Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Momma needed a new frock!

Well, actually a skirt to be precise. I made my first Florinda skirt a while back, but hadn't had a chance to wear it, or even seem to get a picture of it, but yesterday the sun was shining and it seemed warm enough to wear a skirt to work. Too bad I didn't realize we were under a "wind warning" and the winds were gusting at about 90kms/hour yesterday. Go figure. The one day I wear a skirt in almost a year. It was ok though - a little dicey walking from the far end of the parking lot to the office, but I managed to keep the skirt in the realm of decency and all was well.

Here's me in the first skirt I made - this one had a full maternity panel, which I will definately appreciate as the months go along and I get bigger.

Being as pleased as I was with the first attempt, I decided to throw caution to the wind and make a second skirt. This time doing a different waist. I love this skirt too! And seriously, I cannot say enough good things about this pattern. It's a great fit, the instructions are well laid out and easy to understand. Even if I'd barely sewn a stitch in my life, I think I could have made this pattern successfully!

Since I am becoming like a teenager who refuses to go to bed at night despite knowing I have to get up in the morning (ok - well, I'm in bed by 10:30 at the latest unlike a teen who would willy nilly stay up until the wee hours of the morning) I've also been able to get some work done on the second baby quilt I'm making. This is the "girl" quilt. I'm using Moda's Oh Cherry Oh honey bun to do the strips. I wanted something a little more fun and funky than classic for the quilt. I am considering doing a sort of aqua blue sashing fabric just to add to the fun. Not sure yet though - we'll see once my blocks are done.

Now, I have to say that a honey bun is fantastic. I can not even begin to imagine cutting out all those strips of fabric I would have needed. I'd still be cutting by the time baby to be was a parent to be at the rate I cut things (and at the rate of disasterous results with my cutting - I seem to have trouble with the straight lines!) I've got two 8 strip panels sewn so far - I think that will make 10 blocks. I've three more panels to go. They do take some time, but I'm learning to streamline the process as I go. Instead of sew, iron, sew, iron etc. I do sew, sew, iron, sew, sew, iron. It doesn't seem like it would make much difference, but it has! So here's my in progress shot.

A good use for the time being unused jolly jumper too don't you think? ;)

In knitting news - yes! There is knitting news these days! I've managed to finish one of the sleeves on the Plath Cardi and am underway on the second sleeve. They're 3/4 length. It shouldn't take me long. I hope. Although the last sleeve took me probably a month or more. But I'm motivated now. I really am.

Why the sudden motivation you ask? Simple. I'm dying to cast on for another project, and I won't allow myself the luxury until Plath is done. My good friend, K, messaged me the other day asking if I'd like some of her mom's yarn stash. Her mom, had sadly passed away suddenly recently and K and her brothers were trying to sort through things. I went on Saturday and let me say, K's mom's stash put my stash to shame. She had the most incredible yarns in that stash of hers - and what a knitter she was!! I have a Lopi sweater that I've always wanted to make since I got the pattern about 13 years ago, and thanks to K and her brothers, I have exactly the Lopi yarn for it. I also have accquired some Euroflax Linen, some Arucania Nature Wool, some Patons Classic, quite a bit of White Buffalo 6 ply, much more Lopi and some other lovely treats as well. (and to let you know the scope of the stash in question? I did not even make a dent. Not a dent!!)

So thank you to K and her brothers. Your generosity is greatly appreciated! I am honoured to have this legacy from such a incredible craftswoman as your mother was.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A little progress...

So not much has been done in the way of crafty persuits in my household over the last week. I had such high hopes, but they were kind of dashed when we got our two weeks worth of homework for Bella's puppy school.

It's a doozy of an assignment! We have to have her tethered to us at all times that we are awake and home. (I'm currently thinking of how practical it would be to leave home for the remainder of the assignment!). Needless to say, having a 60lb four legged furry barnacle attached to me at the hip has greatly decreased my time (not to mention energy) for much of anything.

However, I did get some sewing time in this week after everyone else had gone to bed. I paid the price for staying up late, but got at least a wee sense of satisfaction in accomplishment. I finished the "surprise" quilt top that I mentioned before. Now to back, quilt and bind the sucker. That'll be a whole other journey in madness I'm sure! I also got the top done for the first of the two baby quilts I'm planning on making.

Now just to choose fabric for the backing and binding on this one too! I've got some thoughts rattling around in my head, but haven't quite decided what route to take with it just yet.

I have high hopes (once again) that this weekend, being the long weekend, will bring me lots of time for enjoying my sewing and maybe some knitting as well! I think I've managed a total of four or five rows on my plath cardi, which, would actually be perfect for wearing right now. Must get some time to finish it!!!

So keep your fingers crossed for me please!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Need a Few More Hours Please

And to stop needing to go to bed by 8:00pm. This early to bed nonsense is really cutting into my crafty time these days. Baby Bean goes to bed between 7:00 and 8:00 and unfortunately, I'm fast on his heels to bed myself. I need to either quit my job and become a lady of leisure or find a few extra "awake" hours in the day.

I had really hoped to get in loads of sewing time and maybe some knitting too this weekend. It didn't happen. Now it's Monday, back to the weekday grind which means I'll have to wait until next weekend to hopefully get to any crafty type stuff.

I did take a few minutes while the baby napped yesterday to cut out my squares and decide on a layout for baby quilt #1, which in my head I'm thinking of as the "boy quilt" - although (BF)G tells me he thinks it would be great for boy or girl. He just groaned and shook his head when I told him, "But honey! I've got more fabric and a different pattern coming for a "girl quilt!" I believe he's quickly realizing that he's fighting a losing battle here.

As I was saying, I laid out my squares and rectangles for the Charm Squares Baby Quilt. I'm quite tickled with the fabric I chose for it! It's busy, bright and cheery.

After doing my layout, I got N to come over to the table and take a look at it. I told him to see if there was any of the squares he felt should be switched around, and asked what colour I should get for the sashing. He was quick to take interest and told me he thought a light green like the background colour of one of the squares would be great for the sashing. I'm going to follow his advice (green is exactly what I was thinking too actually) and go on the hunt for the perfect fabric. I forgot to ask him what colour I should do the binding and backing in. Maybe I'll ask him tonight. For a 15 1/2 year old boy he's pretty good with this whole quilt planning business!

Quilt layout - minus the sashing in between of course

Monday, May 03, 2010

I seem to have a new obsession...

I have a new obsession. I sensed it could become a problem last year, but then it sort of settled down to a mere interest until just recently when it grew back up into a full fledged obsession. Perhaps addiction – I’m not sure which term would be more appropriate.

Let’s just say I’ve always had a bit of a thing for textiles. I grew up in a home where sewn and hand knit items were not just common place but kind of a way of life. In high school I took three years of Fashion Design Technology. I sewed like a fiend for the kids when they were little, worked in a fabric shop in the late 90’s (didn’t make much money at it, but worked there none the less and had a great stash to show for those long hours on my feet), and have done more than my fair share of dance costumes and odd “freelance” type jobs. A great fabric calls to me in the same manner that a great yarn calls to me. I’m weak in the presence of it.

I’ve collected quilting magazines and books over the years - what did I do with those books anyways? I had a great stash of them too, now I’ve no idea where they’ve gone. Did I get rid of them at some point? Seems unlikely but one never knows over the course of time. Despite collecting patterns and books though I’d never been quite brave enough to try it until last spring, that is, when I was expecting Baby Bean and I decided it was high time I should try making a quilt.

Well, the quilt turned out lovely and I was hooked. I’ve got a second quilt in the works, but Baby Bean is not one to let mama sit and sew for very long so it sits in one of the bins waiting for a good time to work on it. It’s also a bit of surprise for one of my teens, (won’t say which one just on the off chance they someday stumble upon these musings before the quilt is finished and presented) so it’s also got to be worked on only when the kid in question is not home.

In the meantime I have discovered something wonderful. Pre-cut quilt fabric bundles. Layer Cakes, Jelly Rolls, Honey Buns and Turnovers, OH MY!!!!!!!!!! In the last week alone I’ve succumbed to two different charm packs, a honey bun and a turnover. At this rate I sense I may have a bit of a problem. But they really couldn’t make quilting any easier could they?

Then I discovered my next problem the Moda Bakeshop. Well, now if the people over at the Moda fabric company aren’t just the smartest marketing strategists around I’m not sure who is. I went to the bakeshop for ideas of what to do with my newly acquired stash and what happens? Not only do I come up with a myriad of ideas for my stash, I come up with a myriad of ideas which now require stash.

Anyone know of a program I could get into? I think I need some professional help!

PS: New knitting to show as well! Here’s a picture of G’s “Championship Piggie”. The pig seems to somehow oddly be the championship mascot for her dance school, even their school tank tops and shorts has a little pig on them, so, and this year I thought I’d make her one to take with her for good luck. Piggie even has some "motivational" type charms strapped around his neck. I told her yesterday - "You have the Piggie - you have the power" and it seemed to keep her spirits up and motivate her into a 3rd runner up spot! Not too shabby considering lessons and practicing have greatly fallen by the wayside this year between illnesses, injuries, grade 12, and working. Way to go G!!

Focus, Strength, Discipline