Monday, April 30, 2012

April Showers

Well, the Super Secret Project is going much slower than I anticipated.  Mostly because I make a mistake every single time I sit down to sew on it.  It's like this project doesn't want to be done.  Argh! To take a little mini-micro break I started another project. 

You know the old adage about April showers bringing May flowers?  This year those showers are also bringing. . . Christmas.  Yep, Christmas.  You see, I realized the last couple of years that deciding in October to only give handmade gifts for the holidays isn't really working.  Especially since I would usually decide to knit 12 pairs of mens' socks. Starting in November.  Totally possible, right?  Maybe, but not for me.  So this year I want to be more on the ball.  I have all my materials purchased (I hope) for Christmas gifts this year.  I made my list, checked it twice and now I'm ready to work. 

My plan is to knit several (like 6) pairs of socks and make some handbag/wallet combos and a few other little gems.  I think it's reasonable to knit one pair of socks and sew 2-3 small projects a month.  That should have me done around Thanksgiving.  Possibly.  Probably.  If I stay on the ball.  I'm hoping that by posting my progress here I'll be more accountable, if only to myself. 

The first Christmas project on my list is a pair of socks for my father-in-law.  Aaron chose the yarn from my stash last night and I wound and divided my balls.  I'm using the Java pattern from Knitty and knitting two-at-a-time.  Now when I get frustrated working on the Super Secret Project I can do a few rows on these socks until I calm down.  Like now. 

Fred's Socks 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012


Okay, so I have a Super Secret Project that I need to have finished in about four weeks.  It's definitely possible but it means that I can't muck about.  So this past weekend I cut out all my fabric pieces on Saturday then sat down to sew on Sunday.  So excited!!!

Only, my pieces weren't cooperating.  At all.  I stretched and fiddled and cursed.  Then I sat back and and cursed some more.  I had cut every single piece at least an inch too small.  And I didn't have enough fabric to simply re-cut the pieces.  Darn.  Double Darn.

I took  a deep breath, remeasured my pieces and ordered more fabric.  Luckily it arrived yesterday and I almost frantically ripped open the package, laid out the fabric and *&%$@.  I didn't order enough.  Argh!  Triple argh!!!  Luckily, the pieces from my first mistake, fit together with the pieces from my second mistake, well enough to make the project the way I envision it.  Crisis averted.  Now barring any future errors, in or out of my control, I should be on my way.

Here's a tiny sneak peak at what I'm working on. 

Super Secret

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Addie's Quilt

Addie's quilt is sewn (with much love), quilted (with more love) and gifted (to be loved).  I made it a generous 70" square so that she won't outgrow it.  Plus, there's more room for Mommy and Daddy that way!  


I free-motion quilted this colorful baby blanket.  It was quite the adventure.  I had never done it before and only attempted it this time because 1) I didn't want to take the time to send it off to be quilted,  2) stitch in the ditch was to boring for Addie and 3) I wanted to see if I could.  Turns out it's fun.  Really, really fun.  My first few attempts were, shall we say, less than good.  Way less.  I'll have to show you those feeble first tries sometime.  Once I got the hang of it though, wow!  Did I say how fun it was?  I can't wait to finish up my next quilt just so I can do some more.  



My quilting is far from perfect but I had such a great time, I didn't even care.  Now I'm off to start my Super Secret Project.  Hooray!


A pre-quilted picture.  I definitely need to practice my photography skills.  This is my best picture of the entire quilt.  Eeps!

Monday, April 23, 2012


This view made me so happy today,  I just had to take a picture and share it with you.  


Saturday, April 21, 2012


As part of my endeavour to be more organized this year I have cleaned up my sewing area (which is an extension of the living room :).  I've sorted fabrics and notions and re-invented my fabric hutch. 

Sewing Area

 I know by now everyone has seen this idea of "mini bolts" on Pinterest or elsewhere on the internet but if you haven't - of course it was my completely original idea. . . By standing my fabric up this way I have loads more room.  That means no more fabric furtively hidden creatively stored in Gus' closet.  I may or may not have recently bulked up the stash to make up for this sudden empty space.Having my sewing area organized this way makes me feel more creative and it definitely entices me to work on projects more. What does your sewing area look like?

Sewing Area

Sewing Area

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sewing Machine

A few days Several weeks ago I blamed my absence from my blog on cookies, but that wasn't the only thing keeping me away.  My 15 year old White sewing machine broke and I wasn't able to sew for awhile.  I bought my White when my Kenmore broke down and I was too foolish to just have the Kenmore repaired.  In my defense, I was young at the time.  The White was a good, straight stitch machine.  Not the top of the line and not fancy, but it was exactly what I needed.  Well this time, not wanting to repeat the same mistake, I took it in to be repaired. . . and ended up with a brand new machine.
Now, I have a beast of a machine.  Six or so years ago I fell in love with the Viking Quilt Designer II.  I didn't buy it back then because we were saving up for a house and a $2600 machine was out of my price range.  So when I took my old machine in for repairs I started looking for a machine similar to the Designer II since that particular model is no longer being made.  I came home with the Viking Sapphire 875.  It was pricey, but it has automatic tension, a large throat space, dual lighting, and it has a floating foot for free motion quilting.  All of which were important to me this go around.

What I don't like about it so far is that it is computerized.  There's no lifting the pressure foot lever, no turning the wheel to position my needle, and no manual tension.  To me, those things are a part of sewing .  I sort of feel like I'm losing a bit of the process with the new machine.  And the foot pedal is giant.  I like my little metal pedal.  Mostly because I've always sewn with my pedal backwards. I feel like I have more control that way.  I'm sure that I'll get used to all the features of this new machine eventually and then I won't know how I ever sewed on my little straight stitch machine but right now, it's still a beast.   

I also didn't really shop around.  I was making myself crazy reading everything I could online about the various different machines.  Since I was already comfortable with the Viking lines having researched and tried them out six years ago I automatically went to that brand.  For my next machine (many years from now), I'll try out different machines and shop around more.  Until then, I'll be sewing things like this:


on this awesome machine.  Or on my old White when it gets back from the dealer  :-).