Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pot Pourri of Crafting on a Snowy Day {Gail}

Snow in Western Washington State
not common; enough to stick is rare.
I love snow!!!
Yesterday I went to Sam’s house for the day, for a variety of reasons. Since I was travelling there, we decided to spend the rest of the day crafting – always a good choice! I left home armed with a knitting project I am working on. Actually, two. One is boring, and one needs my hands to be smoother than they are right now (time to concentrate on hand cream.) I also brought yarn to make a toddler hat that I can finish in a couple hours. I also brought a new cookbook to look through; got it for Christmas but only a few days ago! I brought some doodle paper, and my New Year’s Day Tote Bag, for which I finally purchased the orange buttons – they needed stitching on, plus I had rick-rack to make a flower for extra fun on the bag. I certainly could have kept busy, but aside from doodling there weren’t a lot of creative avenues there.

I had to stop at The fabric and craft store on my way, and while I was there I decided everything I had with me was just not going to do. Not for a whole day! Therefore, I made the well-thought-out, logical decision ;) to pick up a very modest assortment of NEW items for a NEW project to work on. Um, yeah, like I need a new project. Or more supplies. It must be the microscopic fibers floating in the air of these stores that interfere with all common sense I have. Anyway, I actually did a great job of choosing only what I needed for a little crazy quilt block to practice stitching on, plus I had a slew of coupons that needed using up, so it ended up costing very little.

… “costing very little” is relative, of course. I spent about $10-12. The actual project, finished, will use far less than 10% of everything I bought, but my stash of Crazy Quilting threads is expanded, I actually did need another embroidery hoop, and a few more fat quarters of fabric make so little difference in my stash that they’re practically invisible! That’s my shopping “after-action debriefing” (aka justification.)

Even though it was a snowy day and I had snowflakes on the brain, I found a bird print fabric that just sang of spring to me. (you'll see it below, hang in there) The colors are exciting. I could just see a tiny CQ block featuring one happy little birdie! But arriving at Sam’s, I got busy and put the embellishments on my NY bag so I could call it finished finally. Three buttons sewn on, then playing with rick-rack to create a frilly backing for the 4th button took a while. I am really happy with the results! Then I realized I still needed to take the top edge of the bag back to the sewing machine for that brown zigzag topstitching. As soon as I post this, that’s my next task! By the time you read this, the bag will be done!

Next, I knit on the boring project for a while: a scarf made in 1x1 rib (knit one, purl one for you non-knitters) from a “star-of-the-show” yarn on very large needles. To make sure the yarn can show its stuff and the scarf is drapey, I am working this project very loosely. One of the needles fell out. The knitting started to come apart… but I am NOT starting this scarf over (again.) So I hung in there and fixed it, then followed my self-imposed policy of knitting a while longer after fixing a problem; it’s like getting back on the horse after you fall off – If I leave a project with frustration, I’m likely to ignore it for a long time. After 2 more rows (woot – 28 stitches… ) I put it down and got out my new stuff! The feeling was akin to being excused to recess in first grade – whooo hoo, let’s go play!

I fiddled around with the fabrics, decided the little CQ block would be a card front, Sam cut a window into a piece of adhesive backed paper for me, I took a snapshot of my arrangement.
Basted patches in the hoop;
blanket stitching along one seam to start.

Then I started snipping and basting. Soon I had a CQ block in the hoop ready to stitch on. After one row of blanket stitching we decided to go to dinner and then I had to head home before travelling got ugly. But still, I definitely had the thrill of creating something fresh from those fabrics! You’ll see the finished block in a few days. Really!

She still has my new soup cookbook. That had to be said, so it is on the record. I want it back. Sam, if you make something from it before I do, then you must share at least one serving for a tasting! OK? OK! Your mommy says so.

So, Sam, what did YOU work on?

Happy January, all! If you are a stitcher, happy stitching!


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