Wednesday, November 26, 2014

November...

November was supposed to be a better month for blogging, wasn't it? That's what I remember thinking at the beginning of November.

Then a series of THINGS happened. First, I got a promotion at work (YAY!). This, of course, is wonderful news that means a modest pay bump and an end to working Saturdays (OMG SO HAPPY ABOUT THAT). But it also meant the first two weeks or so in November were full of a mad scramble to get everything in order for my old position- training my back-up to do the work full time, making sure I wasn't leaving her with a huge mess, etc. Those were looooong days, after which I didn't want to do anything but watch Gilmore Girls and cuddle with my dogs.

Which leads me to the next THING. My silly white husky, Charles, AKA Charlie, AKA that white fuzzball who is forever photo bombing pictures for this blog, had a lump on his chest sort of near his armpit. Or legpit? I don't know what to call it on dogs since you know... they don't have arms. So that required vet trips, biopsies, lab analyses, you know. And come to find out it's a mast cell tumor and needs to be removed. So he is scheduled for surgery after the holiday. The vet is very confident that we will remove all the cancerous cells on the first run-through so I'm trying really hard not to worry. And being grateful that I have to check my dogs so regularly for tics (I swear we have super tics here that just don't care about drops or collars or any other preventive measure) because otherwise it may have gone unnoticed

THEN. This past weekend I had a family member in the hospital! Everyone is now okay, but my goodness. November has thrown me for a loop and ruined all my plans...

But you deserve something. So here is all I have managed this month.

embroidered elephant and fox coin purses

Two cute little coin purses. Already listed on Etsy. It's not much to show for a month, is it? UGH.

embroidered elephant coin purse

But at least they're cute...

embroidered fox coin purse

December has to be better than November, right? I have stacks of fabrics just staring me in the face every time I go into my sewing room. It's getting ridiculous. But tonight is the beginning of a looooong weekend and I intend to get a lot done. THERE WILL BE UPDATES.

How has November been for you? Ready to scarf down some turkey tomorrow? BECAUSE OH GAWD I SO AM. That is all.

Friday, October 31, 2014

More Yarny Things

On my hiatus from sewing, I found myself spending a lot more time with my yarn stash. I'm trying to get a jump on some Christmas presents, so you'll excuse me if I don't say who these items will be for ;)

First up, some nice, simple pot holders. In my kitchen, these ones are my favorite. My quilted ones just don't insulate as well as the two layers of cotton yarn, even though I added both cotton batting and Insulbrite to the middle. Ah well. At least those ones are still pretty, right? These will be a Christmas gift. I might make a couple more sets as well. I think they'll make good little add-ons and they're quick to make! Pattern here.

finished crochet cotton pot holders

Next up. Some fingerless mitts. For these I used the Firecracker Gloves pattern.

firecracker gloves progress

I love the herringbone HDC stitch used for these, but they are a bit on the snug side. The pattern says they are for 3" to 4" wide hands. Mine fall into that range (albeit on the high end) and I checked my gauge, but they're still a bit of a struggle to get on. I was making these as a gift, but I don't want to give ones that may be too small. I think I will make them up again a little larger instead.

finished firecracker gloves

I also experimented with these on different starting methods. The glove on the bottom uses a regular chain to start and then a row of SC into it as the foundation. It's kind of ugly and wavy, probably partially because I'm not used to crocheting with fingering weight yarn. But the one on top uses a row of foundation single crochet. Look how nice and neat! It was really quick, too. I will definitely be using this method in the future.

And last but not least, sock progress! I have been working on these way too long. I gave up because I just didn't like doing 2 at once. Too much fiddling with each strand of yarn and turning and making sure your yarn doesn't get tangled.. Plus I just felt like I was treading water all the time. So! I took one toe off the needles and will finish them one at a time. I don't think these will be a Christmas present, though, as I started them in my own size ;)

purple hand knit sock progress

It was nice to revisit my yarny projects! I will definitely be making more time for yarn in the winter months. There is just something so appealing about drinking a hot cup of tea while knitting in the dead of winter, you know? Not that Arizona gets much winter, but still. I can pretend!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Yes, it is that time of year again. I have made appallingly few quilts this year. 3 to be exact, and one was less than 2' x 2'! I really must finish more quilts. But that's the problem with having so many hobbies, isn't it? There's never enough time for all of them!

Anyway, this time around I'm entering the Wedding Quilt.

star in star scrappy quilt

This is a quilt I made for my very good friend AND future sister in law's wedding. She's a very special lady, so needed a very special quilt!

star in star scrappy quilt close

This pattern was self-drafted. I specifically made it so that the largest points of the stars could be cut from fat quarters. Of course, only the dotty fabric in the outer points was actually a fat quarter, but I had originally planned on using more, promise!

star in star scrappy quilt

I know, the pictures aren't fabulous. These were taken the morning of the wedding. I was scrambling, okay?

It measures at about 85"x 85". I used various scraps for the most part and the background is Kona Sky. I quilted it on my home machine in an all over stipple pattern. Mostly because I was pressed for time. I really wanted to try something fun and different in the quilting for this, but such is life.

This quilt could fit into a few categories... it's big enough to be considered a "large" quilt, it's made of scraps other than the background, and it's a self-drafted pattern (though I am wary of calling it "original"!). But Scrappy is where I'm happiest, so that is the category it will be entered in :)

If you'd like to read a little more about this quilt and see some progress shots, see here. If you'd like to see the awesome bridesmaid dresses I made for the same wedding and hear more about the event, see here.

Thanks for taking a look! Blogger's Quilt Festival is always so much fun! I hope you'll take a look at all the other beautiful entries!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Burn Out

Yes, again, it has been two weeks. And you know what? I haven't sewed a stitch. I have been feeling completely burnt out these last couple of weeks and in my spare time I have been binge watching Gilmore Girls, crocheting, and playing Wind Waker. Even the thought of stepping into my sewing room was enough to induce a small panic attack. I know I have a lot of stuff I need to do, need to work on. And that's exactly why I have been avoiding it. It's just too much!

So I took a couple of weeks away from sewing. It has been kind of fun, really. Rediscovering how much I love knitting and crochet, for example. Allowing myself to *just* watch TV. That's right, not TV while I sew or TV while I knit. Just TV for the sake of itself. I don't remember the last time I did that. And that seems kind of insane, doesn't it?

hand embroidered drawstring knitting bag
Here is the last thing I sewed. Isn't it cute?
I think part of it is that I have just reached the end of my rope with this nonsense schedule Mario and I are one. We only really see each other 1 day a week and I can't stand it. Not only do I just miss him all the time, but that means we never get anything done on the weekends because we don't want to waste our precious time together doing something lame like pulling weeds or repainting the pergola.

hand embroidered drawstring knitting bag- inside
It even has a zippy pocket! This was such a fun little bag :) 
I need to find a better balance. I have developed a habit of having to be constantly productive. I always have to be making something, reading something, doing something. I haven't been giving myself any time to just sit back, relax, and do what I actually want to do instead of what I feel like I have to do.

So in case you've been wondering, that's where I have been these past couple of weeks. Reassessing my priorities and trying to teach myself how to relax again. I'll keep you posted with how that goes. And maybe show you some of the non-sewing things I've been working on in my time away :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Chiffon Staple Dress

For my next adventure in clothes making I give you a chiffon Staple Dress!

chiffon staple dress no head

Yes, my head is cut off. Yes, this is the same photo shoot as the last one. My camera is a little too heavy for the little tripod I have and it was getting tired...

chiffon staple dress

There we go. I made this out of a polyester chiffon I got at a local discount fabric store. It went surprisingly well for my first experience with chiffon! I did a straight size small and opted for the drop hem version. I had a little bit of trouble on the sleeves... my machine decided to try to eat one of them while I was hemming :( So I rolled them again and added extra stitching over the slightly mangled area. Then I added a line of shirring to hide the mangled-ness. Because of course that couldn't happen down near the armpit. Had to be where everyone would seeee. But I kind of like how they look all scrunched up! I might do this again in the future. In case you haven't heard, this was a lovely, easy pattern to follow. I made it up in an afternoon, mangled sleeve rescue and all. Definitely recommend for beginners!

I wasn't sure I would like this pattern on me, but I was pleasantly surprised! It's comfy and flattering and light, which is wonderful. I wish it wasn't almost winter so I could make all the summer dresses... Although, I could just wear leggings under EVERYTHING. Hmmm.

Yes, this part of the shoot is lacking in photos. Because the dogs were getting sick of me and doing this:

staple dress dogs wrestling

I know you can't see my face, but trust me. It was not amused. 

OH. One last thing. In case you don't follow me on Instagram, I kinda got engaged this weekend! Well, officially engaged. Mario and I have really been planning our wedding for quite a long time but we wanted to do things like finish school and buy a house before bothering with a wedding. But we've done that and now we're bothering! Look how sparkly! 

engagement ring close up

Mario does have the best taste :)