I’m back.

Hi. I cannot believe how much time has gone by. A lot has happened and I can’t even begin to sum it all up. I’ve gone to a number of retreats since February. My daughter graduated and is happy as a clam in Boston.  The family went on a memorable trip to the Philippines during the summer and my son has started high school.  We are chugging along. Yesterday I celebrated my 43rd birthday and today, I decided to get off my butt and start blogging again.  I get so much done putting up my action plans and writing about what I’m doing and why.  It holds me accountable and I think about my projects more.  I’m probably not going to link up to other blogs like I’ve done in the past because I just don’t have the time.

Another huge thing that happened during my hiatus was a move across town.  It was not planned and it was an unexpected, sudden, crappy situation.  But we are doing well and we are in a great neighborhood.  It’s a little smaller than our old house so I have not unpacked all my crafty stuff.  It has helped in getting some old projects done.

In the interest of time, I’m not going to go through all my finishes over the last several months. I’ll sprinkle them in over time.  For now, I’ll talk about my crafty plans for the next few weeks.

I’m working on my Good Fortune quilt. and I’m on the Reveal putting pieces together.  There are always so many steps in the reveal.  So I’ve finished putting together these blocks

and I’m working on putting them together for a larger block.

I’m alternating this project with a Scrappy project from 2016. I’m on clue #3 step 12 or something like that.  I’ll show pics when I next work on it.

~happy quilting!

Melanie

 

Update on February Plans and this week’s POA, week 7, 2019

Good morning my friends,

It was a productive week.

For quilting:

Celtic Solstice – Goal for February is to have this bound and labeled.

Celtic Solstice
2/9/19
Binding in process

Good Fortune – Goal is to finish Clue 2 and start on Clue 3. I normally work on this on Sunday’s with a friend and yesterday was our guild’s workshop so we didn’t get together. Next Sunday I will be out of town so the next time I will be getting together at Tova’s will be Sunday, 2/24.  You’ll be happy to know that I did finish Clue 2. and all I need to do is to start on Clue 3.  Which I’ll be able to do when we next get together.

Good Fortune Mystery Quilt
Clue Two
Finished
2/3/19

 

Provence – Goal is to piece the border. – not yet done… And with the next 2 weekends filled with activities, not sure if I’ll be able to get this done.

For Knitting:

January Socks – Finished one sock!

January Socks
just one
2/5/19
Honey Bees Dance
by Helen Stewart

 

February Sock – I’m working on Mercury socks by Kim McKenzie/Drotrar using Hypnotic Yarn’s Grinchmas.  I love the colorway but the yarn is too plum for socks for me.  I would probably love a hat or gloves with this yarn.  While it’s cold now, it doesn’t get cold often enough in Los Angeles to warrant making a lot of wool plump socks.  The yarn is 80% SW Merino, 20% Nylon and at first my knitting friend who is much more accomplished than I thought it might be the 80/20 blend that I don’t like.  But after a few days thought that that’s probably not it as I’ve been knitting with similar yarn compositions in the past.  So then we realized that there are only 400 yards in this 100 grams and I’ve been knitting with yardage around 430’s and up.  Which is why this particular yarn is plumper than the yarn I normally work with.  The yarn is lovely, don’t get me wrong, just not something I want to use in socks again. Anyway, I’m almost through the foot and will be working on the heel before the weeks ends.

Jacob’s Weasley Sweater – This sweater is in time out.  I can’t even talk about it at the moment.

Featherweight cardigan – I am finished blending out yarn 1 on one sleeve. I have to work on blending out yarn 1 on the second sleeve and finish blending it out of the body.  Then I’ll be working solely with yarn 2 for a little bit while I think about when to blend in yarn 3. I’ll get a picture once Yarn 1 is blended out completely. Right now there are so many yarn bits hanging out it’s difficult to try on let alone to take a pic with it.

For Cross Stitching:

  • Mama’s Bukid- Goal is to finish column 1 and 2 on page 3 and 6.

Mama’s Bukid
2/10/19
almost done with columns 1 and 2 on pages 3 and 6

  • Gamer – Goal is to finish page 6. I have about 2 more columns to do so I’m pretty close to this goal.  I just need to finish my goal for Mama’s Bukid, then I can work on this project. The only thing is that I am out of town this coming weekend so I will not be able to stitch a lot. I think that that is okay but it does mean I have to rush, which I hate doing. 🙂
  • Snowman – Goal is to finish stitching the perimeter of this WIP. I have worked on this a bit and I have about 1 side left to finish in order to have the perimeter completely stitched on this project. This is my traveling piece so I’ll be working on this a lot this weekend.

This coming weekend I’ll be out of town so I may not be able to get a post out. I plan to not visit any shops (quilt shops, yarn shops, needlepoint shops) as I need to not spend money on anything other than food and gas and possibly parking, if necessary.  My daughter was just accepted to Boston University and I need to watch my pennies.  Of course, we’re still waiting to hear back in regards to her financial aid package and depending on what they give her will determine whether she will go there or not.  Instead, the daughter and I will be visiting San Francisco State just in case the financial aid package at BU is unacceptable.

Keep crafting and love on!

xoxo,

Melanie

 

 

 

Saturday Musings, quilt on!

My major project over the next couple weeks is this skirt:

Delphine Skirt
by Tilly and the Buttons

 

I hope it’s cute on me.  But if it’s not – well, I am taking this opportunity to practice sewing.  It’s fun and right now I have the pieces cut up. Tomorrow, I plan to cut some interface for the band and to start sewing all the pieces together.  Oh and I need to buy a zipper.  So we’ll see how far I get tomorrow. I’ve been wanting to sew skirts for a long time and I hope that this will help me learn to do more.

I did a bit of unplanned crafting today.  I took my daughter to a school tour to see if it’s one of the places she might attend for college. It was not as far as I had thought and we spent about 30 minutes when she decided it wasn’t the right place for her.  So we returned home much sooner than I had thought and was able to get some things done.

1st, I was able to get part of my sleeve done on my featherweight cardigan.  I am having some yarn management issues as I transition from yarn 1 to yarn 2 so I finished yarn 1’s part on sleeve 1 and now just need to do the same on sleeve 2. Then I can continue on the body and get to the point where I start adding yarn 3.  I love how it’s turning out and I’m sorry I cannot get a very good picture of it.  Here’s the last time I was able to take a pick:

Then I was able to work on Mama’s Bukid.  My goal for February is column 1 and 2 and I’ve been stitching 1 box per day.  So today’s the 9th and since I was a little behind I stitched both box 8 and box 9.  I have 3 more boxes and I will be done with column 1 and 2 for the month. I don’t really like stitching on Mama’s Bukid but it’s my focus WIP for this year. I’ve discovered since I started stitching more that I like to stitch 18 or 25 count. As Gamer is on 18 and A Stitch In Time is on 25. Mama’s Bukid is on 14 count and I feel like it’s so big.  I need to use 4 flosses to get the right coverage I like.  But I’m persisting and I’m on track to get this done this year.

And Finally, as of this moment of writing, I measured the perimeter of Celtic Solstice and pulled fabric from the stash bins to start cutting for the binding.  I hope to cut and piece the binding tonight before I move on to my next project.

And since I pulled fabric and went through the bins in my closet, I started looking at the projects that I’ve got going.  I’m going to 2 retreats at the end of March.  It just kind of happened.  One of the retreats is with a friend and we will be up in the mountains in a cabin.  We’re both excited for that one as it sounds really nice to be up in the mountains near LA in spring.  This one runs Monday through Thursday and the second retreat is near Santa Maria, CA the following Saturday through Monday.  I will be taking my work laptop and I hope they have internet in the mountains so I can stay connected and take care of anything if necessary. So I looked at some longstanding WIPs and I’m starting to plan which projects I will take with me.  I’ve got 2 quilts ready to be quilted and those are not going to go with me to the retreat.  The 3rd quilt I’ve been working on, Provence, will probably be done before the retreats and will be in the quilting queue with the others. So I have to look at what I will take. I am still working on my Civil War Diary quilt but I generally only do a block or two at a time. My computer crashed a couple of months ago and I still haven’t re-installed EQ7 so I can print more of the block instructions.  But I think I have 2 blocks printed and ready to use from the last time I printed block instructions.  And I’ve got Area One Mystery Quilt from 2012.  I have quite a few blocks finished from previous retreats and that will be a good #1 project.  I also have Bonnie’s Good Fortune quilt that I can continue working on.  So that’s 3 projects.  I pulled a Glam Clam quilt that I started a few years ago and I don’t think it ever made it onto the blog. I also pulled “Dancing with the Stars” which is an old Linda Ballard pattern I started at a class I took with her at PIQF many years ago.  I love how my quilts are slowly getting done and I’m starting to go into my old WIPs.  At some point, I’ll be going through my new fabric and making stuff with them.  I took this opportunity to pet some of them. 🙂  I have quite a few that I purchased specifically to make skirts or to make bags.  So, one of these days, I will jump on that.  But I currently have 2 totes in process so I want to finish those before I start any new bags.

Happy crafting friends!

I will go back to my cutting table and start cutting the pieces for my binding.

Happy quilting!

Hugs,

Melanie

 

 

January’s Update and February’s Plans

For quilting:

Celtic Solstice – I have all the quilting done!  To be fair, I had 2 of the sides left to quilt at the end of January and just finished quilting the other two sides today. And, I have it all trimmed and ready for binding.  So my goal for February is to get it bound and labeled.

Celtic Solstice
All quilted
2/2/2019

Good Fortune – In January I finished Clue 1 and got through most of Clue 2.  I just need to finish trimming my HSTs for Clue 2, which I plan to do in February and work on Clue 3.

Good Fortune Mystery Quilt
Clue Two
In process
1/20/19

Provence – My goal for February is to piece the border. I’m still deciding if I should go with just 1 border or find a second border to add to it.

Provence
9/22/18

For Knitting:

I generally work on my knitting during the week and when I’m out and about.  So my focus knitting is on my monthly socks. Right now they are my February socks. Because it’s February. 🙂 In January, I was working on Helen Stewart’s Honey Bees Dance Socks and they are not done. I’m using a sock blank so I can only do 1 sock at a time (I dislike doing 1 sock at a time!).  And I’m still on my first sock. I have one last pattern repeat and then I can do the toes.  This is almost done. But it’s February now so these socks are not the socks I’m focusing on. I will try to finish these as I’m almost done… My February socks are Kim Drotar’s Mercury Socks using Hypnotic Yarns “Grinchmas” colorway.  I’m doing these toe up and I finished the first pattern repeat. I plan to do a pattern repeat a day so I should be at the heel in about 2 weeks. I work on these daily. On most Tuesdays and Thursday evenings I meet with some knitting friends at our LYS – A Major Knitwork in Van Nuys, CA.  There I work first on Jacob’s Weasley Sweater.  I finished the front and I’m currently working on the neck shaping. My goal for February is to be working on the sleeves.  And when I get to a good stopping point, my favorite piece to work on is my Featherweight Cardigan.  I love working on this and right now I’m finishing Yarn 1 and moving in Yarn 2. In February I want to be working in Yarn 3.

Honey Bees Dance Socks
January, 2019

For Cross Stitching:

  • Mama’s Bukid- I was able to finish the pages in January and every month from now until it’s finished my plan is to finish 2 columns per month.

Mama’s Bukid
January 31, 2019

  • Gamer – I was able to get halfway through page 6 so in February my goal is to finish page 6.

Gamer
1/31/2019

  • Snowman – My February goal is to finish stitching the perimeter of this WIP.

Have a Happy Saturday Night!

Keep crafting and love on!

xoxo,

Melanie

 

 

 

Good Fortune, Another Bonnie Hunter project

I do not remember if I ever mentioned this project and that I did participate… continue to participate. A guildmate and I get together most Sundays to work on our mystery quilts.  Originally it was supposed to be Bonnie Hunter’s Good Fortune Quilt but she decided to work on a different mystery quilt.  Meeting like this really helps to get me back into my quilty mode. I just started with clue 1 and I worked on that until it was done.

Good Fortune Mystery Quilt
Clue One
Finished
1/11/19

Then I started with Clue 2. I’m still working on clue two but I will probably be done with it pretty soon.

Good Fortune Mystery Quilt
Clue Two
In process
1/20/19

I’m using the square in a square method and it took me a while to figure out how wide the blue borders and the center square needed to be to get the right measurement of my HSTs. The center square needs to be about 4″ square and the borders are about 2″ wide.  The squares have to be accurate but the borders didn’t have to be exactly 2. If it was a little small or big it would still work.  This was a really fast method and my HSTs are perfect.  Hopefully, it will be done this week and I can get started on Clue 3 next Sunday.

Happy crafting,

Melanie

Provence, a border fail

So I got Provence out yesterday ready to start taking care of my #1 quilty goal this week when I pulled out the border fabric I purchased in 2012.

I hate it.  Okay, hate is too strong of a word. I’m not sure what I was thinking but it’s one thing to get a border with an idea of how the quilt will be. And quite another when the quilt is actually ready for a border.  I laid the purchased fabric to the side and decided I needed to get something else.  So off to my LQS, quilt in tow, it is. 🙂

~Melanie

Monday, POA, Week 4, 2019

I really rocked it and was able to get the inner parts of Celtic Solstice all quilted up. Now I’m all ready to quilt the borders. Except that I’m busy for the next 2 weeks.  The next time I have the time to tackle the borders will be Saturday, Feb. 2. So I’m putting it on the calendar. This is the reason why it takes so long for me to quilt a quilt. I need to have a full day to get into the mindset to do something.  And with such a big quilt, every bit of quilting is hard work. It is exhausting.  But I made another step of progress and I’m almost done!

In the meantime, my plan is to work on Provence. The last time I worked on Provence was at the quilt retreat I attended at Thimble Towne in Bakersfield, CA last September.  It was the first retreat I attended with fellow guildmates and my crafty friend, Mindy. I finished piecing the inner top and the next step is to piece the border.  So, sometime this week I want to press the top, measure appropriately, cut the border, and piece it.

Here’s a pic of Provence as it is currently:

Provence
9/22/18

I currently have a quilting queue. Remember my #MakeNine2019.  The 3 quilt projects on my #MakeNine2019 are Celtic Solstice, Have Yourself a Quilty Little Christmas, and Staycation. The top for Quilty Little Christmas has been done for a while.  Since Feb, 2017. All the details are on my project page.

Have yourself a quilty little Christmas!
Top is finished! 🙂
2/24/2017

It has been waiting for Celtic Solstice to be finished quilting for a long while. I have the batting and back ready for this thing. It’s been ready for so long I need to pull it out and make sure the back is actually cut. I don’t remember anymore.

I just finished Staycation last weekend at the most recent quilt retreat I attended with my Crafty friend, Karen.  We were at Creation Station in Solvang, CA (actually it’s really Buelton, but no one really knows Buelton unless you are from SoCal and Buelton is 2 miles from Solvang. It’s actually the town you are at when you exit the 101 to head into Solvang.)  So I still need to prep batting and the back before I quilt this one.  I’m planning to do that when I’m finished with Quilty Little Christmas.  So I’ll be working on Provence as my current quilty project.  That’s quilt #4 that’s almost ready to be finished and then sit in the queue until I’m ready to quilt it.

Happy quilting!

Melanie

 

 

Mama’s Bukid, A Cross Stitch

This project was started in April of 2016. And at some point, I calculated how long it would take to finish this, it was like 15 years (I’m making up numbers but it was a big number).  And that was ridiculous.  I think a normal non-crafty person would probably just hide it in a bag and toss it.  But I decided to work on it more and after some time, those 15 years were cut in half to 8 years.  Then as I saw progress and started loving on it, I worked on it daily and had monthly, weekly and daily goals to finish. Next thing I know, it’s now become a real possibility to get this project finished this year!  I know…. My 15 year project could be finished this year, 3 years after starting.  On Friday night I finished page 6 which is the bottom page for this section.

1/18/2019
Finished column 13 and 14 of page 2 and 6 which means pages 2 and 6 are finished!

I unrolled the project because it’s a monumental time and it is about 20 inches long!  And, it’s about 60% complete.

1/18/2019
Finished page 6! and I’m 60% done. 

 

So how will I finish the remaining 40% this year? I have so many columns on pages 3/7 and then on pages 4/8 (which are partial pages).  So, I need to complete 2 columns per month in order to finish this project.  That’s really pushing myself and while this has been a focus project in the cross stitch part of my crafty life I haven’t regularly completed 2 columns per month. Sometimes I do it and sometimes I do not do it.  But this year, I’m going to really try hard to get this done. I broke it down to daily stitches of doing 1 box and 2 lines per day.  And when the 2 columns are done, I will move onto Gamer.

Happy Sunday, friends!

xoxo,

Melanie

 

 

 

Goals and Things… 2019

I was going to write a post about Cross Stitch… and that post will come but in getting my post together I ran across my 2018 goals. And was reminded about how funny I am. I made a whole 4 post series of my goals of which I’m not going to link up.  If you are truly interested, you can search for it in the search bar with 2018 crafty goals.  In reviewing here’s what I found…

My overarching goals were:

  1. Use what I have
  2. Get rid of the things that I don’t love anymore
  3. Only buy things I will use now

Did I accomplish these things… Short answer is no.  I continue to buy, keep (hoard) and buy things I don’t intend to start.

Here is a short list of specific goals:

Quilting:

==> I can tell you that I did not finish anything quilty related in 2018.  I did sew stuff and make bags and little things and made progress on quilting the humongous Celtic Solstice.  But I didn’t get much done.  I’m a little disappointed with myself but I’m going to do better this year.

Knitting:

  1. SOCKS!
    1. Box of Sox 2018 with Voolenvine – Done!
    2. Knitting Expat’s sock clubs – Done!
    3. Knotty Gnome magical maladies pattern – Not Done!
    4. Misc. patterns already purchased – Not Done!
  2. Other knitting projects that I outlined in the original post –
    1. Finished the Land of Sweets Cowl and Kayla’s Weasley Sweater

Cross Stitch:

  1. I didn’t have explicit goals but wanted to continue to work on Mama’s Bukid and Gamer and add in a small project here and there.  I finished the Spooky Scary 5×5 Mill Hill Kit for Halloween and that’s it.

I did start multiple projects for Quilting, Knitting and Cross Stitching to add to the WIP parade. I’m a little afraid to pull it all out.  But I’ve got a short list of things and I’m working off that list.  One of the things that has been going around Instagram the past few years is people’s Make9 projects.  I created one this year and what I did was pick 3 projects from each section that I want done this year.  For Quilting, I want to finish

  1. Celtic Solstice
  2. Have a little Quilty Christmas!
  3. Staycation

Knitting:

  1. Box of Socks – Same as last year, I’m doing 12 socks for the year.
  2. Jacob’s Weasley Sweater
  3. Featherweight Cardigan

Cross Stitching:

  1. Mama’s Bukid
  2. Gamer – 6 pages
  3. Snowman

This is my short list and it is currently making it easier to get going on things.

I’m tired just typing this all up.

Have a Happy Saturday!

Keep crafting and love on!

xoxo,

Melanie