May Turtle Trot, hosted by Claudette @BAP Attack

I haven't done a lot on these this month, for a couple reasons. I had two new starts (Innocence by Nene Thomas and The Ranger by Matt Stewart). I've also been spending a lot of my spare time stitching dragons onto surcoats and quilting a UFO as well as playing with my embroidery machine. I should have some good posts coming up soon, as I finish the quilt and a couple water bottle holders for Ragnarok. Then I will hopefully (and I know I keep saying this) settle in to do some garbing. I need to make myself two dresses, Jack needs some new pants and a surcoat, and I would really like to finish the ranger hood.

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

2. Penguin Family - Finished on 01/31/2015, Framed on 05/09/2015

3. The Castle by Teresa Wentzler A little bit further along! The blended colors are killing me though.

On 3/10/2015
4. Affairs of the Heart Quilt by Aie Rossman (New Start) - Completed six 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 05/10/2015
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. 

On 5/10/2015