Wednesday, February 22, 2017

List of Things To DO!

My To-Do list keeps getting longer, and I don't seem to have as much sewing time as I wish I had.

I know, preaching to the choir, right?

I'm reading blogs where people are working on the Splendid Sampler or some other stitch-along and I see new fabrics and fun patterns and I'm so envious...

My list of things to do, in no particular order:

  • Finish the car quilt for our re-retiring pastor... I have the center medallion done but I need to do some embroidery and fill-in blocks.  Others are doing the border.
  • Start (and eventually finish) a donation top for the church guild.  It's mostly cut out.
  • Clean up my sewing room - again.  haha!
  • Help Miss A finish up her quilt back to replace Blankie.  She is piecing both sides and the top is done.
  • Start an exercise program.  Ugh.
  • Put borders on two donation quilts.
  • Bind a quilt that's currently out for quilting (Thanks, Suzi!)
  • Finish my knit-along Agnes sweater (five inches or so, and sleeves)

  • Finish my green Lady's Sweater from last year (just sleeves now...)
  • Knit the second sock for Miss E.
  • Finish wall hanging for church nursery.
  • Complete my tax returns.  Double ugh.
  • Organize my desk.
  • Take my Viking machine in for service.
  • Embroider baptismal napkins.
  • Embroider crosses on some altar napkin.

I'd better stop there, I'm making myself depressed...

Last week I stopped at the Goodwill and scored several great bargains.  I picked up an ironing board, in super shape with a clean cover and pad on it too, for $9.99.  We can use it with our new Big Board.

Then I also spied a Brother sewing machine for $9.99.  It doesn't have a cord or a foot pedal, but I have a Brother embroidery machine that converts to a sewing machine that has the same cords.  I never use the foot pedal because I never switch over to the sewing machine, since I have other options, so I'll find that and us it on the new machine.  I may have to buy a power cord but that's all.  The feet and accessories are all interchangeable so score on that one!

Last thing was a wooden folding TV table for $3.  I've seen a small ironing station made with a wooden folding table that this will work for.  My cousins and my aunt have made them, and I'm planning on making one too.  Here's a picture from Pinterest.

I hope your day is going well...  It's starting to feel like spring, which I know is wrong since it's still Wisconsin and it's only February.  I may try to take a walk in the neighborhood this evening.

Sew on...

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Resource Center Scores Again!

This week, like the last several, is flying past me in a blur!  Tuesday after work I stopped at a funeral visitation.  Then I rushed off to my local quilt guild meeting where I am the raffle chairperson.

The main program was our past president was showing her embellished quilts and telling stories about how they came about.  She does love her bling!  She talked about collecting things with an eye toward adding them to her quilts, and what inspires her to add things to her projects.

Last night Miss A came over with a request for a tan skirt for Friday morning for school.  Yeah, not exactly the four dozen cupcakes for my class tomorrow request, but close!

Tan is not a color I ever buy a lot of for garment fabric.  :-(  But we dug around and came up with a few things that might work... for a Paleo Indian costume.

Let me esplain --  as Ricky Ricardo would say! 

Their school does these fair-like presentations where the students prepare a display and often dress up to illustrate what they've learned about a subject.  Last year Miss A did one on Australia, animals you find there, what the cities are named, the desert, etc.  I had been there so she had some Australian money and a stuffed kangaroo.

Now she's doing a unit on Paleo Indians in Wisconsin.  Paleo is a word meaning ancient, according to Miss A.  It's archeologically 10,000 to 1,500 years ago according to Wikipedia.  So somewhere between the Garden of Eden and recorded history I guess!

Paleo Indians photo from the internet.

Hunting the mammoth...

We dug around until I stumbled across a box of clothing I had saved as potential material for doll clothes.  There was a sort of tan, faux suede skirt from when I used to dress up to go to the office, back when women work skirts and dresses regularly.  And heels.  But I digress.

The skirt had an elastic waist, so with the aid of a large safety pin we made it fit her.  In a flash of brilliance I offered to cut off the hem and make some fringe at the bottom.  Score!! 

Her mom had previously donated a couple of tan tee shirts, so we picked the one that matched best, and we may fringe that one tonight if we are so moved.

She also said she needed a piece of gray fabric for a cave roof.  She and her project partner made a cave out of a large cardboard box.  But they ran out of materials before they finished the roof, so we found a piece of dark gray fleece that will work.  We stuffed everything in a large plastic bag for transport to school.

You just never know when that resource center is going to come in handy!

I wish I could have scheduled time off tomorrow afternoon to go see the presentations!  I'll have to rely on Mom's cell phone video viewing later... I'm sure it will be both amusing and amazing.

Sew on...

Friday, February 10, 2017

Where Did The Week GO?

I can't believe I haven't posted this week.  Well, no, actually I can. Life has been pretty crazy lately.

My youngest Grand stayed overnight with me twice this week.  DD has had a busy schedule.  It isn't any trouble, Miss A is very self-directed, but I enjoy the time spent in math homework or reading with the kid, or just chatting!  I'd rather be doing that than laundry or even sewing.  (Gasp!)

Last week I joined a Knit-Along at a local yarn shop, and I've been busy knitting a lovely green sweater while watching pre-recorded programs on TV in the evening.  My stock of Jeopardy recordings is huge, I'm watching the January shows right now.

This is where I separated for the sleeves and body.  I've
knitted another five inches past that now.
At work I was part of a Project Manager training class from Monday through Thursday... I absorbed a lot of technical knowledge and hopefully that will be of benefit to my work life in the future.

We're mid-stream with our Call Process for a new Pastor at our church.  We had good news, our top choice is coming this weekend for a visit with the congregation, bringing in his wife and youngest child.  That involves a dinner on Saturday evening.  I'm on the clean up crew.  :-)

My friend Suzi the Quilter had a birthday this week.  I hope to have a surprise for her this weekend and wish her many happy returns of the day.

Yesterday I had THREE conference calls or meetings nearly back to back.  I barely had time to go to the rest room between meetings...  those days are so difficult that when I get home after work I just veg out after supper.


At this point I'm saying I am so thankful that my DH does so much at home!  His life contributions give me the ability to do what I do.  As my oldest Grand would say, I Literally Cannot imagine what I would do if he wasn't doing what he does!

I am glad to have a weekend to look forward to... there is no family sewing tonight because my dear Aunt is in Florida with some friends, enjoying the sun and the surf.  Tomorrow I'll enjoy a pot luck supper as only the Lutherans can do them, and on Sunday afternoon I will take a nice long nap on the couch, maybe with my knitting in my lap or maybe with a cat there instead.

Have a good one yourself!

Sew on...



Friday, February 3, 2017

Wisdom for Friday

I was on a deadly boring conference call listening to people talk about things I didn't understand and had no interest in.  I get to speak for about three minutes at the beginning of the call and then that's it for two hours.

Enter Pinterest.

In no particular order:

The last one goes both ways, finding the right guy works the same.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Agnes Knit Along

Never having learned to limit the number of projects on which I am working at one time has sometimes been a blessing and at other times a curse.

I know that some of you know what I mean.

Here's my current list in process, in no particular order...

  • Knitting my green lace sweater - I'm down to sleeves only!
  • Knitting socks for my oldest granddaughter.  One is done.  The second one is cast on.
  • Planning and executing a masculine quilt for a charity request for church
  • Layering and quilting a small charity quilt for my LQG
  • Planning and executing a portion of a quilt for our vacancy pastor
  • Making a chair cushion for my office chair
  • Making a cushion for the cat seat in my front window
  • Knitting a pair of socks for myself
  • Sorting and organizing the church quilt patterns
  • Knitting various doll items...
  • You get the drift --
So it should be no surprise to anyone that I started a new project!

Enter the Knit Along...

My local yarn shop advertised a simple sweater Knit Along (KAL) starting yesterday.  Lord help me, I didn't NEED another project but then we know need never enters into things when something shiny
and distracting comes along.

I do love this shop!  I appreciate it so much more lately, because one of the two other shops within driving distance of my house closed last year.

Cream City Yarn is in Brookfield.  Their yarn is yummy and irresistible.  They can provide you with patterns from and put them into your library there.  It's wonderful.  So I signed up for Agnes -- the pattern below.  I do not think I'll do pockets, because I don't really need them and I know I don't particularly want focus on that area of my person!  
It was a requirement of the KAL that you purchase your yarn from CCY.  I ordered the recommended Puffin by Quince and Co, in a lovely green called Boreal.


Coincidentally the sample sweater was in Boreal.   So I know it's going to be luscious. 

The yarn is a bulky weight and we're working on a No. 11 (fairly large) needle.  At the cast-on party, I resisted drinking the wine and eating the snacks and just cast on.  I had too long a cord on my circulars but managed to do a fair imitation of the Magic Loop with what I had in my knitting bag.

After two inches of neck ribbing, I started the body of the sweater and actually had several rows of increasing for the raglan sleeves done when I left after an hour and 45 minutes, so I am hopeful that this one will be actually finished some time soon!  (Wish me luck.)

When I got home I knit a few more rows while watching the news, but I'm thinking I might frog stitch back to the ribbing because I'm not fond of the appearance of the increases I'm using.  Maybe I'm doing something wrong because I'm making holes.  Not good!!

I also didn't remember to take a photo of what I'd done thus far, but since I'm tearing it back, there's time to do that.

Additionally, I could not resist a few other skeins while I was at Cream City.  I did get a free cowl pattern with one of my choices, and I bought some very cool navy/white sock yarn.

With the nine skeins for the sweater, plus the rest of my purchases I think I added a couple thousand yards to my stash.

Just kidding!! Not mine, a random internet photo...
Sorry, I couldn't resist these either...

Knit on...

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Praying for Discernment

Since time immemorial, people have struggled to gain leadership positions, in many cases in order to lord it over the people they feel are less than their equals.

I don't usually get political.  I don't discuss my voting preferences, although I would hope that people could tell that I'm on the side of good and fair by how I act and how I speak.

I'm so disappointed in our leadership right now.  The opportunities to do good and be fair are there but no one is taking them.  But we saw this coming, we shouldn't be surprised.  I know I am not.

The news is often one-sided.  You don't get the full story in the headlines, and lots of folks don't read the whole story or do their own  due diligence.  If it's on the TV or the internet, it must be true, right?  If it's on Twitter I have to believe it, isn't that the case?

My ancestors were immigrants.  They didn't flee oppression necessarily but they did come to America to have better lives than they had in their homeland.  Not everyone comes here because they hate us or want to blow us up. 

The Bible says discernment is one of the gifts of the spirit.  Discernment is defined as the ability to  perceive, as in something hidden or obscure, or to comprehend mentally.  I am praying that our leadership develops or receives the gift of discernment so that the downtrodden and the persecuted do not get painted with the same brush as the devious and mean spirited.

The current leadership has given the small-minded tacit permission to be cruel and hateful.  You can despise a whole group of people just because of where they live, in spite of laws that say you cannot discriminate on basis of race, gender, age or religion.  I guess hate is the new black, as the saying goes.

This is not what America stands for, at least not the America of which I am or want to be a citizen.  Remove the words "under God" from the pledge?  I think it's already essentially gone.  Either that or we're just as bad as the crusaders of the Middle Ages, doing awful things in His name.

But this isn't the first time, and sad to say unless Armageddon comes, it probably won't be the last.  Here is some insight if you're interested...  Linked in on Barring Immigrants

Lord help us...

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

For the Love of Sewing...

The reason I sew is LOVE.

  • I love the creative process.
  • I love books, and my special love is books of patterns and projects.
  • I love to sew.  Anything.  Or almost anything.  I still draw the line at ugly fabrics.
  • I love fabric.  OMG do I love fabric.  My stash is my witness.
  • I love fabric stores.  I love their samples and projects.  I especially love sales and discounts!
  • I love people. I would never make it as a hermit.
  • I love to sew for the people I love.  I love that most of all.
OK I think you get it. 

I've been asked many times to do sewing projects for people who don't sew, and for some that do but find a particular project too daunting for their own skills or desires.  (Sometimes if it's a real corker like replacing a zipper in a leather jacket or something, I will pass.  Some things even I will not attempt!)

For example, while my cousin can and does sew perfectly well, she was not enamored of the process of adding the triangle pieces to the diamonds for her very complex quilt pattern.  Snail's Trail blocks that I found complicated did not daunt her!  So I volunteered to do the diamonds, because I know I am never making this quilt myself!

There are my cousin's diamond blocks.
I had a very enjoyable evening sewing these while chatting with the cousins and my aunt.  Time well spent.  She said "thanks".  I said "you're welcome".

My granddaughter in her
confirmation stole
Miss E likes craft projects, she did all the lettering and she definitely helped with the embroidery, but I enjoyed this as much as she did.

I made her the dress too.
Miss E designed this dress, I just executed her plan.  She said "Gramma, I love it!  Thanks!"  She looked spectacular in it.  
And of course the rock band project!
When Ben came to me with this project, I didn't realize that it would be so dangerous (I broke a few needles and bent my sewing machine)... and yet it was very enjoyable!  He was impressed.  And grateful!

My latest project was to cover some pillows for a friend at church.  Pillow covers are generally pretty easy.  Squares and/or rectangles, right?  The fabric she brought me was left from a chair reupholster project and she wanted some pillows to match.  She also found a contrasting solid for two other pillows.

The project was easy enough, although I decided to do cording and vary the closures, zippers on the smaller pillows and a button closure on the larger 18 inch squares.

The results were pretty impressive in my opinion... to me it's all about the fabric!

Two rectangular pillow forms, self cording, zipper closures.

Two large square pillows, plain fronts...
And button backs.  I found the
perfect buttons at Joann's.
This project was not complicated, but the result is impressive.  The only real challenge I encountered was that there wasn't a lot of fabric, especially of the print.  There were some extra seams where I pieced sections of the backs of both pillows, and I had some grain issues.  The back of one pillow goes across the grain on the underside and with the grain on the upper side.  Because the print is not directional, it's hardly noticeable.

The owner of the pillows loves them.  I say this not to brag but to remind myself (and you, dear followers) that any time we do something for someone we should accept their thanks and any praise that comes our way.  Say thank you, or you're welcome, or it was my pleasure.  It's OK to discuss the process a bit, point out the details you may have added.

And then shut up!

Accept the love.  Don't say "oh it was nothing".  Don't point out the flaws!!  If the person you are making the item for can't do it themselves, they will think it's magic.  If they could make it themselves, they would have done it, but they asked YOU.  They appreciate your talent and skill.  You should too!

Sew on...