Thursday, February 2, 2023

February Snow Day?

It took until February 1st for my area of New York to have its first measurable snow. A record was set in New York City for the latest measurable snowfall (.4 inches) since records were kept from 1869. Wow! It has been that kind of Winter here. Grey, dreary, cloudy, but too warm for snow. We had what I would call a dusting of snow. 

It was gone by the afternoon. I decided it was enough snow for me to declare a snow day, hibernate inside and sew. I really do want to make some progress on the quilt I am making for my daughter and son-in-law. I have to make 196 log cabin blocks. As of yesterday I have 61 made. 

I started on the next 10. The block on the left is the sample that I follow along with the book.

I also spent some time unknitting. I found a mistake in the edging of the baby blanket 4 rows back and I just couldn't leave it.

I am now back to where I was when I started unknitting plus one more row. 

I am waiting on more comic book boards so I can finish storing my fabrics. I never thought that I had a lot of fabric and I don't compared to serious quilters, but I have way more than I imagined. I have already covered 100 comic book boards with fabric and I easily have 25 or more fabrics still to store this way. I also have a fairly sizeable collection of fat quarters. Now that I have been doing some organizing, I realize I have plenty to choose from for some smaller projects, maybe ever for some larger projects also. 

We enjoyed a visit to our daughter and her family last weekend. It had been 5 weeks since we had seen our granddaughter and she was fearful of us at first. She warmed up pretty quickly and surprised all of us, by rolling over from her back to her tummy for the first time. The next day she rolled from tummy to back for the first time. She is hitting all the important milestones. She does not like to sit still and almost always has her legs moving and kicking. She brings us a lot of joy.

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, January 29, 2023

HQAL update

My hand-quilting on this table topper is moving along quite slowly. I only work on it when visiting my mother. Sometimes I sit with her and just hold her hand, so no quilting. Here is where I was three weeks ago. I had just started quilting the borders.

I am still working on those borders. 

I have to move the hoop a lot to work on the two inner borders. I will have to work on the outer row without the hoop. 

I realize now that the borders are actually pieced as if they were the courthouse steps pattern except that the center is a large block.

This HQAL is an opportunity for hand quilters to share and motivate each other. The talented quilters below post every three weeks to show our progress and encourage one another. Stop by their sites to see what they are working on. If you have a hand project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

KathyMargaretDebNanette, SharonKarrinDaisyConnie and Cathie 


Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, January 27, 2023

January Baby Crafts

Grey January days mean lots of crafting and we sure have had our share of them this month. Hubby and I were taking a walk around our neighborhood and bemoaning the fact that there has been very little sun all month. We don't mind the cold daily walks normally, but the grey, cloudy skies and cool breeze/wind with no sun shining on your face does not really make these walks pleasant. Those grey skies have meant on and off rain this month also. No snow. I happen to like a few snowy days. Even if there are grey skies afterward at least it is bright outside. So far January has been quite depressing weather wise. 

I have managed to make a lot of progress on my crafts. 59 out of 198 rows of crochet are completed on the baby blanket for my future grandson. Only a peek remember.

I have been trying to crochet 3 rows per day. Some days I manage a few more.

I have also started a new yarn project for another baby that is being born this Spring. This blanket will be knitted.

I have already had to rip out a few rows, but I think I have the pattern down now. It is a 4 row repeat with two of the rows just knit. I can work on it while watching TV which is a plus, because I can't do that with most of the other WIPs.

The birth announcement is stitching up quickly. I have finished the motifs across the bottom and are working on the flowers up the sides. Isn't that little bear adorable. It is hard to see my progress on the flowers as the floss is off-white on a white background so I left the needle in to show you where to look.

I can only stitch these flowers under bright overhead lighting, so I usually work on this in the morning or on the rare sunny days. 

This wonderful craft kit came in the mail a few days ago.

Natalie's parents chose it for her and I ordered it from Herrschners while their after Christmas sale was still going on. This will be added to the crafting rotation once one of the others above are completed.

I had to add a few items to the order to get free shipping, so I also ordered a the extra brown floss I need for the border of the birth announcement, a pair of new embroidery scissors....because you can never have too many.... and a clearance cross-stitch book. It was only $3.99. Quite a bargain for a hardcover book.

I will be joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are up to. I certainly have plenty to keep me busy.

Thanks for stopping by!




Sunday, January 22, 2023

Stitch Along

I have made a whole lot of progress on the birth announcement. This is what I am working on. I was getting ready to start it 3 weeks ago.


 This is where I am now. 

There has been a whole lot of frogging on this piece. The border has been easy to stitch. Though I got bored stitching brown and decided to start the interior. The green on the bottom was almost fully stitched....two different colors....when I realized that something was wrong. There was minimal difference in the two colors and you should have been able to see a dark and a bright. It turns out that I must have put a few stray strands of a different floss on the DMC 699 bobbin and it was almost the same color as the lighter green. I think those stray strands may have been leftovers from a kit. I took out all of the green stitches, threw away the mismatched color and started over. The rest of the floss on the 699 bobbin was a nice rich dark green and definitely the correct color. 

This piece is stitching up quickly which makes me very happy. I am also still working on the Woodland Animals stocking as I just don't want to put it aside. 

Thank you to Avis at Sewing Beside the Sea for hosting Stitch Along every three weeks and sending us the needed posting reminders. 

Grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea and take some time to visit the other bloggers below who are part of this stitch-along. There is a wide variety of stitching projects. These talented stitchers are from all over the world, so please allow for the time differences and check back for each post. Helen is under the weather this week so she won't be posting an update, but I included her in the list if you wish to visit her site and see what she has been up to. I hope she feels better soon.

AvisClaireGun, ChristinaKathyMargaret

HeidiJackieSunnyMeganDeborahSharon

DaisyAJCathieLindaHelenConnie, MaryMargaretCindy

Thanks for stopping by! 

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Making a mess

There needs to be a mess, before there is organization. At least that is what I am telling myself. Here is the mess. 

This is just some of what I took out of the top shelf of my large craft cabinet. I am trying to better organize my crafts.....most specifically my fabric. One, I want to know what I have in fabric and kits. Two, I want to be able to easily access my fabrics which hasn't been possible when they are in tall stacks on one shelf.

First I took all of my felt and stored it in a large plastic container that I recently emptied of cradle linens that were no longer needed.

This doesn't look like a lot from here, but I have a very large piece of red felt. I bought a bunch years ago to when I made a floor length table cloth for my mother for her table top Christmas tree. There is also a large piece of black felt. I don't remember why I bought it. The rest is mostly small 9"x11" pieces. It fills the container though. 

Next I sorted the fabrics I have from long ago clothing and curtain projects. 

I used to make skorts, jumpers and dresses for my daughter when she was little.
The photo below is from 1996. You can see that I still have some of that fabric above. I saved the jumper also. Maybe Natalie will wear it sometime.

Next I sorted the kits and patterns.

I have way more than I realized. Once I finish the stocking and birth announcement, I want to start on that Santa kit. My son bought it for me a few years ago.

Can you see the Latch Hook Kit in the background. It's Tweety!

This was one of my daughter's crafts. It is about 2/3 finished. I asked her if she wants to finish it and she said no, so I think I will add it into my rotation and make it into a cute pillow or wall hanging to have around for the grandchildren. It is a mindless craft and I hate to see it unfinished. 

Next I resumed organizing my fabric. The reason I cleared out the top shelf is to that I could have two shelves of fabric organized vertically.

I haven't yet finished putting all of my fabric on comic book boards, but I am well on my way. I have more fabric than I thought. I have another pile sitting waiting to be carded.  You can see on the top shelf that I am going to store some of the kits and patterns behind the fabric stash. The shelves are deep enough for it. I think I will make lists of the patterns and kits that are stored and their location so that I can remember what I have and easily find it. I can post those lists inside the cabinet doors near the corresponding shelf.

This is a tall cabinet with 4 storage shelves. The bottom is full of stacking boxes of craft supplies like buttons, gift ribbon and more. The second from the bottom shelf has all of my batting and cross-stitch fabric.


I couldn't photograph the entire cabinet as there is a sectional right in front of it. There is only a doors worth of space between the cabinet and the sectional. You can see that the batting and fiberfill is stored willy nilly. I am hoping to clear this shelf also and put all the batting in my daughter's old toy chest. Right now it is stacked on top of my son's in another part of the basement, but it is mostly empty. It is a perfect place to store the batting and fiberfill. That will open up another shelf for my fabric. I have far more fabric than I realized. 

So I will get back to carding the fabric and try to figure out what to do with the pieces that are too small for the comic book cards, but too big to throw in with scraps. I don't want to buy more boxes. I have too many already.  I have made decent progress on reorganizing this cabinet though. The mess is being tamed.

Thanks for visiting,

Cathie





Sunday, January 15, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

Despite a very stressful week for a variety of reasons that I will briefly explain at the end of this post, I managed to make a whole lot of progress on several projects.

First, I have started working on the birth announcement.

 Working from the center wasn't going to work, because that is where the baby's name goes and he isn't due until June. I realized that this piece of Zwiegart 14 count was plenty large enough start working from one end. I have been working on the border. Three sides are completed. It uses a whole lot of floss as the pattern calls for 3 strands of floss. I do like the thick coverage though.

I have decided to continue working on the stocking as the birth announcement is working up quickly and I enjoy stitching the stocking. I have been adding stitches to the tree to the left of the bear.

I stitched the final log of the 10 quilt blocks that I am working on. 

Now I just have to war through adding each log to the blocks. It takes some time....at least for me...to get the seams to match up even with pinning. I am always thrilled when it happens on the first try.

I have completed 24 of 198 rows on the baby blanket. I can only give you a peak as I want this to be a surprise.

 I have adjusted the way I hold the crochet hook so that I keep my thumb more stationary and I have found that I can comfortably stitch 3 rows each day. 

Now for a brief synopsis of my story. I am supposed to be informed of any changes to the schedule of aides that take care of my mom. I wasn't informed that there would be a different aide Christmas day, New Year's day and this past Sunday. On Monday, I called the agency to complain that I hadn't been informed of the changes. Too bad that the agency didn't know about them either. The aide that is normally scheduled for Sundays had clocked in for all those shifts, but had someone she knew taking care of my mother. Now this person seemed very nice when I met her, but it is unclear whether she was even certified for home health care. Needless to say, the aide who did this has since been fired and I now have several new aides covering her shifts. This is difficult at this time as my mother also reentered Hospice care this week as she is barely eating anything any more. The pureed foods that I was making for her are now too thick for her to eat. We have had to thin everything with broth. Somedays she is too week to even use a straw. I am stressed, mad and sad all at the same time. It has been one heck of a week to say the least. 

When I am stressed I not only craft, but I bake. This week I baked a Buttermilk Banana Bread. I thought it was very tasty and a nice way to use up leftover buttermilk and over ripe bananas.

This recipe was just average. I found the bread to be heavy and fairly bland. 

I am joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. Pop on over to her site and see what other bloggers are stitching. My crafts have been my saving grace this past week. They allow me to slow down and take a breath and think. 

I am also linking with Kate at Life in Pieces for 15 Minutes to Stitch. I have no problem doing that each day lately. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 8, 2023

First HQAL post of 2023

This week we are welcoming Connie back to our little group of hand quilters. What a nice way to start the new year.

I haven't been getting all that much stitched on the table topper. I work on it sometimes when I am visiting my mother. This is where I was on the last update.

I have finally finished quilting the center medallion. I am going to just quilt 1/4" away from the seams for the outer borders that have been pieced like a log cabin block. This is different from my original plan of piano keys. I started working on those borders yesterday. I am using 1/4" quilting tape as my guide.

This HQAL is an opportunity for hand quilters to share and motivate each other. The talented quilters below post every three weeks to show our progress and encourage one another. Stop by their sites to see what they are working on. If you have a hand project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

KathyMargaretDebNanette, SharonKarrinDaisy, Connie and Cathie 


Thanks for stopping by!