Author Archives: Melanie

Update on my 2020 Crafty Plans

I wrote about my 2020 Crafty goals here for quilting… and here for cross stitch… and here for knitting and here for everything else

Feel free to check it out and remind yourself about how goal oriented I am. ;0

This is a long one and if you want to see how much I’ve done and what my plans are going forward, grab yourself a beverage and read on.

My quilting goals and updates-

  1. Staycation – this was part of my quilt queue and is still in that queue. I got my Q20 in February and I’ve spent a few weekends quilting smaller practice items (mats and table runners) that have been in the ‘to be quilted’ pile for the past couple of years. As I finish these piles up and warm up to quilting, I’ll soon be getting to this quilt and the other ones on my quilting queue.
  2. Good Fortune – this is done! and has joined Staycation in the quilt queue. It needs a back. This is not something I plan to do soon but will tackle that as my quilt queue gets shorter.
  3. Glam Clam – this is done! too and is in the quilt queue and needs a back.
  4. Scrappy Stars – all the blocks are done and I am waiting for this shelter in place thing to pass so I can go to the quilt shop and buy fabric for the sashing. I’m looking at grunge in the white/cream family. I could buy online but I want to take my blocks to the shop and pick the best one. We’ll see. I’m not in any rush to finish this top so I can wait.
  5. Area One Mystery Quilt from 2012 SoCal Quilt Run – I finished the inner top and have decided to do a 5″ border. I need to figure out which fabric to use. I have fabric for the border that came with the kits but I’m not sure I like it.
  6. Area Four Mystery Quilt from 2012 SoCal Quilt Run – Right before the pandemic started I went to the first retreat of the year. At the retreat I was able to lay out all the blocks and decide how to put them together. All I have to do is put them together.
  7. Dancing with the Stars – At the same retreat I finished some of the blocks for this and realized I didn’t have any more of the white. I believe I pulled it for another project and never replaced it. I’ve since bought more white fabric and can start working on this again.

And that’s it. I have moved forward on all the projects that were in my quilty list. Here are my goals for the rest of the year.

  1. Scrappy Stars – once we are able to go out, go to LQS and pick sashing fabric and cornerstones.

    Scrappy Stars Around the Corner
    3/6/2020

  2. Area One Mystery Quilt – pick and sew border on to finish the top.

    2012 Southern CA
    Quilt Run
    Area One
    Mystery quilt
    3/29/2020

  3. Area Four Mystery Quilt – piece all the blocks together and figure out if you want a border or not.

    2012 Southern CA
    Quilt Run
    Area Four
    Mystery quilt
    3/8/2020

  4. Dancing with the Stars – start working on this again now that I’ve got more white fabric.

    Dancing with the Stars
    Linda Ballard
    3/8/2020

  5. Radiant Jewel Quilt by Kimberly Einmo – was a craftsy mystery quilt. I actually started this on that same retreat and have been working on it. I’m on the third step.
  6. Allietare –  Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt from 2015 – Clue 1
  7. Area Three Mystery Quilt from 2012 SoCal Quilters Run – This is kitted up and I haven’t even looked at the instructions.

Now for Cross Stitch:

  1. Mama’s Bukid – Finished this! Goal was met for this one.

    Mama’s Bukid
    It’s finish!
    3/22/2020

  2. Gamer – Finish 6 pages. I am still working on page 1 and to be honest, unless I work on this project more than one week per month, it will be hard for me to finish 6 pages this year. This is now my focus piece so I hope to make more progress but I will need to dedicate more time to this.

    Gamer Nouveau
    03/2020

  3. A Stitch in Time – My goal is to work on this each month and I have been. I love working on this project but it is very slow. There is a lot of confetti everywhere and it’s slow going on this one.

    A Stitch In Time
    03/2020

  4. A Kiss for Snowman – I have not worked on this at all. This is my travel project but I haven’t been travelling so I haven’t done anything with it. I think what I will do is add this to my rotation and during the same week work on Gamer at the same time. I can do that because this is held in had while All the other projects are on frames.
  5. Mirabilia Titania – Added a new project to the rotation. Now that Mama’s Bukid is done, I decided to add another project to my rotation. This one is not nearly as complex as Gamer or A Stitch in Time as it is not full coverage and is not heavy on the confetti. There is beading and some back stitch but I think this is certainly doable. I feel like with Gamer and A Stitch in Time, having a small one like A Kiss for Snowman and this Mira will help me see movement when projects like A Stitch in Time go so slowly.

Knitting Update:

I finished 2 pairs of socks so far this year. I’m working on my March socks but they will not be finished in time. They are long socks and I’m just turning the heel. Hopefully they will be done soon and I can start a new sock project. 🙂

knit picks
scrappy socks
2/1/2020

The next priority project was and continues to be Ricky’s Weasley Sweater. I’m almost done with the back. I probably have about 5 inches or so left to do and I will get that done in the next 2 weeks. I plan to have the front done in Q2, the sleeves done in Q3 and the whole thing put together and finished by Christmas.

Fairy Hill Shawl was finished last quarter.

Fairy Hill Shawl
Pattern by: Curious Handmade
Finish!
2/13/2020

24 days of Christmas Shawl from Jimmy Bean – I’m working on Day 12 so I’m half way through the clues.

Mix Wave Cowl – I’m almost done with this project. I am knitting about 3 blips per week and I am just knitting until I finish one of the balls.

Water Lily top – I have to knit about 11 inches before I can even start the lace part. I’m about 6 inches so I have about 5 more inches. At a row or two every week, this is slow going.

Kayla’s beanie – I haven’t even started on this.

Because I finished the fairy hill shawl, I started Tranquil Mist and Harriet’s Hat. I love working on Harriet’s Hat and I’m hoping to get it done as soon as my friend brings me more white yarn. 🙂

Harriet’s Hat
3/29/2020

 

And the other stuff:

I finished my Megan Dress:

LAFS: Megan Dress

  1. continue working on LAFS projects
  2. Dress no 1 in size Large
  3. Dress no 2
  4. Skirt no 1

Bag making – I finished the Maxwell Bag! woohoo

Maxwell Bag
A Finish
3/29/2020

Card making – I need to put this on my calendar. 🙂

~ whew – this is a lot of stuff and it makes me tired to write all this up. But it truly helps me to see what I planned earlier this year and what I’ve done and what I’ve still to do. Surprisingly I got a lot of quilting done even though I feel like I haven’t spent as much time quilting as I want to.

Happy Crafting and I hope you spend your time doing the things you love best. 🙂

~Melanie

Maxwell Bag – Finally a finish

Maxwell Bag
A Finish
3/29/2020

I didn’t realize that I started this bag in 2017. I know because I looked for the post I wrote about this when I took the class. All I had left was to put the handles through the purple things, whip stitch them, and that’s it. They were done. It did take me longer than I thought and it was harder than I thought it would be. But it’s done. I do not know what I’m going to use it for but it’s so cute. And I want to make another one. Not right now. 😉

 

~Melanie

Day 17 at home

Today is day 17 and I’m finding it difficult to stick with a schedule. I normally work from home so that’s not my problem. My kids are home all the time but they are older and do not require as much from me as they would if they were younger.  Last week I was supposed to be on vacation. But with everything going on with the stock market I worked for most of it.  I was able to get off early in the day and do various things but not nearly as much as I wanted to.  I’m okay with it. But life will be more hectic next week as we finish up one quarter and start another. So I need to figure out how I want things to be.

In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been working on:

Knitting – I’m still knitting on my morning socks and almost daily I’m able to knit a couple of rows on Ricky’s Weasley Sweater. But those pictures are no fun. Just a little bit longer and bigger than the last picture. I will try to take pics this week since the month is ending and I want to take end of Month pictures. My real knitting love is this hat:

Harriet’s Hat
3/29/2020

I ran out of the white yarn and luckily I have a friend who’s knitting the same hat with me. As soon as she is done, she will be dropping off (social distancing being kept) her leftover white.  In the meantime, I just love looking at it. I am still working on my mix wave cowl, water lily top, etc. Basically I’m doing my daily and weekly knitting. Mostly.

For cross stitch, since I finished Mama’s Bukid I started working on Titania by Mirabilia. I started this a long time ago – 2018 – and only did a bit on it. I hated working on it. Really hated it. I had never worked on linen before. Before this, I didn’t realize that there were different fabrics and every Flosstube I watched was talking about how great linen was. So I kitted this project up with linen and did not like it. I couldn’t see the holes and they were uneven. It was awful and sat in a box for 2 years. Every once in awhile early on I would take it out and try for a bit but it’s been in complete timeout this last year. This time I started working on it again and while I can’t say I love working on it, I am better at it and it is now doable.  I am loving what I’m seeing and it was my focus xstitch project for this week:

Titania
Mirabilia
3/29/2020

Here’s what it will grow up to be:

 

I finally finished this dress:

LAFS: Megan Dress

I’m not totally in love with it but it makes a great house dress. This is my second real dress but the first time with set in sleeve, gathers, my first time with darts, and a bunch of other things, I am really happy with how it turned out and how I can wear it. I plan to make skirts and other dresses one of these days.

On the quilting front: It’s harder to take pictures. I finished putting together this inner top –

2012 Southern CA
Quilt Run
Area One
Mystery quilt

I know the picture is not the finished top. It was harder to take a picture it because it is just too big.

2012 Southern CA
Quilt Run
Area One
Mystery quilt
3/29/2020

Here it is on my bed. I plan to do a small border – maybe about 5 inches all around.  I am loving it but put it away for now.

Here are some other things I’ve been working on here and there…

I bound a few mats that I had practiced quilting on the Q20. Here’s a table runner. I picked up the top at one of our guild’s treasure hunts for, quilted and bound it. Now it’s gracing my table.

More practice on the Q20

Fun stuff.

Hope you are doing well during this time. I’m up and down and tend to stay offline when I’m not doing so well.  I also try to remember that things are not so bad, people experience and survive much worse than being stuck at home with all the crafts, and I try to be very grateful for what I have and where I am.  It’s still hard and there are a lot of sad things going on. Stay strong, friends.

Love always,

Melanie

What I’m working on… Scrappy Stars Around The Corner

I have all the blocks finished for Scrappy Stars Around The Corner.

I saved them for the first retreat of the year so I could take advantage of the design wall.

Scrappy Stars Around the Corner
3/6/2020

Apparently I didn’t cut enough sashing. And I do not remember if Charlotte had said to use scrappy sashing or a constant sashing.  I decided I want a constant.  When I first put it on the wall I liked the gray/tan sashing.  But I took a picture and when I looked at the picture, I really liked the cream sashing.  So I decided to do a constant cream sashing and constant cornerstones. I’m not sure what color that would be yet. I don’t think I could go wrong but whatever it is, I want it to be the same throughout the quilt. I haven’t decided on borders yet but will do that when I’ve got it all together.

I’m alive and healthy

Just wanted to drop by and let you know, I’m okay and my family is okay.  I’m not part of a high risk category but my family and I are self-quarantining because we can. I work from home mostly and the 2-day a week job I was commuting to before was moved to virtual support which is what I do normally.  Today is day 11 for me and it’s helpful to take the dog on walks and say hello to the sun every day.  For awhile, it was raining and every time it stopped I would rush outside to breathe fresh air and take the dog out.  It’s no fun taking her out when it is raining.  I can say yesterday was a difficult day. It was my son’s 15th birthday and he was happy to stay in his room and play on his computer. The rest of us got on each other’s nerves. I isolated myself from the rest of the family in my office/craft room to avoid tensions rising higher.  Today is a much better day.

Since last I posted, I got this done!

Mama’s Bukid – Farmland 2
It’s finish!
3/22/2020

 

Hope you are staying safe and keeping your sanity!

Always,

Melanie

 

 

Cross Stitch: A Stitch in Time, an update

Last time I posted a picture here, was when I listed my 2020 Cross Stitch Goals.  Here is a picture from the beginning of the year.

This project is part of my rotation.  I switch projects every Sunday in this order: Mama’s Bukid, Gamer, Mama’s Bukid, A Stitch in Time.  Yes, I do Mama’s Bukid every other week because it’s my priority project and I want it done soon.  It’s also my longest xstitch project and I’m really sick of it.  So, the sooner I’m done with it, the sooner I can frame it and give it to my mother.  Anyway, I stitch a little bit every week night.  Lately, my week nights have been full of things that take up my time and I haven’t been able to spend as much time as I want so I do an hour or so here and there over the weekend.  Here’s where I finished at yesterday:

A Stitch in Time
2/23/2020

Because there is so much confetti, I’m only able to do about 55 stitches an hour.  It sounds like I’m a really slow stitcher but with color changes for every single box, there’s no way to do it but slow and steady.  It was difficult to do anything on this this week as I was overwhelmed with the complexity and how slow I am  at it.  But I persevered and was able to get 400 stitches done this week.  My goal was to do 1200 but it’s just not possible given the amount of time I’m able to devote to this project.  Some may say I have too many projects and that I should probably work on one project at a time but that’s just ridiculous!

Happy Stitching!

~Melanie

Welcome to the family

I finally got the boxes unpacked and I put this baby together. It was pretty easy. I watched SewVeryEasy’s unboxing video on YouTube several times. Then I watched each section again as I followed in real life.  It was much easier than trying to go through the instructions which wasn’t hard either but video was better for me than reading or deciphering the pictures for the instructions.  Once the machine was put together, the hubby and I rearranged the whole living room area to accommodate it.  The current set up opens up the room a bit more and I really like it. We will try it out and see how it plays out.

All that to say, once it was put together, I was too tired to actually play with it.  I’m hoping to today.  I’ve got some work stuff and my sewing room/office is a mess.  At this moment, it is hard for me to work when I’ve got too many projects scattered around me.  I have a problem figuring out what to work on first. 🙂 So, this blog, some work, put things away in my sewing room and then play on the Q20 is on the docket today.

Happy Sunday and I hope you are able to craft to your heart’s content!

~Melanie

My weekly update, 2/22/2020

It Came!

Bernina Q20 in boxes

It arrived on Thursday and I’ve been too busy to do anything with it. My friends are shocked at my resistance but I want time to put things right. This is what I’ll be doing today but first… my weekly update!

Last week I went to yoga twice!  Woohoo.  Now I just need to do it a few more weeks and it will be second nature.  My goal is to make it 3 times a week but I’m all about baby steps.

For morning knitting, previously I was working on my “jo’s perfect slipper socks”and I finished this early in the week.

Jo’s Perfect Slipper Socks
2/22/2020

My current morning sock project are Curious Handmade’s “Honey Bee Dance socks”.  I already have one sock done from a long time ago. But I’m knitting from a sock blank so I couldn’t do two at a time like I normally do.  Here’s the start of the second sock.

Curious Handmade’s
Honey Bee Dance
2/22/2020

Curious Handmade’s
Honey Bee Dance
The finished one
2/22/2020

 

For Ricky’s Weasley Sweater, I worked on it 3 of 5 scheduled days. I didn’t take a picture again but one of these days I will do that. It looks very much like it used to … just longer.

And 4 other knitting projects have been touched and played with a bit this week.  I actually casted on a new project since I finished my shawl.  I will take a picture of it so I can show you soon but for now, the pattern is tranquil mist and I will be beading for the first time!

~Here’s to a full crafty week where you can accomplish all your goals!

Melanie

 

Cross Stitch: Mama’s Bukid, an update

Mama’s Bukid
2/15/2020

Here is where I’m at with Mama’s Bukid.  When I finish this set of columns, I will be finished with this project.  I’m so excited I can hardly stand it.  But I’m putting it away.  I can almost taste the finish that’s how close I am. I’ve been working on this project for a week and it’s not my favorite project. If I force myself to keep working on it, I will not pick it up at all.  I know myself.  So, I will work on “A Stitch in Time” this week and next week… I will stitch a bit more on this project and maybe, I’ll have a finish.  There’s a lot of full coverage as I get to the bottom of these columns and as a result, I’m not certain I’ll be able to finish in a week.  It may take another 2 weeks of stitching.  Either way, I’m okay with taking a break on this and moving onto one of my favorite stitchy projects.

 

My weekly update, 2/15/2020

Today is my hubby’s birthday so this weekend is his weekend.  For V-day yesterday, we went out to a nice dinner with our son at a local spot called Joe’s Cafe in Granada Hills.  Afterwards, we went to sing a karaoke spot.  Our son originally didn’t want to go but ended coming with us.  It was a fun couple of hours as we sat and sang our hearts out.  I’ve been wanting to go for awhile as it’s been a long time since we’ve done that.  Today, we woke up early and went to see Parasites, the Korean drama that seems to be talked about everywhere since sweeping up all the awards.  Then we had a light lunch at his favorite Thai spot.  Now we are home and I get to craft until he decides he wants to do something else.

It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted a weekly update. No real reason other than I had a full week a couple of weeks ago and Saturday was my only free day.  This meant that all I wanted to do was craft and blogging was not part of that picture.

I went to yoga each week and I’m maintaining my once a week yoga tradition.  I really need to go more than that but it’s proving to be difficult.  I am striving for twice a week.

For morning knitting, I’ve been working on my “jo’s perfect slipper socks”.

Jo’s Perfect Slipper Socks
2/15/2020

 

Jo’s Perfect Slipper Socks
Side View
2/15/2020

I’m almost done! These were so easy to knit up and I can’t believe I’ve only got about 5 rounds left to do!

For Ricky’s Weasley Sweater, I worked on it 7 of the 10 scheduled days.  It doesn’t look much different than last time, it’s just a bit longer so I’m not going to post another pic. You can scroll to a previous post if you are dying to see what it looked like before. I was able to finish my Fairy Hills Shawl!

Fairy Hill Shawl
Pattern by: Curious Handmade
Finish!
2/13/2020

I bound off on 2/13 but I still need to block it and cut off the ends. The ends are woven in but I cut them off after I block it.  So that’s all I need to do. I was going to do it today but didn’t have time and now I’m too cold to do it.  I love it.  Here’s a close up of the lace before I finished so you can see it better:

Fairy Hill Shawl
Lace design in close up
02/2020

 

~Here’s to a full crafty week where you can accomplish all your goals!

Melanie