Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Lovely Year of Finishes: February FO

My idea for this month was to make a thread catcher for my sewing room. I posted at the beginning of the month with a stack of my precious Red Riding Hood fabrics, set aside for this purpose. In the end, I settled on making a fabric basket using this tutorial from Mon Petit Lyons. I'm not so sure I will be throwing waste into it or finding a different use, but it will be used; that is certain.

Red Riding Hood basket

The tutorial was easy to follow and I am pleased with the end result. If I made this again, I would use a stiffer interfacing. Despite using linen for both the exterior and interior fabric, as well as fusible fleece for the interfacing, it is sort of floppy.

Red Riding Hood basket

I'm linking up with Sew BitterSweet Designs and Fiber of All Sorts for the February FO party. In the next couple days, I have to decide what my project will be for March. There are a few contenders and I have to settle on the thing I want to make the most. Please join in on the link up if you haven't yet.

Red Riding Hood basket

Be back soon with my goals for March and my Febrary wrap up!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I've been in a sort of slump lately; my own personal winter, if you will. It hasn't been that bad, considering I have had lots of time to think, journal, and even sketch out ideas. It has been not as great on the getting-things-done front though. I do think I have come to a break through on this and found a way to make myself more efficient with my time. Maybe I will talk more about this later, as I see if it works out.

Therefore, I only have updates on two projects. I finally got around to cutting out the pieces for my Red Riding Hood basket/thread catcher. This should be quick to sew up and I will share the final outcome before the end of the month.

Pieces for a fabric basket

I also have some progress on my sweater. The body is done and I'm working on a sleeve. I'm still hoping to have this finished this week so I can block it this weekend.

Madison WIP

Crazy knitting will keep me pretty much occupied the next few days. My hope is to catch up with emails and your blogs over the weekend. See you soon!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

WIP Update

I've been working diligently away on my projects, so much that finding online time has been challenging. Despite that, I'm only sharing progress on two of them today. They have been my main focus in different settings: the cross stitch continues to be my work project and the sweater is a test knit. It's due date is in a week and a half, so I have to get cracking on it. Completely doable but most other projects have taken a back seat the past few days.

Woodland Sampler WIP
Madison WIP

I hope to have some time to take photos of my pile of FOs soon. I should be back this weekend with another post. Have a great rest of the week!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Project Quilting Season 4, Challenge 3

Well things have been quiet around here again. Part of it is late nights at work; the cold weather does not-so-good things for the transportation industry, which makes for busier workdays. The other part is me trying to alter my routines. I'm trying to consolidate my time so it is more effective and so I can spend more time creating. So far, it is going alright.

The quietness will continue next week as I have to go out of town again for work. This time I will be spending a couple days in Bismarck, ND. It's been many years since I have been there, so I am excited. The landscape isn't as flat as the Red River Valley and it generally is warmer, even though is it straight west. Though I wish I had some free time so I could head further west to one of my favorite parks and even go into Montana for a bit. Such is the paradox of business travel. I am going to take my camera and try to fit in some picture taking, though I am headed there with three co-workers so freedom to roam is limited.

Project Quilting Season 4, Challenge 3

Now onto the main reason for this post. I finished up my piece for the third challenge today and think it one of my favorite items I have sewn to date. The challenge was to take inspiration for the work of Annie Young and translate it to a quilt. After looking through her posts, I feel for the background of this painting and thought it would work well as a pieced background. Her work also involves a lot of floral images, so as a fellow lover of flowers, I thought it well suited for my background.

Project Quilting Season 4, Challenge 3

My biggest challenge here was discovering how few black and white prints I have in my stash. With no time to go shopping (or wait for something in the mail), I went forward with my plan. I figured by cutting skinny strips it would cause the prints to distort and with some FMQ over it, I think I did alright.

Project Quilting Season 4, Challenge 3

I broke out some batiks to use for the tulip. I know many modern quilters hate batiks but I am a huge fan of them. I can't see this working well with commercial prints and don't think it would sing if I had used solids. The perfect scenario would be having a stash of fabrics hand dyed by me, but that isn't the case. Yet. The stem is yarn that was couched down by machine and the flower is raw edge applique. Because this is an art piece, I went with a non-traditional binding method which is simply zig zagging over the raw edges.

Project Quilting Season 4, Challenge 3

To sum it all up: I am in love! I would like to continue working in this manner, so be watching for more. I actually had forgotten how much fun it is to FMQ and doodle with my sewing machine. Before I get too deep here I am intending to clear out the older projects I have going.

I probably won't be posting until my mid week WIP update. We are expecting a blizzard tomorrow (not as bad as the east coast) and then I am out of town. Hope the weekend treats you well!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

WIP Wednesday

This is going to be a short one. I haven't been able to work on too much this past week as I have been busy with work and housework, and also re-evaluating some things. I take on way too much all the time and I finally have hit the place where this needs to change. So, expect few projects in progress at one time and hopefully, more finished items. Let's just not talk about the pile of things I have waiting to photograph properly.

My projects this week are the Denise shawl, my Cora sweater (half a sleeve is done!), my Woodland Sampler, and some fabrics I pulled for the Project Quilting challenge due Sunday. I am not a pleased with the black and white prints here but find I am lacking in those in my stash. This is going to be a Make It Work moment for me.


I was tempted to start a new project. I just wanted something quick to knit up so I was going to work on a hat. I have the yarn and pattern, I just can't find the right size needle. I know I have them but they are not where they should be. I'm taking this as a sign I need to stick with my resolution to only start a new item after finishing two.

Posting for me may be sparse as I solidify the changes I am working towards and also concentrating on finishing some projects. See you soon!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Guest Post: Project Quilting Bonus Challenge and a Giveaway

Today I have a guest. As you may know, I have been participating in Project Quilting this season, as well as the last. It is a blast and a great way to expand your creativity! Without further adieu, let me turn it over to Kim so she can share about a special challenge and a giveway for the fabric bundle used in this challenge.

Hello everyone! This is Kim from Persimon Dreams,, and I’m so happy to be here sharing some exciting Project QUILTING news with you. We are currently in the midst of Season 4. The first two challenges inspired over 100 quilts to be created – so amazing! The third challenge went up on Sunday, February 3rd and I can’t wait to see what comes from it (still time for you to join in!)

I personally love Project QUILTING because it has been extremely inspirational to me in my quilting journey. I know I only have a week for the projects but it’s a great opportunity to give ideas in my mind a try – see what happens, try new techniques. If it works…maybe I’ll do a bigger project that takes more time.

ENTRY - Project QUILTING - Architectural Elements Challenge - Barn Bones

For instance – I tried out free form quilting for the first time in Season 3 of Project QUILTING to create ‘Barn Bones’.  I LOVED it…so later when I undertook a Scrap Challenge I created this…

Amazing Tehcnicolor Dream Scrap Quilt

The Amazing Technicolor Dream Quilt.

Project QUILTING has me creating pieces I never imagined before and the Project QUILTING community has been such an inspiration and support.

I have heard from many that they love watching along with Project QUILTING and the projects created from the challenges but they just can’t fit making a quilt in just one week. That’s what my exciting news is all about today – a new *Bonus* Project QUILTING Challenge. I’ve teamed up with a fabulous online fabric store – The Fat Quarter Shop to bring you all the ‘Fat Quarter Shop Bundle Challenge – Tradition Times Three’.

Diane outlines what is required for this particular challenge. You must go to the Fat Quarter Shop to by the fabric bundle in order to participate in the challenge BUT the twist is – you have until May 30th, 2013 to submit your challenge! At that point, one of my girls will randomly draw a winner of $75 to use at the Fat Quarter Shop.

I also wanted to share with you a few ways you can save on your fabric bundle. First – head over to my blog and enter in the giveaway I posted today: Bundle Giveaway!

OR if you want to save 20% off your entire purchase of fabric from the Fat Quarter Shop check out this blog post to find the special code – good through February 10th.

Thanks for having me and I hope to see you all with a quilt in one or more Project QUILTING Challenges. Have a great rest of your week!
~Kim Lapacek

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Lovely Year of Finishes: February

This month I have to make something I keep putting off. Not because it would be difficult or anything, but because it seems too easy to not start. That would be a fabric basket to use as a thread catcher.

Fabrics for a thread catcher?

I haven't determined the particulars yet but did pull out some fabrics I am considering using.

Linking up for the planning party at Sew BitterSweet Designs and Fiber of All Sorts.

To Do First: February

If you have been reading my blog for some time, you probably know I am overly ambitious. I always have a lot going on and plan on doing so much more. The upside is that I am never bored. The downside is that I do take on too much at a time and don't get things done as quickly as if I focused. It's something I'm working on changing a little; don't get me wrong, I like variety but I do need more focus.

That being said, let's see how my to do list for January turned out.


Must do:

1. Cora test - I finished the body by the designer's deadline and have to finish the sleeves. I grossly underestimated how long it takes to knit a sweater. I am hooked though and have many more in my future.

2. Joji Mystery Shawl - I didn't start this one but love the final outcome so it will be done in the coming months.

3. Sermon Mystery - I'm still on the first clue but clues are still coming out so the final design is a mystery.

4. Itasa Stole - I cast on New Year's Day and haven't knit on this one since then.

5. New Beginnings Mystery - same as above.


Might do:

1. Mystery Sock - I didn't start but I love the socks and will knit soon.

2. Driftwood - didn't touch. This is on my FAL list so that will change.

3. May Day Shawl - I'm nearly done with this one. A couple more nights on it and it will be finished.


Must Do:

1. Proect Quilting - so far, so good. I completed both challenges for January and am still making it my goal to finish the final four.

2. Handstitched mini - didn't touch. This is another FAL item.

3. Kaleidoscope back - didn't start.

4. Baste Drunkard's Path - didn't do and I also haven't shared the finished top with you. It's just been so very cold, too windy, or snowing. Such is winter here in my neck of the woods. As soon as the elements align I will snap some photos.

5. Emerald challenge - didn't start.

Might Do:

1. Row QAL - didn't start.

2. John Deere mini - finished!


Must Do:

1. Nesting Place needlebook - didn't touch.

2. Edward Gorey Stitch-a-long - didn't start.

3. Woodland Sampler - I'm making progress but not finished with January's motif. This is the perfect project for working on during my dinner breaks. I completely forgot to take a picture of this but will share it in my next WIP update.

Might Do:

1. Garden Tote - didn't touch.

2. Dessert of the Month - didn't touch. This is what I will work on at work as I get caught up each month with the Woodland Sampler, so that's ok.

3. White on White - didn't touch.

Ok. To make my list for February even crazier, all the unfinished and not started projects above, are being carried over. I am started a new rule for myself that I can't start a new project until I finish two. This will (hopefully) cut down on how many projects I have in progress. With that being said, on to my list for February.


Must Do:

1. Denise shawl - a test knit I am doing. I have started could possibly finish over the weekend.

2. Madison test - another test knit for the same designer as Cora. I am waiting on my yarn to arrive in the mail before I can cast on.

3. Boo Knits Mystery - yarn is here and I need to order beads. This one starts on Valentine's Day.

4. Sourwood Mountain - a WIP from last fall that is on my FAL list.

5. Olympic National Park shawl - this is my project for The Loopy Ewe's First Quarter Challenge. Due date is the end of March but I want to get this one done asap.

6. Canyonlands shawl - this is another shawl in the National Park series. I want to knit all four by the end of March.

7. Cowboy Cowl - this is knit in a heavier weight yarn so it should be a quick one.

February Yarn

Might Do:

1. Abalone - this was going to be my next sweater before I signed up to test Madison.  Yarn is wound and ready after I finish that one.

2. Age of Brass and Steam - a little knit that I will be adding beads to.

3. 28's Big Sister 77 - I had this on my list to knit last fall but didn't get around to it.

4. Business Casual socks - there is a KAL going on for this pattern this month. I would love to join in but am not sure how I will fit it in.


Must Do:

1. Project Quilting - two more challenges will be posted this month. Next one is Sunday!

2. Sugar Block Club - I joined late in January so it didn't go on my list. I want to sew up both the January and February blocks this month.

3. Drunkard's Path - baste and quilt.

4. Thread Catcher - this is a small item that I keep putting of making.

Might Do:

1. Weekender - I bought this pattern when I first started sewing again a couple years ago. I think I am ready to tackle it and have been inspired by everyone's versions that have been popping up online.

2. Low Volume top - I still have to get some fabrics for this top before I can start.

3. Dogwood Blossom - this is from the Handstitched class. I want to make the Medallion quilt but know it will be a slow project for me.


Must Do:

1. Woodland Sampler - finish January and February motifs.

2. Reindeer banner - this is Christmas themed but I know it will take me some time to do. I want to work on it slowly over the course of this year.

Might Do:

1. Sampler from school - I don't think I ever shared the start of this. It was going to be for an assignment but I didn't finish in time. I still want to stitch it up for me.

2. Cloth from EEC class - I need to find it so I can work on it.

Wow, sorry this post was so long. Wish me luck finishing a bunch of these so my list in March is shorter. Otherwise, I may just have to spend March only working on WIPs.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Project Quilting Season 4, Challenge 2

Available time was a crunch for this challenge but I did manage to make up something. The challenge was called "My Favorite Color" and the parameters were to use a single color and white.

Project Quilting Season 4, Challenge 2

For mine, I picked blue and grabbed random scraps to improv piece together. This is not my usual way to put something together - this not thinking it over thing - but it was fun. I then quilted it with random lines and bound it with some more fabric from my scrap bin. This ended up 4" x 6", so a nice little mug rug.

I will be back with my report on my January to do list. We can all have a laugh about it and then some more over how ambitious my plans for February are. It's ok. I love having big plans and at least striving to complete them.