Color Crush, Ta Da Done

the never-again scarf

I cannot visit pursoho.com without falling in love.  This is the third scarf I have purchased materials for from purl soho because I want to own it, not because I want to make it.  The other two are languishing on knitting needles.

Because this scarf was sewn, not knitted, it got finished.  I made all of the tassels in one tortured Friday night – adorably complaining the whole time.  While my sweet husband kept gently prodding me why I was doing something voluntarily that I hated so much.  Such a good question.

IMG_4580

My purl soho scissors with sweet little lavender tasselsIMG_4582

All 14 of the little bastards made and trapped in plastic because cats.

IMG_4704

Getting proficient enough with my rolled hem foot to finish the scarf was a second night of unhappiness.  But I love the scarf.

IMG_4687

I need to wear the scarf while I have these nails that match it so perfectly.  Well except for the scarf is understated purl soho style and these nails are Dolly Parton over the top.

Advertisements
arting, Color Crush, embroidery, In Progress

Designing

Today is the birthday of a friend who died a year and a half ago.  I have had people I love die, but I have never felt grief like this before.  The pain hits me less often, but when it does it is unrelenting – feeling the shock over and over again.  She just isn’t alive – she isn’t here – she isn’t coming back.

As I started to book things on my calendar for this week, every time I would see “Laurie’s birthday”, I would have to choke back body-shaking sobs – ending up in the bathroom at the office more than once to avoid embarrassment and awkwardness.  I have been a puddly crying mess.  So I made the decision to take today off to allow the grief to happen.

So I spent the day crying and sewing.

Laurie’s favorite color was purple.  And mine is orange and every gift she gave me was orange in color.  Gah.  This is so hard.

So, I had a grand vision of making a purple and orange quilt today – soup to nuts – to donate to Project Linus.  It didn’t go as planned.

I sorted my scraps, made a design, cut cut cut, made the first row and was very unhappy with the outcome.  I didn’t like the setting squares and strips and I really should have used white squares instead of low-volume squares for the corners of the blocks.

IMG_4526

I got rid of the setting squares and did a new row and like it a bit better.

IMG_0154

But then it was 4:30 and I was frustrated.  I decided to try a new project I have been thinking about a lot.  An interpretation of a Paul Klee painting.  And it just like flowed.  Something about the grief and the frustration and I found inspiration.

IMG_0167

I can’t describe how much I love this.  The design, the colors and the total brick stitch are ticking all the boxes.  But most of all this doesn’t look like anything I have seen before.  It feels new.  It feels creative.  And my mind is swimming with all of the other types of abstractions and color combinations I can do.

IMG_4528

I probably won’t get back to this until Sunday.  I miss it already.  But proud of myself for finding something new.

IMG_4532

 

Color Crush, cross stitch, embroidery, Ta Da Done

style

I adore the Pretty by Hand blog.  Her colors, her patterns, her everything make me swoon.  Sweet little flowers and pink and lace.

But when I try to stay sweet and pink, it feels false.  And modern solids and straight lines aren’t quite me either.

Begrudgingly I admit my style is floral cacophony.  I shudder to say almost boho.  If left to my own devices, it would be all the colors and all the flowers all the time.  Recently, I have been making some things that fit into that style – I am leaning into it, and enjoying it.

I have a whole basket of multi-color florals.  I dug those out and some text grey and creams and have started to cut and appliqué circles.  My technique is lacking, but getting better.

IMG_4475IMG_4476IMG_4474

For this project, I cut some of my favorite floral fabrics (using my Cricut Maker).  I just never could think of a project good enough to use them.  I have moved past that now, knowing that the universe will provide more lovely floral fabric when I want it.  It is almost certain.

And then there is this needle book I made from this tutorial.  All the flowers and all the colors and I couldn’t be happier with it.  This much visual noise makes me happy.

IMG_4489

This little needle minder was a present from my husband for Christmas.  Those adorable scissors are from Purl Soho.  I am going to get them in a different color eventually so that they stand out more from the background fabric.

img_4488.jpg

Each page stores a different type of needle.  This page is for appliqué pins and needles.  And I know it is for appliqué stuff because there is a wee appliquéd circle on the page.

IMG_4492

This page is for quilting needles and milliner needles (when I get some).  Milliner needles are supposed to be good for English Paper Piecing and french knots.

IMG_4491

This page is for tapestry needles.  And I also am storing my adorable tulip pins here.

IMG_4490

And this page is for embroidery and beading needles.  Love love love.

IMG_4484

And all tied up with a bright orange ribbon.

Here is to finding and falling in love with one’s own style.

 

 

 

Color Crush, Ta Da Done

pneumonia and baby quilts

A bit of a ditch on the road of life the last couple of weeks.  I was hospitalized with pneumonia and a tummy infection and crud and stuff.  Prior to spending a night in the hospital, my longest and worst night was an overnight train ride from the sticks of Romania to the capital.  Pee kept gurgling up in the sink in the train car and drunk people kept crashing into our car and I spent the night willing myself to just make it to daylight without throwing up.  That night was a dream compared to the first couple nights in the hospital.  Really, truly scary and the deepest loneliness I have ever known.  Not to make too much of it, but truly horrible.

I am a week out from getting to (finally!) come back home.  And still the surreality of it all is overwhelming.  My appetite is back (boo!), I can go more than a few hours without needing a nap, and all of my symptoms that sent me to and kept me in the hospital are gone.  But the feeing of dread and fear and loneliness still can come back in an instant.  And in my dreams I still am stuck in the room with the IVs and the beeping and the pain.

All this to say, my heart goes to those who are in the hospital now.  And I am so thankful to be home and getting back to normal.

This weekend (in between marathon naps), I finished a couple of baby quilts.  Baby girl quilts that are just so darn cute.

First up is a quilt where the colors of the nursery are teal and coral.  Teal and coral become elusive colors – so easily becoming mint or aqua and orange or peach.  I think the scrappiness covers me – so many different teals and corals and mints and oranges and peaches, that at least some of them have to be right…

IMG_3922

The blocks are simple, but I love the secondary pattern that is created.  But the best part of this quilt is the back.  The stupendous Disco Kitty print by Ms. Pink…

IMG_3924

Those little kitties are just the cutest !!!!!  And this is going to a family that loves kitties, so win win win.  I did my favorite cross hatch quilting that gives a little diagonal pop.  And the binding is a teal (aqua? mint?) stripe that I think echoes the teal-and-white blocks well.  I am really, really trying to get better at the binding.  Time and practice and patience.

Next up is a frothy pink delight…

IMG_3925

I super sized a block from 12 inches to 24 inches and off-center framed it in my most girly pink fabrics.  This palette and flowery goodness is my jam.  Had so much fun making this  – and truly love that some people still want pink for little girls.  Very un-hip of me, but I love pink.  It just makes me happy.  And I think the old-fashioned blue-and-white floral works well with the pinks… and the big8flower sugar centerpiece makes me squeal.

IMG_3927

I backed this one with a peppy little floral to introduce a few more colors.  And bound in a simple solid french-ish blue.  And again simple cross-hatch quilting.

IMG_3928

Boo to hospitals and pneumonia and IVs and breathing treatments.  Yay to quilts for baby girls and pinks and coral and flowers and sunshine.

Bye for now… hope your summer days are filled with joy.

 

Color Crush, family fun, In Progress, stepmoming

Fall!

img_3651

Doesn’t it seem like Fall flies by?  Definitely the best of the seasons and it always goes too quickly.  This year is no different.  We only have the kids every other weekend, so our fall weekends are precious.  When my stepson had an all-day debate tournament last weekend, we tried to get some fall fun in with my stepdaughter, but it was tough.  Every place was busy, no parking, etc., etc.  We did get this one adorable picture of her though.

I have been enjoying some sewing.  I have tried to focus on process rather than pushing to finish a lot.  I have worked on this quilt several weekends in a row – which is pushing against my desire to GET STUFF DONE.  Which is probably good for me.

img_3660

img_3661

I have fluctuated between loving and hating it – but I think I am solidly in the loving it camp now.  I love all the interesting shapes the 1/2 square triangles and triangles make.  And I think I like the color palette – lots of low-volumes and neutrals and a purple-less rainbow.  I had cut several black squares, but it was too overpowering, so they were edited out.  Which means I will be several blocks short to be able to finish my quilt.  But I am ignoring that fact right now.

 

img_3634

I had to make 240 1/2-square triangles for this quilt.  Actually, 480 because I got a little baby 1/2 square triangle by sewing a 1/2-inch over from my seam for the big 1/2-squqr3 triangle.  About a third through the process, I taped guides on the machine so I didn’t have to mark my squares.  Lesson learned – going to do that from the beginning next time.

Happy Fall – I am hoping for cooler weather here so that this little guy will want to cuddle at night.

 

img_3653

Color Crush, In Progress, pouches and bags, Ta Da Done

Obsession

I love purl soho too much.  The gorgeous projects, colors, materials beckon me to a life that is not mine.  Simple, pure, fresh, minimal color palette.  My life is full of complications and color and chaos.  And that is how I like it – for reals.

But I can get lost in the purl soho website.  And I have more than once.  I have banned myself from it.  NO. MORE.  Does that seem excessive?  It probably is, but lets examine the evidence…

It started with this bag…  the wraparound pocket tote.  I love the style of the big pocket on the outside.  I made this as a thank-you gift for a woman at work.

img_3627

It was a challenge.  I powered through and like what I ended up with, but it was a challenge.

And so I made a second of the same tote in the color palette of my life.  And I really, really love it.  The pattern was a lot easier the second time – and very satisfying to make.

img_3626

And now I have a sea of in-progress purl soho projects.

img_3625

Upper Left: A selfish-sewing modular block quilt

Upper Right: An advent calendar with felt pieces.  This one definitely has a deadline.

Lower Right: Letters for my niece.  This is a wonderful project – making an alphabet using purl soho’s amazing felt (you can’t get stuff like this at Joann).

Lower Left: Giant scarf.  Lots of tiny, tiny stitches.  I love the stitching and I am sure I will love the outcome – but this one probably won’t be ready until next fall.

These are just the purl soho WIPs.  Too, too many.  And so I need to play it as it lays.  No more pushing to finish lots.  I am going to do my best to enjoy my stitches, delight in each little finish, and try really darn hard not to start anything new and staying off the purl soho website.  Wish me luck.

Color Crush, Home

New storage

IMG_2650

This was my fabric storage.  Lovely and folded.  It looked like this twice in the last year.  The open storage is perfect for a Type A.  When it comes to storage, I am so not type A.

In addition to the general failings of open storage, this shelf needed to have that piece of wood between it and the wall to not sway back and forth.

What is a girl to do?  Ikea.  Ikea is the best and the worst.  So inexpensive.  And my husband put together two of these labor-intensive cabinets.  And ta-da !

img_3556

I mean, right?  Just love this part of mu atelier now !  A servicable cutting table, lots of scrap storage, and room to display a mini quilt collection as I build it.  Where is the fabric?  There are two more cabinets coming with lots of those baskets so I can put the fabric in there without folding it all to line up.  More pictures and more squeeing later.

It is such a dream to have a room all to myself for sewing, and this beautiful storage makes this even more wonderful.