Thursday, November 16, 2017

Eventually, something will get finished, right?

 In an effort to post more often, I decided to show some of the many projects I'm working on.  But first, here's some of the precious little ones I get to spend my time with. 

Cait and the kids came over to play with the kittens the other day. John runs out of patience with the kittens faster than the girls do, so we went downstairs and played with play-doh for a while.  Papa was there, and helped Jon make an elephant.  Jon's favorite part was smushing it!

The kittens are growing up fast.  In another few weeks, they'll be ready for their furever homes- just in time to go into lucky little ones' stockings?

So, some of the things I'm working on...

The floors are cold in my house and visitors don't always have slippers.  So I decided to make a few pairs using an easy pattern and some odd balls of yarn I have sitting around.  These are the smallest ones, but they still look big for Jon.

I started these socks months ago.  They are a mix of leftovers from several  pairs of socks I have made in the past.  (Actually the yellow is from a skein I bought to make tiny bumble bees) I thought using the chevron pattern would highlight the stripes.  Someday they'll be done. 

I'm still stitching on my embellishment projects now and then.  This one is going to get lots of stuff added to it, I think.  For now I'm using this sort of knitted thread I got in one of those "Oliver twists"  and adding some more circles to the background. 

This is the one I have worked on the most, obviously.  It's almost ready for beads!  I was really pleased with the way the maidenhair stitch turned out!

I'm also trying to work on my "naughty or nice" challenge pieces.  My machine is still being hinky.  I have an appointment to have it looked at in a couple of weeks.  It hasn't been my month for machinery.  I'm pretty sure lightning hit very near my house.  My computer area was affected, and the computer probably has to be replaced.  The printer wouldn't even turn on.  I don't know if it was too much for the surge protector, or if the surge protector had been damaged in a previous power outage.  There is no way to test them that I know of.

There is so much in the news that is upsetting that I don't even want to know anymore.  But we can't let them get away with any of it.  Choose one thing if it's as upsetting and overwhelming to as it is to me. One group or organization to be your information portal, your issue to support, your opportunity to raise your voice.  Don't give in, don't give up!

I am grateful for:
A room full of kittens for the days I'm feeling magenta
Cold weather = more sewing time
Jonathan giving me big hugs and saying he loves me.
Soup in a bread bowl
Extra sewing machines!

Friday, November 3, 2017

I'm busy, but nothing gets done!

Wow!  Has it really been this long since I've posted???
I know I've been busy, but when it comes time to think about a post, I neer seem to have much to show. 

 A couple of weeks after my last post, I had minor surgery to remove and repair a basal cell carcinoma from right next to my nose.  I had this once before but had a simpler procedure to remove it.  This time I opted for the one that ensures the cancer is all gone.  It's comforting to know that, but it leaves a larger wound, and requires a lot more time to heal.  I still look like an accident victim a month later.    I joked the day I went to work after removing the bandages that I could be the poster child for wearing sunscreen.

One thing I did get done this month was this dress for Kiara to wear for Halloween.  She said she dreamed about it when she first asked me to make it for her.  We went together to the fabric store and picked out the pattern and the fabrics.  (Thank goodness I had a coupon for that brocade!)  When we got back from the store, she declared she would be the queen of Halloween!
 I was invited to join the fun at the Hallowen "dance" at school, which is really a bit of a free for all for the kids.  I revived my Corpse Bride costume for the occasion.  I had to wonder how many people thought my scar was make-up.

I have also spent quite a lot of wonderful time with my Jonathan!

 Whenever he comes over, the first stop is the "nursery" to see the little kitties.  They weren't quite sure what to make of him this time.

He likes to look at all the junk in the sewing room.  Today he spent some time " stabbing the bunny" with pins.  He had at first been trying to put them in a hole in the acrylic table, which would have put them on the floor.  The bunny seemed a safer choice.

 We played with play-doh for a bit.  I make animals for him to smash flat.

The week of October 21, the Museum Quilt Guild enjoyed a visit with award winning teacher, Laura Cunningham.  I took both classes, which you can read about at the guild's blog.

The first day was a beginner class for free motion quilting.  In spite of my machine not playing nicely, I was very pleased with what I did as practice.

Laura calls these practice pieces "dirty laundry".  I think I'll use it as my warm up piece for a while, filling in and doodling around what I did in class.  Then I can refer to it for examples of designs, or even make it into something useful!

On the second day the class was called Paisley feather zentangle fusion.  Laura liked the look of the zentangle art form and wanted to use it in her free motion quilting.  Her sample piece is still not quite finished, but was still an inspiration to us all! 

While she explained the process to us, I saw the large paisley with the spiral in my head as the basis for my own design. 

The fabric is one I painted with either setacolor or dye-na-flow paints.  I am using mostly purple rayon thread for my designs. 
Once again my machine balked a bit so the back has a few snarls on it.  

This is how it looks right now.    In the critique session, it was a greed I should enhance with turquoise and chartreuse threads as I continue.  I didn't agree, but do like the added layer of interest the different colors add now that I've done it. 

I mention my machine because I am pondering switching machines for my FMQ.  I loved the elna 740 when I got it- thought it was the answer to my prayers.  But over time it has gotten fussier and fussier regarding what threads and what designs it will accept.  I do the quilting myself in part to have the satisfaction of doing it myself, in part to save money and mostly to be able to choose to do exactly what I want on my quilts- using the quilting to enhance or add to the pieced designs.  It should not be a battle. 
Stay tuned...

Please continue to resist.  Call, email and write to your representatives, and the president.  Sign petitions.  Donate to causes you support.  And stay informed, as painful as that can be at times.  This administration's actions could have long lasting impact on our environment, our rights, our world.   We have to try and limit it!

I am grateful for:
Being so close to my grandchildren!
Being able to laugh at myself while I looked like the bride of frankenstein
Working in an office where people enjoy my silliness
The times when my machine and I get along.
Tomorrow I get my hour back!