Thursday, January 26, 2023

An Empty Basket

I spent some time tidying this morning. I was looking for a package of stabilizer that I was sure I had in my hand recently. Of course, I am starting to wonder if I just imagined the package. Since I go through a lot of it (bags can take 2 yards if they are large), I will order more, and then it is bound to turn up!

I did manage to do this.


The basket was full of "stuff" which has mostly found homes. I found half finished class samples, from a class I taught a couple of times. I found projects that weren't working, and that I now don't want to finish. I rescued the fabric and tossed the rest. I found the leftover fabric from completed projects, which is now filed away for new projects. 

I also found this.


It is an applique block, in need of the last petal. The fabric needs to be basted and then it needs to have the applique stitch done from the front. It is from an applique class I took some time ago. There are 8 more blocks finished. If I finish the ninth, I could make 3 door hangers or a little 9 block wall hanging. Can I get this done?


This is the front. My points are even pointy! There seems to be three seasons of flowers or leaves. As I recall the instructor had some fancy ideas for how they should go together, but I think I'll just add a bit of sashing. Stay tuned.

Emme is still mourning the loss of the Christmas tree. She is still sleeping on the tree skirt. I ran it through the dryer twice, on air fluff, to try to get the cat hair off it, and I may have to do it again.


She looks like she is daring me to take her tree skirt away.


Friday, January 20, 2023

Project Quilting - Pink Tint

 Project Quilting's Challenge 2 was to make something quilted, in Pink. 

If you have been here awhile, you might have realized that I don't really do pastels. However, I had a few scraps in my scrap box, so I figured I would try to make something. 

I cute my scraps into strips, 1 1/2 to 3 inches wide. I cut a couple of batting scraps inot pieces about 12 x 15". I looked through my zipper stash and found a pink zipper. I looked in my fat quarter drawer and found a fat quarte in pink. After some sewing, some trimming, some more sewing, more trimming and some final sewing, I ended up with this.


This is my new knitting project bag. I needed one to holds a large shawl. Most of my bags are the size that holds socks. 


This is the back.

I remembered to add my label, before I attached the lining.


I have had these labels for awhile, but I keep forgetting to add them near the beginning of the process.

It is based on Noodlehead's Open Wide bag. I have made lots of them, though not usually quilted. The quilting was stitch and flip style. Nothing too complicated.


The pink lining is truly not my style, so I must have won it on a shop hop or something. Because scraps yield more scraps, I have a bag of leftover pink scraps to use up now.



These are some earlier versions of my Open Wide bags. They are great for holding knitting, and I think these were gifts to my Knit Night friends.

If you want to see more pink projects check out the link at the top of this post.



Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Creating My Own Space

 We are currently being bombarded with "experts" telling us that if we use their simple method of organizing, and "decluttering" our world will be blissful. I quickly came to believe that I was hopeless, because none of it worked for me. 

A couple of years ago, I saw a TED Talk by Cassandra Aarssen. She had a system, believed her system was the best, and made a business of organizing other people. One day, she failed. Her client couldn't make sense of her method, and Cas discovered that their is more than one style of organizing, and everyone has to embrace what works for them.

Over the last couple of years, I have been working on this. It is slow, because I am inventing something that works for me. My greatest achievment so far has been storage for my fabric. No, it isn't sorted by colour, or anything like that. I wrap my fabric around comic book boards, to make mini bolts, and store them in two rows in an IKEA Drona.



It may not be the way you would store your fabric but it works for me. I have an ides, I pull out my boxes, and pick what I think works for my idea. I can even roughly estimate the yardage of a piece of fabric I have. One yard is about two wraps around the board. 

So, why am I telling you this? Because, over the years, some helpful people have tried to help me get my things organized. Some of it has helped and some of it has made things worse. Today, I was sorting through fabric that someone (not me) had decided should be hung in the closet on hangers. Since the fabric  was piled up, I only saw the outer ones and lost total track of what was there. Today, I took them off the hangers and found some lovely surprises that will be going into the boxes after I have wrapped them around boards.

I also found a quilt top, the backing and the binding, lost under other things on a hanger. 


Really bright and full of cats, how could I have lost it?  It is a stay-at-home round robin. The challenge was to start with a block and continue from there. This was my block.


It is out of it's hiding place now. I have sent a note to the long arm quilter, to ask when she has time to quilt it. With luck, it will be done soon, and brightening the wall of my stairwell.


Sunday, January 8, 2023

First Finish of 2023

 I actually finished one of the knitting projects that I had on my list of WIP last week.


This is the Free Falling Cowl by Cally Monster. I cast it on Christmas Eve and cast it off on Friday. It is some lovely, addictive lace knit in a merino and silk fingering that was sitting in my stash waiting for the perfect pattern.


The white marks are a dying error (meaning I got the skein on sale) and I think it adds interesting texture to the lace. I was going to block it, but I think it will block nicely during the wearing. Silk can be tricky to block and I would hate to ruin it.

When I made my Findley Phone Case, I used up the last of my 3/4" strap hardware, so I ordered more (just in case). 3/4" is a nice size for a clutch bag strap.

My order came this week from Emmaline Bags.


Isn't it pretty? I bought gold, gun metal and nickel. 

I also bought this.


It confused my husband! It is a seam roller, to flatten my seams on the cork fabric. 

I am back to doing 20 minute tidying of my sewing room as many days as possible. Sometimes, it feels like I am on a treadmill, getting no where, but I noticed today that I got a lot more done in 20 minutes because more of the stuff has a permanent home. So, progress is being made. 

Today's pictures were taken with my new phone. The quality is pretty good. I will need to experiment with it more.


Sunday, January 1, 2023

Another New Year


The number has turned over, again, and I have looked back on my creative finishes for the past year. Some have been more creative than others. 

The biggest change in our house has been the addition of two kittens to our family. After many, many years as foster volunteers, we decided that we should become first time cat owners. Mudd and Emme have settled in nicely, and entertain us with happy view of life.

Mask making was still happening for much of this year. I think, in total, I have made about 160 masks.  Since I can make 2 masks for 1/4 yard of fabric, that means I have used up about 20 yards of my stash. 

I did sew a few other things.

4 zippered pouches
3 purses of assorted sizes
1 quilt was finished and a number of bindings were done
12 dog bandanas became Christmas presents (another 1.5 m of fabric gone)
2 Pillowcases
5 Handsanitizer pouches
1 Paper Pieced Wall Hanging



I did some knitting, too.

5 pairs of adult socks
6 pairs of baby socks
3 hats
2 shawls
1 pair of mitts
1 neck warmer





I don't commit to goals for my creative projects. I like to be able do the thing that interests me, at the time. However, I have 2 shawls, a sock, and a cowl that are on the needles, right now and need to be finished. Hopefully, that will happen over the winter, however, if I hear about a new baby, I will knit something for that little one. My sewing is even more open, often determined by a request from a loved one. Perhaps a couple of finished quilt tops will become quilts.

I plan to continue on my quest to sort through my sewing things. It is amazing how little felines cause a sudden organizing of things to keep them safe. They are starting to learn that their help isn't required when I am knitting.

Happy 2023! 




Friday, December 23, 2022

The Weather Outside is Frightful

 We are getting rain, snow, ice, freezing rain, wind, just about every form of winter weather. This is extending over a large part of North America. It is a perfect day to stay home and knit!

Bear, my favourite fashion model, has been feeling neglected lately, so I got him to model for me today.


He is ready for whatever the day brings. Of course, teddy bears don't really have necks, so he is wearing the neck warmer as a sweater.

The hat is finished.



The pattern is called Bankhead, and it can be found here. I modified it with a k2p2 rib to match the neckwarmer. The yarn is Brave Stripes by Knit Picks and I made the set with less than 200 gm.

I actually got to do some selfish sewing yesterday (why do we think it is selfish if we make something for ourselves?)

I got a new phone, and it was a tight fit in my current clutch, so I saw a new pattern and thought it was just the right thing.


The bag is called Findlay Phone Wallet by Hold It Right There Designs. I added a crossbody strap since I like my hands free. Just beside Bear's head, you can see that I inserted some of the lining fabric into the strap. The flap is cork fabric from a sample pack I bought from MM Cork.

The bag has card slots in the front phone pocket.


It also has a zippered body, to keep my mask, keys, etc.


The fabric is "Not Ameowsed" by Dear Stella. Do you think anyone will notice that my bag is Christmas fabric, in April?

Two finishes on the same day!


Monday, December 19, 2022

Closer to Ready

I managed to get many things done last week.

I did a lot of baking, which is all gone now.  I filled two boxes and sent them off on Thursday, to points west. 

I made 12 bandanas for my granddogs. I forgot to take a picture before I mailed them but this is what they looked like while in process.


I hemmed them all on my serger, I might do a fancier job if I planned to sell them but the dogs don't care. I kept a couple for Doug. He modeled one for you.


I also finished a pair of mittens to go with the neck warmer from last week.


The hat is currently on the needles.

Over the last 10 weeks or so, a quilt ladies from the church have been in overdrive to produce some Advent banners for the church. It was a monumental project, 10 banners with two for each week of Advent and two for Christmas.


I still go to church virtually but my spy took this picture yesterday. The fabric came from multiple stashes. The other side of the church has the same banners in mirror image. My role in making them was largely putting on a couple of bindings. I think the quilters did an excellent job.

The weather has turned cold, and seems to be here to stay this time. It started to snow, late Thursday and by Saturday morning, we had this.


There is a bird feeder under there somewhere. Emme is disappointed that her friends, the birds, have been hiding.


I guess I need to make some cookies for us, this week. And finish that hat!