Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Harley Quinn Headaches

The pattern for Harley Quinn is fairly simple.  I did a muslin mock-up one afternoon a few months ago to test the fit.  Easy-peasy...

Well, maybe.

You see, there is a very DEFINITE order to the red and black.  Red is on the right and black on the left.  Ok, got it.


When you do the hooded shrug.  There, the shrug is black on the right, red on the left and then the hood is back to red on the right, black on the left.

So, because I tend to get distracted and am lucky to the the right side facing out (especially if listening to/watching Tour de France coverage), I have to do this.

Lay it out on the table, label the sides and get up and do one thing at a time.

It's a bit more time consuming, but this way (hopefully) I will not be ripping out seams to reverse colors.

Of the five pieces to the costume, the tube top, skirt (complete with the diamond appliqués) and the bustle.  Shrug and corset left to do and two weeks to go.  My plan is to do the shrug after work today and then the corset over the next couple of days.  Then I will have it done about 10 days early!  Which will make Texter very, very happy.

After this?

Lady K is demanding "PANTS, grandma!"  So pants for her and an article of clothing for me or Savvy.  She needs some summerish clothes for work.  And catching up on some quilting.

Friday, April 22, 2016

April Progress

Between the coughing and hacking and general funk, I have managed to start catching up on some of the projects I need to get done.

I finished up the fourth block for the Bee Hive Swap (it's the top left one).  So staying on track there.  Should be interesting once I get all the other blocks done.

I finished the blocks for the RSC16 for April.  Although I did do them slightly backwards, but it's still the same pinwheel effect.

Since I decided to make a wedge based on the monthly colors, I have kept up.  I think this will be a great circle of color which I will appliqué on a white background as a large throw.

But best of all, I have started on Harley.

It's all cut out and I have finished the top.  The really simple part.  I have the bustle, skirt, corset and hooded shrug left to do.  But it will go quickly - maybe.  I am zigzagging the seam edges to make the finish a bit more polished.  So we will see how it goes.  I also have to stitch in black on the black and red on the red where it shows on the outside.  So not really that simple a sew.  AND I have to make sure I have black on the correct side and red on the correct side throughout the costume, as it makes a big difference.

My knit and swirl sweater is going slowly.  Really slowly.  But getting there.  And the Sari scarf just needs fringe added.

So things are getting done....slowly.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Little Catch-Up

Spring has sprung and today is actually a rare, rainy day here in Helena.  Wish I was off work today, but maybe later...

Yesterday, I played a bit of catch-up on some stitching.

This is the mini-quilt for the Big Stitch Swap 2 I am participating in.  I used Hoffman's Digital Prints as the fabric for the front and quilted in a 1/2 inch grid.

Yesterday, I watched a couple of TV shows and stitched down the binding.

So here it is all finished.  I need to put a label on the back and get it ready to ship out in the next couple of days.

Another project I knocked out was my block for the Bee Hive group swap.

The April Queen wanted novelty animal fabric and bright yellow.  I realized just how little (as in none) yellow I actually had in my stash.  I didn't realize the yellow I picked was a reproduction print also, so the square has a very 'vintage' feeling.

I do have my pieces cut for the April RSC16 blocks and I made my color wedge (orange), but didn't take any pictures of it yet.

Well, off to the rain!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Two Bags Full

One thing about being a seamstress/quilter/crafter, is when anyone offers you free fabric you take it.  Doesn't really matter what it might be, you haul it home.  I was gifted a couple of bags of fabric recently and brought it home, like a stray dog or cat, to take up residence.  

One of the pieces was about three yards of this...

Not sure what I could do with it and then it hit me!  I don't have curtains in my room and the green in the pattern matches the green of my walls.  My window in my bedroom is long and narrow, horizontally.  I really didn't want curtains to block out the east light completely, but needed something over the bare window.  

So with a few thumbtacks and about 10 minutes, it was hung over the window.

As Savvy says, very 'bohemian', a look I was going for.  Free and pretty are a great combination any day.

There are several pieces of upholstery fabric which I will hold onto to make bags or journal covers.  And a couple of pieces which might be turned into a Victorian-looking suit for cosplay.  The colors don't thrill me, but a package of dye might solve that problem.  And a lot of 'silky' fabric.

This is what I have planned for these two pieces.  And the lighter piece is about 5 yards, so I have plenty to then do this...

Out of some of the other pieces, I will make Savvy some little tees to wear with slacks and skirts, under a jacket or sweater, for work.

The downside to all this generosity is I now have several additional projects on my list.  And now I really want a serger for the seams on the tops, to make them more polished looking.  

I was strong and sorted out the fabric I don't want.  Now I have about half a bag to take to the thrift store for someone else to take home. 

So I am off to rearrange my project pile to accommodate the new projects.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Cleopatra's Fan Quilt

I had seen a quilt using the Cleopatra's Fan pattern and had pinned it to my board for future reference.  Then one of my local quilt stores, Creative Stitches, offered a class on it out of the blue.  Needless to say, it seemed like an omen.  So I gathered up my Joann's coupons and purchased my fabric.  (I couldn't buy it at the LQS as she has a small inventory and none fit my 'vision'.)

Not a great picture of the fabrics being used, but almost all of it is metallic.  The cream/gold on the left is my background and I have two constants I will be using, with the others filling in.

The green patterned fabric is one of my constants. The cream/gold, by background. There are 10 pieces in each half of the fan, so 20 total for each block.  A bit of curved seams and some planning involved.  This is not a block you can just sew on mindlessly.  In fact, I will probably draw up a template of the block so I can lay the pieces out on to be sure I have the right fabric in the right spot.  This will be a quilt I work on over an extended period of time.  No rushing here.

This is my finished block.  I'm not trimming it until I get all of the blocks done just to be sure.  But I think Cleopatra would approve.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

I Finished A Pair!

I have had the 'one sock syndrome' for ages.  In North Caroilna, in storage, is an unfinished pair, I'm sure.  But last night I did it!  I conquered the single sock and actually made a pair and have them on as I type this.

The pattern is Fiber Trends Railroad Rib Socks using Plymouth Yarn Encore Colorspun Worsted Weight Yarn in a purple variegated.  The pattern and yarn were recommended to me a couple of years ago by Pam at Pam's Knit and Stitch in Great Falls.  Luckily, I don't get to Great Falls often, otherwise I would have a ton more knitting projects on hand.

While this was done in a Plymouth Yarn, I just bought a really cute hat kit for Lady K, also from Plymouth Yarn.  The eyes, nose, and ears are already done for you and you knit the hat.  Really cute.  But the worsted weight yarn is, well, thin.  I started working with it and am really, really disappointed with the feel of it.  It would do for a hat for someone in Florida, not in Montana.  And in talking to Plymouth Yarns about my disappointment in the weight of the yarn, I was told to take it back to the place where I got it.  Problem is, it's two hours away and don't think I will be back there anytime soon.  When I advised them of this, they told me to call the store and make arrangements to mail it back.   No more Plymouth Yarns for me.  

So will have to pull out a Lion Brand yarn in a similar color I have on hand (I think) to knit the hat.  But that's for another day.

(Note:  this is also a project off my goals list for this quarter!)

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Fibers and Fabric This Past Week

Despite feeling under the weather (or maybe cause I was under the weather), I have managed to get some projects moving forward.  

The first, and one that had a definite deadline, was my block for the January Bee Hive Swap.  

I made two blocks, one to send, one to keep.  Mine, I sewed together and used the less than perfect blocks for it.  This way I will have a second quilt top by the time the swap is over at the end of the year.  One that is all my blocks and another one block from each month I sent out.  I love the deadline requirement and the color requirements the other "Queens" will come up with.

The second challenge I am involved in is the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge 2016.  The first month is blue and a Twinkle Star.

My shadow is involved with the picture and I was too sick to care.  My center block is a dark blue batik with the words 'create', 'imagine', among others on it.  Then the dark points are a purple/blue batik.  The light points are a blue/grey batik.  I wanted/needed to do six blocks for the quilt and I ran out of the light blue and subbed a darker blue on one block.  This was a fun block to put together once I got the measurements right.  Now I need more white background fabric for next month.  And I want to make another block with the white a dark color and the blues a light fabric in color.  In other words, swapping the light/dark in the block to see what it looks like.  May this week.

Another item I am working on for my goals for this month is this piece of knitting which I started, abandoned and have picked up to finish up in January.  I now have one sock finished and the second one started.

The picture of the sock on my foot is the true color of the yarn.  It's a worseted weight yarn and the pattern is Railroad Rib Sock by Fiber Trends and was recommended by my LYS in Great Falls as a go-to sock.  The pattern, so far, has been fast and easy, even finishing off the toe with a Kitchener Stitch which I have not done before.  Texter thinks the yarn is too stiff for her, which means I might be able to keep them for myself.  They will make a good pair to wear around the house to keep my feet warm.

While I hadn't planned on adding to my stash, I did pick up a hat to knit this weekend.  It's going to be a fun knit, and hopefully, a quick one.  At the yarn store they had some of the Plymouth Yarnimals which are super cute and I can knit it in an adult size.


It comes with the eyes, ears, nose, mouth and ties already made.  All you have to do is knit the hat.  Can't wait to get started on it.  They also have an owl one, but Lady K wanted the monkey.  

Another fun thing coming up is I have a couple of friends who want to learn to knit and have asked me to get them started.  Can't wait!  More people speaking my language of fibers and needles.  I need to round up the rest of my needles I have 

The Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt is still in pieces.  Pieces being combined to become larger pieces.  I am so tired of pressing and trimming and trimming and pressing.  Since I feel like I want to 'get it done', I have set it aside for a couple of days and then push forward again.  Hopefully, this week I can mark it off my to-do list and move it to the next stage of 'needing border fabric'. 

Another thing I can't wait for and I will be lending a hand on (so I can take advantage of it), is my friend Kathleen is setting up a studio.  A studio! For Quilting!  And a large design wall!  And access to it!  And to her expertise! And a possible long arm quilter in the future!  It's like saying I have access to Aladdin's Cave.  But I have at least one quilt I need a large design wall to set out the pieces on and ask for suggestions on how to get the pieces 'together'.  My Geisha Garden Walk quilt I have designed for Savvy has the background fabric being cut on the bias and panels set into it.  A bit tricky on that part and will need some guidance and a large design wall to put it up on to mark and view.

Also, this week starts the Modern HST QAL.  Hosted by Alyce of Blossom Heart Quilts, who is also the host of the Bee Hive Swaps.  I have a lot of this owl fabric collection and will use it for the QAL. I will probably need to buy some solid background fabric, but can't wait to get started.

So are, 10 days into January, I am pleased with how my fabric and fiber tasks are being accomplished.  And I'm having fun doing it, they are not just things to check off a list.  The end of the month should be fun recounting where I am with my goals in this category.