Sunday, February 28, 2016

Slow Sunday Stitching

Wow what a weekend! Friday night was the Nightwish concert. The doors opened at 6:30, Delain played at 7:45, Sonata Arctica at about 8:45, and Nightwish took the stage at 10:00 and played for almost two full hours!!!! Delain was decent, Sonata Arctica I don't like too much but that could have been that the bass was so overwhelming I couldn't really hear anything else.

Floor Jansen is the new vocalist for Nightwish and she was really good. Very talented and could sing everything from Oceanborn songs to Endless Forms Most Beautiful. Her range is unbelievable.

After this concert, Nightwish headed out west for a few weeks and then they're back in Europe, so we probably won't get another chance to see them for a few years.

I wish the photos had been a little bit better but I was trying not to annoy the people behind me too much so I took a few quick shots here and there and kept it to a minimum.

After that late night and a day at Dagorhir Practice, I was ready for some slow stitching.

I watched Justified while stitching on The Ranger.

As of 02/28/16
I made really good progress on it this weekend, almost 1000 stitches between yesterday and today and hope to do some more during the coming week.

I'm linking up to Slow Sunday Stitching@Kathy's Quilts who just started putting together her blocks for Life Is Beautiful.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Stitching and Nightwish - What a weekend I have planned!

My next Life is Beautiful quilt block - It says "Don't expect a miracle, be the miracle." 

My progress on Waiting by Tilton Crafts

And I'm also slowly working on some quilt blocks.

Okay, that's all for now, I'm off to a Nightwish concert! YAY!!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

OMG Finish: February

Here it is, my One Monthly Goal Finish for February.

(Link to Goal Setting Post)

My goal was to finish this quilt completely.

I am happy to say that I made it! Here is the finished quilt.

I have mixed feeling about this quilt, I didn't quite like the technique I used to put it together, and there are raw edges so I'm not comfortable gifting it to a baby who might pull on the loose string and try to eat them. For now it hangs in my sewing room until I need to photograph another quilt there.

Please check out the other finishes over at Red Letter Quilts

I'm working on a few more things but don't have any photos quite yet. I've managed to cook dinner at home three nights in a row and you wouldn't believe how that eats up time (or maybe you would). I will have updates soon. There is a nasty winter storm rolling through right now, so its time to hunker down and delve into projects.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Embroidery Wins

When I got to work today, I looked down and discovered my beloved khaki work pants had a *huge* hole in them. It is about the size of a quarter across and twice as tall.

This is the hazard of wearing cotton clothes in a chemistry lab. One little splash of dilute anything and you get a hole in your clothes as soon as you wash them.

Now the small hole at the top I can sort of get away with, at least until it gets bigger. It is at the bottom of the pants, I wear a lab coat, etc, etc, etc.

The big hole is just a tad bit more noticeable. I decided to experiment with embroidering over the hole. After all, if it didn't work, I still couldn't wear the pants to work. I started with backing the hole with some cutaway stabilizer and some light colored fabric.

I did really want to get the small hole caught up as well but it was too far up the pants to embroider over. The hoop was barely able to work with the big hole.

Here is it, just before the center rose was stitched.

Now roses aren't really my thing, but I needed something work friendly and with complete coverage.

I picked a thread color as close to the pants as possible to keep it subtle.

I also recently digitized a friend's Dagorhir unit symbol, just for kicks. The test stitch came out okay.

All in all, I'm pretty pleased with tonight's projects. :)

Monday, February 15, 2016

Experiments with Fabric

I was playing around with fabric storage pouches for my cross stitch projects.

Previously I had made several like these below. They have only one compartment. I use highlighter to mark off the cross stitch charts and was always worried that the highlighter would transfer at some point, so I kept the charts separate from the project when possible.

Today I made two more. The first was about 12 x 12 and has foam board reinforcement. I found however, that it was too narrow and could only really hold a small project. I did really like having the foam board though, as I think it gives it more support. My subsequent research indicates that I should be using a plastic canvas, similar to needle point canvas, to reinforce bags. The plastic will not fall apart if the bag gets wet. Something to consider in the future.

 The second I made like a tote bag with a flap. It has a boxed bottom, giving me about an inch and a half of depth. It does not have foam board in it and I don't like it as much. I shall have to consider how to make a pouch with both foam board and a boxed bottom.

Both pouches have a divider in the middle, giving me two sections. One for the project and one for the floss and pattern. The first one took approximately four fat quarters of material, including the binding, and the second took six fat quarters but is big enough to hold a large project.

I used all materials from stash, so that gives me approximately 7 yards out this month with the quilt I finished a week or so ago. Since these were just experiments, I pulled fabric that I had no other plans for and didn't worry too much about coordination. They are currently storing a couple cross stitch projects and are tucked away in my bins, but I still need to make a few more, especially for Waiting, my new start, and for the Life is Beautiful blocks.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Slow Sunday Stitching & MOP Monday

 An embroidery block finish - Life Is Beautiful block #1 is done. 

I'm working on the details for how I am going to set the blocks. The fabric is in the dryer and needs to be ironed and then I should be able to give it a go. 

And a new start - Waiting by Frances (Retired) as published by Tilton Crafts

The stitching UFOs are quickly reaching critical mass, so I have in mind to make several storage envelopes to keep everything together. I'm mulling over a few ideas but expect to see some sewing room results soon.

By the way, I have Quilter Kathy to thank for introducing me to the Life is Beautiful quilt pattern. You should pop over to her blog and see some of the beautiful redwork that she is doing on her blocks. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Life is Beautiful: WIP Wednesday

Life is Beautiful is underway! Connecting Threads came through with a promise to replace the damaged fabric and insisted that they did not want the bad stuff back, so I'm cutting around the damage and using what I can.

The iron on transfer went beautifully and I've been having fun the last couple of evenings doing the stitching on the first block. I tried back stitching at first but found that I prefer the look of the stem stitch for most of the embroidery. The lettering will still have to be back stitching.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Busy Saturday and Slow Stitching Sunday

I had a few finishes this past week to share. The first, completed sometime early this past week, was the Divine Hat by Sarah Arnold, and the second was the matching scarf in the Orient Heights Pattern. I didn't make it an infinity scarf because I thought the yarn was too thick to work well as an infinity scarf. It is really luscious thick yarn, called Cascade Pacific Chunky Multi Yarn and I managed to catch it on a Craftsy a couple months ago at 70% off. The colorway is Grapes.

I'm constantly surprised at how quickly something can crochet up. Quick, beautiful finishes like this can be therapeutic.

On Friday I was up late, sorting through my fleece stash. I had collected a bunch of this stuff three or four years ago back when my friends and I were doing yearly Project Linus donations but that fell off and it has been languishing ever since.

The pile of fleece on the left will eventually become crochet edged fleece blankets for Project Linus or something similar, and the pile on the right will become quick serged baby blankets for Dolls4Alzheimer's.

Dolls4Alzheimer's is the current charity that one of my Facebook groups is collecting handmade items for. They run a doll therapy program, which has been found to bring peace and purpose to Alzhiemer's and dementia patients, giving them something to do. Here is a short article on doll therapy, if you are interested.

It feels like this year is quickly becoming a Stash Busting year crafty wise and I'm very happy to finally have something to do with the fleece, which has been taking up valuable storage space in my sewing room. Because the blankets are small, I should be able to get a good number of them done with the fleece on hand and they stitch up quite quickly. I did four on Friday night.

On Saturday, I made it to my cousin's Chinese New Year performance, did several loads of laundry and some other much needed housework while the Wing's game was on, and since Jack was at Dagorhir practice, spent the remainder of the day in my sewing room trying to get through the quilt I started last week.

I am happy to say that I finished the binding this morning and while I thought that the texture experiment was worthwhile and I like the finished product, I had to force myself to work on this one and would probably never construct another quilt with the technique I used.

And that brings us up to today. I have church in about an hour, then lunch, and then I plan to come home, sit on my couch, and get some slow stitching in.

Another project using yarn found in my Grandmother's attic.
 Library Kittens will be waiting for me when I get home. :)

At last update

As of 02/06/2016
Happy Stitching All! Linking up to Slow Stitching Sunday@Kathy's Quilts and MOP Monday@Tweety Loves Quilting

Friday, February 5, 2016


I made it through my January Stash Ban with flying colors and allowed myself to purchase the fabric for my Life is Beautiful Quilt. Just as well, it took me a month to pick out the fabric that I wanted anyway!

These will make the background for the quilt. I'm thinking color wheel-ish, with the embroidered circles in the center.

The fabric for the embroidery is a soft grey/white-ish color called Parchment from Connecting Threads. It also came in the mail today but there is an unfortunate defect in the dye of the fabric, so I'll have to see about sending it back and getting it replaced.

Now that I've made my purchase, I'm back on a crafty purchase ban until March, at which point I'll probably pick up the fabric and thread for the otter. I think this is a good system - preventing impulse buys by forcing myself to wait a month in between purchases and planning ahead for what I want or need. Last year I attempted to do Stitch from Stash but I always found excuses to break the $25 barrier.  "Oh, but I can't finish this quilt without buying backing material." "It's batting, it doesn't really count." The version I'm currently working with seems to be running much smoother. It's a just flat out NOPE.

I will admit its not easy, especially when I have a rough day at work - you know those days where nothing goes right and you spend all your time compensating for mistakes made? I was soooooo tempted to run to JoAnns for a little Retail Therapy, but I made it home first and was delighted to find my fabric waiting for me.

Monday, February 1, 2016

One Monthly Goal and DaGMT 2016

I completely dropped the ball on One Monthly Goal last month. My goal was to do one block of the Affairs of the Heart Quilt.

I didn't even get it out of its box. *sigh* I blame it on my goal choosing skills. I failed to calculate in just how busy January would be and even though I did finish one quilt top and start another, the new one was started when I was exhausted and unable to sleep and I know better than to work on an heirloom project in that state.

So my new One Monthly Goal is to finish this quilt. I just need to sew about thirty more strips to it and add binding. It's a QAYG, so its nice and easy. And then maybe, tackle my AoTH Quilt.

The background fabric is called "Indigo" which explains why it looks blue in some pictures and purple in others. I do apologize for the terrible lighting  mishap and will get a better picture when it is completed.

Today is also the first day of DaGMT. Now that the grocery shopping, dishes, laundry, and cooking are done (ugh what a day), I'm off to my sewing room to get my required twenty minutes of stitchy time. This year's DaGMT is being run entirely on Facebook, so I have no linky to share. It is run by the blogger Beth@Quilting Hottie Haven.