Saturday, January 30, 2016

MOP Monday

Last weekend, I finally gave up on the idea of finishing my Inspired by Scattered Quilt top and carefully stacked up the remaining pieces and tucked them away. I am happy to announce, however, that I was able to finish the top yesterday evening while Jack worked on Akron Stuff.

I LOVE IT. Hubs asked me who it was for and I told him ME. Some things I did learn from this quilt though - if you are going to use charm packs, DO NOT mix manufacturers. This quilt has charm packs from Connecting Threads, Stonehenge by Northcott, a pack from Missouri Star Quilting Company (not sure what brand) and a few extras that I cut from my stash, and they are all slightly different sizes. Ugh ugh ugh.

Sleeping last night was out of the question, after a loud noise woke me up in a panic. Turned out it was just a fan clacking, but I honestly thought it was an electrical wire sparking.

I gave up eventually and pulled together a few fat quarters and spent a couple hours cutting them up and stitching them together in a sort of bias binding. It is not for binding but that seems to be the best way to describe it. I finally crashed sometime after 2 AM with a nice pile of 30+ yards of quilt "blocks."

This morning I ironed some navy blue fabric and started stitching the "binding" to it, in the spirit of the Loominous Pillow by Faith@Fresh Lemons Modern Quilts.

It is already sandwiched with batting and backing and is a Quilt-As-You-Go method. I'm using my walking foot to stitch the strips to all three layers. My first attempt at this, but I'm liking the results so far. It will be a small quilt but a heavy one, as there will be three layers of fabric at each point on the quilt top.

Linking Up to MOP Monday @ Tweety Loves Quilting

Friday, January 29, 2016

Slouchy Hat!

Between Hogwarts and overtime at work, there hasn't been a lot of down time. Most days this week, I left home by 6:30 am, arrived home after 6 pm, and went to bed about three hours later.  Watching TV and playing video games are about the only thing I've had the energy for. 

TV time is good for handwork, so I did finish the Slouchy Hat. It was a free pattern on Craftsy: The Audrey Slouchy Hat.

I made it from the same yard as the Windowpane Scarf. All done and ready to go into a box. I have no idea what I'll do with it yet, so I'll tuck it away until I find somewhere to donate or someone who needs it. In my experience, these things always have a way of getting used somehow.

The other two scarves I am working on are coming along nicely and will both need matching hats eventually.

The purple one is the Orient Heights Infinity Scarf but I think the pattern is hard to see because of the thick yarn. It has just over one skein in it and the pastel dragon scale has two skeins. I will probably keep the pastel dragon scale one because I dearly love it and the other will go in the donation box.

I'm thinking that the purple hat will use this pattern: Divine Hat by Sarah Arnold and I'd like to find a dragon scale hat pattern for the other one.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

First Years This Way Please

"Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts..." My niece's surprise birthday party took place this weekend.

It started with a portal through Platform 9 3/4.

Upon arrival, the new Hogwarts students were sorted. The bag contains tokens with the symbols of the houses. The students drew a token and received a matching tie.

Then after a sorting was the Feast in the Great Hall.

Classes began soon after. Defense Against the Dark Arts with wands designed to fire marshmallows, Quidditch 101, and Potions.

For the Quidditch game, we hung hula hoops up in the back yard, used a small soccar ball as a Quaffle, and a plastic bat and two small balls as bludgers.

The Birthday Girl was thrilled and very surprised and those involved were occasionally attacked with enthusiastic hugs over the course to the evening. It was declared the "Best Birthday Party EV-ver." I had lots of help from family and friends to get this set up and it was worth every second. People made cakes, helped decorate, designed crafts, and kept it a secret. GO TEAM!

Today I am very tired and taking it easy. Birthday Girl spent the night after her party and her parents picked her up at Church this morning. I'm currently back home, bundled up in pajamas and planning on spending the rest of the day watching TV and playing video games.

Tomorrow I need to clean out my sewing room, as I had to use it to store stuff to make room for the party and then hopefully get some stitchy time in.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

WIP Wednesday & Let's Be Social

It's almost all the way together! I know I was supposed to get this done a couple days ago, but, well, Life. It will be done in the next couple of days because it has to be. 

No cross stitching this week, as I've had to put my stand away for a few days but I am working on a hat to match a scarf that I finished a while ago. This will be a "slouchy hat" and the pattern was free on Craftsy.

I was kind of excited to learn how to do the stretchy brim. :)

I hope your week is going well. Linking up to WIP Wednesday and Let's Bee Social.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sunday Stitching

It's Slow Sunday Stitching time again, hosted by Kathy@Kathy's Quilts.

I've spent the weekend cleaning and organizing and taking time to do some stitching. ALL of my cross stitch projects were moved from my stitching corner to my sewing room for the time being, except for the one I'm currently working on. My basket of yarn also was subjected to a clean out and most of it went back into my yarn bin which is hiding under my sewing room desk. I kept the overflow in the basket in addition to the project bag in which I have my three crochet projects.

Library Kittens is still in the rotation. Last time I presented a full update was right after Badon Hill in September, as I spent a lot of the drive stitching.

I managed to get a lot stitched in the last week and a half, so I'm very happy with the progress. 

As of 01/17/16
I calculated the total stitches on this to be ~17,000 stitches which puts me at about 30% done, not counting the backstitching.

The quilt piecing is going very smoothly, and should be finished by bedtime this evening.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Made it Halfway

So far I've spent ALL ZERO dollars on crafty items and it's halfway through the month!

That hasn't really stopped me from window shopping though. I've spent a lot of time plotting and planning for my Life Is Beautiful Quilt. Part of my Christmas present was DMC Light Effects Jewels for my quilt and I *love* them.

 I really wanted to use them on a dark fabric but I don't think that the iron on transfer will show on anything except stark white. So, I'll be stitching the embroidery on white and then picking up the PERFECT fat quarter bundle, whichever one that may be, to do the borders and blocks. The original quilt was done in scrappy reds and whites, but I'm thinking a little more color variety will be right up my alley.

I also have a pattern from KLT Charting - Tribal Otter, that I won in a Facebook contest a few months ago, and I've picked out fabric and thread for it from Jodyri Designs.

Yesterday I realized that I need to get the quilt off the Spare 'Oom floor by next Friday, for reasons that I will elaborate on after next Saturday, so my weekend project will be to finish piecing this quilt.

I think I can do it in one day if I stay focused. After that, lots of cleaning and organzing. Thank goodness I have a three day weekend.

Do you have any special plans for this weekend?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Slow Stitching Sunday

Library Kittens got a little love today for Slow Sunday Stitching. 

That vertical dark red line all the way at the right edge actually marks the halfway point. I'll be very glad when the ivy plant is finished. This pattern is very confetti heavy in the top half but without the benefit of a searchable PDF pattern.

Unfortunately, other than the couple hundred stitches, I had a pretty busy day. Laundry and dishes needed to be done and a half inch of ice cleared off the sidewalk. I usually have a rule against doing housework on Sunday but there was no help for it this time around.

Friday, January 8, 2016

One Monthly Goal

There is a new linky over at Red Letter Quilts called One Monthly Goal that I have decided to participate in. Really easy - just link up a goal at the beginning of the month and link up your progress at the end of the month.

So here it is: I would like to complete one... JUST ONE.... block of my Affairs of the Heart Quilt this month.

I haven't worked on this since April of last year due to Dagorhir stuffs (i.e. Ragnarok). Six blocks out of thirty-six done.

I can either start a new block or do the embroidery on the one that is already prepped.

My Christmas presents have me itching for another new quilty start. I was gifted the Modern Medallion Workbook and the Rose of Sharon Applique Book from my in laws and Jack bought me the Life Is Beautiful Quilt pack with iron on transfers.

Let's see if I can get a couple more quilt tops finished before diving into yet another new project.

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year, New Progress

First up: The Fairy Spell. I rocked out about a 800 stitches on this baby over the holidays.

 Started this hat and finished it on one day. It's a little too big but I love it.

And now I have a matching set :) After my crafty spending ban is expired, I will probably pick up one more skein and make some fingerless gloves to match.

Since I finished the hat, I had to start something else. 'Cause why not?

I think the pattern is a little hard to see with the variegated yarn. It's alternating double crochet and shells, another free pattern from ravelry.

My New Year's Day start was an applique wall hanging. I have the center medallion done, minus the stitching.

Last but not least? Home made snack packs.

I found something similar in the cheese section of the grocery store but the cost, oh my goodness, was close to $2 per snack. I picked up some dried fruit (cherries and blueberries), roasted mixed nuts, added some cheese and crackers, and BOOM! Better snacks at a fraction of the cost. I made up five of these and stuck them in the fridge. They should last more or less forever, the biggest risk being the cheese drying out. I stopped buying a lot of the usual junk food that we like to eat but it took me a while to replace it with something else. I'm hoping this works for those late night snacky binges.

Next on my To-Do list is finish the natural essential oils cleaning products that I picked up supplies for and eliminate all the toxic chemicals in my bathroom. I was also gifted a EO home remedies book for Christmas, so I want to put some solid time into prepping some basic cold and allergy concoctions.

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Last Two Finishes of 2015

It's the New Year and with it brings hope and renewal. The turning over of our calendar somehow brings a sense of putting all the drama and nonsense of the previous year behind us and with that the promise of a happier, healthier New Year.

This is my favorite Bible verse, one that I repeat to myself frequently. It has become my mantra, especially when reviewing things like my student loan status.

I did "finish" a couple more items right before I went to work. The first was a quilt top, so I guess its not officially finished but just getting the borders on is a victory for me.

My Kaleidoscope quilt has borders!
 The next one is a definite finish, completed right before I went back to work this week - my Dragon Scale scarf is complete thanks to Jack filling my stocking with the yarn I needed. My right arm and hand are still sore from all the crochet, so I'll have to give it another day or two before I start a matching hat.

It is very thick and very warm and possibly my favorite finish for 2015.

I traditionally have at least one New Start for the New Year's, so I plan to get to that later today. Right now its Guild Wars and Relax.

I have set for myself a personal goal of No Spending in January. Kind of like the Zero Spend month I attempted to complete in October but wasn't as successful as I would have liked. Top of the black spending list is expensive coffee and crafty supplies, my two primary unnecessary habits. As always, I am short in quilt batting and quilt backing, but I'm pretty sure I can survive a month without picking those up.