Friday, November 26, 2010

Fibre Friday

A Friday to myself.....what to do, what to do...The possibilities are endless. There are the things I should be doing:
And then there are the things I want to do: Such as:
1. Work on my Grandmother's Garden quilt. This is a photo from our November retreat. I worked on this UFO for 2 days, and have not sewed a stitch on anything since.
2. Work on my baby quilt, also pictured above. I brought it to retreat, pinned the blocks up and never sewed a stitch on it. My ambitions are always larger than my time frame.
3. Start my Christmas gifts. Hmm. I am doing it again. Every year, I swear I will not fall victim to what has laughingly become known as "Susan and Cheri's Annual Christmas Panic", and every year I do. Hi, Cheri! Are you panicking yet? In November, it suddenly occurs to me that Christmas is coming, and that I have to make a gift for each of my friends and loved ones, because bought gifts just aren't the same. Then I end up sewing gifts til 1AM Christmas Eve, and wrapping unfinished ones for those closest to me, with promises to finish them by Jan 1st. Every year, my New Year's Resolutions, to finish my UFO's and make a Christmas Present a month, are dusted off with great intentions. Once the memory of sewing quilt binding on until 15 min before I am due at my Mother's for Christmas dinner fades, I go back to my old ways. Will I ever learn? 
4. Spin wool rovings, dyed at my friend Lynda's last month, while watching season one of Glee. Alas, I am a sucker for musicals.

5. Tidy up all the silk embroidery ribbon and thread I dyed this month. I will not need to dye anything more this century. They are just lying around in a glorious tangle, and I need to sort them out desperately.

6. Sit back and admire the yarn I spun and plied yesterday evening:

7. Have all my friends over for tea this afternoon and work on my embroidery. Speaking of embroidery, I finished another project. Oh, I should have deadlines for everything. Retirement gift for Maureen, finished at noon the day of her retirement party, following a last-minute scramble looking for bellpull hardware. I thought I had some but they were too big. Thank goodness Lorrie was in Nanaimo and able to stop by The Stitcher's Muse.

8. Bake cookies for the craft sale tomorrow. Our embroidery group is hosting the luncheon, and I need to provide goodies.

9. Start a new project. I just got a pattern in the mail and it is calling my name. As an added bonus, it could be a Christmas gift as well.

I suspect my day will be filled with a combo of all of the above. I am so fickle.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Random Fall Photos

A selection of photos, unrelated to UFO's, taken this morning by myself.

Our very handsome and vocal rooster. I'm glad he is sleeping in more now that fall is here. And so are the neighbors.

The girls, we have 9 chickens in addition to the rooster. They are just about laying age. Only one of them is giving eggs. We have had 4 so far. They are all green. We are saving them til we have six and then we will make Green Eggs and Ham  for breakfast.

Hot peppers finally turning red.

The tail end of the produce in the greenhouse. The pumpkins are being saved for Halloween.

Gerbera Daisy, left over from the wedding. I have high hopes I can make them survive through the winter.

More greenhouse pics.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

I can't believe it has been about 6 weeks since I last had a blog entry. Where has the time gone? It has been a busy 6 weeks, I assure you. It is a misty fall morning, with a nip in the air. I have been forced to break down and turn the heat on. My feet were too cold, and I was shivering in bed last night. Well, I almost made it to Halloween!

Ash Street this morning in the fog

And what have I been up to, you may ask?

There is this:
Canning Fall 2010

And this:

Spinning: My first yarn, Oct 2010
This yarn was spun out of a Blue-faced Leisteshire Top I purchased at the Gibson's Fibre Arts Festival. This is my first kick at the spinning cat. I fear I will get hooked. My singles were pretty variable in thickness, as you can see. Once I started plying it was so exciting. Repeat after me: I do not need another hobby, I do not need another hobby, I do not need another hobby....

Then I finished this:
Red Hot Chili Pepper Socks, Circa Mexico Holiday Feb 2009
These socks were for myself, from a pattern by Cat Bordhi, called The Milkmaid Stockings. The yarn was Knitpicks Undyed fingering weight, dyed by myself. The pattern was very interesting but required a bit of concentration, as most of the patterns from her book, New Pathways in Sock Knitting , do. None of these designs follow the traditional way of turning a heel with side gussets, her increases are located just about anywhere, on the bottom of the foot, the top of the foot etc. This leads to incredibly beautiful design possibilities, but these socks are not for KIP (knitting in public).
Check this book out if you want a challenge.

Alas, because I finished the socks, I allowed myself to cast on:

Fingerless lace gloves, from Fall 2010 Vogue Knitting
Who could resist? Here is a photo of the finished project, by Shiri Mor. This is a fun and easy knit, pattern is easy to memorize, although it looks challenging. The sizing on the gloves is done by changing needle sizes throughout the pattern. Alas, I have lost one of the pairs of needles on a trip to Nanaimo. But I am sure I can find another in my stash.  Am I trading one UFO for another? Time will tell...

I also finished my baby Sweater:

Sweater for Leota, knitted from Baby Bamboo. Love this yarn. Silky smooth and with a beautiful lustre.

And, finally, there is this:

Fall Leaves Project from Nanaimo Stitch-In

 Ta-dah. Although, I must admit there is one bit of finishing to do. I have to put a button and buttonhole on the back to close the pillow up. It is held in place with a pin at the moment. I will try to do this today, or it will remain pinned for eternity.

I have a whole day off today. What should I do with it? My choices are:

1. Study for the Advanced Cardiac Life Support Course I am taking this weekend.
2. Help my brother Ron edit his book "World of Legends", he finally has a publisher interested, and is doing a fast revision at their request.
3. Deal with these:
Almost the last batch of tomatos from our garden.
4. Work on the retirement gift for my co-worker Maureen. Deadline: November 13th, 6 PM, at her retirement party. Project "N is for Nurse Sampler" by the Victoria Sampler. I am half way done, or maybe slightly more than halfway. I will accomplish 2 objectives by completing this gift. a) thoughtful handmade gift b)UFO to cross off the list. Link to pattern:

5. Work on delinquent thank you cards for our July wedding. I have had them laid out and ready for weeks. Bad Susan for not working on them sooner.

Thank you cards, not done yet.
7. Blow off all these and work on something else...

Hmmm. Tricky.

Monday, September 20, 2010


It has been almost a month since I posted, a month filled with activity...Mostly of the canning variety. Our garden just exploded this year, so I have been canning produce like a fiend. I have put up over 250 jars of assorted relishes, jams, pickles, and tomato sauce!

Our Garden 2010

The Tomato Hut

However, things are not without progress on the UFO front. I rose to my summer challenge and actually finished my Embroidery Group Challenge of doing the finishing on my Stitcher's Chair Necessaire. (On the morning of the September meeting.) And here is the photo to prove it:

I also went to the Gibson's Landing Fibre Arts Festival and took 3 courses. I am proud to say that I have returned home without any UFO's to show for this outing. Of course, two of the classes did not have actual projects. One class was on natural dying of wool, and we dyed 22 different colors of wool from one dyebath (madder root). The other class was beginner spinning, and I did come home with some hand-dyed rovings and a borrowed spinning wheel, which I have not had time to get back to. Do hand-dyed rovings qualify as a UFO??? I don't think so.

And now, last but not least, a completed project from my third class, which was an Embroidery Stitch Sampler Book taught by Betty McCaskey....ta dah! This was a really fun exercise. She would teach us a stitch and we would freehand embroider a design with each stitch. The pages are then blanket stitched together into a book.

I was determined not to have another UFO to add to my pile, and finished it within 2 weeks of getting home, in between canning tomatoes.

I have, however, started another quilting project. This one has a deadline. It is a quilt for my new granddaughter, Leota, who was born Sept 13. Some photos of the WIP:

I have to get this done by the baby shower in 2 weeks, so I don't think this will join the UFO pile. It is a really fun pattern. There is lots of decorative stitching and embellishment, though I changed the original colors from white and pastels to bright blue and neons.

Oh, and I also started knitting a baby hat. 

Another Class UFO?

I have just returned from Nanaimo, where I participated in the ANA Guild's Fall Festival. We stitched a fall-themed piece, a circle of 5 leaves. The workshop was in a round-robin format, with an hour and a half devoted to each leaf, which were all in different techniques.

This will, alas,  be a forced UFO, as I ran out of thread for 2 of the leaves. I have ordered a couple skeins from the Nordic Needle, along with a DVD on needlepainting, plus a kit of needlepainted pansies. I am not allowed to start this new treasure until I finish the Tanya Berlin Fox.  I repeat, NOT ALLOWED.

I also finished the baby hat for Leota!

And started a little baby sweater, see WIP photo below.

And purchased a kit for a sampler at the White Elephant Sale at the Guild Festival. It has been started by the previous owner, and was only $5.00. I think I will finish it, as I don't have any UFO's of my own to work on. Here is a link to the finished project. Here is a photo of the stitched piece so far.

The Texada Quilter's Guild is also going to start a Block of the Month Quilt, the Halloween Baltimore Album. One hand appliqued block a month. Should be do-able. Here is a link to the project in question. How can one resist? The first block is an owl. Love it.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

UFO List Part 3 - Quilting

I'm afraid this list will be just as long as the other too. Sigh. Here goes.

1. Mystery Quilt: A mystery quilt my Texada Quilter's Guild did about, oh, 4 or 5 years ago. The top is actually pieced, but then I decided to add an applique border once it was all done. The stumbling block is, of course, that the whole quilt has to be manipulated under the sewing machine in order to stitch down the daisies. Hmm. Wish I had planned this out better. It is much easier to turn a block under the machine than the whole quilt. Love the border anyway, just don't want to deal with it. .

2. Lazy Crazy Quilt. A Thimbleberries Kit that I thoroughly enjoyed making. It is sandwiched, pinned and ready to quilt. What is the hold up you may ask? I have no idea.

3. Mama's Table Runner. Circa Spring 2010. I made 4 kits up for my friends and we all have a challenge to finish it. I pieced the top in one day, then stalled on the hand applique. It is really pretty. Don't mind the wrinkles. It has been rolled in a ball in my purse. Got to get back to it.


4. Grandmother's Garden Quilt. WIP for about 5 years now. Blocks have been completed for about 2 years. I decided to do this very elaborate Trapunto quilting. There are 18 hand appliqued Flower blocks and at least a dozen Trapunto blocks. Each one takes at least an hour to an hour and a half to quilt with trapunto and tiny stippling. I still have to piece the borders. This one was stalled for many reasons. First, I changed by mind about having a printed fabric sashing, and decided to put the setting blocks in, but had not bought enough material to do this. I had to look for at least 2 years to find something I liked. I bought fabric twice, in the end.  Goal: to finish it for the March 2011 Timberlane Quilt Show.

5.Snowman Quilt.. A Round Robin Block Exchange through the Timberlane Quilter's Guild. I put one block in a cookie tin and invited other guild members to add more snowmen. The tin made the rounds and now I have 12 blocks to put together. Just have to brainstorm how I want to set them.

6. Do You Hear What I Hear Wall Hanging. Based upon a panel I bought. I have to design the outer borders. A good idea that stalled once Christmas Passed.

7. Stained Glass Roses. Abandoned after I decided I did not like the green fabric I chose for the leaves and had to pick out all the tiny black zig zag stitches.

8. Santa's Midnight Runner. I made one of these for a gift, and a second one for myself. You can guess which one is not finished and why.

9. Rose of Sharon. Another hand appliqued masterpiece in progress. Only two blocks finished so far. Not finished because I have had no time for hand work lately.

10. Merry Christmas Quilt. A group project of the Texada Quilters. Who has finished theirs? Barb and Angel, I think. I'm not sure who else. Must get back to this one. It is too much fun.

11. Lorrie's 50th Birthday Quilt. He is now 53. I gave it to him for his birthday, with pins still in it, only partially quilted. It is mostly finished. I have always wanted to go back and do some heavier quilting in the large blocks. I hung it at the last Timberlane Quilt Show, and we used it over the July long weekend in our camper. But it is still not considered finished (by me).

12. Storm at Sea Quilt. A paper-pieced quilt from a class taken at least 4 years ago. Blocks for the original project are finished. I decided to make it bigger (of course) and stalled when I ran out of fabric. I just needed, like, 4 inches more. Some lovely person who sews at Rose Garden Quilts in Powell River came to my rescue and left a strip of gold fabric there for me. So nothing is preventing me from continuing now except my own self.

13. Rose Cottage Quilt. A block of the month I joined last year. I have cut out the first 4 blocks. I guess that makes it a started project. Or, maybe a project is only started once it hits the sewing machine...What do my readers think of this shameless attempt to remove a UFO from the list.

14. Placemats. Started a couple years ago at the Texada Retreat. We are all supposed to bring a quilted placemat for our meals. After attending for 2 years, I was shamed into making one. Except, of course, I started a set of four. I didn't finish it by the end of the retreat, so it went into a box. Goal: finish it by the Fall retreat this year.

15. Pumpkin Table Runner. My first hand-quilted project. No time for hand quilting. Will not revisit this unless future holds an abundance of leisure time, say when I win the Lottery. Which I never buy tickets for.

16. Neon Wall Hanging. Result of a class in free form curved piecing. I loved this technique, but, have never done it again since the class.

17. Curved Piecing project #2. Ditto.

18. Dogwood Purse. Wool hand applique. For myself, so languishing in a drawer. No photo yet.

19. Wool Applique Needlebook. Miniworkshop by Barb McC. Never looked at again after said workshop. No photo yet.

20. Spring Quilt. Group project for Cheri, Angel and I. Started when we used to get together on Thursday afternoons to stitch. Alas, we have not had regular Thursday stitch in's for several months. We pooled our fabric collection to make the quilt. Angel has stitched almost all her blocks, while on the past 2 years vacations. Apparently lots of time in airports, on buses etc is well spent. I have stitched 2 blocks. I don't think Cheri has started hers.

21. Japanese Tote Bag. Started strip-piecing the pockets one Thurday with Angel. We haven't got back to this one since.

22. Christmas Bell Pull. I have made this as a gift, and finished it. This one, you guessed it, is for me.

23. Hands Across The Water 2009. I won the block draw and now have some blocks to put together. 2 of them need to be replaced with new ones, as the makers used colors other than blue to create them and they just don't fit in.

24. Teapot Table Runner. Was to be donated for the Legion fundraiser but did not finish it in time. Maybe for this year's (or next year's, as the case may be.)

25. French Country Tea Cosy and Mat. Made 3 of these for gifts. This is the one I did not finish.

26. Mexican Star. Another class. I finished the quilt as per the class, but decided to make it bigger. Why do I do this. Need to decide how I want to accomplish this with a limited amount of the original material and no idea how I want to expand this quilt. Lightning will strike, I hope.

27. You guessed it, another class. This one in the reverse applique technique. I need to stop taking classes.

27. These pitiful scraps and templates are the result of reading a book by Jinny Beyer. She hand-pieces all her quilts. Somewhere in my dreams I decided this would be a good thing to try and started cutting out a wall hanging to hand piece. If I finish this one, I think I will revert to machine piecing. I don't have the time to do the handwork I want to do, let alone sewing straight lines in running stitch.

This is worse than I thought. I somehow thought the quilting list would be smaller than the embroidery list.