Thursday, November 29, 2012

List of Things To Do

I am swamped. Literally. I have so many things on my plate it is hard to keep track of it all. So here is the list of things I am trying to accomplish in the next several weeks, and most of them before Christmas.

1. Nativity scene for my sister (This must be completed before Christmas, seeing as how I didn't get her fall tablerunner done before Thanksgiving.)
2. Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls for a friend's mother (Also due before Christmas)
3. Quilt the Fellowship table runner (Before Christmas)
4. Finish the baby quilt I am working (Before baby arrives!)
5. My scarf (While it is still scarf weather)
6. Weekender Bag (Whenever I get done with everything else I am making)
7. Layer Cake throw quilt (I still need to buy backing and everything for this quilt, the top is just waiting around for me to get to it.)

This are just the things on a deadline. There are about a dozen more things I WANT to do, and most of them are waiting until after the holidays. I am so stressed right now I can't put it into words.

My better half is having more medical issues, and it breaks my heart for him. We have hit a brick wall where options are concerned, and I am sick to my stomach over it all. Not to mention the stress of working full time at a job that is stressful in itself. At least at the start of the year I will have more vacation time available and can get a little bit of a break. We had almost a full month with no ER visits, but that ended Sunday night. I had started to think that we had beat this issue, an early Christmas present for us both, but it wasn't to be so. If you are the praying type, please keep us in your prayers, we certainly need it.

We haven't even had the chance to do some housecleaning and put up our Christmas decorations yet. It doesn't even feel like the holidays to me really. With my mother gone the holidays really just kind of seem like any other time of year anymore. I've been in a funk the past couple weeks, and even sewing has become a chore for me. I'm hoping that as Christmas gets closer I will snap out of this little phase and get more in the Christmas spirit. I will say that my Fruitcake quilt is a nice cheerful reminder sitting on our couch now that it is finished. And knitting is very soothing. Its nice and repetitive and once I get in the rhythm I can go for hours. It helps soothe my soul.

I certainly didn't mean for this post to be so depressing, but once I started thinking about all of the things I need to do, and most certainly don't have time to complete I slipped back into my funk! Thanks so much for indulging me.

So I will leave you with a few snap shots of Fruitcake to help me get in the Christmas spirit!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Learning to Knit and other things

I have had it in my head for a while now that I want to learn to knit. Mostly because of this blog. Angela's was one of the first blogs I started reading online when I was learning to quilt, and was amazed that there were other women out there that were as passionate about quilting as I was becoming. And lately she has been posting such beautiful pictures of the things she knits.

Now, I have never been particularly good at working with yarn. I'm not sure how my fingers can work so well with fabric and thread but yard is a totally different story. Years and years ago my mother had taught me the basics of crochet, and maybe I just didn't have the patience or attention span for it at the time (she taught me to sew back then to and it didn't stick that well either) but whatever it was I was horrible at it. So the prospect of knitting seemed daunting, especially because I was always told that it was harder to knit than to crochet. None of the women in my family could knit, at least none that I knew of, but they could all crochet. My sister is a prodigy at crocheting. She can make anything, with or without a pattern.

But regardless of how daunting it seemed, I was pretty determined. When I first started quilting, other than being able to sew two pieces of fabric together I really had no idea how in the world to do any of it, and taught myself for the most part, or learned from my sister. I had never even used a rotary cutter before!

The night before Thanksgiving I sat down with some yarn and a learning to knit book and tried. And tried again. And said some choice words and tried again. And then decided that the learning to knit book was basically worthless and watched some videos on YouTube. And I got it.

And here is what I've been working on. Just a simple scarf, basic knit stitch, absolutely nothing fancy. (I'm not sure I will ever be able to make the gorgeous cowls, sweaters and socks that Angela makes, but I maybe one day will progress to that.) Either way, I am very proud of my scarf so far. I'm using cheap acrylic yarn, I wanted to make sure I could do it before I spent big money on a really nice skein of beautiful wool or the wonderful hand dyed things I keep seeing all over blog land. But I am actually liking the fleck yarn in this particular scarf, and I can't wait for it to be long enough to wear!

I also managed to get some actually sewing done over the weekend. I finished the blocks for a baby quilt I am making for my boyfriend's new niece coming in the next couple months, and I finished the top to a table runner I have been working on for a little over a month. I finally sat down yesterday and pieced together what I had worked on up to that point. It's now ready to basted and quilted this week. It will probably be wrapped and gifted for Christmas. I used Fellowship by Brannock and Patek and some tan texture I had leftover from another table runner I had made earlier this year for the border. I am in love with the colors, I think they are Christmas-y without being overly so.

When I get a chance to spread it out for a good picture I will. I should have another post later this week with some other things I have been working on. I have been super busy, and feeling under the weather yesterday and today too. I am feeling much better this evening after resting for almost two entire days, so hopefully I will be back to myself tomorrow.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Weekender Bag

So this is the project I am scared and excited to start on. My fabric came today, beautiful Denyse Schmidt fabrics in gorgeous colors that I can't wait to start sewing with. But wait they shall. I have one more baby quilt I am finishing up and another quilt for a twin bed I need to get working on, not to mention a couple Christmas gifts I need to tackle. And I know how tough the Weekender Bag is going to be. Especially since I haven't really made anything other than quilts. I have only ever put in one zipper, in a throw pillow cover. As excited as I am to start working on it, I have too many things to try and finish in the next few weeks. But I wanted to share. I had saw the bag somewhere on someone's blog and then stumbled on The Long Weekend Blog Hop and after looking at all the amazing bags I knew I had to give it a try.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Manic Monday

I've been a busy little bee. I finished the baby quilt I had been working on and it will be gifted this week so pictures coming soon.

I also started piecing another baby quilt yesterday and got two more Farmers Wife blocks pieced. Those pictures coming later in the week. I also ordered some fabric for a new project I hope to start after the holidays. I just have way too many projects going on for now. But I promise to post pics of the yummy fabric once it gets here!

I have been doing a lot of Christmas sewing. I basted and started the quilting on my Fruitcake quilt yesterday and hope to finish the quilting tomorrow. I've also been doing some cute Christmas embroidery. I have been seeing the cute little embroidery hoops hanging up on people's walls with the adorable little embroideries. And knew I HAD to make some for Christmas.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sneak Peek

Just because I can't stand not showing it, here is a sneak peek of the baby quilt I have been working on all week. I just finished hand stitching the binding down this evening! I will have better pictures next week after its been gifted.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I Need A New Chair

I took some time off work this afternoon and worked on a few sewing projects. I got the binding sewed to the front of a baby quilt I am working on. It's a gift so I can't post any pictures until next week but I am very excited about it. I also got my retro Christmas quilt top pieced. Funny story about that by the way. I had decided to do 5 rows of 5 blocks and do a nice 60 inch square quilt, or right around there. So I needed 25 blocks. Somehow I miscounted and ended up 2 blocks short. So I got to improv 2 blocks from scraps! Which I actually love even more than the original design. I am calling it "Fruitcake". And it totally reminds me of Christmas circa the 1970s. Which makes me love it even more. And the fact that I found an Alexander Henry print at Joann Fabrics makes me jump for joy! So here it is, Fruitcake! (Look at that cute little improv block in the bottom right corner!)

Oh and the reason I need a new chair? Now, after all that sewing my back hurts.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


I have been so busy I am posting from my iPhone again! It seems like that is the only way I can manage to do a post anymore.

I have been insanely busy not only with work and life but with sewing and quilting too. I've put my Farmers Wife blocks on hold for the moment while I catch up on other projects. I finished the top for a baby quilt for a friend at work. Since its a gift I don't want to show pictures just yet. I still have some hand embroidery to do on it and the quilting. I am trying to get it done before her baby shower in less than 2 weeks! I also finished the blocks for a Christmas throw quilt I am trying to have done by Thanksgiving. Right now my Halloween quilt is still living on the couch and I would hate to have it still there by December!

And of course I am working on my hexagon flowers. I have 9 finished so far and I think I will need 25 or so to make the quilt I want maybe 30 I haven't decided on the size just yet and I need to see them all laid out once I start adding the white around them. Which means I need more paper hexagons!

I will leave you with some pictures of hexagon flowers and the last several Farmers Wife blocks that are my favorites!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hexagons For a Flower Garden

Just another quick post from the trusty iPhone. I went to a local quilt shop over the weekend and picked up some fat quarters of Thirties reproduction prints to start a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt and I'm hooked. I started stitching the adorable little hexagons tonight and had trouble putting them down. It's so easy! I just can't believe that it is that simple. So I sat on the couch after dinner and watched the election results with my boyfriend and stitched hexagon after hexagon. Here is a quick Instagram pic of what I've been looking at most of the evening.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Some Quick Farmer's Wife pics

I'm posting this from my iPhone so it's going to be short and sweet. I've spent the week cutting pieces for some Farmers Wife blocks and working on my snowman embroidery panel. I also picked up some new fabric yesterday that I will post about later in the week but for now here is a glimpse of my latest Farmers Wife blocks completed today. They still need pressed and trimmed but I had to snap a picture!