Sunday, March 25, 2007

Finally back to blogging

I can’t believe it’s been 6 weeks since I blogged! The time has just flown by and I’ve been very busy. My husband and I were helping my father-in-law recuperate from knee replacement surgery for about a month. Someone needed to stay with him the first 3 weeks at least and I did a lot of cooking etc. I also have a new role at work which is causing me a lot of stress even when I’m at home. I’ve been working some in the evenings at home, have even been waking up in the middle of the night worrying, my stomach has been hurting and my left eye has been twitching off and on. This is not good! Anyway without boring people with my work issues, I have just been dealing with all of that and though I have been fitting in a bit of stitching and other things, I just haven’t had enough time to sit down and catch up on my blog. I actually have accomplished a few things during this time. You can click on any of the pictures to get a bigger view.

I finally finished off my Cricket Collection carrot ornaments. I stitched them about 2 years ago but then never finished them into ornaments. They were a lot of work! I’ve only ever finished one ornament before but after all these carrots I now feel experienced. Then I had to get my Easter tree ready and hang up the carrots. Here they are, I think they turned out pretty cute if I do say so.

Luckily I bought some green wired ribbon 2 years ago because I looked for more now and couldn’t find anything. I don’t know if anyone else has this problem but good ribbon is really hard to find. I really only have Joann’s and Michael’s as a resource and it’s hit and miss with what they will have in stock. I’ve searched online as well with little luck. I had one roll that was perfect and wanted more of it but it wasn’t to be I guess. That’s why I don’t make a lot of cube-its either because it’s hard to find good ribbon to use and especially if you need a specific color to match something. I also finished up a little Easter wallhanging that was very close to being done. I think it's really cute, it's a pattern by Bare Roots. I didn't like the border I had put on and just decided to pink the edges and leave it at that.

Two weeks ago I went on a weekend retreat with my quilting buddies. We had a blast! We go to a place where they have built a special facility just for retreats so each person has lots of room, all your meals are cooked personally by the woman who runs it, and needless to say, she is booked through 2008! It’s a very popular place for quilters, scrapbookers and other crafty groups to do group retreats. While I was there I finished up the binding on a Christmas strip quilt I made a year ago (yes an old UFO). My friends and I cut up all our old Christmas fabric we no longer wanted last year and we all made scrappy strip quilts. I also made the quilted bag you see below from some leftover quilt fabrics. Then I finally completed the blocks for another quilt I’ve had going for awhile – all 168 of them! I hope to sew them into a completed top soon but then it probably will sit for awhile before I get it quilted. Most of the quilters with longarm quilting machines around here are booked up months in advance so it takes awhile (and some cash of course) to have it done. I don’t like quilting big quilts on my own sewing machine and this one will be queen size so I’ll have someone else do the machine quilting for me.

I finally got down to my LNS last Sunday for open sampler stitching. I had the last 2 Loose Feathers patterns waiting for me so you know it’s been awhile since I was there! I also picked up some stash – the Alyssum Scissor Pocket to match my Gingher scissors, a few Dinky Dyes, a pattern to make Easter cards on those cute Tokens & Trifles paper cards, yet another CHS pattern called “Be My Love” that the store had a beautiful model of, and Jane Timmer’s (Fancy Work) latest set of accessories for the small Whitman tins. I have several tins and really need to get going on stitching smalls for them instead of just stacking them in my cabinet. I also picked up my Merry Cox kit for her class “Flowers in the Fall” seen below (picture quality isn't too good but you get the idea).

Merry Cox teaches classes at my LNS (Attic Needlework) usually every November. I know some people must think I’m crazy but this is the first year I’ve actually signed up to take one. Almost all her classes are for making smalls and things with a lot of finishing work which I really don’t enjoy much. However, I know a lot of people would absolutely love to take a class with her and since I don’t even have to travel I felt I better take advantage of the opportunity. The class is for making a needlebook and pincushion shaped like a little bird. I’m sure the finishing work will be challenging! It’s not that I don’t like smalls and accessories, but I must admit I’m getting just a wee bit tired of them because it seems that is the main thing everyone is teaching right now. I guess I’m probably in the minority though but that’s okay, it’s just that I’m still trying to get myself a sampler wall at home!

I’ve also been doing a bit of knitting, but just to make myself some dishrags. A few weeks ago I finally threw out some knitted ones a coworker’s 95-yr-old mother had made me a few years back. They had lost all their color and really looked bad but I hated getting rid of them. I decided that I should be able to make my own even though I haven’t knitted anything in over 25 years. I had a friend help me with remembering how to cast on and off and I am now on my second dishrag. I plan to make several and send some to my mom and sister. They are easy and relaxing to do with no counting and a very simple pattern you don’t need to pay much attention to. I wouldn’t mind knitting myself a really nice couch throw someday but that’s about as far as I want to take it. I have no desire to make scarves, socks, sweaters, etc. I live in the southwest where it’s warm most of the time and I don’t have a big need for a lot of hand-knit sweaters and scarves.

I also have been trying to participate in UFO night with Cathy and the others on the Legacy Board WIP/UFO forum. I pulled out “English Sampler” from the old Treasures of Needlework magazine. I took a class in this I think in 2005 but haven’t worked on it in a while. I really want this piece done this year. When I was working on it this week the knob on my oldest set of scroll rods broke so I had to take it off and work in hand. I’ve had that set since 1993 and I don’t have any spare sets right now that don’t have a project on them. I will need to pick up a new set depending on what my LNS gets in stock. Here’s my progress to date on the sampler plus a picture of the completed one from the magazine. This is my first time doing lacis work.- I just hope it turns out well.

Well I don’t know if anyone will stop by my blog anymore since I’ve been dormant for awhile but I welcome anyone who does and love to read comments. I am glad to be back to blogging again.