Why this journey?

I've been retired now for over a year. Husband has been sick but is now doing quite well with new pacemaker. I continue to knit and knit and crochet. Recently I became friends again with my sewing machine so you will see some of those projects, too. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Baby Stitching

 Always fun, always rewarding, always satisfying -- Baby Stitching.  Our extended family is expecting 2 more little ones this year.  Maryland PA granddaughter and State Patrol husband will deliver their #3 tomorrow.  Rhode Island granddaughter (retired USN) and Navy husband will deliver their 1st in July.

The clown quilt is basted and ready for machine quilting.  The printed top includes quilting marks which I will use to begin.  Then I hope to repeat those shapes and do some shadow quilting, filling in as needed.

I use a handy quilting gun to baste.  It shoots those pesky tag things, the ones you have to cut when removing tags from purchased clothing.  Each piece penetrates all layers and holds them together.  The messy part is when you have to carefully cut each one to remove it after the quilting is complete.  Makes a mess of plastic red bits, but I prefer the gun to thread basting or safety pins.
Maybe you can see the little red insertions.  There is one in
the lower part of the "A" and one near the line in the
middle of the "B".

Green flannel for the backing, with
multi-colored bit dots.  Hoping to use pale
green thread for quilting.

Receiving Blanket 

First step is basted narrow hem.  Then a row of
Single Crochet, at 6-8 per inch.  I am using size 10 thread
and a 1.8 (6) steel hook.

At this point I am adding Row 3.  Row 1 looks like a
blanket stitch (the sc/s) and row 2 and row 3 are nested
rows of DC Ch3 DC.

I am making #7 in the picture, with one more row to finish.

Another great find from AbeBooks -- a collection of
edgings by Terry Kimbrough, published 1994 by
Leisure Arts.

Time to face the sewing machine.  I also have jean patches to sew, patching the spots where the former patches have worn thru!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Split Finger Mittens

Darliss to the rescue.  Those black gloves that were too big (scroll down if you click)?  Remember I frogged them.  But I still owed my daughter her glubs.

And Darliss had just finished for herself a pair of Split Finger Mittens.  Here's the finished product.  Fun to make and quite cute tho they look out of proportion until you put your hands inside.

The "L" is for "left hand" and the right hand has a red thumb.
No confusion here.

Sorry, but no link for the pattern since it's from Darliss' storehouse of creative ideas.  The yarn is Patons Canadiana, stash from the 5 Christmas Hatts.  (Here).

I love the bright contrasts and the stripes.  The colors are the school colors for Concordia Lutheran School in Tacoma, where grandson is in 4th grade and his mom and dad are loyal supportive parents.

However -- adding color always means lots of weaving in of the ends, unless you can carry the contrast  without cutting the yarn (which I didn't do.)

Messy messy and lots of ends, the pesky kind.  I'm listening to S.J. Parris' Heresy, more English turmoil during the days of the Reformation.
Here it is "sorted" as the Brits say.

Hoping the Conductive Thread works so the wearer can use mobile devices even while wearing the mittens.

It's twirly twisty 'thread' and hard to sew with.
I hope the 'blob' will suffice.

Meanwhile, the clown quilt is ready for backing and quilting.  This has been a fun project and went very quickly.

 Busy week ahead with quilting and sewing some projects.  Hoping you each have a pleasant week with a minimum of chaos.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

What's that for?

Husband:  What's that for?
Me:  Haven't used it since I made the apron.  Figured it was time. (Apron post here.)
You:  Read (or scroll) to the end to find the answer.  Most of you will have guessed and many of you (no insult intended) will admit to the same behavior.

Working on lots of things -- sewing and knitting and cross stitch.  As a friend recently remarked:  ooooh, too many projects.  I, on the other hand, can attest to the truth:  There are never tooooo many projects.

First one is a wonderful tote kit from Connecting Threads.  It's in their Red Rhapsody fabric collection. Size is about 15 x 3 x 9, not too big and not too small.  This one was my Saturday morning project.

Great collection of coordinated red
fabrics in a charm pack, plus
fabric and lining to go with.

You can see the fabulous lining, plus the mondo
button I selected for the closure.

Mr. Clown, from the crib blanket, has most of his face now.

Must finish some bits of hair outline and his
left check, plus ruffle at the neck

Patches on the overalls and bits of his sox and pink shoes.  Cutie pie!

The knitting?  Not going so well.  Finally got around to the glubs I promised my daughter for Christmas.  Pix below will show progress and pride, but alas:  much toooo big all over.  Kit from KnitPicks, with conductive thread for forefinger and thumb so glove removal is not required when using mobile devices.  Clever.

The gloves have been frogged.  I've rediscovered The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, by Ann Budd.
Not quite a re-do; I'm leaving the ribbing (which has actually been completed for both gloves.)
Will begin again at the ribbing.  

Now that you are finally at the end of the scrolling and/or reading, you may have decided you know "What's that for?"  The "that" is "this" and you may (or may NOT) remember what it's "for."  Giggles.

Yup, I vacuumed the sewing room.
So it's ready for the next project.

Sure hope your Saturday morning has been as much fun as mine.  Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Bring in the Clowns

2013 will be the year of the Baby for this family.  Husband's eldest grand-daughter and husband are expecting #3.  Next grand-daughter and husband expecting #1.  By late summer, we will count 4 Greats in the extended fambly.

When Great #1 arrived I decided a cross stitch crib blanket would be the perfect gift.  I tend not to knit little wearables for little ones -- outgrow before they are even enjoyed.  So I do blankets -- knitted, crocheted, flannel with crochet edgings, and cross stitch blankets quilted after the stitching is completed.

Working on this one for #3 --

He's about 24" tall and wonderfully cute, with
patches on his suit and big floppy shoes.
All clowns have balloons, don't they?  The jolly
guy in the pic above has three of them - a 1 and a 2 and a 3, with
tails and ribbons

And blocks, of course.

And a nap-time wish across the top and the bottom -- Sweet Dreams

The D R E of Dreams -- very colorful

The stamped top and floss (DMC) are from Jack Dempsey Needlearts, a US company.  I like their designs and the quality of the fabric is very nice.  I find I'm preferring this one -- a stamped top only -- to the kits that have pre-quilted stamped quilts.  I will be able to finish this one as I choose, plus it's bigger.

You can see the JDNA pillow slips here.  No pictures of earlier cross stitch quilts.  

Enjoying this project immensely.  The colors are bright and cheerful.  The design is fun.  Best of all, I can think about the baby while I'm working.

Bye for now.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Church Lady's Apron

It's a great pattern and yes, it's called the "Church Lady's Apron" from Mary Mulari Designs.  It's reversible, with a cute pocket detail.  On the pattern, the designer says, "Inspired by a vintage apron and redesigned with modern style and details."  Pattern is from Nancy's Notions.

I have a friend who is married to a firefighter so when I ran across this fabric at Nancy's Notions, I ordered both the pattern and the unique fabric, which is called Fireman Guys' Fabric.  Sewing time:  a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon.

While I know you will be distracted by the hunk, here's the pocket detail, a double one on the front.

Spoon in the 'back' pocket and whisk in the 'front.'
The accent fabric also appears on the ties and the
reverse apron.
Fewer hunks to distract you -- here's the reverse side of the apron.
Even the ties are reversible and long enough
for a big bow.

This is my 2013 return to sewing.  Friend Darliss and I are both happily re-introducing ourselves to our sewing machines.  I've been using mine to piece kid quilts (here and here).  Darliss is busy catching up on mending. 

There are so many fun kits for sewing I'm excited to plan more projects like the apron, maybe a tote or two.

Oh, and if your hunk or your friend's hunk is not a firefighter, check Nancy's Notions for other occupational fabric.  Not sure you'll find an architect or an accountant, but . . .