embroidery

I’m 44!

A month ago I turned 44.  Never in my life have been worse off in regards to my health or my finances.  It’s bad, ya’ll.

But I am happy.  I love my job.  I have a great family.  And I love all of the crafty possibilities.

And I had a great birthday!

I got lots of flowers and treats.  And I worked on an embroidery project using the most luscious silk thread from my friend Marsha.  All in all it was good.  And my finances and health can only get better.

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embroidery, In Progress, Ta Da Done

March ta-da done

I had a lot of aspiration for March – stuff to get done.  LOTS.  12 projects – 3 per week.  That may have been a TAD unrealistic.

I did make progress on some things…

  • I made the first row of my ombre tessellation quilt.  Here is Toby really inspecting my work.  His tail is a little, um, missing parts.  But he isn’t self-conscious about it at all – I don’t think anyone ever told him.

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  • I got the batting cut for 2 of my project linus quilts, along with finding space in my studio to store a GIANT roll of batting.  And I am pleased as punch that I saved so much money by buying in BULK!

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  • I got the quilting almost done for another project linus quilt.
  • I got the big succulent done on this embroidery.  In love with it.

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And I got four things on my list done done done…

  • My wool Easter eggs.  I made 10 instead of 20.  But 10 is enough.

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  • The never-again scarf.  I need to mend because one of the tassels has already fallen off.  I’ll do that this week so that it still feels like a finish.

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  • And I bound the 2 giantish quilts I needed to bind.  This one feels like a HUGE win – it has been on my to-do list every week for many weeks in a row.  I am just so happy to have the quilts in use.  One of them – pictured below – is a queen size quilt on our bed.  Love sleeping under a quilt I made every night.  And I don’t at all obsess about what I would have done differently while making it.  Not at all. #sane

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There were 3 projects that I didn’t even touch that I had planned to finish.  BUT, I did finish one thing that I didn’t even plan to start – this adorable doll house quilt for my aunt who makes the most amazing doll house / tiny stuff.  Well jeal of her talent, and happy to add to her little amazing universe.  Those little pillows are maybe the most happiest thing I have made all year.

And I did pretty darn good about not starting new projects  – that is my biggest issue with making progress on my backlog.  I started a little English paper piecing (EPP) project that will be the center of a fourth of July / summer wall hanging I am imagining I want to hang in my dining room.  I can’t decide if I love or hate EPP.  But I think I can stay committed to it long enough to finish this sort-of lone star.

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At the end of March, my backlog went from 26 to 23.  Uh, woot!!!  That is progress in the right direction.  I do need to catch up on my scrap blocks for sure, and I need to set my goals for April… and…

embroidery, Fabric, In Progress, Ta Da Done

January 2018 Creative Journal

January was great – for lots of reasons.  I have been feeling better than ever.  My energy has been night and day from, well, the last three years.  I don’t know what the difference is.  I can’t stop being excited to work and craft.  So weird, but so awesome.

In January 2018, I completed 14 projects!

4 charity baby quilts…

4 smaller projects… a letter-writing kit, a needle book, a Valentine’s tree, some earrings…

4 new pillows for the couch…  Isn’t George the cutest??

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And 2 embroidery projects…

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I reduced my backlog by zilch – I completed 4 WIPs – the tropical plants embroidery and three of the baby quilts – but I started 4 new projects that I didn’t finish…

A scrap baby quilt, an embroidered flower, floral appliqué circles, and some abstract circles…

No regrets!!

I exceeded my goal of making 31 blocks from scraps by 5.

This is the best January I have had in recent memory.  Ready to start planning for February.

 

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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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embroidery

An embroidery update

Still obsessed with embroidery.  And quilting. And now my Cricut Maker.

I have made some progress on some embroidery projects…

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The Purl Soho sampler got made into a little pillow (AKA “bed parasite” per my husband) that lives on our bed.  I was really unhappy with one of the circles, so replaced with a bit of romance and gorgeous yellow fabric.IMG_4447

And then there is this one – from Tula Pink’s embroidery book.  Slow but steady progress.  And I still love the brick stitch.  And still amazed and proud that I can do that many french knots.  Living the dream.IMG_4459

I am taking a break from the giant rose to try and get this little guy done this week.  I think the finished project with the stripes fabric will look cool.  Or like bad decor from a cheap Florida hotel.  We’ll see.

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I also have been wanting to design my own patterns.  We saw The Post a couple weeks ago and I loved it.  Did a simple line drawing of Katherine Graham that I am hoping to make into a hoop.

And then this beautiful painting by Paul Klee came up in my daily calendar from the Met.  This is begging to be turned into a gorgeous piece of embroidery with pastels and my beloved brick stitch.

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So much to do… so little time.  Goodnight for now, my lovelies.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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And all tied up with a bright orange ribbon.

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

 

 

 

Bettering, embroidery, Ta Da Done

In love and in 2018!

Hello – New year!  I love new years.  I love how bare the house looks after taking down Christmas decorations.  I love new lists, new goals, big plans, optimism.  A new year is a fresh sheet of paper.

For better or worse, I fill my pieces of paper with the same doodles every time.  I am many things – many awesome things – but I still struggle to value, protect, and better my health.  This year, this notebook, this page is not different.

I still am me in that I want to do everything.  Dance, run, speak a new language, make new friends, give art tours, draw, sew, paint, weave, garden.

That is, I want to do everything until it comes time to actually do things.  And here is the reality – all I really want to do is sew.  After work, family, friend commitments are met, I just want to sew.  I have successfully sewn a lot this year already.  A LOT.  I have not exercised once.  Not once.

So the trick this year will be to let myself sew as much as I want to – set as many stitchy goals as I possibly can.  But first, exercise.  It is necessary for my resilience and health.  So other than exercise goals, I am not going to push myself to do anything else.  One distraction from exercise.  One distraction from sewing.

But… man, the sewing be good…  some of my recent endeavors…

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This is a pattern from Purl Soho.  I bought a whole kit, but ended up not liking the color or fabric, so went with a more French color palette.  I love this more than words and really did improve my stitches working on this.  I am not a fan of the circle at the top with all of the fly stitches.  I am going to pull that out and put the word ADORE in the circle.  This is going to be a bed parasite (pillow) in our bedroom, so taking the license to get a little romantic-y with it.  Did I mention I love this?

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Speaking of romantic, I made little felt hearts for this Valentine’s Day tree.  Again, Purl Soho pattern.  I cut them out on my Cricut Maker and whipped them together.  They join some mini flowers and glitter hearts I picked up at Joann.  The goal is to have this tree decorated year round as a festive little thing.

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Did I mention I LOVE my Cricut Maker??  More on that in a later post.

I am trying to make peace with using regular felt.  I have used wool felt for so many projects, that it is hard to not use it.  But unless making a gift for a child, I think polyester felt is so fine.  It is pennies on the dollar.  So it is just fine.  Really.

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This baby quilt was the first draft of this quilt for a bestest friend’s baby.  It was in a magazine and I feel in love with it.  But it ended up not being up to snuff.  I set it aside waiting just for the binding to be done.  Last weekend I finished it and it is going into my donate to Project Linus pile.  I hope to do 24 Project Linus quilts this year.  #morethanicanchew

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Oh, embroidery!   I don’t know why it took me so long to get into embroidery.  I am so in love with it.  Can’t think about much else.  I have so many projects I want to complete.  I started this one and am so addicted.  The pattern is from the Tula Pink book.  Love love love.

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Look at that brick stitch!!  So in LOVE!!

So, I love stuff.  And I am going to exercise.  Happy 2018!