Thursday, December 18, 2014

Round and Square

 If you have never tried a 'in the hoop' sewing project, this month's Creative Machine Embroidery has a very cute chapstick keychain idea!  I cut out piles of coordinating fabrics with the bit of ribbon and hair elastic for a closure to assemble....you guessed it, in the hoop!
 I removed basting stitches and carefully removed the finished embroidery each time...
 so I left a hole but did not disturb the whole piece of stabilizer.
 This way, I just added a piece to cover the hole and then made the next one....
 I did this over and over this week!  By cutting them out with pinking shears, I also cut out the curves so they require no 'clipping the curves'!
 This is a view of the hair elastic placement after the pocked has been basted in place.
Then the top fabric goes on the whole thing right side down and it stitches leaving an opening for turning.
Thankful I remembered to use my tube turners because trying to turn the first few without it was a misery!  (made worse by the diminished hand strength!)  I cannot tell you have many hours this tool has saved me!
 After poking all my corners and sewing on the button-voila!
I just kept making them ....
 and making them.......
until I had enough for all the kids at church!
I also have enough eyeglasses for all the ladies, too!
 I finished the grout on the last windowsill!!!!!  
When it was dried this morning, I put all the decoration back in place and smiled!
 The quilt is getting near the finish line!  If I stop playing with other things, I will get back to it!
 I made a loaf of banana bread with some of our own bananas....this is an experiment in using whole wheat and and the bread machine.  I must admit-it turned our yummy!
This is what kept me busy today!  The top and focal point of our chimney outside on the porch!
(No, the chimney is not crooked, the photographer is leaning from exhaustion!  lol

Friday, December 12, 2014

On the Square

 I have one of the five window sills completely finished!
 The other four have the tile adhered but not yet grouted.
 The cutting of the tile is done for now!  Phew!  The marble tiles look great but they sure did crumble easily!
 Here is the cutting station!  Bill did a ton of cutting for me when I wore out!
When I needed a break from the tough stuff, I spent some time in the sewing room.   I saw this link for a YouTube video on a blog friend's post and
decided to tweak it a bit to make these.
A whole bunch of these!   About a dozen I think!  I made all kinds of mistakes on the first one but they are cranking out pretty easily now!
 I am doing a row of quilting blocks a day on the flower basket quilt.   It is progressing nicely!
 I am outlining the flower basket blocks and adding a pretty free-form feathered wreath in the plain blocks.
It gives this quilt the illusion of tradition with a bit of a modern flair.  Perfectly complimentary!
 I am hanging in there with the nieces socks.  I am working a bit on each sock....
But the boot cuffs keep calling my name!   Two pair done and I am almost done with a third pair!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Savoring a Saturday

 I  have had this hooked rug circle done for years but never put it on a stool as planned.
 I found a little wooden stool at JoAnn's on my last visit and stapled the panel to it after padding the stool top!  I did sew a 4" I can't wait to use it at church this morning!
 The blocks are now sewn together and I even got the border cut and attached, too.
 The flower basket quilt is on the frame and waiting for some quilted feathers to be applied.  I do not yet know the design for the solid plain blocks but I am thinking a circle of feathers will be the right accent.   The basket blocks will just have outlines and grid lines like on old quilts.
 I covered a Boppy pillow for Cassandra.
 I made two pillowcases of flannel from the stash.
 And worked on making some Christmas colored glass.
I had fun working out different layers for these.   I will enjoy wearing them this month!

It is good to spend time in the sewing room.  Especially since the next three Saturdays will be spent in birthday celebrations and away from home!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Second Tries

 I started the day by watching the second attempt for a successful launch!  Nice to see that second chances are a good and acceptable path to getting it right!  I was mildly disappointed to miss the view out my backyard due to the dense fog this morning but watching it on tv was good, too!

 I took NASA's strategy to 'try again' to heart.

I sat for a long time with the messed up projects on my lap after the last post and tried to think what to do about them.   I could hear my Dad's voice in my head, "Make a list and tackle the most dreaded one first."  Okay, that is what I did.  I sat with that beautiful boucle yarn which doesn't allow for ripping out and got my idea to add to the edging;  the yarn is so full that the details get lost anyway.   I have nothing to lose!  I started right in.  After an hour of knitting, I knew that it was going to work ans so I moved on the the other goofs.  I breezed right through them after doing the worst one first!  Good advice, Dad!  (Still.)
I have several new niece socks on the needles-they wanted team colors in their socks!  I am having fun making up differing stripe repeats with KnitPicks Stroll yarn.
 I have the right number of stitches on the second sleeve and it matches its mate this time!  I even got the buttons sewn on and the sweater is ready to gift now!  (Cascade Superwash Paints yarn)
I didn't have to rip out the first boot cuff completely-just ripped back a pattern repeat and now the boot toppers fit beautifully!  Not as much as a misery as I whined about the other day!  (KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Superwash Bulky yarn.)
I'm still making progress on Will's sock, too!  See this knitter smile again.  I always tell people that the only difference between a rookie and an expert is that an expert doesn't quit when a mistake is made but figures out a way to make it work and then moves ahead.  Today, I am an expert knitter.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I Think I Can....I Think I Can't!

 I can cut out 40 wedges and sew them together again.
 I can cut out snowflake appliques.
 I can quilt the whole shebang after machine appliqueing all those snowflakes!
 I can even get it under the tree because I remembered to leave one side unsewn so I can put it under the tree last without having to pick it up each time!
 Yes, I can cut and sew and piece.
 I can finish old quilt blocks and have a wonderful top ready for the frame!
 I can cut out layer cakes and turn them into intricate new blocks!
 But I cannot knit anymore!  My ta-da moment turned to incredulity when without a doubt one sleeve is smaller then the other!  No amount of blocking or crying will change things.
 I was happily knitting on the second boot topper and happened to try on the first one.  It fell right off my leg.  So I not only have to rip them both out I have to try to play with gauge to get the pattern repeat to work out.......
 I was so happy with this hat-all knit one, purl one and the colors pooled just right on top of each other so it was very pretty.
Unfortunately I can't get my knitting to come out the size I want-this is way too small.  I will rip out, add stitches around and in length.
Plus I have Marsel's shawl still in the naughty bucket waiting for a pair of good eyes to rip out and pick up all those boucle stitches.......I am going to go and knit on a sock.  I can knit socks!  (I hope.)

I am thinking I need to change my knitting in the evening time.   I am knitting when I see the worst, my hands are tired and my brain is definitely compromised.   But I have been knitting in the evenings for decades.  Maybe I need to change my knitting to all socks or sock weight shawls.