Friday, December 18, 2020

Christmas In The Kitchen

I’ve made loads of potholders over the years but have NEVER made Christmas potholders.  How can that be?

I still had scraps from my Bah-Humbug Christmas Quilt and Pillow 
Realizing I had no Christmas themed/colored potholders, I continued to play with the smallest Triangle Ruler.

I really enjoy playing around with the designs that half square triangles can make.  

The thing about scraps for me is that they only make more scraps.  Because there aren’t quite enough scraps to make something, I always need to cut off a bit more from the yardage to finish my scrap project!  It’s still fun to ‘try’ using them up though.

I thought about gifting them to my friend who loves to cook and bake, but I couldn’t part with them.  I’ll make her some everyday ones.  I just had a thought.  Potholders wear and wear out.  Maybe I will make her a new set annually.  Oh!  Good idea, Annie!

This is the end of my Christmas sewing this year.  How fun it was to sew Christmas items at Christmas time.  I did not expect to finish any of these items by Christmas.  That’s a bonus gift to myself.  Time to get some ingredients in that bowl now!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 11, 2020

Bah-Humbug Christmas Quilt

It was about time for me to have a Christmas Quilt.  This is it and just in time to enjoy it for a few weeks this Christmas.

I used Leila Gardunia’s Scrappy Triangles.  A collection of 53 paper piecing blocks.  I was hoping to use up some of the Christmas fabrics that have been in my stash for a long time.  Using some up is the perfect excuse to shop for some new pieces...right?

I loved sewing the blocks and watching the design come to life, all the while listening to Christmas music...since just before Halloween.

I’m not one that names my quilts.  But, this is when this Christmas quilt got its name, Bah-Humbug!
The first column I stitched together on the right end revealed two blocks a bit smaller than the other six.  That was not going to be good for this design.  I was so upset thinking how many more will there be?  I just wanted to throw the whole mess away!  I already had so much time invested in the blocks.  Within the hour I decided to sew it all together (trying not to notice how the blocks wouldn’t line up nicely), quilt it and donate it somewhere.

The other thing I didn’t like was needing to keep the papers on the blocks until they were all sewn together.  (I started removing some paper from a few blocks but quickly realized I was going to have an even bigger struggle than just mis-sized blocks).  I did remove the seam allowance papers to make it easier to press the seams.

Guess what?  There were no other mis-sized blocks!  Only the two on the end.  That made me happier.  I was also very happy to get those papers off.

But then I began quilting the thing.

It seemed like a lot of black.  I thought I’d give the black some interest by stitching with red thread.  I worried about it for awhile before starting.  My fear was realized just as I knew it would be.  I cannot sew a straight line to save my own life let alone someone else’s.  It really shows on the solid black.  I knew I gave this quilt the right name!  At this point I couldn’t wait to get it done and get it out of my sight.  So much so that I had to take a break from it and try a Christmas pillow instead.

For the pillow I used the smallest Triangle Ruler.

I just used scrap bits left after finishing the quilt blocks.

This was calming my upset over the quilt.

I don’t really know how I feel about the design for a pillow, but I do know that I liked it better than the quilt, mostly because it was not near the trouble the quilt has been.

When I was finished with quilting the quilt and it was no longer just 12 or so inches away from my face, the crooked straight line quilting stopped bothering me because it wasn’t noticeable.

As I was hand stitching the binding, I realized that it was the exact detail the quilt needed.  At that moment I fell in love with this quilt!

I think it’s bold and subtle at the same time.  I love that.
This quilt measures 58” square.  Just right for cuddling under to watch Christmas movies.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Christmas Greetings

It’s looking a lot like Christmas inside, outside and on the Web.

And in the mail.

This year’s fabric postcards.  

Question:  Do you have/make odd sewing decor?  I’m just looking to confirm my weird.

I’ve tossed my snipped thread tails in these jars for quite a long time.  A few bits of ribbon and bobs too.  And on the left is the oddest.  I think they are called dog ears.  The bits that stick out when sewing from pinwheels and half square triangles.

Back on the normal front of life is my calendar journal.

Too much personal stuff to cover up.  I just want to get back to life being all fun and games on a daily basis.

I’m working on a Christmas quilt and pillow that I am not thrilled with.  It’s hard to finish a project that isn’t turning out as hoped.  But I refuse to store it unfinished!  They will get done.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Prim Needles

Before Fall/Autumn gets away from me, I stitched this Prim Needles design.  I love “pin here if you dare”. It is stitched on 32 count evenweave linen.

I loved how the sample in the picture showed it stitched on a printed fabric.  I went in search of some of that cloth.  WOW is that expensive!  So I went to my craft space and printed my own.

The design is by The Primitive Hare.

I might do more of that in the future.

I began stitching.  Of course, as usual, I didn’t know how I wanted to finish it.

And I still don’t know. In the meantime while I ponder this it hangs on my small portable design wall next to my sewing machine.  There will not be any of that business of putting it away in a drawer for ....ever?

More of the days-gone-by, primitive look that I love.  This is the last cross stitch from me for a long time now.  My next project will be a 25” x 25” piece containing 122,400 cross stitches.  25 pages of chart.

I’ve never tackled such a daunting project before.  Good luck to me to get it done.

In between I have a Christmas quilt in the making that I might actually finish before Christmas arrives.

As we all make the best of the holidays during this COVID-19 pandemic, (who could have guessed it would go on like this?!).....


Saturday, November 14, 2020

Fabric Book Pages

I haven’t played in this Fabric Book for quite a long time.  8 years!  Where the heck does the time go?  And why so fast?

I stitched this lady last month from a page torn from a Cross Stitch magazine years ago.  There was no reference on the page to the magazine or the designer.  The design was originally intended as a sachet pillow, I think.

I wasn’t sure what to do with her as I stitched.  Then I remembered the fabric book of eclectic pieces I started.  She fit right onto a page.

I knew I had stitched this cute Cat piece.  But I didn’t remember finishing it and it was another piece I thought was long lost.  So many surprises lately when I sort and purge.

He also fit well in my fabric book of sorts.  I just don’t want to frame everything or make all the pieces into pillows.  But I want to enjoy them, so I’m glad I remembered (came across while sorting and purging) my book.

The pieces work out so nicely in the book.

October 2020 went along as such...

For my fellow nosey Parkers who want all the fine details...

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The Olde Crow Inn

I came across a vintage Bed and Breakfast sign.  It was done in cross stitch.  That is what made me want to do cross stitch again after many, many years of my tools and supplies in a storage trunk.  I raced over to the website and bought the chart.

Chart: Kanikis

I could hardly wait to finish the unfinished piece  I had on the frame so that I could get started on this new piece.  I’m always attracted to vintage advertising and crows.  

This is stitched on 32 count evenweave linen.  A single thread over 2 threads.  Except for Baths and Meals is only over 1 thread.  That part was very hard to see with these old eyes, glasses and magnifiers attached to my glasses.  I hated stitching those but I love how they look with the standard stitching.

Not many thread changes in this chart.  Just enough for a vintage look.

When the stitching was finished, I sewed a frame around it.  I got one of those standing mini quilt frames to display it.

I like that I’ll be able to do more seasonal stitching and change the display as I desire.  

My crows are beginning to gather a murder.
Can you hear them chattering?

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Sewing Storage Reduction

Storage reduction continues in my sewing space.

This cute bicycle printed linen was a gift.  As usual, the lack of ideas for what to do with it kept it in storage for a few years.  Time to come out and be something!

I love that fun novelty bicycle ads fabric.  Perfect to pair with the print.  I decided on a project pouch for my cross stitch floss.

I used a strip of selvedge to add interest as a small loop on the side.

The lining represents the many streets and paths I have ridden my bicycle over the years.

I can’t cross stitch on linen without adding those magnifiers to my glasses.  What a pastime life saver they are!

While I’ve been cross stitching, I thought about the pieces I have had stored for 30 years.  These football logos.  My son stitched these when he was 13 or 14 years old.  He’s 44 now.

I did not know what to make with them.  Even now.  I spent a lot of time on Pinterest looking for ideas and inspiration for what to make for a grown man.  The best idea was just a pillow.

The stripes made me think of the referees during football games.

The numbers made me think of the game scores.

When my son was a baby, 4months old, I noticed the TV caught his attention whenever football was on.  We didn’t have but 3 channels to watch at the time, so sometimes football would be on.  Not that anyone was a great football fan.  I wondered if he was really watching it.  I set him in his baby carrier in front of the TV and he actually watched the game.  If the channel was changed he lost interest in the TV.  When football was back on his attention was back on the TV.  To this day he is a big fan of football.

I’m shipping this pillow to him this week.  I’ll bet he thinks those cross stitched pieces were long gone somewhere years ago.  I wish I could be there when he tells his grown children he stitched those.  I wonder if they will razz him about cross stitching.  Even famous professional football players are known to have done needlework.  

Hooray for more storage reduction!

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Are you happy?

And then one day I decided I wanted to cross stitch again.

But I had a project yet unfinished on the scroll frame.  Another 25 year old unfinished project!  With only this much left to sad is that.

It was going to be framed and hung in my young daughter’s bedroom.  But she isn’t that young anymore and I lost interest in finishing it.  And, it was an area of so many color changes.

I forced myself to finish it before starting a new project.  I knew if I took it off the frame it would never get finished.

The quote is one of my favorites, by Abraham Lincoln.  The design is by Mary Engelbreit.

As I was working on that last bit of stitching I didn’t know what I’d do with it when it was finished.  Then I remembered the antique child’s rocking chair I have from my great aunt.  I don’t know the rocker’s real age but it is definitely well over 150 years old.  The cane seat was worn out and had to be replaced.  But the rest of the chair is in it’s original but not perfect condition.  I decided this stitched piece as a pillow could sit on that rocker.

How happy am I that another languishing project is finished and being enjoyed!

Also while working on that stitching, I found I wanted a pin cushion for all these cross stitch needles I have.  So I stitched a quick cushion top.

I stitched some x’s around the design and fabric frame.  I didn’t get them right, but I figured that out along the way.  They were good enough for this project.  Next time I do that I’m hoping they will look better when done properly.

Ah, much better than needles floating around here and there and everywhere.

Be happy!

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Halloween Hauntings

Some Halloween sewing has been happening.

In the stash was a Halloween panel that I bought because I liked “parts” of the designs.  I took a couple of years to get to it.  I don’t always know what I’m going to do with a piece of fabric when I buy it.  Since I’ve been trying to use what I have, it was time for this piece to come out into the light of day.  I have cut it apart and used some of it.

First I made a couple of Halloween potholders.  I framed them with fabric from my massive (to me) Halloween stash.  Mitered corners are not the funnest to do and I’m not sure it made much difference with this particular striped piece.

This was a small image block that I added side borders to make it postcard size. Quilted just following lines in the image.

Then I took a “section” from one of the images I wasn’t overly fond of to make another postcard.  Again, quilting is just following the image lines.

This is the original panel piece (I had already started cutting it apart).

I have yet to make the crows, the skeleton and the tree into something.  Probably potholders/hot plate mat.

Hooray!...more stash reduction!

This next postcard is a section of a Halloween fabric and a section of paper piecing that I didn’t use for the Chillingsworth Wall hangings.

This Bat postcard is my usual style for fabric postcards, raw edge applique.  He is a Quilt Doodle Designs pattern called Going Batty Mug Mat.  I shrank the pattern to fit a postcard.

This spider I have made before but it has been many years.  This pattern is a Patch Abilities, Inc. called Eeek!  The pattern is a wall hanging of 3 spiders.  The medium spider is just the right size for a postcard.

This is my version of the pattern done several years ago.

It’s time to get my postcards in the mail!  Time flies by so fast.  Now that I am officially retired, dates and what day it is means nothing.  I have to make a point of paying attention to that now.

Happy Haunting!