Friday, July 15, 2022

I Got Nothing . . . . .

 . . . . . well, almost nothing.   That's what I started to share last evening and so I stopped.  Why would anyone read about "nothing".   24 hours later, I've regained my perspective and am going to try again!!

Since we've had a virus surge nearby, I've spent lots more time on my own again the past couple weeks  but the weather has been pleasant (though we could use more rain) and bits of progress have been made on various projects.   In spite of spending more time watering the vegetables and berry bushes than I'd like, I finished attaching part 9 of the mystery EPP quilt from Jemima's Creative Quilting in Australia -- currently cutting and basting for part 10 and auditioning fabric for part 11!!  It's going a little slower than planned because I need to pamper the arthritic left thumb but progress just the same.

Homage to Grandmother's Flower Garden is progressing nicely and these leaf units no longer intimidate me.  I did another stash dive looking for more light blues -- I'm burning through them steadily and don't think I'll have much of those left when this project is done.  Week 28 pieced and waiting for week 29 instructions!

I made some progress on this I Spy from the UFO stash -- units pieced, rows laid out and starting to set them together -- just need to figure out the shapes to cut for the ends of the rows!  This is an old pattern that was originally in a book, PS, I Love You, Two.  Marti Michell included it in her booklet, Six is for Hexagons and I'm using the large hexagon in Set G.  It's easy piecing and soon will no longer be a UFO!!

 I squished Homage to one side on the design wall so I could lay out the I Spy.  
Then a new quilt caught my eye on Instagram -- easy piecing and scrappy, so why not start it?  But with no space on the primary design wall (or the secondary one for that matter) it will have to "grow" on the backup design wall -- the floor.
It's a "sew-along" called Scrappy Cabins from Sew Lux, an on-line fabric shop -- the pattern is a free download.  I started with a couple charm paks, some leftover layer cake squares, and my box of 
2 1/2" strips -- the cutting table is a mess but the blocks work well as sew-offs for my set-in piecing of Homage units.  One stone, two birds??
"Hermit-ing" with my stitching has led to some unusual contemplation -- I rarely listen to or watch anything while sewing -- just quiet thinking most of the time.  But this week I've been thinking about my grandmothers and memories I have of them (no sewing involved -- just stories and food) which led me to think about other "mentors" of my youth and to realize there were more than I usually recall -- Sunday school teachers, church ladies, the sewing teacher, scout leaders.

Since the EPP project is too big to tote around at this point, I decided to start another Musselburgh hat.  I dug through my fingering yarn stash -- full skeins and leftovers -- to put together a combination that I'll knit holding two strands of yarn together.  It should go faster than the last one and my color inspiration is the High Desert Socks from Larkspur knits!
While I was sitting on the floor rummaging through the yarn stash, I noticed this box sitting behind my sewing table?
Is that another UFO?!?
Is it on the list?  NO!?!
But look there's a plan! 
Not sure I like the plan at this point, so we'll see?

This weekend I'll be avoiding people some more and looking for bumble bees as part of a nationwide survey blitz, hanging out with my stitching, and trying to set up an ice cream meet-up with this little gang!!

Carry on!!

Friday, July 1, 2022

June is History

 I set goals, I share my goals, and then I try to figure out how to meet those goals.  Sound familiar?  It's a behavior we learn from the adults in our lives by their examples and then we spend the rest of our lives measuring ourselves against those examples.  Whew!?!

I moved into my current home when my mother was about my age and as I accept my current age, I often think back to a mental image of her helping me put in a new flower bed.  Somehow we got my Dad's BIG Troybilt tiller over here and were using it to break up the lawn.  The image that sticks with me is I'm sitting on the front porch drinking cold water and mom is guiding that monster tiller across the front lawn.  Sorry I've failed you mom -- I could not manage that tiller at this age?!?

From that point, I turned down her offers of help frequently because I didn't have her drive and I hated feeling guilty about it.  I wish I knew if she really was stronger and healthier or if she was just stubborn?

So what does that have to do with anything?  Four days ago on June 26, I looked at the "log book" and realized while I had promptly eliminated one project at the beginning of June, I had not finished anything off that blasted 2022 list of UFO's and wanna-makes. 

My driven-goal-side kicked into gear!!  I spent the next two afternoons (finally) making a Mini Maker Station designed by Lilyella.  She featured the pattern on her blog several years ago and every now and then she has a make-along for it so I bought her hardware kit (HERE) and added it to my pile.   The pattern is HERE.  It's a clever design with a metal strip inserted in the base and magnets to enclose in a cute fabric box and pincushion so they "stick" to the quilted piece.  I took a couple short cuts -- opted out of the fabric box (which I could add later) and stitched one of the magnets into a pocket on the bottom of this darling pincushion I already own.  

At this point, I have to say waiting so long to make this was "stupid" -- it took me perhaps 3 hours to assemble and I love having it at hand for my evening EPP stitching.

So, if I can get one thing finished quickly, surely I can get two finished (if I pick the right one and drop everything)?!? A quick review of the possibilities pointed me to the Forever Friends scrappy quilt top I layered up with backing and a flannel blanket two weeks ago that was still on the table in the living room.  Just needed pin basting and it was ready to go.  

And I could have made it . . . . . but the simple machine quilting plan morphed into a spasm of pimping-it-up with big stitch hand quilting.  Can you (barely) see the big stitch and a "tie" in the middle of the "cross"?  So I'm close and will adjust by going for three finishes in July??

I did have a knitting finish in July -- this is the Musselburgh Hat by Ysolda, an English designer.  Great pattern because you can use any yarn, any needle size, and there is no swatching needed!!  I don't think I'll do another one with fingering yarn but the plan is that I'll use up some of my yarn backlog and make a few more.  Two strands of fingering would work nicely!!

I've made progress on my hexie projects though I didn't finish the EPP one as hoped -- maybe this month??  This is one of the four sections needed to finish Part 9 (of 11).  The other three are in various stages -- zoom, zoom!!
So while I may not have mom's energy and strength, I do have her drive and determination!

I hope everyone here in the US has a peaceful and refreshing holiday weekend.  You need a break from the bad news so ignore the news for the next three days -- it will still be there on Tuesday, so go "rouge" (after you read this post) and shut off the devices!!