Friday, August 7, 2015

New Job!!! New Calendar!!!

The past few months have been an unbelievable whirlwind of ups and downs. Most of them involve work and I don't want to say negative things about my past employer so I'm just going to say that it was a very stressful time. Unfortunately I had to take a break from my blog in order to preserve my sanity. The good news is I've gotten a new job that I'm so excited about. I've only been working for a week, but I can tell that it is going to be something significantly less stressful and hopefully more fun. I've fallen out of the habit of blogging so for now I'm going to commit to Friday posts. Hopefully by the end of the year I'll be familiar enough with the habit that I'll resume my old schedule of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday postings, but, as my mom reminds me frequently, I'm starting with baby steps.

One of the things I'm most excited about with my new job is a flexible schedule. Of course this means that every day is different and I don't have set hours. You'd think that with all of the school supplies on sale right now I'd have no trouble finding a calendar, but I'm picky. I found a great one for next year however that still left the last five months of this year that I needed to keep track of. I found this calendar on the clearance rack. It's not perfect, but it will work and the price was right.


What doesn't work for me is how boring it is. I received my copy of American Patchwork and Quilting this week and was thrilled when I saw Jean Wells' pattern for a notebook cover. I haven't been following the piece and play series the magazine has been hosting this year so I didn't want to try the curved, itty-bitty, insert strip piecing that Jean uses. Instead I used her instructions for measuring my notebook, gathering my supply list, and assembling the cover and went with a basic piecing plan for my cover.


I was so excited to find the deer fabric. I got a deal on the end of the bolt and had enough to use it for the lining of my journal. I used 3 fat quarters for the rest of the cover. I think when I make another cover I'm going to use a slightly bigger piece for the main fabric. My tabs are a bit short so I might add something to help hold the cover in place. For now it works and I love how much more personality my calendar has.

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Sisters Sewing Day

*Sorry for the wordiness of this post. The story is one I'm so excited to share, but there's not a lot of pictures. Feel free to scroll down to the bottom of the post to see pictures of the Barbados Bag I made this weekend.

My little sister got jipped when it came to sewing lessons. I'm pretty sure that I was not the best of students (it's possible that I begged for lessons and my mom decided to teach me before I was really ready to learn and ended up breaking her sewing machine) and when my sister was old enough to learn she was battling with some pretty serious health problems. She's had the desire to learn and event knows a little about sewing. Not only that she has quite the stash of fabric from our grandmother and has the machine our mom got when she graduated from high school. I've been dragging her to quilt shops for a while and she's even started buying fabric for that future day when she's learned to sew/quilt.

This weekend we went shopping together and I needed to stop at the LQS to get some interfacing. As I was finding what I needed checking out the new fabrics she started poking around the sample bags that they have. She found the Barbados Bag by Pink Sands Design and asked if I could help her make it. Of course I agreed and we immediately started picking out our fabrics. I wanted to help her make the bag rather than doing it for her so I got fabric to make my own. 

I've tried teaching things to my sister in the past, but since our learning styles are very different it usually ended up in a half finished project and hurt feelings. This time I decided to work one step ahead of her and let her follow the pattern. It worked wonderfully because I had the time to figure out what we were doing. I also let her  follow the pattern and answered questions as she asked them. The only bad thing is that since she was a step behind me the whole time she didn't have her bag finished when it was time for me to leave.  She's got her strap sewn so I think she should be able to do the last steps on her own with phone support as needed.

As promised here's the pictures of my bag!

The back of the bag. (The full shot of the back turned out better than the front.) The blue fabric is divided into two pockets.


On the front of the bag there's a pocket behind the grey pebbly fabric and the blue fabric creates a zippered pocket. The top of the bag is also shut with a zipper. Zippers are still a little scary, especially when step 6 starts with the instructions "Don't be too afraid of this step!"


Thankfully the pattern is very well written with lots of pictures so it was easy to understand. The inside of the bag has two more pockets. I was so excited to find this purple flower fabric. It's the perfect lining and adds this touch of hidden color just for me.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Knothole Moebius Update

It's looking like a tangled mess right now, but it's growing.  (I love how the blue in thd yarn is the same as the blue on my quilt back. I hate that its May and one quilt is barely enough in the morning.)

It's a bit hard to tell, but there are all of these little loops or knotholes in the piece. I can't wait to block it and have those spaces really shine. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Knothole Moebius

I've been enjoying working on my Knothole Moebius Cowl this week. It's a fairly simple pattern so it's easy for me to work on it at the end of the stressful work days that I've been experiencing. My one complaint is that every other row is purl. I don't know why, but purling is not nearly as fun as knitting.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Casting On and On and On

I debated whether or not I wanted to write this post since there isn't much to see. Since I'm trying to get back into regular blogging and I've committed to showing the truths of creating and not just the end result I give you my moebius scarf. When I fell in love with the pattern I thought I was making a mobius scarf where the piece is knit flat and then twisted at the end. Turns out it's knit with the thing twisted from the cast on. All I can say is thank goodness for YouTube. I think I watched Cat Bordhi's tutorial a dozen times and ripped it out three times before everything made sense. I'm still knitting the first round so I'm not completely out of the frogging stage, but it's starting to show some hope.


Friday, May 1, 2015

EPP Travel Case

While working on my daffodil wall hanging I realized I enjoy having hand work that can travel with me. You'd think that with all the knitting I do travelling hand work should be pretty easy, but I don't tend to choose projects that are small and are easy to do a few stitches on when waiting places. I liked the applique, but even the small project was a bit big for my purse, and I haven't found very many applique patterns that inspire me to make them. Enter English Paper Piecing. I know this has been around for ages, but I've never felt drawn to it. I love that it's fairly small, I can just take a few pieces with me at a time, and the seams are short enough that it's easy to pack everything up when my turn is called or my break is over.



Since I want to travel with my EPP I decided my first project should be a case. I love this pattern from The Zen of Making. It has a front pocket for my thread, scissors, papers, and seam ripper. Inside is a divided pocket for my fabric and my completed flowers. When I was really young I found a quilting book at my grandmas and decided I wanted to give it a try. Knowing nothing about quilting and having the advise of two very skilled seamstresses who also knew next to nothing about quilting I decided my first quilt would be a Grandmother's Flower Garden. The quilt never made it past the planning stage, but the pattern has always had a special place in my heart. Since Grandmother's Flower Garden is a common EPP pattern I've decided to make flowers for that quilt. I sense this is going to be a project many years in the making, but that's okay. Sometimes slow stitching is exactly what the mind and heart need.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Celtic Sock Update

One of the problems of RA is that illnesses usually are like dominos which means that if I catch one bug I'm going to catch three or four before health returns. I'm sorry for the recent absence but I should be back now. Thanks for sticking  with me. 

Unfortunately I haven't been able to do much lately, but I am almost finished with the first celtic sock! I'm just about done with the toe, but I wanted to get this posting up before I head to work. 


The front cable is gourgeous but the sides haven't been ignored in this pattern. Check out these cute little braids that run around the rest of the sock.


Pattern is "Celtic Spirit" from Sock Club and  the yarn is one of Knit Picks Stroll Tonal Sock Yarns (sorry I can't remember the colorway right now.)