Jan 17, 2018

January UFO and a RTW Redo

I am participating in the 2018 UFO challenge over at Patchwork Times.  As a good friend put it, it is a good idea to finish up neglected but once loved projects!  The project assigned for January turned out to be this quilt.

This quilt was pieced as part of a round robin exchange with 3 of my quilty friends, many moons ago.  It was originally intended for my dining room, but I think now it will go better in my living room.  

Yesterday, I pin basted the layers.  Then I started quilting.  I did all of the straight line quilting/stitch in the ditch stuff that I could do with the walking foot.  I want to do some freemotion quilting in the center square and around those sun ray sort of shapes, and also in the outer border.  I am not sure I have time at home this month to finish all of that.  But I do not want to rush just to finish.

The reason I can't finish is because I am taking a trip to Florida!  My host told me "bring a bathing suit", so I have spent some time working on getting one together.  First, I made the Tidal Wave swim shorts from 5 out of 4 Patterns.  I planned to make a top from another of the 5oo4 pattern site, but my supply order did not come in time. I plan to sew a separate bra out of swim foam into the new top for support.  SInce my order did not arrive, I have neither the time nor the materials to include the appropriate support into the new top. So I cut the top out of an old tankini that does not fit, and added a new skirt to it.

Dec 16, 2017

UFOs for 2018 Part 2

Here are projects 7-12 for my UFO 2018 list:

#7 Cumulative Action Blanket

This is a blanket I am making using my leftover sock yarns.  I started it in 2012.

#8  Scrappy Trip Around the World Quilt

Some years ago I cut strips from all of the fabrics that were in my sewing area and started on a trip around the world quilt.  This is a really fun quilt and I love scrappy things.

#9  Blue Shawl

This is a lovely shawl that I didn't enter in Ravelry, so I hope I can figure out what pattern I am knitting!  Anyway, I am using a lovely gradient set of yarn and beautiful beads, and it will go nicely with a blue capsule wardrobe I've been working on.

#10  Round Robin Quilt

Many moons ago, three quilting friends and I made round robin quilts.  We each made a center square and then passed them along for the next person to add a border.  I have a quilt hanging in my living room that has probably been there at least 20 years, and I'd love to get the round robin quilt finished and hang it in that place.

#11  Prayer shawl

A friend sent me a book about prayer shawls, and I started knitting one with some long color change yarn I found at JoAnn's, using various stitches from a stitch dictionary.

#12  Mojo quilt

I pieced this quilt top as part of a quiltalong online, I think it was called Something New Sampler.  Anyway it was a way for me to try to get my sewing mojo back when I was in a funk.  I want to experiment with colorful threads and some awesome free motion filler designs on all that white.

So those are my current choices of project for the UFO 2018 campaign.  IF I happen to finish up something ahead of schedule, I have other projects in the wings that I can substitute.  There is a list in the notes on my phone in case I wonder later what I was thinking.

Dec 7, 2017

UFOs for 2018 part 1

Judy over at Patchwork Times is hosting UFO 2018, where we choose 12 unfinished projects for the year, and then each month we will work on finishing up one of the projects.  So this post will be the start of my list for that campaign.  I am numbering them randomly, as I find photos of them to post.

#1  EPP party quilt

This quilt was part of a big online quiltalong, all English paper pieced blocks, sewn by hand. I think I have 2 out of 12 done.  

#2  Amy Shawl by Romi Hill

I started this shawl in 2014.  I "only" have to knit on the rest of the lace border.

#3  Bedroom quilt

 The blocks for this quilt were pieced eons ago as part of a class I took on the Stack and Whack method.  It was originally intended as a bedspread sized quilt, but now I want to make it a throw.  I need to finish sewing the top together and quilt it.

#4  Lost in Time shawl

I crocheted this shawl in August as part of Camp Loopy, but I have decided I want it to be much bigger.  I will order more yarn and continue on the pattern.  I think I will add the border this time as well.

#5  Project Linus Quilt

I pieced these rail fence blocks from precuts some time ago, I have it clipped together in rows.  I need to sew them together and quilt and bind the quilt.  I am not sure what I planned to back this with.

#6  Swirl Shawl

I started this shawl in 2011.  It involves counting to the extreme,  so is not very portable at all.  I think that is why it is not done.  

I will compile part 2 in the next few days.  I need to take some photos.

Dec 5, 2017

The New Normal

The new normal.  I really wish I had a nickel for every time I have heard that over the past year.  I haven't traditionally talked about much besides craftiness, but I feel the need to today.  My family was rolling along at our status quo, when my husband got the dreaded news in October of 2016 that he had stage 4 metastatic colon cancer.

Along the way, he himself talked about our new normal, dealing with chemo, doctors appointments, emergency surgery.  Each time trying to stay positive and adjust to the new normal.  I struggle with the commonly used phrase  "battling with cancer", because that implies if you don't survive you are a loser or that you didn't fight hard enough.  I know that my Bob fought as hard as he could for as long as he could.   One day in August 2017 the doctor's "there are many treatments to try" turned into "there's nothing else we can do" and we were told to go do what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.  Then the reality set in that he was too unwell to do what he wanted to do.  Then he slipped away from us in less than 2 weeks.  He passed before sunrise on September 2, 2017.  Bob had a deep relationship with Jesus, so I know he is in a better place and not suffering any more.

When you are married to someone for nearly 33 years, you get very used to being "we".  He even used to talk about "our" chemo or hospital stays as if I were getting treated too.  So now my new normal, I have to figure out how to be me.  I haven't been just me since the 1980s, I'm not sure how to do it.  It's scary to have to chose hot water heaters, furnaces, tires all by myself without someone to say they think I made the right choice.

I am still I guess going through the motions, mostly because I feel like he would be displeased if I let myself lay about crying, although he did like to make fun of me in my animal print pjs.  I wonder if I will ever stop thinking to myself "I'll have to tell Bob about that."  I'm really not sure I will, I still occasionally think that about my parents, and I did not live with them for the past 33 years and they have been dead for quite some time.

When my mom passed, it took me a long time to get back to crafting.  At some point I thought maybe I can craft my way out of this funk, and I  knit a scarf on a long train ride.  That did seem to help.  I think what I have right now is deeper than a funk, not sure what to name it, but I really need to make some clothes.  This will help, not just as a diversion because of the activity, but also right now so many clothes I put on hold associations, like memories of sleeping in a hospital room in that shirt or this is what I wore to his first day of chemo.

It's hard to distract yourself when you've lost your best friend- almost everything here is associated with him.  Even my yarns and fabrics were often bought on road trips we took together.  I plan to spend the next little while, sorting and organizing and sprucing up the house.  I  think a part of this process will be that I will try to finish up some works in progress.  To that end, I plan to join the 2018 UFO challenge over at Patchwork Times.   I will work on a list of my 12 UFOs for the challenge and try to rustle up some photos.

Mar 13, 2016


When I was growing up, my mom made all my clothes.  I remember thinking 'next thing you know she will be making my undies' , like that would be the last straw.  She never did.  But now I do!  Back in the day when a perfectly acceptable 3 pack of panties could be had for a song in any big box store, I never would have thought of making them.  But nowadays, I have to buy online, and although they are expensive, they are not high quality.

So I traced a pair of decent fitting ready to wear, and my undies sewing adventures began.  There have been a number of prototypes made to work out how long the elastics should be cut, and trying different fabrics.  I saw a number of people online talk about using old tshirts as fabric, but I found that the fabric from the old tshirts in my house did not have very good recovery, so the garments stretched out and did not snap back!  I have had success with new yardage of cotton jersey.

Then I saw a number of people online talking about sewing their own bras! Finding affordable bras has always been an issue, plus straps were never really long enough.  So I signed up for Beverly Johnson's bra making class on Craftsy.  Amazing! First of all, she is a great teacher.  I just made my fourth edition, and I still play the class over and sew along with her.  Oh the fit!  Even with underwires they are the most comfortable bras I have worn.

I made my first 3 bras from kits I bought from Beverly's store, Bra Maker's Supply.  The kits are very nice, although because I am large sized and need longer straps, I have a hard time getting a bra from the duoplex supplied with the kit (that is the fabric for the cups and frame.)  I end up piecing the straps every time.  Because of this, I have covered straps with lace, as shown above.  The last bra I made was from a kit I bought from Bravobella.  The kit was pretty, but I feel like the tricot they supply for the cups and frame is not firm enough.  I used it doubled or lined it with some cup lining I bought separately.  I feel like it is still too drapey.  I made a bra that looks pretty and functions ok, but it somehow feels too delicate, and the straps bunch up and dig into my shoulders.

I will not be posting photos of my finished granny panties.  I might photograph finished bras if I can figure out a stand in model for me.  I have no dress form, so I will have to get imaginative!

Feb 4, 2016


First, here are the blocks I made in the month of January for my 1930s Farmer's Wife quilt.

I have ordered the fabric for the setting triangles as well as the backing.  Now that I have more than a third of the blocks done, I will start piecing them together.  I think I will also quilt that 1/3 of the quilt, too, and then sew the sections together at the end.  I need to figure out a plan for the quilting.

I finished the back of my Charlie's Cardigan, and have cast on the first front piece.  I need to remember I want to wear this on Easter, and work on it even though it is boring.

Progress is much slower on my Hedgerow.  Plus sized tall sweaters in fingering weight yarn are not projects to rush!

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times for On the Needles !

Jan 15, 2016

A Tale of 2 Sweaters

It's no secret that I am far from a monogamous knitter.  I love to flit from project to project as the mood strikes.  I have no guilt about this.

I have two fairly recent project starts on the go now, both of them sweaters.  The first is a plain white cotton cardigan with lace fronts -Charlie's Cardigan by Amy Herzog.  This is intended to go with a capsule wardrobe I am working on and will look great over my planned Easter dress.

The second is a project of a bit more epic proportions- a stranded colorwork sweater, Hedgerow by Ann Kingstone.  I am making this in colors that I hope are like the ones in the pattern photo.  This is a bit of a crazy mix, and as such will be worn with plain tops underneath.  At the moment the colors are making me question myself, but I think as I add more, it will make more sense.

This pattern is found in a book called Stranded by Ann Kingstone, and I highly recommend it.  The patterns in it are all lovely, but she also includes some fabulous tips for techniques that I have found quite helpful.

Linking up with Patchwork Times for On the needles Friday.