Saturday, March 31, 2018

Stitchers Gonna Stitch, Plumbers Gonna Plumb

Hello friends!  Well, guess what I've been up to.  Ding, ding, ding, correct!  Stitching.  If you guessed plumbing, well, you were wrong.  You're cute, but you're wrong!  I was hooked into Craftsy again and took the Stupendous Stitching class.  Lots of fun and very simple.  Afterward, I did wonder why I had to take a class on something so elemental but whatever.  I'm claiming this to be March's new project for 6 and 6 in 2018 with Pomegranate and Chintz.
 I chose one of my first hand dyed fabrics from a few years ago that I didn't love, for the background.  Basically, you just choose different machine stitches with different threads until you fill a fat quarter.  The lines were supposed to weave back and forth to make interesting sections.
 I couched some ribbons, used metallics, added beads and voila.  I love it up close up but I feel like from a distance, it's not very interesting.  I think I'll do another one with a white or black background.  I think the threads will have more impact.  It was a fun afternoon project.  If you're looking for a quick project I recommend it.  It was also really nice to become more aware of what my machine is capable of.  Embroidery that's easy on the carpel tunnel is also nice.
 Before the beading, I quilted between the rows.  Somehow, I got an applique pattern caught underneath... it took me 8 rows before I realized I was quilting over paper... I feel like such a bright shining star some days...  I also used a hand dyed for the backer.  It's that vintage rose piece that I wasn't crazy about.
Speaking of bright and shining.  I had to replace my sink faucet and accidentally got one that shoots laser beams!  Just kidding.  It's got an LED light that makes the water glow.  I have NO idea, why anyone would need that feature.  I guess, if I wanted to get a drink in the middle of the night but didn't want to turn a light on first?  Definitely a first world thing.  The good news is that it has a tall neck and I can now get my spritzer bottle under the tap in my studio!  Again, first world issues.  #blessed  No picture, but Rich put in the UtiliTub in the basement and a light fixture directly above. It made him cranky.  He called it the portal to hell.  Such a grouchy pants.  What's important here is that my dye station is fully operational!
This happened!  So, here's the story.  Last month they went to Norway and Hunter's plan was to propose under the Northern Lights but the day before the excursion, he broke his leg while skiing.  Had to be rushed home and yada yada yada, the proposal got postponed.  So, he rented a local theatre for an hour, had them play the Northern Lights and asked Carmen to marry him.  Yeah!  There's going to a wedding!  Now to start my campaign to be their wedding cake baker.  There are Craftsy classes for that!  Maybe I should find out how big the wedding's going to be before I attack that... I'll do some grilling when they come to dinner Sunday.  Incidentally, he fell in the shower yesterday and we spent the evening in the ER getting his cast sawed off.  He's fine, fairly bruised up but at least he didn't mess up the healing process.  Oi!  These kids will be the death of me.
In other news, I'm mostly caught up on Simple Folks applique blocks.  This one is just missing a few of the dots above the tulip.
 The swans need dots and eyeballs.
There's a few other things going on but I'll save if for another day.  Hope everyone has a fantastic Easter!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

I'll Get Around To It, Eventually!

Look what I found when I brought my Grandma's Hope Chest up from the basement last month.  This old crewel work that I started forever ago!  2002!  It was mostly finished but I had run out of a color and wasn't confident enough to move on with what I did have.  It's one of those cheaters.  The background is painted for you and you fill in the blank spots.  It's good to see how my stitching has improved.  Dang, the back is a mess!  Not sure what to do with it now that it's done.  I may frame it and put it up next to it's cross stitched cousin.
 I was able to vend 2 weekends in a row.  Rich even came with me to Crest View so we could spend the weekend together.  You know those  men that follow their ladies around the mall, waiting patiently, entertaining themselves with their phones.  That's not my husband.  He was on his best behavior and I loved that he did all the heavy lifting.  But, in the end, we both decided he didn't need to come with me again...  I really hope he's more agreeable when I want to travel for fun, dang it!  Or, I'll just have to go alone!
 In between shows, I've been addicted to Craftsy Unlimited.  I took the fabric dying class.  Dana D. gifted me with her Procion dyes when I started dying my silk ribbon and have always wanted to dye fabric as well.  I finally bought a bolt of ready to dye cotton and did some experimenting.  There's room for improvement.  This first one was called Storm Cloud.
 This is Scottish Kilt, it's kind of a teal green.
 This was Camel, if you can believe that!  I expected a tan but got green instead.
 Rust Orange turned out beautifully!
 I didn't mix the dye well in the Mixing Red but the colors are fantastic.  Rinsing this one out was a real BI**H!  She mentions in the class that if you use too much dye, the rinsing part will be a bear.  Apparently, I used too much for all of them but especially this red...
 This was Vintage Rose and it's just sad.  I think I'll over dye it with something else.  I also decided I don't love the effect of the folding.  For quilting purposes, the scrunchy method has more flexibility.  Then I decided I wanted to put a utility sink in the basement so that I can have a dedicated dyeing station.   So that's purchased but not installed.  There is already a completely pointless shower plumbed in.  Why?  I could never decide.  It's not a finished basement.  It's a gross, 150 year old basement with a shower...  It's weird.  Now, it'll have a purpose.  Well, when Rich re-plumbs it for my sink, anyways.
 One of the first Craftsy classes that I ever took was Pictorial Quilting Techniques with Wendy Butler Burns.  I had taken this photo of a flamingo at the St. Louis Zoo and always knew I wanted to turn it into a quilt.  I had it blown up but then set it aside for another day.  Then, I watched The Quilt Show with Melinda Bula and decided it was time.  This is just the skeleton of the project.  I need more fabrics for the grass and I hope to do some thread painting on the water and on the tree.  We'll see how it goes.  I also have a rose and a butterfly that need to become quilts.
 I FINALLY got around to re-doing my dining room chairs.  They were past their prime already when we bought them used.  Then, Rich spilled bbq sauce on his chair back at Christmas.  It was time, it was past time...
 I'm really happy with them.  I was able to get the same fabric that I'd done the valance in.  Now, I have to stop buying floral table clothes.  They look terrible together.
 Last but not least, I finished a block from Baltimore Garden.  This took forever.  But, if I'm honest, I wasn't dedicated to it.  It's amazing how much stitching can be done when you're sitting at a quilt show!  Also, people love to watch you do it.  I think I've decided to set this project aside for now.  I've got several BOMs going that I'd like to keep up with.  This can be a long term project.
Yesterday was the first day of extended hours for Prom Season.  Boo!  I don't expect to get tons of stitching done but I always have something to work on during breaks.  Keeps me sane-ish.  I'm done with travel/ vending until June for the same reason.  Time to hunker down and get through it but I'll keep in touch.  Happy Stitching!