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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Purple hexies #3 and some Jared units

Here is my third hexie block, finished yesterday.

I just started block four, but haven't gotten very far yet. :)

I have been itching to get back to Jared Takes a Wife for a little while now, but didn't have the opportunity until today. I had a bit more cutting to do. I had to cut 2 x 5 inch strips (not shown), and the 2 x 2 inch squares that get sewn to either end of them. The inner ones:

The outer ones:

That Sizzix cutter and the strip dies are coming in really handy! After I cut my 2 inch strips, I laid them back across the 2 inch die again and cut them into 2 inch squares, easy peasy, and SO much better on the shoulder than rotary cutting all of them.

Then I started sewing the pieces to the ends and together, to end up with star point units.

3 sets down (and 3 blocks already completely sewn together), so only 24 more sets to go, and then I'll be able to start piecing the remaining blocks together.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Part 10 of 24

This wasn't a huge part of Around the World in 80 Stitches, but it still took several days to complete. First a closeup of this section, then the whole design so far.

Now I plan to pull out Chatelaine's Spring Fairy. The tree is the last part, which is pretty, but chock full of scattered stitches (confetti stitching), which is why I haven't finished it yet. But I've printed out a BIGGER black and white copy of the chart so that I can mark off stitches as I go (with a Crayola Twistable, thankyouverymuch, no more highlighters for me).

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Second hexie block

Looks a lot like the first, except the fabrics are in a different arrangement (totally random). Here is the new one, then both together. Such fun! Of course, it isn't a finished block - it will need to be trimmed and then bordered with black (I'm thinking a black batik maybe), and then one more border of some random purple strips. Trying to decide which color I'll do next - but that's a little ways off, since I have 7 of each color to do.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

June's Country Basket

I cleaned up a little bit in my sewing room (okay, so I moved some stuff around and stacked a few project boxes), and this little guy decided to come out to be finished. This marks the halfway point in my Country Baskets project. I don't think I'll get July done in July, but that's okay - this one is taking me a few years to finish anyway with everything else I have going on. Roughy is playing kitty model and sewing room supervisor today.

Celestial Dragon

And after over 4 years of languishing on the shelf, Teresa Wentzler's Celestial Dragon got to come out to play. I worked on the lower left corner some and the dragon a bit. I stitched down to the area where I had a highlighter accident (which is one of the reasons I no longer use highlighters to mark my charts), and I'm very relieved to report that the stitching will just cover the area where there is yellow highlighter on my white fabric (it's an area of about 1½ inches, on the diagonal).

Yes, I still love this design, and it stays in the WIP list. I think I will work on the next part of 80 Stitches next before deciding the next neglected WIP to work on.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Two more

This morning I finished up another set of log cabin blocks and then set in both that one and the set I made yesterday.

Time for a little lunch, then a change of pace - I'll either work on hexies or some cross stitching this afternoon. I have enough purple hexies to go ahead and start making more blocks for the Over the Rainbow quilt. :)

Friday, June 21, 2013

This one looks electric to me

I hung the background fabric on the design wall just to see how it is going to look. It tends to tone down the ones I have already pieced. I have another one queued up and ready to set in, I spent most of the day cutting out fabric, setting in the blue log cabins and constructing another set of log cabins. I have another set ready to sew, and since I have the morning to myself, I will probably work on those then.

Looking forward to a nice, relaxing weekend. Not looking forward to having to go back to work on Monday when sewing at home is sew much fun. Gotta pay for it somehow though. :)

Thursday, June 20, 2013


I took yesterday, today, and tomorrow off from work - staycation leave, and with the exception of some running around that I had to do yesterday afternoon, I have spent a lot of time in my sewing room. I finished up 30 of the 49 alternate blocks for SSS 2013 block of the month.

And then I started playing with Eldon some more. I set in the log cabin blocks I had made before and mocked up on my design wall with the star that I thought looked best with those colors.

Then I made some green log cabin blocks and set those into another star block.

Then I decided to make some purple ones and set those into a third star block.

Here are all three on the design wall together.

Making the little log cabin blocks is quite time consuming, but then picking out the star to pair them with is a lot of fun. I'm just piecing along on one set, then setting them in one block at a time while listening to an audiobook, heaven!!! I have another set of log cabin blocks made, but it's time for dinner now, so I won't be setting those in until tomorrow. Ta-ta for now, more later!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Eight-pointed strippy stars

I finally got all of my eight-pointed stars for Eldon sewn together, and here they all are on my design wall.

I had only made up one set of log cabin blocks (which is what I'll be working on next for this quilt) before I finished the last of the stars, and here I've just laid them up on the design wall around one of the stars I finished sewing up today. I was afraid before that the dark logs might be too dark/bright, but I really like them around this block! Lots of 1 inch strips to be sewn in the future! :)

With the month only half-gone and a few staycation days in my future, things are really looking bright for all of this month's goals to be accomplished on time. I may actually get to work on some other projects as well before the end of the month. Woohoo! :)

Oh, and I managed to talk my new eye doc into letting me get a prescription of just-for-stitching glasses that have an additional +1 magnification. Got them Thursday, and they are perfect! Keeps me from having to try to work around a magnifier or use an additional set of +1 cheaters on top of my regular reading glasses.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Enchanter progress

I really do want to make sure that I stitch on every one of my cross stitch WIPs by the end of 2013. I am counting all of the ones I have already stitched on this year, so I'm not starting from scratch. Here is the first of "the rest" of them, Teresa Wentzler's Enchanter. I'll include a before and an after picture, because I think I made quite a good bit of progress (considering how many fractionals, blended threads, and different colors are used).



So far, my verdict on this one - I still love it and want to finish it one day. The colors are amazing.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fall Frolic, block I

Here is my Fall Frolic block of the month for June, completed, plus the final 3 of block M for this quilt, so I only have 3 more months of appliqué blocks to receive and stitch. I also began working on my half-square triangles that will be used to set the blocks together. Each one pictured represents two so I have 20 done so far out of nearly 200 to do. Next month, since I have no more of block M, I may ratchet it up to get more of those stitched together in time to put the quilt top together at the end.

This is going to be such a warm and fuzzy quilt, and it's definitely mine, all mine! :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A little sewing finish

I stitched this little "Happy Hostess Gift Box" up over the weekend. Used my little 40% off coupon at Joann's to get some Pellon fusible interfacing, picked a couple of scraps off my cutting table, and voilà, nice little happy dance!

The pattern is from the Sew Mama Sew! blog, and I will probably make a few more of these when I'm finished with my goals for the month.

Of course, I'm using mine as a little ort box - it's a decent size (4 inches square), and the heavy interfacing helps it stand up.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

White-on-white can be a little hard to see

I've made a little more progress on Aurora, but it's a little hard to see some of it, because it's white on white. First, the whole design so far, then a closeup of the area I've worked on the past couple of days.

I am working on Teresa Wentzler's Enchanter now, and am really hoping to touch every one of my cross stitch WIPs by the end of the year.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Another rambling post of thoughts lately

Feel free to skip this post because I don't have any new progress to share today. I'm just going to share a few thoughts that have been rattling around in my head.

There are some situations that we can't control. We just have to ride through them and hope for the best that we can withstand them, and outlast them. And try to hang on to our sanity in other, happier things. Some days are harder than others, but we lean on our family and friends, and they help support us through these tough times. I am especially grateful that I have such a wonderful, supportive family and friends, to help me through the stress of the past few years.

I am also grateful that I have fun hobbies to help me focus my thoughts and energies on positive things.

That being said, if an activity that started out as a fun becomes stressful and more like work, it's time to seriously evaluate whether I should continue that activity. So I will be doing that over the next few weeks and months. My mind is almost made up regarding this activity, but I need a little time to step back, let it simmer a bit before making a final decision.

Don't worry, it's not actually as extreme as it sounds - I'll still be quilting, sewing, and cross stitching, crocheting, knitting, and beading, and sharing my progress with you. I still totally enjoy all of that. :) Now I think I'll go do a little sewing. Thanks for listening, especially with me being so cryptic.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Three parts behind in the stitchalong

But that's okay, with everything else I have going on... Here is part 9 of Around the World in 80 Stitches. First a closeup of that part, then a picture of the full design so far.

I have printed out Part 10 (she has released part 12), so hopefully I can catch up with this one fairly soon. I also pulled out Aurora, and she is pretty close to being finished, so I may work on her a little. I would really like to finish one of my big projects (it seems they all are fairly large projects now), especially one that I started so long ago (10 years ago next week).

Once I finish a large cross stitch project, I plan to give myself permission to start a new small project. Something from my stash. Perhaps a Sweetheart Tree heart? I may also need to revisit my WIPs, to make sure that I still want to stitch on them all. There are some which haven't seen my needle since 2009, and most have not seen my needle this year. I know I have been focusing on quilting a lot, and it seemed like my cross stitching mojo had all but disappeared, but it appears to be coming back, and I am looking forward to that! I really need about 3 heads and 12 arms and 72 hour days (all vacation) to do everything I want to do, LOL. But I am enjoying whatever I am doing at the moment, so it's all good.

I miss getting together with cross stitching friends, which I used to do a lot more frequently. Friends move, circumstances change, we develop new hobbies, there are lots of reasons why we don't really get together anymore. But I try to get to Moonlight Stitching at my LNS at least a few times a year, and I am really looking forward to getting together with stitching friends in July, so that will definitely spur the creative cross stitching juices to flowing again.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Getting it done in June

I managed to meet all of my May goals, though I wasn't sure I would complete one of them until last weekend. My steam was beginning to run out, but it all came together at the end. Here is a recap of those, all completed!

1. Complete the May blocks for the SSS 2013 Block of the Month quilt. Done!!
2. Complete the Fall Frolic block of the month (should be H). Done!!
3. Finish binding the Rockin' Rail Fence quilt. Done, and CC is quite pleased with his new quilt.
4. Put the SSS 2012 Block of the Month quilt top together. Done, and I have picked out the backing fabric, so I just need to seam that up and take it to my longarm quilter to be quilted.
5. (Bonus goal) Paper piece the June Country Baskets bottom half and prepare the appliqué top half. Done, and I actually finished the appliqué, plus pieced the top and bottom halves together.

June goals

1. Complete the June blocks for the SSS 2013 Block of the Month quilt and have 25 alternate blocks completed by the end of June.
2. Complete the Fall Frolic block of the month (should be I) and make 20 of the HSTs that will be used in putting it together, minimum.
3. Finish the super secret project that I haven't mentioned on this blog yet - I won't be able to show it until end of July, but I want to get it finished well before the deadline.
4. Finish putting together the additional 8-pointed stars I have cut out for Eldon.

I am taking off a couple of extra days this month to play in my craft room, and hopefully that will really help me put a dent in those goals! I have some other things that I would like to accomplish, but not until numbers 3 and 4 are completed. I really want to get back to working on Clifford's Bear Chase and Jared Takes a Wife (oh, and the June Calendar block), so we'll see how things go with the other projects this month.